Monday, June 29, 2015

Treating myself!

So I did a little self care today - the day I started my new job!

I treated myself to a little art by one of my favorite artists:

And a haircut:

So I splurged and spent just under $100 on myself! I usually don't do that (I've been saving like a machine - I normally do anyway, but I turned it up when I found out I was pregnant) but I just wanted a few luxuries today :)

It's better than splurging on food! 

So I'm in a pretty good mood (I've been vacillating up-and-down with my moods the past few days - not sleeping well and feeling like a crazy pregnant lady). I'm trying not to turn to food indulgences whenever I want to feel a little better. 

Hence the treating myself today!

But I have a lot to look forward to this week. I have my five month ultrasound and a three day weekend - two things I've been looking forward to for many weeks now.

That's about it for me - I'm training this week, so I don't have much time to focus on the blog. I'll be catching up on all if yours tonight before bed! <3

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Body Weight Exercises

So I've been getting back to exercising (slowly!). I've progressed from gentle yoga back to some basic body-weight exercises. I definitely want to make sure that I maintain some of my muscle tone and strength through the pregnancy, it will help me through labor and recovery AND dealing with a newborn, I think, if my body is as strong as it can be. I've read a lot that squats are a really great exercise to do while pregnant, because they specifically strengthen muscles that are used during labor, which is great, because I love squats!

I've also been keeping up with the blog world over the past few months - though I've been quieter than usual (so tired!) - and noticed how popular weight lifting is getting, for all ages and stages. Which is great! I am a huge proponent of strength training. Stronger muscles = stronger bones, which for women, is a really big deal. More muscle mass is great for your overall health, metabolism and body shape, too.

But I just wanted to be a little voice for those who might not be in the place to be lifting heavy (like me!) that body-weight strength training is also a valuable and EASY way to exercise. You don't need any equipment and you don't need to go to a gym. You won't get huge muscle gains, but I've found that practicing body-weight strength training has been excellent for my overall fitness, balance, muscle tone, and health.

I like especially to do exercises like plank or down-dog that require me to use my arms to balance my body weight - though I do a little less of this while pregnant, since I don't want to do too many ab exercises (not really a problem - like I've said before, I'm not exercising for more than 15 minutes a day, aside from walking).

There are lots of resources out there, and just fun little lists, for exercises you can do with just your body weight:

10 Body-Weight Training Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

Like I said, I really like this for beginners, those scared of the gym, those who just have NO TIME (I feel you), or who physically can't commit to any heavier weight lifting. You can do this in the privacy of your bedroom, for 5 or 10 minutes in the morning or whenever you can fit it in, and it costs nothing :)

My diet has been VERY cleaned up the past few days, and I am still walking 4-5 miles a day, with my little body-weight routine in the morning. Feeling much better overall - feeling fitter and stronger, not so lethargic (good, healthy food really helps with that!).

As far as my life?

Well, I got the promotion! I'm so excited to be able to sock away a few hundred extra dollars each month till the baby comes, it will make me feel a lot more secure. I'm also excited to have something NEW to do at work, I've been pretty bored/irritated lately in my position.

Not much else going on for me - just working, writing my diss, and spending a LOT of time in bed when I'm not doing those other two things :) Thankfully, social things seemed to have slowed down and I have a quiet weekend coming up.

That's all for now!

Namaste <3

Monday, June 22, 2015

Week 19

I started week 19 of my pregnancy yesterday - and I spent a huge part of the weekend just kind of quietly laying and feeling the baby move! I get why women, even though we all know this has been done billions of times before, still feel like a little miracle has happened. Having an entire, other, individual, sentient human inside of you is a strange thing to get used to, and also really, really awesome :)

So, that's my gushing.

I'm still struggling with energy. I have a good amount of energy in the first part of the day, but then I pretty much want to sleep for the next 12-18 hours.

Chris and I got a lot done this weekend: errands, walks, chores, etc. We even went to see the new Jurassic Park movie yesterday (pretty entertaining, but nothing will ever live up to the first one!). But, like I said, I spent most of the later part of each day kind of just resting in bed, being amazed that I'm feeling the baby move. It's about a half pound in size right now, which seems crazy to me. But apparently it's really going to start growing from now on. Ultrasound next week and I am very eager to see!

