The Pregnancy Weight Gain Diaries

Hi everyone!!! I know I start every post with an apology for my absence, and this is no different! Things have been so crazy getting ready for baby! I am officially 5 days until my due date, although my OB didn’t really seem to think the baby was in any real hurry to come out…but Mommy is!

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c/o @kosogkaos

I wanted to share a little story with all of you that I hope will be helpful. At 35 weeks (about a month ago), I had an ultrasound just to make sure the baby was head down and everything was looking good. At that appointment, my doctor explained that they baby was measuring a little on the small side (which I was super surprised about) and they’d like to do a follow up in a few weeks. She didn’t seem real concerned, but any concern at all is scary for a first time mom like me! So 2 weeks later I went for a follow up and during the scan I found myself way over analyzing everything the ultrasound tech said (or didn’t say). She said the baby was small (panic) and my amniotic fluid was high (panic), and everything looked fine (PANIC she didn’t say perfect!). Overall, the doctors were happy with the baby’s growth, s/he is just on the smaller side and these estimates can be way off and I should stop panicking (yeah, right). Fast forward another week and I’m at my 38 week appointment. I’ve been very diligent about not finding not knowing my weight throughout my entire pregnancy. I get on the scale backwards every week and remind the medical assistant that I do not want to know the number. Well, I got on the scale backwards and figured since the assistant knew me by now, I didn’t need to remind her. Guess again. She put her hand on my belly to maneuver around me to see the display, then announced my weight. It felt like I had been kicked in the gut.

“Oh, no, I don’t want to know!” I cried as she announced

“Oh! Oops! Did I mess up?? Sorry!” She giggled.

I literally started to vibrate. Of course then she took my blood pressure and it was through the roof. She left me in the room to undress and I took many deep breaths to keep away tears. “Don’t panic, relax, it’s ok” I said aloud to the sterile room. “Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale”.

The doctor came in and said that since my blood pressure had been steadily rising for the past few weeks (news to me!), she was going to redo my blood pressure measure and then we’d decide if I needed testing for preeclampsia. I explained that hearing my weight may have triggered the spike and the follow up measure was more normal, albeit a bit elevated. She sent me for testing anyway, it came back normal.

I cried in my car, as I often do, and called on my support team (Chris, my mom, my best friends) to calm me down when breathing wasn’t doing the trick. “You look great!”,”The baby needs you to gain weight”, “You’re doing everything right”, “It’s all in your belly!”, everyone told me. I didn’t feel better.

The next day, of course I got online and started looking for tips and tricks for losing baby weight. That was a mistake, as is googling most pregnancy related topics. I kept finding bloggers explaining “OH EM GEE I was sooooo gross during my pregnancy. I ate Little Debbies and didn’t work out at all and I gained THIRTY pounds! EWWWW”. Which made me feel exactly 0% better for the following reasons: A. I have been eating really well. B. I’ve worked out and stayed active through my whole pregnancy and C. I’ve gained 40 pounds. That’s right. Forty. 4-0. And I have at least another week of pregnancy.

So I share this story with you for a few reasons. One reason is that, similar to when I was researching Gestational Diabetes (I really never learn), the internet is filled with scary stories and worst case scenarios. Also, every pregnancy is totally different. I stayed active, ate well and did everything I was “supposed” to do and gained more than the OB/GYN recommended 25-35 pounds. I know other women that gained more and others that gained less. And some that have gained none at all. All healthy pregnancies. Would I have preferred to never know this number? Yeah, sure. Do I feel more empowered now that I do know it and was able to come to peace with a number that doesn’t hold power over me any more? Yeah, definitely. I know I did everything right during this pregnancy, including the occasional ice cream and pizza. I could have restricted my intake and pushed my workouts to my limit throughout these past 9 months, but I’d be miserable…and no better off.

Just like my pre-pregnancy weight, this scale number is just another number. My pre-pregnancy weight was higher than I thought it should have been, but I was also my healthiest, fittest and happiest. A reminder of what that looks like:

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Had I not been happy, fit and healthy, I probably would not have been able to get pregnant. Yes, I do hope that I can get back to that body, but I’m also trying to give myself some space to be a new mom and not push myself too quickly. Right now I’m trying to refocus my thoughts and energy. There’s nothing I can do about the weight now, and probably not a lot I could’ve done to begin with. My body will be different after baby, and that’s OK. I will be different! Here’s what 39 weeks looks like around here:

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So that’s my pep talk (for myself and for all of you). Pretty soon these concerns will seem really silly. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

Have a great week!

xoR

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Hello October: Last Full Month Before Baby!

