Anxiously Awaiting Anxiety::

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Allow me to set the stage:

I’m 28 weeks pregnant, just creeping into my 3rd trimester.  I’m at my regularly scheduled checkup with my OB.  Adam is waiting in the room with me when, all of a sudden, I feel very uncomfortable.  My belly has started to get a lot bigger than it’s been and the little lady growing inside me has recently invaded my lung space making it harder than normal to breathe.  I mention to Adam that I’m feeling anxious as my feet dangle from the exam table.  I lie back. That makes me feel worse.  I sit back up. Still no relief.  Suddenly, I feel like I’m going to throw up, my body breaks out into a cold sweat and Adam asks if I should try to make my way to the bathroom.  I say yes and, with his help, begin to cross the hall.

Cut to black.

Now I’m on my hands and knees, in the middle of the office hallway.  I see feet scurry by, stop, reverse and ask Adam if I’m ok. I don’t remember his response, but realize that there is now a nurse kneeling on either side of me.  One opens up a small white vial and tells me to take a quick sniff.  Instantly I come to as the smelling salts snap me out of my panic.  As I look to my left, there’s my doctor.

“Hi,” I sheepishly say.  “Well, I didn’t expect to see you on the floor,” is his reply.

Neither did I doc, neither did I.

This little scene was the first of several panic attacks that I experienced during the 3rd trimester of my pregnancy.  Having never suffered with anxiety before, this was a scary and inexplicable event.  My mind went from zero to sixty in a matter of moments and my body took the brunt of the mental storm.

If you’ve ever dealt with anxiety, I’m sure you know exactly what kind of acceleration I’m talking about.  And, if you haven’t, then I hope you never do.  As someone who loves yoga and warm baths and practically melts into a massage table, I can’t tell you just how frustrating a panic attack can be.  For me, they come out of nowhere, with no rhyme or reason, and there is very little, practically speaking, you can do to make the anxious feelings subside. Talk about a terrible place for a control freak to find herself.

Feeling helpless and confused is exactly where I ended up each time I encountered an episode of panic over the last several weeks of my pregnancy. And, to make matters worse, I was in a near constant state of anticipating the next anxiety attack.  It was truly a viscous cycle that could be ignited at the drop of a hat.

So, what was there to do?  I will tell you that I tried nearly every common remedy suggested by family, friends and Google.  I worked on deep, relaxing breathing,  I put drops of lavender behind my ears,  I prayed,  I talked to my counselor, I focused my attention on my external surroundings, yet the internal sirens continued to sound when my mind had gotten worked up enough.  I truly felt like anxiety and panic would plague me for the rest of my life.

Then, it dawned on me: there was no reason that I should feel anything other than grateful in my life.  I couldn’t pinpoint the why and how of my anxiety, but I knew that it started while I was 7 months pregnant.  That’s right. The only thing I could attribute my anxiety to was my pregnancy, and my pregnancy is the single biggest blessing my life has ever had.  And that’s when it all clicked.  How could I be anxious when I had so much for which to be grateful? Not only was I carrying a child, the most perfect reflection of God’s love for me as well as the love between Adam and I, but my pregnancy was text book perfection.  My baby was healthy and thriving and I was just the same. It was this realization, the fact that I should be nothing but thankful, that allowed me to choose to pursue gratitude and lift up my worries to God, the only one who could truly handle them anyhow.

Now, this shift in perspective didn’t magically cure me.  In fact, I had a few more episodes where I found myself on the brink of passing out.  However, in those moments, I could actually see the big picture.  I could submit to the fact that my body/mind connection was shorting out and realize that these moments would pass and I would come out on the other side continuing to be healthy and joyful for the blessing bestowed upon me.

So, if you suffer with anxiety, even on a small scale, I encourage you to evaluate the positive in your life.  Take some time to recognize the things for which you should be grateful and focus on those in your moments of worry.  Considering that this is Holy Week, I’d suggest exercising such a posture of gratitude without an anxious trigger.  After all, who has time to sit around and wait for panic to strike?  I know I don’t!

