About Me (Mommy Mels)

A list of cliches? Or self-love? Or both?

Many self-help books ask you to look inside yourself to fix your issues.  That may be true, but either way- I always go back to the gas-mask analogy from airplane flights – You put it on before giving it to your child.

The other day, I gave my son my protein shake before I drank it which is hysterical for two reasons: I was worried – should I be taking care or myself first?  And are mine the only children that love and ASK FOR protein shakes?

After some deep thought recently, I’ve realized I am really lacking in self-love.  The result of this has been a conscious out-of-balance soul and some serious brain fog.  Currently, I’m taking steps to become re-balanced.

The first thing I did was start seeing a life-coach.  We’ve met once but it was a powerful meeting. I told her I don’t even know where to start in terms of finding balance and peace. I’ve come a long way but she was very surprised by my story.  I told her I’m over the shock of the road my life has taken, but that I’m still rebuilding and I’m not sure where I am anymore in terms of what direction next?  We discussed my goals and she noted that my goals are not short, measurable and obtainable.  This is insane because it’s exactly the opposite of what I teach my students AND do for a living.  I had some serious goals in Jan/Feb/March- none of which I accomplished because they were too broad and unattainable given my lifestyle and responsibilities.

The thing she said that resonated the most was that we can “control two things in life: our thoughts and our reactions.”  I have come a long way with my reactions because I get daily practice with my ex.  My thoughts, however, are still not controlled. I want to get out of my head and control my thoughts.  I am beginning by writing them down.  This allows me to look over my thoughts and recognize and processes which are irrational.  I have a lot of irrational thoughts- some of them about being a good mom (or not) and some about how I treat my body (or not).  Time to make a change here.

My brain fog is back from last spring as well… which is honestly debilitating.  I was beginning to write it off as something from allergies but after doing some research, I think it’s a result of diet and coffee.  For someone as neurotic about their body as me, I’ve been treating it like trash.  Instead of meal prepping, I’ve been grabbing whatever is in the fridge.  I am not eating things that are necessarily bad for the average individual, but for example, I had a piece of pizza for lunch the last two days.  That is too many processed carbs and refined sugar for me.  Makes me feel bloated and [I think] gives me a headache. I have also been drinking 3-4 cups of coffee a day, which is insane.  I get 8-9 hours of sleep a night and there’s no need for me to drink that much coffee.  I’m really ready to make small changes that will lead to big results…so cliche, and yet so true!

So what are my small changes/goals?  I want to stop weighing myself at the gym because my body is solid and my weight doesn’t reflect my body fat.  I literally have no idea what my body fat and weight should be.  I’m going to look into have it measured at the Y. (Add that to my to-do list- Thank you AK White for the tip!)

I am also going to start drinking lemon water in the morning because my friend Megan told me it has made her feel amazing.

My self-love plan:

1. Write down my thoughts- especially the negative ones.  Then I can look back and re-frame them in a positive way- the way I would to a friend whom I love, hense: self-love.

2. Cut down on my coffee intake to 1-2 cups/day and replace 2 with lemon water/apple cider vinegar (mother) /BCAAs mix

3. Keep alcohol use to a minimum and only on the weekends

4. Cut out refined carbs (pizza- no, Mel.)

5. Keep track of the things that make me feel good about myself: being mindful with my children, wearing pink lipstick and nail polish, for example.

6.  Embrace happiness- I have a lot to be thankful for.  My children are beautiful and healthy, I have been blessed beyond belief by my parents and friends/extended family, and I am healthy and successful in my career- to name only a few.

