Thank you so much for the questions and comments on fair trade! Those I've received so far have given me some great food for thought. Now I'm pretty sure I have enough material for several articles. Please keep your questions/criticisms/overall thoughts on fair trade coming!
Monday has, once again, arrived a little too quickly. We just love weekends around here!
One way to combat the Monday blues? Think of, list out, plan more things I have to look forward to this week.
Hello, walking with my mom and Nolan to hash out plans for Katie's bridal shower. (I love everything about this- the people in it, the walking, the planning...)
Hello, ordering (lots of!) chocolate for my first big fair trade- centric event.
Hello, Bob Harper Inside Out Method workouts (I'm feeling pretty "tough" lately, and I love it.)
Hello, hair cut! I need one, pretty badly.
Hello, meeting up with a dear friend who I feel like I just can't get enough time with. (She's the kind that is "like a breath of fresh air." )
Hello, extra day off for my hubby, my BROTHER coming home, and Easter egg dying with some pretty fantastic kids.
Your turn! What are you looking forward to this week?
There are a lot of Body After Baby posts out there.
It's great, really. Happy, healthy mama makes for happy, healthy kids. I really enjoy reading those posts. I find them encouraging and inspiring more often than not.
But you won't find one of those posts here.
The main reason is I can't.
I can't pursue the same goals you'll find in those posts and stick to my "healthy, happy" goals.
I know because I was pursuing them. I was weighing in with a specific number in mind. A number, I might add, that is quite healthy for my body.
I knew that it might take me some time to reach that number. Months, maybe a year.
But then my thoughts kind of got taken over. If I didn't lose weight between weigh-ins, I was discouraged, despite all the good, healthy choices I'd been making.
When I was feeling particularly overwhelmed, my thoughts became, "who cares about the number? I want comfort eating NOW."
I was fitting back into some of my pre-pregnancy clothes and feeling good about it, but that number? It wasn't low enough. I was convinced that I shouldn't be able to wear those clothes at my weight. Parade dampened.
I made a decision.
Me and the scale? We're taking break. We need our space and we're not sure when we might get back together.
Now I'm working out with other goals in mind.
Strength. For me, there's a certain pride I feel in feeling strong. I have fond memories of cleaning out a storage facility with mostly guys. Those guys would ask me if I needed help with boxes that looked particularly heavy, and the thing is, I really didn't. I was lifting regularly, I was capable of participating in activities that required strength, and I was proud of that. I wouldn't mind feeling like that again.
Quality of life. I believe that spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental health are tied together. If one is improved, it is likely the others are, as well. If one suffers, the other aspects suffer. I want to squeeze every sweet drop out of life, and that means being prepared and doing what I can to have the energy and ability to take on opportunities as they come up.
Comfort in my own skin. If I pay attention to the above aspects and wear clothes that fit me well, this particular goal falls in place quite easily.
Right now, those things are more important to me than a particular number of pounds on my frame.
And since I don't have the ability to do both...
Well, I know the scale will be waiting for me should I choose to return.
Related posts that resonated with me:
A New Tool: The Zero Scale (Part of this post is a product endorsement. I have no plans or desire to purchase said product, but I appreciate the ideas and thoughts presented.)
I wrote a bit about Tim being busy, not having a car, etc. in my last post. That very same night, he came home, took over baby duties for a few hours, and told me to go find a way to relax. SUCH a blessing- Nolan had been cranky for nearly the whole day, and I was exhausted.
My way to relax? I stuffed my face with as much sugar and fat as I could handle and took a bath.
I confessed my emotional eating to my husband, who did nothing but encourage me. And with that- although we did have some rough spots and sleep deprivation-memories of the past 5 days are nothing but sweet.
I mean sweet. I feel like I'm just oozing with happiness and excitement kind of sweet. I feel like I should issue a warning if you're reading this and just not awake yet kind of sweet.
It might be the coffee I'm drinking or the hormones raging through my body or the baby who woke up in a good mood after sleeping in his own bed last night.
Other possible reasons:
I've always been a family girl, but can I just say how lucky I feel to have married a man whose extended family live nearby? Some of them have become treasured friends of mine, and I love it when I am able to get time with them during the week.
Also? There are some family members (ahem- Mom, Dad, Mary Ellen, and Steph) who act like I am doing them a favor when they come over to hang out with both of us or watch him while I go out. That just does so much good for me (and Nolan) in so many ways.
