Thursday, March 27, 2014

Trying Not to be a Mad Blogger

Good news (sarcasm)... I had this whole nice big, long, beautiful blog written out and pregnant me, I accidentally published it without adding the photo I wanted... Edited it... and boom. Blog gone. Pfft.
33 Weeks at the day of Chloe's shower - Driving is becoming an issue
Aaaaannd, I'm not going to re-do it. Haha.. I've been wanting to blog and write more but am pretty sure every blog would basically just say "I'm really uncomfortable and REALLY ready to have a baby."
So, to spare you of pure complaining, I would just like to take a moment and compare pregnancy to contest prep. That way my complaining is at least semi-entertaining ;)

1. You're too tired for anything other than what you need to do. At any moment, you really could catch a nap in your car.
2. Basically just counting down the weeks until D-Day, and you could name off how many days you have left.
3. Constantly feeling sick and depleted.
4. My body hurts all the time.
5. I'm really focused on my water and meals.
6. I bide my time waiting to lose weight.
7. I'm hangry all the time.
8. I have trouble getting down my meals (in fact, this salad I'm eating has taken me an hour to get down 5 bites).
9. You're hungry in the middle of the night. In fact, your hunger pangs wake you.
10. You have to pee ALL the time.
11. The biggest changes to your physique happen in the last two weeks.
12. Everyone thinks they owe you the input on your body/eating habits/sleeping habits.

I'm sure there are plenty more, but these are what go through my head all the time. And, before you go thinking that I'm really obsessed with wanting to be small again or concerned with the number on the scale, the reality is that the weight throws my posture off which has become incredibly painful. I still do yoga at home but absolutely nothing relieves the pain of muscle spasms like losing weight and correcting my posture.

Although it sounds pretty miserable, and it can be, I am the happiest girl in the world. Mr. Bang has MORE than stepped up to the plate in helping me do everything around the house - I should start calling him Mr. Wonderful. There are days where I come home from work, and he has the house clean, a fire going, and dinner in the crockpot - a pregnant lady could never ask for more!

While I am certainly ready to have little Chloe, I spend my time knowing that I am the only one that can hold her right now. I feel her kicks and jabs and know that these are the last days I will ever feel those. At this point, we plan on Chloe being our only little one so I truly do savor those moments when I feel her turn over, or have the hiccups, or move when I've poked her one to many times. :) Sigh, I'm getting all teary over this!

So, with that... I'm leaving you with a few pictures. :) The nursery is mostly done; we're missing the door to her room, which we're still in search of the perfect one and the mattress to her crib.
Here's where we're at currently - I have a couple more finishing touches to add and some of this will obviously be out of here (like the carseat) pretty soon. All of her clothes have been washed and put away. :)
Andy LOOOVES Chloe's room.

The light we chose for her room - I wasn't sure about it at first but I love the pattern it creates on the ceiling. So fun for a little girl!

The glider to the right of the door - Now there is a large basket covering that heater containing blankets, burp cloths, etc.
Such a beautiful atmosphere for a nursery
34 Weeks on my 30th birthday -
Big baby in there! I do wear stripes to make her look huge though. I'll do a better update in the next couple of weeks - Because lord knows we might only have a couple of weeks left! I have my last ultrasound tomorrow! :)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Coming Into the Final Lap (or, 12 Weeks Out)

I'm sure some of the moms I know are just going to flat out laugh at this post, and that's fine. I tend to be ambitious and over commit ahead of time. :) I know this about myself, and that's okay.

We are gearing up for baby! I was waiting until I was completely full term before prepping these meals, more as kind of a mind bender that there was NO WAY I would have a premature baby (like I am able to control that LOL). Whatever, mind tricks. But have taken the time to start stocking up on spices and buying loads of freezer containers.

Right Now Goals:
1. Have 5 weeks worth of clean freezer meals prepped for after delivery.
2. Room Ready
3. Continue workouts/yoga 3-4x a week until labor

Post-Birth Goals:
1. My overall goal is to breastfeed Chloe for a full year.
2. Have a meal plan laid out, and clean up my eating immediately after delivery (without lowering any kind of calories to ensure my body still produces milk. Lowering calories can tell your body that you don't want to produce. Our bodies are fickle and amazing).

Macro split: 40-40-20, calories starting at 2,400... I'm going to see how this goes for me. I've heard that some women have an insane metabolism while breastfeeding and it just depends on your genetics.
I tend to be mostly a mesomorph, meaning that I tend to gain muscle easily. So, I'm going to start high with minimal exercise and see how that goes for me. Changes will be made in the event that I stop producing milk or don't lose weight.

3. Start with walks around the block (which is 3 miles in the country :) ) within a week after delivery until my body is ready for an easy weight lifting split (no cardio, only a 10 minute walk warm up). I'm excited to give my body the chance to reset my metabolism!
4. Enjoy every minute of my time with my little one :)

I will be working on the meal plan in the next few weeks, and will be ABSOLUTELY be looking for good clean freezer meal recipes, so feel free to share! :)

Week: 28! Officially at my 3rd Trimester and 12 weeks from meeting our sweet Chloe (I'm actually at 29 tomorrow)
Weight Gain:  30 lbs (@ 155 lbs) - Gaining weight like a champ! LOL! Yes, that does mean that I've gained 12 lbs in the last two months. And this is the one time in my life that I'm not giving myself a hard time over the gain. :)

Sleep: Pretty awful, but let's be honest... It isn't going to get better anytime in the next year or so. I'm just praying little Chloe has inherited her papa's sleeping habits: HARD as a log. 

