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!

A Birth Control Story

Like a Cinderella Story or the Princess Diaries, but about birth control and totally different. 

Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a great week - I'm sorry about not posting yesterday; the day got away from me and I just couldn't make it happen! Part of that has to do with some HUGE news that I will share as soon as I can, so keep checking in so you don't miss what's going on #deeptease

Today's post has to do with something that I am pretty passionate about, since it involves my health, and my health and longevity is obviously very important to me. Now the men reading might be like, this has nothing to do with me, but I say you're wrong and should keep reading. Let's be real here...do you have sex? Does your special lady friend/wife/baby mama use birth control (and if you don't know the answer to that question, shame on you). Or if you're a dad, you might want to keep this in mind for your daughter since it's kind of a big deal. 

And if you're a woman, it's on you to make sure you are in charge of your health. Use birth control or some sort of fertility method until you're ready to have kids, use condoms, be smart, don't ignore crazy health symptoms, etc. 

So here's my birth control story. 

I have been on some sort of birth control since I was in high school and my high school boyfriend's sister took me to Planned Parenthood because she was smart and knew we were crazy and hormonal and she didn't want a niece/nephew quite yet. I started off on the pill and that worked really well until I was 20 and got pregnant with my ex-husband (best surprise ever). 

I mean, look at how stunningly beautiful I was in high school...who wouldn't want a piece of that? (Btw...this picture is from when I was 14 and I most definitely was not doing the deed then - I'm not going to say when it actually happened, but it was definitely not at 14...way too young). 

Seriously though...black streaks in my hair, hemp necklaces...wow. 

Tangent time...how freaking cute is 1-year old Justin?? If you look under his nose, he has a scab from where he slammed his face into an end table while trying to walk. And then his right eye has a scab where he was bit by a pit bull. True story. One of my coworkers offered to babysit Justin and their dog bit him, completely unprovoked (he was just playing with toys). However this coworker also bragged on the regular about how he would "discipline" his dog by hitting her, so I don't blame the breed...I blame the moron who beats their dog. Lesson learned and luckily it was not as serious as it could have been had he been bit a bit more to the left.

Moving on...

To another tangent...can I get an "awwwwwwwww" for sweet and cute, little 18 month old Justin on a beach in Alaska? I mean, SERIOUSLY!! 

Okay, now seriously moving on and back to my story. 

After having Justin I decided to try something other than the pill, since I got pregnant while taking the pill. At first I tried the patch and I hated it - it was gross and made my skin break out and I just didn't like it. I eventually ended up getting the copper IUD and had it for approximately 4 years without any issues at all, until I had an unfortunate water skiing incident that knocked it loose. 

I'm not even kidding here guys...

No bullshit - this epic wipeout resulted in my IUD getting dislodged #naturedouche? Is that too much information? Oh well - stick with me because it's all important, I promise. 

Luckily I was actually getting ready to start my first egg donation a month after this, so I just stayed off of the birth control and got ready to pump my body full of all sorts of other hormones/medications!

Don't worry...I'll talk about my egg donation(s) experience in a later post.

While I was in the egg donation cycle, they had me take Yaz and let me tell you something...I loved Yaz. Love, love, LOVED it. My skin was clear and glowing for the first time ever and I was able to maintain my weight and I wasn't a raving lunatic once a month - it was the best. 

Unfortunately, while we were living in Massachusetts I started experiencing horrible migraines, usually for a couple of days during the week before that special time of the month. They were usually bad enough that I'd have to leave work and lay on the kitchen floor (it was cool) with the lights off until my migraine medicine kicked in. These migraines involved something called an aura - basically I would get tunnel vision and my eyesight would narrow with blurriness around the outside and lights bothered me immensely. I knew this wasn't normal or okay, so I went to my lady parts doctor who said it was probably due to my birth control and the hormones fluctuating too much and I should try a method that would keep my hormones more steady - so she gave me the Nuvaring. 

I hated it. 

Hate, hate, HATED. So I switched back to Yaz and decided I would just deal with the migraines and they're not a big deal...

Fast forward to a few years when we moved to Florida and I got a new lady parts doctor. After telling her about my migraines she said this is actually a huge concern and that she would not be willing to prescribe any combined-method birth control for me. You see, when you are taking a combined hormone birth control and you have migraines with an aura, it actually increases your risk of having a stroke. My doctor explained this is fairly new research, but she recommended I stop taking combined method birth control and switch to something that's either progestogen-only (mini-pill, the shot, the implant) or non-hormonal (copper IUD, condoms, diaphragm, rhythm method). 

