Monday, May 13, 2013

Tired and Unhealthy

I really don't want this to be a whiny post.  But, let's be honest... It probably is going to be. (Thankfully, I feel like I've had a good bit of sappy/happy posts recently, so we are due one like this.  Right?)

I'm tired.

I'm tired because Sam has terrible allergies and hasn't slept soundly in a few weeks.

I'm tired because, when he is awake, he is all over the place.

I'm tired because school has been busy, and I've felt some pressure there.

I'm tired because I stay up too late and wake up too late.

I'm tired because my house is such a wreck and my to do list is so long, that just the thought of it makes me exhausted.

BUT, mostly, I'm tired because I'm not taking care of myself.

I take a nap most afternoons instead of getting out in the sunshine.

I don't take vitamins and I drink way too much caffeine.

I eat a lot of junk food, and I don't exercise.

How's this for being honest?

For a while, I just wrote this off as "my life" now.  I have a job and a toddler and a house and a lot of responsibilities.  This is just the way things go.  But that view can't be right.  It makes me grumpy and discouraged and NOT the mom/wife/teacher/daughter/friend I want to be. Honestly? I'm sick and tired of being tired.

I want to be realistic about my expectations for myself. I don't have to be a size 2 or be able to run marathons, and I definitely don't need to have a spotless house or a gourmet meal every night.  But, I DO want to be the best version of myself I can be...

I want to feel good and be comfortable in my skin.

I want to have energy to play with Sam and actually do things when he is sleeping.

I want to wake up early, well-rested, and spend time being still before my day starts.

I want to make my house a space I'm not embarrassed of when friends pop in, make healthy meals for my family, and love my husband well.

Is that too much to ask?

I'm marking today as a fresh start, and I'm writing this here as a form of confession and accountability... I'm going to get good sleep, cut-down (significantly) on caffeine, take a vitamin, exercise, and pray more.

Can you relate to this place I'm in?  What advice do you have?

Thanks friends!


  1. Although I don't have any children yet, I can relate, and I'd advise writing a little plan for the next day, of the chores you want to get done, and another list of things you want to do for yourself and with your husband. Tick them off as you do them throughout the day and after a while you won't need the lists at all!

    Amy| The Little Koala Blog ♥

  2. I can relate, even without a kid. I'd suggest trying to incorporate small steps slowly. :) If you wake up extra early tomorrow and try to read, exercise, cook tons of veggies, etc. all at'll probably be really overwhelming and discourage you for the next day. So maybe pick a few things, and then a few diff things for the next day, and work towards making them more regular lifestyle changes. Maybe that'll make it easier for you to stick with it? At any rate, proud of you for starting NOW and not waiting for a 'good start date' (which is my trap), such as 'when school ends' or 'June 1' or next New Years...haha.

  3. I have been in a similar place recently and was tired of feeling badly about feeling badly, so I am trying to take small steps for change.

    Getting a good night's sleep is KEY for me - it gives me so much more energy. We are making really simple, basic meals for the workweek with an emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables (we were being way too ambitious for weeknights). I am also running again - just a half hour at a time but it makes me feel better than doing nothing and is also less daunting than thinking about working out for an hour. But getting enough sleep is definitely the most important step!

  4. Take it one day at a time, Mama. One little thing could make you feel great. I can so relate to so much of this. I feel chubby these days and could really use to exercise, but I don't want to. Ha! How's that for keepin' it real! Don't be too hard on yourself!

  5. Boy! Can I relate!! I'm also a teacher with a toddler son...I'm also experiencing some pretty severe back issues, so it has worn me down. Eating healthy and eliminating certain foods (gluten & dairy) did wonders for me, energy wise. I just need to get back on that bandwagon. Its really tough, but I never felt better. Good luck!

  6. OH man, can I relate...I am so fed up with myself! I feel like I am going to look back at my life in 10 years and want to slap myself upside the head.

    So last night I jumped back on the Weight Watchers online wagon. ANd I am making lists of all the stuff around the house that I want to accomplish this summer. Lists always make me feel in control and organized. I vow to not sit down in front of the TV until my daily list is complete for the day, even if that means not sitting down until I go to bed that night. Things need to change, and the only person that can do it is me.

