2/23/2023 0 Comments
The Prep - 4 Weeks Down
Hello, Blog Fans! Did you miss me? I am sorry it has been so long, but life inevitably got in the way of my weekly updates and product recommendations! Managing a full time career, multiple side businesses, mommin’ two kids for my life, maintaining a marriage (and a household), while preparing for a bodybuilding competition have left little time for blog writing…
YES! I said prep for a bodybuilding competition! I made a decision at the end of 2022 that I wanted to finally get on stage after two preps previously interrupted by pregnancy (what can I say, prep does things to you! 🤣) I decided to train for my first show, a natural ANBF show in May in Asbury Park, NJ. Asbury Park, known for The Stone Pony and Bruce Springsteen. Asbury is a place of significance to my husband and I, so it seems like the right place to do the deed.
I am on week 5 of my 16 week training program and I am delighted by the results so far. I am working with a great coach, Joe LaCerra, who has already transformed my physique in amazing ways over the last few weeks. I managed to snag a clutch sponsorship from Kitty’s Bikinis (use code Nugget10 for a special discount!) who have already gifted me a stunning posing suit and tank, and will be providing my suits for every competition this year. The timing is finally right and I no longer had any reasons to keep pushing off my stage debut.
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES SO FAR:
This one wasn’t so much of a challenge, but a very welcome change. After feeling like the world’s obsession with alcohol went into overdrive since the pandemic, I had been planning to majorly cut back on my drinking anyway and started “damp” January. Damp because I did celebrate New Year’s Day and I did have some champagne on my birthday on the ninth. Since then, I can count the number of drinks I’ve had with alcohol in them on one hand and now that number is a solid zero. I feel so much better and don’t even miss it. 10/10 recommend!
2. So Much Protein
I am not someone who has ever been a fan of tracking meals. I tried to do this ten years ago and I was so obsessed with what I was logging, I wasn’t enjoying myself. And if you can’t enjoy yourself in your every day life, what is the point? So rather than do that, I spent the better part of the last decade eating with an 80/20 mindset. You guessed it, though, I am back in MyFitnessPal holding myself accountable for the fuel I put in my body. As far as food goes, the biggest struggle for me in the first week or so was hitting my protein goals. I am eating A LOT of protein. I have improved in this area, though, and am actually feeling pretty good about my meal prepping skills.
3. More Rest Days
it seems counterintuitive, but yes! Part of my new training split has me taking on an additional and very welcome rest day, where I am only doing cardio. This was tricky for me because I am someone who is always trying to do more and less felt a little like failure in the beginning, but muscles are torn in the gym and built during rest. Dare I say, I actually look forward to those two off days a week?
I am currently considering doing a subscription based service on Instagram with exclusive behind-the-scenes content of what prep really looks like, from gym to the show. Raw and real - if you’ve been wondering what it looks like, this may be something you are interested. I’ll be posting more details soon!
Until next time,
One of the biggest questions I get asked is how do I stay on track all summer long?
With the long days, the summer sun, cookouts, vacations, holidays, and the ever present allure of day drinking by the beach…it can be really hard to stay on track with your health and wellness goals. Temptation is everywhere.
Here are a few habits I try to live by during the summer months that help me stave off the unwanted weight gain.
I do want to make one thing clear - the size of your body doesn’t define you. You are worthy and enough at any size, and summer weight gain can be a sign that you had some really great times and made a lot memories. Don’t beat yourself up about it.
1. Protein Shakes
Most days, I stick to a pretty simple plan when it comes to my meals - especially as a busy mom on the go. I drink two protein shakes, one for breakfast and one for lunch. These shakes are easy, tasty, and actually travel very well (pro tip: do not leave in a hot car!). They keep me full and they keep me on track with my macros all day long, so when it comes to dinner, I have a little more leeway in terms of what I want to eat. Unexpected plans? No problem. I can indulge. What’s not to love?
2. Keeping Healthy Snacks Close
Snacking at the pool or beach is a given, so make sure you plan ahead and pack things that you enjoy that also make nutritional sense. Fresh fruit and nuts are a favorite go-to of mine. I generally try to keep about 100 calories of what I’m craving on hand and I never feel deprived.
