Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Spanx You Very Much

Last week I purchased my first set of Spanx. It was time to make the leap. I hold no delusions that by putting on a pair of Spanx I will suddenly become svelte or convince people that I am a size two. I just needed something to help me feel less jiggly. My body is just different now…

It’s not bouncing back in the same fashion that those bitches Gisele and Miranda so publicly claim is natural and wonderful and oh so easy. I won’t be walking any cat walks in my undies with a pair of angel wings attached to my back anytime soon.

I could blame popular culture on convincing me that I, too, would look EXACTLY the same after having a baby, but I’m not naive. I knew things would be different. I just didn’t know they would be this different.

The day we got home from the hospital I remember standing naked in front of the bathroom mirror and thinking, “I have a mom body now.” I was so shocked by how pregnant I still looked when I was so very, very sure that I had just given birth. I mean, the baby was in a bouncy seat next to me at the time.

In so many ways, I feel completely ravaged after being pregnant and giving birth. My thighs touch in places they’ve never touched before. The circumference of my stomach is so much larger than before. Clothes don’t fit. Some shoes don’t fit. I can’t wear heels because my pelvis is still giving me problems, causing back aches and that same pesky sciatica I battled with during pregnancy.

I wasn’t a super model before I got pregnant, but I had worked really hard to lose 20 pounds and was in the best shape I had been in since high school. I went into pregnancy stronger and leaner and confident. I look at our wedding photos and I’m happy with the way I look. To some people that might not mean much, but to a person like me who has a hard time turning off the “I’m never good enough” monologue, that was a huge step.

Now?

Now, I feel like I’m in a body that isn’t mine. I dread getting up in the morning and putting on clothes that don’t fit. A few of my girlfriends recommended making dresses a staple of my summer wardrobe so I’ve given myself the liberty of a few shopping sprees. New clothes help, but I wonder if the old ones will ever fit again. I know they say to give yourself a year to lose the baby weight, but I’m impatient. I want results now. I want my body back.

I’m guilty of giving myself some extreme eating liberties in the weeks after Henry was born. Despite that, a month after he was born I only had 13 pounds to go to get to my pre-pregnancy weight. With that little piece of motivation, I kept eating whatever the hell I wanted. This resulted in gaining 8 pounds. I essentially gained my baby back. I tried to start exercising, but found that the pelvis issues get worse when I’m too active. My chiropractor recommended that I take it easy for a year. A whole freaking year!

I’m left with only one option. Eating healthy. Really, really healthy. All the time.

I guess, more than anything, what I miss the most is the confidence that I felt when I was working out and losing weight. I have a hard time resigning myself to the idea that sacrificing my body for motherhood is something that I should just accept.

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Pregnancy Acupuncture

In my first trimester, summer allergies hit and started kicking my ass. I felt a lot of pressure in my sinuses and my doc didn’t want me taking anything until I passed the 12 week mark. Sinus pressure has to be one of the most annoying allergy symptoms, especially when you can’t dive into the Benadryl or  Zyrtec.

A nurse at my doctor’s office recommended the neti pot. “Hmmp,” I scoffed in my head. “I’m not a rookie at this allergy thing.”

Neti pots are amazing. It’s like a little teapot that you fill with a salt water mixture, stick up your nose and flush out your sinuses. Kind of gross, but pretty amazing at the same time.

Acupunture during pregnancyUnfortunately, this time the neti pot was no match for my allergies. I started researching other natural options and came across acupuncture. With the approval of my doctor, I was off to get needles stuck in my face (among other places).

It turns out, in the hands of the right acupuncturist, acupuncture is a really safe, helpful way to alleviate many pregnancy ailments.  I started going for my allergies and now I go every two weeks for a little tune up. Sometimes we work on my sleep, sometimes on the aches and pains that come with a stretching tummy and growing baby. Within a few appointments the pressure I felt in my sinuses was gone.

The best part? Every two weeks I have an appointment at noon so I can take a little cat nap. In a weird way, acupuncture is more relaxing than getting a massage. After the acupuncturist inserts the needles she leaves me in a nice, dark room with that calming yoga/massage music. It’s quite nice…it may be my happy place.

A lot of people get freaked out by the needles, but honestly acupuncture is completely painless. It’s truly invigorating.

If you’re in the Reno-Tahoe area I see Dr. Brooke Hollinger at Eight Dimensions.

*I should disclose that this isn’t my first rodeo with acupuncture. In the past I saw an acupuncturist to try and balance my thyroid hormones.

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Month Two, ? Workouts

Lat week I did my fitness testing again to see the progress that I’ve made in the last month. This month was more challenging since I traveled, gave birth (see www.windspireenergy.com, my baby), delved into full on wedding madness and had some emotional ups and downs. I’ve I lost track of how many workouts this would be, but I’m guesstimating that it is around 30?

