Putting Me before We
Author: Brea Date Posted:21 December 2016
Time to start putting Me before We.
Last month I wrote a blog post about realizing that I cannot do everything myself. I took a long hard look at myself and realized I needed to step back and delegate some tasks to start living again.
This month I have had to take another big fat look at myself and realise that without Me there is no We. I was at the local water park with my three children this morning trying to take a picture of the four of us. I couldn’t get a photo with my eyes wide enough and with every click came another realization. My Diet, the lack of water intake, sleep deprivation and no exercise has not been kind to my body and it shows.
The way to a healthy heart is through good nutrition
Now I know all this stuff - I have a bachelor degree in Health Science with a major in Nutrition. I studied this for 4 years (although it was 10 years ago). I know the importance of a healthy diet but my busy lifestyle lead me into a pattern of convenience. This is a psychological problem and can be really hard to change especially if you are not ready to change.
My addiction to Coke and Sausage and Egg McMuffins started when I was pregnant with Xavier. I ate so many of them whilst pregnant that Xavier was nicknamed McMuffin during the pregnancy. Although the cravings declined a lot after birth I still found myself in the drive thru ordering one out of habit and who can really resist once you have that smell.
I have always been a Pepsi Max lover but I craved Coke when I was pregnant but it wasn’t a can of coke - It was McDonalds premixed coke with heaps of ice. I loved to munch on the ice and often found myself having 2-3 trips a day to get more ice. After birth this started with 1 can of coke here and there and during the last couple of months it has expanded to 2-3 cans per day.
The addictions didn’t stop there. I have found myself binging on food mostly in the car. I am not sure where this habit came from but I am taking a guess that it has something to do with the fact they are all strapped in and cannot see what I am doing in the front. It started with a box of pringles after dropping my step daughter at school and has got so bad that I could eat an entire bag of chocolate coated licorice on the way home from the supermarkets.
Water, The Miracle drink we ignore
I am still breastfeeding my 13 month old and I know how important water is especially in the hotter months. But I find myself having to force my water intake some days.
I can be having one of those big thirsts that you get when you first begin your breast feeding journey. You know the ones – where you could drink a gallon of water the moment your baby starts to latch. No water bottle is big enough for this type of thirst. You might as well set yourself up with the hose to the sink – Water on Tap. Yet I find myself not interested in a glass of water unless it is so super cold that the ice is starting to freeze the glass from the inside out.
It wasn’t always this way. I used to happily be able to drink 8+ glasses of water per day. You know your body feels better because of it. I used to keep a nice bottle of water in the fridge to fill up my cup. This was until my children learnt how to open the fridge and my water bottle became their water bottle and no matter how many water bottles I would fill – they would take every single one. I even tried to buy water bottles that they couldn’t open on their own – that lasted a week tops. They soon learnt the skill required to open that water bottle and that was the end of that.
I stopped filling water bottles to place in the fridge. The bottle never got cold enough before being stolen and it stopped the constant entering of the fridge. These days fewer water bottles are in rotation but this has also led to a decline in my water intake.
Suck it up So one day you don’t have to suck it in
Did you know that I spent over 4 years working in a gym and pool. I was a big advocate for being active and made some amazing friends who taught me to break that barrier and preserve to a fitness level I never thought possible. But since leaving the fitness industry at the end of 2006, I have managed to not enter any fitness centres. I have done a couple of yoga classes but that is all.
In 2003, I could not jog further than 100m. I loved fitness classes but I didn’t have the long distance stamina. If it wasn’t for a very good friend pushing me to keep going I would have never learnt the passion that you can find from a long distance jog/run. Once you move past the psychological barrier you truly can start to understand why so many people jog/run.
I completed a group triathlon in 2004 (swam 1500m), I did several small triathlons in 2005, started doing 5-10km fun runs and in 2012 I finished a half marathon.
10 weeks later I got married and fell pregnant with twins. I did a couple of small runs whilst pregnant but exhaustion set in and exercise stopped – completely. I tried to restart it several times when the twins were young but life just became too hard.
So here I am today – so unfit that even thinking about going for a walk/jog is making me puff. So weak that my arm hurts after holding my son for more than 10 minutes and forever complaining about my body aching.
Sleep – What is that?
Those words cannot be any closer to the truth for me. Do you know that awesome feeling you get when you go to bed, fall straight into sleep, you stay asleep all night and wake up, jump out of bed feeling super refreshed and ready for the day? Me Neither.
My night normally consists of the following: Finish working on the business around 10-10.30 as I can no longer handle a sentence without holding one of my eyes open. Sit in bed for 20 minutes and check my emails, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest – I know but I can never seem to fall asleep once I am in bed. Just as I am about to nod off – Xavier will wake up. I have yet to wean him and as he is teething I would feed him back to sleep. I know, my bad once again but I am tired and it works so much quicker.
I finally go to sleep and around 1.30am one of the twins will wake wanting a drink of water. They don’t want the water bottle that mummy put at their bed, they want the one that is in the dishwasher being washed ready for the next day. So, I stumble down to the dishwasher and pull out the clean water bottle, fill it and happily smile at my adorable child and say here you go sweet heart night – and return to my bed.
I will just nod off once again and ta da… just like clockwork Xavier will be awake again. So I pick him up and bring him into the bed and feed him. I will fall asleep with him in the bed and this is where we will stay the rest of the night.
At 4.30am, one of the twins will tip toe into our room and either join us at the end of the bed with his pillow and blanket or he will snatch my phone and sprint into the loungeroom to watch his shows in peace.
This will be followed one by one until 5.30-6am comes and I will have all 4 children awake wanting breakfast, tv and my attention. I refuse TV before 1. 6am and 2. They are dressed for the day and the kitchen does not open until after 6am. I was hoping that these rules would deter them from waking as such an early hour but in nearly 4 years it has not.
Dress like a Model, live like a mum
My normal clothing attire is jeggings, a nursing singlet and a flowy top. I rarely wear makeup and my hair is always pulled back in a ponytail. I am not big on fashion but do like to feel good about myself.
Last week I decided that I was going to take a little bit more care with my clothing options. I wore jeggings, my nursing singlet and a flowy top – surprise surprise. I put on some BB cream and some hair moisturizer in my hair which was then pulled back into a ponytail but with a twist. That day I received comment after comment on how I looked like I had lost weight and I was looking good.
Now I was feeling like crap before taking my boys to daycare but this praise lifted my spirits so high that I felt on top of the moon. I felt successful, I felt loved and most of all felt normal. Who would have every thought that BB Cream and a slightly different styled ponytail could give me so much confidence.
Where to from here to make Me before We
This is not something to wait until the New Year for my resolutions. I need to start this NOW. Some of the lifestyle changes will be super easy and others will be a challenge. I have to realise that I am a mummy to 3 under 4 years of age. I cannot go off for 1.5 hours to go for a jog. I need to adjust my fitness lifestyle to fit into my mummy lifestyle. Luckily for me I live in an area that has so many parks and a lot of the awesome ones are partially or fully covered parks. Making mummy exercise sessions possible whilst my little ones play in a safe environment.
Although my diet should be a pretty easy process if I prepare in advance and stay clear of the lollies/snacks isle at the supermarket. Coke withdrawals however are not going to be fun. I have done this before and can beat it again. I will probably invest in a good quality mummy multivitamin to help boost my energy supply during this time.