OhSoVane

Foodie, fumbler and lover writing it all down

My Version of New Motherhood or Why I Look Tired

I always thought it was customary for new moms to look a bit tired, disheveled even. Typically a new mom has just pushed or had a human surgically removed from her — doesn’t that sound tiring? She has endured a world-wind of emotions, pain, hormone fluctuations and survived all that to have a human or in some cases, a machine systematically suck milk from her breasts — yep, sounds tiring to me! While breastfeeding is a beautiful bond between mother and baby, the bond between mother and pump is not so picturesque, but I digress.

Aren’t people always griping about the ‘fourth trimester’? Did I misinterpret the message from the moms that came before me? No, I’m sure I didn’t. So it must be me. I must be some sort of fake new mom, right? The surprised tone in your voice when you tell me how tired I look certainly conveys that message. I get it, it’s confusing because you haven’t actually seen me and my baby together. I don’t have the typical complaints about cluster feeding, diaper blowouts and how many times the baby woke up the night before. But I’m not faking new motherhood, folks.

I am no different than any new mom I have known, but my tired is different.

Here’s a glimpse into my version of new motherhood:

I look tired because I don’t have the luxury of experiencing new motherhood in my home. The place where I feel safest and most secure is the place I spend the least amount of time. I look tired because despite the fact that I don’t hear my kid crying for me at 2 or 3am I am up at my pump making sure milk will be made available to him when he needs it. I look tired because I have to go to work every morning despite only getting a few hours of broken sleep. I look tired because I lug around the weight of a baby but instead of an adorable cooing creature, it’s a bag full of equipment I need so I can stop what I am doing every two hours and sit at my pump. I look tired because despite the best intentions of friends and loved ones I still have to do dishes, lug the laundry to the laundry mat and try to keep my home together.

Mostly I look tired because having a baby in the NICU is the single hardest thing I have ever experienced in my life. Worrying about O2 saturation, Brady’s, feeding tubes, and nasal cannulas is how I spend my days.  I look tired because I was at the NICU until late and back again bright and early. I look tired because the moment my son’s chest meets mine it’s like the weight of the world has been lifted and I finally feel at peace.

It won’t be this way forever but right now this is exhausting. So yes, I  look tired.

Knocked Up and I’m Just Not Feelin’ It

Congrats, you’re knocked up! Now that you know your missed period is not just a fluke have fun navigating the utterly endless, contradictory and mostly non-factual information about you and your new wombmate.

Don’t get me wrong, I am totally stoked about meeting our little person and was relieved as hell when my midwife said I could continue doing any and all activities I had already been doing. I was really looking forward to keeping the regular workout regimen I had build for myself. But at almost half way through I feel like pregnancy has been another tale of, things people don’t tell you because if they did you’d never go through with it.

Take the first trimester for example. All you ever hear people complain or sigh in relief about is morning sickness. But they grossly (and I suspect, purposely) failed to mention the resemblance of the first trimester of pregnancy to PMS. Yes, you read correctly, PMS. I swore in those first few weeks I was giving life to the worlds largest cheeseburger because that’s all I wanted to eat. Pair that with a certain all around whiny and complaininess about me and yea, pretty much sounds like PMS to me.

At about 14 or so weeks I started to feel like myself again. Phew! I’ll start working out now, I said. Not so fast. I read on a list somewhere that pregnant women are lazy, but never in my life have I been so compelled to do nothing but make a dent in my couch for hours on end. Don’t get me wrong, there has been some working out. Walking, a couple pre-natal yoga classes and some weights because I know it will make for a better labor and recovery. I try to rationalize with myself and find balance between carbs and cardio, but man, it would be easier to get a nun to go to a bar!

I thought for sure I’d feel more like Heidi Powell given my recently found ‘fit chick’ status, but sadly I feel more like Honey Boo Boo. It’s kind of motivating at this point, I am making a real effort to just move more and try not to define my workouts so much. Just find things that feel good, that will help me sleep, (I may write a whole other post about pregnancy sleep) and that make me feel normal.

I’m hoping to feel more like this picture as my pregnancy progresses, if for no other reason than I know I will feel like Wonder Woman when I can catch my little bean in my arms at birth.

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Did you ever feel like no one ever told you something about pregnancy, kids, marriage or anything? I feel like it happens a lot! Share your horror stories and giggles alike!

