Fit Bump: A Preggo Guide

Hi! Hope you’re all having a lovely week!

I wanted to start off by thanking everyone for your messages, posts and well wishes following my little announcement last week! Chris and I are so excited, and I am pumped to share this journey with all of you!

With that said, let’s talk about fitness and pregnancy. There is a TON of misinformation out there and I’d like to clear the air a little. Until pretty recently, the idea of exercise during pregnancy was seriously frowned upon. It was believed, by doctors and civilians alike, that working out could cause harm to the fetus and mother. Now, most of those scary myths have been broken including the following:

  • Never let your heart rate raise about 140 bpm
  • Lifting causes miscarriage
  • Abdominal exercises should be avoided at all costs

Here’s the truth. The 140 bpm myth is arbitrary and basically made up. Women that lift weights and stay active throughout pregnancy are more likely to have an easier labor, control weight gain more easily, and bounce back from pregnancy quicker. Abdominal exercises that include being flat on your back during the end of the second to third trimester should be avoided (as with anything flat on your back) due to strain on the vena cava, HOWEVER increasing core strength (including abdominal, back and pelvic floor) increase posture during and after pregnancy, and can make labor and pushing easier. (Source, Source)

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OK, so…now what? The general consensus is that whatever you were doing before becoming pregnant is safe to do once you are pregnant. That includes running, walking, weight training, swimming, pilates, yoga, crossfit, hula hooping, jump roping, and sitting on your butt (with permission from your doctor first, of course!). Pretty much anything that feels good is safe and that’s the big part to remember. It’s probably not a good time to start a new routine or increase the intensity of an old routine, though. For me, I had been doing a lot of HIIT with plyometrics. Now that I’m pregnant, my stamina is definitely decreased and a lot of interval training and explosive movements don’t feel good anymore. Right now, at 16 weeks, long, brisk walks, weight training and my TRX are feeling awesome.

That being said, here’s a great upper body TRX/dumbbell workout I did this week. The huge benefit of the TRX is that core stablization required to execute exercises correctly. For more TRX info, read this post.

Upper Body TRX Super Sets

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

Complete super set 3x with 15/12/10 reps per exercise. Rest 1 minute between sets.

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That’s pretty much it for me! Hope you all have a fabulous week!

xoR

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Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, all posts are based on personal opinions and my own research. Please consult your own medical team before performing any exercises described here.

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Flex and Shout Grows By One!

Hello!

I know what you’re thinking: Flex and Shout is still a thing?! I haven’t posted in AGES…but I promise I had a good excuse!

I’m preggo! Chris and I are so excited to finally tell everyone now that we’re comfortably in the second trimester and everything is going perfectly! So I figured I’d give you all a little update of my pregnancy so far, although it’s been pretty uneventful.

Symptoms: TIRED. Until about 14 weeks I was facing serious fatigue, to the point where I was sleeping 10 hours/night (typically on the couch because Chris couldn’t even wake me). Around 14 weeks I began to perk back up and have even stayed up past 1o o’clock on several occasions! I was pretty nauseated for the first few weeks, but luckily never got sick and otherwise, my symptoms have been mild.

Cravings: Initially bread, bagels, pasta and crackers since I was nauseous, more recently spicy food, sweet fruit like mango and pineapple, and very specifically, chicken salad subs. Otherwise, eating healthy with lots of fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Missing sushi a lot.

Workouts: Until week 12 I was basically walking about 20 mins a day, and doing basic weigh training 2-3x/week when I could manage to stay awake that long. Around week 12-13 I was able to add some circuit training back with more rest time and at week 14 I was able to do some modified HIIT as long as I kept my workouts less than 45 minutes. I’m loving my TRX, kettlebells, and yoga mat lately.

Feelings about this body change: It’s a freaking rollercoaster ride that everyone I come in contact with is now riding with me. The first couple of weeks were really difficult for me, quite honestly. I outgrew my bras at 6 weeks (seriously) and my clothes really starting fitting differently early on. I was too small for maternity, but my regularly clothes didn’t really fit my new and different proportions. At 13 weeks my belly really started to grow and my pants started getting really tight. Now at 15 weeks, my belly has definitely arrived and catching up with my boobs. Now that my energy is coming back, I’m feeling better about getting back into a routine with moderate exercise and a reasonable sleep schedule. I’m also getting used to listening to my body, since it’s no longer just my body, I’m sharing with this little person inside me! Talk about a crazy feeling! I’ve made sure to stay in close contact with my ED team, including my therapist and nutritionist and large support network of friends and family. Whenever I start to feel panicky about my changing body, I put my hands on my belly and remember: someone in there needs nutrients and care. I think pregnancy is certainly a test to recovery, but I feel myself feeling more and more confident in my skills to continue on the right path.

