FitFriday, FatFriday XX. The weird middle place.

Baby.

Some days I’m really, really aware of the pregnancy. The symptoms pile up or I can’t do anything and it gets on top of me.

Other days I still forget I’m pregnant until I look down or get uncomfortably kicked.

I’m so near maternity leave and I don’t really want to any more. I’d rather keep working. But then there are days where all I want is to curl up on the sofa and sulk.

Diet.

Food has gone down again. Keeping calories up isn’t hard when I can handle fatty foods, though. Constantly snacking instead of meals, not that I’m complaining.

Weights.

Doing weights seems to really be invigorating me. As mentioned, I’m having some great days lately. Getting the garden more in order with the surplus energy. Added tricep work back in too.

Generally awesome.

How did your week in fitness go?

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FitFriday, FatFriday XIX. Getting tired of this.

Baby.

I’d been warned I’d get tired of pregnancy and I figured “fair enough, not like I’ll exactly enjoy all the side-effects”. I had seriously underestimated how fast your ability to function goes downhill. I’ve had a fairly easy pregnancy and in the last week or so I’m overtired, puffy, losing my appetite, not got a great sense of balance and am forgetting everything. So yeah, I could do with the next 5 weeks passing super quick. Got another scan in 2 weeks to make sure all is still well, but it seems to all be on track.

Diet.

It’s weird to think only a few weeks ago I was eating everything. Now I can’t fit any food in at all. Avoiding junk is the least of my worries.

Weights.

With all this complaining, I’m actually pleased to say I’m still doing a few weights sessions a week, keeping on top of the garden and doing calisthenics and yoga whenever I can. My balance may be shot, but keeping active keeps me sane. Can’t wait to get back to proper powerlifting again.

How did your week in fitness go?

FitFriday, FatFriday XVII. More tests.

Baby.

Turns out this was the check and the scan was due in November. Hoping it’s something and nothing, but after a few checks the midwife said I would definitely need a scan sooner and bumped it up to Wednesday. A bit nervous, but at the same time she said he was strong and active and responsive, so hopefully all is well and it’s just how I carry him.

Diet.

Still keeping low GI and focusing on getting all the protein and calcium I can. Being a bit less cautious about body fat deposits, probably because the smallness of the bump is starting to worry me. Then again, getting fatter isn’t going to make him grow any faster, so I’m not sure what I’m doing. Hopefully once I am reassured I can make a bit more sense of my eating habits.

Weights.

Still managing to get the odd session in, through gardening, worries, very sore lower abs and managing to catch some sort of a throat virus from our friends last time we saw them. The weight isn’t going up fast, but at least it’s headed back to where it was before it crashed.

To be honest I’m feeling far too tired and anxious to give much more of a report.

How did your week in fitness go?

FitFriday, FatFriday XVI. Smallish bump, happy baby?

Baby.

Hoping so, anyways. Getting to that point where everyone who hears I’m at almost 30 weeks does a double take. I’m not exactly teeny. Seen smaller bumps in my age group just paranoia-browsing a little. But reactions are starting to mess with me. Jon keeps reassuring me that the bump will grow and/or the next scan on Tuesday will show the baby is strong and healthy. Well, he sure kicks like he is, anyway!

pic pic2

Doesn’t help much that the midwife said I was measuring a few weeks small last time, though…

Diet.

I found out that it isn’t only diabetes that shrinks a baby’s hippocampus in the third trimester, but pretty much all junk food habits. So after taking it easy in an effort to “correct” the bump, it looks like I’ll be ramping up the strictness for a bit. Perhaps if I control my blood sugar enough I can reduce or eliminate the risk of my son inheriting some form of bipolar. Which would be awesome. The less rubbish he has to deal with the better.

So it’s root veggies, greens, plenty of protein, getting shot of the last remnants of dairy, healthy fats and the odd bit of home-made bread. Essentially back to clean eating 101 for the next ten weeks or so.

Workout.

Still been busy in the garden and the likes, but Jon thinks I’ve calmed down enough to get back to weights. Which is just as well, because they were starting to drop. Pretty angry at myself about that, but on the other hand I am pregnant, so perhaps it’s expected I won’t be throwing the better part of my body weight around every day.

