100 lb. Club - How do YOU put you first?

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11-30-2007, 09:53 AM
I have heard so often that woman need to put themselves first. How do YOU do it? or do you?

I have a good size family - husband that works full time, and goes to school - 3 kids, and I work part time.

How do I know if I'm putting me first? and should I at this stage of my life? How do you balance things?

Do you put yourself first? Isn't it amazing how the grass is always greener on the other side? When I was single I thought family life would be so easy. Some days I think about those single days and think how lucky I had it and didn't realize it. Not that I want to change anything in my family - but man, I could use a break!

How do you make yourself a priority? You've heard the old phase - if momma ain't happy - nobody's happy! :)

11-30-2007, 09:57 AM
Hi Dana,

I'm not so sure that its a matter of putting myself first as much as making myself an equal priority. I am no longer willing to sacrifice my health and well being to satisfy the needs of my family. I've found that they are actually quite capable of doing more for themselves and more around the house than I ever really imagined. Maybe, it was more a matter of me wanting to validate my importance in their lives by trying to do everything myself? I know that I'm now much more relaxed which makes everyone much more happy.

11-30-2007, 10:02 AM
I agree, learning to delegate is a big thing - along with lowering my standards when it comes to the house. I have always been a "do it myself so it gets done right" kind of person. But I've had to learn to let go of some control and let others do some things. And amazingly, they are very willing to do it. If it's not done the way I would do it, I have to tell myself, at least it's better than not being done at all.

11-30-2007, 10:40 AM
I think becoming healthy is putting me first . Now when I buy food, I make sure it is healthy. I used to not buy myself healthy dinners ect..( the family eats meat, I don't), so I would end up hungry at night and eat junk, now I plan for the week, what I am going to eat and make sure I have something for myself to eat, and I do buy something extra, if the family is eating lets say, chicken, I will buy salmon, or veggie burgers, ect.. Yes it is expensive, buying meals for myself, but I know I am worth it!!! I also make sure I have the time to exercise, if the kids are home from school, I tell them I am exercising at this time, and if you need something, tell me now , because I will not stop what I am doing for you. I think this train of thought has helped me alot with loosing weight.

11-30-2007, 10:51 AM
I don't have any kids BUT...

I have a husband who works full time and often more than full time (this week he has been working somewhere around 80 hours)

I have 2 cats and 1 dog. I need to spend time playing with the cats and I need to spend time walking the dog and getting her some activity.

I work full time although in a much less demanding job than my husband but sometimes I do have to work lots of hours.

I really see it as making my family as a whole a priority.

I do grocery shopping for healthy foods for my husband and myself. I try to cook healthy foods for my husband and myself. Beyond walking my dog, which happens every day, I try to get in some other form of exercise in as well, weights and/or elliptical. I see it as me being healthy only helps my family and helps myself. Unfortunately it doesn't always happen because I prefer to have my husband home if I'm exercising, that way he can spend time with the furbabies. Sometimes, especially with leg workouts, I can intermix playing with my dog and doing my workout so I will sometimes do that.

On the weekends, we try to make an effort to run errands, take the dog to the dog park, play with the cats, do laundry, etc. My husband tends to do the dishes and some cleanup which helps a lot. Even after being at work for 12 hours yesterday, he fit in time walking the dog, exercising and doing the dishes.

11-30-2007, 10:52 AM
It's hard for me to put myself first, but I do understand how important it is. I have a husband and two children (ages 6 and 2), and they keep me incredibly busy. However, when it comes to my health, it's not only for me, but for them as well.
When I go to workout, that's my time. I go into my room, shut the door, and will not be bothered. I look at it as doing something for myself that will also benefit my family.
In 17 days, I will be hopping on a plane to Las Vegas...without my husband, without my kids; just me and my girlfriends. I feel guilty about it, I've cried about it, but at the same time....I deserve this! More than that, I feel like I NEED it. We cannot be good caretakers of our families if we aren't good caretakers to ourselves and our own needs.

11-30-2007, 10:54 AM
Wow Nelie - you really love your pets! They are so lucky to have you as parents!

