I have had so many questions lately about what I eat, what exercise program I do, and what a typical day looks like for me! And while every BODY is different, here is what has worked for me.
For YEARS, I struggled with digestive issues. You can read all about that here. At the age of 30, it was so bad, that I had to have a colonoscopy. After that colonoscopy, my doctor said there was nothing wrong with my colon but that stress was a major reason that I was having so many issues. He suggested that I needed a career change. I remember thinking at that moment, “Yeah, right! I have a degree in teaching! I am not qualified to do anything else!” Fast forward seven years, and I still can’t believe that God brought this blog and all of you into my life! You can read my blogging story here and here.
I give you all of this backstory because my body NEEDS routine. I am not an expert of medical professional. So while I have tried many things and am sharing what works for me, it may not work for you. Always remember….
While my daily routine my slightly vary from day to day, I try to stick to this schedule every week day. And since I work from home, it is very likely that if you don’t work from home, your schedule will look different. I hope you are able to take some of the same principles and build a schedule that works for you. The weekends may look similar, but we probably stay up later and sleep in later.
7:00 Wake up
7:00-7:30 Get the kids ready for school and out the door. Yes, we do it in 30 minutes, but that is what works for us. We get everything ready the night before – lunches pretty much packed, clothes laid out, book bags ready to go. I shared some of our easy make-ahead breakfast ideas here! My kids walk or ride their bike to school while the weather is nice, so I am not doing anything other than put on a robe, to get myself ready before they leave. During this time, I also try to drink 20 ounces of water.
7:30 – 7:45 I empty the dishwasher and start a load of laundry. I started doing a small load of laundry every day and have found that it helps SO. much! The small load is so manageable to fold in ten minutes or less. My kids put their own clothes away as one of their after school chores. I fold the clothes and put them on the steps to go upstairs.
7:45-8:15 Quiet Time! I spend this time doing my devotions, praying, and drink my Bio Coffee. It is the most peaceful part of my day and I like to prepare myself for the day. Currently, I have been reading this devotional book given to me by a friend.
8:15-10:00 Work time! During this time, I prepare posts and get the scheduled. I answer the bazillion questions (<–okay, that is a slight exaggeration!) that I get each day. I work on whatever is on my to-do list for work. And I prepare for future posts.
10:00-11:00 Workout time! Most weeks, I workout Monday-Friday. I started MBF & MBFA on Beachbody and love it! The workouts are around 40 minutes.
11:00-11:30 Lunch. Every day for lunch I have a smoothie along with something else small like a salad, a handful of nuts, a wrap made with my favorite wraps, or some cheese and crackers.
11:30 – 12:00 Get household things done. I usually spend time folding laundry and picking up things around the house. For years, I have asked the kids and Briton to turn their clothes the right way out before throwing them in the hamper! The very rarely do this! So I started folding clothing the way it comes out after the wash! I figure my family will either wear their clothes inside out or switch them before wearing them! Either way, it has saved me so much time folding!
12:00 – 2:30 Work! I usually finish up whatever needs to be done for the day. – from taking photos and videos to working on blog posts.
2:30 The kids get home and a tornado sweeps through our house!
2:30 – 3:30 We get things done for the next school day – packing lunches, clothes down to be worn the next day, backpacks emptied, planners signed, etc. We also started using this app, and it has been so helpful because the kids know EXACTLY what they need to do before they can play with friends or do anything else. This app is also great because it allow the kids to have their own debit card. The money from their chores is allocated into “Save”, “Spend”, and “Give”. Whatever money the kids can spend goes on their debit cards. You can also add “one time chores” to their lists of things to do. This has saved us so many headaches.
3:30 – 4:30 This time usually varies! Sometimes it is spent doing things with the kids, sometimes I work a bit more, sometimes we get other things done around the house. It just depends on the day.
4:30 – 5:00 Make dinner! I have been following this cookbook, Cook Once, Eat All Week, for quite a while now, and it has helped the week run so much smoother. I get the meals ready on Sunday, and we have three easy and delicious meals ready for the week. Most of our meals consist of one meat and two vegetables.
5:00 – 5:30 We sit down as a family and eat dinner. Everyone gets a chance to share the best part of their day.
5:30 -6:00 Clean up from dinner.
6:00-6:30 Kids take showers/baths and get ready for bed.
6:30 – 7:00 Briton and I read to the kids before bed. Currently, Lucy and I are working our way through the Junie B. Jones series, and Briton and Henry are reading one of Briton’s favorite books when he was little, The Sign of the Beaver. Yes, the kids go to bed early. But they are always tired around this time. Henry (almost 10) could probably stay up later, but Lucy (7) turns into a crazy person when she gets tired. They both spend a little time in their rooms reading or playing for half an hour or so before they actually go to bed. But Briton and I love the quiet that comes with bedtime!