Hopefully I can either build back up now, slam the weights once I’m recovered from childbirth, or do a bit of both and get back on track ASAP. Not that I’m looking any less muscled, but any drop in physical power concerns me.

pic3

Proofs. Guns (and triceps, deltoids, quads and calves] still there, just no ammo apparently.

Then again, perhaps the muscle is the main reason for the small bump. Compression or something? If that’s the case I’m unsure whether to take it easier or to keep working out. The scan will give me some idea.

How did your week in fitness go?

FitFriday, FatFriday XV. Tired.

So, as some of you may know, we were moving in with a relative and it’s gone sour and now we’ve had to move back in and start making plans for how to work the baby into our current home and how my work will go. So I’ve been a bit too busy for anything as leisurely as blogging, gardening, art, etc. The holiday was nice, but other than that it’s been moving boxes and furniture and cleaning, plus usual work, and basically not stopping from sunup til sundown. Which is bad enough for normal me, but pregnant me has literally no energy for it. And somehow I still can’t stop because there is a mess and I want to clear it up.

Remind me never to rely on people with emotions ever again.

Baby.

The bump is still apparently too small. Jon pointed out that some first time mothers don’t even show until the last month, whereas others grow as big as a melon by the fifth week. Which is true and kind of reassuring. But he also added that I’d better be eating enough for his baby and that he would watch my food from now on.

I’m struggling with the switch from just having a bit of a bump to properly sticking out frontally. Every time I press the bump into something I end up panicking that I have hurt the baby and need to sit down and wait for him to move.

Diet.

Other than the newly added layer of supervision, the diet is pretty much as it was. More good days than bad days though, and I’m getting plenty more random offal in now that the base formation of the fetus is over and done with and slightly imbalanced minerals won’t bother him. It feels good.

Coffee is not so good, but when you have someone with cyclothymia in her third trimester getting up early to spend 5 hours working, 5 hours on housework and another 4 on what’s basically manual labour, plus weights and cuddle time and actually scheduling meals, she’s going to need her artificial energy. Because nature did not come equipped.

Workout.

My workout most days has been sorting our stuff back into the house, walking around for appointments and getting things clean, but I’ve still managed a few proper workouts and enough yoga to almost avoid pulling my abs again.

Anyways, everything is looking pretty neat now and I should be able to sort of relax and get back to usual, with normal work hours and a bit more time for blogs and properly chatting between my other work. And maternity leave from the 1st of December.

How did your week in fitness go?

How To… be rational, not rationalize.

In our home we often say humans are not rational creatures, we are rationalizing creatures. That is to say, we spend more time thinking about why we do what we do, explaining and justifying our actions, as well as those of others, than we do thinking through what we are about to do and planning ahead. There is a lot of research into why this is, but it boils down to:

  • most behaviour is driven by instincts and thus most processes begin before we start thinking
  • we are often stressed, which lets instincts run wild
  • we don’t actually think of our future selves as “us”
  • we want to feel good about things we have already done
  • we want to feel good about the people “in our tribe”

This is why your average person will see chocolate cake, feel hungry, eat it distractedly, feel briefly bad about it, then excuse it and seek validation from others for the excuses, even though it is not in their long-term interests to eat the cake. Quite simply, instincts and now won out over reason and the future. It is also why depressive cycles can be so strong, why we enjoy disassociative drugs, or why people with personality disorders often feel the best about themselves.

But there are ways to improve our ability to be rational, that is, to think about our actions in general, our future, and what we do… before we do it.

1. List your instincts and their intensity.

We all have three base instincts that give rise to other instinctive behaviours. Think of which apply to you, as you might find one or two do not, and think about how easy you find it to resist them.

1: Survive.

  • eat
  • hydrate
  • sleep
  • hide from danger

2: Reproduce.

  • partner
  • have sex
  • create safety
  • locate resources

3: Find worth.

  • relax
  • work at something you enjoy
  • feel pride
  • feel belonging

So, for example, I would say my drive to eat is very strong, whereas I can resist the need to drink or sleep for a while. I would also say my drive for sex is strong, but still far weaker than my drive to partner, and that my drive to partner comes before my drive to avoid danger or feel group belonging. This means I am very centered around what I eat and around Jon, and not easily swayed by groups or fear.