Hydration is a year round must, but is especially important during the hot summer months. Start your day with an 8 oz. glass and keep it going all day long. This is especially important if you are drinking alcohol, which being me to my next point…
4. Save the Booze for After 5pm
I cannot stress this enough: whenever possible, do not pop that bottle or open that white claw until after 5pm. Save yourself the never ending hangover. I understand that vacation, brunch, and beach days with friends happen, but on the days where you don’t plan to be socially drinking, don’t and - if you do - save it for after five, because you will be racking up empty calories and making bad food choices. Trust me. We’ve all been there. But - you should still enjoy yourself - the occasional day drinking event isn’t going to kill you, but don’t make it an every day thing.
5. Skip the Blender
If you really want to know the number one cause of summer weight gain, I’m just going to lay it out for you: FROZEN DRINKS. These delicious, sweet, tropical beverages are laden with sugar and empty calories. Don’t believe me? Some popular frozen drinks contain over 2000 calories per eight ounce serving. Having two or three? YIKES. Also - the hangovers from these things are atrocious! Stick to tequila with limited/fresh ingredients in a margarita on the rocks instead.
6/29/2022 0 Comments
And Just Like That…
Hello, dear readers! It has been an insanely busy year! I may have underestimated the demands on my time when I had my second child! Working full time and parenting took it out of me and led me to take a much-needed break from In-person fitness classes and personal/custom training.
Now that it’s summer - the weather is beautiful - and I have slightly more time I’m on my hands, I figured there is no time like the present to get back in the game.
Some additions and changes for 2022:
• I am currently not doing any in-person group fitness classes. With a now one and three year old, it became too demanding on my time. Will I return? Probably, but right now that is not in the cards for me..
•NEW! LAUNCHING JULY 1! I will be offering WORKOUT PROGRAMS! I am really excited about this option because, I think, for most people, it is a lot easier and more cost-efficient alternative to private training. If you are someone who prefers to work out alone or just can’t find the time to meet - but still needs a guide as to WHAT to do and HOW to do it. My TRAINING PLANS are the best option for you! These hour long workouts are designed for both at home (with limited equipment) or in gym with free weights and machines.
I know I am a big fan of never skipping a Monday; however, today called for complete rest. After running my first half marathon in two years - just six months after baby number two and while nursing a sinus infection - my body is screaming!
Having found myself at Urgent Care on Friday to get antibiotics for a lingering sinus infection, I was very much debating my ability to run a half marathon just two days later. After all, this whole illness began when I ran (and won first place female) a 5K just three weeks prior. I know something was off almost immediately into that race when my lungs just didn’t quite want to work!
That morning I woke up feeling pretty good but still not knowing what to expect and I wasn’t going to push myself into doing it if I started running and felt like I couldn’t complete the race.
Most of you probably do not know this about me, but I grew up as an athlete - playing softball, basketball, volleyball, dancing, and running track in my youth and continuing that as I grew older. I found success running distance races and carved out a niche for myself in that area. After college, I spent most of my time dancing (professionally) as a performer on various stages and cruise ships. Running took a back seat and didn’t make a serious appearance back into my life until the fall of 2012, when a friend of mine urged me to compete in the Broad Street Run 10 Miler with her that following spring. I started training and never stopped. I even went on a cross country roadtrip that summer, waking up in a different city every morning. I spent the hours between 5 and 6am pounding 5 miles into the pavement and watching the sun rise over a new landscape, every single day. It’s still imprinted upon me as one of the most therapeutic and rewarding things I have ever done. Trading for my first Broad Street Run, I ran my first adult race in March of 2013 - a Saint Patrick’s day 5k - and ended up winning my age group. I was pretty hooked on the medals.
Fast forward a few years to when I met my husband - then, just my coworker and friend - who was also an avid runner. Living on the island. I primarily did my daily runs on the Atlantic City boardwalk and so did he. It was only natural that in 2015 we would start running together as partners. I moved to a different state that year and kept up running,
competing in races - sometimes winning my age group - and improving my PRs, but the furthest races I was doing at the time were still 10 milers.
After a year of weekend 5 hour commutes to see my now-boyfriend, I moved back to the area and in with him. It was that fall - the fall of 2016 that he signed up for his “enth” Half Marathon, incidentally the Atlantic City Half. I hadn’t trained for it, but figured we were running enough to pull
it off, so I signed up last minute as well.
