Wednesday, January 7, 2009

And with a new year comes new goals...

So its late, its been a long day and possibly this post will be really long and come across a little melancholic- I promised when I began this journey not to talk about weight but health, and I will keep that promise. But there is a big elephant standing in my head and I have to acknowledge its there.
I have been organizing this self-esteem group for early adolescent girls from scratch, it's taken a lot of work. I have enjoyed finding the most successful ways to help girls- and have soaked up all the information, but no matter what I read, learn or study. I keep coming back to the same question. "How do we become confident, self assured women all the time? How do we remain self assured in a world and environment were we are constantly reminded of our physical beauty, personal success and always reminded- no matter what, some other girl will be better?" I have realized whether we are 12 or 24 as women, our self-esteem is something that we always most nurture (if I'm wrong, please let me know what it is you do to). If we are not careful we can become our own toughest critic, meanest friend and most ruthless judge, culture and society don't help, but the media has nothing on the negative self talk we have the potential of poising ourselves with.
So you may be wonder what the elephant in my mind is- while friends its an elephant with three heads.
The first head is my personal expectations of what I should be capable of- I am the worst kind of over achiever. I am the kind that feels if I am not doing it all right this second than I am doing nothing at all, I have no thermometer to help me recognize what is acceptable and what is just plain crazy. I tetter/totter between these too aspects all the time. I have gotten to the point where I realize, I may never be able to gauge this appropriately so I often ask my husband, "Do you think this is too much?" or "Is it OK if I don't think I am capable of this?" or the best one, "I think I am tired, is it OK if I lay here and watch a movie?" This crazy elephant head is making me feel guilty for not still running and haven't difficult intense workouts. For me running is just not working, since I have no gauge to know when I am pushing to hard I worry I will damage myself or worst the baby. My days are long and tiring, and the energy just isn't there like its always been. For the last three weeks I have faithfully been going on daily walks- which I am loving, I love being outside, I love the winter air on my face, I love the slower pace, I love the beautiful white world around me. But I don't love the elephant in my head telling me walking not good enough. I wouldn't trade this time in my life for anything, and although this head is big and loud it isn't stopping me for being grateful for this experience and embracing it with all my heart.
The second elephant head is weight!I have never been super little, but I have always been able to fit in the size of jeans I desire. I have never owned a scale and have maintained a consistent weight give or take 2-3 the majority of my "Growing up" body life- sure I would always like a flatter stomach and never felt comfortable in a swimming suit- but its never been a battle for me. I underestimated how difficult it would be for me to gain weight while I am pregnant. Even though I know I am suppose to be gaining weight, even though I count my blessing every day for this opportunity even though I am excited to be showing and healthy. The fact is my bra doesn't fit I think my butt isn't as tight as its always been and I don't look like the pregnant girls on "pregnancy magazines" and its kind of bugging me.
The third head's job is simple her job is to simply make me feel guilty for even complaining about such minor, insignificant, silly, vain things. And to bet me up for even allowing such things to bother me- when I have absolutely NOTHING to complain about.

So this is my three headed elephant friend,I know that it really doesn't exist. I know its a waste of time to worry about. I know elephants...usually don't go away and sometimes they don't need to-but by clearing the air, they become something less feared and more easily embraced, nonjudgmentally. But O'Well because around her neck I also know there is a sign that hangs, "Changes in life are never easy- you can do it, we are cheering for you what an excited time!"

So I shared with you the silly inter workings of my weakness- With the message, don't worry about your elephants, don't hide for them, but let them be... Remember slowing down intense workouts and gaining weight is part of the journey. We all will hit obstacles, just let yourself slow down if you need too. Here are so tips to feel you get over some of those obstacles and "elephants"

Obstacle Nausea
Solutions "Find a time of day when you're not as prone to feeling ill, and do something less strenuous," advises Weiss. "Instead of taking an early-morning Spinning class, do yoga in the late afternoon." Thirty minutes before your workout, eat some bland crackers. Motion-sickness bracelets such as Sea-Bands ($10), available at drugstores, also can help, as can ginger.

