Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes

I started this blog 5 years ago in July because I wanted to connect with people with similar interests, issues, and lifestyles. In my personal life, writing helps me figure my stuff out, clear my mind, and become a better version of myself.

On a biz level, many of my clients and customers constantly ask me the same questions so I want to have something to refer them to instead of just answering the same questions over and over again. I also just love to write.

It’s fun for me! And after all, I’m working toward more fun in my life, one of the reasons I added “fun” to food, fitness, finance, and fun!

When I first started, I was writing 2 blog posts a week. I was super excited to get it up and running. That soon became 1 post a week since I had 900 other things I love to do in my life and I had to create a little balance to keep them all in it!!

There have been a couple weeks where I have missed writing, but not many!!

And then Coura was born!!

I started writing less and less and I just looked this morning and it’s been over 3 months since I’ve written a blog post!

It would be so easy to blame the baby! After all, all moms know how much work it is to take care of another human, especially a tiny one that needs you to survive! It barely leaves time to take care of you, much less anything extra!

But I can’t blame the baby. I have time and energy for the things that are important to me, and lately I haven’t made the time (or energy) to write.

I’ve thought about writing almost every day. I’ve even jotted down ideas of what to write about. I’ve scheduled it, put it on my to-do list, and started and re-started writing streaks. But I just haven’t been able to bring myself to write!
Writers block? No time? No energy? No peace and quiet? None of the above!

To be honest the reason I haven’t been writing is because I feel like I have nothing to say. I have let my life and my dreams and my goals and my thirst for growth slip a little bit and I feel unworthy of sharing my life when I’m not working on bettering it.

I’ve always believed that I have the right to have issues or complain or sulk or bitch only about things I can change and only about things I am working to change. Lately everything I don’t want in my life I am allowing and I feel like I’ve put my journey to create my ideal life on hold. So why would anyone want to hear from someone who is powerless in her own life?

I have so many opportunities to listen to and read great personal growth books but I choose to spend my time watching Grey’s Anatomy (no offense to Meredith and the gang, I’m a huge fan) and the Voice (awesomely uplifting show).

I also have time in the mornings and evening to work on my bizes and work toward my ideal life, but typically do a lot of nothing or piddly activities that I feel are wasting my life away.

I need to make some changes, I want to make some changes, so I thought I would start with writing it all down!

Putting out to the universe that I am finally ready to get my shit together and work toward something bigger and better than what I am giving myself now.

I have no idea what all this even means or what I am even writing about! I just know I needed to start and do something and this is it!!

“Nothing changes if nothing changes” has always been a quote I believe in and has a lot of power and meaning for me. If you want something different, you need to do something different!

Start small, baby steps! Pick something you want to change in your life and start today doing one thing differently.

Drink water when you wake up, park far away from your office and walk, wake up 15 minutes earlier, go to bed 30 minutes earlier, cancel one of your subscriptions you don’t use, go through your closet and toss a few things, tell your friends how much you love them, eat fruit for breakfast, turn off the tv one night a week, eat more veggies, write down your goals, walk the dog longer, find a success partner, reach out to an old friend, meditate, join a gym, sign up for a 5k, eat out less, get outside more, share your story, challenge yourself daily, get uncomfortable, read 10 pages of a book every day, watch an inspirational YouTube video, plan your dream vaca, write down your goals, make a bucket list, eat less sugar, love yourself more, spend less on material things, have more adventures, breathe deeper, love harder, be more you!

Ok! I have my to-do list for the day 😂!!

Thanks for loving me unconditionally!

Stay connected!
www.FoodFitnessFinanceFun.com/newsletter

Or social!
www.facebook.com/foodfitnessfinancefun

See you soon…I mean it this time!

Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Bike Back

Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Bike BackThis is my second article in a series of five articles for triathletes who are just getting back into training.

Whether you were injured, sick, off-season, took a break, or had a baby like me, it takes some time to get back to the shape you were in before you stopped training.

My goal for these articles is to share what has worked for me to give you some ideas to try for yourself. If you missed the first article on getting your swim back, here is the link…

http://www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com/fitness/postpartum-triathlete-getting-your-swim-back/

In my opinion, the bike was the easiest for me to get back on, but the hardest to get back to where I was, especially since I was training for an Ironman when I got pregnant and it is now winter here in Colorado.