So here I am so far:

 

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I hope you’ll forgive me for being absent the past couple of months and I also hope you’ll stick around to see how this wild ride pans out! Have a fabulous week!

xoR

It’s a 29 Year Old Thing…

Hello!

It is a balmy 16 degrees here in MA and there’s about 18 inches (and counting!) of snow on the ground. Not exactly my ideal day, but according to my countdown app we’re headed to Cancun in 20 days. I think I can make it!

This past Friday was my 29th birthday. I decided not to blog about it for a few reasons. 1. I don’t think anyone really cared that I was turning 29 as much as I did. 2. I was thoroughly enjoying the weekend with my friends and family. 3. I’m telling you about it now.

29 is a weird age. I’m not 30 yet, but don’t really feel like I’m in my 20s anymore. The difference between 20 and 29 is pretty staggering and my life is 180Ā° different. At 20, I was a Sophomore at UMass. My interests included: drinking disgustingly cheap vodka by the gallon, working out for hours at a time, eating baby carrots, denying my eating disorder, and skipping class.

2005

This is the first photo ever taken of Chris and me (NYE 2005).

Now at 29, my interests are a bit different. Yeah, sure, I still like to eat healthy and keep fit, but now it’s well rounded and balanced. I drink a few glasses of wine a week (except for Saturday where I decided to pretend to be 20 again…I paid for it all day on Sunday). I look forward to a night in at home. I buy clothes that fit, not just with the size I think I should be. Yep, Chris and I have been together nearly 10 years (holy crap!), but we’ve grown up together from wild college kids, to responsible, bill paying adults with health insurance and a retirement fund. I love my 29 year old life. I hated my 20 year old life. I can honestly say that I’m happy now…what else do I actually need?

IMG_7542Most recent picture of us from Saturday. Still adorable, obviously

Anyway, blah blah blah. I’m currently on day 19 of the Fitness Blender 8 Week Challenge that I purchased and I. Am. Loving. It. I’m feeling strong, lean, and energized. Here’s what in store for me today:

Have a fab snow day!

xoR

1 Year Flex and Shout Blog-iversary!

Hello! Today is Flex and Shout’s 1 year blog-iversary! I’m so proud of how Flex and Shout has evolved over the year (which of course means how I have evolved over the year), so I wanted to revisit some of my favorite posts from our inaugural year!

mod-1yearMy Favorite Workout Post:

Tabata remains one of my favorite HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. This post was also published on the HuffPost Blog (which was another fab perk of blogging this year!)

Favorite Educational Post:

GO LIFT NOW! I’m looking at you females that are still afraid of getting big (you won’t).

Favorite Recovery Centric Post:

Chalk full of .jif’s and real talk. Listen: recovery is a long and winding road. But once you’re there…it’s so worth it.

Favorite Group Fitness Post:

I still get barfy when I think about that humid workout. Woof!

Favorite Nutrition Post:

Carbs = good

Favorite Real Talk Post:

WHAT. A. YEAR. I am feeling awesome about the direction Flex and Shout is headed this year and I hope you’ll stick around to see where we land in a year!

Thank you all SO much for reading my little blog and for all the amazing feedback I’ve received this year. You all mean so much to me and if I was able to inspire even one person this year…then I’ve done my job.

xoR

2015: New Year, New Attitude

Hi! Welcome to post #1 of 2015! Yay! I hope everyone had a fabulous, fun, safe and memorable New Years šŸ™‚

We spent NYE in Chicago with some of our best friends, then spent 3 days hungover. Guess we’re not 21 anymore…Oh well! We still had a blast drinking champagne, dancing and prancing around in fancy outfits. Here are a few pics from our epic NYE celebration at Highline in Chicago. Professional pics are c/o Glitter Guts Photo booth:

Yes, I’m wearing a jumpsuit. Also, I had a little meltdown about how big my arms look in those pictures. The only way I was able to chill myself out was by looking at pictures of fellow fitchicks and realizing that those of us that lift weights have a little more meat on our arms. Oh, and also, no one else cares. Seriously. No one else is spending their evening staring at my arms and wishing they were smaller. I certainly didn’t do that to anyone else present that evening, or ever in my life for that matter. So…I’m making a deal with myself to be more realistic in 2015. I constantly strive to better myself toward a more balanced lifestyle, and that includes being nicer to myself. 2015 is the year of body kindness and acceptance. Who’s with me?!

