My Secret Weapon

No, I haven’t seen the light.

Not that one at least.

I have seen the one in my kid’s bedroom an hour and a half after he was supposed to be asleep. The one that makes my skin crawl thinking about having to drag him out of bed for school in the morning.

Or do you mean the bright red that flashes in front of me when I see the mess they made.. the crunched up Rice Krispie skating rink that has become my kitchen: on the ONE day (and I do mean one) that I actually mopped the floor.

I need to take a deep breath and count to ten when this stuff goes down. And even then. I still end up screaming half the time. Even though it’s not the best parenting technique.

But I have a tool. A secret weapon. I have a little something up my sleeve. To keep me grounded. To keep me from completely losing my shit. From becoming a total control freak in a world where there is NO chance at control. Not for another 14-18 years.

I have yoga. 

Good old hippie dippie yoga. 

 

Downward dog. Deep inhale. Fancy handstand. Watch me put my feet behind my head.

OK maybe not quite that. 

 

More of just a space in my life, my home, and my body where I can slow down and where I actually HAVE to slow down to get better.

 

I’ve always lived by the belief that more is more is more. That the more I can do – and the faster I can do it – the better I will be. The more success I will come into.

cool trick – yes – but not at all why yoga is part of my life

But that’s not how life works. Not at this stage at least. Not with 3 kids. Not changing diapers, making multiple meals at a time, folding stacks of laundry and trying to turn these little brats into halfway decent people before it’s too late.

I need to be able to do less. I need a place where I can stop. Where I have no responsibility. Where I’m only in charge of slowing down and being quiet.

That’s not part of motherhood. That’s something else. And it’s something I want in my life, to balance out all the other shit that I have to do day in and day out.

 

But people seem to think yoga is for a certain type of people. People with cool as a cucumber attitudes and long braided hair. People with bendy limbs and open minds. People who are totally “zen”. People who are one with the universe, and full of love.

 

BULL SHIT. 

 

Sure those people do Yoga, I’m sure they do lots of things..

 

but Yoga is made for people like me. And you.

It is for moms who don’t know when to say no. It is for moms who don’t know how to slow the fuck down and the let the dishes wait for morning, cause there’s always more coming. It’s for the hobbyist who can’t let her hands or heart be idle and is always taking on a new project, whether it’s a person or a quilt. It’s for the fidgety, over caffeinated and under appreciated mom who has done more than her share for longer than she should but doesn’t need recognition because she just loves to do. And do more and more.

 

That’s who yoga exists for. Not for the people who already have it all figured out. It’s for us, who are grasping at straws to find some way to chill the fuck out so we stop screaming at our kids for the tiniest of misstep cause we just haven’t have a moment to breathe for “I don’t know how long”.

 

Yoga can take us down a notch.

Teach us to breathe. Even if it is just for a few minutes a day.

Let us just focus on our bodies – and NO not on the way they look – the way they feel and what they have done and can do and continue to do for us on a daily basis.

We need more of that. And that’s what yoga is all about.

Sure I can do tricks. Handstands and flexiblity feats and often more. But that’s not the role it plays in my life. At least not right now. It’s the basics. The simplest of movements that take just enough concentration to get me out of my head and into my body.

I can’t convince you in 1000 words to do yoga. I can try, and believe me I am trying. But I know how yoga seems. Like something trendy, cute, and for other people. But it’s not. I promise. It’s for you.

To prove that, I’m sharing with you my 3 go-to poses that I use when the world just gets to be too much. Or if I only have a few minutes. Or if I want to calm down my kids. Okay they’re good for everything. Try these. I’m not asking that much of you. Just try.

Downward Facing Dog:

Begin on hands and knees. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders, and your knees directly under your hips. Engage the core, tuck the toes under and leading with the tailbone push the hips up toward the ceiling. Spread your fingers wide. Engage the arms and shoulders. Draw the shoulder blades down the back and the shoulders away from the ears. Focus on sending the hips upward, the sit bones pointing toward the sky. Straight legs and heels touching the ground are not the most important part of this pose. Pedal the heels one at a time toward the floor to increase flexibility. Stay here for 5 full breaths. 

Upward Facing Dog:

From lying on your stomach, place the hands under the shoulders, with the elbows tucked close to the body. Press into the mat, using the arms to lift the upper body and extend the spine. Open heart, spreading the chest and lifting the gaze toward the sky. Draw the shoulders down and back, away from the ears and down the back body. The hips press toward the floor, the glutes are relaxed. The tops of legs and feet press into the mat. Stay here for 5 full breaths.

Child’s Pose:

Begin kneeling. Depending on your level of flexibility, add a cushion or rolled blanket in between the buttocks and heels for support. On an exhale, lower the upper body toward the floor while walking the hands slowly out in front of you. With arms outstretched, allow the forehead to rest on the mat and the belly to rest on the thighs. Breathe deeply, allowing the muscles of the back to release and relax. 

 

Once you’ve tried these, I know you’ll feel instant relief. From whatever has ailed you, physically or mentally today. I know this. Because it’s the surest form of therapy I’ve ever used.

 

I don’t just do Yoga. I like to lift heavy, get sweaty, and do a huge variety of workouts. I don’t like to get bored.

I use Yoga in combination with the other types of exercise and selfcare, in order to balance the ways that I use and abuse my body. This is the way I give back and say thanks to my body for holding me together day after day.

That’s why it’s such a big part of my online coaching club – the Better Fit Sisterhood. It’s important to me that the moms I coach don’t just get ripped – or get their “body back” – that’s not what I’m about. I want the women I coach to be the strongest, healthiest, happiest, highest functioning versions of themselves. And that means learning how to slow down as much as it does to get their hearts racing with an intense HIIT workout.

It works for me, and it has for years, and now that I’ve figured out how to balance exercise, Yoga, and #momlife, I’ve turned it into my online coaching club. And you have the opportunity right now to join us. You can join the Better Fit Sisterhood today. Registration is only open for a limited time so grab your spot before it’s too late.

And if all you do is try these three poses, or even one of them, then I have done my part in sharing with you how I learned to slow the fuck down and enjoy my life and my body. To show a little appreciation and respect for all the bits and parts that get us through this intense and sometimes terrifyingly fast paced stage of life: called motherhood.

I coach moms because I love motherhood, because I want to enjoy it, not just suffer through it. And now that I know how to do that, I get to share with you. So thank you, from the bottom of my hippy yoga heart. And remember, yoga is NOT for chill people. It’s for the freaks like us.

Learning How to Break The Rules

I remember having a teacher tell me when I was studying at trade college to become a hairstylist.

 

“You have to learn the rules before you can break them.”

 

What’s the point of that? If I’m not going to follow the rules, why bother learning them?

 

But I did it any way, because I was a suck up and people pleaser and really wanted to prove that I could do things exactly the way I was asked.

