Write yourself in the script darling.

You’re supposed to be the leading lady in your own life, for God’s sake!

– Iris from the movie “The Holiday”

Before summer even kissed us goodbye, I found myself visiting an old friend. The train was off track & I knew it. She knew it.

At some point in the conversation she asked, “What do you do for fun?”

“Oh I take pictures & I run my business. I enjoy it!” I answered easily.

She is a good friend & she is wise. She didn’t seem satisfied & tried again, slower. “What do YOU do for FUN?”

I started to draw a blank because I didn’t understand why my first answer wasn’t “right.”

I thought that my husband, my children, & my photography business were the things I did that made me feel fulfilled & content. I thought that missing meals & countless hours of sleep in the name of what I love were a sign of sacrifice & dedication. I thought that giving all of my energy away proved my commitment.

Then a few weeks passed & two more people asked me this question. People who were getting paid money to “help” me.
Perhaps there was something more to this little question…

I was not taking care of my body. I didn’t have free time. I didn’t have hobbies. I didn’t exercise. I didn’t take time to eat {good foods}. I wasn’t taking a moment each day to selfishly enjoy something of my own. I was a mess of tension & exhaustion, threaded together only by this ideal definition of sacrifice.

It wasn’t sacrifice really. It was stupidity.

As much as I love all my roles {wife mother photographer} they aren’t meant to fill me… they drain me daily.
I’ve learned that I am actually better at all of these things if I add myself to the script.
If I take the time to nourish my own needs, I have so much more to contribute to the other roles in m y life.

The biggest & most consistent change I’ve made is that I go to the gym or get some kind of exercise four-five days a week. After Damian was born, I didn’t take the time to lose the weight & actually ended up gaining some {it’s embarrassing to admit that!}. Even though I know my way around flattering self portraits, I frequently get asked if I’m pregnant & I have all but retired most of my pre-baby #2 wardrobe. Although I feel so much stronger than when I started working out, I’ve only lost about eight pounds. I’m not at the point where I can fit into my old jeans, but this lifestyle change seems like the kind that will eventually get me there.
I’m all for “eventually.” Especially if it means I stop the yo-yo routine I’m so familiar with.

Yesterday I made this Pinterest recipe of Jillian Michaels’ weight loss diet drink. It wasn’t as bad as I feared because the cranberry juice adds a pretty color & I have an fondness for lemons. I don’t believe that it will be a secret weight loss weapon… I have no expectations for it to work a miracle. Eating less cupcakes {self control}, drinking more water, & making my body move are the keys to the changes I want to see.
However, filling this pretty jar is a good way to stay inspired & reminded to drink plenty of water.
It also smells so very good.

Darling, even if your name is on your business, it doesn’t mean that it’s supposed to take care of you.
Only you can do that for yourself.
– Andrea ♥

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  • Melanie - March 14, 2012 - 8:20 pm

    I love this, Andrea. And I can totally relate at this point in my life. As much as I enjoy my kids and husband, I was (untill very recently) the one sitting on the side lines watching. I just didn’t have the energy. Until I started drinking two 50 ounce bottles of water a day, quit eating junk food, and started exercising, I didn’t understand why I always felt to tired. More than that, I was distracted, stressed, unnerved. But, since I’ve started taking some time to myself and doing things that make me feel good, I’m beginning to enjoy the parts of my life that I love most, even more. I wish you luck in your endeavor, and motivation and stamina. The biggest hurdle for myself will be sticking to these new changes. And in that, making mine and my family’s lives better.

  • Andrea - March 21, 2012 - 8:11 am

    Melanie, thank you for sharing! I completely agree, even feeling less tired + more energetic is reason enough to eat better & exercise a little! Even if losing weight wasn’t part of the equations 🙂

    Anything that helps us & our families is such a win win!

  • Echo - April 9, 2012 - 9:49 am

    What a beautiful reminder 🙂 I know exactly how you feel!

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