My baby is almost 7 months old, and I have only been on my bike outside one time in over a year. It’s a lot easier for me mentally, physically, and schedule wise, to do my training either at the gym where there’s childcare and bikes with feedback, or on my trainer in my basement where I don’t have to leave the house, and can do it anytime.

For those reasons, I probably will stay primarily indoors for another few months.

My first race back is in May, which will be 11 months after Coura was born. I plan on biking indoors until March, which will give me two months to transfer my indoor skills to outside riding.

After my six-week check-up and I got the OK to start working out again, my first workout was on the bike. The first week I did 30 minutes, with no resistance, just spinning my legs and getting my butt back in saddle shape! I did most of the sessions at home, I wasn’t ready yet to leave the house and get to the gym or to take Coura to childcare.

My intention was to start a bike streak and bike 30 minutes a day minimum, but with my new mommy life, that didn’t always work. I still kept it as my intention, which usually got me on the bike five days a week. Some days it took me an hour to bike for 15 minutes because I was also taking care of a baby, but it was always my goal to get 30 minutes in!

For the first eight weeks, each week I just tried to add a little more time during one of my rides. For example, if I got on the bike five times, one time would be 40 minutes, and the next week that ride would be 50 minutes, and following week an hour.

I typically didn’t have time to go more than an hour so I would start adding time to a second ride of the week, working up to another ride of an hour.

By the end of the eight weeks, I was doing 2 to 3 60-minute rides and 2 to 3 30-minute rides, still at very little or no resistance.

After 8 weeks, I decided to start adding intensity to one of my weekly rides. I really like a challenge and working on improving, so I decided to do a weekly time trial on the bike at the gym.

The first week I started at level 1 and every 5 minutes went up a level. I ended up 12.0 miles in the hour. Each week I started at the next level (week 2=level 2, week 3=level 3, etc) so that I was progressively working harder each week and going longer in the hour.

I just did my week 13 time trial and have increased about 5 miles in the hour!!! I had a couple weeks where I was sick that went down, but in general I am getting better each week.

After about 8 weeks of one hard workout a week, I started adding one moderate intensity hour ride a week.
And that’s it for now! So in general I am doing my hour time trial, an hour moderate effort ride, and 3-5 30-minute easy rides.

My plan in another 4 weeks is to start increasing my moderate level ride by 30 minutes each week to train for the St George 70.3 I have coming up on May 4th.

I am finally feeling good on the bike! It will be interesting to see how my indoor fitness translates to riding outside. My goal is to get outside once a month!

Let me know if you have any questions about getting back into training after taking time off!

If you want to follow my training…

www.instagram.com/fitnessdivakir

For a weekly workout…

www.FoodFitnessFinanceFun.com/newsletter

And if you or anyone you know is looking for a coach for this upcoming triathlon season, I have room for 3 more clients this year!!

Call or text me to set up an appointment to see if we are the right fit for each other!!!

See you soon!

My Top 11 Blog Posts from 2018

My Top 11 Blog Posts From 2018The reason I started my blog about 4 ½ years ago was to share my life experiences to help me connect with others who may be going through the same “stuff” in life!

My blog is all about food, fitness, finance, and fun because those are the 4 biggest parts of my life.

I know there have got to be others like me who may be struggling, so I am putting my life out there in hopes of connecting with other. We are not alone!

My favorite part about sharing is when I get a message from someone saying how much they appreciate what I wrote because it helped them in some way. My mission in life is to inspire others to be better just by being myself. This is how I can do that!

So THANK YOU for loving me for ME and not because I have accomplished something or did something spectacular, but because I am human and flawed and need love and support as we all do!

I was looking through my posts from the past year. I wanted to share with you my top 11 of the year. The reason they are my faves is because they are the ones that gave me the most response from others that they appreciated the post. And the reason there are 11 is because 11 is my favorite number!!

Here we go…

My Top Posts For 2018

It is always fun to see which of my posts strikes a note with my readers. Here are the top posts from 2018!
1

Welcome Coura McCay Sutphin to this MIRACULOUS World!

