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The End Is Nigh: 39 Weeks

I was fully convinced that I wouldn’t be writing this post. That my little five foot frame wouldn’t make it to “full term.” I was wrong, which is 100% ok, except that literally I am just sitting here trying to stay busy with work and not agonizing over when the Big Moment will come.

There has been absolutely no change in the last few weeks. Each appointment I keep hoping that I will hear something different, but no. I know that doesn’t actually mean anything since it can all change within 15 minutes. I am just uncomfortable as uncomfortable can be and the lovely strangers around me are now providing such wonderful observations such as: you haven’t dropped enough; or it will happen soon, but maybe not today.

Post a 45 minutes walk & lower body weight lifting circuit
Post a 45 minutes walk & lower body weight lifting circuit

In terms of actual symptoms…I hurt every where. I feel like I am dead lifting all day every day, my hips hate me, and it takes significant effort to put on socks and shoes. To the point where Josh is doing it if he is home; if he isn’t I probably spend about 15 minutes doing it because I need a break to catch my breath.

I am getting up probably every 2-3 hours or so to use the restroom throughout the night or just flip over to the other side. I have considered sleeping at a 90 degree angle propped up by my pillow fort but that too eventually hurts my hips.

I am trying to stay as active as possible, lots of walking, squatting and my normal exercise routine followed by bouncing on the exercise ball. I’ve been eating dates every day, and have purchased the ingredients to make the famous eggplant parm that can supposedly put you into labor.

Is this like a Field of Dreams thing...if you sit in her room, she will come?
Is this like a Field of Dreams thing…if you sit in her room, she will come?

This weekend Josh apparently caught the nesting bug and set up the pack n play, stroller, MammaRoo and monitor. While I slept on the couch because constantly napping is the only way I am getting ANY kind of energy boost.

So we will continue to play the waiting game until the kumquat decides she is ready.

Workout Review: AcaciaTV

Since I have had a little more down time with the Holidays I called around to several yoga studios inquiring about a prenatal class. Shockingly NONE of the studio owners knew of a class in the area. Keith over at YogaFox explained the economics of it to me — you only have those specific yogis for a set amount of time so it is hard to have a standing class. Better off just modifying at your regular class. Fair enough.

Still, given my inability to back off…that idea makes me nervous. So I’ve been searching high and low for a prenatal yoga DVD, that really gives me the good stretch I’ve been looking for.

AcaciaTV has about 450 streaming workouts — two of which are prenatal yoga flows. It’s really easy to navigate via its drop down menus.

acaciatv homepage

You can also add different workouts to a fitness planner. I really love this function since I like planning my workouts for the week just like I do my menus. It keeps me accountable and I don’t have the excuse of not knowing what I am going to do that day.planner

I’ve already done Hilaria Baldwin’s DVD a few times, and it is good for a quick “trouble shooting” area. So I decided to try Desi Bartlett’s flow. It’s about 45 minutes though the screen says 58 minutes. The difference is that it also includes a sequence where she teaches you how to use a chair for support in some of the poses. I haven’t quite hit that point yet…sort of hope I don’t have to. That’s the idea behind continuing yoga right?
yoga home pageI really like this flow as a nice recovery day yoga flow. I felt relaxed and open after completing it. That’s really what I am looking for in a prenatal yoga flow something that relieves the tension in my shoulders and hips more than anything else.

Having access to this many workouts when it comes time for “body after baby” (I am already shuttering at the thought will certainly keep me motivated. They have workouts from 10 minutes to over an hour. I have a feeling that the 10 and 20 minute workouts are going to be my best friends in those first few weeks. A monthly subscription is $6.99, I haven’t sprung for a subscription yet, as there is a 10-day free trial and want to see how often I use workouts from here before I go all in. Bonus points that I can access it through Amazon Fire and Amazon Video app.

 

We’ve Reached the Halfway Point!

So I haven’t been really good about weekly bump updates. Truthfully, I’ve taken one bumpie (which is apparently what you call the picture of you and your bump), and that’s it. It is funny to think that we are at the halfway mark…I can’t promise that these will be regular but since we just found out the gender I thought it was worth an update.

We will be welcoming a sweet baby girl in April and couldn’t be more excited. It is so strange to switch from calling the baby “it” to “her” or “she.” It absolutely feels more real now that we know and can really start imagining what she is going to look like.

How far along: 20 weeks

Baby Size: Length of a banana!

Total weight gain: 10 lbs

Movement: It started with feeling a shifting from side to side. Most recently I started feeling little flicks, which is apparently the type of movement I am supposed to be feeling at this time.

Maternity Clothes: Just recently transitioned from my trusty hair tie trick to maternity clothing – so far I’ve got a pair leggings, a long skirt, and pants for work.

Sleep: I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night to try to get comfortable again; I am going back to sleep pretty easily and waking up refreshed though.

