The one about accountability

At the turn of 2016, I decided I wanted this year to be "the" year that I actually cared for myself. Not about myself. For myself. I have always cared about myself. I hope everyone cares about themselves! 

But caring for myself? Not so much. 

Between caring for my children and caring for my husband and caring for my career and caring for my commitments and caring for my family and caring for my friends and caring for literally everything else on this planet....I simply ran out of time, or cares, for myself. 

Ahh, yes. 2015. The Year of What Wasn't. 

I wasn't healthy. 

I wasn't happy.

I wasn't the person I wanted to be.

I wasn't.

But this year, THIS YEAR, I decided that I was going to be #1 in my own life. Doesn't this sound strange? Can you believe I just said that? Yes. You heard it correctly. I am going to be #1 in my own life.

Before my husband. Before my children. Before everyone and everything (except God. Not going to mess with that). 

How could I be this selfish? How could I think so much of my own needs and not the needs of my loved ones?

Well, see, I have this ability that I believe most humans also have, where I can actually manage to care about my own needs AND the needs of my loved ones, simultaneously! There is enough room in my brain and my heart to allow me to have a life, dreams, interests, activities, and proper self-care in addition to the life, dreams, interests, activities, and care of my family. 

Shocking, I know.

I think we all have that is just about making it a priority. It is about making YOU the priority. 

Don't get it twisted. I am not talking about skipping your daughter's dance recital so you can go shoe shopping with friends (but if you did that, I wouldn't judge you too harshly). I am talking about finding the time in your day that you already have and doing something productive with it for your own self-care. 

This is why, when I exercise, I do it at 5:15 a.m. It is not fun to wake up that early, but that is the best time in my schedule to exercise. It guarantees that I get it done ahead of my busy day, and I can't lose my motivation as the day goes on. It also helps to keep me on track with eating right because I don't want to "ruin" all the hard work I put in at the crack of dawn.

It works for me, so I am going to keep doing it that way.

I find the time to plan meals and go to the grocery instead of eating out constantly. This is a sacrifice on my part because I meal plan and grocery shop typically in the evenings so I don't have to include my children in this task. I would rather watch TV or do some deep couch sitting, but having a plan is essential to success, in my opinion. 

I also prep our school lunches as well as my breakfasts and lunches once per week, typically on Sundays. I wash and chop fruits and veggies. I portion out protein, and I cook a few things ahead. Again, this isn't my favorite way to spend a couple hours or so on a Sunday, but it has to happen or else french fries become my main food group for the week. 

What I am trying to say is that these practices are sacrifices, but this is a way that I am putting myself first. See? It doesn't look selfish and rude. It looks healthy and happy, and that is what I am going for.

I am about to start my 4th round of the 21 Day Fix program, but this is my 2nd round of the extreme version. I am going to share my meal plans and updates with you to keep myself accountable, and also to give you some ideas or inspiration if you are also trying to take better care of yourself. 

I strongly believe that you cannot care for others if you do not first care for yourself. I want to be the best, happiest, healthiest mama for my girls, and taking care of myself is where it begins. 

I would love it if you shared any recipes or meal plans that make your tummy happy! I am always looking for new ideas.

And no, I am not a Beachbody or fitness coach...but if you need one, I know a few!

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