September 2013

My Fetus Loves CrossFit- CrossFitting While Pregnant
September 23, 2013 at 10:10 pm 0
I think part of me has procrastinated so much on getting this post out because I was scared of judgement. I know I’m pushing limits and defying a lot of the info out there on what I “should” be doing and I didn’t know if I was ready (or could handle) comments that in any way said I wasn’t doing the best for my baby. There are too many unknowns in pregnancy already to have comments add worry. And then I read this article from CNN about CrossFitting while pregnant. And it pissed my off enough to publish this damn post and be one voice out there saying I am pregnant and vigorous exercise (mainly CrossFit) is good for me and my baby. My midwife approved my activities. She said to stop when it doesn’t feel right and to drink a ton of extra water. “Even heavy lifting? Like, setting PRs-heavy-lifting?” I asked. “Absolutely!” she said. CrossFit during pregnancy is keeping me sane. It’s a healthy choice for me, my baby and, honestly, for everyone around me. I took more days off in my first trimester, didn’t push so much and ate terribly, and I’ve all around never felt so bad (and in more ways than just the 1st tri problems). I feel my best when I’m exercising- my nausea, weight gain and constipation are second thoughts and my focus is on the task at hand. And that feels great. I can’t believe it still has to be said, but pregnancy is not a disease. It is not a disability. It is not weakness.
“I think it is sad that people would compare my weight lifting with smoking and drinking. Or call me a poor mother for keeping fit and strong during pregnancy. “There is an obesity epidemic in our country with diabetes on a rampage. People need to embrace a healthy lifestyle and for babies it starts in the womb.”  -Lea-Ann Ellison (the kick ass mom in question in the article)
In fact, I think I’ve never been stronger. After all, I’m still a wife to Richard and a mom to four dogs. I still work 40 hours every week, workout, visit friends and clean my house… but now all while growing a human. Strength, not weakness. Pregnancy is a long list of unknowns. Eat the right things, take in enough water, avoid stress, get plenty of sleep, exercise (but not too much). There’s no Perfect Pregnancy Guide for all women to follow. From talking with other women, I’ve gathered that none of our experiences are even close. I remember when I hit my second trimester and my midwife told me I couldn’t be on my back at all. I hardly slept for days because I would wake up at all hours, terrified that I may have rolled on my back! I was exhausted and stressed out from over-stressing about what was right and wrong. We don’t get ultrasounds and doctor visits daily. The baby doesn’t have an iPhone to text me what he’d like to see more of or less of. So for the most part I read the information, talk to my midwife and then listen very carefully to my body. And at the end of the day I trust that my body is performing as it was created to perform and everything will be okay.
“The real deal here is that our society does not get pregnancy and birth….To all that criticized this woman and the rest of the women out there for doing their best as mothers, GET A UTERUS and/or EDUCATE YOURSELF.”this awesome article written in response to the headlines
The First Workout I was signed up to WOD later the day we found out we were pregnant. I was scared to move or breath hard or really move my body. Richard watched me with worry on his face and I couldn’t think of anything but the baby the whole time. CrossFit Now I’ve found a sweet spot of knowing my preggo limits and reminding myself to still push hard. For example, heavy deadlifts are out until this baby comes out. On the other hand, squats feel fine and I’m not going to ditch my heavy squats just because I don’t feel like doing it and have a convenient excuse that’d get me out of it. I CrossFit 5-6x/week and RX most of the movements (except for those darn DU’s and pull-ups). I run slower than everyone else and pace myself a little differently, but otherwise you wouldn’t know I was pregnant. I also sprinkle hot power yoga and running into my weeks. I feel amazing.

A few things to note:

- Obviously, I never want to endanger my baby. I won’t do anything that could risk complications. And when it doesn’t feel right, I slow down, modify or stop. - My midwife supports lifting heavy, being upside down and anything that feels fine. - I am surprised at how much I can feel when something isn’t right. Heavy deadlifts pull my pelvic floor muscles so I keep the deadlifts to around 75% of my previous max or less. Whatever feels right. I also lose my breath easier and spend a solid minute just standing there waiting for my breath to regulate in the middle of some WODs.

What I’m doing now:

- I stopped box jumps. I’m clumsy anyway and the risk of falling is too great. - I scale back on tire flips and heavy deadlifts. - I find modifications for back and belly exercises.

