I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the past couple days now that (ALL!!!) the kids are in school.
Going from all cylinders running to downshifting to a lower gear takes some getting used to.
And I’m not complaining at all.
It’s just a big adjustment.
I spent a good part of the first day the kids were in school taking five steps in one direction and then five steps in another direction and then five steps in another direction, bouncing from room to room and getting absolutely nothing done because I had so many options available to me I couldn’t make up my mind what to do first.
The absence of chaos was surprisingly overstimulating to me.
I did manage to do one thing, though.
I knew I was on the verge of a breakdown going into that last week of summer break, and one of the biggest reasons was that I hadn’t been consistently exercising for over a month. I knew this was affecting me. I felt shitty physically and I felt shitty emotionally and I was so overwhelmed with schedule changes and work schedules and whatever that I just threw in the towel for almost all of August, and told myself once school started, I’d get back on track. But along with the conscious decision to let exercise (temporarily) fall by the wayside, I compounded my problems by stress eating my way through August.
So I was not handling stress in a healthy way, and I probably put on at least ten pounds.
I don’t know because I stopped using the scale over a month ago as well.
Because the scale wasn’t helping me make better or healthier decisions. It wasn’t helping me change my lifestyle. The scale was causing me to just obsess over a number and make temporary changes that were unsustainable until I reached whatever number I had decided I needed to reach, and then I’d eventually go back to some unhealthier habits, the number on the scale would creep back up, and blah blah blah. The same thing again. And again. And again.
So I have no idea what the number on the scale would be right now, and I honestly don’t care what it is.
I do care that my clothes are now all too tight. I care that I feel out of shape. I care that I used to be able to easily do 20 consecutive push ups and now I can barely do five. I care that it’s super uncomfortable to walk in a bathing suit or running shorts if I’m sweaty or it’s humid out because the thigh rub factor is off the charts.
I just don’t feel good physically.
So when the kids all went off to the first day of school, the house was a shit hole, nothing was organized, and I had no meals planned out or prepped.
But one of the reasons the rest of my life falls into disarray is because once the exercise goes out the window, it’s a domino effect, and everything else deteriorates.
I’m not a control freak really. (Well, my husband might disagree on that). But I’m not super anal. I’m not a neat freak. I can handle some chaos. But it’s gone beyond a little bit of chaos.
And when I lose the discipline of exercise, my brain gets super cloudy. And when my brain gets super cloudy, it’s very difficult for me to stay focused and on track in other areas of my life. And that’s one of the reasons my house has gotten away from me.
So I knew that even with all the crap around me in my house, the first thing that had to be a priority once the kids went back to school was working out consistently. Because when I’m on track with that, it’s much easier for me to keep every thing else in my life on track.
So that was the only thing I put on my list of things to do those first two days the kids went back to school.
Then the more consistently I exercise, the more motivated I am to make better eating decisions.
Not for weight loss reasons. Just for feeling better reasons.
Eating shit makes you feel like shit.
Eating well makes you feel good.
But just as there is a domino effect in the deteriorating direction, there is also on the other way.
When you start to exercise, you start to want to take care of yourself.
When you take better care of yourself more, you want to take better care of other areas in your life.
So my point is that I didn’t immediately fill my days (which had just opened up pretty significantly) with checklists and projects and more shit to do.
I gave myself time to decompress and to exercise.
And I immediately felt better.
Now my brain has cleared up a little bit so that I can focus better on the next thing I want to tackle so that I’m not bouncing from room to room to room like a crazy person and getting absolutely nothing done.
If you have found yourself in a similar situation, or if your kids don’t go back to school until this week, don’t overwhelm yourself. Don’t go from one chaotic situation to another.
Give yourself some time to slow down.
Then, prioritize. But don’t add all the priorities in at once!
Pick one thing first.
And I really really really encourage you to start with moving your butt! It doesn’t have to be crazy or over the top. Twenty minutes is a perfect place to start.
That will help get you in a better frame of mind. And once that happens, everything else will fall into place.
September is really a new year for a lot of moms (and dads ).
If you’ve been neglecting yourself and putting yourself last, it’s a great time for you to start taking care of yourself.
You deserve it!
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