Miss Anything: Not really, though I haven’t been able to eat junk food so that is sort of disappointing

Cravings: Spinach…like creamed spinach and sag paneer; the little Laughing Cow triangles, and tangerines

Symptoms: Feeling so much better now that I am in the second trimester. I am still queasy, and taking Diclegis (hoping to wean myself off soon), and I still can’t eat junk food. My skin has good days and bad days. I have been getting headaches if I have a long day and didn’t eat enough protein, but for the most part I am ok.

Exercise: I am back to my usual workouts and trying to get in at least four days a week with a combination of swimming, treadmill hike/running, pilates, yoga and weight training. Now that it has cooled down a bit I am walking outside for at least 10 minutes daily to give myself a break.

Baby Goodies Acquired: Nothing yet.

My Workouts Lately: The Pregnancy Version

It’s been a pretty long while since I posted — a combination of lots of major life milestones (my sister got married earlier this month so there was a bachelorette party and a bridal shower) and being swamped at work.

And truthfully, I just came out the other end of suffering morning sickness all day everyday, which really put a damper on my active lifestyle. My life pretty much revolved around eating every 2 hours so that I didn’t throw up, but of course being too exhausted in between that time to do anything because I wasn’t really eating that much food and of course the little human growing inside me taking all of my energy.

If I worked out once a week in the first trimester it was a huge accomplishment. Those workouts were a combination of the ones listed below.

Tracy Anderson: Pregnancy Project81RLwu2gFrL._SL1500_

I’ve never done a Tracy Anderson workout before, so didn’t really know what to expect. During the first trimester this was a nice way to get my heart rate up, and bring the nausea down. Tracy is a little spastic — meaning that you have to keep your own count because she sometimes loses count. When we are doing butt exercises I really do feel it. I use 5lb weights compared to her 2 or 3lb, but that’s just me.

Sarah Haley: Expecting More

Admittedly I haven’t done all the workouts in this series, but I have done the majority. They are pretty good workouts for someone who traditionally lifts and does cardio 5-7x a week. It is still a little bit slower than my traditional workouts so I find myself getting bored pretty quickly and easily. Not to mention Sarah’s “cute” instructions to “wave bye bye to baby” (when you are imagining a baby in a chair) makes me roll my eyes and I find myself glad that no one is around watching me do it.

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Fit-Mommy-To-Be: Hilaria Baldwin Prenatal Yoga 

Amazingly, there are no prenatal yoga classes in my area. This is apparently what happens when you live in the retirement capital of America. I have been doing Hilaria’s yoga routine at least once a week and its really helped keep my lower back pain and hip tightness at bay.

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I also continued on with Orange Theory once a week, and pilates at least once a week. Now that I am in my second trimester and have more energy I am adding back in some of my more traditional workouts — treadmill, swimming, burpees. I have to keep reminding myself that I am not “out of shape” just “in a different shape.”

Slash Fitness: TRX Yoga Review

If you’ve ever wanted to prove that you are entirely not flexible…take TRX yoga. The suspension both supports and challenges many yoga poses, helping you deepen the stretch while working your entire body.

Alexis, who runs the yoga practice at Saltwater Brewery, also leads the TRX Yoga class at Slash Fitness. I’d never been to Slash, but have heard good things so I was excited to see the space.IMG_3970

First impression? I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t shown around or explained how the studio works. Maybe I just have high expectations, but felt like I was left to my own devices. The person at the front desk was incredibly nice, and answered my questions though.

The class itself was seriously challenging. Alexis wasn’t joking when she said that it was a great core workout. She took us through a pretty standard yoga flow with down dogs (or pikes), warrior I and II and III, forward folds, side planks, and lunges.

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I reached proper sweat mode pretty quickly for a non-heated yoga class. I was a bit fumbly moving through the flow and there were a few times where I am pretty sure I just got completely twisted. IMG_3988

While I easily got into the hand stand portion of class, the chest openers, lunges and bow poses were incredibly challenging. My short little limbs just aren’t made for bending that way. I can only hope that after more practice that will change. IMG_4012

June Goals

It is very rare that you get a new month on the first day of the week. It seems right that you should wake up feeling refreshed and excited about what could be possible this month. For whatever reason, that made me feel like it might be a good idea to make some goals for the month. I mean why not?

1. Practice yoga at least 10 minutes daily. I’ve been doing yoga challenges, but not really focusing on my yoga practice. I need to get back into that.image (10)

2. Get up early every morning. It’s summer! This means I have more daylight in the evenings, which means if I get up earlier and get more things done sooner I can take advantage of it.image_4

3. Try a new funtivity every week. I love funtivities, and right now is the perfect time to integrate them into our plans. They can be an active activity, or just a new adventure (e.g., a new restaurant).

4. Cut back on sugar. I’ve been really bad about the extra dose of sugar. I am going to try my darndest to limit my “sugary” snack intake to twice a week…I am talking candy and ice cream here. Maybe next month I’ll cut my fruit (but let’s be honest).SourPatchKids

Yoga At The Brewery

I’ve done yoga in the middle of Times Square, in a blocked off alley way across from a Whole Foods, on a hilltop, and inside a Lululemon with all the pretty clothes tempting me while I was in down dog. Two weeks ago, we practiced yoga in a new unconventional spot….Saltwater Brewery.