Fast forward to 2 weddings, 2 kids, 1 pandemic, and 5 years after that first Half Together, we competed in the 2021 Atlantic City Half Marathon - our 7th half together. I stopped running during both pregnancies (never liked the feel of it), but came back both times to win a 10k as overall first place female in 2019, and then recently this summer - less than 6 months after baby 2 - I won overall first place female in a 5K. Color me surprised, but I’m nothing if not competitive and that was just the kick I needed to get back into running longer distances.
Okay! Let’s talk about the 2021 AC HALF!
Having rained the night before, the air was considerably cooler at 7am than it was the day before. Crisp fall air coming with the sunrise over the ocean lay the perfect backdrop for a morning leg stretcher.
My husband suffered a knee injury at the beginning of 2020, just before the pandemic disrupted everything, and so this was his first race since rehabbing. We both went in with little expectations, all things considering. Finishing was really the only goal.
We started a little further back in the queue than I would have liked, so I spent most of the first three miles dodging other runners, pedestrians, and general obstacles while jockeying for a position in my pace area. The wet boards and roads made for a little extra hazardous conditions, but ultimately did not prevail during the length of the race, but I did see more than a few people take a dive. It was in these crucial three miles that I realized that yes my lungs are working well enough to race, despite a never ending stream of mucus running down my throat. (Yuck) This part of the course is actually my favorite part of the course as it takes you off of the famous Atlantic City boardwalk and into the streets and highways toward the back bay. It even includes a run through the AC/Brigantine connector, which is a tunnel that runs under the bay connecting the two islands.
My 5K time clocked in at just about 25 minutes. Not my best, but certainly better than my worst. I was in it for the long haul.
This is where, for me, it really became a mental game. I didn’t feel the endorphins kicking in just yet and was mostly mentally talking myself into putting one foot in front of the other. I didn’t stop to drink anything because I was scared it would exacerbate the manageable levels of mucus in my throat and I definitely did not want to start choking on the course. I also eased off of my pace a little and let myself enjoy the race more than just competing. I decided that this was not going to be a PR long before the start and so I gave myself permission to go the speed I felt I needed to go. This part of the run takes you back behind the bay casinos and under the Brigantine Bridge on a series of over and underpasses while cars waiting to exit the casinos give you the death stare. It eventually spits you back onto the street and leads you north through Atlantic City to Gardner’s Basin. The best part about this section of the course, my best girl friend Tamara is always waiting on the roads to cheer me on, and she didn’t disappoint this year! Her presence certainly perked me up enough to put a little pep in my step to keep it moving. Also, shout out to the musicians outside of Kelsey’s - they kill it every year.
Mile 7 leads you back to the boardwalk and mile 8 sees you taking your first steps down it. This is where you really start to see crowds of cheering people. Those who are anxiously awaiting family and friends competing in either the half or the full, and random passersby who just happen to get caught up in the excitement unintentionally. The boardwalk has just enough give and it’s completely flat.
it’s the homestretch! Though, truth be told there is nothing more depressing than passing the start line knowing you have 4 miles left before you will see it again! Endorphins finally came to me and I was happily running along to my Spotify half marathon playlist, courtesy of Nike. All smiles.
Mile 11 gets it’s own category because it always seems to be the hardest one for me. So close, yet so far. I start to feel a little achey in my legs and know that I have absolutely zero inclination to ever run a full marathon! However, it was just at this moment that I made a friend along the way. Full Marathon Runner 4631 (I have to look up his name), was hyping me up and helping me keep a solid pace despite my waning enthusiasm. We ran together a good stretch before the turn took me back toward the finish line and he started on towards the half way point of his distance. What an MVP! I hope he killed - wait, I know he did. Total gem of a human sent to me in my time of mental need!
Ah, the light at the end of the tunnel. A bit wind whipped at this juncture, I am now once again on top of the world knowing that it’s literally a matter of steps until I am finished! Mile 12 saw me get a car key handoff from my husband who was a bit behind me, but we passed each other at the part, and we had that effortless exchange. It also gave me joy to see that he kept it up and didn’t quit - that his knee was allowing him to finish this race and that was huge! Coming up to the finish line, someone yelled “NUGGET!” and that was all I needed to give it a final sprint for the last 10 meters and crossed the line at 1:51. By far not my worst time, but about 5 minutes shy of my best time (1:46 done in 2019, the last time I ran the race and probably in my peak form).
