Mom Overcoming Addiction: Interview with Danielle Reutter
As a mom overcoming addiction, a husband who was deployed not once, but TWICE, building a happy life filled with abundance wasn’t always easy for Danielle. In this MLH Supermom interview Danielle shares how she did it.
It takes a lot more than a quick fix diet, or the latest and greatest workout trend, to help you get healthy. To be healthy inside and out, you need to transform inside-out. The inspiration has to come from the inside.
For that, you need to look and dig deep down inside for help. This will not only help you to be physically fit but more importantly, to be spiritually fit which will bring you hope and freedom.
Something incredible happens when we ground ourselves and become super clear on what we want.
For today’s In Her Shoes Series Super Mom Interview we are joined by Danielle Reuter. Danielle is a faith-based fitness and financial coach. She’s also a loving mother and a wife.
She has a tremendous story as a mom overcoming addiction. Her past has brought her to this point in her life. Believe it or not, she wouldn’t change a thing!
Does Danielle’s story strength, perseverance, and continued self improvement as a mom overcoming addition? If so…
First, Please share this interview with someone that needs motivation.
Then, connect with Danielle Facebook here
You can learn more about Danielle by visiting her website to find out how she serves women of our community here.
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Full transcript of Mom Overcoming Addiction to Create a Successful Abundant Life Below.
April: Welcome Danielle!
Danielle: Thank you April. I’m happy to be here!
April: Awesome. I don’t even know where to jump in because your story …
Like I said, it’s a tremendous story and you’ve had a lot of struggles. But why don’t we go back to the beginning and tell everybody where it all started?
Danielle: Well! My story about a mom overcoming addiction begins when I was younger. Growing up I really struggled with depression and anxiety.
It runs in my family on both sides. I was really depressed.
But I’m also a really creative person. I was very much into theater and the arts as I grew up.
I was just totally sucked into drugs and alcohol at a young age. Little did I know that that would start me on my journey to being a mom overcoming addiction.
April: When you say young age, how young?
Danielle: I was 14 or 15.
I struggled with that through my teen years. Then I wanted to be on Broadway. That was my goal so I went off to New York City. I went to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy for musical theater. I had a great time at school. I graduated.
But the drugs in New York City obviously are really a lot more easily accessible. After I graduated from school I became addicted to meth.
That was the beginning of the end. Prior to that I was out of control but once I tried meth, it was not long before I was hooked.
April: How old were you at that point?
Danielle: I was 19.
That was a fast train to know where I was. I literally reached the point where I knew it was close to the point of no return. I couldn’t control my thoughts anymore. I was waitressing so I could get drugs and it was just an awful vicious cycle.
April: Was there a certain point, incident or event where it clicked for you? Or was it building up and finally you thought, “enough is enough!”
Danielle: Well, I think the whole time I knew I was never going to stay this way.
I watched myself kind of spiraling out of control and I would say to myself, “Okay, I’m young. I’m being stupid but eventually I’m going to get a hold of myself.”[00:03:08]
I remember being at my friend’s apartment, it was Halloween and we were all getting ready to go out. There was a woman there who was 31-32.
I’m 31 now!
I literally heard the voice of God and he said, “If you don’t get out of this life now you’re going to wake up and you’re going to be her in 10 years. You’re still going to be here, if you’re alive at all.”
At that moment it was like, “Yeah! That’s the truth.” Acknowledging that truth kind of started to change the trajectory. I didn’t stop right away. That was October and it wasn’t until June that I left New York City. But, by May, I had reconnected with my first love, my first boyfriend, who is my husband now!
I left New York City to go visit him for Memorial Day weekend. He was at Fort Bragg at the time. We decided to get back together. I went back to New York City, I looked around and I was like, “All I’m doing is drugs here.”
I went on only about two auditions. I wasn’t doing what I came to New York City to do. So I left. I just left New York City, left my dreams and I moved in with Lucas. That was in June. We got married in October. The following June he was deployed to Iraq for 15 months.
SUPER MOM INTERVIEW SERIES: Mom Overcoming Addiction to Create a Successful Abundant Life
Danielle: I know! Oh and he didn’t know at the time that I was addicted to meth when I left NY.[00:04:39]
April: I was going to ask!
Danielle: He knew that I was partying but he didn’t know the severity of it. I thought I’d just leave and just forget about it.
But obviously after a couple of days, the detoxing was torture for both of us. I had to tell him what was going on.
April: What was his response? If at all.
Danielle: He was really upset.
April: Did he say you couldn’t move in anymore???
Danielle: No! I mean he was not happy but he was kind of a tough love, “You do that again … and it’s not happening.”
