Tag Archives: weight

She Says… Back on the Wagon

As I’ve said before, exercising has NOT been a top priority for me recently. Ahem, like, ever since I started back at work. 4 months ago. It just never seems like there is enough time in the day, and given the choice between stopping at the gym on my way home from work or spending an extra hour with my most adorable baby who I haven’t seen all day, I choose the latter 100% of the time. And I certainly don’t regret that.

But I know how easy it is to get stuck in a routine of NOT working out, and how difficult it can be to get back into the habit of it after being out of it for awhile. It’s not even that I dislike working out. In fact, over the last few years I have grown to LOVE working out (which, believe me, if you knew me when I was in high school and college was NOT the case, so that’s a huge accomplishment in itself). I think it’s a combination of a lack of motivation (I am a few pounds lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight already, and all I want to do it spend time with Owen) and mostly a lack of time. On work days, the hours fly by like milliseconds and all of a sudden it’s bedtime. On non-work days I’m soaking up the hours with Owen or scrambling to get a million other things finished while he’s sleeping. Working out just isn’t as high on the priority list as laundry and groceries and projects around the house and watching tv with my husband.

Anyway, enough with the excuses, right? Once my big work event last week was over and I had spent the entire week gorging myself on catered meals, I decided enough was enough, and it was time to get back on the wagon.

After not working out since the beginning of January, this week I did:
Monday: 2 dog walks (1.5 miles each, pushing the stroller), and a Jillian Michaels’ No More Trouble Zones workout dvd (40 minutes of strength training and abs)
Tuesday: 2 walks to daycare and back (2 miles each, pushing the stroller 1/2 the time), and 2 levels of Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred (40 minutes of strength, cardio and abs)
Wednesday: 2 walks to daycare and back (2 miles each, pushing the stroller 1/2 the time), and 45 minutes of some other form of cardio TBD (pure cardio is hard when I want to work out at home and don’t have any machines)

My muscles are BURNING. Apparently I’m not so good at easing back into things.

I felt strong, even on the strength training, and even after taking such a looooong break from working out. Which is empowering. And makes me want to do it again. Normally I would space out my strength training days so I could rest my muscles in between, but I’m pretty sure I will only be able to work out Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, so I have to work with the days I have. In retrospect I should have done strength on Monday and Wednesday and done straight cardio yesterday, but my brain can only plan so many things ahead of time 🙂

So, it’s a start. It’s one week that I accomplished working out 3 times. That’s not bad. Now my goal is to do it again next week. And the next one. And maybe even get 4 days a week in there once in awhile. But for now I’m going to count my blessings that I was able to fit 3 days in this week, and take next week as it comes.

She Says… Off the Wagon

I’ve fallen off the wagon. The workout wagon.

Finding (nay, making) time to exercise post-baby has come  in waves. Right after Owen was born I had a longer recovery than I expected, so my only exercise was walking my wriggly little newborn around in the stroller, worrying if he was getting too much sun. Despite feeling like I was barely doing anything, I began to see my pre-baby body emerge and the extra padding melt away. Once I recovered and was able to be active again, I got into a really good routine of working out during naptimes and going for longer, more energetic walks with Owen and Schnitzel. When the weather turned colder and walks were not so comfortable (or even possible for my sensitive-skinned child), naps were becoming more regular, so I set up a living room workout space and sweated it out in front of dvd’s during morning naps.

When I returned to work in January, I had visions of working out during lunch hours and getting back into my pre-baby fitness level by power walking my commute and fitting in trips to the gym while Owen was happily playing at daycare.

Do you know what? That’s just not happening. Shocker.

I returned to work at 80%, working 4 days a week. I’m getting paid less, yet I didn’t seem to give up any responsibilities. Which means that essentially I’m doing 5 days worth of work in 4 days. And, I’ll be honest, I was a super efficient worker before, so now I’m kind of on the verge of maxing out. I don’t feel totally overwhelmed, but I am working my butt off from the minute I start in the morning to the minute I close my laptop at night. (Side note: Wouldn’t it be great if we could literally work our butts off? Then I wouldn’t have to make time for the gym…) There are no lunchtime workouts, or quick stops at the gym on my way home. There is not enough time (or energy) for morning yoga routines or strength training or workout dvd’s. Thankfully I am pretty strict about closing the laptop and leaving it closed once the work day is over, so family time is family time. Once in a long time I have to work at night, but that’s rare, and I work hard to keep it that way.