I may have gone a little crazy on social media the past 2 weeks on posting pics of my new baby girl, but I am not apologizing. I do the same thing every time I have been proud of an accomplishment, enthusiastic about a new adventure, or pretty much anything I am excited about in my life, which is usually a lot.

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2

Our Birth Plan: Have a F-ing Baby!

On Wednesday, June 13th, exactly 4 weeks before I was “scheduled” to have my baby girl, I had some “leaking” from my girl parts. If this is already TMI, I suggest you close out and pick another one of my 200 blog posts to read instead.

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3

Cherish this moment? Tips For Real Newborn Moms!

Every time I post a picture of Coura on social media, I have somebody comment to “cherish this moment” or something similar. It’s probably my fault because I only post the totes adorable pictures of her and avoid posting the ones where she’s blowing a gasket or needing to eat every 45 minutes for 45 minutes, but I’m not really sure I want to treasure all of these these moments.

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4

Peace of Mind: The Greatest Gift of All

When I got pregnant, I suddenly went from the most optimistic, positive person on the planet to a total doomsday prepper when it came to my baby. Instantly everything weird or different or unusual happening in my body was something horrible.

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5

My Next Big Adventure!

I tend to set big goals and work towards accomplishing giant feats. And since I have gotten in the habit of announcing all my goals and dreams and plans to the world, when I get done with one thing, people always ask me what’s next!

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6

My Top 10: Reasons I Like Being Pregnant

When I first began to share the news that I was pregnant, after the initial shock from others wore off, I started getting stories of how awful pregnancy is. From morning sickness to being uncomfortable all the time to weird cravings and back pain! Gee, something to look forward to!

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7

Focus With Your Word of the Year

Each year I pick a word that encompasses what I am working on in my life and want to accomplish in the following year. I don’t try hard to find a word, I wait for one to choose me. I reflect on the past year, think about the upcoming year, and then meditate on how I can be the best possible version of myself.

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8

My Fave Vegan Cheeses

The number one reason people tell me they could never be vegan is because they could never give up cheese. I get it! It took me months to give up milk and eggs, but literally years to give up cheese.

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9

My Word For 2018: Trust

Every year I choose a word that will help guide me through the upcoming year. This year I chose “trust” as my word, or it chose me!

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10

O.M.G!! Dave Ramsey Baby Step One…AGAIN!

So I thought I was DONE with Dave Ramsey’s “Baby Step 1” which is saving $1,000 to start an emergency fund. Dave Ramsey is a financial guru who gives very “common sense” and “sound” advice on finances, debt, and building wealth. He has been on the radio answering finance questions for the past 25 years. He has a general financial plan with 7 “baby steps” to help everyone get out of debt and gain more control of their personal finances.

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11

Keep It Simple!

I am constantly working toward simplifying my life. I love decluttering, organizing, and coming up with systems to help make things easier for me. With a baby girl arriving in the next 6 weeks, I am working double-time to simplify, as I know babies are time consuming and can complicate life more than it already is.

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Thank you for all your love and support this past year. It has been such a big adjustment for me, mostly because I’m used to getting 10 hours of sleep a night so this ‘2 hours here and 3 hours there’ sleep is throwing me all out of whack! It gets better right?? Right??? Bueller??? Bueller?

I hope you decide to make 2019 your best year EVER!!!

Stay in touch!

www.FoodFitnessFinanceFun.com/newsletter

See you soon!

How I Lost My “Baby Weight”

How I Lost My “Baby Weight”I have been using various Beachbody products since I became a coach (rep) in 2010. I have never been overweight but have fluctuated between 140-160 throughout most of my adult life. In 2017, I changed my diet and got down to my lowest weight since middle school. I was in the best shape of my life, competing at a high level in ironman distance triathlons.

In November 2017 I found out I was pregnant. I was 45 years old so this was a bit of a shock, but a miraculous blessing! In June I had my perfect baby girl and was surprised that instead of losing weight immediately after I had her, I actually gained weight.

None of my maternity clothes fit because I was bigger everywhere (except my belly of course). I was frustrated and depressed and already sleep deprived and overwhelmed having a newborn. I have a background of depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, which didn’t help at all!