7:00 – 7:30 Time to walk the dogs! The dogs know when this time is coming EVERY night! They start bouncing of the walls and running back and forth until we leave for the walk!
7:30 – 10:00 Briton and I spend this time tying up some loose ends of work. We both work from home. And while most of the time, this is wonderful, sometimes it is hard to turn work “off”! Someone once told me, “The great thing about working from home is that you can work whenever you want. But the bad thing about working from home is you can work whenever you want!” So true! We also spend this time watching a show or two together. We love murder mysteries!
10:00 Bed time! Most nights we go to bed at 10! This means 9 hours of sleep is in our future!
I wish I could tell you that there was some easy potion to help you stay skinny and feel great. But the truth is, it is a TON of work. The bottom line is you have to eat well and exercise. PERIOD!
Here are a few tips and tricks that have helped me over the years:
1. Limit your gluten, dairy, and sugar.
I won’t say I cut these three things out of my diet completely, because I love cheese and ice cream! But I do really try to limit the amount that I consume. The bottom line is this – I feel better when I don’t consume too many of these three things.
2. Eat smaller portions.
One way to easily decrease the amount of calories you consume each day is to eat smaller portions. When I was teaching, switching to a smaller container in my lunch at school was a really easy way to decrease my portions. Instead of putting my leftovers in a larger container, I filled up a smaller container! Another thing Briton and I do when we go out to eat is split a meal. I give him a larger portion, and I eat the smaller portion. If he is too hungry to split, I ask for a to-go container right when my meal comes out. I put half of my meal in the container to go home for another meal.
3. Drink water.
This one sounds simple, but it’s true! Drink water – cut out all soda and sugary drinks. This will decrease your calorie intake. Plus, you will just feel better too! I have read that you should take your body weight, divide it by two, and that is how many ounces of water you should drink. So, if you weight 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water each day.
4. Stop eating after dinner.
I will be honest, I love eating snacks! I love the crunch of a salty snack! I love the full stomach right before bed! But….. it’s not worth it!! So many calories are consumed after dinner. Save yourself those calories. When you get the temptation to eat after dinner, drink some water or hot tea! Your stomach will be filled, and you won’t feel guilty!
5. Don’t buy your “weakness food”.
You guys, I love potato chips!!! LOVE THEM! I could consume an entire bag BY MYSELF if I allowed myself to do so! So…… I don’t buy them! I know they are a weakness of mine, and in a moment of weakness, I would eat the whole bag! Whatever your weakness food is, DON’T BUY IT! If it’s not in the house, you can’t eat it!
6. Be strong.
Any time I want to eat something I shouldn’t, I tell myself, “You won’t miss this in half an hour!” and “You will not feel well, and you will regret it later if you eat this now!” Do you know how many cupcakes and cookies are put on my desk each week?? SOOOOOO many! At our school, the kids who have a birthday can deliver their extra birthday treats to other staff members! You guys, I have to throw the treat in the trash right after they leave my room! Odd are pretty good that I won’t fish it out of the trash! Well… unless it was a really bad day!
If you are really struggling with your weight, commit to a lifestyle change. The weight wasn’t put on in a month, it will take more than a month for it to come off. Don’t do small fixes to take off weight if it isn’t something that can last. Keeping the weight off is a lifestyle commitment! It is daily healthy choices that help you stay where you want to be.
8. Cut yourself some slack.
We all make some diet or exercise choices that are not great! Don’t beat yourself up! Just because you fall off the wagon one day doesn’t mean you should stay off the wagon forever! Don’t compare yourself to someone else. That girl you think has the “perfect body” struggles with something as well. That perfect girl has something on her body that she finds imperfect even if you don’t notice it.
Allow yourself to cheat every once in a while! As mentioned before, I LOVE ICE CREAM! So every once in a while, I have some! That doesn’t mean I eat it every day – although, I totally want to! Just remember – everything in moderation! If it’s the holidays, indulge a little!
10. Celebrate the little victories, and surround yourself with cheerleaders!
Be proud of yourself for sticking to your lifestyle (I don’t want to say “diet”!) – even if you only did it for one day! Take one day at a time and continue to improve as you go! Surround yourself with those who will support what you are doing and help you along the way. Find someone who will hold you accountable and cheer you on along the way!
Some days, you won’t feel like working out.
Some days, you will hate your body and only see the flaws.
Some days, you will eat too much.
Be kind to yourself, and learn how to take care of yourself – however that may look!
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