Amanda Fisher, Tough Muddette

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

Category: Support (page 1 of 76)

Fourth Trimester: Month Two

I think I’m 10 weeks postpartum. I’m pretty sure anyways, but I’m not going back to the calendar to do the math, so we will just say I’m 10 weeks, lol.

Month two of the fourth trimester.  And….I can’t remember JACK.  My memory is gone.  So is my ability to think and form normal sentences.  Yikes!  I can remember what size free weights my clients use in the gym….but I can’t remember if I ate lunch yesterday.  HA!

So, last month, I had all allllll the post birth cravings.  OMG.  Every single one.  I was hungry ALL.THE.TIME.  I think it’s to be expected….recovery from birth plus my body trying to feed another human.  I dunno, I can rationalize being that hungry anyways, because it makes sense.  I can tell you this month, cravings are not like that anymore, and my hunger has slowed way down.  I feel like I’m evening out just a bit on hunger.  Which rocks.  Our grocery bill will likely go down, lol.  Our beer bill won’t though.  Oh WAIT!  There IS something weird going on.  Beer is still good…buuuttttt, my new drink of choice lately is Roscato (red Moscato).  On ice of course, lol.

Emotionally, I would say I have all the crazy pregnancy hormones exiting the building so I’m pretty good for the most part, but have the odd crazy freak out (just ask Todd), and….while I did good with dropping off both kids at daycare for the first time, I pretty much ball when I’m feeding Maren and see her perfect little toes and her crazy antics.  Or, when I dropped off Emma at vacation bible school, and realized she didn’t need me anymore to get her name tag, and find her way to the gym with the other kids.  THAT shiz, makes me BALL like a baby.  And I would say Mama Bear comes out when we are out in public with lots of people/strangers around.  I get like nutso protective over my kids, lol.

Physically!  Here’s the Cliff’s notes from last time.  Last post, I thought I was dealing with a mild bladder prolapse.  NO!  I am NOT.  Seriously, I am thanking God on this one.  I was really freaking out about that one.  However, I am dealing with really weak pelvic floor muscles, because they are trying to be strong all the time.  I’m learning that my pelvic floor is hypertonic, which basically means the muscles are contracting ALL the time and have a hard time relaxing….I’m the walking definition of a tight ass.  Think about flexing your gunz in the mirror, and never being able to UNflex them.  That’s what’s going on here.  So, I’m working on contracting pelvic floor when necessary, but also working on relaxing it as well.  A strong muscle is only a muscle that can contract AND relax.  A constantly flexed muscle isn’t all that strong because it can’t function.  So, when I have prolapse symptoms, it’s actually because my PF needs a break and NOT because my bladder is ACTUALLY falling out.  And, apparently this shit is very common, SO, if you’ve been pregnant/birthed a baby (C-section or vaginally), I stand by my recommendation…and get yo ass to the pelvic floor PT, plz!  And STAT.

And…..it’s interesting what are major causes of prolapse or weak PF.  Straining on the toilet (not my issue, lol).  Excessive coughing….I did that for about 2 months when pregnant with Maren with a nasty cold.  I also puked and/or dry heaved for about 30 weeks of my pregnancy most days, so you can imagine the force that produces on one’s PF.  Here’s where it gets REALLY interesting…..forceps or vacuum delivery.  Welp, Emma was born with vacuum assistance.  And to be honest, now that I know what some of this stuff feels like that I’m working through….this has been slowly building since Emma was born.  So I’m taking this whole recovery and physical therapy thing seriously, because I want to making sure my body is REALLY recovered this time.

