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?

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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.

Quick Fish Noodle Dinner.

Jon’s review is “nice sauce (approvingly] lots of noodles (not so approvingly]”. Perhaps a few less noodles and some veggies might be an idea next time!

Still, it took a grand total of around ten minutes, was amazingly rich and if you fancy a hot noodle dish with fish, a thick sauce and plenty of comfort, this is awesome.

Ingredients:

  • 200g fish pie mix
  • 300g salmon
  • 100g squid
  • 200ml double cream
  • 400ml milk
  • 150-250g dry rice noodles
  • powdered vegetable, chicken or fish stock
  • 1tbsp mustard
  • 2tsp worcestershire sauce

Utensils:

  • chopping board and knife
  • pot with lid

Recipe:

  1. Chop the fish into roughly 1.5″ bits. Put in the pot.
  2. Cover with cream and milk. Add stock, mustard and worcestershire sauce.
  3. Simmer until the fish is cooked.
  4. Add the noodles and stir through. Take off the heat once stirred.
  5. Making sure the noodles are submerged, cover the pot and leave a few minutes.
  6. Serve hot.

Fast, satisfying dinner. 😀

What quick meals do you like at your home? And what would you call an appropriate noodle-fish ratio?

 

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 XI. I sometimes have a bump now!

Baby.

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Oh, the posture! But I was tired. Still, this is when it’s most obvious: denim skirt, a bit swollen, after exercise. If I wear my jeans I just look like I’ve had a big lunch. :/ Hard to believe I’m halfway there. Well, almost anyways. Still doing great for the most part, but I can already sense the parts of my body that are unhappy with the new weight: lower back, hips, lower abs. Abs might straighten a little bit once the bump moves to belly-button height, though, because I swear this amount of mass isn’t supposed to be held by that one poor hyperextended muscle.

The quickening is… quickening now. Jon actually got kicked last time he rubbed my belly and can hear the heartbeat. He is somewhere between confused, excited and angry, for some reason. But at least he enjoyed it, even if the belly is now a no-go zone due to the risk of being assaulted by a person the size of his hand. I’m unsure how much I enjoy it. It’s fun when it happens, annoying when it keeps going for 5-10 minutes (I assume unborn babies are big aerobics fans] and I can’t focus on work, and somewhere between worrying and disappointing when s/he’s still for over two hours. I seriously can’t make my mind up what I want. 😛

Diet.

I’m not being bad, but I’m not being great either. Trouble is, the only thing that shuts up my pregnancy hungers is ripe cheese. Leaves me feeling full for a day or two. But it worsens my depression, gives me stomach troubles and is a risky food during pregnancy. So I’m managing to eat healthy and then ruining it with at least a chocolate or a piece of cheese a day. :/

Calories are staying within parameter and my weight gain has steadied since the last sudden spike. I now oscillate between 72 and 75 kilos depending on how greedy I have been.

Exercise.

Weights are depending on the day. The power is there and the muscles are doing great, despite all the extra stress on them. But my stamina is shot, so if I spent a day gardening or have been busy or did resistance band work or yoga work, weights aren’t happening. I run out of poke every ten minutes. 😦 Still, workout is workout and a benefit of progesterone is that a little rest won’t make my guns go anywhere. Mother Nature knows what she’s doing, even if I haven’t a clue!

guns

Guns.

How did your week in fitness go? Any tips on keeping active now that I have the stamina of a sea slug?

5 Diet Tips For Minimizing Morning Sickness.

With week 14 well underway, it’s pretty safe to say: I beat morning sickness. Woo-hoo!

Good thing too, seeing as I have an irrational fear of vomiting that could have put me into shock and possibly meant a hospital trip.

Now, I know a good part of this is luck, maybe genetics, but I did get the odd burst of queasiness. And I managed to not just suppress them, but nip them in the bud. There’s plenty of advice out there on managing morning sickness. This isn’t about that. This is about doing everything in your power not to get it in the first place. And it won’t work for everyone, but it’s just my personal experience in hopes it could help someone else who struggles with emetophobia.

1: Avoid slushy, easily digested food.