Preggo CrossFit Tips:

-Consult your doctor first. - Make sure your instructors know you are pregnant. The coaching I receive is different now (I squat slightly wider to make room for the belly) and my coaches have helped me with modifications mid-WOD. - Drink plenty of water. And then more and a little more. - Wear a supportive bra and breathable clothes. They go a long way! - Watch your body temp and heart rate. Realize you may have to rest more now than pre-pregnancy. - As long as you are low-risk and have your doctor’s approval, always take information from the web in with a grain of salt. I even disagree with mods from CrossFit Mom.  Find what works for you and avoid feeling pressure to perform a certain way during this time (or ever).
A New Life
September 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm 0

Forget living like you’re dying- live like you’re having a baby!

I may complain about constipation and admit that I don’t feel connected to my baby yet, but the truth is that pregnancy has already changed my life in more positive ways than anything else.
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Slowing Down

I love being around kids because they bring you back to the basics of life: they play in the rain, laugh a lot and don’t sweat the small stuff (unless they’re toddlers). I want to embrace every moment of being pregnant and adding to our family so I’ve evaluated the things clogging up my life. We cancelled our hulu account and, since we never had cable, are finding more time at night to put on music and simply talk. I avoid always having technology around me. A few weeks ago I had the most amazing moment, all because I had my eyes open. So many blue birds travel through our back yard and I love them. One tired afternoon I paused my chores to rest on the bed and look out the window. There’s a tree right outside the window and it was moving so gracefully in the wind. And suddenly a big, gorgeous blue bird landed right in front of my window on one of those branches. I watched closely as he examined the area, eventually darted down to the ground and came up to the branch. It was beautiful and absolutely made my day. And I never would have seen it if I was scanning facebook on my iPhone.
“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” ― Bill Watterson

At Ease

I’ve become more relaxed about everything. I was never an overly-anxious person, but I can’t believe how carefree I’ve been since getting pregnant. By living in the moment and trusting that everything does in fact work out in the end, there’s not really any space for worry. That new job I started not long ago at Sommer Sports? It ended up being terrible and I left shortly after finding out we were pregnant. Without spending a day worrying I found a new position that’s more than I could ever ask for. It all works out.
“Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. Then your time on earth will be filled with glory.” ― Betty Smith, Joy in the Morning

It’s a Good Body

I feel at home in my body. My body is a vessel and it’s doing something amazing. I’ve left old ideals in the dust and am embracing these new wider hips and and extra scrunches of fat around my body. Richard loves my pregnant body, too. It’s romantic how in love he is with my changing shape. By appreciating what my body is doing I’ve learned to appreciate it for more than what it looks like.
 ”We have a secret in our culture, it’s not that birth is painful, it’s that women are strong.” – Laura Stavoe Harm

Making Us Time

Eventually our kids will grow up, move out and create families of their own. When that times comes, I’ll still have Richard. I love what we have now and our bond staying strong is a huge priority as we take on new adventures and challenges. We are making it a point to go on more dates before baby and just connect more about our day. We’re also talking about those little things that bother us… because we know little things can become big things with no sleep and a crying baby. We’re getting to know each other on a deeper level as we talk about our feelings through this process of growing a baby.
You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love. Henry Drummond

Love Bigger

Sure, it’s sappy. And yes, it probably has something to do with hormones. I feel like my capacity to love has increased, as well as my desire and patience to do so. As much as pregnancy often brings attention to me in a crowd, growing a child is selfless in many ways. As I loosen the reigns on my own needs and wants, there’s a little more space to give love.
 “I don’t know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.” ― Abraham Lincoln

Joining the League

I’ve always felt like a kid when talking about having children. Warnings from people who are parents and my own family were endless. We were told to wait, wait, wait. We were told how hard it is. Well, now we’re pregnant! While we’re not parenting yet, we feel like we’ve joined the league in a way and are comfortable with making decisions on how we want to birth, parent and more. Nobody else will be able to do this for us.
 “You never understand life until it grows inside of you.” ― Sandra Chami Kassis 

Going For It

I am a planner and tend to be very reasonable and conservative when spending money or making plans. I love practicality. Those tendencies led us to a profitable budget that is paying for this baby, but now I’m learning to loosen that grip every now and then, too. This is a fact: our life will not end when we have kids. But we understand things will change, so if there’s something we want to do, the time is now! Since finding out we were pregnant we’ve crossed more off our bucket list than ever before. We’re going to plays, canoeing with alligators,  trying new restaurants and taking day trips from coast to coast.
 ”A grand adventure is about to begin.” – Winnie the Pooh
It’s funny how the things that matter in life are so much more simple than what we may have guessed growing up. I wish I could go back to 17-year-old me, tell her to appreciate the little moments and show her a glimpse at how beautiful her life would be.
Another Pregnancy Post
September 16, 2013 at 10:08 pm 0

My first pregnant CrossFit photo and my belly is hiding...

