Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Holidays to All!

I am huge believer in what the Holidays represent. For me it's about love, peace, family and gratitude. I wish everyone the best Holiday season and a fancy, schmancy new year!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My 3rd Tri

3rd Trimester that is! Thank you all for the supportive comments. It's nice to know I haven't been forgotten :) Wow, time has really flown by lately. It seems like the first trimester crawled by, I'm sure because I was waiting to tell my mom and post it on my blog. And I hear that something similar happens in the 3rd tri, that the growing discomfort coupled with excitement to meet the new little human makes time slow down. I guess we'll be finding out.

We've been slowly readying the house. When we bought this condo 5+ years ago we took down the stair rail with a plan to get a new one. That never happened so we painted and reinstalled the old one and it doesn't look bad actually. In the nursery we installed new blinds (with blackout lining!) and have purchased new closet doors that need to be painted and installed.

Miguel is painting the room as we speak. We went round and round on colors, starting with blue ideas, but finally settled on two shades of green, a light green on the upper walls and a darker green on the lower. I love the colors! I can't wait until we can get the furniture in and all the cute bedding and stuffed animals and just everything! I purchased a pre-loved Dutailier Glider & Ottoman on Craigslist. I washed the cushion covers so those are air drying now. I think it's going to look so cute in the room. I splurged on an Organic Crib Mattress and that's supposed to arrive early next week. Man, times are getting exciting around here.

My boss is off for the next two weeks so the office will probably be really quiet. We don't have any big work projects coming up and a lot of my colleagues are off. That, coupled with all the holidays, will make the end of the year fly by I'm sure.

I started taking little walks during the work day. I'm not kidding when I say I haven't been getting any exercise. Each day on Thursday and Friday I went for a 15 minute walk. I'm going to make that a daily routine and want to add in some after work walks on the gym treadmill too.

On the birthing front we picked a class. We're taking a hypnobirthing class in January. I am really looking forward to both the education and the confidence-building that I'm sure will come from it. Hypnobirthing does not involve being hypnotized in the Las Vegas sense. It's basically a deep state of self-induced relaxation. At the birth Miguel will be there to help reduce distractions and to communicate our preferences to the medical folks.

As far as what type of medical folks will be there, well, that depends on where we give birth. As of now I'm with an OB group here in Marin and, if we stay with them, I'd give birth at Marin General, our local hospital. But we're considering moving care to a Midwifery group in San Francisco and giving birth at their birth center. That would be a compromise on the home birthing option and would have the added nicety of our little guy being born in San Francisco like I was.

We went on a hospital tour this past week and I have to say I was impressed with the nurses description of what they (the medical staff) are like there. She basically said they are very supportive of moms having whatever type of birth we want, with the ultimate goal to have a healthy baby of course. She said they don't push pain meds or interventions, etc. Of course she encouraged us to talk to our doctors since they are a big influence in all this. The maternity wing was nice and comfortable looking, though the "delivery rooms" were a little intimidating. The bed with the big stirrups and lights just doesn't seem so inviting.

We're going to an orientation in early January of the birthing center in SF. I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say about a lot of this stuff and seeing how it all fits with what we hope to have. I'm not fixed on any certain birth, I know the ultimate goal is to have a healthy baby and I know there might be cause for interventions if things happen. But I do know I want to avoid the epidural, which is another reason I need to keep moving and maintain my fitness level up to some minimal standard at least.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Slightly Overdue Update

I guess that's a bit of an understatement.  I've just been in my own little world lately, feeling somewhat disconnected from the rest of mankind.  My therapist tells me it's a natural phenomenon in pregnancy, that we turn inward and sort of tune out.

Anyway, on to some updates!  I am 27 weeks pregnant today, and by some accounts this is the first day of the 3rd trimester.  Can you believe time has flown by that fast?  Seems like just a few weeks ago I was posting about being pregnant.  My belly and baby have grown, along with my thighs.  More on that in a bit, but first, some pictures!

Here's the little guy at 25 weeks, who is still nameless, by the way.

That's a 3d image of him.  We have so much fun speculating about whose body parts he's inherited when we look at this picture.  I'll wait until he's born to make any final determinations :)

Everything is developing normally and we couldn't be more thankful for that.

Speaking of things developing, I started my new job.  It's so much new and different to learn and that alone makes it pretty exciting.  I work with a great group of professionals who are all interested in the work, which only adds to the feeling that I'm in a good place.  It's a little odd to be in a new job with the knowledge that I'll be gone for a while before too long but I'm just putting one foot in front of the other and trying not to think too much about that.

