Moving at any age can be quite an adjustment as I have learned from personal experience. The end of this article will have few tips from me on how I am coping with my own personal move as an empty nester.
But first, for parents with children, Boston-area realtor, former educator, children’s book author, and parent, Julie Etter has some valuable advice for families to navigate process of moving. Below you can read about her new book, “You’ve Survived the Move . . . Now What?”
You’ve Survived the Move . . . Now What? By Julie Etter
The house hunting is done, the boxes are all in, and you are in your new home! All is perfect, right? It will be, but may not be just yet! In reality, the next chapter has just begun, and you want to write it carefully. Settling into your new house can be an exciting experience, but don’t overlook the necessary steps to make it “HOME.” Here are a few quick steps to making that house a home to ensure everyone is on board with setting up the space to best accommodate your family.
Let the children have a say in some décor—perhaps it’s a paint color for their room, or input on the wall where the couch will be positioned. Your children’s involvement will add a delightful personal touch. It’s now HOME.
Offer some consistency. Yes, it’s a new house and fresh start, but did you have a staple painting in the last eating area? Was the snack cabinet set up a certain way? You will find there are natural things you do for your set-up (e.g., glasses go in the cabinet above the dishwasher), but don’t overlook the chance to create consistency in areas that are seemingly insignificant to you because they offer familiarity to the children.
Be efficient and get settled as soon as possible. This is easier said than done. You are exhausted from the move. Oh, and you still have jobs and a family to take care of. However, the sooner the house is settled (you know, the “main” stuff . . . your box of high school trophies that has followed you for years can stay unpacked), the sooner the kids will acclimate. Children are resilient; the sooner they can depend on stability in their surroundings, the sooner they can get comfortable.
Have a party! Big or small. Celebrate the new home. Regardless of why you moved and if this home is bigger, smaller, better or worse, it’s yours! Celebrate new beginnings. Also, make a specific point of paying attention to the things your kids point out to guests—you will find they will be very open while giving a tour. Take note of the positives you can further accentuate or the “negatives” you could improve based on their perception.
Finally, and most importantly, give yourself a pat on the back. You are on the other end of the move and despite the late nights, details, and boxes, you are in. Your kids know how hard you worked; time to enjoy with them . . . after you give yourself another cup of coffee!!
Julie Etter is a professional, national award-winning realtor and former middle-school teacher based in Wrentham, MA. She is the author of Lily and Andrew Are Moving (Hardcover, $14.95; Kindle, $11.99), published by JT Publications, LLC. For more information, visit www.treehousebuddies.com
I so wish there was adult version of this book. It would have been helpful in my case. My move came right at the same time both my kiddos who are only 13 months a part, left for college. I was a stay at home mom and all of the sudden found myself alone in a new city. I was a bit of hot mess and am still working on things. I am in no means an expert, and I am sure there could be material out there concerning this topic for adults. For some reason I never thought to look into something like this for adults until I got this information about the book.
Although, this book is geared toward children, I thought since we are addressing the topic there might be some adults expiring anxiety from moving like I did and still do from time to time. In the meantime, while I do some research on finding an adult version concerning moving, I thought I would share some things that have helped me in the in the four years we have been in our new home.
My husband travels quite a bit for work and being an empty nester, I tag along quite often. If this is an option for you, I highly recommend packing your bag and tagging along. Even if you will be stuck at a hotel all day, it is better than sitting home alone.
Join a gym, club or community center. I know you won’t feel like it, but exercise is key to get you out of the funk you may be in. We joined a country club that has a fitness facility and it has changed our lives. Not only can we work out, the club offers a variety of activities and social gatherings where we have met some great people.
Learn to play pickleball. I know this sounds silly but it is one of the best things I have ever gotten involved in. It is still a fairly new sport, but many community centers and parks around the US are catching pickleball fever. There are often mens, ladies and mixed groups that play on certain days and times. It’s a super easy sport to learn and a great way to make new friends and socialize. It is a combination of tennis and life-size ping pong. You can read more about the game here.
Try to find other people that are new to the area as well. We have made a few friends that were in the same situation as us and to have someone that is experiencing the same thing, definitely forms a bond of some sorts. I am so grateful for these new friends. We call ourselves a “framily” because you need people around you who are like family and can help each other out.
If it is relevant to your beliefs, find a church. We are still working on this one…..
Lastly, get yourself some help or medication if you need. I have done both, I can’t say the counseling helped me much. It almost made me sadder in a way talking about home and my kids. I tried Zoloft and did not like it. You can read about my experience with that here. I switched to Wellbutrin about a year and a half ago and have to say I feel much better on it.