Miss Anything? Lots of things. Mostly margaritas and non-pregnant sex. It's true, having a little person in the bed is very similar to knowing your dog is watching you. 

Symptoms: I hate telling people this, but I'm still getting sick. And often, like 3-4x a week still. Again, I haven't been diligent about keeping up with preventative measures because I'm really tired of doing the fruitless preventative measures.

I also have at times unbearable back pain, but yoga is a tremendous help with this. Something new, I'm experiencing a new nerve compression - It feels like the baby is an alien and is going to come crawling out of my abdomen. But seriously, like a really intense sunburn on your upper abs. This is due to my posture being off and compressing a nerve in my upper thoracic spine. Awesome.

Mood: Depends on what minute of the day it is and the last time I ate. Right now I feel fine. Ask me in a few hours, and I might have a meltdown. haha! Mostly I just crave holding my little baby in my arms. 

Cravings: Fruit, cinnamon, and chocolate. I found myself getting wrapped back into a cinnamon roll habit (Okay, just to reiterate.. these rolls are pretty amazingly delicious... made with biscuit dough and not too much icing... They are so fantastic with coffee in the morning), but quickly realized that my craving for these was simply due to wanting/craving cinnamon! (Okay, that and comfort eating from getting sick nearly every morning still.) So, I quickly bought some cinnamon cream cheese for my P28 Bagels, and BOOM! Breakfast is now both satisfying and filling. 

Diet: Not too bad. Now that I've come to grips with the fact that the nausea and sickness I experience is never going to change until little Chlo makes her arrival, I'm trying not to get too caught up into eating everything in sight just because I'm STARVANG and wanting to comfort eat. I allow myself one treat per day, which usually is something like angel food cake and strawberries, and am also eating a good amount of fruit everyday. 

Still working out: In the last few weeks, I've only made it to yoga twice a week and the gym another 1-2x a week. This is a VERY busy time for us business-wise (taxes, W2's, etc.), so I'm giving myself the flexibility and sympathy I don't typically when it comes to my workouts.

Stretchmarks: They're happening. I mean, I already had them so I'm not concerned about it. It's just re-stretching out my old ones on my love handles. Luckily, none ON the front side of my belly yet. :)

And introducing another new category... "Belly Button Watch"
Still In. :) But getting shallow. 

Baby Room Progress: 

WE DID IT! Actually, Mr. Bang did ALL of this. I wish I had a good before picture, because this room was CRAPPY! It was seriously our junk room that we kept the door closed to when we had people over.
Mr. Bang painted the entire room, including the trim... He painted the dresser gold, the cabinet in the closet white, and the cute little pink table. He also completely put together the crib and the glider with ottoman... And he put up the cute letters I wrapped in yarn. Now, it's just time for details... organizing the closet, getting some drapes put in, and pictures on the walls.

So yeah, we are moving right along. This little baby will be here before we know it, and it is so hard to believe that we'll have a new person living with us! And it's time to get on making my freezer meals, so PLEASE share any great recipes you have! 

Have a great strong week friends! Spring is around the corner! :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Goals & Reflections

It occurred to me this morning that I was nearing the end of the year and I couldn't even remember what my goals were for 2013. Course, life had other plans for me and my body but still! I took a look through this blog just to refresh my memory and to my dismay I couldn't find where I had actually set any in stone!

So... I'm ready to make some goals for 2014... It's going to be a BIG year in the Bang house. Some things we're not ready to talk about as they're still in process but we do have a baby coming which is a huge change in any household.

1. Natural Delivery. I REALLY don't want a C-Section (and firmly believe that OB's hand these out more than they are needed... but that's a whole other discussion). So my daily decisions are made with thought to delivering Chloe naturally; staying strong and eating right is the only way to even remotely have a say in this.
2. Back to Normal Weight. I know the baby weight can come off rather easily for breastfeeding women if a plan is in place, which I've already been working on one that will be prepped far ahead of delivery (frozen meals, etc.). And of course all of this is to be Back on Course to Compete in 2015. Depending on when Chloe makes her arrival, and how those first few months go will determine when I compete again. I've never gotten around to competing at the Emerald Cup, which I had planned to do TWICE and haven't... So that's on my bucket list. But, it is reasonable to assume that I've lost muscle mass over the course of being knocked up so this will take some considerable planning. However, I genuinely hope that I can spend time healing my hip and rebuild through the end of 2014. I'm sure I could push myself to compete in the fall of 2014, but I don't want to overwhelm myself... Having a new baby will be a significant change to our lifestyle.
3. Stay on course with paying our debt and growing our business to hopefully be on track to stay home after my maternity leave is over. This is going to be a big BIG year for us, but more on that later. ;)
4. Write! I really miss blogging and even journaling to get all my thoughts out of my head. There are so many I just can't contain them. lol!

Week: 23!!! :D  -17 weeks out!!-
I was surprised to see that I've only gone up one pant size. My legs feel giant to me. 

Weight Gain:  18 lbs (@ 141 lbs)

Sleep: Definitely difficult. I've gotten to the point where not only is sleeping uncomfortable by itself (hanging belly twisting my spine for hours...), but Baby Chloe has a habit of waking me up kicking ALL the time. 

Miss Anything?  Anything body related. I miss it all... Miss my abs, miss being limber enough to hop up on a chair, I miss wearing cute little anythings that make me feel sexy. Feeling sexy is a valuable commodity these days... And not for Mr. Bang, but for me. The last time I remember desiring a smaller body and feeling sexy in my skin this much, was when I was about 185 lbs and made a huge commitment to change my lifestyle and lose the weight.

