Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Weight of Attitude

I must start this blog post with a disclaimer. I have an 11 week old son. I had an (emergency) c-section, which was difficult (for this active third floor walk up dweller) to recover from. Henry is still not "sleeping through the night", so mommy is tired and not sleeping through the night.  I am a goal oriented person; once I set a plan in motion, I assume things are going to exactly according to plan (Not the best mindset, more often than not). Okay, with that said, let's talk about attitude.

I can't resist this little lion man!

I have had a bad attitude recently. Last week I basically had a breakdown. Was it the hormones? Maybe. Was it my unrealistic expectations? Possibly. But it happened. I did my usual once a week weigh in, after having lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks, with high expectations. I had eaten well, exercised, and felt good. What was translated to me by a numbers board was not what I was expecting: 1 pound gained. Now I know what you all are thinking: It's just a scale, it doesn't determine your happiness. Please, think back to a time when you were expecting a good time only to see it was significantly slower pace than your expectation, or even your own weight struggle. We've all been there: feeling disappointed in the lack of progress. I was there Friday. I was mad at the scale, mad at my body, mad that I'm still carrying around 18 extra pounds. Can I say that? Well, I will. 
Before we go on, know this: I wouldn't trade my son for the world. I know this extra weight is temporary. I KNOW lots of things. But I had one of "those" days where things started off rocky and went downhill from there; nothing major, just little annoyances magnified by the initial annoyance of the day.

Something Good In Every Day!

This is my reality: I'm no where close to my pre-baby weight nearly three months later. I know it's not an overnight occurrence, but I assumed I would be further along than this by now. I assumed that everyone was right when they told me "The weight will fall off when you're breastfeeding!" I assumed that three weeks of clean(er) eating and healthy amounts of exercise would yield more than a net of 1 pound lost. I assumed it wouldn't be this hard. And you know what? It's been eating away at me, and that attitude is like an added weight. 

I thought of Dr. Seuss's Oh the Places You'll Go Via

My attitude has weighed me down. My husband, God bless him, has been beyond supportive and positive. I, on the other hand, have been focused on how nothing fits, my visible "rolls", and lack of results. It's so easy to be caught in this rut. I tiptoed the line of this rut, but fell in it on Friday. There were tears. There were "never" statements. My attitude was like an anchor and I was stuck. I went for an "angry run". You know the kind, where you just need to burn off steam...only it's hard to burn off steam when you're pushing 50lbs of stroller/baby/puppy. I felt slow, like this process I'm in. I had tons of fun plans for the weekend, but I wasn't excited about them. I was sabotaging myself because things weren't working out the way I thought they should be. Thankfully, I woke up Saturday a bit calmer, a bit happier, and a bit more sane. I spent time with some pretty great people. On Sunday I went for a "cleansing run", one where the day was beautiful, things felt good, and the end feeling was satisfaction with my effort.

Mr. Miller played tennis with Nike while I ran 3 miles with Henry

NYC Family. Enough said.

So, how will I be different? I was watching The Today Show and saw a series about giving things up for 30 days; whether it be technology, sweets, whatever is "weighing you down". I saw a mom featured who gave up negative talk (Read her story here). So, starting today, I will be following in her footsteps. I will give up negative talk about myself as a mom, my appearance, and (trivial) circumstances. I'm going to lighten the weight of my attitude. 

start filtering. your thoughts are the beginning of everything.

If you have made it this far, congratulations! I wrote this post over the weekend, and took time to think about if I really wanted to publish it. I had really encouraging conversations with other moms who gave me a healthy dose of tough love, personal experiences and encouragement. I'm published it because there may be others having a tough day, week, month, or year in their weight loss journey (Whether postpartum or otherwise), and I wanted you to know that other people have those trying times too. I have not said anything negative in the past few days, and I already feel more accomplished, lighter, and relaxed. I'm shedding the weight of my attitude, and honestly, it feels good.

