Monday, November 19, 2012

Accountability : the Road to a Healthier Me

I hate the way my body looks right now...there, I said it.

Its hard to be gentle with yourself after having a baby when you have friends who had babies around the same time and look like they are back to their pre-pregnancy size...I, unfortunately, did NOT win the genetic lottery when it comes to my body shape or metabolism.

I will frankly say that there have been many afternoons and evenings when the girls are settled that I have snuggled up in my husband's arms and sobbed- apologizing that he has a fat wife...

Phillie is 2 months old. I shouldn't feel so badly. I know this in my head, but my subconscious keeps whispering majorly negative thoughts and its hard to say that being 2 months post partum is an excuse...

Its also almost IMPOSSIBLE to work out.  In fact, I have a baby in one arm as I am typing this (the other is taking her nap).  Between Phillie "hulking" out and wanting to be held because she is bored, and Faith eating anything and everything she can find on the floor (and something is always there no matter how many times I vacuum) I always am on high alert as a mommy.  I did start trying to fit in time for my exercise video, but try explaining to a 2 month old that you need a 1 hour time span where she doesn't need something...LOL

I know that nothing is going to change unless I change it.  However, being in mommy mode 24/7, its hard to figure out how to implement the short, I just feel...trapped...trapped in my body and a situation that seems almost impossible to overcome...trapped with NO clothes that fit right and trapped hating what I see when I look in the mirror...

I write about this because A) I need to be held accountable, because I don't believe the situation is as impossible as I'm making myself believe that it is.  There has to be a way around it...and I think I may have found it. and B) I'm sure there are other mammas out there that are struggling with the same problem.

How do you find time for yourself and your health when you A) have 2 kids that are small enough that between them your attention has to be focused elsewhere B) only have 1 car so you can't really go anywhere when your husband is gone to work (that includes the work out group that your church has...)  C) don't have money for a gym membership and D) are up all night with a baby and just feel like you have NO ENERGY

Well, I decided that I was sick of feeling sorry for myself. I was sick of hating my body. I need to set a better example for my girls. They need to see that you can be beautiful no matter what your shape, that being HEALTHY is the key, and I'm sick of crying to my husband (he is so sweet, but I'm sure he is sick of hearing it and sick of reassuring me that he still finds me attractive and isn't embarrassed to be seen with me....he just is too sweet to say it...)

I set to Pinterest in my free time to try to find a workout routine that A) wouldn't require me to buy a gym membership or a lot of home work out equipment and B) could be fit in at intervals during the day when I can find 10 or so minutes where no one is crying and my house is in reasonable order.

I found 1 great pin (forgot to repin it because I closed the window after I finished reading it.) It basically said that if you make a few small changes, you can lose 10 pounds in a month. It had a list of 72 changes you could of them was making sure you had more than enough water in your that is my first new goal. I need to start getting better about drinking water. Its been more tricky than I thought it would be. I barely have enough time to remember to feed myself lunch, let alone keep track of how much water I've been drinking...

but I have decided that excuses are for losers:

Today is the day that I vow to be more aware of my water intake.

It also suggested replacing 1 of your sugary snacks (like a "healthy" granola bar)  with something healthy like vegetables or fresh fruits.  So that is part of my next goal:

I vow to be more aware of what food I am putting into my body and to be more vigilant at making sure I get enough fruits and veg in during the day.

My last goal is to find ways to work out. Again, Pinterest didn't fail to come through. I found this pin that has a list of exercises that can be done throughout the day. There is a new list of goals for every day of the week. The blog I got it from suggests that you can either split up the exercises throughout the day, or try to do them all at once. My goal is to try to do each list at least twice throughout the day; however, after today, I'm thinking I will have to work my way up to that. For now, my goal is to do the whole list once, and, after its done, and I find myself sitting nothing throughout the day, to do sets of the exercises while I've got time. This way I can burn more calories during the day and am sure to get in enough exercise to encourage weight loss:

Here is a picture of the Sunday regime, but the rest of the week can be found HERE.

I know that in order to change my outlook, I need to change me. I need to prove to myself that I can make a change to help me to change my situation....even if that change is small and not what I had hoped to be able to accomplish (curse me and my need to be an over achiever!).

So...any other mamma's out there eager to join me? I'd love to start a Facebook group for us so we can share how we're doing with our goals and how we're feeling emotionally about ourselves (good and bad). :)  I think it helps to have support. I'm not one who enjoys a work out class (I had a horrible experience in high school...I will elaborate in my next post about getting into shape), I usually am driven enough to work out on my own, but it always helps to have someone to talk to about it and share/commiserate with.  Tell me what you think mammas!

Hugs and loves until next time darlings!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankful Thursday

As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, I have been taking a step back daily to try to focus on what I'm thankful for.  Its been amazing to really focus on one thing throughout the day that makes me grateful, so when times get tough, when Phillie is screaming because Faith is trying to pick her nose while I'm not looking (totally happened today BTW), I can smile and think , "You know what, this is just a drop in the bucket. There are so many good things in my life!"