Ok, back to baby stuff.  My family threw a baby shower for me last weekend in Southern California.  It was a beautiful day and I received some of the most adorable gifts!  I also received some needed basics, which was nice too.  I can't wait to dress him up!

The tables were set with beautiful flowers and little babies and pacifiers.  So cute!  And the food was too good, I ate way too much!

Here's a glance at the little man's gifts.  That's a diaper cake on the table and a bassinet in the background.  I can't wait to set the nursery up.  Miguel's taking classes this weekend so we won't be able to paint and get the furniture up until next weekend at the soonest. 

Here's a good shot of my growing belly!  That's my cousin who is preggers with her third little one!  She's given birth naturally both times and was very inspiring to me.  Most women get a scary look on their faces when I tell them I want to have a natural childbirth so her reassurance was much needed.  I'm on the hunt for childbirth classes.  We're either going to take a Bradley Method series or a hypno-birthing series. 

And finally here I am opening presents.  I have a Boppy on my lap.  It's a pillow that you use when breastfeeding to help support the baby in case you don't have a bionic arm :) 

The whole day was just wonderful.  I still can't really believe we're having a baby.  Talk about a mind blower.  The little guy moving around is a constant reality check though.  He shocks me sometimes with his kicks!

Let's see...oh, weight.  Ugh.  It's going okay.  Could be better, could be worse.  I've gained 20 pounds so far.  And I was reading in my pregnancy book the other day, "Now we're entering into the period of serious weight gain."  Great.  I'm 184 and really hoping to stay under 200 just to keep morale up.  I won't lie, my eating's been marginal and my exercise nearly non-existent.  All I can say is I can't wait to get back to Weight Watchers.  But I took my gestational diabetes screening the other day and thank goodness that was negative.  My blood level was only 102 and you have to go over 140 to screen positive.  Phew!!

Nothing much else going on I'm sorry to say.  I've just been sitting around gestating :)  Thank you to all of you who have hung around and asked about me, I'm sorry I've turned into one of those bloggers who leaves everyone in the lurch wondering what the heck's going on.  I hope to not wait so long to give an update.  But before you know it I'll be posting tons of pictures and going on and on and on about how beautiful and amazing and perfect my baby is.  At least that's what seems to happen to people who have babies!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Am Proud to be an American

I normally avoid politics on my blog but I am overwhelmed with pride in this country.  We can hold our head up high.  No matter your political persuasion, we have been a part of history tonight, we rose up and looked past race, past difference, past one of the most painful parts of our history.  This doesn't fix everything but it sure is a massive surge of Hope.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What do the Grand Canyon and a Baby Have in Common?

You'll see pictures of both in this post!! It's getting harder and harder to fit things in. And the baby is still months away! It's true I have been up to a lot lately. One of which is feeling the baby kick! It was very surreal at first, and I was sort of in denial that that's what I was feeling but now it's pretty clear. Still, the idea that this is going to result in a human being still blows my mind.

The trip to Arizona was great! This entry is going to be very picture intensive! And I'm sparing you the vast majority of the hundreds we took! So we arrived and stayed at The Boulders, just outside of Scottsdale, for the first few days. Our time here was all about relaxing. Unfortunately I didn't make it into the fitness center once. Well, that's not true, I did peek in just to see what it looked like, but no workouts. The grounds, our room, the was all heaven.

This is an early morning picture from our balcony.

And here I am enjoying the spa pool. Best thing about the spa. No kids. I know, soon I will be one of those parents doting around a loud little one, but for now, I'm enjoying the peace and quiet.

Lots of cacti in Arizona and they are so cool! Here's Miguel next to an old bugger.

And here he is looking out the window by the front door to our "casita".
I just love that picture for some reason. Next, we have a picture of the grounds at night. I got all fancy with our tripod for this one!

We fell into a little routine. Each morning Miguel would get up at the crack of dawn to go do this...
And I would rise, ahem, a little later in the morning and order breakfast from room service. They had this really delicious omelet that came from the spa menu (which meant it's supposed to be really healthy). Then it was off to the spa for a treatment (the first day I had a prenatal massage, the second a pedicure) and a day by the pool. Finally on our last morning Miguel enjoyed the room service routine with me. Breakfast for two:

We left The Boulders and started our road trip to The Grand Canyon. On the way I got to see lots of cacti. Here's a shot from our car.