Symptoms: Still sick somewhat often. About 2-3 times a week I'm still getting sick in the morning, and it is just in the morning. I have to admit that I've quit being diligent about preventing this... but let's be honest, you'd get pretty sick of fruitlessly trying to prevent getting nauseous for over 4 months too.

Mood: Mostly good, feeling so excited for our little one. Now that the holidays are over, I'm starting to feel the sense of urgency in working on the baby's room. Nesting. :)

Cravings: Fruit. All the time and sometimes tuna. I mean, I want carbs when I'm hungry, but I haven't had any crazy cravings. Every now and then I crave chocolate, but not a lot. I even go scavenge around the cafeteria at work, and the only things that I ever choose are fruit or a tuna sandwich on high protein bread (I also bring my own olive oil mayo to work, and load the sucker up with tomatoes, pickles and pepperoncinis). 

Diet: (Now, when I say diet, I just mean my regular eating meal plan. The word "diet" does not indicate that I'm trying to lose weight in any way, shape or form.) Going awesome! See my post about my meal plan from a few weeks ago. I don't stray too much from it, the hubby and I really enjoy eating healthy and wholesome meals. I also really notice when I am consistently eating this meal plan, and drinking enough water, it drastically reduces my fatigue. 

Still working out: See my post from a couple weeks ago about my excellent flexible workout schedule. I plan to switch this up in the middle to end of February just for something new and getting me focused on smaller timelines, like in 6 weeks I get a new workout. *Mind Tricks!* I totally did this all through prep too. :)

I would like to say, however, is it ever hard to workout now! Adding on the excess pounds and still trying to do the same workouts is crazy hard! I feel like I'm doing the "Add the Weight Back On"  Challenge from the Biggest Loser. 

The Sacred Pregnancy Obedience Rules: I'm quickly finding that some of these pregnancy obedience rules are basically just my life now, not out of choice, but out of circumstance. If I tried to hang out in a room full of paint fumes, I would likely barf. Or clean the catbox. Even if I tried to drink more than the recommended amount, I would get heartburn alllll night and be sick ALL the next day.
I am still eating some tuna a few times a week, but that's mostly because I'm trying to not eat the deli meat. Although, I do eat the deli meat sometimes. ;) And as for the occasional glass of wine, it is my savior right now. Having one once a week is a really nice break from the reality of being and feeling really pregnant. Although, this is usually followed by a full night of heartburn and feeling sick in the morning. 

One Month Goals: Finish Chloe's room clean-out project. I've Craigslisted a bunch of furniture that was all stuffed into her room - I try really hard not to become attached to furniture or completely replaceable objects. Our house is just tooooo small to keep so much in it. We are planning a home reno-party pretty soon just to help us get Chloe's room done and finish breaking out our last wall between the dining room & kitchen, which will require a new support beam. Hubby doesn't want me around the paint fumes, so I'll make food while everyone else drinks beer and paints. Luckies!

...And let's welcome our newest category:         "Stretchmarks"
Yep, got em. But really these aren't new for me. I'm very petite and knew this would happen quickly because of the simple fact that I had them when I was large around my love handles area and they aren't new... Old ones stretch back out pretty easy. (I know you all can't see my face or even see any emoticons so let me just tell you that the look on my face is pretty annoyed. I get a lot of "get over it" 's and "they're your tiger stripes" encouragement but it still doesn't dispel my disdain for stretching them back out. I am sure I'll be proud of birthing my baby, but I feel no connection between being proud of her and the stretch marks). I am doing Shea butter everyday though! I'm gonna fight those suckers to the death! 

Well, I hope you all had a wonderful new year! Two things:
1. What is everyone eating for lunch these days? I really need a new option over tuna...
2. What are your goals/resolutions for 2014? I'd love to encourage you in your goals!

Until next time! :D

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Next Phase, Part 2: The Workout Schedule

Sooo... First of all... It's a GIRL! :)
Mr. Bang and I are overwhelmingly excited! We're naming her Chloe and feel relieved that we came to agree upon a name so easily! I thought we would fight and fight over the names we liked. We are 19 weeks away from meeting our little one, but let me tell you... She makes her presence KNOWN. Wakes up kicking me every day at 7:30 and she constantly turns and kicks; she certainly got her papa's energy! Seeing her move her little fingers and head in the ultrasound was absolutely surreal.
Would you look at those lips? 
Always On Track.
I've always been a firm follower of schedules and plans, they tend to make my life easier. I've read that with a baby it really can make your life so much easier when sticking to a schedule, and I really plan on continuing with that specifically so I don't neglect myself in this changing period of my life.

In working out lately, I've been on a schedule that allows me the flexibility to be knocked up. I mean, literally, my energy levels are not the same and if my body says "I'm too tired," I take a flipping day off without worrying about it or asking myself what my real excuse is. I am growing a human,so I'm giving myself the slack I never give. :)

Speaking of the slack I never give, I'm happy to report that I've been VERY kind to myself about my progress photos as well. I focus ONLY on looking at the positive about my body...
Really liking the ab dimples at the top of my baby belly.. And also REALLY proud that I'm only up 15 lbs... I feel like with how much I've been sick, and how much I know I've put in my mouth to compensate, it could have been more. Thankful for a healthy metabolism!

Back to Basics.
I love a chance to go back to basics. Of course as someone who likes to be athletic, I have a healthy competition with myself but this is a time to revel in doing everything very basic. Spend that time REALLY focusing on my core and rehabilitating my hips. So, I'm doing a 5 day split weight cycle with 2 days of yoga mixed in. This does mean that my schedule overflows into the next week, but I enjoy this cycle for now. A low stress schedule. Every weight day, except legs & back, includes a core workout, because that is ultimately what I really need to work on.