Still, this whole working mom thing is go-go-go all day and all night.

We’re doing fine. The laundry is done (most of the time), and sometimes even folded within a day or so of coming out of the dryer. The dishes are washed (thanks to my resident dishwasher wonderful husband). Owen’s food and bottles are prepped each night before daycare days so we can grab ‘n go in the mornings. We cook yummy dinners (for the most part) and Benjamin and I enjoy a few hours together each night after Owen goes to bed (even if we generally choose to spend them in front of the tv… don’t judge). We spend our Saturdays running errands and seeing friends. I even squeeze out time to blog most days. Life is pretty darn good, even if I feel like I’m running as fast as I can and just barely keeping up.

I may have fallen off the workout wagon, but it’s not really a big deal at the moment. At least I know my priorities are in the right place. Owen is, without a doubt, the most important thing in my life right now. Above work and working out and laundry and dishes and even (gasp!) blogging.

Screw the workout wagon. I’ve got enough going on. At least for now.


She Says… A Tale Of Fat Fingers

A few weeks ago, at the start of our childbirth class, our instructor asked all of the couples, “Ok, so who’s still wearing their wedding rings?”. We all laughed, and I proudly raised my hand, one of the only people still able to keep their wedding rings on their expanding fingers. Not that it means anything at all, but I was proud to be in that camp.

“Well, I was one of those lucky few also” she continued. “Around 36 weeks into my first pregnancy, in the summer, same as you guys, I started to feel that my hands were a little sore and puffy when I woke up each morning, even after sleeping in air conditioning.” I nodded enthusiastically — the same thing had been happening to me recently. The swelling always went back down if I stayed cool throughout the day, and it was never so much that I felt like my rings were stuck on, but I knew exactly that puffed up feeling she was describing. “And then one day, I woke up and my ring finger was completely blue. Swollen so much I could not pry my rings off. We tried lotion, olive oil, cold water, ice… you name it, we tried it. When it still wouldn’t come off and my poor finger still looked like it was going to fall off, we went to the emergency room where they had to CUT THE RINGS OFF.”

Umm, excuse me?! Benjamin and I exchanged a look of sheer terror. Call me materialistic, but my engagement ring is one of my most prized possessions. I still stare at it almost every day, over five years since the first day Benjamin put it on my finger and asked me to marry him. His proposal was a huge surprise, as was the ring (we’d never even discussed what kind of ring I wanted, and he proposed so early I’m not sure I had even though about it much). It is a constant reminder of how well Benjamin knows me, because I could not have picked out a more perfect ring for myself if I tried. He knows me better than I know myself sometimes.

So, sniff sniff, as of a few days ago, my rings are off for the rest of the summer. It’s not that I’ve gained too much weight (which is why I always thought pregnant women took their rings off), or even because my swelling was getting out of control and they almost got stuck, but more as a precautionary measure so that I don’t end up in the emergency room watching one of my most loved belongings be cut off of my puffy hand.

It feels weird to not feel the rings on my finger, and I’ve had a few moments of panic that I left them somewhere I shouldn’t have. I’ve also considered that now it looks like I am an unwed mother. But you know what? I don’t really care. My fingers can get as puffy as they want and I know I won’t have to cut my beautiful engagement ring in half!

She Says… Staying Active with a Baby on Board

As you can see from my belly pics, I’m big. My stomach is quickly moving from beach ball to torpedo, and, for a petite person especially, this can cause quite a dramatic change in balance, general coordination and motivation to hit the gym. Yet still, I know how important it is to stay active and fit.

