Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Temptation, Running and Rewards - 19 weeks pregnant tomorrow!

Every day, food and I have a showdown, sometimes many showdowns.

It's a constant battle to say "no" to the bad foods that surround me (because they are EVERYWHERE) and it is VERY challenging to stick to my sugar-free/low-carb plan.

Sunday at church, Mike and I went into the gathering area between the two services. I was hungry, but of course, I KNEW there wouldn't be anything I could eat there. I mean, how likely is it that I'd find a plate of veggies and dip, maybe some cheese slices or a tray of deviled eggs sitting there?  Noooo... I was greeted by pink cupcakes adorned with sprinkles, huge chocolate chip cookies, coffee cake and some kind of bread everyone was raving about. Mike opted for a pink cupcake and a piece of coffee cake.  I wished I had thrown some string cheese and almonds in my purse that morning!

So I sat there having my little inner dialogue... eyeing the pink cupcake.  A couple of things that always stick out in my mind at times like this... "Would you rather have the pain of deprivation or the pain of regret???" And, a quote from my Facebook friend and low-carb guru Sugar Free Sheila, "Would you rather have a hot fudge sundae or a hot body?"

I ignored the pink cupcake, knowing it would only bring me a few minutes of satisfaction and then the customary sugar crash followed by regret/depression. A bit extreme, but really...it's pretty much like that.

Yesterday I was struggling with food cravings quite a bit, but did not give in. I kept thinking about brownies, hot fudge and sugar, sugar, sugar.  Candy and cookies abounded at work. Some of you are probably thinking, "ah, what the hell, have a brownie. What can it hurt???"  Well, apparently it can hurt a lot. I've tried doing "cheat days" and it appears I cannot control myself and end up WAY overdoing it.  If I could find a way to "cheat" in moderation, I just may do it... but so far my cheat days have ended in severe stomach upset, headaches and depression.

I know I feel so much better when I avoid sugar and junk carbs. I am more stable and have more energy. I also know that my attention to diet is the reason why I've only gained 5 lbs. at 19 weeks pregnant. By not letting myself get out of shape now, I am going to be REALLY thankful after the baby comes and I don't have a bunch of weight to lose!

Well, I made it through my long run this past Saturday! I did 8 miles and it had been probably a month or more since I've run that far. It wasn't too bad but the last mile was tough and I had to walk a few times, but I made it through. Wow, was I sore the next day! I reeeeeallly felt it.  I just need to keep it up now, I am in a good position for my upcoming races. Maybe ten miles this coming weekend?

So every day is a battle with food - I'm sure today will be no different - but the rewards are great and I am always glad when I stay strong and don't give in!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Running and Pregnancy (and some of the annoying things people say to me..LOL)

One of the most frequent questions I get from people, now that I am pregnant... is "You're not RUNNING anymore, are you?"

Well, yes... yes I am.  Next question? 

"You'll have to stop soon though, right?"

Nope.  Don't plan to.

"You're going to run the WHOLE TIME?  Isn't that bad for the baby?"

Actually, no.  It's surprisingly good for the baby. (now comes the educational component).  "Did you know that mothers who run or exercise regularly create bigger placentas, which means more efficient oxygen and nutrition transmission to the developing baby?  Not only that, regular exercise prevents unnecessary weight gain, lowers stress, keeps the baby from being overfat and overdue AND...(get this) even creates a SMARTER BABY!  That's right.  Pregnant rats who exercised had babies with 40% more brain cells in the hippocampus than their non-exercising counterparts."

They will usually shut up at that point. LOL

A pretty good case for lacing up the running shoes, I would say!

The only thing more annoying than being asked if I can still run, is this question:

"How are you FEELING?"  This question is usually delivered by well-meaning persons who have not seen me in a long time, however know I am pregnant.  This question always makes me feel as if I have been recently diagnosed with some rare, incurable disease, or that I just recovered from surgery or a nervous breakdown.  I always respond "GREAT!"  with intense enthusiasm of course, and it seems the person asking the question is a little taken aback by this because they may expect me to say something like : "Terrible...my back is killing me, can't sleep at night, I'm a slave to my cravings for pickles and ice cream, I'm retaining 1,298 pounds of water weight..." ETC.  All the cliches.  Oh wait!!! I just thought of another thing people often say:

"So when are you due?"

Me: "August."

Person develops a sympathetic, pained expression.  "Oh geez.  You're going to be pregnant for the WHOLE SUMMER."

Thanks for reminding me. I was aware of that. However, if this summer is anything like last year (and I hope it isn't) I will be wearing sweatshirts and mittens well into August and may not even have to worry about making Mike install an air conditioner.

All kidding aside, I do appreciate the comments of well-meaning folks caring enough to ask how I am doing. I also understand it is strange for some people to accept that women can remain fit and active throughout their pregnancies because for so many decades the long-standing belief has been pregnant women are delicate, should rest and not exert themselves and should not do anything stressful on their bodies.  Of course, this has changed somewhat in recent years, but we still have a long way to go. I remember getting some VERY strange looks when I was one week away from my due date with Macy, jogging down the street at 9 months pregnant. 