Of course, with any new workout regimen, I have to take my own body into consideration:
1. My core needs work, yes, but given that my core needs work means I shouldn't go too heavy on core during other big body part days like back or legs.
2. Also feeling like as my belly is stretching out, I need to be mindful of the core movements I choose.
3. What injuries do I still keep in mind? My back/hip injury is still nagging a bit. So, not too heavy or hip dominant movements on leg days.

But the amazing and incredible side of working out while pregnant - excess hormones. Specifically, human growth hormone. I mean, the crazy hormones really do not help my relationships AT ALL, but it does help me while working out. In fact, resistance training increases your body's production of HGH. And while it is at an all time high during pregnancy, why not put those to use? Could it be possible to continue building muscle or at the very least maintain it during pregnancy?

And let's be real here, fatigue is real.. but it's also not real. Although there are many causes for true fatigue (thyroid issues, little water, too many carbs in the diet) pregnancy fatigue seems like a facade. I've fought through intense fatigue before (hello, prep), and fighting through this fatigue has been rewarding.

I promise: if you spend the energy in your workout, you'll get more energy back from getting the endorphins you produce, the excess oxygen pumping through your system from increased heart rate as well as the excess nutrients/water you're taking in. Plus it will help ensure a sound night's sleep!

Day 1 - Core & Chest
10 min stairmill or treadmill warm up
Super Set: Barbell Bench Press - 1 Warm Up set (about 50% of what I would normally use) + 4 (sets) x 12 (reps)
w/ Incline Bench Pushup - 5x12
Super Set: Incline Dumbell Fly - 4x12
w/ 30 Sec Side Planks
Super Set:  Dumbell Floor Press - 4x12
w/ 30 Sec Planks
Super Set: Cable Fly - 4x12
w/10 Two Point Bridges
Knee pushups to Failure
30 mins cardio (elliptical or treadmill)

Day 2 - Legs
10 min stairmill warm up
Super Set: Machine Press - Neutral Stance-  1 Warm Up set + 4 (sets) x 12 (reps)
w/ Close & High Stance (Basically Partial Reps as the belly continues to grow) - 1 Warm Up set - 4x12
Super Set: Machine Leg Extension - 4x12
w/ Body Weight Lunge - 4x10
Super Set: Seated Machine Leg Curl - 4x12
w/ Ball Wall Squat with Dumbells - 4x12
Barbell Romanian (or Stiff Legged) Dead Lift - 4x12
Prisoner Squat (can put your hands in front of you for balance) - 4x12
Band Knee Abductions & Adductions - 4x12
Followed by 30 min cardio

Day 3 - Core & Arms
10 min elliptical or treadmill warm up
Super Set: Cable Biceps Curl - 1 Warm Up Set + 4 (sets) x 12 (reps)
w/ Cable triceps Pushdown - 1 WU Set + 4x12 
Super Set:  Barbell Drag Curl - 4x12
w/ Barbell Triceps Overhead Extension - 4x12
Super Set: Reverse Bench Press - 4x12
w/ 30 Sec Planks
Super Set: Incline Hammer Curl - 4x12
w/ Bent Knee Sit Downs - 4x12
Mini Crunches - 4x12
Followed by 30 min cardio

Day 4 - Core & Back
10 min stairmill warm up
Super Set: Cable Straight Arm Pulldown  - 1 Warm Up Set + 4 (sets) x 12 (reps)
w/ Cable Seated Close Row - 1 WU Set + 4x12
Super Set: Barbell Bent-Over Row - 4x12
w/Lying BB Pullover - 4x12
Super Set: Lat Pulldown - 4x12
w/Seated Reverse Fly - 4x12
Super Set: Swiss-Ball Pullover - 4x12
w/DB Bent Over Row - 4x12
Followed by 30 min cardio

Day 5 - Core & Shoulders
10 min treadmill or elliptical warm up
Super Set: Swiss Ball DB Arnold Press   - 1 Warm Up Set + 4 (sets) x 12 (reps)
w/30 sec Side Plank
Super Set: Barbell Military Press
w/Barbell Front Raise
Super Set: Rear Lateral Raise
w/Seated Incline Front Raise
Super Set: DB Lateral Raise
w/30 sec Planks
30 Mins cardio

Again, I'll skip a day whenever I want and then just fall right back into my next day rotation, mixing hot yoga in between. It's probably my favorite split in a LONG time! :)

My primary goals, again, are to maintain a healthy and strong body in order to get myself and Baby Chloe through a healthy and natural delivery. I'll be honest here, putting my body through a natural delivery freaks me right the frank out. But we, as fitness enthusiasts and competitors, know that we always feel better about tackling something huge if we do something about it. Preparation. Doing something whether it be stretching, lifting, kegels every day... Doing anything makes me feel less fearful and more excited about D-Day.

What are you doing to prepare for the next phase of your life? What is your next phase?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Next Phase, Part 1: Meal Plan & Preggie Update

Well, I've finished out my 1st trimester and this is when I hear life gets a little easier.. I say that I hear that because I still got the pregnant barfies. In most women this is gone by now, but I guess I've never been one to be "normal."

Week: 15 - Beginning of the 2nd trimester! In the life of a fitness competitor, wouldn't it seem more fitting to count DOWN the weeks? ;) I'm now 25 weeks out! WOOT! Still feels like forever.  

Weight:  132 lbs (7 lb gain.)

