The Spaces Between

Sorry to have been so absent in my blogging, things have really ramped up over the last little bit, and it looks like they are going to stay that way until the end of June, so I have learned to really appreciate the spaces between my busyness.

There are a couple of things that happen when I am busy…I either feel super accomplished because I am getting so much done or I feel completely over-whelmed and like I just don’t know where to start. I am not completely sure what makes the difference but I think it might come down to attitude so I set out to begin embracing the spaces between.

I need to learn to make use of the time between the busyness, not just so that I can carry on, but so that I can function in a normal way.  Have healthy relationships, take care of my body, mind and soul.  These aspects of self-care are so important as we pour into others lives.

So I have learned to go to bed when I feel tired, eat when I am hungry, appreciate when hubby does the dishes for me.  I have learned to appreciate a quiet house, time to read that isn’t part of work and I have learned that it is okay to say no to people so that you can have a space between. The other thing I have learned is that it is okay to ask for help…that was a bit of a tough one for me…but I had no spaces between to recharge and that just couldn’t go on.

So I am learning to not only appreciate the spaces between my busyness, but to create those spaces because that is what I need to do to accomplish everything in my world.

Blessings,

NB

 

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Managing Expectations

I used to find myself disappointed all the time, things hadn’t gone quite the way I had hoped or an event had fallen flat.  Now this happens every once in awhile to everyone, but it seemed to happen to me more often than most.  Why did I feel that I was always disappointed in how something looked, or how successful an event had been?  It began to creep into my relationships and really batter at my self-esteem.  Then I had a bit of a revelation…maybe the problem isn’t everyone and everything else…gulp, maybe it’s me!?!

Now I am not talking about the expectation of being treated with respect and kindness or anything like that. I began to realized that I tended to make things bigger in my head, and then when things didn’t work out like I thought they should, it was a huge blow. I am not even sure that it was possible for everything to live up to how I thought things should be…and when everything is ALWAYS less than what you want, you end up being really unhappy.

Enter my shift to managing my own expectations: about myself, my kids, my husband, my extended family, my job , my weight loss and even my ability to manage it all. The funny thing is, the less I expected everything to be perfect and for people to plan perfect events etc. the more satisfied I was with how things turned out, and the happier I became.  I am not talking about having no standards, I am talking about having realistic, attainable standards, so that you don’t drive everyone nuts nit-picking.

This was a big eye-opener for me in terms of setting goals, achieving inner happiness, developing the feelings of contentment and general happiness.  Are there times where I slip into old patterns? Sure! Now when I get to feeling that nothing has gone right I check myself to make sure that what I expect makes sense, not only for me, but for those around me.

This came into play this weekend as I realized that when I started on this journey I wanted to be done with dropping weight by this point and moving into my maintenance phase.  That hasn’t happened yet, and I need to be okay with it. Or not only will I jump off the wagon, I will pull it into the forest and set it on fire.  My expectations have to be attainable, and they may need to shift to accommodate my current situation.  It doesn’t mean that I have failed, I just need to tweak the end game.

Here is to real, attainable goals!

Blessings,

NB

Dinner-time Angst

I have been spending the last year and a bit changing my relationship to food.  Other than becoming healthier and dropping weight I really wanted to model positive body image and healthy food relationship to my kids…I failed last night in a major way.

Picture it…a typical suburban family has just had a relaxing Sunday and Mom askes the 4:30 questions…What does everyone want for dinner?  The reply…deafening silence.  I repeated the questions a few more times and I got vague half answers.  So I made un-stuffed peppers, an easy but tasty dish.  That is when the poop hit the fan!  My daughter complained, my son started to gag the moment a pepper went in his mouth and Mommy lost her stuff.

I wouldn’t say that my kids are normally picky, they love all types of seafood and different cheese etc….but they seem to have blocks about trying specific items…I would love to freeze a bunch of easy, yummy casseroles but that is a no -go.  They might eat all the components separately, but mix them together and it is avoided like a plague of Egypt.

I had hoped with our expanding food choices and modeling good eating behaviour that they would come along…there is a glimmer of hope with my eldest, she did eat dinner and said that it was tasty even with the onions. The youngest had a hot-dog and baby carrots, but also received a stern talking too about eating healthy and not complaining when someone goes through the trouble of making you a meal.

DOES ANYONE OUT THERE FEEL MY PAIN?!?

I wish that the dinner time hadn’t ended with tears and bitterness (and that was just the little time-out I took in my room) but I refuse to make a separate meal for my kids when I am already scrambling to come up with ideas on what to make….plus I don’t want to have those picky kids that people need to cater to.

Where my fail comes in is that I don’t want my kids to associate food with all the negative emotions and guilt that I did…totally a prison of my own making, but I am trying to do better that that for them. I made dinner about how much they appreciate me and all that I do which shames them into eating and there just has to be a better way…ggaah!

Still working on that balance I guess, here’s hoping you have peaceful mealtimes!