I’ve done the AC Half 7 times now and each time I find something more beautiful in it. It is a gorgeous, mostly flat course, with a few challenging sections. The ocean front weather can absolutely make or break your run - the wind can be a killer. I am so glad I decided to push myself to run it this year, when I could have had a perfectly legitimate excuse to quit or not even start. I love this run because of what it symbolizes to me. There is so much history in it for my husband and myself and our relationship. It’s course is the course we started running all those years ago as friends and running buddies. It’s where we had dates and fostered our love. It’s seen our ups and downs, where we both eloped and had our wedding. It’s seen our progress. It’s full of our love. Sappy, yeah. True? Absolutely. Looking forward to number 8 in 2022.
One of the most common questions I get asked as a recently postpartum mom of two boys is how I managed to workout almost everyday of both pregnancies - I even got in a leg day four hours before my newest love was born this year!
Before I even begin to give you my take on the experience, please read this disclaimer and then read it again:
I am not a medical professional. Please do not start or continue your fitness routine until you have spoken with your doctor, especially if you are expecting. Every pregnancy is different and this blog should be taken in consideration of my own unique experiences.
Let me tell you my story:
Like many women, when I fell pregnant with my first son, I had some concerns about what would happen to my body during and after. There is nothing wrong or selfish about this so get that out of your head right now. It is ok to preemptively mourn the loss of the old you when you don’t know what to expect or how things are going to turn out afterward. Pregnancy - especially first pregnancies- are full of unknowns and it’s completely natural to feel a little
It took me a few months, but eventually, I learned to be ok with whatever was next and whoever I was going to be after this experience. If that meant loose skin and stretch marks or whatever else - I was going to embrace it.
I continued to work out with the same intensity as I had been before but not with the intention of “not
gaining too much weight” but rather with the knowledge that while I really couldn’t foresee what labor and delivery were going to have in store for me, I could at least try to prepare myself for that most epic workout of all time. Plus,
working out daily gave me a sense of normalcy at a time where everything in my life was changing quickly.
Only three years ago, there wasn’t much information on pregnancy and the female athlete available. I found that my doctors, while well intentioned, gave me the standard precautions but it wasn’t until I pressed further about my physical activity, that I felt heard. This speaks to a larger problem about women and healthcare, but that’s another blog for another time. We are not all the same and our treatment should be as unique as we are - unfortunately that is not always the case…but I digress.
I spent hours taking the few available online courses designed for personal trainers with pregnant clients in an effort to help me understand my own body better. I read study after study (that is not as impressive as it sounds as there like four studies at the time) on pregnancy in female athletes. The only visible specimen of possibility at that time was Serena Williams, and I researched the crap out of her pregnancy and postpartum. (Author’s Note: I am aware that I am not even remotely in the same universe let alone league as Serena Williams.) I did not want to be defeated, I wanted to be strong and I was appalled at the lack of information or guidance even from doctors in this area. It seems that most of the world has forgotten that expectant mothers are still wholly themselves as unique individuals with dreams and goals outside of their children.
I do believe that is changing and I am thanking social media for that. Since that experience, more athlete-mothers have come out strong - Allyson Felix, decorated Olympic track star - fasted female in the world - for one. Your average every day women who are bravely sharing their experiences and documenting their own journeys toward motherhood and beyond.
Interestingly enough, very recently new studies have come out (I am not going to post them here, but if you are interested, shoot me a message and I can try to dig them up for you, but you can probably do a google search) suggesting that there is such a thing as being too fit when pregnant, but that only really comes into play for the actual birth. It seems muscular women may have a more
difficult time dilating and have a slightly higher chance of c-section over mothers who are not muscular. Now this, I actually buy into because while I had textbook quality pregnancies, both of my deliveries ended in c-section due to difficulty dilating to 10cm. In hindsight, I may have taken my foot off the gas pedal a little with this new information, but very unlikely.
Do not let the last paragraph undermine your idea of the benefits of working out moderately while pregnant. The benefits far outweigh any possibility that you might be too tight for a natural delivery! Besides two extraordinarily healthy pregnancies, the MVP benefit for me was the postpartum recovery.
