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My life after baby. How I make it happen (kind of).

my life after baby

A friend of mine recently asked me what my life looks like post baby. How do I get work done? How do I take care of myself? How to do I be a Mom without going crazy?

You may think this is a story about motherhood, but in reality it’s a story about strategy and focus, so even if you don’t have kids, I know you will find this super helpful.

I always like hearing how other people do things, and then I can take what works and change was doesn’t. This is by no means the only way to live, it’s just a way.  As you’re reading this, I want you to think about what you like and more importantly, what you don’t like so you can craft your ideal day.

This is what I strive for in my life. I probably get it right 70% of the time. The other 30% I’m a mess and try to judge a successful day by if my baby is still alive.  And what they don’t tell you is that keeping a human alive and relatively comfortable is A LOT of work.

Overall snapshot of the week:

I work Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday and spend Monday, Friday and the weekend with Marshall. Jonathan and I go out once a week, and I try to go out to a girls dinner once a week, but in reality this happens more like twice a month.

Working Days:

Marshall wakes me up around 7am. I nurse him and we hang out in bed for thirty minutes to an hour. This is my favorite part of the day.  I try really hard not to pick up my phone, but being totally present is something I really want to work on. Any tips? Leave them in the comments below.

At 7:45am-ish, I make myself and Marshall breakfast while he plays on the floor or goes in his jumpy thingy.  We eat together, sing a lot and hang out.

Around 8:30 (I’m usually late though), I bring Marshall to our nanny share two blocks away (a nanny share is when one nanny watches two babies at the same time. I wanted Marshall to be over at the other house 100% of the time so I can have the house to myself).

After I drop off Marshall, I move my body.  Currently I’m enjoying dancing, Pop Physique and long walks. Then I come home, shower and have a little me-time. Sometimes it’s reading a magazine, sometimes it’s getting my nails done.

At noon I am in full blown work mode. I ALWAYS go to a cafe. I work till I’m hungry, eat without distractions and then go back to work until 5.  This time is super focused, no Facebook, just work.  And if I have time I will answer emails at the end of the day.

At 5pm, I pick up Marshall and usually meet my mom friends at the playground or we’ll get together at one of our houses and have happy hour.  Being a mom can be very isolating so I try very hard to spend as much time with other moms as possible.

At 6pm, we come home and I feed Marshall dinner and then go into his bedtime routine, bath, books, breastfeed, bed.  He is usually out by 7:30/7:45 and stays asleep (thank you sleep training).

I then sit for a bit and have a bit more me time (like 15 minutes) before I pull a quick dinner together.  Jonathan gets home between 7pm and 8:30pm, he does all my dishes from the day and helps me with dinner. We eat around 8:30, talk, snuggle on the couch and start getting ready for bed around 10.

Days with Marshall:

After our morning routine, Marshall takes a nap at 9am and he sleeps from an hour to 90 minutes (again thank you sleep training) during that time I shower and read a magazine.

I always meet up with friends for lunch and afterwards I’m open to possibilities!

Sometimes I take Marshall for an urban hike (hitting all the San Francisco hills) in the running stroller. I’d like to say that I run with him, but it’s happened twice in the past 6 months.  Sometimes we go to the park, sometimes to a museum.  I’ve also ended up at the beach and at a bar! I love having this unstructured time.

You may notice a few things missing…

Errands, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry. I hire all of this out. When I had Marshall my mother helped me understand that I am mother, not a maid (I’m so grateful she was a role model for me in this way).  If you’re interested in learning more about how to hack this, and make the money you need to make this a reality for you, you’ll have to join us for LIVE FREE next weekend! Seriously, you should just look at flights, we have a few spots left.

AND, this isn’t as easy at it sounds…

Almost every day I feel like I didn’t get enough done, and I didn’t get enough time with Marshall. Some days I am absolutely exhausted and close to tears because I’ve been with Marshall alone all day and he was having some terrible teething induced, three hour fit.  I don’t think any Mom ever feels like she has the perfect balance, but it’s still important to try.  And this schedule took a lot of trial and error and I’m sure will change again and again.

But even though there isn’t a perfect solution, and things always change, having a schedule is very important and here’s why: Without a schedule that matches your desires and priorities, you are going to feel seriously stressed out, which leads to overeating, and you will never be “on top of things” enough to create the life you really desire. You end up feeling like things are spiraling out of control and you’re going to wake up one day and wonder, “how has all this time gone by and I feel like I’ve done so much but accomplished nothing?”

So now I have a big job for you.  I want you to write out your ideal day and post it in the comments below.  This will give all of us inspiration AND help us hold you accountable.

I can’t wait to see what your schedule is like.

Sarah

photo credit: Krista Marie Photography

The show’s over people. Time to get real.

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Have you ever stopped to wonder who you are really? If you were not your job, your position as a wife or mother, your income, your body… who are you?

As my mentor, Elayne Kalila Doughty puts it, “Who was here from the very beginning? Who is the YOU behind the you? It’s the part of you – who that when you move into the room with no words, is felt.”

Can you identify that part of you?  I also had a hard time with this.

