Time for some Monday

And WHAT a Monday it is! My car is being dumb so I had to take it to the car shop where I'm sure they'll try to inflate everything that's wrong with it so they can get all of my money. And it's cloudy and rainy and just blaaaaaaaaaaah outside. This is the day where I wish I could call in and hang out at home while wearing my unicorn onesie pajamas, but I'm a responsible grown-up so I'll just go to work and be all responsible and stuff. So dumb. 

Plus, my vacation time doesn't renew until July, so I don't have any time to take anyway.

I obviously have a case of the Monday's today! It doesn't help that there is a huge wolf spider in Julianna's room. At least that's the last place I saw it. And that mother effer RAN at me when I tried to go in and kill it. So of course I ran from her room while screaming bloody murder and now I don't know where that asshole is. What I do know is that wherever it is, it's probably plotting to kill me in my sleep EVEN though it's not poisonous. It's so big that it will actually grab a knife from the kitchen and STAB me in my sleep. Yeah, not even exaggerating...

So today I'm going to do a weekly workout round-up/weekend happenings/what I'm doing this week for workouts post. 

Monday - P90X Chest & Back and Core

I don't remember ANYTHING about this workout, so it must have been fine. Actually, that's a lie...I do remember that I actually struggled more during pretty much all of my workouts last week until Friday. Like I had to do less reps with the same weight. Which is annoying. I'm assuming it's because I'm watching what I'm eating a bit more and not carb loading for a non-existent race like I have been the past 16 months (2 years...). Also, I look super puffy in the 2nd picture compared to the 1st...I'm swole??

Tuesday - Turbofire, HIIT, and Core

I may have mentioned this a million times in the past month or so, but Jules is sleeping terribly again. So she's been waking up between 4-5 and getting up with me for my workout, which usually is fine. I had hoped to run on Tuesday and Thursday this week, but it was thunderstorming both mornings and with Jules being awake that makes it a double-nope. So I subbed a 30 minute kickboxing workout and 10 minutes of HIIT on Tuesday, along with my core workout. 

Jules is also doing this thing where if I put her down for any period of time and leave the room she screams bloody murder. So this is how I have been able to get ready for work...

#nopantsclub #workingmomlife #idowhaticantomakeitallwork

Wednesday - P90X Shoulders & Arms & Core

I apparently only got a before workout picture...my bad! I'm sure we will all live without the after and don't worry, I have so many more to show you!

Thursday - Kickboxing & Core

See?!? More pictures! I couldn't run on Thursday as I mentioned above, so I did a 53 minute Turbofire workout and my core workout. And I mixed things up by taking my before and after workout pictures in our still clean bathroom mirror. Ooooooooooooooh!!!

Friday - P90X Legs & Back and Core

Oh man, that's a great before picture! Classic Jamie. Jules woke up midway through my workout on Friday and at one point I was doing these squat jump things and I knocked her down with my butt. To be fair, I didn't know she'd gotten off the couch.

Best. Mom. Ever.

Also, I love messy baby wake-up hair. She looks so cute all mussed and messy!

Saturday - RUN DAY

Awwwww...look how hopeful and smiley my before workout picture is!! Jason ended up picking up a shift Saturday morning so I had to run with the stroller, but I figured it wouldn't be a big deal since pretty much all of my long runs are with the stroller. We even ended up leaving an hour earlier than we left the week prior - it's gonna be a great run!!

1.5 miles in....

4 miles in....

It was SO EFFING HOT and humid out during this run. Oh my GOSH it was rough. I literally had sweat pouring off of me by the time I was done. And for some reason I decided to challenge myself and run the bridge, which I hit at 2.25 miles and 4.5 miles. I actually ended up walking once I hit the top of the bridge and going down it on the way back because I had zero gas left and still had 2 miles left to run. Also I didn't wear a hat for some reason...still not sure why. So all of the sweat went into my eyes and I didn't have protection from the sun at the end. 

But by the time I was done and stretched, I was actually pretty happy about the run because it was the furthest I've ran this year! I was supposed to do some sprint repeats at the end, but decided that was a horrible idea and just ran the 6 miles. 

Do you SEE how freaking sweaty I am here?!? GROSS!! When I picked Jules up from her stroller she actually didn't want to touch me because I was so disgusting. Can't say I blame her!

The rest of Saturday was spent cleaning, errand running, and hanging out with some friends.

Walking the dog... 

Waiting out the rain before dashing into the grocery store...

Shoving a delicious poke bowl in my face hole...

Shenanigans...

Sunday - REST DAY

Which involved me taking a NAP with Jules from 10-12 because I was up past my bedtime hanging out with friends and watching Girls Saturday night and Sunday also involved cleaning/organizing for the move. 

Here you can see Jules is wearing a long-sleeved onesie and her Christmas dress from last year - both still fit her really well, so I think she'll be wearing them both again this year (just not at the same time). 

So now I have something important to ask you...

Do you know how to get rid of wolf spiders? I need to catch this killer death spider before it hunts me down and eats my face off. 

Also, how do you feel about the same Christmas dress 2 years in a row? I'm actually 100% into it because (1) it's cute and (2) she only wore it for like 4 hours...that's a waste of money and I'm a cheapskate!

As for my workouts this week, I actually only have one week left of P90X - time flies when you're having fun - BUT there's a new set of Shaun T workouts being released this week and I love him. So I'm putting P90X on hold for this week and doing Shaun T week and then I'll do my last week of P90X next week. So be sure to keep an eye out for my results/thoughts on both of those programs!

Here's to a great Monday, friends! 

Weekly Workout Round-up & I Had a Moment

Happy Monday! 

I know it's been June for almost a week already, but it just hit me that it's freaking JUNE! Where did the time go? I am seriously going to be relocating to Rhode Island in less than 2 months. In fact, I have only 6 weeks of work left in Orlando and that's totally insane to me! There are so many things I still want to do before we leave! I'd like to eat at least 4 poke bowls, go to the beach twice, I need to repair my outdoor wicker furniture, I'd like to refinish my kitchen table because it looks like crap and I'd also like to reupholster my chairs because the fabric is old and gross. And then I also have to work full-time, do my wife and mom stuff, workout 6 times a week, lose this last 10 pounds, and try to sleep 8 hours a night. 

.........................................................

That's not asking much, right?? Hahahahahaaa...just writing that makes me look at myself inwardly like, you're nuts bae.

However I'm sure I can do most of what I want to do because I'm pretty dang stubborn when I want to be and right now, I want to do all the stuff and things!! Plus, my work completely covers all of the relocation expenses and movers, so we don't even need to worry about packing anything more than what we need for the few weeks we're living in corporate housing. I'm talking they come into your house and pack and move everything for us and all we have to do is clean up afterwards. And because I'm a total control-freak-planner-crazy-person, I'm pretty sure I've already found a place to live that's in the school district we want AND I've found a daycare and planned out my commute.  

So look forward to hearing more about all of this insanity that we have coming up, because it's truly going to be nuts! 

As I mentioned on Friday, I am going to go down to posting three times a week now, with more emphasis on quality posts and serious shenanigans. Thanks to everyone who provided feedback! Don't be afraid to give me more - I love hearing from you guys <3

Now onto our...

Weekly Workout Round-Up!!

I'm not going to lie - it was a pretty good week for workouts. Not a great week for eating...it wasn't really bad, just not awesome. As such, I have managed to lose 3 of the pounds I gained in the hospital, but still have 10 total to lose to get to pre-baby. and 3-5 more just because I'm fixed on the number even though I said I wouldn't be anymore. I'm not perfect and the scale and I are back in our dumb relationship. Stupid scale - I just can't quit you. I love you and I hate you at the same time!

Monday - P90X Chest, Shoulders, Triceps & Core Workout

Memorial Day workout! I pretty much woke up, got Jules some cereal to snack on and put a movie on, and then did my workout using my iPad. I also did some progress pictures because I plan on really cleaning up my diet over the next 6 weeks and I AM going to get some results. I am always so amused with how different my pictures are when they don't happen at 5 in the morning...

Tuesday - Run & Core 

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Pretty big difference between Monday's before workout picture and this one, eh?

Tuesday's run was supposed to be a half mile warm-up and 8 repeats of 1 minute race pace (8:14/mi), 1 minute recovery jog, 30 second sprint (7:00/mi) and 1 minute recovery. I ended up getting up and out of the door late so I was only able to do 5 of the repeats, but my after workout smile tells me it must have been a pretty great workout!

Wednesday - P90X Back & Biceps and Core

Another super flattering picture that I'm sharing with the masses...I don't even look like I'm awake here (I probably am not actually awake in that picture...it takes me awhile to wake-up). 

Thursday - Run, HIIT, and Core

I have a few thoughts about these pictures...

  1. That is quite the expression on my face in my before workout picture. It's like I'm giving myself a death glare or something "you will do this workout and you will enjoy it, or else!!"
  2. The insane amount of sweat on my arm in the second picture shows me that it was em effing hot outside for that run. I remember feeling like I was going to die because of the heat and this picture shows that I wasn't exaggerating because that's just not something I do. 
  3. Look at how clean the mirror is!
  4. Fakest smile ever.

Oh and Jason came home from work towards the end of this run and followed me around our neighborhood twice while yelling at me on the loudspeaker ("great job" "keep going") and playing Eye of the Tiger...so yeah...our neighbors love us. 

I did Turbofire HIIT 25 for my HIIT workout and it destroyed me in every possible way. In a good way, but I was dead afterwards. 

Friday - P90X Legs & Back and Core

More of the same...wake up, take before workout picture where I look like I'm about to cry, do workout and still laugh at Tony Horton's jokes because I'm ridiculous, rush to take beaming post-workout picture before running around like a chicken with it's head cut off to get ready and out of the door on time, get to work with just enough time to fill snapchat with some ridiculous snaps, and then head into the door to #girlboss all day. 

Saturday - Rest Day

Sunday - RUNDAY

Let me tell you about this run. First and foremost, it's the furthest I've ran this year and I swear I really am proud of it. However this ish was hard. I'm talking, it took some serious pushing on my part to keep myself going. It was so effing hot - my car said it was 86 degrees when we got back and the humidity was like a billion percent. Not even exaggerating ;-) Then I was really really tired - Jules is sleeping so poorly right now and woke me up pretty much all night long. However something else happened this weekend that messed up my mood and motivation and it trickled into my run as well...don't worry, I'm about to tell you all about it. 

As you know, we are moving to Rhode Island soon (super soon) and as such, I have started to sort through our stuff to get rid of things we don't want/need. I have a huge closet filled with clothes that I'm mostly not wearing because they're primarily pre-Jules clothes that don't fit me anymore. So Saturday night I decided it was time to sift through all of these and get rid of anything that doesn't fit me and let's just say it did not end on a happy note. 

I'm getting rid of 80% of my wardrobe.

