Thursday, September 21, 2017

"If You Get Tired Learn to Rest, Not Quit" -Banksy

Have you ever done something once and things went well then go to do it again and it's a lot harder the second time around? I'm really struggling with weight loss this second time around... Granted there are several key factors that have changed this experience from the last experience. The first time around my body never experienced pregnancy, I had 4 kids, but they were older. I was married to their dad whom had a consistent schedule, therefore I could depend on his help and support with the kids. I was working, which means I dropped my kids off at daycare or school everyday, went to work a full 8 hour day, then went straight to the gym and home to my family. This was my day every day--my work day was extremely predictable and always had my shakes for meals prepared the night before; meals were simply a breeze with quite literally no thinking involved. Lastly, I was doing the Visalus shakes twice a day. Visalus shakes had all the ingredients in the mix to help provide energy, vitamins, nutrients, and fat burning/cleansing all within those two scoops per shake. The weight literally just melted right off. Granted when I got involved with school while working and raising four kids as a single mother, time was my absolute worst enemy. I literally had zero time to do what was necessary for my own health and meal prep all while playing mom&dad, working full time, and attending college fulltime. Outside exercise went straight out the door and exhaustion was my daily state-of-being.

This time around I am in a relationship with a supportive man by my side whom has contributed to my ability to stay home with my children and be a full time mom. That is such a blessing and all at once such a curse. My job went from dividing my attention among children, work, and school to KIDS ALL DAY! Then watching my niece during the day has only contributed to the crazy I live every single day. My honey's job has a wildly inconsistent job causing him to go from working nights some days to working day the rest of the week. Sometimes he's lucky to get a full month of all nights or all days--however lately that has not been the case. It's been a mad house on the home front for a multitude of reasons; one large factor being my son recently diagnosed with Intellectual Disability along with a behavioral and other neurological development disorders. In the last few weeks it's become official after years of knowing deep down something was wrong. It's like experiencing grief all over again after recently losing my grandmother. I've realized his brains capacity will hold him back from so much in life; and now that he's receiving services at school to help him-- I now have to take him twice a week to private speech and once a week to behavioral counseling were he is going to learn about things we know without ever thinking and take for granted everyday. He just turned 9 and he is such a beautiful loving soul and knowing all this has brought on extra stress, doubt, fear, anxiety, and loaded my plate with more than raising 5/6 kids every single week.

As you can see motivation has been a lot more difficult this time around. These days are filled with so much more than I ever imagined; thankfully I am surrounded with support and for that I am so grateful. However, one thing my mother continues to remind me of it, "You have to take care of yourself; or you will not be strong for everyone else." She is absolutely right and my new mantra is strive for balance. If I can achieve a sense of balance with all these things happening I'll continue to stay on track of keeping myself healthy and becoming the FIT I need in order to be the supermom my kids see me as...

Although progress is slow going, I'm still making progress. This is becoming more of a mental game rather than a physical one. Getting the mind right will contribute to getting the body right. So far in September I am down another 2 lbs putting me at a grand total of -67 lbs. In the grand scheme of things it is a lot! I have done very well at keeping a regular gym schedule despite the crazy. Since Honey is working during the day, I am taking my two younger girls with me to the gym; they go to child watch and I go work out--then my older three stay with my oldest daughter for the 1.5-2 hours it takes to drive there, work out, and drive home. I've still accomplished getting kids homework done, my sons appointments, dinner, and bedtime routines all within the short time frame I have between 3pm and 8:30pm. I'm kicking my own ass keeping up with it all--but I am DOING IT! At the gym on the new schedule I have so far completed 65 minutes on the elliptical (high intensity) and alternating days 45 minutes on the elliptical with incorporating core and circuit training. Days honey is home, I can go alone and get a lot more done. Little Cheeks just can't hold out in child care much after 7pm--she used to being at home winding down for bedtime at 8pm. All in all I am getting there! "Go the extra mile it's never crowded" -Unknown

