Just about 6 more weeks of this pregnancy...assuming that Bianca makes her appearance a little early. I am making my final preparations for the big birth marathon. I've switched my exercise focus to mostly light, long yoga sessions. At this point, I'm focusing on opening up my body with breath and stretching. From my first experience, I know brute strength is less important than the ability to surrender and open up to the birth process. I'm also stocking up on coconut water as I find it...to make my own labor-aide. Limes, coconut water and some honey. Yum! I am eating dates daily in the form of a power smoothie with other seasonal fruit. Believe it or not, studies show that eating dates daily in the last few weeks of a pregnancy can ease the labor process. For realz! There is medical research on it. https://evidencebasedbirth.com/evidence-eating-dates-to-start-labor/ Granted, the studies are few and small, but I also received the advice from an Indian woman in Chipata before looking into it and tend to trust traditional knowledge combined with medical research. Plus, dates are a great natural sweetener! I will post an updated pregnant picture soon. The belly is getting unwieldy and the discomfort grows daily. Even 5 minutes of daily yoga is a blessing to my overloaded body!
This morning, I had an especially efficient, satisfying bowel movement. TMI? I suppose, but I'm sharing because it reminded me how important large amounts of cleanly prepared vegetables are in a diet. I've been staying in a lodge the past couple weeks and eating smaller amounts of veggies. The lodge also prepared them with too much oil and sauce. And, basically fried all food, because this is Malawi and that is how food is prepared here. Malawi is also not good at accommodating special requests. I stopped trying to ask for modifications to menu items. I either get an blank stare, a "no we can't do that" or it is served completely wrong. Just yesterday, I ordered a small cup of frozen yogurt. The guy informed me that they were out of small cups...only had large cups. I said, "Okay, can you put a small amount of yogurt in a large cup?" He looked at me, confused, and answered as if I was crazy, "No." ~sigh~
Anyway, I digress! I ate a huge plate of roasted beets with a smattering of carrots and brussel sprouts for dinner last night. And, boy oh boy, did everything pass through nice and efficiently. This is great, because as a pregnant women, digestion slows and constipation is a real issue. Today is a good day! I will remember this lesson and do better at getting my veggies in on a daily basis!
THEN I am slowly going insane.
This post is inspired by Ed's own sleep woes.
I present to you a typical conversation with my toddler at 1AM:
Ari stirs, fusses...I pretend to be sleeping and pray that she rolls over and goes back to sleep.
Ari sits up, continues to fuss, crying becoming more insistent.
I sigh, roll over and say: "What's wrong, sweetheart? How can I help you?"
Ari points silently at nothing.
Me: "Please speak in words, sweetie, so that I can understand how to help you."
Ari points silently at nothing, again.
Me: "Do you want some puree?"
Me: "Do you want some water?"
Me: "Do you need a clean diaper?"
Me: "Do you want me to turn on some sleepy music?"
Me: "Are you feeling hot?"
Ari lays down and whimpers at my inability to figure out how to help her. I proceed to get all of the above and offer it to her physically. Eventually, we establish the correct procedure, which turns out to be...take off pajamas, change diaper, slather all mosquito bites with anti-itch cream, suck on a puree, take a drink of water, refuse to wear pajamas, suck on another puree, fall asleep an hour later listening to sleepy music, naked.
It's like freakin' boot camp! How does one fall asleep after the mental workout of figuring out the correct formula for happy sleep?
Basically, this has happened every night for the last few weeks (different formula every night), which is since I finally fully weaned my daughter. Oh, the magic of popping a boob in her mouth, and everyone falling back asleep quickly and peacefully. The lack of sleep is really affecting my ability to motivate to do much of anything besides go to the bakery down the street and stock up on chocolate covered doughnuts and chocolate croissants. Gotta get back on track with workouts. And, despite the doughnuts and croissants, I am managing to eat my veggies and fruits and such. But, dude, sleep is where it's at...I miss good, deep sleep.
Anyway, no worries! A few years down the road, sanity will return again!
When you are halfway through streaming a yoga workout and the internet slows to an elephant's pace....write a blog post and start the workout over in the afternoon! Grrrr....
