Coming To Terms · Life · Life and aging · Life phasing · Mothering · Parenting

Through Rose Colored glasses

Not a day has gone by, the last year or two, while scrolling through my Instagram feed or Facebook that I don’t see another absolutely adorable pregnancy announcement, gorgeous maternity photos, or sweet gender reveal results. As a mom, and a lover of all things baby, nothing makes me happier or my uterus ache more. Now that my baby making days are behind me, I can’t help feel a twinge of jealousy because I want JUST ONE MORE TIME.

Let’s face it, if I ever had that one more time, I would probably be so overwhelmed and emotional, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate all the amazing moments that I was gifted with. I’m not sure if it’s just me, or if it’s the way nature works for all women, but I cannot vividly remember the misery of being 39 weeks pregnant, the agony of giving birth, or being totally mortified to have a nurse helping me pee after delivery. I mean, I REMEMBER feeling all of these but I am definitely remembering them with rose colored glasses. Was it really THAT bad?

As my “babies” get less and less baby, I feel my  parental comfort level getting dangerously low. I’m no longer worried about breast feeding and diapers, now I’m worried about broken bones and effective discipline. I know how to breast feed my babies and wipe their cute little butts but navigating my 11-year-old’s girlfriends and the bully’s of my seven-year-old is unchartered territory. It’s almost “easier” to want to go back to what I know. The truth is, parenting is hard, no matter what stage you are in. While I don’t have to worry about if my kids are eating enough, I do have to worry about the choices they make when they aren’t around me.

As time goes by, I’ve slowly started to accept the fact that there will be no more babies from me. Those amazing shares of  bundles on social media,no doubt, set me back some but only because they remind me of a few of the best days of my life. I might not be making babies anymore but I am making these boys into men.

Advertisements
Life · Life and aging · Mothering · Parenting · Prioritizing

Shifting Focus

Someone once tagged me in an Instagram post that showed a list of different areas in a typical life. It included family, friends, work, exercise, alone time, romance, etc. The post then had the caption to pick three items because as humans, we only have the ability to give our full focus to three items at once. Yes, of course, we can do attempt to do it all, but in order to really excel at what we are doing, three areas is our capacity. I argued it, of course, because that’s what I do…argue everything. “I am different….I can do it all and do it all PERFECTLY”

HA!

When I was focused on my exercise, work, and friends, my family suffered. I was constantly feeling like I was letting down my husband and kids. I was gone, again, on one of the two days I got to be at home with my family. I couldn’t keep up with packing lunches, homework, and reading logs. When I was focusing on my family, friends, and romance, I gained 40 pounds and felt terrible about myself. My social life is centered on food and alcohol. I mean, how can I not go and drink five glasses (bottles) of champagne and indulge in cheese and crackers when out with the girls or out on date night?! (I would just like to say, more power to you women that do have self control…you should be proud). As much as I wish I could really kick ass at everything, all at once, I can’t. To be honest, sometimes I think focusing on more than two areas is even more than I can handle.

I’ve been thinking about this Instagram post quite a bit lately as I gear up to shift my focus. My family needs me. My husband needs me to be his number one supporter. I have four children who need their mom. I know it’s super trendy to be a “selfish mom & wife” right now but I don’t want to be that. I want my kids to be the center of my world, they deserve that. They NEED that. (I don’t care if it’s offensive to some people, or if it’s uncool to say, but it’s definitely not cute to be a total hot-mess mom, who complains all the time). So, until my kids no longer want me around, which I’m sure will happen sooner than I wish, my family gets a permanent, number one spot on my priority list.

My work makes me feel powerful. I am so focused on excelling at my work that right now, this gets the number two spot. I don’t do anything exciting. I’m not saving lives, I’m not fighting for civil rights, I’m not entertaining people, I’m not anyone big and powerful. Despite all things my job isn’t, there are hundreds of things it is. My job fulfills me. When I’m putting in 100%, I know I’m a badass. I LOVE being a bad ass. I really look forward to advancing in my career and every single day I’m working to make that happen.

This third one is hard. I would love to choose romance because DUH! I also love my friends and love that feeling of comradery. However, romance doesn’t feel as good when I don’t feel as good and comradery isn’t as enjoyable when I’m not feeling great about myself. Right now I need to focus on my health and exercise.

