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Health, Wellness

The “Not-So-Secret” Secret to Losing the Baby Weight

I know I’ve done posts in the past that discuss more in depth the different ways I changed my habits to be healthier. But there’s a particular piece that I didn’t write about that I wanted to share with all the other moms who are postpartum or those who just want to be healthier.

If you know me, you’d know I’m definitely not a dieter. I don’t do fads, I don’t do fancy shakes. Everything needs to be pretty basic and normal. I also don’t want to give up the things I enjoy: bread, ice cream, cheese… it goes on. If I’m being asked to “give something up,” odds are I won’t follow-through. Sound familiar? I’m sure many of you feel the same way.

Instead of giving up what I truly want and enjoy I’ve adopted a new rule. I call it, the “one cup” rule. Here’s how it works. I still listen to my body and try to make simple changes, like having the veggie instead of fries at the restaurant, or eating mustard with a sandwich instead of mayo. However, when I’m having my “main meal” and it may involve something I usually go overboard on (pasta Alfredo, anyone?) I do the “one cup” rule. I can still have macaroni and cheese, but I can only have one cup. After that cup, it’s veggies for me. I can still have a desert occasionally, but it’s going to be one cup of ice cream.

On purpose I choose to measure with the measuring cup and that’s how I scoop what I will eat onto my plate. It seems silly and little, but these small “tweaks” to the way I do things, have paid off. It’s helped me slim down, get more

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exercise, and feel healthier and more alert.

Order some measuring cups. Adopt your own “one cup rule.” Life gets better when

you do it on purpose and don’t feel like you’re losing out.

Eat what you love – one cup at a time.

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Family, New Motherhood, Working Moms

How to Enjoy Your Mornings, Working Moms

This was me and my little guy yesterday morning. See, we have this little routine. When I see him stirring on the video monitor, Greg and I go into his room and pick him up. He sees us and instantly starts beaming, as if to say, “You came back for me!” It truly is one of the highlights of my day. But I sort of forgot about how wonderful it is.

I started waking up just a half an hour earlier, 5:30 a.m. And just by doing that, I started to notice things. Like how happy I am for that first cup of coffee, or how I love listening to the news when it’s still quiet. I forgot how much I love to go into my little man’s room and see his beaming face, so happy that his parents are with him.

In the craziness of life, we prioritize a lot of things that just aren’t important. We chase people, jobs, relationships, goals, many of which aren’t really put in our hearts. So instead of loading up your schedule with all of the things that aren’t the most important to you, maybe we all take a “grown-up time out.”

During my “time out” I noticed that I had a bunch of different choices laid out before me. As I looked at them I thought, which one do I feel led to do? Which one leads me closer to my talents, my calling? When we get super quiet and away from the noise, we start to see things more clearly.

I’m not going to forget how awesome it is to hug my little guy in the morning. Many times that work outfit gets buggers and turd on it and I need to change. Instead of being frustrated, I try and remember his smile. Because it won’t last. One day he’ll be dreading me waking him up and not smiling in fleece footie pajamas. And I don’t want that part to end.

Treasure the simpleness in your mornings, working moms. There’s so much toughness but there’s so much beauty too if we’ll only take the time to look.

Enjoy it.

Choice, Empowerment

How to Enjoy Life When it’s Hard

I know personally, I had a pretty rough couple of days before my weekend. I just felt super down and in a funk. There’s things in life that I just wish I was “further ahead” in and when I don’t feel that way, I can get really discouraged.

Discouraged that:

  • We don’t have more money
  • Student loans still exist
  • Haven’t lost every bit of baby weight — it’s starting to just be “me”
  • Don’t own a home yet — we are (pause) RENTERS

It sounds so petty, but you know those moments where you just feel like you aren’t “there” yet, wherever “there” is, so you get yourself into a mental tailspin? I mean there’s more than enough things to be grateful for:

  • Living in the USA
  • Having a healthy family — having A family
  • A nice place to live
  • Two full-time jobs
  • Health insurance
  • Food, clothes, indoor pluming…

But yet, we all desire PROGRESS. We all want to know that we are getting somewhere and that our efforts aren’t for nothing. And you know what I think? I think we do see progress every day. But maybe it’s not the massive changes we are looking for. We lose a couple pounds a month, not 10 in one week. We pay off a bill every month or two months, it’s not all gone immediately. We make progress in our day to day struggles. And that’s totally okay.

