Lifting barefoot: The comeback

Coming back to lifting after childbirth is no joke. I spent the last trimester of my pregnancy feeling antsy to get back to lifting and getting my body back. I thought for sure I would bounce back from this. I was so strong and healthy before – it was still there! Ha. That baby drained me. Sucked the strength and nutrients right out. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was happy to give it. And still am – because in return I got an incredibly healthy and happy baby girl who is thriving. But after 42 weeks of gestation, 38 hours of active labor, natural childbirth and a major postpartum hemorrhage, I am drained. Literally.

So, no, I didn’t “bounce back” after this pregnancy. But, I am still staging my comeback. Anemia or not, I want my beach body back. Enter: heavy lifting. Thanks to my amazing hubby, I have a personalized training plan. We are once again utilizing the Wendler 5:3:1 plan and incorporating CrossFit style metcons to increase strength, endurance and ego (all you CrossFiters know I’m right). I’m on week three of this program (week four of post baby workouts) and, though frustrating, it feels really damn good to be lifting again. I feel the strength and power slowly coming back. It’s much harder to find time and energy now, not to mention the constant distraction of having a squealing infant in the house always wanting to eat or be held. But I make it happen. Usually barefoot. In pajamas. With spit up on me. And then I feel strangely accomplished.

A New Season

Looking through this blog, it may seem strange to you that there is such a gap between posts (mainly, the second half of 2013). There are several reasons for that, a few of which almost kept me from coming back to this blog at all.

  1. I started this blog as a distraction from the ‘boring parts of life’ – namely, my craptastic job. In that job, I used my ample down time to craft my blog and gain inspiration from others’ blogs. Highly productive! Just after this post, I quit my job and lost all that great time to blog during the day.
  2. A few weeks after I quit my job and started a new one that I actually cared about, I discovered I was pregnant. I considered blogging about the pregnancy, but I didn’t want this to be a pregnancy blog. Plus, that would have added one more thing to my ‘To Do’ list, which I was so not on top of (Pregnancy brain is real).
  3. I got tired of talking about myself. It bored me, to be honest. I’m still not sure how to keep this interesting, and it’s sometimes easier to let myself off the hook with the ‘who cares what you have to say anyway‘ mentality.

Given all of that, and other less important reasons, I stayed away. I put some thoughts on paper or in draft posts, but never got past that. So, here we are, nine months later. Not the best time for me to think I can go back to blogging, given the drastic life change I’m about to experience, but at least I can try – and it doesn’t have to be perfect.

p.s. I just went for a short run at 39 1/2 weeks pregnant – just to see if I could still do it. Major win! Looking forward to getting back in shape very soon.

Self Help Title Here

April has been a hard month for me. Early on in the month, I realized that I wasn’t living very intentionally and that it was having a negative effect on my happiness and my body. I was overly stressed about little things that were unimportant and I was not truly enjoying the things that were beneficial or fun (like working out, reading or learning new things). So, I decided that it wasn’t ok to just limp through this part of my life or to be physically ill because of my stress level. I have many blessings and I should be joyful and positive and allow myself to fully experience life!

I’m sure some (or all) of you have been through this type of thing before. It really isn’t uncommon. But for me, it was just NOT ok. I forgot that we need to take care of ourselves mentally and spiritually, as well as physically. Because if you take great care of one part of yourself, but neglect the care of another, it WILL come back to haunt you. Physical symptoms of stress can be very painful and disruptive, and I have found that they are also stubborn and take a great deal of effort to ‘cure’. No one wants to live like that – that is for damn sure!

I’ve taken several very important steps toward being intentional with how I care for myself as well as how I spend my time, including reducing my stress level, increasing sleep, acupuncture, pursuing my interests and spending meaningful time with friends (among others). It took a solid two and a half weeks for me to start to feel ‘normal’ again after beginning this new journey of intentionality. I’m sure it will take many more weeks or months for it all to settle down, but I know now that I can’t let neglect of my inner self be part of my lifestyle any more. Happiness, but more importantly joy, are essential for a healthy and balanced life. It’s not all just eating right and exercising.

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

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This recipe is very special to me because it was one of my first Paleo/Primal recipe creations back in my early days of experimenting with grain free flours. When I was young and unhealthy, my go-to recipe for muffins or bread was Banana Chocolate Chip because my husband loved the combination so much. He and I were both very sad to see them go just because they had a little flour in them. But now, I just whip up a batch of these when the cravings hit – and MAN, do they hit the spot! I have to hide some from my husband or he WILL EAT ALL OF IT.

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread (or Muffins)

Ingredients:

3 bananas – smashed
2 Tbs butter
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 C almond flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 C flax meal
~1 Tbs water
1/2 C chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.wpid-20130311_071309.jpg
2. Mix bananas, butter, eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl until well combined.
3. Add almond flour, flax meal and baking soda to bowl and mix for several minutes – batter should be moist.
4. Stir in small amount of water (may not always be necessary, just depends on how wet/dry the batter is) and add chocolate chips.
5. Pour batter into loaf pan or lined muffin pan. Note that with grain-free muffins/breads, the dough will not rise much at all, so fill to proper height.
6. Bake for 35-40 minutes (bread) or 18 minutes (muffins), until tops just turn brown and are firm to touch.

~Enjoy!

More Like This:
With Love and ChocolateChip Cookies
Primal Thin Mints
Double Chocolate Brownies