Nap Time Fitness: Abs and Yoga

So….Thursday was rolling around, and I was STILL super sore from my Tuesday workout. Those deadlifts did a number on my hamstrings, as I knew (and hoped) they would. Since Im still getting back into shape, I figured I would take a different tack for my Thursday work out. Ha, who am I kidding, I know it’s good to work those muscles again, but my hammies were just so damn sore.

I one again consulted my Pinterest page. Speaking of Pinterest, is it possible to edit the name of your boards? I tend to Pinterest on my phone, and my boards are full of typos that happened at 3am.

I decided to work my abs with this work out from Pumps n’ Iron.

I thought it would be no problem to do at as written.

20 seconds of each exercise, back to back, with 30 seconds of rest between. Ha, freaking, Ha.

I started with 20 seconds, and quickly backed down to 10. I suppose I should recall that I not only was pregnant for 41 weeks, but also had a c-section, which is major abdominal surgery. I forget that it’s a pretty big deal, because my recovery was so easy, and I had no side affects.

My upper abdominals are pretttrong. I went in to pregnancy with strong abs, and worked them the best I could, but pregnancy is pregnancy, my lower abs are shot. Surprisingly, I’m not sore in my abs this morning, my lats are sore. I plan to do this workout again, as planks are the best post pregnancy workout.

After my very, very tough plank workout, I did this Yoga sequence. It felt so, so good to stretch, especially my hammies. Prior to pregnancy I was doing Yoga 2x per week, and I would love to add it back in.

I’m proud of myself for meeting one of my month four goals this week! Hopefully I can keep it up.

 

3 weeks with baby

After a bath, with Grammy

I can’t believe that my baby is 3 weeks old today! I know that as the weeks progress, 3 weeks will seem so little, but right now, it feels like time is flying, and he is already so different than the day we brought him home.

Since bringing him home, he does two main things: eat and sleep. As the weeks progress he has more and more alert time, and I am starting to see a pattern emerge in his sleeping/waking/eating habits, not much of a pattern mind you, but more than the first couple of days.

After my c-section, I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. No judgements on what other mothers do, for their babies, but it was really important to me that my son was breastfeed, and not formula fed. Again, if it had come, does come down to it, formula is fine, great even. I will do whatever I have to do to make sure my baby survives. BUT, breast feed, so far, has been going really well. As well as breast feeding goes for a new mom, and a 21 day old baby. The first 9 days were pretty rough. My nipples hurt, and I really had no idea what to expect.  Luckily, my midwife’s office, has an AWESOME lactation consultant on staff, and I made an appointment with her when Anderson was 9 days old. I had been feeling a tiny bit frustrated, mostly due to Anderson’s cluster feeding, and my lack of knowledge about if what I was doing was “right,” as in correct. She had me feed him in front of her, and she said that we were doing pretty well. She gave me a few pointers, that have made things better, and having the reassurance that we weren’t totally off base, was a great self confidence booster.  Now, at 21 days, I’m pretty confident in knowing if we have a good latch, and if he is eating, but feel like I’m on a new part of the breast feeding learning curve. I am feeding on demand,  and I feel like I can’t tell when he is eating because he is hungry, and when he is nursing for comfort. The internet  will tell you that babies don’t use mom as pacifiers, that if they are showing signs of wanting to nurse, that they are doing it either because they are hungry, or they know they need to increase your milk supply. Of course the internet will also give you the opposing position, and say that babies do use moms for pacification, and that you shouldn’t let your baby do that. You can find strong opinions on just about every aspect of child rearing, usually conflicting with eachother.