11-30-2007, 11:22 AM

11-30-2007, 12:47 PM
thats halarious, its now my background

11-30-2007, 01:03 PM
Dana, while I agree with what everyone has said, I have to tell you that I think it is one of the hardest things in the world. I have 2 active kids, a husband who owns his own business, a mini-ranch with different animals, and a full time job. I KNOW that I need to make exercise and dieting a priority, but it is still a struggle. I have lowered the bar so much on my standards of a clean house, it is crazy! But, that is where I make the cuts. We keep it somewhat clean, but if it gets a little cluttered sometimes or maybe needs to be vacuumed, I don't sweat it.

However, there are so many other things that can fill that time, it doesn't leave a lot of down time. So, no big tips from me, but do the best you can to give yourself the gift of feeling better and staying healthy. I have altered some of my ideas of "spending time with the kids". Now we go out and work on whatever sport they are working on or we go walking. They have been great about it and actually look forward to our time together. Sometimes we don't eat dinner until 8:00, but we have a lot of fun and get some good exercise.

11-30-2007, 01:28 PM
I think I also try and just make myself "just as important" as everyone else. I only have 1 at home, but we both work full time and have 2 animals.

I pamper me by getting my nails done once every 3 weeks. I go to Bunko once a month and I have lunch with a friend once a month and dinner with another once a month.

As far a being healthy, I go to water aerobics twice a week from 6:00 - 6:45. Right smack in the middle of everything, I just go. Sometimes it's really hard to go, but I know that Jacob would rather have me around for many more years and have me gone 2 hours a week.

Food prep doesn't really take away from anything but the TV, so there is no real sacrifice there.

11-30-2007, 03:25 PM
I have always put myself dead last, and am just now trying to make myself equal. I have not bought myself clothing beyond the walmart sales rack since I had my daughter almost 6 years ago! I decided not to join the Y because I put the kids in the best gym in our area for gymnastics instead--$90 a month, we can't afford the Y as well. It goes on and on, I just have let myself go to rags while my 2 kids walk around in the expensive clothes, getting about everything they want. I give them all my time, and would stop whatever I was doing whenever they wanted me...but NO MORE!

It is really hard to go from a people server to someone who looks after herself equally...at least for me, it's hard. I sat down a couple nights ago and wrote down a reward package that I will get myself when I reach my goals--10%, 20%, 30%, 40% of starting weight, and then goal weight. At first I couldn't put anything down on the paper, thinking everything I wanted was too expensive to spend on myself. I suddenly decided that it's okay if it's expensive...I am going to work hard for it, and I will deserve it!!!!!! So what if the kids don't get even more clothing that they don't need at that time, I deserve some nice things, too!

So, my reward packages are really something I want now! I left spaces to add to them as I see specific things I'd love to have, printed it out and put it by the bed where I look at it every morning. My first package will have an MP3 player, a pair of jeans and an exercise outfit that fits nicely, walking shoes, a bag and wallet that I want from the mall, and I'll pick a rose bush that reflects this first phase of my journey. I have never gone shopping for myself, and I will probably feel guilty about this, but I'm going to do it! I deserve it!

11-30-2007, 03:29 PM
I have 3 kids as well Charbar. My hubby has his own business, in which I keep the books and make appointments, bookings, etc. I have my own small business that I run entirely on my own and now I work at a gym as well. I hear women all the time say that they don't have time to exercise or stand there and cut up vegetables all day and plan, plan, plan. If you want to badly enough and it's IMPORTANT enough, you don't necessarily HAVE the time, you MAKE the time. Periiod.

I don't know if it's that I put myself first, but that I made my HEALTH come first. That now my health/weight IS a top priority. Tippy, tippy TOP. I was terrified I wouldn't be around for my family. What good would I be to any one then? Now that I finally made me/my health, whatever you want to call it, numero uno or at least level with everything else, - I am waaaay better equipped to deal with my entire family, my household, my work, my EVERYTHING. I am way more productive. I get more done now in a typical day now then I did in practically a whole week before my weight loss. No actually much more. Because there were just certain things I could not do prior to changing my life around. I lacked the energy and the stamina. And there were just certain things that I wasn't capable of doing.

I wish I had known years earlier just how much more productive I would be a healthy weight. As good as you think it will be, let me tell you, it's even better. Way better. It's like nothing you can imagine. Same goes as to how much happier I am. The affects of my weight loss has trickled down into each and every area of my life. My family has benefited beyond belief from it.

