Benefits of not exercising

manduka yoga

It’s been 6 weeks since I did any kind of exercise, unless you count my one pathetic squat jump at Fitbloggin’ last weekend. Even though walking from my bedroom to my kitchen feels kind of like exercise, given all the huffing and catching my breath it inspires, it’s been pretty rough not feeling well enough to move around and sweat. I’ve always depended on exercise as a reliable way to brighten my mood, relieve stress, work through problems, and give me more energy. Not having access to the magical cure-all of a good sweat has been really hard, especially lately.

 

I watched Tangled with my godchildren last weekend, and I had a flash of solidarity with Rapunzel: I’m living in a high rise for the first time in my life, and I can’t help but feel I’m in my own little lonely tower. I’ve been feeling kind of isolated, disconnected from my community, my new city, and my favorite activities. I thought I had turned a corner last weekend, and was really hoping it would stick and that I’d start getting my life back, but I had a major relapse coming back home. So tired. So nauseous. And getting pretty down about this slide back into symptoms.

I’m doing my best to change my outlook, and muscle through this last week (hopefully?) of first-tri symptoms, focusing ever so hard on the light at the end of the tunnel. So I created a list of all the benefits of not exercising—AKA why it’s a GREAT thing to be a couch potato for two months:

  • Your pedicure lasts forever. Mine is a month old and, as long as you don’t look too close, it’s still completely passable.
  • You don’t have to wash your hair as often! I always try to stretch hair as long as possible between washings. Not sweating doubles the length of time I can go between. Here’s to half as much blowdrying!*
  • Way less laundry. No daily pile of sweaty workout clothes to deal with.
  • Way more time to get stuff done. I gained a ton of time moving here because I was no longer commuting 2+ hours / day. Now, I’ve recovered another 90 minutes to 2 hours (or more, when you count the blowdrying!) thanks to my not-leaving-the-house-ever situation.
  • All pajamas, all the time. My normal M.O. is to put on sweats immediately when I get home from work / wherever. I would always prefer to be in sweats than real clothes. Now I basically live in lounge clothes. Kind of embarrassing when I open the door for Instacart or package deliveries, but whatever, I’m pregnant.

 

* That’s a lie. I also have not blow dried my hair in about a month. Why bother, when it’s just me and Tigger, napping and lounging? 

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More first trimester travel!

I just got back from the Fitbloggin’ conference in Denver, where every year we get to connect in person with our sweat pink community, speak, and lead a workout for attendees. It’s always a blast and usually full of some crazy, sleep-less antics.

Things sometimes get weird.
Things sometimes get weird.

I was really nervous about the trip this year, since it fell solidly in my first trimester and going to conferences is exhausting even when I’m in top form. I usually come home sick and in need of about a week’s worth of sleep.

Knowing that this year would be extra challenging, I did my best to prepare: I packed my blandest rice cakes and ziplocs of dry cereal in my carry-on (already practicing for motherhood, woot!), brought along a stash of pregnancy tea, and forewarned Jamie and Liz that I might be, well, kind of pathetic.

fitbloggin15

And I was kind of pathetic. I skipped the first early morning bootcamp with Erin—who always teaches a super high energy, fun, butt-kicking class—well, truth be told, I skipped all workouts. I did a total of one down dog and one jump squat, and both attempts quickly bitch slapped me back into my hunched over comfort place. In addition to sitting out each of the workouts, I took a few rest breaks in between sessions. I just needed some horizontal time, even if I wasn’t able to nap.

Special K, one of the sponsors, had some amazing salty chips there. I think I singlehandedly cleaned out their booth.

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Overall, though, I had a pretty incredible weekend. It was a bright spot in the first trimester, both in terms of professional development and fun, but also in how I was feeling. I was nauseous and tired, but not debilitatingly so, and I was mostly able to function like a normal person. It helped so much that I was public about the pregnancy—no one questioned my lack of energy or bizarre food habits.

The only moment where I thought I might not make it happened toward the end of our presentation. I started getting super queasy, feeling like I might vomit all over the projector and the audience if I didn’t sit down. Luckily Jamie stepped in and did most of the talking and I just stood there and faked it til I made it.

I’m so lucky that my work wifey and I know each other so well that we sense when the other one needs a rescue. She just knew when to step in and lead the show. (Not to mention, she’s a WAY better presenter than I am, so everyone won!).

Things that are funny about going to a fitness conference while pregnant:

  • You don’t do any of the workouts
  • It’s odd covering your plate with white foods when you’re surrounded by over a hundred rainbow colored, extra healthy plates.
  • Not having a glass of wine at the end of the day or at the networking events is a total bummer.

I’m so grateful that our conference will happen, officially, during my second trimester. I’ll be 14 weeks at BlogFest and I had better be feeling good. There’s NO OTHER OPTION.

The BEST part of the weekend, though, was getting to visit my three adorable godchildren. How cute are they?!

meira turner zev

My friend, who started her own law firm to help people start families—whether through surrogacy, adoption, egg donation, IVF, etc—sponsored an event dedicated to raising awareness about fertility, and it was so cool to see her firm represented. (I’m so proud!!)

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I am beyond proud of her and loved getting to see her in action. If you’re in Denver and thinking about starting a family, CALL HER.

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How to get the death glare

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There are a few tried and true ways of getting a death glare from a pregnant lady.

Want a death glare from me? It’s really very simple to get one.