 

Nourish and Be Nourished::

 

Baby Sanctuary::

As many of you know, Adam and I welcomed our daughter, Piper Mae, into the world on March 29th, 2014 at 12:07pm.  One of these days I’ll have to share the details of her birth, but the quick stats are: 8lbs 9oz, 21.75″ long, perfectly healthy, and devastatingly precious.

In the two weeks since her arrival, we have learned tons about each other and, more importantly, I’ve learned more about God’s love and grace and power and divinity than I have in my previous 28 years of life.  Motherhood is a whirlwind that I don’t expect to ever calm and I’m so grateful to be on this journey fully supported by a God that does not fail.  More on that later, too. :)

Now, as you might expect, our home has accumulated lots of “stuff” in the last couple of weeks.  From diapers to swaddling blankets to bassinets to car seats, we definitely have more baby paraphernalia than I thought we would.  Some of it may be superfluous, but on the whole, we’re using it.  And something that I am so grateful that I planned for before Piper’s arrival was having a home for all of it within our home.  I initially thought that a nursery dedicated only to baby things would be overkill.  After all, Piper spends most of her time with/on me, so why would she need a whole room to herself?

Let me tell you.  Her possessions need a place of their own more than she does.  Each day, I round up the baby items that have wandered into the living room, bathroom, bedroom, and kitchen, and bring them back to their place of belonging in the nursery.  It’s one of the best parts of the day.  It’s where my house gets to be itself again.  It’s where I feel proud of what I’ve accomplished for the day.  And, perhaps my favorite part of all, it allows me to appreciate the love and work and thought that went into planning and preparing Piper’s nursery before her arrival.

Below are some photos of the finished product.  I love this room more than any other room in our house.  It represents a time in our lives that we’ll never experience again.  A time when Adam and I poured a little bit of ourselves into a baby who we’d yet to meet.  A time when we had SO many unanswered questions, but a promise of unfathomable love to come.  A time when we wanted to create a sanctuary for our sweet daughter when she came into the world.  And, truly, I feel like we did just that.

We were smart with our money; finding the perfect dresser on Craigslist for $100, converting an armchair we already owned into a rocker, and making the curtains and crib skirt with Lala (my Mom/Piper’s grandma) instead of purchasing them.  Not only did these details allow us to be fiscally responsible, but it allowed P’s nursery to be truly one-of-a-kind, sprinkled with the joy of her family waiting for her.

It’s my hope that Piper will one day play in this room and feel so much of the love that was poured into it just for her.

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2nd Trimester Survival Guide::

Well, folks, tomorrow is my “official” due date.  I can hardly believe the time has flown by so quickly and although I am SO excited to meet our girl any day now, I’m completely at peace with allowing her to come on her own time.

So, while I wait, I figured it’d be a good time to offer up some tried and true tips for that second, glorious trimester.  If you recall, the first trimester can be rough.  The second, however, is truly magical.  The third, less magical, but we’ll get to that later.

Below, you can get a peek at my favorite must-haves for weeks 14-28.  As you can see, it’s really all about keeping yourself, and budding babe, healthy and thriving.  If I’m being honest, these really aren’t survival tools in the sense that the first trimester musts were.  These are just the items that helped me to have an amazing second trimester and hopefully they’ll do the same for you!

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1. Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Whipped Body Butter: Your skin definitely starts to feel the stretch of pregnancy in the 2nd trimester, so having a rich, yet lightweight moisturizer you can turn to is key! This particular body butter is so luxurious and smells delicious. It’ll leave your skin silky, smoothy, and stretch mark-free!

2. Kiehl’s Creme de Corps Soy Milk & Honey Body Polish: This stuff is a great compliment to the above body butter.  Filled with tiny exfoliants, this body polish will prime your skin to soak up all of the moisturizing benefits of whatever product you choose to slather on!

3. Tracy Anderson’s The Pregnancy Project DVD Set: Ladies, this DVD series is a MUST during your pregnancy! Tracy was pregnant while she filmed the workouts and has created separate DVD’s for each month of your pregnancy! The low-impact moves are great for sensitive joints, but man do they pack a punch! I was leading bootcamp 3 times/week and take barre classes 2-3 times/week during my 2nd trimester, and these workouts were still killer!

