I’ve been neglecting myself and I’m going to stop.

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Ripped Jeans and Bifocals will never become a fitness blog. You will not see pictures of me in spandex showing off my yoga poses or posts about my awesome new recipe for kale and spinach smoothies. Because no one needs to see that, ever and ew…spinach and kale.

But bear with me for a second.

2015 was a year of ups and downs for me but it was a year of writing success. My blog readership quadrupled and so did my social media following. I was published on The Washington Post (both online and in the paper), Woman’s Day, Scary Mommy, xo Jane, and a bunch of other places online. I became a regular writer for Babble and SheKnows and I’m excited to be able to call myself a working writer.

But, I've been neglecting myself.

I was in three books…actual books I can smell…and please tell me someone else does that. I was cast in Listen to Your Mother: Austin and told my story of motherhood on stage…in front of people. I was honored as a BlogHer Voice of the Year and told another story of Motherhood on stage…in front of a lot more people.

I went to blogging conferences. I applied to bring Listen to Your Mother to San Antonio and my city was accepted. I worked in social media management. I joined the team of amazing women at Alamo City Moms blog and got pulled into a fabulous family of really cool cookies who live in my hometown.

If that sounds like I’m bragging…well, maybe I am a little bit. That’s an awful lot to accomplish and I have a right to be proud of it and to accept success without fear of sounding obnoxious.

But that’s not where I’m going with this.

Writing happens when I’m sitting on my ass. It requires a lot of brainpower which makes me feel like I’ve worked out but nope…writing happens when I’m sedentary. Sitting. Sometimes while eating all the peanut butter filled pretzel nuggets that are not healthy just because they came from Trader Joe's.

“I’ll go for a run after I finish this paragraph.”

“I want to take this one writing assignment…I can go to the gym later.”

“Let me just hop on Facebook real quick…”

I have prioritized writing ahead of a lot of things. I’m not going to say I’ve never blown off my family in favor of my laptop this past year…it’s happened, but for the most part, I’ve kept my family life pretty balanced. Aside from that whole neglecting myself thing.

It’s easy for me to blow off the gym. I can always find an excuse not to exercise and in 2015, my excuse of choice has been writing. I've been neglecting myself and I'm going to stop.

I have gained ten pounds.

Ten pounds might not seem like a lot but it was ten pounds on top of ten pounds I already needed to lose. I am 20 pounds over the number on the scale that makes me happy…and it’s not so much about numbers as the way I feel in my skin.

I feel like I’m in someone else’s body and I don’t like it. I am me but I'm not the best me I can be.

I'm going to stop neglecting myself|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals

I am somewhere between needing to learn to accept that my body is changing and needing to make self-care more of a priority. I know I can take those 20 pounds off. I also know that my body won’t be the same as it was three years ago when I was at my goal weight. I’m older. Softer. Squishier. Things aren’t a tight or as firm and without the help of a surgeon, they’re not going to be.

The number on the scale is important to me. So is the way my jeans fit. And so is the way I feel about my reflection when I see myself in the mirror. I believe in self-love (not that kind of self-love, but that’s okay, too) and self-acceptance but I haven't been taking care of myself like I need to.  2016 is the year to focus on self-care and wellness. And to try to learn to balance.

The “one word thing” seems to be a popular alternative to resolutions year. My “one word” is intentional. I'm going to think and do with more purpose and more balance…wait, was that more than one word? I was never a rule follower.

But I am going to move my body more…it's as good for my mind and spirit as it is for my waistline. I'm going to try and figure out this whole portion control thing. I am on the fence about the gluten free bandwagon. I am not intolerant and if the only two foods left in the world were white bread and macaroni and cheese, I think I'd be cool with that…but my belly doesn't feel good when I eat a lot of wheat. I need to figure all that out. I’m a relatively healthy woman and I’ve been active most of my life but I’m also in the throes of menopause and I take anti-depressants…both which are messing with my metabolism.

I’m not using the “D” word and I’m not making assumptions about what someone else’s level of body satisfaction should be…I only know what my own level of satisfaction is and I know what I can do about it. I get that whole “love the skin you’re in” sentiment, but right now, I am not my best me and I'm neglecting myself and putting my health and wellness pretty low on my list of priorities. And, there are things I can do to change that.

And so I will.

