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), ย you could probably squeeze these into one big workout.

Prenatal Legs, Chest, Back Workout

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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

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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

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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
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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.

HIIT and Pancakes: A Weekend in the Life

Hi everyone! Hope everyone had a fab weekend! We had a super busy couple of days with two nights of Passover and Easter with our families. So fun, so full, feelin’ great!

With the eat-a-thon we experienced this weekend, I was looking for some quick, full-body sweat sesh’s to ward off that icky sloth feeling. No, these weren’t workouts to make excuses for eating, these were workouts to help me stay on track and feel my best! The following is an awesome Full-Body HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) that I did on Sundayย  morning before eating my body weight in stuffed shells:

Full Body HIIT

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This workout was modified from THIS Buzzfeed article. I also added a warm up and cool down from FitnessBlender.com, which are not only fun, but super important to avoid injury!

I also wanted to share my new favorite pancake recipe, modified from This Foodie Fiasco post. These bad boys are grain free, gluten free, low sugar, and SO FREAKING DELICIOUS I WANT TO EAT THEM ALL DAY!

Blueberry Coconut Pancakes

IMG_5552Ingredients:

  • 2T Coconut Flour
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg Whites or 1/4C liquid egg whites
  • 1/4C Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/3C Blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add whisked eggs and almond milk to dry ingredients and mix until completely combined. Batter will be thick. Add blueberries and additional almond milk if necessary (I usually do!). Spoon 1/3C into pancake shapes on griddle, frying pan or pancake pan. Cook 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Serve with fruit, syrup, nuts, peanut butter…whatever you want!

Let me know how they turn out! Sometimes I sub the blueberries for banana and they’re also super yum!

Have a fab week!

xoR

10 Minutes Abs: no crunches, no excuses

Hi Everyone! Long time no talk! Sorry for the radio silence lately, I’ve been crazy busy! Anyway, to apologize I have a brand new, 10 minute, no crunch ab workout for you all that I think you will love!

10 Minute Abs

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This little workout is perfect as a finisher to your HIIT workout, steady cardio, or lifting sesh. And while we’re at it, let’s talk about those abs, shall we?

Actually, let’s talk about the core. The core is basically any muscle within your trunk region: pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, and the diaphragm. AKA your abs, pelvic muscles and back. The function of the core is to provide stability for your spine and thorax. A strong core is basically crucial for any daily activity including and a weak core can lead to a whole slew of problems including back pain and poor posture (both are things you do not want) source

The thing to remember about the core is that it’s really important to train all of the muscles, not just your abs. Training just abs (i.e. just doing crunches) can cause muscle imbalance, which again, is not good. So remember to train all angles of the core including abs, obliques, and back. Also, remember that the muscles of the core are just like any other muscle group. Muscles need fuel and rest to grow, so make sure to eat enough protein, carbs and fat before and after your workout and only directly train your core 1-2x/week. Oh! And your core should be engaged while doing any compound movement like squats and deadlifts, so adding those workouts into your routines will just increase your results!

Here’s some old posts on core work:

1.One Exercise to Rule Them All, 2. Abs, Abs. Abs, 3. Lift Like a Girl: A guide to heavy lifting

And here’s what my abs currently look like:

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And by current, I mean a month ago in Cancun. Currently, I’m wrapped in 16 layers of clothing because it’s still SO FREAKING COLD. Springtime, my ass ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a fab week!

xoR

 

Let’s Hit It: Why You Should Start Boxing Today!

Hi! Hope everyone had a fab weekend! I shared last week that Chris and I got a heavy bag and this week I want to discuss the benefits of boxing and why you should give it a shot!

Boxing dates back to ancient Greece and has evolved to the refined and bad ass sport that we see today. Boxing is basically a super intense workout that stimulates all muscle groups. Upper body from punching, lower body from power and shuffling, and core from twisting. It includes both aerobic and anaerobic cardiovascular exercise, which means it has the ability to increase overall cardiovascular health in a really efficient way. Also, since most boxing workouts are interval-based, it has huge fat burning/muscle building possibilities. Aside the physical, boxing workouts (like other intense workouts) release endorphins and make you feel awesome. Hitting things (like a heavy bag) is awesome for stress relief. (source, source, source)

That being said, here are some great resources for proper punching form. As you know from reading Flex and Shout, form is the #1 most important thing to remember while working out. Due to the impact of punching a bag, improper form could lead to injury, so make sure to consult a professional before getting started.

Here’s a quick workout to get your started!:

Boxing Workout Circuit

Complete 3 rounds, resting 1 minute between rounds.

  • 60s Jab left
  • 60s Jump Rope
  • 45s Cross right
  • 45s Jump Rope
  • 30s Hook left
  • 30s Jump Rope
  • 15s Jab/Cross combo
  • 15s Jump Rope
  • 30s Hook right
  • 30s Jump Rope
  • 45s Cross left
  • 45s Jump Rope
  • 60s Jab right
  • 60s Jump Rope

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You too can look as tough as me! So get out there and hit some sh!t…you might love it!

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

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 180ยฐ 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