Are You Taking Care of You?

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As we continue on Zone Defense, this month we’re talking about our personal space, including the body and how we care for it.

They say that moms typically take care of everyone else except themselves. I think that probably depends on the mom. But, generally speaking, there is some truth in the idea that we make sure the needs of others are met before our own. That’s not always a bad thing.

There’s something to be said for being a giving, compassionate person willing to sacrifice for others.ย 

That’s who I want to be. But, as I get older, I realize more and more that if I don’t take care of me, there won’t be any me left to take care of others. And I’m in this for the long haul. It’s in my best interests and theirs to make sure I don’t run out of steam.

My body no longer allows me to pretend that I’m Wonder Woman. It laughingly mocks me and says, “Sister, you ain’t as young as you used to be.”

I am no longer 25.

Doing something.

Last fall, I made a concerted effort to get to bed by 10. During November and December I cranked that down to 9. I was exhausted and my body was crying for more rest. The time change pushed it even moreso.

Currently, I have started a new exercise regimen. Ha! Yes, I’m laughing, too. Thanks to the encouragement of some friends — and the cheap availability of $2 weights and a $9 video I bought at Target, I’ve spent most of the last week “shredding” with Jillian. I skipped a couple days, and I was sorely tempted to throw in the towel completely after Day 4. Not because I was sore, but just because I didn’t want to spend the effort. But, I felt so good on the morning of Day 5, energized and “alive” feeling, I knew I needed to keep doing it.

I knew that I felt better than I had a week previously.

Am I totally “taking care of mom”? No, far from it. But, I figure something is better than nothing. Late is better than never.

How are YOU taking care of YOU?

Be sure to come back tomorrow for some expert tips on taking care of you. But for now, let’s chat about what’s going on today.

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  1. Yes, yes, yes!

    A few years ago, my body realized it was no longer 25, that it could not give the tiniest bit more, and that it didn’t like gluten. After a multi-year struggle, I’m finally able to take care of me again, after having other people do it for me.

    So I do.

    Let that be a warning to you young, healthy moms out there. YOU’VE GOT TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH.

    Currently I post weekly about my journey back to strength, and other Fit Mommies join me. We support each other because it’s a long, hard road on your own.

    If you want to get fit with some online accountability, I’d love to have you join Fit Mommy.

    Annie Kate

    1. I’m guessing we must be close to the same age? I would never have listened to us. LOL. I thought I was invincible.

  2. Good for you for beginning a regular workout! After making it a “routine,” I now can’t live without my morning pick-me-up with Tony Horton, Shaun-T or any of the other drill sergeants that I have in my DVD collection. I have also noticed that I am not sleeping as well after slacking off on my diet so we will ALL be supporting my son’s transition to a gluten/casein free diet by joining him! Here’s to health for the entire family!

  3. I’m “shredding” with Jillan too – went on to Level 2 and oh my word! The first time said “I can’t do this”. Yesterday I tried again and was able to do a bit more. Taking care of me helps me take care of them… we can do it!

    1. Isn’t it fabulous to see progress like that?! I started swimming in September — first day there, my goal was 5 laps. Whew! Wore me out! Today, I did a mile. That’s 36 laps. Woo-hoo!

    2. I’m still saying that in the middle of Level 1, following Anita! LOL It’s the jumping jacks, push-ups, and crunches that I can’t keep up with.

  4. You are so right! Going to bed early is the main thing I do for myself. I’m much more productive and much more joyful when I do.

    I need to start working out more. Hmmm ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Going to bed early is such a struggle for me – it seems like late at night is when I can get the most stuff “done” around the house. However, if I can just get in bed, I’ll fall asleep and the next day goes soooo much better!

      1. It was a struggle for me, too. I would regularly stay up until 1 or 2, in part, because I finally got to be alone! But, slowly, I’ve been working it down to a more reasonable hour and trying to get 8 hours in. I don’t usually get a full 8, but it’s much better than the 4 or 5 I used to live on.

  5. I started going to bed early so I could get up early and have that extra couple of hours to myself in the morning. I read my bible and then exercise. So far this schedule has been working and I feel a lot better than I had.

    I think the key is doing one thing at a time and doing that one thing well until you are ready to add the next step.

    1. I think you’re right. It’s hard to get more than one habit going at a time. I’ve been exercising, but not really remembering to take my vitamins.

  6. I have been working at taking care of me by trying to take better care of my body. Drinking more water and no soda and little coffee has made me feel so much better each day. Plus I’m not being a hypocrite by not letting my kids have soda and drinking it all myself.

