Where has the time gone? Little miss Naomi is already 3 months old and I am rested (well as rested as a new mama can be!) and ready to get back in the saddle! Starting next week, I’ll begin meeting with clients again and will be working Tuesday thru Thursday at either my office on the West side in Middleton or my home office on the East side of Madison.
The past 3 months have been life changing and life challenging—in good ways—all at the same time. While I was on maternity leave, I had plenty of opportunities to think about how I can continue to serve and encourage you to really press on and live a more healthy, balanced life.
Having said that, I’m pretty sure we’re all well aware that making positive lifestyle changes requires a little effort on our parts. Therefore, I’ve identified 4 key areas I believe we ALL need to spend some time focusing on in order to prioritize what’s most important while working to achieve our health and weight loss goals at the same time.
So if you’re ready for some change, let’s get going!
I have always LOVED to sleep and typically had no problem falling and staying asleep at night. Because I understood the importance of sleep, I always made it a priority to get as much as possible. Enter Naomi. Bye-bye regular sleep schedule as I know it! I realize I will be getting less sleep during this season of life, however it has reminded me to remind YOU how important it is. So just in case you haven’t heard these before, here are some of the important benefits of sleep:
In the short term, a lack of adequate sleep can affect judgment, mood, ability to learn and retain information, and may increase the risk of serious accidents and injury. In the long-term, chronic sleep deprivation may lead to a host of health problems including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early mortality. Yowsas!
2. Saying No
Last year, we wrote a 2 part series on “Saying yes to saying no.” This is an important key to living a healthy, balanced life. There were many times during my maternity leave that I had to say no, and being the people pleaser that I am, it was actually very difficult for me. For example, I love community and spending time with my friends. One day, one of my friends called and asked if she could come over and see the baby. Even though I really wanted to spend some time with her, I was very tired and knew that I needed to sleep when the baby slept that afternoon. So I gently told her that it wasn’t a good day for us and honored my need for rest. I know that may seem like a silly example, but my point here is that a lot of “little” yeses can lead to exhaustion and over-scheduling. See how saying no can help you with point #1 – more sleep!
Check out the article here: http://traciefountain.com/just-say-no-to-saying-yes/.
A question I want you to consider is, “Who are you surrounding yourself with?” I cannot express how important it is to have people around you that can and will show unconditional love and support. I have been blessed by so many wonderful friends and people in my community group from church who provided “healthy” meals for almost a whole month after Naomi was born. It was a great reminder of how much we need each other. Do you have people in your life that can encourage and bless you when help and support are needed?
4. The “Should I” Game
After I had Naomi, I struggled with something new for me: what I call the “Should I” game. I’m referring to the mind games we play when we go about life comparing ourselves to others. Here are a few examples of some very common thoughts that seemed to cross my mind multiple times over the past few months:
• Should I be doing more by this time? Sally was back at work 3 weeks after she had her baby.
• Should my body be bouncing back faster? Sally’s stomach was back to being flat again only a few weeks after she had her baby.
• Should I really take a nap? Sally has been back at work for weeks and I should not need a nap—I should be getting everything done on my to-do list by now!
Do any of these thoughts ring a bell? Even if you’ve never had a baby, you probably get what I mean. For instance, how about this all too familiar thought:
• Should I have lost more weight by now? Sally’s been eating well and lost 10 pounds already.
What are the thoughts that seem to regularly “plague” you? I have learned very quickly that this thinking process is NOT healthy. In fact, if I’m being totally honest, I have to frequently remind myself that everyone and every “body” is different, and that means I have to listen to mine and what it may be trying to tell me. I’ve seen so many clients have their health goals sabotaged by comparing themselves to someone else that appears to be further along. The result of this type of thinking is that they give up, and it’s usually right before they’re about to reach a breakthrough. We are a society that does not listen to our bodies and likes quick fixes. This means that many people do harmful things to their metabolism to yield quick results, but not long-lasting ones that actually produce change. Health is not a short-term plan; it’s a lifestyle.
As I’m typing this, I’m thinking of a note I recently received from a client thanking me for encouraging her to keep going. The last time I had met with her, she was discouraged because she was not losing weight as quickly as she thought she should. I reminded her it takes time to heal your body and just two months following our conversation—after she made the decision to keep going—she has almost reached her goal. What would have happened if instead of pushing forward, she had simply decided to give up?
I know I have highlighted some of these areas before, but it’s because they are the most common roadblocks I see that interfere with many of my client’s abilities to achieve the results they are so desperately hoping for. Sometimes it takes several gentle reminders for us to break the cycle and evaluate where things might be going wrong.
So do yourself a favor and as we usher in a new spring season, take some time to see if you also need to usher in some positive lifestyle changes. Remember: if you don’t like where you’re going, then it’s time to stop and switch directions. You never know…it just might change your life!
Naomi at 3 Months