I updated my photo to show that my body is indeed growing. I am finally starting to feel pregnant now, and the little bean is stretching, kicking and generally testing out the growing limbs. In a couple weeks, I will know boy or girl. I'm still working out most days of the week, and basically, eating whatever I want with thoughts towards keeping portions reasonable, sugar to a minimum and vegetables in my diet. The exercise helps to minimize the uncomfortable symptoms of pregnancy. Though, as with the last pregnancy, I’ve got to watch my right side. Something about my posture and the way the baby sits causes shooting pains up my right hip if I move the wrong way. Slow and steady these days. Also, still doing the Reach dynamic stretches first thing in the morning to help keep things stretched out a bit and adding in yoga a few times a week.
My daughter turned 2 this week! :D She’s in the every answer is “No!” stage. She even wakes up at night saying no, no, no, no. She also seems to cry at the drop of the hat and refuses to tell me what she wants/needs…even though I know she’s capable of communicating it to me. Happens mostly at night. I often just lay there and breath through it, the way I might breathe through a contraction, except the crying lasts longer. What else is there to do when nothing seems to make it better? BUT, she is also lots of fun and pleasant most of the time. She loves sunglasses, organizing stuff, dancing, yogurt, ham, apples and chocolate. I’ve heard this question asked by mom’s before….I find myself wondering how I could possibly love another child as much as I love this one. Is there room in my heart? Sure seems like she fills my heart full! But, I know the answer is that there is no limit to love and no “heart” to really fill.
KB3 Graduation - Does Chen exist? GRADUATION POST
Wow...that millennium workout was something spectacular and took me quite a while to complete. Push-ups were a slog! Both kinds. And, the ab rows were done slowly and deliberately to ensure safe, correct ab engagement....towards the end it was just 6 or 7 and a rest. And, Yahoos, I watched a couple music videos while slowly tackling those. One pregnancy rule is to keep the effort at a level where you can hold a conversation in order to ensure that the fetus isn't too stressed. Lots of pauses and walking around to keep my heart rate manageable. So, in all, the workout took me about an hour to complete but it is COMPLETE (with some sore muscles to remind me of the effort for a couple of days)!
Despite some toddler trials and pregnancy fatigue, I enjoyed KB3. I agree with most of what I've read already in that the variety was interesting and fun. I do sorta hate negatives when there are more than 3 sets. I think it is the way I hated evening stretches in Reach. My mind didn't want to go as slow as my body was required to go, and I got impatient often. So, in that sense, KB3 was also a challenge for the mind. Towards the end I cut the jump rope and replaced it with morning yoga sessions. Though, truth be told, I can still manage jump rope...I'm not that big yet. I've also started and continued the dynamic stretches from Reach...every morning for the past 2 weeks. A great energy boost at dark thirty.
The diet was rough. Mostly because it is difficult to battle that mentality that I am "eating for two." Cause I am most decidedly not. First trimester doesn't really require any extra calories but good nutrition is essential to provide all the right building blocks. However, a fat loss diet is not what a pregnant woman should be going for at any stage in pregnancy. Second trimester I can add 300-500 calories. For me, probably closer to the top of the scale, but those calories should be nutrient packed. A box of french fries or a few Oreo cookies (love Oreos!) is not the best option to add in those calories, even if I might be craving them. A baked potato with a dollop of plain yogurt and green onions can fill that savory craving. A nice big fruity, yogurt smoothie maybe with some greens added is a better choice to assuage sweet cravings. So, I'm trying to make good choices in this pregnancy and avoid gaining too much extra weight. I know with Kenzai that I can lose it, but I think it is always better to start with an advantage. That said, I am not going to totally avoid the fun stuff like a brownie or some ice cream once in awhile. But, as always, I will not keep it on hand. Only for special outings!