I have decided that if he is rooting around, and can’t be consoled by any means, than he is probably hungry and I feed him. Unfortunately, I think I sometimes don’t read his cues correctly. Last night he nursed for almost an hour (this was from 2:30 to 4:00 am by the way), I changed his diaper and he was fussy. I tried soothing him in my arms, but was so tired and frustrated (he had been fussy at the breast) that I didn’t really have the patience to try to soothe him with out offering him the chance to nurse. I did that, and he was not interested. I went into the bedroom, and told my husband to watch him, that I had to pee.  When I got back, my husband told me, to get in bed and go to sleep that he would soothe the baby and take him in the living room. And what do you know, he was able to soothe him to sleep, and he slept for almost two hours, till he woke up and was ready to nurse again. My point, I guess, is that I need to try other methods of soothing, and not always jump to nursing, i’m sure my nipples will thank me.

As for sleep, he isn’t sleeping through the night, and I don’t expect him to. I think mothers somtimes have too high of expectations for new borns. The past four nights he has been consistently up to nurse every hour and a half (although if you count from the start of a nursing session, to the start of the next, like some people do, then it’s more like every 2 to 2.25 hours). He is starting to have more of a pattern during the day, with a morningish “nap” and an afternoon “nap” although what times these occur are not consistent. Everything that i have read, says not to expect a baby under 4 weeks to have any sort of circadian rhthym, day and night are the same to them.

My recovery is going well. Two weeks ago I started taking short walks around the block, and this week was up to walking almost a mile. I have walked with Anderson in a moby wrap, an Ergo carrier, and his stroller. I am not quite confident or comfortable with the carriers yet, I feel like I either tie the moby too tight, or too lose, and with the Ergo I feel like his little face is smooshed into my chest. But, with both of these, and the stroller, he easily falls asleep as soon as I get him in the carrier and comfortable. I also have a sling, but it’s too small. I am sending it back this week, for a larger size. I’m looking forward to the new size arriving, so I can wear Anderson when we are out and about. Putting him in the sling is so much easier than the moby or the Ergo, at this point.  Ok, I got side tracked from my recovery….I don’t have daily pain any more at this point, and haven’t since week 1. I do have some pain when I sleep on my side for too long, or lift something too heavy. I’m trying not to get too anxious to get back into an exercise routine, so I can feel a little bit better about my body.

I have lost, with out trying, 30 pounds of the 42ish that I gained. I figure that 30 was the baby and fluids etc, from pregnancy, and the remaining 12ish are what I gained from not eating as strictly during pregnancy as I did, pre-pregnancy. Of course, like all moms, even though I have lost lots of weight, things are shaped differently, and my prepregnancy clothes, even my “fat’ clothes don’t fit yet. All in good time.

So, life with baby is good. His sweet little face makes every sleepless hour, and stretch mark worth it.

Plus Size Pregnancy Fashion

Today is laundry day, and I as I was hanging up a shirt, it hit me for the first time, just how much I miss my non-maternity clothes! I haven’t reached the point where I want to throw out my maternity clothes, but I def miss having a variety in my closet!

Being plus sized, and trying to be fashionable is enough of a challenge as it is. I knew, in the event that I ever got pregnant, it would be even worse.  At the very least you can find plus size clothes in almost any town, if it’s big enough for a Wal-Mart, it will have plus size clothing. The options might suck (let’s be honest, they do), but at least there is a physical place to buy something if you need it. Plus size maternity clothes? Fat chance. Prior to moving to Wyoming, I lived in an area with 500,000 people. Not a roaring metropolis, but big enough that shopping in brick and mortar stores is possible. In this area, there was one, ONE store that carried plus size maternity clothes. Motherhood Maternity. I should throw out the caveat,that prior to getting pregnant, I was on the cusp of plus-size, and non plus-size in certain stores.  Old Navy’s xxl size (straight size) was usually swimming on me, but the XL was just a little too snug.  Of the three Old Navy stores in my area, only ONE carried maternity clothes, and even then the selection was paltry.

I knew that I didnt want to spend a fortune on maternity clothes, and I knew that I was going to have to order some of them online.

Here is what I ended up purchasing:

3 pairs of maternity slacks for work

5 pairs of maternity jeans (2 that didn’t work for me past the beginning on the 2nd tri, just felt wierd around my belly, so I had to buy two more).

