Working out is one of the best stress relievers! Typically, I like to workout in the afternoon or evening, but when you have two kids it is whenever you get a spare moment. This may even mean multitasking – cooking and working out, playing and working out, playground adventures and working out.
My daughter and I made a great week of workouts so far – one run and two strength sessions in the books. One of the hardest things when training at home and with little ones, is actually getting the workout done. There are so many things around the house (dishes, vacuuming, cooking, etc.) that will be calling your name, just like your children are from the other room. But keep steady the course. Exercise is not only important for yourself, but to help influence your children. I can’t tell you the number of times a client has told me they couldn’t get their workout in because they had too many things going on with their kids. Keeping your kids active and engaged in activities is important, but you need to schedule yourself in on that calendar too! When you fail to workout and start noticing how unfit or out of shape you are, your children may start to notice too. Especially, when you are complaining about your swim suit or how clothes aren’t fitting, etc. I’m not expecting parents to be body builders or models by any means, but active and healthy is important. Statistics show that obesity is continuously rising and this won’t change unless we, as a society, make changes. Be the positive influence in your children’s lives. Even with the busiest of schedule you can fit workouts in. Taking your kid to soccer practice? While you wait walk or jog the field or local park. Rainy day and stuck inside? Turn working out into a game for you and the kids. Use body weight exercises. No babysitter to watch your infant? Use them as your weights. Kids make great dumbbells, not excuses. The other night my daughter (1.5months old) just wanted to be held. Therefore, we did body weight squats, lunges, sit ups and push-ups together. I got my workout in and she got the needed attention. It does require some creativity and it may take you longer to accomplish your workout, but you deserve that time!
Workout of the Week:
Single arm squat thrusters – 15 each side
Single leg RDL with front bar raise – 10 each side
Push-Ups – 10
Renegade Rows with dumbbell – 10 each side
Repeat 3 times
Going from one to two kids has been easier than I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong I have moments where I want to hide in the closest with a bottle of wine, but for the most part I am really enjoying it. Either my daughter is more easy going or I am now accustomed to a crazy schedule and it just seems normal to always be busy. With my son I remember thinking my only purpose in life was as a milk machine. This time around while my daughter eats like crazy I find myself multi-tasking – Cooking and feeding, clean and feeding, working and feeding, etc. The Moby wrap and the Baby Bjorn have become my best friends!
The hard part of having two is not being able to play with my son for extended periods of time. I would love to play with him all day long, but between feeding and my still somewhat low energy levels, it’s not an option. Unfortunately we have had a few days of movie watching. The healing process has been much easier this time around. First off, no broken tail bone!! Second, well honestly, it all really has to do with the fact that my tail bone isn’t broken this time around. I am able to get around easier, breast feed better and actually SIT down. However, not everything is perfect! Just like last time my energy is low. I forget this many times and have done too much, landing me on the couch with cramps and straight exhaustion. My body’s polite way or reminding me that while my mind may think I can do it, my body isn’t ready.
Unfortunately I was unable to order my BOB stroller before delivering and so I have had to wait for it to arrive. Therefore, I haven’t been able to take my walks but I have tried to keep moving throughout the day. Sitting too much can cause several issues, muscle cramping, constipation and lack of energy. But I have been focusing on eating healthy and meal preparation.
The hardest part of two children, I believe, is grocery shopping. When I just had my son I would stick his car seat in the cart and shove all the groceries around him. Now I have my daughter in the cart and my son sitting in the front and a bulk of our groceries don’t even fit. I have had other mom’s tell me that use two carts – one for kids and one for groceries. That sounds like chaos waiting to happen for me. My son is now at the age where is wants to get out, add items to the cart randomly from the shelves and occasionally growls at other shoppers (he does this in fun, however not all shoppers like to be growled at, oops!). Therefore, I have tried out home grocery delivery. It was great outside of the fact they were unable to fill my entire order, which made me go to the store anyways. Needless to say I didn’t have to shop for everything and will be having groceries delivered again next week. This is one less thing I have to worry about and honestly no kid truly loves to go shopping with their parents!!
Goals for next week – Walk everyday! My stroller should be in tomorrow and getting myself and the kids outside at least once a day will do us all some good. Vitamin D and energy used will help everyone sleep better and decrease our toddler breakdowns – hopefully! Keep an eye for new recipes and meal prep ideas over the next four weeks to optimize your metabolism even when you can’t workout.
