Hey, hey, hey! Happy weekend once again!
I hope you all had a fun Halloween. I really love Halloween. It’s a very strange holiday, but I love it! I’m not a fan of the mega extreme Halloween stuff (grisly gore, evil, lack of respect for human life, etc.), but I think the spooky, innocent fun stuff is awesome. Halloween is such an epic childhood holiday too, so I always try to live it up with my kiddos!!
I just remember how much I loved Halloween when I was a kid….seeing the Halloween commercials pop up on the TV, seeing the Halloween stuff appear in the stores, deciding what to dress up as, Halloween parties at school, looking forward to Trick-or-treating all day long (all month long too!) and then counting and sorting out all the candy afterward. SO MUCH FUN!
I loooooove Trick-or-treating with my kids! We always go for about 2 hours and love every second of it.
My three big kids are too big to Trick-or-Treat (sniff, sniff), but my three little kids had a ball.
My 7 year old was thrilled to be Spider-man! His new favorite movie is Spider-man Homecoming and he was stoked that his costume was actually the Spider-man Homecoming version. I really didn’t know what differentiated it from a “regular” Spider-man costume, but he could definitely tell! Ha ha.
My baby wanted to be Iron Man! I was super practical and decided to buy him Iron Man jammies on Amazon and call it a costume. Thankfully, he was so excited and wanted to wear them non-stop. I was worried he’d realize his “costume” wasn’t quite as cool when we’d see other big ultra muscly Iron Man costumes, but he never seemed to notice. Yay. AND, he’s now so happy to continue to wear his jammie/costume to bed! Seriously, when I try to get him dressed in the morning, he says “Don’t take these off me!”
My 9 year old wanted to be Freddy from Five Nights at Freddy’s (a scary video game.) Actually he wanted to be Foxy from Five Nights at Freddy’s, but we had issues finding that costume, so he settled for Freddy.
I have to laugh because in that bottom picture, I was trying to get my 3 year old to look at the camera, but he was too enthralled with that piece of candy. You can tell by his face that he is trying to appease me by smiling for the camera, but he didn’t want to take his eyes off of that candy! Ha ha. #heishismotherschild
We also had some fun in the days leading up to Halloween. We took a trip to the pumpkin patch and got some fun pumpkins. We turned one pumpkin into Spider-man (shocker) and another pumpkin into Foxy from Five Nights at Freddy’s (another shocker, lol!)
My darling 7 year old is the biggest Halloween fan out there! He tells me that he loves Halloween more than Christmas. When my big kids couldn’t come to the Pumpkin Patch with us, their brother made sure we picked out and brought home a pumpkin for each of them because he wanted to make sure they “felt the Halloween spirit.” He’s a sweetie pie.
Oh, and I also had fun going to the elementary school to see my kid’s Halloween parade. I stayed afterward to help with my 9 year old’s class party too. It was a lot of fun.
Oh, how I love these sweet kiddos.
Ya know, we obviously have 6 kids. To keep my sanity, we decided to spread them out a little. I had the first 3 relatively close together (2-2 1/2 years apart.) Then we had a 4 1/2 year gap. Then I had two more kiddos 2 years apart. Then we had another 4 year gap before baby #6. I worried that those gaps would make the kids not be “as close,” but I actually really love it!
It’s definitely made motherhood a bit crazy (having babies for 15+ years!), but I like that I have three BIG kids and three LITTLE kids. It’s been so much fun to watch the big kids enjoying the little kids and I also like that my kids won’t all grow up and leave me all at once. I feel like I’ve been able to soak up my little kid’s childhood a bit more because I’ve seen how quickly my big kids have grown up!
Okay, that was a side note….but I just love being a momma. <3 I pretty much want to squish, squeeze, chew on and eat up all of my kids every single day. Oh, and my three little ones all got haircuts today and they just couldn’t get any cuter. I took them to the park afterward and snapped this pic…
Oh my heart. My boys don’t usually look this clean and put together, lol! AND, when I do actually DO their hair, it seems to get messed up an hour later.