During my pregnancy, I knew I would have some struggles with my weight gain and new bod, so I immediately started the 2B Mindset program as soon as it was released in May 2018. 2B Mindset was the newest program from Beachbody (a health/fitness company) which focused on simple healthy nutrition habits and changing your mindset about food, eating, and your body.

As soon as I could mentally wrap my head around starting to take care of myself again, I started back up on the program that I had spent 6 weeks practicing before I had Coura. It was easier because I had been working on it for 6 weeks already and I understood and believed in the concepts and practices it taught.

Between the 2B Mindset, drinking Shakeology several times daily (typically 3-4), PiYo, and Energize, 7 months later I am back to my pre-preg weight.

The main principles of the 2B Mindset program are: weigh daily, water first, veggies most, and track everything.

I have always weighed myself daily with mixed emotions. This program taught me how to do this as “data collection” only and not to be so attached to the number! I love that the 2B Mindset program encourages this!

It also focuses on drinking water first thing in the morning and before each meal/snack throughout the day. This has helped with the dehydration of breastfeeding and lack of sleep as well!!
And eating more veggies is one of the main principles of the program, so I am eating twice as many veggies as I was before. I love veggies but I am lazy and tend to grab a shake or bar instead.

When I am tired or cranky or only have one hand to make a meal (due to baby holding/feeding), I still opt for a shake since Shakeology is easy to make and drink!

The other thing that helped is after 6 weeks of not being able to work out, I was able to start. Exercise has never helped me lose weight, but when I exercise, I feel less stress and anxiety so it’s easier to want to eat healthier and take care of myself and my body.

I am super grateful for the tools and products that Beachbody has given me! I am still following the principles of the 2B Mindset and will forever. It is a lifestyle change, not a short-term diet/nutrition plan.

I am getting my 2B Mindset Coaching Certification so I can help others who are struggling like I was. I am also running monthly success groups to help teach others these basic principles.

I would love for you to join us!!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2BFreeFromFood

Or you can stay connected with me here…
https://www.facebook.com/FoodFitnessFinanceFun

Thanks for all your love and encouragement over the past 7 months!!

See you soon!

Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Swim Back

Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Swim BackFive months after having my baby, I’m finally feeling like I can swim again! I wanted to share what I did to get back into swimming after taking some time off.

Whether it is intentional (off-season, break, hate swimming) or unintentional (injury, illness, surgery, life change), it’s tough to get back in the pool when you’ve been out for a while.

I wanted to share the steps I took in hopes that it may help somebody else who is struggling to get back in swimming shape after being out of the pool for a while.

I want to start by saying when I found out I was pregnant, I was in really good shape. As in Kona Ironman shape. I took a break from swimming after the Ironman because I got 3 new tattoos. Before I had a chance to get back in the water, I found out I was pregnant. I always heard that swimming was the best thing to do while you’re pregnant.

When I was a personal trainer my clients who were pregnant loved being in the water. They said it took the weight off their joints and their back and they loved to feel light, cool, etc.

I swam a little at the beginning of my pregnancy, but by the time my belly started getting bigger, it was actually really uncomfortable for me to swim. I continued to swimming just to keep swimming, but it was typically 1 to 2 times a week 15 to 30 minutes at a time, at a very leisurely pace, and using all the equipment I could find!!

After Coura was born, I was antsy to get back into the pool, but had to wait 6 weeks for everything to heal. Once I was cleared to get into the pool, I jumped right in, only to discover that even 100 yards at a moderate pace got my heart rate up and my arms and legs felt uncoordinated and weak. I was also having a lot of shoulder pain from the way I was holding my baby when I breastfed her, so that flared up almost immediately after trying to swim freestyle.

