Where's the Instruction Manual for Life as a Mom?

 
Parenting is hard- wouldn’t you agree? It doesn’t come with an instruction book and even if it did, I probably would have lost it by now!
 
I did have a stack of books that told me best practices. I was a big fan of What to Expect When Expecting. Even before giving birth, I was already a few chapters into What to Expect the First Year.
 
I wanted to make sure I knew exactly what to expect when it came to birthing and raising a baby.
 
This makes me laugh now! There isn’t a book on earth that could have prepared me for my life after having babies.
 
I suppose I found comfort thinking that I was prepared. Comfort in thinking that all births and children were universal and that if I just learned what I needed to do as a mom, then life would be amazing!
 
After having six kids, I’m pretty sure I could write a book on the topic, but fact is, I have no idea what I’m doing!
 
I recall a few years ago, telling my...
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Let's Crush Those Dang Excuses!

 
For the longest time, the excuse I gave for not practicing self-care was that I didn’t have the time. That’s what I told myself.
 
And it’s true. I really didn’t have the time to do anything for myself.
 
I was busy and on a mission to be everything for everyone else- the kids’ homeroom mom, a Girl Scout leader, on the board of a MOMS Club, and volunteering all over town.
 
When that wasn’t enough, I decided that I should be my kids’ teacher as well and pulled the kids out of school to homeschool them.
 
Even then, I continued to wear all my hats AND added more hats such as teaching at the local homeschool co-op we joined and hosting field trips as needed, which probably wasn’t needed as often as I had thought!
 
I made sure that I was too busy to do anything for myself. But the question I should have been asking myself was...why was I keeping myself so busy?
 
What was my bigger excuse?
...
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Time is Flying By

 
This past Friday night, we celebrated our youngest daughter’s birthday. She turned seven years old.
 
Seven years old. I still can’t believe it.
 
I don’t think I ever cried when any of my kids had a birthday, but I did for Giana’s.
 
The night before, I was bagging up her store-bought cookies (COVID restricted us baking cupcakes) and it hit me like a ton of bricks. So much so, I had to brace myself on the counter.
 
That night would be the last time we had a six year old. Tears are coming to my eyes now just writing this.
 
Our little girl is growing up even though I tried telling her that she wasn’t allowed to grow up! Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
 
Time marches on and each moment is fleeting.
 
Which is part of the reason why us moms feel so very guilty when it comes to spending time on ourselves.
 
We can’t replace time. It’s our most precious resource, that's for sure. When...
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Learning to Identify and Sit with Uncomfortable Feelings

Yesterday's coaching session had my crying, which was very unexpected. I was sharing with Teri (my wonderful coach and colleague) about what I've been gaining by listening to Amy Porterfield's new podcast, Talking Body. 

Not sure if I mentioned it before, but girl, if you haven't tuned in yet to her podcast, I suggest you do. It is amazing. I may be biased though since I am a student of hers and now belong to her membership, Momentum. But...I would like to say even if I didn't know the host, I would still be affected as I am by what she shares on her podcast

Anyways, Amy dives into her own relationship with her body and interviews women around the globe, experts and just normal people about how they view their body and the steps they've taken to accept what they look like, even when their bodies may not be what society deems as beautiful.

Her big question is very similar to mine...can I love my body and still want to change it? Are the two contradictory or is it indeed...

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Intuitive Eating Seems to Just Make Sense

I am learning more and more about Intuitive Eating and I love it! There is just so much- I feel like this whole new world has been opened up to me.

Today,  I watched Beth Danowsky Basham who hosts a FB group that I belong to. She addressed some of the fears that I have about intuitive eating, including gaining a crazy amount of weight and not being able to trust my body.

When it comes down to it, I have a hard time buying into the whole concept because I haven't had success with knowing when I was full. I'm afraid that I won't be able to stop eating.

Beth talked about this and she made a valid point. Basically, we can only eat so much ice-cream. Eventually, we would get sick of it. 

And she talked about what I already know as far as our body would start craving food that would balance out the fat and sugar that the ice-cream provided. 

