Friday, November 27, 2015

"I Swear I Lived"

Do you know this song? I LOVE it! It makes me excited about life. It makes me happy to try new things and give it everything I have. 

"I owned every second that this world could give. I saw so many places--the things that I did! Yeah, with every broken bone, I swear, I lived!"

I have surgery on my ankle on Tuesday--as in, FOUR DAYS. I've had problems with this ankle for so long. I still remember the first time I broke it when I was in second grade and trying to get around my sister's Barbie's on the floor and I fell into the corner of the TV. It hurt, but everybody thought I was faking it because I ALWAYS get hurt and surely no one could have that bad of luck, right? Well, I do and I think the people around me are starting to realize it. Two weeks had gone by and it was still really hurting me so I decided to take matters into my own hands. I faked a fall from the monkey bars at school so they called my mom and she took me to the doctor. Aw, my first fracture. Then in sixth grade, we were scrimmaging the fifth graders in recreation basketball and I went up for a rebound and came down on Sandee Dalton's foot. I still cringe when Inthink about that. If you've ever rolled your ankle, you know that just thinking about it is a real sphincter-pucker. As the years have gone on, there have been many more injuries to that ankle in volleyball and basketball. In college, I spent more time in the whirlpool or with the trainer and an ultrasound than I did on the volleyball court. I went to doctor s and they all said the same thing: "If you do it again, you will need to have surgery." I just kept going to different doctors.

Then in 2013, B and I bought a new hike pack for Baby E and I was so excited to use it that I insisted on using it first.

Ah, it was May 1st and we were exploring a new, beautiful trail around Pegram, Tennessee.

Then I tripped on a tree root. Luckily, I had enough mom-sense to fall forward instead of backward because of E. Instantly there was a pop and I yelled, "I just broke my ankle!" B took E and the pack from me and I had no choice but to hike the two miles back out to the car.

Sure enough it was broken. Little did I know that this was the break that haunt me time and time again. It didn't hurt too bad and I ran a half marathon three months later, thinking I had rehabilitated it well. But it would randomly go--walking was even problematic at times because it would just go randomly and I couldn't do anything to prevent it. I finally got an MRI and confirmed what I had know for a while; I needed surgery. So on Tuesday, I will be in Provo, Utah with some renowned surgeon taking out a chunk of my ankle bone and repairing a ligament, possibly with a cadaver piece (how cool is that?! I'll be part zombie!). 

Back to the song. "With every broken bone, I swear, I lived." That is true for me. I love hiking and I have seen some beautiful places. I love playing volleyball and basketball. I always knew there was potential for injury, but I still did it and will continue to do the things I love because I want to live! I want the good stories!

My doctor promised that after surgery, I will be better at running and CrossFit and I'm looking forward to this. 

Until then I'm trying to keep my head up and stay active any way I can. I'm so thankful we bought a spin bike several months ago because that puts zero pressure on my ankle. Although I'm always reminded of how weak my legs are when I bike.

This is currently my workout room. B had the great idea to clean out our storage closet and really that just meant placing all the stuff somewhere else until I go through it. I was able to carefully maneuver my way to the bike in the back.

It was hard and made me realized how out of shape I have gotten in the last month. I broke a sweat and that's what I needed. Breathing easier will come later. When I find working out to be disheartening, I try to end it with something I like. Handstands, it is!!!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

21 Day Sugar Detox--CHECK!

I have completed Diane Sanfilippo's (Practical Paleo) 21 Day Sugar Detox. Overall: success! There was one day that I was sick with a sore throat so I drank a Zip Fizz for all the vitamins and a little caffeine kick. And it actually made my stomach hurt when I drank it.

What I've learned:
1. There is sugar in almost EVERYTHING!  There really isn't many packaged items that don't have some sort of sugar added.

2. To cook!!! Well, kind of...It still makes me super nervous and stressed, but the recipes were so easy to follow and I made sure I was food prepping for the next meal any free time I had to ensure a smooth outcome. I made Chicken Pot Pies and they were sooooo good! I didn't even know that you could make those. I thought some machine made them and put them in a box labeled "Marie Calendar's". I also don't know if I will ever go back to store bought ketchup and mustard again for barbecues.

How I Feel:
Great! It took some getting used to not having my Zip Fizz or Spark before workouts, but now I don't think I'll use them unless it's an emergent situation. I also was really nervous about being able to sleep at night without my dose of Benadryll, but I found that I actually slept better. 

How I Look:
Pretty much the same. Which I'm okay with. I wasn't doing this to lose weight. However, my abs have made a few appearances which is pretty exciting to me since Baby P just turned 6 months old.