Here is how I progressed…

Month 1: I swam 1-2 times a week for about 20 minutes using ALL my equipment (other than paddles). A typical swim looked like this:

  • 200 streamline kick on back w fins
  • 100 backstroke w fins
  • 200 kick on side with fins
  • 200 breastroke kick w board
  • 4×50 scull/swim w buoy and snorkel
  • 100 breastroke

Month 2: I swam 1-2 times a week for about 40 minutes still using lots of equipment, still not using paddles, only because my shoulder was still super sore after a swim. A typical swim looked like this:

  • 400 swim with fins, kick on back every 4th 25
  • 8×50 kick w board free/breast
  • 4×100 w buoy and snorkel 25 scull/75 swim
  • 3×75 kick/drill/swim IM order
  • 200 dolphin kick on back w fins
  • 200 breastroke

Month 3: I swam 2-3 times a week and tried to get an hour in for one of the swims. I started doing part of my set on an interval, and added back paddles. A typical swim looked like this:

  • 4×100 swim/kick w fins
  • 4×100 kick/drill w fins IM order
  • 8×50 kick w board free/breast on 1:10
  • 3×100 pull right paddle/left paddle/both paddles
  • 200 breast
  • 4×100 free on 1:45
  • 4×50 IM/free on 1:00
  • 200 breast
  • 300 dolphin kick w fins on back

Month 4: Sometimes I get in 3 swims a week, but usually still only 2. Swam my longest swim of the year this month at 3,600 yards. Here is what it looked like:

  • 8×100 w fins swim/kick by 100
  • 8×50 kick w board on 1:10
  • 8×50 swim w paddles on :50
  • 4×75 k/d/s IM order
  • 200 breast
  • 6×100 free on 1:40
  • 100 breast
  • 6×50 fast free/easy breast on 1:00
  • 200 IM easy
  • 300 back w fins
  • 100 breast

Over the weeks I am slowly adding a little distance (usually only 200 to my longest swim every 2 weeks) and a little speed (timing one more set each month). If something isn’t fun or hurts, I stop. There is no reason to hurt myself or get sick of swimming this early in my season.

If you are newer to swimming, I would also focus the majority of your workout on drills!

If you want a list of great drills (and lots of already written out workouts), join our facebook group here…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/IHeartSwimming

If you want a swim workout a day emailed to you for 30 days, click here…

www.FoodFitnessFinanceFun.com/dailyswim

If you want 10 great workouts for endurance training, go here…

https://www.etsy.com/listing/281141398/10-awesome-swim-workouts-for-long

And remember…Just Keep Swimming!

See you soon!

My 46th Birthday Workout

My 46th Birthday Workout.... Every year for my birthday, I do a birthday workout. I do this because I love my birthday and I want to celebrate me. I try to think of all the things I love to do and cram them all into one day! Every year for my birthday, I do a birthday workout. I do this because I love my birthday and I want to celebrate me. I try to think of all the things I love to do and cram them all into one day! Working out is one of my favorite things to do, and I love to challenge myself, so I always make my birthday workout a pretty big challenge.

This year was a little different. I don’t have as much time and freedom as I’ve had in the past, I was already teaching two classes at the gym, and of course I have Coura now. I still wanted to do something challenging, but doable, and like everything else in my life right now, I need it to be a little more flexible than in the past. I decided on a 46 minute swim, 46 minute bike, and a 46 minute run. Not all at once, not necessarily in that order, spread out throughout the day.

I got up early on November 6 to have enough time to pump after feeding Coura, as I’m not supposed to wear a sports bra unless my breasts are completely empty. I was planning on getting to the gym 15 minutes before my first class to drop Coura off at childcare and get started on my run. As with all my other plans over the past four months, I was running behind. I got to the gym five minutes before my class started, dropped Coura off, and went and taught class. I did however jump on a treadmill for 15 minutes after class to get the party started!

I visited childcare to feed myself and Coura, changed her, and played with her until it was time to teach my second class. After that class, I jumped on the treadmill for nine more minutes, before heading out to meet my mom at a different gym for part of my bike and leave Coura with her so I can finish my workout.

I biked 33 minutes with my mom, fed and changed Coura, and sent her to spend the afternoon with Grandma! Thank you Mom!

I then got back on the bike for another 13 minutes, jumped on the treadmill for my final 22 minutes, and then headed in to the pool for my 46 minutes swim!!

So yay! I got my entire birthday workout done! My total workout was a little over two hours and 15 minutes, which is my longest work out since I had Coura in June! So although it wasn’t a challenge like in the past (last year’s workout took 6 ½ hours), it was a challenge for me in my new life!

It felt amazing, and I had a blast! It was also the first time in a year that I actually felt like a triathlete! It got me super excited about my upcoming season, and I started thinking about what I want to do for training and racing this year.