  7. I'm not a mom nor am I a wife-YET...but girl, I can relate 100%. My house is a disaster 70% of the time, my laundry stays backed up, and my to-do list is never complete. I have managed to make time for exercise...but I'm trying to move that schedule to early mornings, and-well, let's just say that I've hit snooze everyday for the past 3 weeks. Blah-blah.

  8. I've been there! I live pretty healthy, but when I have a few "off" days, I feel it!

  9. Ugh we've all been at that point of "is everything out of control right now?!?" As far as energy and sleep goes, (and take this totally with a grain of salt because you know your family's schedule better than anyone) I wonder if you could possibly get Sam to bed any earlier? Not necessarily for HIS sake, since he seems to be a happy guy and might really like the schedule, but I seem to remember you mentioning something about him going to bed at 9:00, which wouldn't leave you much time to get anything done unless you stayed up late. If he were down earlier, you'd have more time in the evenings to clean up/relax/unwind/get to bed by a reasonable hour and therefore up earlier. Addison goes to bed at 7pm, and I'm not sure what I'd do without those 3ish hours in the evening - I often really clean or do laundry then, or even cook the next day's meal. It can be really inconvenient to put her down that early (especially when dad gets home late) and there's days that are exceptions, but for the most part we all LOVE it. Maybe you could use that time after he's in bed for the housework, or to get out for a walk, or grade papers, and then you'd really feel able to go to bed yourself at an earlier time which would help with your energy the next day. Anyway, just a thought... it may take some time to gradually push him earlier but maybe worth it? Even with summer coming it could be a nice schedule shift for you! (and you don't sound like you're whining at all!) Anyway this is REAL long and no judgement on you if this is totally off-base but just a couple thoughts!

  10. By writing it here I think you will have even more motivation. It's hard to make a lot of big changes but if you do it with a few things at a time in no time you will realize that you have made big changes. Don't beat yourself up about where you are, it happens to everyone, life gets crazy and things slip by. I'm sure you will realize that you feel so much better with the new things that you start doing and you will never want to give them up. Good luck! :]

  11. baby steps...choose one improvement at a time or you'll overwhelm yourself:)
    show yourself grace; you are doing just fine:)
    love reading your blog!

  12. I totally agree. I'm a senior in college and have been eating the "college diet" for far too long. Like, cookies and coffee at midnight. Yikes. Anyway, I just joined Weight Watchers. Wish me luck!

  13. Don't worry too much about vitamins, consensus in the medical community is that the body can't absorb very much in that form. And multi-task, take a nap in the sunshine!

  14. I can relate. I have a 19 month old and a 2 month old. I tell myself that its okay because I have a 2 month old, but in reality, she sleeps 9 hours straight.

  15. Yes I can relate.... In more ways then you can imagine, I'm not where you are, but getting close. I think for us women we can actually feel the chaos, whether in our home or bodies, like a barometric thingamajig! Lol there's a storm brewing. Not sure what advise I can give you because I also feel the pressure of always putting things in order....not enough time.....not enough time...I can only say don't beat yourself over this we are human we need to prioritize what really matters. Wish you luck!

  16. I can totally relate! I have been feeling the same way lately and as a college student feeling pressure from just about everywhere in my life I realized I needed to take time to sit down and figure out what I wanted from myself. I started small and just sat down and made goals for myself this summer. Things that were practical and fun but that still helped me work on myself. The list has been growing each day as I realize what I want to see from myself but it's so helpful to have it written down. It's on my blog if you ever want to take a look!

    Hope that helped a bit!

  17. E,

    Lately meal planning has really been hard for me. I am now trying to plan 4 meals a week for the entire month. First, I downloaded a monthly blank calendar from pinterest. Then once a month, I sit down with my recipes and plan out my meals. On Sunday I just pull the recipes I need for that week and grocery shop accordingly. It is really helping!

    I've also been making a master list for house projects around the house to get down before Reade gets here. It feels so nice to be able to cross things off and feel like you are making a dent in the to-do list.