Make a comment, any comment at all, about what I’m eating. For example:

“You’re eating cereal.” —> Death glare.

“Are we out of potato chips?” –> Death glare.

“I thought your doctor said …” –> Death glare.

“Have you been drinking enough water?” –> Death glare.

There you go. Any of those will work, or you can get creative and come up with your own.

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Nausea is the new normal

When the first tri queasies started making their presence known, I attacked them with vigor. It feels like a combination of a flu and a hangover, so I figured I had some tried and true strategies for dealing with a mushy brain, low energy, and that icky feeling in my stomach.

Hangovers, especially, I’ve had some practice with, and those are pretty reliable. You know they end before too long, as long as you can ply them with enough greasy carbs, hydration, iced coffee, and plain old time. So I attacked my queasies with vigor. Potato chips, pasta, toast, boxed mac’n’cheese. Bland carbs, generously salted, heaped upon bland carbs, and washed down with as much juice and water as I could stomach. I stayed away from caffeine and gatorade because even the smell of coffee makes me want to ralph, and gatorade is full of all sorts of weird shit, but otherwise, I stuck to my hangover game plan and eagerly waited for results.

I’ve eaten a criminal amount of pasta and potato chips over the last couple weeks, and the results haven’t come yet. The thing is, it doesn’t get better. Eating that bagel might distract you from how you feel for a few moments, but you go right back to feeling the same way afterward. The sight of hash browns might not make you run for the bathroom the way that chicken or tomatoes might, but eating them doesn’t soak up the nausea. It doesn’t even really mask the nausea, because you can only take a few bites before you get out of breath from lifting fork to mouth. Also, it’s nap time again.

At this point, I’m trying to convince myself to just proceed as normal. To accept that the way I feel is my normal right now, and nothing I do is going to make it better. Sure, I can avoid the sight and smell of animal flesh as much as possible, and do my best to not gag on the foods I ate yesterday, which are now associated with nausea, but that’s it. I have to adjust my standards, or I’m going to spend the next 6 weeks feeling increasingly ragey about how I’m not doing the things I love to.

So this is my normal. This lethargic, nap-prone, fuzzy brained, always-about-to-puke state of being is just how it’s going to be until (fingers crossed) second trimester. I’ve got to accept that walking my dog two blocks to the park is my exercise for now, and that taking a nap at 9:30am is just how I roll.

Here we go. Second trimester, please don’t let me down.

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My favorite prenatal vitamins – Giveaway!

When I first got pregnant, we suddenly had all this stuff to worry about. Unpasteurized cheese. Chemicals in our cleaning products. Sushi. Deli meat. How to make sure we were getting the nutrition we needed, especially during these early days when all I can eat are bland carbs.

Nathan, luckily, jumped right into the vitamin investigation fray to figure out what the best prenatal vitamins are. So many options out there, and so much information. I felt totally overwhelmed by all the (often contradictory) instructions about what I should or should not be taking. I tried a few different kinds, including some gummies that were just gross, some pills that made me want to retch, and a few others. Then SmartyPants reached out with an offer to try their gummy vitamins.. and at first, I had a little freakout. How did they know?! I wasn’t Facebook official yet. Only my parents and Jamie knew the news.

Luckily, my secret hadn’t really leaked; their PR team just had really good timing. Or some well-honed intuition. In either case, I got to try their vitamins (which fortunately arrived just hours before I left town for 12 days) —seriously, another case of impressive timing!—so I packed up that big old bottle and hit the road.

smartypants prenatal vitamins

Short verdict: they are DELICIOUS. So delicious, that my husband keeps stealing them. I’ve been trying to remind him they’re for ME and for Alien, and he shouldn’t be depriving us of our vitamins. Not least because I’m still subsisting on mostly bland carbs. But I can’t really blame him. They’re like candy, with just the right balance of sweet and sour, and a convincing, candy-like texture. Even on my most nauseous days, I’ve been able to take them without any additional queasiness.

I know, I know. I’m growing a human; the candy qualities shouldn’t be the most important ones for picking a vitamin. I had Nathan evaluate the nutritional content, since he’s been doing all the vitamin research. I fully expected he would take them away from me, because he (a) has impossibly high standards and (b) wanted to eat them all himself.

To my surprise, he and my sister-in-law (a midwife with similarly high standards) both gave SmartyPants a strong endorsement. The only consideration was that in combination with my other vitamins, I might overdo it on the Vitamin D. That’s an easy fix: we’re adjusting my other vitamins so I can keep taking the SmartyPants and not go into Vitamin D overdose. (Is that even possible? I don’t think so).

If you’re preggo, if you’ve got a little one at home, or even if not,** you can enter to win this awesome #BornSmarty kit from SmartyPants. 

#BornSmarty Kit Final

It includes:

  • SmartyPants Prenatal vitamins
  • Various SmartyPants vitamin samples
  • #BornSmarty onesie
  • Sophie teething giraffe
  • Skip Hop Activity Owl
  • Babyganics bath wash

Not a bad haul, eh?

Open to US and Canada residents!

** If you’re preggo but not out of the closet yet, you can still enter and we’ll keep your secret safe. Feel free to use a pseudonym in the comments; just make sure you enter your real email address so I can secretly get ahold of you if you win.

SmartyPants #BornSmarty Kit

Disclaimer: I received complimentary product to try. All opinions are my own! I so appreciate you supporting the brands who help me grow the healthiest kiddo possible. 

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