I started with shorts/skirts/workout clothes and that wasn't a big deal. I wasn't overly attached to any of those items and didn't really mind when those didn't fit. But then I got to my jeans/pants/work dresses and let me tell you, trying to put those clothes on to see how they fit/if they fit/can I even zip them up was extremely disheartening. 

Now I know that I'm still 10-15 pounds over where I'd like to be, however I've been able to wear most of my casual pre-Jules clothes (which is mostly casual dresses and workout clothes). I've even been able to get back into some of my old work dresses as long as I don't want to breathe too deeply on the days I wear them. However jeans and my other work dresses don't lie - they don't stretch or cover up any of this extra weight I'm still carrying and to say my mood decreased with every failed item of clothing would be a bit of an understatement. 

I still have so far to go before I'm close to being back to where I was pre-baby. 

In the spirit on honesty and full disclosure, here's a super fun picture that I probably shouldn't put in a public place but I have no shame...

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Just cause it zips doesn't mean it fits. 

To be fair to myself, I could hardly wear these jeans pre-Jules except for on my super skinny days...you know, those 3-4 days a month where everything fits and your stomach is flat and you feel amazing?!? So it's not 100% fair to call these my pre-baby jeans, but they are a pair of jeans that I was able to wear for a long time that I will never wear again and it hit me hard on Saturday when the majority of my clothes ended up that way. And that sucks. I ended up putting like 12 pairs of designer jeans into that pile of "donate" clothes and didn't even try on half of the dresses because I was practically in tears and couldn't do it to myself. And that mood stuck with me for my run and I seriously beat myself up for the vast majority of the run. 

"This run would be so much easier if you weighed 15 pounds less"

"Look at how far out your stomach is sticking, uggghhhh"

"If you weren't so fat, you could wear shorts to run and wouldn't be so freaking hot"

I absolutely hate how mean I was to myself and I do realize this probably isn't normal behavior and don't worry, I don't say any of this stuff out loud for my kids to hear. It's hard to come to the realization that you just aren't anywhere near where you used to be. Luckily, I'm not completely crazy and by the time I stopped and was stretching I was able to reflect and started to feel proud of myself for finishing the run. Especially since it was such a struggle. And then I was able to start looking at myself with clarity and honesty and I realized that in order to drop this weight and get healthy I am going to need to be honest, and I haven't been. 

Just to be clear, this isn't solely about looking good and vanity - I want to be healthy and I'm not.

I've mentioned this a few times, but I've had issues with my blood sugar and my blood pressure in the past and that scares me - I'm only 34. I know that carrying around 10-15 extra pounds especially when it's primarily around my core, is extremely unhealthy. While I do love to look good and feel good about how I look, this has a lot more to do with wanting to make sure I'm there to see my kids and their kids grow up and feel good doing it.

So yesterday after my run I took some time to reflect and came up with three things I'm really going to focus on to finally start making some progress towards meeting my goals.

  • Booze - if I am being completely honest with myself, I have been drinking way too much booze. I generally go through a bottle of wine in a weekend and lately, I've also had some seriously caloric craft beers and margaritas as well. When I took my measurements on Monday, I was kind of surprised to see that I'm pretty much back to pre-baby on my legs, hips, arms, and chest; however my waist and gut are 2-3 inches more than pre-baby. I guarantee a lot of that has to do with drinking alcohol. I actually didn't drink any booze this weekend, so I'm just going to keep that up for the foreseeable future and I have the feeling I'll see some good results from that alone. 
  • Food - that whole 80/20 thing? Yeah, it's more 50/50. I do fantastic in regards to nutrition Monday-Thursday, but I blow it all to shit over the weekend by eating anything and everything. I'll find myself snacking because I'm bored or just because I want to, and I know that's another big part of what's holding me back. So it's time for me to get seriously serious about what I'm eating - I'm going to track my calories and also cut back on carbs just a little. Not a lot, because I need my carbs, but instead of eating a full cup of rice with my lunch and dinner I'm cutting back to a 1/2 cup and seeing how that goes. And while I'll still allow myself treats, I'm not going to go hog wild every weekend like I have been. A little bit of control is what I need here, and it's been a long time since I've really tried to exhibit any control over my eating. However I've done it in the past so I know I can do it, I just hate doing it. 
  • Sleep - this is a big one. I don't sleep enough and that can have a negative effect on your weight. I have a bad habit of sitting down after putting Jules to bed and cleaning up and then I'll watch tv until it's 10 or 11 and then once I do finally get to sleep, it's interrupted by my butthole toddler. So instead of vegging out for 2-3 hours every night and watching tv I'm going to make a commitment to get into bed by 8:30. This way I will be asleep by 9-9:30 and will get 7.5-8 hours of sleep. I'm sure it will still be interrupted sleep (Juuuuuuules!!!), but at least there will be more of it. 

I'm calling this the Trifecta of Truth and I'm really going to focus on doing those three things for the next 6 weeks, tracking my progress, and then I'll reevaluate from there. Luckily exercise is already such a big part of my life that I don't need to work on that as well. As usual, I'll keep you all updated on my progress including successes and failures, and in true Jamie fashion, I'll probably change my mind about stuff a million times in the process.  

Have any of you reading this had a similar struggle? Do you have any advice for me other than I need to be honest with how much I'm eating and drinking and start sleeping more? I'll probably do some posts with a full day's worth of food so you guys can tear it apart, because won't that be fun?!?

I'll be back in a day or two with something SUPER FUN! Have a fantastic day!

Monday on a Tuesday and the BIG NEWS!

Is it just me, or do you also feel like you only got 2 days off and it's actually Monday? There's no way I'm the only one feeling this way. 

Needless to say, I was on the struggle bus for real today. Actually, I was on the struggle bus all weekend. Jules is not sleeping well at all. We've moved her back into her bedroom and we're basically back to square one with her sleeping like total crap and waking up and then we bring her into our room and she sleeps horribly and basically keeps me up all night. And I feel super guilty doing any sleep training since she just went through that whole hospital/illness ordeal and is extra clingy and needy right now. So for now, I'm back in the no sleep club. 

Last night was especially bad since I kept dreaming we were living in a house like the house from The Conjuring, which is scary AF and kept jolting me awake all night long. And then Jules was screaming bloody murder and I brought her to bed where she rotisseried all night long, kicking me and resulting in an awful night of "sleep".

I would say send coffee, except my anxiety is through the roof right now and caffeine makes my anxiety much worse. So don't send coffee. Send me a clone who can work for me all day while I nap under my desk. 

Before I jump into the BIG NEWS, I thought I'd do a workout round-up from last week. 

It wasn't a great week for workouts - I'm still getting back into the swing of things after being in the hospital the week prior, Jules isn't sleeping well, and I'm also not sleeping well, so waking up to workout was a real struggle all week last week.

Monday - P90X Chest & Back and core workout 

I was off of work so I could take Jules to some doctor's appointments, so I didn't end up working out until 11. Which means I was able to smile BEFORE my workout. It's amazing how that works when you're not still half asleep and feeling like the living dead!

Also the core workout I'm doing is still the transverse abdominal workout for diastasis recti - I am staying away from traditional ab workouts until I make some awesome progress on my gap.  

Tuesday - nothing, nada, rest day

I couldn't wake up to workout before going back to work and there was no way I was doing it after work. Oh well!

Wednesday - P90X Arms & Shoulders and core workout

I worked a half-day on Wednesday because my mom was flying home in the afternoon and we weren't ready to take Jules back to daycare yet, so I slept through my alarm in the morning and did my workout in the afternoon. Hence the happy "before" picture. 

And just in case you're wondering how I manage to do an almost hour-long workout while I have a toddler in the house who is awake?

I use the iPad for my workout and Jules hangs out on the couch and watches a movie on the tv. Right now she's really into all of the Toy Story movies, Sing, and the Secret Life of Pets. She does sometimes get up and whine, but she usually allows me to put her back on the couch or have her play with her toys and 95% of the time I can finish my entire workout without any major meltdowns. 

Where there's a will there's a way, and I will get my workout in!

Thursday - Speedwork and core workout

First, I exploded my aminos/preworkout all over everything on the counter. I'm still not even sure how it happened - I was tired and spazzed out or something? 

This lead to me giving a stank-ass-before-run face - look at that grumpy face!

However a good run always makes me feel better and this was a pretty awesome run! Hard as crap and humid as a mother, but a good run!

What a fantastic picture of me. So flattering.

Friday - P90X Legs and Back and core workout

I was definitely struggling a bit, as you can see from my lovely pictures above, however I managed to get my crap together and get a great workout in so that's all that matters!

See what a great workout does though? Look at how happy I am! Using filters helps too...

Then I took Saturday and Sunday off because Jules slept horribly and it was ridiculously hot outside and I didn't want to run or do anything. 

So I had 3 rest days last week - whatever, it is what it is!

As I mentioned a post or 2 ago, I gained a solid 5 pounds the week we were in the hospital with Jules - stress + all.the.carbs = fluff. On top of the lack of activity, excessive carbs/wine consumption, and stress, it was also a certain special time of the month. Resulting in me being extra super fluffy. Between then and now, I have lost some of the fluff, however I still have 9 pounds to go before hitting pre-Jules weight and then a solid 4-6lbs to get to a "happy" place...although at this point I think I'd be pretty happy just to get to pre-Jules weight. And yes, the scale and I are back together for now but there's a legit reason for this...

I have to lose the Jules/wine/food weight (I can't realistically call it baby weight anymore...). You may be asking yourself why there's an urgency now when I've been carrying it around for 16 months without much concern...wellI have to be able to fit into all of my cold weather clothes again by September or so...

Because we're moving to Rhode Island!

The company I work for has their home office in Rhode Island and I've been offered a promotion with a completely new position in a different department. I know I've mentioned not loving my job all that much in the past - I've hit a bit of a ceiling here in Florida and can't promote without moving, plus I love being challenged and haven't felt challenged in awhile. So Jason and I decided to accept the position/move and we'll be moving in mid-July or so. Well, I'll be moving with the kids and Jason will likely have to stay behind for a couple of months until he's able to start a position in RI or Mass (law enforcement jobs hire in waves so he likely won't be able to start right away even if he gets hired somewhere right away). So this will obviously be a huge challenge since I'll be moving to a new state, with a higher cost of living, with two children, and likely by myself for a few months. However Jason and I have done the long distance thing in the past and taking this move/job sets us up to be able to finally put roots down somewhere for good instead of having to worry about moving every few years in order to move up in my career. Being in home office is something I've always wanted, so I'm super excited for the possibilities for my career and our lives in RI. I've always had this ridiculous vision of Jules running through an apple orchard in the fall with cute, little pigtails and a basket of apples...is that weird? 

So we'll have to struggle for a bit, but I have always found that it's the hardest times and riskiest choices that have the greatest pay-offs. 

