After my post about a week ago about about some changes I want to make, I decided that it was finally time to share this one. This is a post that I’ve had saved as a draft for quite a while. Every so often I’d go in and tweak it. Or totally change things. Even the title has changed many times. A few times I almost deleted it. But I’ve chosen to move forward with it. Before you read any further though, you need to know that what I write, I write about me. What’s best for me. What I am choosing to do. I am not giving advice – I’m certainly not qualified to. I am in no way saying that others shouldn’t do what they feel is best for them.
Something changed in me when I was pregnant with my last child last year. I realized that I really didn’t care anymore. I didn’t care what others thought of me. I didn’t care what society said I should do or be like. What I did care about was that my children grew up healthy and happy with themselves. And in order for them to do that I had to show them how. And not just show them how, but actually BELIEVE it in myself. I want them to be confident in who they are and whatever they choose to do. That’s probably around the same time that I started paying more attention to all those positive self image ads that are around. This one popped up in my FB news feed this week and I LOVE it – well the message, not necessarily the product they are selling. lol.
Women are CONSTANTLY told how they should look. And if they don’t look like that they should feel bad about it. It has taken me YEARS to not only realize, but finally accept that I will never be a size 4. Well at least not without some serious help that would include cosmetic surgery that I’m not interested in. My body just isn’t built that way – even after you take away all of my fat layers. I’m finally ok with that. And do you know what? I don’t want to be a size 4. or 2. or 6. Numbers on a scale are just that – numbers. And that same number can look different on everyone.
It’s not just appearance that women are given a hard time about. We are also given a hard time about how we raise our kids. If we choose not to breast feed we’re a horrible mother. If we choose to breast feed well beyond a year we are a horrible mother. If we baby wear we’re horrible. If we don’t wear our babies then we’re not bonding. If we put them in daycare we don’t love them enough. If we keep them home we don’t socialize them enough. If we put them in soccer, piano, dance, and hockey they’re too busy and don’t have time to be a kid. If we don’t put them in anything we’re not expanding their horizons. If we take them to McDonald’s we’re introducing a world of bad habits. If we don’t take them to McDonald’s we’re denying them. We can’t catch a break!
So I’ve decided that I really don’t care what others have to say, I’ve decided to start on a new journey for ME. I thought I would share with you what my journey is going to be like. Part of the reason I’m sharing this is to keep me accountable. Part of the reason is so that I can show my children at some point that it is ok to do something for yourself. And part of my reason for sharing is to possibly give someone else that little boost to do something similar themselves.
The first part of my new journey is to try to disassociate with people who make me feel negative. These might be people I know in “real life”, or they might be people I interact with on social media. Some of these people you can’t get away from if they are co-workers or family members or the parent you see every day as you take your children to school. But there are some that you can “get rid of” – unfriend them on Facebook, stop following their Twitter feed, NOT have coffee with them this week. Other people’s negativity can rub off on you, and leave you not only feeling grumpy or frustrated, but can leave you feeling toxic as well. That’s not going to help me on this journey to a happy and healthy me. I’m looking for heath for my entire body including mental and emotional health. So it’s time to say good bye to those Negative Nelly’s and not feel guilty about it.
The second part of my new journey has started a few times over the past few months. I restarted this week and am determined to stick to it this time. I have started following the C25K running app again. This time I vow to keep going and not get discouraged and frustrated when I can’t run as long as I’m supposed to. I have re-started following the Bikini Body Mommy 90 day challenges. I’m starting with the first one this time. I had started with the 4th one about a month ago, but was having a hard time with it. Not because the workouts were too challenging, but because I started with 4 instead of 1. It really bothered me. I am attempting to choose healthier options to eat. Though when I haven’t gone grocery shopping yet, it’s making it challenging. I am choosing NOT to restrict what I’m eating. I’m still going to enjoy all of those foods I like. Like my large double double from Tim Horton’s this morning. To be honest though the only reason I went to Timmy’s this morning is because I’m out of cream at home. And the drive through sounded a lot better than taking my 10 month old out of the car and taking him into the grocery store. Total laziness on my part. This part of my journey is not to loose weight necessarily, but to encourage a healthy lifestyle. If I shed a few pounds along the way great. If I don’t, that’s ok too. I’m not looking to give anything up, or be at the gym 5 hours every day. Neither of those are what I want, but you better believe that I’m going to be enjoying a piece of cake for my husband’s birthday tomorrow. Or 2.
The third part of my journey is to take more time for myself and be happy with myself and my choices. I love my kids. I love that I’m able to be home with them. I love that my hubby is ok with me being home with them, but that also means that he works his ASS off at work. Sometimes that means over time and not getting home until 10 or 11 at night. So taking time for myself isn’t always as easy as it sounds. I am trying really hard to get back to my paper crafting hobby. It’s something I CAN do by myself but still be at home if hubby is working late or out of town. It makes me happy and is a big stress reliever. I’m also going to stop “listening” to all those nay-sayers about how we’re choosing to raise our children. I’m going to stop feeling guilty about choosing not to nurse our children. I’m going to enjoy ice cream for breakfast at McDonald’s with my daughter on our date (more about that below).
The fourth part of my journey is to share it with my kids. They will come on the occasional run with me. My 8 year old made the cross country team at his school this year and I have promised him that we will run in at least one race together this year. I will re-introduce our “dates”. For our dates each child decides what they want to do with me and we go do it. It might be breakfast at McDonalds, or going to play laser tag. It’s time that they get to spend just with me without competing with their sibling for my attention. I’m going to make time to colour with them, and build lego with them. I’m going to show them how to be happy and enjoy life even with all the stresses and shit that life can throw at you.
The fifth part of my journey is to document it. Each and every week. I’ll be using the My Crush book from Close to my Heart to document. It has 60 pages, so I should be able to do the enitre year in there. This is a great little book to document my runs, how we spent the day, motivational quotes, etc. I’m also using one of these books to document my “40 by 40” challenge. I’ve given myself a challenge to run in 40 races before I turn 40. I need to get my butt in gear because I have less than 4 years to complete it and I think I’ve only done 5. EEK!
Lastly I want to ensure that I’m enjoying life and believing in myself. It’s too short to get hung up on the things you can’t change. I want my kids to see that we’re enjoying life, and that we aren’t constantly worried about the “adult” stuff in life – bills, budgets, work, etc. I want my kids to know that being healthy isn’t always about how you look. There are so many other ways to be healthy too. I’m going to continue to follow these amazing ladies on FaceBook as they make their changes to their lives. They are taking totally different paths to what they want to accomplish, and I completely respect all of them. I consider myself and my journey somewhere in the middle of theirs. I love the motivation from all 3 of them and look forward to following their journey’s. You can find Kristina at Decidedly Beautiful, Wendy at Passion for the Healthy Life, and Tara at Choose Happy.
While I’ve outlined quite a bit here today, there are still other parts of my journey that are missing. I’m still not ready to share those yet. Keep checking back those as I will share once it’s time. I will also keep you posted with the progress of each of those goals of my journey. 🙂