Meet Christina Roach, our featured "Empowered Woman". Christina is the founder of the My Balanced Style group on Facebook, fashion influencer on LikeToKnowIt, teacher, mother of 3, wife to a fellow teacher and was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 4 years ago. Wow, did you just read all of that!? I know, this cannot be a real person. But, I swear she IS in fact real and put on this earth to make an impact any way she can.
Christina's My Balanced Style group is a place to find all the best deals on fashion, beauty, and lifestyle finds from favorite online retailers. Christina and her team work all hours of the day to find what we all never knew we needed! And a bonus is they find them at the best prices! Another bonus is that Christina has an eye for fashion and helps us all look our best with her fun ideas and gorgeous photos!
Christina has shared her story with us below. Read on and prepare to feel inspired, fearless and that you're not alone in the variety of struggles we face every day! We can make it through absolutely anything with the drive, focus and positivity that Christina is made of. It is in ALL of us!
On November 11th, 2015, I gave birth to my third child and thought the only challenge in front of me was dealing with three children under 4 and a half years old. Unfortunately, I’d later learn that although a challenging task, I can handle three children. I had been a mom already and knew about the day-to-day unpredictabilities of motherhood. I can remember the day my husband and I had a conversation about life and how everything had seemingly been falling into place; like we had almost figured it all out. Isn’t that usually the case? When you think you have it all figured out and then you are forced to overcome a new challenge. That challenge began for me on February 23, 2016. The day I was told I have Multiple Sclerosis. I was 34 years young.
I share my story in hopes to encourage, inspire, and show that even given the realities that life takes unexpected turns, there are always ways to persevere, remain positive, and live life to the fullest. I am happy to say that I have remained relapse-free and feel pretty amazing, both mentally and physically.
Don’t get me wrong: The journey has not come without its highs and lows. It is, after all, an unpredictable disease. I make sure that I am as productive as I can be on my good days so that I can attempt to “rest” on my bad ones. A daunting task as a wife and mother of a 9, a 7, and a 4 year old. I am a full-time teacher and run a fashion page called @Balancedlifeinspiredfashion on Facebook and Instagram. While the reality can be frustrating at times, I do my best to not let this disease take over my day-to-day life.
My symptoms arrived shortly after giving birth to my daughter Shae 4 years ago. My initial symptoms: numbness in my feet, fingers, and around my chest; vibrations that would shock me from head to toe after any neck movement. These were the signs that made me realize something was wrong. During this time, I quickly learned how important it is to advocate for yourself. I may have marched into doctor’s offices demanding them to read my MRI’s and not leaving until they did. Those that know me, understand that if I want answers, I am going to get answers. All roads of my research pointed to MS. I just needed someone to confirm it.
Although it was not an easy journey to arrive at this diagnosis, after meeting with my neurologist, I was able to get on a treatment plan rather quickly.
I am often asked where I get my motivation and inspiration from. I knew very early on in my diagnosis that I wanted to help motivate, and inspire those with MS or any kind of disease to stay active and positive -- physically, emotionally, and even socially - regardless of physical limitations.
I’ve had to make many decisions over the last three years. The easiest decision I have had to make was to surround myself with people that are positive and uplifting and find what makes me truly happy. These friends are the ones that were there for me on the day we were moving into our new house and was unable to get out of bed and maintain my balance to walk. They are the ones that send me uplifting messages to see how I am doing and ask how I am feeling.
Fashion is something that has always made me happy. It is a therapeutic outlet for me. It doesn’t get better than a community of women sharing a passion and love for fashion and deals!
My husband, my rock, has been by side since day one. He unconditionally supports me on my best days and guides me through my darkest days. I am beyond blessed to be walking this journey with him. My three children, Gavin, Stella, and Shae are my greatest blessings. They are my motivation for getting up on days where my body just doesn’t want to cooperate.
There is so much power in positivity!
I firmly believe, through my countless hours of research, how important diet, physical activity, and a positive mindset relate to my well-being. It took some trial and error, but I think I have found my perfect balance. I have maintained a strict diet for over two years. I’m gluten free, dairy free, and caffeine free. I workout often- to a specific lifting program, take about (a million) supplements, receive monthly infusions, and take a disease-modifying drug. This works for me, and I recognize this may not be for everybody, but it’s really about about finding YOUR own balance, YOUR courage, and YOUR motivation.
Regardless of having MS or not, we all have our own battles we are fighting. I leave all of you with this:
Where does your courage and inspiration come from?
What are you going to do to find your balance?
And who do you surround yourself with that encourages you and lifts your spirits?