Sometimes I get overwhelmed by how hard being healthy is. That’s right, I said it. It’s hard!! Some days it kicks my childbearing butt.
Ok, let me back up and define what “healthy” means to me. It means that I am managing my stress, getting as much quality sleep as I can, eating foods that nourish my body and being at peace with that, being in right relationships with my husband and friends (as much as I can), exercising in ways that make me feel alive (like hiking, biking, walking and weight lifting) and finding time to pray and be still.
This is F-ing hard!!!
There, I said it! After 12 years of dieting, un-dieting, CrossFitting, yoga, Paleo, training and so on, I am still struggling to make this mentally easier (maybe I am just a slow learner and everyone else has it figured out). Here is why I think it is so hard…..
1) Managing Stress
I work two paying jobs. Mondays, Saturdays and sometimes Wednesdays, I drive to Gresham to drop off my son with my mom in-law. Then I drive 40 minutes to the gym and work with clients on physical fitness and nutrition. While I am there, I schedule in a half hour for pumping in the locker room and lunch. Then it’s another 40 minute drive to pick up the baby and take him home and feed him.
Every day, I coach people online about how to do what I myself am doing (some days I do it better than other days). I deal with frustrations, joys, challenges and triumphs. It brings so much joy, and unfortunately, so much stress. It can be sooo hard working from home with a baby. My schedule is a mess and my follow up time with clients can be sketchy.
And…..I take care of my 8.5 month old baby all day….’nough said.
2) Quality Sleep
I am not talking about quantity of sleep, I am talking about quality. That means no light in the room with the white noise blaring and the ceiling fan on low.
I would love to say I sleep through the night, but I often wake up once or twice searching for my baby in the sheets (even though he has been sleeping in his own room for 5 months now) worried that I am squishing him or he has somehow drifted toward the end of the bed.
If I can’t get 8 hours at night, I make up for it by sleeping when my baby sleeps (it took my 6 months to be ok with doing this….why am I such a slow learner!?).
3) What I Eat
I have been “Paleo” for about 3 or 4 years now. I hate labels like “Paleo”, but it gives the overall scope of what I eat. I find that my body does really well on high fat, high protein and low carb. I loooove to eat veggies (weird, I know), meat ( I am a total carnivore!) and lots of fat (bring on the buttah!). I do eat fruit (hello berry season!) and occasional grains like rice and quinoa, but for the most part, I feel better eating meat and veggies.
(Wow, that’s a lot of parenthesis!!)
I have had trouble with my stomach since my early twenties (oh wow do I feel old) and discovered that I have a sensitivity to dairy, corn, sugar and starch because I had SIBO. After clearing that up, I still find that I run best when I stick to a Paleo mindset.
That said, it’s soooooooo expensive!!! Anyone who says otherwise is lying to you. We pay $7/pound for beef, $8/pound for bacon, $7/dozen for eggs, $10/bottle of Avocado oil for mayo and a gagillion dollars for organic produce. I tell myself that it’s an investment in our health, but sometimes the sheer sticker shock on my receipts is enough to make me want to run to Mc Donalds instead.
It’s a TON of work!!! I cook almost daily. I grocery shop, I cook veggies, I brown meat, I hardboil eggs, I make mayo, I pack lunches, I do dishes, I bbq….I am pretty much the Julia Child of my house. It has gotten easier as I get more efficient, but it is still hard and time consuming.
4) Exercise= DWYLT
My boss Kevin at the Rebooted Body came up with the idea of DWYLT, Do What You Love Today, instead of being a slave to the gym. I love the lifestyle mentality and use it just about everyday. It’s about listening to your body and going with what your body is wanting, not just what you “should” be doing.
Most of my exercise comes in the form of throwing this guy in the pack and walking or hiking around Portland.
When I am not hiking or walking, I like to do occasional workouts at the gym (I aim for 2x/week). I like to do heavy squats and a 20 minute HIIT workout. And even this is hard! It’s hard to motivate myself (I want a personal trainer!!) and even harder to orchestrate getting to the gym. I have to time it just right when my hubby is home.
I do yoga at home (see all things Eoin Finn) and occasionally throw around a kettlebell. But mostly, I just want to sit on my butt because staying in shape is hard!!!
I try soooo hard to keep up with my friends and family, which is why I am an absolute Facebook fiend. I can’t help it. I need people. I am not a SAHM kind of gal. But, since my 20# baby rules my schedule, I often am more of a flake than a friend. It drives me crazy!! I know it is just how it is right now and that some day I will not have to schedule my life around his three naps. But for right now, it sucks and all I want to do is going shopping at the mall with a friend.
6) Quiet Time and Prayer
This one is hardest of all. I value and crave time to sit and pray or be silent, but my mind is always racing. There is so much for me to do and not enough hours in the day to do it all.
I want to make this more of a priority in my life, but I am also ok with doing it on the fly. I love to be silent when I hike. I pray when I am in the car. I work really hard on emptying my mind and meditating during yoga. But it’s still sooooo hard!!!!
So, that’s my rant. Being healthy is hard. It would be sooo much easier to lay on the couch and order pizza, but instead, I am working it out. I am trying to find ways to make living la vida “healthy” doable and sustainable.
What tips do you have for living a healthy life??? What does “healthy” look like for you??