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Hello there! Happy Friday! This was our first 5 day week since starting school and I am WIPED.

Tomorrow I hit 33 weeks, which seems oddly far along and also realized that now that it’s October, we’re having a baby next month. Whoa. Is it just me, or did this pregnancy fly by?! From what I’ve read, the baby is now almost at birth height, could weigh between 4-6 pounds, and will likely gain half a pound between now and birth! Which, of course, means that I’ll gain at least that much…

Now that I’m growing exponentially, I have had a visits from my old pal ED. I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job keeping ED at bay, but once in awhile he stops by for a good ol’ pity party. Thoughts like, “I will never get back to my pre-pregnancy body?” or “I’ll never have time to workout.” or “I’m freaking huge” do pop into my head, and I’ve worked really hard to fight back. At the end of the day (or pregnancy), none of those things really matter. My priorities have shifted and really my main concern is being a good mom. Being a fit mom doesn’t mean I’m doing a good job. Losing all my baby weight doesn’t make me better than anyone else. What matters is that I’m present and caring for the baby and for myself. Is it easy to see past this big belly and into the future of waist lines and visible toes? No. So when ED shows up uninvited, I put my hands on my big baby belly and feel my little one wiggling around. I’m pretty sure this will all be worth it.

Anyway, my energy seems to be coming back in waves and I’ve been trying to take advantage of any awake time I’ve had. This week, Gloria and I went for a long walk, I hit the gym twice, and I plan to do an online prenatal yoga class this afternoon. I split my gym workouts into legs/back/chest, and arms/shoulders and think they went pretty well! If you’re feeling wild (or aren’t pregnant),  you could probably squeeze these into one big workout.

Prenatal Legs, Chest, Back Workout

  • Print

Complete each exercise for 3 rounds of 10-15 reps. Be sure to get a solid 30-90 seconds of rest between sets.

Warm up: 10 minute walk (3.5 mph 2.0 incline)

  • Leg Press
  • Kettlebell Straight Leg Deadlift
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Seated Chest Fly
  • Seated Chest press (machine)
  • Lat pull down (wide grip)
  • Reverse grip lat pull down

Cool Down: 10 minute walk (3.0 mph 2.0 incline)

Arms and Shoulders Workout

  • Print

Complete each exercise in the circuit for 10-12 reps before moving to the next exercise. Complete 3 rounds of each circuit.

Warm up: 10 minute walk (3.5 mph, 2.0 incline)

Circuit 1: Bicep Curls, Overhead tricep extension, Kettlebell upright row

Circuit 2: Cable hammer curl, Cable tricep pushdown, bent over reverse fly

Cool down: 10 minute walk (3.0 mph 2.0 incline)

Complete every workout with a gym selfie, obviously.

That’s pretty much it for me! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

xoR

Summer of the Ever Expanding Belly: Day 1

Hi Everyone! I’m reporting live from my couch on Day 1 of summer vacation! I remember writing this post last year with a tinge of anxiety since I hadn’t found a job yet for the following fall and trying to embrace the joy of the unknown…now that feeling of unknown comes in the form of a little human growing inside me…talk about changes!

Over the course of the past few weeks, my emotions have been all over the place. I know we’ve talked a lot about body image, and I wanted to bring it up again for old times sake. Being pregnant is really wild. Somedays I feel great: strong, maternal, awesome. Somedays I feel terrible: sad, chubby, and terrified. Lately, the latter has been winning, which is a huge bummer for me. Dressing this new body is a daily challenge, and shopping isn’t as much fun as I want it to be. I find myself feeling like things look “just OK” as opposed to “OMG SO ADORABLE”. I’m self conscious about my giant bras and thighs that now rub together a little bit. I’m constantly pulling my tank tops down over my belly and up over my boobs…I’m uncomfortable in my own skin, which is an old and familiar feeling. People are also starting to make stupid comments about my size and my weight (WHICH ARE NEVER OK!).

That being said, I was reminded recently that the reason I am growing is because the baby is growing…and that’s a good thing. I was also reminded that what my body is doing is incredible and seemingly magical, not just getting larger. Then I remembered all the adorable little things I get to buy now, and that it’s not about just me anymore. People are also starting to smile at me on the street. I’m telling you, pregnancy is really wild.

