July 15, 2014

26 & 27 Weeks

How far along are you?  I am 27 weeks today which is the start of the third trimester! Only 13 weeks left! AHH!

Gender: It's a BOY!

How big is the baby? A little over 14.5 inches and weighs about 2 lbs, the size of a cauliflower! 

More about this week from Baby Center:

"This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (about the size of a head of cauliflower) and is about 
14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended. She's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were to be born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don't bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle."

Total Weight Gain: I am up about 13-14 lbs right now. My weight definitely fluctuates a lot day to day. I am walking everyday on my lunch break, working out in the evenings and eating really healthy. I feel a lot better about my weight gain knowing I am doing everything I possibly can to make sure all of my weight gain is healthy weight only. I was a lot more lax in the beginning of my pregnancy about what I was eating, which I think caused me to stress more about my weight gain. All I can do is get lots of exercise and eat healthy. If I still gain weight, at least I know it is for the health of my baby boy.

How I’m feeling: I have been having some pretty bad back pain and sciatic nerve pain, which is then causing some headaches. The nerve pain is the worst in the evening and makes it nearly impossible to get up without help. Exercise does seem to help the pain go away a little bit thankfully. Other than that, I have been feeling pretty good. Everyone says I am growing, but I don't see it!

Maternity clothes: Ugh. I swear, there are like literally two stores that carry maternity clothes. I am going camping soon and realized I am going to need a pair of shorts since it is going to be in the upper 80's. For the last month or so, I have refused to buy more clothes and have been just rewearing things often. When I was in the maternity store at the mall, I had a breakdown. The shorts were all skin tight, even when I went up in size. When I looked in the mirror, I just felt like I looked so BIG. I saw my old self in the mirror for a second and it freaked me out. I bought the shorts anyways and thankfully they have stretched out. After getting shorts, I was in need of a looser tank top, something that would allow me to breathe. I was amazed that I couldn't even fit into non-maternity shirts. They were either too short or skin tight. Definitely didn't help my self-esteem! There are so many pregnant women in this world, you would think that stores would carry maternity clothes. Everything seems to be only online.

Favorite workouts: I am doing Les Mills Pump and PiYo. PiYo has been amazing so far, love that I still burn a ton of calories without getting my heart rate too high all while stretching my body. Feels so good! I have also been adding in 1.5-2 mile inclined walks on my lunch breaks.

Stretch Marks: I still have one faint purple mark but not sure if it is a stretch mark or a darker vein. Using lotions in the morning and evening. 

Cravings: I have had intense cravings for Puff Cheetos this week, thankfully, I haven't given in yet! Also, sweet potato fries! 

Sleep:  My sleep has improved! I have even had two nights in the last week where I didn't have to get up and use the bathroom! Win! 
Best moment this week: I love watching my little boy roll around in my tummy at night. When I lay back, you can actually see where he is at in my tummy. I could sit there and watch him move all day and night. Can't wait to hold him in my arms! 

Movement: Baby B is a very active little boy. I am now to the point where I can feel him several times an hour! Sometimes, I will drink a tiny bit of orange juice in the evenings and then go lay in bed. Baby B goes CRAZY! He is getting big enough that I can now feel him on both sides of my tummy when he is stretching. The second I tell my husband to watch him move, he stops! What a little stinker!
Food aversions: I don't have too many food aversions lately. 
Belly button in or outIn and stretching! Don't think it will be going out.
What I Miss: Being able to move with ease. I struggle to even put on my shoes these days.

What I’m looking forward to: I am looking forward to our birth classes next month.  I feel like we are kind of at a stand still right now. The nursery is mostly complete and so there is not much left to do for right now. Once August and September come around, I think I will feel much more busy. We are doing our birth classes the first two weekends in August. Looking forward to those!
Baby Buys: We have put the buying on hold for now, but we did get this print in the mail and finally framed.  I saw this print on Pinterest a couple weeks after we found out we were expecting and I was in tears after reading it. This has been the initial inspiration for Baby B's nursery!


July 8, 2014

Top 7 Excuses Not to Workout

Being a Fitness Coach, I get to listen to excuses everyday. Excuses of why people can't workout and why people can't eat healthy. I live my life without the word "can't". 

When I started my fitness journey back in 2012, my life was defined by the word "can't". I gave myself a thousand reasons why I couldn't workout and why I couldn't eat healthy. I told myself that I didn't have time, I was too tired, it was too expensive and I told myself I was too overweight to exercise. "Can't" was a word that made me feel good because I thought it justified my excuses. That word made my excuses sound like legitimate reasons. That was all until one day when I realized that my "can't" attitude was holding me back from accomplishing the things that were important to me.

