Hey! My name is Ashley and I am a 30 year old mom with 6 kids born in 6 consecutive years. I love Jesus and have been married to my amazing husband for 10 years. I am also trying to navigate life with a chronic illness- I may not be able to control what it does to my body, but I can control what it does to my spirit. I'm in the middle when it comes to parenting and life..too crunchy for some, too mushy for others- but just right for me. My life is blessed and I want to share my journey with you.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
TMTT- Diet and Exercise
So these are some questions I have gotten and I am more than happy to answer them. I will continue to be honest in my answers and I hope that this post inspires some of you and helps you remember that you are amazing because you’re YOU.
What do you do to lose weight after having a baby?
Being asked this question implies that I am thin, which I am not. Now don’t misunderstand me- I am darn proud of my body and all that it has done and I have NOTHING to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. I have lost weight between each pregnancy, and I am more than happy to share my experiences with you. And as always, I will be honest...if you want to get all hung up about the numbers on my scale then be my guest, because I sure as heck won’t. Before we started having babies, I was 21 and weighed about 135 lbs. It is a great weight for my height and build, but I also was very young and had not really settled into my “womanly” body yet. With all but one pregnancy, I ended up weighing about 200 lbs. by the time I delivered. Some pregnancies I over-ate and some I did not, yet I still seem to gain quite a bit of weight. This last pregnancy I was very, very determined to do better and I weighed 183 at my final weigh in. And after each pregnancy, I have worked my way down to the 140’s (anywhere from 142-149). This has become my comfortable weight, as I have now settled into my late 20’s and my body has defined itself. I am currently in the high 140’s, but I really can’t say for sure because I broke up with my scale along time ago. Occasionally I will weigh in to keep tabs (and even this I am thinking is pointless), but other than that I don’t ever look when at the doctor. I feel great and my clothes are stating to fit again, so I’m happy. Do I diet? Well, yes and no. When I diet, I do weight watchers. This time around I did not, because it just wasn’t doing it for me. As of now I am just very mindful of what I eat. I do not eat a lot (despite all my jokes that I do) and what I do eat I make sure it is whole foods. I am very, very deliberate about what I eat when I am trying to lose weight...I do not obsess or freak out if I want to eat something, but the key is to be deliberate. If you are, then it won’t matter those few times you do want a treat. And let me just say this: I want to (and do) enjoy life. Losing weight takes work, but it is not permanent. Maintaining your weight is much easier than losing it, so if you buckle down and put the work in now, once you reach your comfortable weight then you can enjoy food again, as long as you are mindful. So just a recap, if you are not in a weight loss groove, I recommend Weight Watchers as it is very comprehensive, it works, and it really teaches you about eating right. However, ANY diet will work as long as you are faithful to it.
Just a special side note to married women- the ONLY thing your husband will find unattractive about you is your poor self image. He just wants to be with you wholly and completely...not with the lights off, or with you saying “don’t touch my tummy, it’s flabby", or wearing layers upon layers to hide yourself. There is nothing more sexy than a woman who owns what she has. Sexy is a state of the mind.
Do you exercise?
Sometimes, but usually no. I am an extreme person...I do not exercise here and there or just for fun...I do it for a purpose. So if I need help losing weight, or if I want to tone up I find some intense program and kick it’s butt. I am a P90X graduate. I do it when I need to do it, and I don’t mess around. However, I don’t always need to, want to, or am able to. I intended to start Insanity this month, but my illness is preventing me from doing it. Oh well, not gonna cry a river over it. I am a busy, hard working woman and I don’t feel the least bit guilty that I don’t. I have other ways to promote my health. When I can and I want to, then I do. Otherwise, keeping up with 6 kids is all the exercise I get. ;)
How do you find the time to exercise with 6 kids and homeschooling?
Easy...I simply get up an hour earlier than everyone else every morning and work out...LOL JUST KIDDING! When people say that I think “good for you, but soooo not for me!” Right now I have a lot of young kids, and sleep is more valuable than gold! Not to mention that my kids have some crazy mom radar, and the minute I am awake whether it’s 7am or 2am they seem to know it and wake up too. So what do I do then? When I do exercise, I treat it the same as dieting: I am deliberate about it. I find a way to work it into my day. Sometimes kids are napping and the other are playing outside and sometimes I have several kids climbing my legs while I do. The point isn’t getting alone for it...the point is doing it consistently, no matter how it looks.
I sound really confident, and for the most part I am...but I do struggle too. Maybe one day I will have the time and energy to get to where I want to be physically, but for now I need to be confident in who I am rather than what I look like. There are times, especially after I have a baby or am pregnant, that I feel awful about myself and hate the way I look. But that’s my problem...and like anything else, if you want to break it you need to be deliberate. We need to guard our heart and minds and diligently watch what thoughts we allow to get in there. The more you play on the internet, watch tv & movies, and scrutinize yourself, the more you will feel the need to measure up to perfection and when you don’t, you will forget your worth. Don’t think it’s not related, because it is. Instead, spend time with your family, listen to worship music, read the Word, serve at church...be so busy with things that matter that you won’t have time for things that don’t. Remove yourself from the things of the world and indulge in things of value and then you will remember who you are and who He has made you...which is priceless.