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Time is a Thief

I have no idea what I want to say.  What I do know is that I have been bogged down all day with a weight on my mind but unable to pinpoint it.  Tonight while taking an Epsom salt and lavender bath, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness.  I felt the gravity of this world.  I felt sadness for my kids growing up in this time of life.  I feel like my kids are facing an uphill battle and I am not able to protect them from it, let alone help them prepare for it because it is affecting my generation as well.

My parents’ generation saw an increasing divorce rate.  Moms started returning to work.  Jump in the saving grace of Hamburger Helper and Hungry Man frozen dinners.  Drive thrus increased in popularity as our parents faced an increasing pace of life and the stretching of time so thin there was no longer time to fix a full home-cooked dinner for the family; introducing my generation to the start of highly processed food and fast food alternatives.  Now, as my generation is fully submerged in technology’s mach-speed pace of life, taking time to prepare healthy food for us and our kids is for the minority.  However, if we do not wake up to this disparity, this “minority” will be all that is left.

As a nurse I see countless of individuals in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s with auto-immune disease, “strange” cancers such as brain cancers – glioblastomas for one, kidney failure, heart disease, pancreatitis, diabetes, and the like.  THIS IS NOT NORMAL!!!  My children’s generation is the first one predicted to die before their parents.  THIS IS NOT OK!!  Eating clean and taking time to meal prep is my new standard.  Do my kids joke about mom eating kale all the time (I don’t ever eat kale, although kale chips are pretty tasty)?  Do they joke about plant-based protein and measuring my portions?  Absolutely!  But are they learning by my example?  I sure hope so.

Don’t get me wrong, they are still kids – ok, teenagers.  They eat fast food and go get “coffee” with their friends.  But the amount of processed foods they are eating has greatly decreased.  Will it make a difference?  Who knows??  But I sure hope so.

Aside from diet, the increase in social media and technology via personal electronic devices and increase in video gaming has prompted a sedentary lifestyle.  My kids see me working out at least 5 day/week.  They see me getting stronger, having more energy, being more active, losing weight and helping others do the same.  Will it change their lives?  Who knows??  But I sure hope so!

I watched my sister bury her 5-week old baby girl due to several congenital issues.  I’ve watched friends bury their children due to cancers, auto-immune diseases, congenital diseases, and sudden illness.  I hope I never have to bury my child.

Time is a thief.  After working with a patient of mine who is 19-weeks pregnant and seeing the baby on ultrasound, I look back on my kids’ lives and wonder where the time has gone.  My oldest son leaves in 4 months for boot camp for the Army National Guard – a decision I am so proud of him for making.  My youngest starts driver’s education in the fall.  You don’t get any of those days back.  Once their teens and are being social in their own little lives, hanging out with friends, getting jobs, and doing what teens do as they start preparing to leave the “nest”, they aren’t as interested in hanging out with mom anymore.  So I watch from a distance…and repeatedly ponder, “Where has the time gone?”  How much have I missed because I had to work full-time to support them?  How much have I missed because on top of working full-time, I also had to go to school full-time in order to have a career that would support us and our future?

I strive to enjoy my time with them now and not ruminate on what I have missed.  I did not have a choice.  Our future depended on those sacrifices.  However, each night I struggle falling asleep because deep inside me there is a pocket of dread for what my kids might face tomorrow.  And all I can do is pray they will be okay.  Pray that the seeds that were planted when they were small have taken root and will guide them as they grow.  Pray that they continue to be open and learn; and learn from their experiences and mistakes.  I pray they have a good, happy, and uncomplicated life.  I pray they take their faces out of their phones and enjoy the company of those around them.  I pray they make a difference; that they affect change in their circle and in society.  I pray they recognize my sacrifices and what I have instilled through example, and that they know without a shadow of a doubt how much I love them, believe in them, and how much they are capable of.

I pray we have a long time together still; uncomplicated, in health, and in happiness.  For time is a thief.