It was awful. But I plowed through it and somehow he stuck with me. We got married. During this time, after stopping the drugs, I gained all this weight. I had high blood pressure at this point. I was only 20. It was a really tough transformation to becoming a mom overcoming addiction.
April: Your body took a toll.
April: Everything, stress plus the drugs, took a toll on your body. I can imagine.
Danielle: Right. I felt like I’ve aged a hundred years.
I remember walking up the stairs was difficult. I wasn’t extremely overweight but I was definitely overweight and out of shape. I was on blood pressure medicine.[00:05:53]
When he was deployed I had the opportunity to really work on myself. I’m so thankful that I had that time and the space to do that. I hired a personal trainer, a nutritionist and I was like, “okay! I need to get healthy.” Also with the stress of the deployment, I didn’t want that to cause me to go back to drugs.
April: Was he worried about that? Because that could’ve been my biggest fear.
Danielle is sharing her journey to amazing abundance as a mom overcoming addiction.
Danielle: Yeah he was. He was really worried about me when he was gone.
I lived at his parent’s house during the time so I think that helped him feel a little better. But obviously he was worried.
I needed support and it was really hard, especially the first deployment. You just don’t even know how to do all of that and you had these phone calls like there is really nothing to talk about. But you want to have a connection.
April: How long was he gone for?
Danielle: 15 months.
Danielle: Yeah! He came home mid-tour. We did have two weeks in the middle. But that was almost worse having to say goodbye again.
But during that deployment I lost 40 pounds and I felt so much better. It took me nine months to lose the weight. It took me three months to finally admit I needed to change my eating habits. Exercising alone was doing it. It was a process. I didn’t lose 40 pounds super-fast.
April: What’s important to acknowledge here too is that you realized you really couldn’t do it on your own.
Whether you just needed someone there to hold you a little bit accountable like the personal trainer and the nutritionist just to keep you busy and on track. I feel it’s important.
I’m not saying if people can’t do it on their own because you absolutely can. But when you have that extra guidance and that extra person checking in on you, it definitely helps.
[00:07:42]Danielle: Yeah. That made the biggest difference. And for myself I had exercised here and there but I never stuck with something long enough to really see the results.
That experience was life-changing for me. I paid for the trainer so I was going. I think when you do that you invest in yourself and say, “okay! I want to do this.” I’d get up at whatever time I need to get up so I can get to the gym. I had those sessions with her and I was going regularly even if I didn’t feel like it.
I lost 40 pounds! That’s huge! I’m only 5’2’’. So that’s a lot of weight.
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April: It is a lot of weight!
Danielle: But incidentally, when I was pregnant I gained about 40 pounds!
But in any case, I felt so much better. So much so that I wanted to be a personal trainer. I wanted to help other people do this. I got my personal training certification and moved back to Washington State. That’s where we were stationed. Our family is in Pennsylvania. We travelled cross country during the deployment.
I bought us our first house. Which is what he wanted me to do so that he would come home. We had our house and I started a personal training studio with another trainer.
April: in Washington State did you have family there or you just moved there on your own?
Danielle: That’s where he was stationed so we had no family out there. We were all by ourselves.
But we loved it out there aside from the fact that it was so far away. And it wasn’t too long before he got orders to be a recruiter. We moved to Ohio.
Mom Overcoming Addiction To Build An Incredibly Successful Life![00:19:19]
When we got there, I found out that I was pregnant. We were excited and scared. First baby and all that. The pregnancy was relatively normal. But with one of our ultrasounds around 26 weeks, it showed that our son had clubbed feet. Which as far as I go that’s something different.
Go research and figure out what that’s all about. You’ll know that clubbed feet is not really much of a big deal. You do casting and it’s very easily corrected.
You can learn more about Danielle and how she serves women of our community here => http://daniellereutter.com
I was with a midwife. I wanted to have baby at home, all natural. Now that I’m into health and fitness I’m trying to do everything all natural. We had Bear, that’s his name, at home in our bathtub.
When he was born, he came out and he didn’t breathe. That right there was a huge traumatic experience for us. There were a couple minutes where we didn’t know what was going to happen. My midwife was doing mouth-to-mouth on him. He was purple. He would turn pink and then he’d go back to purple immediately. This is just how it all happened.
EMTs, paramedics were less than a mile from our house. We originally were planning on being at a birth center, which I don’t know how close the paramedics were from her place, but at any rate they got there. The umbilical cord and all that was still connected so I knew he was still getting oxygen from me. But they got him breathing.
I was fine. I’m like, “I had baby AND I’m fine. Yeah.”
We go to the hospital. I spent ten days with him in the NICU. He has a rare condition called Arthrogryposis. The term just means stiff contracted joints in multiple locations from birth. The cause is unknown. His is not genetic. For some reason when he was in the womb he didn’t move enough when the muscles were being formed early on – 12 weeks or so.