Luckily I have quite a few friends up in RI and Mass and Jason has a lot of family in CT that will only be a 2 hour drive away, so we have more of a support system that I've ever had when moving in the past - we moved to Mass and Florida without knowing anyone in either place. We're already planning on Jason coming up once a month for a week at a time so we're still able to see each other as much as possible, and I'm 100% confident this will only make us stronger as a family/couple. 

So bring on the lobster, Block Island ferry, nor'easters, FALL, pumpkin everything, NYC, blizzards and snow days, hiking every weekend, leaf peeping, weiners, and Waterfire! 

And now you know why I was dreaming about living in the Conjuring house...it took place in Rhode Island! So I'll be getting super hippie-dippy and smudging and sage-ing the crap out of wherever we move to because I'm not doing any crazy haunting crap. No way!

You better believe this is going to end up resulting in some interesting posts, so I hope you have subscribed so you never miss any of this crazy adventure!

Does anyone have any tips for moving cross country with 2 kids? I've done it a couple of times with 1 kid, but doing anything with 2 kids is a huge challenge! Also have you ever saged a house? It's a legit thing that people do to cleanse bad energy from a new home before moving in - I'm seriously going to do it. I can see Jason in my head shaking his head while reading this. Lol. 

Have a great day!

Tuesday Catch-Up and Randomosity!

Happy not-Monday! It's always so much nicer when it's not a Monday, am I right? Today has me getting back into the swing of things, going back to work, and hopefully getting into a routine again. Which I think our entire family desperately needs!

Is anyone else a total creature of habit? I do love to do things spontaneously here and there - spontaneous beach trip, unplanned lobster dinner, winning the lottery (that would be nice...) - but for the most part, I do really well when I'm able to stick to my schedule.

Here's an example of my usual weekday schedule: 

5:00am - wake-up and convince myself to roll out of bed and work-out

5:30ish-6:40 - workout

6:40-8:00 - shower, get ready for work, get Jules ready for daycare, wake Justin up multiple times and remind him to shower/eat/brush his teeth/wear deodorant, run around like a chicken with its head cut off, make breakfast, run out the door 5-10 minutes behind schedule and rush to daycare/work

8:45-5:30 or so - #girlboss

6:00-7:30 - make dinner, clean up after dinner, try to play with Jules and talk to Justin before Jules has a tired-toddler melt-down, give her a bath, read story, put to bed, take a deep breath. 

8:00-9:30 - clean up more, prep meal for lunch the next day, eff around on Facebook/Snapchat/the 'gram, talk to my husband if he's not working, collapse into bed and hopefully fall asleep hardcore-style before waking up at 5 the next day and doing it all over again. 

I actually hope to do a day-in-the-life post once we get back into our normal schedule/routine and Jules is doing better, but you get the idea for now. Needless to say, being in the hospital and in and out of doctor's offices for the past week and half has really thrown our schedule for a loop. We were in the actual hospital for 3 nights and 4 days so my workouts and eating have not been where they normally would (and obviously I am okay with this since we had much more important things to worry about).

I think there are two types of people when it comes to dealing with stress - those who don't eat at all and lose weight and those who stress eat everything in sight and end up gaining weight. I'm the person who stress eats everything (especially carbs/cereal/chips) and even though the scale and I had broken up, I decided to check out the damage this morning to see where I am...let's just say that I now have 12 pounds of weight to get back down to pre-Jules weight instead of 7. Womp womp. 

Again, I'm not really super upset about it since we had so much more important things to worry about, but with my weight inching up and knowing in the back of my mind that I have issues with my blood pressure being close to the high-end of normal along with borderline pre-diabetic blood sugar, this is not really something I can just ignore. This isn't really so much about vanity and wanting to look good as it is about being healthy long-term so I can be around for a long-long time and not have any crazy health issues. So I am jumping back onto the workout train and trying to chill out on my eating/drinking and will hopefully be able to lose what I've gained in the past week and a half pretty quickly and then continue to chip away at the rest of it. Like I've said before, it's not that I'm obsessed with the number itself, but I am obsessed with getting my overall health itself back to normal/excellent. Too bad being able to do a million burpees isn't a health factor that doctor's look at because I am awesome at that. 

Moving on from that tangent, why don't we talk about other random crap that we've been up to outside of being in the hospital? The last time we really caught up was in my Fri-yay before Mother's Day post, which seems like it happened months ago!

Mother's Day weekend was a pretty nice weekend. Jules obviously wasn't feeling 100% so it was pretty low-key, but we did a lot of relaxing and goofing off, which is two of our favorite things to do!

All the cool kids wear bowls on their heads.

I obviously had to get a poke bowl...because duh. 

And I had to eat my Mother's Day cake - which I devoured over the course of the weekend. With a baby fork. While standing at the counter #icantimaginewhyicantlosethebabyweight

On actual Mother's Day, all I really wanted was to go for a run, have mimosas, take a long bath, and not have to cook any food myself. Which ended up happening pretty much 100% and it was GLORIOUS!

Jules and I woke up and went for my longest run since December. It was slow and hot and super sweaty with the humidity, but it was still a great run. 

Don't worry...Jules had sunblock slathered all over her little feet so they didn't get burnt - it was just too warm to have her in socks or cover her with a blanket and her ankle was swollen and tender at this point so I didn't want her to wear shoes or anything. Whenever we run I always give her a snack and water and she usually eats and drinks all of it and then takes a nap until we stop - easy peasy!

Then I came home to this...

And Jason made me an awesome breakfast. Then I was able to take a nice and relaxing bath before hanging out with Jules and watching movies on the couch for most of the afternoon. Finally Jason prepared some awesome steaks and crab legs for dinner that I scarfed down before meeting my BFF at the airport to bring her car seats and a stroller, since she was in town for the week on a Disney/beach vacation. 

Monday morning I woke up a bit later than usual and did my workout as planned...

Then I noticed Jules ankle was warm to the touch and we all know what happened then. 

We got home from the hospital early evening on Thursday and I did manage to fit in a couple of workouts on Friday and Sunday - just the strength training stuff; I wasn't in the mood for cardio. 

On a sidenote...here's where you can typically find our cats when they're not sleeping in a sliver of sunlight somewhere. They like to chirp at the birds/lizards that are outside on our patio. Sometimes a lizard will jump onto the door and the cats go nuts trying to chase them all over through the glass. It's insane. 

And that about sums up all of the non-illness/hospital related stuff we've been up to the past week and a half. It's not a lot, because the illness and getting Jules better has taken precedence and been at the forefront of everything, however I think I'm starting to see a light at the end of this tunnel. Jules is slowly putting more weight on her foot and was standing without support quite a bit yesterday, but she's still very timid and hesitant to take any steps. We had an appointment with the infectious disease doctor yesterday afternoon and he said it seems that she's responding to the antibiotics really well and we may even be able to stop them at two weeks instead of three, which would be amazing!

Cross your fingers that she'll be back to running around like a crazy toddler in the next couple of days! I'll be back tomorrow with another What it is Wednesday, since I actually have some fun stuff to talk about that I think you should know about!

Now I want to know, are you a stress eater and weight gainer like me, or are you one of the stress weight losers? I find that I turn to comfort food and all of the carbs whenever I am stressed. It's kind of crazy because when I look at the pictures from my workout on Monday compared to Friday, I can really tell a difference in my arm definition - I'm a lot more puffy in the pictures from Friday. But I know it will go away and I honestly just don't care that much at this point. I'm just extra swole and was carb-loading for the race...that I don't have scheduled. Or planned. It's just an excuse. Whatever. :-)

You Know You're a Real Runner If/When...

Hi folks! How are you doing? 

It's Friday Eve! 

(when you read that, fake like I'm singing it to you because that's how I meant it to come across)

So we've got Friday Eve going for us - is it just me or is this week dragging? Maybe that will mean this weekend will drag too (yeah right...). 

And if you've already subscribed but aren't seeing the emails in your inbox, they are probably going to your junk mail so check there!

Today's workout was a doozy. Like I woke-up and then farted around for 25 minutes avoiding it before I finally forced myself out the door. Just so you have some insight, I typically get up at 5:10 in the morning but I do not bounce out of bed all excited and energetic. Sometimes I hit snooze, but I'm almost always up and out of bed by 5:20, and I don't usually get started with my workout until 5:30-5:50 depending on what it is and how tired I am that morning. So I roll out of bed, go to the bathroom and look on Facebook while I wake-up, get dressed, make my preworkout drink, take some selfies and then I'm usually ready to tackle whatever workout I have planned. This morning I woke up and went to the bathroom and then did this:

That's me, face-down on my bed. I could not even. So I did that for a minute or two and then I finished getting dressed aaaaaand I threw myself on the bed again. Finally I was like, GET UP AND GO. 

That face is the face of someone who is forcing themselves to workout when they really wanted to sleep another hour. 

And that's the face of a person who just realized they have to get out the door RIGHT NOW or they won't have time to do their core workout and meditate after their run. 

So I did it. I went outside and ran my scheduled workout, which was 25 minutes of running at race pace. I don't really have a race planned right now, but know that I want to improve my 10K time so I ran at my 10K race pace based on what my 5K race pace was (THIS is the calculator I use to figure out all of this pace stuff). I warmed up with a 1/2 mile run and then pushed myself to run around an 8:14 pace the rest of the run. Dude...it was so hard. Like I really didn't think I was going to be able to keep up that pace for the entire 25 minutes. I'm talking I really had to push myself to do it and would feel myself slow down a bit here and there. But whenever that would happen I would concentrate on increasing my cadence and would naturally start running faster just by doing that. This is when having a music playlist with high BPM comes in handy because I just try to match my feet to the beat. I did it guys, but man was it hard!

And super sweaty...but I'm pretty sure I could walk 3.5 miles and end up this sweaty afterwards. I'm a sweaty, sweaty beast! Then I did my transverse abdominal workout for my DR that I posted about yesterday (check it out here), stretched, did a really awesome body scan meditation (great for relaxation) and got ready for the day.

While I was running and trying to keep myself from stopping, I came up with the idea for this blog post. There have been a number of times during my running life that I have thought to myself "now THIS makes you a REAL runner" and I knew I wanted to share it with you guys.

Without further ado, you know you're a real runner if/when...

