Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pregnancy did what to you?

Hair growth has made me want to start my own at home spa parties that include spot lights, high magnification mirrors, tweezers, waxes, and maybe even one of those No-No hair removal systems.  Ah a ladies night of facial hair removal.  Good times.

Not only do you get a baby at the end but you get some of these lovely parting gifts!  These are the true stories of ladies who have been there and done that, AND have the stretch marks to prove it!  I was going to put this into categories but I really think how they put it is much funnier!  Names have been removed to save you from accidentally saying something to one of them and then having serious pain inflicted upon you!  

"Ok, weird post-pregnancy stuff. I now have a ton of ear wax - like, so much that I can feel it running out of my ear. My food aversions have continued - I could not eat chicken or green beans at all during either pregnancy (both of which I ate ALL THE TIME pre-pregnancy), and I still struggle with them now. I never realized, and maybe it is because of all the swelling I had (I gained up to 7lbs a day in the last week before Conner was born!), that after my c-section, my belly would now lay over the top of itself - GROSS! I thought my breasts would even out as my left was slightly larger than the right; nope - the left just increased more than the right. Another boob one - I was not able to successfully breastfeed and my milk never came in, but my boobs definitely sag now! My sense of smell is still heightened. My vocabulary has decreased - all of those big college level words are gone. Even though I had two c-sections, sex was still way uncomfortable after I was allowed to "get back in the saddle" again - not like I ever want to anymore! Last one I can think of right now - my feet increased a size and a half."

Me,  "That list was wonderfully horrific! I have many of those issues too! But I have to say the earwax made me laugh so hard I peed a little - oh yeah another problem after pregnancy - Kegels - what mom can remember/wants to do that!?!

" I hate kegels b/c they make me feel that special kind of funny "down there" yet I can't sneeze, cough, or laugh without peeing."

 "Oh, and I now have the attention span of a toddler."

Me on the topic of Kegels, "Yep and it kinda makes me want to pee so I feel it is all in vain!"

    "Here's another one! I still have flutters in my belly that feel like a baby moving - ghost kicks I guess I would call them - and they are NOT gas."

    Me, "Did we mention your brain goes to crap!"

    Me, "I had no idea that pregnancy would change my skin in so many ways and for good - Not just stretch marks - but my lower abdominal area now breaks out - my Dr. said, "yeah that is one of those things that can happen from pregnancy hormones."

    "Mines not really funny, more really sucky. After pregnancy I now have rosacea and skin lesions Dermatologist has me on meds for the lesions."

    Ah the pregnancy glow!

    Me, "Uh, why do I now have the complexion of a 15 year old?  Zits in my 30's? Boo that!"

    I think my expression says it all!

    For me it was facial hair! The hormones from my first pregnancy caused my facial hair to get dark and ever since I've been a bleaching and plucking fool!"

    Me, "Then just when you think you have them all - one peeks out in public! If you are like me you run to the bathroom ASAP to pluck it and then can't find it to save your life!

    "I had to have moles removed b/c they got so much bigger. They would grow each pregnancy from the hormones and never shrink. I don't even want to talk about my stretched-out skin on my stomach!"

    "I had these little skin tags pop out, and I now have psoriasis on my scalp that I have to constantly deal with (gross, huh!) And of course I can no longer do jumping jacks, and if I sneeze or cough too hard...there goes the pee! I love that AFTER I was pregnant with my third, my midwife looked at me and said, "Yeah, the body really starts to fall apart with the third pregnancy." Gee, thanks!!!"

    "I had to switch my deodorant to something more potent. I am STINKY post pregnancy, LOL!"

    Me, "Oh yeah I forgot about the super sweating!"

    "I was preg the hottest summer on record (had my daughter late July) and my feet (already wide) were so swollen that I got ingrowns nails on almost ALL of my toes and had to go to the podiatrist for a procedure to have them cut out! Remind you I religiously had biweekly pedi's and now my feet haven't had a good polish in 6 mo!"