The community was outstanding! Truth be told, I didn't bow out of KB3 because of Team Pumani and the rest of the KB3 group. I petitioned to be allowed to stick it out for you guys. No way did I want to disappear. I know everyone would have understood but I just didn't want to let you guys down. We are all here to inspire each other and I wanted to continue to be inspired and to inspire others. So, it is mostly for YOU that I stuck it out with KB3, that I got up at 9:00 at night and banged out some strength work, that I continued eating vegetables instead of doughnuts for breakfast, etc. Mostly for you and a little for me. I won't be able to participate in any more programs until next year, but I'll be around modifying the 3 day Life and checking in on the blogs. I will also be supplementing with My Yoga Works and Moms Into Fitness. Both streaming websites. Moms Into Fitness specializes in pre and post-natal nutrition and exercise. Nothing can replace this community, though.
Well guys, time to wrap this up. I want to also thank our trainers, Thomas and Scott, for a loads of enthusiasm supplemented with the occasional puppet. Chen, in the background...who sometimes seems like the Wizard of Oz to me. Does he really exist? Sometimes, I picture him as a super computer in which you feed our pictures and out comes the perfect diet. Also, the other Kenzai crew who make all of this function, cause this website and all the stuff that goes with it doesn't just create itself. And, of course, Patrick, as always, for caring enough to want to save the world one trainee at a time.
I wanted to write a quick post as we wrap up over the next couple of days acknowledging my awesome team! Team dynamics are a strange thing, requires a good mix of interested, motivated people. I must say that this team is a really great one, and I thank each and every one of you for being active and supportive over the last three months. I will make it a point to follow all of you. Sadly, I will be watching from the sidelines until next year, but I will still be here in the background doing my fitness, nutrition routine up until the day I go into labor. Then, the real marathon begins....
Thanks again Team Pumani for being a fantastic team!
I am here! I am neglecting the blogs for other life events, but I am still in it with you guys. I will have time to do a proper check - in later in the week. Keep strong Team Pumani! Big things to come!
Good morning from the warm heart of Africa, Team Pumani! My week was not a perfect Kenzai week...somewhere around a 70%. I missed a couple workouts this week. My daughter developed a chest infection Sunday night, which made sleep a challenge this week. I fell asleep Tuesday without even meaning to and never rallied for the workout. Last night, I consciously made the decision to sleep as I was literally falling asleep sitting up at 6PM while my daughter was trying hard to get me to read her books. I thought to myself, no I must sleep as soon as I can get this little girl relaxed for bed. I hate missing workouts, but I feel that I did the best I could do this week in my circumstances. I may try to switch back to mornings as Ari seems to have settled into her new home and is sleeping harder and longer in the morning. Children change so quickly...hard to keep up with them but what a great way to keep the mind young!
I've been really enjoying the cutting edge lessons. I find genetics fascinating if sometimes a little scary. I know genetics work is always controversial, and I find myself somewhere in the middle. The lessons present it like this, "this stuff is coming, ready or not!" And, I ask myself, am I ready? Am I? What are the moral and ethical implications of these types of medical treatments? In a sense, I don't really see a problem with growing a new heart and transplanting it into a person's body, but I wonder where we draw the line. Is it akin to the inability to face and accept death as a reality of life? Not only that....who would have access to such treatments? I mean, a large percentage of the people here in Malawi are more interested in where their next meal will come from, much less replacing parts of the inner anatomy. Just some thoughts that come to mind when I think of the resources invested in this type of medical research. No judgments. Just thoughts.
Dancing, good sex, gardening, sometimes cooking or baking, reading a good story, data analysis, coloring.
Some activities that get me flowing.
I wanted my indulgence to be a doughnut but sadly no doughnuts this morning. So I got a Cinnabon frosted brownie with a latte instead. It was just okay...not amazing. Back to the straight and narrow.
I am referring to both the diet and the workouts in bad/good terms.
Up in Smoke: On Sunday, I'm afraid I celebrated the disappearance of dinner carbs with a couple glasses of wine and a couple samosas at my co-workers gathering. Not the best choice for my carb allowances. It wasn't a total loss, though. I ate my grams in raw veggies and rotisserie chicken. Following that escapade, I roasted a bunch of veggies with flavored avocado oil and a little bit of salt last night. Enough for the week, I believe. So, dinner for the rest of the week will definitely be compliant.
