If happiness could fuel our bodies, I’d be as energetic as my 2-year-old granddaughter, Mae. Audrey’s birth yesterday, while obviously expected, filled me with a familiar yet inexplicable joy.
But happiness is calorie-free, so after taking care of three small children and eating an all-over-the-charts, nutritionally sketchy diet for three days, this nearly 50-year-old body is beat.
Lifting 20- to 50-pound children, climbing stairs, cleaning “accidents” (Mae is being potty trained), washing clothes, washing dishes, washing children…I thought I was in pretty decent shape, but I’ve discovered muscles I never found working out at the gym.
And forget about my resolve to eat healthy. Resolve got tossed out sometime Monday night, like one of those old t-shirts you find obscurely lying in an alley, dirty and torn from the weather and from being run over by pickups and garbage truck; barely recognizable as a shirt. I had the option of eating a salad for dinner last night, but I opted for Tex-Mex Bean Casserole and Frosted Mini Wheats instead. What the…? My only excuse was that it was easier and I was busy.
I’ve been busy before and I’ve managed to stay mindful of my eating. But the kind of busy I’ve been involved in these last three days is a busy way outside my experience. That said, I’m beginning to understand what so many of you tell me you struggle with: how to find the time to make a plan and time to implement your plan. Believe me, I have a new-found appreciation/empathy/soft spot for your schedules and your struggle to do what you know is best for YOU.
When I started this whole weight-loss thing in 2005, my parenting duties were greatly reduced. Carlene and Cassie were grown and living away from home, and my stepsons visited their usual 6 weeks in summer and during Easter and Christmas breaks. I was self-employed and lived with my (then) husband, who was also interested in losing weight. I had personal time and personal space. Time and space to think about and implement my plan.
As you can imagine, today I’m carb-o-blah. Exhausted. Pretty much useless. Happy? Yes. But I’m definitely in need of a food adjustment. A food adjustment and advice.
I would love to hear from those of you who do double/triple/quadruple duty as parents or caretakers or employees or employers. How do you make yourself a priority? How did you learn to work your food and/or fitness plan into the fabric of your busy schedule?