Getting my sparkle back

sparkling detox sweat pink

I’m five weeks postpartum, and while I’m still in the honeymoon phase of new baby life, I can already tell you that for me, transitioning from one to two kids is way easier than from zero to one.

 

At the beginning of my journey as a new mom, I really struggled to find time to take care of myself. My exercise was sporadic, my nutrition about as ad hoc as it gets.

The adjustment to momlife required lots of trial and error until I finally found my stride—and of course once I felt like I’d ‘made it,’ I got pregnant again. (Note to self: what were you thinking?).

So this time is my do-over. I get to start from scratch, again, and to my own surprise I’m really excited to do that. To see what I can achieve knowing where I might like to end up. To discover what new reserves of strength I have as a mom of two.

 

I’m just starting to exercise again, so while I’m ramping up my physical activity, here’s how I’m taking better care of myself:

I’m giving myself a kick start with the Sparkling Detox

 

I’m participating in the Gerolsteiner Sparkling Detox for the third year in a row (!!) to help me temper some habits I picked up during my bonus 10 days of pregnancy, when I was sure it would never, ever end.

 

Those habits are fine in moderation, but I don’t want too much cold brew, lemonade, and red vines to become my new normal.

The Sparkling Detox is something I do every year, and its genius lies in its simplicity: you replace all beverages for a week with Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water. It’s fun—who doesn’t love sparkling water?—and an easy way to hit reset on any habits that are keeping you from your most hydrated self.

This year, Gerolsteiner’s Sparkling Detox happens from August 27-31.

Register here and you’ll be automatically entered to win a case of Gerolsteiner!

I’m making food really, really easy

 

 

During that week where I’ll be replacing all my beverages with Gerolsteiner, I’ll also be making my food very predictable. Boring, if you will. As a person who will happily eat the same thing day after day, this makes sense for me.

I’m planning out my meals to basically have the same thing every day for a week, so there’s no decision fatigue around figuring out breakfast or lunch. Formulaic eating for the win.

 

I’ll choose boring over exciting any day of the week, as long as it means I’m nourishing myself in a healthy way. Breastfeeding can be so depleting, and it’s doubly essential that I take care of my whole self so that I can in turn take care of my kids.

I’m finding new ways to calm my nerves

Lack of sleep and general stress has a way of taking a toll on your nerves—at least, I find that I need extra help calming down anxiety and stress these days.

 

 

And magnesium, it turns out, is key for a healthy nervous system. A liter of Gerolsteiner contains 25% of the daily recommended dose of magnesium, plus 348 mg of calcium and 1800 mg of bicarbonate, so my water intake is truly working overtime to help me be healthy. Since magnesium supports healthy energy metabolism, muscle function, and nervous system function, I’m optimistic that my sparkling detox experience will also help me feel more relaxed and more on top of my game.

 

I love finding ways to multitask on taking care of myself – I’m such a sucker for efficiencies – so getting hydrated and getting chilled out at the same time sounds pretty darn amazing. Yes please and thank you.

You can join me and the whole sweat pink community in the sparkling detox, even if you’re not starting from scratch like I am. Just enter to win a free case of Gerolsteiner here to make it even easier to sparkle. Or find Gerolsteiner near you (Austin friends, Central Market definitely has!)

Let’s sparkle together, shall we? 🙂

Pregnant no more: how to get your labor started today!

Hey pregnant goddesses!

Are you:

  • Pregnant and want to not be pregnant anymore?
  • Tired of trying spicy foods, sex, red raspberry leaf tea, and other so called “labor starters” with no results?
  • Worried that your baby is cooking too long and getting too big?
  • Feeling like you’ll be pregnant forever?

Well, preggo, I’m happy to say that I’ve got the program to fix all your problems! 

Keep reading to learn all about this innovative, one-of-a-kind program with a 100% success rate of making your baby come out of your body within 24 hours.*

Yes, within 24 hours!

This time tomorrow, you could be NOT pregnant anymore!

There are so many old wives tales out there that promise to kick start your labor. What they all have in common is that they’re myths, and they don’t help you have that baby already. 