TWO cesarean sections and I was back to walking on my treadmill and running soon after about two weeks after delivery. I was even cleared both times to resume activity sooner than 6 weeks. I highly credit my dedication in the gym to the quick recovery after two major surgeries. I knew this after my first pregnancy, so my workouts with baby two were always done with this in mind.
So, you want to continue working out while pregnant - here are some tips from me. Again, speak to your doctor before starting or continuing any type of physical activity, especially if you are pregnant. I am not a doctor and these tips are based solely on my experience.
1. SPEAK TO YOUR DOCTOR
Have I made this point clear yet? Seriously, do not
do anything until you have talked to your doctor. Explain your current level of fitness activity and how you would like to proceed with working out while pregnant. Your doctor is the only one who can offer you the proper guidance unique
to your own situation.
2. KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON
If things are going well and your doctor has given you the okay, continue to utilize your workouts as normal. If you are new to working out, keep it simple. The overall goal here is health and wellness,. The big rule here is to always listen to your body: If something doesn’t feel right, stop immediately.
3. LIGHTEN THE LOAD
Inevitably there will come a day when you just don’t feel as strong as you did the day before. Hello! You are growing a person and that takes A LOT of energy! Don’t be afraid to scale back the weights as needed. Now is not the time to start pushing for PRs. You will back to it soon enough after baby is born .
I cannot sing the praises of walking while pregnant enough! For me, even as a competitive runner, I gave up running pretty early in both pregnancies because I didn’t like the way it felt. That’s not to say you won’t love running while pregnant - if that’s you, by all means, have at it! There even came a time late in both pregnancies where I felt too jiggly and uncomfortable on the elliptical. Walking; however, was always an enjoyably option. Try and incline or a faster pace to make it more challenging.
5. AVOID CERTAIN AB WORKOUTS
Okay, this one might seem a bit obvious, but I’m going to say it anyway: Forget Abs! Avoid crunches or twists (in yoga, too!) after 8 weeks, as it can be dangerous for both you and baby. Instead, focus on plank variations and deep-core movements. Providing a strong pelvic floor can help prevent or heal any ab separation experienced during pregnancy. Overdoing it with counterintuitive exercises can absolutely exacerbate any problems with your abs/core and make them worse. I did post a video on my YouTube with some great options for second trimester core work.
One of the most common questions I get asked by clients and followers alike is, “But how much do I actually have to work out?” So much so that I’ve finally decided to write a post about it.
The answer can be a little nebulous, as the work (and the type of work) you will need to put in are a direct reflection of your goals. For example, someone who is looking to increase their cardiovascular health will have a workout and frequency that differs from someone who wants to be a competitive bodybuilder.
Naturally, the real question becomes what are your goals?
It has been my experience that most people who come to me for fitness coaching/training/advice fall into the category of wanting to lose a few pounds/tone up. If that is you, I would suggest a mix of weight training with cardio, and an emphasis on the weight training. Many people go wrong by committing to hours of endless cardio and get frustrated when they do not see the results they want or those results are short lived once the cardio is scaled back
The ideal commitment should be a 3-5 days a week strength training with cardio performed after each workout or on an additional cardio centric day. This allows for a total rest day, even with the most vigorous commitment on this scale. The minimum should be 3 days a week - anything less and you are basically spinning your wheels rather than advancing to your goals. (Remember, this is based on fitness goals.)
What does a typical week commitment look like?
Your strength training sessions should alternate either by muscle group /upper/lower or by push/pull, and begin with a short 10 minute cardio warm-up. Your strength training workout should be between 30-60 minutes with another 10-20 minutes of cardio tacked onto the end. Adding that up, you can expect to spend anywhere between 50 - 90 minutes at the gym on any given day. I also recommend adding in a day of cardio of your choice, lasting about 60 minutes.
Remember, despite what you may see online, there is no shortcut to your fitness goals. Shakes, supplements, etc. only work if you do (and when choosing shakes and supplements make sure you do your research! So many of these weight loss options are loaded with sugar that will 100% sabotage your hard work). With consistent effort, you should start to notice some changes between 4-8 weeks.
The takeaway here is no matter how frequently you choose to work out, remember that the real minimum is 3 days and that you will get out of it only what you put into it! Diet, sleep, overall health, etc. also play major roles in how quickly or how likely it is that you hit your goals.