B told me that my skin looked better! I always deal with skin problems. I'm a picker and I can always tell that I've been glutened (aside from my horrible stomach pain and bloating) by the big cystic zits on my jawline and neck. I do feel like I've had less to cover up with concealer. Most days I was able to get by with just some tinted moisturizer. When you've had troubled skin your whole life, this is the dream!

B looks great! Last he told me, he had lost around 15 pounds! I'm so proud of him. I know how hard it was for him to give up beer for three weeks! Ha!

How I Survived:
I premade a lot of food. I tried to always have veggies cut up and easy to grab. I had lots of nuts on hand and even discovered a newfound love for pistachios. I cooked up batches of bacon, steamed sweet potatoes, and hard boiled eggs for quick meals in the morning when life is crazy. I drank lots of water and herbal tea (thank you Steeping Leaf) for staying well hydrated.

The Downside:
I was breastfeeding while doing this and also still working out pretty hard. The author gives great recommendations for energy modifiers for someone like me and I tried to keep up with it, but wasn't always great about getting my extra carbs. At Baby P's 6 month check up we found out that she is not growing the way she should so had to start supplementing with formula. Is it because of the detox? Maybe, but at my own fault. But also, I stopped producing milk with my first baby at 3-4 months so it may have absolutely nothing to do with this challenge.

Now What?
B and I have both agreed that we feel great and will continue to eat this way for the most part, but allow ourselves a few treats now and then. I will probably eat some fruit again since you can only have green apples, green tipped bananas, and grapefruit on the detox. I'll also add in a few of my supplements. I love my protein powder and it doesn't have any artificial sweeteners. 

What Am I Excited To Eat?
Honestly, I'm not really craving anything. This is huge! We're walking to our favorite Mexican restaurant tonight so we can have some chips and a margarita or two, but even that kind of sounds eh. I do know that I'm going to take it easy because if I reach for the ice cream and chocolate all the time because I can, I'll be right back where I was. Also, my stomach is not used to those kinds of food and I'd much rather not have stomach issues.

Helpful Links:

The book and cookbook

The easiest way to hard boil eggs

My new favorite breakfast recipe

And now, food photos

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sugar, Sugar

Hey, y'all!

I've been a little absent. I had every intention of doing my post-partem posts but life happens. It's crazy how much different having two kids is than one. I'm actually relieved that we're done!

I'm writing today to talk about the 21 Day Sugar Detox. I know it sounds gimmicky and like I'm trying to sell you something, but I'm not! That's the beauty of this program!

It's a book that you can probably even find at the library. It explains how bad sugar is for us (if you haven't yet, you NEED to watch "Fed Up". It is now on Netflix) and even artificial sugars. She even provides a detailed menu for the whole 21 days if you aren't a picky eater and have plenty of time to cook and do food prep. It's easy to follow as there are specific food lists such as Yes foods, Limit foods, and No foods. It even has modifications if you are extremely active and/or pregnant or breastfeeding. There are different levels as well based on how you are currently eating. 3/4 of this book are delicious recipes.

This is zucchini noodles (don't knock it until you try it), simple marinara sauce, perfectly grilled chicken, and Organic whole fat Parmesan cheese.

This is lemon Rosemary salmon with lemon and olive asparagus.

The nice thing, these recipes are actually easy!!! I am no cook, but I've been able to make these meals from scratch with ease. Even my hubby likes doing this detox because it forces me to cook more since some of my go-to recipes are off limits. He has also lost five pounds and we're only on day 6.

About day 3, I noticed my upper abs poking through! Before you look at the picture, please remember that I had a baby 5 months ago, I have stretch marks, a c-section scar, an appendectomy scar, and two hernias. I'm over it but I wanted to address the fact that I'm aware that my stomach may not be up to some people's standards. Be kind. I earned all of those scars.

Elmo totally photobombed me! I use E's bathroom because of the lighting.

Don't have a lot of time to cook glorious meals? That's okay too because there are easy things to make too.

This was just scrambled eggs with onion, pepper, and spinach, nitrate/nitrite free bacon, and while fat, local milk. Not too shabby, eh?

I also made my own beef jerky to have on hand so after workouts I've been eating some of that with some nuts and a veggie like cherry tomatoes or sugar-snap peas. For breakfast I usually have a couple of hard-boiled eggs, sweet potatoes with cinnamon (I'm on an energy modifier), and a banana or a green apple. 

It is not all rose though. Day 3 I woke up feeling sick and shaky. I thought I was actually sick, but when I looked in the book at what to expect for each day, day 3 said exactly how I was feeling. And I didn't even think I had that big of a problem with sugar! I'm past the shakiness, but I feel off in my workouts and wake up with a pretty good sized headache, which is all normal. All of this is part of the process and will pass. This just goes to show the havoc that sugars wreck on our minds and bodies!

