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Alexandrite

Alexandrite finds the Intensity

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I asked my son (3) what my Nerd Fitness goal should be this challenge, and he responded with 'intense.' He's definitely on to something.

This challenge runs right through my 30th birthday, my son's birthday, AND an epic week long family vacation in celebration of said birthdays, all happening at the end of August. If anything will derail my challenge, it will be that. But I'm not waiting until some magic number to change my habits and my life.

I've had lots of great goals throughout my past challenges, but none that I've been able to really 'stick the landing' and make into regular habits by the end of the challenge. So instead of grades, levels, and points, I'm just going to go with a checkmark on each calendar day. Did I show up, did I try, and did I log it here?

What am I doing?

ONE physical activity every day that is either:

- strength (1 hour that includes warm up and cooldown to prevent injury)

- flexibility (yoga class or yoga video, just needs to be guided so I don't cheat myself of time, at least 1 hour)

- endurance (1 hour of: walk with kids in stroller for consistent pace/heart rate, beach stroll, biking, or other reciprocating motion activity)

Must be logged here and checkmark on calendar each day. Going for longest streak of continuous completion!

Side quests/focus:

1. Find a Quest

I would love to enter into some kind of activity/contest/competition. I've heard many say that without a goal it's difficult to push forward, especially physically. I'm afraid of getting hurt, I don't like being uncomfortable or in pain, and I doubt what my body can do (even when I can do crazy burpees for quidditch!). But then there's this side of me that totally revels in the competition, and I used to run cross country and love just running, I didn't even care about racing. I am not up to strength to run just yet, but I need a quest.

2. Meal Planning becomes a Priority

We are bleeding money as well as health because I haven't really cared. Too much work, too much effort, blah blah blah. If I want us to buy a house, if I want us to be healthier, if I want us to have more quality time together, THIS needs to be my priority.

3. All the Pelvic Work

Ladies, you'll know if you've ever had a child. If you don't, well, you might have some idea anyway. For everyone else, just know that a lot gets weakened in the pelvic area, not just the obvious stuff. If I want to run, rock climb, or do any kind of Tough Mudder, etc, I HAVE to get stronger. Working out helps a lot, but there are tiny muscles that, when not targeted, will allow other muscles in your body to make up for them and over time never get stronger again. Ever. That's not going to be me. I averaged about twice a week last challenge, I need to reach twice a day.

So! That's it for now. Main focus is longest 'show up' streak for physical activity, side goals are acquiring a quest, meal planning, and pelvic strengthening. Let's go!

- Sent from my magic Navi-powered device!

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love your challenge structure! I have been using the hal higdon training programs for running as a backbone for my challenges for a while, because that fits into a "quest" for a race distance. also, I'd like to know more about these tiny pelvic muscles. I haven't had any biokids myself, but now you've got me a little nervous that there's a secret kind of work that I haven't been focusing on!

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Whoa, every single day?!!! Kudos and actually I can totally see you do that although wow, I mean a full hour every single day.... okay I'll stop it and cheer you on instead :)

My pelvic muscles have always been a weak point and three kids did not improve that :P find that anything with jumping really helps, trampoline, skipping rope,... and Pilates of course or just keeping it active during exercise.

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Life has a way of making things MUCH more challenging once you set up some arbitrary goal...

I just found out yesterday I'm expecting our third child! Yay! And wow! And... uh-oh! Haha. After the celebrating and excitement, my husband goes, 'you better go ziplining soon before you can't again!' There's a lot that I should probably 'get to' before I start showing. Luckily that won't happen until around 4-5 months usually.

So, pelvic stuff just became very important. Top of list important actually, if I want birth to go well. The yoga too. I'll be checking with my midwives about exercising, but I don't think I need to change anything yet.

Karina: most people focus on kegels because that has to do with your actual muscles 'down there'. But then there are small muscles in the front and back (around the pelvis) that help give it strength and stability. I can give you some links about it. Basially, many women who are having or have had babies are not familiar with a lot of this stuff. I only found out a lot because my past midwives were knowledgeable, I'm a research geek, and a lot of my pregnancy symptoms and side effects had to do with issues of muscles and ligaments, rather than other things.

I'll update later today once an exercise is done, but meal planning went well for tonight so far. Eating healthy and regularly just took on a whole new importance too!

- Sent from my magic Navi-powered device!