 

I did this with personal trainers too, when it came to fitness. I had one trainer in particular who would eat fast food like crazy. He just loved fried chicken and sauce and anything full of MSG. But I wasn’t allowed to have it, because I was training my body for fat loss. He told me I had to stay away from my favourite things, even coffee. Which tortured me. But I wanted to prove how strong I was – so I did it. Enjoyed nothing for weeks at a time to get results – and then I would celebrate the results with indulgences that looking back now, I never really wanted.

 

I had perfected the rules. I could do perfect perfectly.

But no one had taught me how to break them. No one had shown me how to rebel against the strict and still get results, or create a beautiful finished product. Not without following the rules to a T.

 

So what had I really learned?

This question plagued me for years.

 

If you have to learn the rules before you can break them, how come the rule breakers are always the leaders of the pack?

 

I can follow the rules. I am great at that. Why can’t I break them just as well?

 

Here is the answer. And it sucks.

 

Patience. Consistency. Trust.

 

HOW BORING.

 

ugh. Patience? really? How am I supposed to have the body I want and have wine and chocolate RIGHT NOW if I have to wait for it? I don’t want to be patient. Why should I be? When by “following the rules” I get what I want in only a coulple of weeks.

Well, because after a couple of weeks I get distracted, I get tired, worn down, bored and HUNGRY. And I want to break the rules.

But I haven’t learned how to break the rules. Not with patience. So I want all the food, all the booze, and all the indulgence NOW. And maintain my results.

Can’t happen that way. The rules will break you if you don’t learn how to break them.

 

And what about consistency? Isn’t that just another way of  following the rules?

Not necessarily. Consistency is more about having the same intention every day. Wanting the same thing and going after it every day.

Eating to feel good every day: that’s consistent. But not rule following.

Exericising 3 times a week, every week: that’s consistent. But not rule following.

Choosing to love your body, every single day no matter what, because you want to live in love: that is consistent. But not rule following.

 

And trust? Trust what? Trust who? Well this goes hand in hand with consistency and patience. In order to be patient enough to remain consistent even when results are not instant, you have to trust.

Trust your body, your instincts, your knowledge, your coach, mentor and yourself. You have to know that what you’re doing is right, and for the right reasons.

That’s the secret, the key, and the one thing that will let you break the rules, is trust.

 

So when I say “learning to break the rules” I mean it.

But what does learning mean? Because you can’t practice it, or write lines, or reports or read a book. We are talking outside of  those paramaters. We are talking trial and error. Building trust.

So we have to make mistakes. And that’s where it gets hard. And that’s when we want to quit. And either run back into the arms of rules or back to the chaos of “just going for it”.

Either way, if you want to break away from being a rule follower, and just trust your instincts ( ie eat mindfully, listen to your body, live intuitively) you have to make some mistakes.

That means sometimes eating too much of something that’s not so good, and then getting up the next day and choosing good again. It means exercising less, and more consistently, so you don’t get burnt out and exhausted. It means having toomuch wine sometimes, because it’s part of your lifestyle, and NOT feeling bad about it or beating yourself up about it. Just getting up the next bloody morning and continuing to find the right fit for you.

The thing about the rules is, they work. They really do. And they’re there for a reason. To teach. To guide.

But when it comes to diet and exercise, we are all different. Like so different. So different that to ask us all to follow the same set of rules would likely leave more of us unhealthy than it would make us better. Because different bodies need different things, different lifestyles, interests, tastes, desires, all require us to behave (eat and move) differently.

So yes, you need to learn the rules. Absolutely you do. You need to understand how food works, what it does to and for your body. Same goes for rest, water, exercise, self care, sex, and activity. In order to live our healthiest lives, feel our best and function at our highest we have to know what these things do. At least at a basic level. That’s the rules.

Finding out what those things mean for you. You personally. That’s breaking the rules. Trial and error. Seeing if you can have wine with dinner every night, or maybe no booze at all. That’s rule-breaking. And you have to try it, while remaining both consistent and patient, to learn if and what works for you. Training just 3 days a week, or subbing yoga for one of your strength sessions, that’s breaking the “rules”. But it’s the only way to find out if it’s going to make you better.

We know that strength training 3-5 times a week is good for us. That’s a rule. We know that.

But what if 2 strength sessions, 2 long walks and a couple yoga sessions was better for you? You need to try to find out.

So breaking the rules is essential. But just as important is to get to know them. And yourself, a whole lot better.

None of can do that alone. We need a team. A tribe. A sisterhood. Someone to bounce ideas off of, to give us feedback and to cheer us on when the chips are down.

And a coach, who knows the ins and outs and can remind us WHY we started this journey in the first place.

And why?

To find the Best Fit for us. To find the formula that lets us live freely, happily, healthily.

That’s why I created the Better After Baby Community. For you. and For me. A place where we can find our own Better Fit.

 

 

 

 

Write This Down

5 steps to get you from grumpy to grateful every fucking day of your life.

They say it’s one of the habits of highly successful people. The Millionaire’s secret weapon.

While I’m not saying any of that is wrong, I will tell you this. It’s my secret weapon. It keeps me waking up on the right side of the bed. And it’s the reason I have the clarity and desire to go after my dreams day after gruelling day of balancing  (often solo) parenthood and running a business.

It’s called journalling. And it takes many forms. But it’s writing shit down. Good shit, bad shit, putting it down on paper.

There are tons of different rules and systems you can follow. There are all kinds of ways to do this. But the best way I’ve found is just to do it.

Just write that shit down. Do it one morning, and then the next. Remind yourself with a sticky note or by leaving it somewhere you will see it first thing. This habit is probably the healthiest one in my repertoire, and it is the one that has the greatest effect on me when I don’t do it.

What I’m saying is that your words are powerful. Whether they’re in your head, on paper, or somewhere in between. Your thoughts and words are strong. In fact they are everything. They control everything you do. They can make or break your day/week/month/year/life. So start getting friendly with them. Real tight and cozy. Cause they’re always going to be around, you may as well get to know what they have to say.

Chances are your thoughts are sending you messages that you have been ignoring for years. Chances are you know what it is, but without writing it down and seeing it in front of your face, you’ve managed to escape it. But its time to change that.

We are going to get up close and personal with who we are. And the best part – it’s going to make you better.

Its going to make you happier, fuller, more joyful. Even the bad stuff. Even the negative stuff will improve your quality of life. Because writing it down means becoming aware of it. And that’s the biggest step in coming to terms with it. So let’s go.

I’m giving you the beginners version. The basics. How to start. 5 simple questions to answer to become a journalling sensation. I use these steps myself, when I’ve gotten side tracked from regular journalling, or on a day when I’m feeling uninspired to write. I answer these 5 simple questions and I gain either a little or a lot of clarity for the day. Either way, I feel better, and I am better. A better mom, a better wife, a better self-lover and a better person in general.

Before you begin: you will need a pen and paper. I recommend an adorable and/or cleverly titled notebook. I do believe that liking your journal helps to make you want to write in it.