After my birthday work out, Matt took me to eat at my favorite restaurant, Native Foods Café, and luckily they were fully stocked with oatmeal cream pies! The perfect end to my birthday workout!

How do you spend your birthday? What do you do to celebrate you?

And thanks for all the birthday messages, posts, and texts!

MY FRIENDS ROCK!

See you next year!

Peace of Mind: The Greatest Gift of All

Peace of Mind - The Greatest Gift of AllWhen I got pregnant, I suddenly went from the most optimistic, positive person on the planet to a total doomsday prepper when it came to my baby. Instantly everything weird or different or unusual happening in my body was something horrible.

And it only got worse after Coura was born. If she was crying, something was wrong, if she was quiet, something was wrong. I had crazy dreams about dropping her, or leaving her somewhere, or forgetting to feed her. So in the real world, knowing that she was safe and taken care of no matter what, was extremely valuable.

I want to say right off the bat, that if I read this blog post a year ago, I would have been super judgemental toward the person who wrote it. I’ve been hesitant to share anything about this because of that, but I decided to be brave and write it anyway! Here is why…

  • To help others and give them hope if they are in a similar situation
  • To show my gratitude and appreciation
  • To bring awareness to all the options we have available as parents and future parents

When I found out I was pregnant a year ago, I had just come out a 21-year marriage where I left my ex-husband. I had spent the previous six months shacking up with friends and family, training and racing, and doing some soul-searching to figure out what was next for me. What I didn’t focus on was making money. I made enough to get by, but I didn’t have anything saved, especially for what was coming next in my life, a baby.

I wasn’t freaked out about having a baby when I found out I was pregnant, but I was a little concerned with the financial aspect. I knew if I had a completely simple, easy, normal birth, I could come up with the money to pay for it. But with all the testing, extra doctor visits, and potential issues that go along with having a “geriatric pregnancy” (yes, that is what it was called since I was 45 years old), I wasn’t sure how much more that would all cost.

I had never needed any financial assistance, so I didn’t know how it would all work or if I would even qualify, but a couple people suggested that I look into Medicaid. I did some research, filled out all the paperwork, and was accepted.

What a godsend this program was for me. It gave me so much peace of mind when it came to prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postnatal care for me and my baby. I didn’t have to decide which appointments were most important and which I could skip. I didn’t have to decide which tests I could afford and which I couldn’t. And I didn’t have to ask when given the options during my delivery how much things cost such as an epidural, the Bili light, and the supplies I use during my five-day stay in the hospital.

I also didn’t have to worry about finding the cheapest pediatrician or deciding which appointments where most importance when Coura was born. Because she was not gaining weight for the first two weeks after her birth, we had to go to her pediatrician every two days until she did. I’m so grateful I didn’t have to worry about how I was going to pay for all this help. Plus, being a stressed-out mom to be, or a worried mother, doesn’t help a struggling baby at all.

At first, I was super embarrassed being on Medicaid. Whenever I was asked who my insurance was, I hated hearing the word come out of my mouth. I thought for sure people would judge me or think I was irresponsible or that I wasn’t fit to be a mother.

But now I am just grateful.

Grateful I got the best care for me and my baby. Grateful I didn’t have the added stress to pass onto Coura before and after she was born. Grateful I can focus on spending time with her and taking care of her needs now instead of working over-time to pay off thousands of dollars in medical bills. I am just grateful.

This has also taught me not to judge others so quickly! Like I said earlier, I would have totally judged me before this! I thought people who needed financial assistance were lazy or irresponsible, or worse! I never considered they may just be going through a life change or transition or a tragedy or whatever!!

Most of us just need a little temporary help to get back on track when we’ve been side-swiped! Luckily mine was a little bundle of blessing and even luckilier (did I make up that word?) that there is a program out there to support me in supporting her!

Thank you Medicaid! I don’t know what I have done without you!

And thank you peeps for loving me unconditionally!

Stay hopeful!

See you soon!

Money Can’t Buy Happiness?

Money Can’t Buy Happiness? We’ve all heard the phrase “money can’t buy happiness.” I would love to believe that, but I’m not really sure I do. We’ve all heard the phrase “money can’t buy happiness.”

