Ok so that may be a bit dramatic, but hear me out! Deciding to get braces at age 30 was no easy feat. I knew I needed to do it for quite some time and kept putting it off out of fear. Fear of what people would think, fear of what would happen to my business (who wants an event planner with braces!?), fear of the pain, fear of finally taking that first step and what that would mean. When my dentist told me that my bite was WAY off (see picture below–your teeth should interlock like a puzzle, not sit on top of one another!), and that there was a strong possibility that I’d rub my teeth down so much that I’d have to pull my teeth and get dentures–I decided to go to the Orthodontist. It was time.

The first step was pulling my wisdom teeth (not only had I never had braces, but I hadn’t done that either–they came in while I was pregnant with Row and started this whole process. Read more about that HERE). This was way more painful than I had anticipated. But it was done (hot post-surgery selfie below). On to the braces.

Choosing Valeriano Orthodontics was a no-brainer. Loved them so much and had the BEST experience! I’ve had so many people say “you didn’t need braces!” Here are some before+after for reference…

Once I got my braces on (March 2017), and realized my world didn’t implode (not dramatic at all), a light bulb went off. If at age 30, I could get braces and survive to tell the tale…what else could I do to improve myself? After having 2 babies in 2 years, I’d be lying to say that I was making myself a ‘top’ priority. That all needed to change. Maybe it was the fact that I couldn’t chew really well, or maybe it was the health kick I was embarking on…but I started to make a green smoothie each morning. I went from never really eating breakfast, to packing in a SUPER healthy meal each morning. And guess what…I started to feel ‘better’. I didn’t even know I wasn’t feeling good…until I was feeling good. I started to really pay attention to what I was eating and putting in to my body. Organic everything, making my own milks (coconut and almond), cutting down on the ‘bad stuff’, and just becoming more aware of what I was putting in my body. Next, I started to pay attention to things I was putting ON my body, like my deodorant  and lotion. I switched to all-natural and haven’t looked back.

By my 31st birthday (September 2017), I was feeling good…but not great. I knew there was one more thing I needed to add in to my life but didn’t want to do it–exercise. I hate working out. Always have, and possibly will never love it. I’ve always been thin with out having to do it, so why start now? But it took one bike ride with my husband and kids to change it for me. We lived in Dilworth at the time and walked/biked to lots of things. I’m not sure why this day was different, but we headed out on a ride together to Suffolk Punch. You guys…it’s a 0.7 mile journey. 0.7 miles. In my (very out-of-shape) defense, a part of it was uphill (probably 2 blocks)…but by the time we got to Suffolk Punch, I felt SICK. That was it. I knew I had to change and get in shape. If not for myself, than for my family and my boys who love riding bikes with Mommy.

I started slowly–I needed to make a complete lifestyle change so I didn’t want to burn out after one work out. I knew cardio was not my favorite thing, and preferred workouts that involved lying down for some portion of it (ha!). I went to Iron Butterfly Pilates first, did private lessons and humbled myself. Being completely out-of-shape in a gym is HUMBLING. Slowly, but surely, I started chipping away at my lack of cardiovascular abilities. I gained enough confidence to go in to group classes and then venture to Hilliard Studio Method. I started in beginner classes there (sometimes I still hit the beginner class–it’s still so hard!), and SLOWLY made my way up. I still modify in my workouts where I need to (I have diastasis recti and a very bad back). I now work out consistently around 4 days a week (5 if I have time!), and feel better than I have in my entire life.

Between diet, exercise, all-natural products and a new smile…I feel better than ever as I get ready enter my 32nd year of life next month. I really do attribute getting braces as the catalyst to overhauling my entire lifestyle. I’m not saying I was on the verge of death (again, not dramatic at all), but I KNOW that I’m set up for a longer and healthier life as it is today. Braces saved my life and I am forever grateful for the experience!