Focus Change

This week I decided to slow down, focus on my kids and pretty much nothing else.  My house is dirty, there are overflowing baskets of laundry upstairs, I have worked just enough to keep my job and I haven’t cooked dinner yet this week.  Last night Andrew ate a bowl of cereal and I ate the last frozen veggie burger after the girls went to bed, and my kids ate grilled cheese.  I’ve catered to my children WAY more than usual.  Putting shoes on and taking them off, carrying them around, following one to the bathroom, letting the littlest “brush her teeth” more than necessary, letting them choose the activities, going to the library and while they watch their daily DVD I have sat on the couch with them.  And for this week it’s been nice.  I can’t do this every week because we’d have no clothes to wear and we’d get tired of eating grilled cheese, mac n cheese, etc, but every once and I while I think I’m going to stop and just let everything go a little bit.  It’s kinda driving me crazy, but my kids have BARELY cried this week and I’ve been able to be super tender and understanding when usually I’m so rushed to get to the next thing or to clock more hours at my job or to get my house picked up.  I’ve REALLY enjoyed snuggling the girls while we watch Elmo, but if I did this everyday I would literally get nothing done until after they go to bed and that is simply not feasible.

Last week I wrote about staying true to yourself and this week I think I’ve accomplished what I was HOPING Spring Break would look like.  I’ve still set an alarm, gotten up early, worked out, done a couple morning chores, showered, dressed and put on makeup.  I’ve planned a couple things to do with the girls and spent time with family.  I even took a NAP yesterday because I just felt exhausted.  But instead of rushing through the day like I often have to do in order to get my lengthy to do list done I’ve just thrown the list away and let my house be a total disaster.  I have the perfect excuse to not do laundry because my dryer broke this week and my washer has been on the fritz since the day we moved in  My “new” set will be delivered tomorrow and then I’ll be back to my crazy schedule to get everything done, but for today we just sit and I’m letting A LOT go and I’m ok with that for today.  I mean these little ladies will only want to snuggle mom and watch Elmo for another few short years and I really don’t wanna miss it.

Photo on 3-30-16 at 3.51 PM #3

You Do YOU

Image found here

Image found here and you can purchase this print for your home (not sponsored)

This is a phrase you’ve probably heard a lot.  Andrew and I definitely use it frequently as do some of our friends.  It basically means march to the beat of your own drum, be true to yourself, and don’t try to be someone else.  We mostly use it when one of our girls is doing something strange, but can be applied to many different circumstances.

Last week I didn’t “do me,” and I was miserable.  I decided “it’s Spring Break,” I’m going to be laid back, I am not going to set an alarm or make a grocery list.  I’m not going to plan our day and we are going to watch more movies than usual.  I’m going to be “laid back mom.”  It always looks so appealing to me, to be a mom who can just say yes to whatever comes along.  Last minute play date, yes.  You want to play with play-doh right now?  Sure! Glitter and glue, bring it on (ok totally kidding on that one).  You get the point, I was going to be cool laid back mom because it is the opposite of our typical week.

And what were the results of a week of laid back mom??  Disaster.  I was grumpy, frustrated, snapped at my kids more than usual, and was completely zapped by the time we went to bed last night.  It was not the idyllic week I was picturing because guess what??  I’m not laid back mom.  I’m structured mom and we all function very well in this house when I am “doing me.”

So this morning I got up 2 hours before the girls.  I worked out and showered.  Applied makeup and fixed my hair.  I got dressed in “real clothes.”  I did 3 loads of laundry and prepared our dinner for tonight.  I made our bed and straightened my closet.  I put away dishes and tidied the kitchen.  All before the girls got up, and my ability to be kind, patient, loving, and present has been leaps and bounds ahead of where I was last week.

This does not make me a BAD mom that I can’t be super laid back about our day and it doesn’t make me BETTER than you that I have dinner made before 8AM, it just makes me ME.  Why can’t we celebrate that more?  Why do I feel like I have to apologize that I like to have dinner on the table when Andrew walks through the door after work, or feel bad that I like to change out of my workout clothes, shower and put on make up?

We tell kids all the time, “just worry about yourself.”  Why don’t we carry that into adulthood (I’m speaking to myself here too)?  So carry on laid back mamas, organic mamas, oily mamas, hot mess mamas, organized mamas, working mamas, stay at home mamas, work at home mamas, single mamas, mature mamas, new mamas, fill-in-the-blank mamas, carry on.  I’ll do me and you do you!  I will celebrate our differences and learn from your wisdom.

Food and Fitness Thoughts

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Today I weighed myself and I have officially hit 30 pounds lost since beginning my weight loss journey 5.5 months ago.  About 5 pounds ago I went into maintenance mode and began living a much more “normal” life with food and fitness, I figured I wouldn’t lose much more, but my body decided it could do without the extra 5 pounds so it came off slowly over the last couple months.  I wanted to write a post outlining some of the mind shifts I’ve had that have helped me lose the weight and keep it off.