How about you? Have you ever gotten into an attitude rut? How do you escape falling into a negative pattern? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Postpartum Workouts: 10 weeks

How is it the end of August?! Time has been flying by! This was a decent fitness week, getting VERY close  to full throttle fitness, aka 12 weeks! This week was definitely busy, filled with tons of social plans that slightly hampered my workout plans. Here's how it went: 

Weekly Workouts: 10 Weeks Postpartum
  • Sunday: 4 circuits of my postpartum workout! I made it the full 4! Then took a two mile a brewery. At least we burned calories before and after?! 
  • Monday: Two mile run around the neighborhood. Brought Lamby and baby (24 extra pounds!) It went a lot better, I'm getting the hang of this BOB Stroller + Running thing.
  • Tuesday: 1000m swim. This was an AMAZING swim and I felt fantastic. I found that the later I get to the pool the less people are there, allowing me to swim without stopping...but dusk is coming earlier and that's when the pool closes!
  • Wednesday: This was a semi rest day. I had a "sore day"; if you've had a c-section you know what I mean. I was randomly sore in my incision, like little stabs once in a while. I abstained from any serious workouts and visited some pretty great people in Manhattan for lunch (This entailed  about 2 miles of walking)
Can we please talk about the gun show? Seriously Henry, you make fitness look easy. Getting some love from Aunty S and Uncle N and Ashley!
  • Thursday: Another rest day. Didn't want to overdo it. Also walked two miles to my running partner's initial going away party. WAHHHHHHH. 
This is typical us. Note: I'm totally pregnant drinking club soda and lime at a lounge. #momoftheyear
  • Friday: 2 mile run at the park with the babe and the pup. It was not a happy run. Dare I say I "ran angry"? Lots of things going on in my head. More on that later.
  • Saturday: Saturday morning family walk. We probably went a mile. We had ANOTHER going away party to go to in New Jersey, so this was technically an "off day". 

I kind of like cloudy days

Summary: Things could have gone better. Or could they have? Even though some parties won over workouts, I wouldn't trade the good times I had with good friends. In retrospect, workouts will always be available, but spending time with friends (Especially those leaving NYC sob heave sob) is priceless.

How was your week? Do you opt to relax socially instead of getting in a workout? Do you make sure to get in a workout no matter what? Any awesome end of summer plans? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Coordinating Workouts as New Parents

It's been three weeks since I was cleared to work out. At first, my workouts were SHORT (15 minutes short). It was important to me to build up my workouts SAFELY. I didn't want to get injured right out of the gate (minus accidentally stubbing my toe...), so creating time wasn't as difficult. However, we knew that we needed to coordinate so neither one of us was left without a workout. It was a hard thing to wrap my mind around: I couldn't just lace up and walk out the door to run, I had to coordinate with my husband to ensure Henry was fed and he was ready to care for him while I exercised. It has made my workouts intentional. No longer am I taking my time to leave, finding things to distract me from getting out the door. When it's time to leave, I'm gone, and make the most out of my time! Here are some ways we have found time to fit in our workouts:

1. Assigned "baby free" workout days. We have separated days in the week as "Mr. & Mrs." days to ensure each of us gets two days to exercise responsibility (stroller) free. Will this always work? Probably not, especially with weather etc, but while Henry is young (And I'm building up jogging stroller stamina), we have our days that we can count on to be fitness focused.

Can't bring the baby to the pool! These are my baby free workouts. When the pool closes I'll most likely increase my (Stroller free) runs!

2. At home workouts. Neither one of us has a gym membership, so at home strength routines have become a staple in our house. Mr. Miller does T25 or NTC, while I am doing my own thing until 12 weeks when I will unleash the beast of lifting weights and annihilating my abs (cue laughter). I do my strength routine during the day while Henry naps on Mr. Miller's scheduled after work workout days.

Old picture 26 weeks pregnant. I'm a bit different, but Lamby is still in my grill during any and all home workouts, ready to play fetch or lick my face!