The one thing sure to bring on a rumble in my stomach or the smell of reflux was food that dissolves when it hits your stomach. Gooey cakes, yoghurts or even chocolate, any combination of smooth fats and simple sugars is a nightmare. Fast food and other foods with a high GI cause the same mess. Likewise for smoothies, juices and other blended foods. It’s like a food volcano.

Instead, opt for eating whole foods as much as possible. Fresh fruit and vegetables, well cooked lean meats, roughly mashed beans and starches. Minimize simple sugars, fats and salts and focus on fibre, protein and starch for a bedded stomach.

2: Eat plain, dry foods often.

This isn’t just for when you feel it coming on! Almost every well-seasoned mum has told me that if you nibble often, you can mitigate or even send away morning sickness.

Pick something bland and plain, preferably starch or fibre based, that is nice and dry. Corn cakes and home-made bread were my foods of choice, but crisps/chips, rice cakes, crackers and wafers work too. Try and go for whole grain or high fibre options, though, as the plainer and whiter the starch is, the more likely it is high GI or sweetened, which could bring you right back to step one.

3: Trust your nose.

I had an aversion the whole first trimester, but it was a huge one: mussels. Jon and I were eating a Thai fish noodle thing. And he was raving about it. But it tasted… very wrong to be. Still, cause Jon was enjoying it I put on a brave face and finished my bowl. BIG mistake. The next day I had reflux, was almost sick when I sat up and got stomach cramps. Bear in mind this was not food poisoning: Jon, whose digestive system normally can’t handle my “healthy snacks”, ate the whole bowl and then had more the next day and the following day with no issue.

So take this note: sniff your food, lick your food, spit it out if you need to. But don’t swallow something your body is repulsed by. Because even if there’s nothing wrong with it, if your body says “no” it will come out anyway. Your body laughs at wholesome tomato salad. Your body does not believe in a lentil soup. One way or another it will come out.

4: Sip and nibble when in motion.

Motion sickness really got me. Fast moving was fine, but a long car trip was the closest I came to actually experiencing morning sickness in full. Almost constantly queasy, tired, smell of reflux on my breath. And the one thing that beat it down, counterintuitively, was constant sipping and nibbling.

Eating properly will make it worse, as will a proper swig of fluid. But just let morsels the size of an average coat button pass your lips every thirty seconds and you should find yourself not getting (as] sick when you’re out and about.

5: Move deliberately.

Again, this ties into motion sickness. Because a lot of my sickness was actually caused by movement, I worked out that slower, more deliberate movements reduced my motion sickness and made me happier.

Think about your movements before you start. Don’t do anything that could spike or crash your blood pressure, basically. Get up slowly, sit down slowly, lie down slowly, walk slowly, have a good look at stairs and hills before climbing them. Just be mindful of your movements to reduce motion sickness.

And that’s what I did to reduce my morning sickness whenever it surfaced. I understand that for many women it’s just an ordeal that needs to be got over. But anything you can do to reduce it, in any way, matters. So I hope I helped!

How did you handle your morning sickness? Any other tips for women who are having morning sickness troubles?

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 IX. I could eat a house.

Baby.

Still nothing obvious other than we saw the scan and s/he’s literally floating around in there. And I still can’t eat mussels or pilchards. They’re nasty, apparently.

Keep wondering about an odd sensation I get. It’s like a period or digestion cramp, but weird and “bouncy”. Makes me curious as to whether that’s when baby bounces off the wall, like s/he did during the ultrasound.

Weights.

Sticking at my 6×4 routine and working my squats up to 60kg before I can’t do squats any more. I’m sure I’ll be fine, but my damaged abs might not hold much longer.

Everything else is going great, though, and all this work in the garden, squatting on hills as I plant beans, making steps up and down the hill, moving rocks and weeding beds, is keeping me nicely busy throughout the day. Got drenched through when the sky literally opened a few days ago, but seems I managed to get in and change fast enough to avoid catching anything.

Bee haven:

20150928_184120

An overview of the garden a week ago:

20150928_184659

Pictures of the edibles (potatoes, peas, beans, tomatoes, assorted berries, turnips, leaves, etc] will be up next week, when everything has bedded down enough to get a good look!

Diet.

Why am I so hungry???

