Amanda Fisher, Tough Muddette

Let's chat all things fitness, nutrition, and mindset together!

One Mindset Trick That Will Change How You View Eating And Workouts

You guys.  I’m knee deep in postpartum “stuff” right now with eating and workouts.

I’m a “habit” person when it comes to eating.  Nope, I don’t want to diet or follow a plan….I want to rely on habits to help me navigate my eating choices without too much mental energy invested.  I was comfortably humming along this way until….

….I began dealing with my “new normal” right now.  Nursing an infant.  Which requires a bit more energy in the form of food.  Which is a BIT TRICKY to get used to.  Because the first three weeks postpartum I was HUNGRY like woah.  And that’s to be expected I suppose.  Recovery from birth, getting the hang of nursing.  And to be honest, I didn’t stress out about when and what I was eating too much because I flippin’ just ate when I had time to eat, lol.  Because we had a brand new human in our house, yo!  And that is enough to worry about.

Now the past three weeks, I’ve noticed myself eating my regular meals….I typically like to eat 3-4 meals each day, it’s what works for me, buuuutttt….I’ve noticed the cravings monster rearing her ugly head like A TON during the day.  And not just ONE day here and there, but most days of the week.

Yeahhhhh, something was up.

Now, you know I have a weird past with food, so I could have easily gone all nutso here and just blamed myself for being weak and having no willpower around food, and giving in to all the cravings, and then feeling guilty, and repeating this cycle over and over and over……

…….or I could approach this situation like a detective.  Gather some information.  Use the information to think through this issue a bit better.  Be a freaking nutrition detective.

First off, shifting from food crazy mindset to detective mindset….what a huge helper.  Suddenly I’ve taken away the blame game and moved towards taking action over the situation and gathering information to help me get to the root of the issue.

By using a detective mindset with this cravings issue, I’ve been able to identify that the quantity of my meals was still good, but that overall….most of the meals were a bit too small, leaving my body needing more food to feed me AND a kiddo.  So it tried to get food in somehow, and that way was cravings.  By approaching this like a detective, I gathered data by using a food journal to figure out what my meals were made of.  And a loose estimate of HOW MUCH was in each meal.  A few days of that, and suddenly I didn’t have an issue anymore because I was realizing pretty dang quickly that I needed a bit more quality food in each meal.

A few days later, I’m feeling pretty even keel about food, although I do have a swing here and there and I suppose that will be normal as I continue nursing.

Um, it’s way more sane to approach food as a detective rather than as a powerless victim, right?

So, I can also tell you I’m approaching my return to workouts as a detective as well.

Almost seven weeks postpartum, and I’m ready to begin testing the waters in a gentle fashion when it comes to workouts.  I still have some “postpartum fun” to sort out yet.  Today, I went for my second walk….my first one was 3 weeks postpartum, around the block, and I can tell you that was too damn much, too damn soon…as crazy as that sounds.  Today, my walk was 10 minutes long and it was not at a clip of a pace.  It felt right, and I made sure to log some notes on it – any pain, pressure, or weirdness? Not during or after….but, just like with strength training, it’s always good to see how I feel tomorrow.  If it’s all good, I plan on keeping daily 10 minute walks for a few days, and then going to TWO 10 minute walks most days.  And eventually three.  Postpartum wise, it’s a bit better for your pelvic floor to walk in several short chunks than one long one.

I also plan on trying out a strength training workout here in the next few days.  I’m putting together a pretty postpartum friendly plan that smartly trains my core AND minimizes pressure on pelvic floor muscles right now.  I’m challenging myself to keep this to mostly bodyweight, and to spend a good deal of each workout between standing and seated/lying exercises.  I’m also clearing this with my PT.  And then….same as with walking, detective mindset this program, yo.  Test the waters, gather info about whether each workout feels good, no pain, no pressure, no weird stuff….and rinse and repeat.  Change things as necessary, based on new information, like a detective.

I could very easily tell myself I should be way further along by now and go right back in balls to the walls….buuuttttttt, if I detective mindset this shiz, I will likely be light years ahead of where I would be if I beastmode it, and 2 months down the road REALLY have postpartum shiz to deal with because I didn’t respect my body.

The point here of this post….flip how you think about stuff.  It’s seriously ok to be a detective and figure out what works and what doesn’t.  It’s ok to make changes.  It’s ok to take this stuff super slow.  Nothing has to happen overnight.

I love the quote by Dan John (at least….I think it’s from Dan John).  “Success leaves clues.”  Yes, a detective gathers clues.  We don’t have to throw a hundred changes at something and never know what sticks.  We can change one thing, and listen for a bit to see what kind of clues we get.  And then we can take another action.