    "I used to have to sleep with socks on my feet more so in the winter. My husband couldn't stand it. Now my feet are hot all the time so I sleep with my feet out. My husband hates it because if he touches them they are so cold."

    Me, "It changed my changed my body chemistry so much that I was getting monthly infections - yeah cuz that is what you need when you have a new baby!"

    We didn't even go into all the beautiful hair you just gain starts falling out like crazy and my bathroom looks like it has hair tumbleweeds!  Those gorgeous nails you had, yep say well to peeling splitting nails!

    So there you have it.  All that and a beautiful baby that loves you beyond measure.  At the end of the day it is all worth it, at least to all of these brave moms who shared and me.  If I grow an entire beard, pee myself everyday, and never loose this weight; I would never trade any of it for my boys.  

    So look at that my boys already taught me something about letting go!

    If you have a post pregnancy change you want to share please comment below or if you are not brave message me and I will share it without your name!

    If you think I have forgotten about the Wellness Health Challenge I have not!  I am sorry I have gotten a little behind.  But I am letting go of that too!  Week one went well for me.  A 30 minute walk with my family and a 45 minute Aqua Zumba class!  It rocked.  If you get the chance, check it out.  Zumba No one can see what you are doing and it is so much fun!
     Lets move onto week two!  In addition to two days a week 30 minutes of exercise add in 2 serving of vegetables per day.  I know that also seems easy but for some that is huge.  Keep track and keep on the right path.  We can do this!

    Today choose love!

    If you laughed and peed a little please like, share, follow the blog, like my Facebook page, follow me on Pinterest, and join in the fun and nuttiness!

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      Friday, May 23, 2014

      Apps to motivate your buns off!

           As we are going into Memorial Day weekend I wanted to give everyone some positive reinforcement!
      Here are some Apps and songs I like to keep me motivated to be healthy! Even better for this penny pincher, they are all free!!!! I am using all of these and I love them.  I hope they are helpful to you as well.  If you have a health or music related App you love please share with the class!

      Health Apps
      Running through sprinkler totally counts as exercise!

      My Fitness Pal - You can enter all of the food and water you consume in a day, as well as exercise.  You put in your information and it tells you calorie wise how much to eat based on your info and goals.  Very easy to use as it has a database of foods that is extremely extensive!
      My Fitness Pal app

      Nexercise - This is one you log all of your physical activities - including playing with your kids or house cleaning!  Easy to use and you get points that go toward Mpoints.  If you have not used Mpoints you are missing out!  There are tons of apps that you can get points for using that you can redeem for gift cards, stuff, or to give to charity!  I love it so much I am practically addicted! I guess I better share a link to that too!
      Nexercise app                   Mpoints

      I like this reward related app better than some of the others I have tried.  It is a little limited on the rewards at this point but motivating none the less.  I am using it to donate to The Make-A-Wish Foundation!
      Everymove app

      This one is a great way to keep track of your health information!  I have to admit I have not spent too much time entering my info into this but it could come in really handy if you were in an accident or something and someone needed to get your info.  My hubs could really use it since he would never remember all my health info!  Remember that Spencer, if I am unable to give my info get on this app!
      iTriage app

      Music Apps
      Just a little shot from my seat last year at a
      Dave Matthews Band concert!!!!!!!

      I love this app for a go to playlist for any occasion.  It has been a great way to play children's music since we don't have a lot that we own.  It has many different ways to find just the music you need to get through any mood or activity!  I really wish I could be using the playlist for Lying on a Beach right now (I could but since I am not lying on a beach it would depress me), then I could be listing to artist like Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, and Donavon Frenkenreiter!

      This is my hubs go to app for music!  You can rock your face off to your favorite artist  or I can listen to a playlist based on my husband's profile! That might earn me bonus points (I think I have plenty of points racked up) but I think I would probably just go ahead and listen to Dave Matthews Band instead!!!!