4. doTerra On Guard Essential Oil Beadlets: If, like me, you are/were/will be pregnant during flu season, it is SO important to keep your immune system functioning at top notch! These beadlets are perfect and convenient for the on-the-go Mama and helped keep me healthy all flu season without ever having to consider getting a flu shot.

5. Vitamin D3: Your prenatal vitamin will already contain Vitamin D, but depending on what brand you use, it may be Vitamin D2, which is synthetic and doesn’t contain the same flu/cold fitting properties of Viatmin D3.  The D3 variety is the same vitamin your body produces when you’re exposed to the sun and has long been attributed to immune defense during those sickly Winter months.

6. Fresh Produce! This one is a bit of a catch all, but so necessary. I had some really weird food aversions during my first trimester that literally disappeared once I cleared the 14 week mark. I finally craved vegetables again and ate a giant salad for dinner 5-6 nights/week.  It was an amazing time for my taste buds and the health of my budding babe.

7. Extra Thick Yoga Mat: This one may seem unnecessary, especially if you’re a seasoned yogi, but hear me out.  When you’re pregnant, you gain weight.  That’s a given.  However, what I failed to realize prior to my pregnancy, is that the weight gain is a totally foreign experience.  The majority of those extra pounds hang out around your midsection, meaning that the disturbance to your body isn’t evenly distributed.  I found that having some extra cushioning under my hips and knees was incredibly helpful as I worked out once I started to get bigger.

8. Liz Lange Maternity Tank: This tank, from Target, has seriously been a LIFE-SAVER! I have it in 4 different colors and may not go back to wearing normal tanks after the baby body is gone.  It’s super long, soft, stretchy, and flattering, making it a pregnancy quadfecta   (as in one more element of perfection than a trifecta).  Early in my pregnancy, when it was still super long, I used these tanks to layer under my  non-maternity tops giving them some more longevity. Now that I’m at the very tail end, however, I have them on permanent rotation as the foundation to my everyday wardrobe.

Hopefully you find some  use for these products that helped make my second trimester so great! I encourage you to stay active, eat fresh, and focus on your health during this time.  It will make for a happy mama and babe!

Maternity Mama::

Y’all, I’m now 33 weeks pregnant.  As in, our baby girl is due in 7 weeks.  Like, less than 2 months from now. Eee! (that’s been my go-to phrase for the last several weeks when I think about how soon our babe will be here).  Amidst all of the excitement and preparation and showers and planning, I had the opportunity to have some maternity photos taken by our wonderful, talented friend Brandon Chesbro.  If you recall, he took our engagement photos and documented our wedding in the most beautiful way, so it was a no-brainer to ask him to capture this new, monumental chapter in our lives.

Now, I’m going to be honest with you: I’m not the biggggggest fan of maternity photos.  I think they can be really cheesy and almost voyeuristic.  There is a level of intimacy that is present between mama and babe, and most certainly between mama and babe and daddy, that I feel should be left to personal experience.  So, if you’re like me in that regard, feel free to click away without feeling bad.  However, I definitely think that pregnancy is a remarkable miracle and blessing and one that I want to document for our daughter.  She is already such a big part of our lives and these photos show that in a special way.

So, without further ado, I present to you the (most recent) Weavers: Adam Spencer, Jordan Michele, and Piper Mae.

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BLOVE: Spring Baby, Spring Mama::

Today marks the first in a series I’m calling “BLOVE”.  It’s a combination of the two words “blog” and “love”.  Blove.  Get it? Of course you do.  Annnnyhow, I’m going to share with you some blogs that I LOVE in hopes that you will find yourself loving them too.

This first one is just really special to me right now.  Remember how I’m pregnant?  And remember how I told you I wasn’t going to turn Nourish into a pregnancy/parenting blog?  Well, I still hold true to my promise and this first BLOVE entry is really the only thing allowing me to keep said promise.  You see, I really super badly want to share every single detail of my pregnancy with anyone who will listen.  There are SO many changes happening and so much excitement pulsing through my veins that I were I member of Congress, I’d be really temped to hold a pregnancy filibuster.  But, I’m not, and I’m pretty sure that would be an incredible waste of the government’s precious time that they use so well….

