Fit2B Beginning (Again) Week 2

BeginningPath

So what on earth happened to me? In short, the only version of exercise I’ve been getting lately is rocking my fussy eight month old and painting and cleaning my parent’s new house in preparation for moving day. (Which as last weekend, yay!) But I am slowly working my way back.  I’m finally making some progress in my weight loss, but my abdominal separation is still stuck at around 2 and a half. So I still have a ways to go, since I’d like to be able to start running again, perhaps train for a fall 10K in 2017. But I want to do the proper work now to make sure I’ve laid the foundation of healing that my body needs.

 

Ankles & Upper Body

This is one of my favorite upper body routines. First of all, because you still get a little bit of leg work. Second, because I don’t sweat much while doing it. Yes, I am one of those mommies who doesn’t get a shower every day, so it’s nice to fit something like this into my schedule at any time. I haven’t done much upper body work (other than holding and rocking the baby) since sometime at the beginning of my third trimester late last summer. That’s a long time. But this was a great start to getting back to it.

 

Transitions

It feels always embarrassing how hard this workout still is. But at the same time, it feels better than doing nothing. It’s short, it hits most of the major areas and it isn’t super cardio if you aren’t up for that. (I don’t usually sweat too much while doing this, so it’s a good choice if you’ll be rushing out of the house and won’t have time for a shower).

 

Walking Workout

This workout was a new one for me and a big surprise. Yes, it is a walk in place kind of workout, but it also has a great arm component that I found decently challenging even without weights. Adding light weight would really super charge this workout when I’m feeling stronger.

 

The Big (Little) Band Workout

I haven’t done this workout since toward the end of my pregnancy, and I love it as much now as I did then. It’s short, but really packed. You can control the difficulty depending on how tough a band you use. I started with a medium band. (I have some laying around from a Pilates VHS, yes that’s right VHS, that I bought years ago).

This works upper and lower body but because it uses bands rather than weights, it’s safer if you have small kids running around while you exercise (mine seem to always gets ahold of my dumbbells) and good if you can’t handle the pressure of weights yet.

This one will definitely become part of my regular rotation and I look forward to more band workouts in the future.

 

Pelvic Floor Connections

While this still isn’t my favorite workout, it is essential when retraining your pelvic floor after pregnancy, childbirth, surgery or injury. After you’ve done it a few times, definitely take Beth’s advice and write down the movements. It has a great educational component, but after doing it a few times, you won’t need that part as much.

 

Mommy and Me III

This was a lot of fun and my little boy cooperated quite well, managing not to spit up on me while I did it.  These workouts are great choices if you can’t workout when the baby is asleep or someone else is available to play with him or her. It’s also sweet though, as my little boy stared up at me most of the workout and ultimately it almost rocked him to sleep. It might actually help if you have a fussy baby who needs to be in motion.

 

I also added some Squat Prep just for a little extra help this week. This is more educational than it is exercise, but like Align it Flat, it is a good reminder.

(I also used Basic Aerobics II for my bonus cardio. But since I just reviewed it last time, I won’t bore you with it again.)

So finally Week 2 is done and I can concentrate on developing consistency in my workouts. Hopefully Week 3 will go a bit smoother.

You can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership.

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Categories: Exercise, Fit2B Beginning, Fit2B Studio | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Expect But Do Strive: Five Minute Friday

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Photo Credit: Web-Betty via Compfight cc

So much about my life can be defined by expectations. In a world where we are constantly urged to reach for the moon and told anything is possible, I find my needing to do the opposite. I’ve learned to lower my expectations. Or rather I should rephrase that. I am continually learning to lower my expectations while simultaneously battling my unrealistic and idealistic ones.

My inner desire for my house to be clear for more than 30 seconds. To have a complete and uninterrupted thought. These don’t seem entirely unrealistic. Until three children enter the picture and suddenly neither is likely to happen ever again.

I kept trying to let things go, hoping that eventually I’d find what I was looking for. But the fact is, sometimes we just have needs but they can be met in unexpected ways. I may want my house clean and quiet, but I need to find a way to experience rest and peace. I may want my children to be unconditionally well behaved and obedient, but I need to train they to take care of themselves one day and still maintain a loving connection with them as they grow and develop.

I haven’t figured out how all of this looks or works yet in our family. Because every family, child, season of life is different.  But I’m learning to expect less and trying desperately to focus on the successes rather than failures. I’m praising the effort and work, even if the outcome isn’t what I’d hoped. I’m continuing to strive for the kind of life and relationships I want even if it doesn’t look at all how I was expecting.

 

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Hurry Up, But Slow Down: Five Minute Friday

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Suddenly he has teeth, he’s pushing himself up to sitting and he’s desperately trying to crawl. As he’s finally growing and gaining healthfully, I find myself torn because I want him not to grow so fast. This last baby of mine.