For so long I used what I was doing, what I was wearing, who I was seen with, how much I weighed, how many likes I got on my Facebook post…to define me. I was convinced that who I really was, my essence, that person who is left when all the red lipstick, ruffles, picnics and concealer is taken away, wasn’t good enough.

So I layered on the “show” in my friendships, my work, even with the people who love me the most – my family and my husband.  I became really good at the ruse, I built a beautiful life, had a great wardrobe and just tried to look happy all the time, but I was spending so much time on the outside, that I neglected the inside.  It was like I built this incredible castle, but the queen who lived there was wasting away.  And we all know, there’s no point in having a castle if there’s no queen living there.

Over the past three years, I have been working on peeling off the layers of my life to really get to know my inner self, my essence, my light.  Elayne calls this the Path of the Priestess, which in my heart means walking a path of truth and being a stand for what really matters in the world.  Being on this path is not comfortable, and honestly at times it’s excruciating to let go of the forms I have held onto so tightly.

But as I am spending more and more time thinking about how I am being and less what I am doing, I am discovering a constant flow of energy, peace and grounding that wasn’t there before. I’ve learned that a queen who truly knows and loves herself, her real self, doesn’t need a fancy castle to be powerful.

I am still very much on this path and fully committed to peeling off layer after layer. You’ll be seeing a lot more of the ME behind the me from now on.

Last week I was on a call with Elayne where she talked about this path and the effect it can have on you and the world. I was so moved that I pulled some strings and was able to get you the recording of this call (she’s doing me a favor, please tell her thanks) because I just knew as I was listening that you needed to hear it.  You can access the link here.

This work is important for many reasons, but the thing that struck me the most is how our bodies become such a big part of our identity.  We can go down this rabbit hole of “Since I am fat, that means that I am not disciplined, strong, powerful etc. so I can’t go out there and get what I want (the lover, the job, the vacation…)” So we hold back and wait till we get our weight situation handled.

But I have news for you, listen closely…

You are not your body.  YOU are amazing, powerful and brilliant just the way you are, just by being you.  You don’t have to DO anything to be loved, to matter.

And it’s time for you to show the world that part of you.  Only then, when we feel truly accepted and loved unconditionally by ourselves will we finally find peace with our bodies.

This video by Elayne explains what I’m talking about a bit more, and I hope you’ll listen to the recording of her call, it really woke me up.

Sending you, the real you, lots of love.

Sarah

Is everyone talking about how fat you are?

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It’s time for another Throwback Thursday, and I have to say, this one is one of my favorites because it’s the number one thing my clients complain about: that everyone is talking about them behind their backs.

But if it’s one thing I know, most of us have created this conspiracy theory out of thin air.

Here’s what I mean:

You know that feeling when you just know everyone is staring at you thinking, “I can’t believe she’s eating that” or “who does she think she is wearing that dress?” or “whoa, she really needs to lose a few”.

We’re scared to get together with an old friend, don’t want to go to that party, or hate eating in front of our co-workers because we just feel so judged.

And most of us think that the only way to get them to stop talking about us behind our backs is to lose weight.

Not true.

The reality is that these people are most definitely NOT talking about you behind your back. Maybe .0001% of the time someone is, but they are probably a loser who feels fatter than you.  What’s happening is you’re projecting.  Since you’re embarrassed by your eating habits and the way you look, you assume that’s all the people around you are thinking.  I know it feels real, but I promise, it’s all in your head.

To make it go away, you need to deal with the embarrassment.  But here’s the kicker, though it may feel like you are embarrassed by how you look, I know from experience that you are actually embarrassed by how you are taking care of yourself.

The most profound disappointment we experience as humans is not being in integrity with our desires.  Though we focus on our appearance, all of us have a “taking care of ourselves recipe” for what it will take to look a certain way.  When we’re at the perfect weight we imagine ourselves enjoying our food, eating lots of vegetables, moving our bodies, enjoying sex, wearing great clothes, smiling at strangers, getting our work done on time and being super relaxed.  But we believe that once we lose weight, that’s when we’ll start doing those things, but we actually need to do those things FIRST in order to lose weight.

When you are feeling like you couldn’t possibly show up to that party because you just look terrible, what you are actually experiencing is the deep disappointment of letting yourself down for not taking better care of yourself.  Our culture has just brainwashed us to think it’s all about how we look.

When my clients and I lay out a clear picture of what it looks like to take care of ourselves, and we stick to it, even for just two to three days, we can look exactly the same but feel completely different around our peers.  If you don’t believe me, I dare you to try it.

The key is laying out a recipe for taking care of yourself that is realistic and feels good, here’s mine:

Get lots of hugs and kisses from Jonathan and Marshall
Spend time with my girlfriends at least 5 days days a week, both one-on-one and in groups
Be thoughtful about my outfit and beauty routine daily
Drink lots of water
Keep my home clean, organized and filled with flowers
Move my body daily, or at least as much as I can, a little yoga, a little dance, a little pilates, lots of walks
Eat lots of leafy greens
Stand up straight
Eat organic when I can
Talk to my family and my far away friends regularly
Always eat without distractions, slowly, only when I am hungry
Do something really fun everyday
Eat chocolate, ice cream, bread and cheese when I feel like it, but only eat the best
Drink wine, but not too much, almost everyday
Eat dinner with Jonathan almost every night and really connect with him
Take many weekend trips and vacations
Have regular adventures

Even on this plan my weight fluctuates with my periods, extra eating on the weekends, vacations, odd cravings, moving my body more or less… it’s just part of life, gaining and losing, especially for women.

