“New Year, New Me Bullsh*t”

I cracked up when a friend sent me this meme. People love to hate on resolutions, don’t they? I’m the opposite though, I obsess over them and in a sick way I love being held accountable to specific goals.

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When I was a teenager, I got super emo about the new year. Once, when I was 16, my best friend and I drove up this crazy mountain road, early in the morning, where we parked and stared into the sunrise, huddled under blankets, rehashing all the things that seemed SO important over the past year. Author’s note: I cannot remember a single thing we discussed – not one – but I guarantee 98% of it related to boys we liked who did not like us back.

I have no idea why I put so much pressure on this day and my resolutions, but I’ll chalk it up to being an old soul.

Nowadays, New Year’s feels a little different. It’s a time to reflect, sure, but my focus is more forward-facing. Partially because #momlife is exhausting and there’s way less time to sit around just thinking about things (what a luxury that would be!), but also because I’ve learned that you don’t need the symbolism of a special day to make a change in your life. It doesn’t have to be a holiday or a new month or even a Monday, it just has to be your time. Maybe Groundhog Day resolutions are more your thing.

This past year I made a decision to take control of my health. It wasn’t a quest to be skinny or wear a size 2. It wasn’t following a special diet or training for a marathon. It was just a series of small changes and choices that I hoped would help me as a new mom. I was exhausted from sleeping in 3-hour intervals, constantly sick from daycare germs, stressed at a fulltime job and surviving on whatever sugary treat or caffeinated beverage I could find. When I made the choice to change, it was out of legit desperation.

Begrudgingly, I purchased Shakeology and the 21 Day Fix.

Begrudgingly, I started the half-hour workouts.

Begrudgingly, I began following the guidance for clean eating and balanced portions.

And then euphorically I saw the most amazing changes in how I felt. I had energy (without coffee!), my post-partum hair started to regrow. My immune system was back on track. I had new muscles.

ALL THE THINGS happened, my friends. No chemicals, no gimmicks.

If New Year’s resolutions are your thing, then go forth. Ain’t nothing wrong with any road toward positive change.

But if you’d rather skip the pressure and fanfare and just get some amazing results, I’d love to connect you to these products. They’re on sale all during January, they’re simple, and they work. Promise.

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#momlife

Being a mom is hard. 

Allow me to repeat myself: being a mom is HARD! 

And I think it’s hardest when we don’t feel our best; when we’re tired or moody or feeling like we are our own lowest priority.

I know because this was me as a new mom: working full time and exhausted and sort of awkward in my new identity. It wasn’t until I started taking small steps to focus on my health that I finally felt like “me” again. Nothing drastic or rash, just short workouts at home everyday, and smarter food choices. 

I did this surrounded by a community of supportive women and was so moved by the experience I now lead my own groups – and because I know how much this lifestyle can help mommas, I decided to make my next group a very small private one, just for moms. The group is free and I’ll provide support, meal plans, guidance for working out and overall motivation. 

If you’re reading this and any of it hits close to home, or if you’ve been waiting for a sign to get into better health, I’d be honored if you’re willing to trust me and jump into this journey with me. Send me a message or email (jesstaylor55@gmail.com). 

  

Non-glamorous self reflection

Over the years, I’ve derived my identity from a lot of illogical places: the size of my house, my title at work, the places I travelled. I was great at piecing together all the parts of a full life, but it was never all that fulfilling. I was sort of like a paint-by-number piece of art where from a distance I was pretty impressive, but up close things were messy and awkward.

You hear people say it takes losing everything to realize what really matters, or experiencing a rare sense of enlightenment to discover their true purpose. Whatever it looks like, being stripped down to your bare-bones self is a fast track to figuring out who you are.

For me, this didn’t occur after a magical yoga retreat or hike in the rainforest, it happened during maternity leave.

Forget all the pain and hormones and general madness (I’m serious, forget about it, or no one will ever reproduce again). Consider going from life with a 50+ hour work week, full social calendar and time to do whatever the hell you wanted…to the complete opposite. Once baby arrives, the very ways in which we’ve defined ourselves are snatched away, replaced overnight with this hard and amazing and Most Important Duty.

Color me clueless, but I couldn’t wrap my head around how to use a swaddle blanket, let alone the fact that I’d created and sustained a life. And the crying. Oh, the crying.

Adjusting to this new life can feel hard and sudden, no matter how much you thought you prepared. At first, you might fumble about in resistance, but you’ll surrender everything as you’re gently immersed into your new world.

This 12-week period was the most time in my entire life I spent alone. And while I wasn’t really alone (come on, I was with the baby! I could text! I was occasionally awake when my husband was!), there often was no one to talk to, and summer in Phoenix meant I was pretty much on house arrest. It was me, the baby and my thoughts.

When you take away everything you’ve used to build your identity, you spend a lot of time realizing what parts of yourself you like and those you less than like. You get to live in this distraction-free bubble where you can peer out at how you’ve been living your life “out there” and see if you want to change anything.

Glamorous enlightenment? Not really. But just as effective and no sweat lodge required.

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