Sleep: I have been feeling somewhat better, so I've been working out more... So, I've been sleeping a little better at night. Although, HOLY HELL, DREAMS! My dreams are sooo vivid (hormones).. Ahem, sex dreams are theeeee best. 

Symptoms: Better, sort of... Nausea and sickness are still around frequently... Please don't feel that you need to fix this because my doctor has stated that I just might be one of those women that gets sick all the way through, and I have tried EVERYTHING aside from taking medication, which I refuse to do.

The fatigue has pretty much hung around.. I walk around like I'm on a sleeping pill all day trying to fight off its effects... But its really just hormones.

Just imagine having PMS always. ALWAYS. I'm trying to be good about telling people when I just feel plain old grumpy for no reason. All the ladies seem to get it, and the husband appreciates it. ;)

Miss Anything? Competing. Training hard. Ordering new bikinis. Wearing bikinis. Having abs. The Olympia just happened and it sucks to not really be able to focus on that right now... Or anytime soon. Maybe late next year? Its kind of far fetched considering you're not *supposed* to workout for 6 weeks past giving birth (this will be a WHOLE other post, I don't totally agree with this logic).

But the best way to beat the crummy attitude about that, is to continue working on my diet and exercise! Am I right?! Makes me feel less insecure about my changing body & body composition.

Mood: BETTER ALSO. Well, mostly. Trying to be better about recognizing when my crazy pregnancy hormones are just making me angry. :) I'm calling that... Pregangry.

Cravings: Pickles and apples. Not together. But a LOT of apples.

Also, everything.

Diet: Towards the end of week 13, I really noticed my tummy was queasy less often, and I was shakey less often.. So I took it upon myself to get back to making good solid lunches with a variety of foods... fruits, veggies, mostly gluten free carbs like rice cakes and rice noodles, and some high protein bagels. Unfortunately for me, I've been sick SO much that I can only hold down carbs first thing in the morning. I tried making spinach & fruit shakes, but they almost made me sicker. For weeks on end all I could hold down in the mornings were bagels, so the P28 bagels REALLY came in handy!

So, I've actually had to mess around with this a LOT. I've worked on a different meal plan almost every week simply because nothing was working with the nausea like I had hoped. Here's what my meal plan looks like for the next few weeks:
7am - Coffee and a P28 bagel with cream cheese
10am - Yogurt & Fruit
12pm - Some kind of salad loaded with veggies, a lean meat and any dressing of my choosing, trying to avoid choices like cheese or olives. 
2pm - a protein candy bar. ;) Okay, its usually a cliff bar or a promax bar, but they taste like candy.
5pm - Yoga days: an apple & coconut water; Lift days: apple & protein shake
630ish - Anything, but something well rounded... A veggie, a lean meat and a whole grain of some sort... This has often ended up in the form of a good pasta or burrito. :) And sometimes breakfast for dinner.
9ish - Protein crepes with fruit, or a FiberOne Bar... Although I should make more crepes. They are fabulous and really fill me up overnight.

We got our back room cleaned out and even got the office organized! It was giant dump run and Goodwill run, but soooo worth it. Now we can officially start moving the furniture out of the office but we also have a few walls to get knocked out... We have a little house, only 2 bedrooms in 1200 sq feet, so the plan is to knock out a wall between our living room & dining room so we can make room for our gigantor desk in the living room. Its a lot to handle but Baby Bang has given us a reason to be motivated. :)

Well, new stuff happening! We get to find out the gender in another couple of weeks, which has felt like an ETERNITY! And I've been fighting the urge to feel annoyed with my doctor who likes to wait to find out the gender until 19-20 weeks. Ugh... We do have names picked out for either sex, but will wait until we find out to share them. :) We tried sharing our boy name with some family and got a whole lot of "WHAT??" So, we're just waiting.

Pregnancy in general is pretty weird. You just have to be okay with it. And I've not ever been one to just concede and be fine with miscellaneous stressors, or a body I'm uncomfortable in, so this has been a challenge. I'm usually one to change whatever I don't like about myself or my situation so this is quite the new experience. It challenges my self-esteem to make a choice to love my body right now, when it doesn't reflect what I'd like it to, among other things.

My goals right now are:
1. Keep up on my water intake & pre-established meal plan
2. Eat only what's on my pre-established meal plan. (This is for a couple of reasons: First, of course, I want to gain weight at a healthy pace, not blow up. And also, high blood pressure runs in my family and any weight gain sets this in for me, so monitoring my food helps me monitor my sodium intake to keep my blood pressure low.)
3. Gym workouts 3-4x times a week and trying for hot yoga 2x a week. This is too much for many, and I wouldn't recommend this unless you were doing it pre-pregnancy, which I was. (Obviously this is me balancing creating strength and working on flexibility. Gotta take advantage of all the excess human growth hormone!)

Exercise Routine: Also towards the end of week 12 since I was feeling less sick, I started to get back to, at the VERY least, cardio. And on days I was feeling okay for it, I did some strengthening exercises... Body weight squats, pushups, hip thrusts, etc. Basically back to 3-4 times a week by week 15. And these last two weeks its been 3 days a week, with body parts split up and elliptical, at the gym... with 2 days of yoga. Yeah! Feels great to sweat hard again. Maybe in another week I'll have the coveted GLOW?!

Next week I will post my workout plan, which I feel very good about. More on that next week.

