Progress this past year

After giving birth to Becca I was almost 200lbs, battling idiopathic hives (aka no known cause), could barely eat food, extremely anxious, etc. my journey started at an asthma and allergy facility where my nurse practitioner was AMAZING. She has been such a huge support in all this. I started my journey into allergy shots, which lead to a possible diagnosis of EOE (“allergic esophagus” – aka when eating certain foods the white blood cells in my body would gather in my throat to attack), I had several scopes with the GI who determined it was “just reflux”. But things still felt off, my symptoms weren’t improving as I had hoped. Talking with a friend who had a long history with EOE, she recommended seeing a functional medicine doctor. Functional medicine is eastern based medicine which meant it wasn’t a popular choice with my allergist but she supported me saying she only wanted what was best for me. (Thank you Sofia). It also meant it wasn’t supported by my insurance so it was out of pocket, but at this point in my journey I would have done anything to feel better. That’s how I found the Trivida Functional Med team in oct/nov of last year.

After 6 months of working with my wonderful functional medicine team esp my AWESOME coach Nicole I’m feeling the best I have ever felt. Sure, lots of changes have been made, I now sleep with a cpap machine, I haven’t had dairy, gluten or eggs for almost a year and currently I’m working through a mold detox. I can truly say that each change they helped me make felt absolutely earth shattering and I dealt with a grief cycle surrounding each change. Taking out gluten, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I loved bread, all the gluten, shit! during pregnancy I LIVED on bagels and cream cheese. But now, if I eat gluten, it’s instant how terrible I feel. Same goes for dairy and eggs. Now, I don’t react the same to all foods in those categories, for instance I had some famous Amos cookies for Father’s Day (dads favorite cookies) without consequence but give me shredded cheese or a part of a hamburger bun and I immediately regret it.

One of my biggest leaps this year though was therapy. As I’ve said in previous posts my therapy has taken leaps and bounds this past year. I think it was the best thing I could have done for myself. Mental health was just as, if not more important than changing my diet, exercising and focusing on taking care of my body.

Throughout this journey there have been plenty of days when I have questioned my progress. Then I see my strength gains, my ability to hike with my kids (and carry them), the fact that I am not constantly battling extreme fatigue, I’m officially under 160lbs and most importantly food feels more like an energy source then a nap starter. I still take naps (sometimes even daily) because mamahood!

All this to say I love taking progress photos and videos especially on a journey like this. That way, when you question how far you have come you have physical evidence to back it up.


Therapy and horses

A few months ago I started therapy with a new therapist who specializes in equine therapy. I started therapy, terrified of horses, yes I knew what equine therapy was when I started. Previously, I have done several years of therapy with minimal to no change. I enjoyed my time with previous therapists and think they helped but I knew that I needed more. The reason I knew I needed more was because in the several years of therapy I had maybe cried 1 time and still continued to feel triggered by all the same issues, I felt like I was a broken record. On my first day with my new therapist, J, I bawled like a little baby. It wasn’t even a conscious decision, which normally I can control myself, in fact I’m really good at stopping myself from crying in front of people (one of the many things I’m working on in therapy). The tears, gushed out of me like the flood gates had opened. Of course that isn’t the only thing that has been different with this therapist, each session has been in a horse barn, with the most recent sessions out in the field with the horses. Ya, you read that right, I have been working with the horses. All I can say is WOW.
In the past few years I’ve become much more interested in the alternative healing methods, like chakra therapy. Lucky me, that is what these horses do. Chakras are the energy centers of the body, while many are present in each person there are the main 7 that align the spine. Root Chakra, Sacral Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra, Heart Chakra, Throat Chakra, Third Eye Chakra, and the Crown Chakra. Since horses vibrate on higher frequencies they are able to help balance, open and regulate anothers chakra just by being in close proximity. As I stated before, I was terrified of horses, you want me to stand still and let a horse move around me…and TRUST that they won’t hurt me?!
“yes, that is exactly what I need from you” – J
The first time I experienced it, Patches – an amazing horse who thinks he is actually a lap dog : ) walked around me stopping at various levels to work on various chakras, I melted. When he got to my heart chakra he and I were chest to chest. I can’t paint an intense enough scene for you to understand through the words on this page how life changing this moment was. I felt like I could get lost in the comfort of his touch. Like I could feel the light, even in the darkest of moments. Like I could reach a level of peace I had never imagined was possible. I didn’t want to leave that moment.
Lets take a moment to discuss what it looks like to have a horse walk around you and balance your chakras. For each chakra the horse tries to position their corresponding chakras close to yours, which means for the God Chakra/Crown Chakra the horses head is right on mine and for the Root Chakra the horses bum is the closest part to me. Sure, I’ve had to move my feet to avoid being stepped on a few times. Another interesting part is that as the participant you are asked to stand still, not touch the horse, just allow the horse to do their job. It’s been an interesting ride, one I’m so glad I am taking.
The second time I experienced it, Patches got onto the ground and rolled around on his back. J asked if I knew what that meant, I replied that I didn’t. She said “Patches feels safe enough and trusts you enough that he is willing to show you his vulnerable side, aka his belly.” Then, not 10 mins later one of her other horses, Luna, came over and did THE SAME THING! I hadn’t even worked with her before. It was so humbling and beautiful. As the two horses surrounded me, working on my chakras, I became overwhelmed with shame that I keep struggling with the same issues. I expressed how I felt to J and as we were discussing this, Luna stood leaning against my back, wrapped her head around me and began to hug me with her neck. J and I busted out laughing, “I’ve never seen her do this before, she knows that you need to laugh.” Luna almost lifted me off my feet a few times when she hugged me. The moment was so real, the comfort was unconditional and it was truly raw beauty.
I could talk for hours about my therapy, but I’ll save more stories for other blog posts. Stay tuned!