Oh, and this past week I was going through and organizing some old pictures and I found this sweet one of my BIG kids when they were LITTLE…
Oh how I miss those little guys!
It hurts my heart. 🙁
I think I will go around and chew on all of my kids as soon as I finish this post. Well, I didn’t even mean to go on and on about my kidlets. So, I will be quiet now.
Folks, I have been struggling just a bit with the whole “healthy living” part of my life lately! Gah! I obviously love healthy stuff; I love creating healthy recipes, tough workouts, reading and learning everything about health and fitness….but sometimes I struggle to execute!
Ya know, healthy living really is a daily commitment. It seems like every single day there are several things that tempt me to stray from health and fitness…..fatigue, stress, lack of time, laziness, lack of motivation and ALL OF THE FREAKING YUMMY FOOD EVERYWHERE!
It is tough, however I am so much happier, feel so much better and have so much more energy when I just stick to my guns, exercise some self control and stick with a healthy lifestyle….day after day after day.
I’ve also learned that when I eat well, I have more energy, my workouts feel better, I sleep better and the whole “healthy lifestyle” comes full circle and actually becomes “easy-ish” to keep up with! On the flip side…when I start slackin’ on my eating, I consequently start to feel crappier. I have less energy, I become sluggish and unmotivated. I then start to miss workouts because I’m just “not feelin’ it.” It essentially becomes a giant spiral downward.
AND, it’s really hard to get that motivation back and get back to work when you feel like crap! I’ve lived this cycle over and over again.
However, I always get back to working hard, eating well, cutting out the crap and just making my health a priority because it is a MUCH BETTER way to live! It really has such a positive impact on my entire life and makes every other aspect of my life that much better.
Most of the time, I do really well. I love eating well and I love working out. But, every once in a while I find myself in a weird funk and I have to find ways to get myself motivated again!
Soooo, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what helps me to stick to a healthy lifestyle. Here are some of my thoughts….
Healthy living really is 90% mental! It really is. You have to have a positive, dedicated, somewhat stubborn, “git ‘r done” mindset or it just doesn’t happen. You have to mentally prepare yourself to say “no” to crappy food and resist those cravings. You have to put yourself on “auto pilot” and just eat well and get the workout in even when you don’t feel like it. You have to push yourself to work hard, lift a little heavier, run a little farther and NOT GIVE UP!
You also have to believe in yourself and have faith in the process. You have to believe that eating well WILL make a difference, that all of those small choices for better or worse DO add up and that those hard workouts WILL pay off! You also have to remember that it IS a process. It is a long-term, lifestyle thang. You WILL NOT see results overnight. It can take a long time.
It’s so important to make permanent lifestyle changes. That doesn’t mean you have to live a perfectly healthy lifestyle all the time….it just means that you make good, healthy choices MORE often and the crappy choices become fewer and more far between. Healthy choices become the NORM for your lifestyle.
So, instead of exercising a TON for a few weeks and then becoming inactive for months because you’re so tired and worn out….you make exercise a nice, balanced, practical part of your life. You find a form of exercise that you actually enjoy and that you can stick with. You also find an amount of exercise that works for YOU! If that means you work out for only 10-15 minutes a day, so be it. Just find what works for you and what you can stick with….and STICK with it!
Instead of going on an extreme, strict diet and then becoming so burned out and overwhelmed by it that you quit and never want to eat well again because it’s “too hard” and you didn’t see any results….you just start making more conscious, small healthy eating choices every single day. You start to minimize the crappy food that impedes your progress and you start adding in more food that helps you feel vibrant, energetic, healthy and full of life!
I’ll also share some of the tips that I have learned over the years that have helped me SO MUCH!!!!!
- Keep tempting food out of the house. If you can’t keep it out of the house, then keep it hidden and out of sight!
- When I’m hungry, I start to crave things. When I’m not hungry, I don’t have cravings. Simple as that.
- Soooo, when I’m tempted to eat something unhealthy, I’ve learned to tell myself, “Eat something healthy first and then if I still want that (enter crappy food item here), then I can have it.” 99% of the time I don’t want that unhealthy item after I fill my belly with something better.
- Drink a lot of water! It is so so so good for you and is so easy to do!
- When I drink a lot of water, I just feel clean. It feels detoxing to me.
- I know some people struggle to drink water, but I can tell you that once I started to make drinking water a priority and just DID it….I actually started to crave it. It is my favorite drink!
- Schedule in your workouts and then make sure they happen!
- As a busy mom, I can assure you that if I don’t schedule my workouts….they just don’t happen!
- Also, I think it’s important to schedule them at a time that works for you! If you are not a morning person, don’t try to workout at the crack of dawn. If you’re an “early to bed” person, then make sure to get your workout in first thing! Just find a time that will work for your schedule the best.
- I promise you that there will never be “time” in your schedule for exercise…you have to make time. We are all busy and it’s tough to fit exercise in! You may have to cut things out of your life or sacrifice a bit to fit exercise into your life…just find a way to fit it in!
- Get enough sleep! Strive to get at least 7 1/2 hours every single night!
- If you don’t get enough sleep, exercise and eating well become so much harder! Sleep deprivation causes an increase in cravings, weight gain, and makes exercise seem daunting. It is so hard to want to exercise when you have no gas left in your tank.
- Y’all, I have struggled my whole life with getting enough sleep. I am a go-er and I just like to cram too much into my day. I promise you I have learned time and time again that lack of sleep is the quickest killer of healthy living! On the flip side, when I consistently make sleep a priority, I become a machine. I am so much more motivated and actually LOVE to eat well and exercise hard.
- Make official goals for yourself and then tell people about them!
- Write down your goals and review them every day.
- Share your goals on social media.
- I started this blog 6+ years ago to share my goals and keep myself accountable to healthy living! It continues to be a big motivator to me!
- Food prep (cooking and planning out meals ahead of time) can help a ton, but I usually don’t have the time to do it! Here are the things that I do instead of “official food prep,”
- Cook extra food at dinner and eat the leftovers for a few days.
- Cook up some chicken/protein and keep it in the fridge to make quick meals out of it.
- Chop up veggies and keep them in a container to add to eggs, salads, wraps, etc.
- Cook up a batch of protein pancakes and keep them in the freezer.
- Eat a lot of the same things often. It really simplifies the process.
- Buy and eat things that are quick and easy to make/add to things; cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt, eggs, all natural deli meat, pre-chopped veggies, fruit, healthy wraps/tortillas, etc.
Well, that’s all I can think of for now!
I’m going to take a tip from myself and share one of my goals with y’all! I’ve really been struggling with sugar consumption lately (it really is so addicting), so I just decided I’m not going to have ANY sugary stuff (cookies, donuts, cake, soda, ice cream, chocolate, etc.) until Christmas EVE!
Yes, I know that sounds crazy, but I believe it is necessary. Sometimes I can just have some healthier treats or add a few chocolate chips to my healthy creations and I do just fine with that. I’m afraid I need to be a little more extreme this time.
Yes, it sucks.
I always love sugar and crave sugar, but sometimes those cravings are stronger than others. I’m feeling a bit like an addict right now….so I know I need to cut waaaaaaaay back for a while. So, I’m going to do just that.
Yes, that means I’m not going to have sugary stuff on Thanksgiving. I’m actually okay with that though because I actually enjoy the FOOD on Thanksgiving more than the TREATS! I know that is so not like me! I’m just not a huge fan of pie….I can take it or leave it. So, it won’t be super terrible to me if I skip dessert on Thanksgiving.
I’m actually happy to take sugar out of my life for a while. It will feel good to kick those cravings to the curb for a while. I will tell you guys that whenever I cut sugar out of my life, it’s pretty easy the first few days….then it becomes brutal on days 4-7 or so. Then it gets a little bit easier….then after about 3 weeks or so it gets significantly easier.
Sugar always sounds good to me and when I’m hungry I certainly start to crave it, but it is INFINITELY easier to fight those cravings when it’s been out of my body for a while.
Well, I think I’ll end this post right about now. I seriously have so much more to share, so I hope I can hop on here again soon! I love you all!!!