The Lord has blessed us abundantly. We've been able to sell a bunch of things that were just taking up space in our house and raise some money to buy Christmas presents. Jeff's job blesses us, and we are always able to pay all of our bills and get the things that we need, but sometimes ( a lot of the time) the things that we WANT have to go by the wayside until we can save.  We were a little late with Christmas saving this year and, while we'd managed to eek out a budget, the extra money that we've been able to make from selling things we didn't need or use anymore will and has made Christmas shopping a little easier. In fact, we may (and should) be able to put the money we eeked out of the budget for Christmas, into savings instead of spending it...and considering that our savings was wiped out by needing to buy and then fix our car, its nice to know that we will have a little in matter how little it is.

I've also been blessed to find gently used toys (toys that I would have purchased at the store for full price anyway) for VERY cheap through a yard sale Facebook group that I'm a member of.  Over a thousand people from my area are members of this group and we buy and sell to one another. (This is how we were able to sell the items we didn't need anymore).  I sat down and worked it out and I have saved over $110 buying these toys used. Two of the items don't look used at all, the one that does look used has so little wear that you really have to be looking to find it.  It has been really, really hard not to pull them down and let Faith play with them...I am super excited for her and Phillie (even though Phillie won't be able to appreciate what we've purchased for a few months).

We've also been blessed by people in our community. Faith moved into the 12-18 month size category and I was severely lacking much of anything for that size for her...and I found that I didn't have as much 0-3 month stuff for Phillie as I thought. I'd gone to a few yard sales, but I hadn't really been able to find much on my own, and was beginning to wonder if I needed to start looking at things new, but knew we didn't really have the money to do that. Well, Heavenly Father hears our concerns, even if the prayer is only a passing thought in our hearts. I have a wonderful friend here in Henderson that has bins of baby girl clothes and receives new stuff from others all the time. She randomly asked if I wanted to go through a bin of clothes that she had because she knew she wouldn't use them. There was no way she could have known how grateful I was to her for her willingness to think of me and share. I am so grateful that she decided to act on a kind thought.

We also needed a new baby gate to put in our kitchen entry way. Faith eats EVERYTHING she finds on the floor, so we have had to ban her from the kitchen. It seems like no matter how many times I sweep or mop in the day, she always manages to find something (the same thing goes for vacuuming!).  I put out a search query on the yard sale group and had a few responders. The first responder offered us a swinging baby gate for $10 if it would work.  We went to pick it up and I sent Jeff in so he could decide if it would work.  Jeff came back out and the woman who had previously owned the gate came to meet me. She was so sweet and even gave us a referral to her sister who was a realtor for the area of Henderson that we want to live in (its removed from EVERYTHING and is like living in a small town...). Once we were on the freeway, Jeff divulged that she had given us the gate for FREE! I was floored. I was also glad that my husband knows me well enough that he didn't tell me before we were well on our way to our next appointment...I would have told him to turn around and would have insisted that she take SOMETHING (this baby gate is not a cheap one...).  God is good and blesses you in little ways all the time, but I definitely feel like we've had some HUGE blessings as of late.

I've also been fully enjoying being a mom of two, more than I thought possible.  While she is a handful, Faith is at such a fun age.  She babbles all the time. I have no clue what she is saying, but she always is talking to me. She is so smiley and loving. We can tell that she really wishes that her little sister was big enough to play with her. She tries to play with her all the time, but unfortunately doesn't really know her strength and doesn't really understand sissy's limitations.  Phillie, for the most part, will look at her briefly and then ignore her (unless she is trying to pick her nose or play with her hair, then we get screams of malcontent...from BOTH babies...LOL)  Faith has learned, however, if sissy is laying getting some tummy time on her mat, that she can lay with her or sit with her and chat. It is so funny and oddly fulfilling to watch her babble at her little sister and try to share toys with her... I am so grateful for Faith and her loving and tender nature. She is very caring about her sister and if Phillie is crying, she always crawls or coasts over to where she is to make sure she is okay.  Here are a few pics of my girls "playing" with the baby gym together.

Faith gets super irritated when meal time comes around because she wants to eat what we're eating. Fortunately, I've been able to find a few things at every meal that I'm brave enough to give her a bite or two of. I've also been trying her on more "meal" type foods lately like Chef Boyardee raviolis.  She LOVES that she gets to eat big girl food!

Here are some fun pictures of her first attempt at eating Chef Boyardee. She LOVED it...the problem was that she forgot that she needed to swallow and would want to fill her mouth too much. We had a few scary choking moments, but we figured out that every couple of bites we needed to hand her, her sippy to take a drink.

I am also one lucky mamma when it comes to Phillie too! She is 2 months old now and is starting to get her own little personality. There is nothing more satisfying than getting her to smile at me or watching her smile at daddy.  Poor Phillie has really bad reflux. We found it at her 2 month appointment and the doctor gave her a scrip for Zantac. I am very fortunate because Phillie isn't majorly fussy about it. (I've known lots of babies with reflux, and they are usually colicky on top of it...that is not Phillie) My heart breaks every time she gags or has troubles breathing when we lay her down because of the acid in her throat.  I'm hoping that, with time, the Zantac will cause some real improvement, because, if it doesn't, it could mean that she has a pinched larynx and would mean a referral to an ENT.  I continue to pray for her and for some relief for her. She is so calm for the most part when it comes to bearing her burdens. She is a special girl and I am so blessed to be her mommy.

