Roadtrippin’

We’re currently en route from Tahoe to Texas, and oh my, roadtripping while pregnant is a a whole different ballgame, from having to pee all the time to struggling to get comfortable in the car. I’m also doing lots of foot and ankle movements and pedaling my legs to help prevent DVT. The idea of getting a life-threatening clot in the middle of nowhere, with no cell service, is just terrifying.

I packed about a million snacks for myself to make sure I wouldn’t demand extra stops when I got hangry. These delicious nectarines were so worth the sticky fingers and dripping juice:

nectarines

I packed up my Wild Friends nut butters (both the full-size jars and the travel packs).

sweat pink wild friends nut butter

Inside my awesome shark lunchskin? Hemp Heart Bites, my new go-to travel snacks. They’re so satisfying and delicious, plus full of protein and omega-3s.

wild friends and lunch skins

Here’s a picture of the actual Hemp Heart Bites. They’re kind of like a soft, chewy sesame brittle, and they swing both ways in being a savory snack and a sweet snack. (Try them for 15% off with code HHBitesLaunch15)

sweat pink hhbites

Speaking of sweets, my prenatal vitamins have been my candy fix on the roadtrip.

smartypants prenatal vitamins

Oh, except for that one box of red vines…  #necessaryroadtripfood.

To be fair, I’m not even road tripping the whole way. We’re in Utah for the day—I put my foot down about not doing two long driving days in a row—and tomorrow we’re off to Denver to see our godchildren. From there, I’ll fly home and Nathan will continue the drive with Tigger. He’s so good to me. 🙂

 

alyse utah
The ski runs are so green this time of year!

 

high lunge park city
Oops, my knee is farther forward than my ankle. Don’t tell the yoga police!

In other news, I stepped on a scale today, and woah, Nelly, I’m up 12 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight.  I’m usually sort of neutral toward scales, I know I’m supposed to be gaining weight (and I’m having a ton of fun doing it!) but something about moving up a decade in weight was surprising in a not-so-good way. I haven’t weighed this much since I came home unhealthily stuffed with chocolate croissants, cheese, and cheap booze after my junior year abroad. Being full of a baby is definitely a better reason to be back in this weight class, but it was still a shock.

(This isn’t a cry for attention or counterarguments, by the way – I just surprised myself with how surprised I was to see that number, even though I was expecting it.)

Anyway, back to the business of downloading more podcasts for tomorrow’s drive and getting a little more active time outside of the car.

And…speaking of active time, it’s the last day of the #liveinprAna challenge. The prompt is:

What are your favorite ways to restore your mind, body, and soul? 

Share on social and tag @prana #liveinprAna @fitapproach #sweatpink

prana sweat pink

Beer? or Baby?

You guys. I’m still in this awkward phase where I just look kind of thick and pouchy through the middle. I am not obviously pregnant; just obviously weirdly proportioned. I love seeing pregnant ladies rocking their bumps, and I WANT to be one of them, but right now my bump-rocking looks like more bloat-flaunting.

As fewer and fewer of my tops cover this strange growth in my midsection, my husband and I have started playing a little game.* It’s called:

Beer? or Baby?

Here’s how you play:

  1. Put on a shirt you used to wear, pre-pregnancy.
  2. Show your husband.
  3. Ask, “Does this look like a beer belly or a baby bump?”
  4. Watch him squirm.
  5. Repeat.

*This is actually more of a game for me. I think it terrifies him, along the lines of the dreaded “does this make me look fat?” question.

So, tell me: beer? or baby?