Experience has led me here

I have always lived under the mantra that I wouldn’t be who I am at this moment without all my experiences. The good. The bad. All of it. Losing both my parents when I did. Friendships starting and friendships ending. I hate to even say this but in my life it feels like everything has happened for a reason. it’s just taken me years to discover each reason.

Lately I’ve been wishing my parents could be here to see their grand babies. The more I think about how my life has played out, any other path wouldn’t have brought me this amazing life I live. Let me share just a few examples as there are too many to list on here.

My dad was diagnosed with cancer when I was in the fifth grade. Before that I didn’t have a higher power to believe in, until I knew I needed it, that day came when he was diagnosed. Being a Christian helped give me hope through a dark time in my life. Because of dads diagnosis I treasured the little moments with both parents (as best I could). When mom died I once again felt lost, but still had my faith to help strengthen me. Prior to moms death, dad and I weren’t very close, but after she passed we knew this needed to change. Dad and I became more intentional about working on our relationship, sure we still had our disagreements and tough times but we were each other’s support system. When mom passed away, dad and I only had his social security income to rely on, as he hadn’t worked in a few years due to his illness. I still remember the feeling of shame and embarrassment when I had to check the “free or reduced lunch” on a school form. But, because of our financial situation I received several grants and scholarships to go to my beloved Bethel University. If mom had been alive I’m not sure we would have been able to afford it. (Don’t misunderstand, I still have plenty of debt from Bethel, it was just more feasible with the financial aid I received). If it wasn’t for Bethel I wouldn’t have found one of my besties. If it wasn’t for Bethel I wouldn’t have eventually earned my DPT. If it wasn’t for Bethel I wouldn’t have made it through the long distance relationship I was in at the time. That relationship ending was the reason I moved to Colorado. Colorado has brought me a doctorate degree, so many amazing friends and besties, a huge support system and most importantly my husband. That husband is the one (along with my AMAZING support system) who got my through the death of my father. The death that I honestly thought would fully break me. My husband, my in laws and my besties fam were there to carry this 7 month pregnant woman through the awful year long battle with my brother to close my fathers estate. While it sucked to be so pregnant and lose my father, I deeply believe that kylie was in my life to save me. Because I was pregnant I couldn’t drown my sorrows in booze, I couldn’t just not eat, and most importantly I had to take care of her which meant taking care of me.

Believe me, I still wish, everyday, that I could see both my parents and that they could see this wonderful family hubby and I have created. But then again they are the very couple that has brought me such amazing blessings.