Not much else going on in life. Health-wise, Chris and I are both determined to stay on this good track we've gotten back on to. We both put on weight, and while I am not going to worry about mine until pretty much next year, I want to work on keeping my focus on healthy eating (and not treats!) to help Chris stay on track. Because we both spent a large portion of our teens/early adulthood obese, it is always a little mentally challenging to put weight back on.

I actually think we've done a great job cleaning up our diet since my first trimester (where I just wanted English muffins with peanut butter, pretty much, haha) but have to work on our social eating. There have been, and will continue to be, so many social engagements this summer... and we are totally indulging at them! But since they aren't exactly "special" since we'll be at them every week, there's no need to go hog-wild and eat all the things.

Always sometimes to work on :) We just so enjoyed those years we were eating mostly Paleo and super active - it was new to us to feel proud of our fit bodies (since we hadn't had them before!). And I think we are learning that life isn't always going to have room for the same exact behaviors we did when we had few responsibilities... but we can carve out a new way of being healthy! It will just take some work, which we are both okay with.

Hope everyone gets off to a good start this week!


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Scaled Down Hikes While Pregnant

First, I wanted to share with you that I'm pretty sure I felt my baby move for the first time yesterday! That was very exciting and very strange :) i'm looking forward to more!

So- hikes.

In interest of staying active during pregnancy but working within my limitations (low blood pressure and lower energy levels), me and my husband are still getting out there and hiking quite often, but with far less mileage and far less inclined.

Last week, we did a 5+ mile hike that was super lovely! This weekend, we headed to a favorite local spot, Thacher Park. We left Koda at home so we could do the cliff trail (no worries, we gave him a 2 mile walk before we left, he was taken care of!) under the waterfalls. It's a little too tight and right on the cliff edge for a crazy puppy- especially if he had to pass by another dog.

It is a picture perfect day - sunny, light breeze, 68°. Can't be beat. We packed a lunch and headed out:

We even explored a little cave:

And ate lunch at the overlook. Really great outing. I have over 10,000 steps in before 1 PM today!

So it was a small, local hike. It's mostly flat, and rather easy compared to what I did before I was pregnant, but a good enough challenge for me now! And I'm interested in anything that keeps me moving and out in the world :)

Doing what I can with what I've got, can't ask more of myself right now. I'm about to enjoy an afternoon doze in the sunshine with my cat.. Ahhh.

Namaste <3

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Food While Pregnant: What I Am Eating Daily

Since I got a snarky anonymous comment saying I am restricting my food and not giving my baby enough calories, I wanted to give you a typical day of my eating! I in NO WAY advocate restricting calories when pregnant. Another life is dependent on me eating well and giving it enough nutrition. That responsibility weighs heavily on me and I take it seriously - I would never deprive my child of good health!

I don't calorie track at all while pregnant (and hadn't for a year previously, knowing I wanted to get pregnant) and instead just listen to hunger cues. I eat to satiety or fullness whenever I am hungry, it is how I make sure my child is well fed!

So this is yesterday, a normal day of my own food. I have a day or two during the week where I either A) go out to eat or B) eat socially at a friend's house. Those days often have food that is either higher in quantity or higher in indulgence!

Also note that I start the day with a huge glass of lemon water and try to drink at least the equivalent of 4-5 more glasses of water throughout the day (this is a struggle for me right now since I have to pee every hour, but I am trying to get it all in!)


Breakfast - a cup and a half of an organic rice-based cereal I get at my co-op, about a cup of flax milk and half a banana

Snack - coconut milk yogurt (fiber rich kind!) and a dozen or so almonds

Lunch: about two cups of turkey chili (made with onions, mushrooms and tomatoes), roasted sweet potatoes with ketchup, and over a cup of strawberries and grapes

Snack at work- carrots with garlic hummus, hard boiled egg and a peach... I also bought a peach tea at work, sweetened

Snack at home before dinner - half a cup of honeydew melon and about a tablespoon of sunflower seed butter (eaten right out of the jar, no shame)

Dinner - two small haddock fillets cooked in lemon and garlic, mashed sweet potatoes, and a huge portion of Brussels sprouts cooked in olive oil with onions

Yet another snack - about 3 cups of popcorn drizzled with butter, salt and Parmesan cheese

Since I am not calorie tracking, I am not sure what that all equals. What I do know is that I was never truly hungry yesterday - if I got a hunger twinge, I ate a snack. I am trying to keep most of my food more Paleo, since that forces me to eat more proteins, fruits and veggies. But I still crash hard if I don't supplement with some grains, so I fit in two servings a day usually.