So this looks like a lot, but it’s really 3 small diet changes (although they will be challenging) and three mental changes.  I am not going to “keep track” in the traditional sense, but I’ll keep notes in my “NOTES” book Kate gave me for Christmas and check in in a month- around Mother’s Day- one of my favorite days of the year: ) That is how I will measure my goals.  My goals are obtainable because they’re small changes and short because I’m going to “check in” in a month… less pressure with a “check in.” Stay tuned, friends…


Oh and I almost forgot: Coach Cristal on IG also gave me some serious motivation for making some changes.  Check her out too:

View this post on Instagram

Some people think making changes is hard (and it can be) but I think staying the same is harder.🙌 I'm thankful I committed to becoming a healthier and better me.💕 In that first photo : the green drink in my hand is a store bought green smoothie loaded with sugar and probably no vitamins, and then I added vodka to it.🙈 I was most likely convincing myself that the 'green smoothie' made it healthy. Ha! Who was I kidding?😂 There was also an energy drink next to me in this photo but you can't see it. And chances are, I had drugs in my system as well. I treated my body like shit back then. And because of that, I felt like shit too.💩👎 No energy, poor digestion, brain fog, you name it I was probably dealing with it. But I just kept living life like that for awhile. Only looking forward to the next party.🍹🍸🍻 It makes me sad looking back and thinking that my life was ever like this and that I actually treated my body like a garbage can.🗑 But I guess some of us just need to get to that point when enough is enough🙅 and that's what happened to me a few years ago when coaching showed up in my life. The Universe is always bringing us exactly what we need when we exactly need it.✨ I'm glad I listened.🤗 Now thanks to coaching I have daily accountability for my health and fitness, + personal growth, and I am surrounded by a supportive tribe of badass women bettering their lives too.👭 Could I have become healthy without coaching? Well sure I could have…but I know for me having that ongoing support from the coaching community has been life changing.💗💗💗 👉Always here if you want to chat ladies about my joining my next virtual bootcamp to crush your health and fitness goals, or about bizzznassss if you want to learn about coaching.😘 #HealthIsTrueWealth 🌿 #TransformationTuesday 💪 #FitBlissTribe 🦄

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About Me (Mommy Mels)

Evolving

Ali Kate called me out last weekend for not blogging anymore… I remember asking her what she wanted to read about-but not her response.  I found my voice as I was scrolling through my own Facebook page instead of getting ready for work this morning.

It’s insane to me how much we can evolve in one month.  My last blog post was right after I returned from a trip to see my best friend in Boston. The trip must have really been a reset for me because I feel like I’ve changed so much in one month.

In terms of my diet, I’m “cutting” and eating a lot less- ridiculous amounts of protein still.  Struggling to get all of my workouts in because I’m so busy with my little guys and my social life.  Not complaining.

I have been spending my time doing things that suit me the best.  I had dinner this week with all of my best friends, celebrating my #1 not once, but twice this week.  Meeting new people,  getting baby boy hair cuts, catching up with old friends,  embracing professional development opportunities at work, focusing on and getting to the beginning of the forth and final marking period.  Dating a little … : )

What I have left behind is any traces of negativity from my old life.  I sold my house last week which was the final transaction in my marriage.  I omit my ex from my life as much as possible because we still have some raw negative feelings towards each other.  I try to omit him from conversations although I guess some wine may bring that up from time to time. I get along well with his girlfriend so we do most of the communicating.  I have also omitted anyone who brought negative energy to my life.  My new life was a gift and I don’t have time to have anyone threaten that for me.  We will evolve.  Not everyone evolves with us…

I am constantly reminded of the people who have evolved with me and the immense support I’ve received from them.  The lead secretary calls me “gorgeous” when she is looking for me- not because she thinks I am- but because she at school loves how all of my things call me “beautiful” or “gorgeous.”  My lunch bag from my sister-cousin says “you’re beautiful, don’t change.”  My coffee mug from Katy/Boston bestie says “Hello Gorgeous.” These are some of the things that symbolize the support I’ve received throughout the last year.  It took me a year to get through the mess but I’m through it and past it and life is beautiful.

Happy Friday, friends.

About Me (Mommy Mels)

Plot Twist

I have found myself in a serious diet/fitness rut.  I had total break through at the park in terms of my muscle growth but I’m still feeling bored.

