Getting real with y’all for just a moment. One day somewhat recently, I literally broke down in tears while driving down the road. I just didn’t feel good. It’s not like I had a headache or anything specific, but I just felt lousy—and that’s the way I’ve been feeling for the longest time. Tired, sluggish, weak, and well… clearly emotional. Not like myself at all. But then I thought… what exactly is “myself” anyway? What does that even feel like? It has been so long since I’ve put my health and overall wellness at the top of my priorities like I did before children. But it was pretty evident—eating poorly, getting little sleep, not exercising regularly, and so forth just wasn’t doing it for me. So I knew I had to make a change.
I think it’s only natural for a new mother to put herself last—and to do it gladly! But for me, having two babies in under two years didn’t exactly help the matter! There’s nothing I love more than caring for Watson and Rosie day in and day out, but at the end of the day, if I feel good, I’m going to be an even better mama. Plain and simple.
But hear me out… It’s not that I don’t practice self care. (I shared tips for self care here if you’re interested.) I make time for baths, face masks, shopping, manicures, and other things that make me feel happy and good. But I knew my nutrition and overall wellness had drastic room for improvement and that was what was making me feel bad. I know you know the saying “You are what you eat.” Well, I felt like a bag of Cheetos!!
The year 2019? This is the year I’ve decided I’m going to start putting myself back up at the top of my priorities. Below I’m sharing how I’m making it happen. Everything is going to sound pretty simple, but read on to see how I’ve been able to incorporate these changes and most important, how it’s enabled me to be consistent with it.
Goal #1: Learn what to eat and when to eat it. And do it.
I guess I should start off by saying… I have a minor in health, so it’s not like I don’t know about nutrition. But at the end of the day, I’m notorious for eating like a toddler. As in: eating chicken nuggets, pizza, crackers, cheese sticks… you name it. Hey, it might all be organic (since that’s what I always try to feed the kids!), but that doesn’t make it ok!
Last month I joined the Faster Way to Fat Loss program. You’ve probably heard about it buzzing all over Instagram. I actually tried it over the summer and hated it. But now I know it was because I didn’t follow the instructions properly. You start off with a “prep week” where you learn all the ins and outs of the program and just how to do it. (Apparently I missed this part last time, ha!) Then the program officially begins the next Monday and lasts 6 weeks.
The program in a nutshell? You’re paired in a group with a coach who motivates you, teaches you, and is there to answer any questions you have along the way. You’re put into a Facebook group with your small group and your coach, so it really becomes a community that is encouraging. Through your coach, you learn how to do the basic components of Faster Way to Fat Loss, which are carb cycling, intermittent fasting, and counting macros to make your body a fat burner rather than a sugar burner, which is surely what mine was before. I’m now in week 4 of the program and have actually been consistent with it! This is the first time I’ve ever been able to stick to any sort of nutrition program. I love that it promotes eating whole foods and I’ve actually been shocked at how much you’re able to eat! I think I’m eating more now than I was before, but just better foods. But don’t worry, you can still enjoy all of the foods you love. But it’s all in moderation! You’re also given a daily workout guide—there’s one for beginners, one for the gym, and one for at home. It changes every day and really spells it all out for you. Plus, the workouts don’t take a long time. I haven’t concentrated on these particular workouts this round. My focus is the nutrition aspect.
Not only have I lost fat and some lbs, but I’ve also gained lean muscle. My clothes are fitting so much better and I’ve noticed a difference in my skin and the way my face looks in general. We are just over halfway through the program, so I’m excited to keep it up. I’ll update y’all again when it’s over!
If you’re interested in joining Faster Way to Fat Loss, I highly recommend my coach, Kristen Mills. I didn’t have her last time I tried this, which is when I didn’t catch a grasp of the program well enough to enjoy it. So if you want to join, give Kristen a try! She has three precious young boys and she approaches the program in a very attainable way.
Goal #2: Get into an exercise routine that is achievable and will allow me to be consistent.
I just can’t work out at home. I’ve tried it, but it’s not motivating enough for me to make it a weekly routine. Being in a gym or class environment is what I need. Ideally, I’d love to have the time to head to a class whenever I want, but those days, with a 13 month old and a 2 year old attached to my hips, are just gone.