Rona virus feels

Coronavirus. This pandemic has completely changed our world. It’s made people act crazier than I’ve ever seen. It’s made people act more selfish than I’ve ever seen. And quite honestly it’s made a lot of people more sad/frustrated than I’ve ever seen. My personal stance on coronavirus has been, yes it’s something I need to be careful of but I can’t let my anxieties About getting it rule my life. With everything that is going on in my life, and has happened in my life adding that is just not feasible. (Plus my toddler has decided to start licking shopping carts … so there’s that.) Otherwise I could see myself never leaving my house ever again. Do I have the million dollar answer to solving coronavirus… No, not even close. Do I hate these restrictions placed on us…absolutely!

I have been thinking a lot and processing the emotions that have come up for me with coronavirus. I keep asking myself what is so bad about coronavirus (not the actual virus itself I mean the world changes because of it). i’ve come up with a few reasons.

1. Fear, fear of the unknown, unknown origin, unknown symptomology, unknown if you have it or if you’ll pass it to another person, etc.

2. Anxiety or fear of dying or your loved ones dying because of this.

3. Grieving, the whole world is going through one massive grieving process. Grieving the loss of “normal”, the loss of seeing friends, the loss of jobs, the loss of loved ones, etc.

I don’t mean to brag or anything, but all those emotions, all those fears, all that grieving… That’s what I’ve been living in for the past several years. No, my experiences in the past has not been shaped by a pandemic… This one is totally new to me… But the feelings and emotions those are all too familiar. I’m writing this post not to solve coronavirus, not to poke the bear, not to hate on anyone. I’m writing this post so that you and I both know that we are in this together. That while the pandemic is new the emotions are not and we are all still people. Grief, anxiety, and depression all combined with restrictive upon restrictive order can cause people to do and say stupid Or hurtful things. Shaming one another or “beating” people into submission WILL NOT help. Instead we need to care for each other, support each other, respect each other. We will make this through, even though we may be battered and broken on the other side! Years from now we will be able to say, “wow the rona virus was such a crazy time”.

Advice from a weathered griever, be kind to everyone (including yourself), talk less, smile more (any hamilton fans?!), find what brings you joy and cling to it, and try to find/do things that help you remind yourself who you are! It’s so easy to get lost in the emotions. This world situation sucks but let’s try to find some good, it might be that Starbucks drink you bought, it could be seeing a family member you haven’t seen in a long time, or the cuddles from your toddler who hours earlier licked the shopping cart 🤪.

Selfie Care

The current world situation is so hard, for many reasons! One of which is the prolonged isolation, from everything. From the things that make me feel human like going to the gym or work. From things that help me “let my hair down” like going dancing or going out with a friend. From things that make me feel relaxed like going anywhere without a mask on. From things that warm my soul and refill my empty cup like a big hug from a friend.

To try to keep things “normal” I have continued my “self care” daily routine. I enjoy putting my makeup on, taming my hair and getting dressed… of course my getting dressed hasn’t changed much since I have lived in yoga pants for a while. Even still I’ve been battling low self esteem lately, the combination of this isolation and just having had my second baby has changed my body. Sometimes a simple phrase of “I don’t have the mental capacity to hate my body” can help improve my feelings and stop the downward spiral that is low self esteem. Although that isn’t always enough.

Something else I try is that every time I am in a picture with my babies I try to remind myself that it’s not about me. After all, beauty is fleeting. It’s about the memories and about how when I’m gone the biggest thing I want them to remember is the love and fun they had not if mama looked her best. They don’t care what I looked like, they care that I loved them. But even reminding myself of that I still struggle. Lately many of the pictures I’m in I could tell you more flaws than beauty but today as I was making a video for a friend I realized I wanted to try something new. Today is a good day… no scratch that… today I feel gorgeous. I want to embrace this feeling, bottle it up and save it for a rainy day.

Usually I feel ashamed that I love my great selfies or that I even took one. Instead I’m going to start celebrating those days and reminding myself I am beautiful. The same amount of power I have given to the bad days I want to give to the good days instead. on the days I’m really struggling I’ll look at these selfies and remember that just like life we have ups and downs. I’ll try to remember that just because I’m having a bad day it doesn’t mean all my days are bad and hopefully I can remind myself that ultimately it’s not all about the outward appearance, it’s about what memories you make.