  • You spit on yourself while running because you were too tired to turn your head far enough to the left and it flies back in your face. And instead of being grossed out you just wipe it off and keep going without a moment's hesitation - this is what happened to me this morning and gave me the idea for this post. 
  • You come back from a run in the winter and have snot all over your sleeve/inside of your shirt where you had to wipe your nose during your run. Bonus points if you've actually blown your nose into your shirt *raises hand slowly*
  • You're convinced your child will love running as much as you do so you try to force them to run and sign them up for races without telling them...to be fair, we won this race and he did love that part, but he hates running overall. Which is a shame, because his form is perfect! Maybe someday he'll run with me again. And I can always try to brainwash Jules!
  • You spend over $100 on a race and then spend hours over the course of the next weeks/months looking up every review you can find of the race, studying the course map and elevation, and planning your race day outfit, gear, and fuel. 
  • You'd rather buy new running shoes than any other type of shoes. 
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  • You have a race day hairdo that you always fall back on #pigtailsforlyfe
  • You do everything you can to smile and have at least one photogenic picture during a race even when you feel like dying, but usually end up looking like a troll. I wish I could find the pictures from the first half marathon I ever ran...it was super windy and my face looked like I was in a skydiving picture but in serious pain too. It wasn't cute. This is the only photogenic racing picture I have and I'm kind of mad at myself for not buying it, but I'm a cheapskate and couldn't justify it. 
  • You have favorite items of clothing/equipment that you can't live without on your run. Mine is my Experia running socks. I may or may not wear them at least twice before washing them on a pretty consistent basis because I forget to wash them after my run and refuse to run without them. They're just that comfortable, people! No substitutions!
  • You regularly wake up before the rest of the world and run around for miles in the dark listening to music or podcasts or nothing and aren't even afraid of getting eaten by a werewolf or vampire because you're 99% sure you could out-run them anyway, even though you're normally pretty afraid to be outside in the dark alone. 

You really can't beat the sunrise in the morning. In my opinion it's worth waking up at the buttcrack of dawn and running around in circles for awhile in order to see it. Unless I did end up getting eaten by a beast of some sort, in which case I would say it wasn't really worth it and I should have stayed in bed that day. 

  • You regularly smile and wave at strangers when you pass them and get kind of butt hurt when they don't wave and/or smile back.
  • You've yelled "great job!" to a random person you pass on a run who is running themselves. I always make a point to yell out encouragement to anyone I pass while running who's pushing a stroller...because that ish is hard, yo! And just in case you have any doubt whether anyone will think you're weird for yelling positive stuff at them, I have had it happen to me a bunch of times and it always make me feel so much better/happier. I remember one 9 mile run that was hot AF and I thought I was going to die. Then this random older running dude yelled "you're doing great" to me around mile 6 and it literally made my run turn from crap to awesome. So don't hesitate to encourage each other out there!
  • You run in the rain/snow/sleet/humidity and like it. I remember this run like the back of my hand - I was training for a half-marathon and woke up excited to run. And then it was raining. There was a point in time when I would have just said nevermind and skipped my run, but for this one I put on a hat and went for my scheduled run. And I remember very specifically that I was running with a smile on my face pretty much the entire time and at the end I thought "I'm a real runner now"

Finally, the number one way you will know you're a real runner? If/when you go for a run.

It doesn't matter how long you run or how fast you are, just that you lace up those shoes and if you're me, more that likely dirty socks, and you get out there and run/jog/shuffle. 

And if you have ever wondered if you are a "real" runner when you pass someone who's faster/has cooler running clothes/wears 95 different gadgets/has "13.1" tattooed on their calf muscle, you are one already and have been one ever since you shuffled out there your first time. And you should be proud of yourself because not every does it, even though everyone can.

So kudos to you, runner!!

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That's some positive talk courtesy of me. Maybe I should become a professional motivational speaker or something? Can you say the f word when you do that for a living or is that frowned on? I better stick with blogging (not that I get paid to do this, because I don't). 

Now I'll turn it to you - when did you decide you were a "real" runner? Did you have a turning point like I did while running 8 miles in the rain like a loony tune, or have you always felt you were a runner? Or perhaps you think running is dumb and I'm insane. That's cool too. I respect your opinion. 

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by! 

WIIW (What it is Wednesday) and Why I'm Quitting Ab Workouts

It's HUMP DAYYYYYYY!! I very obnoxiously snapchatted about it this morning and if you're not following me already, you probably should because I'm hilarious (and modest too). I tend to be semi-to-totally inappropriate, with some ridiculous videos of my kids thrown-in and sometimes a ghost makes an appearance (best. snap story. ever.)

I enjoy these WIIW posts because I really like giving my opinion to everyone and this is a good way for me to round up my opinions on a weekly basis and make it seem less bossy than when I tell people my opinion otherwise. What do you guys think of them? 

You guys, remember when I showed you the Cake Batter/Red Velvet ice cream thing from Arctic Zero last week? This is a Salted Caramel Arctic Zero ice cream thing and it's even better. Yesterday was my fast day, but I needed something sweet and this did not disappoint. Get them if you find them! Shoot, I might stock up just so I never have to worry about them running out!

I have been trying to get my son to workout on a semi-regular basis, because he is a pretty typical, lazy teenager. If he had his way he would sit in his bedroom and play video games the entire weekend, only getting up to make and eat an entire pot of macaroni and cheese. We've done a few 22 Minute Hard Corps workouts from Beachbody and they're perfect for him since they're not super difficult and only 22 minutes. He actually did a workout by himself on Monday AND sent me a sweaty selfie. I am so proud of him! Now if he'll just keep it up!

You might be wondering why I'm trying to get my 13 year old to exercise - the reason why is because the earlier it becomes a habit, the more likely it will stay that way for life. And all I really want for my kids in life is for them to be healthy and happy. Working out helps with the health AND the happiness, so it's a win-win!

I am seriously loving the swimsuit I wore this weekend. It is SO HARD to find a flattering swimsuit that is comfortable and this one is both! And it makes my tiny little boobs look pretty good, so that's awesome too! And it only cost $30 at TJ Maxx, so YASSSSSSSS!!!

Link Love!

I am loving these two articles from Scary Mommy this week. They both apply pretty directly to my life right now, and I had to share them with you guys. 

As A Mom, I Value Quality Way More Than Quantity In My Friendships

I am so on board with the message of this blog. The last thing I need in my life right now is a judgmental, high-maintenance friend and I have made some changes in my friendships over the past 6 months or so that involved distancing myself from people who were like that. I honestly just don't have the time or energy for half-friends right now or people who make me feel bad about myself! I have a handful of really good friends who are both long-distance and local, and even though we don't hang out all the time, we always pick up right where we left off whenever we do hang-out or talk. And we usually do so in a house that I didn't even worry about tidying up because I know they won't judge me. These are the friends that will drink crappy, cheap wine with me and eat my partially stale chips from a half-eaten bag without judging me or making me feel like I need to do more for them. Because our friendship and support for each other is enough, and that's how friends should be. 

So to my friends who are reading this - you know who you are - love you!!

Stop Being A Judgmental A**hole When Someone Tells You Their Child Isn’t Sleeping

Everything about this. When you are pregnant and have young children, it suddenly becomes open season for everyone you know (and some you don't) to give you advice.

"I sure hope you plan to breastfeed since breast is best" (but God forbid you do it in public because that might make people uncomfortable)

"Don't hold your baby like that, she can't breathe correctly" (while holding Jules in football carry because it helped with her gassy stomach)

"You better stop giving her that pacifier now; she's so pretty without it" *insert middle finger here*

Sleep is a HUGE topic point for anyone with baby/toddler and is something that everyone wants to give you advice regarding. And for whatever reason, everyone seems to be baby sleep experts and their little snowflake is a MUCH better sleeper than your child. I get it; Jules doesn't sleep well and never has. Justin didn't either. But then the second Justin hit 2 or so he started sleeping 12 hours straight from when I put him to bed. Meaning if I wanted to sleep a little later, I would keep Justin up until 10 and he'd sleep until 10. And I'm hoping Jules will do that same thing. So instead of telling me how tired I look and that your unicorn snowflake baby slept through the night a week from the hospital and here's what I'm doing wrong, please just commiserate with me and be empathetic. 

I think everyone should try to have more empathy in general and in doing so, the world will be a better place. 

World peace, Jamie-style.

My current favorite songs...

In no particular order...

Just for listening:

  • Every Time I'm Ready to Hug - Ra Ra Riot
  • Silvia - Miike Snow
  • Open Your Eyes - STRFKR
  • Hot Thoughts - Spoon
  • HUMBLE - Kendrick Lamar
  • Cecilia - Simon & Garfunkel

For running (all of these songs have really high BPM which help me keep my cadence over 180 - aka great for running)

  • Drop The Plot - Gregory Peopper and His Problems
  • Hard Times - Paramore
  • Little Sister - Queens of the Stone Age
  • When Your Heart Stops Beating - +44
  • Virtual Insanity - Jamiroquai
  • The Bomb - Pigeon John

Why I'm Quitting Ab Workouts

Man, I'm doing a lot of quitting around here! First the scale, now ab workouts, next I'll be quitting wine or something crazy like that (or not...most definitely not...if I do quit wine it will only be because I'm taking up margaritas #summer). 

First and foremost, I am not a fitness professional so if you are really worried about something being wrong with you or are thinking about starting a new program please see your doctor first. This is just something new that I'm trying and sharing with you so you can be entertained by my success or failure. I'm pretty sure I was a guinea pig in a past life because I love testing out new things!

I know I've mentioned at least once before in the blog that I'm working on strengthening my transverse abdominus. You may or may not be wondering why, but regardless I'm going to tell you why because this is my blog and I control ALL OF IT!!! 

Even though I have been really slimming down all over recently, I still have a very noticeable mommy bulge/tummy/gut. And it's the entire thing - top, bottom, middle. Now some of this I can totally blame on my eating - I don't eat perfectly (and don't want to), but I do tend to eat really healthy overall and *should* probably be seeing a bit better results considering how hard I workout. 

I've known about diastasis recti for a long time and even self-diagnosed myself with it postpartum, however I have refused to accept that I have it and it's affecting me in any way, shape or form because....I'm stubborn? Actually, I know why and that's because they tell you to avoid all impact exercises while working on recovering from diastasis recti, which means no running, jumping, kickboxing, etc - basically everything I love to do. And I can't stop doing that stuff or I might lose my mind, so I ignored it. But it's not getting better, and my core is so weak. The past few weeks I've been doing some additional research on it and have finally accepted it's time for me to do something about it before it gets worse or I give up and become a sloth. 

First, I did another test to confirm how bad my DR is and this one is a great one if you want to try it yourself:

I have about a 1.5-2 finger gap - it's not that bad, but still there and it is affecting my overall core/abs so it's something I should do something to fix. 

What's the #1 thing you need to do if you do have a gap? Stop doing traditional ab exercises. Crunches, planks, the bicycle, etc. - basically anything that is in a traditional ab workout including pilates can actually make this worse! So no more V-Ups for me no matter how cool I feel when I do them!

Like I said, I ignored this for going on 15 months now, however I have noticed that when I'm laying on my back and doing a traditional crunch or sit-up, I have a small cone-shaped mound that pops up on my stomach above my belly button...this is because I have a gap and the muscles are bulging through the gap - appetizing right? This is one of the signs you have it so if you are doing crunches and see a cone-shaped mound or pyramid pop up on your stomach, you probably have DR! If you think you might have DR I encourage you to follow along with the video above to confirm how bad it is and then for the love of Pete, stop doing ab workouts! 