I had the terrible mindset previously that if I can’t commit 4+ days a week at the gym (like I used to) that there was no point in going at all. Occasionally I would be inspired to work out with that goal in mind, but in actuality, I’d only end up working out once a week at best. Then I’d get discouraged after a few weeks that I was failing at my goal and I’d just give it up entirely.
The lesson in all of this? I had to change my mindset and have realistic goals.
(A quick note before I keep going: This is not to say that mothers can’t find time to work out 7 days a week if they want to! But with my own personal work and mothering schedule, it just isn’t going to happen anytime soon.)
I started with a small goal of making it to the gym two days per week. That’s totally doable, right? Our gym has childcare, but the hours are not convenient for our schedule. But between working around those hours and utilizing Brandon’s help, I made it a priority to make it twice per week. (I’ll talk more about what I do down below.)
Now that I’ve been consistent with that, I’ve decided to add in a third form of exercise per week. I just re-enrolled with Pure Barre Charleston and am using their 8 classes/month option. My hope is to make it once per week, but if I can eventually go twice per week, then that’s even better!
So let me tell you this… figuring out times to go to the gym is not something I’d call “fun” because it means I’m missing out on time with the kids, but since I’m all about making my health a priority, we are figuring it out just fine. Right now, I put Rosie in the gym childcare once a week while Watson is at Mother’s Morning Out. This allows me to do my own workout—treadmill, fitness videos, whatever I want while at the gym for about 45 minutes.
Second weekly workout? I found a high intensity class that my gym provides. I really like it and have girlfriends who go to it too, but it’s at 5:30pm, which is right when I should be making dinner for all of us. (insert: mom guilt) But Brandon has encouraged me to do this class because he knows it ultimately makes me happy to be around girlfriends and to get in a good workout. Plus, it’s just once per week! So we meet somewhere with the kids, switch vehicles, and I get to head to my class while he heads home with Watson and Rosie.
And as for the third workout? That’s Pure Barre! I just started, but I plan on doing my 1-2 classes per week whenever I can fit it in… maybe that’s early in the mornings, maybe while the kids are at Mother’s Morning out if the class schedule allows, maybe on a weekend. I’m just making it a priority to find at least one class per week that will work for me. And that’s TOTALLY doable.
Goal #3: Take vitamins that I actually need.
I am the queen of researching supplements online that sounds like they do wonders, but then I end up taking 10 pills daily (gag!) and don’t even feel any difference. I decided to find out what my body truly needs, so I went to a doctor to get all of my vitamin and mineral levels checked, as well as hormones, etc. Really, the only thing I was deficient in was Vitamin D, which is pretty normal among all of us. It was also recommended to me to take a really good multivitamin.
I’ve also gotten back on the Care Of train. About a year ago, I signed up with them to have a tailored vitamin regimen sent to me monthly. If you go on the website, there is a quick, fun quiz that asks you some questions about your health and goals. Based on your answers, it recommends vitamins specific to your own body and mails them to your doorstep in convenient grab & go packs for each day. Last year, I stuck with it for a while and somehow dropped the ball. I remember feeling so much better when I did, though! I think it’s because all the supplements were tailored to me personally and helped with the specific concerns I mentioned on my quiz.
Goal #4: Set small goals.
This is totally a mental thing. And it’s pretty much the theme of goals 1 through 3. I’ve just come to realize that it’s very hard to change a lifestyle 100% off the bat. If you try to, it’s very easy to become discouraged and fall off the wagon. Working on one, two or three goals at a time, then adding more goals as those are achieved, makes change actually possible. I’m trying to overhaul a lifestyle for good, not act like this all is a fad diet that I give up in a couple months.
Progress over perfection. Always.
Through these changes, I’ve gained energy, confidence, and have felt 100x better!! Once I feel like these goals become tried and true habits, I’ll work on some new goals, like changing my sleep patterns and drinking more water. But one thing at a time over here. 🙂
What is a goal you’re still working on for 2019?