I am a little nervous this morning as I am headed out on a long run and haven't done one in probably a month! The weather just has not cooperated with me on the weekends and I will NOT run more than 5 miles on the treadmill.  So today I will do eight miles outside. It looks a little like rain, but at least the temperature has warmed up.  I am not sure what to wear and will likely end up sweating and peeling off layers after the first couple of miles. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

18 weeks and still pursuing a fit pregnancy, doctor visit, etc.

Good morning!  Yesterday I went to my monthly check up. I was 18 weeks yesterday. I was really anxious to hear the reassurance of the heartbeat since I haven't heard it since I had the amnio two weeks ago.  I was pretty sure everything was fine, but it's nice to have the peace of mind.

As usual, I do my weird rituals the morning before going to the doctor, which includes not eating prior to the visit, because I get anxious and can't seem to keep food down.  I also pee about a million times so I won't be sitting in the exam room with a full bladder. LOL I did make myself a protein drink and took it with so I could drink it after I relaxed.

Before seeing the doctor, the assistant took my blood pressure (98/58) and weight. I have only gained 4.4 pounds! I am sure some of you are gasping, but as you will find out later, my doctor is not concerned. Then there was the customary "pee in the cup" and into the exam room to wait for the doctor.  I need to bring more things to do for this part of the visit because I always end up waiting for a good chunk of time. Luckily, there were some magazines to flip through and Mike and I were texting back and forth. The doc came in about 25 mins later and we chatted a bit.  I asked her if she thought my weight gain was ok, and she said it was totally fine.  She was also my doctor throughout my pregnancy with Macy, and knows all about my commitment to running, fitness and healthy eating. She herself runs marathons and other races and is very fit.  She went on to say, "I just know your habits are very healthy...I am not concerned."  She went on to say, "you will probably end up gaining a total of about 15 pounds."

My jaw almost dropped to the floor. WAIT! Everyone else has been telling me I need to gain about 150. Haha. And asking why I am not showing, and where the baby is. I felt almost giddy. Finally, a medical professional who was not using the same, tired AMA guidelines that are applied to every woman on the planet regardless of body composition, height, genetics, lifestyle and so forth. It has always infuriated me that there's this blanket guideline "all pregnant women should gain 25-35 pounds throughout the course of their pregnancy."  So, you need to gain that much whether you are petite, 5 feet tall and 90 pounds (which I'm not, I'm just giving an example, lol) or if you're 5'9, 160 with a large frame??? It just seems so stupid to me.  I think it should be more individualized to the patient and take other factors into account. I have also heard stories of some doctors telling women, "You need to gain more weight. Try adding a dish of ice cream after dinner." WTF??? Sure, an occasional treat is just fine, but gaining weight on fat and sugar? How is that good for the baby?

Let me once again reiterate - I am NOT trying to "not" gain weight. I want to gain what the baby requires and needs, and no more. I am 18 weeks and the baby currently weighs about 7 ounces, so I should not be putting on tons of pounds yet, it just doesn't make sense. I know I have additional blood volume and all that, but still. It's too early. Plus, I have gone through two other pregnancies and I know my body will do what it needs to.  With Hailey, my oldest, I was young, (21) and didn't know much about eating right or exercise. I pretty much ate what I wanted and didn't exercise at all. I gained around 30 pounds. It didn't need to be that much.  I was totally using the "pregnancy excuse" to eat peanut butter cups, ravioli and meals from Denny's on a practically daily basis! I am surprised I didn't gain a lot more than that!

With this pregnancy, of course I know tons more about diet and nutrition. I have been carefully selecting my foods and trying to eat out only rarely.  I am choosy about what I eat and do not waste calories on garbage. My diet consists mainly of leafy greens, vegetables, eggs, cottage cheese, berries, meat, fish, seeds, soy milk, cheese, Greek yogurt and a few treats here and there like sugar free pudding or Jello with Reddi-Whip. I avoid sugar, processed foods, refined carbohydrates, starch, bread, potatoes, etc. I eat the sugar free pudding sparingly because I know it's full of chemicals. Also, I do not drink caffeine (I know you are allowed some during pregnancy, but I'm choosing to avoid it) and I don't drink soda (only mineral water and regular water). I probably consume around 1800 calories per day.

As for the exercise, my routine has not changed much since I became pregnant, except that I've had to slow down the running A LITTLE. I just get tired more easily, which is normal. For example, say I used to run on the treadmill at 7.5 miles per hour (about an 8 minute mile on average), I am now running around 6.8 mph (about an 8:40 mile). Not bad... I am okay with it and I know it will come back after the baby, it did last time. I run four days per week.  Three days of the week I do around 3 miles, and on the fourth day I do a longer run, usually 6-8 miles.