3. Workout together. We're trying to get the hang of the jogging stroller (Doctor approved it as long as we are mindful of Henry, which we always are). We actually used to workout together often, and it's something I definitely missed towards the end of my pregnancy when my options were walking, walking and walking. Oh, and squats! We had a great time at Summer Streets and look forward to more family runs in the future.

The good old days of Nike events. We always had so much fun! Circa September 2013

The first of many family runs!

4. Support each other. On days when the other doesn't feel like working out, we often encourage each other to make it happen. Being healthy and active is important to both of us. Although some days it's hard to get out there, especially after rough nights of sleep, knowing that I'm supported by Mr. Miller makes all the difference. 

My number one fan. Love this guy. Missing marathons. 

How about you? Do you have a schedule that you follow religiously? Do you check in with your significant other to coordinate? Do you workout despite a bad night's sleep? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Postpartum Workouts: 9 Weeks

Oh what a difference a week makes. I'm finally getting past the "sore after every workout" phase. I'm slowly finding my rhythm with my workouts, building some strength, and enjoying the challenge of trying to a little bit harder. I'm still adhering to my key principles: Respecting my body, Building Strength, and Resting.

Weekly Workouts: 9 Weeks Postpartum

  • Sunday: 2 mile run in Connecticut. I felt GREAT during this run despite it being CRAZY hot at 9am. Coming home to this jammy clad guy was the best!
The watch was merely for distance/time management, though I did average a slightly better pace than my first mile a week earlier!
  • Monday: Strength Routine and a pool workout from Fitness Magazine. I was able to do the exercises and used a small tube float instead of a beach ball (Work what your momma gave's all my mom's pool had!)
  • Tuesday: Drove Henry and I back from CT, Mr. Miller had a baseball game that night, so we relaxed.
  • Wednesday: Nothing. I was going to go for a run since I missed my chance Tuesday, but decided spending time with my guys (especially Mr. Miller, who I hadn't really seen in three days) was more important.
  • Thursday: .65 for my first BOB stroller run! I was going to just run, then ran into a friend, then made new mom was a fun morning. Also: Stroller running is HARRRRRRRD. Building up slowly and safely. I also got a 700m swim in at night, closed down the pool. I love night swimming now! 

  • Friday: 1 mile run with the BOB! I DID IT! It was hard. Henry was comfy cozy the whole time. I also did a new postpartum workout! FYI Dips were hard before the baby, and dips are hard after the baby! Challenge accepted.
He hates his feet under his mommy!

I only did 3 circuits, I learned my lesson by overdoing it on my first postpartum workout! With the squats, I challenged myself by squatting in three levels (High medium low within one squat) before standing up again. OUCHIES. Pin it here
  • Saturday: We went to Summer Streets! The Millers took Manhattan. We walk/ran 4 miles round trip (More like ran 1-1.5 miles and walked the rest!) It was so fun, we ran into many friends and enjoyed NYC at its finest.
Henry is all "That's just how I stroll..."

TWO HENRYS! The bffs finally met. These guys are three days apart and their mommies text all through the night because they're identical sleepers. 

Summary: It was a great week! I think I balanced spending time with my guys and taking care of me. It's feeling more and more natural to workout while Henry is napping. Note on my postpartum workouts: I am NOT a personal trainer. I have endless tools at my fingertips (Amazing Fitzala workouts, T25, Insanity, NTC App) but I'm following the no lifting rule until 12 weeks and slowly doing things to wake up my abs. These workouts are to ease me into strength training to pick things up in two weeks (EEK!)