These are the few shirts I have remaining that (a) fit over my belly and (b) cover up the elastic top of my maternity pants. Most of them I bought way too big, though there are a few surprise holdouts from pre-pregnancy that still work.

prenatal yoga clothes

This Gaiam top has been a lifesaver for the last month or so. It’s one of the few I can still wear to yoga classes without feeling like everything is hanging out, thanks to a loose, long cut, and a higher-cut neckline with a shelf bra and modesty cups (which I normally like, but ended up removing).

maternity clothes

I bought this bro tank several sizes too big, just because it was the last one and I couldn’t live without it. I’m so grateful I bought it in a large, now. I love wearing this shirt outside of Texas. People give me really strange looks.

prana top 18 weeks

This prAna top has worked surprisingly well both pre-pregnancy and up through 19 weeks (and maybe longer?!).

prenatal yoga modifications

Ah, the good old SweatGuru tank. This is the ONLY one my husband says makes me look pregnant, rather than ambiguously bloated. The color also blends in nicely with the elastic tops of my maternity shorts, so even though it’s a little shorter and tighter than the others, it’s still hanging in there.

Of course, when I don’t feel like looking ambiguously beer- or baby-bellied, wrap sweaters have been my actual lifesaver. I’ve been relying heavily on my prAna georgia wrap, which disguises the bump and gives me a more streamlined silhouette, while still being light enough to wear during the summer (at least, in the cool early mornings in Tahoe, and in air conditioning!).

prana sweat pink #liveinprana

Today’s prompt for the #liveinprAna challenge is:

It’s our mid-week stretch it out, show us what’s getting you through your hump day? #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

And I have to say the clothes pictured above are just what’s getting me through this week! Tomorrow I am officially 20 weeks along, or officially HALFWAY there. (Cue freakout).

What’s keeping you going? Share with us on social!

Disclosure: I received some of the apparel in this post for free. Opinions, bumps, and husband-terrifying games are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands who support Alyse MB and the Sweat Pink community!

And speaking of supporting brands, don’t forget you get 15% off prana.com with the discount code LiveInprAnaF15 through 9/30! 

Backbends instead of pushups

lake tahoe sweat pink

Since I’ve had rather extreme experiences so far with group ex instructors, and I’m still figuring out what my position is on modifying prenatal workouts, I’ve been spending more time hiking, kayaking, and swimming this summer than practicing yoga. I go through phases like this once in a while, when I step back from the studio and find myself questioning, what did I really get out of my practice? Is the studio where I want to be spending my time?

Well, my body has answered those questions for me, in the form of lower back pain, really tight hamstrings, and irritability.

Time to get back into down dog. 

I tried a new teacher, and, praise be, her response to my baby bump didn’t rub me the wrong way or make me feel like I was on the verge of shattering into a million pieces. Some of the modifications she had me do:

Twist the other way

prenatal yoga sweat pink

This one I’ve seen on the internets and even in classes; you twist the other direction, so you’re opening, rather than twisting. It’s kind of funny looking at everyone else, but the woman next to me was really friendly and smiled every time we turned toward each other, so that made it less awkward.

prenatal yoga modifications

Camel during vinyasas

I can still sort of fudge my way through a vinyasa; I usually do knees-chest-chin instead of a full chaturanga, but putting any pressure on my stomach gives me an instant, instinctual, THIS IS WEIRD! reaction, so my vinyasas have been… a little unconventional. She suggested for some of them, I come to my knees from plank and into camel, then rejoin the class in down dog. She explained that you get a similar heart opening as in updog, without the chance of belly-floor contact.

That’s a modification I hadn’t seen before, and I loved—camel is one of my favorite poses anyway, so I was happy to trade my shuffling knees-chest-chin for a glorious, if quick, heart opener.

And the timing couldn’t be more perfect, since today’s prompt for the #liveinprAna challenge is all about backbends. Show us yours!

Tuesday, August 25: Backbends. Any backbends. All backbends. #benditlikebackbend Show us how you get bendy! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

Bonus: It’s #transformationtuesday y’all, whether you’re bendier than you used to be, more adventurous, or even faster, we want to see! #7daystretch #liveinprana #sweatpink @FitApproach @prAna

 

Falling into the comparison trap

One of the most amazing things about having spent the last few weeks in Tahoe is how little time I’m spending on my hair and makeup. I think I’ve literally worn makeup twice in the last month, and blowdried my hair exactly zero times.