I'm active on social media. I have a pretty decent little blog following. Putting this out there is a total accountability move for me…and it's also scary. I hope it’s a “hey, me too” kind of thing as well. As moms and caregivers, I think putting ourselves last is all too common.

I want to hear from you. Are you struggling with body image? Do you have a tip for being healthier and happier? Do you have a fitness goal you want to share? A workout you don’t hate? I’m going to be doing fitness/wellness themed posts on and videos on Fridays. Maybe not every Friday, but a couple of times a month.

This topic is a little outside of the box for me but its part of my personal and parenting journey. I need to be healthier for me…and for my kids. And besides, I’m a little bit of a grouch when I don’t exercise regularly…it makes me feel better and I can think of no good reasons not to do it, other than laziness and bad time management. The writing isn’t going to slow down, at least not this year and I need to try and find a way to inject some more balance into my life…and to be a little bit more intentional in how I plan my time.

So, I’m putting this out here:

I hope you follow along and that we can all motivate each other to be our best selves…whatever defines that for you. Here we go.

I'm going to stop neglecting myself|Ripped Jeans and Bifocals

Here’s to being our best selves.

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  1. On the outside I don’t think I look much different, but for the last couple months I have been eating a lot of extra junk and not exercising as much. The result has been days of just feeling gross, so I can definitely relate! Now that my schedule has changed again I am able to get to the gym more frequently. I find when I exercise more regularly it also motivates me to eat healthier. I know I need to get back on track with things so I can feel my healthiest. I think it’s awesome that you are making yourself a priority, and look forward to hearing about your journey!

    1. Yeah…I think the first 10 pounds didn’t make that much of a difference and I didn’t worry about them too much…but the last few pounds from the last half of 2015 have made a huge difference in so many ways. And I totally understand that “gross” feeling on the inside.

  2. First of all, wow! What a year for you — Congratulations..because you accomplished ALOT. I am a new blogger and a bit new to the online writing world in general and so I truly do look up to you. I am excited to begin to follow you and happy that I found this blog through the link-up!

    Second of all, what an incredible and highly important goal for the year. Neglecting ourselves comes easily when there are so many other things on the go…what an encouragement to read that you are choosing to no longer do this. One of my goals this year is to stop neglecting my desire and love for writing and truly take the time to do this…which clearly you are great at. I love to write but often find myself doubting my abilities or my purpose in this area. So while this goal is quite different from yours, it is a way that I am choosing to no longer neglect myself either.

    Lastly, I love your word(s) of the year. My word(s) this year is ‘Focus’ – focusing on tasks in front of me, being in the moment, making goals and plans to accomplish and truly sticking to those.

    Be encouraged!!! You can do this! 🙂

  3. “I am somewhere between needing to learn to accept that my body is changing and needing to make self-care more of a priority.” That right there is exactly where I am, too. I’ll be following Jill! I need the inspiration.

  4. First, you certainly have had a successful year and I am so happy for you! Second, I totally get this. I am a bit younger and not yet hitting menopause (I don’t think), but I have gained 25 pounds in the last 20-ish months. I have joined the gym, had my thyroid tested and re-tested, tried going gluten-free (only lasted about a week) and nothing has made any difference. So, I am trying to find a balance between accepting where I am physically and still trying to be healthy/not just giving up.

    This might actually seem counter-productive, but one thing that has actually helped me is buying new, bigger clothes that actually fit. I put it off for a long time, but I finally got so sick of being uncomfortable all the time that I broke down and bought some new jeans. Not only did they feel better on my body, but I really fell like I look better wearing them rather than the too small ones that squeeze out my muffin top, etc. Like I said- seems counter productive, but it really did help me feel better.

  5. I can relate with ALL of this! (and that why I did my whole MoreMEin2016) I have just been neglecting to make the time to do the things that make me happy, and being fit makes happy.. for all the same reasons you mentioned. (and I am also currently in the +10 extra club.. they snuck on me so quick.. my pants were quick to remind me!)

  6. I have struggled with body image my entire life and every year when New Year’s Eve rolls around, I have always had an elaborate plan to tackle my weight loss. Many years I have said, “This is the year!” and wouldn’t you know it, I have failed time and time again. So instead this year, I am working on the inside in hopes that the rest will follow. I let myself get engulfed in motherhood the last two years, which is great, but I don’t want to lose the part of me that makes me a semi-decent mom. In fear I would start resenting my husband for how easy parenting is for him and how hard I work at it, j have decided to start carving out time for me. I have yet to do something big for myself, but knowing I can and that I will has made me happier than I have been entering a new year, ever. I look forward to seeing what this year brings for us both, but I just know you are going to rock it!