In my opinion….WAY more sane, and actually kind of fun!

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Confidently Consistent Nutrition Guide To Fast Food

You guys, do you love eating out?  Er…..well, maybe what I’m asking is….do you love when someone else prepares your food for you?  LOL!  Mostly, I like preparing my own food because when I eat out, I love the atmosphere (and the fact that someone else does the work for me)….but I always find I sort of like my own cooking best.

HOWEVER, I do find myself eating out more frequently at times.  Usually, I find myself in fast food situations, because we are on the way somewhere and eating needs to fit in quickly, or because it’s time to catch up with a friend, or we are on the run between appointments or something.  Fast food, as we know….can be a bit of a challenge to navigate.  BUT….it’s majorly doable to find something decent to eat from a fast food type restaurant….at least in my opinion.  I’m going to give you a couple of my favorite examples today to get your wheels spinning on fast food dining with healthy options so YOU can be #confidentlyconsistent with your nutrition game.

Fast Food Choice #1)  Qdoba.  My FAVORITE choice.  My standard meal here is a burrito bowl with chicken, no beans (because they aren’t my favorite on a burrito bowl), add in the fajita veggies, corn AND tomato salsa (and mango salsa in the summer), and sometimes a sprinkle of cheese.  I also do white rice over brown, because I like it better.  I customize this a few ways….sometimes I do half the rice, based on my activity level for the day.  Sometimes I ask for double meat, if I’m running low on protein options that day.  Sometimes I skip cheese altogether, OR add the cotija cheese because it freaking rocks my taste buds.  And….if I need some more staying power, sometimes I’ll toss in guac.  This is sort of my standard meal at Qdoba, and…it never gets old.  If I know life is freaking nuts for the next few days, I sometimes order a second bowl to keep in our fridge at home, and have been known to split it into two, and use a part for breakfast, topped with scrambled eggs.  And that is YUM.

Fast Food Choice #2) Any sort of coffee shop nearby.  When I need to buckle down and get tons of computer work and/or writing done, I sometimes head to a coffee shop with my to-do list so I can plug through it without distractions of dishes that need to be done, or clothes that need to be folded.  Usually it’s breakfast time when I do this.  So, I order an egg and cheese english muffin, hopefully with spinach if they have it, OR fresh fruit.  Sometimes I add extra egg, or egg whites.  And I always order it with coffee (with room for cream!).  If I’m doing the coffee shop thing in the afternoon, I’ll often times order an iced coffee and shake in a serving of vanilla protein powder…because protein 🙂

Fast Food Choice #3)  Any sort of grocery store with a salad bar.  I LOVE SALAD BARS IN GROCERY STORES.  First off, someone else did all the labor of chopping and dicing for me.  All I have to do here is load up on greens, other veggie toppings, and mix in alllll the proteins that I like, and top with some fun things like nuts or beans, croutons, and a little dressing.  And I usually stock up on fruit here too.  Just like with Qdoba, if it’s a crazy week….I sometimes bring home an extra salad to munch on later or the next day.

Fast Food Choice #4) Jimmy John’s.  If it’s a high activity day, I go for bread, and maybe eat it all, or maybe eat half to three quarter.  If it’s a low activity day, I go for the unwich.  I try for tons of meat, get a decent pile of veggies on it, and I’m a dry sandwich girl…I don’t do dressings or oils on sandwiches because they gross me out and make me feel like I’m eating soggy stuff.  The pickle is a MUST though!

I would say though, that during those stretches that we don’t eat out much, I don’t worry so much about making alllll the best choices for a meal that only happens once in a while.  This means I’m probably ordering a beer, maybe french fries depending on where we are at….maybe a bacon cheeseburger AND fries.

During times that eating out is FREQUENT, well then….I do need to pay attention to my choices a bit more, right?

Here’s the thing.  Learning how to navigate eating out has to be based on YOUR preferences.  What good does me telling you to eat at Qdoba do if you don’t like the food there?  With that being said, here’s a few tips for navigating food choices while dining out:

  • Get a decent serving of protein on your plate, and a decent serving of produce.  A protein hit PLUS a fiber hit from the produce will do TONS at keeping your total intake in a healthy range.
  • Carbs aren’t the devil!  They also aren’t an endless option either for most individuals.  I like to navigate mine based on my activity level.  I’ll eat more carbs if my activity level is higher that day.  I’ll eat less if I’m not doing a whole heck of a lot of activity.
  • Beverages add up, so pay attention.  I am a Diet Coke girl, so eating out often means I’m drinking Diet Coke with my food, alongside my glass of water (I double fist).  However, I do tend to order a beer when eating out many times.  I don’t worry about this too much if it’s happening once in a while.  If it’s happening frequently, I need to be a little choosier.