Also, I started workouts at about 7.5 weeks PP.  I would definitely say they feel “easy” compared to my normal, but I’d also say I’m damn proud of myself for doing what is needed right now, and dropping my ego to ease back in.  I can tell you for sure, I feel like I have NO core connection.  I can tell my core is starting to act like a core, but I literally feel like a big empty space from my sternum to my quads.  Like NOTHING is there and I have to work damn hard to make my mind connect to my core to workI do a lot of glute bridges with bands, and in a variety of positions.  I’m doing lots of upper body pulls and band pull-aparts.  Unweighted squats.  Floor presses.  And band presses.  I’m not doing any planks or push-ups because I’m respecting my core and the fact that there was a lot of outward pressure on it for some time, and I’m not going to add to that pressure in those positions.  I’m also not doing much for exercises that put downward force on my PF – no weighted squats or lunges, no deads, no swings, no overhead pressing, nada.  So, my workouts take like 20 minutes, but I can tell they are helping.  I also spend a fair amount of time each day deep breathing, and giving my PF a break, and doing some resets like rocking, rolling, and crawling.  When I sit, I make sure my posture is spot on, because that is HUGE for PF health.  I’m also trying to sit in a variety of positions – on the floor, on my knees, with legs extended, etc.  All good things for PF health.  I feel like all I talk about is pelvic floor stuff right now, buuuutttt I’m living and breathing it so it’s what is on my mind.  OH, and I walk for 20 minutes at a time, 2-3 times per day.  Walking is GREAT for PF health, but also the force on PF is a factor here, so shorter more frequents bouts are best right now.  And I still sit tons.  Because recovery, yo.

My workout buddy and I during my first week of workouts!

Also, all the cool postpartum pregnancy stuff is happening.  My beautiful pregnancy hair is GONE and now I have greasy hair that is falling out in clumps.  I had really nice skin during pregnancy and welp…..here we go with zits again.  And, I have way less muscle than I used to and way more body fat than I used to, which is a little bit of a mindgame, but to be honest, it is what it is right now.  I’m not one of those ladies that breastfeeds and has weight just fall off.  The whole weight thing is interesting to me.  It was a mindgame for a bit, especially during pregnancy, but it is what it is.  Through about weeks 20 or so, I lost about 15 pounds.  Which feels like a crime because you’re trying to build a human when you are pregnant.  BUT, I also spent a lot of time either feeling nauseous from food OR throwing it up.  So I’m not surprised that I lost weight of course.  Then, I put that back on, plus 8 pounds by the time Maren showed her face.  Then dropped like a rock by about 20 pounds in four days post birth after Maren was here plus extra blood and fluid.  And then I put about six pounds back on til this point.  The weight itself isn’t a factor for me…it’s just the mind game you go through like….is my baby growing….when I was losing weight.  Then, OMG, I feel SO FULL all the time, when I got that weight back plus 8 pounds.  Then, OMG I literally don’t give a shit about weight post birth as you are going through alllll the new feelings and getting used to a new baby in your family.  And then, one day you wake up and your boobs are huge (for you), you are leaking fluid from literally everywhere in your body, you literally feel a little like yourself, but not REALLY like yourself just yet, and your body doesn’t appear all that different from the outside, but it’s hugely changed on the inside.  It’s all just a big mind game is what I’m trying to say.

I went back to work last week, and I’m not gonna lie, I LOVED it.  Spending time in the gym with people I enjoy being around, ADULTS with ADULT conversations, and just feeling like I’m getting back to my purpose outside of raising humans has been AMAZING.  It hasn’t even sucked getting up at 4:15 a few times a week, because to be honest, I’m getting up at 3:30 to nurse a baby anyway, lol.  I love time at home of course, and I still get a ton of time with my littles, but being outside the house and back to work ROCKS.

And one final thing – I can honestly say that the balance between two kids has gotten WAY better.  Emma loves her sister so much, and a little one on one time from mom and day with just Emma goes a LONG way.  I still go back and forth between feeling like super mom for Maren, being a crappy mom for Emma, thinking OMG I can’t spend enough time with my littles, then OMG is it a daycare day yet, and alllll the stuff in between.  But it’s pretty awesome.  And I would also say that I don’t remember being pregnant anymore, even though I loathe it (I know that’s not nice to say, but it’s also the truth).  And 40 weeks and 5 days is really a drop in the bucket of time for the little human being that shows up (eventually) at the end.

But don’t you dare ask if we are having more kids anytime soon, because almost having a baby on the side of the road is still fresh in my mind.

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Four Questions To Ask Yourself As You Navigate “Moderation”

I toss around the phrase “eat in moderation” a TON.