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Thank you! Very excited. There's a birth center only 25 minutes from me, which makes me super happy. I've been known to go to great lengths for good birthing experiences, so indeed I'm happy it won't take that kind of craziness this time around.

Well, lots of walking yesterday, so I'm going to count that (guests in town). Did more walking today but I think if I can fit in some yoga tonight before bed I will feel better. The lower back is aching!

- Sent from my magic Navi-powered device!

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Life has a way of making things MUCH more challenging once you set up some arbitrary goal...

I just found out yesterday I'm expecting our third child! Yay! And wow! And... uh-oh! Haha. After the celebrating and excitement, my husband goes, 'you better go ziplining soon before you can't again!' There's a lot that I should probably 'get to' before I start showing. Luckily that won't happen until around 4-5 months usually.

So, pelvic stuff just became very important. Top of list important actually, if I want birth to go well. The yoga too. I'll be checking with my midwives about exercising, but I don't think I need to change anything yet.

Karina: most people focus on kegels because that has to do with your actual muscles 'down there'. But then there are small muscles in the front and back (around the pelvis) that help give it strength and stability. I can give you some links about it. Basially, many women who are having or have had babies are not familiar with a lot of this stuff. I only found out a lot because my past midwives were knowledgeable, I'm a research geek, and a lot of my pregnancy symptoms and side effects had to do with issues of muscles and ligaments, rather than other things.

I'll update later today once an exercise is done, but meal planning went well for tonight so far. Eating healthy and regularly just took on a whole new importance too!

- Sent from my magic Navi-powered device!

 

 

MAZAL TOV! (Insert Korean boy band singing something, the only words of which I understand are 1.) listing days of the week, 2.) Mazel tov!, and 3.) "Latin girl, Mexican girl, Japan girl, Korean girl" )

 

 

i just found your thread, and wow! Good news! 

 

Please send me those links, too, if you would. I'm hoping to have my first child in the next few years, so having some things I can do to get ready (apart from general health and fitness) would be great.

 

SUBBED!

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Thank you! Very excited. There's a birth center only 25 minutes from me, which makes me super happy. I've been known to go to great lengths for good birthing experiences, so indeed I'm happy it won't take that kind of craziness this time around.

Well, lots of walking yesterday, so I'm going to count that (guests in town). Did more walking today but I think if I can fit in some yoga tonight before bed I will feel better. The lower back is aching!

- Sent from my magic Navi-powered device!

 

That was fast!  Congratulations!!!!

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Lots of walking again today (more than normal, and for over an hour!), and I'm going to stretch for a few before bed here to count some mini challenge minutes. My feet are not happy I chose the cute, pinchy shoes to walk in. Bah! Why do cute shoes always hurt?!?!

- Sent from my magic Navi-powered device!

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Well, pregnancy hit me full force yesterday in the form of clumsiness (broke our water pitcher) and exhaustion (falling asleep as I sat with the kids during my daughter's therapy!).

Fun fact for all of you: if you are pregnant, you burn more calories on average while laying on the couch than a man going and lifting weights/working out at the gym. My husband was amazed when we read that during our first pregnancy. It helped him understand why I was so tired!

So! Yesterday will be a pass because baby making AND because I totally made it to Crack of Dawn yoga! It was even a one on one because I was the only one that showed up. Unfortunately she is my favorite instructor and she told me they are making final preparations to move to Oregon. Sad. I've been going to her for almost a year now. I might start looking into other therapeutic grade yoga, it really is different than regular yoga.

I also had a date night last night for three hours with hubby! We did some restaurant hopping and farmer's market time. It was great. Wore this super cute dress I've been saving for dates, and realized I probably won't be wearing it much longer. Totally cried my eyes out at the lunch table yesterday thinking about it. Plus my jeans are already pinching me at the front, looks like maternity is in my near future, sooner than I expected... Dr. Focker laughed and told the kids that mommy gets this way every time she has a baby in her tummy. I love that man.

- Sent from my magic Navi-powered device!

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Girl!! I'm so glad I found your new challenge because WOW. Go you! Making humans like a CHAMP! 

 

I would also like said links to pelvic floor exercises, please and thank you :)

 

ALso, BABY MAKING!! man i'm so excited for you!! 

 

Date nights, long walks, you are doing amazing already. 

