Treasuring Time & Digging Deep: Healthy Living

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Time is one of those things that once it's gone, it's impossible to get it back.  And every time I've gazed into these four precious faces lately {and their Daddy's face too} I realize that more and more.  

Because time passes so quickly, I've really been focusing on slowing down to appreciate the times I have with these adorable little humans more.  I've been blogging less, putting my iphone down more, and trying to soak in the precious moments in our every day, ordinary, perfectly imperfect life.

Our two older boys are playing baseball... watching their excitement out there on the field when they're running around and having fun is something I wouldn't miss for anything.

Our two year old is giving me a run for my money!  But his little firecracker personality, that seems to match his gorgeous strawberry blonde hair, is teaching me so much about living in the moment...even if that moment includes laying down in the dirt at a baseball field and showing his little buddies how to make a dirt angel, or by teaching me not to freak out and to be strong while holding his hand when he was strapped to a "papoose" during our 1st trip to the emergency room last week {pretty good for life with four energetic boys, right?!} for stitches after splitting his chin on the edge of the bathtub.

And our almost 11 month old is taking those precious, wobbly 1st steps.  He is full of excitement and claps his hands at his own achievements.  

I'm busy planning his 1st Birthday Party and am so excited to celebrate a beautiful 1st year with our cuddly baby boy... our last.  No really, I mean it this time :)

I'm telling you, I don't even want to blink these days.  I just want to soak it all in.  It's not perfect of course- there are toys scattered on the floor, messes to be cleaned ALL the time, laundry piles up faster than I can keep up- but I'm basking in it.  And while learning to appreciate the fingerprints on the fridge and every other available surface, I'm also learning how important it is to make healthy choices for me and for my family.

If you follow Gallamore West on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, then you probably already know about the healthy changes I've been making.  After having 4 babies, the last 2 of them within 19 months, I lost the "baby weight" but I was still stuck at a place where I just wasn't thrilled {to say the least} with my post-baby body.  So instead of wallowing in it and complaining about it, I chose to GET UP AND FIGHT for the body I want to have.  I've been meaning to share on update on my progress for a while here & share some tips if you're interested on how to reach your healthy goals too.  I call them "healthy goals" because this is about SO MUCH MORE than just dropping the pounds!  I know that many of us are hooked on that number on the scale, myself included, but really it's about health and wellness.  And by making the right healthy choices, the number on the scale is right where I want it to be!

For me, reaching my healthy goals has been mostly about getting my MIND into the game.  If you've ever potty trained a child, it's kind of like that... your body may be ready for the challenge, just like your child may be, but until your mind is determined to get it done it's not going to happen.  I have this little fire burning inside of me that tells me to keep going because I am worth it.  I know that this isn't about looking perfect and having the perfect body, but being strong and healthy is an important example for me to set for my kids.

Being a mom is HARD work.  It's beautiful and rewarding... absolutely.  But some days it's just HARD- there are tears, kids arguing, no one eating a meal I worked hard on, no one giving me a medal for all that laundry I did all day, not feeling appreciated for the grocery shopping I managed with two babies on my hips, or for the toilets I scrubbed, or the fact that I haven't had a bite to eat in peace or a moment alone in the bathroom for like 8 years.  Yes, it's hard and we "deserve" to reward ourselves sometimes, right?  YES!  But I stopped telling myself that I "deserve" a cupcake or a bowl of ice cream after a hard day.  I stopped telling myself that calories don't count on Friday nights.  I stopped telling myself that there is always tomorrow to get in shape.  And I started telling myself that I deserve to sweat it out, feel strong, and have the energy to keep up with our four little boys.  I stopped making excuses.  

So back in January I joined a private Facebook group of "Shredders"- mostly moms who are doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred or Ripped in 30, and keeping each other motivated while doing it.  Putting myself out there and letting people know my healthy goals has been SO motivating because I don't want to fail in front of other people.  I also made a few visual reminders to keep me on track.  

And now look at those jars!!!  I started with 12 pounds in the "to lose" jar, and once I dropped those 12 pounds, I added 8 more to the "to lose" jar for a total goal of dropping 20 pounds.  There are just THREE pounds left with almost 5 weeks until my baby turns one!  Technically, I should break one of those crayons in half... but whose counting?!  