There are several systems out there that you can purchase that help to rehab your core - one is called MuTu - and they all have rave reviews from women so they obviously work. But I'm a cheapskate and stubborn, so instead I turned to the internet and found this workout here. This is actually based off of MuTu and it's recommended to do it every day. So that's what I'm going to do and did do this morning. It took me about 12 minutes since I'm not familiar with the exercises, however I could seriously feel it deep in my core which is exactly where you're supposed to feel it. 

As I said, I plan on doing this every day and I'll keep you guys updated on how that's going success or not, since I love oversharing on the internet!

Have any of you had issues with diastasis recti? Have you tried any of the rehab programs like MuTu that are supposed to help and did it help? Will I ever lose my mom belly without giving up wine and carbs (cause that ain't gonna happen, yo!)?

Do you guys have any fun things you're loving right now that you want to share? Music, food, wine, etc - I love to hear about it all so please share!

How I Survived My C-Section

I'd like to start things off by announcing that I slept 7 solid hours last night. Like in a row, without being woken up by anyone, and Jules also slept well (I actually had the baby monitor on last night because I've been feeling guilty and didn't hear a peep from her). 

So I woke up this morning feeling like a new person. It's amazing what some good sleep will do for a person!

I actually woke up this morning and was excited to run. WTF, right? I was all, YEAH, I'm so excited. See?!?

That's my BEFORE picture and I'm SMILING! WHAT?!? Anyone who has read my blog at all knows my before workout pictures usually rival Grumpy Cat. 

I actually had a real workout planned this morning too instead of my usual run around the neighborhood at a steady state for 3 miles (so boring) - this week I'm starting to incorporate some actual speed training into my workouts and it's obviously just what I needed. In case you're interested, my workout was:

  • 1/2 mile warm-up
  • Race pace for 1 minute, jog for 1 minute, SPRINT for 30 seconds, jog for 1 minute and repeat 6 times (you'll need a watch or timer for this)
  • 1/4 mile cool-down (ish - I just finished my lap around my neighborhood)

It ended up being just a bit over 3 miles and an AWESOME workout. Just in case you're wondering what my paces are, my jog pace is 9:30-10, race pace was around 8:10 and my sprint was around 7:15. If you want to know what your training paces should be, I highly recommend looking it up on Google "run training pace calculator" :-)

This is my post-run and pre-core workout selfie. I wanted to show you guys I'm not even kidding about being the sweatiest beast of all time. They say the more you sweat the better your body is at keeping it's temperature regulated and it's a good thing, so I'm going to roll with what "they" say this time. I sweat because I'm an awesome body temp regulator. 

Speaking of my core workout, I'm trying to focus more on my transverse abs right now, so I looked up "transverse abdominal workout" on youtube and did the highest rated 10 minute workout I could find. 

Little Cat wanted to say hey post workout as well, so "hey" from Little Cat. His real name is Marley (because we give our cats dog names...), but for whatever reason I've pretty much always called him Little Cat and it has stuck. Moving on...

How I Survived my C-Section (but just barely)

Let me tell you a little story about a girl named Jamie whose son had shoulder dystocia when he was born and had some struggles right after his birth. Needless to say, when I found out I was pregnant again I was worried about everything, including my preeclampsia that I had with Justin in my final trimester and the shoulder dystocia at birth. That ish is scary, my friends - Justin didn't breathe right away and the last thing you want to hear after giving birth is nothing. You want those throaty, desperate infant cries, AMIRIGHT? 

About 2/3 of the way through my pregnancy with Jules I voiced my concerns to my doctor and he said that since Justin wasn't a large baby, the dystocia probably happened due to the way I'm built. He recommended I have a c-section and then told Jason "if it was my wife, I'd tell her to have a c-section".

*insert angry face here*

Even though all I really wanted was a "regular" birth, I reluctantly agreed to a c-section and we scheduled it for January 20. Deep down in my gut I felt like it was the wrong choice and I do wish I had listened to my intuition. Did I get my beautiful baby girl out of it and escape alive? Yes. But I think we all kind of know what's best for us when/if we listen to our gut and I didn't listen to mine and I do regret it. 

Before you start thinking I'm slamming c-sections and/or people who schedule all of their deliveries, I promise I'm not. I'm a firm believer in moms doing what's right for them - c-section, all natural, epidural, champagne in the delivery room, breastfeeding, formula feeding, cry-it-out, cosleeping...you do you, mama! But for me I feel having a c-section was the wrong choice. 

So we get up way before the buttcrack of dawn on January 20 and head to the hospital for our scheduled c-section. 

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Look at how cute and excited we are! 

The c-section itself was not bad at all. It was like 15 minutes and BOOM, baby.

And she cried immediately. 

I was even able to do skin-to-skin for a couple of minutes before they took her back and cleaned her up and stitched me up.

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Then we were wheeled into the post-op room and this is where I ran into an issue. I had a 2 nurses - one who was the boss and one who was training. The nurse who was training asked me if I'd like some ice chips to see how my stomach tolerated it. Unfortunately she gave me a huge spoonful of ice and I ended up aspirating a piece and gagging/coughing for a couple of minutes. I was still completely numb from my c-section and didn't feel any pain at the time, but ended up popping a stitch and bleeding internally. This eventually ended up leaking through my exterior stitches and was a horrifying and terrifying sight - I'm talking murder scene stuff. I was so-so tired (more than I should have been) and could hardly get up and walk - I even blacked out at one point and almost fainted. Turns out I actually lost a lot of blood and ended up needing two blood transfusions and had a hematoma, which caused me to be extremely tired and terrified I was going to die. As far as I'm concerned I'm done having children - two extremely awesome kids is enough for me, and having scary complications with both of them is enough to turn me off of ever wanting any additional kids. 

They tell you when you have a c-section the best thing you can possibly do for yourself is to get up and walk around ASAP and while I was planning the birth and hospital stay I had every intention of doing this immediately. I was going to get up within hours and walk and pee by myself and have an awesome sushi meal and some champagne. Unfortunately due to my complications, I ended up not really being able to walk around until after my transfusion and then it was so painful due to the hematoma and ripped stitches that I could hardly make a loop around the nurses station without crying. 

By the time we were released and made it home, I was in rough shape. I kept running fevers on and off and could hardly walk. I remember Justin helping me walk back and forth along the hallway outside our condo several times a day while Jason stayed inside with Jules and I could hardly do it, which is obviously quite a departure from my usual running/push-ups/working-out-like-a-fool self.

I guess that wasn't such a short story, but I wanted to get the point across that my c-section sucked and it was probably out of the ordinary, since it seems to me that most of the people who have them are fine within days. That being said, when you leave the hospital after your c-section, your doctor will tell you not to lift anything and not to drive for 6 weeks and they send you on your way. That's it. 

A Cesarean is a major surgery. 

However it really isn't treated as such and a lot of women end up in lots of pain or have adhesions and other complications and have no clue what to do.

Well here's what helped me. 

This post will include some Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase an item I recommend I will get a very small commission. This doesn't change the price of the product; it's just a small (very small) thank you from Amazon for my recommendation. 

First and foremost, ask your doctor for a medical grade stomach wrap. 

It sucks and you won't wear it very long because it's horribly uncomfortable, but I honestly don't think I would have made it the first 2 weeks postpartum without it. These wraps are stupid expensive if you have to buy it yourself, so insist that you get one from your doctor while you're in the hospital and it will be covered by your insurance. Have your husband help you get it on, since you probably won't be able to get it tight enough by yourself. It will be uncomfortable, but I promise it's a lot better than the searing pain you will have whenever you cough or do pretty much anything the first few weeks. 

You might thing I'm over-exaggerating, but I am not kidding when I tell you I could hardly even walk for 2 weeks afterwards. 

Another plus of the wrap is that "they" say it helps shrink your uterus back down and get your pre-baby body back. 

Always have a pillow handy. 

You'll need to have the pillow to press on your scar any time you cough, laugh, or anything involving your core when you don't have a wrap on for the first couple of weeks.

Trust me here. 

Ask for help. 

My husband had to help me with literally everything for the first week. I couldn't even shower or use the bathroom or get the baby to breastfeed her without his help. He had to help me wipe and saw and did things I never thought I'd allow. He was absolutely amazing and more help than I ever could have imagined and I love him for it. 

C-section underwear

I'm not even kidding when I say these saved me. I was still feeling pain for months postpartum and having these to compress my incision was the extra thing I needed to get through the every day stuff. Yes, they're hideous and yes, they're pretty expensive; however they are 100% worth it and I would recommend them to anyone getting a c-section. I ended up getting two pairs and swapping them out every day, wearing one and washing the other. 

You can find the sizing in the images for the product and it's based on your current waist size (your preggo waist). So I went with the L-XL and they fit perfectly - you want them to be super tight but obviously don't want them to be so tight you can't pull them up.

Push yourself, but not too hard. 

I quit the hard painkillers a few days after getting home from the hospital, so everything hurt really really badly for weeks. I'm talking searing, horrible pain - I have a pretty high pain tolerance, so that's really saying something. Still, I persevered and made myself walk as much and as often as possible from the moment I could. By 3 weeks postpartum I was forcing myself to take a longer walk almost every day, and walked 2-3 miles as often as possible. Yes, it hurt. But I knew I would feel so much better more quickly if I kept it up. 

I would either wrap my baby up with me or push her in the stroller and listen to a podcast (I highly recommend you listen to Straight Talk with Ross from the beginning if you're looking for a hysterical podcast to listen to) and then I'd walk as far as I could. And then the next time I would push myself a little further. I remember it took me over 40 minutes to walk 2 miles the first time I tried to go that far and tracked it. There were some days where I would wake up with a lot of pain in my incision so I knew I needed to scale it back a bit, but overall walking helped me to feel better and I know it helped me recover more quickly. One thing that helped me a TON with walking was to wear a waist belt - by this point I was over my hospital grade wrap-thing, but still needed some extra support. 

You can find it at Walmart or on Amazon, but this belt helped me a lot with giving extra support on my incision. Just wrap it around you as tightly as you possibly can. I felt like I was in Gone with the Wind when I'd put this shit on - you know the scene where she's holding onto the bed post and getting her corset tied up? And if you haven't seen Gone with the Wind we cannot be friends. So go watch it now, because we should totally be friends!

I also recommend making your walk a family affair. Whenever possible I would wrangle Jason or Justin into my walk, which made it a lot more fun and also got them out of the house. 

Just make sure you go by yourself a lot too - it's a nice break from everyone else and Jules slept through our walks 99% of the time so I could just listen to my podcast and laugh maniacally because it's that funny.