Remember when I said I had shifted my priorities to not include exercise and I gained 40 pounds? I wasn’t kidding. In a single year I have gained all the weight I previously lost. I hate the way I feel about myself. The comments people make about my weight is disgusting. I’ve had grown men tell me I was as big as a house, I’ve had people ask if I was pregnant (more times than I can count), I’ve had people tell me I’d be so much prettier if I lost the weight….I cannot walk around with these words and insecurities running through my mind. I need to prioritize my health so I can feel good and once I feel good, I can make others feel good. I cannot fill up someone else’s glass until my cup has been filled up first.

Of course these priorities can be shifted as often or as little as you want but maybe it’s time you think about what three areas you want to be focusing on.

What are your priorities? Why? Comment or email me and let’s talk through them together. You only have this one life, it’s time to figure out how to make it work the best it can.

Life and aging · Mothering · Parenting

Bizarrely Enough….

I’m BACK!

What a year it has been. New (temporary) home, new job, new clothes, new hair….I wouldn’t recognize the last year version of me if I ran into her at a karaoke bar doing body shots on tequila Thursday.

I think my biggest change as of late is my choice of friendships.

I’ve had a lot of friends through my 30-something years. Some have been around for months, fewer for years, and even fewer for decades. I don’t know about you, but I really love having friends. There is absolutely nothing better than planning girl’s weekends, girl’s nights, spa days, coffee dates, and tequila Thursday body shots. But bizarrely enough, I’ve been feeling less tequila Thursday’s and more coffee dates and pedicures. The party in me is dying and I’m not too sure if I miss it. 

For those who don’t know me, or don’t know the old me, I used to be party. I mean, if everyone was meeting for a glass of wine and eat some cheese, I’d be shooting cheap vodka and forcing everyone to dance to Britney Spears while trying to talk the loudest and make sure everyone loved me. I was that girl.

I never thought I’d grow out of it…I mean I had SO much fun. I didn’t do it often, after all I did have kids, I just did it HARD. Yet, here I am, over it. While I am proud and it has freed up some of my time, I’m sad about who I’m leaving behind.

I’ve really come to know myself through this transition. By finding myself, I’ve become comfortable with having to “lose” other people that don’t quite fit into my new world. This makes me sad, of course. I still love these people dearly but my world is changing speeds and I no longer have the type of fun they have. Some of these friends were lost due to lack of contact, some were lost due to events that happened, and some were lost through standing up for my convictions.

I’m told this happens when you “grow up”. I guess now I’m living proof of it.

Just to make it clear, I’m not against having fun. I just lost the desire to get as drunk as possible. It’s just not relevant to me anymore….

Can you relate? Are you still a party animal or has age started to slow you down? Comment below and let’s talk about how you have come to terms with leaving the wild behind.

 

 

Uncategorized

15 Lessons From a Loser

…Weight Loser that is. 😉

Being pregnant and giving birth to four babies put a lot of stress on my body. I gained a lot of weight while my hormones were wrecking havock and in between pregnancies my love of wine was totally consuming my evenings and tacking on an additional 400-600 calories a night. I got to a point where I was having endless bouts of heartburn, I was so uncomfortable, my fat pants were way too tight, and I was constantly being asked how far along I was. I was depressed. I didn’t recognize myself at all and I was on antidepressants to help me deal with all the negative self image I had.

Then one day I woke up and decided it was time to change. 

I’ve officially been on my mission to get healthy for 13 months now. In 13 months I have gone from 236 pounds to 175. However more than the weight loss, I’ve learned SO much about myself and SO much about what I’m capable of. I also learned that it wasn’t about the weight…it was about the journey.

You see, when you first start losing weight you think it’s going to be so simple and it’s as simple as calories in must be less than calories out. You think it’ll be soooo easy to just eat less and exercise. You think the weight will come off so easy and you’ll be at your goal weight in 6 months or less. You tell yourself that you’re going to be this weight (usually it’s something absurdly small) by this date (usually that date is 2-3 months away) and when you haven’t lost 15 pounds in 14 days you give up.

Yup, I’ve been there. 

More times than I care to admit.

However, this time was different. This time I didn’t care how long it took. This time I wasn’t focused on being skinny, I was focused on feeling good. This time my end goal was being able to wake up and throw on any clothes in my closet and not have to worry if I looked pregnant. This time my goal was not to hate myself anymore. This time I was in it for the long haul.