Like, for real.  I just went back through a bunch of emails and blog posts that I’ve written and I’m like…..wow, have I ever expanded on that moderation concept?  Ha!

So, I thought it might be time to expand on what I mean by “moderation” today, cool?

Moderation, in my book, means that no food is a “bad” or “good” food.  It also means that I enoy plenty of foods with a high level of nutrients – plenty of proteins, veggies, fruits, complex carbs, healthy fats.  It also means that I sometimes enjoy peanut butter eggs, or dark beer, or whatever.  What I call “moderation” is also what I would nickname “eating lots of whole foods plus a few treats.”

Moderation is NOT stuffing myself to the gills, or being hungry all the time.  It’s also not going off the rails on Cheetos because I’ve deprived myself of them for weeks.

Moderation is that unsexy middle ground where I’m eating just enough, but not too much, and getting plenty of nutrients and also some treat type things.

Moderation isn’t something I “stop” at some point.  It really just goes on forever.  And it’s also important to note, that unsexy middle ground?  It isn’t a straight line.  It’s a line that hovers around the middle on the daily – sometimes higher than the middle line, and sometimes lower.  It moves.  And shifts.  And that’s ok.

I thought it would be helpful to share the four questions I answer when I’m checking in with myself on my moderation status.  Perhaps they will be helpful for YOU!

Am I eating balanced meals most of the time?  Meaning, am I getting plenty of protein, produce, complex carbs, and healthy fats on the regular?  Like….for most meals?  If not, what steps can I take to eat more balanced meals on the regular?

Am I enjoying eating my balanced meals most of the time?  Meaning, am I liking those balanced meals?  If I don’t like them, how will I continue to eat them, right?  And if I don’t like them….how can I choose foods for those meals that I DO like?

Am I experiencing crazy cravings for foods frequently?  Meaning, are there tons of cravings happening in my body on the regular?  If so, why?  Is it because I’m not eating enough quality meals, or is it because I’m depriving myself of a treat here and there, making me want to go hog wild on bags of Cheetos this weekend?

Am I able to enjoy balance the “most of the time” foods with the “some of the time” foods?  Meaning, do my nutritious food and treat food choices make up a healthy ratio that supports my goals?

When I used to hear people say “everything in moderation”….I NEVER knew what the heck that meant.  And, to be honest, it’s taken me some time to get to a point where I feel like I have a good handle on it.

What DID help over these past years is getting friggin’ consistent with a few key food habits.  Not a hundred food habits, maybe 3-4 food habits, and just getting so comfortable with them that I don’t think much about them anymore.  Building healthy food habits has been instrumental in me getting CONSISTENT with my eating, getting CONFIDENT navigating food choices (even in a buffet setting!!), and ditching food anxiety at home AND in social settings.  Of course, putting myself in “food school” with a variety of certifications didn’t hurt me any, either….because it helped me get to the point of what was TRUE about food, and what was a trend, or a buzzword, or just plain false.

So, I put together Confidently Consistent Nutrition, a FREE 18-day e-course.  I’m super friggin’ excited about it!  This course is designed to get you working on three key nutrition habits that cover MOST of what needs attention when eating for most individuals.  The course begins next week, and I’d LOVE to have you participate, and “try on” these habits for size, and learn how to navigate the unsexy, moderate, middle ground!

In the meantime, after you register for Confidently Consistent Nutrition….take some time and work your way through my four questions and “check in” with yourself on your eating habits.  Self reflection is a HUGE helper for many!  Plus, how do you know if you need to change anything if you don’t know where you are starting from, right?

Body Comparison: It’s A Trap!

I’m knee deep in body comparison ick right now, yo!  KNEE DEEP.

Lesson #1 has been happening throughout the entirety of this pregnancy, I feel like.  Or at least as long as I’ve “been showing.”  Apparently sporting a baby bump is an open invitation of comments comparing  your pregnant body to other women’s pregnant bodies, and begin the game of “you’re bigger than so and so,” or “you’re smaller than so and so”….or, my favorite, “BOY, you’ve REALLY popped this week, and so and so has/hasn’t” or whatever.