Scar massage

Talk to your doctor before doing this, but I highly recommend starting scar massage as soon as possible. I didn't find out about this until months postpartum and it wasn't mentioned to me by my doctor, even though it's a mandatory part of cesarean recovery in other parts of the world. Seriously, look it up. Other countries include scar mobilization massage as a part of their postpartum recovery, as it should be. A lot of women develop adhesions post-cesarean, which sucks because adhesions can cause a ton of issues, including but not limited to back pain, bladder issues, pain during intercourse, and other fun things. If you don't start scar mobilization massage early enough, there's really not a ton you can do - they can do surgery sometimes, but that usually just ends up resulting in more adhesions. Scar massage also helps to diminish that beautiful mommy apron I'm sure my fellow c-section moms love as much as I do. 

There are some places in the US where you can get this done professionally, but it's rarely if ever covered by insurance here...another reason why maternity and postpartum care sucks in the US. That being said, there is plenty of information that can be found online and there are even some videos on YouTube that give you directions - as mentioned, I discussed with my doctor and he said it's absolutely fine to do and said the techniques I had found online were great. So again, talk to your doctor first and clear with them before starting anything. 

Lastly, don't give up on yourself

I still have pain and issues with my incision and my daughter is 15 months old. Like I mentioned, I didn't start scar mobilization massage until I was a few months postpartum (maybe even 6 months) and I definitely have some strange muscle imbalances and issues that I'm convinced are related to my incision. Every once in awhile during a workout I'll feel a strange pop around my scar and I speculate it's an adhesion being ripped/popped. It's hard to explain, but if you've ever experienced it I'm sure you know what I mean. Sometimes it hurts and I have to stop what I'm doing, but most of the time it's almost like a strange release feeling. There have also been times where I'm doing plank work and I cannot lift my right leg if I'm in a side plank - it's the weirdest thing. I used to actually collapse to the ground when I first started trying to workout postpartum. But I carry on with my workout as long as there's no lingering pain, continue massaging my scar when I remember and carry on with my life because that's all you can do! 

And regardless of how much my c-section sucked, it was totally worth it for this little princess. 

Picture from Monday morning - she thought she was so cute (and she was).

I hope this list helps someone out who is either getting ready or has already had a c-section. And don't let my story scare you off - I was one of the very few people who ended up with a complication and from what I have read/heard, most people end up fine! But regardless, take care of yourself and make sure you have that damn pillow for when you cough/laugh - you'll need it!

Also, don't feel bad if you're voluntarily scheduling your c-section. Do what's right for you! Not everyone wants to push a watermelon out of their hoo-hah and that's fine!

For those of you reading who have already had a c-section, did you have any complications or were you pretty much fine afterwards? Have any of you experienced any of the weird muscle imbalances I have/am experiencing? It's so weird and I don't have 100% evidence it is from the c-section, but that's the only thing that changed since I started experiencing them. So Dr. Jamie has diagnosed it as such and so that's what it is. Medical degree thanks to Google, just in case you're looking for my credentials. 

I hope everyone has a fantastic Tuesday. 

Why I Run, Plus My Gear Recommendations

Happy Tuesday! We made it through Monday, and oh what a Monday it was! That was probably one of the Monday-iest Mondays that ever Monday-ed!! It was such a Monday that Jules couldn't even handle it and slept terribly and woke Jason and I up a bunch of times and we're both zombies today. Needless to say, waking up this morning was a bitch.

Holy crap am I beautiful first thing in the morning or what?!? 

I didn't even take an after picture, so I'll just leave you with the above gloriousness and move on.

First, I want to let you guys know about a challenge that I'm having...with myself. I'm currently the only participant. But it's something I really need to do and I think it will help a lot with my anxiety, which I talk more about here.

I've decided to challenge myself to meditate every day for the next two weeks.

It doesn't have to be a long and crazy meditation with om'ing or heavy breathing. Just a 5-20 minute guided meditation in the morning or at night or even at work when I need a mental break. I decided to do this challenge this morning when I had a few minutes after my workout before I needed to jump into the shower and did a quick 6-minute guided meditation and love the way it made me feel. So I'm putting it down in my blog, which makes it official and public and you guys can chastise me if I fail. Deal? Do any of you want to join? I'm using the Insight Timer app, which is free and totally awesome! Let me know if you want to join in!

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This is usually where you can find Scooby whenever I meditate - this is an old picture, but 9 times out of 10, he's trying to sit on my lap or rub all over my face, which is suuuuuuper relaxing. *insert sarcasm here* 

Speaking of Scooby, he does seem to be doing a little bit better after being on antibiotics for a week and a half. He's still not 100% his old self, but he's started sleeping in bed with me again (he wraps himself around my head) and he and Little Cat were playing like crazy people this morning, tearing up and down the stairs and all over the house. He's also put on 0.2 pounds from last week, which makes me very happy. Hopefully he continues to improve - thanks again for your happy thoughts while he was sick!

Today I thought it would be fun to talk about why I run.

Running is such a scary thing for so many people and most non-runners seem to be intimidated to start. Coming from a prior lazy AF non-runner, I truly believe that anyone can be a runner and reap the benefits. Which are many. I also use these reasons to fight the voice in my head telling me to hit the snooze button in the morning or stay on the couch and surprisingly enough, it usually works. And when it doesn't I take that as a hint that my body needs the rest and I listen to it. 

Most people start running because they want to lose weight, which is precisely why I started. My ex-husband and I had just gotten divorced and I wanted to drop the baby weight so I could be a MILF. So I started running. Coming from being a person who simply hated to exercise at all, it wasn't the easiest thing to force myself to do, but I have the feeling getting out of work an hour early to go exercise (this started while I was in the Air Force) helped motivate me from the start. I wouldn't run a ton - just 10 to 15 minutes to start, sometimes indoors on a treadmill and sometimes outside. 

Cool story about running outside in Alaska...

I was running by my house on base and the base wildlife officer came tearing down the road and told me to get behind his car. Not even 10 seconds later a huge black bear came running out of the woods, right in the path where I was running. Holy shit-my-pants moment, right? I'm pretty sure I stuck to the treadmill after that. 

Anyway, back to the subject at hand. After a few months of adding running into my routine, I noticed I had dropped all the baby weight plus some. AWESOME!

My original reason to keep running was for continued weight loss. 

I think this is why most people start and continue running, because it does work remarkably well for weight loss at first, especially if you've been pretty sedentary. While this worked well for me when I was younger, I've since had to add in a lot more strength training and other methods of working out to try to lose weight, but that's another post for another time #gettingoldersucks

So you may be thinking to yourself, why in God's name are you still running if you no longer think it's the most effective way to lose/keep weight off?  Good question! Here are the other reasons I run. 

Endorphins

Even the worst runs I have ever had still give me endorphins. And I have had some serious bitch of a doozy runs. I've been halfway out on a 10 mile out-and-back in April in Florida, ran out of water, and starting having heat exhaustion symptoms. Meaning I had to walk/jog the rest of the way back, stop in a gas station as soon as I could find one to get water, and try not to cry about it where anyone could see me (this happened while training for the Country Music Half Marathon). But even then, I was still amped up and happy afterwards.

The runner's high is real and I love it!

Also, I need that shirt. 

Running helps me cope

Some of my favorite runs have been when I'm either super pissed about something or super sad about something. For whatever reason, I go out there with those emotions and I either pound the SHIT out of the pavement to get out my aggression or run a seriously therapeutic cry out of myself. I am not a big crier and have a hard time getting myself to cry, but when I'm super sad or bummed about something I've found that going running always gets me to cry and then I feel a bajillion times better afterwards. And then I smile and take a selfie. 

Pigtails

Where else can I get away with wearing my hair in braided pigtails? I've even learned how to Dutch braid my pigtails now which is a bit more complicated than the French braid, but way cuter. Braided pigtails are my go-to long-run/race hairdo now because they look cute and keep my hair out of my face. And no one judges me for being a 30-something runner with pigtail braids, when it may not be socially acceptable elsewhere. Not that I care or anything, because I don't. 

I run to be a good example

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Even though Justin absolutely loathes being active, he knows that by doing it he will be a healthier and happier person. I can only convince him to do a workout with me every once in a blue moon, but even when he refuses to participate I know that by being a good example and having running/exercise a part of my regular routine, he'll get to that stage eventually himself. Luckily it usually doesn't even take that much convincing to get him to join me for a run while he ripsticks (newfangled skateboard thingy) so I'm able to make him be active without running since he currently hates it. 

 

 

Jules has had no choice but to be a part of my runnin, since she's been my running partner through both a half-marathon and 5K training. She usually just sits nicely in the stroller for about 20 minutes before falling asleep for the remainder of the run, and she almost always wakes up when I've finished and laughs and smiles through my stretches.

I have this super secret hope that one day we'll run races together - shhhhhh, don't tell anyone. 

I run to always do better. 

I am super competitive. Sometimes with other people, but most of the time I am competing to beat myself. When I started really getting into running and started running races with my dad's wife at the time, I found out that I was actually pretty fast; I think I was running 8 minute miles without any training, just some recreational running here and there. I stuck to short races (5K to 5 miles) for years until I ran my first half marathon in 2012. I didn't train very well for the race and didn't run it very fast (I think I finished in 2:06 or something like that), but even though I hated the race and it hurt and I was way slower than I'd planned, I knew I had to run another one so I could beat my time. The next half-marathon I ran I knew I had to get under 2 hours, so I trained and really pushed myself and managed to meet that goal in 2014. Every race thereafter, I've been trying to beat myself in one way or another. My newest goal is to run the Mount Dora Half Marathon (my PR course; I've PR'ed twice there) in under 2 hours postpartum after totally blowing up during the race in 2016. I would also like to PR my 10K, since I actually have a really slow 10K time (in my opinion, 56:11) and there is nothing more motivating than a new PR. 

It's peaceful...

Yes, seriously. Sure it hurts and you're sweating and breathing heavily and sometimes your IT band or piriformis starts acting up and you know the run is going to end up being a shitshow, but even then it's still peaceful. My runs are my time that I get to myself, when I otherwise don't often get any time to myself (even in the bathroom right now #toddlerlife). I always try to make it a point to look around me while I'm running and appreciate the view. Whether I'm running on the beach, running through a neighborhood, or running through mountains - there is always beauty to be found. I can listen to music (just not too loudly - be safe, people!), zone out a bit from the every day stressors, and pound the pavement. 

The above pictures are from a run I took in Upstate New York in July of 2015. I miss running in the mountains!

You have to buy new stuff all the time - any excuse to go shopping is a good reason for me!

Overall running is a pretty cheap sport. You really just need decent running shoes to start. But once you get into it and start doing crazy things like running races or long distances, you will need to start buying some new stuff - some of this will be so you're comfortable and some will be so you don't die (see above story about the time I started to have heat exhaustion halfway into an out-and-back 10 mile run). 

On that note, here are my top recommendations for gear. 

I will be including some Amazon affiliate links. These links do not change the price of the item or do anything other than give me a small (very small) kick-back for making the recommendation. Thank you for the support!