A Dark Truth, in Numbers

When I was fat, (yea I said it) I would avoid numbers like the plague. Clearly the most avoided number was always the number on the scale. Alongside that was the number on my jeans indicating the size, the number of calories in the meal I just had, the number of promises to myself to make a change I had broken and the list goes on. My life was basically a game of numbers, or avoiding them. 

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Now, 60 or 70lbs later I find myself in a similar dark place. At least a year ago when I was avoiding numbers it was out of sight and out of mind. Now, I obsess over all kinds of numbers! How many calories/carbs/protein were in that meal I just had? How much did I do on my deadlift/squat/barbell curl last week in comparison to this week? How many miles did I run/not run? What’s my body fat percentage like these days? How many inches have I lost? I find that at times I have made myself crazy over these numbers, but then I STOP.

I force myself to collect my thoughts; I breathe in the positive and let go of the negative. Or better said, the anxiety of numbers that overwhelms me. 

This method of breathing in the good shit and breathing out the bullshit is a constant struggle, much like keeping up a healthy lifestyle is. I’ve posted before about moderation, trying and being happy with small accomplishments and I believe that in my heart of hearts but sometimes that voice in the back of my mind is so loud I cannot silence it. 

I debated whether or not to share this part of the “journey” but I have to share my truths. If there’s a chance others feel this way too there’s no reason not to put it out there. We should all know that this can happen, that it’s ok and that you can get over and keep on going.

I’m done feeling sorry for myself (yet again). I’m getting over this hump and I know, if you find yourself on it, you can too. 

I’ll file this under the first world problems category and go kill my next workout. xo

“Something to Try on Tuesday”

It’s just, something to try on Tuesday, she says. She being the yoga instructor at my local gym. During her Tuesday evening practice she always adds in a bit of a challenging move and encourages us to give it a try. Try getting one toe off the ground in crow position or try an elbow supported arm stand in peacock pose; her words challenge us to reach within and conquer a fear no matter how small it may seem to be at the time. 

I try to carry this advice with me outside the studio and today I conquered a little fear I had been battling for a while now. I took a new class! I know it’s really silly to say out loud, but this class always looked really hard and I never had anyone to go in with me so I avoided it – until today! I’m so happy I finally went! The class was challenging, engaging, fun and I finished standing up! So take a new step towards your goal, don’t get stuck in a routine rutt and don’t be afraid of something new! 

I am so happy I tried something new on Tuesday and I hope you will too! 

New Year, New You! Tackle Gym Anxiety in 2014!

 

You thought the hard part was over after you signed your new gym membership contract. You eagerly packed your gym bag and made your way to the land of free weights and cardio after a long days’ work but just when you thought you were ready to tackle your fitness resolution for 2014, you walk into THIS!

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You immediately feel like this… 

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How am I supposed to get a workout in? How long am I going to have to be here? What are all these people doing? All these questions come into your mind and you immediately want to run back into your car and go home where your couch and pjs are waiting for you.

Before you go home, destined to trash another New Year’s resolution, read these tips for managing the mayhem! 

1. Avoid peak times

While I know most of us cannot avoid working out after work, if you can avoid it you should. If you’re gym is nearby try working out during lunch. If you’re a morning person, try working out before your day starts. 

2. Avoid the most popular areas of the gym

I am talking to all you treadmill and elliptical lovers! Make this time at the gym more about improving yourself and less about committing to a number of minutes on any given machine. This is not 30 minutes of punishment for eating all those Christmas cookies. Check the class schedule at your gym and pick something challenging or have someone at the gym show you around the weight area. Gym employees are there to help you navigate the intimidating waters. 

3. Create your own space

I don’t know about you but for me gym anxiety always stemmed around the idea that people were looking at me. I got over this by building my confidence about my workout in my own little corner of the gym. Grab a few free weights and a stepper or yoga mat and you’ve got all you need for a great workout. 

Sites like POPSugar and Bodybuilding.com have TONS of workouts at your fingertips like this one, 
http://www.fitsugar.com/Full-Body-Circuit-Workout-Dumbbells-2825394#opening-slide

If you’re just getting into weight lifting don’t be afraid to start off lite, but don’t stick to those for too long! 

4. Take your watch off

Your workout isn’t done at 6 or 2 or 12, your workout is done when you’ve completed all the exercises you’ve set out to! If you’re going to beat gym anxiety you’re going to have to spend more time there! 

5.  Don’t get discouraged! 

Whether you’re worried about the crowds or your first day back has muscles aching you didn’t even know you had, keep at it! Let’s be honest, you didn’t gain all this weight overnight and you’re not going to lose it that way either. Be patient with yourself! 