His upper extremities… the muscle fibers are really stiff and his joints were fixed in certain positions. His arms were straight down. His thumb is right in his fist. He had clubbed feet. I think the reason why he couldn’t breathe is because his muscles were just so tight to get the airways open. Moving was difficult.
April: Yeah. Makes sense.
Danielle: The doctor said it’s okay, he’ll just need therapy. It was a whirlwind – not sleeping much yet still taking care of a new born 24/7.
April: Neurologically, is he where he should be at this age?
April: For me, it’s a horrible horrible situation. But that would be a first… I’m very thankful for you for that.
Danielle is sharing her journey to amazing abundance as a mom overcoming addiction.
Danielle: Thank you. I think as a mom you just have this connection with your child and you just know.
We’re in the NICU and the neonatal, super smart doctors are looking at him and they’re like, “I think there’s something wrong with his brain. As a mom I’m like, “there’s nothing wrong with his brain.” [Laughs].[00:13:00]
When you see him now he’s just so creative and smart. He’s just got this beautiful spirit. I had to just be positive, say “arms you’re going to bend with therapy stretching and splinting”. Through all of that, God spoke to me through this experience and really was calling me back to Him.
Having had such a dark past and gone through so much and I had a lot of things that I was ashamed of. Who I used to be and what I’m trying to be now. When you have a baby, you just love that baby unconditionally. I totally fell in love unconditionally with my baby. I realized that had he been born completely typical, I wouldn’t love him more.
God was like, “that’s how I love you.” As a mom overcoming addiction.
April: Ooh! You just gave me the chills.
Danielle: I know!
“It doesn’t matter how crooked you may seem or anything like that. I love you just as much then as I do now.” That was just huge for me. God was calling me back to him and that was just amazing. I came back to Church and really started developing a relationship with Jesus. He’s helped me grow and heal through all of that.
Mom Overcoming Addiction To Build An Incredibly Successful Life![00:14:15]
Bear has been such a huge inspiration to me. Through his first year I wanted to lose the baby weight and I wanted to get in amazing shape. He motivated me so much because I watched him work so hard just to do simple things that we take for granted. Like, getting his hand to his mouth because his elbows didn’t bend. He’s doing therapy and reaching, so I wanted to work to do my best.
I got into figure competing so I hired a personal professional figure competitor to do my training and my dieting. I went for it. I wanted to just look like I belonged up there on stage with the girls. I was getting into bodybuilding. I’m like, “wow! It would be amazing to accomplish that.”
And I eventually got up on stage on my first show and I won my class.
April: Wow! [00:15:15]Danielle: I was like “I just want to look like I belong”! That qualified me for the Arnold Amateur. This was back in 2009-10.
I was able to compete in Arnold Amateur and I came in second.
It was just wild like, “what’s going on?!”
After that I wanted to win my pro card. I did win my pro card at nationals in 2010. I did one professional show after that. I didn’t do too well but it was good because I needed a break and really I had pushed myself beyond limits. I needed to recover.
But this year I am looking to compete again for the first time in seven years so that’s exciting.[00:15:52]April: Oh wow! So since Bear and competing and getting back into shape, you had another child, right?
Danielle: I did, yes. Lucas was deployed again to Afghanistan. That one was only for nine months so that wasn’t quite as long.
Prior to his leaving I got pregnant. He leaves and then at my tenth week appointment we found out that we have had an early miscarriage.
That was obviously really awful and sad. But through that and getting over the addiction a lot of the healing is learning how to just feel what you’re feeling.
This experience actually was the first time that I let myself feel what I was feeling. It was a really painful feeling. That was like a good part of that because I would just process through it, and because the medic knew I had pre-medication I didn’t feel like I needed to numb myself. I just let myself process through.
That was a positive thing with that experience. But when he got home in December, I got pregnant at the very first opportunity. We now have a three-year-old. His name is Kai. He is completely ‘all boy’ just like Bear but he is normal.
I was obviously really nervous and scared and anxious during the whole pregnancy after everything that we had gone through before but all went well.
April: I need to ask you though, did you have another home birth or did you do it at the hospital?
Danielle: I went to the hospital.
April: I love being natural but that was one thing that made me nervous. I didn’t want to take the chance. But both my sister’s had home births and everything went perfectly. I’m like, “no I need to be there just in case.”[00:17:47]Danielle: Right. We were stationed at Fort Lewis and so we had an army hospital there, at Madigan.
I think had situations been different, if there were other options, I may have gone for a birth center. But Kai’s birth was super-fast. I got to the hospital and he came out 20-minutes later. That was great.