One of the most frequent questions I get asked is how I find the time and motivation to do all of the things I do on a regular basis.
Like most moms, I too struggle with keeping activities, meetings, practices, etc. straight - but I do have a little secret that has allowed me to manage my time better, show up for myself and my family consistently AND also say no to what I can’t or won’t do!
Keep a YES Journal
So, what is a YES journal? I don’t know if it is really called that, but it’s what I’ve been calling it since I decided to start doing it! Essentially, I sit down on Sunday nights and write out all of the things I am a YES for for the week ahead.
For example, a Monday might look something like this:
By listing out of all of my social, family, and work obligations I am creating space for them in my mind and in my calendar. (Yes, I do write out work every day because it is an obligation I have to say YES to!) By physically doing this, I am creating a commitment for and with myself to complete these tasks. It’s also a lot less overwhelming when you see your day to day written out instead of just all jumbled up in your mind, which in my experience only leads to confusion and anxiety, especially when you are dealing with multiple family member’s schedules. I even like to put what we are having for dinner which keeps me on budget!Chaos in my household usually ends in a pizza delivery!
“But, Nuggs! My friend Jenny called on Tuesday and asked me to do happy hour on Thursday, but it’s not on my YES list! What do I do?”
Simple, I always leave a little room at the bottom of each day to write in and adapt my plans to whatever comes up during the course of the week. It also allows me to look at my schedule for the day, written right there above it, and make a truly good decision about whether or not I really can meet up for a happy hour on any given day and provides me with a visual of better days/times should Thursday not work for me. I can say yes, guilt free, and really mean it. Once it is in the book, though, it becomes a commitment. No more flaking out!
BUT WAIT! This is the true BEST part:
I am someone who has struggled with saying NO in my life. I feel guilty, I resent the pressure, it gives me anxiety, and I HATE disappointing people, even when saying YES to something I don’t want to do or do not have time for means that I’m ultimately hurting myself and doing a disservice to my abilities.
Using your YES journal gives you absolute permission to say NO to anything not on the list and anything you are not willing to add to the bottom on any given day. Being a NO is just as important as showing up and being a YES. This has helped me IMMENSELY in my life to keep myself from overdoing it, suffering from unnecessary anxiety or guilt, and feeling good about my choices. By saying NO, you are able to focus all of your available time and energy into the things you are already a YES for. Granted, work might not be your most favorite YES, but it is an obligation never the less, and if you are truly unhappy in your position, that little space at the bottom gives you plenty of opportunity to find the time to figure out and pursue a career or profession that aligns with your spirit and your goals.
Over time, this notebook has helped me stay committed to not only my health and fitness goals, but also has helped me cultivate the necessary discipline to keep me motivated and showing up for myself and for the people who matter.
TRY IT OUT AND LET ME KNOW HOW IT WORKS FOR YOU!
Good morning and happy Monday! Monday morning seems like the best time to post about how to recover from your weekend and get back in the game, am I right?
Whether you went all out at a concert, festival, family gathering, or sporting event - or even just didn’t get much sleep (hi! It’s me!) - Monday mornings can come quickly and hit hard, especially for those of us in a nine-to-five or earlier work schedule.
I think we have all been there at some point or another. Maybe we didn’t get in the workouts, maybe we drank too much alcohol, maybe we didn’t get enough sleep…but one thing is for sure: You are sipping your morning coffee thinking, “Ok, today is the day.”
just thinking that; however, isn’t enough to actually get you “back on the horse” so I created this top list to help you not only survive your Monday morning reset, but to attack it!
1. HYDRATE FOR YOUR LIFE
I can’t stress this enough, without proper hydration, you are really just spinning your wheels. Once you are sufficiently caffeinated, pour yourself a nice big glass of water and keep it going all day.
If you are someone who can house a bottle of wine with no problem, but struggles with getting in adequate water throughout the day, here are two products I love to keep me well-saturated all day long:
2. MOVE YOUR BODY
This is it! The perfect time to get moving! It’s right now! Make an appointment with yourself to get to the gym or get out for a run/walk and then don’t break the commitment. You wouldn’t bail on a work commitment or a meeting with a boss or colleague, so don’t bail on yourself. You don’t have to go BIG, especially if you are just getting back into it, but you do have to GO. I usually start each morning with some type of fasted cardio, whether it be a run, a brisk walk outdoors, or time on the elliptical. Trust me when I say that sweating out the weekend is a wonderful way to release toxins and release endorphins before you get your Monday morning shower in for the day, burning calories and boosting your mood!
