Let’s turn this baby around

We’re just wrapping up our first week of our annual Holiday Sweat Challenge, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the support of my online community right now. It’s been a rough couple weeks, activity-wise, thanks to some travel, a nagging cold that just wouldn’t quit, and the fatigue.

amarillo warrior 3 with truck

Oh, the fatigue. After our annual ladies’ trip to Amarillo to celebrate my grandma’s birthday, I spent literally an entire day in bed. I couldn’t keep my eyes open or convince my body to do much more than laboriously turn over to my other side mid-nap.

I was so grateful to have my cuddle buddy and my snoogle back–from now on, anywhere I go, that silly looking, cumbersome pillow goes too—and the flexibility to decide to work the evening shift that night. Daytime working just.wasn’t.happening.

tigger snoogle
Tigger loves my snoogle, too.

tigger snoogle overhead

Taking time to rest and getting my energy back felt extra important, because I found out last week that Moonshine is hanging out contentedly in a breech position. And while it’s too early to seriously worry about that, I’d really like her to get to turning sooner rather than later, so I’m doubling up on any exercises and positions that will help encourage her to rotate head down.

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So far, my regimen includes pelvic rocks, hip circles, crawling, and getting back in the pool. It also means avoiding the “channel changing” position, which, oh dear god, I am already missing like crazy. It’s bad enough not being able to sleep on my stomach; now I can’t even recline to read or watch Scandal.

Alyse-15
The reclining days are over for me.

But if making like Cleopatra and lounging on my side is what it takes to avoid major abdominal surgery, goddammit, then I’m in.*

Anyway, back to swimming and getting moving again. Apparently the kicking and hip movements involved in freestyle (no more backstroke for me, until that baby turns!) help encourage her to float that head down. And apparently the threat of surgery is what it took to get me motivated enough to face the prospect of washing my hair daily, because I’m slapping on those goggles and shamelessly rocking a (bumpalicious?) bikini.

prana bikini
That man swimming laps totally caught me taking a sneaky photo of the pool. #awkward.

Thank you, prAna, for my bikini that stays put during lap swims and is gracious enough to work with my new figure. You saved me from paying for a frumpy maternity suit that probably wouldn’t even keep the girls covered.

I can’t help but feeling like one of those fragile older ladies at the Y who do gentle senior water aerobics. My swim usually only lasts about 30 minutes—sometimes more, sometimes less—before my back starts hurting. And when I get out of the pool, I’m that lady who goes way out of her way to use the ladder rather than hauling herself up and out. Yes, I learned that lesson the hard way, folks. #savethebeachedpregnantlady

The nice thing is, the Holiday Sweat Challenge is all about setting your own goals, so my goal is to make this baby turn.

And to do something active, even if it’s only a walk, every day. If you want to get involved (prizes!) head on over to Fit Approach and just make sure you’re registered.

* If Moonshine stays breech, I have a good chance of ending up with a C-section. While I’ll do whatever it takes to have a healthy baby, I would really, really like to avoid the surgery route if at all possible.

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

Jumping for joy… and napping for #1MillionMinutes

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!

downdog prana suit tigger

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.

sweatpink laces cave rock

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.

alyse miya at castle rock

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).

hiking with friends

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.

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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.

allyson taiyo oscar in the lake
The dogs are almost perfectly camoflaged with the rocks.

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 the Estee sweater vest [item from prAna] and going to hike [verb] my little heart out in hopes to win!

 Plus, I’ll need the Vinyasa hoodie [item from prAna website] to help me get through my Fall goals which are to step up my prenatal yoga game and get #sweatpinkatx off and running!. And now I tag FitNiceRunner [person] and tutus and tennies [person] and Sweaty Stacey P [person] to join in on the fun!

Disclosure: this post was sponsored by prAna. All opinions are our own. We so appreciate you supporting the brands that support Fit Approach and the Sweat Pink community!

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.