Question: Would registering for new VersaGrips be acceptable on my baby registry? I mean, that's ultimately what I'm going to NEED post-partum. ;)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Yoga Love and the Miracle of Hot Yoga while Pregnant (or not pregnant)

I absolutely love the studio I've gone to for years. They treat me like family every time I'm there and I am constantly learning more and more about my practice. Being knocked up has given me the opportunity to learn even more about the practice, and how continuing can be very beneficial for baby and for pregnancy symptoms. Skip to the below post if you'd rather read this than read my Knocked Up Updates. ;)

Week: 10!    Official due date: April 29th! I was a bit farther along than we initially thought. 

Weight Gain: 2 lbs (At 125lbs, my goal weight gain is 20 lbs.. So, around 140-145.)

Minka, making sure her presence is known ;)
Sleep: Getting harder. I was an 80's kid before SIDS was linked to tummy sleeping, so not being able to sleep on my tum tum is pretty lame, and some nights I wake up still sleeping on my belly. And I'm a really light sleeper so I suspect my days of sound sleep are basically gone. Although, we have resolved the dog issue.

Miss Anything?  HOT BATHS. I take a much hotter bath than most, practically scathing, much like a hot tub.. So I really miss just soaking in a hot bath (to my standards). I just like being warm... Hot baths, hot yoga, steam rooms... Yeah, you guys know.

Symptoms: More mood swings, brain fog, constant fatigue, and my belly hurts a lot... Sometimes its the round ligament at the bottom of my belly and sometimes its higher, which I've read is probably my organs & internal tissues getting soft... not a lot of places for a baby to go in a woman my size. :) Sometimes the pains are worrisome, but I've been told not to.

My smells are on overdrive lately too! I smelled gasoline in our home and threw up everywhere! Funny thing was I could never figure out where the smell was coming from! Bad breath has made me throw up, the smell of the parking garage being cleaned at work... grease anywhere (like fast food type grease). 

Mostly it's a lot of barfing. For all the women who never had this, you have NO CLUE how lucky you are. It's impossible to predict when it will come for me. The other day it was in a meeting. On Saturday, it was DURING breakfast. Surprisingly, the prenatal vitamins don't seem to affect the nausea.

Women have suggested to me everything under the sun, and I've tried absolutely everything... Unisom, crackers at night, crackers during the night, crackers as soon as I wake up, ginger root supplements, ginger chews, ginger ale, ginger tea, tons of water, many small meals (which I do anyway), pregnancy teas, Preggie Pops (which do seem to help if I'm far from food, and am feeling the nausea come... although, I can't seem to find WHY these help. The ingredients are all sugars and essential oils. Tasty tho!), extra B6 during the day.. And still throwing up 6-7 times a day. I have no desire to be on any medication for this (Hello! Thalidomide was a disaster!), and am hoping I'm just hitting my peak of nausea & sickness.

Mood: Depends on my hunger or level of tiredness. :) Mamas, you know what I mean. The mood swings are CRAZY! I feel pretty bad for the hubs.. I really REALLY need to do something nice for him. He really is amazing.

Cravings: Fruit.. Except Bananas.. I am ENDLESSLY hungry. I have to deny myself a lot, but not like prep. I'm just denying things that sound instantly good but we know are completely empty - soda, ice cream... I've tried to turn to some FiberOne Bars just to keep my fiber up and avoid the dreaded pregnancy constipation yet still satisfy some sweet craving. Have been craving home food as the weather has gotten colder as well.. I made the BEST chicken pot pie last night!

Diet: Not that I'm complaining or anything, but this is so counter-intuitive for a bikini athlete/bodybuilder. Craving and eating loads of fruits lately. I binged on an entire carton of strawberries the other night. Mmmm! :) But honestly most of my diet is dictated by how I'm feeling... If the nausea is high, I'm tempted to only eat carbs, my breakfasts have pretty much only been bagels or cereal... Eggs, sausage, bacon.. all sound awful! But then also have to be careful about indigestion. I learned that on Cheez-It's a week or two ago. So, fruits have been my best option.

The saddest thing happened though this week, my taste buds changed... and coffee tastes awful. :( WAHHHHHH!!! Everyday my brain tells me I want coffee, but I have dumped an entire coffee every day this week. So, will probably just be making a switch to tea. (WOAH. Pregnancy really IS comparable to prep! haha)

Still working out: Baby and I have been doing hot yoga and cardio a couple times a week depending on where my nausea is at, but will discuss my love for hot yoga at the end of this post. My sickness has also dictated this, if I feel really sick... I don't work out.

Also, this isn't saying that I have loads of energy, it's mostly the opposite. I've been good about packing fruits and things to raise my blood sugar when I get too sleepy. But this is also a challenge when trying to keep up on my workouts. The fatigue is truly physical, but the battle is mental. It's easiest to compare this feeling to prep-depletion: Just get to the gym. I always feel better once I'm done!

The Sacred Pregnancy Obedience Rules: Okay, I quit Seafood.. And as far as the catbox, I just started wearing  a mask. Probably will eat clam chowder at some point. ;) I'm an excellent pill taker though, so the vitamins aren't an issue.

Goals for the next week or two:
We finally started our nesting projects! We did clean out and paint our master bedroom this weekend, so the next project is still one of my original goals:
1. Clean out the effing back room! It is a cluttery mess.

Onto My Real Post.... The Miracle of Hot Yoga (while or while not pregnant): 
With pregnancy comes loads of unsolicited advice. If you're a patient person, this might not bug you... but I, however, am not. I also used to be a GIANT people pleaser, so I now take any advice with a large grain of salt. A rock of salt, if you will. When I'm cranky and uncomfortable, I really want to tell some people to shove it.