Obstacle Backache or hip pain
Solutions Stick to a low-impact workout featuring fluid movements, such as swimming, pool walking, or exercising on the elliptical machine or the recumbent bike. "These types of exercise increase blood flow, which loosens up your back and hip joints so you don't feel as achy," says prenatal exercise expert Amie Hoff, a fitness consultant for New York Sports Clubs in New York City. Swimming the breaststroke is a great option since it keeps your pelvis open and relaxed.
Light stretching may also do the trick by releasing tension in your hips, lower back and hamstrings. After a cardio warm-up, sit on the floor with your legs out straight or in a V and gently lean forward from your hips for 15 to 30 seconds, Hoff suggests. Also try sitting with your legs in a butterfly position (feet together, knees out). Weiss recommends pelvic tilts, which can be done while standing against a wall or seated on a ball or even in your car. (For instructions on performing pelvic tilts correctly, visit

Obstacle Frequent peeing
Solutions A gym workout means you'll be close to a bathroom, and if you're taking a class, tell your instructor you're pregnant so she'll understand your frequent departures. If you prefer walking in the fresh air, plan your route in a neighborhood that has a coffee house or restaurant on every block, or locate the bathroom at a local park and do laps in the vicinity. For trail hiking, bring along toilet tissue—and make sure you're still able to squat.
Late in pregnancy, as your baby moves deeper into your pelvis, you may leak urine when you work out. "Wear a pad so if you drip a little, you'll be protected," says Hoff.

Obstacle Swollen feet and ankles
Solutions Swelling is partly caused by the pressure of your uterus on the veins in your legs, which causes fluid buildup. Swimming offers relief because the water's buoyancy lifts the baby off your pelvis. "If you have a hard time kicking, place a buoyancy ball between your legs and use your upper body only," Hoff advises. "Just being horizontal should help with swelling."
Avoid the treadmill and elliptical trainer, but consider the recumbent bike, which places less pressure on your ankles. Buy athletic shoes one-half to one size bigger than normal so you have plenty of wiggle room, and remove the laces from the top holes. Make sure the rest of the shoe is snug and supportive.
Swelling typically subsides at night, so work out earlier in the day. Massage may also help, says New York City fitness trainer and prenatal-massage therapist Anne Taylor. "Have your partner use an exfoliation brush to massage your feet and calves in an upward motion, which will help recirculate extra fluid that can accumulate in the legs," Taylor says.

Obstacle Exhaustion
Solutions "Everyone has a time of day when they have the most energy, so schedule your workouts then," Hoff says. Dial down the intensity and break up your workout into 10-minute sessions, either stretching or resting in between. Weiss suggests choosing an activity that's enjoyable and social, like taking a walk with a friend. "Stroll around the block once and tell yourself you can stop. Chances are, you'll get to the front door and feel like doing another lap."

Obstacle tips were taken from Fit Pregnancy's website


Lori said...

ah friend. i think the 20's are the WORST where pregnancy is concerned... at least physically. you don't look pregnant totally, and you for sure don't look normal. it's a hard phase. big cyber hugs.

don't worry too much about running, friend. I'm sure that's much easier said that done. I think your walks and stretching are perfect for you, your body, and your cute baby. whatever makes you feel good.

you're doing so much and doing a great job. keep going, friend!! i'm excited to see you on saturday!

Megan said...

Oh Erin. You summed up so well all the feelings I have right now. Seriously. I have a hard time being okay with gaining weight knowing how hard I worked to lose it the first time and then I obsess, which does no good.

I think you are fantastic for running as long as you were able to. I ran yesterday and then I had a lower back ache the rest of the day. I was worried until I heard the babies heart beat today that I pushed myself too hard and caused the baby damage. So we will see how much longer I make it as well. LOL. Pregnant women are crazy, aren't they?

One more thing...sorry...a while back I was watching 'The View' (don't judge me) and Elizabeth was talking about her photo shoot with some pregnancy magazine. She said that they were positioning her for the pictures to make her 'not look so big' and that they would touch up her arms so they 'would look more in shape'. She pointed out they should never say these things to a pregnant lady - haha. But I was glad to know that even the women on the covers of pregnancy magazine might not even look that good ;)