About a month ago I started making some changes. But before I tell you about them let me fill you in on how my life ran prior to about 4-5 weeks ago.

Chris and I got married in September of 2004 and moved to Spokane, WA where I got hired to coach the Gonzaga Women’s Lacrosse Team (it was club but it was at the college level and pretty competitive). Unexpectedly I got pregnant with Bailey in October so by the time my season of coaching was over I was 8 months pregnant. Coaching and hugely pregnant was NOT easy! BUT throughout my pregnancy I ran with my team, worked out and was super active because when you’re in and around athletics all the time you want to be fit.

Then I had Bailey, I quit coaching, I got pregnant with Parker, we moved home, Parker was born, I got pregnant with Gray and well… I stopped working out, stopped running and started doing what I needed to survive with three babies super close together. For me that meant a crap load of caffeine. And I really only like fountain soda so multiple times a day I was driving to QT for a soda or begging Chris to go get me one. For about five years I was averaging 3-5 hours of sleep a night between three kids and pregnancies and nursing and work. Because of course right in-between Parker and Grayson I started my photography business and would stay up all hours of the night editing.

My habit was one of necessity and I am not ashamed of it at all. For the most part I don’t think you could tell I was running on fumes, I wasn’t super grumpy and I handled my no sleep better than I think most people could. But the constant caffeine and sugar rush those Mountain Dews were giving me certainly helped!

In the last year since we bought our house (it’ll be one year at the end of June! I can’t believe it!) my life started to even out. Grayson was out of diapers, the kids all sleep through the night mostly (illness, potty, etc. gets them up occasionally still of course), we were settled, etc. But since I was working two jobs I was still needing to stay up pretty late editing/emailing/blogging/etc. for Fresh Art. In April when I stopped working for my parents that all changed too. Suddenly I had daylight hours to devote to edits and running my business. And just a week or so in I realized that it was FINALLY time to start thinking about myself again. Because for the first time in years (probably 6 years) I had TIME to think about myself!

The first thing that needed to change was my soda in-take. It was extreme and after LOTS of encouraging pushing from my friend, Lyndsay, I knew it was horrible for me. But going cold turkey NEVER worked in the past so I wanted to try something different. I knew my habit wasn’t just the soda, it was the actual task of going to QT every day. My car would just drive there sometimes without me even thinking much about it! So for one week I went to QT every day but only once and I got iced tea/soda. Then for two weeks I stopped going to QT but allowed myself can soda at home. Then a little over a week ago I went caffeine free completely. I got a green tea yesterday and if we eat out I order iced tea so occasionally I get a bit of caffeine I guess but mostly it’s just water 24-7.

Realizing I had TWO habits to break and not just one was huge for me. Breaking the QT habit was just as hard (just not physically painful) as stopping soda so starting there I think is what has helped me finally kick the habit.

In the midst of this whole thing I started running/walking/jogging about 5 times a week also. And when I realized that I was moving towards being soda-free AND exercising again I thought it might be time to look at what I was eating and THUS began my BUT diet.

Here is the essence of the BUT diet: I only ran 1.8 miles BUT I didn’t walk today. I walked most of that run BUT I left my house and tried. I added chicken strips to my salad BUT at least I didn’t order the fries. I had a bagel for breakfast BUT at least I’m eating breakfast now.

Get it?

It’s about making small changes, things I can live with and celebrating them! I have never dieted before in my life (thus my chubby figure) because I know diets just fail. It’s about life-style changes. And I knew I would never lose weight without being ready to tackle some of those bad habits. So am I going to be perfectly thin? Probably not. But do I already feel 100 times better? Absolutely!

What’s funny is that all of these small changes are leading to bigger ones. My main goals during the day are to 1. get out for a run 2. drink lots of water 3. eat three meals a day and 4. no snacks after dinner. So with no caffeine or snacks to keep me awake late at night I’ve been in bed no later than 10pm lately! 9:30pm most nights actually! So without even thinking about it I’m now getting an awesome nights sleep! And THAT is making me a happier mom in the mornings.

I’m calling it a BUT diet because I know I’m going to fail here and there BUT as long as I keep trying it’s ok. The only thing I know I can’t go back to is soda. That is my crack so I’m really afraid that if I have one sip I’ll fall completely off the wagon! But everything else is a give and take. There are going to be nights when I need to stay up a bit later and a bowl of pretzels will help that. There are days I can’t get a run in or I eat a piece of cake. I have on real weight goals but I’m already down about 5-8lbs depending on the day/time I weight myself (YES I am breaking the number one dieters rule and have been weighing myself every day at random times… it’s fascinating to me to see how different the scale can be!). If I was being honest with myself I would guess that I would feel great if I was down another 10-15lbs but I’m not going there. Not yet. Right now I’m enjoying the small changes I’m seeing in my body and am just proud as hell that I was able to take these steps at all!

I’m not perfect by any means BUT I’m trying and that’s all the counts!

Bailey snapped a quick photo of me early this morning when I got back from my run. The teeny tiny changes I’m seeing already is a slightly flatter tummy (Chris noticed this one first!) and my face/neck looking a bit thinner. The parts I want to eventually start really working on? Losing inches off my waist so it’s not so thick still (I’m wide which bugs me) and toning my arms+thighs. I have no dreams of a rock hard stomach or having anything perfectly ripped. It’s been a month or so of small changes and about 10 days of absolutely no soda so I think I’ll continue to see changes… plus i signed up for a summer boot camp with a personal trainer which should help tremendously! SO excited about that!

I’m not sure why I decided to blog about this because it’s not like there is some amazing before and after (yet!) BUT I think I needed to write about where I am right now. This is huge for me. Huge. And while I’m not a size 6 (or even close to a size 10 yet) that’s ok. Right now I am so damn proud that I truly feel like I’ve kicked my soda habit to the curb! There were so many days/nights when I wanted to cave but I pushed past them and now it’s to the point that I don’t want to go back. Every day it gets easier.

Happy Monday everybody! Summer is nearly here (tomorrow is our last day of school!) and we have so many adventures planned! Have a great day!