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It’s Time…30 Days Under My Belt

…and only an inch more room under that belt.  While those results might derail some more easily than others, I refuse to give up.  I have wanted to make this lifestyle change for a long time now, however, obstacles such as CMA school, turning around to nursing school, and then shortly after completion of nursing school returning to complete my BSN all while working full-time, going through a divorce, and raising two boys as a single mom was plenty to face during those years.

I watched a friend find her niche, her team, and support system.  She embraced this lifestyle change and found a family.  I wanted this so badly; as a matter of fact I tried to copy her path…but here’s the thing…it wasn’t my path…so I failed that path.  If I can encourage one thing it is to find your path.  Thankfully Beachbody offers many options, styles, approaches; including support and consistency, as well as a consistent, simple nutrution plan.  Do not give up your search for your path.  I bought Turbo Jam years ago and loved the program; LOVE LOVE LOVE Chalene!!  At the time I was working at the YMCA where I met my now BB coach, Emily Nowlan and we have stayed in touch all this time.  I kept hearing her talk about Shakeology (and I had another friend or two also using Shakeology) and all I could think was, “What the heck is this Shakeology stuff?”  Fast forward to a year ago when I bought and began 21 Day Fix (which I also had heard rave reviews of).  I connected with Emily, started the program with good intentions, got sick a few weeks in and stopped what I started.  It wasn’t my “time” yet.  But I didn’t let go of my desire to change my lifestyle.  I kept the eating plan in place for a while with the containers but stopped paying attention to the ratios sometime in the summer.  Diet Coke replaced my water intake.  Return to stage: sluggishness, increased napping, low motivation, moodiness, and only mild positivity.

That being said, I am 42 – likely the age when most people start experiencing the proverbial “mid-life crisis” (which I think I probably went through at 35!!).  I refuse to take on that mindset.  Instead, I am starting my mid-life reclaim!  I am choosing to embrace nutrition, clean eating, exercise on a daily basis (and I am not one who typically enjoys exercising or sweating), and taking care of myself for the rest of my life.  Did you hear that self?!  THE REST OF MY LIFE!! That hold a lot of days (well, I hope it does) and not every one of those days is going to be exercised on (so I’m learning to forgive those days) and not every one of those days is going to be totally clean on eating (tiny treats on occasion is acceptable – otherwise this lifestyle change will not be sustainable).  The key is consistency, having support (I am SO thankful for my coach Emily Nowlan and the team of women in our challenge groups) not only with those on your Beachbody team, but those on your personal team – your family; and don’t forget making decisions one at a time. Exit stage: all the afore mentioned “low” points and enter: energy, positivity, motivation, less napping, and the biggest accomplishment imaginable – going off my antidepressant about 3 weeks ago!! (This process had been started prior to starting Beachbody and the nutritional plan, and under the guidance of my doctor.  As a nurse, NEVER discontinue medications without the guidance of your medical provider!)

That doesn’t mean it has been all sunshine and rainbows.  When you start out you do not have a big picture frame of mind.  Shoot! I needed to cry on the team’s “shoulder” a time or two this past first month and I am sure I will need to again this month and in the future.  There were days I felt guilty for being tired and needing to take a nap before my night shift at the hospital and missing my workout; days when I swore at or told the instructor in the screen to ‘shut up’ (sorry instructors, no less love for you); and days when I had a cookie or a couple pieces of candy at work (hospitals are notorious feeding grounds for the nurses, doctors, and social workers!).  BUT…over those first 30 days, I have seen results.  I can now do a full sit-up, I can do more push-ups on my toes, I can (on a good day) do hip escapes (I still hate them), and as a result I have lost 3.2 lbs and almost 5″ from my body.

I am so thankful for our group and team.  It is a safe place to share frustrations, receive unconditional love and support, feedback, positive encouragement, understanding, and creativity.  We lift one another up. That does not mean there won’t be times of frustration; but I have not wanted to quit….How can that be?  Because it’s time…and I have finally found my path; my people.