Right now, I'm working out for quality of life, strength, and comfort in my own skin. For me, that's much more motivating than any particular number). With some help with Nolan while I worked out, I was able to complete yoga every day with the exception of Friday (including one studio class that left me feeling fantastic), three 30 Day Shred workouts, and a walk around the neighborhood on the one day it wasn't too cold or rainy for him.
I feel good. I really believe that physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental health are all tied together.
My "word of the year" is so fitting as things are continuing to change- in exciting and scary ways!- around here. Not quite at the point where I can write about them publicly, but soon?
There is more to list, but while my I have a sleeping baby next to me, I want to go catch up with your posts and emails! A cup of coffee, a full heart, a happy baby,and catching up with friends- I'm soaking up every drop of this Sunday morning.
I hope you are, too.
I want to show you something.
This is me about a month ago:
And this? This is a picture of me this morning (Tim took it while laying in bed, so the angle is a little funny, but you get the idea, right?):
Baby K. is growing, growing, growing- all the way up to the size of a spaghetti squash or papaya this week!
As for me, I'm not sure whether I've gained any more weight or not. I tried to weigh in this morning, but my scale kept giving me different numbers- just one more reason to stick to prenatal appointment weigh-ins only.
Sleep: Lately, I've been tossing and turning, getting up during the night, and waking up early anyway. Thankfully, I've been able to get a few naps in. At times, the need for a nap has meant a cancelled exercise plan, but the change was so worth the missed exercise. I also have a strategy of sorts for getting out of bed. I can't just "get up"- if I do, I'll feel a pulling feeling in my belly, and that's no good.
Exercise: This is something that I sometimes feel like I'm doing well with and sometimes could use some work. I've been basing my walks on dates I made with friends. When too many of those fell through, it occurred to me just this week that I could go for my regularly-scheduled walk (provided a nap wasn't more important, of course) and make phone calls if I don't have a present walking buddy.
Belly button: I think it's going to make the switch to an outie in the next month or so! (I think outies are adorable, so that's fine by me.)
Cravings: Nothing I've had to have. But I'll tell you, I made a cake for my dad's birthday, ate a little too much of it, and told Tim to bring the rest into work. I can't have an abundance of chocolate baked goods in my house- they will all be in my tummy way too quickly for my own good.
What I've been eating: Besides chocolate? I've been tracking my food (not really for the calorie count as I'm not sure how many calories I need) to ensure I get enough folate, iron, calcium, fiber, protein, and heart-healthy fats because I'd rather eat my nutrients than take them in pill form. So while I've been getting plenty of treats, I've also been eating things like kale chips, sprouted grain breads, avocado, nutritional yeast, unsweetened almond milk, greek yogurt, raw cashews, organic eggs, and lots of fruit.
Some things I'm excited about:
Last week, the same night I posted "I'm so excited for the first time that Tim gets to feel the baby, too!." he did! The kicks aren't super-strong to the touch yet, but I am so glad that Tim was able to feel his little son or daughter move.
Friday is the big day! I'm going in to my current OB/GYN for the baby's anatomy scan, hopefully finding out whether I'm carrying a boy or a girl (right now, I'm thinking "boy," but earlier on in pregnancy, I was thinking "girl." I really have no idea.),jetting off to meet Tim, share the news (and eat food!), then heading to the birthing center for my first appointment there- it's going to be a big day for this little family!
After all of that, I'm going for a prenatal massage this Saturday. The massage is Tim's Mothers Day gift to me (with the tip already taken care of- I love that). I'd been hoarding it, because I assume that the backaches are going to continue gaining strength, but he told me to stop saving it because I could always get another. (I am one spoiled mama.)
It's amazing what 8 hours of sleep will do to change a perspective!
Last night, I went to bed not wanting to have a belly picture taken or weigh myself in, as I'd previously planned.
Today? Well, today I say, yup, I did eat too much. Yes, I do have to be more careful to take care of myself and this baby so I'm not tempted to find what I need in unhealthy places. Let's move on, shall we?
Total weight gained: about 8 1/2 pounds
(Baby K. is about the length of a banana or a cantaloupe. Photo comes from a slide show found at Babycenter.com.)
My baby is about 6 1/2 inches long and and weighs somewhere around 10.6 ounces, so most of that is everything else my baby needs to thrive- plus maybe some bloat.
Recently, I've been craving food from Whole Foods' hot bar. Lucky for me, I'm meeting a friend near one today (I can't just go to Whole Foods whenever I want to because my closest one is 45 minutes away. That's probably a good thing for my bank account.), so I'll load up on some goodies to enjoy whenever my next hunger pangs hit..which will likely not be far away. I've also been wanting more Green Monster smoothies and protein powder to put in them. (Does anyone have any protein powder recommendations? I'm a bit of a novice.)