I swore this wouldn’t turn into a pregnancy blog, but, this is another pregnancy post. I’m pregnant. It’s what’s going on. I’ll think of other things to talk about soon. Tomorrow I will post about CrossFitting with a baby in my belly, but for now here are my thoughts at 17.5 weeks: - I can feel my skin stretching. It doesn’t feel good. - I’m oddly self-conscious when baring my belly in public. And, yes, I think part of that is that everyone knows I had sex to get my belly. - The more I learn and grow the more I’m becoming this liberal, free-thinking mama ready to defy stereotypes… and the more scared I am to broadcast my honest feelings about pregnancy and the perceptions about it. - I’ve been loving and accepting my new more round body more, although I miss feeling sexy and carefree in my own skin. Spontaneous, fun sex is less likely when it feels like the baby is kicking my stomach into my ribs. - Don’t like being the center of attention? Too bad! Everyone loves baby bellies. I’ve finally learned that I don’t have to answer, “fat, bloated, constipated and gassy!” every time someone asks how I’m feeling. “Pretty good!” is sufficing. - Pet peeve of the year: people who roll their eyes when I tell them (solicited.. I don’t go around blurting these things out) that I’m excited for a natural, drug-free birth. So many people have told me that it’s going to hurt too bad and I’ll get an epidural. Funny enough, the women who delivered naturally say the opposite. - You know all those cute photo collages of women every day or every week of their pregnancy? Yeah, we’ve done none of them. We have a few photos of me in a bikini. - There’s a lot of deep, dark parts to pregnancy that they just don’t tell you. We have doubts about becoming parents and worry that we won’t love our child. I haven’t bonded with the baby like I thought I would by now. It’s all normal and makes for great conversation. - The world is pregnant. I am so grateful for the miracle that is pregnancy, but you’ll never realize how many people receive that miracle until you’re pregnant! I swear pregnant bellies attract each other. Tomorrow: how I’m CrossFitting with a baby belly and a photo where it actually looks like I’m pregnant. Any questions?
Review: Mix My Own Muesli
September 10, 2013 at 10:10 pm 0
Klara with Mix My Own emailed me about her healthy breakfast company and asked if I’d like to give it a try. I’m pretty sure I don’t need to tell you why I said yes, so here’s what I thought of Mix My Own! Here’s how it works: you decide you want a new, healthy option for breakfast. You visit the Mix My Own site and begin building your muesli or granola or cereal mix. You add in your fun mix-ins. Name your custom mix. Go to checkout, pay about$5 for shipping and get your mix to your doorstep in about two days! Your options: 1. Base like five grain bircher muesli, whole grain honey almond vanilla granola, organic multigrain flakes and organic ancient grains flakes. 2. Base Ingredients like organic quinoa flakes, raw/toasted wheat germ, crunchy whole grain coconut granola and whole grain rye flakes. 3. Fruits like organic apple chips, freeze dried bananas, dates, goji berries and mulberries. 4. Nuts & Seeds like cashews, chia seeds, organic coconut, pistachios and pumpkin seeds. 5. Extras like organic acai powder, organic cacao nibs, organic ground cinnamon, matcha tea powder and vanilla bean. And BOOM. You have an awesome muesli mix to prepare at home and enjoy. My “Dog Day” mix was full of flavor with a large portion of mix-ins. There were huge chunks of walnuts and just enough of the seeds and dried fruits. It was heavy on the cinnamon so I prepare mine with some plain rolled oats. Some thoughts about Mix My Own:  - easy to go back to different sections and add more to your base - all selections loaded in the handy sidebar so it was easy to track my design - love the amount of organic and raw selections and that I can add ingredients twice :) - the actual mix was stuffed with ingredients I really enjoyed the ordering process and final product with Mix My Own. It’s not in my budget to use as a daily breakfast, but I can see it as a treat or a great gift. I can imagine mixes for college freshman, new parents or a health nut’s birthday. Have you tried Mix My Own? What do you enjoy in your muesli or oatmeal?
Zooma Inspired Yoga + Run Race Recap
September 8, 2013 at 10:10 pm 0