We stayed in Williams, a little town about an hour outside of the park. It really was a cute little town...really little. I can't imagine what it must be like to grow up in a small town like that with little diversity where everyone probably knows everyone and the whole place closes down by 8pm.
Okay, are you ready for a ton of Grand Canyon pictures? What can one say about it? It is appropriately named that's for sure. I just stood there in awe of the size that I know I wasn't really grasping. It's just too big for words, or for pictures, but we try. Here I am trying to take it all in.
The weather couldn't have been more perfect. The morning started out with a chill in the air and it never really got "hot" all day. Lovely blue skies. Can you spot Miguel in this shot?
The moon was out.

I hope you're enjoying these 5,000 pictures :)
Here's the Colorado River.

Are they all starting to look the same yet?

As the day went on the canyon became more and more orange.

And as the sun sets the the sky starts changing colors...purple, pink, blue. Beautiful.
We were not disappointed at the beauty and the grandeur of it all. And Miguel even spotted a California Condor! It was sleeping on the side of a cliff. So cool. Alright, one last shot of the grand canyon at sunset.
After the grand canyon we headed back to the Phoenix area. As far as we could tell things to do in Phoenix include sunbathing, shopping, dining and golf. We did our fair share of all of those things but I wanted to do something different too. So we thought a tour of Chase Field, where the Diamondbacks play, might be cool. Here we are in the dugout.

We're baseball fans and had a good time checking out the locker rooms and such. Our last couple of days there I guessed it, lying by the pool reading my book while Miguel golfed. As our vacation was wrapping up I was ready to come home. I'm not that into shopping, or golf, and I can only get so tan and eat so much. Come Friday I was happy to be home.

So, what's inside my growing tummy? I had my 20 week ultrasound today. I'm happy to report the little guy is growing right on target. His heart, spine, and all other little parts are totally normal. Normal sounds just perfect.

Can you see his little heart there? My mom and Miguel were there. This is the last time we get to see him until he's born. I'm excited to see him!!

Last but not least...the weight. It's going ok. Well, not good really. I've gained at the rate an underweight woman should be gaining. Soon I'll be off the charts altogether. I could be doing a lot better. I'm still going to my swimming class twice a week and trying to keep my food choices within the sane realm but I need to be doing more. I don't know what's going to change things but for now I'm just doing what I can. I weigh about 175 right now. That's an 11 pound gain since I got pregnant at 164 pounds. I'll be happy to go back to Weight Watchers after the little guy comes. Nursing Points here I come!! I'm halfway there...20 weeks down, 20 to go. I can't believe we're having a baby!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Marin Triathlon (Relay) 2008

I had my triathlon today. This was the Olympic distance Marin Triathlon. My husband's boss did the swim, a colleague of mine did the bike and I did the run.

And they're off! Even though I haven't done that many triathlons it was still a bit strange watching the swimmers go off without me.

Miguel ran with me as an alternate in case I got a cramp or something and couldn't go on.
One of the neat things about doing a relay was that we got to watch all the other folks, including the Elite racers, come in for transition. The other, as Alex and Tom can attest to, is that when you do your leg you're done. They were both happy to flop down and rest after their respective legs.

I did a run/walk based on my heart rate. I kept it down the whole time. I had wanted to get a "Baby on Board" t-shirt to wear for the race but never got around to it. Even though it was the slowest 10k ever (not to mention my only 10k ever) I still had a great time. Here I am coming in for the finish.

The whole event was serious about being "green" so we got neat canvas goodie bags and finisher's "medals" made from bike gears. But the coolest thing were Kleen Kanteens with the Marin Triathlon logo on it!

How cool is that?!! My legs got really sore later in the day. I know it's shocker but my inactivity these past few months really didn't really prepare me well! Okay, one last shot. I have to show off my ever growing tummy!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Stress, Changes, and a Good Time for All

Wow, time flies when you're having fun. Or when you're crazy stressed out. Unfortunately it's been more of the latter for me. But things are settling some now so I can finally share some updates. The biggest update is I got a job!! Taking this new position was a very big decision for myself and my growing family. At present I work in the next town over. My commute, depending on when I leave for work is anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes. And I'm never that far from home. The new job is in San Francisco. An hour commute, minimum, plus being far from home. Miguel already works in The City so we might be able to carpool together. Still, we're talking a 10+ hour day. The thought of that with a new baby really caused me to take pause. But then I watched the news, remembered that the economy is going down the tubes, and realized this is not a good time to be jobless.