After exactly 39 weeks of growing, vomiting, pain and a whole lot of joy our little girl has arrived! Luckily she came at the hospital, but I had a few moments where I pictured it going down differently.
To explain, we held a Brewery Boot Camp this past Saturday. We knew it would be a bit tight as it was a week out from my official due, so we hired a friend to help us out. Morning of workout I was starting to have a few contractions and overall didn’t feel great, but figured I could at least make it through the morning. We arrived at the brewery at 10am to set up, at 10:02am I started timing my contractions as they were starting to come more frequently. I promised my husband I would do my best to last through the workout which went from 11am- 12pm. Unfortunately at about 11:40 the contractions getting closer together (less than 5 minutes apart) and quiet strong, I decided if we didn’t leave immediately the brewery would have it’s first ever “Brewery Baby”. Four short hours later, one epidural, ten pushes and baby girl Chavez was born! 6lbs 2oz and 19.5 inches long.
I could not have asked for a more perfect delivery. One, it was at the hospital! Two, doctors and nurses came through for me every step of the way to make this comfortable and memory to last a lifetime.
Since giving birth I have a few thing to complain about, number one being Cramps!!! Holy crap do the cramps hurt a hundred times more with the second one. Don’t get me wrong I love the idea that my uterus is contracting back to it’s “original” size, but wow not a fun feeling. Second, I have also struggled with regulating my milk flow. I am lucky in that my milk came in a day or two after delivering, but I am truly a rock solid D – literally! Last pregnancy pumping was helpful to relieve the pain of being full with milk, but this time it seems to just make it worse. Therefore, I have succumb to the internet for help. My current trial is to feed only on one side every two hours and try to not pump unless absolutely necessary. Thus far (six hours into this) I am either somewhat relieved or I have become used to the “rock solid” chest!
Below are my horribly embarrassing post pregnancy photos! I want to share these with everyone for two reasons. One, accountability! By showing you these I am ensuring I get myself moving and back into shape or I will look like a fool telling everyone else to do. I truly believe you must walk the walk and talk the talk. Two, I want you to follow me on this journey of recovery with workouts and healthy eating.
4 Days Post Delivery
#1 Spartan Beast – August 27th
The Spartan Beast is between 12-14 miles long, 30-35 obstacles and has an average finish time of 5+ hours. This means I need to not only gain back a great deal of my muscle to complete the obstacles, but I need to get my endurance/running game in check. Last May, I did the Spartan Sprint at Fort Carson and absolutely loved it. Without even knowing what to expect I took 2nd place in my age group and was only behind the first place group finisher by 1 minute. This year my goal is to finish in the top 10 of my age division, but it is going to be tough as I will only have nine weeks to train and that is considering everything goes well.
To join our team register here and find team “Strength Train 4 Life”.
#2 goal: Possible CrossFit Competition in September
This is the same competition I competed in last year while several weeks PREGNANT!! I really want to come back and try again without the nausea, vomiting and overall fatigue. This one may have to wait or may be a different competition as one of my teammates is one the injury list with an ACL tear. Boo! I’ll keep you up to date on the decision with this one.
Note to all my followers: I will be waiting my entire six weeks to start my training, which I know is a debatable subject as many trainers and women start training before their 6 weeks doctors appointment. My feelings however are this: While I may do some light body work (squats, abs, walking etc.) I feel you spent 9 months rearranging your body, it will take another 9 months to have it truly heal your pelvic floor, abdominal walls and body. Therefore, to ensure everything is healed I will wait until my doctors appointment at the end of June to start my real training in hopes that when I cough, sneeze, run or laugh I won’t pee my pants every time! 🙂
For the next 6 weeks I will take the opportunity to focus on my nutrition. This will be great for my body as well and to provide needed nutrients to my daughter through my breast milk. Follow me here on my blog, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up with nutrition and exercise ideas to get you back to your pre-pregnancy body.
As we grow these little tiny beings in our bodies, we are always thinking about the big day when he/she will come out. “How will I be able to handle the pain?” we ask ourselves. “What can I do to prepare?” The truth of the matter is, there is a lot of pain, suffering and “uncomfortableness” around pregnancy, and leading up to the big day. If we condition ourselves to be “comfortable” with what we go through during pregnancy, we will have a solid foundation going into birth.
Here are eight ways you can prepare yourself and your body for a smooth labor and easier birth.
