I recently battled the flu after thinking I had escaped its wrath this season. It gave me time to think in between catching up on movies I wanted to see. I preach self care to my fellow Moms on the regular. I want them to feel like they have permission to take care of themselves and I’m aware that looks different for everyone. What does it look like for me? I began to reflect on the times in my life I felt the the healthiest. When I lived in Austin, TX and worked for Whole Foods Market in my early 20’s I was a vegetarian and occasionally ate fish. I was surrounded by like minded people and felt constant encouragement to pursue a healthy lifestyle that included hiking, camping, preparing plant based meals, and even starting a small garden and brewing our own beer. It was empowering to supplement our trips to the grocery store with veggies we grew out of our tiny garden. What was so different then? Mainly I only had to take care of myself. That coupled with the tribe of people I surrounded myself with made it easy to make healthy decisions.
There was a big gap after that in truly taking care of myself. It got much more difficult when student loans and the high price of rent in California siphoned my income away from shopping for healthy food. Add a long commute and I was just too tired to invest energy into shopping, cooking and exercise. Plus I was living in Hollywood with my fabulous roommate and we were taking full advantage of the lifestyle.
Fast forward to settling down and living in the suburbs. My husband was game for eating healthy and exercising and we did pretty good for a while. We tried cleanses and fasting. I invested time in making weekly menus. Then we moved. Fortunately we traded in our balcony for a successful garden complete with compost in our rental house’s backyard. We even took a yoga class together. Then we moved. Like most couples we got comfortable, a little too comfortable and started slacking off. Let’s face it, eating healthy and exercise takes a pretty big time commitment and it’s not necessarily cheap.
When I was trying to get pregnant I really buckled down again and started taking yoga classes which I followed throughout my pregnancy. I enjoyed cooking and doubled down on taking care of myself in preparation to grow a tiny human. Once she was earth-side things took a downturn in the era of little sleep and not much time. I started a Couch to 5K program several months after she was born and stuck to it until you guessed it – we moved.
At that point I really resented cooking. I was uninspired and felt like I was cooking the same 5 things. We tried one of those subscription services and it did help get me out of that rut. We were living in San Diego and I was chasing an active toddler and chauffeuring her around the city to the Zoo, the beach, Mommy and Me classes at the YMCA, etc. I wasn’t exercising exactly but I wasn’t laying around eating bon bons either. Since we like to model our moves to military families after 2 years we packed up and came back to a suburb outside Los Angeles. We don’t have a backyard. It’s more of a concrete patio with no hint of green in sight. Granted the community we live in has a nice community green space but I can’t go out and claim a plot for a garden (although that’s a really good idea). I keep thinking it’s only temporary as we approach our 2 year mark. Rather than scrap any idea of having a garden I started doing some research on container gardening in small spaces. The husband is up for taking another yoga class and our Mini is old enough to either join in or entertain herself on the tablet while we squeeze in a class once per week. I think I was using our temporary status as an excuse not to improve our health. I’m kind of an all or nothing type person. I’m working on being more adaptable and I’m getting excited about growing a garden with our Mini. Stay tuned and keep me accountable. I need my tribe after-all.
About This Blogger: Ciara Polikretis
Ciara is a Doula, entrepreneur and champion for women. She received her degree in Communications from Baylor University. She strives to keep learning and growing by taking photography classes, improving her sewing skills, traveling to kid friendly destinations and reading something with actual pages. She continues to remind herself that a spotless house doesn’t make her a better person and loves surrounding herself with smart, witty and creative women to keep her grounded and inspired. She is good at accepting constructive criticism but terrible at directions. Ciara lives in permanently sunny Los Angeles with her husband, daughter and French Bulldog.