Happy Monday! It's officially fall and almost a brand new month. Cooler weather makes me feel a little lighter and brighter and I do love flipping the page of a calendar. With that, I thought today might be a good time to share a little more about my 25 pound weight loss this summer that I mentioned in this post.
First, a little back-story: Within a two year time span in my mid/late 30's I went from single to married with two young step children, a new baby, a new (to us) house, a full-time career and all the things that go along with those... namely severe lack of sleep, stress, limited time to myself to recharge my introverted battery, and even limited funds for things that were once a part of my life like a gym membership and free time for outdoor activities. Instead we paid for daycare, diapers, pee-wee football, baby birthday parties and a large car to haul all the car seats.
In a nutshell my active lifestyle was replaced by one that found me just trying to keep up with the basic day-to-day things I thought I should be doing as a new wife and mother. To me that meant keeping a home that was picture-perfect (clutter-free and decorated at all times) and pouring my heart and soul into the kids' activities. Instead of running or having a good sweaty workout at the gym, I stayed home in my decorated house, did laundry, and whipped up a pitcher of margaritas and a large homemade pizza to make the housekeeping a little more fun.
So that went on for a few years until I realized I was putting myself last and also making excuses about staying in shape and eating right so I lost almost 30 pounds and wrote about it here.
And then the opposite things happened in my left: I got divorced, my step children were suddenly taken from my life, my little baby grew up and my career that I had for 10 years was closed down in a matter of weeks. But I still had my clutter-free and decorated house! It took about a year for the single working mom reality to set in but....when it did.....yep, you guessed it.....a pitcher of margaritas and a pizza.
|Before and After|
I want to tell you my back story because I am sure many of you can relate. We forge ahead in our lives - day after day, month after month, and it seems like every day is pretty much the same as the last. We love our families. We have a few really great times and a few really hard or sad times, but for the most part it's just life. So many times our lives start running us and we get into places and moods and situations and circumstances that begin to control us. It's not all bad. Many things that happen as we age and mature and grow and change are good....even great. Blessings come out of hardships and the pieces start falling together in a wonderful puzzle of life. But within that puzzle people struggle - internally and often times alone.
And so often one or two things in our lives make us give up hope as it relates to so many other things. For me it was being pudgy and divorced. Fat cougar anyone? I don't think so.....
So my clutter-free house got a little more cluttered. My decorated house got a little less done-up and my traditions and entertaining and things I like to do went by the wayside. The things I did manage to do were "for my son" and not for myself. I could have skipped the Halloween costumes, the Thanksgiving feast, the Christmas tree, the Valentine's candy and the Easter egg hunt.
I had a few empty bedrooms in my pretty empty house - they were perfect for hiding the stuff I didn't want to deal with....toddler clothes and toys that were never going to be used by another child, pillows and blankets that once comforted and warmed my family of 5 with no bed to cover and no child to warm. My spare rooms filled up as my broken heart and split-up family became a reality I thought I'd never be living.
And I wallowed in it. I honestly did. I felt sorry for myself. I felt helpless. I felt alone and scared and mad. What was I going to do? I wanted to fix it but if I couldn't fix all of it, I felt unmotivated to get started at fixing any of it.
And then within a couple months of each other two very close friends got cancer. They were my age. With kids and jobs and families and laundry and houses. One day they woke up and their life puzzles suddenly included hospitals, surgeries, CaringBridge pages, chemo, radiation, more surgery, infections, bad news, more bad news..... it was devastating. And one day I realized I was letting my life be something it should not be for reasons I was fully capable of controlling. And so I literally gave myself a few pep talks and started on my Six Week Summer Makeover....
Next time: How I did it. What I ate (and didn't eat). And how it's going now.