 

((BIG HUGS))

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"Suggested tattoo for trainers, therapists, and athletes: Tighter does not equal stronger. It’s just tighter.†- Katy Bowman

 

Remember, even if you aren't giving birth, EVEN IF YOU ARE A MALE, your pelvis is so important, every part of it. Okay.

 

Time to blow some minds in 3...2...1...Pelvis GO!

 

  • Let's start out with a little interview with Katy Bowman (you'll really like her once you're done with all my links). This breaks down why Kegels are not that great for you, and why squats, deep squats, are going to be YOUR BEST FRIEND (more later on if you aren't able to do those deep squats just yet).
  • There's also a second short follow-up to clarify things (the dramatic interviewer and her readers are having such a hard time). 

 

  • Because you may have NO idea what your pelvic floor is, or your pelvis in general and how it really works, Katy made a video for you:

 

 

 

  • Let's get into some of Katy's stuff now. Here's an article on the why behind the squat. Mostly from a pregnancy perspective, but still relevant.

 

  • Here's the main article on Katy's squatting techniques, including the lead-in (warm up, stretching beforehand, etc) to the full, deep squat. She makes a note in one of the interview's comment responses (the first interviews linked above) that if you have knee or other injuries that prevent you from being able to do a full, deep squat you can still do the lead-in moves and other gluteal strengthening actions like walking with the ice-skating motion in mind. 

 

  • This list is also great for some other quick changes you can do NOW to help your pelvis. (FYI, her sitting video is no longer online from what I can tell.)

 

  • On to the next issue: Diastasis Recti! Most people have never heard of this before. In simple layman's terms, your abs become thin along the center line (from stress) and stretch apart. "Pregnancy is a common cause of diastasis recti, but it can also be caused by rapid weight gain, intense abdominal exercise, and even heavy lifting." So us baby-making ladies aren't the only ones that can experience this. This article describes it, how to find it if you have it, and how to heal it.

 

  • Since I am pregnant currently, this article addresses some of my current complaints with pain (especially sacrum/lower back ache). But these are things you can start looking at now knowing you want to be pregnant in the future, or if you are experiencing pain and want to stay away from drugs/surgery. What I loved most? "Because if you're walking around with poor alignment, it doesn't really matter how much yoga or lower back strengthening exercises you do."

 

  • Looking down the line at when I become postpartum, this article covers some of the specific core exercises I can do. Now consider if you had done these from the beginning before getting pregnant? It also lists some of the issues (including Diastasis Recti, mentioned above) that crop up. Remember, not just pregnancy can cause these things!

 

  • SPD is mentioned in the article right above. Trust me, it's not fun ladies. I just recently found this article (again with Katy Bowman!) and I am so grateful for being able to do something about it. And these moves are good for guys too (remember, they have a pelvis too)!

 

 

I think that's it for now. Let me tell you that I learned a lot pulling all of this together for you all, because my random knowledge was missing important key facts in places that will change my life, starting today! Hope it does the same for others!

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Thanks for all the support!

I am actually having one of those 'every other day I become moody' kind of patterns. I totally was celebrating not having a period for the next 9-15 months and feeling great, but the next day I was exhausted, crabby, and having a hard time going with the flow. I need to pace my days a bit better going forward so I don't overload myself like I usually do. The recovery days are no fun for anyone around me!

The first trimester bloat has set in much more than I expected. I went to put on shorts or a skort I had and also confirmed they feel pinchy at the waist, no matter where on the waist they fall! My looser jeans I can sort of get by with. I have some Kohl's cash and coupons, I may be buying a pair of maternity jeans today.

Friday my husband came home from work and we went on a 2+ mile walk with the kids in the stroller. I had to stop twice for rest and water, but otherwise did well holding a conversation while walking briskly. Saturday ended up being the unexpected plans day, we drove to our family 4 hours away and ate lots of food. And not much walking. I was so crabby and moody all day. I just wanted to cry, to me it felt like no one cared about parenting our kids but me. Even though this isn't fully true, I realize I may be a lone voice and still have to put my foot down about stuff (that's enough TV, we have to eat NOW, no it is not okay for my son to see UFC/MMA fights he does not understand yet that wrestling/fighting has rules).

And today, church and the drive back. I'm hoping to get another walk in. 6 out of 7 days isn't too bad!

- Sent from my magic Navi-powered device!

