Big Changes

So very much has happened over the last several months that I haven’t been able to share. Yet here we are on the eve of a huge change for my family that effects not only my fitness (and diet, fo sure!!!), but every part of our lives.

(Before I overshare and tell y’all a bunch of stuff that my mother would panic over, just know that my house has a security system, a huge dog, and I am well-trained in the use of my many firearms. Try something and die. No joke.)

When my youngest of four was a mere 8 weeks old, my husband was laid off. Don’t get me started on the corporate blow-hards that made the decision to lay off the father of four children whose wife homeschools and has yet to use her college degree to make an actual paycheck. Don’t. Even.

He was given a severance package, which was an incredible blessing, but as he looked for work close to our home we came up empty over and over again. Interviews went nowhere. Resumes went unanswered. Our determination to stay local or to work remotely waned. With just over a week left of his severance package (um…health insurance!!), my hubs started working with a recruiter. He got an interview and an immediate offer…for a job just under 3 hours away.

We are on the eve of my husband spending Monday-Friday in a hotel, with me at home with our four children. He will be home on weekends until our house sells. Sweet. Mercy.

Part of me is 100% fine. Military wives do this for years. Single moms do it forever. But it’s a huge change for a gal that’s used to being able to get up every morning and hit the gym with her friends before coming home to face the day.

This week is survival.

We adjust. We learn. We figure out what is going to work and what isn’t. We clean and stage and get our house ready to go on the market. I snuggle my babies and help them learn. We hold each other and face big change together.

I hope to eat moderately healthy and not drink too much wine. I hope to run when my mother-in-law can watch the boys. Maybe I’ll do some push ups and squats.

Y’all, sometimes life happens and being fit has to move to a back burner. This week I just don’t have the mental space to deal with a training plan. Fitness is in my blood now, though, so I know that it will never be unimportant. This week, though? We live.


Bright Spots in Rough Days


We’ve had a rough few days around the Lunges and Lego house. Illness of a couple of different sorts, an overwhelmed, under-rested mama, and a tight budget has made for some trying times.

Today has boasted snotty noses, crying, one temper tantrum, a serious lack of naps, pee on the couch, poop on the wall, the discovery of Lego Boy deceit, mess that increased throughout the day despite repeated attempts to clean, not nearly enough caffeine (as evidenced by Lego Mom falling asleep sitting up), beds that still don’t have sheets on them at 5:08pm, ungodly amounts of spitup, and the overwhelming desire to just find a non-sticky spot in which to lay down until sometime next week.


I got to work out this morning.

I had food to eat (moderately healthy food).

There was laughter at the fact that our history book repeatedly referenced “booty” as we read about pirates.

That time I fell asleep sitting up? I got to hold the baby for nearly two hours.

The oldest Lego boy built a Minecraft world for Lego Boy 3 (who is 3 years old and doesn’t really “get” Minecraft). Theme? Paw Patrol.

The deceitful Lego Boy got to hear his mama apologize, too, and we went before The Throne together to ask forgiveness.

When I go to bed tonight, I will remember that His mercies begin anew every morning and, despite the fact that we have to go get flu shots (eek!) tomorrow, I will be filled with the love of a God who knows my every struggle.

There are bright spots in every day, and the brightest was definitely a performance of the Thriller dance by two of my amazing boys. I’ve already shared this on my Facebook page and the overwhelming response made me see that a little laughter is great for everyone! So, y’all enjoy a Lego Boy Original…


Prier Pour Paris

As we at the Lunges and Legos house sit around in relative peace and comfort on this Saturday morning, I am reminded to be thankful that we have the luxury of focusing on health and fitness. While we remember those who were killed, and pray with those who wake up this morning without loved ones, I will be thankful to prepare healthy meals, to recover from a 5-day workout week, and to enjoy my little Lego boys.

Rather than feeling guilty for the relative ease of my day, I will embrace the mundane and relish taking care of my body, remembering that we are the temple of the Living God. Treat yourself and those around you with care today, and pray for Paris.


Workout Tips for the Sleep-Deprived

There are oh-so-many tricks I use to get me out of bed in the morning to workout NO MATTER WHAT. One of them usually works. Usually.

Today I slept in, which led to this text exchange with my workout buddy:

Me: “I want to bottle this feeling. This feeling of being sad and behind all day. So that I will remember it the next time I think it’s a good idea to sleep in and not go to the gym first thing in the morning.”

Workout Buddy (WB): “Deal. I’ll guilt you into it.”

Me: “Please do.”

Tomorrow morning, there will be no hiding from the onslaught of text messages from WB who will blow up my phone nonstop until I get up and get in my car to go move my booty. Because that’s what friends do. Partly because she doesn’t want to get whiny text messages from me all day if I do sleep in.

