Friday, February 26, 2010

Amazing Female Olympic Body

To my readers that don't know my current obsession with the 2010 Winter Olympics... well, now you know.

Ever since the Olympics started, I've been glued to the TV whenever I have the chance. And, if I can't watch them on the tube, I'm checking updates online. (This never happens to me... I rarely watch TV, but lately it's a different story).

Part of this obsession has to do with the fact that the games are being held in my home country AND my home province (British Columbia). And, with my current lifestyle in the US, I've been happy to root for both the Canadian and American athletes (but, I secretely am happier when Canada wins, especially since their pool of athletes is 1/10th what the Americans have to pull from with a population of only 33 million compared to the US population of 304 million!).

In any matter, last night I stayed up until midnight to watch the women's figure skating competition, and boy, I'm glad I did. It was SUCH a solid competition between all the ladies. Those women are amazing! Very few of them made any mistakes, compared to the men's competition, where almost every man fell (even some of the top 5 guys). It just made my night to watch those ladies skate and show how strong and fit they really are (both mentally and physically).

One of my most favorite skaters (and not because she is Canadian) is Joannie Rochette. Did you see this woman? WOW! Talk about a great, athletic body!! Take a look at the pictures of her I've posted above. OUTSTANDING!

Some women may feel she's too muscular, but I think her physique is absolutely perfect. I love the muscular caps on her sholders, her toned legs and feminine biceps. To me, she's the epitomy of athleticism. Beautiful!

Many of the other female skaters are quite thin and show very little muscularity (even though they are rocks!), but this woman to me shows what a strong woman should really look like. Go girl!

That's just my opinion, but, what are you thoughts?

Just three more days of the Olympics left! Time to soak it all in!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tom Brokaw explains the Canadian-American relationship, 2010

My mom sent me this link today and I thought it was awesome. I especially think it's great because my family is a mix of Canadians and Americans (my mom is Canadian, my dad is American), and now, my own family is a mix (I'm Canadian, my hubby is American... and baby is a mix).

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Weight Loss at 34 Weeks Pregnancy

The picture above is my corporate boot camp group last week doing our cheer at the end of class. You can see me there on the left side cheering along. I just thought I'd include this to show that the belly is still working hard :) 

The title of my post describes what's been going on with me this last week. Starting last Wednesday (mid week 34), my body weight started to drop. I usually weigh myself every other day (and sometimes every day), and up until that point, I'd been holding steady at the same weight since November (yes, you can see the belly is pretty big, so obviously, the baby is growing).

But, last week, my weight dropped about 3 lbs and held like that for a few days. At first I thought it was great because I was losing body fat. But then, my brain didn't feel it was right. Plus, I'd been kicking my own butt teaching boot camps sometimes 3 times a day, and I was feeling pretty sore and tired. So, with that known, I cut back my intensity a bit. I still make my boot campers work hard, but I'm doing more coaching and less actual demonstrating. This combined with eating a bit more food on high activity days has brought my weight back to where it was previously. It still isn't getting any higher, but at least it's no longer dropping.

Perhaps some women would be ecstatic to lose weight while pregnant, but for me, since I've barely put on any weight (as I've said, I've only put on about 15lbs), I just didn't feel right about losing now that I only have about 5 weeks to go. Knowing that I've been able to maintain pretty much all of my activity throughout this pregnancy has left me with the confidence that I'll be back in the game in no time after I deliver. And that, combined with breastfeeding and a good diet, will help me mold my body back to where I want it to be.

I've heard that with breastfeeding that your body likes to hold onto a bit of body fat no matter what you do. And, for some women, breastfeeding can be so catabolic that they actually lose muscle. No matter what happens in my case, I'm not going to not breastfeed just because there's a slight chance that I'll hold onto a few pounds after I have the baby. Breast milk is best and I refuse to feed my child formula just to look a certain way. The baby will ween soon enough and I'll get my body back at that time, even if it takes a bit longer.

Like I've said, I have about 5 more weeks to go. However, I have a strong feeling that this baby is going to come earlier than my due date because I've been experiencing a lot of contraction-like activity and the wicked low back pain that happens when my uterus does its thing (and it's NO FUN at all!). I'll keep you all posted though. For now, I'm off to teach my second boot camp of the day and because I took a lot of rest yesterday, I'm actually going to do both classes myself too (and they're hard!).