My workout schedule has varied widely throughout my journey to get pregnant and my pregnancy. In February of 2009 when I went off birth control, I was working out a lot. I had lost some weight and was very diligent about a weekly schedule of cardio and weight training. Once I realized I wasn’t getting my period, I did the first thing a lot of women in my situation do — I questioned if I was working my body out too hard and it was stressed. So I cut back. I switched some of my hard cardio sessions to yoga and skipped the gym a few days a week. I put on a few pounds, but I didn’t care, since it was all for the most important cause in my life at the time: babymaking. When the docs figured out that my missing period wasn’t a result of working out too hard, and I started fertility diagnostics and treatment, I kept my yoga-heavy schedule to keep my body and mind calm, cool and collected through the stress.

Once I got pregnant I planned to increase my workout schedule a little, but the complete and utter exhaustion of the first trimester took over, and I couldn’t do much more than walk to and from work each day without feeling like I had run a marathon. Then in the second tri I started feeling like myself again. Not just myself, but better than I had in months. I had more energy and a renewed sense of motivation to be fit and healthy. But this time I was working out to energize my body and prepare myself for an awesome labor; not just burn calories, so I had to change my workout a bit. No more intervals or running several miles at a time. I stuck to the elliptical, treadmill and recumbent bike (the regular bike caused me to knee myself in my stomach too much!). I kept my workout sessions to 45 minutes or an hour at the most. I watched my heart rate monitor carefully to make sure I wasn’t blasting too hard. I was not afraid to turn down the resistance and just “phone it in” on the machines if that’s what my body felt like it could handle on a given day. I lifted weights and continued strength training, but used only 5 lb weights or my own body weight. For the first time in a long time, it wasn’t about pushing myself, it was about enjoying my time being active, and “training” for a new kind of endurance event — birth!

Now I think I’m entering a new phase. I can only really handle the gym 3 times a week (max). More than that and my body starts to let me know I’m doing too much — I get pains in my pelvic area and my legs cramp. My body gets tired, and it feels like a chore just to hold my belly up. I walk every day with my dog, and/or commute to work, which means I generally walk about 4 miles even before I hit the gym. On non-gym days I try to find time (and energy) to do a quick prenatal yoga session at home, or at least some stretching and squats.

Little by little, though, I’m choosing to sit and put my feet up rather than lace up my sneaks for another walk. And you know what? At 33 weeks, I think that’s totally ok.

She Says… Update and Gratuitous Bump Photos

Good news… I’m not sick! I seem to have escaped whatever sickness was coming on by loading up on vitamin C and drinking lots of water. I have a little scratchy throat and a stuffy nose, but I’m beginning to think it may be allergies I’m developing during pregnancy instead of a cold/flu/virus. Yay 🙂

We had a busy weekend going to our 3rd wedding of the season. I’ll admit, I’m beginning to feel a bit… big. My feet swell after I stand for awhile, and my stomach feels heavy, like it is pulling on my skin when I’m up and moving around for a long time. I’m still going to the gym and walking a few miles every day on my commute to work, but somehow that exercise feel more comfortable than standing around in a dress and heels and trying to bounce around on the dance floor without shaking my baby too hard. Despite those slightly uncomfortable things, all three weddings were a blast.

Some of you might remember the dress drama I had in anticipation of all of these weddings — I spent forever searching for a great maternity dress to wear, then finally ordered one online, and then it arrived but I COULDN’T ZIP IT around my expanding rib cage, and even though it was final sale they ended up exchanging it for a bigger size, but then it was too big in the top for my little tatas and now I’ve spent a boatload on money on a dress I can’t wear. Sigh. I’m going to see if I can sell it on eBay or something (anyone want a gorgeous black silk maternity dress designed by Christian Siriano from Project Runway for $170?). Luckily, I have a wonderful friend who is about my size who is letting me borrow all of her maternity clothes, and she had a perfect dress for me to wear (for free).

Found this non-maternity dress at Filene's Basement for $20! It's long and super comfy.

This is my go-to wedding dress. I'm glad we don't have any more formal events -- it's getting snug!

