A ruffled mind makes a restless pillow”. ~Charlotte Brontë
For those of you that know me, I’ve been on a mad adventure these past few months, trying hard to whip my 48 year old body into shape. Praying daily that it isn’t too late and hoping that there is still enough elastin and muscle in my body composition to keep me from looking like a deflated bouncy house once I’ve managed to lose the weight I’ve put on over the years.
This whole journey into healthier eating and exercise isn’t new to me, but the approach is. I’ve done so many fad diets, quick diet loss gimmicks and yo-yo dieting that I was afraid I had completely ruined my metabolism but thank goodness it’s still there…even though it’s been hiding under fast-food cheeseburgers and hazelnut creamer.
While I can say I’ve cleaned up my act, I can also say I’ve cleaned up my family’s as well. My cupboard is full of good things for the kids and my rationale of “buy more meat than you need if its on sale” has been tossed out and replaced with “buy only what you need for five servings and buy lean”.
I’m not focused on my weight as much as I am my health and my families health as well. I’m really trying to remember that when I grew up, we rarely ate out and I was fit as a fiddle. Only when I started feeding myself outside our own family kitchen, did my waist begin to expand.
Drive-thrus came way too easy for this Kentucky gal and it took me at least 2 weeks to get the taste for wax-paper-wrapped cheeseburgers out of my mouth. I’m still finding petrified french fries in my car floorboards and they aren’t from the kids, no matter how many times I try to convince myself otherwise.
So this road to health has me finding out new things about myself all the time. Things I already knew, but never paid attention to, like metabolism and sleep.
Yep, metabolism matters.
And if you’re like me and you don’t have much, good solid sleep is more important than ever.
So many of us keep on-the-go so much that we think if we run ourselves ragged we might end up as thin as our rope we keep ourselves dangling from. But that won’t happen. Because we need rest to metabolize. We need that good solid deep sleep that resets our clocks and takes that nutrition we had for our bodies all day, distributes it and then sends the rest packing as waste.
Our bodies can’t function on 4 or 5 hours sleep like we think it can. We need, as people in our 40′s and 50′s more sleep than we realize. Those younger years of up all night with “baby” nearly killed us and now we find our babies grown up and we still aren’t sleeping through the night and we certainly aren’t sleeping as deeply as we need to.
One way to help sleep arrive on time is to limit caffeine after lunch and decompress before bed. Have a routine that you can stick to that sets the “mood” for sleep. Maybe you’re like me and you take your laptop to bed…”they” say this is a bad idea, but I learned to make it work by making sure it is OFF by 10:30 during the weekday. That way I have about 30 minutes before its lights out for Dave and I.
By having that wrap-up time to get those last minute plans for the next day lined up or confirmed via email and facebook I’m able to relax knowing I’ve got my ducks in a row for the next morning.
That’s my routine, most of the time.
Set up your own that works for you. Make sure that your kids know when you go to bed… unless its an emergency- you need your sleep.
Way too often I was rudely awakened with the words, “Mama, I can’t sleep.” and it used to drive me nuts. I never knew what my kids expected from me as I can’t sleep for them and drugging them unconscious-although appealing at the time– is still illegal. So I would walk them back to bed, tell them if they laid still there long enough they would eventually fall asleep from boredom and in no time, they would be nodding away with visions of sugar plums and video games in their sweet little craniums.
Except now I was wide awake after my mini marathon upstairs and back, so we had to eventually have a long talk.
Rarely, if ever, does anyone dare venture into our bedroom once its lights out anymore. Not for any other reason than once Mama goes to sleep, waking me up is pretty scary. Residual eye make up has moved South, among other things and I can wake up pretty full of adrenaline if I think there is someone doing a B&E in my boudoir; and nobody wants an Alice Cooper doppleganger with gravity bound double D’s flailing about them in the dark.
After having a husband on night shift for 13 years prior, I am prepared to take out anyone that dares skulk into my abode after dark. So the kids know to steer clear unless they have the worlds worst virus, there are wickedly high winds or Godzilla just took off the second story roof.
So have a plan and lay out the guidelines.
Get your rest.
Eat well, have a routine and don’t try to get those 8 glasses of water in right before bedtime…
I learned that the hard way and put in another mile before dawn.