1 maternity skirt

2 pairs of maternity work out pants (one was legitimately maternity, the other was just two sizes up from my normal, they were huge at first, but fit now, 4 days from my due date, I call that a succcess)

2 maternity workout shirts (again these are just regular work out shirts, but two sizes bigger than my non maternity. I never thought I would get big enough to fill them out. Ha freaking ha).

3 bigger bras

3 maternity ribbed tank tops

1 maternity white tank top for layering

and about 13 maternity tops.

All told I probably spent about $600.00 on clothes. Ugh. that number frustrates me, but you essentially have to re-build your entire wardrobe!

Now, I have to disclose that my sister-in-law did give me some of her maternity clothes. She and I have different styles, and she is actually a size smaller than me, but most of the stuff she gave me fit through my second trimester, and some of the stuff fits now. She didn’t give me any bottoms though.

Here are some tips for plus size women, who are going through the hell that is maternity fashion:

  • side ruching is your friend, and is incredibly hard to find. I almost always chose my maternity tops with side ruching over those that don’t have it, because I just find them so much more flattering.
  • Full belly panels are also your friend. Mid-level panels often have a THICK band of elastic, and I found that very uncomfortable once my belly started hardening and rounding out.
  • DON’T DISCOUNT YOUR NON MATERNITY WARDROBE. I have 2 pairs of pajamas, 3 shirts, and about 6 camis that are all non maternity. And all of them still fit. Thank you clothing industry for insisting on putting spandex in everything. Once my belly dropped, the camis became too short, so I could no longer wear them with just a cardigan, but they still work well for layering, since everythign insists on being big up top (and I have big boobs! what gives!).
  • Embrace cardigans. I was never really a cardigan girl until about two years ago, but they have become a staple during pregnancy for me (as most of my pregnancy was during the winter). I was able to make my outfits go further, and have certain tops do double duty (liked the ribbed maternity tanks) since they are wearable both with and without a cardigan.
  • If you are a size 18/20 don’t ignore straight size maternity clothes. Due to the generous nature of maternity clothes, and the presence of spandex, lots of straight size XL’s might fit. I had straight size maternity clothes that either still fit, or fit up until about 36 weeks from: JCPenny, Old Navy (and their XXL’s are sometimes still too big–not in the belly!), Motherhood Maternity, and H&M.
  • Maxi dresses are your friend!!  I wore a dress on Easter, almost 37 weeks pregnant, that I got at Ross last year, when I was at my skinniest. It fit, and looked great. These would be ideal for women pregnant in the summer
  • Don’t buy something that you wouldn’t wear if it were non maternity, and you weren’t pregnant. You won’t wear it, and that will just be money down the drain!

Most importantly, don’t get frustrated, and be patient.

 

Pregnancy: 36 Week Update

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That is a whole lot of belly! I am technically only 35w6d pregnant, but I had a doc appointment today and really what difference does one day make?

So… since my last update two weeks ago I feel like I have become “heavily” pregnant. I swear everywhere I go people are staring at my belly. This could also be in my head.
So…for the numbers…
Weight gain: none in the last two weeks! Actually down one pound. But as I have gained PLENTY…no one seems worried about it.

Belly Size: measuring 37 weeks

Contractions: yes! At least I think so! I had my first internal check today and have no dilating and no effacment.

Workouts: have been a little light. Mostly just walks and yoga. I definitely feel large and awkward now.

The to do list:
Lots done!
Crib is in the nursery.
Changing pad is all ready.
Blankets are washed.
Curtains are hung.
Bouncer is put together.

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Only 4 weeks(ish) to go!

Pregnancy: What Workout?

 

Isn't this a classic picture?