Down in Flames: Holy moly! Day 22 workout was a killer. I was totally burned up by the end of it. Those full body exercises are no joke. How can that workout even be associated with the word "easy" in the Day 22 lesson? Don't get me wrong. I really love the feeling of exhaustion at the end, and I am impressed with my Thread the Needle progress. My right side is MUCH more difficult due to some shoulder issues, I believe. I can do them, but I need to be mindful to engage the muscles correctly so I don't hurt my shoulder.
Cross-training day! I decided that for this program yoga will be my cross-training choice on Sundays. Today I did a couple episodes of Namaste Yoga Season 2. The stretching and flexibility is a perfect complement to the week's worth of intense strength training. I can use the day to explore different types of routines with a variety of focuses. As the cross-training gets longer, I will do longer, more intense sessions. Yoga also is a great way to relax and "worship" on a Sunday. A little shavasana goes a LONG way.
Training is on point. 21/21 workouts complete. Diet on target. Getting ready for the disappearance of dinner carbs this week. In an hour or so, I'm heading over to a colleagues house for an early dinner. I have no idea what to expect and will do my best with the offerings. I am taking a bottle of wine for the hosts and a pineapple for me! Ha! I already feel my body getting stronger and am happy to be entering week 4!
Let's keep up the hard work, Team Pumani!!! Namaste.
Question. How did I manage to remember to pack my child's fruit snack and not my own? By 10:00 AM, I was blindingly hungry. Serious, when I get hungry, it is not a good thing. Sometimes I even get dizzy...I assume it is a blood sugar thing. Lucky for me, my office is in the central business district, so there is a supermarket a few minutes walk from here. I was able to buy an emergency pack of plums to get me through the day, especially since I don't have any dairy allowance for snacks yet. I ate three plums and was still ridiculously hungry until lunchtime. The metabolism is kicking in now. Body fat is preparing for mobilization. Steeling myself for hungry days ahead.
All is going well! I successfully navigated burrito night out on Friday night. Annie's Lodge (as the ad shows) does an all you can eat burrito bar every other Friday. Yum! Lots of different veggies and meat. I can stay within my carb limit with one tortilla and load it up with veggies and my 100 grams of meat. I avoided the temptation of beer. On Saturday, I took my daughter out for ice cream and successfully binned the portion she didn't eat. Workouts complete...even if some of them were done at 9PM. The Pumanis are my inspiration! I don't want to let you guys down!
On the parts I don't like...my nose. It's too long for my face. I've been self-conscious of it since I was a middle schooler. Nowadays, I don't think much about it, but I still basically hate it. I used to hate my thighs and all that squishy cellulite on the back. Then, I found Kenzai, and they smoothed out. They've never gone back to pre-Kenzai status but are certainly the first place I start to put on weight. And, my boobs. Too small. Why doesn't the weight go there instead of my thighs? They grew to a nice size after having a baby. I'm a little worried about what might happen when I finally ween Ari and after 3 months on KB3. I was a 32AA after Peak Condition, but my abs were poppin'. So, 6 of one, half a dozen of another. Also, why am I 38 and still getting zits?! ANNOYING. Wrinkles and zits should not go together. Hopefully, the clean diet and exercise will stabilize my hormones a bit.
So, that's the bad parts, but I mostly love my body. Every year that passes, I care a little less about how I look and a little more about how I feel. On into Week 3! I will get my Week 2 picture up ASAP.
I picked up my jump rope from where I left it to start my workout tonight and found that our new furry friend deposited a turd right on top of it. A novice would have taken that as a sign to throw in the towel on Day 11, but I am a master. I used copious amounts of wet wipes to thoroughly cleanse my rope and powered on. That will teach me to put up my equipment.
No, I did not eat one, but my co-worker only said the word and the craving kicked in. I think I know my first indulgence.
Diet is tight. Grams are on target. Workouts done. Life is running smooth right now. First obstacle coming up this weekend with a Women's Solidarity event near me. Figure I got to get out and meet people in the new town...but no giving in to the booze and snacks. I am on the sober social train!
Let's keep it locked down, Puma!