Oh Hi. What am I Doing Here?

Hey there! I took this blog (and its lovely Insta-sistah, @maintaining_mama) public last night so I thought now would be a good time for a proper introduction.

Like so many other women on the cusp between Gen X and Gen Y, my name is Jen. I actually just Googled what generation I am and apparently those of us on the cusp are technically Xennials now? Not sure how I feel about that.

I’m a stay-at-home mom (or SAHM, as we hashtag it these days) burbin’ it up outside NYC. My kiddos are six and four and like every other parent, I believe that they are the greatest human beings to ever grace this planet. Also like every other parent (whether you admit it or not, you know it’s true) there are times that my children are maniacal devil spawn who break me down into a sobbing ball of rage. They’re the best though. Seriously.

I also have a husband and two dogs to round out my chock-full-o-love but chaotic existence. Oh, and I try my best to balance three volunteer gigs: colon cancer non-profit, local ambulance corps, and PTA (obv).

In other words, WTF am I thinking starting a blog?! Ain’t got time for that!

Oh but I must. This is what I’m learning. Writing makes me happy. Thinking thoughts – both big and small – about my diet, exercise, relationship with booze, and general existence as a 37-year-old-25-lbs-lighter mama on the cusp of having some semblance of a life again now that my kids are older – and taking the time to write some of these thoughts down, IS IMPORTANT. Maybe even vital.

I need this time right now. I need this outlet. It is going to make me happier, more fulfilled, a better mom and wife and person. (This is me trying to convince myself that taking this time for ME, to do something I enjoy, is OK. Mom guilt, begone!)

But enough about me. What are YOU doing here?

Seriously if anyone on the interwebs besides my mom has read this far, I am sending you a big ol’ hug. I honestly don’t know what this blog will become, if or how it will resonate with anyone else. But if you’re here, welcome. And thank you. And I really, really hope you find some comfort here. Maybe some inspiration, maybe a much-needed smile.

I promise to be real. I don’t have time to be anything else, y’all. I am far from Pinterest-perfect and I hope I stay that way. Because real life can be pretty darn exquisite, when you’re not scooping dog poop or covered in your kid’s puke. And some of the time, I am neither of those things.

Some of the time, I am strong. I am energized. I am motivated. I am eating clean. I am working out five times a week. I am balanced.

And some of the time, I’m raiding my pantry. I’m PMSing. I’m crying. I’m dropping F-bombs in front of my kids. I’m drinking too much wine. I’m in a dismal slump.

I hope that this blog will help me spend more time on the living-my-best-life side of the spectrum and less time on the tortilla-chip-and-sauvignon-blanc-binging side. And who knows. As this little project makes its way in the crazy congested blogosphere, maybe I won’t be the only one.

 

Steering Clear of the Excuse Buffet

My husband is sick. We had electricians in the house today. We had a contractor stop by this morning. It’s raining. It’s Saturday. It’s cold. I have both kids and both dogs to deal with on my own. I have to cook. I have to clean. I’m hungry. I’m tired…

All true. All potential excuses. The list goes on and on. Or at least it would have if I were still stuck in my wine-dependent existence.

But I am not. And so I was able to accept the more-challenging-than-usual parameters of my Saturday and #SaturSLAY anyway.

I took the dogs on a long walk to wear them out. I squeezed in a 45-minute Peloton ride with the mellow dog upstairs and both kids and the puppy down in the basement with me. (And I even broke 300 for my output which I hadn’t done all week!) I didn’t have time to shower but got my son to karate class and the place smelled like sweat anyway! Took my daughter to basketball and then even though it was only 4:30 the kids and I decided we all wanted dinner so we got some groceries and had a lovely early bird special while watching the Olympics.

All of this, and I’ve got enough points leftover for an entire pint of Enlightened ice cream and it is GOING DOWN once everyone is in bed.

I still think about wine. A lot. I still have a moment of longing to pour myself a glass every night.

But it’s getting easier. My nightly urges are a lot weaker than they used to be.

There is still a void where there was once a bottomless glass. But the void is shrinking. I have my flavored seltzer and my tea. I am wearing a pair of size 4 jeans. I have the energy reserves to not only survive a hectic day like today but to slay it.

If I were still drinking like I used to, today would have been an excuse buffet. And I would have had all I could eat.

But I’ll take my pint of Enlightened and call it a night, thanks!

Dry January Day 31

So that happened.

Dry January has been a joyous journey. I expected it to feel like an uphill climb, and at times it did. But mostly it felt like a happy dance.

I feel free. I feel unlimited.

And I never could have gotten through this without Connect and everyone who inspired and supported me along the way. To think that I have been able to inspire and support others makes my heart burst with joy and gratitude.

So here I am on Day 31:

  • 5.2lbs lost
  • 23 workouts
  • 25 blue dots

And now the big numbers, courtesy of my Dry January app:

  • $200 saved
  • 10,000 alcohol calories not consumed

TEN THOUSAND calories I would have spent on poison instead of protein shakes. On sugar instead of – ok, well I definitely still consumed sugar. In fact I still consumed all my daily points and almost all of my weeklies. But instead of spending half my dailies and most of my weeklies on booze, I spent it (for the most part) on foods that nourish my body. Foods that sustain energy. Foods that build muscle.