So, sometimes moderation is my motto for eating out, when I’m on the “eat out frequently” train.  But when I’m not eating out frequently, and find myself at a meal out that I want to indulge a bit, I don’t really worry so much about it.  This is a practice, not definitive “rigid rules.”  I can’t do rules, they backfire for me.

Helpful?  Drop me a comment on my Facebook page and let me know!  And, if you need help navigating some eating habits, hit up my FREE Confidently Consistent Nutrition E-course!  The course lasts 18 days, is delivered straight to your inbox, and will help you sort out some of the bullshit of nutrition 🙂  You can toss your name and email in the inbox below.  We begin May 17th!

Fourth Trimester: Month One

So, I’m a whole month postpartum!  Ring the bell, yo!  I’ll be documenting all about postpartum here, through the fourth trimester, possibly the fifth, sixth, and seventh lol….if it’s still interesting 🙂

First things first, because I like to talk about food….because I love eating…..

Did any of you get postpartum cravings?  Like OMG.  I suspect it’s because eating during pregnancy isn’t fun for me since nothing tastes amazing.  So maybe food just tastes extra amazing after pregnancy because I’ve missed it for so long.  Or, maybe because pushing out a human is hard effing work.  Who knows!

But. I. Love. Food. And. Everything. Tastes. SOOOOOO. Good.

I am OBSESSED with fruit right now.  And salads (which were pretty gross during pregnancy).  And, the oddest thing of all….grape nuts cereal.  I seriously don’t know where that came from, because I don’t eat that normally EVER.  But now?  OBSESSED.  With fresh cut strawberries and bananas sliced over the top, in milk.  So freaking weird.  OH, and Qdoba burrito bowls.  And oatmeal!  And MEALS!  Omg, I just freaking love eating right now, lol.  I freaking love carbs right now, and they love me back, so I am rolling with it!

Sleep, to be honest (and I’m knocking on wood)…..hasn’t been horrendous.  Or maybe I’m just jazzed to drink real coffee again instead of decaf, so I can’t even tell.  But somehow throughout most nights, we are ending up with a decent amount of sleep, although of course it’s broken up with feedings.  SO…..I cannot complain there.  And I know I just jinxed myself saying that and it will all change here shortly, lol.

Physical health, has been…..different.  Interesting.

Perhaps it is second pregnancy related, or the fact that I’m four years older than I was with our first birth, but I can TELL.  I would say after weeks 30 and beyond in pregnancy, my body was TIRED.  My core was tired, and my pelvic floor.  When everyone tells you that second pregnancies feel way different than the first….well, in my case, they weren’t lying.

Weeks 1 and 2 postpartum, I would say I was sore, and my body was tired, but that was to be expected.  Week 3 was a little of the same.  Week 4 I felt GOOD, and pushed the envelope with activity – not exercise….more like, venturing out of the house more with both kids, that sort of thing.   The only exercise I’ve attempted was a walk around our block at 3 weeks postpartum and that was a bit much.

Also in week 4, I had my first pelvic floor physical therapy visit.  SUPER INTERESTING stuff.  Probably the least sexy topic of all time, but one that is VERY IMPORTANT, so I’m going to write alllll the stuff about it.  Since I hadn’t had my last postpartum exam with the birth center yet, this first PT appointment was focused on EXTERNAL pelvic floor health and biofeedback.  Basically, the therapist attached some electrode type things to my hip, my knee, and…..drumroll please….jjjuuusssstttt outside my rectum.  The point here was to have me engage my pelvic floor, and core, and the electrodes sent back feedback to tell us some things.  Well, I had a LOT of trouble not letting my pelvic floor contract ALL.THE.TIME.  And I could not engage my TA (transverse abdominals) for the life of me.  My pelvic floor wanted to contract and do allll the work that the rest of my core wasn’t really doing.  Literally, I’m the walking definition of a “tight ass”, lol!  I could literally “grab the bean”….I just had some trouble either trying not to murder the bean OR trying to set that little bean back down.  HA!  Seriously, tight ass!  My therapist gave me a friendly reminder that I’m very early postpartum yet, and to take it easy, sit a LOT to take pressure of pelvic floor and just to let my body rest, and sent me home with two exercises to do – one working on pelvic floor engagement at a MODERATE level and not murdering it, and then a core activation exercise.  Oh, and she got me super familiar with how to sit on the toilet (hint…place your feet on a stool, so your knees are higher than your hips, and lean forward so forearms rest on thighs….helps relax your pelvic floor and not put so damn much pressure on it)…..

……….and all of this was very timely.