I was super bummed because I actually loved taking Yaz and the positive side effects I experienced with it, but I didn't want to have a stroke (obviously) so I decided to try out the copper IUD again. 

I did not have a good experience with it the second time. I actually ended up gaining over 10 pounds that were primarily in my stomach, had horrible periods, terrible skin, and all sorts of other side effects...

We actually got married a month before I had the IUD removed and luckily I looked fantastic that day :-) Be humble, bitch sit down (it's a song...)

But I really did have a ton of issues with the IUD the second time - it had actually gotten lodged into my right ovary (which meant it hurt like a mother when they took it out) and that was causing a lot of inflammation which could be part of the reason for my bloating all the time. I also ended up getting diagnosed with PCOS around this time and was told I'd probably not be able to have any additional children naturally, which I talk more about in this post...at this point they put me on the mini-pill which is a progestogen-only pill and safe for people who suffer from migraines (especially with aura).

3 months after they told me I had PCOS and wouldn't be able to get pregnant naturally, I found out I was almost 4 months pregnant.

Needless to say, I wasn't overly worried about birth control until 8 weeks postpartum, when I started back up on the mini-pill and luckily I have not really had any issues with it. The biggest thing with the mini-pill is you have to take it at the same time every day and if you miss it by more than 3 hours, you will probably end up pregnant. Not. Even. Kidding. Also, I'd like to blame the fact that I still have baby (toddler?) weight to lose on the mini-pill, but I am capable of being honest with myself and saying that it's actually because I eat like a horse and drink too much wine/beer sometimes. I need to start practicing moderation with my moderation - don't think too hard about it and it will make sense. 

Also in regards to PCOS, I have not had any of the issues since having Jules and I do wonder if mine was just triggered by stopping birth control. I guess only time will tell - you better believe if I start experiencing weight gain, horrible skin, hair on my face, thinning hair, or any of the other myriad of symptoms I experienced after coming off Yaz, I will be going to the doctor and getting a full blood panel. 

To review all of the above:

I was not having sex at 14, I just think the picture is funny.

If you or someone you know (friend/wife/girlfriend/sister/mom) take birth control and experience migraine with aura, please urge them to discuss this with their lady parts doctor ASAP. 

The actual increase in the risk of stroke is a small one, but like I said earlier, I'm not effing around when it comes to my health. A stroke is a big, potentially fatal deal and it's not something I am okay risking, even if it means my skin sucks and I'm 10 pounds heavier (again, probably more to do with my "moderation" than anything). 

And if you are on the mini-pill like me make sure you take it at the same exact time every day or you'll get pregnant. 

Finally, I know you're all concerned about the state of my bathroom mirror. 

Yep! Still dirty...all of the other bathrooms have been cleaned, but I just haven't been able to get to our bathroom yet and my husband is working a bajillion hours so he hasn't been able to do it either. It's happening this weekend though. Hopefully (no promises). 

Other than cleaning my bathroom and folding laundry, we really don't have much planned on this glorious long weekend - Jules is doing much better so I think we might try to find a splash park somewhere? Maybe go to the beach if we decide we can handle the crowds? Grill some steaks or something on Monday?

How about you? What are your Memorial Day weekend plans? Please tell me you're having a BBQ and/or doing something super fun!

Oh and before I forget, I have an awesome deal for Le Tote! I actually kept another one of my dresses from my last box because I can't live without it, and I'm really excited about the next box that I'm getting early next week since it has THREE dresses that I saved on the app instead of the usual one or two. 

Use the code 20OFF3 to sign up and you'll get 20% off for 3 months. That's a seriously awesome deal, so if you're thinking about doing it I urge you to give it a shot for 3 months - that's only $47/month for the 4 articles of clothing, non-maternity box! And doing it for 3 months will give you a real taste for it and you can make an honest decision on whether you like it or not.

That's all I have for today - have a fantastic weekend!

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. :-)

I'm Breaking UP

With the scale and I'm serious. This is a dysfunctional relationship and I'm sick of it!

Now that I have your attention, don't forget to subscribe!

Before I get to the end of my relationship with my scale, I want to show you a few things. 