The good things: 
I am a pill popper. I hate that about myself, but I don't sleep well without taking Benadryl or melatonin or *gulp* BOTH. I have nightmares and dreams about my past that I'd rather not relive, so I self-medicate. It can take me HOURS to fall asleep. However, I have had no problems with sleeping without any medicine since starting this. That is HUGE for me! Also, I tend to drink one Spark energy drink and one Zip Fizz everyday for energy. I have always hated reading the ingredient list and seeing things I can't pronounce and the biggie, sucralose! Critics will say that there is no research that shows it's bad for you and just passed through your system, but I don't think it's been around long enough. Our bodies don't know how to digest it and really, are there any man made food substitutes that have been proven to be good for us? I have always stumbled on this because I have always preached whole, clean foods but yet drink things daily that basically have Splenda in it. I wanted to wean myself off and this seamed like the perfect opportunity. So far, so good. I've been drinking a cup of coffee in the morning to help with that initial "wake up" moment that I still need at this point.

In conclusion of this really long post, I'm going to suggest that you watch the movie "Fed Up". It is something every American should watch, especially if you have children. We eat decently well in our house and I'm horrified by the amounts of sugar my little E was still getting everyday that we don't think about. Something needs to be done about this--in our schools and homes on the local level and getting some work done on the political front.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Struggle is REAL!

I don't know about you, but I follow a lot of fitness/motivational people on Facebook and Instagram. I look at these pages for inspiration--the "they did it, so can I" factor. But man, I've got to be honest.

I'm struggling right now with my postpartum recovery. I see pictures of these beautiful, well put together moms that are showing off their six pack two months after having a baby. I'm not going  to lie, I wish I was like that. Instead of being thrilled that I can fit into my pre-pregnancy pants, I focus on the flap of skin that hangs over the top. Instead of being thankful that I was able to work out pretty hard during my pregnancy, I focus on how much I've lost during that time. 

I don't think I expected to come back better than ever, but it has been harder than I anticipated. The things I was so looking forward to upon my arrival back are now hard for me. A lot of my friends would tease me toward the end of pregnancy with statements like, "Man, you're going to be popping out pull ups and muscle ups like they're nothing after having the baby." If you were one of the people who said something like this to me, don't feel bad! I believed that too! If I was able to do some of those things while 9 months pregnant and 40 pounds heavier, it only makes sense that it would be easy after having the baby and losing the baby weight. I'm here to tell you that it is not. The first two weeks of working out after the baby I felt so proud of myself. For where I was at, I was kicking butt in WODs. More so than I expected. But about a week and a half ago, something happened. I can't pinpoint it. I don't know if I pushed too hard in a workout that I thought I should have crushed or what, but that spark of feeling good about my recovery disappeared. Like, completely. Maybe I expect too much out of myself. In fact, I KNOW I do but it is so hard to know how far I have come and the obstacles I endured on my fitness journey, to not expect more out of myself right now when I'm capable.

Realization: I JUST had a baby. Two months ago. And while my mind thinks that's adequate time to be back where I was before pregnancy, my body has other plans.

I am not that new mom on Instagram that had a c-section two weeks ago and is running six miles a day. I'm not even the same mom I was after I had baby number 1 when things were easier. My body is different. My mentality is different. The only thing I can really do is trust the process and stop comparing myself to others. Trust the process and not set my expectations of myself ridiculously high.

I may be grumpy that things aren't going the way I wish they would, but I just have to keep showing up. Keep putting in the work. It's not a race to see how quickly I can confidently wear a bikini in public (The answer to that is "never", by the way). My whole purpose for working out the way I do and striving to make healthy choices day in and day out is to be fit for life. That is why I named the blog that, after all. I want to be fit for life to be able to play with my kids and future grand kids and hike with my husband all over the place when he retires. I'm not doing this for a season, a competition, a race. Like my coach, Becky, says "I'm preparing for the body I want when I'm 80." THAT is the goal: FIT 4 LIFE.

A special thanks to Coach Kristin for making me remember.

Two reasons to keep pushing towards my goals, especially when they are harder than anticipated. :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Facing Fears and Accomplishing Goals

I'm taking swimming lessons. I don't like swimming. I hate that pools are usually cold. I hate getting wet with chlorine or fishy water because I have to think about when I will shower it all off and how fixing my hair afterwards is a hassle. I'm thinking my anxiety about swimming started when I was in elementary school and I would go swimming almost everyday in the summer. My hair was so green! I tried lemon juice, Sun In, leave in conditioners and none of it would keep my hair from turning green. It was a little embarrassing.

