Learning to Commit to Myself

Random photo for fun

Random photo for fun


I have a problem with following through with things. Not all things rather goals or challenges I set up for myself. I just can’t commit to myself .I don’t know what it is but when it comes to committing to myself I start a task and tend to lose steam about 25% of the way in and by the half way point I give up. At least I can say that I follow through 90% of the time (hey I’m only human) to commitments that I have to others.    

I finally came to terms with this a few months ago and have been making an honest effort to follow through. The first challenge I had for myself was my DietBet* challenge. I did this because I wanted to get myself back on a healthy path. I knew I couldn’t lose the 4% body weight  healthfully while nursing but I did know that I could get myself into a better place and I did it. I followed through and while I didn’t see a big drop in the numbers I did in the way clothes fit.

My second challenge to myself has been to participate in the #Elf4Health challenge this month. I love having the connection with other participants and my own elf and I have committed to giving daily updates on my Facebook page regarding each of the tasks. This has been such a great challenge to participate in and I’m so glad I opted in and have followed through. I have made more time for myself, focused more directly on my health and fitness and have made connections with others. This challenge is not over but with only a few days left I can say that I already know that this is a success.

My third challenge is one that I did because Neil decided he wanted to do a juice til 4 cleanse. Now I did not juice til 4 with him due to the negative side effects that a cleanse can have while nursing but I did agree to challenge myself to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables I ate and have no coffee, gluten, processed foods, or alcohol for four days with him. I did it! But even more notable is that HE DID IT! My husband spent the last 4 days doing a juice til 4 cleanse and I have never been so proud of him, okay maybe I have but still this is huge, if you know my husband you might know his will power to pass up free treats is low and he is notorious for being one of those “well I worked out so..” type do people and yet he did his. 100% committed did it. He feels great, isn’t craving the crap that he was and just overall is feeling like the restart button has been pushed. I feel better too and just like him cut the cravings for processed food and sweets. 

What Have I Learned? Committing to myself feels good. I have been feeling successful and healthier both mentally and physically. That being said I am thinking that monthly challenges for myself might be a good thing to try. I have done this in the past and they have helped me out a lot but I also have learned that I do this better when I can do it with others. So that being said who wants to take on some monthly challenges with me? I am thinking starting January doing a monthly health or fitness challenge would be fun. I know that incentives help so I am thinking a giveaway at the end of each challenge for those who finish a challenge might be a fun addition. That being said who is interested and what kinds of challenges would you want to participate in? 

*For full disclosure I made $0 off the entire game after deducting Neil’s entry into the game. 

BODY AFTER BABY | Skin Care Products

mamamio

I have always been interested in skin care products and make up but I really have never taken anytime to learn more and try products. I basically only use a shampoo/body wash combo, conditioner, deodorant (sometimes- hey just being honest) and when my skin is really dried out I might use a lotion but usually I just end up using a sample when I’m out at a store. I also have a little bit of make up but rarely wear it.

I know from the list above it would seem that I don’t really care about taking care of my skin and hair or taking time to put myself together.  The thing is I DO want to take better care of hair and skin and look more put together but I honestly haven’t wanted to spend the money to invest in it, especially when I feel like I don’t know where to start. That’s where Mamamio Skincare comes in; they generously sent me a variety of samples of their pregnancy/postpartum skincare products and I’m ready to take on the challenge of using them.

As part of my Body After Baby journey I really want to take back myself. I want to not only feel healthy but I want to look healthy and put together. I know that being a mom doesn’t mean I have to look like a slob and that doing a few simple things for myself every day like washing my face (yeah I’m terrible and only wash my face in the shower which is like 3-4 days per week), put on a little lotion and/or body oil and also put on a little bit of make up (don’t worry I’m not going to crazy I’m talking just a little foundation, blush, mascara and lip gloss) is going to make me feel better. I think it will also make me feel more productive during the day and motivated to keep taking care of myself.

Today was the first day I used any of the Mamamio Skincare products and after washing my face, putting on some of the Tummy Rub Oil and Goodbye Stretch Mark Lotion I am already feeling a little better and I haven’t even gotten dressed yet.  I need to remind myself that I do have 5-10 minutes per day to do a few little things like this for myself. If I feel good then I can be more focused and productive during the day and that’s better for me, my children and my husband. So I am here to say that I am challenging myself to 30 days of using these products and I will report back at the end of the month about how I feel. Also just for fun I’ll be doing a little giveaway of a few Mamamio Skincare products over on Naturally Family; you can check out the giveaway items over on the NF Instagram account. 

What are your favorite skincare products? What is your beauty routine like? Any tips? 

BODY AFTER BABY | THE REAL PLAN

I call this “the real plan” because back in June when I wrote my postpartum weight loss plan those were all just ideas of what I would like to do. Now here we are 7+ weeks postpartum, have dealt with my postpartum realities and I’m ready to take on the task of refocusing on my health.