I get it. Not everyone is a morning person, and not everyone can or even wants to work out first thing in the morning. But, listen, mamas: what other time do you have every day to yourself? For me, my days are chaotic from the time my kids get out of bed until way after they go to bed at night. There was a time I could squeeze in a workout during naps or after the kids went to bed, but with two older kids who no longer nap and two younger kids who are total spazzoids about going to bed at night, those precious hours before they wake up in the morning are it. There’s a reason Proverbs 31 talks about how she “rises while it is yet night…” It’s the only time that poor woman had to herself!

So. Tip #1: just do it. Set your alarm, get up, and DO IT. I read recently that you don’t need motivation to do something. It’s not a requirement. I rarely feel “motivated” to change a diaper or take a shower, but I do it anyway. It’s the same with working out. Forget motivation. Just. Do. It. I promise, you’ll never ever regret it.

Tip #2: get fit with friends. For years I’ve said that the main source of my fitness success is the fact that I have friends who keep me moving. It’s a lot harder to bail on your workout if you’re going to meet someone who will make you feel like a chubby sack of goo if you bail. If you don’t have friends who work out, join a gym. That’s where a lot of us crazy people hang out. If you’re in East Tennessee, you can work out with me. I’d love to bring you in to my little world (as long as you’re not a psycho-killer. If you are, I want you to know that I have my concealed carry permit and my husband is skilled in Krav Maga. You don’t stand a chance.) If all of your friends are completely exercise-averse, just meet up for a walk once a week. Then make it twice a week. Just walk around the neighborhood while you chat instead of sitting at a restaurant or on the couch. One fit friend strengthens the bunch. Be that friend.

My biggest struggle right now is that my youngest – now almost 5 months old – still isn’t sleeping through the night. I’m nursing, so I feed him around 7:30pm, 11pm, and 5am. He was still wanting to get up and nurse around 3am, and my refusal to let him eat at that unGodly hour results in loud, baby anger. I’m typically in bed by 8:30 or 9pm, but those frequent wake-ups take their toll.

There are a few things I do to battle the constant exhaustion. Caffeine is one of my very best friends. I know, it’s probably not THE healthiest solution, but with three older kids “sleep when the baby sleeps” isn’t an option. I’m a huge fan of Advocare Spark, and down a double Spark as soon as I roll out of bed in the morning. I seriously leave the canister and my shaker bottle on the bathroom counter, so I only have to stagger about 20ft for my wake-up drink. That gets me the energy to get dressed and get out the door. Then the endorphins take over. I know it sounds nuts, but its true that exercise gives you energy. All the caffeine in the world doesn’t get me going like a good 30-minute workout. There are some upper-limits to that, by the way, but that’s another post for another day.

Tip #3: Caffeine in moderation. Like anything else, too much is a bad thing, but a little pick-me-up to get you moving certainly beats staying in bed and not working out at all. So use what the Good Lord gave us! We can talk about coffee, too. Spark is definitely my workout drink, but I love good coffee and would be happy to share my faves!

Tip #4: A healthy diet. Don’t worry about counting calories. You have enough to worry about! I do keep track of my food intake because I’m a little obsessive AND I need to make sure I’m eating enough to maintain my milk supply, but for most of you, that’s just not necessary. Here’s my rule: if God made it and man hasn’t messed it up, eat it. I can’t even begin to tell you the difference in my energy level when I eat a muffin for breakfast vs. when I eat a bacon egg and cheese burrito. I’ll be sure to share some of my easy, go-to breakfast recipes in the coming days because it really is the most important meal of the day! Keep fresh fruits and veggies around, along with nuts and hard-boiled eggs and you’ll be well on your way to keeping your energy level fairly even throughout the day.

(and just to prove I practice what I preach…)

11-10 blog post

Tip #5: rest when you can. I always always ALWAYS rest on Sunday. I sleep late, eat a leisurely breakfast, make sure I have lunch in the crock pot for after church, and at least spend the afternoon laying around, even if I don’t get to nap. I don’t work out, I don’t do housework, I don’t do any labor-intensive cooking…I rest. If there are other days during the week when I’m feeling run-down, I’ll make an effort to teach school from the couch, or talk the boys into a movie and/or snuggle so I can catch a few extra zzz’s, but I try my best to maintain my workout routine. One missed day turns into two and then, well, you saw the text exchange at the beginning of this post…it’s just not worth it!

And finally, tip #6: don’t try to do it all. I may get up at 5am to work out and do lots of other things that may seem super impressive, but there are A LOT of things that I don’t do. I’m a homebody, so I don’t go out and about very often. I don’t wear makeup or fix my hair or, let’s be honest, change out of my workout clothes. I say “no” to evening invitations and I only enjoy a glass of wine (or three) on Saturday night when I know I don’t have to get up early. You can’t do it all. There aren’t enough hours in the day or energy in your tank, so choose what’s important and do THAT. For me, being fit and healthy is a priority, so things that interfere with that are going to get the boot. Right now my focus is working out, eating well, teaching my boys, and taking care of my home and family. If it seems like my life is well-lived, it’s because I’m only doing what needs to be done during this season. Figure out what your priorities are for now – because those priorities are going to change with your seasons of life – and make those things happen. Do them, and do them well.

Sleep-deprived or not. 😉