-Meredith

Monday, September 11, 2017

We Won't be Distracted by Comparison if We are Captivated with Purpose

Goals are one of my largest priorities in life. How can one not live a life with at least one or more goals? We are constantly growing as people therefore one cannot say, "I know it all." We never will know it all. Learning in general, is a key fundamental to life and how we should strive to live... I've been a mother for 7 years now; and let me tell you I am learning something new about motherhood every single day! Having adopted 4 kids (after a 2.5 year process) and became pregnant, bared, and birthed my youngest; I have already gained a lot of knowledge between pregnancy and ages 0-11. As an adult I have experienced not only motherhood but marriage, divorce, and blending family. My career experience lasted 14 years before making the decision to stay home with my children. It's interesting how we can learn through experience but no matter what we continuously learn every day in all aspects of our lives because with every new day comes a new experience.

When I made the decision to stay home I did it with intentional purpose and goals. During my 5-6 year interim, the first goal set aside for me to adjust to my new little bundle, the growing home of now five children, and spending time focusing on motherhood--lose as much weight as possible and return to FIT. My little Cheeks was born a few weeks before Christmas, so thankfully, it will allow me to enjoy the holidays this year at home with my children with out any outside obligations such as work or school pulling at me. My second goal will begin and end in 2018. All is still in process but as of now I will complete my Associates Degree of Psychology by December 2018. Once I complete my associates degree... Beginning January 2019 I'll be attending college fulltime to complete my third goal--my under grad in Language Speech Pathology. My last and final goal is to complete my graduate degree and receive my Masters in Language Speech Pathology. This folks, will be my ticket back into the work force! My little cheeks will be entering Kindergarten and my oldest will be a Junior going on Senior of High school by the time I return back to work--This time, working in the field I am passionate about and making the desired salary necessary for my big-little family.

"The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice." -Brian Herbert. It is by choice we must push ourselves to succeed in life--whether it is meeting a goal, learning something new, or bettering ourselves overall. Life is so short and we must take every opportunity that is given to us. Each day is a new day to make new choices and to push harder than the day before. Once we are done living this life, we may take nothing with us, but we do leave behind our greatest asset--our legacy! It is up to us to make it a great one!

-Meredith

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Value of Time

Each day, we live our lives thinking ahead of the current moment. "What will I make for dinner this week?" Sometimes we are thinking so far ahead we say things like, "I'll make the trip to visit Grandma in a few months." We constantly think we have more time than we actually do. It doesn't set in until someone passes away. Exactly 2 weeks and 3 days ago, I lost my grandmother, my mentor, and to me, my other parent. She lived a long full life of 95 years before she passed. Looking back, we spent more time together than some kids/grandkids get to spend with their parents/grandparents over the course of childhood, teenage years, and adulthood. For the time we had together, I am so grateful. It is just so hard to describe in words what a loss I feel now that she is gone. I keep thinking... "If I could just have one more conversation with her. I still have so many things I want to talk to her about and ask her." Thankfully my momma is still here and she is only 2 miles away so I can see her anytime. I have the best momma a child could ask for; and despite the severe pain from loosing my grandmother, I am so grateful to have my momma so close. Now that my grandmother is gone it really feels like I lost a parent in my life and sometimes it's so real it's hard to breathe...

We always think we have more time to do things or visit with someone; the truth is, tomorrow is never promised. Life can change in a less than a second. We truly must cherish all the time we are given each day. If we wake up to see a new day, we have been blessed to have the chance to see people, speak to everyone we possibly can, spend as much time with our children and family's.  Then when we lay our heads down to sleep at night, we can go to sleep knowing we cherished every moment we were given that day; knowing tomorrow may never come for yourself or for someone you deeply love. Living this fast life we lead nowadays, we spend more of our days counting down our time. How much longer before the work day is over, how much longer before this task is done, how long will it take to drive from point A to point B. It's simply amazing at how much time we waste each day and are completely unaware of it until someone is gone forever. "Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory." Dr. Seuss.

