Nourishing Your Body (Simple Self-Care Part 3)

Nourishing Your Body (Simple Self-Care Part 3)

How often do we think about our body as either a baby-making factory or something that needs to snap back into pre-baby shape? We are either feeding our bodies to feed our growing babies, or trying to morph it into something it resembled before a human incubated inside of it. What if instead, you focused on nourishing your body?

 

Time to Focus on Self

This is what I thought to myself as I pushed a double stroller filled with about 50 pounds of baby around my neighborhood.

To say I wasn’t feeling my best would be an understatement.

Psoriasis, fatigue, bloating, and more. My body was just feeling out of control, and as a result, I was emotionally wrought as well.

I had no grip on what the hell was happening in my body because I had no grip on what I was feeding my body. The idea of nourishing your body wasn’t even in my lexicon.

Plus, besides taking care of the kids, I got almost literally no exercise (hence throwing myself into pushing the double stroller any and every where). While I don’t want to speak ill of myself, the truth is that I was kind of feeling like a slob. A couch potato. A hermit. An eater of all the foods.

It came on slowly. I quit smoking and fulfilled those cravings with food instead. Then winter came with all the typical holiday foods combined with being cooped up inside in the cold. It was brutal.

You know the mind and body are inextricably linked, right? What’s happening in our body impacts our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and vice versa.

It’s so easy to get caught in these loops of unhealth and dis-ease. You eat like crap, which makes your body feel like crap, and you emotionally feel like crap because due to not being nourished properly.

Not to mention, you know you “should” be eating healthfully, and aren’t, so the guilt and shame start to creep in. Then you say screw it, and pull out another piece of that Christmas cheesecake or the kids’ leftover Halloween candy and drown your sorrows in food.

I know I’m not the only one who does this, right? Even if your story doesn’t sound *exactly* like mine, I bet you can relate to some aspect.

While I do compare our bodies to cars in the last post about self-care, we are not literally machines. We are not perfect. We have all kinds of things that come up and derail us from nourishing our bodies.

So while I did give myself a little grace, and not go too hard on my lack of attention to my body, a change was needed.

 

Making Realistic Changes

At the age of 32, I’m still fairly young, but I can tell my body is changing and the choices I make have a much greater impact on my body and mood than they once did.

I mean… two glasses of wine and I’m hungover the next day, even though I used to be able to pound shots and six-packs of beer in my early 20’s then get up and go to work the next day. (Oh how times have changed)

Completely overhauling my diet and exercise has never worked for me. I LOVE food. I mean even when I’m not emotionally eating and then hating myself for it, I just love to eat. It’s a sport, a hobby, a pastime, a love for me. I’m not particularly interested in taking certain foods off the table or completely abstaining.

The point here wasn’t to starve myself and get super skinny. I was in the middle of developing a self-LOVE practice as well as a self-care practice. That’s why I wanted to characterize this as nourishing your body vs. going on some diet and exercise routine.

Not only is this about helping your body feel good so that you feel good emotionally too and are able to be at your best for yourself and your kids, but this is also about learning to love yourself when you get a little off track, not punish yourself.

With wellbeing as the goal, I was able to approach this with a new mindset. Instead of thinking “I need to lose X amount of pounds,” I actually sat down and wrote out a list of things that make me feel good. Some of them are more spiritual and we will get that in the next post. Others were basics like getting more sleep, which I discussed here.

Two of the biggest things on that list were feeling like my clothes fit well, meaning I’m not bloating, and just a little thinner, and I also get outside and exercise every day. (Even when it is freezing out!)

First was to decide on a diet, or rather, a system of nourishing my body. (Diet sounds so… well you know…)

I thought back to the summer before.

In the summer of 2018, I was at the lightest I had been in a long long time. I realized that I had been eating in a more intuitive way. To be honest, I devoured cheeseburgers and sweet potato fries a lot of afternoons followed up by a piece of strawberry pie from a local restaurant I loved. Yet, I still felt better and was lighter.

But what I mean by more intuitive was that I didn’t eat unless I was actually hungry.

My mind clicked and I remembered seeing a bunch of people posting about intermittent fasting, which I realized was also what I was doing.

I have never been into eating breakfast every day. I just never felt that hungry in the mornings. I preferred to wait to eat until noon or soon after.