Old Navy sundress -- so nice for hot hot days.

Another long cotton dress (borrowed). Posing in a liquor store -- don't worry, it's a JOKE.

So that’s how I’ve been covering my bump recently. I am beginning to wonder how I’m going to cover it over the next 10 weeks, though. Even my maternity clothes are getting snug. Yikes!

She Says… 30 Weeks

My darling little boy,

It’s hot out. All of a sudden the New England spring weather gave way to summer and it’s over 90 degrees today. Yesterday we took a midday walk with Schnitzel and the poor guy was panting and laying down on the cool pavement only a few minutes after we left the house. Today we’re going to walk slower, not as far, and will bring along some water for all three of us. That seems to be the name of the game for me recently — do everything slower and bring water.

I just got back from a doctor’s appointment and my OB says everything looks outstanding. I have very low blood pressure, healthy pulse, steady weight gain (although it’s a few pounds higher than I would like, but if we’re so healthy, I’m not worrying about it!), and your heart rate is strong and steady at about 155 bpm. Perfect. She poked and prodded my stomach to figure out what position you’re in, and it looks like you are head down with your back facing out and your butt up near my right rib. So that annoying rib cramp/jab I keep feeling could be a little tiny foot. Your head is nice and low, which explains why whenever I stand up, I feel like I have to pee — your head is pushing right on my bladder! I’m so proud of both of us for being so fit and healthy at this point in the pregnancy. Now try to stay in that general head down position and we’ll be good to go for labor in 7-10 weeks. 7-10 weeks. Whoa. We have a lot to do to get ready for you.

This week you are 15-16 inches long and you weigh over 3 pounds. From this point on, babies begin to gain weight at a more individual rate, so we really don’t know exactly how much you weigh, but chances are you will more than double your weight in the next 10 weeks! That is  a lot of growing you’re doing in there. I just can’t imagine how we’ll fit 3+ more pounds in there. Your eyesight is continuing to develop as well. Apparently if I shine a flashlight into my belly you can see the light and may respond to it. Once I find a flashlight with batteries that work, I will give that a try.

You are also settling into sleeping and waking cycles, and they seem to be somewhat aligned with my own, which I appreciate! When I wake up in the morning I can feel you begin to stir. Then you nap a bit while I shower and dress for the day. I eat breakfast, and after that I can feel you boppin’ around eating your breakfast too. Then there’s another lull while I walk to work (either that or I’m just not feeling you since I’m moving around), and another party in my belly around lunchtime. Just like your Mama, you seem to respond to food more than anything else! The afternoon is similar to the morning — naptime, then snack, then dance party, then naptime, then dinner, then dance party, then naptime, then usually the biggest dance party of all right before bed. Keep up the dancin’… as uncomfortable as your little kicks and jabs are getting, I still love feeling you every day, and, as they say, an active baby is a healthy baby! Also, I’ve already begun to feel a little nostalgic for when this part of our adventure is all over and I no longer get to feel those special movements shake my belly.

I love you, my little dude. Every day that goes by makes me more excited to meet you. Keep up the good work growing and developing in there.

All the love in my heart,

She Says… Confession Time

Since the beginning of this whole babymaking process, Benjamin has posted many times about sex. For awhile there, it was kind of the only part of the process he participated in, and so it was his topic of choice 🙂  I, on the other hand, was content to let Benjamin spill the beans from his perspective, and kept a bit quieter about this subject. Partly it’s because I know our parents read this blog (hi, Mom!), and partly it’s because I know it’s a topic that is so unique to each couple, and I don’t like the idea of people comparing themselves to us in any way. Call me old-fashioned!

However, I feel like I need to mention it from the pregnant woman’s perspective, if only to offer my experience as a comfort if other women are struggling with some of the same challenges. If you’re one of those lucky pregnant women who had/are having the best sex of your life while pregnant, more power to you. Apparently I am not.