Believe it or not, getting healthy was really important to me. I knew my weight issue was the reason for my unhappiness. I didn't like what I saw in the mirror each morning. One day, I came to the realization that I COULD lose the weight, I was just not ready to give up the lifestyle that came with my weight. Being fat was convenient. I didn't have to cook, I could spend my evenings in front of the TV, I could sleep in, I never had to break a sweat and I loved my junk food. It wasn't that I couldn't lose weight, I just didn't want to do the things necessary in order to do so. I didn't want to spend time at the gym, I didn't want to have to meal prep and eat healthy. See my point? 

"Can't" is just a fuzzy way of saying "I don't want to". It makes us feel better. We use this word as a crutch.

The day I deleted the word "can't" from my vocabulary is the day my life changed.

I CAN do anything I want to do as long as I am willing to work hard for it. I lost 55lbs through clean eating and exercise. Along with that came a lot of time spent in the gym, working out, sweating, meal prepping, grocery shopping, hard work, dedication and tears. Was it easy? Heck no. Was it worth it? Heck YES! This is my new lifestyle and I love it. I will be on my fitness journey for the rest of my life, it never ends. 

Now, as a Fitness Coach, I get to listen to other's excuses all day long. Sometimes I wish I could just shake people and tell them to lose the excuses!!! Of all the reasons why people think they cannot workout, I have never heard a legitimate reason. I have been where these people are at, I know how difficult it is. But, at the same time, I know how amazing life is when you get rid of the excuses and go after the things you want. 

So, I decided to make a list of the Top 7 Excuses I hear most often and give you reasons why you need to lose them.

Top 7 Excuses Not to Workout

1. "I don't have any time"

This is the most common excuse I hear. I get it, you are busy. I am too. Do you think those of us who workout have a lot of extra spare time? So much extra time we feel like we might as well workout? If you do, you are wrong. We are all busy and have a lot going on. But, if getting fit and healthy is important to you, you have to make the time for it. When I hear this excuse, I really hear someone saying, "I am busy and in the spare time I do have, I'd rather do something else than workout". I always tell people, if you have time to scroll through your Facebook newsfeed or watch TV, you also have time to workout. Wake up 30 minutes earlier, go for a walk on your lunch break, take your kiddos to the park, replace the time you watch tv in the evening with a quick workout. 

I work full time as a Marketing Analyst, I work as a Fitness Coach in my spare time, I cook dinner every night for my husband and I, I pack lunches everyday, I run weekly trainings and team meetings, I coach monthly challenge groups and free clean eating groups, I like to watch reality tv at night, I like to spend my extra time with my husband and I am preparing for our sweet baby boy to arrive this fall. You see, I am busy too. I don't technically have time to workout either, but I find it. I will wake up 30 minutes early, I will sneak a quick walk on my lunch break, I will meal prep on the weekends so I don't have to do that after work and I ask my husband for help. My husband isn't an extravagant cook, but he does know how to cook some really great meals - breakfast, GLOP, tacos, chicken, etc. When I know I am going to need to workout in the evenings, he will prep dinner for me and then come workout with me. 

Make exercising something that is a part of your daily routine. You wouldn't skip going to work or eating because you were too busy, you make time for those things. Make working out something that you make time for too.

2. "I am too tired"

I understand there are times when you really do need your rest. For example, when you are sick. But more often than not, this is just an excuse to justify the fact that you don't feel like working out and you would rather lounge on the couch. Find a pre-workout drink you like (My favorite is E&E) or drink a cup of coffee before you workout. Did you know that exercise will actually give you more energy throughout the day? There are a lot of times I feel really tired before a workout, but once I get started, I actually feel more energized.

3. "I've tried, I never see results"

When I was overweight, this was one of my biggest excuses. Even though it took me years to gain the weight, I still expected to see results immediately after one workout. I would give it my all for about three days and then would be so discouraged when I saw no change in my body. So I would quit. After trying a million and one fad diets and weight loss pills, I realized the only way to truly see results was consistent hard work.

You didn't gain 50 pounds overnight so you can't expect to lose it overnight either. And...quitting isn't going to get you any closer to that bikini either. Quitting is the only way to guarantee failure.

Be consistent. If you are working out and eating healthy, I promise you will see results. It might take you a couple months to see noticeable physical results, but that time is going to pass regardless. You will change on the inside before you change on the outside. Pay attention to non-scale victories - How your clothes fit, how you feel, your energy levels, etc. When you feel discouraged, remind yourself why you started your journey to better health. I used to keep notecards with me of my 'whys' (to be able to wear a bikini, to feel good about myself, to prove to myself that I could accomplish what I set out to do, etc) so I could remind myself of why I shouldn't skip my workout and why I shouldn't hit up the drive through.