Just know, all us sporting baby bellies are freely handing out the mental double bird with all the pregnant belly comparison going on :). In the nicest way possible, of course.

Because, basically, it sorta makes us feel like shit.  We are literally damned if we do and damned if we don’t.  We are either too big, too small, popping, not popping, and every other thing in between.  And to be honest, we are on level 9 KAJILLION in hormones, yo, and hearing one more comment about our huge baby belly or lack thereof, is….well, sending us right over the damn edge some days.

And, it is a curious thing, this pregnant body comparison.  Because of all the women I know, only a handful are pregnant.  And, of those handful, we don’t share the same genetics, parents, DUE DATES, body compositions, blood profiles, and any of that other genetic stuff that would make us SIMILAR.  Oh, and we are ALSO growing genetically different babies.  So why would ONE common bond – IE pregnancy….and all of us being at different gestational ages – be a great apples to apples comparison?

Holy hell.  Can you tell I’m full of sass and pregnancy rage right now? Lol.

Here’s the thing though.  This baby belly comparison has taught me a lesson these past few weeks too!

Because…..as much as I love a good mindset towards my own body, it always comes with a boatload of work.

Here’s the kicker: getting compared to OTHER pregnant bodies makes me realize that I’m ALSO comparing…….my pregnant body to my body LAST year at this time, prior to pregnancy.  I’m literally KNEE DEEP in my own body comparison trap TOO!  And you know what this self comparison game is doing for me?  It’s making me feel like shit, just like getting compared to ANOTHER body.  Why in the world would I compare my pregnancy body to my non pregnant body?  They are literally two different things.  And to take it a step further, why the need for comparison in the first place?  Is that going to somehow make me feel better about things?  Hmmmmm…that’s an interesting little ditty that needs to go in my mindset “to tackle” task list, apparently.

(And PS, for the record, I think there ARE times when you might compare your current body to another time.  For instance, if you are working on muscle gainz in the gym, or fat loss, or an assessment of the strength or conditioning of your body after a program is over, that sort of thing.  But for real here, the CONTEXT matters.  In those instances, you are looking at DATA of how things are currently working for you.  And NOT beating yourself up over how things are at very different points in your life, right?)

So, in hindsight, maybe I needed to get raged up about getting compared to another pregnant body, because….well, I still have some shit to deal with, you know?

I like to think that the stuff that gets me all sorts of raged up is the stuff that I sometimes need to face head on and deal with internally as well.  I mean, in the end, it’s MY mental game on the line here.  And MY reaction to these things.  I can choose how I feel about these things – and giving them rage and mental energy may or may not be the best course of action.  In the end, how I choose to feel about them and deal with them….is well, MY RESPONSIBILITY.  Mine.  Not the body comparer, not my pregnant body, or my body last year.  MY ENTIRE RESPONSIBILITY.  If I want to get through this little mindset roadblock of comparison, then I need to shut up and deal, right?  And by shut up and deal, I pretty much mean sit with it a bit, in all the yuckiness, and then learn how to process my way through it.

Otherwise known as the unglamorous (but very necessary) part of leveling up your mindset, lol.

So, I guess I have a big lesson here.  I got hot under the collar on an issue that I WAS ALSO DOING TO MYSELF.  Perhaps the lesson here is to pay attention to what jacks up my blood pressure and see if there isn’t a little of that going on in my own head, right?

I think I have a second lesson here as well for myself.  Raging pregnancy hormones aside, it’s that, well, just when you think you have some things solved, stuff changes, and it’s time to learn again.  So I guess, the point of probably ANYTHING I write for this blog, is that…..it’s ALWAYS time to be learnin’.  That will never stop :).

Final thought.  When I find myself doing the comparing of my own body now to my body at another time, I need a flag, or a way to call attention to it and get myself out.  Same is true for when I find myself INSIDE a conversation with other individuals about body comparison as well.  I will work on this and report back 🙂

Questions for YOU:  Do you find yourself in the comparison trap like I have?  What sorts of things are you noticing, and what sorts of things are you doing to get out of it?  I’d love your thoughts on this! 

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