If you have read this and feel inspired to get moving on having the healthy body you want to have, here are a few of my tips:

- Find a group or a friend to keep you motivated.  It is the #1 thing that has kept me going!  Send me a Facebook message if you're interested in the Shred group that I'm in {started by the fabulous Jen of Four Marrs and One Venus!}  I also have found a handful of SUPER inspiring people on Instagram.  I love following their feed to see their meal ideas, motivational quotes, and see their bodies transforming... does that sounds weird?!  I swear, it's great motivation to see another mom's post-baby belly get flat again! I was too chicken to take a before picture and measurements and now I'm kicking myself because I don't have a good picture to compare to this:  This is me a few weeks ago when I was 7 pounds from my goal... I'm 3 pounds away now!

-Drink water!!  Lots and lots and lots of water.  My goal is to drink my body weight divided by 2 in ounces of water per day.  So say someone weighs 100 pounds, they should be drinking 50 oz. of water a day. 

-Find a time to work out, and find something that works for you.  I always thought that I would be one of those moms who would wake up before my kids did, workout, shower, enjoy a quiet cup of coffee, etc.  But surprisingly, I'm a night owl.  I stay up late and sleep until the last second possible.  So I discovered that working out at night works great for me.  I've been LOVING Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred, and Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30 DVDS because they are 1)short- only 20 minutes for a killer workout.  You have 20 minutes, right?! 2) they are inexpensive- less than $10 each at Target, Wal-Mart, or Amazon and 3) Jillian Michael's is a fabulous trainer!  She is tough, but positive, and she motivates me to DIG DEEP AND FIGHT FOR MYSELF!

Umm, yeah... I'd like to look my body to look like THAT.  
{Hey Jillian, I'm almost ready for that quarter test, k?!}

-Stop the excuses and the "I had a hard day so I deserve this {insert favorite sugar, fat loaded treat here}."   I now reward myself with something like a new pair of shoes or a shirt, NOT a cupcake.  

-Find a meal plan that works for you.  Abs are made in the kitchen!  80% of your healthy goals are based on what you eat, and 20% on your workouts {or so I heard} so don't work out and eat crap. That just wastes a good workout.  I am on Day 10 of whole30 and LOVING it.  If you research it, it sounds hard, right?  No dairy and no sugar for 30 days???  But I am strong and determined, and I know I'm strong enough to deserve to eat clean and feel great!  
{Trader Joe's chicken sausage, egg topped with Trader Joe's Papaya Mango fresh salsa and strawberries... yum!}

I'm so excited with these changes I've made for myself, and am thrilled that a few of my friends are now texting me and telling me that they're on board too.  It feels amazing to have energy to keep up with my boys, plus some to spare. I'm making good choices for myself and my family, and the results are pouring in {or falling off, if I'm looking at the scale}.  

I promise I won't stay away so long now because I have a couple of exciting things to share with you soon, including Bryce's 1st Birthday Party prep, 

along with some healthy ways that I'm getting my kids on board with healthy living! xoxo

Amanda said...

Hi! I just found your blog through Instagram! I love hearing about your progress! Congrats!! I am on day 5 of Whole30 and its amazing. I've already lost 5 pounds!! (I know I know I'm not suppose to look but I couldn't help it!) :)
I love biggest loser workout DVDs! Try the Boot Camp one it's amazing.
My baby is almost 5 months and I'm already thinking through plans for her Bee birthday and I love your invites!
Keep it up<3Amanda

Unknown said...

You're amazing!!! Way to go hot mama!

Unknown said...

You're amazing!!! Way to go hot mama!

Megan said...

You look AHH-Mazing :). Good work!

Kara said...

You are so amazing! Im so happy for you and I cant agree with you more about making a positive lifestyle change.

Colleen said...

You go girl! You look amazing and I don't know how you manage but good job! Love your new shoes : )

Four Marrs and One Venus said...

Two words: YOU GO! You my friend have decided this for YOU and that is why it worked! I love those shoes...and you are going to look dam good doing your walk in that grocery store in those cute size 4 shorts.. oh yes you are! :) So super proud of you girl! Love this and love YOU! Keep Going!!!!

Unknown said...

You're such an incredible person, Laurie! Honestly,I am so happy for you and your healthy life, your beautiful family and your positive out look! Very proud of you!

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