Living YOUR Best Life


Four hours a week is all it takes to live your best life … maybe not even that much time. 4 hours. If your life isn’t worth 4 hours then you don’t have a life. Someone just told me that in a podcast that I’m listening to. And, honestly, I couldn’t agree more.

Over the last year and a half I’ve made some pretty good decisions to help me LIVE my best life. What I can tell you looking back at who I was before I started this Happy & Healthy Life Project  is that I wasn’t living my best life. I was tired, exhausted, had high cholesterol and had a very pessimistic outlook on life. I had 4 kids and a hubby who worked away half the month and I ended up feeling sorry for myself most of the time. Yeah — I ended up throwing a gigantic pity party most of the time because I didn’t know how to fix things. And, if you know me, you know that I am a fixer. If one of my kids has a problem – it’s Mom to the rescue with a solution. If my hubby has a problem – he comes to me and we talk it through. But, for myself, I had a really difficult time because I didn’t know how to fix things. I was at a point in my life that not only did I want to be healthy but I needed to be healthy. My cholesterol numbers were extremely high and heart disease runs in my family. My Dad actually passed away at a young age because of it. And, being a Mom to 4 beautiful kids, I didn’t want them to have a Mom gone too soon from the same disease. I had a real fear of leaving my kids and hubby at a young age. And in that moment, when my doctor told me that I would have to bring my cholesterol numbers down or start medication, all those emotions of loosing my Dad at a young age came rushing back. All of a sudden it was real. I had a problem. But I was lost as to how I could fix it this time.

And, then one day on a whim I signed up to get some at home workouts streamed into my home. It was the best decision I’ve made in regards to my health journey – because if you’re like me … four kids and a hubby who is only home half the month – getting to the gym isn’t going to happen. And anyway, I never knew what to do at the gym when I did have a membership. I would spend an hour bouncing from machine to machine and not have clue what I was doing. This opportunity has allowed me to put in a 30 minute workout (ok somedays are longer if you consider that I also have to break up fist fights and do potty patrol with my twins!) and feel good about myself. This isn’t about weight loss for me. It’s about getting healthy. It’s about teaching my kids that taking care of their bodies is important. It’s about LIVING my BEST life instead of watching from the sidelines.

Listen Momma, if you’re anything like me I know you want to live your best life too. You can do it – just like I did. I don’t believe in diets. I don’t believe in starving myself. I don’t believe in counting calories, macros (what even is that?!) or any other crazy thing people do to loose weight. I believe that we are all meant to be different shapes and sizes. And I also believe that just because you’re a size 2 doesn’t make you healthier than the girl who’s a size 14. I know that life is meant to be lived. 

Has the road been easy? No. But – has my life changed? Yes, you bet it has. For most of my adult life my cholesterol has been high — but for over the last year its been normal. Yes, I’ve lost all the extra weight I was carrying around and I’ve lost inches, but the best thing about all this transformation — is that I  know I’ve done everything to ensure my kids have their Momma here for a long time. And, that right there, is priceless.

If you want to know exactly how I did it — I’ll tell you! And never forget Momma, you are stronger than your excuses!

Lots of Love,

J

 

The Secret to Being A Perfectly Imperfect Momma

The last couple of weeks have been a blur. Every night I am busy with softball for my kids and I’m not complaining here, I am just merely stating a fact. My life is crazy busy with 4 kids and a hubby who works away half the month. I get asked all the time how I keep everything together. You want the truth? Some days I am a total rockstar and I have all my ducks in a row before I even step out of bed in the morning. Some days. Definitely not every day. But some days. On other days I am lucky if I get my breakfast dishes done and in the dishwasher by the time that my older kids stroll in from school at 3:20. And guess what? Some days I count the day as a huge success if my kids get dressed. Some of you Moms may cringe at the thought of that. But after 4 kids and one set of twins, I have lowered my standards of what I think a successful day is. In fact, as I am writing this, it’s 3:10 pm and my twins are lying on the living room floor, sleeping under a blanket, with the TV still on after falling asleep while watching it, and one of them is still in their pyjamas. Ask me if I feel guilty? Nope. Ask me if I feel like less of a Mom? Not a chance. Ask me if I care what other people think of me? Not anymore.

