The Trials and Tribulations of Trimester Three

Hi Everyone!

I know Flex and Shout has been pretty quiet lately, so I wanted to just give everyone a little update. School started 2 weeks ago and it’s been pretty busy. I guess I knew starting the year at the beginning of my third trimester wouldn’t be a breeze, but I wasn’t really prepared for how it would actually feel.

I feel tired. Super duper tired. Like, “putting my shoes on takes too much effort” tired. My workouts have been reduced to some walking and some very basic weight training. I’ve been using the nautilus machines at the gym, which helps balance the weight and focuses the exercise on each body part. Plus, I’ve been experiencing terrible reflux and a lot of Braxton Hicks contractions, especially when I work out, which have slowed me down even more. So overall…the third trimester hasn’t been my cutest.

In other news, my girlfriends threw me the loveliest little baby shower this past weekend! My friends came in from all over the country including Texas, New York, New Hampshire and Indiana! Talk about a loved baby and mama! It was a nice distraction from the heartburn and fatigue.Β IMG_9837

Another thing I’ve noticed in the third trimester is a serious amount of body growth. I went from “pretty pregnant” to “enormously pregnant” seemingly overnight. I even outgrew my shoes…which was cool… Oy!

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Remember that pic on the left? That was literally RIGHT before I found out I was pregnant and at the peak of my physical fitness. Well, things are certainly looking different these days, but I have to say I still feel pretty confident and strong, regardless of the negative symptoms I’ve been experiencing. It really is cool to see your body change and grow and know the baby is changing and growing inside! Sure, it would be nice to fit into my normal shoes and not struggle to bend my fingers when it’s humid…but I think it’ll be worth it (I’m pretty sure it will!).

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10 more weeks until we meet this little monster. Hope everyone’s having a fabulous week!

xoR

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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

Holiday Cheer Without Any Fear

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

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

Halloween: A survival guide

Good Morning! It’s Friday! Happy Halloween! Let’s talk candy and costumes:

I think Halloween is one of those weird holidays that should be super fun, but absolutely terrifies someone with an eating disorder (old me included!). Candy everywhere, barely there costumes, social drinking, AH! I get it, seriously I do. The other night in my support group, we discussed some strategies for enjoying halloween without guilt. Here are some ideas:

  • Have a planned candy treat in a place where you feel safe with people that you trust. If I were alone with a bag of peanut butter cups, two thoughts would race through my head: if I eat one, I’ll get fat. OR, if I eat one, I won’t stop with one. The idea of eating a treat around other people might make you feel more “normal” and decreases the chance of a binge. index
  • If candy is a real problem, keep a little and get rid of the rest. Give it to a friend, a family member or donate it to one of the following charities: Operation Gratitude, Halloween Candy Buy Back
  • Do NOT feel the need to wear a “girly” costume. According to Mean Girls, “In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it”. You know what? Wear what makes you feel good.

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  • Going to a party? Make sure to have your support system aware that you are having a tough time. Nervous about the offerings at the party? Bring a healthy snack and your own drinks to share! Then you have the choice to eat/drink something new and different (and exciting!), or have your stand by (just in case!).

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  • Have a good time! Halloween is super fun. Dressing up is super fun. Eating a special candy treat is super fun! It’s one day, tomorrow will be a new one! ❀

unnamedxoR

Walk It Off: is exercise is the best medicine?

Hellooo…it’s Wednesday and I’m halfway through another crazy week. I want to talk about stress management…because I’m stressed.

Yesterday was a tough day for me. I have to often remind myself that I work an EXTREMELY high stress job, and as a naturally high stress person, sometimes it gets overwhelming. I’m lucky to work in a great school system, but my chosen profession has a relatively high turnover rate due to the high demand from students, families, administrators, etc. PLUS, I do like 3 trillion other things outside of school. OY!

Anyway, yesterday I got home from school after a particularly wild and crazy day and didn’t quite know what to do with myself. I had sort of planned to go to the gym, but my motivation was long gone. So, I put on my new favorite leggings, my new puffy vest from the little boys department (#boyshapedgirlproblems), and my sneaks and hit the pavement for a long walk before the sun set. Did you know that there are numerous studies about the benefits of walking vs. running? Some of these benefits include:

  • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • Improve blood lipid profile.
  • Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity.
  • Enhance mental well being. (Source)

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We all know that exercise can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, but did you know that walking can help decrease anxiety for hours afterward? Some people even practice “walking meditation“, which combines that practices of mindful meditation with walking to help be aware of your surroundings, body and emotions without judgement. Moderate exercise is an extremely important aspect of my therapy approach to anxiety, but walking is something that I tend to hold sacred for really stressful days. I always feel so much better after popping in my earbuds and wandering around my neighborhood. I come back with a new sense of ease and calmness…yesterday was no exception. I honestly felt so much better about my job, my life, and my current situation when I got back. Plus, I got to experience this gorgeous sunset over my super townie town:

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And if walking it off doesn’t work…you could always try to Shake It off:

Have a fab day!

xoR

Friday Five: Recovery Style

Helloooooo! It’s Friday (I’m pretty sure it is, right?), so you know what that means! It’s 5iveday! This week I thought I would share my 5 pro-recovery items of the week!