If it's your family that you're concerned about harming by making yourself a top priority, let me ease your mind this very second. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING could be further from the truth. :hug:

11-30-2007, 03:52 PM
I think it is about being fluid and flexible. There will be times for mom and there will be times for the kids, but taking the time to make momma happy and healthy will not stop the world from going 'round. My motto (one of many mottos, actually!) is that I can do anything but I cannot do everything. That means that some things have to slide, but that is okay. It really is about setting priorities and making sure our own mental and physical health are considered a priority. It is about being flexible and seizing the chances that come up. It is about planning but also rolling with changes. And, for me, it is different every day. We all have the same number of hours in the day. I have 4 kids, a dh in school FT, and I work FT. Sometimes my house is clean, and sometimes it isn't, but we all have clean underwear and today I am going to vacuum and do laundry. I also went running, cause I really needed to. 45 minutes out of the day for MY health is not too much to ask or expect. I can only be the best ME if I am healthy inside and out.

11-30-2007, 04:14 PM
I have been sitting here reading all these posts and thinking. After having 12 kids, 2 husbands, 27 grandchildern Putting myself anywhere in front has been the hartest job I have had in years, but I am doing it slowly but surely, It realy is HARD, just to say No, I will not take you down the shop , or to your friends , find your own way, No, I do not know where your shoes are, go look for them yourself,in years passed I would get up and help do it, but have come to think that they like all family relie on mum, to know everything, and over the years have just become lazy. And I have let them get away with it.
Mary:carrot::carrot::carrot::carrot::carrot::carro t:

11-30-2007, 04:18 PM
Choosing to make my health a priority has helped in so many facets of my life. Now, I know that I will be exercising at a certain time. My kids all know that I will be exercising at a certain time. So, any requests that they have for my time must come before I exercise, and then we will plan accordingly. This has saved me from many of the last-minute grocery store runs for a field trip lunch, etc. that used to be a constant for me. I am certainly not "first" in the family, but my needs have become a priority for me. I have five children, including a child with autism, a husband with a demanding job (often 80+ hours a week), volunteer obligations, a sporadic contracting job, and part-time school. But, as Robin pointed out, I do so much better when I feel better physically and mentally. So, my needs are always factored in now.

The time I spend on my health is an investment that pays for itself in unlimited ways. Sometimes, it is inconvenient for my family. But getting up four times last night to medicate and comfort a sick child was pretty darn inconvenient for me too. But it was important, and it made me feel wanted and needed. Asking my children and husband to deal with inconveniences for my sake allows them to have those feelings, too.

11-30-2007, 04:24 PM
I have been sitting here reading all these posts and thinking. After having 12 kids, 2 husbands, 27 grandchildern Putting myself anywhere in front has been the hartest job I have had in years, but I am doing it slowly but surely, It realy is HARD, just to say No, I will not take you down the shop , or to your friends , find your own way, No, I do not know where your shoes are, go look for them yourself,in years passed I would get up and help do it, but have come to think that they like all family relie on mum, to know everything, and over the years have just become lazy. And I have let them get away with it.
Mary:carrot::carrot::carrot::carrot::carrot::carro t:

You mean kids in New Zealand don't keep track of their shoes either? :dizzy: This is truly an international phenomenon!

11-30-2007, 04:34 PM
I don't have kids, so I feel weird giving advice on making myself a priority LOL BUT!!! I did have someone say to me once "you know, people got along just fine without you and they will continue to get along just fine" LOL I was making myself way more important than I needed to be -- I just let folks do for themselves, they were empowered and independent, and I had more time and everyone's happy!!! yay for happy!!! :D

and as for DH he's amazing and adorable and pitched in like crazy - he doesn't wash the floor the way I would, but I praise him like he's painted the Sistine Chapel !!! it's done and I didn't have to do it :D

12-01-2007, 01:11 AM
Like many have already mentioned here, I don't think of it as "putting myself first" either...it's more a balancing act between filling the needs around me (my family) as well as the ones inside of me. Right now I am filled with an urgency to get and stay healthy. It's way high up on my list of priorities. So, I'm doing what I must do...for myself obviously, my health and my life, but I'm also doing it for my family. I have learned that the more I take care of myself, the easier it is to face the challenges of being a busy, working woman who happens to also be a wife and mother. I've been at the bottom of the heap when it comes to taking care of my needs and it's no fun down there.