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I wish he would hurry up and grow, leaving behind the era of feigned helplessness and frustrating drama. I know some of it is personality, but I’m eager for an age where there is a little more logic at his disposal. Where every day isn’t damage control and lessons about personal space can be more easily taught. (He stands over my should as I type trying to reach over me to spell his name on the keyboard.) But I know that somehow, when he’s moved beyond this trying stage, that there will be things I miss. Perhaps not many, but some. His charm, his generous compliments (though I won’t miss the equally plentiful insults). My wonder at his sudden ability to read, as if from nowhere.

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Seven approaches at high speed and I realize that the teenage years are less than halfway here. Her will is as strong as iron, but she is slowly developing some empathy for others (though not usually for her younger brother). She has strong opinions and struggles with taking correction. She slowly navigates the world of reading and I resist the urge to rush her forward. I keep thinking how much easier things will be when she can read, and do most things for herself. But I know she won’t always want to sit beside me and hold my hand.

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I Miss Her, Who I Used to Be: Five Minute Friday

Spring flowers in the Asian garden

Spring flowers in the Asian garden with a pond

Photo Credit: jijixiangshang11 via Compfight cc

Sometimes I miss her, the girl I used to be. The one who didn’t care about makeup, but choose to sleep a bit later instead. Sleep, what is that? I’ve almost forgotten. The one who didn’t go about with perpetual dark circles (hence the lack of need for makeup) unless it was because of a good book, a movie marathon or a fun night out with friends. I didn’t drink coffee, there was no need. Even in college, I rarely drank coffee except during my twice yearly almost-all-nighters.

But here I am, 33 with three children; almost seven, four and seven months. I don’t recognize myself sometimes. The days are rushed and harried. (And to think I thought I was busy before). Running from one task to another, amid the constant barrage of “Mom! Mom! Mom!” Even the baby, with his adorable cry of “umma, umma” begins to wear on me sometimes.

I used to have hobbies and interests. Now I don’t have the attention span to learn a new app or program, even if it could make my life easier. Learning something new would require more than a few moments of silence and more than a few neurons to rub together.

As Mother’s Day approached, I almost forgot. (Apologies to my mothers-in-law, your cards will be late). I know it’s only a day, it doesn’t really matter when we do it, but that we honor our mothers. This year we’ll be spending the day eating subs before tackling more renovations at my parents’ new house in preparation for their upcoming move. It may not sound like much fun, but it’s what my mom wants. For all of us to be together, and try to make some more headway on the seemingly endless list of things to finish before moving day.

But on this day, though we may all argue that it was invented by Hallmark, we need to honor these women, the ones who bore us and raised us (whether literally or metaphorically), flawed though their efforts may have been. But we also need to honor ourselves, as moms, for who we are today.

I carry ten to fifteen pounds of extra baby weight, but my son didn’t notice that when I held him half the night. He only knows that when he’s upset (and no one knows why) sometimes only mama can make it better. I am the comforter.

I plan a poorly advised trip to the library with all three children (my four year old is no doubt lacing up his running shoes as we speak), because they are excited to go, and we need more books for lessons for the next few weeks. I know it will wipe me out for half the afternoon, but I do it anyway. I am their educator.

I desperately plow through the logistics of getting my husband and I out to dinner for our 13th wedding anniversary. (Has it been that long already?) I don’t feel very pretty, or very much like celebrating sometimes, but I feel that the years we’ve put in, though the good, bad and messy times in between deserve some kind of acknowledgement. Because I am still wife, lover, partner and best friend.

So whether you give cards, go out to dinner or try to forget all about Mother’s Day, at least honor yourself, Mom. You aren’t the same as you were before, but that’s OK.  You are still strong, amazing, and ever growing and changing. We may miss those young girls, childless and unencumbered as they were, but I’m learning to love this grown up, spit-up-on, tired, squishy, mom-woman I’m becoming too. Perhaps someday better than who I used to be.

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Team Mom: Five Minute Friday

Human races joined together.

Macro close up of multiracial child hands joined together. Isolated on white background.

Photo Credit: pennstatenews via Compfight cc

We’re all on the same team. Those of us who breastfeed, pump, bottle feed, formula feed; all of the above. The co-sleepers, crib sleepers, baby led weaning, jarred food buying, baby wearing, baby bucket toting moms. Because that’s what we have in common, we are all moms. Whether we became moms through planned or accidental conception, assisted conception, gestational surrogates, adoption, foster care or any other way. We’re in this together.

This is a subject I’m passionate about, and if you’ve read my blog more than a few times you know  I pride myself on being honest about mothering. Because it’s hard, it’s all really hard, this adulting, parenting life. It’s even worse when you worry that you aren’t doing it right, as moms constantly do. (At least I often do, and I don’t think I’m the only one).

We want to find our tribe, a group of moms we have a lot in common with. This can be a wonderful support, but if we aren’t careful it can also become a way to put up walls and barriers between us and others who parent differently. The truth is we are all in this together. None of us have the exact same kids, spouses, lives or personalities. So there is no one size fits all approach. But what we can agree on, if we choose, is to stand up for each other, love and support each other even when we don’t agree on everything. Because if moms unites, we could change the world.

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Categories: Five Minute Friday, Parenting, Writing | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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