Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The 80/20 Rule: How to Not Let Perfect Be the Enemy of Good

Last week, I had a nearly perfect week of eating and working out.  I'm the type of person who is pretty moderate in how I eat and exercise.  I truly love to workout and I feel so good when I make healthy food choices.  Is it still a decision I have to make every single time I want to put something in my mouth?  Yes!  But practice makes perfect, and eventually good choices lead to good habits lead to a good and healthy lifestyle.

Now, I'm not Mrs. Poster Child for Physical Health at all.  I have probably 20 pounds I could stand to lose, I loooooove chocolate and chips and ice cream and carbs.  I look my age and I look like a mom - both great things - why would I want to look like a child and *not* like a mom, my most cherished role?  As much as Phil and I want to take care of ourselves in a healthy way, we also want to enjoy the heck out of this life God has blessed us with.  Because, YOLO.

You've heard of the 80/20 rule before I'm sure?  It's when you eat clean/healthy/etc. 80% of the time and then imbibe the other 20%.  It allows you to make great choices most of the time, but not beat yourself up when you're enjoying that dessert.  You actually just get to enjoy it, knowing it's your treat time.  I was thinking the other day, that if I eat 21 meals each week...20% of the week would equal 4 meals.  So I can treat myself with four "cheat" meals and then treat my body by eating well for the remaining 17 meals.   That doesn't sound too hard, right?

Sometimes people look at a diet plan and think "No way could I EVER eat that way.  I could NOT give up my weekly ice cream cone."  And so instead of just making an allowance for that treat, they don't even try eating healthier at all.  They let perfect be the enemy of good.  When I started reading about eating more plant-based meals, I was talking about adding more fruits and veggies and whole grains to our meals, but all my husband heard is that I was becoming a Vegan.  And he was wary of this way of eating and pretty discouraging.  But then I said, "We both know eating MORE fruits and veggies is healthy, so why not just focus on that?"  He had been immediately thinking of all the food he couldn't eat.  If eating this way meant no more hamburgers and french fries and pizza, then he couldn't do it.  But, hello, neither could I!  We have to carve out treat time into our regular healthy eating routine, not the other way around.  If I love eating salads with croutons and creamy dressings, then it's better to eat them like that than say I can't have dressing and croutons.  Then I wouldn't even eat salad.  Again, not letting perfect get in the way of good.

I feel like I can't write all of this without at least mentioning that the same holds true with our spiritual life.  Living in the real world, and raising a bunch of humans with demanding schedules, can make a nightly family rosary seem impossible.  So we might not even try.  But then the bad guy wins, right?  God is happy with all our small attempts...so maybe we say the rosary in the car, or pray throughout the day, or watch some cute kids say one back in 2011:

I'm thinking we might only serve dessert on nights we have family prayer time.  That would be a good motivator for the kids because if we have time for dessert, we have time for God!  It's all very freeing to realize you don't have to go hard-core at everything in life, all the small choices add up and can make your Imperfect a little closer to Perfect.  And that, my friends, is how normal folks like us can become great saints one day.

Friday, January 12, 2018

7QT: Can I Catch a Break?

Linking up with Kelly for some random 7 moments from the past week.


John-Paul sprained his ankle, so apparently HE can catch a break.  Hehehe, I crack myself up.  Crack.  I did it again.  He had just finished running his second race in the track meet, and was trying to slow himself down, and planted his foot a little on the side.  He is currently on crutches and can't put his weight on it but it seems to be getting a little better each day.  It's so ironic that he threw his back out in soccer and now sprained his ankle in track...too many injuries is my reasoning for not letting my kids play football or hockey.  Oy vey, I think being a mom of six boys, I just need to accept that my life will be full of injuries.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Feeling Like I'm Done

What's the most blasphemous phrase for a Catholic mom to utter?  I used to think it was the answer of "I'm done!" to the question of having more children. 


Unless we physically can't bear any more babies, or have been instructed by medical professionals that we shouldn't try again, we are supposed to be open to the possibility of a new baby.  Even in  our later fertile years.  Even if we already have a gaggle of children.  We might feel like we want to be done, but know that we probably shouldn't say that.  Though we can do our part to try and avoid a pregnancy, the truth is that if we are loving our spouses and not contracepting, we may not be done until the Menopausal Lady sings.

My mom had her 5th baby (me) at age 42 and her 6th baby at age 44.  I am 38.  Do the math and if I'm anything like my mother (and I am) I could still have a couple more pregnancies in this old body.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Back to the Ordinary and How Not to Die

It feels like we have all had a month off from regular life.  With our Christmas break from school/work, then one day back at school, then the rest of the week off for the snow storm, it's hard to believe we are already in the second week of January.  The break was so good, especially the peaceful reprieve from all the sports practices and games.  We were able to get a lot of cleaning and organizing completed in the house (well the cleaning is a neverendingstory) but it feels so good to walk upstairs knowing the kids bedrooms are dusted and vacuumed and drawers all cleared out.  The boys were pulling out lost clothes from under their beds that still had cat hair on them!  The cat has been gone since November!  Eeewww.  I know if I was a stay at home mom everyday, each day wouldn't be so productive, but I really do try and make good use of wintery snow days when they pop up.  I have to!  Our regular lives are just too busy.

And that's where we are now, back to regular life, back to Ordinary Time.  After all the Christmas feasting, we are happy to start some healthy meal plans again (read: no excuse for desserts and treats 24/7).  I am reading How Not to Die and while the first half of the book is a little TMI (not in an inappropriate way, just literally Too Much Info on medical studies) the second half of the book is great on explaining how we should be eating and why.  My brother, who is a doctor, heard I was reading the book and said the author is just trying to convert everyone to veganism.  I can totally see that when I read, but I also truly believe eating a more plant-based diet can't be anything but GOOD for anyone.  I'm certainly not giving up animal products (I'm not sure how to get enough protein without them) but I want to move towards more plant-based meals. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Christmas 2017 and New Years 2018

I just have to post the photos from our Christmas and New Years or else did it really even happen?  This year I was so into Christmas prep, shopping for gifts was fun (I even crafted a couple!) and I listened to Christmas music nonstop from Black Friday through Christmas day on the radio.  Usually I burn out sometime in mid December.  The Spirit was Strong!  The kids had their Christmas Concert at school...

...which is a packed house that can be a little claustrophobic, but in the end, it's a cute performance.  We went to Mass on Christmas Eve at 4 pm, and I think because the Patriots game was still finishing up when people would have had to leave their houses, it wasn't as crowded as years past.  Winner! (As were the Pats!)  We had to take our traditional After Christmas Mass Family Photo,  and I should probably set up a little gallery wall with all these photos through the years, they're my favorites.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Healthy New Year GIVEAWAY!

Over on Instagram, I have teamed up with some friends to bring you a Healthy New Year Giveaway!  We each picked a personal favorite item that helps us achieve our wellness goals - physical, mental, emotional and spiritual - and wanted to share one big package valued at over $200!!  The items are as follows: