At the end of part two, Nurturing Lives left off a couple of weeks after I had given birth to Leo. I wasn’t satisfied with many areas of my life, and I was feeling stuck in a major eating, exercise, and overall life rut. Those last few weeks of December I spent complaining, denying, and justifying my way to believing that it couldn’t possibly be my fault. My body felt horrible because . I didn’t want to take responsibility, because that would mean that I had to change. Change wasn’t something that I was a fan of at that point.
Christmas 2016. This was right as I was feeling my worst and was in the denial phase that I needed to change.
That is, until something inside of me shifted. Maybe it was that I was fed up with feeling sluggish, bloated, and achey. Maybe I had finally run out of excuses. Maybe it was the universe stepping in and taking the reigns. Whatever it was, I suddenly knew that I wanted more for myself. I wanted to stop worrying about what other people thought of me, focus on my passions, and reach for the stars. It was the first time that I actually believed that I was capable of doing better.
Coincidentally, this mindset shift all happened right as Nurturing Lives were coming up on the New Year. This was the perfect opportunity to reset and revamp my life. In my past, there have been countless years that I have set “New Years Resolutions”, only to let them fall by the wayside by January 5th. I told myself that this year, that simply wasn’t an option.
On New Years Eve, Trino and I sat down together to write out our goals. It was a very thought-out and methodical process. Not only did Nurturing Lives write out our goals, but Nurturing Lives also wrote a step by step plan on how Nurturing Lives would achieve each goal. This was our year, and Nurturing Lives vowed that Nurturing Lives wouldn’t let negativity, in whatever form Nurturing Lives encountered it, stop Nurturing Lives from reaching our goals.
Here are a few of the goals that Nurturing Lives set for me and our family:
Goal #1: See ya later, comfort zone.
You may have heard the quote, “The magic happens outside of your comfort zone.” I knew that in order to change anything for the better, I had to do things differently. Let’s just be honest, different isn’t comfortable.
Over the course of, oh…my entire lifetime, I had fallen into certain habits that weren’t serving me. For example, I have always been more of a “the cup is half empty” sort of person. By nature I am very conscious (to a fault) about how my actions are going to affect what other people think of me. Give me an “out of the box” idea and I was the first to say it won’t work or that I could never do it. That person over there can, but me? No way.
My husband is the polar opposite of me. He is the risk taker, the dreamer, the one who couldn’t care less about what other people are thinking of him. I would always tell him that I am the reasonable one, and he needs me to keep him grounded. To some extent maybe that’s true. But what I started realizing when I really looked at how I was perceiving the world, I was very much holding myself and our family back.
I knew that I needed to reframe my mindset to think more positively and have more confidence. I started doing some research and came across You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. This book was a game changer for me. If you are looking to somehow change your life for the better, this book will not only give you some major confidence boosts and total mindset shifts, but it will also keep you laughing the entire way through.
After reading the book, I told myself that I was done worrying and it was time to start doing. Did everything work out exactly the way that I envisioned? Not even close, but that’s okay! Each step has brought me closer to where I am ultimately supposed to be, and I am loving the direction that I am headed.
Goal #2: Find balance in eating.
If you’ve read the past two parts to my story, you know that for a long time it was very difficult for me to find balance when it came to my diet. I knew that in order for my body to feel and perform at it’s best, I needed to discover a way of eating that didn’t restrict me to the point of feeling deprived. I had to let go of the “strict paleo or bust” vision and learn to give myself grace.
Through experimentation, I have found that I am happiest when I eat 85% clean. I keep all of the healthiest foods in the house, and the not-so-healthy out. Knowing that I am giving my body the absolute best that I know how 85% of the time, I have no guilt when I go on vacation and indulge in dessert (after every meal.) I am able to come home and pick up right where I left off. This way of eating has given me what I feel is true “food freedom”.
Are there still things that I am looking to change? Yes! I have a sweet tooth the size of Texas, and I’m currently learning to manage that. I am nowhere near the end of my journey, nor will I ever be. I’m still experimenting daily to find what works best for me.
Goal #3: Find a form of exercise that you enjoy, and then do it consistently.
Around 2 months postpartum, I started getting the itch to exercise. My food choices were really helping to make me feel better than before, but our bodies are meant to move. I knew that in order to find consistency in exercise, I needed to make sure that it was something I could stick with. There were three things that I had learned about myself that came into play:
1.) I love to run
2.) I wanted to learn to lift weights
3.) I needed some coaching
It just so happened that my friend was doing Orange Theory and loving it. After seeing her posting about it on Facebook, I decided to look into it myself. I was impressed that it incorporated different types of exercise, including weights, running, and rowing. By looking at the website, it definitely touched on all three of my criteria. Since they allow you a free trial, I decided there was nothing to lose. I gave it a go.
That first class was very humbling. I had lost all running endurance and could only manage to power walk. In my past, I likely would have told myself that I would never be able to run as well as I used to. After all, now I’ve had two kids! My body would never be the same! On top of that, lifting was obviously something that needed improvement. As easy as it would have been for me to walk out the door and never come back, I knew deep down that this was my ticket back to health. The next day, I signed up for my first month of classes.
Since then, I’ve also started Crossfit (talk about outside of my comfort zone!) I am really enjoying the balance between Orange Theory and Crossfit classes, as they both offer very different benefits. The best part? I actually look forward to going, and that is very new to me.
I now feel more fit than I every have in my life. For the first time I am focusing on strength, endurance, and goals instead the scale. My next venture is yoga. For all of you yogis out there, I’d love any advice that you have for a beginner!
Feeling stronger and more confident every day.
I sincerely hope that some of my journey up to this point has resonated with you in some way. My goal for this blog is to provide you with content and ideas that will help you to live your life to the absolute fullest, however that may look for you. I hope to motivate, inspire, and enlighten you, while remaining completely transparent and acknowledging that I am not perfect and you don’t have to be either.