Saturday morning my friends Jenny, Janna and I piled in Jenny’s car at 4:50am to make our way to Jacksonville for the Zooma event Inspired Yoga + Run. It was early and we were sleepy, but the trip ended up being well worth the effort. Google Maps had trouble directing us to the Sea Walk Pavilion on Jacksonville Beach, but we eventually found the party, parked super close by and headed to the check-in table to claim our free tank and a little stretchy wristband that served as our bib or ticket to the event. The check-in process was like the rest of the event- friendly, relaxed and easy. How awesome is this race tank in a woman’s cut?! The event kicked off with a 55-minute yoga class at 7:30am and we unrolled our mats on the dew-covered grass. There was plenty of room to spread out with a clear view of the stage. The yoga teacher had a mic so we had no trouble hearing her directions. The class was very gentle and all-levels-focused. I appreciated being encouraged to take each pose wherever I wanted to, even if it was skipping it for child’s pose. There was a yogi on stage following the practice to serve as a demonstration but it was more confusing than if the teacher was practicing. The teacher often directed to move the right side when the yogi was moving her left side and so on. There were several confusing moments, but overall the beautiful location and glow of the sun more than made up for having to double check my position. The class was fun, relaxing and even a little inspiring. It set the tone for a great day. After the class we had about 10 minutes to get ready for the run. We loaded our mats back in the car and ditched our shoes in the grass. There wasn’t an official start line or timing gun so we actually ended up starting a few minutes behind everyone else. As we were about ready to start I was able to meet Allison who works with Zooma and invited me out. She explained the course was 1.5 miles out on the beach to a water station and 1.5 miles back. She encouraged us to go farther or turn around earlier, a relaxed offer I really appreciated! We were so blissed out from the gorgeous weather and relaxing yoga class that we opted for a walk in the water over a run. We took our time and chatted while observing the inspiring quotes placed along the way. We took the relaxing theme a bit further and turned around at the first mile marker making our walk three miles instead of two. We wanted to get back to the food! I think Jacksonville Beach is a pretty amazing location to walk or run! There were a few Zooma ladies who cheered us on near the finish line and welcomed us back. They directed us back near the pavilion to enjoy some goodies. I loved the brands at Zooma! I grabbed some hint water, Chobani yogurt and a KIND bar. It was plenty of food to refuel from the light morning. I appreciated that it was all so tasty and healthy, too. (FYI: Coconut Chobani is incredible.) There weren’t many shaded places to sit at the end and it was quiet without any music so we headed back to the car and continued on with our day, We spent a few more hours in Jacksonville before heading back to Orlando. I really enjoyed the Zooma event Inspired Yoga + Run. It was a relaxing, beautiful day that really catered to all levels and encouraged guests to enjoy the event at their own pace. The event was on the smaller side so checking in, finding a spot for yoga, grabbing food and parking was a breeze and we didn’t wait for anything. Parking close to a race or event is priceless, especially in the Florida heat! The beautiful tank is a huge bonus, too. Finally, an event T-shirt I will actually wear! If I could change anything, I would add more to the after-party. The event was great and post-race food was a treat, but there wasn’t much of an atmosphere to hang around and enjoy it. This was my first Zooma race and I’m on my way to check out the rest of their race calendar now. I like the way they approach events and would love to enjoy another day with them and friends! Have you ever participated in a Zooma event?
Things I’m Loving (and not)
September 3, 2013 at 10:10 pm 0

Things I’m loving right now:

- All of your sweet comments on my 10 Ways to Know You’re Pregnant post.

- Not having to suck in my stomach anymore.

- Telling Richard daily, “can you take out the trash/feed the dogs/kill that roach/pay the bills? I’m carrying our baby.”

- Knowing I’m close to that cute pregnant belly stage and away from the bloated-constipated look.

-Setting PRs in CrossFit while simultaneously growing a human from my lunch.

- The boobs.

Things I’m not loving right now:

- I can’t run. I can’t even breathe! Sometimes I feel like I’m going to die from climbing one step of stairs.

- Belly rubs. Just don’t do it.

- Always talking about all things baby.

- This is the worst kind of baby fever- I still want to steal other people’s kids and I know I have one of my own, but it still looks like an alien and is trapped inside me.

- I’ve traded wine and pumpkin beers for ginger chews, aloe vera juice and GasX.

- Everything is bigger. Even my elbows feel bigger.