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Resolution: Lose the Baby Weight

My name is Lacy. I'm a teacher turned stay-at-home mom. I'm 28 years old and have three beautiful daughters: Addie, 4, Ingrid, 2, and Margot, 8 months. On top of being a full-time mom, I write my own blog and contribute to a variety of other websites. As you can imagine, I have zero time for myself. While that may seem like an excuse to some, it's the gosh-darn truth.

THE RESOLUTION: My goal isn't to lose a certain number of pounds or to fit into a certain pant size. Instead, my goal is to take better care of myself. My goal is to feel good when I wake up in the morning. To get fewer headaches. To remember to eat lunch. My goal is to stop talking down to my body. To stop complaining about my face or my hips or my thighs when I'm standing in front of the mirror. My goal is to love my body and to feel good in it. To feel strong and capable. To be proud of my body for bringing three amazing humans into this world. My goal is to take good care of myself so that my daughters will grow up to love and appreciate and take care of their bodies, too.

WHY: As a mom of three, I often put my own needs on the back burner. Some days, I don't have time for a decent breakfast or I forget to feed myself lunch. The most exercise I get is walking down the driveway to get the mail (we live on a farm) or lifting the double stroller in or out of the back of the van. I fuel myself with coffee instead of water, which gives me lots of energy in the morning but leaves me with a raging headache by afternoon.

More than ever before, I'm realizing how important it is to take care of myself. I've started paying close attention and I can tell that I am happier and feel better when I have started the day with a decent meal instead of something sugary (or nothing at all). I don't get headaches when I get a full night's sleep or drink water throughout the day. Everyone is happier when we get outside and get some exercise. When I take better care of myself, I'm happier and less on edge. When I take care of myself, I'm a better mom. My kids deserve that mom all the time.

THE PLAN: My husband and I have committed to 30 days of clean eating, starting next week. For a month, we will not be eating sugar, dairy, wheat and a few other things. We don't eat hardly any processed or junk foods, but I know I'm addicted to sugar, dairy and wheat. I'm eager to see how my body feels without those things in my system. (Will I feel less bloated? Will my headaches go away? Will I see an increase in energy? I sure hope so.) We're going to give our girls less of those things, too. Obviously, this will take a lot of meal planning. I'm going to have to carefully write out my grocery lists to avoid my too-common, "Honey, can you grab some takeout?"

To stay healthy, I'm going to continue using essential oils. We've been using them for 6 months and they have made such a difference in our lives. I still have so much to learn! Cold and flu season is upon us and I want to do everything I can to keep sickness away so I can work on my goals and take care of my family.

I'm going to carve out time for myself. I am a firm believer that mental health totally impacts physical health. I'm going to treat myself more—get my nails done, take hot baths, date my husband, etc. Those things dramatically lower my stress, which will affect my overall health, too. (Stress gives me headaches and contributes to skin problems.)

Lastly, I'm going to do my best to stay active during these winter months. On nice days, I will bundle up the girls and go for a long walk on the trail. When we're cooped up inside and need to get out of the house, I'm going to find a way for us to get our bodies moving (yoga and dance come to mind).

THE CHALLENGES: There are about a million challenges, it seems. We live 30 minutes outside of town so running to the gym isn't as easy as it could be. I don't have childcare, either, which means I've got take my kids with me or work out when my husband is home, leaving us with very little family time. Like everything in else in my life, I've got to do a little creative problem-solving if I really want this to be the year of taking better care of myself.

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