  7. I decided that this was the year that I started doing more for me as well! Yes, I am getting older, but also with RA and fibromyalgia, I wanted to start having more “good” days. I go to a yoga class every Sunday for an hour. I joke that this is the only quiet time I get all week!

    The thing I am struggling with right now is the guilt. I have spent so many years taking care of other people, that with scaling back a little and adding things for me into my days, I feel like I’m not doing enough for others like I should…….( and that seems like a jumble of a sentence there!) ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sorry, but had to get that all out there! I love my life and really wouldn’t change it for anything, no matter how crazy it seems most days!

    1. I know that feeling. When I add up what I typically “do for myself” it doesn’t add up to a lot, but I still feel a little bit guilty about it.

  8. My hubby is the one who kept after me with this news ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now I train and am an orange belt at my kids’ dojo, do pushups and crunches each morning and take a walk as often as possible. We have a pretty regular bedtime now and I no longer even try to stay up to get things done!

  9. After seeing the documentary “Forks Over Knives” and reading the book “The China Study”, I have become vegan as a way to limit my risk for cancer and diabetes that I am at high risk for due to my family history and a hormonal disorder that I have. It has been six months and I am feeling so much better than I ever have before with more energy. I also do hot yoga 3 times a week. That is my spiritual time with myself. Without it, I tend to get a little too stressed out!

  10. After spending a weekend watching my mom struggle in the hospital with health issues I put her on weight watchers along with myself. I’ve continued to get on the elliptical every day while I watch the news. So we are working on getting healthy together.

    1. It’s wonderful that you’re doing it together! I’m part of a group of ladies all doing the Shred video and it helps to know that others are in pain, er, exercising, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. I have lost 10 percent of my body weight so far; that 10 percent is what has been shown to result in significant health benefits , even if you are still overweight. I got my special award at weight watchers last Saturday, and I was proud as punch:)

  12. I also need a good amount of sleep to tackle my day. I try to be in bed by 10pm as well since my body always wakes me up around a certain time. I do yoga every morning and add other different workouts to it to get a variety of exercise. We eat very healthy with mostly grains, legumes and veggies which has helped a ton. I drink lots of water and tea instead of coffee. It’s not always easy but when I don’t do those things I feel it so much! Our bodies definitely need us to give back to them. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Well, there is debate out there about flax as a supplement, but most of my reading is that it is a good supplement to take for heart health.

  13. I started Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred a couple weeks ago because I wanted to change things up/kick my workouts up a notch. And I was SO SORE after the first day! The next time around after that wasn’t bad at all, fortunately, otherwise I might not have kept up with it.

    Hubby and I are working on the whole getting to bed earlier thing…it’s a struggle because we both have so much that we try to do after the kiddos are in bed. On the other hand, if I’m in bed earlier, I’ll be able to get up even earlier, and maybe I can get more done before the kiddos are up. I tell myself that every morning while I’m scrambling to finish preparing for the day and letting the kids watch cartoons. And then I resolve to go to bed earlier that night. But by the time that the kids are in bed and the kitchen is cleaned up, I’m usually saying to myself “well, I could stay up a little bit just to work on _____.” But the little bit turns into a bigger bit, and things start over the next morning. What’s the definition of insanity, again?:)

    1. One thing that I am finally learning is that there’s always more that you can do. So, instead of trying to do it, set yourself an allowance of time, and then move on to the next thing. It’s been quite freeing.

  14. I did really good in January with walking 5 days per week and keeping track of a fairly healthy diet. I’ve backslid this month. I’ve stepped up my game on the house. I need to figure out how to balance better.

  15. Woohoo! I’m a big Pilates fan, but after Baby #4 (and an unexpected hemorrhaging episode), I needed something more. Everyone was going crazy for the Shred (Jan. 2010), but I went for No More Trouble Zones. Almost two years later, and my body, my endurance, and my moods(!) are unrecognizable. I only have time to workout with Jillian twice a week, now that I’m in maintenance mode, but it’s just what I need. Love her workouts!

    Go, Jessica!

    1. Thanks for your encouragement. I’m not sure I’m “loving” it yet, but I do notice the difference.

  16. I encourage everyone to take a moment to have routine bloodwork done…a CBC with vitamin D3. I was going through a tough season and felt so tired and cold. Thought I was just a tired and stressed mom. Short days and cold weather did not help. Turns out my vitamin d3 level was extremely low. I’m now taking supplements and feel so much better. Glad it was caught as low levels are attributed to several serious conditions.