3. GET TO BED EARLY TONIGHT
If you have been keeping late hours, not sleeping well, and waking up feeling like poo - make tonight the night you get your shut eye a little earlier than usual. Sleep is essential for high functioning days! Need some help to wind down:
There you have it! Try incorporating one, two, or all three of these tips into your day today and see how you feel! Feel free to leave me a comment letting me know how it worked out, or I’d love to hear some of your own tips!
I receive compensation for purchases Amazon products using mt links.
What an intense summer! Adjusting to becoming a family four has been so much more difficult than I imagined. Even typing that just now, I felt almost forced to add: “but so rewarding!” - and it has been, but in the interest of full transparency, I don’t want anyone to see the highlight reel and think that any of this has been a walk in the park (although there have been MANY walks in parks).
I struggled immensely in the weeks following the birth of my son. Asking for help was difficult. Not having enough help was difficult. Bonding was difficult. Recovering from a second cesarean section was difficult. Being home with two children for most of the day was difficult. The constant and often ridiculous worry was difficult. The lack of sleep was (IS) difficult.
Does that mean I love my children any less? Absolutely not. Does that mean I am not eternally and completely grateful for my two beautiful blessings? Absolutely not.
I just felt like I would have been more prepared for number two, but in all the ways I was prepared, there were so many other things that blindsided me: particularly my toddler’s immediate jealousy (which has thankfully mostly calmed to quiet acceptance and even some brotherly love) and how I would feel sad for him not understanding that now there was another who needed mommy just as much, if not more.
So, looking back over the past five months and what were the most helpful things I did to help myself through the initial
postpartum period and adjust to life with a toddler and an infant?
1. LEARN TO BE OK WITH THE MESSINESS OF IT ALL
I’ll be the first to admit - I hate mess. I clean my floors (mopping AND vacuuming) daily because I can’t stand even the tiniest bit of dirt under my feet in the house. I make my bed every day. I Marie Kondo my dresser drawers. My closet is organized by color. Having children? Expect the mess to be constant. Literally as I’m picking up a toy, another is being dropped. Acceptance here is key. It’s not going to last forever, and the laundry can wait. Better yet, let hubbs do it. (I do.) And remember, the mess isn’t always physical. Sometimes, we have to let each minute of the day be what it is instead of what we wanted it to be.
2. ASK FOR HELP (AND DON’T FEEL GUILTY)
One of my biggest struggles was trying to ask for help. I felt guilty about it…like there were all these things I should be capable of doing and I just wasn’t. There is nothing wrong with letting your support people know how you are struggling and let them know that you need them. It doesn’t make you any less of a great parent. You don’t have to do it all. You just have to survive because that’s exactly what the first several months are: survival.
3. TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF
I cannot stress this one enough. TAKE THE TIME. Whether it’s a walk, a nap, reading, working out - whatever you are into - remember that you still exist as a whole person outside of your children and that person deserves to have some time to themselves. Set boundaries for disturbances and embrace that hour just for you. I would not have kept it together if it weren’t for my daily workouts in the gym. Just leaving the house alone and driving there felt like a vacation some days. I feel absolutely wonderful when I’m working out. Earbuds in. World tuned out. Stress relieved. Endorphins pumped. It helps me to see some of my physical appearance starting to return after birth - for me, that is incredibly motivating and it makes me want to keep going and not give up. It’s ok to have personal goals and take the time and the steps to reach them. A happy mama is a good mama.
You’ve got this! What are some of your favorite tips for adjusting to life with baby(ies)? Leave me a comment!
4/19/2021 0 Comments
Welcome Baby Stellan!
Forgive my absence from my blog updates! Life has been a little crazy and after a certain week of pregnancy, updating was the last thing on my mind!
We welcomed baby Stellan Michael into our family on March 31st 2021 and the last nineteen days have been an absolute whirlwind..
In a previous blog update, I wrote about the birth trauma stemming from the birth of my first child back in 2018 and how it had left me with a lot of uncertainty and fear regarding the then-impending birth of my second child. In a nutshell, at just about 42 weeks I had an emergency c-section following an unsuccessful 30 hours of labor.