My original plan was to “bulk” through the end of February, then maybe March since I don’t feel like I’ve put on any serious muscle weight… but then the inevitable happened during bulking and I feel strong, but fluffy.  I know that I’m not, but what happened was, I got bored and kinda quit my bulking in the 7th-8th week.  In order for bulking to work, I needed to lift all compound movements in the gym, cut out cardio, and eat at least 180-200 g/protein a day.  I also needed to eat clean in general.  I did this successfully for around 8 weeks.  Today is 2/22 and I can’t take it a day longer!  I need to either start my next phase today, or just screw it until March 1.  I have decided to compromise and give myself until Monday 2/27.  Diets always start on Mondays, right?  Ha! The GREAT news is that on my first run in 3-4 months, I realized that all the work I put in paid off because I ran 2.5 miles effortlessly.

I was a runner before having children and the pregnancies seemed to ruin my hips and back.  I’ve come back from the back injury from my first but my hips still kill me from #2.  Religious foam rolling helps.  I am also about as finicky about running as I am about food/men/wine/life in general.  I loathe running with a stroller, but I still will if I need to… I refuse to run in the bitter cold and I also refuse to run on a boring treadmill.  That being said, in November, I could barely run 2 miles without stopping about every .5-.7 miles to breathe! It was terrible.  I signed up for a 5 K with my girls in May so that I had something small to work towards.

I don’t need to worry about running because it turns out that all the muscle work I’ve done since December made it no feat for me.  It feels amazing.  The best part is that in order to cut, I need to add cardio and thanks to Global Warming, I can start now!  I only have about 2 days a week that I can run but that works.  I add cardio in other ways at the Y.

My diet is going to go back to about 1850 calories on “off”days and at least 2000 calories on days I work out. I will probably just cut out carbs during my lunch and replace them with veggies.  Everything else will stay, especially my protein intake. Someone asked me about macros and this is a great article:

Macros Info

I am still planning on starting my cutting diet on Monday 2/27 and so excited to start a new exercise regime. It is going to consist of more cardio, weekly yoga, and lifting more isolated movements. 

Monday: 2.6 mi run, yoga 

Tuesday: chest day, 16 min stepper (HAM intervals) 

Wednesday: back day, 16 min cardio

Thursday: 2.6 mi run  and shoulders

Friday: legs

Saturday: arms 

Sunday: off

FF to Saturday the 24th and I’m headed to Boston for the weekend. Very excited to see some amazing people who have been rooting for me in my journey. Life is so beautiful (side note). I am not going to worry about my diet at all this weekend because I don’t let food or anything for that matter, life. This weekend is about coming back to myself and reconnecting with amazing friends I haven’t seen in years… a perfect plot twist. My best friend of 19 years is always good for that… a little prelude to our 20th anniversary celebration vacation next year. Cheers to besties, babies, and hard work that pays off! 


Ready for take off! 

About Me (Mommy Mels)

My Birthday Related Post…

Per request of one of my biggest fans- my Heather.  What is so beautiful about this birthday is where I am today, compared to last year.  Although I’m a HUGE proponent for breastfeeding- I no longer have a baby on my boob which makes for a different birthday all together! Instead of a short, stressful time away from my kids,  I’m headed to D.C. over the weekend to spend time with my FAVORITE people, my family.

My extended family and I are very close.  My cousins are more like siblings and my aunts and uncles are surrogate parents.  Well- I’ll give it to my mom’s youngest bro and his amazing wife- they’re a little too young to be my parents but the support me and my children have received from them is a HUGE reason I was able to get through last year.  My family came to my house and packed it up FOR me.  I had a 3 month old baby and was in no state of mind to even wrap my head around that task.  I’ll be the first to admit that I had to be forced to do things last year because I only felt capable of going to the Y and home, and sleeping when my kids slept.  It was rough.  But then the sun came back out and if it we’re for my family it would have been dark a lot longer.  When my mom was sick, my aunt sent her an ENORMOUS bouquet of flowers the week of every treatment.  Everyone made meals for us and did all they could to help us make it through that rough summer.  So when I was asked what I wanted to do for my birthday this year, I said I wanted to spend time with those beautiful babies and my family.  I am so blessed, SO BLESSED to have family.  We’re actually clannish, as my mom says.