So, long story short, I give you: Spring Baby, Spring MamaI truly, truly LOVE this blog for too many reasons to name. But mostly because I feel like Tiffany, “Mama TJ” as her readers know her, and I share SO much in common in the ways we view, and are reacting to, our pregnancies. So, if you’re just dying to know how I’m dealing with my impending mamahood, or would faithfully tune into CSPAN for my filibuster, go ahead and subscribe to Spring Baby, Spring MamaIt’s probably healthier for both of us. :)

And, as a little treat, here are some words from Mama TJ (isn’t she adorbale!?) herself to help acclimate you to her blog that I just so happen to BLOVE!

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“Hi Nourish readers! My name is Tiffany, I’m 30-years old and I live in Los Angeles. I’m a fellow blogger and friend of Jordan’s. We have known each other since high school and have recently re-connected due to our mutual love of blogging, fitness and our pregnant bellies (we are both having March babies)! Jordan was kind enough to ask me to write a little about myself and my blog for Nourish and I’m so honored! So here goes.

About Mama

I moved to Los Angeles for college and never left. I met my husband in college and we’ve been together ever since. After ten years of being together, seven of which we have been married, we finally decided to procreate. So, I’m pregnant! First pregnancy, first baby and I couldn’t be happier. My blog discusses a wide range of topics that have been of interest to me since becoming pregnant and quite frankly were of interest to me long before I became pregnant.  I talk about the highs and lows of pregnancy, eating and fitness during pregnancy, maternity fashion, body image during pregnancy and a segment that I like to call “What Moms don’t want to tell you.”

About the blog

When I found out I was pregnant back in July, I decided that I wanted to start a blog that I affectionately named Spring Baby, Spring Mama. I thought the title was appropriate not only because my son is due in the Spring (hence the Spring will be when I become a mama for the first time) but also because I myself am a Spring Baby. :)

Despite the enormous pressure we were under from friends and family to have babies right away, my husband and I decided to wait 7 years to have children. It was honestly one of the most rewarding decisions of my life and I feel like the love and foundation that we have built for our family is completely priceless. Our love for each other, along with our faith in God has made us two very happy soon-to-be parents!

There are tons of new things happening to my body and I am learning so much about things I never knew before. I find writing to be extremely cathartic, so I thought blogging would be the perfect way for me to document my journey, vent, laugh, cry and relate to other women going through (or those who have been through) the same journey as me. My intention was never to make this blog much different from anything else floating around the blogosphere. There are tons of amazing blogs out there about pregnancy and motherhood that have really helpful and useful information. I simply wanted to begin writing about my journey so that I could document the things I wanted to remember, share in the experience with other women, and have something for my son to look back on and see what his crazy mama was like while she was pregnant with him. :)

One of the things that I have come to find out since I got pregnant is that there are SO many things that my mom friends just didn’t tell me about pregnancy that I wish they had. So my blog is not just for current moms but for future moms too. If you are anything like me, you like to be forewarned about crazy ways your body will change during and after pregnancy. And let me tell you, I really was NOT forewarned. Oh, I was told plenty about the joys of motherhood and how I “needed” to have a baby before I got too old (I turned 30 this year), but they all neglected to mention the GIGANTIC boobs, the relentless nausea (with or without vomiting), the headaches, heartburn, bloating, eating and body image issues among so many other things that have come with pregnancy. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining; I’m loving being pregnant so far! But I’ve decided that there are lots of things worth mentioning to future moms out there in case they want to know.

Lastly, my blog deals with very real body image pregnancy issues (what I like to call the Pregnant Body Blues). I have struggled with body image for most of my adult life. As I am now 30-years old, I would like to report that the struggle is gone and I have arrived. But that’s not the case. Although I have grown a lot in this area, pregnancy has triggered a lot of new body image issues that I always knew would be an issue for me when the time came to make a baby. Years ago, when I decided to tackle this issue in my life, starting a blog with a friend that became quite popular over a short period of time was the most therapeutic way to deal with my issues. I saw that other women could relate to me and it motivated me to be better. I find that pregnancy body image and eating disorders are not something I see a lot of in the blogosphere. Although there are lots of good articles that cover the topic, I have yet to find a blog that I really connect with to help me through this particular area of my pregnancy. So, I started my own. And my hope is that my candor on this particular subject will help other women have the courage to be open about this area of their pregnant lives as well.