NetartsTrip2014-CapeLookoutLindsayTree

Photo from this weekend. 7weeks1day postpartum with Alder (baby #2).

I am currently 20 pounds away from my pre-baby #2 starting weight and I am 40 pounds away from my pre-baby #1 starting weight.  Add in another 15 pounds that I had hanging on me before my pregnancy with Edith bringing the grand total to 65 pounds away from my happy weight (I’d say I’m about 80 pounds from my idea weight but that’s a whole other plan).

Right now I have three goals based on the above considerations. Goal 1: Lose 20 pounds. Goal 2: Lose 40 pounds. Goal 3: Lose 65 pounds. Now I’m not setting a timeline but I will say that I’d like to accomplish goal #3 by December 2016.

August before my pregnancy with Alder.

August before my pregnancy with Alder.

So let me start off by saying my first priority is nourishing my baby boy and taking care of myself. I am nursing and it’s going great and here are no plans to stop anytime soon so I needed to take that into consideration when I created this plan. So here it goes (based on my original postpartum weight loss plan) …

I plan to get back to running at around 9-12 weeks postpartum. Based on my original plan I said 9-12 weeks postpartum and I’m actually feeling pretty great. I have days that are better than others when it comes to healing ie. I still have some light spotting and soreness when I am overly active but have been cleared to start run/walk at 8 weeks postpartum  That being said I am planning to start couch to 5k (or something similar) next weekend. I am terrified but also excited to get back at it. My plan is to slow (not like that will be hard) and just ease myself back into running.

I plan to incorporate 2 days of strength training into my workout routine and light cardio once I am cleared to get back to normal activity. I haven’t started strength training but my plan is to start this week.  What I have been doing is lots of walking and just this weekend a little bit of hiking. Oh and running up and down three flights of stairs many times per day is getting my ass in shape. So that all being said I’m keeping up with the walking and will be incorporating in strength.

I also plan to get back in a yoga routine. This starts this week! I signed up for my first postpartum class for this Monday night and I can’t wait to get back in the studio. I am starting back slowly with some restorative yoga and let me tell you I just can’t wait. I am going to be doing one class weekly or bi-weekly until my punch pass runs out.  I am also planning to do at least one at home sesh per week.

Keep my eating in check! Bah. This has seriously been the hardest. Nursing is no joke and my appetite is often off the charts. Combine that with a busy toddler, trying to keep house and limited time I haven’t been doing my best at eating well. I have been eating far too many sweets and not enough fruits and vegetables. The plan is to BUY more fruits and vegetables because if we have them in the house we will eat them. The second plan is to buy/make less desserts.  The third and probably most important thing is to menu plan so that #1 and #2 can be successful.

Drink lots of water! When I was pregnant with Alder I had no problem downing (reusable) bottle after (reusable) bottle of water. For some reason postpartum I have been struggling with this despite always being thirsty. My goal is to drink, drink, drink and drinks some more water. Cut back on the coffee and up the water intake.

Buy myself postpartum clothes in whatever size I have to buy. This is easier said than done but I did it. I bought myself (with some gifted from my parents): three bottoms (one of which is already too big), six tops and two pairs of shoes because my feet also grew. I was also sent a few nursing tops for review.  My follow-up to this plan is to continue to buy clothes in whatever size I am at the time aka as I lose weight. I have the next size down in a lot of clothes and as soon as I lose a little weight and my hips (hopefully) shrink a bit they will fit me and then after that I will have to buy all new clothes because I have nada.

Have Fun and Enjoy Life. Stop focusing solely on the number and focus on how I feel. I have two beautiful, healthy children and an amazing, supportive partner and they need met to happy and healthy and to enjoy life with them.

NetartsTrip2014-CapeLookoutEverybody NetartsTrip2014-CapeLookoutCrazyEyes

 

Favorites |My Back to School Haul

backtoschoolfavorites

So I have been out of school for many years now and my kids have not yet started any sort of (in)formal education but I ended up going back to school shopping last week anyways. I seriously LOVE Autumn and the back to school season. As many of you already know I am ADDICTED to notebooks and love to write most everything by hand before I bringing it to my computer. It is something I have always done and I do my best work when I write it out first.

So while I didn’t need to go back to school shopping I did anyways and I did it after the back to school craze was over and everything was on major sale. Here is what I picked up:

backtoschool

Neil and I picked up a giant white board for our new office that I didn’t take a photo of it but I think you can picture a giant white board.  Above you will find legal pads (for Neil) sticky notes, magnetic white board pens (no idea if our white board has a magnetic feature I mostly bought them because of the dry erase caps), and some arts and craft items for Edith (washable markers, water colors, gluex2, safety scissors and a pencil sharpener for her colored pencils). Oh and of course chocolate almonds for Edith because I promised I’d pick her up some; this kid is addicted to almonds especially dark chocolate ones. backtoschoolsnackbox

Besides having lots of fun back to school supplies aka office and art supplies we have been snacking on so many tasty snacks. Above are a few that we have been enjoying which include old favorites like applesauce packets and Mamma Chia Squeeze and new favorites like Lentil Snaps and Made in Nature Fruit Fusion snack packs.