Last week we had an ultrasound, which would have been when we found out the gender, but we are opting for a surprise baby! So far we know that it’s either a boy or a girl, very healthy, extremely active, and particularly uncooperative during ultrasounds, which I guess should not come as a surprise to anybody.

So: Here is an awesome article that you pregnant naysayers should read! 

Here is an amazing lower body workout from Muscle and Strength

Here is my new favorite Boston area fitness studio

And here is a belly selfie (’cause…why not):

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That’s it from me! Have a fab day!

xoR

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

Cancun: An ED Free Vacation

Hello! I have so much to tell you, where do I start?!

Well for starters, Chris and I were in Cancun last week and it was AH-mazing. For those of you that do not follow me on Instagram (you should, by the way), here are some brag-stagrams for your viewing pleasure:

Yes, I am aware that these photos are just the same selfie/beachshot/sunset over and over again, but we literally did nothing besides lay on the beach, drink mojitos, and eat. This vacation was freaking awesome and the number 1 reason it was so good was because ED was NOT invited. Last year over February vacation, Chris and I went to Jamaica. That trip was a real turning point in my recovery as it was the first time I truly felt that I was able to be on vacation without ED. It is so interesting to look at your life in a series of vacations and snapshots and realize how far you’ve come. After re-reading that blog post, I realize that my recovery has continued to evolve to the point where now I don’t even think about ED when planning a trip. Or while ordering sugary drinks. Or eating what looks good. Or while digging through the 50 (that’s correct, 5-0) pounds of clothing I brought to Mexico, only to wear 3 different bikinis and 2 dresses for dinner. THIS is recovery.

This photo is what truly opened my eyes to what a year of recovery looks like:

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The left side is last year in Jamaica. I was SO nervous about having Chris take it. I made him take like 30 or 40 versions with various levels of tummy sucking in and flexing, and hemmed and hawed over posting it. I nit picked every inch of my body after posting my blog and felt really weird about the whole thing. The right side is this year in Cancun. This year, I thought it would be funny to post the same picture. Chris took a couple versions because the sun was behind a cloud. This is not flexed or sucked in. This is a spray tan and a sun burn. That’s a real smile. So while I really felt recovered in Jamaica, I still had some serious body image things going on. Am I completely comfortable in my body 100% of the time? No. But what this photo comparison really shows is that a year of loosening up my diet and exercise plan and being nicer to myself yielded a billion times more confidence, and some visible abs! Hey, I’ll take that over sucking and flexing every day.

Sunday night we got stranded in Florida (which was actually a lot worse than it sounds), and the only open restaurant in a 20 mile radius was a 24 hr diner. Chris and I ate omelets, french toast, onion rings, tater tots, etc etc etc. No, I didn’t feel tip top the next day, but I was also way too exhausted to work out or care about making sure my diet was perfect. It’s all about balance, people.

Anyway–This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. To celebrate, I’m reveling in bikini pics and happy vacation memories. Also, if you’re in the area, I’m speaking at the MEDA hosted panel of recovered speakers. Come by and hear from some really amazing people about their journeys.

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xoR

A Blog About Nothing

Hi! Long time no talk!

Here’s the deal: I really have nothing to blog about and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’ve been searching for some blog motivation for 2 weeks and couldn’t seem to think of anything worthy of a post. My Fitness Blender Challenge is going well. I’m feeling positive about my body right now (flaws and perfections alike!). My reduced grain (REDUCED!) diet feels great and everything is awesome.

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February is Eating Disorder Awareness Month . This is a great time to reflect on the past year’s challenges and victories on my recovery journey. I’ve had so many experiences (both positive and negative) this past year and my recovery is at a point where it feels better to just focus on the future instead of the past. I think I put too much emphasis on how I used to respond to challenging situations as opposed to moving on. So…I’m moving on. Recovery is something that I hold very sacred and it inundates every aspect of my life, as my eating disorder previously did. If you’re feeling like you want to see how I got here, here’s my recovery story that I wrote last year. My story is ever evolving, so it might feel a little outdated. Otherwise, let’s move forward together!

Anyway, today is my 4th snow day in 3 weeks. I’m binge watching my DVR, snuggling with Gloria, Charlie and Oliver, eating coconut pancakes, wearing the same pajamas that I’ve been in since Saturday night (no judgement) and feeling grateful that we’re going to Mexico next week. Life is feeling really nice right now. I don’t want to brag and I don’t want to complain. This is recovery. This is normalcy.

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No makeup. Dirty Hair. Kissing Dog. Life is good.

Have a fab day!

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 180° 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.

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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