It’s just after midnight on Monday morning, January 13th – the 13th day of my Centennial Club Challenge and my 2014 Self Care Challenge. I’m standing in my kitchen with a stack of baby shower invitations I made for a friend, the stove light illuminating the room, “stuff” from the day piled up on the counters. My 2 year old son is passed out on the couch where he finally fell asleep at about 10:30pm, my mother is having a conversation with herself (or the TV, I can never tell), my daughter is wedged between two big pillows on my bed, finally asleep after waking up to cry for about an hour around 11pm. I am exhausted but I feel compelled to write because the 12th was a bust and I feel like I need to process it for a moment.
First, I didn’t wake up early this Sunday because I went to bed late after kicking butt and meeting my bigger goals for the first 2 weeks of the year (run mileage and strength workouts). Things started to roll downhill from there – didn’t eat breakfast til it was too late and I didn’t get my Centennial Challenge work in.
Lesson Learned #1 – Get up EARLY NO MATTER WHAT. I may be tired as hell but the hour before my household wakes up is an opportunity for me to wake up slowly, get nutrition into my body at the right time, and get my body moving for the day.
Next, I decided that potatoes, specifically french fries, were okay to eat at lunch off of my children’s plates because hey, I was eating salad and potatoes aren’t grains (which I’ve promised myself not to eat until my husband returns from deployment for ‘detox’ purposes, not weight loss). Bad idea.
Lesson Learned #2 – Kid food that I eat because I don’t want it to go to waste goes to WAIST – MINE. Let it go. Don’t ruin your nutrition because of guilt over waste. You are not the cause of world hunger.
Later, I had a stressful episode with my mom where she locked me out of the bathroom for 20 minutes after it took me 20 minutes to get her into the bathroom to bathe (something I’ve gotten use to but not really that comes along with her Alzheimer’s). I nearly lost it. Then my toddlers lost it on me. I stress ate food that wasn’t all that bad for me, but again decided to eat food I wasn’t suppose to eat off my kids plates at dinner time.
Lesson Learned #3 – When in doubt, work it out. Instead of going to food, I could have done some pushups, sit ups or squats while I stood in the kitchen preparing dinner. It would have helped me get back on track and stopped me from wanting to eat poorly.
At the end of the day (hello, it’s tomorrow), I got no workouts in, I am going to bed way too late, and my stomach feels distended and generally gnarly for lack of a better term. It amazes me how much grains really tend to irritate my digestive system – could also be the stress.
Some of you may think I am a little crazy or am being way too weird and hard on myself, but all I’m trying to do is look at what I do and WHY on days that are a fail in my system of self care. Parents especially, but ALL busy people really, tend to abandon many aspects of self care because it gets too freaking hard some days. You volunteer, you work, you deal with unexpected events – STUFF HAPPENS. This is usually the point where I start stressing and feeling like I need to give up. There’s a moment where my inner voice says, “Screw it. This is not going to work.” I’m writing about it here for all of you who do the same thing so that I can encourage ALL OF US to just get back up and DECIDE to let TODAY be a new day.
Today, I will wake up early and get my time, nutrition, and fitness routine in.
Today, I will make better eating choices and fuel my body the way it needs to be fueled to build the physique I want and carry me through my day.
Today, I will prioritize and put things that I NEED to do before things I WANT to do.
Today, I will rest in the quiet spaces because it’s what I need to do to be healthy.
Today, I will continue to love my family but put myself first because as they say in the airplane (okay, maybe in “Snakes on a Plane”), when that bitch is about to crash land and oxygen masks fall from the ceiling, you need to secure your mask before assisting other passengers. If I want EVERYONE to survive, I have to ensure I have what I need to live before I help the others.
As you come across difficult days, don’t give up on you. Remember that NOW, TODAY is all we have, let TODAY be a new day, and get right back on track.
Happy Aloha Monday!