I was also nervous about starting a job already pregnant. Would my new boss be upset that he hired a pregnant woman without knowing it? I decided, after a lot of thinking, just to tell him. He responded wonderfully. He strongly encouraged me to take the position and assured me we would work out any issues around the pregnancy. Now this is a man I want to work for. Further, this a great opportunity, working for a well established institution with a great compensation package doing an interesting job.

So, this is my last week with my current employer. I am taking two weeks off between jobs and have a lot to squeeze into that time. Miguel and I decided to take a final pre-baby vacation. We were all over the map as far as where to go, at one point furiously planning a trip to Egypt! But, we settled on Phoenix. A long way from Egypt I know. In the end we didn't want to spend a ton of time (or money!) getting to our vacation and recognized that what we most wanted was to relax. So, we're off to Phoenix at the end of the week. We're spending about half the time at a spa/golf resort (The Boulders) and the other half at the Grand Canyon. I am so, SO, SO ready for a vacation. The next week will include visiting my grandparents in Huntington Beach, getting my 20 week ultrasound (at 21 weeks actually) and maybe squeezing in a visit to the new California Academy of Sciences. Then the new job starts. Whew, it tires me out just thinking about it.

So the health/fitness goals have been moving along at, well, let's just call it an acceptable pace. I have not missed a swimming class, something of which I am very proud. I basically make myself go and am almost always happy I did. The two weekends before this last one involved a lot of nesting type activities and no fitness type activities. We almost have the baby room completely cleaned out, the garage is a lot neater and our living room has been pared down to make room for a pack-n-play or baby bouncer or whatever stuff will be coming into our lives.

Finally this past weekend I got out there again and had a fabulous day!! We rose early on Sunday morning and met at the SF Ferry Building for a group ride. We rode over the Golden Gate Bridge, through Sausalito and to Tiburon. This ride is often called the Paradise Loop, and I've been wanting to do it since I started riding. Only difference being we took the ferry back into SF from Tiburon instead of riding our bikes back. Still, it was over 30 miles and enough to kick my butt.
Here we are re-grouping on the other side of the bridge before we head into Sausalito.
Am I looking preggers or what? Everyone was so nice about waiting for me since I was a bit of a slow poke. I wore my heart rate monitor and anytime my heart rate got to the high range I slowed down. All in all I felt great and it made me very optimistic about my upcoming triathlon run.

To top it off, it was Fleet Week in SF and we were treated to a fabulous air show by The Blue Angels. Days like that just make me so happy and grateful. Miguel is a wonderful husband, we had a great day together. The weather couldn't have been more perfect and the pregnancy is going along without a hitch.
Speaking of the little stowaway, we purchased this doppler and have been listening to his heartbeat whenever we feel like. It's an amazing, miraculous sound that we never tire of. If we can figure it out a way, I'm hoping I can post a sound file of it to share. We are nowhere near a name for the little guy. But as Miguel keeps reminding me, we have time.

I'm going to see the nutritionist tomorrow and I'm guessing I'll have gained about 5 pounds. You might recall I was supposed to gain no more than 1.5 pounds. What can I say? While I'm not doing the best I can I am trying. I'm hoping that with my stress now going down I'll have more energy to resist the "bad" comfort foods I've been wanting. I'm going to strive to eat healthy and exercise during my vacation. At least I know I'll be relaxing, which is good for all of us too.

That's my update. I have been neglecting your blogs as well as my own these past couple of weeks but I promise to stop by soon. I know you've all been up to incredible things and I want to know all about them!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Good Intentions and Bad Habits

"I'm not going to walk to my appointment tonight. I'm tired. That's it, I'm driving."

"But if I don't walk I'm going to feel crappy later, I'll feel like a dud for skipping my walk and not accomplishing anything."

"Ah, but I'm tired so I'll just relax for an hour and then drive."

"But what will I do? Sit around on the couch for an hour? I should walk."

"But If I'm going to walk I need to leave now and I want to relax for a while."

"Though If I walk I might feel better after. Who am I kidding? I know I'll feel better. I'm just going to change and leave for my walk and stop thinking about it."

