A Week of Self-Care

I’m officially 30 weeks pregnant and OVER. IT.  And by "it" I mean everything

I spilled a bag of pastina on the kitchen floor the other day and cried about it. 

Like I said… Over. It.

So in an effort to save my sanity since I still have 10ish weeks to go before a different kind of craziness sets in, I decided to make this a week of self-care. 

Buh-Bye Facebook.

I removed Facebook from my phone because I’m – wait for it – OVER IT!  Too much anger, not enough pictures of delicious food, kittens, puppies, or baby cheeks.  I definitely have a problem and have still popped on from my laptop, but I stopped scrolling every 10 minutes (oh who am I kidding… every 2 minutes).     

Knitting.

To keep my paws off my phone and reloading Facebook, I started knitting again.  My good friend taught me how to knit back in high school and I’ve been an on-again off-again knitter ever since. 

I started this blanket right after Thanksgiving and finally got around to finishing it this week. 

Then I started this hoodie that probably won’t fit my kid’s big head, but it’s cute and I love it anyway.  (Good thing I’m having another girl… I’ll just subject her to my first sweater attempt.)  Knitting has been a great “moving meditation” since it forces me to be in the moment, paying full attention to my work instead of spacing out. 

Naps. 

My husband worked from home on Friday, which allowed me to take a little nap after teaching a 6am class.  And by a little nap I mean I passed out on the couch from 8:30am until 12:30pm.  I was sorry to miss a playdate with friends, but they get it.  So I slept.  Then I got another 30ish minutes on Saturday after my classes.  Since I don't sleep very well at night anymore now, naps are golden.   

Floating.

Do you know what this 30-week pregnant woman misses more than beer or sushi or cold deli meats combined?  Lying on her stomach!   Another sweet friend gifted me a float at Vitality Float Spa where I got to lounge in a large tub full of Epsom salt water.  It felt SO nice to roll “on” to my tummy for a while.  Add in some relaxing music and soft to no lighting and I’m hooked.   

Veggies.

Pregnancy and veggies haven’t really mixed well for me until recently.  I mostly wanted cheesy bread the whole time, but I’ve finally gotten my appetite for my “normal” foods back and it’s made a HUGE difference in how I feel… even if I do wash them down with a cookie or two. 

Lots of Yoga.

To be fair, I taught instead of took this week, but watching people smile as they leave a class feeling refreshed and reset helps ME feel refreshed.  So if you came to my prenatal class on Saturday, my first yoga class at Turn this morning, or my restore ride at BOHO this afternoon, please know that you helped to fill my cup this week. 

What do you do when you feel like you're losing your mind?  Do you have a self-care routine?  What does it look like?  

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28 Week Bump-Date

Pregnancy is a strange beast. In one moment I'm awestruck by the magnitude of what my body is doing.  How indescribable it is to have a tiny person rolling (punching, kicking) around and growing inside me.  On the other hand, my body doesn't feel like my own (it gets bigger every day), I miss hot yoga and sushi and those workouts that leave you drenched in sweat with your muscles shaking.  I miss sleeping on my stomach and just sleeping in general (hello, 3am potty breaks).

If you've ever had an injury that sidelined you for a few months I'm sure you know the feeling...

wanting to get back to your routine, but knowing that jumping in too soon will just hurt you more than it will help.  With my first pregnancy I didn't change much about my workout routine and was no worse for it, but this time my body said, "NO!" to certain things loud and clear early on.  And I know and respect my body enough to understand that no means no.  It definitely doesn't help that I get a 10 hour workout every day just running after a toddler.  No wonder I can't hang anymore.

So here we are in the third trimester with about 12 weeks left to go (more or less... hopefully just a little less).

28 weeks. I've heard a lot of, "But you're so big!" this week. Maybe (definitely) refrain from ever saying that to any woman ever again.  Please also excuse my dirty mirror. 

I hear third trimester and think, "Hey we're almost there!" and then I see 12 weeks and I think, "Woah that's a long time."

And tomorrow I may start wishing it would all slow down because I'm not so sure I'm ready to have two.  Hormones are crazy things, my friends.

How did you feel towards the end of your pregnancy?  Were you a magical glowing unicorn the whole time? Did you reach a point where you were just DONE with a capital D?  How did you get through to the end?  (Looking for suggestions that don't involve indulging in ice cream... I've got that one covered.)