I would love to believe that, but I’m not really sure I do. I spent most of last year without a lot of money. But I had very few expenses so I made enough to support my lifestyle at the time.

This year however has been different. Knowing I was going to have a child, I obviously had to put down some roots. This meant renting a house. Along with the house comes money needed for utilities, upkeep, and several expenses that I haven’t had for a while.

Having my baby a month early cut my preparation short as I was relying on those last four weeks to make money to get me through those first few months with a newborn.

When Coura was born, I had a little money saved, but after four weeks of not working, that money was gone. The next six weeks for me were full of stress, anxiety, and overwhelm because I had no money for anything other than the bare necessities.

I would “try “working at first at night while I was feeding Coura, and then during the day while she was napping, but that ended quickly as I was exhausted myself and needed more than 3 to 5 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. I was tired, I was gaining weight from eating crap from being tired, and I was stressing myself, and I’m sure my baby, in the process.

My friends kept saying to me “taking care of your baby is your number one priority, that’s all you should be thinking about, you don’t need to be working right now, that’s why people take maternity leave.” But a lot of people who take maternity leave are getting paid for it. Since I own my own businesses, I wasn’t!

Essentially if I needed food, supplements, dog food, clothes, or to even pay my bills, I had to ask for help. This literally made my stomach sick just thinking about it. I don’t often wait until the very last second, and by then I was in emotional wreck, so my asking for help usually ended up as a cry fest and me feeling like a failure, worthless, not good at anything, and unable to take care of myself or my baby.

When Coura was two months old, I was given the opportunity to start working again. It would be a total of about four hours a day, and was a challenge to make it work, but I just kept looking at the money that would be coming and, even small amounts, to take the edge off of how I was feeling.

Some days after just a couple hours of sleep, I would have to get up, feed and change Coura, pack her up and take her to grandma’s, and then drive over an hour to coach. I typically don’t do well on four or six hours of sleep, but I knew when I saw money coming in, to contribute to my life financially, it would all be worth it. And it was.

When my first paycheck came in, I was able to catch up on many of the things I had been behind on like my vitamins, supplements, healthy food, fruits and vegetables, dog food, formula, diapers, full tank of gas, oil change, soap, shampoo, and a few other things I had been skimping on over the previous couple months.

That paycheck was gone within minutes, but huge weight was lifted off of me. I felt better, and happier, than I had in weeks, despite my fatigue and lack of upkeep and other areas of my life. That little amount of money, made a huge difference in my life. It gave me hope , peace of mind, and I felt like I could breathe again.

So did that paycheck make me happier? You bet your ass it did!

Not having money takes a lot more time, effort, patience, and energy, none of which I had being a new mom.

I have been working consistently now for the past 3 months and it has made a world of difference. This month is the first month since Coura was born that I have enough money to pay ALL my bills and my expenses!!! And YES! That does make me happy!!!

If you feel hopeless or frustrated about money, just start somewhere (anywhere) to bring in a little more! There are so many opportunities today with the internet and small jobs here and there that may not seem like they will be helpful, but they are!

Remember…baby steps…ALWAYS!!!

WE GOT THIS!

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The New Golden Rule

The New Golden RuleWe all learned the “Golden Rule” at an early age. Treat others the way you want to be treated is basically how it sums up.

I had an epiphany in the shower the other day. And I call this the “New Golden Rule”.

It is: treat yourself like you would treat others.

Now this only works if you are actually a good person, and treat others nicely, with respect, and forgive their flaws, which everyone has. But since I am such a person, this is important rule for me to follow.

I once had a therapist who told me to write a letter to myself as if I were writing it to my five-year-old self. I think the real exercise is to write a letter to your daughter or son in the same tone as you speak to yourself, and then read it out loud, to hear how obnoxious and horrifying the way we talk to ourselves is, but at the time I didn’t have children so I think she modified it to fit my current lifestyle. The purpose of this exercise is to show us that we would never treat other people as horribly as we tend to treat ourselves.

So back to my epiphany…

I had just given my 12 week old a bath, and of course I used the 100% super duper soft bamboo washcloths that I got for her to nourish her delicate skin and always make her feel like a spoiled princess.