However, I had gotten into the habit of eating as soon as I got up in the morning, and eating a lot! It wasn’t because I was actually hungry. It was because I was bored and my twins had been getting me up at 4am. Eating was something to do to pass the time and make the early rising feel a little more palatable.

 

A New Way of Eating

I decided to cut that out and give intermittent fasting a try. Besides knowing that I had naturally done it for years without knowing the name for it, I also found that there was a lot of research pointing to it being excellent for your health in many ways.

There are a few different methods of intermittent fasting, but I kept it super simple. I decided to only eat between the hours of 12 pm and 8 pm. This is what I had always naturally felt was right for my body, and it was an easy rule to follow, and the best part is that during that time I ate whatever the hell I wanted!

Hello burgers, fries, pizza, meatballs, all the pasta, and more!

Most of the food I consume is homecooked and organic. So I really don’t monitor what exactly I am eating, as long as I only eat during the hours I have set up for myself. The basic point of intermittent fasting is to give your body time to clear out all the food you’ve already eaten before filling it back up again the next day.

When I do this, I feel so much better! I might feel occasionally hungry in the morning, and if I really feel famished and like my body NEEDS food ASAP, then I feed it. (Remember this is about nourishing your body, not punishing it.)

But for the most part, I stick to drinking water and coffee in the morning and then eat a good lunch around noon.

The other thing I knew I needed was not just exercise, but to get outside.

I tried to go to the gym. I really did. I got a membership to the YMCA where I take my kids for swim lessons and gymnastics. They have child watch hours where your kids can play with the other kids while all the mamas get their workouts in.

The first day was great! I was able to go to a yoga class, but ever since, my twins have come down with extreme cases of separation anxiety and literally cry the entire time they are there.

Let’s just say it isn’t very easy to relax and focus on your downward dog while you know your kids are screaming their heads off.

My only real option for exercise is something that includes my kids. So walking and hiking it is. Not to mention it gets me into nature, which is essential for my well-being.

For most humans, we are seriously in need of connection with nature. Plus, many of us are vitamin D deficient! So getting out into nature helps us connect and some sunny D. You’re nourishing your body and soul when you’re outside.

The thing is that creating a new routine of getting exercise every day, and sometimes multiple times a day is not my forté.

That’s why, when I began to focus on getting exercise, I decided to pull out a tool that worked wonders in the past, my BellaBeat Leaf.

Not only is it totally cute, but it works and comes with an app that tracks steps, exercise, sleep, meditation, water intake, and your period! It’s the perfect all in one health tracker for women.

With my trusty Leaf in hand, I set my goal to simply to walk 10,000 steps per day.

At first, that seemed like a lot, but once I started tracking daily it really wasn’t too hard to accomplish. Besides the normal walking around the house and doing errands, I just did a morning and an evening walk with the kids.

My regular loop is just about one-mile roundtrip, so I was walking about 2 miles per day in addition to my regular daily activities.

 

And the results?

This isn’t one of those shocking “I lost 50 pounds in a month” kinds of posts.

I DID lose some weight. About 5-7 pounds so far over the course of a few months. But the transformation here isn’t about the weight or how I look. The transformation here is about how I FEEL.

Physically I feel stronger. I feel capable and like my body is working for me instead of me feeling like a slave to my cravings and various small health issues.

Emotionally I just feel lighter and happier. Of course, I have been doing a lot of self-love and spiritual work, which I’ll discuss soon, but as I said above, your body and mind/soul/spirit are interconnected. So the focus I’ve put on nourishing my body and ensuring that it is well cared for has helped me make a shift emotionally as well.

In the past, when I wanted to make changes to my diet and exercise routines, it was all about the external. It was about having a flat tummy, getting rid of cellulite, etc.

At this point though, I am learning to love my body as it is and accepting it as it is.

I was very clear with myself from the beginning of this journey that any external changes in my body were not necessary. What mattered was that I was doing what I knew to be healthy for my body, and as long as I felt good, that’s what mattered.

And I do. I feel good.

Do I have days where I don’t feel confident in my body? Do I have days where I start eating as soon as I wake up and have midnight snacks? Of course! This is actually an important component. Understanding that some days I will get off track either purposefully (like a girls’ night) or because I am eating my feelings allows me to show compassion towards myself and my body, which ironically makes it easier to get back on track when I’m off.