FEARLESS

I don't like setting New Year's Resolutions.  1) Because I don't like the idea of doing a 180 less than a week after holiday craziness and 2) I don't believe January 1 is the only day we can choose to make a change.  (In fact, I like to use my birthday as the day to set goals and intentions for the year, but more on that another day.) However, I DO like picking a word that I'd like to define the year to come.

In 2016 I chose "Grateful."  It helped to remember that was my word when days were long or challenges came up.  Very few things are all bad and attempting to find gratitude even in shitty situations (and especially when I didn't want to) was a learning and growing experience to be sure.

This year my word is...

While working with my coach (yes, even coaches have coaches), one of the first things we realized is how often I made excuses for things I wanted because I was afraid.  I was afraid it couldn't happen.  I was afraid it wouldn't work out.  I was afraid no one would like it.  I was afraid I'd be bad at it.

The "it" was different, but the excuse was the same.  And I like excuses as much as I like New Year's resolutions so here we are.

If I'm honest... choosing to live this year "fearlessly" scares the hell out of me.  (I know I know.) But to me FEARLESS doesn't necessarily mean "having no fear."  It's feeling that fear, acknowledging that fear, and then doing it anyway.

Change can be scary, but you know what's scarier?  Allowing fear to stop you from growing, evolving, and progressing.

-- Mandy Hale

So here's to the big, scary, exciting things to come in 2017!  Happy New Year!

 

 

"Where Have You Been & What Are You Doing Now?"

Hi, friends! Long time no chat.

The last time I wrote I was about a month into my 200 hour yoga teacher training and I had every intention of keeping you updated on that journey, but as I dove deeper into that adventure two things became clear: 1) I was not willing to sacrifice anymore time with my family (and daughter who was too quickly for my liking about to turn one) and 2) it wasn't an experience that could easily be put into words or shared.

Many people say teacher training is life changing, but I would actually say it was life enhancing.  I went to training hoping to be able to teach a different kind of class and came out with so much more, including a better sense of who I am as a trainer and where I want to focus my time.

YTT Grad

Coming into the final stretch of yoga teacher training AND my daughter's first year at the same time made it perfectly clear what my next move would be... prenatal yoga teacher training.  So I signed up for an intensive two and a half week training in NYC where I commuted from NJ into the city.  Monday through Friday.  7am to 7pm.  I said it before and I'll say it again... the right trainings are life changing.  To be surrounded and supported by such strong and wonderful women while LEARNING about how strong and wonderful women are was magical.  Made all the more magical by actually being pregnant during the training.

That's right!  Seven to nine weeks pregnant, height of nausea, exhaustion, and all the other first trimester goodness right in the middle of 12 hour days.  (Shout out to all the working mamas who do that for nine months.  Hats off to you ladies!)

So for the last few months I've been home, working on my site behind the scenes, and getting ready to take on new clients all while growing a tiny human on the side.  (No biggie.)

Big Sister thinks Little Sister is in my belly button.

I'm now 21 weeks pregnant with Baby Girl Number 2 and I'd love to have you follow along on this pregnancy journey (and share your own stories with me as well!) and stay tuned for more healthy tips, tricks, meditations, and maybe even some recipes (though full disclosure the only thing I've wanted to eat for five months now are potatoes).

Go ahead and click around the updated website to see what else is new and consider signing up for the Happy Healthy Holidays challenge!  We started on Sunday, but it's never too late to join!

Reevaluate. Reset. GO!

There's only one way to go.... forward.  Someone recently said to me, "I don't know how you do it all."  I told her I don't.

Why don't people believe me when I say this?  I like to think I'm pretty transparent about what a hot mess I can be. Just because I smile while I say it and laugh afterwards doesn't mean I'm joking!

The truth is for every one thing I get together, two others fall behind. At least that's how it's felt lately.

My workouts and self-care are on point? My house is embarrassingly messy and I haven't blogged in a month.

My house is clean and the laundry is done? I'm stressed beyond belief and skipping out on workouts to find the time.

It happens and it's OK. We can't be everything to everyone all the time. And if people on the internet make you feel less than because of this give them a #nottodaysatan (maybe my favorite hashtag ever) and get on with your life.