Jordan and I happen to be pregnant during what I think is the biggest baby boom in many years. It feels like every time I turn around there is a new friend or acquaintance announcing that she’s pregnant. So whether you have been pregnant before, are currently pregnant, want to be pregnant one day or you are just a woman curious about pregnancy, I hope you can find something fun and thought-provoking about my blog!

Some come check out Spring Baby, Spring Mama.

xoxo

Mama TJ”

 

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My “Face the World” Essentials::

So, I posted the below photo on Instagram last week as I was getting ready for work and had a few people ask me to share a little more about the products I describe as my essentials.  Below is a breakdown of what they are and how I use them.  I’d love to say that I wake up every day ready to face the world, but that’s just not true.  I love me some makeup!  In addition to the items featured in this post, I have a few other go-to’s that I blogged about in days of yore highlighting the products I use when I feel like I am prepared to  go out and about with a more natural look.  So, whether you love spending time in front of the makeup mirror or want to get  your face on in as little time as possible.  I’ve got ya covered!

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The Tools::

1) Mac Eyeshadow: Naked Lunch-A wonderfully neutral shade with a slight shimmer to it.

2) Mac Eyeshadow: Shroom-My all-time favorite highlighting eyeshadow.

3) Mac Eyeshadow: Malt-Perfection for shading.

4) Eco Tools: Eye Shadow Brush-Love this brush for general eyeshadow application. All of Eco Tools’ products are “are 100% cruelty-free, have incredibly soft bristles made of synthetic taklon and have handles made of bamboo and recycled aluminum ferrules.” Now, that’s a product I can get behind!

5) Eco Tools: Eye Liner Brush-This brush is perfectly angled for easy liner application.

6) Eco Tools: Shading Brush-I probably use this brush more than any other as it’s moderate size makes it incredibly versatile.

7) Mac Eyeshadow: Yogurt-Pale matte pink that gives you a youthful brightness

8) Mac Eyeshadow: Carbon-Perfect for a dramatic smoky eye or as an eyeliner.

9) Smashbox BB Cream: Light-This stuff is the ultimate face base.  It’s moisturizer, SPF, foundation, and concealer in one without being too thick!

10) Boots No 7 Stay Perfect Primer-This stuff goes on smooth as silk and will give your makeup staying power throughout the day.

11) Mac Mineralize Powder: Light Plus-Sheer coverage and perfect for absorbing extra oil in your T zone.

12) Burt’s Bees Nourishing Lip Balm: Mango Butter-Seriously, it’s like butter.  Goes on so smoother and gives your lips’ natural color a little bit of shine.

13) Physician’s Formula Mineral Bronzer SPF 30-Couldn’t live without this. Sun kissed glow with sun protection? Yes, please!

14) Mac Blush: Peachykeen-This color looks great on almost any skin tone!

15) Mac Eyeshadow: Retrospeck-This color is perfect for giving your eyes a bit of sparkle. The color itself is completely neutral, but the flecks of glitter are enough to catch some attention!

16) Mac Eyeshadow: All That Glitters-This golden hue can brighten up even the most drab of skin to give you a nice warm glow.

I realize now that I should’ve arranged these items in some sort of sequential according to when they go on my face, but alas, I didn’t.  So, please, bear with me as I briefly buzz through my morning makeup routine.

