A good start

Right now the little boy is lying in his crib playing with his feet.  I love that view on the monitor!  He’s so happy and content – and flexible!!

After not working out a bit last week, I was determined to start the week of on a better foot.  Well, Monday didn’t happen but it rarely does.  I have a ton of work tasks to do on Monday so really I think of Tuesday as the start of my week.

Tuesday did happen.  Boy did it happen.  I went to my normal group exercise class even though I had a ton on my mind and didn’t really want to go.  But lying in bed Tuesday morning, asking God to give me strength and guidance for the day ahead, for some reason a vision of me doing the speed skater exercise popped into my head.  I don’t know why – but I took that as a sign from at least my subconscious that I need to go exercise that day.  (And no, we did not do any speed skaters)

My mind wandered the whole class – my body was going, but my mind was elsewhere.  And I think that made me work out harder than I normally would have.  Because boy oh boy are my muscles sore today!

So with my mind a little bit clearer today after a 2 hour phone call to my Mom, I decided to do some yoga stretching.  And my muscles did not want to move!  But it was good for them – even as I sit here envying my son’s flexibility I’m happy I went.  While I’m no where near as flexible as I was pre-pregnancy, my muscles are much happier now than they were before.

So all in all a good start to the week.  (Besides the mind clutter that I can’t stop from freaking me out!)

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Letting guilt go

guilt free zone

I have a list of to-do’s.  Many of them are things I need to get done in order to make my life less chaotic.  And let’s face it – life can be chaotic.  Things like clean the high chair before the next meal, prepare snacks for the babysitter to feed the child before she gets there, make sure the laundry is done.

Some of them are things that would be nice to get done to make life more pleasant.  Those unfortunately usually fall to the bottom of the list and the chaos-inducing ones.  Things like fold and put away the laundry, prepare snacks for the week ahead of time, and prepare healthy snacks for myself ahead of time.

And then there’s the wish to-do list.  This one is never really written down, but remains in my head as dreams of things I want to-do.  This includes things like go to an extra exercise class (besides the 2 a week I normally go to), bake just to bake, write a blog post, read a book, etc.

These I can say really never get done.  (The exception is today’s blog post writing).  But I want to do these things, so I need to make them happen.

Sometimes life is funny.  We spend our days doing things we really don’t want to do, but need to do, while dreaming about what we want to do.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it was the other way around?  Unless you are fortunate enough to have a full time housekeeper, chef, nanny, dog sitter, etc. – this probably isn’t possible.  And even then, I’m sure you are stuck doing things you don’t want to because you have to.  And yes, it’s part of life – doing things you don’t want to.  And that’s fine.  No big deal.

But then there’s finding the time for things you want to do.  That’s where the difficult part comes in.

So, here I am, finding time.  Instead of zoning out in front of the tv after a busy day of work and life, I’m writing.  Because I want to and this is the time I have to do it.

It shouldn’t be so hard to find motivation to do things you want to do.  But sometimes, it is.  And that’s a reality.  There’s all these slogans that say if you really want it, you’ll find a way; and if you don’t, then you’ll find an excuse.  While I do believe there is some truth to this – there is also the truth of being run down, exhausted and used up by the end of the day.

So, no more feeling guilty for not working after the little one goes to sleep and taking time to do something for me.

No more feeling guilty that I haven’t yet cleaned the high chair in preparation for tomorrows breakfast.  Breakfast is 12 hours away.  I can take some time to write.

No more feeling guilty – the guilt can kill the motivation.  So here I am, guiltless, spending a little me time before diving back into life.

Hopefully I can keep up the no guilt train!

 

Changes and Dreams

I used to pride myself on being able to handle change well – even craving change.  But these past several months have challenged that thought.

I have had a lot of change.  Like, if you ever take one of those life stressor polls, I’d rate pretty darn high.  I actually just took a quiz (the Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory) and scored well above the high rating and they predict I have an 80% chance of having a major health incidence in the next 2 years.  So…um…

Every little change is now effecting me in a negative way.  For instance, our neighbors moved.  We weren’t close.  I knew their names and would wave if we saw each other – but that’s about it.  But now at night, when I’m washing the baby bottles, I look out our kitchen window and don’t see the familiar view of our neighbor sitting on her couch working on her laptop.  And it makes me sad.  I feel out of control.  And I hate that.

