I’m back with another blog post, right on the cusp of a new school year for my kiddos and a change in schedules for all of us. It has been a fast, full, happy summer here in the Miller house and I can’t wait to share some updates with you!
As you may know if you’ve been following the blog over the last couple of years, my sons (now ages 13 and 15) spend their summers with their dad, who lives three and a half hours away, and are home with me every other weekend. This is the reverse of our schedule during the school year, when they’re with me and visit their dad every other weekend.
This year, unsurprisingly, was different. The school year ended in mid-March and the boys began going to their dad’s every other week, before eventually leaving for the summer at the end of May. As always, the transition to not having them around regularly was tough, but I have the support of a pretty fantastic partner to help me through it.
Michael had his kids every two weeks, which gave us two weeks with his kids followed by two weeks where it was just the two of us. It was great to have that time together, since having kids tends to reduce the amount of time a couple has for each other in a relationship.
The best part of my summer was the change in my work schedule. When Covid-19 struck, the bank moved workers like myself, who are not on the front lines of customer contact, to working from home. This has been an absolute game changer for me in terms of sleep, stress, exercise, being a single mother, and just general happiness.
I haven’t gotten up to an alarm in months, I’m consistently walking every day on my lunch break since I’m not rushing home from the office, scarfing down food, then driving back to work. I can eat when I’m hungry without having to prep meals and snacks ahead of time. I can keep up on laundry and dishes and cleaning the floors during down moments, so I’m not forced to do it all after work or on Saturday mornings anymore. I have been more productive and focused, both at work and at home, ever since the transition. And the best part is – it is very likely to be a permanent working arrangement!
I feel refreshed, reinvigorated, and ready to buckle down on what comes next.
Along with the change in my daily routine, has come a change in my overall health and wellness. When I first started this website, which initially was just a personal blog, I was eating in a way that mirrored the mediterranean diet, while being very plant strong. The more I studied and learned about nutrition, the more I moved away from animal products, towards a fully plant-based diet. To be plant based means that at least 90% of your calories come from plants, while the remaining 10% can come from animal based foods.
The last few months I’ve been nearly 100% plant based, and my whole body has transformed in ways I didn’t realize. They say change comes slowly, a little at a time, sneaking up on us so that we don’t see it, but one day we look back and everything is different. That is what happened to me a couple of days ago.
I was out on my daily lunchtime walk. I was on my way back uphill, headed home, when I realized my right knee didn’t hurt. I used to only be able to walk for two or three days in a row before my knee would become inflamed from an old injury and I would need to rest it for a few days. Well I’ve fallen into the routine of daily walks this summer, and I’d forgotten about that old knee injury. I suddenly remembered it after several weeks of walking every day. There was no knee pain anymore. Five days per week and no pain at all!
I thought back to other things that used to ail me, to realize that every complaint I had was gone. I’ve had acne since I was 11. For the first time in my life my skin is in wonderful shape, save for the occasional pimple at period time or if I slip in a piece of cheese. I used to have migraines following extreme stress – well I was under an insane amount of stress in April and May when I was working overtime to process Paycheck Protection loans for SBA, then more stress with a change in job duties during my department’s current restructure. But no migraines!
My periods ultimately come and go unnoticed – no cramps, no food cravings, no mood swings, no bloating. My hormones seem to be in balance. And my sleep. Ah, sweet, glorious sleep! I’ve struggled with it for my whole life, or at least as much of it as I can remember. Struggled to fall asleep, struggled with early waking, struggled with insomnia. I was having a few crappy nights of sleep per month, and I’m now only sleeping poorly a few times per month – and most of those times come from spending the night at Michael’s house and hearing him snore or being smacked with one of his pillows when he rolls over…ha!
I have to be honest – I feel amazing! I have energy all the time now. I’m happy, healthy, and loving life!
Next up on the journey – my kids. Every summer while away at their dad’s they’re living on processed junk foods, sodas, sweet tea, and have very little actual meals. They gain weight every year, usually 10-20 pounds. This year, since their visits started in March, they’ve gained 35 and 40 pounds. I discussed this with their dad the first year that my oldest put on 10 pounds in six weeks, but it fell on def ears. Since then it has fallen on me to get them healthy again when they come home.
Now we are working not only on getting that weight back off (we do this every year), but also teaching them about healthy habits and putting them in the driver’s seat, rather than me just telling them what to do. The goal is for them to learn how to make healthy choices on their own, to prevent them gaining the weight back next summer….I hope!
I will be writing more about this weight loss journey, and navigating into the territory of children’s health, in the upcoming weeks.
I’ll be back to talk again soon!