-Meredith

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Ups and Down Down Downs

There have been a lot of ups and downs for sure, establishing a new routine, and the constant baby-baby-baby-kids-kids-kids! Although progress is being made slowly but surely! Here's a summation from last post to current! Cheeks came down with a upper respiratory infection not long after my post. It was HELL! She was running fever, miserable, completely stopped sleeping at night, and I nearly lost my mind! Then Lil Toot started vomiting a week after that passing the stomach bug to myself, daddy, and cheeks. Cheeks was still on meds from the URI. Finally about the last week of July things started getting better. I was so glad my older four kiddos were with their dad during the sick-bola here! Therefore none of the previous goals were met and it was very frustrating. When it rains it down pours! So the last week in July Cheek's daddy started working only nights, so I was able to leave the two littles with him for a few hours early in the morning after he got off work for the gym and kick into high gear! Let me just say, this was a pivotal turning point in this fitness journey! I have been able to stay on this schedule with the exception of days where kids had scheduled appointments and or other obligations.

The daily habit is set and now time to focus on the game plan. At this point I am not yet ready to set an actual "number of pounds goal" to lose within a certain time frame. This time around it is much harder after pregnancy and being older in general. This time around my weight loss goals will be measured in "more weight loss." This means my goal is to lose more weight by the next weigh in whether that be 1-4 or 5 pounds depending on if I weigh weekly or bi weekly. My weigh in's are my motivation; therefore if I know I have had a week that just hasn't gone right with scheduling, then I will wait for the end of the next week to weigh for progress. Progress, regardless of how slow, is still progress! I am determined to not let myself get discouraged by obsessing over the number on the scale. The numbers are in and they show a lot of change as well as my last week of pregnancy picture vs current. Therefore I am trusting the process and just setting reasonable goals in the mean time...

1 Week before delivery VS Current



Goals met and current accomplishments as follows:
-Down 61 pounds to date
-Work out 5 days a week
-2 of 5 days include elliptical trainer and stretching/yoga
-3 of 5 days include elliptical trainer, stairs, stretching/yoga
-Bonus Day 6 Work out as able around kids schedules includes elliptical trainer, stairs, and stretching.

New Goals:
-More weight loss
-Work Out 5 days a week with at least 2 additional bonus days
-Work out Focus:
*Stairs increase from 10 min to 15 min
*Elliptical continue 65 min high intensity each day
*Add 10 min Core work out 3 of 5 days
*Continue stretching/yoga each day
-Breakfast: Protein shake
-Lunch Protein shake
-Snack: Protein based-Mixed nuts-Yogurt
-Dinner: Fresh Healthy dinner with the family
-Water: 1 Gallon a day
[Add propel water on days electrolytes need replenishing]

Now, lets open the floor to the readers! I am all for accountability, I believe documenting goals really helps set ones own accountability! What are some of your current fitness, weight loss, or healthy living goals?

-Meredith





Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Weeklly Thoughts

I'm back! I actually didn't let myself go another THREE years before the next post! Woo Hoo, progress... I like it! So down to the nitty and some of the gritty! This week I have taken on a bit of a "job" if you will. I am now keeping my youngest sisters 1 year old baby girl, Little Toot! Yes, I already know what you're thinking! "She has FIVE kids already, what the hell is she thinking!" Yes I think I asked myself that a few times too! However, I'm super excited to see my beautiful, precious, independent, head-strong, little niece now every day! It is a lot like having twins between cheeks and Little Toot! The onlylittle/big difference is the 6.5 months ages difference and the developmental difference between a 6 month old and an almost 13 month old! Cheeks is rolling, sitting, army crawling, and getting up on all fours and rocking. She sits independently for quite some time, although she does topple over on occasion; her muscles are still strengthening. Then you have little Toot who is rolling, crawling (very fast), WALKING, and into EVERYTHING! You can only imagine the work out I'm getting keeping up with these two little peas in a pod! It's becoming a "monkey see-monkey do" situation. Cheeks wants so bad to be up and moving around after Little Toot. BUT she's just not quite there yet.