Shy Moment
12-01-2007, 02:28 AM
I was the same kind of person. When I first started this journey going on 7 months ago. I stared with lots of lean cuisines. They cost money and they don't come cheap. OH WELL, the kids didn't need anymore of this and that. I was going to get for once, they could do without all the extras and they did. I walked around with holes in my socks for years so they could have new. I walked around with my feet getting wet because I needed new shoes so they could have new. Walmart racks, heck I was still wearing panties I had bought new when I was expecting my daughter 17 years ago and rolling the tops down because they were to big. Now they are 17 and 20 it was my time. There were no more movies, junk food, spurge money or odds and ends. For a few months every extra penny went to things for me to eat to learn new habits. I learned portion sizes, better choices of food and some self respect. Now I don't need those lean cuisines. I got a lot out of all that. I am the one the household centers around. From taking left behind homework to school for one of the kids to making 4 servings feed 5 when someones friend wants to stay for dinner. All my life everyone else came first. Now is my time. The kids are learning they are not the center of the universe and this is not bad. They also are finding mom is more happy and that makes them happy. Oh from time to time they want something and I say no and it makes them a bit mad but generally they are ok with it. When they see mom get a new shirt and how happy it makes her, they are happy for me.

I made the same mistake most people who grow up very very poor make. My kids didn't know what it was like to do without. Now they are seeing it is a give and take thing. Mom does without for them and they do without for mom. This can only be a good thing. Was it me that started these choices NO it was the hubby. When the doc said I could try to start losing weight since all the meds were pretty much out of my system and I said oh I want to get this weight off. He said, thats it. EVERYONE is going to do what has to be done so you can lose weight. His and their support has more value than any money in the world. It can't be bought, it can only be given freely with love.

12-01-2007, 08:52 PM
Thanks ladies for all the replies... it's not that I don't want to or don't think I deserve it (trust me, I deserve it) It's me.. being a martyr. And I have no reason to do this. It's kind of sick really. Like I'm trying to make up what I'm not giving them - a normal wife/mom. Really weird and sick.. boy, I need a therapist or something!

12-02-2007, 09:56 AM
I know that I still occasionally use my kids as a crutch for not doing what I need to do. Maybe that's part of it for you???? I used to buy foods that were "for the kids" that I couldn't keep away from. Now, I sometimes feel guilty when I don't buy them those things, but I know they don't need it anymore than I do. I also have been known to play the "I can't exercise because the kids need me to..." game. Dr. Phil talks about the "payback" for behaviors we can't seem to stop. Maybe the martyrdom provides you with excuses, etc. I know that when I properly prioritize and organize my time, I can do all of the important things for my kids without jeopardizing my own health. (However, that does not mean that my kids think that they always get everything they "need.") It's tough, and I know that whatever it is that's causing you to struggle, you will find a solution.

12-02-2007, 10:18 AM
I make my time at the gym my time to focus on me--I have my favorite music on my mp3 player or a good book to read if I am on the bike. Unless I am on call for work, the cell phone stays in the car. I make a conscious effort to just focus on what I am doing--not trying to problem solve work stuff or home stuff...easier said than done some days.

I also try to treat myself to getting my nails done every month or so.

I try to find new, healthy recipes for my husband and I to try.

I am trying to delegate more at home as well as learning to say "no" to invitations when we are just too over-booked already.

Probably my favorite of all is every night I spend time snuggled up w/ my dogs--I think they look forward to this as much as I do--they 'come to get me' if I am taking too long--have I mentioned that they are VERY spoiled dogs?! Sitting w/ them all curled up is a great way to relax every night!

12-02-2007, 11:13 AM
Wow...you ladies are brilliant. You said everything I was going to say!!! ;) ;)

I will add, though, that I LOVE Purples reward packages....LOVE 'em! What a wonderful idea...I usually limit myself to clothes (You know, the few times I deserve a reward).

Also, Dana, try to think about what you ARE giving your kids instead of what you are not...
-Making them find their own shoes (an international problem :dizzy: ...but still)
-Making them remember to do and put away their homework
-having them pick up after theirselves
-Having them HELP clean the house
-Having them do their own laundry (yep, I do! but they are 13 or older):o
-Whatever else I cannot think about at this hour on a Sunday morning...!
All of these things teach responsibility and it is not cruel or unusual punishment (the punishment would be waking them up early to pull weeds...or whatever they hate the most).
Anyway, best of luck to you, girl...get this wrapped up in your mind and you will do awesome!