1. Educate Yourself
There’s a lot of fear around the unknown of what happens to our bodies during pregnancy and labor. The more fear that we have, the more we become anxious and the more stress hormones are released, thus making labor, in itself, more painful. As you ease your mind–empowering it with information about what to expect throughout pregnancy and labor–the intensity of pain lessens.
2. Tap the Power of Pregnancy Yoga
In a pregnancy yoga practice, there’s a lot of emphasis on breathing, especially through the difficult poses. Through working with our breath, we are able to relax more in uncomfortable moments. Our breath will allow us to remain present and ground us during these times, as well as give us a break in between tough times.
By practicing the poses common to most pregnancy yoga classes, you will learn how to release lower back tension, and open up your chest and shoulders and hips. All of these muscles can hold onto tension during pregnancy and labor, so learning how to release this tension during your pregnancy is very helpful.
3. Make TIme for Meditation
A meditation practice puts your body and mind into training that enables you to sit with times of discomfort. The deeper we are able to go into a practice, the more objectively we are able to observe everything around and within ourselves, rather than reacting to it. It will allow us to remain present with everything.
4. GIve Yourself Regular Exercise
Through consistent activity, you allow your body to be conditioned, to become stronger, and to be able to withstand added stress on your joints and muscles. As baby grows within our bodies, our load increases. Our bodies become more used to the “uncomfortableness” of pregnancy and labor.
Walking is one of the best activities to do when you are pregnant. It teaches you patience and induces a state of relaxation.
5. Utilize Visualizations and Mantras
Our mind is a very powerful tool in pain management. Through specific mantras and sayings, we can decrease our pain. A favorite saying I like to use is, “Strong mama breath. Breathe in for baby.” Or with each contraction, visualize your cervix as a flower that is opening, as you chant, “Open, open, open.”
6. Call in Your Support System
Having a stable, peaceful support team is very helpful during childbirth. Don’t hesitate to stand up for yourself (or have your partner do so) and tactfully ask a non-peaceful person to leave the room. Hiring a doula is another great way to help support you and your partner during this time.
A doula is trained in the birth process and in how to help alleviate extra stress of the unknown. Every doula is different in their gifts that they bring to a birth. An increase in peacefulness during the birth process equals a decrease in pain.
7. Harness Your Mental Strengths
Trust in the whole process of pregnancy and labor. Visualize that each contraction is a wave that slowly peaks in intensity, then comes down.
Having this sense of courage, as you face a contraction, knowing that it will pass, will decrease the anxiety and stress around it. Trust that this too shall pass. In between each contraction, focus on the breath, to allow yourself to rest and become present to this time.
8. Be Present
Whatever “uncomfortable” situation you are in, breathe it fully in. There is no running, no escaping, just being with it. If it is a contraction, let it wash over you, like a wave, then soften and surrender into it, as if you were a jellyfish. Allow it to pass through you. It is our very breath that will allow us to be present with it all.
It often feels like life is moving faster and faster all the time, but in the delivery room, things are actually slowing down. A National Institutes of Health study found that childbirth for first-time moms now takes 2.6 hours longer than it did 50 years ago. To make that extra time in the delivery room less painful and more joyful, it helps to know how to make the hard work of having a baby more manageable. Starting today, here are 10 things you can do to make your birth experience that much easier.
1. Join the head of the class
Take a childbirth course and enroll as early as possible: Not only do classes fill up fast, but some, such as The Bradley Method courses, run 12 weeks, which means you need to start them in your second trimester.
Also, find out what your doctor’s philosophy is on Cesarean sections and epidurals versus drug-free ways of managing pain. Ask tough questions—and “stupid” ones, too— to learn about the different stages of labor so you know what to expect. “The better prepared you are, the more choices you have during labor,” says nurse practitioner Lynette Miya, M.N., R.N.P., of Torrance, Calif. “You don’t want to arrive at the hospital without any idea of what’s going to happen.” Once labor starts, no surprise is a good surprise.
2. Find strength and focus
“The most important thing women learn through yoga is how to focus,” says Carmela Cattuti, L.P.N., a Boston-based Kripalu certified instructor specializing in prenatal yoga certification training. “It also strengthens the entire body, increases flexibility and gives you stamina. But what is possibly even more helpful is that it helps your mind relax.” This, in turn, leaves your body free to go about the business of birthing.
