2016 wound down to a devastating close. It was the year that showed us that the glass ceiling is disinclined to break, but will take advantage of your proximity by stabbing you in the back and grabbing your lady parts.
I took a break from the internet, from the news and social media, for a few weeks in December. I had to break free of the masochistic tendency to open up the comments section on any news article (why? WHY?) and to step away from the trolls that sank me into a major depression about how much our country hates women.
Anyway, I digress. The whole point of this was to step away, to recenter, to come back with renewed energy.
To stop feeding the trolls with my attention.
The last week of the year is typically easy on my inbox—thank god for small mercies—and it’s a time I typically use to step back and plan and power through some projects that hadn’t been given the attention they deserved earlier in the year. This year, this week, I’ve been focused on how to change my mindset from this dark shitstorm that closed out 2016 to one of empowerment and action.
Our theme for 2017 is #IAmEmpowered. The community will be rallying around positive action, and I’m so eager to see my community lift up inspiration and inclusiveness after a hateful, divisive year.
I’m tacking on to that my word for 2017, which is actually two words, because #IAmEmpowered to make it so, dammit.
Did I mention this has been a brittle, tough year? My resilience is beaten down. It’s saggier, less springy, and it has dark circles under its eyes. In the moments when bouncing back feels too fucking hard, I repeat these words to myself, again and again, until they lose their meaning and become pure sound.
Begin again. Begin again. Begin again. Begin again. Begin again.
In 2017, I refuse to let anyone strip me of my power. I refuse to give up. I will make change and I will stand up for what I believe is right and I will keep hammering at that fucking ceiling.
In 2017, I will not let little setbacks add up and become insurmountable. I will begin again.
If you follow me on insta (@alysemb), you’ve probably seen that we’ve been spending quite a bit of this summer in Tahoe. It’s our way of escaping the Texas humidity—we Californians are just not cut out for that kind of heat—and also getting to spend some time much, much closer to family and friends.
My husband and I are so, so fortunate that we can both work remotely and swing our Escape-From-Austin-in-August plan. And we’ve done our best to make sure that our summer takes full advantage of all the beautiful nature around us.
Here’s what a day in the life typically looks like:
5:30am-ish: Mackenzie wakes up for the day. I hit the baby version of snooze (give her one of the many toys floating around our bed) and let her talk to it as long as possible while I resist actually waking up. I surreptitiously check my email on my phone and respond to anything that came in overnight.
6am: Playtime! She chews on various things, such as a sweat pink trucker hat, or one of her books. I down coffee, water, and sneak a few bites of breakfast.
Once I’m a functional human, I put her in her carrier so we can do dishes or laundry, and take a walk down to the lake so she can talk to the waves and the trees.
7:30am: on a good day, it’s nap time.
On a normal day, she’s convinced that only babies need to nap, and she is definitely NOT a baby. We keep playing.
8am-1pm: Mac hangs out with the babysitter and I power through work, with intermittent nursing breaks.
1pm: Gather up ALL the things you need to leave the house with a baby. Restock the diaper bag. Change her diaper and clothes. Stagger out to the car with baby items dangling precipitously from every part of my body, only to realize my keys are nowhere to be found.
1:30pm: Successfully in the car! Nathan, Mac, and I head out for a hike or other outdoor activity. While Nathan drives, I alternate between entertaining the baby and secretly answering emails on my phone.
We aim for at least one new spot a week, and rotate in our favorites on other days. That’s one silver lining to being dog-free right now: there is a whole new world of dog-unfriendly trails to explore.
Mac loves hiking in the ergo, most days. She gets a ton of attention on the trail, and she loves talking to the trees. It’s the most reliable way to get her to take anap, too!
It’s so dry up here that I drink a ridiculous amount of water every time we so much as step out the door. Hydration is my constant goal.
4:30pm: Back home, dusty and thirsty and hot. I convince Nathan to hang out with the baby so I can jump in the lake.
It’s like an instant refresh button. Oh, and more hydration.
Hydrate hydrate hydrate!
5:30pm: (Because, yes, life after baby is not so different from life as a senior citizen.): Attempt to eat dinner.
That means one of us shovels food in our mouth while the other distracts the baby, and then we trade places.
5:35pm: Family playtime. We all hang out on the floor for some tummy time and book reading (aka book chewing).
Nathan and I alternate being engaged with Mac and getting some work done.
6:45pm: the beginning of bedtime. Mac starts cluster feeding, fussing, feeding, squawking, feeding, fussing… until ….
8pm: She’s asleep!!
8pm-8:23pm: I crack open the computer and hustle to get back to work.