Oh those battles. Getting myself out the door for my walk on Tuesday was no easy feat. My good intentions and my bad habits had it out. My good intentions won! I had a similar battle to get myself to swim class this past Monday. At 5pm I was definitely not going. By 5:45 I was in my swimsuit and heading out the door. Making it to that swim class was no small victory. Fortunately it wasn't such a battle getting to swim class tonight. I wore my heart rate monitor again and burned 600 calories in the 1.5 hour class.

You win some, you lose some. That's what they say. And I lost some this week too. On Monday night I waited too long to eat and ended up giving in to a fast food hamburger and two tacos for dinner. Then in our 2 hour staff meeting on Tuesday I had a huge chocolate chip cookie, followed by a slice of lemon pound cake a 1/2 hour later and later, a mini brownie. I can't say I'm proud of these choices. I also didn't get any activity in this past weekend. First time in a long time I've been inactive all weekend. Proves that I need to have plans or I end up with nothing doing.

I realized on Monday that I'm under a lot of stress. The work thing has been stressful. I've never been jobless when I didn't want to be. I also have a family thing that is highly stressful (not pregnancy related at all). And then the pregnancy, diet/nutrition/exercise issue adds a little stress. Generally I think I was in denial about the overall stress level. I don't know if the food choices are related to that or not. Sometimes I think I have just so much fight in me and when times get tough and my fight gets focused on other things I give in to the food. Live and learn.

So the work thing may be resolved. I don't want to jinx it so I'll hold off on making any official announcements but my stress in that area is easing up. More to come.

Oh! I have all my plans for the Marin Triathlon firmed up. I've got a swimmer and a cyclist lined up and I'll be doing the run. I'm very excited!! When I got pregnant I thought that meant the event was out. I am very pleased to still be participating. I plan to do a walk/run combo based on my heart rate. It's 6 miles and I think that's very doable. Still, I plan to sneak Miguel on the run course with me - If I poop out or otherwise need to stop we're going to switch the timing chip and number to him and he'll carry the torch to the finish line. He's my pinch runner!

Well, I need to start thinking about my weekend plans. Don't want to end up doing nothing again. The weather is supposed to be rainy and chilly on Saturday so I'll have to get creative. Haven't been to the gym in months so maybe it'll be our time to get reacquainted.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and the Wonderful

Forgive me Al Gore for I have sinned, it has been 6 days since my last blog post.

As far as my week goes...

The Good:

1. Tracked...for a full seven days!
2. Got in an extra day of exercise when I walked 3.5 miles to an appointment instead of driving.
3. Had vegetables with nearly every dinner.
4. Started process of changing workout room to baby room.
5. Received four bags of cute baby boy clothes from a friend!

The Bad:

1. Gave in to temptation at the office...more than once. No, I didn't have an affair with the geeky/sexy finance guy. It was See's Candy. And peanut M&M's.
2. Was insufferably irritable for 2 days straight and for the first time really wanted a glass of wine. I was so cranky Miguel informed me he's never getting me pregnant again. I had ice cream for dinner that night.
3. So far this weekend I haven't done any recreational stuff. And if I don't do something today that extra day of exercise will no longer be an extra day.
4. Am getting laid off at the end of October.
5. Chocolate covered peanut-butter-stuffed pretzel squares. Mitigating factor: There were about 10 left and I stuffed 'em down the garbage disposal.

The Wonderful:

1. Haven't gained any weight according to the scale this morning.
2. In the middle of the night last night when I came back from the restroom Miguel reached over and put his hand on my belly.
3. Mom offered to pay for my Cobra health insurance premiums after I'm laid off. Oh, and thank you in advance America, i.e. Taxpayers, for unemployment benefits.
4. Shoshana made goal! We all know what a huge accomplishment this is. Congratulations Shosh! You worked hard, you persevered, and you ROCK!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Something Clicked! ....and Hiking in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park

I've got it! That elusive thing called motivation. It's not seeping out of my pores or anything but it's enough that I want to track and feel a real desire to meet (but not exceed) my weight-gain goal. I'm feeling real ownership of this goal. I started my meal tracking at GoogleDocs and plan to waltz into my nutrition appointment with one month of tracking.

My returned motivation is partly due to all the encouragement you guys gave me. As the "You can do it!"'s and the "We believe in you!"'s came in something just clicked in my brain. Yes, I can do it. These people know my struggle and they believe and by golly they are right! A million thank you's for the support, it really makes a difference in my life.

So what else have I accomplished this weekend? I've been hankering for some hiking and when Weekend Sherpa described a hike in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park above Calistoga in the Napa Valley, well, it was just what I was looking for. The weather was beyond perfect, sunny but not hot, a nice breeze now and then, enough clouds in the sky to provide gorgeous backdrops and welcome shade.