  18. I completely understand. I just finished student-teaching and my house has not been cleaned for the past 4 months. Now I'm at home with my 10 month old and attempting to clean up a 4-month-mess. I have a note on my desk to remind me to take things "one thing at a time." And on the exercise front, I have found that if I accomplish something like a 5k, it keeps me motivated to continue. Go ahead and sign up for something... you'll feel committed, like you have to practice and run more because you've already paid for a race.

  19. Small steps. Be kind and patient with yourself.
    1) exercise in the morning. I wake up at 5:00 and work out first thing. I really like a class format because it motivates me to show up. I make it a priority and my husband gets our 18 month ready in the morning.
    2) buy a really cute preppy water bottle with a straw like top (Nathan or Camelback) challenge yourself to finish the bottle 3 times in one day. I like to "drink and drive" haha. You can put lemon wedges and ice in the water to make it yummier.
    3) I workout so that I can eat more... so now real advice in the food area
    4) make a bedtime routine. I put the little to bed and then grade papers, update worksheets for an hour. If I finish that I watch a DVRed program. We are usually in bed by 9:30 because our alarm goes off at 5.
    These are just things that help me. Good luck and keep us updated!

  20. You know what? Sometimes I feel the same way too. I lack on exercise and prefer to eat junk foods and drink too much caffeine rather than healthy foods. Sometimes I'd like to skip my job because of feeling unhealthy.

  21. I could have written this post!!! I am always complaining that I am too tired to go for a walk, run on the treadmill, etc...but if I just DID IT, I would feel better!! I did a detox on Feb and felt SO GOOD, but I just have been too lazy to PLAN to do it on a more regular basis...I wish I could just hire someone to do my laundry so I could have time to feel better...if only it was that easy!! ;) Okay, I'm going for a walk right now...thank you for the motivation!!!

  22. Oh E, I feel your pain. Couple things that help me - I have 2 white boards on my fridge. One is a cleaning schedule - I have one thing assigned per day. It helps me prevent feeling overwhelmed by all that I need to do. If I can just do one task (ie pick up the living room on Tuesday, clean the kitchen on Wednesday, Vacuum on Sunday) then I'm much more likely to keep up. I get behind and skip things sometimes and I've gotten a lot better about asking Andrew to help.

    The other is a meal planner - I find I'm much more likely to eat well if I plan out my meals ahead and shop for what we will eat (including lunches). If I don't, we are all over the place and half the time are lazy and get take out.

    Finding time to exercise is tough but I always say this - I've never regretted it when I've decided to exercise (even if its just taking a walk) but I almost always regret skipping it.

    Hang in there friend. You are doing great.

  23. I've been doing a "30 Days Love Your Greens" challenge this month, and it's been a really easy way to boost nutrition and have a little more energy. You drink a green smoothie (LOTS of kale, spinach, etc. with some fruit to make it tasty) every morning. I don't think it's too late to sign up to get a new recipe emailed to you every day -- look for a little sidebar at Even my picky toddler sucks these things down :)

  24. I can totally relate, and that's withOUT having a second outside-of-the-home job to go to everyday! I find that walking makes me feel good. I try to do it in the mornings and it sets the tone for my day. Also, as silly as it sounds, wearing sneakers really keeps me going. It's so easy to kick of my flip flops and prop my feet up on the couch, which leads to 1-2 hours later wondering where naptime went and why I have so much to do. I know sneakers aren't the cutest, but they totally go with my Mom-iform of Nike shorts and old tees everyday. :)
    I find that Luke enjoys the walk if he's entertained. I know there's a precious window for us to get our 2.5 mile walk in, so I usually feed him breakfast in the stroller and walk at a brisk pace to get the walk in before the meltdown sets in. Do you have a stroller with a tray? If so, maybe you could feed him lunch while you walk, after you get home from school. It might boost your energy so you can get more accomplished during his nap and you can actually rest and enjoy your nights instead of feeling like you've got a huge to-do list that hasn't been touched.
    You know I'm going to read every last comment on here! This is an area I bet we're all struggling with, in some form or another. Hang in there!
    (and ps- I switched to Caffeine Free Diet Coke after Luke was born so I could nurse. I barely noticed the difference and stayed caffeine-free! Maybe it's worth a shot?)