Sit down, in (relative) quiet, and answer these questions:

  1. What am I grateful for right now?

    – We have so much to be grateful for in this life, and yet we let each day pass us by with feelings of not enough. We are enough and we have enough. Time to express it. Expressing gratitude will immediately boost our mood, and inspire us to look at life from a place of abundance. All joy stems from here. This is hard at first, that is totally normal. It will get easier. You will be listing 10+ things in no time. Start small, think of one, that really matters, and go with it. For as many days as you need to until you are inspired to write more.
  2. How do I feel physically?

    – Time to check in with your body. This is an opportunity to see what our body needs in terms of movement, challenge or rest. Tight muscles, sore joints, congestion, pain, ease, all these things are messages to our brain about what our bodies need. Listen in, write it down. Toes up to your nose – how are you feeling? This makes a huge difference in how you will approach your day, and in turn how you feel.
  3. How do I feel emotionally?

    – Here comes the mental health side of it. I say emotionally, but I am including stress, joy, anxiety, depression any and all feelings go here. Again, acknowledging these things helps us to deal with ourselves more appropriately. And with more compassion and care. Which again, will make us feel better. And remember, we don’t ever have to share our journals. It’s just for us. So be real and honest.
  4. How do I want to feel?

    – Major. This is the goal of all this. Of all the work we do. Of the salads and sleep and sweat sessions. This is it: How do you want to feel? And not just “good” or “happy”. Those are fine answers. but they’re not going to produce results. Because new nail polish makes me feel good and happy. We have to dig on this one. Do we want to feel satisfied? Strong? Do we want to feel well-rested? In control? Think about it. Really think about it. It might take a few days, but as we tap into our true desires, the answers will start to come, and we can start working toward making them happen.
  5. Something amazing about me:

    – This should be easy. But it might not be. And if it is a struggle, then starting this journal is the smartest decision you’ve ever made. We have so many incredible qualities and capabilities, and yet we continually focus on the things that we are not. Not anymore. At least once a day, we are going to acknowledge the incredible woman that is us.

 

There you have it. Your first journal entry. Simple as that. Follow this forever or just until you get in the groove and you can’t help but wake up every morning and write to your heart’s content.

This stuff matters. Big time. I avoided my feelings for years, because they scared me. I didn’t want to write them down because I didn’t want to come face to face with the bad stuff I’d been thinking. I didn’t want to acknowledge the not so nice parts of me. But I did, and what happened from there was amazing.

I became aware. Of myself. I started to care about how I felt. It became a priority to not only check-in with myself, but also to take action toward making me the best me I could be. In acknowledging the existence of my feelings, I gave myself permission to take care of me. Something I had completely let go of since becoming a mother.

Think about talking to your kids, or your partner:

“How can I help you if you don’t tell me what you need??!”

Well, the same goes for you. How can you expect to feel better if you don’t acknowledge how you feel right now?

How can you fix a problem that you’re pretending doesn’t exist.

You have to see it first.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with you. Or that you need fixing. But there are always areas of our lives that are being overlooked and could use a little extra attention. And here is your chance.

Start today, write it down. Make it count. Your thoughts and feelings matter. They are everything.

 

If you’re ready to take SelfCare to the next level, and really become the happiest and healthiest version of yourself, you can join the Better Fit Sisterhood today. My online fitness and lifestyle coaching club just for moms like us. Who have no time but need to make more. And are willing to do the work to make that happen. Click here to learn all about it and for your ~limited time~ chance to sign up and be a part of this amazing community of moms.

That Time I Put Everyone’s Needs Before My Own..

Oh wait, that was 4 straight years.

 

If you follow me at all, you know that I am a HUGE advocate for self care. Mama time. Girls night out. Putting the kids to bed early so you can watch two episodes before bed.

Well, I came by this intense desire for self care after spending way too long letting everyone else’s needs come before my own.

I have been a mother for about 4.5 years now ( I include pregnancy) and I spent most of that time feeling like a burden. And acting like one.

It was a really tough adjustment to go from income earning single hard working #getitgirl independant woman to SAHM.

The main reason: I hate asking for help.

The underlying issue: I hate needing help.

The result: I SUCK at accepting help.

So as a new mom, I just did what felt like my only option. I did everything.

And I mean everything. Raised baby alone (while hubby started a new job 14 hours/day, 7 days/week. Did all the cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, family, and anything else I could think of. I went above, and beyond. To infintity and beyond.

Add that to an disordered eating and an obsession with exercise and weight loss, you’d think I was out of my mind.

Well I was. To a certain extent. I was so worried about being good at being a mom, I totally stopped being a person.

I carried on like this for years. In fact, although I’ve fluctuated through phases of better and worse, it’s really only this year that it’s gotten better. That I’ve gotten better.

Now back ^^ I said that I acted like a burden. What do I mean by that?

I mean I acted like I was a financial burden. A physical burden. Like I needed to earn my keep. Like having a new baby, keeping a household and fumbling through the beginning of motherhood wasn’t enough to for me to deserve a place in my family. I was constantly trying to prove my worth by doing more, more and more. 

Because I didn’t value myself. I took no pride in motherhood. No pride in womanhood. I just was, and what I was was not enough, in my opinion.

And you know what happened?

Because I behaved that way, constantly, and spoke about myself that way, people started to treat me like that. How could they not? You teach people who you are, and how to treat you.. So me behaving and presenting myself as never being good enough, not worthy of respect, made people who even loved me dearly treat me like a burden.

And in this cycle, I continued to behave that way, because that’s how I was being treated, except at this point I was starting to get mad, because I didn’t like the way people were treating me.

I can be a doormat if I want to be a doormat but how dare you treat me like a doormat?

I had really thought that by acting like the best housewife/slave ever, that people would somehow see what a Badass Queen Mother I was. But that doesn’t make any sense. Doing everything for everyone, performing favours that would never be returned, and exercising hours a day just to prove I could do it all somehow didn’t earn anyone’s respect… what was I doing wrong? Why couldn’t anyone see how awesome I was?

I am a super mom! I’m fit and fabulous! Sure I’ll watch your kids! You want a hat?  I’ll knit you one. You’re hungry? Just let me chop the onions, fresh stew for everyone!

But ^^ this behaviour didn’t get me any respect. It didn’t make anyone appreciate me. It just made everyone assume I liked being walked all over and doing all for everyone else.

 

Which I don’t! I don’t like it at all. 

I would much rather have people do things for me. I would much rather give and take. But for years and years I just gave and gave and gave until finally – you know what happened?

 

I ran out of give. 

I got sick, my kids got sick, I’m pregnant with my third kid, I’m running a business from home, I’m trying to survive and I can’t do it all AND help everyone else too. So what did I do?

I started saying no.

To all kinds of things. From the simplest workout class, when my body was too worn out, to the favour for the neighbour, when I knew I really didn’t have time for one more thing that day. Even to my husband, who called and asked if I could drop something off in the city one day, I just said no, it wasn’t going to work.