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We got a short walk in Sunday. Drive home was fine.

Monday has been full of me feeling tired again. I tried to pace myself and did manage to get the kids to the park, but I've sat a lot today and haven't felt like doing much. Hubby got upset that I didn't do dishes (I honestly just forget/don't see them...) so I ended up being the cook tonight, and it was a good thing. I made myself some quick udon soup with meatballs, kale, and carrots. Lightly seasoned just barely past bland. Hoping it helps my stomach feel better. The nausea/upset tummy set in tonight, I think I will probably have to steer clear of tomato sauce for a while (had spaghetti for lunch).

Everyone just went out on a walk and I'm relishing the deep quiet here at home.

- Sent from my magic Navi-powered device!

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Tuesday was a day for errands, lots of errands, and beach time with the kids. I got my walk in! Wednesday I did laundry, definitely got my walk in that way. Life has been very busy with a sudden urge to make the house-buying happen faster. I'm not going to be able to fit in a TubTrug for baths by Christmas for sure. It's okay, everything will work out.

Not sure I will go to yoga tomorrow. My right side of my sacrum has been out, painfully out for at least a week now. Blah!

- Sent from my magic Navi-powered device!

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No problem!

I didn't go to yoga on Thursday. I ended up taking the kids to the garden and spending quite a bit of time there. I fell asleep listening to an audiobook after lunch for a bit, and we took the kids to the large farmer's market that night. Got my walking in then. Friday has been a day of scatterbrain-feeling. I forgot to go visit the garden, and forgot my women's prayer group, and forgot that family was coming for dinner so I haven't made anything. Luckily what was on the menu is not agreeable to the visitors so we will probably go out to eat. I hope I get some time to walk!

- Sent from my magic Navi-powered device!

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Saturday we spent most of the day trying to clean and take care of stuff at home, having in-laws over twice, cooking food, and sleeping. I had stayed up until midnight reading a book the night before so of course I was tired all day. I got one walk in, but it was short.

Honestly, early pregnancy is taking a lot out of me energy-wise. I almost threw up last night because my daughter is potty training and needed help on the toilet. My husband swooped in to rescue us. I'm also starting to have food aversions, and not really be all that interested in eating anyway, which happens every time. This is the extent to which I feel pregnancy symptoms, so I'm extremely grateful!

- Sent from my magic Navi-powered device!

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Sunday was working in the toddler room for sunday school, and also fitting in a walk in the evening with family by the waterfront.

Monday was all the computer work for a business idea my husband needs to present tonight. I took the kids to the park, then carried my daughter to the beach (she is not a fan yet) so my son could play in the water while we watched. At least she walked back herself. More than a mile each way for sure, phew!

Today I was feeling like crap, like a slug! And my abdomen was bothering me, achy. So what do I do? Gave the Away Team WOW a try. Made it through 22 minutes before I had to stop. I was out of breath and had to leave anyway for therapy appt for my daughter at the garden. But hey, interval training for 20 minutes, yeah! And it made me feel better, if more tired. That's good. A nap will cure that.

- Sent from my magic Navi-powered device!

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Tuesday I took the kids out to the beach while my husband went to a business dinner thing. It was a good way to distract and have fun, without getting anxious over his dinner. It was successful, yay! More to come in the future.

Wed I was a slug. The 'morning sickness' is more like being mildly seasick off and on. I'll feel good and then do stuff and suddenly feel ill. It doesn't seem to coincide with empty stomach like my previous pregnancies, it just comes and goes and I haven't quite figured it out yet. I begged off more than a walk around the block.

Today was all kinds of emotions. The birth center we thought we would be using ended up being a dud for several reasons. This suddenly made having the baby in another state so much more appealing. I'm one of those crazy people that would move to another state for a month to have a baby the best way possible over just going to the local hospital. I think if every person gave birth out in the countryside, near an orchard, with supportive staff, instant and precious time with your newborn, and a doorbell that brings a postpartum doula that cooks and helps you with *everything* a postpartum woman might need for TWO days, they would skip the hospital every time too. We will see what happens. I took a gentle walk today. I know I should do more activity, but between my two kids, the house work, the tiredness, and the 'sea sickness' feeling, going to the store now requires me to lay down after. At least I know I grow these babies nice and strong, my body is good at it!

- Sent from my magic Navi-powered device!

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