Pregnant sex, for me, is… tricky. As you can see from my belly pics, I am pretty much hiding a soccer ball under my shirt at this point, so the sheer logistics of skin-to-skin contact are a challenge. But even that can be overcome with a bit of creativity. Unfortunately, even when all the bits and pieces are in the right place, I feel all kinds of weird pokes and prods and flutters and kicks in my stomach. Not to mention the fact that I can barely breathe when my lungs are smooshed one way or the other. Also, my balance is off and my arms get tired holding up my torso and I often feel like my “delicate” new body is squished uncomfortably. For me, it’s not even the weirdness of “Oh, there’s a BABY between us” (which is, if you think about it, strange enough to derail most peoples’ sexual momentum); it’s more that I’m so distracted by the strange sensations that I can’t concentrate on anything.

Oh, and another thing. While I know that Benjamin loves and adores me, I’m not sure he totally digs my pregnant body. Let’s be honest… it’s foreign. I have curves in places I’ve never had curves before (and believe me, I was relatively curvy to begin with). It’s not that he doesn’t love my pregnant body, as I know he is as amazed and awe-struck as I am about the changes taking place. But it IS a little disconcerting to watch the person you’ve been seeing naked for many years blow up like a balloon in a matter of months. My once-cute feet have turned into sausages and you can no longer see much muscle definition in my arms. My boobs have gotten bigger (which would generally have a positive effect on his desire), but along with them has come a stomach so round that the skin looks like it might burst. Don’t get me wrong — I still think I’m a cute pregnant lady 🙂 I just think it’s a lot for a husband to witness and not feel a little alienated at times.

The bottom line is that our relationship is far from dwindling because of this shift in priorities. Our love for each other get stronger with every day that brings us closer to having our little guy in our arms. And we really can’t get enough of spending time with each other. But I think we’ve entered a new phase in our lives; one in which sex is not a top priority. And for the next 10 weeks, it might not even be a priority at all. And I think that’s totally ok. It’s just… different.We both recognize how important intimacy is to our relationship; we’re just exploring the difference between intimacy and sex.

So, I’m scared to open up this can of worms. But… anyone have anything to add?

She Says… 29 Weeks

My little man,

29 weeks down, 11 more to go! Well, only 8 more until you’re fully cooked. I just can’t really wrap my brain around that. I mean, I guess I realized that this whole “pregnancy” thing was working towards a goal of actually producing a screaming, smiling, pooping, wriggling little baby… but I just can’t imagine how much my life is about to change once you exist outside of my stomach. The countdown has begun; we’re in the home stretch.

I’m writing to you from a hotel in New York City. I’m on my LAST trip for work until you arrive. I’ll be glad to turn in my travelin’ shoes for more time at home. This time Daddy’s and my travels aligned! He is also working in the New York/Connecticut area and we’ll meet up tomorrow and get to spend the night in my hotel together. And then it’s off to New Jersey for the weekend for his cousin Jen’s wedding. I’m not sure what Jen is to you, exactly. 2nd cousin? Anyway, I’ll get to see your Aunt Lisa and lots of family members who haven’t seen my bulging baby belly yet, which will be a lot of fun.

It’s undeniable now… my baby bump is BIG. Even some of my maternity shirts are getting snug. How much bigger are you going to get? Sometimes I feel as though my skin might just tear right down the middle of my stomach, it is stretched so thin. I still marvel every day at how my body has changed to grow you. With 11 weeks to go, I know I have a LOT of growing left to do, so I can’t wait to see what I look like at the end.

This week you are a little over 15 inches long (about the length of a loaf of bread) and weigh about 3 pounds. Your brain can now control your breathing and body temperature. You can also cough, and your sucking abilities have been perfected. Your skin is looking less wrinkled as you pack on the pounds. Also, you have become a little Energizer Bunny in my belly these days! I feel you about 75% of the day (and night) movin’ and shakin’ in there. You certainly are an active little guy. Generally I don’t mind, although something has been causing me a stabbing sort of pain underneath my right rib, and it’s kind of uncomfortable. Any chance you can move around a bit and spread the wealth?