Again, I am no expert but do know what it’s like to be in new city alone. If you find yourself in the same situation I hope some of these tips will help you out. Please feel free to comment or email me with any tips, questions, comments you have or just want a friendly shoulder to lean on.
Things are going well and I am seeing results. My weight is fluctuating and somedays the scale says I have lost five pounds while other days it only looks like about two. I am okay with that because I can see some changes with how my clothes are fitting and in the mirror. My legs are still my focus area and still look quite wavy but I have lost a half inch off my thighs and a half inch off my hips.
I am a little discouraged as I think a lot of the waviness is loose skin from being heavier and then loosing weight. I am hoping they will tighten up.
With seeing some physical changes but my weight not drastically changing, I am hoping I am putting on some muscle. I will probably go in for a DEXA scan soon to see what has changed since my last one.
The food on the program is measured in macronutrients, The My Fitness Pal App allows you to see your macronutrients in grams so it is fairly easy to track.
I have gotten a little stricter with my eating, although the fats get me in trouble, even though they are good fats! I love avocados and nuts. I am trying to eat less meat so getting enough protein has been tricky. I don’t do much dairy but I do love cheese, especially goat and feta which can get me in trouble if I eat too much.
Most of my protein is coming from egg whites, protein powder, nuts, quinoa, a collagen supplement and some chicken once a week. I have cut out most grains but get carbs from fruits, veggies and some beans and lentils.
My favorite breakfast is egg whites with some avocados and veggies.
I recently made a vegetarian stir fry and mixed in cauliflower rice instead of a grain.
My favorite smoothie is my PB&J. You can find the recipe here.
Peanut Butter and Strawberry Smoothie
I would say my biggest vice is the weekend by the pool and social events where the wine and cocktails are flowing. I try to only have one or two drinks and will not eat any fruit on the days when I know I will have something to drink.
I mean how can you not have a drink at the pool when you have a floatmingo! I do want to make a disclaimer that I really was drinking water at the time this photo was taken but will admit I did have wine that night!
I’ve got a good friend and we have made up our own eating plan that we are calling the Slow 30. It is much like the Whole 30 way of eating except we get to have wine on the weekend and a few no foods (like beans, cheese and quinoa) a couple times a week.
My workouts are consistent. I’ve got a group I train with 3 days a week and every session is different much like a cross fit type work. While I am already out I will go lift the weights listed on the program.
Since the pool is open, I have been throwing in some water aerobics a couple times a week. I am learning how to play pickle ball and have lessons twice a week.
I have a good friend that I meet with once a week and we climb 10 sets of stadium stairs at Wichita State University and then take 4 laps around the track.
So needless to say there is not much time for blogging, hence the sporadic posts.
It is a grueling workout but always feels good when it’s done, although my calves are sore for a few days after!
I’m thinking with all this exercise and my weight not drastically dropping that I am putting on some muscle! At least I hope that is the case! I need to get someone to take some more pictures so I can compare the progress. Hopefully I will get that done soon and share them in my next progress update.
Thanks for sharing this journey with me. Please feel free to email me or comment below if you have any questions about my workouts or diet.
This fat burning mocktail with apple cider vinegar will get your morning off to a great start and make your digestion system happy too.
I have been hearing a lot lately about apple cider vinegar (ACV) and how it can help with weight loss and gut health. I was just shooting it strait in a shot glass, until I went on Tosca Reno’s Wellness Retreat. That is where I learned about Wetter Water. The ACV contains potassium which is an electrolyte as well as the salt. The lemon or lime juice makes it quite a bit more palatable and helps add some vitamin C into your diet.
I have been trying to drink this consistently for the past month along with eating pretty clean and it has help me shed about 5 pounds. My girlfriend and I are following a plan we are calling the Slow 30. It is a program we made up that follows the Whole 30 way of eating with the addition of having a cocktail or wine on the weekend. I have also been lifting heavier weights using a program by Pancakes and Pushups.
Speaking of weights, wetter water is a great post workout recovery drink as it can replace the electrolytes lost during your work out as well as help rehydrate you. Instead of reaching for that Gatorade, make yourself some wetter water!
I have finally got my husband drinking it and he is dropping weight as well. He loves cocktails so I have named this drink the Wetter Water Margarita. Fresh lemons or limes are best when available but you could certainly use bottled juice. Just make sure there is no sugar in it. I have a bottle of lemon juice in the fridge and throw a shot of that in the concotion when I am out of fruit. Be sure and buy the apple cider vinegar that says “with the mother” on the label. The amount of water in the recipe is just a recommended amount. I can drink it pretty strong and like to get down so I only use about a half cup of water. If that seems to strong for you, feel free to dilute it your liking by adding more water.