We started out headed for Table Rock, a rock formation that's supposed to be out there somewhere. It wasn't very far into the hike before we got huge payoff views. Here I am at the first vista.

Did I lie about the gorgeousness of it all? This was less than a mile in.

And just around the bend, another beautiful view of the Napa Valley. Here's my favorite hiking buddy posing for me :) I really couldn't believe that this awe-inspiring hike was hiding away up here.

About 1.3 miles in we came upon an incredible rock formation. Big huge pieces of rock jutting out of the ground. I felt like a kid in a playground. We climbed all over it and had fun taking pictures and posing like we'd summitted Mt. Everest.


Notice the sky? Days like these fill me with gratitude. We decided this was the perfect spot for lunch. We had deli sandwiches and fruit. I had a chicken breast sandwich on whole wheat bread with avocado. That and my banana was a meal I could feel good about.

The views were nearly 360°. Here I am dangling my feet like a little girl.

After lunch we carried on toward Table Rock. We practically had the place to ourselves. We saw only a handful of people all day. But probably the greatest thing about this hike, besides the views, was the changing landscape. We'd go over barren, rocky patches and then be pushing our way through 6' tall vegetation and manzanita bushes. Miguel was having all kinds of fun playing with all the rocks. He got a little big for his britches though when he tried to move this one!

For a while in college I considered majoring in Geology, I just love rocks and terrain and stuff. How excited was I when we came upon a rock garden, with a labyrinth! Out here in the middle of nowhere!

I almost feel guilty sharing all these pictures with you. But come to Northern California!! I promise we'll share :) Here's Miguel next to another fabulous rock thingy. Made me wish I had my old Geology teacher, Mr. Hamilton, with me to explain what all these things were.

So we were happily hiking along and enjoying the scenery when we started to wonder if we were ever going to get to Table Rock. It wasn't getting late really but we also didn't want to push it and have to hurry back to the car. We decided to hike a little while longer and see what we see. While I wouldn't describe the hike as grueling, we were both sweating and some of the uphills had me breathing deeply. I'd forgotten to wear my heart rate monitor, which bummed me out. I feel better when I know I'm not pushing it.

Anyway, further hiking brought us no closer to anything that looked like Table Rock so we decided to turn back. About a half-mile back we noticed another trail that we probably should have taken. We hiked down that for a bit and decided it was probably the trail to Table Rock. But by this time we were both sort of ready to make the return trek to the car.

So, sadly, no Table Rock for us. I can't say I'm disappointed. The weather, the beauty, the rocks, the blue sky, the breeze, the plate was overflowing. We hiked 4.3 miles in all. But with the sometimes treachourous terrain it really felt like more. All told we were out there about 3 hours.

My aunt is in town visiting my mom so on the way home I decided to call and see if they wanted us to stop by for dinner. Yep! We decided on Chinese Food. I probably burned a ton of calories during the hike, and I'm not supposed to be losing weight, so I decided Chinese Food was an acceptable choice. We had a nice dinner and by the time we got home I was exhausted! I slept so good last night.

Next week I'm shooting to track all week, get in two additional days of at least 30 minutes exercise, and reap the benefits of my newfound motivation. Oh! In my next post I need to update you on my plans for the Oly in October, the Marin Triathlon. Rest assured, I will be there one way or another!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Do You Really Want to Know?

Yes, I think I do. Well, maybe, okay...yes, please tell me. Even though it will hurt, and I might cry.


This past week has been okay on the food/exercise front. I flipped out a couple weeks ago when I shot up to over 170 but I think the swim class and somewhat improved eating kept things from getting out of control. Out of curiosity and concern I wore my heart Polar during swim class on Monday to see how high my heart rate was getting. It stayed mostly in the 140's-150's, which is a comfortable range for me. During the 1.5 hour class I burned 600 calories. That was a particularly tough class, Wednesday seemed easier, though I didn't wear the Polar so I can't be sure.

I went to see Christine today, my pregnancy nutritionist. As you might recall (wait, did I even tell you this before?), between our last appointment one month ago and today's I was supposed to gain no more than 3 pounds. We have a goal of my gaining 20-25 pounds during the pregnancy. Can I do it? Will I do it?