You need something different.

You need something that works! 

I want to show you how to get your labor started in the next 24 hours. No gimmicks, no stair climbing, no weird foods. 

I am SO EXCITED to share that for a limited time only, you can get my exclusive, proven labor starter boot camp completely FREE!

This program is perfect for you if you are pregnant and don’t want to be pregnant any more! 

Post-date mamas, I’m looking at YOU! 

That’s right, today is the day YOU take control over your body, and show that baby the door. 

Just think, you could be holding your sweet bundle of joy in your arms tomorrow!!

Let’s get started!

* sample size: 1 

** Hopefully this is glaringly obvious, but in today’s climate you can’t be too careful: this post, this video, this whole concept is NOT SERIOUS. Don’t sue me, thanks.

On patience

On Father’s Day, I watched my two year old “help” my dad assemble a shelving unit. Her busy little toddler hands sought out the parts he requested, lost half of them on the journey from her grasp to his, and scattered shreds of packaging and packing tape around the room.

A task that would have taken him 10 minutes ballooned into over an hour of this Sunday afternoon, while he taught her the names for various pieces and tools she found and lost.

His patience with her was as revelatory as it was familiar: I have so many childhood memories of assembling furniture or painting walls or completing other household tasks with my dad when the process was the whole point. I always felt like a valuable contributor, a BIG helper, and never like I was burdening or detouring from the finish line.

That incredible patience, too, feels uniquely foreign: if I had to identify my defining character flaws, impatience just might top the list.

The contrast between his tirelessness with that shelving project and my own tendencies was especially striking this weekend: restlessness and anxiety are the mood du jour as I watched my due date come and go, with nary a hint of labor.

No matter how well I intellectually understand that a due date is just a silly guess, that I am still pregnant, four days later, has me on an emotional high wire, second guessing and over interpreting every spark of sciatica and whimper of a would-be contraction.

40 weeks.

Part of me suspects my body is hanging on to this baby because it can’t bear to bring him into this world. Every time I think I’ve hit maximum heartbreak, the relentless cycle of lies and outrage and partisan howling cracks open brand new fissures in my naive understanding of humanity and the nature of progress.

I’m taking a break from the news, and all non-work-related social media. I’ve even taken the long-overdue steps of unfollowing a few people whose posts reliably send me into a tailspin of woe unto the world.

These are steps I should have taken long ago, but in a moment of clarity—thanks to a cleansing, affirming conversation with a friend—I realized that keeping these people as part of my online diet in the name of openness to other points of view was awarding them undeserved power. No longer will these strangers so casually manhandle the levers of my emotional equilibrium.

I won’t step back forever. Stepping back is a luxury and a privilege, and I like being informed so I, too, can howl into the algorithmic void. But right now, I have to chill the fuck out. There’s no vacancy in my headspace for trolls or tribulations. Instead, I’m nurturing my paltry reserves of patience to let this baby boy come on his own terms, in his own time.

How I became a stronger runner while pregnant

Well, the bar wasn’t that high, to be honest. I’m a chronic dabbler in short-form running. How many times have I started the Couch to 5K program? Too many to count. How many times have I finished it? A handful. How consistent have I been about running, even short distances? Not at all.

Up until last year, that is, when two beautiful life events colluded to make me a more consistent runner.

  1. A friend and neighbor asked me to run with her every Monday morning before work, and assured me she not much of a runner—aka not too fast.
  2. Fit Approach started partnering with Gixo, which offers live coached fitness classes, including runs, and I felt compelled to give all the class formats a try. Because it’s for work. 

I guess there’s really a third life event that is important to this story, and it’s that I got pregnant, and the first trimester was unpleasant but nowhere near the evil mistress she was with my first.

Anyway, thanks to the happy coincidence of these things, I’ve made a dramatic shift in a few habits: I’m running way more consistently than I ever have before—to the tune of 3-4 times per week—and believe it or not, up until third trimester hit, I was actually getting faster and stronger. As I got more pregnant.

So fucking weird I almost can’t believe I’m writing those words.

