Tag Archives: things in my head

Life Lemons & Making Lemonade

 

It’s been 9 weeks since I had major surgery. I’m feeling a lot better in terms of the incision healing. My swelling is gone, and if you were to see me out and about – you probably wouldn’t guess that I just had a baby you would probably just think I needed to lose some weight.

Over the last 5-6 years, even though I’ve always been technically overweight, I still was muscular and athletic. I was strong and always felt like I was “working on it.” I felt capable of trying new workouts, even if I wasn’t always the best in the class. I had more energy, my metabolism was off the charts.

I miss that person desperately. It feels like I’ve lost my dearest friend and I look at myself in the mirror and I’m not sure I really recognize this person I’ve become. I know that I birthed a child and that no one expects me to just snap back immediately to that person I was a year ago. But for me, it’s tough. I got the green light to work out moderately again at my postpartum check up around week 6. I was so excited to try and start incorporating some exercise again. And it was like the evil villain heard the news and decided to snatch my joy. I woke up  soon after with incredible pain in my knees. It hurt to walk, it hurt to move my knee joint, it hurt to go up/down stairs, it hurt to try and kneel or squat (try giving your baby a bath without kneeling/squatting!). Everything hurt. I thought it would pass – it was just some crazy after effect of the relaxin hormone/chemical (not sure what it is exactly) in my body passing through. *sigh*

But here we are, starting on week 10 and I’m still in a lot of pain. I’ve tried massage and chiropractor, I’ve tried ignoring it, I’ve tried walking more, walking less. I’ve tried stretching, heating pad, icing it – elevating my legs, I’ve tried monster size ibuprofen. I have an appointment with an acupuncturist scheduled. I’m out of ideas. I’ve heard from some others in the same boat as me, but it seems like no one has any cures other than just time. And I guess I’m impatient, I feel like knee pain impacts everything else. You sort of need your knees to do almost anything active..particularly when I’m taking care of my baby all day long in a house with 2 sets of stairs.

So I complain about this only to tell you that if I can’t really exercise right now, I can’t use that as an excuse to spiral out of control. I have to control the things I CAN control and wait for my body to fully recover from pregnancy and surgery, even if it is taking way longer than I imagined to just be able to walk without pain.

July Detox!

So my hubby and I are doing a bit of a detox this month. I’m not going on a diet – don’t worry – I know that is unsafe while breastfeeding. But I can do something about what I’m putting in my body. We are cutting out all fast food and working toward no processed foods. I think these are hard to avoid 100% of the time, but we are going to try to be at 90% unprocessed this month. If i buy something that is in a package – I can at least pick items that are as natural as possible. I can totally do that!

We are going to reduce our eat out meals – 1 lunch/1 dinner out during the week and I know we will have to work hard to get our weekend eating out adventures under control, but we can do it. When I do eat out, I can make better choices.

And at the end of this month – I know I will feel better because I’ll be DOING something about my health instead of just waiting to feel better to get started.

Life isn’t always how you plan it, and having a baby has big a big lesson in “control” and how much I don’t have control over a lot of things in my life like my schedule! But that doesn’t mean I should throw away everything I’ve worked for over the years – I just need to find comfort in the things I can control and rock it.

I’m not putting a weight loss goal on this monthly detox – because I’ve lost about 35 pounds already and I’m not sure that I’ll be able to lose the last 10 until I stop breastfeeding. But if I do – then great! But my goals are to feel better, and to feel like I’m doing SOMETHING about my health since I can’t exercise like I want to yet.

I’m feeling very “when life hands you lemons, make lemonade” right now. So I’m just going to go with it and see what happens!

 

2 Comments

Filed under Challenge, fit mom, food, goals, health, Life, motivation, Real Food, weight loss, what i'm eating

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.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under family, goals, health, Life, motivation, pregnant and healthy, work out

Pursuing the Christmas Spirit

Happy Holidays, Friends!

We usually do a cute holiday card and send it out to friends and family – but somehow the holiday sneaked up on me and we just didn’t do one this year. As I continue to come home to a mailbox full of holiday cards, I feel both guilty for not sending ours out this year and overwhelmed by how much I love my friends and family. As I’ve gotten older and the days of seeing all my best friends and family in the same place at the same time happens almost never (i.e. college and childhood is long over!), I so appreciate getting photo cards and little updates in the mail this time of year.

Since I’m a total slacker on the holiday greeting thing this year, I thought I’d do the next best thing and write a blog to express my holiday cheer to all the people who may stumble across this (which hopefully will include some of my friends and family who bother to visit me here on this blog!). So here we go:

Every year brings with it new challenges and struggles, and this year was no different. In reflecting on the last year – so much has happened in our lives and I can’t help but to dream about next years holiday season and wonder how much my life will have changed in just a few short months. If there is one lesson I’ve learned it’s this: Life happens SO fast.

I have gone through phases in my life where I spent a lot of time thinking about the true meaning of Christmas, and others where I was so riddled with my own personal brand of angst that I couldn’t see pull off the whole “be merry” spirit of things. I have had years where it was all about buying the perfect gift to give to someone in my life, or wondering what someone would get for me. And times of joy in just watching the children in our family enjoy the holiday so much that you can’t help but join in. I have had Christmas day’s where all I could think of was who wasn’t there anymore, and others when I wondered if I would ever find someone to create my own holiday traditions with.

This year, I have so much to be thankful for, including a wonderful husband who has answered my prayer regarding someone to start my own traditions with – and I have family both near and far whom I cherish so much. I have friends starting right next door and extending all the way across the globe who have been a part of my life for quite some time now. I’m so thankful for both these new and continued relationships in my life.

