Hello all!  Well it’s been 3.5 months since I sat down and opened my heart about my struggle with work/life balance (you can read it here).  A lot has changed since April 2012.  We enrolled our kiddos into a structured school 4 days a week.  I spend my Fridays with them and only them.  My husband and I have been trying very hard to be hands free in the evenings while they’re home.  So this means keeping each other in check if we see the other on our phones and no computers in the evenings.  I think in today’s society the norm is to always be connected or ‘plugged’ via electronic devices and we decided that we did NOT want that to be the norm for our family.  It was never intentional to be constantly plugged, it just happened with the www and the convenience factor at our fingertips.  We allow our son to play on his iPad but in moderation only.  We enjoy reading to our kiddos and my son is really into coloring and writing right now so we strongly encourage that.  Things on the work/life front are getting better and better daily.

It is by no means perfect.  My hours are currently Mon-Thurs, 10:00 – 4:00; however, Oklahoma had a month of extreme temperatures, exceeding 115° so I had no choice but to reschedule sessions.  This put me working on the weekends but I knew that it was temporary so it was ok.  I know that there are things like this that will come up, especially being a newborn photographer and scheduling sessions around due dates. But to just have a set schedule takes so much stress out of my life.  I know that when I look at my calendar I am looking at those 4 days, no more and no less. My son started Kindergarten last week so that sort of threw a wrench into my scheduling since I have to leave my studio at 2:30 to get him but I will work it out. 🙂

Then there is the ME thing.  I think everyone that is a mom can agree when I say that all focus on yourself is gone when your little lovelies enter this world.  I know it did for me.  I didn’t care what I looked like, how I dressed, if I wore makeup or not, etc.  When I made a major change to my business in April I also made a major change for myself and my health.  I was the heaviest I had ever been, almost tipping the scales at what I weighed when I delivered my daughter, yikes!  Everything had just spiraled out of control.  So I want to share what has worked for me.

I knew that I was overweight but I would get so frustrated because I knew it would take forever to lose it so I just never tried.  I had worked so hard to build my business and to be a work-from-home-mom that I totally put myself on the back burner. Not intentionally but everything else just took over. The more my business grew the more out of control my work/life balance became. I began traveling more and more so with traveling came eating out. I was always so busy that I was working all hours of the night, running my kids from sitter to sitter and never once realizing that every.single.thing. I put in my mouth was junk. I was a soda addict. I would drink a minimum of 32oz a day… because it was convenient and well… it tasted good!

When I decided to make a change back in April I knew that I had to focus on one thing at a time and I knew that the first thing was my diet. I’m not a cook AT ALL but I have learned how to steam veggies and know how to peel fruit (lol) so that’s about all I eat. Almost every night my husband will throw something on the grill, usually chicken or a pork chop for me.  If you’ve ever heard the saying ‘eating clean’ that is the diet I follow, which isn’t a diet at all.  It’s a lifestyle change.  This is a great site to check out if you’re interested in knowing more about eating clean.  The entire first month I only focused on my eating. Wise words of my trainer…eat clean and train dirty. Getting your eating habits under control is the most important part; 90% of losing weight is your eating habits and the other 10% is working out. So I devoted the entire first month to eating clean. Very minimal sugar and no sugary drinks and tons of fruits and veggies. The first week was tough because I was a 32oz a day soda drinker, yikes! But I knew if I made it a week I could do it. I lost 9 pounds my very first week so that in itself was so motivating for me.

When I knew I had control of my eating I started working out.  That was about a month and a half into my lifestyle change.  I’m now training for my first 5k with my sister and I’m so excited!! We meet at 5 in the morning and the amount of energy I have throughout the day is incredible.  I spend 3 days a week circuit training to build muscle and 3 days a week running for cardio.  I’ve traveled quite a bit over the last month and we’re currently in the process of moving so it’s been challenging and I haven’t been able to work out as much as I’d like but I haven’t gained any weight, yay!

I had a lot of weight to lose and it was very intimidating.  I had a total of 68 pounds to lose to reach my goal of 160 lbs and that is a lot.  So instead of looking at the big number I set smaller, 10 pound goals.  You CAN do it, don’t ever think you can’t.  I follow Jillian Michaels on Facebook and love this quote she posted “You don’t always get what you wish for, you get what you WORK for.”  That is so true on so many levels.  Here is a photo to show what I’ve been working so hard for.  Still have 28 pounds to goal and I know I’ll get there.

Love and Hugs,

…to be continued