Tag Archives: exercise

People Say No One Child is Exactly Like Another – The Same Goes for Pregnancy

I wrote my first blog entries in candid word documents that I emailed to my family and close friends while I was pregnant with my daughter. I found that it was an easy way to keep people updated on my progress without having to talk to them regularly. I loved sharing pictures and stories about the whole process with the idea that one day I could share the posts with my daughter (as a woman you don’t realize how much details about your mother’s pregnancy with yourself will mean to you until you are ready to get pregnant yourself).

MB sideI knew when I started blogging that I wanted to have another child, which ultimately meant that the next time that I got pregnant, I would be sharing my personal baby blogs with the public. I was okay with this. I felt that active pregnant/fit women could use my blog to better understand how normal you can actually go about your life with a little one growing in your belly. Since my first pregnancy was a breeze, I had no doubt in my mind that round two would be even easier (I mean I had already trained for this right?).

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Here is where I spill the beans. I’m pregnant with baby number two, and it hasn’t been as picture perfect as I imagined (which is probably more relatable now than before). My husband and I have loved (almost) every second of being a mom and dad. In fact, we had no plans of preventing another pregnancy from happening as early as my body was ready. We were elated when we got our first positive pregnancy test (I will admit that getting pregnant was not as easy as I thought that it would be the first go round).   I scheduled a doctor’s appointment almost immediately to confirm that we were on track with baby number two, and the doctor was happy to confirm.

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36 weeks pregnant during my first pregnancy.

That was at four weeks. I knew what my body could handle physically during the first trimester based on my experiences with my daughter. I continued teaching/riding, running, lifting and spending time with my workout group, FiA. I will never forget the first day of my fifth week. Friday, July 25th. I taught my regular 5:30AM Flywheel class before coming home and getting everyone ready for the day. After a series of (graphic) events, several hours later, I found myself on an examination table in my doctor’s office, in tears, scared and scrambling to figure out how to handle the rest of my priorities for the next several days.

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After an ultrasound, it was determined that I was experiencing a subchorionic hematoma (basically a blood clot between the membranes of my placenta and the uterus). Very rare (see the black shaded area to the right of the big black circle – that’s the clot). Even worse, there is no explanation for why it happens or information on how to make it go away. Trust me. It wasn’t the exercise. I was advised by my doctor to “rest” for a week, before coming back to see if the size of the clot had changed. At this point, I advised both Flywheel and my full time job that I would need to be at home for a few days (working as much as I could). They both obliged.

I shared the good (I was pregnant!) and bad (I was higher risk) news with immediate family members and friends that I knew I could lean on immediately for support. I’m tough, but not as tough as I thought. I spent several days at home praying, processing both positive and negative outcomes and letting some tears flow before my daughter got home from daycare. While I was going through a lot internally, she needed me more than anything. Sweet girl.

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Some of the food that friends brought us while I was restricted to the house. So thankful for snacks!

I went back to the doctor the following week and found out that the clot had in fact gotten smaller (you can’t even see in the ultrasound). I was cleared to go back to work, start walking and doing some light exercise. I took a deep breathe. Baby steps. Just so you know, my “light” exercise involved a lot of walking, elliptical and Tracey Anderson pregnancy DVD’s. Hence, why I was not posting much. The biggest risk of having a subchorionic hematoma is that the clot will interfere with the placenta, ultimately restricting nutrients to the baby, eventually causing the baby to miscarry. If the clot is still present after 20 weeks, the risk increases for placental abruption (i.e. my life is in danger).

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I was told that I needed to come back to the doctor the following week. This time we made big strides. The clot had decreased in size from over 2 cm to a little over 1 cm. I was cleared to add a little more exercise to my routine before being told that I needed to come back after our trip to New York. Since I had not experienced any additional bleeding since the first incident (it had been almost 4 weeks), I started doing higher intensity exercise in New York. Think running, pushups, abs and leg exercises. I was almost back to my regular routine. Better yet, the baby was still growing on track.

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Our trip to New York (9 weeks).

In what would end up being my fourth and final ultrasound of my first trimester (week 9), the ultrasound technician had a hard time even seeing the clot. Still there, but continuing to get smaller. Again, the baby was on track. I was cleared to resume all normal activities (including teaching at Flywheel). At this point I was relieved but still scared. I didn’t need to come back until my first trimester was over (week 13), but I wanted more reassurance that I was going to be okay over a four week period. I continued to communicate with my doctor during the month. I ultimately reached the highest intensity that I would ever work out during pregnancy during this period.

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Having fun after Flywheel during the first trimester!