I used to ingest 10,000 calories of alcohol every month. I am NEVER going back to that number.

But back to the scale. As of this morning, I am 143.6lbs, under my original goal weight of 145. I didn’t make it to my current goal of 138, but that is ok. For now, I am going to stick with Freestyle and my current workout regimen and see where my body settles.

I am happy with the way I look. (Omg I just typed that!) I don’t know where I will end up weight-wise but I do know these two things:

1. I de-puffed like a BOSS this month; and

2. Whether I reach my goal of 138 or not, I NEVER would have gotten there with my former drinking habits.

My former drinking habits. Have I mentioned I’m not going back?

 

Dry January Day 27

I am staking my claim. Planting my flag into the dirt of this beautiful day. Posting early so that I can spend the rest of the day being totally present and productive with my family and focusing on clean eating.

Today I shall #SaturSLAY. It’s on, y’all.

Workout done: another awesome #ww_warrior Peloton ride, onto which I tacked 15 minutes of abs and 10 glorious minutes of stretching.

Today I will score a blue dot which eluded me yesterday as I dug deep into that damn bag of small batch artisanal restaurant-style tortilla chips. (Why can’t I quit you???)

And no booze of course!

The sun is shining, the deep freeze has lifted, it’s Day 27 of Dry January, and I’ve left yesterday in the dust.

It’s a good day to slay. How will you slay today?

Photo credit: my 6-year-old daughter (who can’t read yet – ha!)

 

Dry January Day 15

My 6-year-old daughter made her debut in the octagon tonight for a sparring session with her MMA coach. She just started “black belt training” and so she usually spends a few minutes after class sparring with her coach in the regular studio. Tonight, he let her use the octagon and sparred with her for a good 20 minutes. Because he sees what a hard worker she is. And he knows how much she loves the challenge of learning martial arts. Was she intimidated by going into a giant cage to spar, while I and all the adults who were filtering into the 6:30 class were watching? No. She just went for it. And she did great!

I have been in my own mental octagon for 15 days now, battling against a foe. Trying to learn to anticipate its next move and get ahead of it. I’ve stumbled a bit. But I haven’t been knocked down. I’m still standing, still sparring, hoping my gloves will start to feel lighter and lighter as the days wear on.

My daughter’s goal in life is to be a superhero. And a mommy. She is my “why” and she inspires me to no end.

And with 15 days of Dry January under my (admittedly, not black) belt, I feel like I am becoming the mommy I have always wanted to be.

 

Dry January Day 13

 

“All you have to do is make the choice to let go of everything you’re so attached to that’s not serving you and manifest the reality that you want. Life is an illusion created by your perception, and it ca be changed the moment you choose to change it.” – Jen Sincero, You are a Badass

Easier said than done of course.

But I bossed up and let go of two biggies today, and now I’m taking a moment to kick self-judgement to the curb and fully absorb feeling proud of myself.

What were the two gnarly buggers I quashed?

“I can’t workout in the afternoon because I’m too tired.”

Buh-bye! Thanks to the Peloton ride with the #ww_warrior crew, I proved to myself that I can not only survive a 3:30pm workout, I can set a new PR (personal record) doing it! Being back on track (both with diet and exercise) really makes a difference and I experienced that first-hand today.

“I can’t be alcohol-free around my mom without white-knuckling it.”

See ya, white knuckles! Admittedly, last night (the first night of her visit) was tough. I felt tense and insecure. But I got through it, and made sure to prioritize my workout and having a blue dot day today. Achieving those things made me feel so damn good that there was not an ounce of FOMO as I poured my Fresca Zero tonight.

I am still a work in progress. We all are. And I can easily overwhelm myself with all the things I want to change. But right now I’m just so completely grateful to be able to celebrate these wee triumphs with a clear head, tired legs, and a full heart.

 

Dry January Day Ten

Maybe it’s because we are now into double digits that I’ve been thinking a lot about numbers today. I am also on track to do five workouts for the second consecutive week, which is unheard of for me. But it will happen! Woohoo!

The other number I’ve been pondering is the number of booze points I am saving. I estimate I averaged about 15 wine points per day before Dry January. Sure, some days I limited myself to one glass. But other days I had four. And I regularly drank an entire bottle in a night. So for every 7 point wine day there was a 21 point wine day. 21 points!! I only get 23 points daily on Weight Watchers’ Freestyle program! Even though it was only 11 days ago that I was stuck in this unhealthy routine, I am already shocked by how much I drank. 105-ish points per week. YIKES. Some days I ate less to save points for wine. Other days I went way over my dailies and I often went way over my weeklies. Ugh.

This Naked Mind is obviously resonating with me. I think I will keep coming back to this, throughout this month and beyond: “Forgive yourself. You are the hero of the story. There is no reason to dwell on the negativity of the past and every reason to forgive yourself. Look forward to an incredible future.”

And a hell of a lot more points!