I had a birthday recently (Monday actually) and every year on my birthday I reevaluate or set goals for myself. What do I want to do? Who do I want to be? How can I be the best version of myself FOR myself and for the people around me?

I was planning on sharing my short list with you, but honestly it's just too scary for me right now. There are some big things on there this year (not necessarily life-changing big, but may be difficult for this one step forward, two steps back gal). They're so scary to me that it's taken me days to even write this post because this means it's time to get started.

So while I won't share my whole list with you, I will share one piece of it because it concerns you.

This year, I want to give my best to my readers, clients, and class participants. Don't get me wrong, you often get my all and even though I have the greatest job in the whole world... at the end of the day it's still a job. Some days (just like any other job) it's hard to remember just how good I've got it. But my goal this year is to always remember how sweet this life is. How glad I am to see each and every one of you sweating, smiling, maybe scowling, and getting healthier. I promise to do more than just show up and give you my all. I promise to give you my best.

All that being said, this lyric pops into my head whenever I start making grand plans and promises, "And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to Father Time."

So while I plan for those big goals, I'm just sending those tiny prayers to Father Time and getting ready for this year's ride. I hope you'll join me.

"I Love Me" BINGO!

Just because Valentine's Day has come and gone doesn't mean we have to put the lovin' aside... especially the self-love. So what do you think?  Want to play some "I Love Me!" BINGO?

I Love Me BINGO!

Create/Recite an Empowering Mantra Daily “I am capable.” “I know who I am and I am enough.” “I choose to think thoughts that serve me well." “My body is my vehicle in life; I choose to fill it with goodness”

Whatever it is. Find something that fills you with peace, hope, and happiness and repeat it daily. Embrace it whenever it comes to mind or whenever you need it.

Eat Something That Makes You Feel Great. Sure that salad may not taste as good as that decadent chocolate soufflé that gave you a stomach ache for a day, but it will make you feel great from the inside out. Choose something that will fill your body with goodness.

Eat Something That Tastes Amazing. Go eat that amazing chocolate soufflé that gave you a stomach ache just because it tastes amazing. Or better yet… try these vegan dark chocolate truffles! (See! You don’t need anyone to buy you an overpriced box of chocolates shaped like a heart.)

Smile In The Mirror. And mean it.

Write Yourself a Love Letter. You are beautiful, and powerful, and capable, and you do amazing things every day. Don’t forget to tell yourself how great you are.

Do Something New and/or Challenging. If it doesn’t challenge us it doesn’t change us. Step outside of your comfort zone and try something new. A new recipe, a new workout routine, a new class. Because when you do conquer it, you’re going to feel unstoppable.

Do Something that Makes You Feel Invincible. We all have something that we know we’re good at. Go give yourself a little ego boost and rock it out.

Treat Yo’Self. Even if you just treat yourself to a new pair of cute sweatpants or a box of heart shaped chocolates or the newest Saturday night Hallmark channel movie. Give yourself permission to do something a little indulgent.

So let's finish the month of love with worthy love, the kind that builds us and those around us up... and what better place to start than within!

A More Traditional #TransformationTuesday

December 8 (left) vs. January 26 (right) It's been 7 weeks since I posted Progress Not Perfection (and it still doesn't look like I've cleaned my mirror ?).

That means this is progress even through the holidays. Christmas, New Years, snow days... And other than committing to a non-negotiable daily yoga practice (some days this is just meditation) I have not done a single thing differently than I was 7 weeks ago.  No crazy diets. Hell, no diet at all! No deprivation. No detoxes. (Though to be honest I probably need a sugar detox... Not for my waistline, but for my insides. I'm feeling sluggish the way I do when my sweet tooth needs to take a back seat for a while.)

But this tells me that this lifestyle works for me!

I don't count the days until I'm allowed to eat whatever I want again. Could I "tighten up" my diet to "tighten up" faster? Sure. But it won't work as well in the long run.  Quick fixes usually mean a quick return to whatever weight/shape you were when you go back to "normal."  If you make this your normal you can't lose.  Nothing works as well as consistency.

This IS a lifestyle. THIS is my normal.  And THIS is the result.

P.S.  This is also why I strongly encourage my clients to take pictures!  I wear leggings for a living and my ring is a size 3 3/4 so I don't really notice the change in my clothes or rings very often.  I assumed there wouldn't be any difference in these pictures (I actually thought I would've looked bigger), but sometimes you really can't tell where you were and where you are without the side by side comparison.  