It’s easy to get caught up in the spending of money and picking out the perfect gift part of the holiday season. It’s easy to get bogged down by the last few days of work before a little bit of a vacation. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with trying to prepare your house, or pack your bags to travel during the holiday season. And it’s easy to get frustrated by family members schedules and food preferences and all your relatives’ crazy antics that will be in full force over the next week or two.

But what it’s REALLY easy to do is to forget what Christmas and the “holiday season” is all about. Even if you aren’t religious and Christmas season isn’t about celebrating the birth of Christ and being thankful to God for sending His son to us – I hope you can still appreciate that the Spirit of Christmas is about love, kindness and peace for all mankind. And not just appreciating it – but really actively pursuing that spirit by being kind to others, by forgiving people in your life who perhaps you’ve been mad at for too long. By doing something completely nice for a total stranger because it’s the right thing to do (all year round by the way, not just Christmas time!). It’s about not assuming people in your life know you care about them – and reminding them with your words AND your actions of how you feel. The Spirit of Christmas really boils down to relationships and the appreciation we should have for one another even if we haven’t met yet.

I hope that no matter what has been going on for you this past year – you can spend the next few weeks pursuing the Christmas Spirit – and I think you’ll find just by thinking about how to enhance the relationships in your life (to friends, family and strangers) you may find yourself overwhelmed by how good it feels to be kind to one another. And who knows, it might just catch on.

Happy holidays and Merry Christmas to all my friends – near and far. Be safe, be kind, and remember to pursue the Christmas spirit this year.

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenge, family, just for fun, Life, relationships, thankful thursday

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.

4 Comments

Filed under Challenge, family, goals, health, Life, pregnant and healthy, relationships

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

1 Comment

Filed under Challenge, food, goals, health, motivation, paleo, pregnant and healthy, primal, Real Food, Recipes, weight loss, what i'm eating, wheat free

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.” 🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under family, health, just for fun, Life, pregnant and healthy, relationships

Water Wings & Things

I have no idea why I decided that reconnecting with my inner swimmer was a good idea as we start moving into the winter months. There is nothing more fun than being freezing cold BEFORE you jump into slightly chilly water and then being even more cold as you desperately grab your towel and gear to get back to the locker room to shower and dry completely off before you head outside into the windy night.

Great idea, Dre!

But, I have to be realistic with myself that “going for a walk” every day is just not going to cut it. First off, I only ACTUALLY go for a walk maybe 2-3 times a week even though my goal is every day. So that isn’t a great success rate. It’s not that a walk is difficult, it just seems boring to me after years of high intensity cardio kickboxing or classes set to fun music blasting over the speakers. I need something that challenges my coordination and my mind in addition to just being a good workout.

On the other hand, I realize that working out while pregnant is a different story than just working out in general. I have more things to consider, and like it or not, it’s harder to catch my breath now that things are starting to happen inside me. Walking up stairs winds me more than usual and doing something as simple as vacuuming couch cushions got me out of breathe. It’s super annoying. And then I remind myself that there is a greater purpose  behind all of it and it’s not a forever thing. That helps. A little.

Exploring a New Workout

I’m sure my aerobics class will be pulling moves like this in no time.

So, yesterday I checked out a water aerobics class offered at my gym. Other than it being sort of freezing, I thought it was a good class. Definitely more low key, low intensity than I’m used to – but that IS sort of the point, I guess. And she did have us do some drills where I got to push myself a little harder and I liked those. We worked a lot on resistance stuff – so I felt like that was something I don’t do often enough. We used water weights and did some shoulder work, triceps, biceps – it was good stuff. Everyone was super friendly, and I definitely think I’ll go back.

It’s sort of interesting being back in the “searching for what works for me” stage of exercise. I feel like I went through this process several years ago and discovered I really liked TurboKick and group exercise. So in going back to my roots, I’m remembering that I’m way more likely to keep up with work outs if I’m part of a class/group program. So the water aerobics fits the bill for that. It’s definitely a class you can chat during which is different for me – but I liked it.

On Wednesdays, our gym offers another class called Water Running. The same instructor leads it and she said it’s more cardio focused – so I’m curious to give it a go. Of course, I’ll update you on my thoughts. I’ve never considered a water running class before – so I’m not even sure what to expect! But the part I hate about running the most is the pain in my joints and injuries – so running in the water might be an awesome solution.

Hey – maybe I’ll even find a 5k water running competition. It’s always fun to train for something!

So – in going back to this place in my life where I’m trying to find what works for me again – it’s reminded me of a few key decisions you have to make if you want to try and lead a healthier life. Funny enough, deciding to be healthy is only one piece of the healthy lifestyle puzzle. You have to do a little soul searching, too.

1) What are your priorities? Write them down & rank them.
2) Does your schedule reflect those priorities? (As in: If your #1 priority is your health….are you making time to prepare healthy meals and work out? If not…this is a red flag!)
3) Think of a time in your life when you were successful at something – what were the key factors? How can you replicate this in your current situation? (Example: I’m always more successful when I’m part of a group who are trying to accomplish similar things – so I know for me, finding a workout I can do with a group of people will help me stay on track vs. just trying to do something on my own 100% of the time).

Once you have these three items checked off – you can move to the next step which is actually making changes to your schedule and exploring options that are a match for your preferences. Of course, we’ll talk more about those next time!

Leave a comment

Filed under Challenge, goals, health, Life, motivation, pregnant and healthy, resources, Results