Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Getting Personal: All about Balance and Self-Care

I just had the best summer I have ever had with all four of my kids! We traveled, all slept in (for the first time ever), swam in the pool, sat on the couch without feeling guilty; that I should be doing something else, crafted, tried yoga, attended circus school, read lots, watched movies, played games, and did whatever we wanted whenever we wanted, with little fighting. I know, I was surprised too! However, this was also the first summer that naps weren't needed, bedtimes could be lenient without horrible repercussions, and everyone just went with the flow and enjoyed being in the moment.

I realized that without all the hustle and bustle of school, homework, activities, room mom duties, and the constant "go go go" I was able to slow down and enjoy my kids again without being so stressed and irritable. And surprise, when I was happier, so were my kids!

However, this was also the first time ever that I have completely forgot to make a hair appointment. As in I didn't notice or care how bad my roots were and how fried the ends were after months of swimming and sun. I looked in the mirror and all I could think about was a meme I came across a few years ago.."I've learned a lot about myself since becoming a mom. I didn't realize just how far I could let myself go and still be okay with it". While I laughed at this, there is also a sad slice of truth to it. I still carry around baby weight I gained from my first set of twins almost NINE years ago.Ugh, that's hard to say out loud. And don't get me wrong, I have tired to loose it but it has been hard with four young kids, the stress associated with a husband who commuted out of state for work twice, followed by two big moves for our family. Those may sound like excuses but that was my life, and for me, it was a very stressful time. So naturally when my to do list for the day was a mile long and I was exhausted, the workouts were the first thing to go.

It may have taken awhile, but earlier this year I finally realized the time to get fit and healthy again is now. Not only do I want to feel better about myself again but I want to grow old with my husband and see my kids grow up. I started making better food choices, cutting back on wine (that's a hard one!), and realizing there is no reason I can't workout for 30 minutes most days. We also adopted our two year old Border Collie/Husky mix named Baloo who needs to walk daily. That's the secret folks, go out and adopt a dog from your local shelter, start walking daily and boom...ten pounds gone!

After that great start to my new routine came a busy end of school year and a month long vacation to visit our families and friends. After that, the summer of fun and relaxation continued until that day not long ago when I looked in the mirror.

Since then I told myself it's time to get back on track and take care of yourself. The first thing I did was make a hair appointment! Hallelujah its scheduled for this weekend! I also tossed in a pedicure last weekend just because. I've restocked my vitamins, switched my afternoon cup of coffee to tea, made time to read and go to bed earlier when I need it, pray/meditate, eat more fruit and vegtables, meal plan, resume blogging because it's a creative outlet I enjoy, got an actual pair of nice pajamas instead of my old grubby sweats (I was surprised at how much better I felt), started doing face masks again, and working out.

Walking the dog, riding bikes with my family, swimming, and going to the YMCA consistently again are giving me new muscle aches and more energy. Last but not least is my favorite. Yoga. Prior to kids I loved yoga and pilates and would take both classes back to back. When life got crazy, I knew I needed yoga back in my life. I slowly started doing some poses and breathing at home and couldn't believe what a difference it made. Then I found a yin yoga class and was in love. It's grounded, slow moving, and helps stretch your muscles. Plus you can totally be a newbie or out of the yoga practice for awhile and no one will notice or care. It's relaxing and I'm hoping this will help me slowly start to regain some of my flexibility.

I might have jumped the gun but I decided to join a vinessya yoga class early this week. Well here's how that went. I was the heaviest and most unflexible person in that room. I yearned for my old body the whole time, the one that could actually do these poses. I spent lots of time staring at the instructor who was twisted up like a pretzel and whispered "wtf" while thinking I can't even come close to bending that way. BUT...I was proud of myself because I stayed the whole class and I gave it my all. Making permanent changes is all about taking small steps and never giving up. And life is all about balance. So take care of yourself mommas and no matter what  your challenge is, don't give up!! Oh and I plan on going back to that yoga of these days I will be able to bend like that.

Have a great school year!

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