After I dried her off, slathered her with coconut oil, and put on her softest most comfy pajamas, I jumped back in the shower so that I could bathe myself as well. I grabbed my rough, coarse washcloth, which I purposefully used to exfoliate my face.

I want to add in here that I’ve always hated my skin, ever since I was a tween, although we didn’t have a name for that age back then. I’ve used every abrasive harsh chemical filled product and procedure to try to make my skin smoother and softer looking over the years.

Nothing has worked. So as far as cleanser and moisturizer, I’m FINALLY using mild products, Dr. Bronner‘s baby soap as a cleanser and coconut oil as a moisturizer.

But every other day I grab that coarse washcloth and scrub the crap out of my face hoping to exfoliate all the bumps and lines and pitts from acne scars, which leaves my face red and sore. I justify this by soaking it in coconut oil overnight to help repair.

On a side note, I don’t think my skin has looked any better from doing this over the past few years.

So back to my shower the other night. I was reaching for my angry washcloth, when I remembered what gentle loving care I just gave my baby girl. I started thinking why the difference? After hundred justifications, I came to the conclusion that there is no difference, other than I want to take care of her, and I want to punish myself.

So BOOM! Right then and there I tossed my crappy hater washcloth and picked up my “I am worthy of love and self-care” washcloth!

This may sound like a trite and simple “problem” to a lot of people, but for me it is huge. It’s a smaller part of the bigger issue that I have struggled with my entire life; unconditional self-love.

So for me to make one small step toward loving myself more, I will take it!
Baby steps…always!

Please do something extra nice to or for yourself today!

You are worthy! We all are!

Yay!

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Cherish this moment? Tips For Real Newborn Moms!

Cherish this moment? Tips For Real Newborn Moms!Every time I post a picture of Coura on social media, I have somebody comment to “cherish this moment” or something similar. It’s probably my fault because I only post the totes adorable pictures of her and avoid posting the ones where she’s blowing a gasket or needing to eat every 45 minutes for 45 minutes, but I’m not really sure I want to treasure all of these these moments.

A month from now, I may read this and wish I would’ve paid more attention and appreciated the point in time more, but for now I’m ready to start feeling like me again.

Next month, I may change my mind, and regret writing this, but right now I can’t figure out what moments I would want to embrace. Is it…

  • The fog I’m walking around in day and night?
  • My constantly sore nipples?
  • Being too big to fit into even my maternity clothes?
  • All the fluids leaking from me nonstop?
  • Having no energy to give to anyone, including my baby or my boyfriend?
  • Wishing she was asleep because I’m too tired to play with her?
  • Feeling like I have no idea what I’m doing?
  • Crying for no reason?
  • And then crying even more about something stupid?
  • Not having the time or energy to even organize her room, which she’ll eventually want to be living in?
  • Staying inside because it seems like too much work to leave the house?
  • But then going crazy because I haven’t left the house?

Are these the moments I should be cherishing? Because to be honest, I’m so tired that even if all these memories were great memories, I don’t think I have the capacity to enjoy them.

Yes, when I look at her she melts my heart, and she is pretty damn perfect. She’s a part of me and I love her completely and unconditionally. But I will still love her just as much in a month or two, when I’m a little more rested, I have my shit figured out a little bit more, and I have a glimpse of hope of having enough energy to laugh when she does something funny or play with her after she eats instead of hoping I fed her enough to fall asleep on me so I can get a quick nap in.

As I write this I feel like a horrible mom wishing she would be just a few weeks older so that we can be a family sans headaches and tears, but it is what it is, and I am who I am, and these are the feelings I am feeling.

I know this is a lesson for me to live in the moment, and by default, it’s all I can do, so thank you universe for forcing it on me.

And I know I am allowed to live in the moment while also being excited for my future. It’s like I learned in recovery: I can work on being better while accepting myself as I am.
And of course I will go on doing my best. Taking care of Coura and loving her with every cell of my being. But I will also be looking forward to the day when I am holding her just to have her in my arms and give her love instead of to feed her and hope she falls asleep after.

Until that day, I will be open to the advice from the hundreds of moms who are wiser and more experienced, and I promise I will do my best to cherish this moment, right here, right now. I promise.

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