I’m super excited to launch this series showcasing different “Take Back Me” experiences. You just might be inspired by someone elses journey and start to take back you! Interested in being featured? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Today, we welcome Julie Bigboy, a Southern California native, mom of 4, owner of the site MomRewritten and contributor to TravelingMom.com as the “day trips” TravelingMom.
By Julie Bigboy
After working as a purchasing agent for a catalog company for 18 years I was laid off when the company moved out of state. The month I knew I was losing my job, I also found out that I was pregnant (surprise!). We have four kids in our blended family; my 14-year old son, 14-year old stepdaughter, 6-year old son and my little surprise, a daughter who is now 2-years old. I’m in my mid-40s and still have the feeling that something BIG is coming into my life. My 6-year old asked me yesterday, “Mom, what do you want to do when you grow up?” After giggling a bit that he doesn’t realize that I am grown up, I had to be honest with him and said, “I don’t know!”
I was married once before and my husband cheated on me and left me with a one-year old. It was during that time that I really hardened my heart towards the world. I stopped going to church. I stopped exercising and gained a considerable amount of weight. I was working a lot, taking on extra jobs, and focusing all my attention on my son, neglecting myself in the process. I was able to hit the brakes on the downhill spiral and eventually remarried and added three more kids to the family. I still find myself in the struggle between the chaos of working from home and juggling all the kids. I crave my personal time and find that without quiet time to myself, I can get very impatient and feel disorganized and stressed.
For me self-care is all about having personal time to spend how I need to. Fortunately my family goes to bed early and since I’m a night owl I get a few uninterrupted hours to myself. I usually take that time to write and do blog things. Sometimes I’ll give myself a pedicure or watch a movie that I’ve been wanting to see. Self-care can also be small things that often get rushed through, but that make me feel good about myself – like shaving my legs, coloring my hair, or taking a yoga class. They go a long way to making me happy
Getting back to me
In the last few months, I’ve found myself slipping on my good intentions. I want to stay healthy and yet, I don’t exercise or eat well. I want to be an attentive parent and yet, I find myself too distracted and angry. I’m sluggish and have no motivation. I find that I can self-sabotage myself out of anything I should be doing but just don’t want to do. I absolutely need to do these things for my good health and mind.
My husband is extremely supportive of my getting on a better health care track. He is (ahem) nine years younger than me and very fit . He encourages me to exercise and to choose healthier foods. Unfortunately years of that nasty inner voice has tricked me into thinking that he’s overly naggy. I need to ditch the negativity and just take the encouragement for what it is – to improve myself. I walk almost every day with the toddler in her stroller but would also like to add in weights and resistance bands. I did well on a low-carb diet but slacked off and gained back a few pounds. This is absolutely something that I need to implement again and remind myself how much better I feel when I stick to the good habits.
For me, a weekly Bible study group with other women is key to keeping positive towards my goals. I crave the encouragement from others and the need to work out issues together.
If I have an hour of free time, I’m probably working on my blog! But if I wasn’t going to work, I’d likely watch a favorite movie while simultaneously giving myself a pedicure. Watching “Pride and Prejudice” and painting my toes is my relaxing go-to!
I need to get my mojo back for getting on the healthy track again. Eliminating carbs and sugar from my diet, drinking plenty of water, daily exercise and positive thinking are my “Take Back Me” goals.
I would encourage others who have the same goals to reach out to other moms in your community. It offers so much support to have others who can check in with you, to meet up for exercise, and to hold you accountable. I find myself slipping on my goals the most when I keep them a secret. When I’ve told someone (or even better, a group of people), I’m much more likely to stick to my goals.
Good luck, Julie! Thanks for sharing your journey with us. We can’t wait to watch you take back you!