The view from my rocking chair

I haven’t written in a long time. Partially that is because everything with this pregnancy has been changing so rapidly that one minute the fear is overwhelming, the next moment an “all clear” is sounded and quite frankly I don’t know how to share this emotional whiplash. As my C-section date approaches I am beyond ready for it to be over. I am ready to have my body back. I’m ready to have my family completed by this newest addition. I am “ready” for the next phase. (and good Lord am I ready for some damn wine!) I am not, however, ready for the actual C section…I’m quite anxious about this. The biggest thing I have learned, or maybe confirmed, with this pregnancy is that I can grow amazing babies, but my body cannot handle the process of growing them. Hubby and I joke that with my pregnancies only death and destruction follow, after all, my dad died 1.5 months prior to my first and now the coronavirus has literally shutdown the world. So when people ask if we are having more kids I reply “believe me, I am only thinking of the world when I say no.”

While I know my pregnancy could be so much worse, I have had it pretty rough. Usually the actual having of a baby will make you reach your insurance deductible but I have already reached my deductible and baby isn’t coming until Monday, March 30th. A few weeks ago I went to the ER for shortness of breath (long before covid 19 was a thought in anyone’s mind, here anyways). Based on symptoms they wanted to rule out a PE (blood clot in my lungs) so they did a CT-Scan. Thankfully no PE was found but they did find a spot on my liver. Upon leaving they said “it’s probably nothing, you have probably had it on your liver your whole life. Of course we can’t do anything about it until after you have completed this pregnancy so lets wait.” And honestly I was 100% ok with this. Then after several subsequent dr appointments, at which each dr said “you know you have a liver lesion, correct” I started to worry a little. My OB had originally moved my C-section date to Saturday March 28th as this is my mothers birthday and a special day for me. When this liver lesion was found, my dr had no choice but to move my C-section to Monday March 30th so the procedure can be performed in the regular OR with a general surgeon on staff, in case I start to bleed, and with extra units of my blood available in the chance of an emergency. Over and over again they have assured me that these are just precautionary steps, which I am very grateful for but it doesn’t lessen the fear that overwhelms me in general regarding the C-section. The other day I had my last OB appointment as well as a follow up liver ultrasound which indicated the tumor has not grown and we are good to go through with our current plan in place. There is a “hepatobiliary tumor board” that was just formed within the Centura health system, they are the team who saw the scan and determined what was the appropriate plan of care. It’s crazy because they legitimately just started 2 months ago, I was one of the first cases reviewed. Several months after baby girl is born they want me to have an MRI to determine if this is cancerous, benign, if I’ll need treatment or if we ignore it.

(I understand the importance of all the regulations and restrictions with covid but that doesn’t change how incredibly heartbreaking this experience has been) My aunt and uncle have cancelled their trip to come visit me and the babies. One of my besties is unable to come to help me through the birth. In fact, my own daughter cannot come to the hospital to meet her baby sister. The only person who is allowed in labor and delivery is my hubby, which I’m so incredibly grateful for this opportunity. That doesn’t change the fact that I’m terrified. With each emotional layer of complexity it is harder and harder for me to stay above/ahead of the rising anxiety within me. I have had to significantly limit my time on social media because quite honestly I can’t handle it. I have always “preferred” to handle the tough emotions that make me feel vulnerable by hiding behind my anger….and boy have I been angry lately.

I’m trying incredibly hard to focus on a better mindset to help prepare me for the C-section and life with a newborn. I’m working with a friend who is AWESOME and she is helping coach me through some preparations to keep my cool in the operating room. She’s also helping me remember that the whole process will bring me closer to my newest baby girl and to the completion of our family of 4! As in most things I struggle looking through the trial to the end prize, but believe you me, I’m trying harder than ever to focus on the prize and focus on the ends justifying the means.

3 more days…

Caitlin (Flemino) Felderman PT, DPTcmfelderman@gmail.com763-234-3770

Getting older

Best thing about getting older is learning about myself (and the world). So here are the top 31 things I’ve learned in my 31 years on this planet. There is no specific order to these nor is there a pattern. Also, it’s probably not complete as my mom brain is short circuiting but these are some really good ones!