Shoes

I started with Aisics, moved to Mizuno, and finally found Brooks. 

I love Brooks running shoes. 

I've actually had my gait tested and was fitted for running shoes and hated the shoes they told me I should wear. So my motto now is to run in what is comfortable. I also prefer the shoes to be purple - it makes me run faster (runner's superstition). My absolute favorite running shoes were the Brooks PureCadence 2, but they were discontinued like 3 years ago. I actually still run in them sometimes (I have two pairs). I don't like the way the new PureCadence models or the PureFlows feel, so I haven't been able to commit to a different shoe just yet. However I've heard a lot of really good things about the Brooks Launch, so I think I'm going to give them a shot next. ASAP, since I really need a new pair of running shoes. 

The picture on the right is from a couple of years ago - let's just say I have a few more purple running shoes thrown into the corner of the closet right now. I have an addiction.

Along with shoes, you really need good running socks

 

I used to run in whatever I could find, but found that my feet would slide around and I'd sometimes get blisters during longer runs. So I did some research and ended up finding the Thorlo brand of socks and haven't looked back. They're comfortable and supportive and amazing. Buy them. 

 

 

Clothes to run in

When you first start out, you'll probably be fine running in any old pair of shorts and a ratty old t-shirt (I know that's what I did), but once you start factoring in heat and cold and sweating and wanting to look cute, you'll want to start investing in some good running clothes. 

For pants I've always had really good luck with the running capris from Target. I also picked these beautiful dip-dye leggings up on Amazon a few months ago and they've quickly become a favorite because I'm basic AF and love anything dip or tie-dye. And the high waist keeps everything tucked in tight, which makes me a lot more comfortable than when my waistband falls down and my stomach flops all over (true story - not comfortable)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a hard time with running shorts right now since I'm still a bit over my pre-baby weight and find my shorts tend to ride-up whenever I run, which drives me bat-shit crazy. Chub-rub sucks.

However one of my goals for 2017 was to get back into running in shorts, since it's so god-awful hot in Florida 80% of the time.

I had really good luck with the Brooks Chaser short and Oiselle Roga, so I'm planning on breaking those out this month and giving them a shot during one of my shorter, morning runs. I know they fit since I use them for other workouts, but haven't gotten up the nerve to try running with them yet since having Jules.  

As you can tell with both pairs of the shorts, they have a wide waistband, which is key to prevent any muffin top digging. They also both have several pockets throughout the shorts, which are a good enough size for a GU, chapstick, or your car key.

As for shirts and sports bras, I tend to buy what's on sale and what's made for the heat. I like the UnderArmour heat gear tanks and love the sports bras from Target. I'm not super well-endowed, so I don't have good advice in regards to sports bras for more support, but I've heard the bras from Moving Comfort are pretty amazing. 

Sun Protection

I live in Florida, otherwise known as the Sunshine State. That's not a misnomer since it is SERIOUSLY sunny here most of the time. Unfortunately I struggle to run with sunscreen since it makes me sweat even more than usual (and I'm a sweaty beast). I'm taking sweat pooling in your shoes and streaming into your eyes here. Due to this, I don't usually run in sunscreen unless I'm on the beach or an unshaded area, and I try to run as early as possible and on a shaded trail. I do recommend that you run with sunscreen when at all possible. I do take extra precaution to wear a hat or visor because I suffer from melasma and getting any sun on my face results in some serious skin discoloration. I tend to use whatever hat I can find laying around the house until it starts getting super hot out and then I break out my visor. And I love that the band soaks up all of my sweat from my forehead and scalp so it doesn't get into my eyes. 

Running watch

I used apps on my phone for years and they worked just fine, but I love having a running watch. I've owned two Garmin's and highly recommend them, but especially recommend the newest one we got in January. Yes, it's refurbished - I buy everything refurbished since it usually just means a customer got it, didn't like the color or something, and returned it. This watch can do everything I need during a run including vibrating at me if I'm running under the pace I want to be running at, which is super helpful if you're training for something. It's easy to read and I was able to set it up without reading the directions, so it's easy to set-up too! 

My Garmin runs always tend to be more accurate than the apps I use on my phone, which is also really important when you're training for a race. Also, this watch comes in purple if you can find it (but the refurb price was more important to me than it being purple)

Water bottle

This is especially important in Florida or for any run over 4 miles or so, but I prefer to run with water all the time. I used to run with this and it works okay for shorter distances, but it was never enough for anything over 7 or 8 miles and if there weren't any water fountains on my route...heat exhaustion. I'm not a huge fan of the water bottles that you wear on your waist, so I will probably look into getting a bigger handheld bottle when I start training for my next half marathon in September. 

Technology crap

Since getting my new phone (the iPhone 7+), I had to upgrade most of my gear, since I preferred a pair of wireless ear buds and something to carry my phone in that wasn't an arm band due to the phone being so effing big. I did a lot of research and settled on...

The above ear buds, which are only $26 and are FREAKING AMAZING! I have a seriously terrible time getting ear buds to stay in my ears for any length of time during a run. Which is infuriating when I'm sweating and need my music to keep me going and the ear buds keep falling out. These suckers NEVER fall out or need adjusting. I'm not even kidding when I say I love them. And the music quality is so much better than the other ear buds I've tried. Needless to say, I highly recommend them. 

And this waist belt, which is only $8. I start my music, shove my phone in, zip it up, and turn it so the phone is on my booty. And then I run and forget it's there. It doesn't fall off or really even move the entire time. 

Fuel

Prior to leaving for a run (or in the morning before whatever workout I have planned), I always drink my watermelon Aminos. I've said it before, but I love this stuff and highly recommend it. It gives me clean energy without any jitters, there's no artificial colors (with the watermelon flavor), and I don't experience a crash later in the day. Also coffee gives me heartburn if I drink it prior to running and this stuff doesn't.  

If you plan on running more than an hour, you should plan on bringing something with you to snack on/replenish the salt lost through sweat/replenish electrolytes/give you energy. I have always had good luck with GU, and almost enjoy the salted caramel flavor - I think it's the most palatable.

A word of caution, I only eat about half at a time and eat it slowly while drinking water. This stuff is very thick and sweet and sticky and it's hard to swallow if you try to eat too much. This might be disgusting to some of you, but when I do have one I slowly eat half and then shove the other half in my sports bra for later. #extrasalt #frommyboobsweat

The thing that I LOVE to eat before a longer run is a honey stinger waffle. I usually have a bagel at home an hour or two beforehand and then have a waffle right before taking off. These things are delicious and I always eat one before any long run that's more than 6 miles. I have a fairly sensitive stomach and these never bother me and give me a nice burst of energy #carbs

That's all I have for today! Please let me know if you have any recommendations for gear you love for running. Do you have a favorite running shoe that you're diehard loyal to #brooksforlife, or do you think I'm a crazy person? 

I hope you have a fantastic day - thanks for stopping by!

Fri-YAY Part Deux

We made it to Friday!! THANK GOD!

I am still of the mindset that I could use another day to get all the work done that I need to do, but regardless of how much shit I have to do at work, I'm so happy it's Friday!

I thought I'd do another edition of Fri-YAY, or the things that are making me say YAYYYYY today. 

First of all, I managed to get all 5 of my workday workouts in. YESSSSS! I did oversleep on Wednesday and had to workout that evening, but managed to get Justin to workout with me. So a big YAYYYYYYY to that!

Also, the pictures I get with Justin both before and after our workouts are classic. The above shenanigans were on Wednesday - it's insane how much taller he is than me now! I'm on my tippy toes for all of them but the last one, and you can really tell how freaking tall he is in that picture - what happened to my sweet little boy?!? 

There he is!

He might be a dumb teenager sometimes, but most of the time he's still my fun, crazy, Justinsane. He worked out for about 15 minutes with his shirt like that. Yep. 

This song is a huge YAYYYYYYYY for me right now. I know that everyone else has been loving and listening to this song for months now, but I just got on that train. So don't judge me and let me enjoy it. 

Speaking of music, I might be a little bit biased but the playlist I use for running is pretty effing awesome. The vast majority of the songs have a BPM (beats per minute) of 170 or more, so when I run to those songs I match my strides to the beat of the song and it helps me run faster and more efficiently! Click on the link above and let me know if you give it a listen. The songs are kind of all over the place in regards to genre, but I promise it will get you moving quickly if you just go with the flow!

Also if you're into alternative music at all, check out the new album by Spoon. I've been a fan of Spoon for many moons (I had to rhyme it, sorry), and their new album is probably their best work. CHECK IT OUT!

Here's something that makes me say YAYYYY but can be a bit of a frustration for other people...assholes who can't park!

nice parking job madrediem

I love when people do something jackassery that I can put on snapchat. So please, keep being inconsiderate and lazy so I can blast you on the internets!

Seriously though...how hard is it to fix your parking job? 

I love spaghetti night. For reals though. We had spaghetti Monday night and there was more than enough leftover for everyone to eat it on Tuesday (I was fasting so I didn't partake, see my post from Wednesday). As far as what we use to make our spaghetti, I saute a pound and a half of ground turkey with some EVOO and minced garlic.  I'm way too busy to make my sauce from scratch, so I get the Bertolli Organic brand, which is one of the lowest in regards to added sugar (6 grams vs over 10 for most of the other brands) and dump that in once the turkey is cooked and heat it up for about 10 minutes. And I really like the Dreamfields pasta since it has a lot of fiber. And fiber makes you poop. Pooping is good. POOP!! 

I was feeling pretty good in two of my outfits this week and when that happens, you know I'm taking a bathroom selfie! YAYYYYYYY!! The outfit on the left is a dress from letote (clothes rental - highly recommend it!) and shoes from TJ Maxx and I was wearing some awesome shapewear that my me look like I have some pretty nice tatas, and the dress on the right is a PRE-PREGNANCY dress from The Limited (R.I.P.) and the same shoes, no shapewear. Sometimes you just gotta selfie!

Something that will always make me say YAYYYYYY is Jules running towards me all excited and stuff. I can't even with this one.  

Poor Jax.

Ridiculous pictures make me say YAYYYYY.

Apparently we're not supposed to have any dogs at Jason's Uncle's condo. So poor Jax had to get carted in and out in my beach bag to go to the bathroom. By the time we were ready to leave on Sunday morning, the poor thing would run away and try to hide from me. SORRY, BUDDY!

Twinning - madrediem

Can I get a YAYYYYYY for twinning with my daughter? She's so effing cute. 

And yes, I did draw a t-shirt on my daughter - she always eats in her diaper since it cuts down on stains on her clothes, but I'm not trying to have my pictures targeted by pervs. So stay away, ya effing pervs - you're not getting any content here!!

Do you have anything fun planned for this weekend? I am going to be relaxing and spring cleaning; hopefully doing more relaxing that cleaning. My main focus is going to be on closets, bathrooms, and my car. Cause my car is gross, mmmkay?

Happy Friday, everyone! 