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In order to make myself feel more in control over all these out of my hands changes, I tend to dream about my life in the future.  I don’t dream too far in advance, maybe 6 months to 2 years.  And I’m not unrealistic.  I don’t envision myself winning the lottery or moving to France.  I envision real-life possibilities.  And it helps.  It gives me a sense of calm and control, even if the control is just an illusion.

But I don’t tell anyone my future life visions.  I think it’s because I’ve had goals I’ve shared in the past, and didn’t make them, and felt horrible about myself.  It was embarrassing.  So I stopped voicing my dreams.  Which is sad.  I kind of need to voice these, right?  I mean, how can I make my life more of what I want, and make sure my husband and I are both seeing the same, or close to same, things – unless I share these.

It’s hard to find time to talk seriously with him now.  In depth conversations are a thing of the past.  We now talk about poopy diapers, what we can scrounge out of the fridge for dinner, and our deep desire for more sleep.  Nothing serious.  But that’s my goal for the weekend.  To voice my dreams.  I may have to give a dream disclaimer.  Something along the lines of “is this doesn’t happen, it’s OK.”  Give myself a little out in case I change my mind, lose my way, etc.  Maybe that will make the conversation a little easier.

Once I share them with him, I’ll share them with you.  So stay tuned…

A little progress is better than nothing

I just had to pat myself on the back a little bit.  Three days of doing some working out while my little one napped (or was suppose to be napping).

I have to give you a bit of background information.

This used to be me:img_0497

After a rough pregnancy (all day sickness started at 6 weeks – ended 2 days after I gave birth) and a bad recovery (unplanned C-section, reflux baby requiring round the clock care, etc.), working out has not been in my schedule for over a year now.

Before pregnancy, as I went out to run 3-4 miles before a good 30-45 minute strength training session, I used to look at people who were walking and be jealous.  Part of me hated pushing myself so hard to get a good workout.  Now, by the end of my 30 minute walk, I’m sweating.  I’m that person I used to be jealous of – and I’m completely jealous of the old me.  Grass is always greener, right?

So part of me is a bit down on my current workout.

I’m doing the 21 Day Fix DVDs (no, I’m not a Beachbody rep – but I do enjoy their products).  And I’m not even doing all the DVD – I’m only doing one round of each exercise.  So my workouts are more like 15 minutes.  And yep, I get a little winded, sweaty, and I definitely feel them the next day (even though I’m using little to no weight).  Compared to where I was, I feel like a slug doing such a little workout.

But I have to quit comparing myself to, well, myself.  My body has been through a lot – and made a beautiful, healthy and amazing little boy.  So yeah, it’s going to be a little beat up.  And that’s ok.  Because it will get better.  And I may never be where I was when that picture was taken, and that’s honestly 100% ok with me.  My goal, to be perfectly open, is just to fit into some of my pre-pregnancy clothes.  Not all – but at least a few.

3 days down – 18 more to go, then a habit forms, right?

New Year, New Me?

I usually thrive in January.  Goal setting, resolutions, making plans — it’s kind of my thing.  I love it and a lot of times I actually live for it.  Setting goals and trying to accomplish them – it’s a way of life for me.

This January feels very different though.  I haven’t set any goals or resolutions.  I can’t even wrap my mind around making goals or resolutions.

The reason: I am (happily) 6 months pregnant – just a little over a week away from being 7 months pregnant.

So goals have taken on a new meaning for me.  My goal is to make it through the day without being emotionally, mentally or physically overwhelmed.  And that’s really all I can focus on these days.

I am not one of those women who feels great while pregnant.  Since pretty much week 6, I’ve felt crappy the majority of the time.  And while symptoms have lessoned as I get closer to the 3rd trimester, I still fight to get through the day in one piece.  I can’t say I’m surprised.  My body doesn’t handle change very well.  So of course this huge change in my body is creating a bit of havoc.  But it’s worth it.  And really, I am happy to be creating this beautiful life inside me.