3. Nix negativity
Some childbirth educators believe graphic images, catastrophic tales and words of discouragement (“You’ll never be able to get that monster out without a C-section!”) can affect your subconscious and create a mental block during labor.
At best, negative thoughts make labor stressful; at worst, they’ll actually intensify pain. Change the channel on the TV, tune out or walk away when the subject matter makes you uncomfortable; also, shield yourself from scary labor Facebook threads by logging off.
Bonus: Learning to do this now will help you avoid being affected by all the unwanted advice you’ll get after the baby is born.
4. Study up
When you’re in the grip of labor, it’s too late to crack open that self-hypnosis book or locate a birthing ball. Preparation counts.
Case in point: Squatting increases the size of the pelvic opening by about 28 percent. But if you wait until you’re in labor to try it for the first time, your squatting stamina won’t add up to, well, squat.
5. Secure support
Doulas are nonmedical professionals trained to provide emotional and physical support as well as information to women during pregnancy and labor. Studies have found that with a trained doula’s continuous support, labor times are shorter and the need for epidurals, C-sections, oxytocin for induction and forceps were decreased by about half. Another study concluded that women who received support through a hospital- based doula program were more likely to attempt breastfeeding. Check out DONA International (dona.org) to help you locate a certified doula in your area.
6. Have a trick up your sleeve
Learn several effective techniques to manage pain during childbirth, such as self-hypnosis, position changes, heat pack application and different breathing methods. “If you don’t know what your options are, you don’t have any,” says Tracy Hartley, a certified doula and owner of B*E*S*T Doula Service in Los Angeles.
7. Get on up
Upright positions, such as standing, walking, kneeling, slow dancing, sitting and squatting, allow gravity to help move the baby down and out. “Sometimes, getting the baby into the pelvis is like fitting a key into a lock,” Hartley says. “You need to do a little jiggling. Rocking back and forth on your hands and knees may help to get the baby into position.”
For most women, a dark and quiet environment is ideal during labor, so ask your nurse or partner to dim the lights and minimize noise. Little touches make a difference: a favorite pillow, pair of socks or soothing scent. “Aromatherapy, especially the scent of lavender, is very calming in labor,” says Miya.
9. Be a water baby
The warmth and weightlessness of a bath can be soothing throughout your labor, so if you have access to a warm tub, take the plunge. (Be sure to get your doctor or midwife’s green light before doing so; there’s a risk of infection if your water has broken.)
If a soak isn’t possible, try taking a shower.
10. Stay true to yourself
Labor transforms you, but it won’t make you suddenly love lime Jell-O, New Age music or the sight of your in-laws as you breathe through a contraction. People may push all kinds of suggestions on you during labor; listen but don’t feel you have to go along with them.
It’s your body, your baby and your labor, so stick to your guns. Consider it practice for when your baby is a teenager.
It’s been a while since I have posted my workouts. I have either failed to fit them in or had substituted with walks, outdoor building/gardening or a workout I simply never got posted. My sincerest apologies to those who are using them for your own workouts.
I am now nine days from my due date and the contractions are starting to pick up. Nothing crazy but definitely more frequent and occasionally keeping me up at night. Take last night for instance, finally at 1:00am I realized the contractions we fairly close together and quiet frequent. Per my experience the first time around I began to drink water, just to ensure I wasn’t having contractions due to dehydration. By 2:30am I woke my husband up and informed him and we started timing more closely. One glass of water down. By 2:45am I called the doctor who told me to come on in, but take my time. So take my time I did and immediately after calling contractions started to slow down. Needless to say we decided to stay home and wait it out. End result – still pregnant!
However, on a fitness note yesterday we did take a mini hike and today the little guy and I took a stroll around the neighborhood. When we got back I incorporated a small amount of strength work:
Keeping moving is helping me to stay sane and feel like I am not losing total control of my body! It has also helped to keep the swelling down this time. Comparing pictures from my last pregnancy and talking with friends/family, we have all realized I was a whole lot more swollen last time around. Below are a few of my most embarrassing pictures – enjoy!
Now that I am 35 weeks and counting, I am starting to notice my sleep is decreasing, my brain is foggy, my muscles ache a lot more and my emotions are on a bit of a roller coaster.
