When it comes to tracking my goals, I’m a big picture kind of person. All I really want to know is: did I exercise today? Yes or no. I don’t care how long, how many calories, if I went with friends or if I was thirsty or if I loved my playlist. I want the 10,000 foot view. Yes or no.
For years, I’ve been using basically a grown up version of a gold star chart (yes, like you had in kindergarten) to track activities I wanted to do on a daily basis. And by grown up, I mean when I ran out of stickers, I used a highlighter to give myself props for the day.
However… I found myself adding more and more rows to my chart, and it stopped being so visually compelling. When you start adding gold stars for exercising, flossing, hydrating, tummy time (for Mackenzie, duh), pumping, (I’m really invested in building up my freezer supply. Milk in the freezer = freedom for mama), and about 10 other things, it turns into too much data. It’s too hard to spot trends, like “bam, lady, you exercised 6 times this week! Let’s get some ice cream!”
And honestly, seeing those trends is what I’m really interested in. I don’t want to think too hard or crunch too many numbers; I just want to see the gold stars piling up. GIVE ME THE REWARDS, PEOPLE.
So. Long story short, I found an app that gives me exactly what I want. Except the stickers, but I’ll give them a pass on that. I’m totally obsessed with Strides after one week, so much so that I upgraded to their premium version within a few days of using it.
Each day, I check off my accomplishments, and it shows me high level trends and data if I want to see it … but I also don’t have to look if I don’t want to.
I get pretty obsessed with earning my gold stars. One day I flossed twice in a row just so I could cross off my goal for the day.
The last few weeks have been very much a time of transition. I’m watching my body shape shift before my eyes, and Moonshine has been kicking up a storm. She wakes me up in the morning with her ferocious little jabs, then celebrates with a happy dance after every meal and in every savasana. (She’s clearly my and Nathan’s daughter; eating is already her favorite activity).
All this movement, and the increasing proportion of clothes in my closet that just don’t work anymore, is making this whole baby business a hell of a lot more real.
I had a moment, last week, while I was walking the dog. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror, wearing what had become my uniform for the last two weeks or so: branded cotton tank, wrinkled maternity shorts, and birkenstocks.
I have this rule for myself. Basically, the ONLY real rule I have for myself: don’t go outside looking like a homeless person. Just because pajamas are my default state of being doesn’t mean the rest of the world has to experience my tattered sweats, sleep creased face, and crazy hair.
I had drifted really, really close to breaking my cardinal rule. It’s a slippery slope, y’all. And while I could push the boundaries while we were in Tahoe—where dusty outdoor gear is the universal uniform—it doesn’t blend in so well in downtown Austin.
More than that, my clothing complacency was just an index for what was happening in the rest of my life: I was slipping. Meal planning and grocery shopping was basically nonexistent. Planning for the baby (and maternity leave?) was something I had been avoiding. My exercise was getting haphazard (and occasionally offensive).
Something had to change. Many things had to change. I had to get my butt in gear and start owning this big thing creeping up on me and my waist size.
I started with the clothes: I went and got myself some maternity-friendly tops so I could pretend to be more put together when I left the house. I even invested in a maternity LBD that will carry me through a couple fall weddings and the holiday season.
I started grocery shopping, and actually making myself delicious, nutritious things to eat. Moonshine is doing all sorts of happy dances.
I’m also diversifying my snacking opportunities (since I find myself needing to eat every couple of hours, I was in a serious snacking rut). My Bulu Box provided just that opportunity to change it up without having to commit to new products at the grocery store.
The chicken jerky, especially, is rocking my damn world. I haven’t been much on the meat train, for whatever reason, but for some reason this salty savory jerky is the exception to my meat aversion rule. Probably because I fall immediately in love with anything that involves basil. Hooray for lean protein! (Happy dances are happening).
My Hemp Heart Bites are making a regular appearance in my purse, too. I love having little protein rich snacks handy at all times, and these are chock full of omegas (so good for Moonshine’s brain development!).
Then I tackled the work thing (or at least, started to). After reading a ton on the internets, trying to find other moms-to-be who run their own businesses, and trying to figure out just how they managed TWO babies without letting either one suffer, I decided I just need to create my own reality.* I made myself a Do-or-Die-Before-Baby list so I can make my absence easier for my team, and I’m actively trying to make myself dispensable so that as few people as possible are depending on me.