Well, if I'm going to do it I need to buckle down. So, did I gain 3 pounds over these past four weeks? Yes I did...and then some. I gained 5.5 pounds. I'm now 170 pounds. Yikes! Please, I know I'm pregnant and pregnant women gain weight but I must have a moment to freak out. Especially because I need that freak out energy to motivate me for what lies ahead. Are you ready for this? In the next four weeks Christine wants me to more than 1.5 pounds. Can you say Yowza! According to Christine my response to that number did not sound very confident.

I asked her if that number is realistic. Is it really realistic for me to go from 15 weeks to 19 weeks pregnant and only gain 1.5 pounds? She assured me it is. Dammit! She graphed my recent weight gain and if I stay on this course, well, things could get dire. The truth is I don't want to have a ton of weight to lose after I give birth. I don't want to have to deal with that extra stress when my little one and I are hanging out at home getting to know one another (!!). So, this is my goal, right? No one is forcing this on me. That's something that is so easy for me to forget.

I did a little photoshopping to really drive home the point of what I'm trying to avoid. This is what I don't want to look like in 5 months. This is serious. I want to stay healthy, I want to be a healthy, fit mom.
"Women who are very overweight or very underweight at the start of pregnancy are at greater risk of developing complications during pregnancy or at delivery. For the overweight woman, these complications include high blood pressure, toxemia, cesarean birth, kidney ailments, gestational diabetes and a long labor."
A bunch of things need to change in order for me to show up to Christine's office 4 weeks from now weighing no more than 171.5 pounds. First, I need to track. I need to stop talking about tracking and actually track. I'm going to start tomorrow (don't laugh!) and put my food into a GoogleDocs spreadsheet. Feel free to follow along. Second, I need to follow the food plan she gave me we created. Funny thing about the food plan, it doesn't include tacos and milkshakes from Jack in the Box. Or nachos. Third, I need to squeeze in a little more exercise. Right now I'm going to swim class twice a week and doing something recreational on the weekend. Christine recommends adding two 1/2 hour walks per week to get up to 5 days of exercise per week. I know that would do loads for my metabolism.

How's that for some needed changes? Track, follow the meal plan, and exercise. Sound familiar? I know this, I did this for 1.5 years. I can do this.

Other small changes I plan to make include not bringing red-light foods into the house. I know I can't resist eating a whole stack of low-fat graham crackers so why buy a box? Did I get more will power along with pregnancy? No. Another thing is getting more diligent about getting my fruits/veggies in. I struggled with a veggie aversion but that's getting better and I can eat all sorts now so no more excuses. Also plan to prepare more meals at home. There's really no excuse for not making dinner anymore.

Well, there you have it.  Things have to change around here.  I showed Christine my blog because I wanted her to see what I looked like before.  I wanted her to know my fear.  After looking at the pictures she asked me, "Do you really want to know?  If things start to get bad do you really want me to tell you?"  Yes.  Yes!  I know Christine wants for me what I want for myself - a fit and healthy pregnancy.  A healthy weight gain.  A healthy baby.  A happy mommy.  I'm feeling very motivated.  I'm feeling confident.  I believe in my ability.  I know that if I really want this, I can do it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Napa Sonoma Ride Redux, but first...A Scale Rant

Before I yap on and on about the goings on of my week I want to rant about something for a minute. The Scale. We all know The Scale can be a cruel and unusually mysterious creature. I've had my share of moments standing there naked, post-restroom, pre-breakfast, with both a boggled and angry look on my face. The Scale does not always make sense. And the reason it doesn't make sense is because The Scale only tells part of the story. I know I say this a lot but only because it's true.

Being pregnant, my relationship with the scale is changing. Oh, I still turn to the scale for information, but for some reason this different relationship has given me a new view of my old friend. And I'm not liking a lot of what I'm seeing.

I've tried to organize my thoughts into a list. Without further ado...Here are Five things about The Scale that drive me crazy

1. The Scale does not have all the answers. If I were to tell you, "I'm going to make a recipe and the ingredients are beef, brown gravy mix, dried Italian salad dressing mix, ranch dressing mix, and water and then asked, "What am I making?," would you know? Highly unlikely, right? Why? Because you don't know the amounts of ingredients, you don't know the preparation, the cooking instructions, etc. Would you be upset with yourself for not knowing? Would you be baffled as to why you don't know? Of course not. You'd say, "How could I know? I don't have enough information!" Well, to me, that's what we expect of ourselves when we hop on that scale, see a number we didn't expect and then get upset. So many things go into our weight - calories in, temperature, sodium in, waste out, time of day...the list goes on and on. The Scale does not have The really doesn't.