This time, while a markedly different experience, was still quite traumatic and I am personally now convinced that maybe it has to be as birthing a child is truly a transformative experience. In no way do you ever go back to who you were before. Like a butterfly emerging from the cocoon - one must die a little in order to be reborn.
My first child, Rémy, was born at just about two weeks past due as I just mentioned. He weight almost 10lbs and I never truly went into labor on my own. This time; however, I did experience labor. Funny thing is - I had no idea what to expect with labor because I did not experience a traditional birth experience during my first go. So how did it go down...read on!
I felt my son’s head lift out of my pelvis and a gush of water escaped me! I honestly thought I had just peed myself a little because if you’ve ever had a baby, you know how much “little pee” escapes in those last few weeks. I though nothing of it and went on about my life.
i went to the gym for my usual workout - leg day. With every thrust and squat, I felt lightening shooting down my inner thighs and continued to experience that gushy feeling.
I head to my regular doctor’s appointment, now wondering if what I had been experiencing all day was my water breaking and if those “tightening” feelings in my belly were baby moving slowly or signs of true labor. I didn’t want to get my hopes up so I barely mentioned to my husband in the car (I insisted meeting up at home and taking one car just in case) the things that I had experienced. I just casually threw it out there that I thought something maybe, possibly, ever-so-slightly - something could be up.
My regular OB was on at the hospital so I saw a different doctor to whom I described my experiences. Just like that, I was on my way to Labor and Delivery to confirm whether or not my water had broken.
We didn’t stop for food (I was really looking forward to our weekly post-appointment date at Tacos El Tio) and we definitely didn’t stop to install a car seat or pick up our somewhat packed hospital bags (second kid problems) as I was convinced they would be sending me home, slightly embarrassed that I had peed myself and announced it to the world.
Upon arriving at the hospital, those stomach tightening feelings I had been having had increased significantly. I told the intake nurse that I was probably just being silly, but she confirmed that I was not in fact crazy and it sounded like I just might be in labor.
A midwife came in and gave me the litmus test which was inconclusive, as was the microscope test - especially since I did seem to have a lot of fluid present. I was sent to ultrasound, where it was confirmed that I did in fact have a slow leak! During that time, those contractions had kicked up to 3 minutes apart! Wow! This was really happening!
the one disappointing fact was that I was once again 0 dilated. “High and tight” was what I kept hearing in reference to my cervix. After the midwife consulted with my OB/surgeon (who I had already mentioned just happened to be on that night) it was decided that at 9 days early, I would be having a baby that night! Albeit by cesarean so as not to put me through the same trauma as I had experienced the first time around.
We honestly could not believe that it was really happening. My husband quickly left to grab the car seat and our bags - hastily packing anything I had yet to include. We made arrangements for our son to be picked up from daycare and I called out of work for the next day. I left all of my personal belongings in my classroom thoroughly certain I would be returning for my last scheduled day of service on 4/1.
Hours past and we waited. I breathed through my contractions as best I could as I was being prepped for surgery.
I walked myself back to the OR and hopped up on the table, incredibly nervous this time about the Spinal Block heading my way. I received my epidural the first time around in so much pain and already drugged on morphine, I didn’t really think much about it. But this time - I was stone cold sober and a little to aware of what a spinal block looks like! I had a great anesthesiologist, and despite me jumping off the table when she touched my back with her finger, I was feeling my legs melt away from me in no time at all, blissfully unaware of any needles.
my husband was brought in. Preparations were calmly being made all around me. They even asked what type of playlist I wanted. I said Bruce Springsteen.
The cesarean itself is uncomfortable and feels like you are being pulled and rummaged through and the smell of what I always think is burning skin is pungent.
I barely felt anything this time. Thank goodness.
Making his debut at 8lbs .7oz and 21 inches long, Stellan Michael came into the world to the lyrics of Hungry Heart. He looked like a prune, but boy was he beautiful and healthy
Hi! I'm Nugget. I am wife to my awesome husband, Fran, and mama to our toddler son, Remington. We also have another baby on the way (due very soon!) and our pup, Fiona. I am body positive fitness instructor, teacher, and health/wellness advocate. I believe in the potential of EVERY body to be happy and healthy.