But I also look at those days that get off track as a signpost. They are an indication that something is happening internally. There is something happening emotionally that needs tended too. So I go ahead and let myself enjoy that giant bowl of buttered noodles and glass of Pinot Grigio at 10 pm, then the next day I sit down at my desk, light a candle and write in my journal until I can clear whatever feelings are causing me to get off track.

And it isn’t as if the times I’ve gotten off course are few and far between or they are only one day. No. I’ve had entire weeks that I was far from perfect. Eating whenever, whatever, and not exercising.

But to be honest, I just embraced it. I decided that my body must need extra rest and nourishment, so may as well go with it while remaining in tune physically and emotionally so that when the time felt right, I jumped back into my routines. (I mean… menstruation happens and I’m definitely up for more rest and more chocolate during those times.)

Again, I may sound like a broken record, but the idea is that you are nourishing your body, not punishing it. So at every point, even when you’ve fallen well off the wagon, it is all about figuring out why and perhaps it is even a GOOD thing that you did.

Reassessment is important. What you decided was important for you 2 months ago or even a week ago may not be relevant anymore. So take these moments to just chill and love on yourself even more.

Self-care as a mom is essential. You are sure your children are nourishing their bodies with what you provide. Time to do the same for yourself, mama.

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Child Personality Types: Must-Learn System to Be a Better Parent

Child Personality Types: Must-Learn System to Be a Better Parent

Wish there was a manual for this whole parenting thing? Well there just might be. Learning about child personality types can help you hack your way through parenting and be a better mom.

Today’s guest on the MomUp Show, Sabrina Ivonne, loves helping parents learn more about child personality types and how they can help parents better understand their children.

Energy profiling is one of the first things Sabrina asks all moms about. It’s a system by Carol Tuttle based on Ayurvedic medicine. Here’s a quick rundown of the system, so you can deal with those childhood moods a little better.

There are four energy types simple numbered 1-4. While we all have all four energies within us, we are primarily one of the four energies. Sabrina helps parents figure out their children’s type so they can better understand and parent their children. Sabrina recommends learning your own type first and then your children’s.

A brief description of each type:

Type 1:

The social butterfly who can talk to anyone. Bubbly, fun, exuberant, and flutters from place to place rapidly.

Type 2:

Emotional, soft, and sensitive this person is a much more slow-moving and comfort-seeking person.

Type 3:

Determined, go-getter, and natural-born leaders this type won’t stop until they reach the top.

Type 4:

Bold, striking, perfectionist, and lovers of balance. They are constantly editing and perfecting everything as they are very meticulous.

Listen in while we try to type me and my kids! Plus, lots of chat about parenting for YOUR child, astrology, and energy.

Sabrina Ivonne is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Holistic Behavior Specialist, triple fire sign, serial entrepreneur, M.O.M, and the creator of the Wildly Grounded in Self-Love Retreat.

She guides, coaches, and supports mothers of children with big responses to life’s “normal” stuff including children diagnosed with ASD and ADHD. She teaches them to affect change in your child’s behavior through loving, compassionate means. She also guides the entire family to work together for everyone’s mutual benefit. She often works with mothers who feel lost and overwhelmed by the enormity of their child’s needs and who’ve lost themselves in the process of raising their children.

Having worked with families for 26 years, she’s witnessed countless mothers abandon themselves, their emotional needs, and their spiritual healing. So she created the Wildly Grounded in Self-Love Retreat happening October 16-21 on the Big Island of Hawai’i— a five-night, six-day luxe feeling + healing experience; a chance to say “yes” to yourself and your true desires in all areas of your life.

Learn more at www.venusinbusiness.com

Being a Mother is the Best Feeling. What Could Compare?

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Skin Care Products for Breastfeeding Moms

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How to Be a Better Parent with Personal Development

How to Be a Better Parent with Personal Development

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Forgiving Yourself for Parenting Mistakes

Forgiving Yourself for Parenting Mistakes

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Learning to Love Your Body as a Mom

Learning to Love Your Body as a Mom

Who else struggles with learning to love your body? 🙋🏻‍♀️ I know I’m not the only one, right?

I’ve seen lots of posts about wearing your stripes as a mom and embracing those stretch marks.

Hell… I’ve written some of them! But deep down on the inside… I have not always loved my postpartum (or pre-baby) body. The prospect of learning to love your body, it’s easier said than done.