  1. The right accessory can seriously keep a smile on your face throughout the day!
  2. Listen to your gut. it’s ok to ask for advice and even listen to advice but You know your circumstances the best
  3. My personal feelings do matter
  4. Flexibility can be such a great characteristic but it needs to be balanced with boundaries
  5. Life is way too short but not so short that a great night sleep should be overlooked (ie ill sleep when I’m dead)
  6. Grief sucks but it’s also important to the healing process and its a direct correlation of the love felt for the person lost
  7. Im not sure there is such a thing as a “normal” life
  8. Friends come and go, and that’s ok. I believe there is a purpose for each interaction (however short lived)
  9. I love being a mom, i love being a wife and i love being a friend….but i NEED to be myself
  10. The term family is fluid
  11. This life was NOT meant to be lived alone
  12. All the big events, graduation, marriage and babies didn’t change nearly as much of me as I expected
  13. Friendships naturally change as I get older, and thats not only normal but ok!
  14. Priorities shift, constantly
  15. You can’t live your life based off “what if” You could be missing out on the greatest opportunities. On the flip side you could be holding onto some of the most self destructive thoughts.
  16. It’s ok and encouraged to let your inner child out every once in a while
  17. What works for one does not necessarily work for all
  18. Not everyone cares what you think
  19. Always be willing to try new things
  20. Travel! Cross country. To a new continent. To a new state.
  21. Don’t let fear ruin your life
  22. Don’t judge a book by its cover
  23. It’s ok to go to bed mad, sometimes you just need some sleep and a clear head before tackling the issue at hand
  24. Tell/show the people you love that you love them as often as you can.
  25. The truth may “set you free” but it’s not always openly accepted or without consequences
  26. All emotions are valid. All emotions are important to gain some understanding in yourself and how you react. It’s the Actions we take in response to the emotions that can be inappropriate.
  27. Sometimes you should splurge and buy the name brand item as the quality is incomparable but other times, save the money and buy store brand. Experience and others will help you determine which
  28. Life will knock you down, its up to you (and no one else) if/when/how you will respond
  29. You can’t control anyone but yourself
  30. I need to give it up, I’m addicted to caffeine and that wont change 🤪
  31. Working out helps to keep me sane. Especially challenging myself and improving! Best thing is making it fun, it can be great “self care”

I see you

Anxiety, panic, depression… All of these tend to make you feel extremely unstable. It makes you question things you might not in a normal state of mind, it makes you feel a little crazy, and more importantly it tends to isolate you. A few weeks ago I was at the gym, after work, when I started to have feelings of an oncoming panic attack. I texted one of my friends, who I work with, that I could feel the panic rising in me. She did not respond by text, and at first I thought “how rude”. Instead I look up in the mirror as I’m lifting weights and see Holley walking up behind me. We talked for a little bit, she told me several times that she didn’t know the magic words, but then magically she said them.

“I see you” 

I can’t even say in the moment I realized how wonderful those words were, honestly I thought they sounded silly. These past few weeks I’ve been ruminating on those words and how phenomenal those three words can sound when you’re in a very unstable mindset. Within those three words there is no judgement, no fixing, and no shaming. Within those three words there is compassion, validation and stability. Linguistically, such a simple statement but emotionally, it has such a profound meaning! 


Movie flavor of the month for my daughter, frozen. Its got princesses, a snowman and a reindeer so kylie is happy. I don’t mind, I love the movie, great music, amazing cast, wonderful storyline….except one thing I noticed the other day (oddly for the first time). In the beginning when Elsa is dealing with the “problem” of her magic the trolls tell her and her family that she will need to learn to control it. 👏🏼 Yes I agree with this, trying to find that healthy balance of acknowledging, embracing and using the power with responsibility. Then as her power inevitably grows it becomes a bit more unstable. The words in the song change to “conceal, dont feel, don’t let them know, make one wrong move and everyone will know” …. my heart broke hearing these words. Again, not quite sure why this time out of all the times I’ve watched this movie these words hit home but ….wow. (I would like to side note, I’m not judging the parents on their choice to parent… of teaching her to conceal this. I would like to think that they were doing the best they thought they could offer to their daughter, after all The phrase is “hindsight is 2020” not beforesight or duringsight) anyways, as the movie progresses you see that Elsa struggles to control her power even after she sings the beautiful “let it go” song. In fact she struggles the rest of the movie until she experiences an act of true love that allows her to feel safe and therefore increase the stability of her powers.

