Archive for November 2013

Drinking the (CrossFit) kool-aid

Friday, November 22, 2013

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I've talked about CrossFit several times and usually not in a positive light.  Back when I first found out I was pregnant, my husband told me about this Groupon he had bought to do the Foundation level class at a local Crossfit facility.  I thought nothing of it.  He'll go to these two weeks of class and then go back to his regular routine at the gym because, well, we can't afford a $150 a month gym membership for one person.

Imagine my surprise when he told me that he was joining that "box" (that is what they call a gym in the Crossfit world).  I was deep in my hormone induced pregnancy haze when I realized that my picture of who did CrossFit, huge muscle-headed guys, was actually incorrect and over half of the members were young, cute girls.  Yeah, I wasn't too happy about that, especially because I was so out of shape and knew there was no possibility of me getting back into shape for many months.

So yeah, my husband joined the "box" and started doing competitions, and to my subconscious dismay, started placing in them.  He soon became the most in-shape version of himself that I (and probably he) have ever known and I became (almost) the most jealous version of myself that I have ever known.  He started getting very serious about NEVER missing workouts, not drinking alcohol, and he started eating a fairly strict paleo diet.  No more potatoes, rice, flour, or sugar in our house.  I am a baker.  I am a healthy baker, but a baker just the same.  Screw paleo.

Even more upsetting and annoying to me was that fact that all he wanted to talk about was CrossFit.  He listened to pod-casts about it and talked to his CrossFit friends about it.  "Oh I crushed that WOD in under 5 minutes!" or "I RXed that clean and jerk, did you?".  Then he would try to talk to me about it and I had no idea how challenging doing 100 burpees in 5 minutes was.  I didn't really care either, I was worried about birthing a healthy baby.

Once I had the baby, things just seemed to keep getting worse with regards to CrossFit.  I was tired, frumpy, out of shape, dealing with crazy post-pregnancy hormones, and stressed out over a baby that spit up after every feeding. Meanwhile, my husband was going to CrossFit 5 plus days a week, was in super-duper good shape, and was hanging out with people who eat-breathe-sleep CrossFit.  Recipe for disaster, my friends.

My husband and I ended up training for an running a half-marathon in the month of October.  It helped us connect and helped me get back into shape.  I impressed myself with my time (1:46), which made me eager to start training for more races and to bring my times down even more.  I bought a treadmill and stuck it in my basement.  That way I'd get to see my baby every day after work and then I could run once he hit the hay.  PERFECT.

I thought this would be my new workout routine until my husband suggested that I complete the entry level class at the new CrossFit gym that his friend opened.  He even said that he would foot the crazy $180 bill.  I will have to admit that I really didn't want to do it, but he did go out of his comfort zone to run a half marathon with me and I did totally kick his ass.  Lifting weights is NOT my thing though and, due to my diastasis recti (that has improved tremendously), there are still quite a few types of ab workouts that I can't do.  Plus, CrossFit just doesn't interest me in the slightest.  If I have time, I'd rather run.  Plain and simple.

I sucked it up and agreed to sign up and do the two week class to secretly prove to him that it wasn't my thing.  The first class was awkward.  I didn't know anyone (other than my husband's friend), but it seemed like everyone else there knew someone else.  Most of the girls looked like they were in better shape than me with the exception of one older lady who looked like she hadn't gotten off the couch in several years (she ended up quitting after the first night).  Of course I compared myself to everyone and got upset at myself at the end of the night because I was one of the last people to finish the baseline workout of 500 meter row, 40 squats, 30 sit-ups (I did a plank variation), 20 push-ups, and 10 pull-ups (assisted with a green rubber band).  Even the older out of shape looking lady did better than me, allegedly.  I was embarrassed to write my time on the huge white board.  

Not getting into all of the details of the classes, I will sum it up by saying that I ended up going to all six of the classes and finishing the program.  I am now "allowed" to go to regular classes, which kind of scares me.  Do I even want to?  The jury is still out.  There are some good and bad things that I noticed when doing the entry class.  I'll start with the good and then get to the not so good...

The Good

1.  The people in my class seemed normal and not "cult-like".  They wore Lulu Lemon and Nike (like me), not all Reebok with bight colors and knee socks, like most CrossFitters wear.  Maybe that is because they just haven't been doing it long enough?  A few of the girls also had young kids so we had stuff to talk about besides working out.  Mommies are mommies, first (I hope).

2.  The workouts were challenging and I feel like I could get into overall better shape by doing classes a few times a week.

3.  The coach was good.  He was motivating and understanding.  He seems like he knows his stuff.  He was willing to work with me and help me scale my workouts due to my ab exercise restrictions.

4.  I don't mind paleo anymore, 80% of the time.  We pretty much eat a paleo diet now with the exception of me eating oatmeal cereal for breakfast (breastfeeding) and the occasional non-GMO verified corn chip.  I still don't eat any soy or dairy.  I think this is good enough.

