The past four years have looked a little something like this…
Looking back, I’m like man! I am way too hard on myself. The past four years have been filled with lots of change, lots of love, and lots of redefining. 2013 was such a wonderful year; enjoying our last year before pregnancy, traveling to the Caribbean, and getting in the best shape of my life. I may not have weighed my lowest weight, but I was in incredible shape. Heck, I played full contact football!
2014 was a magical year! Looking back, I am so thankful to have gotten pregnant so quickly, to have had a healthy pregnancy, to have had my daughter, and to have become a mom. It was a perfect year. 2015 was a year of transitions. I worked really hard to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight by Magnolia’s first birthday, moved into a new director role at work, and bought a house in a new to us city outside of DC. It was a good year, but it was filled with lots of change. 2016 has had a lot of highs and a lot of lows. 2016 has challenged me like never before; to let go, to be patient, and to refocus.
Last week I busted out a paper journal and committed myself to writing down every ounce of my days. What did I do, what did I eat, how was I feeling, etc. I ended up with 7 days of notes and 7 days of insight. Our weeks are pretty routine, but the days can feel so different. My goal was to paint a picture of my current life and to be able to step back and objectively see what’s working and what’s not working. I want to reach a healthy weight, I want to have more kids, I want to save more money for our future, and ultimately, I just want to be/feel more joyful. I want to redefine my wellness, to let go of my past, and to redefine success. I’m too hard on myself and I think that’s in part to comparing my current life to my life in my mid twenties. Life is different now, good different, but my goals and outcomes can’t be the same as they were 10 years ago… or at least the path to get there will be different.
Looking over my notes from last week, here’s what I learned about my current lifestyle and what I need to do in order to redefine my wellness.
1. I start the week on a strong note. I am motivated, organized, and focused. I take the time to plan out the week, to prepare food for the first few days of the work week, and to accomplish chores before the week gets going. As the week moves on and my schedule intensifies, my time management changes and I don’t make my personal wellness a priority. By Thursday, I am exhausted, I’ve run out of prepped food and I don’t have the energy to prepare more, and my to do list is overwhelming.
-To help, I would prep more food on Sundays, that way I have enough to pack lunches for the entire week. I would also plan out dinners for the week and ask Neal to make crockpot meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I have to work until 7PM. Lastly, I will get back into a habit of morning brain dumps and using my dayplanner to keep myself organized, no matter how big my to do list gets.
2. The mornings I don’t take the time or have the time to have breakfast, I struggle with my eating throughout the day. Last week there were some days where I just wasn’t hungry right when I woke up, so I did eat breakfast but then without fail, I was hungry by the time I got into the office. Most days I hit the ground running with appointments as soon as I get into work, so it isn’t easy to have breakfast at my desk.
-My plan is to have more grab and go breakfast options, that way I can always throw something into my work bag and can eat during my commute, even if I’m not hungry when I first wake up. I also want to keep more breakfast foods at my desk, that way I can just make a packet of oatmeal between meetings if I’m really hungry.
3. I only worked out once last week and I felt pretty lousy. I love working out and it’s an important piece of my mental wellness and stress relief. I went to Orange Theory Monday morning and then overslept on Friday.
-I’d love to get into a habit of adding 2-3 more workouts to my schedule. I love going to Orange Theory on Monday and Fridays, but I’d like to add in a Tuesday and Thursday workout as well and something over the weekend. This could be at home or at my office gym.
4. I didn’t get great sleep last week and it has become a trend.
-This fall I’ve brought a lot of work home with me and end up working until 10 or 11PM most nights. Things are finally settling down, but I need to get back to leaving work at work and going to bed at a reasonable time… especially if I want to add more 5AM workouts to my week. I’ve also reduced the amount of blogging I am doing and will most likely maintain that moving forward. Not blogging on the weekend gives me more time with family and some weeks, I’m just not able to blog all 5 work days. I’m happy being able to blog when I can!
5. I’m not spending enough time with my husband and daughter.
-Again, this fall has been incredibly intense at work, but now that things are settling down, I want to get back into a better routine at home. Neal and I decided last month that we want to do date nights at home every Friday night and I’m excited to start that tradition tonight! I love spending time with Neal and it’s the perfect way to end the work week. With Magnolia, I’ve just got to leave work and work (and leave on time), that way I have as much time as possible with Magnolia before she goes to bed. We always have so much fun on the weekends with Magnolia, but I want more time with her on week days.
6. Our weekends are a lot of fun and we’ve created a great balance of seeing friends and family, relaxing at home, and spending time with just our little family.
-I’m really happy with our weekends and I don’t want them to change. They help me to recharge for the week ahead and I love that!
7. I’m not engaged in the activities that make me happy.
-I haven’t taken yoga in quite some time, I don’t take the time to meditate like I used to, I don’t cook as much as I used to, I don’t journal regularly, and I don’t do as many craft projects as I used to. I want to create more time in my week for the artistic and spiritual side of me. Last week, which is how I feel most weeks, I am go, go, go, go and I don’t always take the time to smell the roses. I think this boils down to time management and making time for the things I love. Anyone else feel this way?
8. I always want to end my day with sugar!!
-I’m trying really hard to eat more whole foods and holy moly, my sugar cravings have been intense the past few weeks. Like, so much that I’ve been craving ketchup! It’s bad! I’ve gotten into a habit over the past 4 years of having a sweet before bed and honestly, I’m not usually hungry. I would really like to break this habit and to close the kitchen after dinner. I love a sweet treat here and there, but I think it’d feel better adding it to my day instead of having ice cream at 9:30PM. Just something I’d like to change.
Ultimately, last week showed me that I just have too much on my plate sometimes. I am a work horse and can be a perfectionist. It’s hard to do 10 things at 100% and I think that’s why I get to the end of the week and I am just exhausted and really lose my healthy habits. I am working to break down how I spend my days and to reinvest in my own wellness. Change will happen slowly, but I am working to keep my own wellness at the forefront of my mind.