2. Consider the biological reasons for your instincts.

There is a biological reason for every instinct. Those you feel intensely are probably there for two reasons:

  1. They are hardwired in almost every human.
  2. They were reinforced during your childhood.

For instance, a childhood lacking much parental security, group solidarity and physical resources has made me very prone to disordered eating and eager to attach to one person very intensely. Both are at their core instinctive, but they were reinforced later on.

Likewise, your instincts will have a purpose.

3. List your life goals and how instinct may interfere with them.

But not all instinct is good nowadays. We have an instinctive urge to get fat, because at times of scarcity, we never got too fat, just about fat enough to keep us through a famine. But today there are no famines and the instinct doesn’t work. Likewise for every instinct. Fear becomes paranoia, sexual need becomes single motherhood or multiple child benefit claims, desire for pride becomes arrogance, desire to belong becomes dependence. They can all become dysfunctional when let run wild.

4. Whenever you feel an urge, ask if it is instinct.

Now you know what they are, when you feel a pull towards something, ask yourself what instinct it could be based on. The urge to buy the latest smartphone may be a need to belong, or a need for a partner, or a need for sex. The urge to eat the chocolate cake may be a need for food, or for drink, or for safety. The urge to slap someone may be a need for belonging, or a sense of fear, or a spike of pride. Every self-destructive knee-jerk is your instincts screaming in confusion at the modern world.

5. Whenever you identify an instinctive drive, think long term.

You won’t catch every instinct, but you need to think long term as soon as you spot one. Think about your bank, or future purchases, or the group you belong to before buying the smartphone. Think about your weight, your health, or bad habit cycles before eating the cake. Think about social and legal repercussions, loss of friendship or the risk of physical harm before slapping someone. Ask yourself where your actions will take you, and whether you really want to be there.

In summary:

1: Know yourself.

2: Know your body.

3: Know your priorities.

4: Identify your problems.

5: Plan ahead.

Because it may be easier to rationalize, but it does nothing to help you better yourself.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

FitFriday, FatFriday XII.

Baby.

Well, I had a continual headache from Monday morning through Wednesday. That wasn’t fun. Jon said it sounded like a migraine from how much pain and confusion it was causing, only it didn’t react to light or sound. So just an awful headache. Went to the drs, just in case. Apparently some women “just get them” and after a check up they said no risk of pre-eclampsia, but let’s check the iron levels. Will find out if I was anemic by Monday. Though I have a faint suspicion that some lemon squash I was guzzling might have had something to do with it. No squash = no headaches. If it was the culprit, I’m not sure if I managed to overhydrate again or if it has a compound that triggers headaches in me.

But I’m finally getting used to baby’s “routine”, which is good. He will wake up with me and kick me in the intestines until I have my morning coffee, a bit after which he calms down. Unsure if this means he may have the same hormone issue I have, or if he’s just reacting to my own hormone regulation. OTOH, he is very little and probably not developing anything disordered yet, OTOH, caffeine passes through the placenta far better than hormones, so it’s probably that he reacts to. Then he will have two busy days for every quiet day, so on quiet days I will hardly feel him and on busy days he won’t stop kicking me senseless. And every day, when I lay down to go to bed, he kicks about a bit, rolls over several times and seems to settle into a pattern of resting and rolling as I fall asleep. I guess he appreciates the stillness after a busy day!

Diet.

Doing pretty good. I was so sure I was getting fat, and then I find out my weight is STILL stable. I’d better not be losing muscle anywhere. More pics when Jon has the time to get a nice full-body one of me not looking too slouchy or unclothed.

Managing to keep within my calorie ranges and the baby is growing fine, so, considering everything, I’m just going to stick at it. Lowering my sugar intake in favour of more complex carbs, though, because fresh and dried fruit and plain sugar have crept up and I’d like to not go on a sweets binge. Less sugar, more starch and protein.

Exercise.

I have been very, very bad with weights this week. General activity: great. Some gardening, resistance bands, yoga, walking the dog, nice long walk to the drs for that blood test… Weights have sort of been missed a lot. But there’s always something. Either I’m overtired, or I have lessons, or we have an errand, or something. I hope next week I can get back to it, because I know that if I don’t keep my weight workouts steady, I may suddenly lose some power and will have to roll the weights back for another six months. 😦

How did your week in fitness go?