And you know what.

Everyone survived.

Every one was fine without me. Without my help. Everyone else’s world kept turning. All those people who had needed me (or so I imagined) were A-OK without me. I was not the still point in their turning world. I was not the be-all end-all to their ability to function. So I took it one step further.

I started accepting help. 

All of the favours that people were constantly offering I started saying Yes to. I had always said “no” because in my mid, my life was my responsibility and no one else’s. My kids were mine to take care of and not anyone else’s. If I couldn’t do it on my own then I didn’t deserve to be doing it at all. But my thinking had changed now. Maybe we are supposed to help eachother out. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to work. With each of us helping the other, doing favours when we can’t and taking the help when we can’t. I even asked for help, from the neighbour to perform a task I was too pregnant to do on my own.  I even paid for help. I had a babysitter come for an afternoon just so I could catch up on some sleep because my kids hadn’t been sleeping well.

I started to realize things about myself, too. 

All this time I had thought that asking for and accepting help would make me less. I thought it would make me less of a good mom, disqualify me in the running for Supermom. I thought people would judge me for shrugging my parental responsibilities. Call me lazy for having someone clean my house. But the more help I accepted, the more I realized that it was making me better.

  • First of all, I could complete the tasks I needed to, and the sense of accomplishment from that alone changed the way I carried self.
  • I also had stopped acting like others needs came before mine, and people starting treating me with a lot more respect. When I valued myself and my time, so did other people.
  • I actually started to like myself again, and acted like I liked myself, and that alone made me a happier person. Which made it easier to be a mom and easier to tune in to my needs, allowing me to still help others, while being the kind of person who asks for and receives help when in need.

 

I have nothing against helping others. In fact if that’s what you’re getting out of this then I’ve written it all wrong. I think we should all help each other out, all the time – if it works for us. Helping someone else out if it puts you out even more than them not having your help, well not only is it confusing but it gets us nowhere. We’re a village, in some strange form. All of our friends and family and neighbours and teachers and co-workers we all need to work together to keep the community running smoothly.

So if you can do something to help out a friend, please do it. But if you cant, if you’re on your last leg, and need a hand, please ask. Or accept help. People are inherently good. They want to help – it’s why they keep offering.

Give and take – do both. And both will come back to you in the best way possible.

 

I no longer do more for others than I do for myself. Now I make my health a priority above all. If you’d like to do that to do, or learn how, or get started, join me in the Merry Mamas Holiday Challenge this Holiday season, for workouts, yoga, and most importantly tips and motivation on self care and self love. Let me show you how valuable you are this holiday season. Join below.

 

 

For the Love of Cake: The Second Trimester

I made it through the second trimester. It was officially the worst.

 

I felt like I had been pregnant for 6 years, not 6 months. I started to regret wanting a third child, thinking such gluttony was surely punishable in the form of nausea, pelvic pain and heartburn. I was exhausted 24/7. No amount of sleep could bring me rest. My kids were definitely plotting to kill me. And I was considering just letting them at it. I mean, I was a mess.

The good news, it’s over now – but after that intro – I know you want to hear more. So here’s my recount of months 3-6 in my third pregnancy, as accurately as I could manage, because I was blinded by pain and undying hunger for sweet potato fries.

So here it is, the engaging tale of my second trimester:

What I wore

Leggings, leggins and more leggings. I’m not trying to impress anyone. Rolltop legging, in grey and black, with a grey or black sweater pretty well consumed my wardrobe since about 16 weeks. On the days it was still warm here in sunny Alberta, I would wear shorts, but exposed skin was somehow really uncomfortable so I tried to get away with maxi dressed as often as was necessary. But like I said, leggings.

about 18 weeks... adorable little bump that gave me so much grief
about 18 weeks… adorable little bump that gave me so much grief

 

I didn’t really grow out of my regular clothes until it was time to switch to fall clothes, so the switch wasn’t too harsh. From maxi’s to leggings isn’t that different from my usual fall transition anyway.

Oh and somewhere around 24 weeks I started wearing maternity panties. HELLO COMFY.

 

What I ate

 

EVERYTHING.

 

I’m still addicted to peanut butter except now I’ve expanded to sunbutter as well as PB cookies, PB granola and anything other vessel I can use to get PB into my body. Craving macaroni and cheese like crazy. The real good, real cheesy, homemade and horrible for you kind.  Except this isn’t so much pregnancy as ALWAYS what I want to eat, but I don’t because I’m rarely hungry enough to actually eat that much pasta and cheese. Unless I’m pregnant. I’ve given in a couple times, but my kids don’t care for it so it ends up getting thrown out – and I hate seeing good cheese go to waste.

Also, which is new for me, I’m craving spicy food; franks hot sauce on everything- especially my home made turkey burgers which I have been eating daily with a side of salted tomatoes. Very specific my cravings are. The tomatoes are happening at least every day if not every meal. With so. much. salt.

In terms of nutrition, which I still kind of care about but honestly I’m just doing the best I can, I’m mananging to eat lots of veggies beacause it’s summer and they are just so so so soooo good right now plus you can BUY SALAD IN A BAG and that makes my life so much easier.

And bacon. Again this isn’t really pregnancy related I just like bacon.

Sparkling water – ALL DAY.  It’s such a good sweet tooth crusher plus it takes away the pain of not being able to drink ALL THE WINE. I’m adding lemons as that’s another cravings. And lemon flavour. I tried to drink lemonade but it’s too sweet for me. I regretted that for a very long 12 hours.

In terms of sweets, I’m still nauseus so adding much sugar doesn’t feel safe. Just not worth the risk – when I have two other kids to take care of. Except for sour patch kids. 2-4 a day. I like to eat them in pairs (never 2 of the same colour) and they are hidden and you will never find them.

In terms of salty, really anything I can get my hands on, unless it’s gross. In which case bring me more chips & salsa please garçon.

 

Who I told & how I told them

 

EVERYONE at 13 weeks we announced online with an adorable photo which was the exact moment that I realized my current babygirl would not be the baby anymore and she might never forgive me for that. Ouch. Until I remembered that kids don’t really retain memories before 3 years so phew I’m safe. Guilt is gone.

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The Gender Reveal.. ! We had a party with a cake and obvs tons of food – had every intention of glamoroous pictures and an adorable reveal video of my son’s reaction but he was confused by all the pressure and videos and honestly just wanted the cake. Plus he had already decided we were having a boy ( and naming him Bob the Builder ) and if it was a girl he didn’t want her but he was sure some other nice kid would like to have a sister.

it's a boy! but more important - CAKE
it’s a boy! but more important – CAKE

I am just too busy living my life to pose for pictures or create a big glamorous event. I get photos, but they’re blurry and have thumbs in them cause everyone at our parties is appropriately liquored and that’s just the way I like it.