  7. I love your goal! It’s so tough juggling blogging, with exercise and all the other things we have to do. My advice is to find a type of workout that you absolutely love and schedule it in. If it’s in the calendar it’s more difficult to skip. It’s also a good thing to just be more active overall. Get one of those step counters and start pacing around the house. I wrote a post on staying fit while blogging. In that post I shared a simple workout to do right before you sit down at the computer. Do a number of squats, push-ups any time you jump on facebook. Before you know it, you’ll have completed 30 minutes worth of exercise broken up throughout the day! Good luck!

  8. These are some great goals! Find what activity you love and stick with it! I love Lindsey Brin Workout DVD and they can be pretty short 15 min or as long as you want. Congrats on all your hard work this year and may you find the balance of self-care this year!

  9. Hi Jill,
    Came to your blog through Jenny Lawson’s blog and this post really resonated. Like you I’ve had had a really successful year; but, like you there’s been a lot of sedentary stuff in that success thanks to a combination of knee surgery and, like you, a lot of writing. And, like you, I’m annoyed with myself; however, even with the holidays I decided to start moving and have already managed to lose a couple pounds in the last few weeks. (Although my youngest son heading up to the newly opened Dunkin’ Donuts yesterday to buy a dozen because he had a donut craving did not help.)
    So, my word is ‘forward.’ Kind of a no point of cryin’ over spilt milk, just figure what needs to be done and move forward with it. And hang in there and keep doing the good stuff!

    P.S. Speaking of menopause and depression, have you looked into HRT with your doctor. I was looking at so many issues when I headed into that territory that I realized the drugs to deal with all of them would probably cause more complications than the HRT. Although it’s certainly not a panacea for everyone, I know it’s been a godsend for me and, for now, is keeping me off off the hardcore drugs for my health issues.

    1. Thank you for visiting my blog! And OMG doughnuts! I would sell my soul for a doughnut. They are my favorite food, ever, and I hardly ever eat them because I can eat four if I eat one. And I can’t do the HRT…I’ve been down that road. I’m in the process of leveling out with the anti-depressants and I’m experimenting with some natural stuff to help mitigate the flashes…those are truly terrible.

      I like your word, too. I am with ya on the spilled milk thing.

  10. You are not alone. I feel exactly the same and i have made a resolution to take care of my self before taking care of others. Started exercise and got a life coach. Lets see how it goes. Thank you for opening up.

  11. I had a 2015 that included meeting everyones needs but my own. I’ve vowed that this will be the year that I take care of myself ALONG with everyone else.

  12. Good Job!! I love your word intentional. I think mothers often put themselves on the back burner. We don’t celebrate our accomplishments, or worry about putting on a few pounds until its a few more… Just learning to take care of yourself and acknowledge your accomplishments is great!!

  13. First, congratulations on all of your accomplishments…awesome! Second, I was in a similar place with my weight last year….except I was way more than 20 lbs over my comfortable weight. Nothing fit, I had zero energy, and I just felt yucky. So, I made a change last May, and have kept it going. I’m down well over 30 lbs, and feeling good about my body. I’m definitely here for support and will be along on your journey cheering you on.

  14. Jill you are freaking amazing. Have I told you that lately? Wow – what a year you’ve had! That’s incredible. I think it’s great that you are celebrating your accomplishments while also acknowledging areas that need work. The author of “Lean In” says that success never comes without sacrifice. I meditate on that often…how much am I willing to sacrifice for my success? It’s that question that keeps me grounded and helps me to focus on what’s really important. Thanks for linking up with us at #TAKETIME

  15. Great post! And congrats on all your success last year! It’s such a great reminder that, even though it’s all good stuff, you can’t let things keep you from YOU. Best of luck to all of us as we look forward to a great year of more good stuff, and maybe a little more taking care of ourselves.

  16. I love your list of accomplishments. You are so inspiring. And then on top of that, you are recognizing what you want to focus more time on. You. We all need to focus on ourselves more, I think. I have gained 10 pounds this year too…on top of the 15 pounds I already wanted to lose. So I am looking forward to following your journey to better wellness and perhaps to grab a few great ideas from you. Time to move more in 2016! Thanks so much for linking up with us!! #TakeTime