And I am sure some people will read my food log and think it is not enough and some will read it and think it is too much, or too much fruit, or too much whatever. I don't really care - everyone has their own style of eating, health is the end goal. If you are healthy and strong on your diet, power to you. But the point is that I am eating overall nutritiously, getting in vitamins and minerals and carbs and proteins and fats and fiber, etc. Trending away from empty calories and processed foods (but indulging in them from time to time). I am slowly gaining weight every week, as expected and needed, so I see no reason to worry about my diet :)

My pregnancy is showing for sure, now. People can tell just by looking at me, and have even inquired (wow, they are lucky I AM pregnant and not just putting on weight, or it would be a more awkward conversation - they are ballsy).

Now that I am out of the first trimester, I totally believe I will be able to maintain my health during this pregnancy. The first three months were a little rough, I was a zombie - exhausted, dizzy, lightheaded, and an emotional wreck. I have a bit more energy now and can focus on getting my life in order (or as in order as it can be!) before the baby comes... getting the house and finances ready, making sure I am as healthy as I can be going into labor, etc.

Here's my most recent "selfie"... I am wearing pre-pregnancy pants with one of those belly bands because my pants surely do not button :)

So - as a first time mom-to-be, I am finding that this was a little tougher road than I expected. Worrying so much about the little life inside of me, feeling out of control of my own body, watching my body change in crazy ways, feeling like I was failing at doing this all right. But the truth is, I am getting it together, bit by bit. I flailed around for a while, made some mistakes, but it feels good to be on the right track.

I always wanted a child. And my goal was to have a healthy child (let's hope that one comes true!!!) and to give that child a healthy parent. I want to share this pretty world with him/her, and I don't want to be held back or to bequeath on my child the long history of unhealthy and disordered eating that I grew up with.

So to the snarkers or to anyone who is genuinely worried - no fear :) I already love this child beyond words, and I know the best gift I can give him/her at this stage is the healthiest body to grow in that I can. There is no amount of body dymorphia or disordered thinking that would ever let me deprive my child. I am glad I went to therapy, ditched the obsessive calorie counting, and worked on my anxiety well in advance of getting pregnant. It would have been harder to do that work right now, as my body changes so fast and my hormones are going crazy!

That's it for me :) Life is going pretty normally otherwise - nothing new to report on my end. Just looking forward to the weekend (one of the last ones where we have nothing planned... I am going to sleep my face off).

Namaste <3

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Berry Picking, Healthy Day After Treats Last Night!

I indulged!

I've been wanting French fries so badly, for so long, I finally went to a neighborhood tavern and got some- along with a red pepper/pesto chicken sandwich for dinner last night. This place has pretty reasonable portions and I purposely didn't finish the sandwich or fries- small win :)

I had that treat after several days of eating really well - mostly fruits and veggies, yogurt, meat and just a little bit of grains (either a serving of bread or rice a day).

But, because of that treat, I was looking forward to a healthier day today! It's important for me not to get into indulgence/treat/junk food mode for more than one meal once or twice a week.

This morning, I had gluten free cereal, flax milk and half a banana before heading out early for berry picking. It's a gorgeous day (it's 1 PM now and I am taking a rest at home, a busy day tuckered me out already!) and we had fun - picked 12 lbs of berries in 30 minutes! The farm is beautiful and the people are nice, so it was an overall enjoyable experience:

We took them home and got them washed, cut and ready to freeze:

Then we spent the next several hours walking the dog and doing yard work (my huge dogwood and forsythia needed serious trimming, so I spent most my time on that, we also did mulching and some other random stuff).