Again, sorry I’ve been so absent around here. I guess my promise is posting will be sporadic at worst, and less sporadic at best. 🙂

I’ve settled into a routine here in Wyoming. A daily routine, but not so much a real workout routine. As you know, prior to moving I was still training with kettlebells 2x a week. Well, I haven’t been doing any kettlebells since moving here. I only own a 35 pounder, and while I know that would be ok to swing, and I’m comfortable with my technique, I’m not sure of the prudence of doing my swings/other things with out someone else around. Just to be safe. The dog can’t really call 911.

I have been regularly walking, at least 5 times per week, for at least 20 minutes, which seems to be the most I can do before I get some serious round ligament pain on the top of my belly. At this point, I’m not exercising to lose weight, but exercising to keep some modicum of fitness for delivery and beyond. I have also been doing Prenatal Yoga at least once per week, sometimes two.  Last week I subbed out prenatal yoga for prenatal pilates. I found a prenatal pilates video on youtube. The pilates was quite a bit harder than Yoga, which made me realize I have been skimping out on my favorite thing: strength training!

I finally got my butt in gear this morning, after a LOOOONG night of tossing and turning due to extreme hip pain. I know that some hip pain is inevitable in late pregnancy, but it made me think about the dis-service I am doing to myself by not getting in some regular strength training.

So, I created the following “circuit” for myself. It’s pretty easy, and again tailored for what I can do in my living room, with only my body weight.

Allison’s 32 Week Circuit

March in place:30 seconds

Diagonal arm/leg balance: 10 seconds each side, repeat each side 2x

March in place: 30 seconds

20 pregnancy burpees

Plank: 20 seconds

Downdog: 30 seconds

Malasana Squat: 30 seconds

Repeat 2-3x

Today I repeated 2.5 times. I did the whole thing twice, and then on the 3 time around I only did 1 diagonal arm/leg balance on each leg, 10 burpees, and for plank I did 40 seconds, but I put my kneees down.

It’s not going to win any fitness awards, but it helped me move my body in a way that I haven’t been diligent about doing. I picked exercises that I know are ok/good for pregnancy and birth. Birth….birth is on my mind these days.  A LOT.

Wyoming: She’ll leave you high and dry.

Rock Springs, the town I live in in Wyoming, is located at 6338 feet.  Higher than a mile, and the highest elevation I have ever resided at (other than summer camp in the Sierra’s). The elevation here, is deceiving though. It’s a high plains desert, and doesn’t feel like places you associate with high elevation, like the mountains.

I live in that green section that you see, with that “mountain” view out my bedroom window. This is only half the town, but it gives you an idea of the topography. Brown. Good thing I was born and raised in the high mountain desert, or this might be quite the shock for me.

Last week I was in Reno for my baby shower, thrown by my mother, and a family friend came up to me and told me to make sure I was drinking enough water. I thought she was just giving me advice, because I am pregnant and people are compelled to give you advice and ask you how your are feeling every second of every day. But then she started talking about elevation changes. She is a Labor and Delivery nurse, and said she sees with some amount of frequency, people who come to Reno/Tahoe for a final vacation before the baby comes and end up in early labor due to the elevation and lack of hydration. I wasn’t too worried about myself, having previously been living at an elevation of 2,516ft and Reno is located at 4,505, and I was only there for a few days, but it did get me thinking about the jump to almost 6400 feet.

Hydration is crucial all the time, not just in pregnancy, and I’m sure the hospital here in Rock Springs sees plenty of dehydration cases in visitors and newcomers. But, it’s even more crucial in pregnancy, and at 30 weeks, I really don’t want to go into labor just yet.

I was talking to my best friend about elevation and exercise on the phone, the day after I arrived here in Wyoming. She is currently in Afghanistan and training for a half marathon in Scotland. She said, after the 3000 feet in Afghanistan, that her race in Scotland should be pretty easy. I mentioned the elevation here, and how that combined with my increased blood volume, and extra weight strapped around my stomach, working out felt hard and that these days even a 20-30 minute walk was enough exercise for me.