It's not that I don't know how to swim. I can definitely swim well enough to jump off diving boards and rocks and swim back to a boat in a lake. I'm usually one of the first ones to jump off of things.  

This is me jumping off of some rocks in Puerto Vallarta a little over a year ago.

 My problem is inefficiency. My form is atrocious. One of the things I've wanted to do for a while now is a triathlon. If you are not a very efficient swimmer and hate the water, this could be tricky. When I was very pregnant and dreaming of the things I could do when I was no longer pregnant, I made a goal board for 2015. On that board I have "Become a better swimmer" and "do a triathlon sprint". Dreaming of doing these things is very different that actually accomplishing them. When all the other times I said I was going to do these I would put it off for another time. I knew I needed to have a plan. I could go swimming as much as I wanted but if I didn't rework my form to be better, it wouldn't help me much.

 This is why I'm taking swimming lessons. I had my first one last night and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. The pool wasn't cold. I had a swim cap and goggles on. I bought some one piece swimsuits because no matter how fit I am, I will always be self-conscious about two piece swimsuits even though I buy a new one every year. I'm going to make sure that this is the time I learn to love swimming and get over my insecurities or other weird issues. I'm constantly afraid of looking dumb and I'm sick of living like that. I can have wet hair and no make up on when I leave the pool and that's okay. I can have the goggle and swim cap marks on my face and just not care because it shows that I'm doing something.

Face your fears and accomplish your goals! This is my new mantra!

On another note...

Baby P is 8 weeks old today. Isn't she cute?

I took some gross bathroom selfies this morning because I could see my upper abdominals! 

I still have quite a bit of loose skin that hangs over my c-section scar but that will go away with time. I'm pretty pleased with this improvement since 4 weeks PP.

I will get an updates progress picture in the same outfit as above sometime soon to get a better grasp of progress being made.

Your turn:
What goals have you made for 2015 and how are you accomplishing them?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Postpartum Running

Well, I may not be able to run like I'm being chased and that dinosaur would totally catch me, but I needed extra motivation this morning to run even though it's hard. 

My view this morning

You see, even though I worked out pretty hard my whole pregnancy, I feel very out of shape. I get out if breath very quickly and I'm not even running that fast. It takes everything within me to keep pushing myself when I'm like that so I can rebuild my lung capacity. It will take time, but it's frustrating.

If you're wondering how my incision is feeling when I run when I had my c-section only 5 1/2 weeks ago, my secret is a neoprene tummy wrap.

It holds everything in with support and also reminds me that I need to take it a little easier when I'm doing other things like lifting weights. I also like it because it feels like it tucks in my excess skin from pregnancy. I will at some point wean myself off of it because after my last pregnancy I felt like I was relying on it too much and not engaging my core. The name is Baboosh Baby and is endorsed by Brooke Burke if you are interested in looking it up.

Something I'm excited about is that I went on a Lululemon shopping spree at their outlet in Burlington, Washington when I was there this summer. I was taking a chance that my old size would work after pregnancy, but the last couple of days, I've been able to wear some of the items.

How cute are these running tights?!

What do you like to listen to when you run? I totally listen to the Britney Spears station on Pandora. :)

Saturday, January 3, 2015

One Month Post-Partem

Well, I had hoped to do some photos at 2 weeks PP but I was still carrying so much extra fluid that I didn't think it was an accurate representation of an actual starting point on the road to getting my body back in shape after baby number two. To see where I was before I got pregnant, here's this photo:

This photo was also taken right after I went on a gluten binge and was having some extra bloat problems. However, I look at that now and I would give anything (most blood, sweat, and tears) to get my stomach looking like that again.

And now, four weeks PP, this is what I've got to work with: 

Up until last week all I have been able to to was walk on the treadmill. I was able to vary my pace and incline to get the most bang for my buck. Last week I couldn't take it any longer and started to do some easy jogging and some drop sets with dumbbells for my shoulders, triceps, and biceps. I figured I could work these muscles groups without straining my incision from the c-section. I have my PP doctor appointment next Thursday and I'm considering wearing workout clothes so I can go straight to CrossFit afterwards. Haha!

Although the pictures above are humbling and show me how far I have to go, I'm excited for the journey and more photos to compare my results throughout the coming months. I'll leave you with a comparison photo to when Inwas four weeks PP with my first baby. Although there's not a significant difference in my body overall (wouldn't it be nice if you just gained weight in your stomach and nowhere else?!), I notice a change in my stomach. Now if I can just get my nutrition on par...