If you want to shed a few pounds adding a Wetter Water Margarita to your daily regimen of healthy eating and exercise will help.
This is way out of my comfort zone but I feel like sharing my journey of getting fit with you, will help keep me accountable. I have been wanting to get in shape for a long time. And by shape I don’t really mean losing weight. I am fairly happy with what I weigh as it is the normal range with my height of 5’10. At least that is what those doctors charts say. But as you can see by the pic, which I cannot believe I am sharing, there is not much muscle tone and I am looking pretty flabby!
My goal is to decrease my body fat percentage and gain muscle and definition. I am going for a certain look not weight! With muscle weighing more than fat, it is possible my weight could go up and I am okay with that as long as I am seeing the changes in my body shape. One of my main goals is to get rid of these craters and dimples that have overtaken my thighs as you can see in the pics below, which I can’t believe I am sharing either!! I’m thinking I also need to see a vein doctor because as you can see, things are not looking good!
So this is where I get open and honest with you. I have had a little “work done” to help with some of the body changes. After having my kids in 1993 and 1994 and still being asked 5 years later if I was pregnant, was the last straw for me. I was determined to lose the weight and did.
After the weight loss, there was a lot of loose skin just hanging around so I had a tummy tuck in June of 2000. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made and if you are contemplating having one, do it! You will not be sorry. Now I’m not going to lie, the recovery is fairly intense but is short lived considering the long term benefit. Just make sure you have a good caregiver to help you for a week or so after.
Having the tummy tuck boosted my self confidence and motivated me to lose even a little more weight by working out and learning how to eat right using the Eat Clean Diet® by Tosca Reno whom I love and adore. I recently attended a wellness retreat she hosted that you can read about here. I am set to go to another one in October, you should come too! Get those details here.
Since then even while restaurant and food blogging, I have been able to stay in fairly decent shape, that was until September of 2013. That is when my husbands job moved us from Kansas City, MO to Wichita, KS., which I thought I could handle but was wrong.
Not only did we move but, both of our kids went away to college and after being a stay at home mom for 19 years, I was quite thrown for a loop and did not adjust well to the changes. We moved in September of 2013. I could barley eat and was not in a good place emotionally.
I lost about 10 pounds of weight but it was from not eating so my lean mass disappeared. My husbands new job required quite a bit of travel and since I had no reason to stay in Wichita alone, I would tag along. Overtime my appetite came back. A lot of the travel included dinners and events that had plenty of cocktails and wine at arms length. I did continue to exercise but not enough to out train my bad diet of overindulging in the food and wine. I was also taking Zoloft which causes weight gain and I am sure some hormonal changed did not help either. By the spring of 2016, I was 20 pounds heavier than when we moved. Then factoring in the 10 pounds I had lost in the first few months after we moved that was 30 pounds I had gained over the course of 2 1/2 years.
By summer of 2016, I was having to buy all new clothes because nothing fit! Enough was enough and it was time for a change. Since September 2016, I have been working on losing the extra weight. I did an extreme diet earlier this year. It was a supervised program through a doctor that is supposed to preserve muscle and burn fat. I have been doing body composition scans since September of 2016 to monitor my progress. The scan breaks down your body weight into how much is fat mass and how much is lean mass or muscle.
To really find out if the theory of this diet that claims to preserve the muscle while burning the fat was true, I did a scan before and after. My goal was to lose 10 pounds which I did in 19 days. Although I had lost weight, I was quite depressed as the results of my post diet scan showed only 3 pounds of it was fat and the other 7 lost was lean mass.
I found out about Sloane Davis of Pancakes and Pushups through an email that shared some tips on staying fit while traveling. I travel all the time and really liked what she had to say and shared that info here.
Staying fit while traveling can be tricky. Whether you are busy traveling due to summer and vacations or work takes you on the road, these handy tips from Sloane Davis of Pancakes and Push-Ups will help keep you on track.
HOW TO STAY FIT WHEN TRAVELING
By Sloane Davis
Trying to stay fit and healthy can be challenging when traveling. I always tell my clients that the goal should be to maintain, not gain while away. And while I am an advocate for living life and enjoying all that is has to offer, going on vacation shouldn’t become a free for all to throw in the towel when it comes to health and fitness.
A common question I receive from many prospective clients is “I am going on vacation soon. Should I wait to start the plan or start right away?” My answer is always this: There is never a “good” or “easy” time to start. You have to learn to live a healthy lifestyle which is what my plans aim to do. In other words, start the plan today. That way, when it does come time for vacation, you have the tools you need to maintain, not gain.