These are the top 15 lessons I learned during these last 13 months.

  1. Start small. If you decide on a whim one day to exercise 6 days a week for an hour, stop eating sugar, and restrict your calories by 1,000 per day you WILL get burned out. I know that’s not what you want to hear and I know you think YOU are different but you aren’t. Instead, start with making one meal a day super healthy or decide to meal prep your lunches for the week. Maybe cut out dessert the first week and then the second week replace your morning bagel and mocha with black coffee and fruit.
  2. Drink so much water that you can’t possibly drink any more water. I aim to drink a 16 ounce bottle every hour and a half. It’s easy for me to keep track of.
  3. You will not lose 20 pounds a month. You probably won’t lose 10 pounds a month. Maybe the first month you’ll have a staggering loss and that’s fantastic! Please don’t expect that every single month. I’ve lost 61 pounds in 13 months…some months I lost 8 pounds, others I may have gained .6 pounds but I generally lose 5-7 pounds a month.
  4. Exercise! Find something that challenges you. If it is challenging for you to walk a quarter of a mile, do it! If it’s challenging for you to run 5 minutes DO IT. It’s not about burning calories, it’s about doing something that you couldn’t do before. When you keep at it you will soon be walking two miles and running for 45 minutes.
  5. Do whatever it takes to keep you motivated. For example, I would post pictures on social media 4+ times a week. Something about sharing where I was and sharing my triumphs kept me wanting to one up myself. It kept me accountable.
  6. It’s really NOT about the weight. *GASP* What?! I realized that it wasn’t my weight that was making me feel like crap. It was the food I was eating, it was the constant negative thoughts, it was the alcohol I was consuming, it was my inactivity. All of those things were issues I COULD control and in turn, it controls my weight. I decided to focus on things that make me feel good. Good, healthy food makes me happy, laughing with friends makes me happy, running a little bit further makes me happy. Combine all those things, weight loss happens.
  7. Stop focusing on the scale. I still battle this…but seriously does it matter?? I’ve gone three weeks without losing a pound but my pants grew WAY to big. Isn’t that the goal?
  8. It’s OK to take a night/day/week off every once in a while. You need to live your life. Every couple months I decide to take 3-5 days off. One time I took two weeks off. Yes, I gain weight back and have to lose it all over again but big deal! I’m in this for the long haul, remember? Do you really think a week makes a difference when you are working at something for a few years?
  9. Buying smaller clothes is both amazing and depressing. I mean, it’s great because you get to buy smaller clothes. But really, spending money on clothes that you get to wear for two months sucks.…it’s basically maternity clothes for people losing weight. Someone should come up with a super cute, adjustable sizing clothing line….
  10. Do not reward yourself with food. You aren’t a dog learning tricks. You are a human being who tackled a goal…Go buy new running shoes. Get a manicure. Buy a new top. Go to a concert. Schedule a girls night. Take a night off from the family. Do whatever the hell you want….save food for when you’re hungry.
  11. Research recipes. I have absolutely grown to LOVE cooking new meals. I really do look forward to a new recipe. I look everywhere for them. My favorites are the ones that I never would have ever cooked in a million years if I wasn’t on a mission to be healthy. There are SO many healthy ones to choose from. Pinterest is your best friend.
  12. If you enjoy a good buzz every now and then, find an alcohol that works with your new healthy lifestyle. No, you cannot drink 4 margaritas and 5 cosmos and expect to still lose weight. You can have a glass of wine or two weekly. Or, have vodka and soda with lime (My new go to drink). Just make sure to hydrate in between. It doesn’t effect your buzz too much and it’s a lot easier on your body…less hang over too. WINNING
  13. Don’t compare yourself to anyone no matter what. Someone else losing weight faster? That’s awesome! Doesn’t change my journey one bit. Someone else trying to tell you to cut out all carbs but you are doing just fine with them? Tell them to enjoy their journey but that you want to do things your way.
  14. You know what the best part of losing weight is? Inspiring others! I just LOVE LOVE LOVE when people tell me I inspired them.
  15. And finally…TAKE PICTURES. LOTS of them! Not ready to commit to losing weight? Great! Still take pictures because it doesn’t matter what your weight is right now…you will NEVER, EVER get this moment back. Ready to lose weight? Great! Take tons of pictures for comparisons….they are remarkable to look back on. Plus comparison pictures getting you through those days/weeks/months where you just wanna give up. The also get you through those times when you don’t think you made much progress. TAKE THEM!