 

The Technique::

  • I start with moisturization all over.  Meaning, I load up on lip balm then mix a tiny dollop of primer and BB cream in my finger tips and cover my entire face.
  • Next, I lightly dust my under eye area, nose, and center of my forehead with Mac mineral powder. I don’t ever like to look cakey, so a light touch is essential here.
  • To add some life to a tired face, I dust a generous amount of bronzer just under my cheek bones, on the sides of my forehead, down around the outside of my eyes and lightly dust my nose and chin.  You really just want to cover the areas where the sun naturally colors your face.  From there, I use blush on the apples of my checks and blend up my cheekbones.  I’m a firm believer in never having too much blush.  I mean, you don’t want to look like a clown, but a little color on those cheeks goes a long way!
  • Next come the eyes.  I don’t use all of these shadows every day, but I always use Shroom to line my brow bone with my shading brush.  From there, I’ll either go with Yogurt (for a matte look) or Naked Lunch (for a shimmer look) on my lid using the eyeshadow brush.  Next, I’ll shade the crease of my eyelids with either Malt (matter) or All That Glitters (shimmery), carefully shading just under my brow bone using that same shading brush.
  • To finish off the eyes, you’ve gotta add a little drama with eyeliner and mascara (not pictured).  I dip my EcoTools eyeliner brush in a little water then swipe it through my Carbon eyeshadow for a precise, long lasting line.

And, that’s it! Truly, it takes me no more than 10 minutes to put my face on from start to finish.  If you have all of your tools handy, it’s a quick process!  What are your go-to products?

 

 

 

Nourish and Be Nourished::

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Moment-ary Goals::

From time to time, I have the mental clarity to take a look at a situation, event, moment, and realize just how special it is.  I would love to say that this happens on a regular basis, but that’d be an unrealistic statement.  I get wrapped up in the obstacles of everyday life and often forget to stop and smell the roses.

Well, last night, I had the pleasure of actually noticing an inspirational blip on my normally foggy radar.  You see, we’re in Week 5 of Bikini Bod Bootcamp and the entire process has been nothing short of amazing.  Each week, we have approximately 30 women show up to our evening sessions, while a faithful 10ish hold down our Friday mornings.  It’s been incredible! I am humbled by their hard work and truly in awe of the progress I’m seeing.  But, admittedly, I’ve been distracted.  There’s something about being pregnant that has caused me to live every day in anticipation of the future.

For several weeks, I was just counting the days until the second trimester.  Now, that I’m in the midst of that once distant goal, I’m anxiously awaiting our appointment to find out the gender of the little babe (that’s happening on Oct 28th, btw….!).  All the while, I find myself constantly waiting for Thursdays when I officially turn another week pregnant. Here I am today at 18 weeks. Eeee! photo 5

It is a beautiful time in my life, but this baby has all but consumed my extra brain space, as well as some formerly occupied mental real estate.  It’s truly a huge blessing, but one that has made it even more difficult to recognize life’s innumerable, tiny, yet powerful blessings.

But, last night, life’s little blessings prevailed.  In the midst of our workout on a cool night under a big, bright moon, I simply felt grateful for my surroundings.  Not just the environment, but the people by whom I was surrounded.  By their dedication, their hard work, their social calendar sacrifices.  I was able to see each woman grunt through another bear crawl and muscle her way through another push up in a light that has been missing for me during our Fall session.  I was able to forget about the future and be truly present in the now of our workout and feel super proud of and encouraged by the women bustin’ a move in front of me.  It’s a feeling that I won’t soon forget. Just look at em!photo 1 photo 4 photo 3

As we cooled down at the end of our session, we talked a little bit about goals.  Well, I talked about goals.  It’s something I do from time-to-time, encouraging the girls to set their sights on what they want for their future, what they hope to achieve as time goes by, what they can look forward to with hope as their bodies are tired.  I am a firm believer in the power of such goals, but I realized in that moment that my goals must be focused on the here and now.  My goals for the future will always be there, but today must be lived for today and I am so thankful for the reminder that my bootcamp babes unknowingly gave me last night: “this is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

PS-We’ve had ladies hit some major goals this week and I couldn’t be more proud of them.  This is what it’s all about, folks!

 

Nourish and Be Nourished::

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It’s Not Just CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret::

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Alright, folks.  Let’s talk.  I don’t know about you, but lately I’ve been seeing some pretty accusatory, pretty judgmental blog posts/articles floating around the great wide Internet regarding certain fitness practices.  I’ve seen independent bloggers point fingers at entire segments of the exercise industry and I find that kind of behavior disappointing.  I find it disappointing and disheartening and I’d like to share why.