Anyway, yesterday I had my first workout of 2015. It was following a 4 day bender of champagne, pizza, and shopping, so it wasn’t exactly my best sweat-sesh. Here’s the workout from Fitness Blender (my current obsession):

I don’t think I burned 1000 calories, nor did I intend to, but it was time for a good detox. Speaking of Fitness Blender, Daniel and Kelli (the founders, trainers and stars of the videos) are debuting a new 8 week challenge today! Chris and I have decided to give it a try, as we are going to Cancun in 6 weeks! We need a little extra motivation this time of year, and these workouts never let us down. It’s $10 and you can order it here! Join us and keep us updated on your progress!

In addition to our workout challenge, we are REALLY trying to be better about cooking our meals at home. So this weekend I collected up tons of pinterest recipes and last night began our homecooked challenge with this Skinnytaste recipe:

SO MUCH YUM!

Ok, that’s enough from me. Have a super fabulous week!

xoR

Holiday Cheer Without Any Fear

Good morning! Hope everyone had a fabulous holiday šŸ™‚

Chris and I are on vacation until January 5, which is pretty awesome. As you probably know, sometimes too much free time can be pretty stressful for me. 12 days off is really nice, but also a bit daunting for someone like me. So…what to do? Make a really strict vacation schedule and compulsively stick to it? Throw all structure to the wind and say “F it”? Maybe not…maybe find some middle ground…there in lies the difficult part.

This winter break, I’m taking time to reevaluate my “healthy life plan” and figure out how it fits into this busy life of mine. I’ve been thinking about healthy flexibility and how I can stay fit and healthy and still enjoy being a human being. So that being said, did I over-indulge on latkes on Chanukah and cookies on Christmas? Maybe. Did I force myself to workout for 3 hours the next day? Nope. I’ve been talking about my new plan to fit in good workouts in less time, and I recently found this 5 day workout plan on FitnessBlender which I LOVE. The workouts are all less than an hour and provide all kinds of modifications for increased and decreased intensity. Here’s day 1, which I completed on Friday:

Instead of completing day 2 on Saturday, Chris and I took Gloria for a long hike. She absolutely loved it and was a zombie the rest of the day, which is really hard to achieve.

photo(1)Otherwise, we’re just hangin’ around with family and will travel to Chicago on Wednesday for New Years with some of our bests! I bought a jumpsuit for New Years Eve, which is definitely a fashion risk for me, and instead of freaking out about how my body will look in it (which is my go-to), I’m getting a spray tan, wearing some HUGE hair, and moving on. I am all done with body shame and putting myself down. 2015 is the year of body pride and happy living for me. I will not say that that’s a resolution, per say, but rather an agreement to be nicer to myself. Check out this Buzzfeed article for more about body shaming in 2014. How are you going to fight back in 2015?

Have a fab week!

xoR

Home Gym Necessities

Hello! It’s the longest week of the year: the week before winter vacation…woof! Don’t get me wrong, I really like my job, but I’m definitely ready for some relaxation.

Now that the weather is starting to consistently suck and it’s dark 23.5 hours a day, my ability to stay positive is definitely being tested. I am feeling a bit “eh”, but trying to stay on track with recovery thoughts as much as possible. That being said, one of the best gifts I (meaning mostly Chris) gave myself this year is our home gym! I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like working out at home, since I really considered my gym a sacred place. It took me a little while to get used to, but now that I work out at home regularly, I really love it.

With that said, here are my personal gym necessities:

 

Home gym necessities
Let’s start at the top:
Suspension trainer: You have definitely heard me rave about this in the past. With virtually no space, you can get a sick, full body workout done with just this one piece of equipment.
Kettlebells: Again, full body workout, including huge core engagement, with just one piece of equipment! Use a bell that’s heavier than you think you need, momentum is a doozie!
Adjustable Dumbbells: These were our biggest splurge. At $299, you get 2 dumbbells that adjust from 5-52lbs each. If you were to buy individual dumbbells equaling that weight, you would spend a ton more. Dumbbells are a must in any gym. They are a staple of strength training, and as you know, you should be strength training.
Resistance bands: these are awesome because they cause your muscles to contract on both the eccentric and concentric portion of an exercise. Pretty cool!
Yoga mat and water bottle: Well…duh.
I would also recommend subscibing to a few YouTube channels and blogs for home workouts! My favorites are Fitness Blender, Peanut Butter Fingers, and Pumps and Iron. Oh! and Flex and Shout šŸ˜‰
Pros of a home gym:
  • No travel time/reduce wasted time
  • workout whenever you want
  • wear (or don’t wear) whatever you want
  • do laundry while you exercise
  • break up workout to fit your schedule
  • blast bad music
Cons of a home gym:
  • Dog and cats don’t move
  • limitation of some equipment
  • no motivation by meatheads

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So all in all, I’m lovin’ my home gym! Where do you work out?

xoR