"Do you really think you should be doing that given your condition?!" (Yeah, I heard that for real, last week)

I smiled as pleasantly as I could, although I'm sure she could see the irritation behind the smile, and informed her that I felt good and was perfectly healthy to keep up my exercise routine. I love how people think when you're pregnant, that you WANT to be squatting a large barbell or doing an hour of cardio (Okay, I do want to be squatting a large barbell, just not right now). On the contrary, in this first trimester, I don't feel awesome. But I ALWAYS feel awesome when I'm done!

My primary concern is growing a healthy baby. My secondary concern is keeping myself healthy and strong for a natural delivery. I've read from different sources that yoga is very helpful in keeping your abs & legs strong for delivery, and had even followed blogs in years past where women kept up their hot yoga practice throughout their pregnancies. All of them delivered completely natural, and had perfectly healthy babies. The power and grace these women exuded convinced me long ago of my intention to continue my hot yoga practice throughout any pregnancy I would have in the future.

And I have already been getting dirty looks of distress regarding continuing hot yoga into my pregnancy. However, you can find the Pregnancy Modifications to Bikram Yoga here, developed by Bikram's "wife". (I put wife in quotations because everyone knows Bikram is a giant man whore. He has two major rape lawsuits going on currently, which is why I don't necessarily feel the need to go to a designated "Bikram Yoga" studio. Did you know he charges studios $15K a YEAR to use his name?! Ludicrous. - Side note: I had to look up how to properly spell Ludicrous... Damn you Ludacris. LOL!)  I also found a posture by posture look at the alterations on This site is fabulous, it tells you at what stage in your pregnancy to begin altering what posture, and is way more comprehensive than Rajashree's guide.

Courtesy of Bikram Yoga Richardson - This woman looks so powerful in her postures!
Anyway, I was seriously doing yoga from weeks 1-6, obviously not aware I was knocked up, and felt perfectly fine! So, here I am, 10 weeks along and going to hot yoga fully aware I am with child... and suddenly I'm just supposed to quit??  If you're already accustomed to the heat, it actually feels amazing (and I suspect it really will as we head into the cold months). I walked into the hot room really just wanting to take a nap in there it felt so so good! As the first breathing exercise starts, Pranayama breathing, it is a challenge but once the second set has been completed, my energy level has picked up. Deep breathing and flushing my body with freshly oxygenated blood... Ahhh.

Yes, saunas & hot tubs are contraindicated for pregnancy. However, if you look into the science of hot yoga, if you are consistently practicing in the hot room, your body becomes accustomed to not raising its internal temperature in order to make it through an entire class. Which is why you see yoginis never getting sick throughout a class. But some women bring a thermometer and test themselves just to be sure (which I'll probably do). Bonus: The studio I go to has a class called "Beats" which is the same Bikram style series, but to low lights, music and minimal words. Perfect for a yogini to just do yoga and meditate into the practice. I love to talk to my baby during this and invite growth and love into our body.

Since I've had the soreness in my belly, which I guess is the stretching of the round ligament in your lower belly, and totally normal for a first pregnancy, I focus on the postures that stretch the belly. Half Moon feels wonderful, especially the backbend which I've been able to do at about 75%, once I feel the stretch, I don't push it further.

The only postures that are uncomfortable at this point are the backbends that push your belly into the floor like Floor Bow or Full Locust, but I got the chance to learn most of the alterations for when I get too big to do do the tight forward bends, which I suspect will be soon. I intend to give up the spine strengthening series in the next couple of weeks, and add in some Vinyasa/Flow postures. However, CAMEL... Give me this! I feel like the most powerful woman in the universe coming out of this backbend, and once I get to the ground, my body feels like it's melting into the earth. Camel is meant to flush and pump your cerebrospinal fluid (which is why many newcomers get dizzy and sick in camel, it can have those effects if you're not used to it), and I can only imagine that baby is reaping those benefits too.

My approach to practice has had to change, however.. I typically went into yoga as an athlete ready for the long haul, deep into every posture, pushing 100%, but now, slow and steady wins the race. I listen to my body, when I feel sick or dizzy I sit down until my heart rate has lowered completely. I leave yoga on cloud 9, my body feels good and surging with energy. And in fact, my pregnancy symptoms are not as intense the next day. I don't feel AS fatigued, or AS sick, nor as crazy with mood swings! It also relieves my body of any edema (holding water)!

After yoga (and my gym workouts), I give myself plenty - I snack on strawberries and chug coconut water on my way home. And sometimes a protein shake, depending on where I'm at nausea-wise. Sometimes the protein exacerbates it.

I just want to say this, that getting knocked up has really reinforced my desire to be who I am, and not  change my preferences and routines just because others wouldn't do it themselves, or because their pregnancy experience was bad. It is very easy to absorb the stresses and worries that others have, but my stress and worry is eased with the passing days. But I feel that their worries, are really none of my business. Just like my body, is none of theirs. Absorbing their stress, will not help me or baby. So, thanks... but no thanks. :)

How is everyone else doing these days??? Say Hi when you can!! Love you all!! :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Baby Bang on the Way!

Turns out that the next stage I will be stepping on won't be a bikini stage, it will be the parenting stage!!

I am due probably somewhere around the end of April/beginning of May. Okay, admittedly, last time I had my cycle, it started on a random day that wasn't planned, and I forgot to chart it. :) This baby was a surprise, clearly, but a completely welcome and wanted and wonderful one!

In my last blog I posted:
{It's not about how many times you get knocked down, it's about how many times you get knocked down and continue to get up.}
Turns out I just got knocked up instead. Hahahahaha! Sorry, married and pregnant humor. Might not be totally appropriate, but I think the term knocked up is hilarious. Way better than preggo.