I am beginning to feel a little bit of that 1st trimester exhaustion coming back. My knees and ankles are tired of holding up my extra weight, and by the end of the day I just need to put my feet up. I think it’s going to be a LONG, HOT summer for you and I, little buddy.

Time for bed for this pregnant lady. I love you, my sweet Piccolino. Sweet dreams.


She Says… 28 Weeks

My sweet little dude,

You’ve been growing and developing in there for 7 months. 7 months! It’s hard to even believe. In that time you’ve grown from the size of a poppyseed to over 2 pounds and nearly 15 inches long. And let me tell you, my body is starting to feel it. When I walk now, I feel like my back is arched more than normal and I’m wearing a belt with a dumbbell on it. I’ve gained over 25 pounds… and my joints can feel it! I’ve never carried around this much weight before. But you know what? Every single ache and cramp and sore muscle and pound is worth it. I’ve never felt so thrilled with what my body can handle (although riding my first 100-mile bike ride is still a very, very close second… for now) and I’ve never been as calm and comfortable with my future as I am right now.

People keep asking me if I’m scared or nervous or anxious about having my first baby. For whatever reason… I’m not. I have wanted you and worked for you for so long that I am just excited and happy for you to get here. I am confident that my body knows what it needs to do to nourish you for 3 more months and then “pop you out” (as cousin Abby says), and I know the rest of the knowledge I need will come in time (and perhaps from reading a few choice books).

You went to your first Red Sox game last night! Daddy and I had a lovely (if a little chilly) night at the game. We enjoyed a biiiig bag of kettle corn (unfortunately no Fenway Franks or beer for the pregnant lady) and cheered on the Sox. The highlight of the night? As we were leaving the park and there was a line out the door for the women’s bathroom, a sweet security guard at the door to the very swanky lounge waved me over and let me right in to use the bathroom inside the lounge. What an awesome perk of having a big baby belly! So… thanks, little guy.

Everywhere I go now people smile at me and give me special treatment. People give up their seats on the subway and smile at me and chatter in ways they never have before. And maybe part of it is me and my actions — I am walking slower, taking time to look around and enjoy every minute, and smiling/talking back when people notice my belly. You have made me a better person already.

I love you more than all the Fenway Franks at Fenway Park!


She Says… Dress Drama

As most of you know, I had a lot of trouble finding a cute maternity dress for the millions (ok, 5) of weddings we are going to this summer. Thanks to your awesome suggestions, I ended up ordering this beautiful gem of a dress:

It is designed by Christian Siriano (of Project Runway fame). Love him! The fabric is a gorgeous shade of pink and the dress would be perfect, except for one thing. I can’t zip it up. I know I have mentioned it before, but MY RIBS HAVE EXPANDED. Not just a little extra babyweight either… like, several dress sizes expanded (for reference, I used to be a 2 on top, and now I am a 10). This is so strange to me because, in general, I am pretty much the same size that I was before pregnancy everywhere other than my stomach. Oh, don’t get me wrong, my butt and thighs have packed on a few inches as well, but my shoulders and boobs and arms and other body parts are pretty much the same. Except my ribs. Apparently my actual bones have moved to make room for the little guy taking up residence in there (this is perfect normal, as I’ve read… apparently that hormone “relaxin” that you produce while pregnant, which expands your hips and abs to make room for the baby, can also expand other body parts).

So anyway, bottom line is that the lovely, beautiful, wonderful dress that I ordered DOESN’T FIT. And the first wedding is, well, tonight. The dress arrived while I was stuck in Munich, and I just kept my fingers crossed that it would fit when I got home. Unfortunately not. And the biggest disappointment? It was on sale (which is how I rationalized buying it), and it was FINAL SALE. I can not return it. Huge, huge bummer.

So, anyone want to buy a beautiful Christian Siriano maternity dress, perfect for a summer or early fall wedding? With shipping it cost me $186. Give me your best offer via comment or email 🙂

In the end, I ended up borrowing a dress from a friend for the wedding tomorrow, so I won’t have to go in my trusty maternity jeans… pictures to come in a few days once I get them uploaded.