1. Bikinis on the beach:

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I headed to the beach on Tuesday to visit my in-laws and to get a little color. (I’m basically Olaf from Frozen). I tossed on a teeny bikini and took notice of what other people were doing. No one stopped to stare at me, no one made comments, no one even cared…because it’s the beach and everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) was wearing a revealing bathing suit and going about their beach business. Every time I have a successful summer day, I make sure to take inventory of my emotions and my actions. Tuesday was a win!

2. Treat Yo Self (or, in this case, my mom treating me)

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Yesterday, I was supposed to go to a pilates class. I was sort of dreading it, but kept on convincing myself that I needed to workout. Then, out of some sort of magical telepathy, my mom called and asked if I wanted a mani/pedi at the EXACT time of my pilates class. Uh…YA! So I canceled my class and spent some QT with my mom, and got my nails in tip top shape for the weekend! Double win! Sometimes when I’m not able to listen to my body, I still require some outside sources (like my family and friends) to give me options other than working out. Know what? I feel great this morning. No guilt. Fab nails.

3. Unexpected Events:

On Tuesday (after the beach), our friend Mike called and asked if we wanted free Red Sox tickets for that night’s game. I had just gotten home from the beach and put on my pajamas (it was like 5 o’clock…) and was planning on cooking a super healthy dinner for us. The old me would have panicked with a change in plans and definitely would have said no to the tickets. Instead, I put some clothes back on, popped the chicken back in the fridge and headed out to Fenway. We sat in the State Street Pavilion, which is super fancy and fun. Chris and I drank gross cocktails and watched the Sox choke. While that might not sound fun for anyone else, it was a successful evening for me! ED definitely would have ruined the experience for me, so I’m glad he wasn’t around!

4. This workout:

Picture 2c/o Bodybuilding.com

This chick is FOR REAL! If ever you want to feel like a powerful, hulk-like, crazy person, do this workout. Part of recovery is finding your inner strength. For me, my external strength influenced my internal strength. ED wants us weak, that’s when we need him. If you’re strong enough, you can punch ED right in the kisser and say SEE YA!Β :P

5. Weekends with best friends:

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Tomorrow is my best friend Rachel’s Boston shower! It’s only a few short months until her wedding extravaganza, so I’m extra pumped to have her in town this weekend! The shower promises to be filled with lots of treats that would have scared the *bleep* out of me before! Instead, I’m taking time to remember what this weekend is about. Building memories with my best friends during super special occasions is what matters…not the cookies I ate or mimosas I drank (although those are super awesome too!).Β  PLUS we’re all getting our hair done before the shower, so we’ll look bangin’. I’ll be sure to post pics next week πŸ˜‰

So there ya go! Summer recovery is where it’s at! That’s all for me today, make sure to check out the new Uberfit badge on the right hand bar on the blog. Use code FLEXANDSHOUT to get 20% off your orders! The company is awesome and I’m sure all you F&S readers want to support them too!

Have a fab weekend!

xoR

Saturday Morning HIIT

Good morning! It’s a rainy day here in Watertown, but there is much to do! I have big plans of cleaning out my exploding closet today…I’m really not looking forward to saying goodbye to my old clothing friends, but I need room for sneakers and compression tights (priorities!).

I hope you all enjoyed hearing from my friends at Clean Eating and Focused Training yesterday! I’m hoping to do more weekly features and blog swaps from other super cool writers, so be on the lookout.

Yesterday Chris and I did the following HIIT workout. If you’re wondering about interval training, check out my previous posts here, and here. This workout is a full body destroyer. Get ready for Sweat Fest 2014!

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Single Leg KB Deadlift

Power Plank (alternating arms)

Single Arm KB Snatch

Full Body Extension

Complete each exercise for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds. Rest 1 solid minute between circuits. I’ve been struggling with figuring out a good way to time intervals. I’ve tried a few different apps, but never liked them as much as just using my stop watch…until now! I found this great (free!) app called Simple Interval Timer and it’s just that: simple! You can set time for work, rest and number of sets. It’s great!

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That’s pretty much it for me today. I must have slept on my arms last night because I woke up with super sore wrists…wtf?! Who does that?! I’m hoping to get a shoulder HIIT workout in today. After looking at my UberFit pic yesterday, I realized I’d like to do some more work on my shoulders, particularly my rear delts. So hopefully my wrists stop aching and I can push some weights around…we will see!

I’m also on the hunt for some new cross-trainers. I’m usually a New Balance faithful, but I’m willing to try some other brands if anyone has a great recommendation! I’ve been told that I need a stability shoe because of my hip and outward facing feet. Any suggestions?! Let me know in the comments!

IMG_5602That thing when you sneaker shop on Friday nights and even your best friend can’t get behind it.

Later gators!

xoR