Along with my move toward (real food, vegetarian) intuitive eating, exercise has been mostly following an intuitive path, as well. Some days, I feel like I'm building muscles just going up stairs. I make sure to park at the far end of parking lots, take the stairs instead of the elevator, take any walks with walking buddies as I can get (although I wouldn't mind taking a few more each week), continue attending my prenatal yoga class whenever it is available, and dance whenever the opportunity presents itself. I have run half marathons, done Taebo, The Firm, spinning, and Body Pump (all pre-pregnancy), and even before I was pregnant, I felt my absolute best when I was walking, practicing yoga, and maybe getting in a few short runs. Post-pregnancy, I plan to continue with the same activities that have me feeling great, perhaps with the addition of more challenging yoga classes and a Couch-to-5k program.
On my "to do" list in the coming week:
Iron out whether or not Tim's insurance covers the local birthing center. (I'm losing my job beginning July 1st and will be hopping over to Tim's insurance.) I was previously planning on switching over there (and almost completely done with with process), but it's become obvious recently that they might not be covered. This is a little strange, as birthing centers are much cheaper for insurance companies to cover than hospital visits. But if not, it's no big deal. I have already comes to term with the fact that flexibility during pregnancy and birth is very important. (Really- I have a great OB/GYN, but I just want to do things a little more naturally than American hospitals tend to do them). I'll just need to sign up for birthing classes elsewhere- and start the process of interviewing doulas.
1. I think I'm meant to be behind-the-scenes type of person. I don't mean this as a put-down at all. I've a very at it. I can make things happen, brainstorm ideas, and come up with solutions. It is normal for credit for my work to go to someone else, but I like to choose to work on the kind of things where it doesn't really matter. When I am feeling low, I think the background thing means I'm "not good enough." When I'm feeling good, I think this makes me like some kind of superhero- someone who can slip in and out unnoticed and get the job done.
2. I'm still working on my "wife of an ex-youth pastor" blog series. It's going to get done, but it's slow in coming. I'm having a hard time writing the rest. I miss my kids (who aren't actually my kids anymore). I miss who I was and what I was about.I think I get that there are seasons in life and I know Tim and I made the right decision, but I'm ready to feel like I've found my niche again. I don't right now, and it's ok because I know that working out struggles will help me grow in wisdom and character...but of course, I'd like the struggle to be over.
3. I don't mean to write such heavy posts all the time. I just sit and I write and I let myself flow out of my fingers.
4. I'm going to visit my sister in just over a week!!! (That many exclamation points were necessary.) I don't know what we're going to do, and I don't care. I was planning on running a half marathon that weekend, but I'm seriously considering skipping it in favor of doing whatever we feel like doing that morning (and the night before).
5. Seriously. Time with Katie is precious and...I'm kind of over the whole half marathon thing. I've done this before- signed up for a race, felt totally motivated, and then slowly lost interest. Please, if I mention signing up for another race, discourage me, ok? I know I can run them (I've done so before), but I always expect more out of the racing and training experience. It's not for me, yet I keep signing up.
6. Yoga is the only exercise that helps me get healthy emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I had intentions of keeping up with it while training, but it fell by the wayside when I added classes into the mix. However, I got back into it yesterday.
7. I have serious cravings for baking and cleaning lately. I feel incredible when I can take my time with either (or both). I made Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars (I adapted the recipe to make it a little healthier), took some to my parents' house, and am sending the rest in to work with Tim today. I have a slew of things I'd like to make today (including Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Dessert Hummus, my own Five-Minute Hummus,and Snobby Joes ).
I woke up this morning feeling defeated. Does that ever happen to you? It's just not a great way to start the day. Of course there are times when we all need to sit in uncomfortable situations and work through difficult emotions. But this morning, I wasn't even aware of a notable reason for my feelings, so I trudged on. Made good choices, even though I wanted to throw up my hands. Sometimes the adage, "fake it till you make it" rings true. My negative feelings dissolved within an hour.
I had another one with lunch.All convenience foods- frozen burrito, container of yogurt, steam-in-the-microwave green beans. I calculated the cost of my lunch: approximately $3.13. While it's probably a lot more cost-effective to make everything from scratch, locally, and in season, $3.13 is not bad for a girl who's not spending a lot of time in the kitchen during the work week.
During lunch (I drove home again in order to assemble a meal, pull together gym clothes, and create a break in my work day), I prepped for my planned 9-mile run:I ate the banana with 2 tablespoons of cashew butter when I got hungry at work and half the package of Shot Bloks during my run.