Work hard and don't give up. In moments of weakness, remind yourself of your 'whys'.

4. "It's boring"

If you think working out is boring, then it just means you haven't found your soul mate workout yet. I would hate working out too if it meant hours on the elliptical everyday. I spice up my workouts daily. Some days I do at home workouts and do T25, PiYo, the 21 Day Fix, P90X, Les Mills Pump or Body Beast. Other days I go to the gym and watch TV while on the treadmill and follow it up with some heavy weight lifting. Find a home workout program that you love, take a class at your local gym, go for a run outside, etc. There are plenty of ways to get in exercise that aren't boring, you just have to find what works best for you! Some people love zoning out and running on the treadmill. For me, that sounds like a punishment. Find different workouts that you enjoy!

Also, spice up your music! Download some new music to your iPod. Find a podcast or audio book that you enjoy listening to. These things will help you take your mind off of the workout itself.

5. "I can't afford it"

I can relate to this one. With a baby on the way, money is tight for us. I don't have a ton of extra money to be throwing around. When it comes to my health, I consider it an investment. I actually don't even have a gym membership. I workout at the gym at the apartment complex we live in and I have invested in home workouts. Home workouts are great because they are like working out with a personal trainer or going to a group workout class at the gym, except you get to keep the workouts forever. Over the years, I have invested in P90X, the 21 Day Fix, PiYo, T25, Les Mills Pump, Hip Hop Abs and Body Beast. I love having a variety of workouts at my fingertips. I can do pilates one day, weight lift the next and then get in some hip hop cardio. I never get bored. If you cannot afford a gym membership, save some money and invest in a program and you can keep. Consider your health an investment.

6. "I am too overweight"

Too embarrassed to go to the gym? I used to feel the same way. In the end, if you let people's assumed judgement hold you back from losing weight, you are really only hurting yourself. We all start somewhere. Just as I mentioned above, there are many alternatives to gym workouts like home workouts and even just walking outside. Just don't use the fact that you are overweight be something that holds you back from getting healthy and fit. We all start somewhere and sitting at home embarrassed of your weight isn't going to help you reach your goals.

For those of you who judge others at the gym - QUIT IT. Gyms should be a judgement free zone. A place where someone can go to work on themselves and feel comfortable doing so. Respect those who are at the gym regardless of their weight or age.

7. "I am a stay at home Mom"

I know my baby boy isn't here yet, so maybe I have no right to even talk about this one. But, I am going to anyways. A lot of the people I coach are moms. When I talk to them about the reasons why they want to get fit and healthy, they usually say they want to be healthy so that they can keep up with their kids and also set a good example for them. At the same time though, I find moms using their children as their reason for why they can't workout. Your children should be a reason, not an excuse.

I have found myself stressing about how I am going to fit in my workouts once Baby B arrives. Will it be difficult? For sure. Will it be impossible? Not at all. It is going to require me to get a little more creative and I will have to manage my time a little bit better. Maybe I will find that I need to workout solely on my lunch breaks at work. Or maybe I will be able to still sneak in my morning workouts, or workout once he falls asleep in the evenings. My workouts will most likely revolve around my sons schedule, but I refuse to let my son be the reason I don't get my workouts in.

Workout while your children nap or after they go to bed. Take them to the park and get in some exercise there. Find a stroller fitness group that you can join. Have your kids join in with your workouts. Find a gym that offers child care.

My point? Don't let your kids become your excuse. Easier said than done, I am sure. Set a good example for them. Kids do what they see.

Excuses are for people who don't want it bad enough. Don't let your excuses hold you back from reaching your goals.


July 7, 2014

2 Ingredient Pancakes

Looking for a super simple healthy breakfast or a pre-workout snack? I have the perfect thing for you! Two ingredient pancakes. Yes, two. That is not a typo.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 tsp of flour (or gluten free flour) - this will help the pancake stick together more
  • Splash of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Place skillet over medium heat and spray with Pam.
  3. Cook pancakes and flip halfway through.
  4. Enjoy!
I am not a banana fan, but I surprisingly loved these! I did not add flour to my first batch of these and they were a little messy and tough to flip. Second batch, I added a dash of flour to and it helped the pancakes hold together more. If you are ok with ugly pancakes, I would go without the flour! The entire batch is less than 260 calories and completely guilt free. Perfect combination of protein and carbs for a little pre-workout fuel. These taste so good that they don't even need a topping!


July 3, 2014

24 & 25 Weeks

How far along are you?  I am 25 weeks and 2 days. Less than 15 weeks left, so crazy!

Gender: It's a BOY!

How big is the baby? A little over 13.5 inches and weighs about 1.5 lbs, the size of a rutabaga! 