The trend that’s happening right now, in particular, is a gunning at CrossFit.  If you’re unfamiliar, CrossFit , according to CrossFit.com is “a fitness regimen…defined as that which optimizes fitness (constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity).”  Sounds like a pretty solid method of training, doesn’t it?  That’s because it is.  And because it is, it’s gained a ton of momentum and popularity in the last few years.  And because of that, it’s also gained a widespread share of critics.

Now, criticism in itself isn’t necessarily bad.  In fact, criticism can often lead to healthy debate or a much needed evaluation of whatever thing is being criticized.  But, what I’m reading about CrossFit these days is making me sad.  You see, to me, it’s not just about CrossFit.  In fact, I’ll openly admit that CrossFit isn’t the workout for me.  And, guess what? That is so totally ok!  CrossFit isn’t my particular cup of tea, but I don’t want to criticize it.  In fact, I want to celebrate CrossFit and the movement that it has become and the momentum that it had picked up.  There is now a whole segment of society, thanks to CrossFit, that is utterly dedicated to living a healthy, strong life.

And, that’s just the thing: we live in a time, in a society, where we need people like the die-hard CrossFitters.  We need people who are not only dedicated to a healthy life for themselves, but people who are encouraging others to join them.  CrossFit does just that.  They build communities of people who challenge, encourage, and root for one another.  They set goals and push each other toward them.  They push each other and that’s where the criticism comes into play.

Why is that?

Well, the main reason is because pushing yourself or someone else during an intense workout can be dangerous.  I get that.  There can be dire consequences if you push too hard, too far.  But, it’s not just those participating in CrossFit that are in danger.  Did you know that there are approximately 3,500 ER visits each year in America for yoga-related injuries?  Did you know that in 2007 American marathoner Ryan Shay died of sudden cardiac arrest while he was taking part in Olympic trials?  I want nothing more than to encourage people to listen to their bodies and only go as far as is safe.  But, here’s the bottom line: it’s people we’re dealing with.  Humans.  As in, beings that have complex psychological processes that include things like competition and pride and judgement.  And, I guess, this is where I find the CrossFit criticism lacking.  Those pointing fingers have failed to take into account the human element of it all.  It’s people that are at the root of the issue, not CrossFit.

I get that CrossFit is intense, but any exercise regimen can be intense given the human element. Take, for example, the spin class in which I almost fell off my bike in a haze of dizziness because I wanted to push myself as hard as the instructor.  Or, what about the time I almost passed out during middle school basketball tryouts because I wanted to be the first one to finish the suicide drill?  (Yeah, it’s called a suicide.  Where’s the backlash there?) And, as much as I’m sure you’d like me to recount all of my idiotic behavior, we just don’t have the time.

But, the point I’m trying to make, in a pretty convoluted way, is that there is such thing as personal responsibility that must be taken when it comes to physical fitness.  You can’t blame your coach if you thought you could do one more push up and you fall on your face and bust a lip.  You can’t blame the person on the treadmill next you if you get spit off the back of the belt because you wanted to beat their pace.  And, you can’t blame CrossFit because your kidneys failed.   I’m sorry, but no matter how much external pressure you were put under to complete that last rep, it was a personal decision to do so.  You’re the one to blame for not listening to your body.  Physiologically, we are very complex beings with an impeccable internal warning system and you just can’t go blaming other people for your choice to ignore the bright red flashing internal lights.

As a whole, we have to be better at letting go of our pride and making smarter decisions about our bodies.  This includes letting go of competition at the gym as much as it includes letting go of the spoon that’s made its way into the gallon of ice cream 5 times this week.   We have to start taking responsibility for the choices that affect our bodies at stop pointing fingers at those around us for our issues. Remember that definition of CrossFit I shared above? Please note that it uses the word relative, as in relative to what each individual considers high intensity. We have got to become attuned to our relativity in this big fitness picture.