Look, I am by far the perfect Mom. In fact, I like to think of myself as a highly imperfectly perfect Momma bear. What? The thing is, I gave up on trying to be the “perfect” Mom long ago. And really by who’s standards? That Mom down the street who I don’t know? Or maybe it was the Mom at school drop off in the morning – you know the one – always wearing nice clothes, heels and seeming to have everything in just the right order. Or maybe it was the Mom I saw in those photos on social media – you also know the one – perfectly smiling with her kids all lined up at all actually looking at the camera, not a hair out of place. Isn’t it silly how we constantly compare and judge? It’s all around us and it’s constantly in our faces.

Listen, stop comparing yourself to any of those other Moms. Stop putting yourself down because you feel like you could never do what so and so does. Stop assuming that those other moms have their ducks in a row just because you’ve seen a perfect picture on social media saying that they do. The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter if you’re like any of those other Moms. What matters at the end of the day is that you did the best you could with what you had. What matters is that your kids think you’re pretty darn perfect. And, the only people’s opinions you should worry about are the opinions of your kids and your significant other. In case you forgot, those are the people that matter.

So from one perfectly imperfect Momma to the next — chin up Momma you’re doing fine. You’ve  got this Mom thing nailed down. Just put one foot in front of the other. Think of all the really great things you did with and for your kiddos today.

Focus on all the things you DID do instead of all the things you DIDN’T.

Lots of love from this Momma Bear!

3 Tips to SURVIVING a Sick Toddler

Can you believe that we’re nearing the end of another month? Remember that old saying — ‘time flies’? Yeah, it’s true isn’t it?

The last couple of weeks or so have been a blur…

Our house has been contaminated with a nasty Strep bug … that sounds awful … doesn’t it? Well, it hasn’t been that bad but it has made 5 out of 6 of us sick enough to require antibiotics. Yeah … it was that bad. If you know me, you know that I don’t run to the doctor with every little cough, sneeze and bit of snot! If that were the case, we would be there ALL the time. Yeah, who wouldn’t right? If you have kids then you know how hard it can be to avoid sicknesses. I mean, I’ve got two toddlers, and keeping their hands out of their nose and mouths is a full time job. I hate to admit this .. but one of my twins is also a world renowned nose picker. Ugh. It’s so disgusting, but I can’t keep those fingers out of his nose. I’ve never had a nose picker before … so if any of you other Mommas out there have a suggestion on how to kick that bad habit to the curb, please enlighten me – its becoming a problem. But, I digress here … back to my story about our illness invasion. It was so awful that one day I had to get my 9 year old to cook dinner for the rest of the kids. He did well and I am happy to say that he was able to cook breakfast sausages, waffles and eggs like a boss. I would even venture to say that the other kids thought it was probably the best meal that was ever put in front of them. Yeah, thanks kids! I might just add that to my weekly meal plan! 😉

I’ve come up with my top 3 tips to survive illness with toddlers and in no particular order … here they are!

1. Accept the fact that you will be covered in whatever it is that your toddler is contaminated with. Honestly, I think I had more snot on my shoulder than anywhere else. And you know what’s ironic about it … you never actually realize that you’re covered in it until you’re standing in the grocery store line and the person in front of you is giving you that funny look – yeah, that’s always when I realize that I have dried toddler boogers on my shoulder.

2. Sleep is a mystery. Don’t even try and get any because the moment you try to get to bed ‘early’ to catch up – they will wake up! Trust me, my twins do this to me every time. It’s like they have a sensor in my bed. You know the one – as soon as your head touches the pillow, they wake up. You know what I’m talking about right? So don’t even bother.

3. Call in reinforcements when necessary. Accept the fact that you can’t do it all. I have a hard time with this one. Asking for help always seems like a big, fat failure. Even after having 4 kids. Even after being married to someone who’s only around 1/2 the time (it’s his job – he’s not a jerk people!) I still have a hard time with this. But after being a Mom for almost 10 years I can say that I’ve come a long way in this one. ASK FOR HELP.

Am I already at number 3? I could list another 3 but you get my drift, right? There isn’t a Mom out there who has all of her ducks in a row all of the time so don’t bother comparing yourself to another Momma-Bear. Just do your best and as the old saying goes … this to shall pass.

