Category Archives: pregnant and healthy

It’s been a long time….

I have to admit, I’ve been cheating on you.

I’ve been blogging elsewhere privately during my pregnancy as I didn’t want this blog to become a pregnancy blog. I thought I could still write broad yet meaningful topics here on ThirtyStory while experiencing this life changing event – but, turns out – I couldn’t. I’m sorry about that – and sorry about my disappearing act.

As the day draws closer to actually having my son (we’re due April 23 – just a few weeks away now), I’m definitely feeling that same old current sweeping by me that I had before – that overwhelming feeling of “Can I do this?” And not the be a mom thing. Obviously, I’m doing that whether I’m ready or not, right? But my mind has turned toward those days and weeks after my son is here and I have no excuses to not be exercising regularly again. When I’ll be self-conscious again about my weight (not that that has truly stopped being an issue for me during pregnancy) and I won’t be buying clothes that are made especially for my large belly. At least, that’s the hope, right?

I’ve witnessed more than a few of my friends whip right back down to pre-baby weight and then some – and I wonder, will that happen for me? I’ve struggled with being overweight my entire life, can I honestly let myself believe that I’ll be one of the lucky few that bounce back to their pre-pregnancy bodies? Not that I was even all that happy with where I was BEFORE getting pregnant, but it would sure be nice to at least bounce back to that instead of staying bigger.

I am trying to prepare myself for battle. I know that finding the time and energy to exercise is going to be much harder as a new mom. Working full time, teaching, and having a little one is going to eat up most of my time, so I have to have a game plan. I know other moms and dads who find the time to work out – so I know it’s possible. I just have to find the right work out plan, the right timing and all that jazz. Unfortunately, I won’t know what the “right” plan is until I’m living it. I can’t predict what life will be like in less than a month for me. All I know is that I still have goals for myself – that I still want to reach toward being a healthier and fit person. I don’t want to lose that part of myself and I start this new chapter of my life.

Knowing who you are and who you WANT to be is a big part of any successful goal setting process. I think I have a pretty good grasp on both of those things right now – so it’s all about finding the right path to the goal. I know it will be another adventure – something totally new and different from anything I’ve experienced so far in my life. I’m nervous. I’m scared. I feel like I did the night before my first 5K – so afraid I’d fail, but excited to try.

And that’s what I’m sticking with – the excitement of trying.

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Filed under Challenge, family, goals, health, Life, motivation, pregnant and healthy, weight loss

When Nothing Else Works…

This whole being pregnant thing is a major cramp on my fitness parade. I’ve been trying hard to find ways to work out that still are fun and exciting – and of course, effective. But the word “effective” has lost it’s luster to me lately. What am I really doing, anyway? I think I’ve lived in a world where if I wasn’t dripping sweat at the end of the workout – I hadn’t really worked out. And I’m just not in a place at 31 weeks pregnant where I can push myself to that point, anymore. So I’m definitely stuck in a rut where I just am not inspired to work out because it doesn’t feel like it’s DOING anything.

I will say that my lifestyle is still pretty go-go-go. I’m not going home and immediately going to bed or sitting on the couch. On the weekends, we are still working on house projects, running errands, etc. I haven’t given up on life as I knew it – it’s just evolved to doing what I can right now. It’s weird.

Yesterday, I decided to try the yoga thing again. If you have read my blog along the way, or you know me at all (even though it’s been awhile since i’ve blogged here, I KNOW!) – you probably know that Yoga is not my thing. But I thought – I’m pregnant, stretching is good – I should give it a go. My chiropractor let me borrow a video that she had used during her pregnancy. I kept putting off doing it because it just didn’t sound exciting. But last night I finally hit play. During the intro part where the instructor comes on the video to tell you about herself, I kept repeating to myself: “Have  an open mind. Have an open mind.” I may have been making judgements about how the yoga was going to be just based on how this lady came across in the video. But I did it anyway – and I completed it.

But I didn’t really enjoy it. It wasn’t that everything was super easy and i wasn’t challenged. Having 25 extra pounds situated like a bowling ball between your lungs and pelvis is challenging even when I’m not trying to do a downward dog. But I kept getting distracted by how enormous my feet and ankles looks while I was in downward dog pose. And I thought – man, this is only going to get worse – I need more socks. More tall socks for sure. 🙂

But the video was a bit too “new age” for me. She kept saying things like “keep you heart soft!” and “breathe into the bottom of your belly – surround your child with air!” and I was like how the heck do I do that? I mean, a breathe is a breathe and lately – getting a deep one is a major win since my lungs feel like tiny little balloons right now. My favorite instruction from the yoga lady was “illuminate every cell of your body!” I literally had to just stop what I was doing and stare at the TV. What the heck is this lady on? If i knew how to illuminate every cell of my body, I probably wouldn’t need to be doing yoga. Or working – I’d be like a superstar or something. Or at least a circus performer.