      Freegal music
      Who doesn't wanna download and keep music!  You have to have a library card but then you can download 3 free songs from their catalog each week!
      Freegal Music

      Playlist - these are a few I think to keep my motor running right now!

      Roar - Katy Perry
      Born This Way - Lady Gaga
      Video -India.Arie
      Stand Up - Dave Matthews Band
      Hey Mama - Black Eyed Peas

      Have a great weekend and if you haven't already joined me on Facebook for more good stuff and crazy posts do it!  You won't regret it like I regret telling my son I would make him an Octopod from the Octonauts cake!.  That oughta turn out special!

      Pin with me on Pinterest too!

      Today choose love!!!

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      Tuesday, May 20, 2014

      He said what to a 13 year old girl?

           How did my first week of loving my body go?  I have to say there was something very freeing about putting myself out there and letting everyone know my challenges with my personal body image.  I received so many wonderful comments.  It really made it easier to be kind to myself.  Anytime I began to get into old patterns of though, "You look like a stuffed sausage in that!" I would snap right back to, "hey, you just told a bunch of people you aren't gonna do that anymore!"  So I would change my thinking.  In fact I wore a shirt I had been refusing to wear because I was sure it made me look lumpy.  But guess what, I got so many compliments even from my almost 3 year old!
           Well lets just jump right into a big one!  Overall body image.  This one goes a ways back. I would say it was probably around the time I changed dance companies.  Up until the age of 11 I had been with one that really focused more on the costumes and less on the dance to put it nicely.  But when I changed to a very formal ballet studio it changed a lot of my thinking.
           Right away I noticed a huge difference.  Everyone looked about the same.  Stick thin, super slicked hair in a bun, black leotard, pink tights, and pink ballet slippers.  No place for individuality and certainly no place for curves.  The more and more serious I got about dance, especially ballet, the more I tried to conform.  I saw other dancers eating nothing but carrots and celery, so I ate nothing but carrots and celery.  Oh the company dancers are only eating baby food, I am gonna do that too.  So you can image how a young girl of 13 would take a comment from one of the very respected instructors.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  He said, "You will never make it with those boobs.  You need to lose weight."
           I wanted to make it.  I wanted to dance.  I loved how I felt when I danced.  But at that point I felt nothing but fat.  So I went down the path many dancers do.  Self loathing and self destruction.  I danced pretty much daily from the age of 13 and I was sure that was not enough so I would go home and practice and do hundreds of push ups, sit ups, and anything else I could think of that might help me lose weight.  When that didn't seem to help I began to seriously limit my intake.  Okay to be to the point, I would now characterize myself as anorexic.  I lied to everyone saying I had already eaten or wasn't feeling well.  I would take super small portions and throw half of it away.  I honestly was proud when I was 5'4" and 99lbs.
      High school dance years, Junior year
       I believe and about 105lbs.
           Did I really look good?  Umm, no.  I know that now.  I looked sick and I felt sick.  I hate thinking of the damage I did to my body because someone told me I was too big, fat, or not skinny enough.
      Senior Prom I was probably
      about 115 lbs here
             At the end of the day the saying is really only sort of true.  "The way you talk to your children becomes their inner voice."   My parents did a great job of building us up and making our inner voices strong.  Until someone else takes over.  So maybe we also need to be more aware of the voices of those in our children's lives.  Teachers, coaches, peers, and so many others do play a part in a child's inner voice.