5.  The "box" is nice and new.  It is really close to my house.

6.  Now I can understand what my husband it talking about when he says he says he did an AMRAP of wall-balls for 9 minutes.  I know how much that would totally suck now.  We can have a conversation about the day's WOD and I don't glaze over completely because I may (or may not) have done the same thing.

The Not So Good

1.  You have to workout on a schedule and they would like you to go 3 days in a row and then rest one day.  Sometimes I can't go to a 5 PM class or a 7 PM class and there is a high probability that I can't go to a class every day (especially since my husband already goes 10 times a week).  I have a baby and his schedule isn't the same from day-to-day.  Sometimes I need to workout at 5:30 PM or 6:45 PM.  Can't do that with CrossFit.

2.  People cheat.  This is something that shouldn't bother me, but does.  When they give you a workout (like the baseline one above) they ask you do time yourself and then write the time down on the board.  No one is counting your reps or making sure that you have proper form and, while I didn't watch people working out because I was too busy trying not to die, I would be quite surprised if the older lady actually did beat me.  My husband tried to tell me that I should measure myself against myself...kind of hard for a competitive, type-A person like me.  People write down times that are less than they actually were or don't do all the exercises correctly or the right amount.  Annoying.

3.  Weightlifting is not my thing.  Lots of the workouts have a strength component that works on Olympic types of lifts.  I have zero interest in this and I don't want to become a female body builder.  Enough said.

4.  CrossFit is all about abs and core and my ab situation sucks.  I will probably never be able to do real sit-ups again like I could before I had B.  Even though my diastasis has closed to 2 fingers, doing sit-us, toes-to-bar, and v-ups is going to cause it to open right back up.  I used to kill sit-ups and I liked doing them.  Now I can't do them and have to scale every workout that contains them.  People look at me like I am cheating or something.  If I am going to do something I want to do it all the way.  No half-assing for me.

5.  I am realizing just how out of shape I still am, and folks, it ain't pretty.  This obviously doesn't have to do directly with CrossFit, but I feel like I need to wear a shirt that says I had a baby 7 months ago and I used to be in good shape.  I hate being the worst.  I am used to being one of the more in-shape people in a group.              

So am I going to drink the kool-aid and officially join CrossFit?  I'm not sure yet.  I just don't know that it is going to work for me time-wise or fitness goal-wise.  I am first and foremost a mommy and secondly a runner.  I don't want to cut out running workout for CrossFit ones.  I do want to get in better shape and look and feel better about myself than I do now.  I guess time will tell on this one.  More to come...    

Also here is a pic of the ab situation I speak of, regularly.  I am down below my pre-pregnancy weight, but still have this to contend with.  My arch-nemesis.

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When are you quitting?

Monday, November 18, 2013

I get asked this at least a few times a week by different people.  The comments and questions around my continued breastfeeding go something like this...

"How long are you going to continue breastfeeding?"

"You are still pumping three times a day?"

"He has 6 teeth?!  Aren't you afraid he is going to bite you?"

"He'll sleep longer if you give him formula."

"You should NEVER get into the habit of nursing a baby to bed!"

It seems rather crazy to me that the fact that I am breastfeeding my baby at 7 months isn't very common even though both the AAP recommends breastfeeding until a baby is 1 year of age or more and the WHO recommends breastfeeding until 2 years of age or beyond.

I feel there is quite a bit of breastfeeding support for mothers when they first have a child.  There are lactation consultants at the hospital, support groups during the day while you are on maternity leave, and a plethora of information on the web.  There is very little information and support out there for mothers who continue to breastfeed past 6 months.  Well, this is what I have found to be true.

For example, when I started feeding B solids a little after 6 months, I found very little information with regards to how I should go about doing that while breastfeeding.

Should I cut back on the number of breastfeeding sessions?  

How many times a day should he be eating solid food?  

Should I mix breast milk in with the food?  

Do I have to give my baby water, too?

Should I nurse right before I feed him solids or give him some time to digest before showing more food in his face?  

Should I pump at night if he sleeps so that I can maintain my supply?  

When and how do I wean my baby?

Once I wean my baby do I have to give them cow's milk as a replacement? 

Yeah, not a lot of info out there and what I have found is sometimes conflicting.  I think the issue is that by 6 months many moms have quit breastfeeding so there isn't the need for all the information that there is when baby is first born.  The information that I got from my doctor doesn't totally jive with what I believe in either.  She has told us to start him with cereal, which we decided not to do.  Also, she has told us to give him water and I don't really know how much he needs that, either.  I thought breast milk was good enough.  I feel like doctors aren't that that supportive of breastfeeding, which is surprising that I am not feeling that way from my doctor when she said she breastfed both of her kids until they were 2 when I originally interviewed her.

