Feeling grateful, and inspired

One thing that’s really helped me get through the first trimester was trying to focus on the good parts about not exercising or eating only white carbohydrates. I’m so fortunate that this is really the first time in my life I’ve been laid low for health reasons—and what a blessing this particular malady is in the long run. It’s so easy to take our bodies and our lives for granted when things are mostly running along as they should. Getting taken out back by the pregnancy fairy is the best possible reason to spend some time doing nothing but taking care of yourself. Even if “taking care of yourself” takes on new shapes and new meanings you never expected.

gratitude sweat pink lorna jane

It also makes me so, so grateful for having the ability to work remotely, in my pajamas, most of the time. I’m blown away by the women who find ways to fake it til they make it at their day jobs, especially those kinds of jobs that require you to be ON for most of the day. I’m looking at you, teachers, nurses, sales people, managers, all of you. You’re amazing.

I can’t help but wonder if men went through this, if there’d be a more gracious form of maternity / puking-your-guts-out-creating-life kind of leave for those early parts of pregnancy.

Anyway. Let’s focus on women out there who are crushing it, no matter what. Starting next week we’re partnering up with Lorna Jane, women entrepreneur and founder of her eponymous workout apparel line. I’m in love with their products and with Lorna herself; she’s such an inspiration to women everywhere. Fun fact: she started out cutting up old leotards (this was the 80s, people) to create workout clothes that stayed put AND made her feel fabulous. She’s coming out with a new book, Inspired! and I’m joining in the fun.

sweat pink fit approach

So can you! (pregnancy not required!)

Join me, starting Monday, for a fun 5 day #LJInspired Instagram Challenge hosted  by @FitApproach & @LornaJaneActive (yes, there are prizes!)

Here are the daily prompts:

  • Day 1 (Monday, July 13th): How do you dream big? #sweatpink #LJInspired @FitApproach @lornajaneactive
  • Day 2 (Tuesday, July 14th): What’s your fave healthy swap? #LJInspired #SweatPink @FitApproach @LornaJaneActive
  • Day 3 (Wednesday, July 15th): Who inspires you? [Tag 2-3 friends!!] #LJInspired #SweatPink @lornajaneactive @fitapproach
  • Day 4 (Thursday, July 16th): What does happiness mean to you? #LJInspired #sweatpink @fitapproach @lornajaneactive
  • Day 5 (Friday, July 17th): What makes you an #LJInspired girl? #sweatpink @LornaJaneActive @FitApproach

And don’t forget to join us on 7/21 from 5:30-6:30 pm PT for a fun #LJInspired #SweatPink Twitter party for another chance to win prizes & a copy of Inspired: https://www.facebook.com/events/852624931491346/.

 

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Pregnancy-friendly natural sunscreen

sweat pink fit approach got bumped
My favorite poolside companions: #sweatpink trucker hat and Block Island Organics Sunscreen

As a person who has always fallen somewhere on the pale-to-transparent spectrum, I use a LOT of sunscreen. I apply probably every hour or more when I’m out in the sun. When I got pregnant, everyone started warning me about how much more the sun will affect you, and how you have to stay away from chemical sunscreens.

I haven’t changed many of my other cosmetic products due to concerns about chemicals—I figure the tiny bit of concealer I use is not an imminent threat to Alien—but given the sheer volume of sunscreen I slather on at such regular intervals, I figured I should probably look into a natural sunscreen for pregnancy.

I’ve tried mineral sunscreens before, and have always strayed back to my chemical friends. Physical sunscreens (like the kind made with zinc) have always been too thick, too opaque, too hard to apply.

I took Block Island Organics sunscreen for a spin this 4th of July weekend, and was pleasantly surprised. It’s got all the right buzz words: natural mineral sunscreen, made in the US, vegan, eco-friendly formula, and no parabens, dyes or fragrance. If anything’s not going to hurt Alien, this is it.

 

But how did it hold up to my previous, not-so-amazing experiences with natural sunscreens?

It bucked all the bad-news trends I remember from having tried natural sunscreens before.

sweat pink fit approach got bumped

It went on smooth—really smooth, actually—the amount pictured above ended up taking care of not just my legs and feet but also my shoulders, and rubbed right in with a translucent, lightweight cover. No pesky white streaks too stubborn to smooth out.

sweat pink fit approach got bumped
Hooray! No white residue in sight.

Once it dried, my skin felt soft, not greasy or residue-covered.

I only stayed outside for an hour and a half (that sun really gets to me these days!) but I came back inside with not a sunburn in sight.