First we have a pre-workout selfie...

Take a look at those leggings and remember them - they play a role in the demise of my relationship with my scale. 

Then I didn't really like that selfie so I decided to mix things up and take another one in my dirty mirror right by our front door...

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I sure do love to take flattering pictures of myself and then post them online for the world to see, don't I?! Also will someone please come to my house and clean all of my mirrors? I'm an embarrassment (but if I'm being completely honest I don't really even care). 

So I went outside and ran this morning. I had looked at my workout schedule like three times yesterday and again this morning and thought to myself every time, "cool, I only have to run 2 miles worth of 1/4 mile repeats - easy peasy". So I decided to do a full mile for a warm-up and run just a little over 3 miles. NO PROBLEM. Except here's the workout I was supposed to do:

I apparently can't math at all because I had that all sorts of wrong. Ugh. I ended up figuring this out mid-run and was like, there's no way I can run 4 miles of 1/4 mile repeats when I had only planned to do 2. Plus I really wanted/needed to do a core workout and didn't have time to do it all since I'd only planned for a total of 3 freaking miles, not 5. So I ended up doing only 5 repeats, for a total of a little over 3.5 miles. Yeesh. 

Get yo shit together, Jamie! 

Why am I showing you two nearly identical pictures of myself? Well I originally took those pictures for a blog idea - I'm really sucking it in on the left and not sucking in on the right and I had this grand plan on doing a post around them somehow. However looking at them right now, I can seriously hardly see a difference between the two and I'm going to be real honest and say that I look good. I mean, I'm pretty happy with how I look in those pictures overall - my stomach is pretty flat even when I'm not sucking it in and I felt great all day. 

Additionally, I have a ton of pictures from our beach day on Saturday and I am happy with how I look in all of them - those are freaking swimsuit pictures, people! I'm never happy with how I look in swimsuit pictures, but the fact that I was happy with all of them made me feel like I was really making some progress towards this whole self-love thing. 

Finally, remember how I told you to remember that picture from earlier with the leggings? Those leggings are pre-pregnancy and I have never been able to wear them comfortably because I always had muffin top with them. Or I'd have serious camel toe because I'd try to pull them way up over my muffin top and they were never comfortable #youknowyoudoittoo

So I should have been feeling pretty effing amazing this morning, right? 

WRONG!!

I got on the scale this morning right after waking up and guess what...I'm up 3 pounds from where I was on Tuesday of last week. 

F&%$ the scale!!

Raise your hand if you hate the scale...

Now raise your hand if you've ever felt great about yourself only to weigh yourself and have your entire mood change....

I am right there with you! I mean, I have been feeling pretty good about myself lately. My arms and my butt are looking really toned! My stomach is pretty flat most of the time and I'm starting to be able to wear most of my pre-Jules clothes while still being able to breathe! I have pictures in my swimsuit that I didn't even hesitate to post!

Then I let that stupid number ruin my happy roll. 

Well I'm not doing that anymore. This was the last straw!

Kind of. 

This will be a gradual break-up since I am currently running a Biggest Loser contest at work and don't want to drop out of it since I'm in charge of the whole dang thing. However instead of weighing myself every day like I usually do (except for Monday - I never weigh myself on a Monday #chipschocolateandwine), I will only weigh myself for the weigh-in days and luckily there are only 2 of those left in the contest. Once I'm done with that, I am going to work to measure my health/progress with other metrics and take the scale out of the equation completely: 

  • Progress pictures - these always make me happy, so this will be my primary method of measurement. 
  • Tape measure - I am usually pretty happy with this, but sometimes I actually measure bigger even when I feel smaller due to being swole. I'm such a douche - that's the second time I've blogged the word "swole". BUT IT'S A REAL THING!! I mean I guess I could say swollen or retaining water, but swole is so much more fun to say. Now if you ever hear me say or read "YOLO" or "FOMO" on this blog and I'm being serious, please find me and slap some sense into me. Moving on...
  • How do my clothes fit? If my clothes are fitting better and I'm more comfortable in my skin then that's a good sign that I'm doing pretty well 
  • Blood pressure and blood sugar tests. I haven't talked about this on here yet, but I've had some minor blood pressure issues since getting pregnant with Jules - my blood pressure can sometimes be a bit higher than I'd like and close to borderline high, like 138/80. Most of the time it's around 120/70, but that's even higher than I like for it to be and where it used to be (110/60). Also I've had two blood sugar tests that were pre-prediabetic in the past few years; like right on the verge. Luckily they weren't consecutive and being smart with my diet makes a huge difference almost immediately - for example, my last test was borderline, but it was in December. December = Christmas cookies. My doctor wasn't hugely concerned due to this, but I'm testing again in June and hope for better numbers this time or else I'm going to have to make some big changes (and I don't wanna). 