How was your week? Did you check out summer streets? Can you believe it's the middle of August?! Any great grilling/summer recipes happening? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The New Mom Highlight Reel

We've all heard about the highlight reel. Basically, Instagram is the best of the best of your good times, potentially projecting zero amounts of discontent or hard times. This article goes into it in a bit more detail. Mr. Miller and I were discussing this in reference to having a new baby, and how it must seem all bliss filled and easy based on social media posts. I really felt like the below pictures was a "highlight reel" post:

The problem with this picture is that I don't think I really look like the right side picture. Not yet at least. Somehow it was the perfect angle and outfit to hide my extra love that Henry left behind. I even tried to  hoist Henry up to not hide my stomach. The comments came in and I felt like a faker. I'm not trying to hide my extra weight, it's a reality that I'm tackling daily. So, here are some highlight reel photos attached with a healthy dose of reality:

Highlight reel: I am running! YIPPEE!
Reality: This is 3 weeks after the previous photo where my belly appeared to be nonexistent. Not an ounce has budged in six weeks. In related news, I stubbed my toe SO badly that night (Runner's high excitement???) that I haven't run since. Ouchies!

Highlight Reel: Henry's first trip to the beach! He slept the whole time!
Reality Reel: I had a really rough week with barely any sleep and  Mr. Miller brought me to my happy place to help me relax.

Highlight Reel: Henry was a champ on his first plane rides, sleeping the whole time!
Reality Reel: Mommy was stressed out days before, and was stressed the whole flight too.

Highlight Reel: Cute baby alert! Bath time is fun!
Reality Reel: a) Henry JUST started liking baths, he used to cry the whole time and b) he had a messed up sleep schedule and was up a TON that night. 

Highlight Reel: Hello adorable two month photo!
Reality Reel: I had taken the the BEST *smiling* two month photos in his cute swim outfit, only to send it to Mr. Miller who said "Where's the sticker?" I couldn't believe I had forgotten it. Also: there is spit up under that sticker.

Highlight Reel: Henry's hilarious steps to putting himself to sleep.
Reality Reel: He had spit up on me several times. I sponge bathed my chest because I was too tired to shower. 

Highlight Reel: First BOB stroller run! Made it 0.65 miles!
Reality Reel: Wow slim waistband shorts make my stomach look AMAZING. NOT. Also, we went to the park because we had such a bad night I needed nature to soothe me.

Reality Reel: I love my son and I love being mom. Instagram makes it look like all butterflies and unicorns with baby snuggles 24/7. I'll take the hard times because when those butterflies, unicorns, and baby snuggles happen, I forget about the tough times. Despite IG being all feel good moments, I think it's way better than Facebook. I find too many posts about controversial topics, complaints and excessive photo sharing to not be as enjoyable as cute babies, puppies, nature and funny happenings that I look forward to on IG (Often at an ungodly AM hour!)

How about you? Do you ever post a bad picture on Instagram? Are you following the trend of being anti Facebook? Who are your favorite Instagrammers? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Postpartum Workouts: 8 Weeks

I decided I will try writing a new series. I'm going to try to log my weekly workouts. I have NEVER, repeat NEVER been good at this (Mostly because during marathon training I'm balancing the beginning of the school year), but I want to keep a record of this. It will serve as a pseudo accountability if you will. I wrote about my postpartum fitness plan here. Since I had a c-section, things are definitely moving a bit slower, and I'm okay with that. Here are the keys to my workouts as a c-section mommy:

1. Respect my body. I have never been a runner who ran through pain. If I felt a twinge that scared me a bit, I would rest. I only freaked out if I missed more than a week of runs or two consecutive long runs. In this process, being in tune with my body is ESSENTIAL. Feeling any sort of pain (which is different than being sore from a fabulous workout) will be respected. Case and point: I was SO stoked about my mile run on Sunday, and that night I stubbed my toe so badly that it's still swollen. So guess what? No more running this week. 

2. Build STRENGTH. Working with Jenni from Fitzala is great. She is so knowledgeable! I will be focusing my efforts on building strength, not just cardio per my usual M.O. Since I'm still on a no ab work regimen, I made up my own little workout. (NOTE: I am NOT a personal trainer in any way shape or form. I've been to a million classes, done research, and know this can work for me! Try it out if you want!)

Adjustments: I did modified push ups and didn't do the plank just yet to ease the use of my abs. A "row" is where you lift one arm up after you do a push up.

