Thursday, December 10, 2015

Update: I Should've Known...

So remember how I built this whole plan to get healthy? And how that was only a few days ago?

And then also remember how I'm pretty sure Milo started teething immediately after I posted it?

Yeah. So I'm in a fun place. I'm still trying to keep to my plan as best I can but it's not terribly easy when Milo is waking up more times per night and earlier in the morning. The day after I posted, Milo woke up at 5:30 am. So painfully early. I did get a lot done (4 loads of laundry including all his clothes, all our sheets, and all the blankets, 1 load of dishes, vacuumed the top 2 floors, went grocery shopping, still tried to exercise and eat right, made chicken and dumplings for dinner, and had our friends over for lunch), but I'm really feeling it today.

Milo is currently down for his first nap and I'm probably going to do a short workout but I don't know if this headache plus being crazy tired is really going to help.

And on teething... It's really great. All the shouting and fussing and waking up at night... it's all just so fun. NOT. Guys, teeth are the worst.

It's fine. Really. But it's definitely not easy or fun. Luckily, Milo is a trooper and will still laugh and be cute even when he's in pain.

So I'm gonna go ahead and eat my breakfast and do some exercise. Probably.

Love, Miss Ellen

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Healthy Ellen 2016: My Postpartum Goals

Hey, you guys!
So I, like a good portion of postpartum moms I'm sure, have been feeling particularly lumpy and gross since Milo was born. And I've been feeling awful about how lazy I've become about it. So naturally, I took to pinterest for answers. Turns out, 4 is to 4 1/2 months is when your body is in peak condition to get back in shape. So I'm feeling a little bit better about things.

But it really doesn't help that I haven't lost ANY baby weight. That's right. I weighed less right after Milo was born, of course, but over the past few months, I've somehow managed to gain it all back. I don't feel any larger, so I'm hoping a chunk of that weight, no matter how small it might be, is in hidden muscle from all the stairs I've been climbing and the 16 pound baby I've been carrying around lately. However, I'm definitely ready for this mom-pooch to go and for the diastasis recti to recover (for those who aren't familiar with the term, it's that thing where your ab muscles aren't exactly touching any more).


The goal: flat tummy, under 140 pounds. I don't need fancy muscles or whatever, I just want to feel as close to regular again. I don't need to fit into my old clothes because new clothes are also nice. And a lot of my clothes are from a period of my life when I didn't exactly understand fashion but was working towards it. Anyway... Until, of course, I reach that goal and somehow magically we're ready to have another baby. Which I'm sure is going to happen seeing as how my goal is 12+ pounds away and it takes forever to shed baby weight (according to my research).

The plan: exercise and healthier eating.

Easy enough to say, but it's pretty vague if you think about it. So I scoured pinterest for a postnatal workout that would fit my schedule, ability, and desired results and this is what I came up with.

Exercise Routine
Daily during Milo's morning nap, I'm going to complete this routine:

  • 20 ski-squats (squats with a ski-style jump between each)
  • 25 pelvic lifts (also known as bridges)
  • 30 second plank 
  • 5 pushups (so few because I hate pushups)
  • 20 clamshells per side (something my physical therapist wanted me to do to help hip pain during pregnancy and could still help now)
  • 20 weighted squats
  • All while wearing a belly-bandit type girdle thing. 
It kind of looks like a lot but it can all be done in like 20 minutes. Then I figured I could fit little bursts of exercise in while I'm playing with Milo. Here's some of the things I can do then:
  • Bridges with baby on tummy
  • Squats while holding baby (instead of weight)
  • Sitting twists while holding baby
  • Baby lifts (while laying down)
  • Plank over baby
Healthy Eating
Eating healthy is one of the biggest challenges in my life. I love eating healthy foods, the problem is I don't like cooking or they take too much time to make or we don't have fresh fruit and veg because I don't know how to eat them in their peak ripe times... It's all a mess. But I'm going to make a serious effort because even if it's just breakfast and lunch that are somewhat healthy, it's better than eating a can of pringles, a can of coke, and some fruit snacks for any meal.

Here are my "mostly healthy" lunch ideas in case, you know... someone needs some ideas:
  • steamed broccoli and shrimp
  • lasagna roll (a lasagna noodle with pasta sauce and cheese, all rolled up)
  • tuna sandwich
  • hard boiled eggs and avocado
  • chef salad
  • smoothies
  • banana and egg pancakes (because if you mix 2 eggs and 1 banana, it apparently makes a good batter. It's worth a shot, right?)
  • tortilla pizza (with or without pepperoni)
  • peanut butter and bananas (as is or on a sandwich)
  • baked Italian chicken (chicken breast with Italian seasonings, tomato, and mozzarella)
  • baked chicken flautas (shredded chicken wrapped in a tortilla and baked, serve with guac, sour cream, and salsa)
  • fried eggs and wheat toast
  • baked potato (with healthier options like broccoli or just salt and pepper. but still a little butter to soften it up. What? I said "mostly healthy".)
  • avocado slices with salsa and homemade tortilla chips
  • turkey or ham sandwich and some healthy chip alternative once I find one.
Daily Routine
And if that's not enough, I've also set a better schedule for myself because waking up when Milo does makes my day a little more rough because then I don't know when to shower. Showering is an important part of a good day, in my mind. Night showers never go over well for me and my hair...
  • I wake up at 6:15 and jump in the shower before Sean and get ready for the day (mostly in exercise clothes so I can get the workout in easier). 
  • Milo usually wakes up when Sean's in the shower between 6:30 and 7, so I get him up and dressed and fed. While he plays, I'll eat breakfast.
  • During his morning nap I'll exercise and do some chores (i.e. load some laundry, put dishes in the dishwasher, pick up stuff in a room)
  • Put on grown-up regular clothes. Or not. Depending on the plans for the rest of the day... some days yoga pants are a perfectly acceptable outfit. Especially the days I don't plan on going anywhere or seeing anyone.
  • During Milo's midday nap, cook and eat lunch. No more top ramen, easy mac, corn dogs, frozen burritos, etc. Unless, of course, it's some occasion where these foods are acceptable (for example, starving and haven't gone to the store yet.)
I'm posting this as a 2016 goal but I'm trying not to make it a resolution because we all know what happens to most resolutions. And I really tried to build it to fit my lifestyle so I wouldn't be so tempted to fall away from it, like nearly every other exercise plan I've ever had. And I'm not opposed to changing up the work out, so we'll see how things go. I've only done it for a couple days, so it's not fool-proof, but I do feel better since starting it. Now to keep it up! 

In sharing this and all the ideas I have, I'm hoping I'll better be able to stick to it because it's out in the world and I know a few other new moms read this and it might help them. You're welcome to try it out with me and change up a few things, whatever works for your schedule, body type, etc. If you want to do something similar, let me know and we can work on our goals together and share progress and stuff! I'm all for giving support to other moms doing their best! And, honestly, without Sean's cousin's wife being a friend who's doing a lot of mom-stuff at the same time as me and giving me advice, I don't think I'd feel as good about things as I do (Thanks, Kember!!!). It's good to have people in your court and I'm always happy to be one of those people. 

Love, Miss Ellen

p.s. CONGRATS to my brother and sister-in-law on their sweet little girl, Aurora Grace! I can't wait for her and Milo to be best friends! (Guys! I'm finally an aunt!)