I was irritated at myself by the end of the video. I wanted to have my mind changed, I wanted to find something that made me feel happy after the work out. But it’s just not yoga. Or maybe it’s just not THAT yoga video (I get that instructors make all the difference).

A lot of people have asked me what I miss most since I’ve been pregnant. Do I miss having a glass of wine with friends – for sure. Do I miss the luxury of a quick deli sandwich – yup. But I guess I’m realizing right now that the thing I miss most is just having a “go-to” work out that makes me forget about everything else. Right now – every work out feels “lame” to me – and I either try to turn up the intensity and realize that I can’t do that anymore – or I just feel like I’m not really using my time wisely.

I find myself thinking about what my work out challenge will be once baby is here. How will I challenge myself to get back into pre-baby shape? I’ll definitely have the motivation of extra pounds that need to be lost. But what about right now? I need something exciting, but healthy for me and baby. It just seems like right now I have a lot of questions but no answers.

I am crazy happy about being pregnant and can’t wait to meet this little guy. But I didn’t realize what I was missing until just lately – and I guess I have a limited amount of time to find something that is exciting before my requirements change all over again.

 

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Half Way There

So – life has been busy lately. Somehow 20 weeks have passed and I’m sitting at the half way mark of this pregnancy. How did that happen so quickly? It terrifies me that in another 20 weeks, my whole life is going to be turned upside down.

20 Weeks! (and sorry! I am not giving anyone the bird, it's extremely hard to hold my phone and take a bump photo - WOOPS!)

20 Weeks! (and sorry! I am not giving anyone the bird, it’s extremely hard to hold my phone and take a bump photo – WOOPS!)

It makes me think about training for my first athletic races and how nervous I was….how much I was scared to even say out loud that I wanted to consider training for my first 5K, and then my first triathlon. Saying it out loud made it so real. And that meant that I had to actually start preparing my body for the upcoming race. Preparing myself for something that I had never done before and something I wasn’t 100% sure I could do.

Being pregnant is sort of like that (but on a much more epic scale). I knew I wanted to start a family, and that once we decided to actually do something about that idea, it was really throwing all control up into the wind. And when we were blessed to become parents – it’s been this really exhilarating and frightening experience – one that feels much like a race. Of course, it’s important to mention the races I’ve participated in have never been about beating anyone – it’s only been a personal challenge for myself. Being able to answer the question, “Can I do this?” with a resounding YES!

And so here I am, at the half way mark of this crazy adventure and I’ve had some major ups and downs, there have been tears, enormous physical obstacles to overcome (and more to come), there has been joy and fear. So much – and yet, I am still moving forward with my eye on the prize. I can do this. I am “training” for motherhood at this point.

Making tough decisions about work, my personal life, my health, my home, my finances – and mentally and physically preparing myself for what happens when I cross this finish line. Today definitely marks a special day in this adventure – where time seems very real to me and I can sort of see the outline of the finish line ahead. I can see the calendar months flashing by, taking me quickly to the point where I must be ready for what’s next. Or, at the very least, open to learning what I need to learn to move forward.

It’s definitely the most important challenge I’ve ever accepted in my life. It’s bigger than any other item on my bucket list and it’s a game changer. Every other decision in my life will be impacted by this one decision I made with my husband months ago – that we would try and start a family. And now – this little life is taking form inside of me – becoming it’s own little person. And somehow – at the end of another 20 weeks, I’ll be able to call myself a mom. That is pretty amazing.

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Water Running: Great Change Up to your Current Routine!

I finally got to try out a Water Running class this week. It wasn’t the normal instructor – so I’m curious to see how the next class will differ. Either way – I sort of went into the class wondering what we would be doing for an hour and if it would be a decent workout or not. I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of movements we did and how fast my heart was beating! For those of you with access to a pool but perhaps no access to a class version of water running, I thought I’d give you a run down (no pun intended) of things you can do in the water to get a good workout aside from simply swimming laps (which is no small feat on it’s own if you’ve tried it in your adult life).

You can start in the shallow end to get warmed up. Our pool has an open area and then about 4 lanes blocked off for swimming lanes. So we used the width of the pool in the shallow end from wall to first swim lane to do some shorter laps if that makes sense. We did the following:

Jog in the water (just like you would jog on land) forward to swim lane, return jogging backward. Keep your fingers uncupped so that you aren’t propelling yourself forward with your arms.
Move toward swim lane with alternating high knees, come back to wall doing butt kicks – focus on speed.
Move toward swim lane using a “skip” style – focusing on jumping out of the water and forward. So not focused on speed, but on height of your jump. Make sure you are switching which leg you are leading/jumping with. Return to wall in same style

Of course – you can repeat all these several times for a nice warm up.