 

What I did for workouts

 

Like I said in the intro – this pregnancy has been really hard physically for me, so I really lowered the weight in my workouts, as well as the intensity and the frequency. I needed to give myself a break. Even when I started a workout sometimes I didn’t finish them, just because it was too painful. When I did get them in, I did my prenatal strength training from my long time coach Jessie Mundell the pregnancy and postpartum goddess.

For the first few weeks of my second trimester, I was getting into spin classes again, which I absolutely love. Unfortunately, for my body at that time, it lead to some serious pelvic floor dysfunction. I had to take a break from that, and I miss it dearly, but I’ll be back. Eventually. I really do love spin! But once I couldn’t do it anymore,  I shifted my focus to strength training and active recovery. Which for me meant yoga, Core + Floor exercises(more Jessie Mundell magic) and a whole hell of a lot of foam rolling.

After about 20 weeks my pelvic pain was major, to the point of even having trouble walking. Which really sucks when you have young kids, so I invested in a FitSplint support belt and it made a huge difference. Allowing me to get through most of the day with minimal discomfort. Honestly it was still painful by the end of the day, but I didn’t suffer all day like I had before.

The most I did was beta testing workouts for my Private Coaching Club: The Better Fit Sisterhood. Which always brings me the most joy.

Overall, even though I suffered major morning sickness, the second trimester was far worse than the first. The pelvic pain was just too much, I could hardly do the things I wanted with my kids, which is really what this time is for. My plan for the remainder of the pregnancy is to enjoy being a mom of 2, get some dates in with my hubs, and get as much rest as a woman can, given the circumstances.

I’m just trying to keep self care in mind: sneak out for little alone time when I can and trying to enjoy my kids rather than resent their every move. It’s a struggle, but I know it will be worth it in a few months. Until then, I’ll dream of wine & a waistline.

All I have to do now is make it through the last 10 weeks and the holidays… no biggie right?

 

The Scariest Part of Being a Mom on Halloween

I’ve outgrown my fear, and I want you to as well. It’s no way to live. Between now and Easter there are just too many holidays with too much junk food and we need to know how to navigate these events without self-loathing, regret and guilt.

 

I’ve never pretended not to like junk food. If you know me, you know I’ve always been a huge fan of dessert. I keep candy in the house a lot of the time. I have a stash of the most excellent dark chocolate bars that I love to savour tiny bite by tiny bite and it drives my husband crazy.

 

But there’s an another entire category to junk food, and it’s about to invade our homes in the most obnoxious way possible, and it’s called Halloween candy.

 

Halloween candy comes out in the stores early September now. It’s comes in giant boxes. They sell it almost everywhere. You can’t get away from it. And for many years, that’s all I wanted to do.

 

I used to dread the oncoming of Halloween. I used to get major anxiety this time of year, because I had no control over buying and eating enormous and unnecessary amounts of those little bites of heaven. I would buy the 100-pack a couple weeks before Halloween and it would be empty before the trick-or-treaters even decided on their costumes. And I would not want to share, no way. I hid them. Or at least the best ones. So I would stay up late to make sure I could binge away after every one else went to bed. And then I couldn’t stop, and I’d eat so many, stay up so late, and wake up with a wicked sugar hangover. And you know what they say is best cure for a hangover right? So back to the pantry I’d go the next day.

 

The worst part of this is, I’d spend the whole month – 6 weeks that this would carry on for hating myself. Punishing myself for being so weak, wishing I could stop. Telling myself if I had more self-control, if I really cared about myself, if I really cared about my goals, and if I just wasn’t such an immature fatso that I could just STOP eating it. But that kind of self-talk never leads to positive behaviour. It leads to self-loathing, more punishment, and inevitably, for surviving the day as the disgusting human I was, a reward, of more candy.

 

Now I said used to. This is no longer a behaviour I partake in. I have learned healthier ways to deal with my cravings, and more importantly, healthier ways to deal with myself, ie love and compassion. It’s October 28th and I haven’t bought any candy yet. Because I genuinely haven’t wanted to.

 

Now the reasons for my ability to walk away from the big red box is not my only accomplishment. I want to be clear. I have grown in terms of self appreciation, my knowledge of nutrition, of the way food affects my mood and behaviour and most of all a desire to live FREE of food guilt. But I’ve also stopped being powerless to the candy aisle, 365 days a year.

 

I have seen a lot of posts lately about eating all your kids Halloween candy, or digging into the stuff you are supposed to be handing out, and while it’s all in good fun and we can laugh about it, this is the first Halloween I won’t be doing that, and I feel really good about it. I can sail through this coming Monday just like it was any day, except with different outfits and more pictures, because I’m not afraid of Halloween candy anymore. And you shouldn’t be either.

—A lot of you might think this is ridiculous, and stop reading here. And that’s okay. Many won’t make it this far. But for those of you still reading, I have been there. At the bottom of the plastic jack-o-lantern, wondering why I have no self control. And there is hope. I know you get me, and just know that I get you, too, and you don’t have to be afraid anymore. —

So here they are, my Top 5 Tips for Staying Out of the Trick-or-Treaters Candy:

  1. Don’t Buy It: It took me years to figure this out, that we have a choice whether we pick it up and put it in our cart or not. That just because it’s there in Septmber doesn’t mean we have to buy it. Sure, practicing will power in the home is great, too, but it’s just as impressive to leave it in the store. (Plus, do you really want your kids knowing there’s already candy in the house?? No thank you!)
  2. When You Do Buy It, Don’t Buy Your Favourite to Give Away: If we’re staring at 45 mini versions of our favourite anything it’s going to be a hell of a time trying not to devour it. There are so many options, we just have to pick something that we’ll be able to resist, or let the kids pick. (I find the latter extremely entertaining, myself.)
  3. Do Buy Yourself a Treat That You Do Love: Remember that stash of dark chocolate I mentioned earlier? It’s my saving grace. Always knowing that we have a choice of something we actually love to eat makes it so much easier to resist the irresistable. Keeping something we really do want to eat – that won’t make us feel like crap – on the ready, will make saying no a no-brainer.
  4. Get Enough Sleep: This goes for all and any nutritional decision. Halloween is just another holiday that keeps us moms busy, stressing about decorations, costumes and parties, but getting enough sleep at these times (and all others) is essential. When we’re tired, we tend to head more toward the easy, readily available, pre-packaged food options. Which is totally fine. Unless it’s a giant box of candy. The cycle begins that easily, so watch yourself and make sure you’re the rest you need. (Or as close as possible, I have little ones too, people!!!)
  5. Eat Well: Do I have to say this? Well we are moms so yes I do. It can be so hard to put our nutrition front and centre, and spend the few extra minutes preparing a salad or something else packed with nutrients, but it’s well worth it in the long run. If we are well fed, and our bodies are well-nourished, two majorly important things happen. 1)Our brain is functioning properly, which means making rational decisions about how much candy to buy/eat becomes simple logic. 2) If our hunger is satisfied, then we won’t need to binge on candy, period.