These Made in Nature Fruit Fusion dried fruit snack packs are so tasty and I can snack on them while nursing, grab them on the run for a snack or stick them in the diaper bag to have when we are out and about. I have only tried the tropical flavor (thank you to Made in Nature for sending me a sample to try) and I like it but I think the Antioxidant or Mediterranean flavors are more my taste just because I’m not into dried pineapple. I just saw on the Made in Nature site that they now have Organic Maple Madagascar Vanilla Toasted Coconut Chips <– don’t these sound insanely good? Who has tried them and are they as good as they sound? They are now added to my “must try” list.

My family (Alder excluded)is already a huge fan of Harvest Snap Peas but we were sent a box (thank you!) that also included the Snap Lentils and everyone is just crazy about them. We all could easily eat a bag in a day and well I have to admit I ate the entire back of Tomato Basil ones (sorry Neil and Edith). They are insanely good and while we could toss them on top of a salad we just like to stick our hands deep into the bag and dig right in. Who else has tried these? Seriously they are so good!

So these are some of our favorites from our latest Target, grocery and mail haul.  If you like these types of post leave a comment below.

Question of the day: Do you enjoy the back to school season? What are your favorite parts? Also what are your favorite school supplies? I am all about these Piccadilly notebooks from Barnes and Noble that you find in the discounted books section that is usually right at the front near the check out. The covers are kind of terrible (as you can see in the photo back at the top of this post but they seriously have the best paper inside to write on. I’ll stop there before I write an entire sub-post on my undying love for these notebooks. I have been buying 2-3 quarterly for probably 8 years now. Seriously in love.

Healthy Challenge | (No) TV Challenge

I am behind. Or at least it feels that way.

Behind on blog posts, behind on housework, behind on getting ready for this baby, behind on my workouts…

Maybe it’s nesting or finally realizing that um we are going to have a baby sometime in the next 6-11 weeks. I just am feeling like I have so much to do and I haven’t been making time to do it. Yes, I haven’t been making the time. It’s not that there hasn’t been time but rather I have been doing other things with my time which lately has mostly been catching up on TV shows almost nightly and well doing nothing but sitting. While I am getting more and more tired out as I get deeper into this third trimester I also know that I could be a little more productive with my free time (aka time when Edith is sleeping).

How I currently feel about TV aka give me all the TV (after the tot goes to bed)

How I currently feel about TV aka give me all the TV (after the tot goes to bed)

That all being said Neil is feeling the same way about his nights and weekends and so we have decided to make a change.

Edith (generally) is up from 6/6:30a-12p, naps 12-1:30/2p, and then heads to bed between 6:45-7:30p. During her naptime I often find myself lounging on the couch watching a show. Instead I know I need to use some of this time to get housework done, respond to emails and catch up on blogging or any other task. On days that I need a break instead of watching TV I should be reading or napping.

As for nights it’s so easy to just plop down on the couch and watch TV/browse Pinterest. Instead of doing that the goal is to do something productive including a quick 5 minute pickup around the house.

So this month Neil and I are challenging ourselves (and you) to do the following:

Sunday-Thursday: No TV before 9pm and max of one episode of a show.

Friday & Saturday: No TV before 7pm. No max.

I know this should be easy but when you are an exhausted pregnant lady with a toddler sometimes you just want to veg out on the couch. I know I will thank myself later (especially when #2 arrives) that I was more productive with my time.

How about you? Are you ready to take on the challenge?

Healthy Travel Snacks

Hello from Vermont!

We are here for a few more days and have been busy, busy, busy! I wanted to stop by for a minute and share some of our favorite healthy travel snacks that we brought with us this trip. These are perfect for plane, train or automobile and are super tasty.

When we used to travel we would bring lots of unhealthy treats because I mean come on we were on vacation right? Well over the years we have changed our diet and lifestyle and instead of chips and candy we take fresh vegetables, fresh and dried fruits, kale chips, nuts and other healthier snacks.

Vegan Travel Eats

On this trip we brought:

  • Go Raw Pumpkin Super Chips
  • Fig Cookies
  • Glee Gum
  • Inner Peas
  • Freeze Dried Strawberries
  • Lots of Blue Diamond Almonds
  • Strawberries
  • Mangos
  • Bell pepper and carrot sticks
  • Hummus
  • Bottles for water

Vegan Travel Blue Diamond Almonds

We ate the fresh fruits, veggies and hummus on/in between our flights and have been snacking on the other items throughout our trip. We are staying with my parents and they live in the Middle of Nowhere, Vermont population 697 so we end up doing a lot of driving while we are here and healthy on the go snacks and bottles of water are essential.

I’m going to need to restock for our trip home so I might have a few new things to share later!

What are you favorite travel snacks?