Lunch wasn't paleo (like breakfast wasn't) but I'm making better and healthier choices every meal:

I had a garden burger with cheddar in a lettuce bun. Very satisfied and eager to perhaps catch a midday nap :)

I'm going on a small hike with friends tomorrow and then shopping for a friends bridal shower that I'm helping to throw. Should also be a nice day.

Namaste <3

Friday, June 12, 2015

Body Dysmorphia while Pregnant

So I was going to take some pictures of myself on my break to show you all my baby bump. But it's not as apparent as I thought! I'm thicker than I used to be, but not so much super-pregnant looking yet! I'm at 4 1/2 months right now, so I just hit the halfway point :) That's exciting!

I'm struggling a little bit with body dysmorphia, in my head I look insanely pregnant and everyone can tell. I feel absolutely huge (it doesn't help that I don't have one pair of pants that zips up!), but then I look at pictures of myself and I kind of just look how I used to look before I went Paleo and trimmed up to my lowest weight.

The mirror tells me a different story than pictures do (looking in mirrors for me sometimes is like looking in fun-house mirrors, all distorted... pictures I see more normally). I still haven't completely cured my head from all that disordered nonsense, the dysmorphia. What I have cured myself of is letting myself act on any of those thoughts - so no worries there. I'm eating really well, keeping myself satiated, getting in moderate activity when I feel comfortable with it. Wanting so much to have a healthy child!

So I still have work to do - challenging those demons in my head. I don't want to pass on any disordered thoughts about body and size and health and weight to my child. It's just going to require to me to stay aware and keep working on it through time. I had gotten to a pretty healthy mental place (but I was also at my trimmest!) and when I started gaining weight with this pregnancy, I started having negative thoughts about my body again. The work is never done, mentally, and I shouldn't have gotten lax with the work when things felt easy. It's important to love my body at any weight, not just when I am trim and fit!

I'm proud of myself for recognizing these thoughts for what they are - disordered and false. However, they still plague me (just ask my husband! he hears my struggles/fears/anxiety too much) and I need to get control of them before they get control of me.

So that's my work in the near future :)

Otherwise, in life, I've applied for another promotion, working on getting the baby's room ready, plugging away at my dissertation, and trying to enjoy life when I am not too freaking exhausted! I think we are going to go strawberry picking tomorrow to load up on berries at an affordable price (I'll freeze most of them), and that's always a fun activity for me. 

The weekend should be beautiful in my part of the world. I hope you enjoy yours!

Monday, June 8, 2015

First Pregnancy Fears!

I went to another BBQ yesterday - this one was to celebrate a friend's pregnancy (she's due end of July!) - and ate a lot more normally! Although I was full and didn't need a regular dinner afterwards :) But I didn't come away feeling kind of sick about how much I ate. Definitely reining in those binging behaviors.

So I actually had a little scare Saturday that ended up with me in the ER, scared something was wrong with my pregnancy. I had a tough Saturday - we went on a hike and it was a gorgeous day, but it was also kind of a overall stressful day (I am not sleeping well, the dog was acting up, I am just insanely emotional). I didn't go on the second half of the hike and rested while Chris and Koda finished their hike - turned out to be a good decision! When we got home, I took a nap. When I woke up, I had a huge cramp and then my stomach felt really tight and firm to the touch.

I rationally thought everything was fine, but I had never felt anything like it and I got it into my head that something went wrong - and I started to panic, big time. So Chris and I thought it would just be best to go to the ER and get checked out. Luckily, we have amazing insurance AND a terrific hospital a mile from our house with no wait times in the ER. They got me in and within 20 minutes, we heard the baby's heartbeat and a midwife came and checked out my belly and said everything was fine.

After some discussion, turns out that a combination of not drinking enough water (being a little dehydrated) and the hike, I probably aggravated the ligaments and muscles in my pelvic area that are already stretching and ripping. That leads to pain and tightness, etc. I technically KNEW about the ligaments being loose and pulling, but I didn't know it would quite feel like THAT. I got pretty worked up and am glad I just went to the ER instead of letting myself stay stressed out all night.

Everyone was super kind and told me I wasn't stupid for coming in - I felt really silly for making a fuss over nothing. Nurses talked to me about the first time pregnancy worries many women have and recommended some things (like joining a local pregnancy group) to lighten up my fears and worries.

