My name is Laura and I am 33 years old.
After reaching a huge goal and officially having lost 100 POUNDS in August 2009 (see My “Weight Loss” Journey! page) I came to the realization that I would need to switch gears from my past weight loss journey to Finding A Healthy Balance in my life!!!
Now, I would like to point out that I still plan to lose weight during this next journey in my life, as I ultimately would like to lose another 15+ pounds and settle in just around 125 pounds, which I feel for me at 5 foot 5 inches tall would be a very healthy weight!
Currently I am hovering between 142-146 pounds, depending on the day and if I have run or ate more.
I know that it will take me awhile to lose this last 20+ pounds as it has been on me for a VERY long time, over 10 years now, however I am in no hurry and it is worth the wait to finally get the body I have always wanted as well as achieving a “healthy & balanced” life style!!! =)
When I speak of “Finding A Healthy Balance” I am speaking of finding that healthy balance in ALL aspects of my life:
- Healthy Eating
- Working Out (Gym & Running)
- & More…….
In which, I have been working on for several years now during my “weight loss” journey, however I do not feel that I really started to GET IT until this past year………when I started doing the following on a “regular” basis:
Eat a “healthy & balanced” diet, limiting my BAD choices!
- NO DIETING ALLOWED!!!
Work out on a regular (weekly) basis!
- Run 3-5 times a week for at least 30+ minutes.
- Tone (abs, upper & lower body) a/k/a “weight lift” at least 2 times a week for at least 45+ minutes.
In order to make the above work in my hectic life as a full-time career oriented working mom, wife, daughter, friend, etc. who loves to run (future marathoner) and eat healthy (wannabe dietitian someday)……I started doing the following:
1) Finding fulfillment and happiness in my CAREER! I believe 100% that you have to like your job and receive some sort of fulfillment from it in order to be truly happy both inside and outside of work and that if you do not like your job it will spill over onto your personal life.
A few months after my “weight loss” journey began I started looking for a different job as the one I was in at the time made me very unhappy and had no room for advancement. About a month after starting to look I was hired with the company that I am currently working for today, going on my 5th year. During those years I have not only advanced in positions, I have also found a career that I enjoy very much and take great fulfillment in. =) In addition, I have met some wonderful people through the years, in which a few have become good friends.
On a side note, career wise I am in the field, Commercial Real Estate, that I truly enjoy as stated above, however I aspire to one day return to school and would love to become a Dietitian as my journey has fostered a love for health, fitness and desire to help others achieve the same as me that I hope one day to achieve! I believe it is important to always have goals and aspirations, especially in your career…….always strive to do & be better!
2) Prioritizing my CHORES so that they get done in a timely manner and done properly, however also making sure they don’t take over your life. This took me some time to get control of and is still a work in progress for me on a daily basis as my schedule is ever changing and of course things are always thrown in that throw me off course. For me I found it best to leave the majority of my chores for the weekend, as my week days are quite hectic.
- I typically do my grocery shopping on Saturday mornings unless other plans interfere and then I will do it either later in the day or on Sunday. I also always make a very detailed “Shopping List” that is featured below, under number (6), for this shopping trip so that everything is purchased that needs to be and the minimal amount of time is spent doing so.
Laundry & House Cleaning
- I also utilize the weekends to do both my house cleaning & laundry. Laundry is started on Saturday and then finished on Sunday, doing a load or two when I have time throughout the two days. House cleaning is usually always done on Sunday mornings, again unless other plans interfere and then I will schedule it for another time or day.
- Doing the above chores on the weekends helps me focus on my career, family and work outs (since I do most of them during the week days) during the rest of the week, however I of course have other daily “week day” chores as well such as cooking dinner that is done on a nightly basis. This has always been a difficult one for me as I work full-time and tend to not get home until after 6pm on most nights and even later on “gym” nights. Over the years I have come up with several go to dishes/recipes I use on a regular basis in order to get dinner done in a timely manner and still be pretty healthy. I do get “take out” or “fast food” a few times a week on my late gym nights as it would just be impossible for me to cook dinner once I got home as we would not eat until after 9pm on those nights.
