Saturday, September 8, 2012

Guest Post: Finding Time To Do It All

Good morning!  I am probably restlessly squirming in an airplane seat above the ocean right now.  Thankfully you won't have to read an entire post about that.  

Instead, I am so happy to introduce my friend Deneene, from Southern Living Yankee.  Deneene is a mom, an athlete, and still somehow finds to time to eat healthy and post delicious recipes everyday.  Of course, I am in awe.  Lately I have been staying up at night wondering where I am going to find time to get everything into a 24 hour period once little miss comes along.  So, when Deneene agreed to write a post on the topic, I was more than excited to learn.  

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Thank you so much to Racheal for asking me to write a guest post while she is on vacation. I’m so
excited to be able to share my story. My name is Deneene and I have a little blog called Southern Living
Yankee. Like Racheal, I am also a fellow Weight Watchers member. While my weight has fluctuated in
the past, I have finally found what works for me and I love to share my story with others.

A little over 3 years ago, my life changed in so many ways. It was at that time that my daughter was
born. She has been such a blessing and I love every minute that I get to spend with her. I wish I could
quit my job to be a stay at home mom with her so I could spend more time with her. Unfortunately,
that just isn’t possible. I do cherish the time that I do get to spend with her, even though most evenings,
I feel like it just isn’t enough.

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Since my daughter was born, I’ve also made the decision to live a healthier lifestyle, if for no other
reason, to set a better example for my daughter hoping that she will be able to make healthier decisions
in her life. One of the ways I am living a healthier lifestyle is to exercise almost every day. This is one
area where I struggled at first.

Like most new moms, I wanted to spend every free moment with my daughter and I definitely didn’t
want to miss out on anything because I was too busy exercising. While this is still true, I now realize that
in order to be the best mother to my daughter, I need to be healthy. Even though the time that I spend
exercising may take some time away from my daughter, I know that I am doing everything that I can
to ensure that I will live a longer life and be able to be around for my daughter in the future. I had the
same difficulties as other mother’s at first trying to balance time with my daughter and working out. It’s
taken a while, but I’ve finally found a plan that works for me.

So how do I fit it all in? I really wish that I was one of those people that could set their alarm early and
work out first thing in the morning. I’ve tried this many times in the past and I just can’t do it. So I have
to fit my exercise in other places. The best time for me to work out is after my daughter has gone to
bed. I know it may seem crazy to some to work out that late at night, but it works for me. I am on the
go from the time my alarm goes off in the morning until I go to bed. I guess I’m lucky that I’m exhausted
enough by the end of the day that the evening exercise doesn’t keep me awake.

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I will usually do a 30 – 40 minute video. I love to do circuit training, yoga, walking and kickboxing
videos. Jillian Michaels is one of my favorite trainers, so I spend many nights working out with her. Last
year, I also started running. I didn’t follow any kind of couch to 5k plan or anything like that. I just did
it at my own pace. I ran my first 5k in February of this year and had so much fun that I decided to sign
up for a 10k. I completed the Cooper River Bridge Run in Charleston, SC in March of this year and I am
proud that I was able to run the whole thing. I felt so strong and accomplished at the end. Now, I try
to run 2 or 3 times a week, usually on the weekends. I’ve realized that I love to run. Usually, I will run
first thing in the morning on the weekends. If I have time, I will do a night or two during the week, too.
Sometimes, my husband will ride the bike with my daughter on the back to keep mE company and give
me the chance to spend a little more time with them. I try to work out for at least 30 minutes a day
knowing that I will most likely have to skip a day or two in there somewhere. I try to keep the family
active, too. Whether it is playing in the yard, going for a walk or going out on the boat, I try to find ways
to sneak in some activity.

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Cooking is the same idea for me. It’s something that I really love to do. I’m always trying new recipes to
add to the blog, but I try to make them as healthy as possible. I try to give my family very few processed
foods, so that means I have to make a lot of meals from scratch. Sometimes, it can be hard to find the
time to do that, too. This is what I do to make it easier: Sundays, I put together my meal plan for the
week and come up with a grocery list. Then I go to the store and pick up everything that I think I will
need for that week’s meals. I’m not one that likes to spend a lot of time cooking after I get home from
work. In order to avoid this, I try to prep everything ahead of time. I usually get everything for my
dinners ready either the night before or during lunch that day. I’m lucky enough to live only a couple
of miles from the office, so that really helps out. If I’m making a casserole, I make sure to have it all
assembled ahead of time so that I can just turn the oven on and bake it after I get home from work. I
also try to always keep frozen veggies in the freezer. They cook up in just a few minutes and add a lot of
nutrition to the meal. I’m all about convenience while still keeping things healthy for my family.

So that’s my story about how I make it all work. It’s not some complex formula. It’s just trying to find
time to get it all in. The bottom line is this: Try to make the exercise fit into your daily life. If it can’t fit,
schedule it in. Remember to make yourself a priority so that you have the energy to take care of your
loved ones. If you’re not going to take care of yourself, who will?


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