More importantly I feel like the topic of Elsa’s powers seem to be a huge reflection of mental health and the misunderstanding of those with mental health diagnosis like anxiety, depression, etc.  When Anna meets Elsa at her ice castle it reminds me of what a panic attack can feel like. There’s a sense of losing control (Elsa), a sense of never regaining that control again, and a feeling of isolation/wanting to isolate. There’s the person on the outside trying to help but not knowing what to do (Anna) and they can sometimes get caught in the unintentional “crossfire” of the panic attack. In the end they realize that love can melt the ice, and when Elsa finally embraces her powers the ice is shown as a beautiful thing. 

As many of you have listened to my podcast episode on Adult Conversations and have read my blogs you know I tried/still try to “conceal, don’t feel” all the grief for a long time. But just as it happened to Elsa in the movie I had little outbursts of the pain at “random” or “spontaneous” times. I held it in for so long that my “Diet Coke bottle was ready to explode” (inside joke on the podcast). So by concealing and not feeling the “problem” it didn’t just go away it actually grew and caused further issues down the road. Now, I’m not saying you can’t get away with concealing and not feeling for a time (and occasionally it’s necessary for your life circumstances) but listen to your body, if you are paying attention your body will tell you when it’s had enough. 
I want my message to be clear, wherever you are at in your healing/grieving/hurting phase please don’t conceal and dont feel. Instead reveal, feel and let someone know so that you don’t have to feel isolated or feel like you have to retreat.

Working on my self control re: social media

I have now officially been limiting my social media exposure to 30 minutes combined of Instagram or Facebook per day for about a month. You may be asking why I chose to limit my time with it instead of “total depravation” for a while. 


Several factors are at play in this decision 

1. My ex thought the solution to an “overindulgent” problem was to completely take whatever the stimulus was away, as I have learned in many years of therapy, that was a form of manipulation. 

2. Going along with number one I firmly believe in a parenting style of: if you can’t teach self control with whatever the present stimulus happens to be, You could be opening yourself and your child up to a future of hurt, confusion and possibly years of therapy (although, that last one may occur regardless and is not a bad thing (I LOVE therapy) but I try to limit how much my daughter will need therapy because of me) 

3. Maybe it’s my rebel nature, but I don’t like to just follow the trends, if someone tells me not to do something (or I try to tell myself that) I want to do it 1000 times more. 

4. Also at play is the “life is too short” theory. Why take something away from my life that, although it can be negative sometimes positivity can be found on social media and there have been moments that have helped me stay sane especially as a mother using social media.



It has been an awesome experience and I will continue to do this but here’s what I’ve learned so far. At first, I felt like 30 minutes was not long enough, mind you that’s 30 minutes total of being on Facebook or Instagram each day. Inevitably when I first started, each day I would “time out” before noon. But as the days have gone on I’ve made it all the way till 7 PM before I hit the mark of 30 minutes. Sometimes I almost feel like it’s too much time. (Never thought I would say that) It has helped me to focus on what I’m looking at and try not to multitask. It has decreased my impulse purchases, damn Instagram knowing what would interest me, they are good! But I’ve also found most of the products I have purchased were very poor quality, very often I was disappointed. It’s helped me to stop aimlessly looking at social media when I should be focusing on just being with my child, my hubby, my friends, etc. It has decreased the frequency of the “aimless grabbing my phone” moments, although I still find myself reaching for it, I feel like that’s a harder habit to change and will take a bit more time to change. (I also don’t think that it’s just social medias fault. Just technology and instant gratification at work, minor issues to tackle *can you feel the sarcasm*) You may be wondering why I chose 30 mins… honestly no clue, just a number. To be clear, I am not saying that this will work for everyone. A big life lesson I have learned is that there is LITERALLY nothing that is “one size fits all”. That is hard to swallow sometimes, as it makes it a bit more of a challenge because you can’t [always] just lose weight like another, or change your habits like another did…but there is also freedom and joy in the journey of figuring out what works best for you. Also, in figuring out what doesn’t work. While “depravation” doesn’t work for me it doesn’t mean it can’t work for another. 


I’m not quite sure what the next step is so I will continue this current path until I can determine what to do next.