I am also so pleased that I’ve been able to inspire and help some who have read my blog.  I feel a moral obligation to share my story because it is a beautiful one, and I’ve said many times that had no one shared with me- I’d still be lost.  This story has brought me so many gifts in the form of friends and relationships.  This year is going to be another year of growth- but big girl growth this year.  I’ll have my own house again that I am going to make and keep beautiful for my boys. I also have some amazing trips coming up- to see my bestie in Boston and celebrate Kelly in Vegas…

Don’t get me wrong- I still have my moments… it’s hard as hell to feed and bathe and get two kids in bed alone… but my heart is so full.

Here’s me, on my birthday, spending time with some of my other favorite people before it’s mommy time…

About Me (Mommy Mels)

The Other Side

When I moved home this time last year, I was a shell of a woman. A small part of me was relieved that I was out of such a terrible marriage… but most of me was torn and heartbroken. My best friend, Jessica, had a similar experience the year (to the day) before. She looked at me – many times- and said, “I can’t wait to see you on the other side- you will get there and it will be so amazing.” She believed in me and if it weren’t for that, I’m not sure I’d be where I am today. I saw this recently from Mrs. Obama and thought about the friends I have and how blessed I have been:


Jessica has been the one to hold my hand and lead the way though this entire experience. Unlike my back and forth- she was able to flip the switch when her ex headed to Coocooville.  She has never judged me for the back and forth, but has held my hand and pulled me out of it.

She has also taught me that “everyone has their shit.”  While Jessica has kept a life-long list of Mel quotes on her phone, I have managed to keep some good Jess quotes in my head.  She’s completely right, everyone has their shit.  For us, it was a new normal without a husband.  For others, it may be a very sick child.  She brought this idea up when I met her beautiful friend who’s child had to battle cancer at a very young age.   A woman I work with lost her mother this fall and her husband has recently suffered from a stroke.  No one has a free ride down easy street.  That is what makes us whole.  It’s hard sometimes because some of our friends appear to have the easy street paved, but life is long and they will have “their shit” at some point too.  When that happens, I will be prepared to help them and guide them.  I reached out to the teacher at my school and let her know that I was “on the other side” of one of those “life changing years that test your humanity” and she will find it too.  I also let her know that I will help in any way I can to keep her workload in order while she is out.  Everyone has their shit.  In other words, we all have our battles.  If we’re lucky enough, we have a friend to lead us out of it.

This woman is so amazing that she reminded me it was the “anniversary” of our liberation.  I haven’t thought much about my progress because I have court next week and I’m just hoping to be legally emancipated from my ex.  I haven’t even given myself credit for the fact that I made it a whole year in a world that I once described would be “my worst nightmare.”  It’s been an amazing year of growth and now I’m looking forward to some really incredible things.  I still have my moments when I take my anger out on my ex for having to share my children with him but I can honestly say that I am over him.  I have zero feelings for him and I can finally see (or see what I was lacking to see) when I think about my life with him.  There is nothing to be heartbroken over.  I am on the other side.

Many times when people get divorced they mourn the loss of their family.  I am so lucky that I even have one!  I have the most beautiful little boys on Earth and they are so in love with me that they actually fight over me now.  I hold them tight and say “group hug” and remind them that there are three of us and we have to share each other- and how incredibly lucky are we?!

There are numerous reasons I started this blog, but one very important reason was to share my story in hopes that it helps others-either today, or down the line at some point.  I have reached out to many people in my life that have shared their stories with me and those stories have helped me to stay focused and always have hope in my darkest moments.  There are three women in particular who have paved the way for my healing and growth.  Each have been through a divorce and have showed me that it is not the end of the world, only the end of the life you thought you knew…but the BEST life is the one you wait for patiently.  I still have a road a head of me in terms of rebuilding my life but the worst is certainly behind me.  Thank you ladies- and thank you Jess for all of our celebrations and being my friend who walks a head of me and leads the way through to the other side.  It really is beautiful.

About Me (Mommy Mels)

Homage to my mother

I’ve been waiting for the right time to pay homage to my mother, who has been a true savior and partner in my mecca.