       I wish I could say leaving that ballet company changed everything but it didn't.  I was stuck in that mind set until sometime in college.  I tried to keep that Freshman 15 away but it got me.  And guess what?  I actually felt better.  I had curves and lets be honest it got me some attention too.  So that should be the end right?  No way I am a woman and I do see the media.
          I did pretty well in college until depression got a hold of me.  I was really in a place where I preferred to eat and be a little heavy so maybe no one would notice me.
          Counseling and medication helped me a lot.  But I have still been up and down with my weight over the last 10 years.  I love food.  Sometimes I love it too much.  Sometimes I forget to eat all together because everyone need something and like many moms, I put me last.  And exercise, well housework and chasing kids counts right?
      Me at my healthiest and happiest!  On my Honeymoon, 137 lbs.
       Yes, some would say that is too much.  Not me, I liked me a lot at this point. 
      I am 170 lbs of post baby-post c-section me.
      And yes, if you look closely I am wearing maternity leggings.
      I can't help it I love them and if you fold over the
      maternity part - well then they are just yoga style leggings
           What am I saying to myself now?  "This body danced and can still dance for the pure joy of it!"  "This body has been though 8 surgeries and broken bones and is still strong!"  "This body told science to shut it and created and carried 2 amazing little boys!"  "This body has cared for and about more people than I can count!"
      Yep, I am considering this brave!
      That is me now.  I'm sorry it isn't better quality
       but who wants to waste time on the befores right?

       Is that it then?  I will just love me as I am and go about my business?  No way man!  We all have to strive to take the best care of ourselves!  So does that mean I am going on a diet and going to exercise every day?  Uh no, and you know why?  Going into self care in an all or nothing fashion does not work for most people.  No, I am going back to something I did with my family a while back.
          I called it the Family Health Challenge but we will just call it the Healthy Life Challenge.  Each week we take on something new.  A new lifestyle change.  By taking things one change at a time it really can become a habit.  Like the saying goes, "How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!"
           So I hope you will join me.  It doesn't matter if you are in the best shape of your life.  This is going to encompass many different kinds of health and wellness.  I took my starting picture and you might want to too!  I will also be taking my measurements and weight, through my energy and how my clothes fit is really how I plan to gauge things.
           I also think incentives do a lot to motivate me.  I will make some suggestions but feel free to pick your own, but don't use food, even healthy food, very often as food as a reward can be a slippery slope.

           Lets do this!  Consider this week 1 and for week 1 the challenge is to get moving!  Exercise of any sort 2 days this week for at least 30 minutes.  Ideas for incentive: a new pair of socks, a jump rope from the Dollar Store (for all my penny pinchers out there), or an insulated cup for all the water you will drink!.  I am going for the socks!  I love me some new cushy socks!

      Good luck and please feel free to comment or ask questions.

      Today choose love,

      Hey, if you liked this post please share it, like it, follow my blog, follow me on Facebook, and Pinterest. This is not a cult but I do love followers! I do love praise and that is as close as it gets!

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      Tuesday, May 13, 2014

      Let It Go...no this is not a post about the movie Frozen...but that movie is awesome!

           Well hello all!  I know it has been forever but I am letting go of that too.  I am tired; tired of anxiety over things I do not have to be worried about.  I am on a mission to save myself from myself!  So let’s get started and maybe I can help you too!
           So yesterday was Mother's Day, my 4th one.  As I was getting ready to go spend time with my family, I studied myself in the mirror.  This is usually an unhappy event that includes beating myself up over every flaw I see or think I see.  I know I am not alone here.  Getting as close as I can to the mirror to try to see how I can cover that up or what else I need to find a way to fix.  I was getting more and more upset as I noticed the acne that is coming back on my face, that big bump in my nose, and all the lumpy bumpy overweight parts.  I honestly felt like I couldn't find a good spot anywhere.  So I went about the task of putting on all kinds of products and makeup to try to look better.  Then the even harder task of finding some clothes that might conceal the post baby (7 month old baby) body I loathed.
      My and my post baby body and 7
      month old on Mother's Day 2014.