8:23pm: Just as soon as I’ve gotten my teeth into whatever project I’m working on, she’s up and its time to feed her again.
8:40pm: back to work.
9:30pm: Fussy baby = more nursing.
11pm: to bed I go.
1am: Mac’s midnight snack.
1:30-530am: bleary blur of half-sleeping, fussing, feeding.
… and then we begin all over again!
Other than the lack of quality sleep, our lifestyle this summer has felt really healthy and balanced. I love getting outside every day with our family, and I am convinced the exposure to nature and people is helping Mac’s brain develop in healthy ways and setting a good example for a lifetime of healthy habits. (Right? Right.) The only thing that’s missing is a dog (hint, hint, husband).
I’ve also been laser focused on hydrating this summer. Between Tahoe’s extremely dry air, the high altitude, and round-the-clock breastfeeding, I’m perpetually parched.
As part of my getting back into shape, I’ve been playing around a ton with my new pink BOSU. I’ve used to use BOSUs fairly regularly in the gym, but seeing as I haven’t had a gym membership in, oh, 6 years, I had forgotten how fun they are, and how much you can do with just one piece of equipment. Now that I have my own home BOSU, I’ve been getting creative and finding ways to make it work, or, rather, make myself work.
All the balance work that BOSUs require has been especially helpful, since as my belly grows I find my (already poor) sense of balance getting even more tenuous.
Today is mountain climb Monday, so I rocked out some mountain climbers on my BOSU just for fun (and some heavy breathing).
If you want your very own BOSU to keep at home and to rock your world, join us in the #BOSUStrong Challenge. Each week brings a new opportunity to win a BOSU! And no, you do NOT need a BOSU to participate. Just jump on in!
Week 1: let’s pump up the cardio!
Fill out this blog template and share your link!
5 Things That Make Me #BOSUStrong
Today I am embarking on a 4 week challenge with BOSU and Sweat Pink to prove to the world that I am #BOSUSTRONG. I will squat, mountain climb, plank, push-up, lunge, ________ and ________ my way to a stronger and ____________ body. And I will encourage ________
to join me on this fun journey because we are one big, happy #FitFamily.
Being #BOSUStrong is not just about movement, sweat, or even owning a BOSU, its about being a leader, an inspiration to others, and sharing my own fitness journey with others. The 5 things that make be #BOSUStrong are:
My ability to____________________.
My love for______________________.
My healthy _____________________.
And my _________________________.
So I want to know – are you #BOSUStrong? Copy and paste the above, fill it in and make it your own and then tag me in it and share with your friends! Let’s all be #BOSUSTRONG.
The daily prompts are below. You can also follow along HERE.
Week 1 Instagram prompts (9/14-9/18):
(Make sure you tag @Bosu_Fitness on Instagram & @BosuFitness on Twitter):
Monday, 9/14: It’s #MOUNTAINCLIMBMONDAY! Show us your favorite way to climb that mountain whether it be with hiking poles, in plank position or….? Tag #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
Bonus: Y’all know we love to #jumpjoymonday! Show us your BEST jump shot and tag @BOSU_Fitness @FitApproach #BOSUStrong #FitFamily #SweatPink #ad
Tuesday, 9/15: #tempotuesday we want to see how you’re getting your heart rate up today. Tag @BOSU_Fitness @FitApproach #BOSUStrong #FitFamily #SweatPink #ad
Bonus: Show us your favorite tricep workout and tag #triceptuesday and #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
Wednesday, 9/16: Drop down and give us some #BURPEES! Even better if you can make them #BOSUBurpees! Tag #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
Bonus: #workitwednesday, show us how you’re workin’ it this Wednesday and tag #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
Thursday, 9/17: It’s #totalbodythursday. Show us your favorite total body cardio move! Tag #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
Bonus: Give us a #tbt of the most brutal cardio workout you’ve ever done! Tag #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
Friday, 9/18: #FreeFriday. Show us your favorite way to get your cardio on! #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
Bonus: Put those forearms to work. Show us your BEST cardio move for #forearmfriday. Forearm plank mountain climbers, dolphin push-ups, forearm plank toe taps…something else? Tag #BOSUstrong #FitFamily #SweatPink @Bosu_Fitness @FitApproach #ad
Notes: You do not need to own or have access to a BOSU to participate. By participating you will have a chance to win a BOSU and other fun prizes. And please, if you are using a BOSU throughout this challenge, never stand on your BOSU with the dome facing down (images or moves down on the BOSU incorrectly will not count during this challenge).
Disclaimer: this post was sponsored by BOSU but all opinions expressed are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands that support the Fit Approach (Sweat Pink) community.
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.
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.
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