Maybe we should start making a bigger deal out of our accomplishments. When we lose that weight, celebrate! Paid off your student loans? You go girl! Rented a new place while you save for a house? There’s nothing wrong with that.

Go out and get some coffee and celebrate the wins! It’s the best way to beat the “funk.”

Mom Life, Personal Development, Struggle

Permission to “Lose It”

This weekend was a cluster of my “finest” moments.

It included the following:

  • Getting into an argument with my husband
  • Yelling around the house
  • Complaining about what “hadn’t been done”
  • Feeling upset I didn’t get more done
  • Episodes of tears from stress
  • Forgot to pay a bill that was definitely due

Have you ever had those moments? You know, the moments where you just feel like a colossal failure? Moments where you feel like like is treating you like a clump of silly puddy? Me too.

I felt like such a screw-up this weekend. I wanted to be a better mom, a better wife, and I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing ANY of it. But that’s not true. We are all getting better day after day. And not every day or moment are we going to “get it all right.” But that’s perfectly okay.

Sometimes we all need to “lose it.” We need to come undone and have a good cry. Sometimes our steam needs to be let out and we need to recognize our own humanity. We aren’t superwoman, though we could fool many. We are mere mortals and we all have moments of arguments, tears, forgetfulness, and pain.

It’s okay to “lose it” mamas, you’re going to need to sometimes. It doesn’t make you a crappy mom or wife, it makes you so incredibly human.

Family, Mom Guilt

The Guilt of Having the “Perfect Number” of Children

Story Time Mamas…

I’m going to get real with you. One thing that I have a really hard time with, is the pressure and internal guilt of “how many kids” is the ideal family? I have friends who stopped at one and decided they were done and others that are on their third child. And internally, my mind goes nuts.

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I absolutely adore my little guy. He’s super social, he laughs, he farts — it’s all adorable. But there was also: teething, sleep-training, colds, and the many diapers in my garbage. It’s a beautiful mess.

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As much as I love my son, and I’m thankful he’s here and wouldn’t trade a thing, I also recognize my own needs. The need to explore, accomplish, and to be out in the world. And sometimes that makes me feel guilty. Guilty I don’t want to stay at home. Guilty I don’t really want to have more kids. Guilty he won’t have a sibling. Guilty I’m not as much of a mom as the moms who have minivans with children.

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And maybe this is you too? And maybe we all need to stop that. Stop feeling guilty that we aren’t someone else and embrace who we are and what our needs are.

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I’m not the minivan mom, but that doesn’t make me a “bad mom”, it makes me the mom that Chase needs. And you’re the mom that your child or children need.

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Stop the guilt. Stop the comparing. You’re the mom you’re meant to be and you’re GREAT.

#stopmomguiilt #momshame #momsohard #momlife

Fun, Mom Life, New Motherhood

📣A “Day-Off Work” For A Mom 📣

I woke up around 5:45 a.m. and considered if I should get up right away, or enjoy the silence and my cozy bed. But I knew I had things to do, so I put my feet on the floor, grabbed the baby monitor and my phone.
 
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First things first, I brewed the coffee for the morning and read a morning devotional. I thanked God for the day and asked for help.
 
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Once I was done with my morning quiet time, I got to work. I first checked the monitor to verify Chase was not yet up… yes I still have time, I thought.
 
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I bent down to pick up socks on the floor for what seemed to be, the hundredth time. They were adult sized and not mine. After I was done picking up jeans, socks, and unloading the dishwasher, the dryer stopped spinning with Chase’s clean sheets. He was sleeping on a blanket on his mattress pad because I just hadn’t gotten to it sooner… another “mom fail”.
 
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I went to sort through a pile of bills — some to be paid, some to be paid “later”. After folding the laundry and running the dishwasher, I heard some angry noises on the monitor and went to get Chase. He sat up in bed looking at me with the biggest puppy-dog eyes. I picked him up and he snuggled to my neck. I appreciated the moment and breathed in the baby smell, and maybe some poop. We changed his diaper and gave him a bottle to play on the floor of his room. And I went back to work.
 
