focus 2016: wellness

This year I am focusing on: family, faith, wellness, and enough. I've shared how I plan to approach family and faith intentionally in 2016 so that bring us to wellness.

For me, wellness means feeling good and treating myself well. Here's how:

1. Moving my body.
After having two babies in the last two and a half years, my body has changed significantly with my weight and shape fluctuating during my pregnancies, nursing, and postpartum recovery. I've found that since becoming pregnant for the first time, I feel more confident in my own skin. Having carried and delivered two babies makes me feel like my body is capable of amazing things and the bumps and extra bits don't bother me like they would have before babies. 

That said, my body does not feel like my body once did. It is aging along with me. I don't have the same kind of time and energy to devote to yoga or running that I did before motherhood, when all of my free time was my own, when free time existed. And I miss that. I miss feeling as strong as I once did.

But, good news! Wells is now old enough that he's less physically dependent on me, which means it's easier to make time for exercise. Yesterday, I started a 10-week Balletone class with some girlfriends through our local parks and rec department. I am so looking forward to spending Sunday evenings with my friends all winter, getting a little more fit, and enjoying doing something good for myself.

I also plan to try out Pure Barre soon. I've been curious about it since a local franchise open a few years ago and I am ready to give it a try. My aunt recently retired and offered to take the kids for a while on Friday mornings so I can go to a class and I also received a gift certificate to our local Pure Barre in our family Secret Santa exchange. It's all coming together, people. I can't wait to see what all the buzz is about.

Lastly, I've had a Fitbit for years now and it helps me keep on track. Well, sometimes it just helps me see how lazy I've been on any given day. I have a desk job - it is a challenge to get all of those steps in some days! I've set a realistic goal of 6,000 steps a day. It's not a huge goal but it's enough that I have to get up and go to the printer or water cooler a few extra times and walk to go pick up lunch in order to reach it. Let's be honest, in the winter, it's all I can muster.

2. Eating mindfully.
I love food. Specifically, I love food that isn't that great for me: breads, sweets, Panera's macaroni and cheese... I'm not looking to commit to a food revolution this year but I do want to be thoughtful about what I eat. For me, this will simply mean keeping less ice cream in the house, squeezing in my vegetables and protein by ordering a salad with chicken for lunch, and limiting the number of treats I stock in my desk. I don't eat terribly but I do give into my cravings with little persuasion. The practices I mentioned are ones that I already follow but the holidays throw everyone off and I'll be practicing more self-control in the coming months.

3. Seeking balance.
This is clich√©, I suppose. It's what we're all looking for. For me, I've found that balance has become much more of challenge since Wells was born. Having two young kids simply takes a lot of effort. Between them and work, I often feel like I have no time or energy to do much else. I have been feeling unbalanced since returning to work after Wells was born and know that I am a better mom, a better wife, a better co-worker, and a happier woman when I take time out for myself. Part of this will be making time for exercise, part of it will be allowing myself to run errands alone or enjoy a night out with friends without feeling like I'm somehow neglecting my family or my responsibilities by doing so. As the saying goes, "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." I want to be a present mom and in order to do this, I need to allow myself space to unwind and recharge.

How do you seek balance in your life? What practices do you find most grounding?

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