Now, please don’t think that I’m saying I have this whole self-actualization thing conquered.  In fact, I’ve never been more challenged to listen to my own body as I am now that I’m pregnant.  There are some nights at bootcamp where I want nothing more than to crush a full round of thruster push ups with all eyes on me.  But, I just can’t do that.  I can’t put myself, or this little babe I’m growing, at risk.  So, I’m learning to let go of the competition, of the pride, of the desire to push those internal warning signs aside.

In closing, my request would be that we simply take responsibility for ourselves and stop reprimanding those around us.  We must recognize that there’s no way of knowing each other’s limits, but we can certainly become acquainted with our own.  It’s time to rally around one another and celebrate our differences, the fact that we’re all unique humans that fall on completely independent places on the fitness scale.

So, who’s with me!?

 

PS-The photo at the beginning of this post is of some of my precious Bikini Bod Bootcamp babes.  They’re seriously the best and, guess what, they represent just about every fitness level out there.  So, yes, I love them so much it makes me want to cry.

Nourish and Be Nourished::

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Sweet & Sour Snack Time::

Now that we’re in the midst of another round of Bikini Bod Bootcamp and I have finally made it to my second trimester, I’m back to being interested in healthy food options.  I actually never thought I’d see the day where bread wasn’t appealing, but after weeks of subsisting on bread (and it’s closely related relatives) alone, I am ready to welcome fruits and veggies back into my life!

The great thing about the second trimester is that not only are my food aversions practically gone, but I’m actually starting to crave food again. And not necessarily in the pregnant sort of way, just in the way that things that are supposed to fuel the human body finally sound appetizing again.  So, all of that to say, that I’d love to share a healthy snack time option I whipped up this weekend!

My body was clearly craving Vitamin C and this snack was just what the doctor ordered!  Fortunately, I had all of the ingredients on hand and was able to create this sweet & sour, and completely healthy, snack in a matter of minutes.  It was refreshing and filling and completely delicious!

s&s

 

What You’ll Need::

  • 1/2 Granny Smith Apple
  • 1 Navel Orange
  • Sprinkle of dried, unsweetened Coconut
  • Drizzle of raw, local Honey

What To Do::

  1. Chop up your apple and orange into bite sized chunks
  2. Top with a sprinkle of coconut and a drizzle of honey.
  3.  Mix well so that all of the juices meld together & enjoy!

As I’m sure you can see, it didn’t take any fancy planning or arduous preparation on my part to feast on something that was both healthy and yum.  So, more than anything, I hope this recipe serves as encouragement to think outside of the pantry when it comes to nutritious snacking. What will you have today??

 

Nourish and Be Nourished::

 

 

Bikini Bod Bootcamp-Fall Recruits::

It’s no secret that I have a sappy side.  Easily brought to the brink of tears by blind puppies, the Olympics, the evidence of Jesus in someone’s life, or a good love story, there are parts of me that turn to mush at the drop of  a hat.  Once such part is whatever  it is in my brain leads me to be so incredibly inspired by the women who are part of Bikini Bod Bootcamp.

Seriously.

We had our first group workout for the Fall session of BBB last night and 26 women showed up! TWENTY-SIX! I’m telling you, it was so exciting and so much fun and so much of me had to hold it together when I saw them all going to town on some V-Ups.  We were joined by some bootcamp veterans/all-stars (they’re synonymous, really) as well as a great group of newbies.  It made the workout so dynamic and it was truly awesome to see everyone going at their own pace, while simultaneously challenging themselves.  Ahh, can’t you understand how I’d be moved!?

bbb_week1_fall

Thank you for allowing me to gush.  I suspect that as these twelve weeks go on I will continue to be inspired even more as I get to know more of these ladies and their incredible capabilities.  Let’s face it, I’m pregnant.  It can only get sappier from here.  So, if you’d like to be part of the emotional roller coaster, it’s not too late to join us!  You can read more about Bikini Bod Bootcamp here and get some tips on how to prepare here.  And, if you’re still feeling up for it, leave me a comment and let me know you’re joining the team! I’ll get you all set up with everything you need to know.

 

Nourish and Be Nourished::

 

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