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I made the beds, swept the floor, and got out the vacuum… I looked under the couch and found an old bottle of Chase’s and wondered how that got there? I folded clothes and put them away. By this time, Chase was annoyed he wasn’t getting any attention and I went to him. Did I eat this morning, I thought? Did I shower? I hadn’t but I couldn’t remember. I played with Chase and put him down for a nap.
 
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While he napped I tried to: shower, eat, read an entire book I meant to finish two weeks ago, work and watch re-runs on Hulu. I accomplished hardly any of those things.
 
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That night while my husband worked the night-shift and Chase was in bed, I cried. I was tired, burnt out and feeling so neglected. Because I was. But I’m a mom, and you are too. And we do “all the things”. Anything that needs to be done we do. There is nothing too gross or too hard that doesn’t somehow get thrown into our “job description”. We just do it. We’re tired, hungry, a bit cranky, and even lonely. But we do it.
 
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And I want to take this post not to offer a solution. Not a top 5 list to make it better. But to just LISTEN. 🌺😊
 
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So if you’re a mom, and this is your experience, like it, share it, or comment your mom moments below. ⤵️
Fun, New Motherhood

The Day I Took A Shower — Childless

Today I had the pleasure of getting Election Day off from work. However, I still kept on my childcare for today so I could enjoy the day a little more fully. Any other moms understand? You love your little people, but it’s not truly a “day off” with them at your heels all day.

What did I do with my day off you ask? Well I’ll tell you. My most memorable and best part of my day was getting into the shower in peace. There wasn’t a little person protesting in the next room that I wasn’t playing with him. I went in, I could shave both of my legs (wow!) AND rinse all of the shampoo from my hair without pretending there was a water shortage.

It’s amazing how we moms suddenly appreciate all the little “freedoms” everyday now versus pre-baby. Taking a shower in peace, getting your laundry put away without your son taking it back out the drawers, or simply unloading groceries without a baby carrier…

And I’ll tell you moms, when I got out of that shower and put on my robe, I felt like a million bucks. I couldn’t believe how much good that time was for me. My brain felt lighter, my body felt renewed, and I was super peaceful.

If you have the chance to get someone to regularly take the kiddos for a day here and there, do it. Because the crying, the wiping the noses, the poopy diapers — they wear on us. And we so desperately need that shower moment. To jump in and take the day to decompress and find ourselves again. To remember who we are and blow off the steam and anxiety.

So do it.  Call up Grandma, Grandpa, or the family friend. Set it on the calendar if you have to. And take your shower, paint your nails, see your girlfriends — without your kiddos. You’ll feel like a much better mom when you do. Trust me.

Photo Credit

Growth, Reading

What I’m Reading & You Should Too

Nothing makes me want to read [or take  a nap] more than a rainy fall day. And with the weather being so perfect for sweaters, apple pie, and warm coffee, what’s better than to snuggle up with a great read.

Here are some books that I’m working on or have just completed. I hope  you consider checking some of them out for yourself.

  1.  Settle For More. With all the controversy regarding Trump and herself, I just had to check it out. I felt that the beginning was really solid and I could connect with her story. Toward the end I wasn’t so sure what I thought. But the general message of the book I appreciated and felt like I was maybe more informed for reading.
  2. Boundaries. This book I picked up because I had heard it advertised by Dave Ramsey the money guru. Since having a tumultuous upbringing, I wanted to read something that might help me improve my current relationships and realize why some people are the way that we are. I also have issues saying no to others, and this book teaches us how. Highly recommend.
  3. Do Over. Jon is hilarious. He is the kind of author that can make the truth sound so funny in such a non corny way. He’s genuine and down to earth but also talks about what is necessary to get a job doing what you love and living in your purpose. Loved it.
  4.  And The Good News Is… .Working in the New York State Legislature, I really wanted to read a book based on the ins and outs of working in the White House. Dana does just that. But she also paints the picture of the American Dream and how a small-town girl from Wyoming can go to hold a high office position in the White House.

This piece contains affiliate links, to read my disclosure policy, click here.

 

News, Tragedy

Even Texas

As I’m sure you’ve heard, there was a mass shooting in Texas. It was in a Baptist Church, no less, nothing anyone ever wants to think about. It caused me to reminisce about Sunday mornings as a child with my family.

