Hiya, Empty Nester (or those getting close)!
As you launch (or prepare to launch) your children out into the world you have hopes and dreams for them as they step into their future. You are an empty nester now, and you finally have time for your plans, too.
Travel more, sleep in more, read more…
basically do whatever you want whenever you want to do it!
Here’s the reality: We still have responsibilities that keep us busy and challenges to face. One of the biggest is dealing with the emotional paradox of missing the kiddos while at the same time being excited for them as they learn and grow and fail and succeed. While they are gone we need to keep ourselves healthy and be careful not to slip into poor habits. After all, we do want to enjoy these years in this new season of life!
Readjusting the sails
As I voyage into my empty nester years there are certainly days when I feel the numbness of missing them – being the hands-on mom, cook, teacher, counselor, coach and even the taxi driver (can I just take back all the times I grumbled about those “chores”?). That said, while my kids are off “becoming”, I have an opportunity to readjust my own sails, so I too can learn and grow and stumble and succeed!
Speaking of stumbling and succeeding…
As a teacher I have lots of experience “readjusting my sails” along the way. Ask any teacher and they will tell you there are times when they have been a little less prepared to teach a lesson than they’d like. It’s something we call “winging it” because for whatever reason we didn’t do what we needed to do ahead of time and now it requires on-the-fly adjustments.
When I first started out, winging it scared me.
As I became more “seasoned” in my profession, I learned to instinctively flex my lessons and winging it wasn’t that scary anymore. It’s not something we do everyday, but ask most veteran teachers and they’ll admit they wing it, too. Hopefully not too often, but yeah, it happens.
What does this have to do with the Freshman 15?
Well, the same happens when we wing it with our health and fitness. As we get comfortable and more “seasoned”, we become like the veteran teacher who can get by just winging it. And it works, but only in the short-term. The trouble is that once we get close to empty-nesterhood, there are all kinds of reasons NOT to wing it (HELLO hormones!).
That Freshman 15
When our kiddos go off to college the potential to gain that “Freshman 15” is real. Their environment has changed, they have food available to them in unlimited quantities, they sleep too little, and experience huge amounts of stress. Lucky for them (and that teenage metabolism) they’ll have no problem working off the excess pounds in a month or two. Ugh.
What about the Empty Nester 15?
As empty nesters, we ALSO have a new environment, we ALSO have stress, and no one really around to keep us in check with our meal planning. Um, does anyone really care if I cook tonight or we eat out? It becomes all too easy to get caught up in creating new, UNHEALTHY, habits once the kids leave – and that could be dangerous for our health. It could also cause us to pack on our own (empty nester version of the) Freshman 15.
Empty nesting is still new for me, but I can tell you it’s been a serious wake up call maintaining (and not gaining) weight as I adjust to the transition. With some mistakes made, and a little course correction, so far I’ve succeed not only at NOT succumbing to that Freshman 15, but I’ve even LOST a few pounds!
‘Trimdown Tips’ for you
I know how challenging it is to balance taking care of our own health while juggling this whole empty nester thing. That’s why I’ve put together this quick checklist of my Top Empty Nester Trimdown Tips – to show you how I’m doing it. By no means does it fully replace comprehensive medical advice, but it’s been working wonders for me and for my coaching clients. Try a few yourself, or better yet incorporate them all!
Click on the image or the link below it to get your Trimdown Tips PDF.
Then download, print, and keep it handy – to keep YOU from gaining that Freshman 15, too!
Remember, there is plenty of life left to live in your empty nester years. Make it count with a lifestyle of wellness that will add years to your life and life to your years.
In this with you,