I will still weigh myself, but perhaps on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. I might be pretty happy with how I'm looking overall, but find that my health tends to be better when I am below 140. So I know I will get there eventually, but for now I'm slowly breaking up with the scale.

In fact, I'm ghosting the scale.

(if you don't know what ghosting means, it's when someone you're dating shoots you a few texts and then disappears from your life. It's a thing now. Now you know and you're hip and trendy like me!)

MadreDiem Break UP

It's not me, it's you. 

(actually it might partially be me...I ate some chips before bed last night. But whatever...we're still broken up, you dumb scale). 

Have you ever broken up with the scale and if so, did it have a positive effect on your life? I am just so sick of feeling discouraged due to a number, when everything else is making me happy! 

I'm going to throw this in because I sooooooo need it...

Thanks for stopping by, friends!

How I Deal with My Anxiety

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a great weekend! 

We had a super busy weekend, beaching and beering it up in the Fort Lauderdale area. Don't tell my husband that I agree with him since I always push back whenever he says it, but I really enjoy southern Florida. Jason always talks about wanting to move there and I argue that it's too expensive and hot, but I really do enjoy it there. We just both need to make a ton more money and then I'd be okay with it. Time to play the lottery.

Before I jump into my anxiety stuff, here is some weekend stuff.

Jason has family in town at their Florida condo in Sunrise, FL, which is 10 minutes west of Fort Lauderdale, so we made the trip down to see them Friday afternoon. We didn't end up leaving until 2 or so and hit some nasty traffic on the way down, so we stopped for dinner around 6:30 to try to avoid some of the rush hour traffic. The place we stopped was an Italian joint and it was pretty good, however the average patron age was approximately 70 and that's not a joke. Since we had Jax with us we ate outside and had a grandparent of some sort stop by our table every 2 minutes or so to talk about our dog and our kids. It was actually quite amusing and made me miss my grandparents a lot - my grandparents are awesome and I wish we didn't live so far away!

I managed to get a cute kid picture but failed on the group shot... #reallife

At least Justin looks good! We still had about an hour to drive after leaving the restaurant, which is no fun, and we didn't make it to his uncle's condo until 8 or so. Jules was all amped up and ended up staying awake until 9:30 or so, which is insane because it's a solid 2 hours after her bed time. But then she ended up sleeping through the night, so I'll take it! We all actually ended up sleeping until 9:30 Saturday morning, which is super late for us. We'd planned on going to the beach early in the morning, but by the time we had breakfast and got everything together, it was closer to 1 before we got down there. Oops!

As usual, the beach was absolutely beautiful. The water was warm-ish and clear and we all had a great time. I was a bit worried, however Jules absolutely loved being in the water. We bought her this float off of Amazon last year and she didn't really enjoy it last summer but absolutely loved it this beach trip. After we eased into the water (it was a little cold for us Floridians), Jason and I set her into the seat and after a few minutes of clinging to my fingers she started kicking and squealing with joy whenever a wave would rock her around. 

We obviously kept a really tight hold onto the float the entire time as this float doesn't really provide any life preserving elements - Jules was actually pulling herself halfway out of it by the time we were all ready to get out of the water. She's an insane daredevil baby. 

Then Jules and I played in the sand for awhile - throw sand into bucket, flip over to make castle, destroy castle, and repeat. I somehow managed to forget to put any sunblock on myself, but made sure everyone else was taken care of, so I guess that was a mom-win, me-fail?

By 3 or so we were all starving and since we were in the area, we had to stop off at Funky Buddha, which is our favorite brewery of all time. This was our first time going to the actual brewery - we usually just pick up their beers at the store - and we were not disappointed. Jason and I tried a few beers and we all got some food and just hung out for awhile, which is always a great time. 

I of course got a flight (always get the flight) and I really enjoyed all of the beers I tried. Jason tried a variation on Last Snow called Last Buffalo (or something like that) which is aged in liquor barrels, meaning it was strong AF. 