It has been hard getting these two to nap at the same time. Little Toot wakes earlier than Cheeks so their morning time naps are totally not in sync yet. Then the afternoon nap has required my rocking BOTH babies at the same time for them to sleep. I lay Cheeks down and she stays asleep but little Toot is not understanding this whole new routine just yet. So here we are, holding on for our lives and hoping we can all survive the first week of all this new adjustment! We will get there and it will get easier! On that note, I think both are actually asleep at the same time...as I type this out! YES mommy/auntie M scores! (now we'll see how long this lasts)

I haven't been to the gym at all in almost a week and my eating has been what I can grab when I can grab it! It's not been terrible but not ideal for weight-loss. I do think between all the craziness of SIX kids to wrangle, I have been moving non stop! I'm still afraid to do a scale check! I'm going to see how we get through this week and start fresh on routine next week. Then it will be a full week of (hopefully) the new Monday-Friday norm. After a good week of eating right, morning walks, and the constant running. I MIGHT be brave enough to do a scale check at the end of the week next week! So we shall see. It's a lot harder to stay on top of the focus I had with loosing weight several years ago, Now that I have infant and keeping a 1 year old, on top of my four older kiddos. We have really had to go back to the basics, starting all over, full-on constant round the clock care that my older kiddos do not require anymore. Things are just completely different now, in a good way, but harder to get that FIT back!

Let me just <Insert Here> a note of self observation: Pregnancy changes SO much of your body it's absolutely insane! I KNOW it was bound to happen and everyone is affected completely different because every person, body, baby, and pregnancy are different! Myself, I gained a TON of water weight. I naturally retained water before I became pregnant, I was taking 25 mgs of prescribed water pills every day because my whole body just holds it in! Of course I had to stop taking them then you add pregnancy to the mix and BAM, I was a walking balloon from about 6 months on! I was HUGE at the end and the C-Section made me blow up even more from all the drugs! It was NOT pretty! But it wasn't just that it was the incarcerated hernia I got from the pregnancy that required more surgery 3 months post C-Section! That being said my abdomen went through a whole lot in a short period of time. Now I feel like it just looks so different now that its deflated and only reminds me of how much work I need to do! I lost all 50 pounds from Delivery to 4 months post baby. Last weigh in I was down almost 56 pounds total and I've been afraid to weigh in since! But I see changes in my body everything deflated my boobs (after 5 months breastfeeding) and my stomach but I can feel how much stronger I've become since finally being able to start exercising post hernia surgery! But over-all it's been a lot harder after all the "trauma" my body has endured! I am going to keep pushing and get where I need to be and TRY to not let the struggle be discouraging!

My weekly goals will alter depending on what I need to create new habits of and or stop old bad habits. I do not want to pile too much onto the plate at once because it's all about setting small goals and achieving them successfully before adding more. The baby steps turn into giant leaps over a good amount of time. I've done this before I'm doing it again!

Week One
-Protein Shakes Breakfast & Lunch
-Healthy Dinner
-1 Gallon Water Daily
-Walk every AM 2-4 miles

It's a great place to start getting back to fit! Until next time...

-Meredith





Friday, June 2, 2017

Dear Readers,

Thank you so much for previously following me and keeping up with the fitness front! Its been nearly THREE years since I have posted! Can you believe it? No I have NOT fallin off the face of the earth, although, sometimes I wish I could! So lets get to it... Three years in a nutshell...and GO!

The move to the larger space close to the family, a total success! Not only did I get into a larger space but I pursued my college education along the way. All the while, I found myself in different situations which MADE me instead of breaking me! Let me tell you...some of those things really tried to break me! My first ever baby, my Chihuahua Armani ran away never to be seen again, after ten years of life with me. I truly believe he went off to die... :'(  To this day we will never know. My second ever baby, my Boston Terrier, had to be put down at 10 years old... January 15th, 2015. Yes, I took his passing very hard. He was there for me during my darkest hours post divorce and losing him nearly did me in. Of course my four amazing beautiful children who I love so much, yet drive me nuts, but who I love so much, gave me the strength I never thought I could muster. They truly are my reason for living!