(Trigger Warning for body image and eating disorders.)

Worthiness, Body Image, and Perfectionism

Is it possible to divorce body image from motherhood nowadays? Is it possible to divorce body image from just being a woman at all?

How much of your life have you spent worried about the way you looked?

How your body looked in the mirror?

How much fat you did or did not have?

If you’re like me, you remember spending all of Junior High worrying about how “fat” you were because one boy said when you put on a yellow coat people think you’re the school bus during homeroom.

It didn’t take long for me to dabble in bulimia until I found these diet pills my dad had been using. You know back in the early 2000’s they basically put cocaine in them? Not literally, but the drugs in the diet pills they sold back then were somewhere on the scale between caffeine and cocaine. No joke.

I used to pop a handful of them in the morning. I remember being totally buzzed and feeling like I was going to jump out of my seat in first-period Chemistry class.

Then, I eventually started smoking cigarettes.

Had that little habit from about 15-16 until I decided I wanted to start trying to get pregnant with my first child around 27. I even relapsed into smoking again while I wasn’t pregnant.

When I finally quit for the last time, I gained 20 lbs.

So beyond the stretch marks and saggy boobs, I was the heaviest I had ever been besides when actually pregnant.

The thing about it is that I was also the healthiest I had been my entire adult life with the added weight.

I wasn’t smoking, I was eating fairly healthy besides the occasional cheeseburger or piece of chocolate, I was walking nearly every day while pushing a double stroller, and I was emotionally stronger than ever before.

Why then was I unable to shake this feeling of complete unworthiness due to my weight?

This whole learning to love your body thing really is a bitch sometimes.

No matter how good of a mom I was. No matter how smart and knowledgable, resilient, strong, or spiritual, there was this nagging wound that just wouldn’t close.

This wound that told me I would never be enough until I was “perfect” on the inside and out. That I will always be unworthy of love, abundance, and praise unless I can check every single box on some imaginary list society has programmed into my mind.

And now, motherhood reveals itself as not a curse to my body, or something that has “ruined” my body.

(Check out this FB post I wrote in the throes of postpartum with my twins.)

 

Slaying Perfectionism with Your Postpartum Body

I have finally come to realize that becoming a mother and all that has meant for my body has been a blessing.

Why?

Not just because of the obvious results, those cherubic little humans who have stolen my heart. While they are the greatest gift, there is another one that I have been given.

I have a lot fewer fucks to give and a lot more reason to question the stories I had been fed my whole life.

Sure, I cringe a little bit when I get that bathing suit out. Is it just me, or are there none out there made for someone like me? Someone who isn’t quite plus-sized, but also a little chubby? Someone who’s 5’2 with like G cup breastfeeding boobies? They’re just not comfortable and not flattering.

My number one concern now isn’t how I look though. It’s literally ensuring the safety of my kids while at a pool or beach. I have less mental space to even consider my own appearance beyond that initial twinge when I get dressed.

And as I think about why I even have the little twinge and cringe as I look in the mirror while getting dressed, I stop and wonder why.

I wonder why I should actually not look at my body and see it as something sexy and beautiful. Perfect as it is.

There is nothing that is objectively wrong with it. Is there some rulebook that God himself (herself?) handed down to humans stating that stretch marks and flabby bellies were bad?

If anything, we seem to be specifically designed to NOT be perfect since in order to attain whatever the current definition of perfection is requires a lot of money, and potentially getting plastic surgery to physically alter your appearance. (Which, of course, if that’s your thing, go for it. Whatever makes you feel good.)

The more and more I thought about it, the more I felt this need to rebel.

This need to rebel even against the judge that resides in my own mind. To say…

“Yeah, I have a belly and stretch marks. Let me slip into this bikini and just show them off.”

No more hiding. Especially from myself. The truth is that when you worry about what your body looks like, no one really cares. Who else really cares what your body looks like, besides you?

Of course, there will always be that one negative judger out there, but they are truthfully few and far between.

Who Cares Anyway?

Everyone else is too worried about their own imperfections to really give two shits about yours.

And when I see a mom rocking a bathing suit and showing off all that she’s got going on, I just feel hella proud of her and slightly envious. Because as much as I try, and underneath any bravado and body positivity there is still this little voice I am working on rooting out that tells me I’m not good enough.