Sleep is playing a huge roll in my inability to think as clearly as possible. Case and point: yesterday I thought it was Tuesday, when in fact it was Monday – therefore I showed up to my clients house for our Personal Training appointment right on time. I waited in front of her house for a while, rang her door bell with no answer, finally shot her a text to get the response “Yes, we are schedule for 6pm tomorrow“! Duh! This has just been the tip of the iceberg. Several times I have mixed up dates, forgot what I was talking about in the middle of my sentence and my favorite – walked into a room several times with no recollection of what I went in there for. A few things that have helped my sleep a bit over the past couple nights – warm bath with bath salts right before bed, not using my phone for an hour before going to bed and adding Calcium/Magnesium supplement prior to going to bed. The only thing can’t really control in the number of times I have to get up to pee! Seriously, the other night it was four times!!!! Good news is that I am staying hydrated, bad news for any hope of consistent sleep.
Over the past couple weeks I have noted a spike in muscle cramping at night. Throughout the day I may be sore, but the moment I hop into bed I feel like I belong in a “Restless leg syndrome” commercial. The few things I have added is stretching and muscle release techniques (ex: foam rolling), additional supplementation of Calcium/Magnesium (Magnesium plays a huge roll in muscle cramps), extra bananas and increase movement. Sitting, I believe, is contributing to my muscles aches and pains.
Emotions have been the best part of the past couple weeks! One minute I am happy and content and the next I am crying or upset with someone. My husband has been extremely supportive and understanding through the whole thing. My son on the other hand just looks at me like I am a crazy mommy!
Today’s home workout…
Stair “running” – Run up and walk down 10 times
Single Leg Lateral Step Ups – 15 each leg
Incline Push-Ups – 20
Tricep Dips – 15
Lunges – 10 each leg
Calf Raises – 20
This morning’s workout came much earlier than usual – 6am! While getting up with my alarm was painful as always, it felt great to have my workout done before 7am.
I have many clients who struggle with getting their workouts in during the day or even at night. By end of day we have a million and one reasons why we shouldn’t go to the gym or even get a quick workout in at home. From being tired, to cooking dinner, to family activities – the excuses just keep adding up. That’s why morning workouts (while sometimes painful to wake up for) tend to be more effective. Other than your alarm, there aren’t as many things standing in your way! Plus, if you workout in the morning you are starting your day off right, boosting your metabolism, and you don’t have to worry about fitting it in later.
Warm-Up – 5 minutes walking on treadmill
Foam Rolling – legs/IT bands and Psoas
Squats – 10 (increasing weight each time)
Repeat 4 times
Thrusters – 6 reps
Repeat 4 times
Deadlifts – 5
Bulgarian Split Squats – 10
Jump Rope – 50
Repeat 2 times
I didn’t wake up this morning thinking I was going to train with another group today! In fact I was looking forward to a lighter Olympic lift workout, but sometimes what we plan isn’t always the best.
As I finished with my client this morning and was preparing to start my own workout, another trainer at the gym asked me to jump in with his boot camp class. It’s been a while since I tried someone else’s workout so I thought why not! The workout itself was great and incorporated the entire body. Several of the exercises weren’t great for someone pregnant so I swapped them out for “pregnant friendly” ones. What I struggled with most in the group atmosphere was the ability to “slow down”. I have a competitive side that likes to push myself as hard as possible. With my friends and my own personal workouts I don’t feel the need to push myself, but with a new group of people it was a bit harder to slow down. I like being able to “beat” the person next to me – it’s the mental game I play to challenge myself. Luckily for me my fear of overdoing it and ending up with contractions helped, but I definitely felt outside of my comfort zone. The workout felt great, but I am getting ready to have my body back to push as hard as I’d like. We are about six weeks out and I am excited to meet our little girl!!
It’s okay to push yourself to your limits, but remember that everyone is different. One person may be able to lift twice as much weight as you, but you are both doing your babies good. Strong mom = strong baby!
Workout of the Day:
Round 1 (each exercise for 1minute and 30 seconds, with 30 second rest)
Walk outs with push up
Single Leg Squats with Kettlebell – (right side)
Box Jumps – I modified to step ups with dumbbells
Russian Twists – I modified with Planks/Mountain Climbers
Single Leg Squats with Kettlebell – (left side)
Lateral lunges with Kettlebell (alternating)
Round 2 – (each exercise for 1minute and 30 seconds, with 30 second rest)
Yoga Push Ups
Single leg box jumps (Step Up with a hop at the top) (right)
Standing overhead press with dumbbells
Single leg box jumps (Step Up with a hop at the top) (left)
Lateral jump with burpee
Wall Sit with Hammer Curl