I’m sitting here in my parents gorgeous garden in Melbourne with all three kids asleep upstairs and someone else thinking about what’s for dinner (love you, mum!). So I thought I’d write a little reflection on the past year – or at least the last six months.
I saw my cousins last night for a family catch-up and because I don’t often see them, and they have young kids, the year seemed big – because little people had grown.
Kids are such great markers of time.
As I wrangled my kids into the back of our rent-a-bomb (I’m not joking – the only car I could find in Melbourne which could take three car seats is a beaten up old Mistubishi Magna that I need to check the oil and water in EVERY DAY….hhmmm), my cousin said “you make it all look so easy”. To which my other cousin nodded in agreement.
I almost fell over
I was super surprised by that comment but it made me think about whether I do find all this easy or hard. The truth is, this year was momentous for so many reasons and although a lot of it has involved very hard work, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. So it has been super enjoyable.
In June my stunningly adorable third child was born. Wow – she’s added another dimension to our family that makes me feel complete and like the luckiest woman alive. I adore her. It was a roller-coaster first few months but we found our groove and I’m now (almost) used to looking back at three baby-seats in the car.
When she was a few months old I decided to launch a free 21 Day Wholefoods Challenge. When I started I really had NO IDEA what I was going to do, but I did it anyway and loved it. It burnt me out though. I worked too hard too soon after having my babe and my body paid the price. Conjunctivitis ain’t pretty…
When I decided to launch a paid version of the program, Small Steps to Wholefoods I did so with a huge amount of apprehension and nerves. But the feedback from the free challenge had been so overwhelmingly positive that I wanted to help more people.
Nothing could have prepared me for the response to the program. I was floored that almost 500 people signed up and I felt the weight of it all very heavily. I knew I couldn’t let these people down and I knew my family still deserved the best mum and wife I could be.
So I amped things up. I got serious about my own health and prioritised it. I could not have gotten through if I hadn’t done that. So began a massive learning curve and one of the most amazing rides I’ve been on. I became a business owner and a mother of three this year. And I did it with the help of amazing friends in Brisbane and my cheer squad from Melbourne.
I must say that my husband has been outstanding. I am so glad he is on my team. For life. What we are creating together exhilarates me daily. His work ethic I will never match, though I’ll try!
Ok, here’s just a few of the things I did to keep well when the going got intense!
I juiced like a madwoman in stressful times. Now, this does not mean orange juice from a carton, this means vegetables and a small amount of fruit juiced through a juicing machine. I’m not a ‘juice can replace a meal’ kind of person. I usually have a really big juice for breakfast along with a couple of boiled eggs.
Juicing is controversial and I certainly don’t live my life by it, but I find it such an effective way to get a whole stack of nutrients into me first thing in the morning. I usually juice a combo of the following things: celery, cucumber, broccoli stems, spinach/kale/asian greens, carrots, apple, lemon, beetroot.
I’m actually hoping Santa drops this under the tree for me….
Sounds so simple to get a good nights sleep but it WASN’T! I am very lucky that all three kids go down to sleep at 7pm and stay asleep – usually. But because I can get precious little done during the day, most of my nights were spent working. (My husband got very sick of looking at my laptop cover….)
I often found that I needed to force myself to turn the computer off because I would have kept working and working. There was always something I wanted to improve in Small Steps, always FB comments to respond to, always another blog post to write – you get the picture! But I knew that to do ANY of that effectively I needed my rest. So I prioritised it.
3. No bread
I am NOT an all or nothing person and my Small Steppers knows this. I am very much an in between person, but when it comes to lunch I made a concerted effort to not reach for something bread related. It makes me tired. And bloated. And doesn’t agree with me. But I always find myself eating it because it’s so damn delicious and easy. No sir – I stopped that trap in it’s tracks and felt more energised throughout the afternoon.
4. No booze
Arrrrrrgh!!! WHAT DID I JUST SAY!? Yep, I found myself wanting that glass of wine or beer less and less as I really ramped up my business because the next day, yes even after just one drink, I felt foggy and sluggish. I didn’t want to risk feeling like that. So it’s only on the odd occasion that I do it now. When I don’t have to think the next day – of when someone else is around to help with the kids!
5. Real food
I ate real food. It really matters. The less compromised my system the better it can function. I felt better, brighter and more in tune with myself. I prepared ahead when I could and filled my fridge up with fruit and veg so that was what we had to snack on. Wholesome food that was often VERY uncomplicated because I didn’t have much time to get fancy!
No – not to others (though I do try and practice that too). This was kindness to myself. I chose not to beat myself up for not having it all together. I chose to let go of some of the imperfections that I could see in Small Steps if my baby needed more cuddles that day. I chose to hire a cleaner when it all got a little too much and I chose to have eggs for dinner way more times than ever before!
I was on a massive learning curve, learning how to be a mum of three and a business owner and I made mistakes all over the place. But it’s OK – I was stretching myself – learning – LIVING! I don’t regret it for a second.
I have no idea what 2015 will hold, but I’m running Small Steps again in January and I can’t wait to meet a whole new set of participants! I love what I am doing and the fact it (kind of) fits around the family! If I make it look easy, it’s not. But it is enjoyable and I finish 2014 feeling accomplished and blessed.
I wish you a wonderful festive season and hope that 2015 is bloody sensational!
What are you proud of from this year?
If you’d like to learn more about how I look after myself, and stay connected to “me” during trying times – check out Small Steps Back to You.