Hello from hot and super sunny Texas! We’re here to celebrate my sister’s graduation from Texas State University and I couldn’t be more excited. We have some really fun activities and day trips planned and I can’t wait to share everything with y’all next week.
These past few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about my habits and lifestyle. As I shared last week, a variety of things have led me to think about how focusing on diet and fitness alone may be the wrong approach to lifelong weight loss. The times I have lost significant weight in the past have happened as a result of my entire lifestyle shifting towards a life I was overjoyed to live. My diet and exercise simply followed and it wasn’t a chore. Sure I had to make changes to my diet and reduce my food intake (intentionally and unintentionally), and exercise became a part of my days naturally.
It’s hard to believe that Magnolia will be 2 years old in 4 months, but the truth is, even 2 years later, I still haven’t figured out my new lifestyle as a working mom. Most days, I go through all the motions and make it work. Neal and I are really good about making our routines work and I’m grateful he is my partner in this craziness we call life. We both have amazing jobs, we adore the daycare Magnolia is a part of, and we have a gorgeous house. We are really lucky, which is what makes it hard to admit that my lifestyle just isn’t where I want it to be.
As a new working mom, I’ve worked really hard to make it all work and to keep our family healthy and happy. I feel like all moms – whether working in an office, working out of their home, or caring for their children each day – have to be a rock for their family. I didn’t understand it until now, but it’s really hard making your needs a priority when you are a mom. Moms are so good at making it all work, but I think a number of us could agree that we’re not the best about creating a happy and healthy lifestyle for ourselves as moms. We care for everyone in our home, keep up with the chores, look a few months (or years) into our family’s future, are planners of just about everything, and somewhere in there need to make ourselves a priority.
I’ve tried to squeeze my healthy habits into our routine, waking up at 4:15 AM a few times a week to work out, preparing meals for the week during the weekend, keeping healthy snacks/meals at work, and going for walks as a family each night before dinner. I am glad I’ve made these habits and routines a part of my life as a working mom, but I’m exhausted. I feel like I’m non-stop and my soul just isn’t nourished.
Looking back on times when I’ve felt healthy, happy, and well-nourished, I made a list of habits I want to make a priority in my life again. I know it will take time to create a lifestyle and routine I am happy with, but some of these things are just so easy to implement. One of the biggest changes Neal and I have agreed to implement is not sitting on our phones after Magnolia goes to bed. The both of us spend quite a bit of time each day scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Our phones are time sucks and are really a waste of time. We have both agreed to put our phones away after 8 PM and to focus on spending time together and going to bed earlier. Sure we’ll stay up late some nights, but we want to stay up late because we’re enjoying a date night at home or getting things done around the house, not because we’re sitting on our cell phones.
Here’s a look at the list I started and am going to work hard to implement after we get back from Texas…
— Enjoy a hearty breakfast each morning – whether eating eggs on toast or a big bowl of oatmeal
— Create flavorful and filling salads to take to work or enjoy for dinner
— Work out during the work day over the summer
— Go to the farmers market each weekend, picking up seasonal vegetables to incorporate into our meals
— Find a bible study or woman’s group to be a part of
— Take spin classes
— Set up the slow cooker more often, so there’s a hot dinner ready when we get home from work
— Ask Neal to cook dinner twice a week
— Eat dinner earlier and “close the kitchen” afterwards
— Set up dates with girlfriends and make those times a priority
— Create lists of things to do and see in the DC area and tackle them as a family
— Live under a budget, which will allow us to save money for vacations and house projects
— Host dinner parties
— Set up phone dates with my girlfriends in Texas
As I tell my students at work, we all have the same amount of time in a week (168 hours). What matters is how we spend our time and how we feel throughout the week. I haven’t felt amazing lately and as I’ve shared, I think the summer magnifies it. I want to lose more weight before we get pregnant again and want to feel better about myself. I want to bring back my healthiest lifestyle.
I’m thankful to be in Texas this week and to have some time to truly vacation before the summer takes off. I’m looking forward to focusing on my lifestyle and allowing the joy from my life to impact my health and wellness long term.
Do you ever think about wanting to change your lifestyle? If so, what would you change?