Because not long after that appointment, I had my very first symptoms of prolapse.  Seriously, you guys, I’m writing this out for public consumption because this stuff is NOT TALKED ABOUT, but it’s actually pretty damn common.  Prolapse, if you aren’t aware of it, is basically the dropping down of internal organs – maybe bladder, maybe uterus, maybe rectum….because pelvic floor is weak and maybe not quite doing it’s job….OR a host of other reasons.  Welp, I had/have bladder prolapse symptoms.  It’s not necessarily confirmed as prolapse yet, only symptoms.  BUT, enough for me to have a mental freak out about standing up and having something fall out from down there, and never being able to lift weights again, OR coach strength training, OR live without feeling like something was going to fall out.  Kinda major anxiety stuff.

This is the stuff that you DON’T learn in 9th grade health class when you talk about having sex and what can happen with a pregnancy (or after)….but probably NEEDS to be talked about with 9th graders, and, well, EVERYONE.

I took my PT’s advice and basically sat a TON for five days straight.  And didn’t lift anything aside from baby.  And really just took it easy.  Which drove me even more insane because all my brain could think about was my stupid bladder falling out.  I will be following up with an OB in the next few days, AND I’ve since followed back up with my PT.  To be honest, after days of taking it easy, my symptoms are SO MUCH LESS.  I’m not terrified my insides are going to fall out.  I can also tell when I have been standing up or doing stuff for too long, and it’s time to sit down again.  I’ve got a new set of exercises to work on, and I’m not going to lie, pelvic floor exercises, when you have a weak pelvic floor….are harder than effing burpees in my opinion.  It’s INSANE.  It’s so MENTAL.  I can’t believe I have to concentrate SO MUCH on doing the exercises correctly.  It is truly mind/muscle connection.  Plus, did you know your pelvic floor has fast and slow twitch muscle fibers?  So freaking weird!  But interesting, not gonna lie!  My PT basically isn’t concerned with a prolapse issue….I’m so new postpartum, PLUS I’m nursing so I have Relaxin like WOAH running through my body….that time, taking my exercises seriously, and REALLY listening to my body….I might be surprised at how differently I feel at weekly intervals.

In my Month Two post, I’ll update again on all this, and my visit with the OB.  I’m establishing care with a new OB after my final visit at the birth center.  The birth center does pregnancy care, and doesn’t take patients after that postpartum period is over.  So off I go to find a good fit with a new doc 🙂

My mental game is actually alright.  I feel like I *should be doing more* and all that shit, but to be honest, that prolapse scare cleared that up in a damn hurry.  Do less NOW to do more LATER is A-OK with me.  So I do feel like I’m in prison a bit, sitting a TON, but….that’s ok.  I’m just going to get creative with WHERE I’m sitting I think.  I can literally sit my ass off in the gym.  I can sit my ass off outside while Emma plays.  I’ll figure this out, and this too shall pass.  The major mental roadblock was the anxiety about prolapse, but after learning a ton more about it, I’m actually not freaking so much anymore.

I probably have all the same feelings many postpartum mama’s have.  I’m loving my baby, struggling with how to “do it all” with a new human, so I’m like “eff doing it all” and let’s chill for a bit.  For a few fleeting seconds I had the *I should be this size* and *I should be doing this workout*….and….those were fleeting.  They are gone now, and they should be.  I’m like five weeks postpartum, I have LOADS of time between now and when I’m 100 years old to get back to my gym self 🙂  I would also saying feeling like a stellar mom with the baby and a crappy mom with Emma is the real deal.  I’m sure figuring out balance between two kids will happen but for now….oof, this is also a mind game!

Thanks for listening!  I do intend to post the good, bad, and ugly about all this stuff, and I hope the prolapse symptoms are as ugly as it gets, lol.  I know it’s WAY TMI, but to be honest, this stuff is not talked about, and is fairly common I guess, soooooo…..I’m talking about it.  I’ve heard from loads of you anyway about some of this stuff, so why not write my experiences publicly on my blog?

Alright, peace out, I’ll be back for my Fourth Trimester – Month Two…down the road 🙂

And PS – I cannot recommend being proactive and visiting with a pelvic floor PT enough.  Seriously.  If you are postpartum 4 weeks or 44 years, STILL not a bad idea.  And if you are pregnant, not a bad idea either.  FOR SURE if you have any of the typical symptoms – bladder leakage, workout pees (or coughing/sneezing pees), weird pain down there, feeling like something is falling out or a “full” feeling, weird back pain, etc.  Yes, it might cost you a little $, especially if you don’t have a referral….buuutttt… ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, in my opinion 🙂 And by the way, pelvic floor dysfunction isn’t just for ladies….dudes can have it too!

And PPS – Please sit a lot postpartum!

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