  25. We are big on routines in our house and that helps immensely. I have a 13 month old and went back to work 2 months ago. Sleep is key but I make sure I'm asleep by 11. I also eat pretty crappy AND I hate cooking. I find if I plan what I'm going to make (easy things), I will cook all week without it being a hassle. My husband and I switch off nights to cook and he had his "chores" and I have mine. He does all outside stuff (lawn, pool, garbage) and he vacuums. I do inside stuff laundry, dishes, bathrooms. We are a team!

    I suggest you and your hubby do the same. If you could get Sam to bed earlier it would make a world of difference. My girl is in bed by 730 so I can do what I need after she's asleep. Also, pick out your work clothes the day before. I mentally pick out my clothes otherwise I will get stuck in my closet! If you look good, you feel good :)

  26. I was just thinking a lot of these same things, and I don't even have a kid. But I too have been exhausted lately and I know a lot of it has to do with me not taking care of myself. Boo.

  27. Oh boy, I can totally relate to you right now! I am a teacher as well, third grade, I have two boys, ages 3 1/2, and 19 months, my husband works the 3-11 pm shift right now, and I am trying oh so hard to get active and eat healthy. It is so hard. I get so motivated and then I have a hard day at school. bring tons of work home, come home feeling defeated and tired, and then have the boys by myself all night, instead of making a healthy dinner for the 3 of us I end up throwing together something that is easy as my 19 month old hangs on my leg. I have goals....I am just too tired to work towards them! NEED MOTIVATION!!

  28. I don't think I've ever commented before, but I feel your pain. I work (full-time) and have a 16 month old, and I feel like life has never been busier! I agree with a lot of other advice above - especially putting Sam to bed earlier (even a half hour!) and monthly meal planning. I'm not sure of your exact schedule, but would it be possible to work out between leaving work and coming home? If you have a babysitter, could they stay for an extra hour or so? I work out on my lunch break at work (we are lucky to have a gym here), and if I didn't do that, I would NOT work out, because that's the last thing I want to do at 8pm. I also suggest picking out/ironing your clothes the night before, and doing just 1 load of laundry a night - that way it never piles up for the weekends. Also - give yourself a break. You are a great mom and we all get in ruts. Now that you've recognized it, change it! Start making some lists!

  29. I so needed to read this post! In three weeks, we're moving to a new apartment, and my to-do list is an excel file titled "overwhelmed." Would love to read about some healthy recipes you guys enjoy as we're eating out/getting takeout far too much. Thanks E!

  30. i often think "well, this is just my life now" too. (my favorite excuse is that there is NO way i have time for a quiet time...the truth is that i've never prioritized time with the Lord.)
    i look forward to hearing how you make good on your commitment...especially if that means running a half marathon in the near future :)


  31. I have 2 kids (ages 2 and 9 months), am a full time teacher, and a lot on my plate! I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!

    I started this program (Medifast) about 2 months ago. I have since lost 14 lbs, simplified my life, and feel awesome!

    Check out my website..... take a look... if you are intrested in signing up or want to know more, email me!

    Im telling you....I promise you.... this works.

  32. I feel like you wrote this for me...'my life' now. I have a 14m old daughter and I'm nearly 5m pregnant. While I am a stay at home mom and wife I'm still exhausted. It seems like my daily duties never get completed and that I'm not doing everything I should be for my daughter and my husband. I find myself wanting the baby to just get here so that I can get back to normal. Pregnancy hates me and I get super sick each time, but I still just wish I could get it together sometimes. I admire your accountability and I may just do this myself. Push myself a little harder to do just a little more.

  33. Since the beginning of our marriage 5 years ago, my husband and I have had a deal that if you cook, you don't clean. It's a small thing, but makes my evenings so much easier. A month and a half ago I became a stay at home mom to my 8 1/2 month old. Just today I was looking around the house wondering if I'd even accomplished anything in that time! Even though I'm not working now so technically, doing the dishes feels like more of my job now, I still leave the dishes for my husband to do, which makes me a happier woman.

    I know you're home part time but feel some of the pressures to keep things up like you're home full time, but maybe you could do something like this so you accomplish one thing {cook a healthy dinner} but don't have to also do the other {clean up the mess!}


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