Ummmm lets see... I dipped my toes in the dating pool from 2014 (post divorce) to fall of 2015. THEN this unexpected thing happened! Ready? OK! So I previously dated a few guys (nothing serious) and one of those led me to a complete LIFE changing man! This guy and I saw each other off and on for about a year. I kind of "had that feeling" he wasn't long term quality. (I should have listened) But to my surprise he played a key role in leading me to some very important events! I met my long term "Honey" at a mutual get together pretty early on the summer of 2015 while I was seeing this one guy. SOOOOO skipping over the boring part... me  and the guy didn't work out for obvious reasons blah blah blah... Then out of the blue I get a message from my long term honey who I had met months ago and never thought in a million years that brief introduction would be the start of something big and new! So fast forward to August 2015...me and Honey chat long distance till October 2015 when we have discovered this spark we never knew existed! HELLO! So he moves back to Oklahoma Halloween that year and we begin the official relationship that is Current!

He took well to the kids, they took well to him...and we fell into this thing called L.O.V.E! Right! While he was working... and I was working... and I was also working toward a degree... this eensy weensy eviction notice came! NOT REALLY... but to sum it up the owner of the house was MOVING back whether we were ready or not! So I decided to look into buying, you know four kids and all! Then Honey and I decided HEY lets do this! So we started looking together! It was ALL in my doing, BUT we snagged up a deal and I closed on a house... for ALL of us,  Honey, four kids, and myself! I close, we move in, and a month later.... I'M LATE! WHAT! Yes folks, the one here who adopted 4 kids and was done having children is now expecting! *Crickets* Turns out I can have kids.... and girrrrrl... we are having a baby! Two positive pregnancy tests, confirmed blood work, and a successful little sonogram at 9 weeks, yes sireeee we are having a baby! So you know I decide, this school is too stressful to be working, raising 4 kids, and being pregnant first time!

SO lets scrap one thing....school! Ok, schools on HOLD now; continue working my hind end off and make THAT money! Eight months later...the greatest pregnancy one could ask for, more swelling and water retention than one likes... she's coming! Yes, that's right, I said SHE...another SHE! That makes 4 shes and one he! (all together not in utero) So I scramble to get my new house set up as follows: 2 older girls in one room, 2 younger girls one room (the 2nd younger girl being new babys room), and one boy in his own room! 2+2+1= 5. Yes Folks, I am now mommy to FIVE! CLAUDE HAVE MERCY! So, cheeks is born via C-Section and lots of recover time to follow! Seven weeks later (1 week before returning to work & lots of crunching and discussion) I turn in my resignation to be a what??? Stay At Home Mom! Yup, that is what I DO now, stay at home and raise five kids: a soon to be 7 year old, 8 year old, 9 year old, 11 year old, and NOW an infant! Honey has been SO stinkin supportive of everything, my pregnancy, my delivery, and now...everything! I just couldn't have asked for a better man to be by my side during it all- especially in the OR for the C-Section! He made me feel so supported in my absolute most vulnerable time of my life! Let me just say, I really enjoyed every single bit of the aches, pains, emotions, and love of pregnancy, the birth, and the months leading to current! Speaking of...lets fast forward to the NOW!

So I am no longer working and staying home to raise all my children. I hated every experience I had with daycare and how it affected my kids! So I originally decided to do in-home care upon returning to work. But I have watched "someone else" raise the only other infant I had and all 3 of my other kids! I DISPISED that whole concept so I knew that no matter what this HAD to work! I want to raise the only child I've ever bared and birthed! I would have raised my adopted kids too but the option was not on the table, period! SO here we are, I am finally taking role of mother, sole person to raise my kids and let me tell you what I LOVE it and HATE it! Yes you hear me right! I love being there for my kids and over-seeing everything all day every day. Making sure they are on task regardless of the task and there to teach, correct. and enjoy! I love teaching my new little cheeks language and watching her achieve all her firsts and really cherish this infancy like I never got with L!