I still absolutely love working out at MRI and with Camie, my trainer. She is truly one of the most inspirational, genuine, and kind people that I have ever met. It also helps that she laughs at my jokes. Like this morning when I could hardly breathe. I told her I was going to come at her like a Spider Monkey. She laughed and came back at me with a southern drawl. Anyone who gets references to Talladaga Nights is A-Ok in my book.

Anyhoo, here are my results for this month:

Measurement 3/10/10 4/1/10 4/13/2010 5/14/2010 Change
Chest 43 inches 42 inches 41 3/4 inches 41 1/4 inches 1 1/4 inches
Arm 13 3/4 inches 13 1/2 inches 13 1/4 inches 13 1/4 1/2 inch
Waist 40 inches 40 inches 39 inches 39 inches 1 inch
Hip 47 inches 45 1/2 inches 45 1/2 inches 45 1/2 inches 1 1/2 inches
Thigh 28 1/2 inches 27 1/2 inches 26 3/4 26 3/4 1 3/4 inches
Calf 17 inches 16 inches 16 1/4 17 ??? Probably all those stairs!
Activity
Push Ups 29 37 40 45 16 more!
Sit Ups (the real kind) 22 26 33 36 14 more!
Mile Run 13:55 minutes 11:45 minutes N/A 10:54 minutes 3:01 faster!

I have to tell you that originally I was disappointed that I hadn’t lost more inches. It was so motivating last month to see those numbers drop. It got me down for a bit and then I started thinking about other things that I’ve noticed are changing. For instance, my jeans are too big. MY JEANS ARE TOO BIG. My clothes fit. I’m not squeezing into anything. I sleep like a rock. Emotionally, I feel GOOD. Taking that hour or so every morning to move and sweat puts things into perspective, makes me let go of the things that are on my mind. My overall fitness and strength are improving. I ran a freaking mile this morning and I almost did it in 10 minutes. I haven’t done that in years. Really. Years.

I’ve lost 14 15.2 pounds! At my first wedding dress fitting the seamstress had to take in inches from each side. She tried to convince me not to lose anymore weight. My wedding dress zipped up with no problem. In December I had to suck it in to get it on. My body fat is down 4%!

I always find it funny how the universe sends you little signals and signs. After I got done running my mile and could hardly breathe this woman at the gym came up to me. She’s in excellent shape and I can tell she’s an athlete. Maybe a runner or something. She said, “You were busting it on that treadmill. I wasn’t even sure you were breathing.” I kind of giggled, brushing off her compliment like I do so often. Then she said, “No, I’m serious. You were really moving.” Made me feel so good to hear that. Then later another girl who works out at the same time as me said, “You get here earlier than me every morning and you are always busting your ass.”

Yep, I am. Or Camie busts it for me.

So despite the fact that I am not so happy about not losing any inches I realize that this is a journey and part of that journey is gaining confidence and feeling good on the inside. These compliments at the gym mean more to me than these strangers will ever know. And the results that I feel on the inside are almost as good as losing lbs. and inches.

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A post for Camie

Tight Buns for Hot Jeans Contest Recipe of the Week

I’m still working on my fitness and I should have new results for you soon. I still feel great, even though our wedding is now 2 months away and is stressing me out and I’ve had a couple of really trying days at work. During these times I find that my body (and mind) feels so much better if I get into the gym. Funny how that works, eh?

Anyway, my amazing trainer Camie, started a contest for her clients and it’s based on results in the gym and tasks that she gives us weekly. This week’s task is to share a favorite recipe.

So, in hopes that I will be a contender in Camie’s Hot Jeans Contest, here’s my favorite fish taco recipe:

A couple of filets of a mild white fish (if you’re in the money go with Halibut, if not Cod or Tilapia will work just fine)
Cumin
Cayenne Pepper
Garlic Powder
Salt
Pepper
1 Mango
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 Red Pepper (diced)

1 tablespoon olive oil
A splash of lime juice
Coleslaw (I buy the kind from the store that has the coleslaw mayonnaise mix, probably the ingredient Camie will cut first)
Corn or Flour tortillas

Instructions

1. Thaw your fish. That kind of sounds like something a Mafia guy would say. Like, “I thawed his fish.” Maybe not?

2. Grill or bake your fish. If you’re baking then I recommend making little packets out of foil. One filet goes in one foil packet. Sprinkle the cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper over each fillet. You could season both sides if you want to be fancy like that. Or not. Whatevs. I bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. You know it’s done when you can flake the fish using a fork.

