Walking away from MSG and judgers

I just got back from our annual conference, Blogfest, and have a ton of things on my mind, some pregnancy related, some not.

sweat pink blogfest fun
LOVE these Cory Vines jackets we had made for Blogfest. I’m still living in mine.

 

blogfest sweat pink best fitness conference

We had an amazing weekend at the conference, and I must say, traveling during second trimester is much, much easier than during the first. I’m so grateful to my team—Jamie, Dapinder, Liz, here’s looking at you—for taking such good care of me this weekend and doing all the heavy lifting.

I was literally the “sit here and watch the stuff while your team members carry heavy furniture and boxes, and then feed you” girl this weekend.

Post conference, things have been a little… funky. Recovering from the conference has taken a slightly different road than usual, and not just because I’m knocked up. (tl;dr: less sleeping, more eating than usual).

ANYWAY. I’ll be back with more about all that once I have a chance to process and articulate my thoughts.  Here’s what’s happening in pregnancy land.

All the eating.

I am hungry every couple of hours. Debilitatingly hungry. Panicky, can’t think straight hungry. So I’m eating 5-6 meals every day. And it’s pretty fun.

Now, before you get all up in arms about how I shouldn’t really be eating for two, here’s what my midwife told me, and I quote:

Don’t worry about calories or weight gain. Just eat when you’re hungry, and eat smaller meals often, so your blood sugar stays more consistent.

Possibly the best thing a care provider—or any human, for that matter—has ever said to me.

Cravings

second trimester food cravings

I’m all about the hard boiled eggs, the avocado, the yogurt, and the breakfast burrito these days. Siggi’s yogurt, specifically. High fat proteins are where it’s at.

second trimester food cravings

I also had this weird holdover craving from first trimester: Mongolian barbecue. Greasy pan-asian noodles just sounded so.darn.good, but I couldn’t find any close to me in Austin, so as soon as I arrived at my parents’ house, I recruited a willing lunch companion: my dad.

second trimester pregnancy cravings

I suspected that Mongolian Barbecue was not going to be as delicious as I remembered (I think the last time I had it was in high school?!) but rest assured, it was just as salty and greasy and carb-y and perfect as I had hoped. It didn’t even matter that I’m not nauseous anymore; it just tasted good.

Symptoms

Mostly feeling good! I’ve had a few nauseous moments but nothing to write home about. I get out of breath at embarrassing moments, like walking up the stairs or hustling between sessions at the conference last weekend.

second trimester symptoms
This is obviously not me. When I started feeling lightheaded during conference workouts, I took pictures of other, more awesome people. Pictured: @PowerCakes & @HipHealthyChick, rocking those plank jacks.

 

I also find that my energy gets zapped more quickly, especially in group settings. I’m an introvert by nature and my people-time energy seems to have lost some of its staying power.

The biggest symptom I’ve noticed (besides the uncomfortable pressure along my waistband) are MSG headaches. I’ve never had an issue with MSG; quite the opposite, really. I love nacho cheese doritos and basically anything doused in the salty good stuff. I even own a shaker of MSG, which my husband and I used to put on mac’n’cheese and other yummy things that of course we would never eat because I’m in the fitness industry. 

Unfortunately, my love affair with the much maligned additive seems to be over. I had some less-than-amazing takeout a few weeks ago (see: greasy noodle cravings) and had a crushing headache for the next two days. That delicious bowl of noodles I slurped down unfortunately seemed to incite the same pressure in my temple… so I’m going to try to stay away from MSG (sob) and see if the headaches do, too.

All the judgments

So, now that you’re judging me for devouring that Mongolian barbecue and confessing my love of MSG, let me share the first moment of actual judgment I’ve experienced since becoming a vessel for another life.

I made some offhand comment to an acquaintance about how I was eating fairly healthy now, but I ate only potato chips in my first trimester because I couldn’t keep anything else down. (Which, as you know, is partly true and also partly not true; I also ate a lot of bagels).

The look on her face was the most judgey, withering scorn I have seen in a long time.

It was irritating, to say the least, but I also felt completely at ease walking away from that conversation and not letting her reaction bother me. I own the fact that my first trimester was all about getting through it, any way I could.

Go away, judgers. Ain’t no room for you here.

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.

First trimester vacations: keep your expectations low

I just got back from a glorious trip to Hawaii to visit my husband’s family. My sister in law moved to Maui a few years ago, and ever since the whole family has gone to visit every year. I know, I know, my life is rough.

alyse tree pose hawaii

I look forward to this trip every year. I’d never been to Hawaii before she moved there (thank you, S, a million times thank you!), and though I’d heard plenty about it, I had no idea just how magical a place it is. It’s home to one of my favorite beaches of all time, where the water is warm and crystal clear, the sand soft, and pretty little fishes frolic around. Swimming at that beach is about as close to heaven as I can imagine. And the place where the whole family gathers has a pool so deep I can revisit my childhood fantasies of being a mermaid, and spend plenty of time playing with my nieces and nephews.

prana digging

This year was a, ahem, different trip. Swimming is possibly one of my favorite activities, but this year in paradise, I spent more time watching Game of Thrones than I did in the ocean and pool combined. Out of the ten days I was there, I made it into the ocean exactly once, and it was pretty anticlimactic.

Here’s how it went down:

We got up nice and early (thanks, time zones!) and I actually felt almost normal. Minimal nausea, pretty good energy, so I knew I needed to take advantage. My husband drove me to my favorite beach, about 30 minutes from where we stay. Kind of a hike, but so, so worth it. We swam for about 20 minutes before I felt the familiar fatigue creeping in, and I had to go lay down on my towel. A few minutes, and most of a can of Pringles later (breakfast of champions!), I was so. hot, in a panicky, get me out of the sun kind of way. Normal Alyse is pretty sun-sensitive, but pregnant Alyse is downright pathetic.

pringles on the beach cropped

We got back in the car as I wrapped up that can of Pringles. Before we made it out of the parking lot, I was nodding off. You know that kind of falling asleep when you’re riding a train or a plane and you jerk yourself awake, over and over again, but you just can’t keep your eyes open? That happened the whole way back.

It was almost beyond me to rinse off the sand and the ocean before collapsing back into bed.

It was 8:30am.

And that was my best day. Most other days I spent doing my best to lie in the shade by the pool, then shuffling back to bed. There was at least one nap every day. Instead of fresh fish and juicy tropical fruits, I ate a lot of bread, crackers, string cheese, and chicken broth.

lap swimming hawaii

This is me pretending to swim laps, so I’d have something to post on Instagram during my trip. It’s one of two total times I actually got in the pool.

In a lot of ways, it didn’t feel like a vacation, and I told my husband I needed a tropical redo once I was back in action. But I will say, being there with family—who were so, so supportive and kind and understanding—was way better than being at home, where no one yet knew why I was so wiped out. My sister in law is a midwife, too, so I had the chance to ask all sorts of questions, and she brought me some supplements that are supposed to help with nausea. More on those in an upcoming post!

Like with everything else this trimester, vacation was all about adjusting my expectations. It’s really hard to admit that when 1pm rolls around I just need to nap, and it’s even harder to confess how I basically spent my tropical vacation, indoors, in bed, when I’d much rather be coming home a pruny, sunburned mess from too much time spent in the water.