 

I have given you my best here mamas, because I have been through hellish years of dreading doing my groceries or opening my pantry for weeks at a time, every year, because I had convinced myself I have no control over Halloween candy.

 

What it comes down to now is that I don’t want to feel like crap, I don’t want to put that much nutrient-empty food in my body, and I don’t want to eat treats that aren’t my favourite. I am incredibly proud of myself, as strange as that may seem to some, it’s been a long ass journey to get here. To a place where I can even talk about this like an adult and not an over-tired toddler.

 

And I’ll be honest, there’s a little sense of embarrassment here, too, because I mean, it’s candy, it doesn’t own me or control me. But for a long time, it felt like it did. Since I started coaching, I’ve felt like I had to give this “perfect persona” of someone who doesnt eat treats or slip up… but I do. And the #BetterAfterBaby Community helps me so much with that because I actually feel so normal for making mistakes. Instead of feeling bad about it. So in hopes that I can reach one more mama out there who’s in the thick of the trick-or-treat struggle, I share my victory story. Victory over late nights surrounded by tiny little wrappers and big loud voices in my head telling me I was weak, fat and worthless.

 

Don’t let food control you either mamas. Any kind, any time. It’s just food.

 

 

It’s Up to Us

We have an opportunity right now. You and I. As pregnant women.

 

You, me, your cousin, and everyone else who is currently growing life inside them.

 

It’s up to us to change postpartum.

 

The year after the birth of your child should NOT be focused on losing weight. It can’t. We can’t survive like this. We can’t keep losing our grip on our self respect because of the way we look after we used our bodies to build another body.

 

We have to stop commending our friends who lose weight quickly. They are not winning anything. That is their body composition, nothing more. It’s not related to their love for their child or their ability to parent.

 

We can no longer talk about our “pre-baby” bodies as if they are something we have lost and must find again. We are in the same body. It’s stronger and wiser now. And I’m guessing you wouldn’t give back your child for your flat stomach, so let’s just move on, yes?

 

When we get together for playdates, or walks, or afternoon coffee, we can’t talk about our bodies like they are moving too slow. Like they have a job to do and are either succeeding or failing at it. The only job our bodies have after having a baby is healing itself and feeding a baby. Not to fit back into jeans that we don’t want to wear any way.

 

We have to care for and love our bodies now. This time. Not later, not next time. NOW. At every stage. At 9 months pregnant full and glowing and at 9 days post partum leaking and aching. It’s all amazing. And it’s up to us to be the ones to change it.

 

We can’t just sit here and wish that our mothers had taught us what was normal, or that there more advocates for safe postpartum recovery.

 

We can’t just sit here and wish away the instamodels with 2 week PP 6packs and zero stretch marks.

 

We can’t just sit here and hope that in the future women will take better care of themselves post partum.

 

We have to be those advocates. We have to be those powerful examples. We have to take on the responsibility of loving ourselves and accepting our bodies.

 

We can’t just sit here and wait for some outside source to tell us that it’s okay.

 

We have to tell it.

We have to teach it.

 

We can’t wait for postspartum to come back into style. It won’t happen. Soft bellies and sore boobs will never be a fashion statement. But we can make it normal. We can decide that we are going to be our unapologetically powerful selves. We just had a BABY. Made it inside our body. We are the heroes. We know that, and we don’t need a flat stomach or perky butt to prove it.

 

We need sleep. And good food. And we need as much love as we are giving. You hear me? We need to give ourselves as much love as we are giving away. 

 

Next time you’re with your mom friends, can you brag about how many vegetables you ate? Can you talk about how successful you’ve been at turning off Scandal and getting in bed in time to sleep a couple of hours before one of your kids gets up? Can we commend our fellow mamas on their ability to eat 3 entire meals in a day, and not in their ability to resist carbs or stay out of the pantry after dinner?

 

I’m not saying we need to applaud each other’s bad habits. Pregnancy tends to take a toll on our healthy habits, between cravings, food aversions and exhaustion we find a new normal and it’s also normal to want to get back to the good habits we know are better for us. But let’s do that. Let’s talk about good habits and good health. Not about fat and flab and who has more or less where.

 

We can discuss our bodies when, and only when, we learn to speak of our flabby bellies with as much love and enthusiasm as we do our babies chubby thighs and neck rolls.

Until then, we are all on probation. Self love probation.

 

I’m about to have my third child.

 

And this time, I don’t want to feel bad about how quickly or slowly I lose the pounds I put on during this time of growing a child. I want to focus on properly healing my body after the 9 month long workout I’ve put it through.

 

I don’t want you to tell me how thin I look after the baby. I’ve heard it before and I don’t want to hear it anymore. It makes it feel like if I weren’t thin, you wouldn’t have something nice to say to me. 

 

I don’t want you to ask me when I will start exercising again. Because being postpartum is a workout. I’m carrying a baby, making milk, and taking care of my other children and at the end of the day I have to get up the stairs to put myself to bed. So I haven’t stopped exercising, I’m working harder than the strongest strong man could ever imagine. I’m just doing it in my pyjammas. They invented stretchy clothes for a reason.

 

I want to take it easy. Enjoy the newborn phase. Eat heartily and drink tons of water. Have a glass of wine. Sleep through the afternoon – at least once. Play peek-a-boo and share a bowl of cheerios with a sticky fingered toddler.

 

When I think of my life 1 year from today, at which point I will be 8 months post partum, I don’t think to myself “man I hope I have my abs back”. It’s just not a goal. I have business goals, financial goals, family goals. I don’t have a weight loss goal.

 

When I think of next October, I hope I have more. I hope my business is thriving, my kids are healthy, that I’m recovering well and that I’m able to make it all work with 3 kids, work, and a marriage.

 

I’m not thinking about my weight.

 

And I truly believe, that if all the other women who have babies from today forward, all of us, if we come together, that we can have a carefree recovery. If we just don’t comment and commend on eachother weight and body shape. If we find other things to be proud of eachother for, to be happy for eachother for other accomplishments, that we can change postpartum. But it’s up to us.

 

We don’t have an example right now. We have the internet ploughing us with pictures of 20-something women posing with their postpartum abs and while, YES, good for them, there are SO many other shades of postpartum that it is incredibly important for US – you and I – to shed light on.

 

We need to love and care for our bodies. Not try to change them or whip them “back into shape” after we deliver our babies.

Let’s love our bodies, and care and nurture and respect the need to rest of our bodies as much as we do the tiny little human who was only a few days/weeks/months one and the same. What if we rested, fed, and nourished our postpartum bodies as if they too were a newborn?

We have to give ourselves a chance to heal and grow, to recover and return to healthy function. We have to let our newborn babies adjust to the world outside the womb. Slowly, with lots of rest and food. And not too much stimulation, not at first. That will come, there’s lots of time for running and jumping and expending large amoutns of energy, but not right away.