My Favorite Workout Programs

Happy Friday Eve, everyone - thanks for stopping by! I know I mentioned this the other day, but this week is flying by for me! It's good because I really need a weekend at home (I'm exhausted), but sucks because I have so much to do at work that's not getting done. 

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I didn't get my run in this morning because there was a tornado watch and it was seriously storming outside, so I had to sub another workout in. You can see how I felt about that in my picture (I was tired and meh), but I ended up doing MMX and Core on the Floor from P90X3 and Core de Force and felt pretty good about myself by the time I was done. 

Today I thought I would do a quick review of all of my favorite workout programs. A lot of them are Beachbody workouts - again I'm not a coach, I just really like their programs and have done a lot of them. I also have a few favorites that you can pick-up on Amazon. I love Amazon and buy pretty much anything I can from there, including a lot of my workouts. 

First I will review my favorite Beachbody programs and then I'll go into some of my other favorite workouts/plans/ways to get fit. I do have a subscription to Beachbody on Demand, which I love. It's their online streaming program that allows you access to all of their programs for $100 a year. I like working out at home and don't like the gym so much, so it's perfect and justifiable for me!

I am not a personal trainer or fitness professional and as such, I want to remind you that this is just my opinion and in no way, shape, or form a recommendation as something that you should start doing. As with all workouts programs, check with your doctor before starting anything. 

P90X

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I'm currently in my 3rd or 4th attempt of completing P90X - I talk about this more later in this post and have also discussed in past posts, but I always quit due to gaining weight initially whenever I try P90X. It has happened again this time but not as much; just a couple pounds. However I'm not even worried about it because I know the pounds will come off and then some, just like they did with Chalean Extreme (and I'm going to be so jacked #doyouevenliftbro). 

So far I'm really enjoying P90X this time around. See all the mascara all over my face? Wash your face at night, friends! (I was too tired yesterday). 

P90X Pros & Cons

Pros

  • I know some people think this is a con, but I think Tony Horton is hilarious AF and I love his commentary and ridiculous jokes throughout the workouts. And if you don't like his commentary, you could mute the tv and play music - problem solved. 
  • The workouts change monthly, so you'll never get bored!
  • If you track your workouts and the weights you use (I use a notebook and jot down the weight and reps for each exercise), you will start to see results on a weekly basis. Every single workout I improve on something. Either I do more reps or I increase weight, but it's a trackable improvement and it makes me happy!

Cons

  • I personally think all of the P90X cardio workouts suck and I don't do any of them. I either run, use a HIIT or kickboxing workout from Turbofire, or sub a P90X3 cardio workout (MMX is my fave) on my cardio days.
  • Time commitment. The workouts are all around an hour or more and that's a lot when you have a family and work full-time. This is why I wake up at 5am to complete my workout. Sometimes I sleep through my alarm and then I have to do it in the evenings and it's a huge time commitment. I will say that I'm sure the results are worth it though!

Insanity

I have done three complete rounds of Insanity, one in 2012 which I had my best results with, another the summer of 2014 and then I did a postpartum round in July of last year. I love Insanity, and I love Shaun T. That being said, Insanity is an extremely intense program that I would not recommend for beginners. 

These pictures have never seen the light of day, but I've already showed off how I look right now so I may as well show off how I looked when I was at what I consider to be my peak shape. These pictures are from my round of Insanity in 2012. I didn't lose a ton of weight (only like 4 or 5 pounds), but MAN are those results amazing!

Insanity Pros & Cons:

Pro:

  • Results. Not only will you see some serious physical results in regards to your body composition, but you will also experience some serious results in your athletic performance. I find that whenever I do Insanity my running performance improves exponentially, due to the fact that you seriously improve your cardio conditioning with Insanity. All of that jumping and the back-and-forths and CRAZINESS really help with your slow and fast twitch muscles/response, so my leg turnover during runs is faster which helps me to run faster and more efficiently. I will probably continue to do a round of Insanity every early fall so I'm better prepared for running season (which is fall/winter here in Florida)

Con:

  • This workout is hard AF. I'm talking super intense. So I would not recommend it for beginners. 
  • Very hard on your joints - probably not doable if you have any joint issues (talk to your dr)
  • Lack of strength training. There are some body weight strength moves in some of the workouts, but this is primarily cardio-based. As such, you'll lose some muscle mass. I will probably try to do some short weight workouts the next time I do a round. 

Chalean Extreme

Prior to completing a full round of Chalean Extreme last month, I'd attempted the program probably 3 or 4 times without ever completing it. Why didn't I ever complete the program? I'd always gain a few pounds in the beginning and give up, since I was hyper-focused on wanting to lose weight. Well now I finally know and believe that it's okay to gain some weight in a strength program - your muscles hold onto water whenever they are repairing themselves and when you're doing a crazy workout program with lots of strength training, you'll gain some water weight. It's okay...even if you don't lose a single pound, I promise your body composition will change. You will see muscles and get toned and your clothes will start fitting better. 

Also just to clear things up because this drives me nuts...muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound of muscle weighs exactly the same as a pound of fat. However, muscle is a lot more dense than fat and as such, takes up less space. So a pound of muscle looks smaller than a pound of fat. When you're adding muscle to your body and losing fat but not losing any actual pounds, do yourself a favor and take progress pictures and measure yourself with measuring tape. This is how I keep myself from getting discouraged when the scale doesn't budge. 

Here are my results from Chalean Extreme that I finished in March. I wasn't initially very happy with them and blogged about this before, but I did have some pretty good results (more proof that you should be happy with the body you're in!!)

Pros & cons of Chalean Extreme

Pros

  • The workouts change every month, so you don't get bored. 
  • I really like Chalene Johnson as a trainer - she's funny and very personable. She also makes me laugh, which is super important to me - Shaun T and Tony Horton also make me laugh on the regs. 
  • You will see results in your body composition as long as you lift heavy weights. Go outside of your comfort zone and really push yourself; you might be surprised with what you are capable of!

Cons

  • Those boots...just no.

Turbofire

I've still never completed a full round of TF, but I do really enjoy the workouts and will often sub either a HIIT or one of the longer workouts on a cardio day when I don't want to run. These workouts are super dancey and I think they're a lot of fun! Plus, there are low-impact options so this is great workout for beginners and if you're pregnant (with your dr's okay). I've shared the picture on the right twice already, but I am super proud of my 6-month preggo kickboxing picture so I'm posting it again! Plus, it's Thursday so I can call this a Throwback Thursday. DEAL WITH IT!!!

Turbofire Pros & Cons

Pros

  • It's a lot of fun...once you get the moves down. 
  • Chalean is so positive and uplifting that you are excited to workout with her; she's a great instructor with awesome cues. 
  • I've worn my heart rate monitor while doing a TF workout and I burn almost as many calories as when I run, so they're very effective workouts!
  • Good for beginners and people who need to modify
  • The long stretch workout in the program (it's 40 minutes long) is one of my favorite yoga-ish routines. 

Cons

  • I don't like the strength workouts - they just don't do it for me
  • There is a bit of a learning curve with the workouts since it's super dancey and requires some coordination. Keep trying and I promise you'll get it down!

Now onto some non-beachbody programs

Half Marathon Training

carb load.jpg

After doing a round of Insanity and when fall is upon us, I am always ready to start running regularly and seriously training for a half-marathon.

There's something about cooler temps and long-run Sunday that makes me super happy.

The carb loading and beers after my long-runs certainly help with my enthusiasm. 

That being said, running is hard and training for a half-marathon is a serious time commitment. 

Here's the plan I used to PR a couple of years ago. You do need to be an experienced runner before trying this plan - I had ran 3 half marathons before doing this plan. But it worked and I killed my PR by 6 minutes!

(sorry about the shitty picture quality)

Half Marathon Training Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • The accomplishment of finishing the race is such an awesome feeling. And even though you'll swear both during and immediately afterward that you'll never run another distance race again, I can almost bet that you'll sign up for another within a year!
  • Carb loading before and beer after my long runs. So much fun.
  • Having 2 hours to myself to listen to music and just be alone - for whatever reason, I tend to really enjoy my long runs (when I don't feel like I'm going to die)
  • You have to go shopping to buy new stuff. You'll need shoes, clothes, GU, water bottles, hats, socks, etc. I love to run in purple - it makes me run faster...

Cons:

  • Weight gain - I always gain weight during every single training cycle. I do lean out at first, but by the end your body is so beat up and tired that you start packing on some weight (usually around 5 punds for me)
  • So hungry. All the time. See the above. 
  • It's time consuming - you'll be running at least 3 days a week for 30-140 minutes or so depending on your schedule. That's a lot and it can be overwhelming. Just take it one run at a time.

The Butt Bible

One of my friends gave me this and it is a killer. I like to use this during half marathon training for cross training and strength. The only problem with it is you will not be able to sit down to pee for days. Not even kidding. 

Pros: 

  • I like the trainer; she has a lot of great form cues and she's very pleasant.
  • Seriously effective. 
  • The workouts are pretty quick
  • I think the instructor is funny (in a ridiculous way) but a lot of people complain about her. If you don't like her, mute the tv and listen to music. Boom.

Cons:

  • You won't be able to sit down for days the first few times you do this workout. It's seriously effective, but that leads to serious pain.

MTV Pilates Mix

I've had this workout since having Justin and still recommend it. The instructor is obviously very well-trained and knowledgeable and I really enjoy the workouts (but hate them at the same time, because they're hard). 

What I love about Pilates is that it helps me to strengthen my supporting muscles and helps to fix any muscle imbalances I might have. This is especially important when you're a runner, since runners are notoriously weak in random places, which leads to injuries. 

Pilates also puts a lot of emphasis on strengthening your core, not just your abs. This means your back, obliques, and transverse abs get a workout, leading to a stronger core overall. 

And if you're lucky, your cat and dog will do the workout with you, so you have an accountability partner!

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • If you combine the workouts, you get a full body workout in an hour. 
  • Helps strengthen your supporting muscles, which helps to decrease injury

Cons:

  • No cardio or strength training, so you'll have to use this as supporting workout. I used to do it on a shorter strength day while doing P90X3 and counted it for my ab workout as well
  • If you enjoy doing seriously intense workouts all the time you'll probably get bored at first when you try this, but I encourage you to stick it out to the end. The constant core work and small movements will seriously destroy you - in a good way. 

That's all I have for today! Have you tried any of these workouts? Do you have any recommendations for me? I love working out. A lot of people think it's because I'm crazy, but I just really enjoy how I feel when I'm done. If you change your mindset from "uggghhh...I have to workout" to "I get to workout", I promise you'll feel better about it and start to do it more!

Have a great Thursday!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a percentage of the sale if you make a purchase using the links. This does not change the price of the item (at all) and is something I have just decided to start trying since I do make recommendations on a regular basis. The opinions are still 100% my own and not at all influenced by me using the affiliate links.