Now, this is easier said than done! Of course they wanted to lose the weight and become get healthier, however once they realized the sacrifices they would have to make in order for this to be achieved I found a different reaction from them at times. Sometimes one that was not so supportive. =( As my new “healthy & active” lifestyle could often times take away from them and this took time for them to adjust to. I am sure many others in my situation can TOTALLY relate!
It took time to for them to adjust and is always a work in progress for all of us. I know my husband understands that I have to go out for a run after I get home from work or hit the gym directly after work, however I also know he does not always like it as I that is time spent away from home or more likely “him”. Same for my daughter, as I know she enjoys the “extra” time she gets to spend with her grandparents while I am at the gym a few days during the week but I also know she often misses me too as we do not get much time in together during the week days. I try my best to make up for this lack of family time during the week days by spending as much time with them as I can on the weekends.
Though, of course, the weekends can also get quite busy as well. As I previously mentioned a majority of my “chores” need to be done over the weekends, however I have managed to incorporate those into my schedule so that they do not interfere too much with my family time or are done as a family. For instance, my daughter will often go grocery shopping with me on some weekends or my husband will help me with the cleaning (yes, I said it, he actually does help me sometimes….and get this because he wants to spend the extra time with me….isn’t that sweet).
4) Balancing my time with my extended FAMILY (mom, step-dad, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandparents, etc.) so that I enjoy them to the fullest, however also minimizing the toll it can sometimes take on my busy schedule as my family is quite large and all the special events (anniversaries, birthdays, holiday’s, etc.) can sometimes become very frequent and become hard to manage. I found that by limiting the special events to once a month (though around the holiday’s it may be more than once a month), I am able to balance everything well. Yes, sometimes certain events are missed, I make it a point to attend the most important ones.
5) Making time for FRIENDS! I feel it is important, no matter how busy you are to get some time in with your friends, even if it is only one day a month or a weekday lunch from time to time.
Now, I do not have to many friends mind you. Just a few close ones, as I moved a lot as a Military Brat when I was a child so I lost touch with many of my friends throughout the years, however I have managed to keep a few friends “close” since my childhood. One who is pictured below, Amy, she is my long time (15+ years) friend from highschool. I have also made a few friends through friends my daughter has made that I have really enjoyed getting to know and becoming friends with. My friend, Kelly, who is also pictured below, and I get along really well and have found to have a lot in common. I have enjoyed meeting her for lunch and also visiting with her while our daughters play.
Everyone needs “me” time away from the family where you can enjoy the other wonderful people in your life, so don’t forget to always make time for your friends! =)
6) Planning my HEALTHY & BALANCED DIET! I do this 1st by making a very detailed Shopping List that includes everything I need for the upcoming week such as breakfasts, lunches, snacks & dinners, that is also mapped out by each department in the store by the way I walk through the store in order so that I am maximizing my time in the store as much as possible and do not waste time going back and forth looking for stuff while at the store or have to make a return trip because I forgot something.
7) Setting a weekly WORK OUT (Gym & Running) schedule that fits my busy life and minimizes the impact on it as much as possible, however no matter what you do it is going to impact your life in some way and adjustments to your schedule will need to be made. I made sure to make working out a priority in my life and treated it as such.
In the beginning, I would do my cardio (runs) in the mornings before work as I had to many things to get done after work so that was the only time I had. Yes, it was hard to get up at 5am+ in the beginning, however after a few months I got used to it and actually enjoyed going. I treated it as my “me” time and it was nice to enjoy the quietness and do something just for me. Currently, I do my runs after work as that works best for my schedule right now.
In addition, I am fortunate enough that my Mom & Step-Dad would pick up my daughter from school every Tuesday & Thursday in order to spend extra time with her and also allow me time for the gym so I could get a longer work out in then I could in the early a.m. so that is when I choose to do both weights (abs, upper & lower body) and get some extra cardio in as well. This was a great help in assisting me with balancing my work out schedule and something they still do for me today.
Learning from others in the HEALTH BLOG world, which I 1st discovered through a co-worker/friend of mine who introduced me to EatLikeMe at www.self.com, which I found to be very beneficial in trying to find a “healthy balance” in my life as I was able to see firsthand how other woman from all different walks of life (single, married, older, younger, in shape, out of shape, etc.) do so in their own lives!
Currently, I visit several Health Blogs (listed in my BLOG ROLL) as often as I can to continue learning new things……