You don’t have to go to the gym:  I have gone to the gym ONE time in 5.5 months and gone to ONE bootcamp and those were just for something fun to do with friends.  I have shed 30 pounds on my family room floor and around my neighborhood.  I don’t have time to go to the gym, but I do have time to workout every single day.  But I’ve had to really re-define what “working out” means.  If I have a booked solid day and the kids have had me up 5 times in the night I just squeeze in a quick 11 minute abs video.  If I have a lot of time I do a 30 minute DVD and then walk two miles with the girls.  Sometimes my kids are playing next to me when I work out and sometimes I get my bum out of bed before they get up and knock it out early, but I ALWAYS find time to work out.  6/7 days a week I just don’t let myself eat until I work out (Saturdays I make an exception sometimes and work out during nap), which is really good motivation for me to squeeze a morning workout in.  Instead of looking at it as I have to get X amount of time in everyday I tell myself I need to make strides to better my body daily.  It might be a 3 minute arms video squeezed in between activities, or a short abs video and then a stretch video before bed, but I make the time everyday because I find it to be that important for my body, mind, and mood.  And I am setting a fantastic example for my little girls.  Ellery pretend plays workouts now.

I eat when I’m hungry:  I know this sounds so basic, because it is basic.  But I used to eat when I was happy, sad, bored, tired, to reward myself, when I saw food, when there were sweets in the room, you name it and I found a reason to eat.  I do eat sweets now  (and maybe this is bad advice), but usually I only eat them if I’m hungry (kind of in place of snacks).  It feels GOOD to be hungry, and I no longer eat to the point of uncomfortable fullness.  I used to gain 5 pounds from my morning weigh in to the time I went to bed, and usually I’m more like a .5 pound difference now.

A meal can be a half sandwich.  Lunch used to be a full sandwich and a cheese stick and veggies and hummus.  Now some days it’s one piece of bread, 4 slices of turkey, a half piece of cheese and some mustard.  And this fills me up for a few hours and THEN I eat the veggies and hummus.  A snack can be 4 cashews.  I used to eat a HANDFUL of cashews.  The PiYo serving is 4, and guess what, 4 cashews can get me from 3PM until dinner at 5:30.  Some of you might be thinking: so basically you are starving yourself, NOPE, I have started eating the amount our bodies were designed to eat instead of the amount our culture has conditioned us to eat.

Food is fuel: The purpose of food is to fuel your body, give you energy and give your immune system what it needs to fight off illness.  When I am eating right and working out I feel amazing, my mood is happy, I can get an incredible amount of work done, my brain fires on all cylinders and despite my children coughing and sneezing IN MY MOUTH I have been able to dodge the illness bullet.  Then I let sugar creep into my diet again and today I am suffering from either illness or allergies, but I’ll say the sugar is not worth how I feel.

You can get excited about healthy food:  We still eat out, but instead of getting really excited about my favorite restaurants Club Sandwich and mound of fries, I now get pumped up to have their spinach and kale salad (if you know me personally you have heard about this salad, it’s so stinking delicious).  Tomorrow night we are double dating and the restaurant we are going to has a fig and pear salad that I’ve been obsessing about since the last time we went.  This shift has really helped me not grossly overindulge when we eat out.

The scale is not my enemy: I’ve heard so many people say they don’t weigh themselves because they don’t think that it’s healthy.  They tell me that as long as they still fit into their pants they are fine.  And if you are literally just fitting into the pants you have in your closet that’s great, but if you go to the store and buy new pants it’s not so great, because VANITY SIZING.  One of the contributors to my weight gain was Ann Taylor LOFT (kinda kidding, kinda not), they kept making their sizes bigger and bigger and so I would go and buy a size 8 which is really a 12 and I would think wow look at me I still wear a size 8.  My goal size was a normal size 6, I went to the mall stores: GAP, Banana Republic, & LOFT and I am literally wearing a size 2 now.  I AM NOT a size 2, they have just begun labeling a size 6 a 2 and making 00 and even 000 pants now.  So that brings me to my scale point: I weigh myself every morning and I have a “tipping point number.”  If I get close to that tipping point I have to think to myself, ok what have I started eating that I know I shouldn’t and what can I do differently this week to stay under that number.  I don’t feel obsessive about it, it’s just part of my morning routine.  {If you become obsessive about your weight then everyday weighing is probably not for you, maybe just on the first of the month every month}.  It is SO much easier to lose 3 pounds then it is to step on the scale once every 6 months and realize you need to lose 20.

So I encourage you to work towards health and fitness.  Whatever that looks like for you.  Maybe that’s cutting your food off an hour or two before bed.  Maybe it’s starting to do short youtube video workouts first thing in the morning.  Maybe it’s limiting your sugar.  I can’t tell you what would make you feel better, but I can tell you that it’s worth the effort to feel great.

I get the question a lot about what shake I drink everyday for breakfast and I just changed to Vega One Chocolate and I really like it, so I thought I’d share.  (For the record I still like Shakeology the best, but it just doesn’t fit into our monthly budget, if $130 a month is not a stretch for you then by all means buy the Shakeology!)