Then Lucas got out of the military. He had a knee injury. That was totally not our plan. We were going to stay in for 20 years because he was in the infantry. So he has this knee injury, had surgery and they said, “okay! You’re getting out on medical discharge”. We got out of the military and it’s been two years now.
The past two years have just been a crazy transition because we weren’t planning on this. It definitely was for my husband as he was in for almost 12 years. He went straight out of high school.
April: He probably didn’t think “what I am going to do when I get out?”.
Danielle: Right. There was no plan B. But now he’s actually working with the school.
It’s for boys who’ve been kicked out and it’s more of an alternative school. It’s an adventure school so he gets to go with them on the hiking trips and it’s just really cool.
But when he got out I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with personal training and coaching. I had initially started working on a coaching business for fitness but I always felt like there was more. It never stuck exactly what I was doing.[00:19:12]
Then money is something that I’ve always wanted to learn about because growing up I didn’t really learn the best way to manage money. I was the one managing our money because he was gone all the time. I feel like I did okay. But I wanted to learn more and I ended up being approached by a financial advisory firm. They were looking to recruit me and I began the process. I have a couple of licenses now. I realized instead of being the traditional financial advisor I really want to do the coaching side of things.
I can take everything that I’ve gone through and that’s what I’ve created here with the faith-based fitness and financial wellness coaching.
April: it’s really a full transformation. You really have an AMAZING story as a mom overcoming addiction!
Danielle: Yeah. I think what I have learned in my health journey and especially getting into bodybuilding is developing discipline.
That’s something when I was an addict clearly I had none of. I had no control over myself and that is a terrible place to be.
Once you learn how to develop discipline in one area, you can use those discipline skills to develop discipline in other areas.
I think we all need that. Especially as entrepreneurs and women who have businesses and who want to do great things, we understand that we need to have a higher than normal level of discipline so that we can accomplish all these things. That’s what I recommend.[00:20:52]April: You know what, that’s so funny you say that.
Danielle is sharing her journey to amazing abundance as a mom overcoming addiction.
With one of my other companies we did the self-made success video interview series where I interviewed other six-figure plus business owners.
I asked them what their daily routine is and I would say at least sixty percent of them said that they are a runner and they can train for marathons because if you can be disciplined in one area, it does reflect everywhere else. There really is a direct correlation.
April: Danielle, I know that there’s going to be other moms listening who have husbands that are deployed right now.
What would you say to them if it’s their first deployment and they’re at home with a child by themselves?
Danielle: What would I say…?
I think the biggest lesson that we learned from the first one to the second one was with the phone calls. I mean with everyone’s husband’s it may be a little different but for us the phone calls were stressful because there wasn’t a whole lot we could talk about and there’s only so much you can say and there’s only so much he could say. But for me, just having him contact me as frequently as possible was enough, just to let me know that he was okay. I don’t need to have much more of a conversation than that.
April: Take the pressure off the conversation…
Danielle: Right. Because women especially are talkers and we want to have that emotional connection, we want to be able to talk and we miss them so much.
But you’re not going to have that when you’re so far away and he’s in a war zone. Just to understand that just connecting, just to know that you’re okay and letting that be enough.
It is a great time to focus on taking great care of yourself and your kids. Then that transition back can be difficult too because you’ve been a number one boss and then here comes dad. We have to figure out how to integrate back into that and consider how you’ve both changed.
For me I changed so drastically over that first deployment. Lucas did too. 15 months is a really long time. Coming back together you kind of have to understand that you’re meeting each other all over again because you’ve changed and you’re different people now.
April: And he’s coming back to a hot wife at that point.
Danielle: Yes, I looked a lot better!
Just understanding and having some grace to really know where you are now because it’s not where you were before.
Pray and just don’t watch the news. Just don’t.
I stopped watching the news because it didn’t matter whatever is going on over there. I can’t do anything about it.
Don’t worry. Do the best you can not to dwell on worrying thoughts because it’s not going to help. There’s nothing worrying is going to do. It’s only going to make you sick.
You can have a healthy boundary separating from it because you can’t take on all of that.
And I love to pray!
April: Just day by day, right? Make it through. That’s a perfect message.
Danielle if somebody listening or watching wants to get in touch with you or find out more about your fitness or your financial coaching, how can they reach you?[00:24:36
Mom Overcoming Addiction To Build An Incredibly Successful Life
Danielle: Well. I’m on Facebook. Danielle Reutters. My last name is spelled r-e-u-t-t-e-r. Then my website is just Daniellereutter.com.
April: Guys. I will put the link below in the notes so feel free to reach out to Danielle.
I know she is doing some amazing work with women all over the world. So definitely check her out.
Danielle, thank you so much for sharing your story today.
Danielle: Thank you for having me!
April: Oh, my pleasure!
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