Lots of Love,

Jenny

So it’s been a while …

I promise you this won’t happen again.  It’s been far too long since I’ve been around here. I’ve spent a good portion of my time trying to navigate this whole … being a Mom to 4 kids thing!

My twins are now 2 and a half years old are completely bonkers most days. They keep me on my toes for sure. My other two kiddos have really pitched in to help with “life” and thank goodness for them. They keep me afloat most days. I don’t know what I would do without them! Have I ever mentioned that I’m married to someone who spends 1/2 the month away working? Yeah, factor that into 4 kid craziness and you’ve got the perfect recipe for disaster somedays.

I’ve been working on myself in recent months, trying to find a good balance of the craziness that my life has come to be. I’ve been working out everyday, working on my health and I’m happy to tell you that I’ve actually found a way to keep my mind, body and spirit healthy. (Don’t worry, I’ll tell you more about this later).

You’ll see some changes to things around here if you’ve been here before and I hope you like them! If you’re new to my page then I hope you’ll keep coming back! What I hope you’ll find here is inspiration to lead a HAPPY and HEALTHY life.  So, until next time my friend.

Sending you lots of love,

Jenny

 

Finding Balance

I’m sorry…it’s been far too long and it seems as though every post I write starts with an apology. I’m sorry about that. Oops, there I go again;)

My life is mostly crazy and for those of you who know me personally know that it’s actually always crazy. Having four kids and a hubby away half the month will do that I guess. Not to mention, having twin boys who are now toddlers. Toddlers that like to try everything, throw everything, spit on everything (am I alone on this one?!?), stand on everything, hit each other, bite each other and well, basically, you get the picture right?  Also, two older children who are involved in sports and school and are just as busy as the younger two but in a much more organized and civilized way. Am I painting a delightful picture for you? Most people think that being married to a pilot is a glamorous lifestyle … if you still think that … read above just one more time. And, to think that half the month I am the lone soldier on the field. I’m the one putting out all the fires … ALONE. Now, don’t get me wrong, my hubby is my best supporter. He is my rock and is always cheering me on. But really, it’d be better if he could also join me out on the field more often so I wouldn’t feel outnumbered most of the time. Needless to say, I was lacking balance in my life.

Balance … what does that even mean? In amongst all the chaos I always felt like my life was spiralling out of control. Do you know the feeling of celebrating just making it through the day? I was falling into bed at night utterly exhausted and emotionally worn out. For so long, I’ve said, if just this was different, life would be easier for me. I looked at other people’s lives and thought … she couldn’t do what I do everyday. I tried to pump up my own tires, hoping that I’d wake up the next day feeling differently. Don’t get me wrong; I love my children and my life, but I just wanted one day where I felt like instead of just surviving I was actually doing something more. It had been such a long time since I felt that I wasn’t sure I’d remember what it would be like. I’ve taken the last couple of months to work on that feeling. To find my balance. I realize that this crazy life isn’t going to change – and truth be told – I don’t want it to. I want to change how I react to it every day.

Finding balance is something that I’ve needed for such a long time and only now am I realizing it. Instead of focusing on just surviving I try to focus on thriving. And, I say try, because it’s something I work on each day. Instead of focusing on the negative, I try to find the positive in each day. What I know for sure is that the old cliche that life is short is so true. Life is also what you make of it. Through this process I have learned so much about myself that I didn’t know or didn’t believe before. I am capable of much more that I ever thought I was. I get up in the morning and look at my kiddos and think wow, I am blessed! They are healthy enough to spit on my floor, climb on my kitchen table, and run around the house like little hooligans. Truly, I am blessed! I wake up every day and work out and fuel my body with foods that I know will help me instead of hold me back. I’ve taken time out for me. What I’ve realized is that ‘time-outs’ aren’t just for kids – they are what every Mommy needs. Take the time out of your busy life to realize that you are worth it. You have only one life … why not give it your best?

I’m finally at a place where I feel like all the changes happening in my mind and body over the last couple of months have been so worth it. I have focus and energy. I’ve lost extra weight I’ve been carrying around. Most importantly, however, I’ve filled my mind with positive words like, I can and I will. So, just as I have changed my mindset, you will see changes to my blog. And well, if it’s not your cup of tea, then I respect that. I will continue to grow and change … because you know what they say … change is good.

Loads of Gluten Free Love,

Jenny