And just like that: Summer is here! It has (predictably) gone from rainy and fifty degrees straight to sunny and ninety degrees. So many times, the crazy Virginia weather patterns just make me feel.. well... a little crazy. I was not focused on swimsuit shopping while it was rainy and fifty degrees, and now it's summer, and I forgot to get skinny, so my swimsuits from last year are just not quite right. Swimsuit shopping can make any rational person feel a bit mad, right?
I am a warm, sunny weather person. I start to hibernate when the time “falls back” in October. By April, I'm ready to come out of hibernation mode, but this year it was just still so cold, and overcast. Then May happened-- without any sun. So, I'm a little out of sorts. I am a month and half behind on my diet and fitness schedule, yet, the pool is open. What's a girl to do?
Well, the best (and only truly rational) advice I've gotten is to quit whining about it and enjoy the weather, and the pool, and to just keep moving forward. I don't whine a whole lot, and I really don't like it when my kids do it, so that advice is easy to heed.
So, we must start to exercise... again. And we must start our healthy eating... again. Forward motion is what it's all about. We might do well for awhile, and then slide on making the great choices, but we have to keep trying. My husband and I made a pact to help keep each other accountable, too. So far, so good... We had a lot of excuses during hibernation; he had foot surgery, and we were busy going to appointments and check-ups, and follow-ups, etc., plus the kids and I all had appointments with specialists, too. Life has stabilized a bit, though, and the rain has subsided.
No more excuses!
Pippin always wants to go outside for a walk!
Fitness, for me, is not hard during the summer. We are at the pool a lot, and when the whistle blows for the kids to get out for their fifteen minute break, I get in and do laps for fifteen minutes. I like to walk. I enjoy hikes. The only real excuses for not moving during the summer would be things like temperatures over one hundred degrees, demon storms that pop up out of nowhere, and illnesses.
Diet and nutrition are pretty easy to do well during the summer, too. We love berries and watermelon and all the fresh vegetables! And let's hear it for grilling! By June my family is pretty sick of spaghetti and meatloaf, so fresh food and grilling are welcomed with open arms at our house.
I am guilty of being overly critical of myself (body image, lack of exercise, sugar addiction) and that is why I wanted to share some strategies that have worked for me in the area of nutrition and exercise. Just moving is so important. Even when I am achy feeling and unmotivated, a walk (even if it's just to the laundry room and back) can do wonders. Stretching and plank work (even if you can only hold a plank for ten seconds) strengthen your core. Baby steps are still steps, and you will feel better when you take them! Switch the sugar to stevia, add some fruit to your diet, try a new vegetable… These are all little improvements you can make, and the summertime is a great time to start new habits with diet because summer food is awesome.
Here's another bit of advice (admittedly advice I need to take for myself): Don't be so hard on yourself! Trying to feed a family full of different people with different likes and dislikes is a challenging, daunting task! I don't even like to cook. If I won the lottery, I’d hire a chef before I ever even thought of hiring a cleaning lady, a coach, or a chauffeur. Also, having kids makes you a parent… and a teacher, a nurse, a psychologist, a taxi driver, a laundromat, a crisis interventionist, an accountant, and a referee. You might feel a little tired, you might have had a bad day, and you might just need some chocolate. Sometimes, the lure of a bubble bath (alone, mind you) outweighs everything else. Don’t dwell on the things that don't always go your way. Celebrate your successes. To take care of others necessitates the need to care for yourself. We need to love ourselves so we can love our families.
I'll write it again, to make sure you read it (loud and clear):
We need to love ourselves… So we can love our families.