 

Let’s change it. You and me, oh pregnant ladies of the present and future.

 

It is up to us.

 

 

 

 

I will not apologize for my kids

At the grocery store.

In the changeroom at the pool.

When they walk right into your legs. 

In my own home.

Late at night.

 

Why won’t I apologize any more?

Because I’m NOT sorry. I’m just not. My kids are tiny little humans learning how to function in a society where the rules are constantly changing along with customs and trends on what is OK and not OK for my kid to do, be, say, wear etc. And I’m over it.

My kids don’t like grocery shopping. Or being strapped into a shopping cart by their waists. They don’t like waiting in line and they REALLY don’t like it when I tell them “no” every time they ask for something off the shelves. They might scream. They might cry. They might throw a fit right here, right now in the middle of the aisle with egg carton casualties. Will any of that negate my family’s need for food? Will I up and walk out to teach them a lesson? No, I will not. Because all that would teach them is that fits get them what they want. And that’s not my style.

 

Yes, my 4 year old boy shakes his penis around in between taking off his swimsuit and putting on his clothes. So what? Why are you watching us? He is a little kid, exploring and enjoying his body in a harmless way. Of course I teach him what’s appropriate and what isn’t, but is that going to make a floppy appendage any less interesting any time soon? No, I don’t think it is.

 

My kids are approximately 2 & 3 feet tall, respectively. If one of them walks into your legs it’s not because they are rude, poorly parented or ignorant children, it’s because they ARE children. They see a whole other world than you and I do and they might just accidentally miss something like your boring khaki pants and accidentally walk into them. Were you looking at the ground while you walked? Well they weren’t looking at the sky. It was accident, but no one needs to be sorry, especially not my kid, not far walking.

 

It might be chaotic, and it might not look like your home, but at our house, there is a sense of order. My kids know the rules. We have the same rules every day. It’s how we develop trust. It’s how I keep from going crazy. But I’m not going to apologize for the things my kids do in their own space, in their comfort zone. Whether they choose to be naked, wear every piece of clothing they own at once, or just wear an Easter basket on their head, it’s OK by me. Because in my own home, they are safe. And they know what that means. So nudity and weirdness, dance parties and sing-alongs, are A-OK.

 

If you are around my children and it’s late at night, chances are you are or are part of the disturbance that is keeping them from being in bed. We have strict bedtime rules and guidelines in my house, because it makes for a predictable environment. If you are here, and they are wild, and it’s past their bedtime but they just won’t go to sleep, it’s probably because you’re here. That doesn’t mean I want you to leave, but I’m not going to be sorry for their behaviour when they are being ripped out of their routine to the point of being too uncomfortable to sleep. I might apologize to them, but not to you.

 

Kids are learning. In everything they do. And constantly apologizing for them and in front of them is only going to teach them that every they do and say needs to be either justified or apologized for. I do not want my kids to be sorry for the space they take up, the sounds they make, for their bodies or their fascination with their bodies. I don’t want my kids to be ashamed of who they are, but apoloizing for everything they do all the time, will make them feel like those things are somehow wrong, or bad, or shameful. And they just are not.

 

They are just tiny little people, who don’t know the rules yet. So I will teach them the rules.

Nowhere in my rulebook does it say  to apologize for having energy, enthusiasim, a body, a voice or an opinion. 

 

There are things I will apologize for, even on my children’s behalf, but to list them now would utterly defeat the purpose of writing this, so instead, I have compiled a list of more things I will NOT apologize for:

1. How slow they walk.

2. How fast they run.

3. Their honesty.

4. Their timidness.

5. Their volume.

6. Their curiosity.

7. The toys they left on the floor when they were having fun. 

8. Their interest in you.

9. Their disinterest in you.

10. How dirty they are.

11. For wearing the same shirt all week.

12. For eating a lot.

13. For not eating a lot.

14. For asking you for something.

15. For hugging you because she thought your legs were mine.

16. For crying because she realized those were not my legs.

I could go on. I do go on. I will continue to come up with things to NOT be sorry for as my children continue to live their lives and learn and grow and that knee jerk reaction to say “sorry” for something they nor I should be sorry for.

 

Because I don’t want them to be sorry, not to you, not to me, for becoming their own people while exploring and discovering this amazing world in which they are lucky enough to live in.

 

I hope you’ll do the same.

Go On, Get Mad – And then get over it – 10 Tips To Beat A Bad Mood

I like to talk about mood, because I think it’s a touchy subject, and I get a real kick out of touchy subjects.

 

And mood is definitely one of them.

 

People are very sensitive to their moods, and about their moods, and more specificaly, their moodiness.

 

Last night, I noticed my husband getting tired and I said to him

 

“You’re starting to get grumpy”

 

for no other reason than that I noticed it.

 

He responded with “well so are you”.

 

And you know what happened? I got mad at him.

 

Here’s your sign! He said next “You know how I know you are? Cause that was a joke and now you’re upset.”

 

Okay so we were both a little over-worked and exhausted from yet another too short and too busy weekend.

 

The point is, our moods affect us big time. And the people around us. And that includes our kids. Which means we might be thinking they’re having a bad day, they are overtired, cranky, or extra sensitive today, when in fact it’s more likely you are the one with the bad attitude and your poor kiddos are just mirroring you, the same way they do with everything else you do.

 

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But a bad mood isn’t the end of the world, and it doesn’t have to define your entire day. There are a number of ways to turn that frown upside down. Some of my favourite are enjoying a glass of wine, reading a good book, a little one-on-one with my hubby or a long hot bubble bath.

NEWSFLASH– I have two kids at home. And a business. And responsibilities piling up higher and higher the longer I pout about whatever isn’t going my way. I can’t just drop everything for a passionate make-out session, although there are days when that would be the perfect antidote.

So I have to get creative on how to nip a bad mood in the bud, before this tornado destroys everything in its path.

Honestly, I haven’t mastered the art of being a chipper and cheery Stepford style mom, always ready for anything and positive attitude. And the truth is that’s just not me. I’m a real person with real feelings and I need to feel them sometimes. And other times, I need to get on with my day.