 

Uncategorized

No White Food Day 1

So the rules of this diet are pretty simple: no white, simple carbs, no cheese, and no butter for six weeks. I also must work out 3-5 days a week and drink 80 ounces of water a day. 

I will measure myself tomorrow because I’m already laying in bed and I really don’t want to get up right now. When you’re up at 4:15 AM every morning, early bed times are mandatory.

Day one wasn’t too bad at all. After dinner I felt pretty great! Whenever I eat carbs at dinner I feel super weighed down and feel like I’ve blown my whole day. Tonight I feel like my first day was pretty successful.

Speaking of dinner, you guys HAVE to try this recipe! It’s incredible! Thai Chicken Peanut Lettuce Wraps The link takes you to my FAVORITE guiltless recipe website. They have some pretty outstanding recipes to pick from. 


Nothing crazy to report for day one….no I didn’t drop 10 pounds in one day, dang it! Perhaps that happens week one?! Tune in to find out! I’ll be sure to post my measurements on my next blog. 

Life and aging · Mothering · Parenting · Uncategorized

20 Things I’ve Learned in my 20’s

What a wild ride we have been on. From the lowest of lows to the highest of highs and all of it in between, there was not a single dull moment. Here are 20 of the greatest things I have learned in my 20’s. Some are fun, some are serious, and all are true!

  1. True friends stay by your side through everything. They are there for the bad AND for the good. A lot of people like to be around the drama when things are going bad. A lot of people only want to be around the fun when things are going good. It’s so very rare to find friends who ride out both ends of the spectrum with you. Hold on to them and NEVER let go. Let them know you appreciate them.
  2. Your life reflects the choices you have made. It’s that simple. Life is a staircase. If you try skipping too many steps at once, you end up falling and having to start over again. I’ve learned this a time or two or three. It’s harder each time you start over too.
  3. Trust your instincts. I could have saved myself a lot of grief if I had just listened to my gut when things didn’t feel or seem right.
  4. If you aren’t a shrink, don’t try to fix anyone. Especially someone you are in an intimate relationship with. It’s not your fault that they are screwed up. It’s not your job to fix them. Run the other way and FAST. A lot of those people who need fixing will do everything they can to drag you into their chaos and pain. It’s a slippery slope and will bring lots of unnecessary pain.
  5. Alcohol is much harder on the body at 29 than it was at 22. Why is this?! It’s not even fair because I need alcohol more now to survive raising four kids, than I ever needed at 21.
  6. Work is amazing. Work gives you a feeling you can never get anywhere else. It’s a reflection of you and your skills and it really is a powerful confidence booster.
  7. Don’t waste your time watching T.V. It does absolutely NOTHING for you. It keeps you lazy.
  8. Do not take your young, fast little metabolism for granted. By the time you hit 30, you’re doing double the exercise and eating half of what you used to and you’ll still weigh more.
  9. Laughing is absolutely the best medicine for everything. If your partner and friends don’t make you laugh, get rid of them.
  10. Be unapologetic. You do not have to explain yourself to ANYONE. Be responsible but be FREE.
  11. The days are long by the years are short. Don’t wait to do something, do it now! Book that trip now, go skydiving now, run that marathon now.
  12. God has His own plan for your life. You can fight it all you want but He still gets His way. What He has planned is bigger and better and more fulfilling than anything you will have. Learn to trust.
  13. You can have a difference of opinion with people and still be civil. Everyone grows up differently and sees life differently. It’s a beautiful thing.
  14. Be nice….even if you don’t want to be, BE NICE. (I’m still working on this)
  15. You have NO IDEA who you are at 21. You have NO IDEA who you are at 25. You JUST start seeing what you’re all about at 28. I’m exactly 6 weeks away from being 30. I am just now figuring out who I am….It’s taken me a lot of life to get here.
  16. It’s really hard having multiple kids. REALLY HARD.
  17. It’s also really fun.
  18. And SUPER adorable.
  19. You will literally do homework the rest of your life if you have kids. I still hate it.
  20. Find a great hairstylist because your hair will need a lot of help and you need someone to let you know, honestly, if a style and/or color is too young for you, or if what you want is unrealistic, or if you are going through a midlife crisis. A great hairstylist will save you some serious embarrassment.