Archive for August, 2011

The (Temporary) End of an Era

Monday, August 15th, 2011

I’m now in my third trimester. In fact, my due date is exactly 3 months from last Saturday!

That’s the good news. The bad news is that I’m worried. Not about the pregnancy, or the baby, or even that we won’t be ready in time. I’m worried that for the next three months, I’m going to be lonely. I know: So pathetic, right? Sorry.

As it turns out, Saturday was my last day of Kung Fu for a while – likely 6 months at minimum. My husband and Kung Fu instructor are both concerned about me continuing, so even though I feel okay to go for at least another week or two, I’m just going to call it quits rather than worry them both. I’m okay with not taking classes anymore – I knew it was coming and I was prepared for that. Plus, it’s only temporary: If I miss it, I’ll go back when I’m ready. (I suspect I’ll miss it!)

But here’s what I wasn’t prepared for: The overwhelming panic that I’m not going to see my friends anymore. 

Kung Fu for me has always been more about the social aspect than the physical. It’s particularly important to me because I have my own business and work out of the house – meaning no coworkers. My cats are great and they do their part to keep me company, but there’s not a lot of give-and-take there. So Kung Fu began as a way for me to be around people and get the social interaction that I was lacking.

Over the last 6 years though, it’s become much more than that: Many of the people there aren’t just training buddies, they’re my friends. In fact, they’re among the best friends I have in Pittsburgh.

Of course, we get together outside of Kung Fu, but, most frequently, those activities are tied to class: Dinner after class in the evening, coffee after class in the afternoon. I can certainly still join them for dinner and coffee even though I’m not in class – in fact, 2 of my friends stopped taking classes in December and they still get join us for food + drink pretty frequently. I usually coordinate these get togethers, too (they’ve dubbed me the “Social Chair”), so it shouldn’t be too difficult to maintain, but I still worry about it. Without them, I won’t see anyone much at all (except my husband who is wonderful and with whom I love spending time – but that’s a lot of pressure on him! To be my ONLY social interaction? Ouch.)

I don’t know. I’m probably overreacting. Let’s blame it on the pregnancy hormones. But when I realized I wouldn’t be going back to class for 6+ months, I was really upset. The friends I’ve made through Kung Fu are essential to my sanity. I guess I’ll have to make a concerted effort to maintain those friendships even though we won’t have the convenience of class to keep us together.

Wish me luck!

And if you know me in real life, throw me a bone and invite me to do something with you. I don’t want to live in a cave.

Mission Accomplished!

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

Today is Day 7 in my little 7-Day Challenge, and I’m proud to say that I worked out each and every day this past week! This challenge has caused me to remember what it was like when I was training for the half marathon or doing P90X – when, in both cases, I worked out every day, or nearly every day. Here are my insights:

• Planning is essential. In order to fit in a workout every day – or even just on a day that you intend to work out – it’s necessary to think ahead and fit it in when you can. This week, I’ve had other commitments like client meetings, taxi-ing husbands and friends (just one of each) to the airport and back, dinner with friends, etc, and in many cases, if I hadn’t thought ahead of what my day entailed and squeezed in my workout when I had the chance, I would have missed my only opportunity and ended up missing that day.

• I hate doing laundry. After one of my long-term fitness commitments which meant working out on a daily basis, I purchased enough shorts, tank tops and sports bras to get me through 4-5 days without having to wash clothes. But now that I’m pregnant, only a few of those things still fit, and I haven’t bought more of that type of clothing that will fit my new shape, so I’ve had to do laundry at least every other day. It sucks. I hate it. I need more pregnancy-friendly workout clothes. Period.

• When I work out, I feel good. I don’t generally feel good DURING the workout, though some days, I do. And I don’t generally feel good (or excited about working out) BEFORE the workout, but after the post-workout shower? I feel great! And then for the rest of the day! And not just physically, but also mentally. I can look back on my day and say that I did something positive and healthy for myself (and my baby!). Right now, after 7 days of working out, I feel much less like an amorphous blob than I did a week ago.

• Some days I feel better than others. With the exception of Saturday, when I counted my Kung Fu class as my workout for the day, I did Suzanne Bowen’s Long and Lean Prenatal Workout. Overall, I progressed quite nicely with this workout: I was able to do more and more of the workout (today I did damn near everything without  having to pause at all), and generally felt better doing the moves – like I had better form and wasn’t going to die from them. However, Thursday was a bad day. A rather lackluster workout. I simply wasn’t in the mood to do it in the first place, and that didn’t go away even though I pushed myself to do it anyway. I don’t know if it was something I ate (or didn’t eat) or the weather, or what, but I just didn’t have as good of a workout as the other days. In fact, I may have skipped a few moves altogether. But then on Friday? Great again! Ebbs and flows, people: Don’t let it get you down.

• Being physically active makes me want to make healthier food choices. After working out, the last thing I want to do is eat a heavy, calorie-laden meal. I’ve had more salads this week than I have in ages, and I ate them because I wanted to, and they tasted great. Focus on one area of health, and the others seem to follow!

I know at least a few other people were doing this challenge with me – how did you girls end up? Did anyone else do it in secret? That’s cool too – I hope anyone who attempted it was successful. Even if you didn’t work out every day, if you worked out more than you usually do, I’d call that a success.

Now time to schedule my massage reward!

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Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

I’m two days into my 7-day challenge and I’ve stuck to my commitment thus far! I like the new workout video I bought (Suzanne Bowen’s Long and Lean Prenatal Workout), though it’s not really yoga. In fact, it’s not yoga at all. I don’t know why I *thought* it was yoga, except that I found it on Amazon after specifically searching for “prenatal yoga dvd” – but probably after clicking on a few links.

Anyway, there are 3 sections to the workout: The first is 20 minutes of standing work which I would have laughed at prior to my pregnancy – it looks so easy! – a lot of slow, controlled movements like leg lifts and squats. But seriously: Now? After how many months of doing very little exercise, gaining nearly 30 pounds, and circulating roughly 4 extra pounds of blood? It’s tough! Not too tough to do, for the most part, but I feel like I’m getting a good workout – I certainly work up a sweat and get my heart rate pumping!

The second section is also 20 minutes, and is mat work. It starts out with pushups, which have never been my thing, but I can power through most of what she asks here, since they’re knee pushups and she breaks them into sets of 8. Very manageable. After that there are some leg lifts and some arm strengthening moves all of which make me feel like I’m doing something, but not so much that I ever feel like I’m endangering the baby. There’s no jumping or jarring movements at all.

The third section is 10 minutes, and is just a bunch of stretching and relaxation moves. I didn’t love this section – I always balk at stretching, I always have. I did it yesterday, but skipped it today. Is that bad? Hmm… now I feel bad for skipping it. Maybe I’ll add it back in tomorrow.

There are a few little things about the video itself that bug me. For instance, the instructions are a voice over, which is fine, except that a few times she says right leg but actually uses her left leg and vice versa. It’s a little confusing at times, but overall, I’d give it two thumbs up.

Of course, this is only Day 2, and I’ve committed to doing it seven days in a row. I’m a bit concerned that I’m going to be sick of it by Day 5, because it’s hard for ANY workout video to feel fresh after doing it over and over again. Hopefully, I’ll see improvement in what I can do in short order which will keep me motivated.

I’ve also decided to treat myself to a massage at the end of the week if I stick to my plan as extra incentive. I *love* massages, and boy could I use one!