Luckily, I have so many sisters that they have collectively been through this 6 times, and by the time I give birth, 7 times. I get to inherit tons of books, maternity clothes, bits of wisdom, and the experience of being pregnant as the same time as my older sister! 

And as with any of life's surprises, the plan must change. We learn to be flexible to fit in our goals, but my goals also have to change! My health is no longer about me, it's about growing a healthy baby! Mr. Bang, of course, wants a son... I just want healthy.

My mother-in-law's reaction. ;) I should have gotten MY mom's! I can't believe I didn't!
So... Of course my next project is going to be documenting my goal of staying healthy and active during my ENTIRE pregnancy. I am elated to be pregnant, and in love, and ready to focus on being a healthy mom.

In monitoring my last couple of weeks, here's what I've got going on: :)

Squishy and growing.
Week: 6-7. For most, this would seem like too early to share the news.. But I know I am perfectly healthy and have a very strong sense that I will carry my little one to term.

Weight Gain: None yet, feel squishy though.

Sleep: Not bad, aside from my dogs who are going crazy about the howling coyotes at night. They whine outside our bedroom, but we are trying to be diligent about not giving in! If they go out one night, they'll want to go out every night. I've also been good about doing some yoga before bed, which helps me get some good, deep sleep.

Miss Anything? Wine. A bit. I will admit that it was the FIRST thing I wanted when I read the results of the test! It was like, "Oh man. I can't even process this without a nice red right now." Haha, I had NO idea what to do with myself!

Symptoms: I am feeling it, definitely. I want to be really honest about this, and you all know that I am pretty honest about my experiences... It feels like intensified PMS right now. Pressure on my uterus (Bye, male followers... Sorry...), my boobs are crazy tender. I have suddenly been crying at baby ANYTHING. Holy crap, and hello maternal instinct. Nice to meet you. Also some nausea, but not bad some days.

Mood: Elated. I can only compare my mood to the moment when my husband proposed, or when he made me his wife. It's incredible. 90% of my worry was that my husband would be scared, and he hasn't been for a moment. I also had a meltdown about not being sure I was ready. For a very long time, we were unsure and undecided about children. We were both concerned with our goals, and I didn't want to have one until I was sure. Turns out, when it was a surprise, it was perfect. After I got over my initial fears, which lasted a whole 10 minutes, I was over the moon. A lot of women have difficulties with fertility, and I'm thankful that I wasn't one of them. Should it have turned out that I wanted a baby on my own terms, and it was hard to get there, I don't know that I would have had the emotional fortitude to bear through it.

Cravings: Spicy food... Pepperoncicis have been my favorite snack. Definitely chocolate, but also a lot of fruit & cottage cheese. Mineral & sparkling waters have also become a regular habit.. sooo good with some coconut pineapple Dasani drops. But I will tell you, the hunger is insatiable. It's like prep amplified by 10.

Diet: Have mostly kept my diet the same, but have allowed myself to become a little bit more liberal with fruits, healthy fats.. avocado, fruit, cottage cheese, and yogurts where those weren't really in my regular diet. Allowing myself coconut water everyday, a healthy carb at night every night. I still keep with our protein crepes every night. :) They taste even more amazing right now!

Still working out! I didn't workout at all last week, I was battling some nausea but it's subsided the last few days so I plan to still do yoga a few times a week, and cardio with light weight workouts a few times a week. I feel good right now, and feel like working out will help me get through some of the pregnancy symptoms.. My logic is, if I can sweat some of the water weight out I won't feel so squishy? Perhaps.

Pregnancy Obedience: Okay, there is a LOT of information out there that tells you what and what not to eat. Mostly what not to eat... And it genuinely feels like everything right now. Seafood, deli meats, eggs, pineapple, milk, unpasteurized cheese like feta and goat cheese, medicines, ibuprofen... So, I'm taking it in stride and using my best judgement. I had seafood buffet on Friday, which was amazing, but I listened to myself and stopped when it didn't taste right. The clams had some residual shell.. not ideal if you have some texture issues. I also had some canned tuna the other night. Whatevs. It was delicious and got some good nutrition from it. Isn't seafood high in iron? Baby does need more of that! I am on the prenatal vitamins, so that's one point for me!

Personal Goals this Week (or two): 
1. Continue concentrating on my meal plan. I seriously get hungry an hour after I eat an entire plate of pasta or burger & fries. Being as small as I am, my RMR as a pregnant woman is only 1600 calories, so I'm giving myself more around 2000 calories being active. And what I really want to do is give myself plenty of nutrition, instead of reaching for any random craving. We all know that we can control what we give ourselves.
2. Focus on lots of water. Again, the hunger is nutso, trying to get in more water to make sure its not just dehydration before I reach for my next meal 2 hours too early.. :)
3. Start cleaning out the office. Our home is two bedrooms right now, in which we currently use it as an office. Aaaand storage. We also have a utility room, which is packed full of stuff. I really need to organize, go to the dump, and take some stuff to the GoodWill in the back room... Specifically so II can really get some stuff out of the office, and organized into the backroom before I'm too uncomfortable to do stuff like that. We do have some plans to remodel the house this winter, so that will help once that is done.

We won't find out the sex of the baby until probably Thanksgiving or Christmas, but we definitely want to know. Our first sonogram is on Thursday, September 19th, so that should be enlightening.

Welcome to my fit-pregnancy journal! I completely understand if the subject matter isn't for everyone, but eventually I hope for this to become my journal back to fitbody post-baby! :)