The instructor also used Tabata style format to get our cardio workout in. If you aren’t familiar with Tabata – it forces you to work at high intensity for a short period of time and then rest and repeat. You can pick the times and how many times you repeat. For our class – we did different versions of Tabata. For example:

Shallow End Tabata (move so you are shoulder deep)
20 seconds: Sprint in place (focus on moving as fast as possible with hand/arm movement in water)
Rest 10 Seconds
20 Seconds: High Knees in place (focus on crunching and make sure you have your arms going)
Rest 10 seconds
20 Seconds: Butt Kicks (in place, quickly)
Rest 10 seconds

And then we would change it to 30 seconds with 10 second rest, etc. You could pick a variety of movements to suit your own needs and amount of time you have to spend for each section.

You will definitely feel all of these exercises in your hamstrings!

To really get into water running you have to incorporate the deep end – because jogging in the shallow end is super easy when you compare it to trying to propel yourself forward when you can’t touch the bottom. A few things on form when water running:

Don’t cup your hands – you want the forward motion to be coming from the leg movement. Pretend like you are doing a leg extension in the weight room – move your right leg to a 90 degree angle in front of you and pull back, repeat on other side – this is the motion you are doing to water run in the deep end. Your hands are moving, but fingers are straight, not cupped. Work to keep your body straight – not leaning forward or backward. You will feel like you are barely moving – but your heart rate will tell you otherwise!

When we got to the deep end wall, we did short kicks while holding onto the wall and  long scissor kicks (using Tabata style again). We also put our backs against the wall and arms on either side to support us as we lifted our legs straight up (back flat against the wall) and pushed them back down into the water. This was extremely difficult!

If you are comfortable in the deep end, you can move away from the wall and do another set of workouts such as the following:

30 seconds: Tread Water using hands and legs
30 seconds: Tread water using hands/arms only – keep legs straight (if this is too difficult, bend your legs some and that will help)
30 seconds: Treat water using legs only – put your arms out of the water to make sure you aren’t cheating!

You can repeat that several times and change up how long you are doing each thing until your hearts content!

Obviously once you are done with that you have to water run back to the shallow end!

A lot of the articles I looked at about water running show people running with floatation belts on. In our class, we didn’t utilize these, but I could see how you could probably work on speed more if you had a belt on to help you stay afloat. I’ll have to try that out one time to see what different it makes. Without the belt, I think it would be difficult to keep doing laps without stopping because it does require so much effort to stay afloat on your own and move forward!

This would be a great alternative to just swimming laps if you are bored with that routine. It’s also great if you are injured or pregnant and can’t do high impact stuff anymore! As always, check with your doctor before taking on any new exercise program as I am not a doctor and can only tell you my opinion of the workout!

 

 

 

 

 

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Holiday Weight Gain – How are you preparing?

Happy Monday! There are a lot of reasons I hate the onset of colder weather, but lately I’ve been appreciating the lack of mosquitoes eating me alive every time I go outside to play Frisbee with my pups. As winter approaches, it’s easy to slack off on your fitness and healthy living goals. Putting on those comfortable sweaters instead of squeezing into your swim suit makes those extra pounds seem nonexistent. Trust me, they are still there!

Even though I’m not in weight loss mode now since I’m pregnant, I’m still trying to get my head focused on staying as healthy as possible during and after this pregnancy. And if you are like me, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years (and all the other holidays celebrated) all mean yummy food, tasty drinks and time NOT spent at the gym. So even though I’ve accepted that I will indeed be gaining weight over the next 6 months, I want to be gaining weight for the right reasons. Note to self: Giant Gingerbread Cookies & Triple Fudge Squares are not the right reasons. Continue reading

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Back to My Primal Ways…

Well, I’m starting to feel more energetic lately, so that is good news. I’m not grossed out immensely by certain foods so that is also going on the winner board. So what does this mean for my healthy eating lifestyle at this point? I think I’m going to make the leap and go back to eating primal/paleo inspired next week and see how it goes.

The last few weeks we have been trying to eat LESS of the bread/wheat stuff in an attempt to slowly help me move away from it now that I’m not on the verge of being sick all the time. I’ll admit that bread is just comforting to your stomach for whatever reason – or at least it helped me get past a lot of the sickness/queasy stuff in the first three months. BUT – man cannot live on bread alone, RIGHT!?