2. The Scale reveals minute changes in our weight.
We say things like, "I don't understand, I ate healthy, exercised...why am I up .4 pounds?" Point 4 pounds? Seriously? My scale gives my weight down to 1/10th. Most of the time I think that's a good thing. But sometimes it's not. We lose perspective. We seem to forget that at 164 pounds .4 is a .2% change in our body weight. Not even 1%, not even a 1/2 of a percent...but .2% people! Why are we reacting to this?

3. The Scale is a progress report on our goal of improved health.
As if they are one in the same. If I gain one pound this week (imagine I'm not pregnant but still trying to lose weight) you might hear me say something like, "I had a bad week." But whoa...what if I'd gone to the gym 5 days that week and reached a personal best on the treadmill? What if I resisted giving into a Taco Bell urge on my way home from work after a stressful day? What if I learned a new healthy recipe version of my favorite comfort food (that I actually like)? Those are all fabulous accomplishments that will serve me in my long term goal of weight loss and health. They are also signs that I am indeed living this new healthy lifestyle. They contradict my earlier conclusion that I had a bad week. Don't they?

4. The Scale tells us how to feel. Why do we let the scale effect our mood? Why is The Scale the one that tells us how to feel? What to think? What to do next? Well, partially, I think, because it gives us (in seconds) something concrete to focus on. Measuring ourselves takes time, and it might take weeks before we see a change. Weeks? Are you kidding me? Why wait weeks to get feedback on how I'm doing when I can hop on the scale in the morning, mid-morning, afternoon, late afternoon, evening, late evening...etc, etc. I've read more than one post in which the writer weighed herself and was up a tiny bit more than she wanted to be. She did some shenanigans (losing the clothes, using the restroom, etc) and hopped back on. Lo and behold that extra weight is gone and happiness ensues. Something is just not right with that picture. And yet I've been that person so many, many times.

5. Despite all of the above, The Scale does not go away. I've met those woman who never weigh themselves. They say honorable things like, "I let the fit of my clothes tell me if I need to start eating less." These people have somehow broken free from the cruelty of that little measuring device. I think it's great. I wish I could do it. Well, obviously I don't because I haven't. I'm as addicted to that instant feedback as the next girl. Even though it doesn't always make sense, it can put me in a bad mood, it lies (oh and don't think it doesn't, it will lie straight to your face without a second thought), it's unreliable and inconsistent...even though I swear it hates me, I won't get rid of it. And neither will you. And that's the worst of all.
So what inspired me to put together this list? You. As I was riding my bike today I started thinking about some of the anguish, the torture, the pain I've read lately in some blogs. Women truly, seriously frustrated, women confused, women depressed. And I've been that woman, I am that woman too. I wrote this list to try and break us free from the insanity. We need a new relationship with the scale. How to do that? Well, give me time, I haven't had that epiphany yet :) The good news is we weigh ourselves because we are driven, we want to get healthy. And we want to know how it's going. We weigh ourselves because we care. I think it's what we do with the number that gets a little screwy.

That's enough of that. Let me tell you how things have been going here. I went to my swim class on Wednesday evening and once again felt great when I left.  Too bad that didn't translate into any other exercise for the week.  Finally today, Sunday, Miguel and I went for a bike ride.  I decided to take him on the ride I did last week, the Napa to Sonoma and back 30-miler.

The weather was cooler than last weekend, which is nice. We had a very nice ride to Sonoma and once there we happened upon a celebration for Mexican Independence. There were dancers and singers and it was an awesome little surprise.

After watching the dancers for a while we went to a deli and purchased some food for an impromptu picnic.

I had some egg salad on lettuce with tomatoes, cucumber and carrots and we shared some salami, cheese and bread.  It was a great little lunch.  While we were eating the mariachi band was playing and it all felt so perfect.

On the ride back I really paced myself.  I remember how I pooped out last Sunday about 7 miles from the end.  I didn't want that to happen again, and it didn't.  I felt good the whole ride, save a little bit of a sore butt and legs now and again.  Here I am on our return leg.

What a picture perfect day, right?  

Well, that's about it for me.  It's late and I'm tired.  Off to enjoy some sleep.  Have a great week everyone!!

Oh, and by the way, the ingredients mentioned earlier are for "To Die for Crock Pot Roast"