February 01, 2022
I woke up this Tuesday, February 1 feeling slightly different. If I'd hit the snooze button on my phone and rolled over in bed I would have likely missed the feeling - that's how slight it is. But it's there. It's there in the way that my jeans fit - they are not as snug. I just feel better in them. It's there in the motivation I have. I'm still exhausted by the end of the day, but I can still find the time to tidy up my desk and get rid of one more pile of paper before heading to bed, and it's there in the way that my body automatically gets out of bed, puts on my workout shoes and trudges out in our slushy Lincoln Park alley in Chicago to go workout.
My resolution this year was to stop mucking around. Do I want this? Don't I want it? It's what us accidental mompreneurs always seem to ask ourselves. One minute I am ready to take on the world, and then the next as I'm working between dropping the kids off to school, dealing with a dog that has the runs, and making dinner after dinner after dinner I wonder who honestly cares? Do I even care enough to do this? For me, I just put a period firmly after two words on January 1, 2022. 'I Care.' No more questioning it. I do. And if I do, I must do everything I can within my immediate means to work towards it. Or stop.
I realized that I did not have to do too much to actually do better. I was already doing pretty well, but consistency was what I lacked. And, I was losing my consistency to things that did not matter to me or my family - mindlessly scrolling social media, watching tv (I'm a news junkie), and clutter in my house (hidden in the closets) and in my mind. I just did not have a productive space and mental outlook to really be productive.
Now, don't get me wrong. I was super busy and wrote a whole cookbook in this time. It sucked up my life - as all books do, but if I want to be truly honest with myself, I was not allowing myself to get sucked into the absolute fun I have writing and testing recipes, because in my down time I was turning on the news and getting sucked into that as well. SO, I was feeling like I never had enough time. It's truly maybe never enough, but it's sufficient. I had sufficient time to get most of my stuff done and I truly was not even doing that. So, I was letting myself down and in turn was not as much fun to be around me for my family. Because I was so behind with my work during my working hours, I would let them bleed into family time. And it drove my kids and husband nuts.
So, I made some changes.
First came fitness. I feel my best when I work out. Two years ago, I started my early morning workouts again and I continued them. Up at 5 am - working out by 5:30. On the weekends by 7 am. - sometimes 8 am. Thank you to Ability Fitness and the amazing Angelica and her team of trainers in Chicago who come to me - that helped my accountability so much and got me into the habit of just getting my butt out of bed.
Green juice smoothie first thing. I'm not a fan of filling your days with juices or smoothies, but this one has helped me a ton. Drink it on an empty stomach if you can. 1 cup diced pineapple (fresh or frozen), 1 stalk celery, 1 cucumber, handful of spinach leaves, 1/2 green or red apple, 1 whole lime with the skin, if you can find it 1 karela (seeds removed), diced. I also add frozen green grapes (handful). Add water to the top of the chopped veggies-fruit, add some ice, and blend in a powerful blender like a VitaMix. You'll be shocked how good this tastes and how addicted you'll get to it. I have done this for 4 weeks straight now. My weight is down, my skin is brighter, and I've cut out my snacking. Wowza. The Karela or bitter melon can be found in an Asian grocery store and regulates blood sugar. If you don't have it - don't worry just make this without. The pineapple flushes the gut and is key.
No more TV during the day. No more mindless scrolling. The first one I have down. It took me a week to get back into the habit. The second one I'm still working on. I cannot tell you how much less brain fog I have. I just feel clearer and in the moment - the present. I have more conversations with my kids and husband, and am getting all the little things done and tucked away. This weekend I organized my cookbook closet of 300 cookbooks. And, found my daughter in it last night browsing recipes that we could make together.
Get an Accountability partner. This has been the biggest and most positive change for me. I am working with Lindsay Navama from Third Coast Kitchen. Check out her website and blog by clicking here. We just happened to connect online and are oddly very similar. We both have food blogs, cookbooks, and a desire to do more. Her daughter is young, mine are older. We both have husbands that push us, but I find that mine pushes my buttons rather than gives me that burst of wind I need beneath my wings to help me slowly soar through the week. I more often need the small, gentle burst rather than the huge scalability lecture and push. Both are valuable in their own way. Lindsay and I have been talking twice a week and texting back and forth every day to really stay focussed and on point. We are sharing our knowledge with one another so that we can both soar. This works because we are very similar with our motivation levels and frankly our true desire to make some changes.
So if your goal in 2022 was to make some changes, consider making a list of things that you want to get through every single day. Little things that will get you there. In addition to my daily work list, here are mine. Don't be intimidated. It took me a year to actually do most of it, and often I'm still not quite getting it all done. But, now I get more than half done consistently.
Drink Green Juice
Write 250 words
Read 10 pages Self Help Book (Right now I'm reading Atomic Habits)
Read 10 pages of fiction
Practice French/Japanese/Hindi/Spanish on Duolingo (yes, I love my languages and almost worked in the US Foreign Service)
No matter what you want to do and where you want to go - know that the answer lies within you. You don't need to be someone else. You are phenomenal as you are. And, those habits that are holding you back - you can tweak and manage. Like my tv news addiction! I've been tv free for 2 weeks and have never felt better and clearer ... says this former tv news reporter. This was a huge one for me!
You got this, folks. Always message me if you need help or support. I'm always here to listen! And yes, my bar is high for myself and those around me. For that I'll never apologize.
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November 28, 2023