I am one very lucky woman!

Hugs and gratitude until next time darlings!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Grief is an interesting emotion...I don't know if you can really call it an "emotion" because the reality is that it is several emotions rolled into a giant ball.  Like a bouncy ball losing air, the emotions seem to dissipate little by little, but, like a deflated bouncy ball, it stays in your heart, never really going away.

My experience with real grief came much earlier than some peoples' experiences...earlier than a lot of my friends.

When I was twelve I had the horrifying and heart wrenching experience of literally watching my father die.  Its not something I like to dwell on or talk about, but it definitely always makes the end of October difficult.

I wasn't as vocal about my grief as some of my siblings were, I dealt with it in my own way.  I internalized it, and kind of became a zombie in my own life. I let the grief choke me, consume me.  It wasn't until I was 18 that I was able to let go of my anger. Most people that knew me before that time probably wouldn't have called me an angry person, they wouldn't have even was deep, it was like a festering wound on my heart that wouldn't go away...How did I let it go?  Someone was able to see through my facade. A loving Heavenly Father...even though my anger was directed towards him.  I couldn't see why He would do that to me, to my family...He was always there, just waiting for the time to come when my grief ball would be deflated enough for me to notice it.

Since then, my grief ball has been sitting on my heart. Some experiences inflate it again a little bit...high school and college graduations, my wedding, the births of my inflates as I wish and wonder what it would have been like to have my dad here to celebrate with us. However, it usually deflates as fast as it inflates. My wedding is a perfect example. The whole morning everyone thought that I was just really stressed out, and in some ways I was...we had an unexpected blizzard, so my plans for taking outdoor pictures at the temple were almost completely thwarted (thank heavens for my awesome bridesmaids, groomsmen, husband, and photographer who were willing to brave the snow anyway)...but it was much deeper than that. I missed my dad. I wanted him there. I wanted him to crack a joke about the blizzard and how it meant good luck or something ominous...I needed him and he wasn't there...

But, once I was in the temple, kneeling at the alter and being sealed for time and all eternity to the most wonderful husband on the planet, my heart was healed and my grief ball deflated when I could feel my dad there. There were a few empty seats on the front row, one right across from me, and I KNEW he was sitting there. I KNEW he was watching and that he loved me and was so, so happy for me...

Moments like this make the grief ball move to the size of a speck, and then it stays as a small speck for 362 days of the year...October 28 is the day that it seems like there is an air pump connected to my grief ball. October 28, my dad's birthday...and then the nightmares come...reliving those terrifying moments from my childhood doesn't exactly make for a decent night's sleep. October 30 is usually the worst...the actual anniversary of his death...which always makes me all the more determined to have an awesome Halloween..I need to celebrate and allow myself to stop focusing on my grief ball to give it some time and reasons to deflate again to speck status.

I always think I'm prepared. In fact, I try to schedule things for that day so that I am so busy that I will forget to recognize what day it is... the last 2 years I 2010, I was getting married and completely wrapped up in wedding plans, last year I had become a mother for the first time and was so sleep deprived that I slept through  most of the 28th, 29th and 30th and didn't have one nightmare... So, I was tricked into believing that maybe that part of my grief was over...

It was frustrating to realize I was wrong.

However, God is good. He knows what we need. He blessed me with the BEST husband on the planet (I think I mentioned that earlier, and maybe about a half a million times since I've married him).  Even when I think I'm hiding my grief well, he recognizes that something is off. He takes me into his arms, and reminds me that I am so, so loved, and so, so lucky...and all those thoughts and wishes that my dad could be here to see the holiday season with me and my sweet little family start to melt away.

Maybe someday, those nightmares will turn into sweet dreams where I can see him with us.  That is my prayer...because I know he wouldn't want me to have nightmares about the night he died anymore. I know he wouldn't want me to be sad.

He is in Heaven, he is doing the work of the Lord. He is with me when I need him, because, if watching Jeff with our sweet little girls has taught me anything, its taught me that a real daddy is always there when you need him.

I am so grateful for the blessings of the temple, and the restored priesthood that makes them possible. I am so grateful to know that I am a part of my dad's eternal family and that I will see him again, be with him again, laugh with him again, and be able to talk and joke with him again.  I am so grateful for a loving Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave His life so that we will be able to conquer death. I am grateful for the gospel and the peace I have found because of its plain and simple truths.

For those of you suffering in silence, internalizing your little grief balls (of varying sizes), I say, do not lose hope. You can't lose hope. It does get better...and while some of your pain will linger, it will lessen with time. Don't forget that you are loved. You are not being punished, you are not forgotten.  God is there and he will heal you when you are ready to let him in.

Know that there is life after this life. Know that we will all be resurrected with perfect bodies and, through the power of God, the restored priesthood, it is possible for us to live with and be with our lost loved ones again. God is a god of love, he would not, and could not part us for eternity.

Have faith, have hope, and know that you are loved.

Hugs and loves until next time darlings.