While you won’t track every food that goes into your mouth on vacation, subconsciously you are much more aware of how your meals should look and be balanced if you are following a plan prior to vacation. I can’t tell you how many clients come back to have not gained an ounce. THAT is WINNING!
Here are some tips to help you stay fit and healthy when traveling:
Drink a lot of water – Lots of walking, hours spent outside in the sun… traveling can be exhausting. The airplane ride alone will dehydrate you from the altitude. I love to take a reusable water bottle and fill it up after I pass through security to take on the plane with me. This ensures that I am drinking throughout the flight and don’t have to wait for the flight attendants to serve me. And when they do come to serve, take it! Drink all the water you can. You will feel so much better getting off the plane hydrated instead of tired, queasy, tight, and drained.
When you get to your destination, continue to drink water. Incorporate foods that also contain a lot of water such as lettuce, watermelon and cucumbers.
Stick to your normal routine as much as possible: Just because you are away doesn’t mean you have to throw in the towel and eat everything in sight. This goes especially for all inclusive resorts or a buffet. Just because you pay for something doesn’t mean you have to overdo it. Breakfast included in the hotel? Stick to an omelette, a piece of toast or oatmeal, some fresh fruit and one “treat.” You don’t need muffins, bacon, hash browns, pancakes AND french toast if you normally don’t eat that at home. That’s just being a glutton. Pick one savory food and enjoy it. Tomorrow is a new day and a few hours later you will be eating your next meal again.
Keep things in moderation: You don’t have to have everything in one day. Bread, alcohol, dessert all add up at one meal. All 3 along with your meal could mean your total daily allowance of calories or more. So pick one, and choose another the following day. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
If you tend to eat more at night, then keep your breakfast and lunch on the lighter side. If you know you are going to have a few cocktails for happy hour then moderate your intake during the day. It is all about balance.
Try to keep active: If you normally workout daily then try to go to the gym half the amount of days you are on vacation. Vacation is just that…a break, so don’t feel like you have to hit the gym at 7am each morning to feel good about yourself. Let go of some of the stress. Go for a walk, enjoy the outdoors and do something entirely different then you are used to.
If there is no gym and you do want to workout, pack resistance bands. They are super light and there are so many exercises that you can do with them (see my video on how here) . You could also incorporate some body weight exercises or plyometrics in your hotel room (see hotel room workout video here). Just 20 minutes a day will make you feel a whole lot better and most likely help you make better decisions throughout the day.
Have the willpower to stay on track: I know sometimes this is easier said then done, but I can guarantee that you will feel so much better coming home from a vacation knowing you enjoyed it yet didn’t gain a pound rather than coming home 5 pounds heavier only to have to work it back off. We all know how easy it is to put weight on and how difficult it is to take it off. Just a few minor tweaks each day while away can mean the world of difference.
You are stronger than you think. Choose your battles while you are away. Don’t cave into defeat. You can do it! Vacation is so much more than eating everything in sight. Take the time to enjoy those you spend it with, the scenery, and the culture it has to offer. The food is just a bonus, not the entire package.
Sloane Davis is a Certified Nutritionist and Personal Trainer who has helped thousands of people, both men and women, around the world get in to top shape both mentally and physically. Sloane has her undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University and became accredited through ISSA with her degree in Sports Nutrition and Personal Training. She works personally and online with thousands of clients around the US and globally.
She has been featured in People, Fitness Magazine, New Beauty Magazine, Apple News, The Daily Mail, Yahoo News, Westchester Magazine and Fox 5 Good Day New York.
This protein packed smoothie is delicious and will give you energy all day. I drink this one a lot after a workout and it is my daughters favorite.
Videos seem to be the way of the future but I do not have time to make those fancy ones with all of the editing! What you see is what you get! There will be no double takes and this is the real me. My goal is to keep them under 2 minutes so you can get the jest of the recipe without a lot of rambling.
You could certainly use any nut butter and milk you prefer. If you like cashews try this Cashew and Banana Smoothie or swap out the almond butter here for cashew butter.
I use Orgain brand protein powder. It is taste great and is about the purest I have found. I love Costco and get everything from there. If you don’t have one near by you can still order online. The almond milk, almond butter and Orgain protein powder can be ordered from costco.com or you can get them in the warehouse along with the greens and bananas. I don’t have any affiliation any of the highlighted links, it is just my way of getting you the info on what I like.
1 cup almond milk or milk of choice
2 tablespoons almond butter or nut butter of choice
2 handful mixed greens
1 serving protein powder of choice
1/2 cup ice cubes
Place milk in blender first, then add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
Makes 1 serving