I did notice, maybe because I didn’t put it to any tests like swimming or sweating, that the Block Island sunscreen has some real staying power. It took a dedicated scrubbing with a loofah to get it all off, which makes me confident that on my more active days this summer, it will easily stand up to swimming and towel drying and all the other fun stuff I (hopefully) have in store!

I’m tempted to give their skincare line, especially their moisturizer, a try. If they can make mineral sunscreen this light to the touch, I imagine the moisturizer feels heavenly on parched skin.

Block Island Organics was kind enough to offer a 15% off discount code just for you! Use the code alyse at checkout for 15% off. That’s on top of any other specials they have running!

I received complimentary product from Block Island Organics. All opinions are my own, and I so appreciate you supporting the brands who support my pale lifestyle.

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Mad Lib for Puritan’s Pride!

Yesterday was amazing. I felt almost normal, and did more stuff in one day than I’ve done in the last several weeks combined. I moved most of our sweat pink warehouse to its new home.

fit approach sweat pink

I cooked. That cooking involved vegetables, green things, brown things. The only white thing was cauliflower. YES, I ate vegetables! I even ate some ice cream, just to see if I could handle sweets.

Answer: yes. 

sweat pink 1millionminutes

I took the dog out, multiple times a day. Up until now, my gracious husband has been letting me get away with one or zero times a day.

I’d really like to go back to yoga this week. I didn’t want to push it yesterday, didn’t want to jinx the amazingness. I’m considering it today. I’ve been reading up on all the modifications you’re supposed to do, now that lying on my stomach feels a little uncomfortable.

Or maybe I’ll go to the gym for all of 10 minutes.

In any case, to celebrate this newfound feeling of alive-ness, and because of the PRIZES, I’m participating in this week’s #1MillionMinutes blog prompt. Check it out:

This week Puritan’s Pride is offering a prize to EVERYONE* who completes this blog prompt mad lib! Want to get in on the fun (and the prizes?!) Copy and paste the mad lib below, fill in the blanks with your own answers, and make sure to share your link on the #1MillionMinutes page to get rewarded!*

puritans pride sweat pink

I’m so JAZZED [adj] to fuel my #1MillionMinutes goals with Puritan’s Pride! All summer I plan to hike, yoga, and fuel[verb] my way to a healthier, fitter me, and I’ll need help staying hydrated and fueled during all my outdoor [adj] adventures!

I will make sure I stay on track and will rely on  healthy protein powders [noun] to keep me well fueled before, during and after workouts, and my trusty water bottle [noun] to keep me hydrated!

I’m most excited to try Whey Protein powder in vanilla (product) and Pre-workout igniter (product) from Puritan’s Pride because they look like they’ll help me stay strong pre and post workout! (adj).

One supplement I’ve never tried but am curious about is Ribose [noun]. I think it might make me extra strong during intense workouts![adj].

Bring it, #1MillionMinutes! I’m ready to go!

* Prizes available to U.S. and Canada residents.

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Woah, cue the crankypants

Fair warning: random trains of thought crossings ahead. 

You guys. I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The last 36 hours have not been super awful. As of the time I’m writing this, I’ve left the house on four separate occasions today, and it’s only noon. Big fucking news.

fit pregnancy first trimester
Playing at the dog park. This counts as exercise, right?

I’m still nauseous, still taking naps.

pregnancy napping naps
This guy is always willing to take a nap with me.

But yesterday I introduced a new food (and a new color!) into my repertoire:

pregnancy first trimester diet
I couldn’t wait – had to take a bite before taking the picture. #ImmediateGratification

Avocado. One of my favorite foods pre-pregnancy; haven’t eaten it in two months. Until yesterday, when avocado toast with loads of salt was bomb.com.

I’m also starting to show. Not enough that the average stranger would notice, but I notice. It’s what a good friend of mine calls the awkward beer belly phase. I’m just thicker through the middle, with a little protuberance at the bottom.

I just entered my second trimester, according to some accounts. I just hit the 12 week mark. But pregnancy is 40 weeks, so I’m counting up until 13 as first trimester. Math, people. Just do it. That also gives me a few more days to really start feeling better so I can swing into *real* second trimester with tons of energy and joy.

Speaking of joy, that’s been the hardest part of the last couple days. I am so inexplicably and irredeemably cranky. My poor husband has been a champ putting up with it. I can barely stand to be around myself.

Also, we found out the sex this week. It makes all this business about growing a little person so much more real. No, I’m not telling yet. Soon.

Now to muster the energy to restock my avocado supply…

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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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