I see a mom in a bathing suit letting it all hang out, and I wish I was her because I assume she has more confidence than I do.

Though perhaps she’s just like me.

Trying.

Trying to love her body even if it isn’t “perfect” because it’s perfect for her. Learning to love your body isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes time and patience with yourself.

I haven’t mastered the art of body positivity yet. I may never. I might never be able to completely eradicate the judgmental voice inside of me, but I will be sure to do my best to love myself even when that voice is screaming at me.

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How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids with One Simple Tip

How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids with One Simple Tip

We’ve all been there, right? There are few people who can push our buttons like those little cherubs known as… our kids. But we also know that keeping our cool is key to being the parent we want to be. Try this one simple tip on how to stop yelling at your kids.

This simple tip for how to stop yelling at your kids was born out of necessity and accident.

It was a rough day today…

I didn’t even get a sip of coffee in before two of my three kids had a meltdown. It happens. We have those days.

Most of the time I am able to pull myself together even if the kids are a hot mess, but not today though. Today I was a yelling mom who just felt annoyed that it wasn’t one of those picture perfect days. 

One little trick helped turn it around though…

It’s nothing magical, groundbreaking, or even unusual. It’s quite simple actually…

I blew bubbles

One of my toddlers brought over the $.99 bubble wand from Target and in order to avoid another tantrum, I complied. 

What I wasn’t expecting was that it didn’t just result in shrieks of delight from the kids, but it also calmed me. It was like a healing balm on my crappy mood.

Of course, the sight of those little hands waving around trying to pop the bubbles and my sweet Max saying “bub, bub, bub…” over and over was cute enough. That alone could put a smile on anyone’s face. 

But when I thought about it, there was another side benefit. 

Breathing.

If you meditate, practice yoga, or any type of mindfulness, you’ll remember that most times when you get off track you will want to return to your breath.

To focus on the feeling of breathing, and to slow down the breath so you are more deliberate and present in the moment. 

I realized that the act of blowing the bubbles also slowed my breath (and me) down. 

I’m not going to lie… it was not a perfect day after that either. But, for those few moments, I got to stop, recenter, and be reminded of how lucky I am.

It might not work for every situation or circumstance, but at least now I have another tool is my mom toolbox for de-escalating the day and slipping back into the mood that allows me to be the best mom possible. This super simple trick for how to stop yelling at your kids.

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Creating a Six-Figure Business as a Stay-at-Home-Mom Entrepreneur (MomUp Show Episode 17 with Andrea Thomas)

Creating a Six-Figure Business as a Stay-at-Home-Mom Entrepreneur (MomUp Show Episode 17 with Andrea Thomas)

One of the hardest decisions as a mom is whether to go back to work, to stay home, do a mix of both, or maybe start your own business. The answer is different for everyone, but for Andrea Thomas, she went from career woman to stay-at-home-mom to building a six-figure business as a stay-at-home-mom entrepreneur.

Making the choice to stay at home.

Before becoming a mom, Andrea Thomas was happy as an architect. But like so many moms, once that little bundle of joy arrived, the prospect of going back to work was just too much. She extended her maternity leave then eventually quit her job to stay at home with her baby. 

But surprise! Through becoming a mother, a new life as a stay-at-home-mom entrepreneur was born too. Her daughter had eczema, and Andrea was desperate for a solution to the itching and scratch so her daughter could find rest and comfort. That’s when she created flip-mitten sleeves and started ScratchMeNot. Baby and kids products specifically designed to alleviate some of the side effects of eczema. 

What started as a small business with Andrea herself even doing some sewing grew into a six-figure business with tons of moving pieces. Not only was Andrea helping her daughter and other kids with eczema find relief, but she had found a new passion to pursue.

We talk about the choices we make as moms, whether and how we pursue our dreams, and Andrea’s best tip for building a business as a busy stay-at-home-mom entrepreneur.

 

Andrea Thomas is the mom of 5, wife to 1, and CEO of a business she loves to talk about in her free business Facebook group!

Her business, ScratchMeNot, began because she knew there were children (besides her own) who needed relief her product provides. Better yet, give a bit of sanity and peace to other parents. This was and still is her mission. Selling products and creating awareness about the conditions this product supports.

Her first book launches soon!

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