More about this week from Baby Center:

"Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. Her weight — 1 1/2 pounds — isn't much more than an average rutabaga, but she's beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she'll start to look more and more like a newborn. She's also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture

Total Weight Gain: I am up 9 lbs right now. I was complaining to my doctor about my weight gain at my last appointment. She said the woman who came in right before me was only 20 weeks along and was already up 44 lbs, so she told me not to worry about 9 lbs. I am supposed to gain about a pound a week from now until the end of my pregnancy. My doctor said I can't necessarily eat less because the baby needs the nutrients, but if I am worried about weight gain, the best thing I can do is increase my cardio.  I feel like I have done more weight lifting during my pregnancy, so I have been trying to incorporate more cardio lately. 

How I’m feeling: I am feeling ok. I am finding I get offended much easier than I used to. I was telling my husband this week that I am SO surprised how many men will come up to me and tell me how huge I have got. Men, you should never tell a woman she is huge. I am well aware I am getting bigger by the day, it does not need to be pointed out to me. My husband reminded me though how I used to get offended when people would tell me I am tiny. I guess you just shouldn't comment on how a woman looks during pregnancy haha. I like that I am noticeably pregnant, but depending on the day and my mood, when someone points it out to me, I really don't like it. I love my growing belly because it is my son inside there, but it still makes me so aware that I am gaining weight and that reminder isn't pleasant at times. I am starting to get heartburn lately, which I have been told could mean our sweet little boy is going to have a full head of hair. Who knows though! Also, I definitely am feeling the pressure on my lungs. Laying down or even sitting down, I sometimes feel like I can't take a full breath.

Maternity clothes: Living in maternity clothes now. I don't have a huge selection of summer maternity clothes. I have three maxi dresses and a pair of capris. I really don't want to have to invest in more shorts or dresses, but I may need to. 

Favorite workouts: I am doing Les Mills Pump and PiYo. PiYo has been amazing so far, love that I still burn a ton of calories without getting my heart rate too high all while stretching my body. Feels so good!

Stretch Marks: I still have one faint purple mark but not sure if it is a stretch mark or a darker vein. Using lotions in the morning and evening. My skin feels so itchy lately, doing my best to lotion my skin rather than itch!

Cravings: Ever since I started taking extra folic acid, my cravings have basically disappeared. This is great but at the same time, it makes deciding what to eat much more difficult. I did have one craving for some sweet potato fries this week. We baked some sweet potato fries and they were amazing! Other than that, I have been eating really healthy, trying to eat more protein throughout the day to keep myself feeling full.

Sleep:  I haven't been sleeping too great in the past two weeks. Seems like I am tired all day, but when it is time for bed, I can't seem to fall asleep. I am up going to the bathroom half the night, and the rest of the night I am having nightmares about murders and stillborn babies. So terrifying to the point that I would just rather wake up than have another bad dream. I still love my snoogle, but lately it doesn't seem to make me any more comfortable while sleeping. 
Best moment this weekMy favorite moment each day is laying in bed at night and eating a Skinny Cow Caramel Truffle bar and watching Baby B move in my tummy. By the way, if anyone out there has sweet cravings, these bars are amazing. Only 100 calories, 12 grams of sugar, 3 grams of fiber and they are rated a B- on Fooducate. These are my go to guilt free treats in the evenings! Anyways, when I eat these treats, Baby B starts doing somersaults and practicing his karate kicks in my tummy. I could just stare at my tummy all night and watch it move. He is a pretty active little boy, but there is something so special about being able to watch him move. Just makes pregnancy feel more real. 

Movement: Baby B is a very active little boy. I find that he is more active during the week when I am sitting more often rather than on the weekends when I am up and about all day. I love feeling him move around in my tummy.
Food aversions: I don't have too many food aversions lately. Salads are becoming less appealing for some reason though.
Belly button in or outIn and stretching! Don't think it will be going out.
What I Miss: Being able to lay on my back and tummy. I used to sleep on my back and stomach, so sleeping on my side is not the most comfortable thing in the world!
What I’m looking forward to: I am looking forward to our birth classes next month.  I feel like we are kind of at a stand still right now. The nursery is mostly complete and so there is not much left to do for right now. Once August and September come around, I think I will feel much more busy. We are doing our birth classes the first two weekends in August. Looking forward to those!

Baby Buys: We have put the buying on hold for now. Think I am starting to get a little overwhelmed at everything else I think we need to get. Trying to step back and really think about the things we will actually need. So many things aren't needed until a baby is 6+ months old, so they are probably things I do not need to get right this minute. It is really hard to guess at what is necessary and what is unnecessary. I just don't want to waste money on things we don't need. If you all have suggestions on what is needed and what is not needed, it would be greatly appreciated!