Still good. Still my favorite brewery.

The picture below is the best picture out of 5 pictures that I took of all of us in front of Funky Buddha... I'm going to start making everyone wear hats and sunglasses so we can get more consistent pictures together. That's essentially my secret to looking good in pictures. Wear a hat and sunglasses and smile #photogenic 

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We ended up sleeping pretty well on Saturday night too and got some donuts to share with Jason's aunt and uncle before leaving to make the drive home. Jules was awesome in the car (Justin's always awesome) and slept half of the way before we stopped to get some Subway, and then she just hung out the rest of the time. I can admit I'm pretty lucky that my kids are both awesome travelers!

I meal planned in the car while Jason drove the first part of the trip and no, I haven't forgotten about doing an entire post on that sometime soon, I promise!

I would like to talk about anxiety. 

Before I start, I do want to remind you all that I am not a medical professional or trained counselor or anything like that. I'm just someone who has been dealing with anxiety for a very long time and has some tricks that have worked for me that I'd like to share. 

I have had anxiety for almost 20 years now and for whatever reason, people are usually surprised to find I suffer from it. I've been told "you seem so confident and put together" and they just can't believe that I deal with anxiety, so I feel it is important to share my experience.

There are tons of different types of anxiety and lots of different people can be affected by it, but what I suffer from are panic/anxiety attacks. I still remember the first time I had an anxiety attack - I was 15 years old and laying on my bedroom floor watching Les Miserables on tv when my heart started pounding out of my chest at a rapid pace and I literally thought I was going to die. I ran downstairs to my mom in a total panic and she ended up rushing me to the hospital. I underwent a myriad of testing - cardiovascular tests, MRI and CT scans, blood tests, etc. In the end, the dr said I had anxiety and gave me Paxil, which I took for a couple of days, hated, and stopped. At that point, just putting a name to what I was experiencing was enough for me to feel better, and I don't believe I had another serious episode until I hit my 30's. Then for whatever reason, my anxiety came back with a vengeance and has stuck around pretty consistently since then. Here are the symptoms I experience, along with some of the things that will set me off:

Symptoms

  • Erratic or exaggerated heartbeats (heart palpitations, random large beats, etc); if this is happening to me you will often see me taking my heart rate to confirm it's fine - my resting heart rate is actually usually in the 50's because I'm in good shape, even while having an attack - but I always have to track my heart rate to make sure my heart is still working whenever I have an attack. 
  • Tunnel vision
  • I'm convinced I can't swallow which leads to me actually struggling to swallow
  • Vertigo
  • Light-headed
  • Breathing heavily

Triggers

  • Being over-tired
  • Driving long-distance
  • Driving through mountains
  • Driving over a bridge or even a tall overpass
  • Feeling constrained, like in certain roller coasters
  • Heights 
  • Elevators

As you can see, driving is a huge trigger for me, but I also have attacks at work on a regular basis. While I do have the attacks often while driving, I am fine while riding in the car. I find that I do better in the morning and as the day goes on, I start to have more issues. I don't have anxiety attacks every day, but I would say I have a few of them on a weekly basis, whether it's just the beginning of one that never actually comes to fruition, or sometimes giant, full-on panic where I have to excuse myself from what I'm doing or pull over if I'm driving. I also find that the frequency and severity can vary based on where I am at in my cycle - it gets really bad right before, during, and after my period.  

My anxiety never comes for any reason that I can quantify. For example, if I'm in an emergency situation I am always absolutely fine - in fact, I've often been complimented on how well I maintain my composure during an emergency. However I can be sitting at work having a normal conversation with a co-worker and go into a full-scale attack for seemingly no reason. 

Anxiety has no rhyme and reason and often makes no sense. 

There is one place where I never seem to have any panic/anxiety attacks and that's home. So there are times when I am really suffering when I will look forward to getting home for an entire day since I know I will feel better immediately.

If you're suffering from anxiety, the first thing I want to tell you is that you're not alone. I can almost guarantee that if you ask around you will probably have a number of friends/acquaintances who suffer as well.