Blessings,

NB

The Balancing Act

There are some trends out there today that I think have this really great element of truth, but REALLY fail on delivery. There is all kinds of talk about self-care, eating local, eating organic, managing your stress, making sure your kids are well-rounded contributing members of society, while maintaining your Pintrest and Etsy site daily.  Oh yeah, and uploading instagram pics with no filter because you look like a super model while doing it….I am jumping off that train, anyone want to come with?

My accomplishments this weekend looked like this:

  • pick-up groceries that I ordered online because that is way faster and easier
  • did the laundry, but it all sits in my bedroom waiting to be folded
  • made homemade yogurt, but my kids ate white, store-bought, buns with butter for snacks.
  • did work in the home office, but didn’t really clean my house, even with company coming over (gasp).
  • made a birthday dinner for hubby, but served cheesecake with a soggy crust. (I think this is win though because it was program friendly).

So my touchstone for the next little bit in my life is all about getting things into balance. Not only am I letting go of the idea of accomplishing everything, I am going to be okay with letting things slide.  Pretty sure that my family would rather have happy me and the laundry not be folded, than tired, stressed-out me with a picture-perfect house.

But the catch….not only does it go against that crap that society feeds us about having it all and doing in the heels, it really goes against my A-type nature. That will be the biggest hurdle.  Lest you say wait don’t you have help…I do…I have amazing help.  I have family and friends who take over childcare duty when hubby and I both get busy.  I also need to give props to hubby who not only does the bulk of the childcare during the week but does the dishes EVERY night after dinner…without me asking him to.

It is all part of my search to be healthier in spirit not just in body, another paradigm shift if you will….bonus when I am not stressed I tend to drop weight faster too.

Here’s is to a balanced lifestyle, however that might look for you.

Blessings,

NB

Woman in Motion

I am branching out in new directions…which I think is a healthy thing but it really shows how my paradigm has shifted over the last year.

I am helping to coach the High School girls soccer team, the conditioning aspect.  Now I have never been particularly sporty and as my weight ballooned I certainly wasn’t seeking out ways to stay in shape and I was no where near being able to instruct those on how to do it.

But I am now and I LOVE it! I worked out on Tuesday with the girls and it really put me in a positive frame of mind.  The team building and bonding was great.  It really is a wonderful group of students that I work with.  Not only is the fact that I get up early to do this twice a week surprising to me, but more so, I actually feel competent leading.

I can’t even tell you how radically this shift in mindset is for me.  I have a couple friends who are personal trainers and they gave me lots of tools to use, couple that, with my own success and I was ready to take this challenge on. I was doing it really out of duty so that the girls could have a team this year, but it has turned into a wonderfully rewarding experience.

Full disclosure…I had to google pretty much everything about soccer rules and I tapped my sister’s family for hints and tips, shout out to my nephew who explained what “off-side” was.  But at least I am putting myself out there and learning/trying something new…I am not sure that I would have had the confidence (or the knowledge) a year ago to take this on.

It just goes to show that we should always be on the look out for new opportunities, especially ones that come from unexpected locations.

Try something new!

Blessings,

NB

Back in the Saddle

Ohhh, another holiday season and another go-round with temptation.  Isn’t life just a fun little merry-go-round like that.  I had just gotten on track after my short diversion during March Break when Easter comes along with all it’s smack talk and chocolate and homemade bread.  What is a girl to do…I held strong for most of the weekend and in fact the smell of chocolate wasn’t super appealing….but I had a piece of bread and then decided in for a penny….and the Easter egg nest (or three) followed it down the hatch.

One shout out to my Mom who tackled a program friendly cheesecake…it was excellent!

There were a couple of things that were different this time on the trip…I didn’t eat until I was sick, in fact I had very few side effects from my day in the “carb” zone and I didn’t have that out of control feeling that I have had in the past, like the one day of indulgence is going to lead to a whole month of excuses.  It was liberating to be able to splurge and then get back on track.  That is a new feeling for me and one I hope to hang on to once the weight has all come off and I am blissfully maintaining my svelte new body.

I did figure out though that I want to stick hard for the next few months so that I can drop the last of my weight and introduce some grains and such back into my repertoire of eating.  It will take will-power and making sure that I am active, but the results will be worth it.

Give yourself a break!

Blessings,

NB

PS-I have jumped into the world of Instagram, so check me out there! #healthyin2017

From the Mouths of Babes

I have a beautiful family and we just got back from our annual trek to the the sunny south for March Break.  We had an amazing time!  My kids are at that age where they are fairly independent, but still want to hang out with Mom and Dad.  I relaxed, we slept in and everyone got to do something that they wanted to do so there were lots of smiling faces.

Sometimes I think that my kids have this odd concept of who I am…they see the person who focuses on eating healthy and making sure they don’t get hurt.  I check to make sure the seat belts are done up and all those things that make sure your kids are taken care of.  They don’t know that I owned a motorcycle for three years, or love going on roller coasters or that I have a pretty well developed sense of adventure.