I mix up the running with Turbo Jam and my favorite P90X workouts which are plyometrics, chest and back and KenpoX.  I also have a Biggest Loser Cardio Max DVD I like. The chest and back workout (the one with all the push ups and pullups) is great because I always feel like I've had an awesome ab workout the following day! Whenever I do a lot of push ups, my abs are very sore.  This is good for pregnancy because you aren't laying on your back doing crunches. I can keep my abs tight even during pregnancy! Makes for easier childbirth, too!
The Beachbody coaching has been going great lately as well! I have an awesome new coach in Hawaii who just signed up and is already doing great! He is getting his whole family involved in fitness and inspiring them, which is awesome.  I am also talking to another girl who wants to become a coach and plans to sign up this week. She just ordered P90X and is super excited to start. The momentum is building!  I cannot wait to have the baby so I can have my Shakeology again! (OK- that's not the most important reason, OF COURSE, but it's one of those little things I am looking forward to. Some people will look forward to having a beer after giving birth, I look forward to downing a Greenberry Shakeology. LOL!!)

Well, time to start my day.  Thanks for reading, please leave comments and visit my Beachbody site if you're interested!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fit Pregnancy Continues...

I need to get better about writing in this blog. But it's hard when I have no followers. LOL So if you are so inclined, please subscribe! I am writing about my pregnancy, diet and quest to stay fit for the entire nine months and beyond.

Today I am 17 weeks, 4 days.  122 days down, 158 to go according to Babiesonline.  Yesterday, I started thinking it would be cool to give birth on 8-9-10 so I am going to make that my new due date. haha. Think I can "will" it to happen through the power of positive thinking???  We'll see! I would be 38 weeks then and the baby would be full term. Plus, it would be a cool birthday to have! My book "Execising Through Your Pregnancy" says statistically women who exercise deliver slightly earlier - between 37-39 weeks - however the babies are still healthy and full term. He (the doctor who wrote the book) believes when the baby "cooks" for longer than that, often times it just creates an overfat baby and is not necessary for development. Exercising moms usually gave birth to 7 pound (average size) babies.  I exercised all through the pregnancy with Macy but only gave birth 2 days before my due date, so we will see! She weighed 7 lbs, 2 oz.  If I can avoid going "over," my due date, that would make me very happy!

Up until yesterday, I thought I was doing pretty great with my weight gain. I was only up 5 pounds and feeling really good about that. I have been following a whole foods diet (trying to, anyway...so far I have had 2.5 cheat days but I guess that's not too bad for the past 4.5 months!) However, when I weighed myself yesterday, I had jumped up a few pounds in just one week. I read that week 17 is a week of "rapid growth" for the baby and also when it starts putting on fat deposits, so that may have something to do with it.  I am going to get on the scale again this morning to see if it's a fluke. YES I KNOW pregnancy is not a time to "diet" (believe me, I'm not - just making healthy choices), and I am very aware I am going to gain weight, but when I see a jump practically overnight, it does freak me out. I can't help it. It irritates me too because I have been so careful...turning down goodies (that seem to be everywhere) and working out diligently.  But in the end I know there is only so much I can do.  The baby takes over your body in a way.  That's how it feels to me, anyway.  You can do your best with diet and exercise, but in the end it seems your body will put on what it needs to.  So I am trying to accept that but it's hard for a control freak like me who usually has a tight hold on my weight and keeps it within a very narrow window.  You know, sometimes I wish I could just say "screw it," eat whatever I want and not feel bad about it... but then I would probably end up gaining 60 pounds and would feel terrible about myself.  So I guess this is what I have to do...

I am very excited for the baby, but wish I could just speed up this whole pregnancy thing. Yes, I do a daily countdown. haha. I know some women LOVE being pregnant, but I am not one of them. Of course there are wonderful things that you experience... such as feeling the baby move, getting to watch it on the ultrasound...watching your belly grow and knowing there's a little person in there... but getting up to pee 12 times per night, being constantly ravenous, having headaches, feeling exhausted and having other unpleasant things I won't mention happen to your body is NOT FUN. Can't wait for August to get here!   I do feel a lot better now that it's almost the middle of the second trimester, but I STILL get a headache almost every afternoon. Not a terrible migraine or anything - just an annoying, pounding head... AND I get up to pee every night at 2 & 4 a.m. just like clockwork. Last night when I got home from work, I was so damn tired... Macy and I were sitting on the couch writing on her drawing pad.  I leaned my head back and dozed off. LOL!  Of course she wouldn't let that happen for long and I was jolted awake within about two minutes. I could not wait for bedtime last night!

Ok, just weighed myself and the scale is my friend this morning.  I dropped 3 pounds overnight, so I must have been retaining water yesterday. That would explain why I was peeing and peeing all day long. LOL Peeing is such an inconvenience, don't you think? haha. Anyway, that brings my total weight gain to 6 pounds. Yay for me!

Lately I have been feeling the baby move (I think) but it's still hard to tell if it's the baby or something else. I am thinking those movements should get more regular pretty soon!  I have an appointment for my 18 week check-up this Wednesday. I will let you know what I find out!

Hope everyone has a great weekend. I am hoping to clean and organize in the house some more and do some "nesting!"