But I also feel a little lost at times.  My life has turned into work and trying to survive pregnancy.  I don’t feel like I’ve had a lot of time to really be me.  I do try to exercise 3-4 times a week (depending on how I’m feeling), but it’s been mainly to maintain health, not to challenge myself or grow in strength or endurance.  I don’t cook anymore other than making a less than 10 minute dish because being on my feet wears me  out.  I haven’t written in ages because I feel like all that will come out is complaints about pregnancy.  So a big part of me I feel is gone, which scares me because I know even more of me can and may disappear once this little baby makes an appearance.

So how do you find you in pregnancy?  After almost 7 months, I’m still having trouble figuring that out.  But since it’s January, I have a little more motivation to set out on how to do that.  My life doesn’t have to be going to work, coming home to rest and feel icky, and planning a nursery.  It can have time for me in it before and after baby comes.  I logically know this.  But when you feel blah, it’s hard to get yourself motivated to make the change.  Especially when you have an awesome and loving family who tries to do everything for you because they know you feel yucky.  But it’s time to kick my butt into gear.  Step 1: get off the couch more.  Step 2: get out of the house more.  I have plans to attend a prenatal yoga class.  I love yoga but have not taken a class since I become pregnant due to many reasons.  But I think going to a class filled with other women who are pregnant as well will help me feel better, feel motivated, and get my butt into gear.  So step 3, go out and find some yoga pants that fit me right now 🙂  And then step 4, attend class.  So tomorrow, Maternity store – here I come!

Isn’t it funny how goals and resolutions can change over time?  This time last year I was thinking of running half marathons, doing handstands and pull-ups, and this year it’s finding yoga pants and just going to a class.  But I’m not going to compare these goals.  Both are great, admirable and needed goals for me during the specific time in my life.  I need to embrace my body, embrace my feelings, and live my life.  Because that’s step number 1 to being a healthy, happy me!

 

 

 

Confessions of a goal junkie

Hi!  I’m Ashley.  And I’m a goal junkie.  I love making goals.  The problem is, the majority of the goals I set, I do not achieve.

This happens for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes I’m just not ready to make the commitment to the process, I just want the results.  Sometimes I overload myself with too many things to do and can not dedicate the time to achieving a goal.  Sometimes I talk myself out of trying (the fear factor).  But most of the time, I just have a hard time taking that first step to getting started.  For some reason, it can be the simplest thing I want to do, and I can not get motivated to get off the couch.

I’m not lazy.  Well, most of the time I’m not lazy.

I do have some health conditions which cause low energy and fatigue.  But honestly, I don’t like using that as an “excuse”.  I’m still in the process of learning that my body can only do what it can do.  I have trouble accepting that it can’t always do what I want it to do.  But I digress.

Most of the time, I just have so many ideas flying around in my mind, so many dreams, wishes, and goals, that I don’t know where to start.  And oftentimes these goals are conflicting.

For instance, I want to tone up for summer but I also want to make gourmet meals and tasty desserts every night (because I enjoy cooking – and yes, eating).

So what do I focus on?  Do I try my hand at a fancy soufflé or go to the gym to do some extra ab work?  I don’t have an answer for that question, so right now I do neither.  And that’s frustrating.  I want to do something, but I’m deadlocked at what to do because I can’t figure out what I want more.

Well, let’s face it.  What I really want is that rippin’ rockin’ bod and to be able to eat high fat, caloric and homemade masterpiece dinners and desserts.  But that’s not reality.

So I guess my goal is to slow down and figure out what is best for me.  Because really, it’s all about balance.  You can make a fancy not-so-healthy meal every now and then.  And you can eat healthful and tasty meals most of the time, while working towards that rockin’ bod.

Balance has never been my forte.  I’ve always juggled too much at once.  But as I age (I’m now the big 3-5, which is not old, but for women somehow it always seems to be a fairly big year), I find that balance is really what I want.  A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

So this is my journey that I will be sharing with you.  My journey to find balance in this ever-changing, chaotic and beautiful world!