I was really digging my primal eating ways pre-pregnancy and saw improved energy, less cravings, feeling full on less food and I did experience some weight loss from naturally making better choices particularly when I went out to eat. So I’m going to re-focus and see how this goes. Of course, I’m planning on discussing this with my doctor on Monday during my next check in. I expect that I’ll still have the occasional weird craving and I’m not going to be all or nothing about this eating style while pregnant because what’s most important is that I’m eating what baby needs.

But I’m going to take a wild guess that baby does NOT need a chicken filet biscuit for breakfast…really ever. Okay, you only live once – so maybe just a few along the way. 🙂

I’ll still be eating dairy – so not true paleo style but still in alignment with Primal eating. I’m focusing on healthy fats like avocado, raw nuts, olives. And of course, moving back toward more lean protein and veggies as my main focus. So we’ll see how I do.

It’s funny because when I started this Paleo/Primal (wheat/grain free) back in the summer, my husband hated me for changing our diet. He hated eating wheat free. He hated all the things he saw as limitations and complained about it ALL THE TIME.

It made sticking to the plan so much more difficult for me. But now he is the one who keeps asking if I’m ready to go back to eating Primal/Wheat Free because it made him feel so much better. Now we laugh after he gives in and eats a biscuit or something at breakfast because he is SO reactive to it – gets stuffy almost immediately. He wonders how he never noticed before (despite my constant attempts of explaining my theory!).

Amazing how much we don’t listen to our bodies even when we have pretty strong reactions to foods/drinks that we have on a regular basis. So this next week or so will be interesting to see how my body reacts to changing up my diet and getting back on track with eating good for me foods!

Of course, I’ll keep you posted.

 

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Daydreams & Dentists

I started out my morning with a visit to the dentist. For some reason, I have memories of my dentist appointments taking basically a lifetime. But maybe it was just a case of “kid-clock” and 30 minutes felt like an hour. Or maybe my dentist office is just super speedy. OR (and most likely) I’m not a whiny kid complaining the whole time slowing down the process. Anyway, I always play this game with myself when I got to the dentist or to get my oil changed and I thought I’d share it with you. So because when you go to the dentist regularly, they schedule you for your next appointment 6 months out. It always feels so crazy to me to schedule something that far in advance, but I know I’m way more likely to keep my appointment if I just go ahead and put it on the old calendar. While you usually don’t make appointments to get your oil changed, I always pay attention to when they estimate I’ll be due to come back.

For both these occasions, I always end up thinking about what will be going on in my life the next time I’m at the dentist or getting my oil changed. Since the dentist is 2x a year – it’s interesting to think about where your life may be, what will have happened by then, etc. Six months is a significant amount of time. At some of my past dentist appointments I’ve thought to myself, “oh! I’ll have started my new job by then” or “I wonder if I’ll be engaged by then?” to “I’ll be getting married that week!” I am wondering if I’m the only person out there that recalls life moments via dental appointments?

Ironically enough, when I finished at my dentist this morning and scheduled my next visit I agreed with the receptionist that May 7th sounded just fine. After all, this far in advance, I can’t imagine anything going on. As I started to walk away, I stopped in my tracks and turned back around. I looked at the receptionist and told her “I’m sorry, I don’t think that date is going to work, after all. I’m due to have a baby the week before that.” It hit me like a ton of bricks. By the time I go to the dentist the next time, I’ll have a child.

THIS IS SERIOUS, my friends.

So we scheduled for later in June and my only response was, “okay – we’ll put it down, but i guess I have no idea if that will work for me.” I drove away thinking about how I would do things like “go to the dentist” with a baby. Who would take care of the baby while I went to the doc? Do you bring the baby with you to doctor appointments? I was trying to recall all the times I’ve  been at the dentist and trying to remember if anyone ever brought their baby. I have no clue. Is there a guidebook out there called “Where you can bring your baby etiquette?” Apparently I’ll need this.

Everything is going to change. I know this. I knew that before we even decided we wanted to try and have a baby. It’s just sort of frightening to have that moment of truth unexpectedly in the dentist office.

It makes me think back to what I was doing 6 months ago. It reminds me to think through the goals I’ve set for myself and see which ones are still relevant. I’m definitely in a different phase of my goal setting now since I can’t really make a goal to lose weight at this point. So maybe my goals looks different for the next 6 months than they have in the past. Maybe they are more about getting prepared, mentally and physically for this major life change. And that’s okay. Life is constant change, when we stay in the same place we become stagnant – we stop moving and things get murky and gross. So this next 6 months is all about change for me, just in a totally different way than I expected.

So I’m excited to go to the dentist in SEVEN months time and see how future Dre is doing. I’ll be a month in to the whole mommy thing and I’m pretty much expecting to fall asleep in the dentist chair. And when that day comes, it will be funny to go back and read this post and think, “man, Dre – you were so right.” 🙂

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