But when I am in integrity with what it looks like for me to take care of myself, I never feel judged.  Maybe because I know that if I was, I could confidently say “this is the life I am consciously choosing, and this is what my body is doing this week as a result.  I’m happy, I’m loved, I feel beautiful, that’s what matters.”

Today, I want you to write down your recipe for taking care of yourself, and I’d love for you to give us some of the highlights in the comments below.

And I want you to see if after you stick to it for a few days, if your feelings of being judged start to fade away.

Can’t wait to talk with you about this more.

Love,

Sarah

 

Does food still make you a little crazy?

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You’ve probably heard the story of how I ended up hiding in a closet with a bag of Dove Chocolate Promises after my final-failed-juice-cleanse attempt – back in the old dieting days of course.

I will never forget sitting there at work, hiding from my co-workers in shame, completely unable to even think about actually working, because I needed those chocolates like crack-cocaine.

It was such a rock-bottom moment — and not just because my waistline was suffering — but because my sanity had been compromised.

I felt like a total crazy person around food.

Constantly thinking about what I should, shouldn’t, or desperately wanted to eat.
Berating myself over and over again for my “lack of control.”
Sneaking licks of frosting off cakes, but never actually letting myself have a piece.

(And I when I say letting myself, I really mean letting myself —  giving myself full permission to enjoy that cake without shame or judgement.)

It’s sanity around food that we’re often craving far more than weight loss.  My mentee, friend and LIVE FREE Retreat Alum, Isabel Foxen Duke, talks about just this. I asked Isabel to Blog Babysit today for a few reasons:

  1. She is HILARIOUS. Plus every time I read her stuff I think, “I can’t believe she just said that”.  The woman is so bold.
  2. She has a way of explaining food obsession that is very unique, and very clear.
  3. We teach similar things but we are very different. If you don’t love me, you’ll probably love her. We all need to find our people in order to get healing in this area.

Take it away Isabel!

Hot Seat Photo

I love Sarah’s message: Live More, Weigh Less.

Or how I would describe it: Live More, Stop Giving A Sh*t About The Candy Bowl On Your Desk.

There’s a difference between “sitting on your hands trying not to eat” and becoming so involved with more important stuff, that you literally forget there’s Nutella in the cupboard.

It’s the difference between controlling, resisting, forcing, obsessing…and just plain not even caring whether or not it’s dinner time yet.

As an emotional eating coach, one thing I can’t stand about traditional approaches to “emotional eating” is that more often than not, we feel like we’re on the “don’t-eat-emotionally diet,” which creates the same tension in our bodies that traditional diets do.

All that resisting, all that holding yourself back, all the mental negotiating of “I want to eat, but I shouldn’t”, “Am I hungry or am I not?”, “I know I should just write in my journal, but a brownie sounds a hell-of-lot more fun,” can sometimes feel restraining just like the regular diets…and it’s usually only a matter of time before we lose our resolve and “slip” right into a tube of cream cheese frosting. Emotions always win in a fight.

The shame we associate with emotional eating makes our behaviors so much worse… turning what could have just been a “fro-yo when I was bored” into a full-on-grocery-store binge because I’m so mad at myself — so frustrated that I’m not “getting it.”

All this frustration, anger, and confusion over “what we’re doing wrong,” is what makes us lose our minds with food. Have you ever considered what would happen if you didn’t put so much pressure on yourself to “get it right?”

What if you didn’t give a sh*t about whether or not you ate mindfully that day? Or whether or not you took a warm bath instead of having a cookie? What if food was just food — instead of the metric by which you judge your “goodness”?

What would happen then??

Now half of you already totally get this — you’re like, “hell yes, I wish I could stop giving a sh*t. Think about all that space in my brain I could free up. I’m so sick and tired of even thinking about food.”

The other half of you are terrified that if you weren’t trying to control yourself all the time, you would blow up to 300lbs and all hell would break loose.

Ohhhh control.

There is nothing more crazy-making than constantly trying to control something that you are fundamentally unable to control for very long.

If there’s one thing that’s certain when we try to control, it’s that inevitably we’re gonna lose that control. If you pull back a bow and arrow, eventually that bow’s gonna fly in the opposite direction.

Letting go might be scary. But a rubber band doesn’t snap unless you pull it.

Today, I dare you to stop trying so hard with food. Notice what happens. Do you feel relief? Do you at some point get bored with food and go do something else? What if whatever happened with food was just fine? What if you were able to stop fighting food?

For those of you who think I’m onto something (and trust that I’m not completely off my rocker), I’ve created a free video training series that you can check out here.

These videos are about more than your weight — they’re about reclaiming your sanity, so food loses it’s power. Click here if you’re ready to Stop Fighting Food.

xo,

Isabel