I’m feeling so much better already. So much more in control of my life, my health, my career. There’s still a lot of opportunity to improve – but all trends are pointing in the right direction.
p.s. You can get 50% off a 3-month subscription to Bulu Box with the code SWEATPINK.
p.p.s. You can get 15% off Hemp Heart Bites with the code HHBitesLaunch15. You can also enter to win a case of Hemp Hearts by sharing a photo of how you and your family stay active and tagging @manitobaharvest #hhbites!
* That said, if you’re someone who had a baby and runs her own business, and wants to keep running her own business, I would LOVE to hear how you did it. I’m really struggling with this, and my online searching was pretty unfruitful.
I received the BOSU, Hemp Heart Bites, and the Bulu Box for free. All opinions and life plans are my own. 🙂 Thanks for supporting the brands who support the Sweat Pink Community.
I had the most glorious weekend, full of visitors and sunshine and lots of activity. We literally had a full house, with 8 people and 4 dogs: tons of energy, playtime, and potato chips to be had. Luckily my new prAna swimsuit arrived just in time and was a total game changer. It’s so nice wearing clothes that actually fit again!
I’ve been in Tahoe for most of the time that I’ve spent getting back to an active lifestyle, and thanks to my environment and all the guests we’ve had, my ‘regular’ exercise has changed pretty dramatically. I’m usually a class kind of person: I love doing yoga, strength training, or dance classes, love getting my butt kicked, love having someone else tell me what to do.
But since I’m in nature’s playground, and the class options up here are limited at best, not to mention a hefty commute away, most of my activity has come from self-directed, outdoorsy stuff. Hiking, kayaking, and swimming have been my mainstays. There’s nothing like waking up and doing a little sunrise yoga in front of a glassy, serene lake, in the most perfect quiet before the world wakes up.
I’m loving climbing up to find better and better views, and cooling off with a swim in the lake.
For the most part, I managed to keep up with everyone this weekend. Saturday I had amazing energy: we hiked to the top of Castle Rock, then spent the afternoon swimming.
I did two long swims in the frigid lake and felt so alive to be moving so much and so well. And hungry, of course: my appetite is still out of control, especially when I’m moving that much (and my Wild Friends almond butter packets continue to be lifesavers when we’re out and about all day).
Sunday I kind of crashed: I was so, so lethargic and low on energy. We did a short hike in the morning, followed by an afternoon at the beach, and wading and throwing sticks was about as much as I could muster.
The wide swings in energy level have been the most disconcerting thing about second trimester; either I feel like a champion, or I feel like I have sludge running through my veins, and scaling a flight of stairs feels like quite the undertaking.
I’m trying to just take it day by day, and take advantage of those great days and not feel let down by sluggish ones.
Coming out of the weekend I also need to reorder my prenatal vitamins, because once I assured everyone that they could not in fact get pregnant by taking prenatals, my vitamins started disappearing like candy. I really can’t blame my guests; my vitamins are bomb.com.
This is the last week of #1MillionMinutes (wah!) and we have one final Mad Lib blog post! Copy and fill in the blanks to participate…and to win gear from prAna!
When the 1 million minutes challenge started, I set out to achieve 5,000 minutes [goal minutes of activity]. And I crushed [verb] that goal by hiking and yoga-ing [verb] and kayaking [verb] my way to 6,500 [# of minutes].
The best part of this challenge for me was seeing all the activity on social media!. I probably spent the most time tracking my minutes while I was watching UnRreal with #tiggerthemal (he loves guilty pleasure tv) [person]
I was thrilled [verb] to see so many Sweat Pink’ers joining in on the challenge and breaking a sweat running, biking, zumba-ing, and so much else! [type of activity]. @amanda__maureen [person] was one of my favorite people to stalk follow during the challenge because he/she was so engaged and also just summited Pike’s Peak! [verb] it!
I’m sad that it’s the last week but also excited that prAna is our sponsor because I’m coveting theEstee sweater vest [item from prAna] and going to hike [verb] my little heart out in hopes to win!