by helping me see there is a better life out there for me that is attainable …. encouraging me and empowering me I am actively working to achieve that life for myself.
Before I started my 6 months with Peggy Greenwell I was struggling. Ever since the birth of my son I hadn’t been able to find the balance of being a full-time working mom, wife, keeping our house organized and finding the time to take care of myself and ultimately take care of my family. I had ten pounds I was hoping to lose left over from being pregnant and struggled with high blood pressure. I had a high level of stress that I was not dealing with, an unhealthy diet with a backbone of caffeinated sodas, and a desire to exercise to feel better but never quite being able to find the time to do it. I had tried diets but I always seemed to find myself in the land of good intentions but not actual follow through with lots of reasons for why I was not prioritizing myself.
The first few sessions with Peggy she helped me realize that prioritizing your health really means taking care of yourself first and then being able to take care of others second. Peggy showed me that is isn’t just in your diet it is in all aspect of your life from the foods you eat, the things you drink, the amount of time you spend sleeping, to the investment of time into physical exercise, to even getting enough time with your loved ones to help you feel better in all aspects of life. You can’t just focus on one piece because they are all interconnected. She helped me with setting achievable goals for myself every two weeks and provided the follow-up and support I needed to successful achieve those goals. One of the most helpful things Peggy did for me was to hold me accountable and push me to see what I could achieve.. She didn’t give me a pre-set formula to follow but helped me created a plan that was tailored to my specific needs based on my goals that I had set for myself and stood by my side helping me achieve my goals, pick me up when I didn’t achieve them and to set out a new course to try to achieve them again. She didn’t tell me what to do she helped guide me to create a plan that best fit what I needed and ideas on how to get there based on her wealth of knowledge in all areas from nutrition to exercise to focusing on mental wellbeing with meditation and yoga. Together, we set and achieved goals that were wide ranging from losing 8 pounds, to finding time to exercise (even if it was just going for a twenty-minute walk) to helping me find the time and helping me prioritize going on dates with my husband and finding a reliable sitter. Helping me organize how I spent my time also gave me more quality time with my son. Becoming a parent was one of the hardest transitions I have ever had to face and I was so lucky to have Peggy help me really think about the barriers that were keeping me from achieving the goals I had for myself and overcoming each of those in an organized way that worked for me. She motivated me when I needed it didn’t get discouraged when there were weeks where I couldn’t achieve my goals but instead helped me stop analyze what happened and find a new plan to achieve or overcome whatever was preventing me from achieving the goals I had set for myself.
Dinners were hard in my house. It was the dreaded “what are we having for dinner” that my husband I would email exchange with each other every day. Peggy helped me go from dieting to making healthy meals for my family with fun new recipes to try. She helped me create a worksheet to help me meal plan for my entire family for the week. What started as just dinner quickly turned in to snacks, breakfast and lunch as well. Peggy took me through tours of the grocery store introducing me to new types of vegetables, seasonings, nuts, grains and other options to incorporate into my family’s diet. She helped me see how meal planning not only helps with creating healthier intentional meals but also saves on prep time and $$ for groceries when you sit down and make a plan. Before Peggy we were in the Tuesday night at 6 pm – no plan – let’s just eat grilled cheese to knowing exactly what I had to make each night for dinner and even preparing veggies on the weekend before making meal prep time less allowing me to have more time with my son after school. I still use our meal planning sheet every single week with healthy dinner options, a list of what I need to get from the grocery store and flexibility to be able to attack even the craziest of weeks. I learned that you really can be healthier if you have a plan but I really needed the guidance in how to create the plan and use it in a part of our weekly routine. Our nightly dinners have completely changed in my family now using a wide variety of vegetables that are also kid (and picky husband) approved.
Exercise was something I always wanted a part of my life but something I just didn’t have the time to do or if I did invest the time in exercise something else would fall apart like not taking the time to meal plan or keep up with other requirements. Peggy helped me find time and also helped me lower my expectations of myself. If I couldn’t wake up and run 3 miles I could walk for 20 and that was still better than nothing. Having her help me shift my perspective took so much pressure off myself and actually made getting outside and exercising fun as there was not so much pressure on what I did but that I just did something. So many times I gave up before I started feeling like I couldn’t do what I had set out but instead of giving up I changed my expectations. I kept track of miles I ran and in my six months with Peggy and I clocked in over 94 miles that I know I would never have been able to successfully do without her motivation, fresh outlook, understanding and ideas on ways to help overcoming the barriers keeping me from achieving my exercise goals. It sounds silly but Peggy helped me set a nightly goal of laying out of workout clothes each night and that was a small step in helping me get one step closer to my goal that I never realized if I had not taken the time to actually slow down, sit down with someone and discuss what was preventing me from achieving the goals I wanted to achieve. Sleep was another thing that often got pushed to the backburner if there were other things I needed to do. Peggy helped me set goals for times to go to bed and even gave me a simple suggestion of using an alarm on my fitbit to help me know – okay its time to start getting ready for bed. I followed it and sure enough going to bed earlier I still found a way to achieve what I needed to in the day but working more efficiently and was much more productive getting a good night’s rest. I used this same fitbit alarm to help make sure I was drinking enough water through the day. We still joke that it drives my husband crazy when it goes off because it means no more TV – time to focus on us and get ready for bed.
In today’s world we are always on the go and it is easy to get caught up in a cycle of never ending to do lists and never actually stopping for long enough to reflect on your life and really thinking if you are happy. Taking the time to sit with Peggy every other Sunday to really talk about everything I realized I was unhappy and was not taking good care of myself. She helped me see that I am worthy and deserve to take care of myself. The gift that I got from Peggy I think above all else was this feeling of empowerment. I felt like there is more I can expect and deserve from life and I don’t have to just sludge through but I can be healthier and take care of myself all the while still being a great mom, teacher and wife. She helped me notice things in my life that I had never taken the time to notice and from that I have continued to work and I can say my husband and I are in a much better place in our relationship, in a more organized house, eating healthier meals and I am taking time to take care of myself. Had I never signed up to work with Peggy I don’t know if I would be able to say the track my life would have taken but I am confident that I would not be where I am today. She literally changed my life for the better by helping me see there is a better life out there for me that is attainable if I can have the courage to achieve it and with her helping me see a new perspective, encouraging me and empowering me I am actively working to achieve that life for myself. It was the best investment I could have ever made. I wish I could do it for the rest of my life. I looked forward to our times so much and cherish everything I have learned from her. The best gift I could ever give anyone I know that was struggling or going through the new transition of having a baby would be six months with Peggy. I wish everyone could do it at some point in their lives because it truly has been life changing for me. There is no way for me to ever thank Peggy for all she has done for me. The world is lucky to have her so she can help many more people beyond me become the best versions of themselves just as she helped me.