I carried a smile on my face and worked hard throughout the entire time. If you look back at my posts over the past several weeks, you can see what kind of exercises I did during my first trimester, and most importantly, a lot of what I ate. There wasn’t much of a change from my regular routine. I am already showing, but I haven’t put on much new weight. If you were already wondering, thank you for not asking until I was ready to tell.

photo 3-116photo 2-133 I went back to the doctor today for my first ultrasound of my second trimester and a follow up appointment with my physician. The clot is gone. The baby is healthy. God is good. My anxiety has started to subside. I will never forget all of the special things that people have done for us when they could tell we were struggling. As we start to share this wonderful news, I hope that we can start to get our lives back to normal. Look, I have learned that real life isn’t always what it seems to be. This is real, which is why I wanted to share my story. I hope that someday someone can find some support in reading this story.   I told you it would be an exciting week of news. This is just the beginning!

Birthday Celebration + End of Week Catch up

Wow!  So much going on at the end of the week.  Like I said in a prior post, it is the end of quarter close at work (which requires additional work on top of tight deadlines), we finally took an offer on our condo at Metropolitan and our daughter continues to wake up several times a night (we still think she is teething).  With all of that said, I skipped a day from posting yesterday.  Perfect time for me to admit, that days off are good for you (and that includes exercise).  Pushing yourself to the point of fatigue makes your workouts less effective and the risk of injury goes up.

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Thursday Workout – My daughter loves “selflies”.  It is ridiculous that she can instantly put on a big “cheese” when she sees herself in the camera.  To get jazzed up for our afternoon run, we took a series of “selflies”.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous, so my Thursday run was with the jogger.  Slow three miles.  My legs were dead from some of the weight workouts this week and I stopped several times to take my daughter out of her stroller to look around.

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Friday “Dawn Patrol” – My Friday workout is teaching my class.  That’s it.  If you didn’t think that I was working as hard as you are, I am.  It would be crazy for me to ask people taking my class to do something that I wasn’t doing myself.  I love the early morning work crowd.  As usual, they pushed through a heavy workout to start their day off right.  We even had time for some blurred, photo bombed “selflies”!  Great work this morning “Dawn Patrol”.

10153702_742583359119713_1520110018_nLike I said, work was crazy busy towards the end of the week, but I was able to stay a little later on Friday, which gave me extra time to grab lunch with my girlfriend Meredith.  True story on how we became friends: When Flywheel first opened, there were five people who rode regularly in the 6AM class (there was no 5:30AM).  Of those five people, I have found two of what I would consider my closest friends (including Meredith).  Our “regular” lunch spot uptown is Dean and Deluca.  I always forget how fresh their build your own salad bar is.  This salad looks like something out of a magazine!

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That brings me to Friday night.  Birthday dinner.  My family is in town, so we took advantage of our time together to celebrate my dad’s birthday.  My dad is truly one of the most important people in my life. I can only hope that my daughter and my husband develop the same great relationship as she grows up.  We chose Nolen Kitchen to celebrate.  Honestly, my experience at this place is different every time that I go.  Last night happened to be incredible.  The waiter convinced us to try their recently recognized zucchini chips as an appetizer.  Believe it or not, they are super light and delicious.

photo 3-6For dinner I had the special:  Seared trout with a tomato/jalapeno roasted succotash.  It did not disappoint. Although this isn’t a regular on the menu, there are so many options here (including gluten free).

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Perfect fuel for all of the rides I have planned this weekend.  Weather is supposed to be a little cooler in Charlotte Saturday afternoon.  Grab a bike!  I’m all over the schedule at Flywheel this weekend.

 

Staying Fit During “Busy Season” – Jon and Jen Geis

Several times a month, I want to take a second to share with you individuals that I have crossed paths with who prioritize fitness into their routine (however busy they might be). This is my way of introducing people that readers can relate to, in hopes that they may act as motivation for you to take the step towards a fit life or continue to live the fit life that you already do. Based on my background and the time of the year, I thought it would be perfect for me to start with two CPAs, who in the middle of busy season, some how still find the time to exercise and eat healthy.

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I met Jennifer (Jen) and Jon Geis while working at Grant Thornton. We traveled all over the United States through several busy seasons to complete audits with strict deadlines (talk about stress!). If you are not familiar with the term “busy season”, it is the time of the year for auditors when minimum billable charge time is 55 hours per week. Currently, they are both Senior Audit Associates leading the day to day operations of several large audits.  Through getting to know both Jon and Jen, I found that, although both played sports growing up, going to the gym and exercising  after college took some time to develop.  It was Jon who motivated Jen to start running regularly. Running quickly became one of their favorite “us” times, allowing them to spend time together, reflect on the day and enjoy the outdoors.   That team mentality pushes them through busy times of the year at work.