3. REST. I will not be doing the same workout two days in a row for a while. I am slowly getting my muscles back into shape, waking them up if you will, but I won't overuse them in the process.

So, here's a look at my week while incorporating those keys!

Weekly Workouts: 8 Weeks Postpartum

  • Sunday: 1 mile run with a 1 mile walk.
  • Monday: REST. Toe injured. BOO HOO! Walked the dog.
  • Tuesday: Swam 600m
I love that my pool as official etiquette posted!!!
  • Wednesday: Strength Workout + 2 mile walk pushing the stroller (Still felt toe)
  • Thursday: Canceled swim. I was going to go swimming, but I was celebrating my friend's new journey with a glass of bubbly, then decided that I would rather sit with my boys than swim for 20 minutes. Listening to a Johnny Cash cover band and eating a picnic dinner with these guys was good for the soul.
I stroll the line...
  • Friday: Walked the dog. My toe was still sore and I was STILL sore from Wednesday's strength workout! Lesson learned: I should have done one circuit instead of two!
  • Saturday: 700m Swim. The day got away from me, between packing to come to CT, traveling, and spending time with family, I didn't get my swim in until 9:15pm. SO glad I did. It felt GREAT!

Summary: Three strong workouts! I am putting zero pressure on myself and I'm determined not to over do it. I am proud to have gotten three quality workouts in with a two month old!

How was your week? Any great new workouts? Did you have a stellar long run? How do you avoid over doing it? TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Henry: Two Months

Reality: time FLIES! I can't believe it's been two months since we were blessed with this little boy. Heck, I can't believe it's AUGUST! Here are a few things that made this month memorable:

  • Henry took FOUR planes!!! He was a champ, barely cried, and was only a bit fussy when it was his crankiest time of the day. (Note: Fly with young babies when they still sleep a lot!)
  • He is still in 0-3 month clothes, but some pajamas are getting rather tight! Love a baby in tight jammies!
  • Henry met tons of family in Wisconsin! He also got his first Packers jersey #gopackgo
  • We had to get some reflux drops for poor little baby, but it has helped him tremendously with napping and sleeping.
  • Speaking of sleeping, he's doing much better at cycling through the day (3 hours with eating, play time, then a nap), and we're working on going longer than 4 hours between feeds at night.
  • Mommy can function on 6 hours sleep, contrary to her previous theory that she could not.
  • He has begun to smile more! It's still not consistent, but he will do it in clusters, which makes me SO happy.
  • We have gotten together with lots of expectant mommies...all expecting girls! Henry will have to be fielding calls from all these adorable ladies!
  • We have gone out to lunch together. One day we had some work being done at the apartment which we couldn't be home for, so we went and ate al fresco! Mommy got a sangria. It had been a tiring day ;-)
  • Henry is the BEST at bath time now! He just sits there (total 5 minutes) and barely flinches while we scrub the chubs. I love it.
  • Mr. Miller has been getting cute quality time in with him while I go swimming at night! He loves spending time with daddy.
  • He weighs 11lbs 10oz, which means he's growing at a very good rate!
We can't believe how he continually grows. Even in a day or two we see subtle differences. It is truly amazing and a privilege to watch! 

Happy Two Months Little Lion Man!

Mom, you forgot my two month sticker!!! Also, I'm a swimming champ! (Insert fist pump)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Postpartum Fitness Plan

The time has come. It has now been 8 long/short/wheredidthetimego weeks since my little boy entered the outside world. That means that it's time for this c-section mommy to get moving again! I have a tentative plan to get myself started on the journey back to my fit self. Total disclosure, I have 20lbs of extra Henry love that seems to be clinging to me for dear life, and I'm getting pretty tired of it. There has been an eviction notice served. Here's my plan to get to where I want to be:


My swim bag was packed and right where I left it last September.

I will do my best to get to the pool 2-3 times a week. Although it's close by, dragging myself away to the pool is quite a task (Usually involving driving, parking, swimming, driving,'s a process.) Combine that with being a human milk dispenser, and, well, three times in a week will be admirable!