I would also encourage you to see your doctor first to rule out any medical issues, as there are a number of medical conditions that can cause anxiety attacks. There were a few months in 2013 where I was having constant anxiety attacks on my way home from work, where I just happened to be eating almonds for a snack each time. Turns out, I'm allergic to almonds and was experiencing anaphylaxis - yeah, really. So go to the doctor. They'll run a bunch of tests and rule out anything medical and you can also look into medication at that time if you would like, since I know a lot of people have success with medicine. Although I do have a prescription for Xanax, I use it very sparingly - I will take 1/2 a pill an average of every 2 weeks whenever I can't sleep due to my anxiety, but that's it. I've had my prescription for over 3 months and still have over half of my 30 pills left. 

Other than the minimal medication I take when I need it to sleep, here are the other things I have done to help minimize my anxiety:

Reduce your caffeine intake

If I drink more than a cup of coffee (or the caffeine equivalent), I will have terrible anxiety and panic attacks all day long. If you are suffering from anxiety I highly recommend you cut out caffeine and see if it helps improve your symptoms. I do actually plan to quit caffeine completely one day in the hopes it will help my anxiety issues even more, however I have cut down my intake dramatically and it's made a definite difference so I'm okay right now keeping my one cup of coffee in the morning. 

Exercise

I think the benefits are two-fold for me with exercise - it's time I take for myself on a daily basis and it gets those good endorphins pumping. A word of caution though; whenever I do a seriously intense program like Insanity, my anxiety actually gets worse for a week before it settles back down. So I would recommend skipping the super intense stuff if you're really suffering.

Limit your alcohol intake

I try not to drink any alcohol during the week and really try not to drink excessively at all anymore (except for the occasional out-of-control date night with my husband or crazy girl's night out). This is just my experience, but I have found the more I drink the worse my anxiety is, even if I just have a glass of wine with my dinner. 

Meditation

I will be honest and let you know that I have not been meditating very often lately (or at all), BUT I have had a lot of success in the past with meditation helping my anxiety and I find that the more I do it, the more it helps. There are two apps that I've used on my phone, and when I practice I'll take 5-15 minutes after my workout in the morning to sit quietly and listen to a guided meditation. The apps I have used are Headspace and Insight Timer - the second one is actually my favorite, but I know a lot of people really like Headspace when they're starting out. 

Diffusing oils

First and foremost, I'm not trying to sell you anything so don't skip through this part thinking that's what I'm doing. I had read that oil diffusing helps a lot with anxiety and after having several really bad weeks in January/February, I bought some oils and a diffuser from Amazon. First off, my diffuser is pretty and the lights are very soothing. Secondly, I love the way the oil blends I use smell and I have found that I can minimize or eliminate an attack if I feel one coming on by breathing in the anxiety blend deeply. 

Whenever I'm at work my diffuser is on and pumping. It might be a placebo effect, but my anxiety has lessened a bit since I've started using it. In fact, I like it so much I even bought one for home and use a blend that's supposed to aid with sleep and guess what...it does seem to be helping me sleep better! Here are the items I personally use for anxiety; most often at work, but if I know I'll be driving long distance I will take my oil and breath it in deeply if I'm feeling an attack festering. 

Finally, I also take some supplements for my anxiety

If you are considering supplements please discuss with your doctor first as some supplements can interact with medications - plus, you should really talk to your doctor about anything health related! Here are the supplements I use, which can also be found under my favorites page. 

This magnesium drink is the number 1 thing I recommend. Not only do I feel a difference in my level of anxiety on the days I take it, it also has the added benefit of helping you stay regular! As such, if you do decide to get this as a supplement, start of with a 1/2 teaspoon and work your way up to a full dose.

Trust me here.

I dissolve a teaspoon or so into 2 ounces of hot water before leaving for work in the morning, let it sit for a minute or two, and then swish the water around to make sure all of the powder dissolves. I also add my next supplement to the hot water, which is Inositol. 

Inositol is supposed to help with anxiety and is also supposed to help alleviate PCOS symptoms. I discussed this in another blog, but I was diagnosed with PCOS and suffer from many of the symptoms of this disorder, including anxiety. I haven't been having as many of the PCOS symptoms since having Jules, but I would prefer they don't come back and as such, continue to take this supplement in the hopes it will stay away (PCOS really sucks - look it up). 

That's all I have in regards to my anxiety and what I do to try to alleviate it - do you have any issues with anxiety and panic attacks? If so, what have you tried to fix it and/or do you have any tips for me? I am always open to more ideas since it's still something I struggle with almost daily. 

Thanks for stopping by!

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.