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Both typically workout in the mornings before work and when they can on the weekends.  If things get too busy and they have to take a few days off of exercise they try to find ways to be active doing yard work or housework.  When they are traveling for work, sometimes they will call one another to make sure they get out of bed to workout. Both share a desire to be fit for the health benefits as well as the confidence that they have in themselves when they have worked out and eaten healthy. Eating healthy on the road is a struggle, so they use that team mentality to help make better decisions at meals too. Typically if one eats healthy the other will follow suit.

JenJon2The greatest part about their story is that neither Jon nor Jen considered themselves “runners” until they met each other. It was during the busiest times of the year that they signed up for races, so it gave them a reason to get up in the morning to train. Since beginning their journey to make fitness a part of their busy life, Jen and Jon have completed three half marathons together and Jon has even crossed a marathon off his bucket list. Both stress the importance of making fitness a priority and recognizing the greater benefit – much needed alone time, time to de-stress, time to get outdoors and just feeling better about yourself.

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Jon and Jen got married in 2013 and reside in Charlotte, NC.  They generally run around the Southpark area, but they also frequent their old Dilworth neighborhood. They try to stay active when they travel, whether that be walking the city, hiking, or taking slow runs to enjoy the surroundings.  Jen credits their ability to stay active even during the busiest times of the year on their ability to prioritize their fitness.  I have to say, this couple is so sweet and approachable.  If you see them out running or celebrating the end of audit say hello.  They have truly proven that staying fit during “busy season” is possible.

 

Wednesday “Get After It” Workout

I have included in the title “Get After It” because this is the hardest day of the week for me to get up early.  Let’s face it, we are motivated at the beginning of the week because of what we did or didn’t do over the weekend and we are motivated at the end of the week based on our anticipation of what we might do or not do.

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I realized that some of the circuits that I was posting required equipment that is difficult to find on the road or at home.  Therefore, today’s circuit utilized body weight and dumbbells (Yep, thats it!)

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Instead of counting reps today, I also did each exercise based on time.  Clearly, if you don’t have a stop watch you can count reps.  I thought this might switch things up a little bit though.

Warm up – Like usual, I started just by walking in place.  I took a few seconds to wake up and take a few deep breaths.  I transitioned from a fast paced walk to a jog in place.  From there, I did 20 body weight squats (slow and deep), 20 jumping jacks and 20 body weight forward lunges.

Workout – I ended my warm up with body weight forward lunges, because i knew that I was going to transition directly into explosive lunges.  I moved from exercise to exercise, completing three full rounds (no rest in between).

1 – Explosive Lunges (1 minute) – Start standing with feet together.  Lunge your right leg forward.  Jump up, switch legs, and land with your left leg in forward lunge.  Continue explosive lunges, alternating sides.  Your front knee should always be bent at a 90 degree angle.

Modification – If the jumping is too much for you or you start to fatigue before 1 minute is over, you can take the jump out.  Do the forward lunge and step back into the standing position.  These will get your heart rate up.

2 – Pushup Position Hammer Curl (1 minute) – In a pushup position, hold a dumbbell in each hand (hands facing each other).  Curl weight in your left hand toward your left shoulder.  Lower and repeat with right side. Continue alternating sides.

Modification – Drop to your knees and make sure that your weight is not too heavy.  If this exercise is too advanced, do standing hammer curls.

3 – Side Pushups (triceps) (1 minute – 30 seconds each side) – Lie on right side with left hand flat on floor in front of shoulder, elbow bent.  Wrap right arm around rib cage.  Using left arm, push your torso up until arms is straight.  Lower upper body until should is about an inch from the floor.

4 – Burpees (1 minute) – Substitute 10 mountain climbers with a pushup, three times (so total 30 mountain climbers, 3 pushups each round through the circuit).

5 – Clam Dig with Rotation (1 minute each side) – Lie on your right side, head cradled in your right hand.  Bend your knees in front of you at a 45 degree angle.  Hold a dumbbell in your left hand and keep your left elbow on your left side.  Lift both your left leg and left arm up to the ceiling.  Left arm will form a 90 degree angle with forearm perpendicular to floor (elbow is pressed into side).  Left leg should be a a 90 angle (keeping hips stacked without rocking backwards).

6 – Side Balance Crunch (1 minute each side) – Balance yourself so that your right hand is on the floor, arm is straight, and your right leg is extended straight (with foot on floor).  Hips should be raised such that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your feet.  In this position, pull your left knee toward your torso and left elbow toward your knee.  Straighten arm and leg.  Repeat on opposite side.

Modification – Drop the knee that is closest to the ground.  This will provided extra stability.

SO glad that I woke up and pushed through.  It was such a beautiful day that I had to take some pictures on the way out of work.  I love that the city of Charlotte and the businesses uptown have made the extra effort to make my city so beautiful and clean.

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I have a surprise for blog readers tomorrow.  Looking forward to sharing!