 

Part III: Resolutions

Happy healthy holidays

If you missed Part I or Part II, check them out and then jump in here.

As some of you know, I start a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in a week and a half.  (You can read about that HERE if you're interested.)  Before we meet for the first time, we are required to read The Bhagavad Gita.  In it, there is a verse that reads:

You have the right to work, but never to the fruit of work.

In short, we have control over our work and actions, but we have no command over our results.

A bodybuilder can be completely dedicated to her diet and exercise, but still not place in a competition.  You can put in long hours in the office and produce excellent work, but still not get the promotion you were working for.

That's why we don't want to put the destination above the journey!  When you fall in love with the process, you'll find results.

Did you decide what it is you want in 2016?  What do you want your future-self to be like next year?  We may not be able to control the outcome, but we can help influence that outcome by answering these five questions:

  1. What is my desired outcome?
  2. What can I DO to make progress?
  3. What will help me be consistent?
  4. What obstacles will I face?
  5. Who will support me?

A-ha!  Kinda sounds like we're setting a goal and making a plan, huh?  So get to it!

And when you stumble -- because you will... we all do -- just picture that fabulous, future-self looking back on her year with the accomplished smile of someone who went after what she wanted with her whole heart and setting even bigger goals for 2017 because she knows she can.

Happy New Year, friends!

xoxo

Part II: Resolutions

Happy healthy holidays Yesterday I told you that as long as you promised not to make this year’s resolution all or nothing, I would teach you how to set SMART goals and we would talk about the steps to take in order to reach them.

SMART goals are: Specific Measureable Attainable Relevant Time-bound

(Get it… they spell smart!)

The point is to take vague, hard-to-reach ideas (like “I want to be in better shape”) and turn them into realistic objectives (like “I want to be able to squat x-amount and run a mile in under x-minutes).

You may already have a goal in mind.

I want to run a marathon!  

This is going to be the year I get six pack abs! 

But before you set your SMART goal in stone, I want you to ask yourself a simple question:  Why?

WHY do you want to run a marathon? (Is it because you love running or because the runners you see look fit?WHY do you want to lose weight? (Is it because you think leaner = happier? It usually doesn't.)

Determining your "why" can help you nail down what it is you actually want.

{To be clear, both of those goals are perfectly fine, but I want you to set them for the right reasons.  And remember... looking healthy and being healthy aren't always the same thing.}

Ready for a little holiday homework?

Imagine your fabulous, future-self a whole year later getting ready for 2017. How does she feel?  What does the space around her look like?  What are her hobbies?  What kind of relationships does she have?  You get the idea!  Write these things down and determine what it is you want this year. {Hint: these don't have to be fitness related!}

Need some accountability?  Put it out there!  Tell me what you're going after this year in the comments!

Then check back tomorrow for the final part of the Resolution series where we talk about ways to influence outcomes in the most positive way!

 

Part I: Resolutions

Happy healthy holidays With only days left in 2015, I'm sure many of you have started thinking about New Year's resolutions and all the things you hope to accomplish in 2016.

Can I tell you a secret? I kinda wish you wouldn't...

Look, setting goals is important.  Goals give you long-term vision and short-term motivation and those are great things!  The problem with goal setting is that it often puts the destination above the journey and – especially in the health and fitness world – there is no destination. Consistency is the key!

You can eat steamed chicken and broccoli and hit the gym everyday until you have a six-pack, but as soon as you give that up (because let’s face it, that’s not sustainable) then it’s back to square one.

In order to be truly successful in the long run, you have to adopt this as a lifestyle.

But you know the old saying, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail."  So make a plan!

That doesn’t mean your plan needs to be "follow a strict diet and schedule."  In fact, when we make plans and forget to build in flexibility, we fail because we weren’t really prepared.  So plan for what you will do when you travel.  Plan for the days when you get stuck working late.  Plan for an injury that would keep you from doing certain exercises.  Plan for any issues you think may get in your way.  Plan on giving yourself some wiggle room when friends or family come to town or you go on vacation.  Know your plan and know how to put it into action when you need it.  That is structure with flexibility.  That is how you make this a lifestyle.

So as long as you promise not to make this year’s resolution all or nothing, tomorrow I’ll teach you how to set SMART goals and the steps to take to reach them.