Not weird, I guess, to everyone out there who recognizes, that duh, consistency is the name of the game when it comes to fitness or any other skill you’re working to develop.

And, guess what, I don’t hate it. Running, that is. Or, I am distracted enough by either my run buddy or by the Gixo coaches that I can actually not focus on counting down the seconds or the tenths of a mile until I can stop.

It’s also been the perfect solution to my #momlife crisis of finding time for myself and for fitness. Another weird (for me) habit I’ve developed is getting up early most weekday mornings. I do a 6 am run or workout, shower, drink coffee, and even have a few minutes to myself before the rest of the house is awake. Life-changing, that pre-sunrise quiet is.

None of these results are revolutionary, of course— so many people in my community figured this basic shit out years and years before I did, and have been singing its praises for forever. It just took the lifestyle crimp of toddlerhood + chronic excess of competing top priorities (#workingmom) to push me into trying something new.

If you want to join me, the training program I’m following is free, and you can get a 7-day free trial of Gixo to try the classes that are part of the program, or to participate in race day on May 5. Full disclosure: I’m getting free access to Gixo classes because they’re a partner, but the subscription price is one I’d pay in a heartbeat.

Speaking of working motherhood, this interview with Selina Tobaccowala  is the best I’ve read on the topic. There are no generic platitudes about priorities and self-care; just honest, practical examples of what sacrifices and decisions she makes as she wins at both business and parenthood. Reading her example about what she chooses to say yes or no to was a liberating moment for me: there’s no capitulating to the ‘should’ or the mommy guilt; she just makes decisions that work for her and her family. Now that’s #girlboss.

Sometimes you can have it both ways

Last time I was pregnant, I read all the earth goddess birthing books and was thoroughly convinced that hospitals were anti-woman assembly lines of procedural misery. Ina May Gaskin and Ricki Lake and a host of other birthing gurus delivered up via Amazon algorithms made me feel empowered and inspired to trust my body to give birth. Their message that birthing is natural, that we are born for this, that our bodies know better than anyone, reverberated with every feminist, girl power instinct in my soul. I was sold. I would give birth, at home, powered by yogi breathing and soothed by “nature’s epidural” (a birthing tub). I’d feel connected to the universe and the stars and billions of women who had gritted and squatted and groaned before me.

Like any good birth plan, mine was a complete fantasy.

Birthing brought me to my knees and kept me there long after I’d crawled through the revolving door at the hospital. It took me months to lick my wounds and fully process the experience. I imagine hormones and sleeplessness contributed to my moving past the traumatic parts, to beginning to forget the hardest moments, to even having lost bodily memory of what the worst parts felt like.

What I’m left with is the acceptance that things turned out just fine, and that while most of it I’m happy to let time soften and blur, there are pieces of what happened that I would like to repeat: namely, midwives and the epidural.

The midwives I worked with were nothing short of wonderful. Our appointments were relationship focused, highly personal, validating, and thoughtful. And on time, too. My pre- and post-natal care was beautiful.

The epidural is something I would log in my gratitude journal every single day for the rest of my life, if I were a person who kept a gratitude journal.

This time around,  I think I’m going into it a bit more clearsighted than last time. I (think) I have no illusions of control, though I’m sure this baby and this birth will prove me wrong, again, in ways I can’t yet fathom.

But, one thing I think I’m doing right, is that I’m cherrypicking those two best things about the first time, and I’m having it both ways. After a brief stint of prenatal care with an OB (who was great, but wow, a whole different model of care) I’m back to the home birth midwives I worked with during my first pregnancy. I’m getting that lovely, low-intervention, and respectful care I loved so much, but I’m also having a planned hospital birth. My midwives are so women-friendly—and so understanding that the experience of birth isn’t a one-size-fits-all—that they  100% support my desire for drugs. When the time comes, I’ll go to the hospital, and one of them will come with me as my doula.

I have no doubt this birth will bring me to my knees in brand new ways. But I’m pretty happy with this ‘plan’ and that I (might) get to have it both ways: the earth mother pre- and post-natal care, plus all the miracles of modern medicine.

We’ll see in what ways this turns out to be a fantasy, too.