When you fall off the wagon...

Greetings, WWQC friends and clients!

As most of you know, my little family has been through quite a bit these last few months.  My professor husband has been in Ireland since March 2 on a foreign term with 32 students!  He doesn't return until May 20, which means I've been solo parenting our toddler.  Needless to say, it's been busy and exhausting.  After 19 days alone, our little bub and I made the trek to Ireland to be with Daddy for 28 days!  We had so many fun things planned.

Then reality hit.

When we traveled Ireland in June 2015, our little one had just turned one.  She was easy-going, slept well, ate well, and was generally all-around pleasant.  She wasn't walking yet, so transporting her was easy.  To boot, our weather last summer was pretty darned-near perfect.

Fast-forward to present day.  Our bub is now almost two.  She is a spitfire toddler who tells you how she feels about everything.  Our first week was fraught with no sleep (any of us), cold and rainy weather, and of course, jet-lag to deal with for both her and myself.  Due to weather, it was nearly impossible to get out and enjoy much of the sights, parks, and playgrounds that we might have visited had it been lovely.  This means two grown adults and one energetic toddler were stuck in a hotel room.  We tried to get out as much as possible, but there wasn't much by way of fun activities.

After our first six days, my husband ended up with a nasty bout of vertigo, which left me to once again parent alone.  But this time, in a foreign country, with no where to go, nothing to do, and both a sick husband AND child to care for.

I was beside myself with exhaustion.  Everyone was miserable.  We considered changing our flight so bub and I could come home early.  Was it worth hanging around if the trip was going to continue to be like this?

Things got a bit better but, to be honest, not by much.  Meanwhile, I was desperately trying to stick to my workout and clean eating regimen that I had been doing so well with at home.  I don't want to make excuses, but when the baby wakes up at 3:30am and doesn't go back to sleep, so you pull her into bed with you out of desperation, no one gets any sleep. Due to no sleep, I started drinking more coffee than usual.  Because I was so exhausted in the mornings, there was no way I was going to get in my daily workout.  By the time dinner came, I was so exhausted and had had enough of a horrible day, I would just drink booze.  I was hardly drinking any water, subsisting on coffee, booze, and bad, processed foods.

By two weeks, I was just miserable.  Physically, emotionally, mentally.  I tried to keep a brave and happy face but, again, everyone was just in a horrible mood.  Our final week in Ireland, our sweet bub had a mystery virus that gave her a fever and a nasty, ugly rash all over her body, and to top it all off, horrifying constipation.  The stress of her being ill away from home was pretty much my breaking point.  Our poor little family had pretty much had it.

I will be honest: going to Ireland was a huge mistake.  Both my husband and I understand this now.  But it's over, it's done (thank the Universe!) and bub and I are safe at home and established back into our routine.

Which brings me to the point of this post.  In Ireland, due to circumstances beyond all of our control, I fell off the wagon.  I ate too many cookies, drank too much coffee, drank too much Orchard Thieves Cider, and had a three-course meal every dinner.  It wasn't ideal for someone trying to maintain their goal weight, eat clean, and fit in an intense workout every morning.  I did the best I could, and tried to choose the healthiest option for every meal, but it wasn't enough.  I gained a few pounds, which I figured I would, but the thing I am most upset about is my fitness level went down the drain while I was gone.  Before I left, I could easily do push-ups, squats, pull-ups like a boss. During the trip, I lost muscle tone, and started carrying around a "food baby" around my mid-section due to lack of core exercises.

Here is the thing: I could have sat around feeling sorry for myself after I got home.  I could have thought "Oh no!  All that hard work down the tubes!"  But I didn't.  We arrived home Sunday, and Monday morning, I started bright and early with my workout.  I pushed play, made a healthy breakfast, and got to it, despite being incredibly jet-lagged.  It's been ten days, and I am happy to say I didn't lose as much muscle tone as I had thought.  Yes, I am super sore, but after ten days of clean-eating, intense workouts, sleep (hooray!) and lots of water, I feel amazing again.  I feel like myself.

I challenge you to do the same.  The thing to remember is you can't go back and change everything you did in the past.  Why beat yourself up over it?  Making change is about taking a risk, making a choice, and just DOING IT.  It's that easy.  And YOU need to be okay.  You need to take care of you.  Because I'm taking care of myself, I have so much more to give to my sweet girl while her Daddy is away.  Since I am doing this alone, I am both parents for her.  If I didn't have the energy from clean eating, fitness, sleep and hydration, it would be a big ol' mess over here at WellWomanQC.

So get out there, folks.  Leave the past behind.  Pick up the handle of your wagon and get going!