           As I was mentally tearing myself a new one, I thought about each of my boys.  4 years ago I was pregnant with my first son Coen.  Of course at that time I did not know he was a he.  We wanted to be surprised again.  See just about 9 months before we told we were not going to be able to have children naturally.
           I remember it like it was yesterday.  I lay on that cold metal table as they shot me full of some dye to see if my one and only fallopian tube was 100% blocked.  That's right I had also found out shortly before that my body only contained one fallopian tube and one ovary.  The Radiologist turned and looked at me as my lady parts were exposed and I was in terrible pain from the procedure and said, "Well I guess you will have to talk with your Dr. about IVF," and left the room.  I held it together as long as I could and when I saw my husband, who was not allowed to go back with me, I lost it.  This body had let me down again and this time it let my husband down too.  (To read more about this see my blog post Babies, Babies everywhere!)
           I spent a good deal of time being so angry with my body.   See I have always regarded my body and my mind or soul as separate.  It is me against it.  So I did what many people do, I ate my anger and my sorrow until I got up to 185lbs.  But somewhere along that line I got back up on my feet and decided to stop fighting this body and try to work with it and IVF.  2 weeks before we were to go in for our first consultation God showed me this body has no mistakes.  I was pregnant.  But even more important than the miracle God had made with us was the gift of renewed faith.  A reminder that above all of this, God loves us and really does have a plan for us.
      Me three weeks before my second son was born.
           This was His plan to show me this body doesn’t have mistakes because He doesn’t make mistakes.  This, flawed in my eyes body, against all odds made and carried two perfect boys.  How can I be mad at that?  And how can I say and truly believe in my mind, that they are perfect and still think that God, the same Amazing God who created them, could create a horribly flawed body?  I mean, I have never regarded those with disabilities or scars as ugly or a mistake. From all of the people and families I have met working with people with disabilities (or as I really prefer to say, people with different abilities) I know at some point the majority realize they are not a mistake and that they are each beautiful and perfect in just the way they were specially made. 
           So how did I let all this mean and evil talk creep back in?  Lots of things I’m sure but I am not going to waste time right now analyzing all of them, but we will get there because it is important to know what drives us to that place in order to know how to U-turn from it. 
           I had always thought if I had a daughter I was going to have to be positive for her so she would never feel the way I did.  When I had boys, I figured well whatever they won’t pay any attention to what I say and do about my body.  Boys don’t care.  What a crock!  If they are going to be self-confident and treat others as though all of our “packages” (no, I am not taking about what you’ve got in your pants) are beautiful and deserve respect, then it needs to start from home.
      I want to be that carefree with my body again!

           Right now these boys believe they are beautiful and perfect because they hear it from the people who loved them every day.  And you know what I am going to keep telling them.  I know there are those people who will say telling them that will label them and make things difficult psychologically.  Oh phooey I say!  The world will spend the rest of their lives and mine telling them they are anything but perfect. 
          And I am guessing no God who is all powerful, all knowing, and all loving would be pleased if you hated on the gifts you were given. “Kristin, so your time is up.  Let’s look at how you treated these precious gifts I gave you.  You physically and emotionally abused your body?  The body I made for you?”  I am guess that won’t go over very well.
         Well that’s it then.  I am going to just think I am beautiful and perfect all the time and fairies and unicorns are going to prance from each of my former flaws!  Yeah, no.  No, one can turn it off just like that.  But I want to prove to myself and others that I can work on turning my thoughts and feeling toward my body around.  This is the beginning of this journey.  I want to look at the things I have struggled with and why.  Am I going to give up makeup and my hiding clothes?  No.  If something makes me feel good about me and won’t be hurtful I am going to embrace it.  I want to be healthy and happy with me inside and out. 
      Me with makeup and "good" lighting.  I actually said to myself,
       "Self you look good today!"  Let's get more of that, less of, "You fatty put those
      So here we go.  I encourage you to share your story.  To be honest with yourself.   I accept and welcome comments.  I know that not everyone will have kind things to say but I ask that no one make rude comments to others. 
      And if anyone was looking for recipes, humor, stuff about kids, Pinterest posts, and the stuff I blogged about before don’t worry there will still be plenty of that too.  So if you like what you are reading please follow, share, and like my blog!

      Today choose love,

      No makeup fresh out of the shower!
       This is gonna be a challenge!

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