2023: The Year of Health

One of my favorite traditions at the end of each year is to sit down with a cup of something hot (in this instance, hot chocolate with whipped cream), and set my theme for the year ahead. Seven years ago, I decided to form habits rather than set resolutions, and since then, it has stuck. I enjoy coming up with a theme for the year and setting smart, realistic goals that I can follow to live a happier, more productive life.

Last year, my theme was “joy” and boy, oh boy, did I fulfill that! Welcoming our daughter to this world has been incredible; Nora is a gift, a constant joy in our lives.

Here’s a little snapshot from 2022:

  • I used my iPad and the Calm app to practice yoga and meditation. This led to living intentionally and finding joy and peace during very stressful times.
  • I embraced the small moments, whether that was during early-morning nursing sessions or while making a latte, reading a book, on a walk, or while sitting on my porch in the evening.
  • I started a daily movement challenge and completed 117 days of consistent movement (until I fell and sprained my foot!)
  • I started an herb garden, added a new garden bed out front, and planted new perennials in my garden beds.

While 2022 was a challenging year, I look back at the past year and feel joy. My husband and I did the damn thing. I am proud.

2023: The Year of Health

The past year has been one of the hardest years of my life. Once my daughter was born, postpartum depression and anxiety hit very fast. I immediately went on anti-depressants and resumed my therapy sessions. I struggled with my weight and body image after gaining 53 pounds during pregnancy. Nursing and pumping left me ravenous, and I gained more weight eating lots of rice krispy treats (delish). My mental, emotional, and physical health seemed damaged beyond repair.

Here’s what I’m thinking for 2023.

Personal therapy and medication: I have been seeing the same therapist since 2013, and I am forever grateful for this resource. I plan to see my therapist twice a month and continue taking my anti-depressants.

Marriage therapy: Ian and I started seeing a marriage therapist in 2022 (more to come on that and how it has helped us navigate parenthood), and we plan to continue our bi-weekly sessions throughout 2023 and implement what we’ve learned into our daily lives to strengthen our communication and help our marriage thrive.

Exercise: Now that my ankle is healed, I will continue my daily movement challenge, starting fresh on Jan. 1. Exercise is the catalyst for my mental, physical, and emotional health. When I exercise, my mood improves, my productivity soars, and I feel like I am a better wife and mother. Plus, exercising will help me continue to lose weight (down 30 pounds!) and get closer to my pre-pregnancy weight.

Diet: Before the pandemic, I was a pescatarian and ate a mostly vegetarian diet (because let’s face it, fish is expensive). In 2023, I plan to adopt a Mediterranean diet and be conscious about what I eat.

Wish me luck! And wishing you and yours a happy and healthy new year!

Check-In: So long, summer

For most of my adult life, I would wish the summer away. Summer is hot, sticky, insufferable. After a few good beach days and cookouts, I am ready for crisp, cool weather, hoodies, and apple and pumpkin spice. But this year, my outlook on summer took quite a turn.

This was the first summer in a long time that I wished for it to stay. To stay warm and sunny for just a little longer. It might have to do with having air conditioning installed in my house, but it mostly is because I am seeing the season through a new pair of eyes: my daughter’s. (Let’s be real though, air conditioning is nice…)

This summer with Nora was one of my favorite summers of all time. I got to revisit the season through her perspective: licking a melting popsicle under the blistering sun (in her case, a breastmilk popsicle), feeling the cool grass on my toes, breathing in the smell of freshly-mown grass and watering plants, the scent of sunscreen and the sound of crashing waves. My baby was experiencing these things for the first time, and it was amazing to witness.

Nora loves the swing, and after a busy day at work, we would spend some time swinging and listening to the birds and neighbors relaxing in their yards. Some days, we would lie out on a blanket and look at the clouds, listening to music and practicing our tummy time (we have a crawler now). We went to a farm. We went to the beach. We went to my brother in law’s pool. We went to the park. We really enjoyed summer!

I will look back at this summer and remember it to be one of the best. I know that next summer will be better than ever.

Spooky season: We are ready for you!

August Movement Tally

August was quite the successful month when it came to my movement challenge. I discovered a new type of workout, Barre, and hit some impressive goals and personal records! I ran outdoors for the first time ever, ran two 5Ks (one outdoors!), and ran for one mile without stopping. I feel stronger than ever, and I’m proud to share that as of today, I have exercised for 60 days straight.

A photo of me celebrating 50 days of movement.

Here’s how August went:

  • 80 workouts
  • 32 hours, 20 minutes of exercise
  • 8, 129 calories burned
  • 55.95 miles “traveled”
    • Bike: 26.60
    • Run: 16.35
    • Walk: 16

One of my favorite moments of exercise was just the other day when I ran my first outdoor 5K. There were moments when I wanted to call my husband and ask him to pick me up, but then the adrenaline kicked in and I made it! I loved stopping at my midway point, the beach, and enjoyed the views. I couldn’t have been prouder of myself in that moment. Onward to September, where I will run in my first race!

July Movement Tally

Happy August!

Last month, I decided to start my own challenge and move every day for a year. From July 10, 2022 to July 10, 2023, I will move every day, whether it is walking, running, cycling, yoga, barre, pilates, swimming, you name it. I am on day 23 and boy, do I feel great! As a new mom, it is great to prioritize time each day to myself and feel accomplished. Exercising greatly improves my mental health, so that’s also a plus!

I wanted to share my stats for July and any interesting movement anecdotes for the month. I will do this moving forward as I continue my #365DaysofMovement journey.

Here’s how July went

  • 58 workouts
  • 23 hours, 4 minutes of exercise
  • 5,842 calories burned
  • 50.18 miles “traveled”

In July, I walked my main street, I ran my second 5K, I cycled with Lizzo on Peloton, and I took my first Barre class! It was a great month! I met up with friends for walks in my town and caught up with family members. I walked on the beach on our family vacation and played tennis with my husband. It was an excellent month of exercising!