Now to the hate, I hate waking up to the job everyday and going to bed to it...sometimes even middle of the night I get awakened to my job. I hate that I have had less than a hand full of times to MYSELF for 30 minutes to an hour since giving Birth in December of 2016. (But I still feel like regardless of my exhaustion I want to be the one doing it) I MOST of all hate how much pressure I put on myself and my perception of pressure from my Honey and everyone else. It's like I have certain expectations of everyone to be this glorious super mom that I am SO NOT! I  bust my ass every day but I can't guarantee as to whether or not it shows. Meaning: is the house spotless, no... is the dinner made for Honey when he gets home, sometimes...is the laundry done, no...did the kids complete all their chores, sometimes...Did I call/text back everyone that day, probably not...Did I make everyone happy, Nope...Did I kill myself accomplishing what I did accomplish, YES!

So there you have it! I wake up to 5 kids asking/crying/needing fed and the day basically stays that way all day with the exception of "those beautiful moments." I have to set the baby down for 5-10 minutes to take a shower at the END of they day... so I normally get a nice hot shower to a screaming baby for 5-10 minutes, did I get to shave? Hell No! Then I get to repeat myself "98770774" times all day up to bed time for all the older kids. The "good nights" get drawn out way longer than they should just because the kids don't want to go to bed. I then get to feed and soothe a baby to sleep and pray to GOD I can set her down long enough for me to finish up getting ready for bed and or take an hour to enjoy the silence before my eyes shut involuntarily.

There you have it folks, nearly 3 years summed up in 6 paragraphs. Please do not misunderstand I realize life as it is now is only a phase and it will change, and despite the long days I will one day miss all of this.  For all of the good and bad; I am grateful for all the blessings of my children and the opportunity I have to do this now! One day I will want them small again and back to how it is... just as we all do when we become a parent. I remind myself of that when the going gets tough, so I try to just breathe through the hard times and get as many hugs, kisses and small great moments I can that I will never forget! With that being said, this is still going to be a blog about fitness (lord knows over 50 pounds lost of baby weight, I still need to get back to FIT) however, now it's going to be about mothering, and the ins and outs of my exciting new life that has changed forever: SAH-Motherhood, raising FIVE little people, and of course getting back to FIT ! Cheers, until next time!

-Meredith

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tis The Fall Season

Tis the season of Fall! My entries have been far few and in-between. As I've mentioned before life's extremely busy in this household,single
Momma and 4 kids. There's never a dull moment for sure. Then to put icing on the cake were moving! Yes that's right, moving right smack in the middle of the year. It was a wonderful opportunity that I could not resist. More space,save on money, and closer to reality!

Currently were residing in a small town to what seems to be "the other side of the world." But that my friends soon will be a thing of the past. My girls will get to spread out in bedroom sharing-which they so desperately need as they grow bigger. Most importantly we'll be so much more close to my family. My family has done so much for me I can not even begin to express my gratitude in words. However being closer to all of them is the best part about this move. Life is just too short and I need my family right now as they need me. Finally
I will be close and able to be apart of a more regular routine visiting and so fourth.

As for the fitness front. Life's been pretty hectic with moving and along that a very big change. Cleaning through, packing, and organizing an entire life I had built here with my ex. A lot to sift through, throw out, and pack away. This has allowed me to really decide what's worth keeping and what worth donating or trash. I will feel a million times more organized once my kids and I say good bye to this house we used to call home and hello to being home again with my kids in our new house! A fresh new start and it's been much needed over this last year now!

I continue to work my booty off at the gym as I've kept a regular routine but fallin behind in my regular cooking. This will all be much more under control once were settled in the new house. Along with all this has accompanied stress amongst other things/people that add to that unnecessarily! I've finally reached a point I put my hands up and say I'm DONE! Either your on board some how or your off! Time to pick I can only do so much as one person!

Provided I had less stress working against me I could be a farther along but I think I'm holding it together fairly well... Here's a photo snapped a few days ago:

-Meredith