 I made it one mile without stopping!

Henry celebrated my first run without him in my belly! His BOB is a lot smoother than riding inside me...

I will do my best to run 2-3 times a week. Running, seemingly, is easier in the sense that you can throw on your sneakers and go out the door to begin. I was smiling ear to ear while I ran my mile and was SO tempted to run more but calmed my overzealous self. But I live in the real world, and running is going to be a challenge. I felt great, but I only ran a mile. I plan on making a slow and steady comeback here, avoiding injury and building endurance in a healthy way.

I won an online personal trainer subscription from Lean Green Bean! I am really excited to work with Jenni. I always shed my winter skin around April/May, combining a protein/veggie diet with exercise. I usually have had anywhere from 5-8lbs to lose. This time? No. This time it's about triple that number, and completely overwhelming to me. Having guidance and accountability is definitely going to help me. First step? No more desserts. Oreos and I are breaking up, because we were hot and heavy for a while there.

On to incentives! I plan on giving myself incentives to celebrate progress! (No they won't be Oreos...hopefully...) Here is a tentative plan:

- 8 week start! I bought myself a new workout tank from Target. Can't wait to wear it over and over and over. 

C9 by Champion® Women's Fit And Flare Tank - Assorted Colors
Aaaaaaand I see it's on sale online, so naturally I need to go buy it there...okay maybe two.

- First 10lbs: Massage! I haven't really had time to get one, so I figure that will be plenty of motivation to get me moving and stick with it.

- Next 5lbs: Go to a yoga class! I plan on doing at home work outs since I have the tools, knowledge, and online personal trainer! Going to an in person yoga class will be a nice retreat to Ohm things out.

- Last 5lbs: Some sort of girls night out/special date night. I'll have to figure out an event or something I normally wouldn't be able to go to and make it happen!

Here is what I really look like. Post run glory! I  posted a picture on Instagram a few weeks ago that made me look a lot slimmer. More on that later. Although many will say "You look great!", I don't feel great. I'm sure you can understand that feeling. I'm excited and motivated to get myself back to where I'm comfortable, healthy, and happy!

How about you? Have you faced a weight loss that intimidated you? Do you give yourself incentives? How is marathon training in this BEAUTIFUL weather?! TELL ME ABOUT IT!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Starting at Square One

It has been a season of firsts! Henry has enjoyed some travels to visit family, including Connecticut and a plane ride to a family reunion to Wisconsin! Here are a few of his first moments:

 #HenryLittleLionMan was unimpressed with the beach ;-) He slept the whole time!

 Henry's first trip to Central Park! We recreated one of our maternity photos.

 Henry's first (of FOUR) plane rides! The pilot was so smitten she invited us into the cockpit...and the copilot offered us his seat because he has an 18 month old named Henry #BestNamEever
 Henry's first Wisconsin trip! We enjoyed our time with Mr. Miller's family by the Mississippi (You know I spelled that out loud as I typed!) River celebrating his grandparent's 65th Anniversary! 

Henry's first swim! The face is all "Why mommy WHHHYYYYYY?!" 

Which leads to mommy's first today. Today marks 8 weeks since this little guy came into the outside world. 

My skinny boy now has a double chin and arm rolls! sob....especially since the Johnson's Baby "You're doing okay mom" commercial just played....

I've been given the okay to swim, so tonight, I will be starting at square one with my fitness. It has been a struggle to recover, be limited, and respect c sections as a major surgery. I'm ready to get back at it with a swim tonight at my favorite summer spot.

Check out my post on lap swimming etiquette 

I have zero expectations. I'm so nervous to get back to working out because I feel so loose and unfit. I love listening to Coldplay's Square One, it's definitely how I'm feeling these days! My body is hanging on to 20lbs of baby love, so taking this first step is really exciting. I will report back with the good, the bad and the ugly! ;-)

How about you? Any advice for starting over? TELL ME ABOUT IT!