3. While the fish is cooking start preparing the Mango Salsa. Damn! You didn’t see that one coming did ya? That’s what they would call a “Secret Ingredient” on Iron Chef.

4. You’re going to need to dice a mango. I find this ridiculously hard as mango are quite slippery once they have been peeled. Alas, I use a vegetable peeler, peel the mango and then cut slices off that I later dice up. I try not to lose any fingers in the process. Put these mango pieces in a bowl. Add the white wine vinegar, diced up red pepper, lime juice, a little salt and pepper. Give it a quick stir and put it aside.

5. Make your coleslaw. The directions are on the bag.

6. Add a little fish, a little mango salsa and a little coleslaw. You could also make some black beans if you want. Eat the tacos.

Wish me luck! First prize is a $300 gift certificate to Fine ‘n Funky.

11 Workouts In

Seven years ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroid, an auto-immune disease that caused my body to start attacking my thyroid gland.  The thyroid gland controls a lot of really important functions of your body including – metabolism, making proteins and how sensitive the body should be to other hormones. When I was 18 and heading off to college I started to gain weight drastically – putting on 30 pounds in my first semester of college. My parents thought I was eating too many bagels. I thought I was just getting lazy and being an overachiever on the Freshman 15.

Alas, that was not the case. Three years into college and at an annual exam my doctor thought my neck looked swollen. She felt around and was pretty sure that I had a goitre. I had blood work done and it came back that I was hypothyroid. Off to the endocrinologist I went.

Years went by and I tried my hardest to lose that 30 pounds that had now become more like 50. I’ve written about some of my attempts at weight loss before so I was a little hesitant to share my new endeavor with you. After all, what if I failed? What if I wrote another post about eating vegetables, going to meetings, jumping on the scale and you thought, “Oh here she goes again talking about losing weight.”

Instead I’ve kept this latest try a secret. Until now.

Camie Cragg About four weeks ago I started working out at a place called MRI. My friend Jill had been attending boot camps there and she really recommended it. I could tell from her results – she looks A-mazing (shout out Jill!) that it was a different kind of place.

And after four weeks of the hardest training I have ever done I can attest to it. I’ve been working out with Camie Cragg, who is one of the most beautiful people inside and out that I have ever met. I’ve tried the personal training thing before and I have to say that this is the first time I have felt like I have a Champion who is as invested in my health and fitness as I am. She is always available when I need to ask nutrition or fitness questions, she’s positive and there is just something about her spirit that makes me feel excited and privileged that I get to work out with her. She really makes it fun and the variety is what keeps me going back. I never know what the next day is going to bring!

Anyway, now to the guts of it. I’m working out four days a week in the morning. I get up at 5 a.m. and haul my butt to workout. I’m going to state this for the record – it is NEVER easy to get out of bed. I NEVER think, “Oh I can’t wait to go and get my butt kicked by Camie.” But I do it – every morning. I have not skipped a single workout yet. And it has paid off.

Here are my RESULTS after 11 workouts:

Measurement 3/10/10 4/1/10 Change
Chest 43 inches 42 inches 1 inch
Arm 13 3/4 inches 13 1/2 inches 1/4 inch
Waist 40 inches 40 inches None – whatevs
Hip 47 inches 45 1/2 inches 1 1/2 inches
Thigh 28 1/2 inches 27 1/2 inches 1 inch
Calf 17 inches 16 inches 1 inch
Activity
Push Ups 29 37 8 more!
Sit Ups (the real kind) 22 26 4 more!
Mile Run 13:55 minutes 11:45 minutes 2:10 minutes faster!

I’ve also stayed fairly true to the Eat to Live philosophy, although I have been craving more meat. I’m being really careful about what goes in my mouth, which means when the office is swarming with sweets I have to be THAT girl. Yep, the girl who says no. Sometimes multiple times. Sometimes in a very firm way. Sometimes using swear words. Meh.

One more thing – in the four weeks that I have been working out at MRI I have met some of the most amazing people. First, Camie, who is so awesome. Then I meet my friend Page’s mom, Martha, and she became my new workout partner since we are both preparing for weddings (her daughters are getting hitched, not to each other of course, shout out Page!). In addition to these lovely ladies I also have become gym friends with a few of the people who work out at the same time as me. They are so motivating and friendly, which helps when the sweat is pouring and  you can hardly breathe.

Sometimes I’m in the middle of doing some new torturous fabulous fitness move and I look around the gym. I see athletes, moms, dads, high school students, girls like me and I think, “Wow everyone in here is sweating and breathing hard. Everyone is working it.” It motivates me more than anything to see the people who are true athletes in the same kind of pain I am. Is that sick?

What are you doing to stay in shape? Do you ever WANT to get out of bed to exercise? Do you have gym friends?

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