Recently, I have noticed that B's breastfeeding habits have been changing, and not for the better.  He has always been an "in and out" kind of baby.  He eats to eat and that is it.  2-3 minutes on a side MAX.  Lately it is a struggle to get him to eat for more than 2 minutes on one side before he decides to start looking around or tries to squirm out of my arms.  I have started pumping less at work.  He has even been eating less out of a bottle when I am at work.  He went from eating 4-5 ounces every 3 hours to now eating 3 ounces every 3.5-4 hours.  This all seemed to correspond to the fact that we had started giving him 2 solid meals a day; fruits in the morning and veggies at night.  He seems to have less and less of an interest in eating except for in the middle of the night or right before bed when he is tired.

Of course I googled this, wanting to know if it was normal 7 month old behavior, and the results that I came up with weren't exactly what I was wanting to hear.  Most of the articles I found dealt with infant self-weaning.  A few of the articles were centered around teething, which seemed a little easier for me to take.  I found myself getting worked up over the fact that I am still breastfeeding at 7 months, enjoying the experience and wanting to continue, and not at all prepared or supported for where I am now or for the future.  Honestly, I am doing what I think I should be doing, not knowing if it is the right thing to do or not.

So as I paw my way through the dimly lit forest that is breastfeeding past 6 months, alone.  I can only hope that I am still doing the right thing.  I really wish that there was more support guidance out there for mothers who breastfeed longer.  I could really, really, use it right now.

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I bought a treadmill

Monday, November 11, 2013

I decided that the only way that I am really going to have time to regularly get in a workout is to buy a treadmill, so that is what I did.  After hearing many jokes about how I could spend much less money and buy a laundry rack, I decided to prove them all wrong and take the plunge.  I shelled out $1500 (more like $2200 once you figure in the warranty, tax, and delivery/set-up) and had my husband frame me out a small room in our dungeon of a basement that I am calling my "work out room".  Laugh if you want, but I have already ran on it 2 out of the three days that I have had it and I LOVE it for a few reasons:


1.  I can run whenever I want.  This could mean 4:30 AM when I get up or 7 PM after the baby goes to bed.  It could also mean 2 PM on a Sunday while baby and daddy are watching football.  I can run when it is raining or snowing.  I can run when it is -10 degrees or when it is 90.

2.  I can suspend my gym membership.  I can cut my monthly gym membership down from $90 to $45 a month until I decide that I want to start it up again.  I have been paying for that membership for many months and have only been able to go a handful of times.  I usually only go when it is to inclement to run outside and now I can do that in my house!

3.  I can train for races with less pressure.  After completing my first half marathon in many years a few weeks back (at an 8:05 pace!!), I have caught the racing bug again.  I am so far from where I once was, placing in my age group, but I can conceivably work my way back to where I was if I can run more days a week than I don't run.

4.  I can run with the baby in my site.  He loves his Exersaucer.  I can bring him down with me and hope that he likes watching mommy run like a mouse in a wheel.  Crossing my fingers on this one.

5.  I can continue trying to achieve my goal of looking like I did before the whole pregnancy debacle.  This includes all of the time I spend trying to get pregnant and miscarrying.  I am talking 2010 shape.

After doing a TON of research and finding the Treadmill Doctor, I decided on the SoleF80.  It isn't as technologically advanced as some of the other ones that I was looking at like the NordicTrack models, but it is a solid machine that can hold up to a beating.  I don't really need all of the fancy stuff.  I have my iPad to blast tunes and I plan on getting a small flat screen TV.  The F80 does have a fan and a heart rate monitor.  So far, I really like it.

In other news...

B slept 7-8 hours for a few nights in a row and then last night was down to 4 hours again.  Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.  Good thing I didn't throw out my under eye concealer.

I baked an awesome batch of paleo pumpkin doughnuts last night.  Check out the recipe, here.  They are AMAZING, no gluten or sugar necessary!

My husband and I finally had sex.  TMI maybe, but this has been an issue causing me huge anxiety with regards to pain in the past few months.  Only took 6 months!  I think I have gotten past the pain though.  Take that scar tissue!!

I keep forgetting to take my birth control.  Let's hope that the breastfeeding is working as my backup (gulp), because we all know how that works.  You had so much trouble the first time and then baby #2 comes as a surprise...

Speaking of breastfeeding, my co-worker is back from maternity leave.  She can't seem to figure out that you need to pump on a schedule and the lactation dungeon has no Outlook calendar for scheduling.  Lucky me had to pump in the bathroom last week for the first time ever because she was in the room for an hour and I was in pain.  Terribly annoying and gross.  I hope I never have to do that again.

Also made paleo chocolate chip cookies again!

And that's a wrap.  Hope you all have a fabulous week!

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