The lifestyle up here is so different from downtown Austin, where people are well dressed and always more put together (oh, the pressure!). And while I love looking nice, I am so appreciating this little respite from having to spend time thinking about all of that. I’ve pretty much been living in my swimsuit and maternity shorts (yay maternity shorts!), and I haven’t seen a full length mirror in weeks. There’s absolutely no pressure here to look or be dressed a certain way.  If anything, there’s a preference for “I just finished a hike and haven’t showered in days” aesthetic.

boat pose cave rock

The timing for an uber-casual environment couldn’t be more perfect, during this awkward sort-of-showing phase, and as my body softens and shape shifts into something that behaves so differently than what I’m used to.

Of course, there’s always the internet to distort our fantasies of how we look and feel. In my trawling of other pregnancy blogs, I stumbled upon a picture of a woman a few weeks ahead of me – 22 weeks to be exact – and she looked AMAZING. Not an ounce of fat on her, just a clearly defined bump on an otherwise beautifully toned figure. Her workout schedule for the week was way more ambitious than anything I’ve ever done, even pre-pregnancy.

I’m embarrassed to say I fell right into that pesky comparison trap.

Why don’t I look like that? 

Ugh, why am I not working out like she does?

Then I bounced right back out of it. She looked adorable, she’s rocking those workouts, and that’s awesome for her.

For the most part, I’ve been enjoying being a little softer, a little rounder than before, and am doing my best to be comfortable with my pants no longer buttoning, especially while I just look bloated, not pregnant. My midwife encouraged me to gain at least 30 pounds, and to eat to my (constant) hunger. That part has been fun, as long as I have food handy.

This prAna top worked beautifully before pregnancy AND during. WIN.
This prAna top worked beautifully before pregnancy AND during. WIN.

 

This last weekend was super active. I felt kind of like my old self again, especially taking a long swim in the lake. (How I love to swim!). I was feeling really alive and invigorated all day Saturday, a few short-of-breath moments notwithstanding.

warrior 3 castle rock

Then, of course, I totally crashed, and it’s taking a few days to bounce back from these flu-like body aches and fatigue. Now that all our guests are gone and the house is quiet and lonely, I’m taking some time to rest and recover. I’m trying to do away with the self-judging and surrender to my need for more rest and more moderation.

I’m not even halfway through, but I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned from being pregnant so far is gratitude. Gratitude for being able to get pregnant and (knock on wood) stay healthy while pregnant. Gratitude for what my body can do, especially in those moments when it feels utterly incapable of anything but gestating on the couch.

And, of course, gratitude for maternity pants and potato chips. 🙂

Busting out of my clothes

Today’s prompt for the #1MillionMinutes #LiveinprAna challenge is:

What in your wardrobe needs an upgrade?

This prompt couldn’t be more timely.

I told you about my new love, my maternity jeans. Even though most people claim I am not showing (come on, people, according to my app, my uterus is the size of a honeydew right now!), those pants were a necessary wardrobe update.

It’s been a while since I could really argue that my wardrobe updates were necessary. Moving to Austin was one such opportunity: coming from the SF Bay Area, I owned nothing that could stand up to the kind of heat Austin summers deliver. I had to buy a few pairs of shorts just to survive.

Now that my body is doing all sorts of strange shape shifting, let me tell you what else needs an upgrade.

My favorite prAna swimsuit.

alyse cascades prana suit

My favorite running skirt.

Um, all of my pants. Come winter, my jackets that I already can’t zip up comfortably. So, I’m taking this opportunity, not to mention prAna’s swim sale that’s happening RIGHT NOW, to at least take care of that bathing suit issue. After all, it’s still summer, and my version of #liveinprAna has had a lot to do with bathing suits, recently.

Side note: prAna swimsuits are literally the only swimsuit on earth I would order online. And I LOVE them when they show up, even though I’ve never tried them on pre-purchasing. These babies stay in place and flatter like you wouldn’t believe. #thankyouprAna.