They don’t see it, because it amidst all the “mom” things, I had withdrawn from the part of myself that took risks and tried new things.  I was grossly uncomfortable with who/what I had become.  I didn’t like me, my body, and what I thought it was capable of, so I just stopped being adventurous.  This may be happening to you if you look back and realize that you are the person not in the picture, because you are always taking the picture…only because you don’t want your current body to be photographed.  This March Break that ended!

I went go-karting, played a ridiculous amount of mini-golf. I went walking on the beach and I relaxed with an awesome massage. I was fun and energetic and the person that I wanted to be, not just for my family…but for myself.  I wore fun, new, funky clothes to do all these things and I was relaxed about what I ate and my confidence to get back on track if needed.

While go-karting my son had the best quote, he said “This is just like Mario Kart, I feel so alive.”  Now I don’t really care about the first part, but the second part kind of struck home with me…as I go on this journey I am emerging and really feel like I am alive for the first time in a long time. Embrace Life!

Blessings,

NB

Days of Encouragement

I went shopping with my wonderful sister the other day…we both needed a girls day!  We had a blast and our last stop was a specialty store for tall women.  Now, I am no stranger to specialty shops as I have been shopping in plus-sized store for pretty much all my adult life, but we went in to see what they had.

Lots of cute things, and I wanted to try some on, but I was looking and figured that I wouldn’t be able to find anything that fit.  I sometimes forget the amount of weight that I have dropped and how that means I will wear a smaller size.  I also habitually wonder if me dropping sizes is more about stores creating vanity sizing than a real indication of me dropping inches.  That is a really self-defeating thought and I need to get over minimizing what I have accomplished.

Anyway…I found a dress and some clothing in XL…again not model sizes, but way smaller than the 24/26 I was sporting a year ago.  They fit…and not in like a suck-my-tummy-in-and-can’t-breathe kind of way….but actually fit.  I was so happy I bought a dress, pants and top…just because they were not plus sized clothing.  There may or may not have been a small happy dance…only my sister and I know for sure.

Last night I was interviewed about my success on my eating plan and it was a bit of a surreal experience…a year ago I might have believed that I could be an example in organization, cooking, or even time management….but not about weight loss and living a healthy life style!  It still boggles my mind a bit, it shows the true paradigm shift that has happened in my life.

This was just the encouragement I need to continue on with my goals and keep with the “boot camp” to drop my remaining weight. So keep pressing on, and celebrate your achievements!

Blessings,

NB

The End of the Road?

So this past week and a bit has been a rough patch in terms of eating, I broke down and went off the path for about a week and getting back to the plan has been more challenging than I thought it would be.  Then a thought occurred to me…am I done?

Originally, I had only planned to be on the “boot camp” phase for a year and then I would move on to the less restrictive phase to maintain things.  A year has come and gone, and I still had more weight to drop to reach my original goal…but it was getting hard to stay focused and avoid temptation. I was wondering if this was my body’s way of telling me that I had reached where I was meant to be.

According to the plan, I should stop when I look at myself in the mirror and think…I am done, this is where I want to be.  So I took a look in the mirror and although I like what I see, I am not finished.

I learned a few things from my mini self-reflection:

  • Sometimes your plans get off-track, when they do adjust and keep going.
  • Things aren’t always easy, but they are worth it.
  • My heartburn comes back with a vengeance when I eat pizza.
  • I have an incredible support system, when I said we were back on the wagon, my hubby joined me without pause…he is awesome!
  • It is okay to give yourself a break, you can’t be perfect all the time, no matter how anal retentive you are.

This are all things that I have worked through in the past, but sometimes a reset is needed to refocus your energy and define your goals.

Keep on keeping on!

Blessings,

NB

The Pendulum Swing

Over the past month I have had a pendulum swing of emotions…the highest highs and the lowest lows.  I started to wonder if my moods had shifted back to before my whole bid to be healthy began.  Frankly it scared me a bit and I wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on…turns out it is this thing called adulting…not for wimps.

I was busy…but nothing new there. I had my scores of “To Do” lists, again nothing new, but there was a new layer of feeling like I was the only one capable of solving all the issues going on around me…I really stink at delegating. I was at that place  where there seems like there is so much to do that you don’t really know where to start…that was me.

Normally I am a pretty efficient and like to get my work done quickly, but I was just feeling so bogged down that all I wanted to do was sleep, or read, or go rock myself in a corner somewhere.

Funny thing though, once I got going on my list it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had built it up to be in my head…I have a end goal of March 8th to be done everything so that my March Break can be restful.  I want to hang out with my kids, veg out a little, spend some quality time with my hubby and I don’t feel like I have items looming over me. Since I have begun checking items off my list I believe that it will get done.

The point I guess would be that don’t let those voices in your head take over and create a space of fear or tear you down…you got this, and it is not as hard as you think.

Blessings,

NB