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2014: The Year of Trying

I wasn’t planning on a New Year’s Eve blog post and I wasn’t going to post a best of 2013 anything, but my Statigram changed that a bit.

After seeing a few clips from 2013 I realized all I needed to do in 2014 was keep trying. 

So my advice and wishes to you my friends and followers is to make 2014 the year you try! 

Try to be more kind. 

Try to remember, the universe is a mirror and reflects to you what you reflect to it. 

Try to remember that disagreeing with someone’s views or beliefs does not mean you have to hate them or be hurtful towards them. 

Try not to sweat the small stuff. Those Facebook posts or celebrity Twitter rants mean so little in the grand scheme of your life so try to let them go by without taking up space in your mind. 

Try not to judge. 

Try something new! Be it in the kitchen, at home, or at work just try thinking outside your comfort zone. 

Try not to get discouraged! It’s so easy to throw your hands up in the air and give up but just try to keep going! 

Some of these may overlap and some may lead you to try other new and exciting (even sometimes scary) things. Just try to be open to it all. Good things are happening all around us at all times and I for one am going to make an extra effort this year to catch as much of it as I can. 

I’ll continue to try and do things that make me happy. I’ll try to spend as much time with friends and loved ones as possible. I’ll also try to remember it’s ok to say no. I’ll continue to move towards new fitness goals and I’ll try to influence those around me to join in. 

Try, try, try! Just saying it makes me want to try something new right now. 

Happy New Year to all! I leave you with this quote from Gandhi as it resonates with my theme for 2014! 

Peace and Love Always – ohsovane

“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment. Full effort is full victory.” 
― Mahatma Gandhi

Namaste, people!

It’s a pretty well known fact that my weight loss and fitness journey has relied heavily on lifting weights and high intensity interval cardio training. I love to lift! That should be enough, right? Wrong!

Well, wrong for me at least. Reason number one being, I am a terrible stretcher. I don’t stretch very often and when I do I get distracted or I’m just too tired from my workout to give it my all. Knowing full well how important stretching is to my routine, because my hamstrings won’t let me hear the end of it, I decided to incorporate yoga.

What a life changer! No, seriously! Let’s go beyond the spiritual connection to yourself that yoga brings and go right to those endless minutes spent in positions that stretch your body to what feels like it’s outermost limits!

From the moment I hit my first downward facing dog, I knew this was for me.

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Right there before my eyes I could see how tight my hamstrings, calves and quads were. I was looking at my feet and how they could not hit the ground in the above position.

Reason number 2 why I love yoga is the balance work involved! I’ve suffered through a couple of injuries while working out. I have never been graceful and learned that my workout injuries were related to my lack of balance. If you’ve taken a yoga class you know there are a lot of balance positions involved.

Exhibit A. Eagle Poseeagle

Just picture me fumbling all over myself trying to make this pose happen. Now that you’ve had a good laugh know that week by week I am improving! This will hopefully help me avoid injuries in the future.

Now, if you want some research to back up the benefits of yoga for all types of athletes it exists!

Check out some of these links:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/392864-yoga-benefits-for-athletes/

http://life.gaiam.com/article/how-does-yoga-help-athletes

http://www.shape.com/blogs/working-it-out/why-every-athlete-should-do-yoga

So next time your muscles are feeling tight and your usual stretches are not doing it, why not try some yoga?

Here are some links to poses that help relieve achy muscles!

http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/top-5-yoga-poses-athletes/slide/6

http://www.fitsugar.com/Yoga-Poses-Runners-3081127

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/11/yoga-journals-21-day-yoga_n_1198627.html

Namaste!

Wordless Wednesday – Success!

Wordless Wednesday - Success!

My First Wordless Wednesday!

 

My First Wordless Wednesday!

Monday Motivation – Moderation?

Monday Motivation - Moderation?

I knew I wanted to say a little something about motivation today, what I didn’t realize was my post would hit me in the face in the form of this picture from the Real Simple blog.

So how do motivation and moderation go together? Well, I’m thinking that we should all (especially me) be motivated to focus on being more fit than not, more happy than not and better people than not. We cannot live in a world of extremes or else we will drive ourselves crazy. It’s all about balance… all things in moderation.

I forgot this last week as I sat around for 5 days with not a workout in site. I started to think all was lost and that I had fallen off the proverbial wagon.

I need to learn to be less hard on myself; that is the message I will carry with me this week.

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