Knowing that we were at a brewery, it shouldn’t surprise you that this was the first time Josh joined me for vinyasa flow class. Apparently being surrounded  by beer taps is the best way to get your husband into the yoga mood.

Bend at the Brewery is led by Alexis King. She runs the TRX Yoga class at Slash Fitness and also does private practices for clients. This was my first class with her, and her energy made me want to take more — especially that TRX class.10982713_10153127380966757_465222353687387447_n

The Sunday that we went was a much smaller class than some of her previous classes (know this because of the pictures). It was just us, and four other people, which means more attention (yay!). The flow itself was challenging with some added twists that my incredibly tight sore body needed. Alexis was great about coming over to help you move deeper into the poses. She also helped me get into flying pigeon on one side.

The only down side is when you go into a headstand you realize you are on a concrete floor and should you lose your balance you may hurt yourself. I was a little tentative to do anything beyond tripod because of that.

Should you choose to stay after class, you can get a flight of beer for a little cheaper than the usual price. We didn’t stay since I was headed to NYC that afternoon and had to get some packing done…but the next time we go, we are absolutely staying to take advantage of that.

Building a Complete Home Gym

This has been the longest stretch I’ve gone without belonging to a big box gym since I was a newly minted entry-level PR person barely scraping by in NYC.  Getting into a long-term relationship with a gym is almost as serious as getting into a long-term relationship with a significant other.

My gyms have always been within walking distance, had classes that fit my schedule, and had enough location options that I could avoid the crowds. So that’s what I tend to look for when committing. There just wasn’t a good option near me, so I just bought packages at local yoga studios, a spin class here and there, and made use of my tiny apartment gym. With marathon training looming, I didn’t need much. Now that time has past and I am getting bored/antsy with my workout limits. (There aren’t even two benches to do these fancy squats I want to do!)

What I’ve found though is that my area isn’t really catering to a young professional….more like someone who has retired or can do a 9AM class, which makes it really hard. Who can make a 9:15 cycle class? I mean come on!

There are gyms that are just equipment and therefore much cheaper, but I would have to drive 15 minutes to get there. GASP, 15 minutes you say, but it is on the highway and can get really backed up. Also, it is AT the mall…that’s just like tempting you way too much.

Unfortunately it just isn’t feasible to join a spin studio, a yoga studio, AND a gym to gain access to all the equipment. It really isn’t even feasible to join even two of those.

So, instead I am thinking of building out my home gym a bit more. We already have a few essentials (TRX; varied dumbells, jump rope, glides, resistance bands, pull-up bar); plus a ridiculous amount of DVDs (thanks, friends)…so now I need to figure out what else is needed. My running list is below, but would love some other must haves.

1. Medicine Ball — for slamming and ab work

Medicine Ball

2. Plyo-Box — one of the most versatile tools you can have in your home gym…you can jump, squat, bench dip, and step ups.

3. Barbell & Weight Plates — deadlifts and weighted squats are much easier to complete with a barbell

4. Bosu Ball — another all purpose tool

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5. Heavier Kettlebells — right now we only have 3lbs and 5lbs…we need some heavier ones to do more workouts (Again Faster has some relatively inexpensive options)

6. Adjustable Step — different from the plyo box, but something I can also lay on and step on k2-_d6fea17a-f47a-4d04-90be-134fa2052189.v1

 

Soaring with My Team

I am all about the team bonding. Sometimes we do it with a fry basket and wine; but I really love it when it involves some sort of funtivity.

On one of my recent trips to NYC, we decided to try our hand at aerial yoga. I love aerial yoga, it is an entirely different challenge because it has the potential to be completely embarrassing. What better way to build camaraderie with your team but do something completely embarrassing?

I did a little research and found Om Factory. With two locations (one in Union Square, one just  outside of the Fashion District) it made it easier to find a class that would fit our schedule.  We hopped over to Amanda’s class, which was a level 1/2…so my little newbies were a little concerned.

The way Om Factory describes its aerial classes pretty much makes it everything but intimidating.

“Everyone who enjoyed swinging on the monkey bars as a kid is encouraged to try out this fun fusion of yoga and aerial arts.”

Luckily, the rest of our class didn’t mind our constant need for hand on instruction and giggling. I was just a few days away from the marathon and was so happy to have us focusing on hip openers. I’ve always enjoyed yoga as an option to cross train for running, but aerial yoga truly gives me that extra lengthening. image (22)

In truth, I have always wanted to be a Cirque du Soleil performer — and aerial yoga is the closest thing I can come to actually doing it!

Watch us swing!

So we giggled our way through class and somehow convinced the instructors to not throw us out, and stay after for a photo shoot.

The studio is cute, and they have all sorts of other classes that I am dying to try. Yoga inspired by break dancing? Sign me up. Aerial Circus? One step closer to fulfilling my dream of being a circus performer.