This is what I need to trust. I need to trust that my body will crave what it needs. That it will tell me what I need.

And the...

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Questioning the Logic of Body Image

I had my second week of coaching this week and it only lasted half the time. I've been working my way through The Intuitive Eating Guide to Recovery and so I shared with Teri what I've been learning. 

This book makes sense, for real! It is exactly how I imagine that freedom from diets looks like, but more importantly what it will feel like. 

No calorie counting, no tracking, no pre-occupation with the nutritional level of foods. This is what I want. 

Every few months in my journal (not my food journal, but my "this is what's going on and what I need to work through" journal), I write out where I see my life going. I place myself ten years into the future and I write how old I'll be and how old my children will be. I then talk about how my life looks.

This is my vision, my dreams. My goals. This is where I see my future self. Someday I'll share it with you. But for now, I want you to know that it is freedom I desire. 

I sometimes feel that my desire to be thin or...

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Escape from Diet Mentality

I want out! I want to escape the diet culture that I've been trapped in since as long as I can remember. It's suffocating and it definitely doesn't serve me. 

It's kept me hating my body and makes me cry when my clothes don't fit me or when I look in the mirror and see the flabs of skin flopping over my jeans. I see my thighs toughing or feel the skin of them go up and down when I'm jogging in the pool. I look in the sideview mirror and see the flab hanging from my upper arms. I really d hate my body even though I try to convince myself otherwise.

It's carried my six beautiful children and housed them until they entered the world. It supports me every day to do all the things I do. I've trained it and nourished it to get me through 3 1/2 half marathons, countless fun runs, and all the different sports I got into over the years.

In my rational mind, I know that it's a good body. But for some reason, I connect my worth to my appearance. I allow it to dictate how I feel each day...

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The Lies We Tell Ourselves as Moms

Here we are in the last week of January, a new year and I’m curious...how are you doing with those new year's resolutions?
 
What about the goals you made for 2021? Any action towards making them happen?
 
If so, awesome! Definitely give yourself credit for doing whatever you’ve done so far.
 
But if not, if you’ve been struggling to make it happen or to create the change you were so motivated to make at the beginning of the month, then what happened?
 
We are busy moms, I get that! I know your time is limited and I realize that things happen that we can’t predict which may get in the way of carrying out your goals.
 
But sometimes there’s an even bigger obstacle standing in your way and that’s your mindset.
 
These are the beliefs and the excuses that we tell ourselves about why we can’t do what we really want to do.
 
For me, some of those lies were:
that no one could do what I was doing,
that I...
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Living a life of freedom and abundance...is it possible?

A few years ago, I belonged to a weight loss group called TOPS (ever hear of it? there are chapters all over the world!) and I recall one of the members, an older lady perhaps in her 70s, share that she thought at her age, weight wouldn't be such an issue for her. In her younger years, she had tried many diets and had always figured there would be a day where she could just live her life, unconcerned about how calories would affect her and even if she still had extra weight on her, it wouldn't preoccupy her thoughts as it still did.

I have to say, I think the same thing. I'm 44 and I have always held this thought (ahem, fantasy!) that someday I could also be happy with my weight and not have to put so much effort into managing it. Of course in my fantasy, I am thin and fit, but I should hope that even if I'm not, I can grow to love my body just as it is. While still moving it and choosing healthier options to nourish it.

But right now, I'm not happy with it. See, in 2011, I started...

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What did you give yourself this year?

 

 

 

 
This week, most of us here in the group will be celebrating the holidays with our families.
 
We all know that Christmas is the season for giving and maybe by now you have all your gifts under the tree ready to give to all those you love. Or maybe you still haven’t finished your shopping...no judgement 😉
 
Either way, I’m going to guess you forgot at least one person who deserves so much love and may have been overlooked this whole year.
 
She often puts herself last because she wants to make sure everyone is taken care of and has what they need.
 
She’s likely the first one up in the morning and the last one to bed at night. When everyone else is playing, she can often be found doing laundry or dishes or tidying up.
 
Or worrying about what she’s going to make for dinner or how her husband is doing at work.
 
She works tirelessly to take care of everything and...
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