So here you have it, a list of the top ten things I’ve found effective for turning a bad mood into a better one:

 

  1. Go outside – You can go for a walk, or just sit in the sun. Your kids would probably rather be outside anyway. Nothing like fresh air and Vitamin D to brighten your mood and make a crappy day look a whole lot lighter. You don’t have to do anything special when you get there. Just take your coffee and your kids and walk out the door.
  2. Eat some healthy food – Chances are your crappy mood is a reflection of the way you feel inside. I am always in a bad mood by lunchtime if I didn’t have enough food or enough good food for breakfast. Ever notice that your kids are cranky at 5 o’clock? When was the last time they had some protein or a vegetable? I know now to prevent this crash with a big plate of veg between 3-4pm. But I sometimes still forget and when I do I know what went wrong and how to fix it!The same rules apply to us adults. The food we eat affects our brains as much as our bodies. We need good food to keep us feeling good and in a good mood.
  3. Drink some water – Along with the theme of #2, our bodies and brains also need water – and a lot of it – to function properly. Are you cranky? Short with your kids or angry at your partner for something did or did not do? Drink a glass of water. Chances are being dehydrated – a state most of us live in on a regular basis and don’t even know it – is a factor in why you are in a bad mood to begin with.
  4. Put on some good music – Act silly for a few minutes. Whether it’s a dance party (our family favourite) or not, anything that will make you smile and laugh will lift you out of your slump. The responsibility of Mom life and house work and everything else we do can get heavy, and it’s OKAY to remember that it’s OKAY to just have fun.Your kids will definitely appreciate the break from the norm and you will make some seriously special memories at the same time.
  5. Phone a friend – And VENT. Get it out there. Whatever it is that IS getting you down, letting it stew and build up inside you is not the way to deal with it. Phone a friend or a sister and  get it out of your system. Chances are they’ll sympathize, and even better, you’ll likely end up laughing by the end of it. Saying it out loud, whatever it is that’s bothering you, will take a lot of the weight out of the problem and give you a better perspective for dealing with it.
  6. Exercise – Need I say more?Your body needs to move so move it. Pick up something heavy, do a few sun salutations, take a walk. Get out of your head and into your body for a few minutes.
  7. Clean something – No I don’t mean like rage cleaning with the rubber gloves and Clorox. Unless that makes you happy, then of course proceed. I just mean organize a drawer, or tidy up your pantry. Clean up some toys or fold some laundry. Beginning and finishing a task can be extremely satisfying, as well as distracting your mind from whatever has got you down!
  8. Build something – Or bake, or make, or create something. Similar to #8, to start and complete a task is incredibly satisfying psychologically. Just don’t take on a huge task that will add to your to do list when you don’t have time to finish it. Maybe some muffins, or a craft with your kids, something to make you feel like you’ve “done something” and can stop dwelling on whatever has you grumped up.
  9. Take a deep breath and count to ten – This actually works. And you can do it with your cranky kiddo too. You may need to do it a couple times, of course, but it works. There’s a reason people keep saying it, it has a seriously calming (and distracting for kids) effect on the mind and body.
  10. Get mad – and then get over it.  I tell my son all the time when he gets that ragey look in his eyes. “If you need to get mad, go in your room and be mad, and then come back when you feel better.”It is okay to be in a bad mood, but it’s not okay to dwell on it all day. If something happened that upset you, or if you are feeling completely out of control of your life ( totally normal mom stuff hellooooo ) then go ahead and get mad. Or sad. Have a cry, let it out. But then move on.You have big responsibilities to get back to, so have a pity party, then pull up your big mama panties and get on with all the important shit you have to do. Cause people need you. Mind you they’re annoying stinky tiny little people, but they need you, and they need you at your best.So don’t stay there long, or they’ll follow you down that rabbit hole and they can cry and scream and moan way louder than you can. You’re no good to anybody in the rabbit hole.Stay strong mama. You got this.

I will NOT apologize for my body.

I’m just not interested in having guilty conscience. I work too danm hard, love too damn deep and give too much of my attention to the good parts of my life to live with a sense of guilt about the way I look, or the way that I don’t.

And yet here we all are, or at least a good large number of us, apologizing for the way we look. Making excuses for why we haven’t lost the last ten lbs or worse yet, why we gained weight during and/or after a pregnancy.

Girl you were hungry. You were working really hard and you were exhausted and your body asked for food and rest so you obliged. There is not a thing in this world that is more important that knowing your body and listening to its needs.

#noexcuses can go fuck itself. 

I have two kids, I have a house to take care of, I have food to cook dishes to do, floors to clean, kids to snuggle, a husband to love on, a business to run.. oh yeah and I’m 5 months pregnant.

I have #alltheexcuses. And I do not have an ounce of guilt about pulling one or two out, when it suits me.

But here’s the thing, I shouldn’t need excuses. I should not need to excuse myself from a societal prejudice about women and their bodies and how they should or not should not look at any point in their lives.

I don’t need excuses because my body is none of your damn business. Not the way it looks, not the way it feels, not the way it smells or tastes or how much or little it jiggles.

my body, looking one way at one point and sometimes another. bored yet? me too. let's move on.
my body, looking one way at one point and sometimes another. ….bored yet? me too. let’s move on.

I am not my body.

My body can not and will not define me as a person.

At this stage in my life, I am a mother first and foremost. By which I mean it is my most important role.

So in this, I think of my own mother, and my own childhood.

When I think of my mother, and my childhood, and being a child and the good and the bad and all that came with growing up I NEVER EVER assoicate any of it with my mother’s body. Or my father’s for that matter. My mother’s physical appearance had absolutely zero to do with the kind of parent she was, and more importantly with the kind of mother I percieved her to be.

My love and admiration for my mother came from the time she spent with me, the trust she built with me, the ways she taught me to be a woman and the way she let me become that woman on my own.

It terrifies me to think that my daughter will go through life thinking that her appearance – specifically the size and shape of her body – are the most important part of her. It has become increasingly apparent to me that we live in a society where young girls are spending more time working on their appearance than their education, career, and the mark they will leave on the world.

I know this because I lived this.

I spent way too much of my young life thinking more about my waistline than my bank account. More hours a day thinking about what foods would make me lose weight than about where I’d like to travel next. I spent way more money on clothes and diet fads than I did on my education.

Because if I wasn’t keeping up with the trend, if I wasn’t up to the current standard of society, I wasn’t good enough.

I created and lived in a reality that dictated what size I should be, and if I wasn’t that size, I felt the need to apologize and make excuses for why I wasn’t.

I had a #noexcuses mindset about my body but I was not too concerned if I couldn’t afford rent or food that month. 

 

I am going to change the conversation in my home, and hopefully in others’ homes too. My daughter will never apoligize for the way she looks. And her appearance will never matter more than her brain, her strengths or the kindness in her heart.

It has taken me until nearly the age of 30 to realize I am more than my looks, more than my body. I missed out on way too many experiences, even ones I was present in, because I was thinking more about how I looked than how much fun I could be having.

I want to be remembered for my skills, my mind, my family, my contributions and my accomplishments. Not the size of my jeans, or my ability to pose for a selfie.

But I truly didn’t always feel that way.

There were way to many days when I thought whether or not I had visible love handles would decide whether I was deserving of love or not. 

 

And I don’t want my kids to miss out on their youth because they’re worried that fries might affect their figure.

I do feel the need to make one apology, to myself. For letting my insecurities ruin perfectly perfect beach days, camping trips, and girls nights worrying about my belly fat. I will make sure the next 30 years have no such concerns.

But through those experiences, I learned a lot. Most importantly,  not to waste another minute caring what someone else thinks of my body.

THAT – I will not apologize for.