Oh yes, baby. 😛

In all seriousness, I’m not sure if I’m running a low level deficiency, starving for protein or just overdoing the gardening, but I am starving right now. As I type this I have had rhubarb tart with a pint of sweetened soy milk for breakfast, two hard boiled eggs and half a mango for snacks, egg and sausage oatcakes, another slice of rhubarb tart and am still eyeing up some corn cakes to load with peanut butter. A part of me wonders if I need more calories, but another part of me knows that you only need to add around 200/day in the second trimester and that my calorific needs are well under 1800/day when I’m not hiking around with 27kg on my back every day. And I am well over 2200 today anyway.

Still want to eat everything, though. 😦

How did your week in fitness go?

How To… nurture desire.

It’s a common refrain in the manosphere and red pill circles that desire cannot be negotiated. Which is true. When you simply do not want someone or something, there is very little that can be done about it. However there is a big difference between something we simply do not want and, unless we change radically, never will, and something we do want, but not the way it is presented to us.

This philosophy starts with sex and sexuality, but also extends into self-improvement, diet, employment and, realistically, everything you will ever do.

For me right now the problem is alcohol. When TTC, pregnant and breastfeeding, I will not drink. But everyone around me still does and did so during last weekend’s BBQ. And I had to remember that what I wanted was not best for me right now.

As a simple, relatable example, we may want pizza, not omelette for dinner. We don’t dislike omelette. We just want to eat a pile of junk. However for some reason it isn’t in our best interests to have pizza. Maybe we’re saving money. Maybe we’re on a diet. Maybe it just doesn’t fit into our day. Our desire for pizza cannot be negotiated: we want it and that’s final. And if we were presented with food that we definitely do not enjoy, perhaps brussels sprouts, our desire not to eat that cannot be negotiated. We will if we must, but even if we make ourselves we do not want to. However the emelette exists in a middle ground: we do desire it, but the circumstances right now mean we do not currently desire it. And that is where nurturing comes in.

1: Identify your desires and non desires.

In this case our main desire is pizza, our non desire is brussels sprouts and our secondary desire is omelette. We really want pizza, would be OK with omelette, and be unhappy with brussels sprouts.

2: Identify the reasons for your desires.

The reason we desire pizza and omelette is because they suit our palettes. They are savoury dishes with salt and fat and protein. They fill us up and the taste tells our bodies they are good. Likewise, we do not desire brussels sprouts because they are not savoury, salty, fatty, proteiny foods. They are bitter and plant-ish and lacking in calories.

3: Identify the pros and cons of your desires.

The pros of our desire for pizza are that it stimulates our taste buds and provides calories. The con is that it is expensive, unhealthy and/or inconvenient.

The pros of our desire for omelette are that it stimulates our taste buds, provides calories, is healthier, cheaper and more convenient. The con is that, lacking carbs and cheese, it does not make us as hungry as pizza.

The pros of our lack of desire for brussels sprouts are that we do not eat a food we find unpleasant which provides few calories. The con is that we are avoiding a perfectly healthy food.

So, as we can see, the one that wins out is omelette, meeting our needs and desires in the middle. However it is not enough to deny ourselves pizza. We need to work on our desire for omelette. And, though we cannot eliminate desire for pizza or create desire for brussels sprouts, we can reinforce our desire for omelette.

4: Feed your desire for the best options.

Work on making that omelette an important part of your day. Season it well, cook it well, make it an enjoyable experience. When your mind drifts to pizza, remind yourself why you do not want to eat pizza: it is unhealthy, expensive and inconvenient. Think of the tastes and textures of the omelette. Feel the hunger. Build a craving for it.

5: Promote the best options with in-betweens.

And, of course, sometimes you will feel strongly pressed to go for something more like pizza. Sometimes the craving will be very strong. At times like this, you find a compromise which does not take away from the benefits of the omelette but allows you to enjoy the experience of pizza. Maybe you will fold cheese and cured meats into your omelette. Maybe you will make a pizza at home with cheap and healthy ingredients. Whatever you do, try and go for the best option for you.

In other words, desire cannot be negotiated. But to assume that means “I want pizza so I will have pizza” is ridiculous. We have more than one desire in the choices we make. And by nurturing the productive desires, we can make the most of our options. So pizza-omelette, here I come! 😛

What are some choices and decisions you find hard to make? Would love to hear about any time you overcame a craving, inertia or another conflict of desire!

 

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.