Yesterday, my mother posted her first picture of herself since she was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma. It made me think- when I have people tell me what a strong woman I am, I appreciate it and I am humbled by it because I feel like I just do what I have to and I’m not sure that makes me strong.  I also struggle with weak decisions I’ve made since my separation a year ago- but I’m working through it.  Mostly, I think, how can I be considered strong since  my actions pale in comparison to my mother’s?

Aside from a lifetime of achievements in her education, career, and role as a wife and mother, my mom (and wonderful, generous, loving father) took my children and I in without hesitation a year ago.  She gave us a place to live, and fully financially supported us when my spouse would not.  I took a leave of absence for the whole year to take care of my baby so I didn’t have many employment options at the time.

On June 10th, my mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma.  She shed 1 tear, and that was only as a result of the fear of the unknown.  From the moment she was informed by the doctors what her journey would look like, she took on this burden with dignity.  She went out a bought a wig when she still had hair so she could get something similar.  Although she didn’t let us take pictures of her bald-self, she embraced it.  She also never complained about the pain.  She would go to chemo and lay in bed for two days but get up every second she could to sit and play with my boys.  She would hold my baby in her arms even though she was afraid he’d punch her in that despicable port protruding from her chest. When my mother would come home from chemo, she would talk about the lessons she learned from the others around her.  At the Helen Graham center, everyone, with all types of cancer, receives the treatment in the same room and on the same tri-weekly schedule.  There was a woman my age with her husband who was always at her side and my mom was heartbroken at the idea of someone so young having to endure such an ordeal.  There was another woman, older and on medicaid, who had to take the senior bus from Kent County to receive her treatment.  This poor woman would wait for hours both for the bus and on the bus to receive her treatment.  One day she was denied treatment because her white blood count was too low.  This poor woman had to wait hours for the senior bus to return-only to have to make the trip again the next day.  My mom suggested to her that she ask to have the blood work taken locally so she doesn’t have to make unnecessary trips to Newark.  She listened to my mom and was able to save herself the headache 3 weeks later.

My mom is now in full remission and the last I heard- contemplating whether to return to work with a wig or not.  She has worked through this entire ordeal but took the last week off to spend it with us.  It is remarkable to me how beautiful she still is.  She has aged so gracefully and not added a day from cancer.  She is very cognizant of the fact that she received the “better” of the cancer diagnoses one could receive and the much “better” deal than others have been dealt.

I suppose a weak Melanie could have stayed with a lazy, lying, cheating husband and this makes me strong- and I don’t doubt that I have immense strength- just that I am still growing.

What I am in awe of is the example I have set for me.  My growth game is strong, and my God, what an example I have.

 

 

About Me (Mommy Mels)

A little life progress

I had about 4-5 bad days recently. My ex is having his new girlfriend move in, and although I don’t want him, it still hurts. Not to mention, we still have unresolved issues going into our (hopefully) final divorce hearing next month. Yesterday I was on the phone with my best friend telling her that I’ve been trying so hard to get in a better place but I feel like I never will…  I stay busy, I work out daily and eat well, I have cut down on wine during the week, I journal, I blog, I track my finances… still feeling in the same spot though- still feeling as heartbroken as I was this time last year in the midst of trying to keep a family together that was suffered from the realities of infidelity.

Then something happened. In the middle of my workout yesterday I felt so much pain in my heart. When I got home, it didn’t feel much better. Kate told me to have a glass of wine, but even that didn’t appeal to me. So I went though the motions, held my boys tight, and went to bed. I woke up incredibly late and disheveled. As I was leaving for work I realized that I haven’t been hiding from my pain… I’ve been feeling it. That’s why I did this- the blog, the journal, all of it- I did all of this in order to find acceptance and I’ve been finally feeling the feel-feels. It’s gonna hurt for a while and I feel like I’ve finally accepted that. As a result, I feel better today. And not better in an “up way” or a manic way- in a very even keeled way. When you mask the pain and try to escape it- it catches up to you. When you face it, it begins to fade. A little mile stone. 

On the way to work I heard the song, “Shout Out to My Ex” and it was such a perfect tune for the morning. Check it out. 



🤷🏻‍♀️