Four days later this showed up on my doorstep…

 

A Camelbak hydration pack! Inside the pack was a note from my friend about staying hydrated etc. A perfect “welcome to wyoming” gift. I am sort of a gear-nerd, so I was excited to see the padded straps, sternum strap, and all the pockets in which I could carry my keys and phone etc. I have been holding a 24 ounce water bottle in my hand during my walks, and this is going to make it so much easier, have you ever tried holding a nalgene with thick winter gloves on? Not so easy.

I’m excited to get out for my walk with the dog this morning, in fact, that is what I am off too next. It is a balmy 18 degrees outside, but no wind! Gotta take advantage of the still air while I can.

 

Pregnancy: 30 week update

apologies for the bad cell phone/bathroom shot

 

Grrrrrrr.  This post had 300 hundred words in it, I hit publish, and it’s gone.  Dear wordpress, today you are annoying!

The gist was:

I am 30 weeks pregnant. Holy shit.

I have gained 2 pounds in 2 weeks, right on track.

My feet and hands have no swelling and are the same size.

My bra size has increased from a 38ddd to a 40g. Awesome. finding nursing bras is going to be out of this world.

I have upped my exercise since arriving in Wyoming, by walking the dog each day. 30 minute walks are about my limit.

Doing kick counts sucks and makes me paranoid.

Again….I swear this post had more meat to it…..

with only 10 weeks left in pregnancy, the pregnancy posts on this blog are going to start becoming more regular and most of my content. I think.  I’ll probably talk about Wyoming too….this week we had 50 mph winds!

Pregnancy: Week 28 Update

So, this week, I am 28 weeks pregnant. Which is sort of unbelievable to me.

Today I had my last appointment with my OB here in Idaho, well that is, unless I fail my glucose intolerance test. Yipes!

I had to drink 50grams of glucose 30 mins before my appointment. 20 minutes before I drank the glucose I had a spinace salad with chicken, avocado, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and carrots.  I have no idea how this well affect my results, but I was directed to “eat as normal” so that is what I did. Directly after drinking the glucose I felt a little naseous, and I think if I had found myself leaning over the toilet, I could have willed myself to throw up. I kept it down though. We will see how it goes. The juice, was really really gross.

Other than the glucose, my appointment went well. My blood pressure was good, and my weight gain was right on track (3.5 pounds in the last 3 weeks).

I have not done traditional pregnancy updates, but I thought for this post, I would post a few statistics.

Number of Weeks Pregnant: 27 weeks and 6 days.

Number of pounds gained: Aproximately 26. If I continue to gain at a pound a week, I will have gained just under 40 pounds. Oh man. I will not worry, I will not obsess.

Number of total mental breakdowns that I think are related to pregnancy: just one.

Number of months I have lived apart from my husband: 4

Number of maternity pants I own: 8

Number of maternity pants that I like: 5

Number of workouts per week: 3 or 4

Ok, those are all of the numbers I can think of. It’s been a pretty good pregnancy so far, but starting tomorrow I am going to be in my third trimester! Ack! Is this when it is going to start getting hard?

 

Living with the In-Laws: The Food Situation

Tonight for dinner I am making my self a steak, cooked in coconut oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. On the side I am having mashed sweet potatoes. Yum.

This will be the first time that I have cooked what I consider a “real” meal in a few months. Which, is honestly, quite strange for me, as cooking real meals was my norm prior to getting pregnant and living with my in-laws.

When I got pregnant, and ended up with morning sickness that didn’t allow me to cook with out gagging, my husband cooked all our meals, and that was fine. Then, he moved and I moved in with my in-laws. Again, I love them dearly, but we eat totally differently. My father-in-law doesnt cook, and my mother-in-law doesnt like to. She cooks for him probably 3 or  4 nights a week. Dinner usually consists of some kind of protein (ground beef, chicken, pot roast) starch (potatoes, bread) and a veggie (either canned or iceberg lettuce salad). Of course, there is the occasional pasta based dish. On the nights that my mother-in-law cooked, I just ate what she cooked. Which resulted in two things: less veggies and more starches in my diet. On the nights that she didn’t cook, I would find things I could stomach making myself for dinner. Boxed soup, salads with sandwich meat, sandwiches and chips, etc.