Dinner was an experiment: whole wheat penne, a little butter, leftover chick peas, steamed spinach, falafel, and tahini. I liked the creaminess that came with the tahini; I think next time I'll try out an actual recipe that calls for it because my pasta was missing a little something. That bowl is full. I needed to refuel!
It's 9:14, and I still haven't showered yet. (I definitely smell.)
It's almost Friday, which is almost Saturday, which is quite possibly my favorite day of the week.
This Saturday, I'll be spending much of the day in class. Did I tell you I'm loving this class? But first I have to get all my assignments done...and take a shower. That's pretty important.
I did not do a great job of photographing my food intake today. (For those of you who are thinking, "what is this girl talking about?" -I am blogging my food intake during the month of February as a means of examining my relationship with food and curtailing my binge habit.) I like slow Saturday mornings if I can get them..and I got one. I ate breakfast (which was a repeat of a meal I ate previously- pumpkin puree, peanut butter, cinnamon, banana, and Ezekiel hamburger bun) in preparation for a run.
I ran. I showered.
I packed a quick lunch (hummus, spinach, and falafel on my last Ezekiel bun and a banana) and ate it in the car on the way to pick up my niece and nephew. (For those of you who are even somewhat familiar with my family, you know that neither my brother, sister, and sister-in-law have any children. Michelle and Clint are Tim's cousin's kids. They chose to call me "Aunt Sarah" some time ago-and I love it-and I chose to call them my niece and nephew. I love that, too.)
Once we'd successfully corralled Michelle and Clint into our car, we headed to a local theater (a rare treat for us) for a showing of Tangled. (I tried to save my lunch for movie time because I have a thing for eating while watching movies, but just couldn't make it that long. Instead, I snacked on what was left of my dark chocolate bar and a Clif Builder Bar during the show.)
We shopped in the name of Valentine's Day.
We ventured to the mall (I opted for a diet lemonade from Chick-Fil-A), perused, played with a dog at the pet store, then ventured back home.
I wasn't too hungry upon my return but needed a little something, so I ate another Clif Builder bar, settled in with Tim's my blanket, and sat in awe of all hands-on parents I know. Tim and I had the kids for a total of 6 hours (note- there were two of us available for two kids the entire time) and I am tired!
Wanna see what's been fueling my day?Breakfast to go! That's one egg cooked in a little bit of butter on a cinnamon raisin Ezekiel English muffin and a Green Monster (there are lots of ways to make these; I made mine with one slightly over-ripe banana, 2 teaspoons ground flax seed, a big handful of baby spinach, and a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk).I ran home during my lunch break (I work just 5-minutes from home) to throw together something that will help energize me through the rest of my work day. I chose leftover vegetable "fried" brown rice, a Dr. Praeger's veggie burger, and a few cashews...and our last apple.
I made it to a spin class today! It was the 30-minute express variety, but still. I made it, I kind of got the hang of things, and I gave it what I had. Before that, though, I made this:That's 2 tablespoons of peanut butter mixed with 1/2 cup pumpkin puree and more cinnamon (Did you know that there are many different kinds of cinnamon?! Sarah clued me in to this yesterday.) + a sliced banana on a toasted Ezekiel hamburger bun.
And...that's a wrap!
Tim was away this past weekend, speaking at a junior high retreat about 2 hours away from home. So I made some plans. Of course, I forgot to take pictures as I usually do when I'm soaked up in any sort of activity. Just imagine my face looked something like this during much of the weekend:I went to a fantastic Zumba class with my mama, a restorative yoga class with my mother-in-law (which I went to in an effort to help her get into yoga, but the class actually ended up helping me- isn't that the way "helping people" tends to go?). I visited friends, cooked meals, organized and hosted a Girls Night In, cleaned a lot, attended a church I think I'm falling in love with (I was able to sit right next to my sister-in-law and also share the experience with a few more friends.), went for a run, and spent all of Sunday evening catching up and relaxing with my hubby.
I think there was not a moment I didn't enjoy.
Last Friday, before the official end of the work week, a dear friend of mine reminded me to be present in everything I did over the weekend. I think I might have accomplished that...or at least I came quite close.
Near the beginning of the weekend, I was telling "my Jaimie" that, although I'm really liking where I'm at in life, I'd recently started pining after motherhood again after watching Modern Family (I realize that is probably a strange trigger, but it's true.) By the end of the weekend, though, by the time meals and stories and new experiences had been shared with friends in a number of seasons of life, I was reminded again to enjoy this season.
There will never be a better time to enjoy the present.