I am taking it even easier than before, if possible! My midsection is quite sore, especially when I have to engage my core in any way (even just sitting up in bed).

So I will leave you with some pictures from the hike (the river picture is where I sat and relaxed and ate lunch while Chris finished the hike - I was glad I listened to my body and didn't keep going on when I didn't feel quite right!):

And my local goose family <3

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Doctor's Appointment, Junky Grill Night

I had my doctor's appointment - heartbeat there and strong! I'm a little over 16 weeks and feeling better and better :)

However, they took my blood pressure and looked at me in surprise - I think it was about 95/62, I can't recall now - and said I was half dead. I know my blood pressure has been trending super low since I got pregnant (it was always pretty low to begin with) because anything over easy exercise makes me pretty dizzy and lightheaded. But they also weren't concerned enough to recommend anything, so I won't worry about it, just deal with it as a symptom of pregnancy.

My platelets are also really low from my last blood test, so I got sent back to the blood lab to get tested again. She said I am around 100 and if my levels are below 75 when I go into labor, I can't get an epidural (not that I am 100% sure I want one, but I want the option!). Also, if the levels are below 75 - and they are going to test my blood monthly - I have to get a platelet transfusion. Bah.

It seems I am destined to have blood issues! I got those transfusions last year because of the scary ulcerated thing in my stomach last year that made me lose half of my blood. I don't love seeing my own blood, or other people's, but got to deal with what I got to deal with, I suppose!

After my appointment, we went to a surprise party for a friend who just graduated and is opening her own business to congratulate her. It was AWESOME, but I overate a lot. Someone brought local donuts as an appetizer and I probably ate two whole donuts (she sliced up all the different flavors into bite sized pieces, danger). And dinner was grilled personal pizzas. Huge personal pizzas. I ate my whole pizza. I felt full when I woke up this morning >.<

On a side note, my friend graduated with a degree in alternative medicine and gave me some good advice for my diet if I want to support my blood supply - obviously get red meat back into my diet, add lots of dark leafy greens, beets, dark berries, etc. 

I've actually been doing a lot better with my food. Lots of vegetables and fruit, far less grains, a focus on eggs/dairy for protein with a little meat thrown in. Way less junk. But I totally binged at the party. Got to reign that type of behavior in!

They weighed me at the doctor - I am only up 11 pounds since I got pregnant (from 126-137), so that's actually really good and I hope to keep the weight gain moderate. But less pigging out at BBQs this coming summer!

So yeah, pretty good all around. I could always use some tweaking but things are going well :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Working on Feeling Beautiful

I've bought several pieces needed for my growing body - maxi skirts with elastic waists, blouse-y tops and new underwear! It's all really pretty and colorful. I'm trying my best to make myself feel beautiful during this time by doing little things for myself, because it definitely is a struggle to feel like my best self as I steadily get bigger and bigger! I haven't weighed myself in over a week, just not interesting :)

But doing things like making sure I have cute clothes or working out (even if it is only for ten minutes because I can't really endure more!) makes me feel good about myself and my body. It helps me overlook the weight gain and remember that I am beautiful in my way, just like everyone is uniquely beautiful. It's up to me to feel it.

I'm doing a lot of positive talk in my mind when I start to get down on the weight gain, many of these things said by my husband when I get down: this weight is beautiful because it is supporting my child, this weight is healthy and normal, this is an amazing time to savor and not to focus on something superficial.

I met with my adviser at school - still planning on getting a draft out before this baby comes! - and he gave me a really lovely compliment. He said that pregnancy really suits me and I look stunning. And he is NOT a bullshitter/empty compliment-er. He just wouldn't say anything if he didn't think so. So that made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Sometimes it is hard to accept compliments from Chris, because he is my husband and always wants me to feel beautiful, even when I look my absolute worst... so it is hard to believe that's he's right ;)

Feeling cute at work today. I got a size up in leggings so that they don't bite into me like the smaller ones, feeling much much much less like a stuffed sausage. Being comfortable helps with feeling beautiful!

Looking forward to my appointment tomorrow to hear the baby's heartbeat. I really want to check in on the little one!