At this house we have a WHOLE pantry of processed foods. Some of which, I think are helpful to have on hand: canned vegetables, canned tomatoes, unsweetened tomato sauce, broth, nuts, raisins. Some of which, are not helpful for me, when I am trying to eat as healthy as possible for baby; cereal, pop tarts, fiber one bars, chips, cookies, etc.  I do have one cabinet in the kitchen for my food, and I keep my pantry staples in there, and one draw in the fridge for my veggies/perishables. I don’t meant ot make this sound like I am not allowed the other food, my in-laws just promised to stay out of the ones that are “mine.”

So, what is my point? My point is that I am not surprised that I gained 10 pounds last month. Last week, I cleaned up my diet, focused on whole foods and healthy fats, and my in-laws scale read 5 pounds lighter than the doctors. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am NOT dieting. I am NOT cutting calories, I am NOT trying to lose weight, I am just trying to eat as healthy as possible, and for me this includes some treats. I also realize that the two scales could have a weight discrepancy. But, I feel better, and that matters to me.

I also, do not think it’s my in-laws fault that I made poor eating choices. I made them. It’s harder, not being in my own space, where I can control everything in my environment, but I still have the capability to make the healthiest choice for me.

And, that steak and mashed sweet potatoes I had for dinner? A.MAZING. seriously, puts a sandwich to shame.

Pregnancy: Weight gain…25 weeks.

Ok, I would love to not write this post. But I said in my previous post that I would come back and update on my weight gain.

I’m just going to say it. I gained 10 pounds between appointments. 10 pounds in 28 days. I was shocked, and surprised, and embarrassed.

During my  appointment with the doctor, I could tell she wasn’t going to say anything, but I knew 10 pounds in one month was a lot, and a considerable jump for me. So I brought it up, and she said “yes, 10 is on the high side for one month, but your blood pressure looks good, and there is no protein in your urine, so I think its ok for now.”  I of course, burst into tears. Not with relief.

I was upset, and again, embarrassed, and quite frankly, felt guilty. I was more healthy when I wasn’t pregnant. I had impeccable eating, and since getting pregnant, and moving in my in-laws it’s all back slide. I recognize that I am pregnant, and I should cut myself some slack, and really 22 pounds total in 25 weeks of pregnancy isn’t that bad, but it puts me on track to gain almost 50 pounds if I gain at the estimated rate of 1lb per week.  (Side note, I think that lots of conventional “wisdom’ is bunk, so I’m not sure why I think I will/have to gain 1 lb per week from here on out). 50 pounds feels unacceptable to me. And that is what this is really about. The behaviors that I am partaking in that I truly dislike, for me. Again, this is all about me, I am not trying to tell anyone else how they should or shouldn’t conduct themselves during pregnancy.

I believe that healthy eating involves lots of good fats, protein, tons of veggies, fruit and very little starchy carbs. Let me just say, I have not been shy about the starchy carbs.

I want to be healthy for my baby. I don’t care if I gain 50 pounds, I care if I gain 50 pounds because I couldnt stop eating donuts.

There have been several times in my life, when I’ve had a wakeup call about my health, and it was all I needed to turn my habits arounds. Today is one of those days for me.  It’s time to clean up the ol’ pregnancy diet. Time for fewer refined carbs, and more veggies. And more healthy fats. And, much, much less sugar. Damn sugar demon, you sucked me in.

So, new leaf starts tonight. Eating the way I know makes me feel good starts tonight. And if I gain nother 10 pounds in another 28 days, at least I’ll know it was while I was putting the healthiest food in my body, 99% of the time.