As a little girl going to Sunday service, I never really imagined the idea that some madman or woman could walk into a church and inflict murder. I knew we had a security system but other than that, I always felt relatively safe. It was a place where families gathered and most of my first friendships formed — it was a loving community and safe.

Nearly twenty years later, I don’t have that same feeling. I see the guarded police at the door and the entrance of our house of worship, and I wonder if he’s there for more than just “directing traffic”. I know that they are there for the potential of much more… and I hang my head at the somber reality.

But this morning, after hearing the news of Texas, was eerily different. I stood during the service and had the same fleeting thought I usually have nowadays. What if a killer opens fire in here? What will I do? Drop to the floor? Run to the nursery for Chase? Run with Greg to the exits? I find it so uncanny that this thought plagued my soul this morning, where shortly after many were shot in the south.

After the numbing effects of tragedy after tragedy, I think we have two choices. We can either become obsessed with how horrific this world has gotten and discuss it at length, feeling worse about ourselves and the situation. The second choice is to understand the limits of our own humanity. We are only flesh and blood, sent with a purpose in this life. To become obsessed and bitter doesn’t help us live a fuller life nor does it fulfill our purpose.

The pulsating sound of a bullet, and the image of dropping to the ground should be our every morning thought.

If I die today, can I say I’m at peace? At peace with God, with my family, with myself?  The realization of our finite existence should provoke us to live with the end in mind.

Photo Credit

LifeHacks, Self Help

What I Do To Stop Always “Hurrying”

There I was, sitting in rush-hour traffic and waiting for the light to turn GREEN so I could merge over the the left. If you know me, you’d know I’m usually calm and don’t get too upset about traffic. But today, it was different. I found myself talking out-loud, “Umm… lady, you see my blinker you see I have to merge! What’s the face for?” I really couldn’t believe how angry I was. After we all merged and I got behind her car, I followed a little more closely, and had to check myself. What has gotten into you? It’s just traffic, it’s not the end of the world. 

I’m the kind of person who always has a to-do list. The kind of person who, plans, organizes, and wants things done. But when I cram my schedule so full, I become another person. When I place the importance of my “list” higher than my peace that day, I always lose. And maybe this has happened to you too. Where you just want to get things done that you lose your cool, you snap, and turn into a totally different person.

So here are some practical tips to keeping your peace while you need to get things done:

  1. You create your schedule. Sometimes you need to figure out what you need to do versus what you or others place on you to do. Your schedule is your own. If there is no “down time” and it’s a constant frenetic pace, you’ll eventually burn out.
  2. Outsourcing, it’s not just for businesses. If you can have some family or friends do some of the things with the kids or help with some cooking or laundry, let them. And if you have the means to pay a part-time housekeeper, do it. It’s worth your sanity.
  3. Not all meals need to be chef quality. While I firmly believe in a healthy lifestyle, that doesn’t mean your meals need to be they way Grandma did Thanksgiving. A can of soup with a dinner roll or a tuna or chicken wrap on the go is just fine.
  4. Your [mom] friends get it. When I’m overwhelmed or having a rough time, many times I’ll call or message one of my girlfriends who have been through this motherhood thing. Because they totally get it. They understand the exhaustion and the work. And you don’t realize just how much you need them until you’ve reached this point in your new mom world. But just talking and laughing with them, can be such medicine to your soul.
  5. Proper, prior preparation — makes for perfect presentation. I remember my Uncle Dave saying that to us as kids in a funny way, but it is true. There’s some level of preparing ahead that makes the unexpected in life more manageable. Using time that you might be spending online to pack lunches the night before, or using your lunch break to take a walk to get in your exercise so you don’t “miss it again”, can be huge. Use that time wisely to prepare for those things you know will have to get done. It will cut down on the Monday morning mayhem — always.

Your peace and your sanity is important. You can’t enjoy your family, your work, or your home without being peaceful and calm. When you constantly feel like one wrong thing is going to “send you over the edge” (and I’ve been there), you’re not a pleasant person and you don’t feel great either.

Learn yourself and what sets you off. Learn the things that bother you and tick you off. If it’s being late, maybe tip #5 of preparing ahead is for you. If it’s feeling lonely or overwhelmed maybe #4 and your friends are going to be your biggest support. Whatever it is, take care of you. And keep your peace.