My temporary blogging hiatus stretched into two years. In 2015, I was overwhelmed and couldn’t keep all the balls in the air, irons in the fire, and any other metaphor you want to throw out there to describe severe over-commitment. So, I unceremoniously quit everything that wasn’t absolutely required for survival. Even whittling it down left a mountain of work and commitments.
I mean, I couldn’t sell the kids on Etsy (as appealing as that was a few times). Or close my business and declare bankruptcy. Or dump my elderly dad who depended on me for transportation and personal support. I was still committed to my marriage and homeschooling my children. Those are full-time jobs, fo-sho. So, I cut the extra writing and most social engagements. I didn’t become a hermit, but I concentrated on the essential stuff in front of me. Keep everybody alive and fed. Work and pay the bills. Enjoy time with my dad. Love and support my husband. Teach my kids the three R’s, plus any other fun things we liked to learn. All of these are gifts, not dreaded chores, after all. Well, maybe the “fed” part feels a little like drudgery sometimes.
To complicate my over-commitment, my health over the last five years has been a real challenge. More than 15 years of hypothyroidism, eight pregnancies (two high risk, three miscarriages), a significant cardiac event, and seemingly unstoppable weight gain. If you’re as old as you feel, I was pushing 90. What could I do? I was (and am) determined to fight back. To regain the health I knew I could have, even at middle age…. I dug my heels in and began fighting back. I looked for answers. I made lifestyle changes. And, now, 2 years later, I finally feel like I’m turning a corner.
Now I’m carefully adding a little writing back to my life. But it’s not going to be writing for the sake of writing. I want to encourage other moms like me. We are constantly bombarded with health messages which are contradictory, counter-productive, and out-of-step with a busy mom’s life. If you’re like me, you just want to throw a pie in the face of all those young moms with tight cores and skinny thighs. What’s my excuse, they ask? It’s called life with no maid. Or blindsided by an accident. Or the long-term effects of chronic illness(es). Or maybe, it’s just plain ole life. I mean, life can come at you fast, without warning and without mercy.
I’m going to start this slow and easy. I want to go back to the health challenge I started in 2015. I’m a little ahead of the game this time because I already have many of these habits in place. And my goal is not to lose the 60 pounds I’ve gained over the last 20 years. My goal is to feel better. To improve my overall health, which I believe will enable me to stop the weight gain and begin the weight loss. Nevertheless, the scale will not be my master or my motivator. Instead, I have five markers to establish my wellness:
- Feel rested after a full night’s sleep (7-8 hours). Feeling groggy and grumpy, stiff and sore, or tired and depressed are not the way normal mornings should be. Restorative sleep can make a huge difference in our health.
- Eliminate the need for anti-inflammatory, pain control, or other medications. Masking the symptoms of bigger health problems doesn’t fix anything. In fact, the side effects of many medications only complicate the underlying problem.
- Improve flexibility and core strength. These two really sneak up on you and can undermine an active life.
- Energize my diet. I still love good food. Who doesn’t? But I don’t enjoy the accompanying bloat, sugar crashes, and food reactions. We can enjoy good food that supports our health goals and fuels our energy.
- Enjoy life. People with chronic and weight-related illnesses often suffer from depression. Physical health can improve mental health, and vice versa.
Over the next few months, I will share my own habits and experience which have improved my health. Most of these items are pretty generic, meaning they are good tips for everyone, regardless of specific health problems. However, it bears mentioning that I am not a healthcare professional. I do not diagnose or prescribe anything. I am simply a mom who’s been through the wringer and wants to regain control of my health and help other moms like me do the same. Everyone does better when someone is cheering them on.
We won’t body shame. We won’t compare.
There are no excuses, but there are reasons.
We are all unique, so what works for some won’t work for everyone. I seriously hate the tag line, “If I can do it, anyone can do it.” Big. Fat. Lie. But just about everyone can do something.
If you’re onboard with this jump-start to better health, please comment below. Make sure you add your name to my mailing list in the box at the top right to receive each of my posts without fail. And as a bonus for joining me, I’ll send you a free gift.
2017 can be your year to improve your health! Don’t give up!!