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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My Twin Birth Story (Hospital Induction, No Epidural)

My twin boys just turned 2 today, and it felt like the right time to share my twin birth story. This is the twin birth story of Sebastian Charles and Maximus James. When I found out I was pregnant in Early 2017, I was so excited to plan a totally natural water birth....

10 Time-Saving Productivity Tools for Moms

10 Time-Saving Productivity Tools for Moms

Are you a mama in need of some productivity tools so you can do #allthethings? These are my 10 favorites. One of the biggest challenges for moms is time. We don't have enough of it! So I've compiled my favorite time-saving products, and productivity tools for busy...

4 Month Sleep Regression: Baby Becomes a Demon

4 Month Sleep Regression: Baby Becomes a Demon

The 4 month sleep regression is one of the most dreaded phases of parenting. You've finally gotten the hang of this parenting thing, you think it's all smooth sailing, and then the 4 month sleep regression steps in to knock you off your parenting pedestal. It's...

Being Fat and Loving it Instead of Judging Myself

Being Fat and Loving it Instead of Judging Myself

I decided it's time to embrace being fat. I’ve tried accepting my new mombod. I’ve tried changing it. I’ve tried to love it for giving me babies and nourishing them. But what if I try something new and lean into being fat? What if instead of loving myself and my body...

Why is How Often Moms Shower a Hot Topic?

Why is How Often Moms Shower a Hot Topic?

I shared a heartfelt post on Facebook about the sacrifices and joys of being a mom, but what caught a lot of attention was a debate on how often moms shower. We joke about it, but it's usually true that moms shower less than non-moms, especially during those early...

Fourth Trimester: How One Mom Helps New Moms Thrive Postpartum

Fourth Trimester: How One Mom Helps New Moms Thrive Postpartum

There are so many ways in which modern society does not fully support new moms, especially during postpartum. So one mom decided to do something about it. When Lisa Chin began her journey of entrepreneurship, she thought about what she would pursue even if she didn't...

How to Make a Baby: Get Pregnant Faster

How to Make a Baby: Get Pregnant Faster

There's more to how to make a baby than the good old birds and bees talk you got as an adolescent. Many adults have knowledge gaps when it comes to trying to conceive, so let's fill them in so you can get pregnant faster. Have you been doing it like rabbits for months...

Things to Do With Toddlers to Beat Boredom

Things to Do With Toddlers to Beat Boredom

Running out of ideas of things to do with toddlers? Sometimes we get into a slump as kids grow and need to come up with new activities for toddlers as they grow. These toddler and mom-approved things to do with toddlers at home will stimulate their developing bodies...

Must-Try Foods for Picky Toddlers They’ll Actually Eat

Must-Try Foods for Picky Toddlers They’ll Actually Eat

If you're trying to get your little one to be more adventurous with their eating, these foods for picky toddlers are a great place to start! We all know what it's like to slave over a delicious and nutritious meal only for our little ones to push it away and stick...

Creating a Baby Registry on Amazon

Creating a Baby Registry on Amazon

The best thing new parents can do when shopping for their bundle of joy is creating a baby registry on Amazon. In this post we will talk about all the pro's and con's of creating a baby registry on Amazon and how to do it. But first, let's talk about what a baby...

Gratitude is the Attitude Moms Need + How to Get it

Gratitude is the Attitude Moms Need + How to Get it

Gratitude is the attitude many of us WANT to cultivate as a mom, but we have so much on our minds, and sometimes remembering how much we have to appreciate and be grateful for gets put on the backburner. While gratitude is the attitude we know we *should* be focusing...

What is Self-Care for Moms, and Why is it Important?

What is Self-Care for Moms, and Why is it Important?

Self-care for moms is more important than for most other people on the planet. Being a mom is like having 2.5 jobs, and a lot of us have jobs on top of that! When will we take self-care for moms seriously? There are countless memes about how moms are exhausted and...

Is Mom Guilt a Good Thing?

Is Mom Guilt a Good Thing?

We've all felt the mom guilt, haven't we? The mom guilt and the mom-shaming seems to be at epic levels, but have we ever stopped to consider if there might be some good to be found inside the messy mom guilt? The other day I posted on my personal Facebook profile...

Learn from a Child to Be a Better Parent

Learn from a Child to Be a Better Parent

We exepect our children to learn from us, but there is so much we can  learn from a child. Fyodor Dostoyevsky said, "The soul is healed by being with children," and nothing could be more true, even if having children is also one of the hardest things you can do it's...

Teaching Kids to Share is Hard, and I Don’t Force It

Teaching Kids to Share is Hard, and I Don’t Force It

Before having kids I thought I totally knew what teaching kids to share was all about, but now that I'm a parent it is a whole lot harder than I anticipated. Sometimes doing what's best doesn't fit into societal expectations, and that's what makes teaching kids to...

Vacationing with Kids: Is it Even Worth It?

Vacationing with Kids: Is it Even Worth It?

After spending 10 days driving from Pennsylvania to Orlando, FL for our very first Disney vacation as a family, I am starting to wonder, is vacationing with kids even worth it? It was just a few days after we got back from a recent trip to Disney World when I was...

30 Best Wooden Toys for Kids and Babies on Amazon

30 Best Wooden Toys for Kids and Babies on Amazon

If your kids (or you) are feeling a bit of sensory overload with all the colorful, plastic, and noisy toys, these 30 best wooden toys for kids and babies will simplify the playroom. Wooden toys for kids made out of natural woods bring a sense of peace and calm to play...

I Stopped Trying to Be a Perfect Mom to Be a Happy Mom

I Stopped Trying to Be a Perfect Mom to Be a Happy Mom

Raise your hand if you have ever felt like crap about yourself for not being perfect. 🙋🏻‍♀️ Me too. In fact, I've spent most of my life in a constant state of fear that everyone will find out that I am (GASP!) not perfect. On the surface, this sounds ridiculous. I...

Best Diaper Bag for Twins from Real Twin Parents

Best Diaper Bag for Twins from Real Twin Parents

We were on the hunt for the best diaper bag for twins. Our trusty old diaper bag has finally called it quits after five years of service, and it's now time to shop for a new one for the twins (plus an almost 5-year-old). My husband and I have scoured the webs for the...

Self-Care Ideas for Moms (From a Dad and Teacher)

Self-Care Ideas for Moms (From a Dad and Teacher)

These self-care ideas for moms are must-know if you are one of those people who craves alone time and doesn't know what to do with it when you get it! Ironically, it's a dad who is going to share some of these essential self-care strategies with us today. Taking care...

Why Breastfeeding is Important Beyond Health

Why Breastfeeding is Important Beyond Health

We could talk about the health benefits for mom and baby which most people point to, but there are other reasons to consider why breastfeeding is important. Breastfeeding is a complicated topic in mom culture today. While we are in a sort of renaissance when it comes...

Teaching Kids to Cook, Getting Started

Teaching Kids to Cook, Getting Started

Teaching kids to cook has a ton of benefits for parents and kids. While it may seem daunting to let your little ones take on the responsibility of helping prepare meals, it is totally doable. Most parents make sure that the entire kitchen is baby-proofed and safe for...

Mom Hack: Knowing Baby Developmental Leaps

Mom Hack: Knowing Baby Developmental Leaps

Dealing with cranky kids is rough, but if you want to take those extra fussy baby days in stride then knowing baby developmental leaps is essential! We've all been there. Our sweet little squish is the most calm and cool kid ever... until they're not. You wake up one...

5 Tips for How to Give Birth Naturally Without Pain

5 Tips for How to Give Birth Naturally Without Pain

Want to know how to give birth naturally without pain? Awesome! It IS possible to greatly reduce discomfort during birth. These are the five best ways. Before we dive into specific natural childbirth techniques for relaxation and feeling more comfortable in birth,...

What are the Baby Blues After Birth?

What are the Baby Blues After Birth?

One thing they never tell you about is the baby blues after birth. Sure, you’ve heard of postpartum depression, but the baby blues? It’s almost a little secret of postpartum that stays hidden... until you’re going through it. (Quick disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I'm...

Sleep Training Without Cry It Out Method

Sleep Training Without Cry It Out Method

Is sleep training without cry it out method even possible? It sounds like sleep training without cry it out method is a dream, but it can work! If you’ve been looking for an extremely gentle way to encourage sleep in your baby without the tears, this one’s for you....

How to Prepare for Twins, 5 Tips from a TwinMom

How to Prepare for Twins, 5 Tips from a TwinMom

Once you get past the shock of having twins, you can start to go a little bonkers with figuring out how to prepare for twins. To be honest, you will never be completely ready for becoming a twinmom, but these are the five best tips for how to prepare for twins.  ...

Clearing Clutter Where to Start

Clearing Clutter Where to Start

It's so easy to get buried in stuff when you're a parent. Kids have so many things! Combine that with yours and a partner's? The clutter can easily get out of control. That's why today we are going to talk about clearing clutter, where to start. Mia Danielle joins me...

Two Shirt Method: How to Discreetly Breastfeed in Public

Two Shirt Method: How to Discreetly Breastfeed in Public

Learning to breastfeed as a new mom can be challenging, and when it comes to breastfeeding in public, things can get awkward pretty quickly when you aren’t very experienced at it. But there is a super simple trick to low-key nursing in public, it’s called the two shirt method.

Having a Motherhood Identity Crisis?

Having a Motherhood Identity Crisis?

Becoming a mother for the first (or second, third, fourth, five...) time is life-changing and beautiful, but it can also lead to a motherhood identity crisis. People say your life is over when you have children. I tried to deny it. I tried to fight it. I tried to...

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? As we try to change the way we view moms and postpartum bodies, so many times we are still just learning to love our bodies ourselves.

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....

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

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

It's easy to get caught up in the chaos of motherhood, but being a mother is the best feeling. This whirlwind of diapers, sticky hands, bath times, bedtimes, routines, schedules that are thrown out the window, baby pools, and more is exquisite even if it's so hard. I...

How to Be a Better Parent with Personal Development

How to Be a Better Parent with Personal Development

How many time have you agonized over losing it and yelling at your kids, or felt guilty over all the screen time they are getting lately? It's normal if you tend to wonder how you can be a better parent. This is a tough job. Karen Hewitt shares in this episode of...

Forgiving Yourself for Parenting Mistakes

Forgiving Yourself for Parenting Mistakes

We’ve all thought it at least one, right? The question: “Am I screwing up my kids?” The truth is… yes. To some extent. We all are. Because we can’t do this job perfectly and it’s time we learn that forgiving yourself for parenting mistakes is not just ok, but essential.

Time to focus on self-care and nourishing your body instead of punishing it. How often are diet and exercise about changing who you are? What if we focused on using what we feed our body and how we move our body to help us live our best lives? Self-care for moms is important, but it needs to be practical self-care.