Cheers to a great pregnancy!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ultrasound Update at 33 weeks

This past Tuesday, I had to go in for an ultrasound because on my last Drs visit, she said I was measuring a bit small. That coupled with the fact that I've still not gained any weight (and in fact, for some reason, yesterday, I LOST 3lbs), they were worried something was wrong with the baby or the fluid around the baby.

However, I really think the Dr did the measurement wrong because it's totally obvious that my belly was bigger than it was just two weeks ago. But, because I never see the same Dr twice (the way OBGYN practices are run nowadays), they had no idea what I looked like two weeks ago. Sigh, frustration.

Also, in that last Drs visit, the Dr was giving me a hard time because I declined my Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) a few weeks ago and wanted me to either have it done now or monitor my sugars myself at home. The reason I declined the test is because I have reactive hypoglycemia in response to a ton of carbs. That's why I prefer a moderate carb diet instead of what our government tells us to eat. I've had really horrid responses to OGTTs in the past (like a low of 47 ng/dl of glucose at the 2 hr mark - close to passing out), and didn't want to put myself or my baby through that again. Plus, why is it good to give your baby all that sugar in one dose anyhow? I personally think it's ridiculous.

Well, I told her that there's no way in H*LL that I have gestational diabetes (GDM) based on the fact that my sugars usually run low, and I don't eat a high carb diet. Also, I exercise almost everyday, I haven't gained a lot of weight and I have no sugar in my urine on any of my urine tests. But, she persisted. I tried to reason with her and told her that if I did have GDM, my baby would be LARGE, not small, like she was accusing me of.

Anyhow, I gave in and bought more strips for the glucose monitor I have at home (I used to check for other reasons related to hypoglycemia). What I've found is that my fasting sugars are usually in the range of 68-73 in the morning (which is getting to the low side) and my 1 and 2 hr sugars never get higher than 115. So... I was right :)

Then, to the ultrasound: turns out the baby is completely and utterly NORMAL: she's weighing just over 4lbs (which is pretty much textbook), her head is down and her feet are stuck in my ribs (I could have told you that already... it kills sometimes), her arms, legs and body are totally normal, her head circumference is totally normal and the fluid around her is totally normal.

So, yes, I can be a workout nut, not gain a lot of body fat or weight and STILL have a HEALTHY and NORMAL baby growing inside me. But, I'm also eating well with all the exercise I'm doing: calories when I need them, lots of essential fats and protein, lots of green vegetables and fruits, frequent meals and listen to my body when it tells me to eat. I will admit I do indulge in cake every once in awhile, but hey, it's at least trans fat free :)

The one thing I think about is that if my baby is used to me working out so much, is she going to want to be moved and bounced a lot when she comes out? Yikes... that means I'm going to be on my toes a lot! Oh well... it'll help get the rest of the baby weight off faster at least!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pictures of 33 1/2 weeks and exercise

As promised, here are a few pics from either exercising, stretching or post-workout at 33 weeks.

Pic #1 is a postworkout side profile. Pic #2 is me stretching at the end of one of my classes with my group. Pic #3 is me smashing a 16lb Dynamax Ball during one of my circuits. 

Monday, February 8, 2010

33 weeks and still exercising hard!

Sorry for the MIA from blogging. I've been working a lot lately - usually from 9am to 8pm and by the time I get home, I don't feel like thinking.

But, I've still been working out hard and as of yet, have not gained any appreciable body weight or fat. I swear I have more definition in my legs and arms now than before. My weight is only 0.5lbs more than it was since back in November. All the while though, my baby is growing normally and my belly is measuring the way it should for the week I'm at.

My workouts are still pretty tough, but I will say I do have to step back from the frequency. Lately I've been getting more light-headed and winded than ever before so I've been resting more and it's helping.

Saturday I taught boot camp (I also teach 3 on Thursday and 2 on Tuesday), and this is what we did for our workout:

1) 10 minute dynamic warmup

2) 20:10 Tabata interval work consisting of:
  1. Kettlebell swings (heavy KB - for me 50lbs)
  2. Kettlebell front squats (ligher KB - for me 30 lbs)
  3. Kettlebell reverse lunges
  4. Kettlebell supine hip extensions (put the KB on your hips... mine was really low on my hips as you can imagine)
  5. Standing dumbbell pushpress (heavy DBs - for me, 20lbs each hand)
  6. Standing DB bentover row
  7. Floor pushups
  8. Floor skull crushers with heavy KB
This 4 minute round was repeated 3 more times for 20 minutes of total work.

Then, we followed with 40:15 interval circuits, consisting of:
  1. Ab wheel roll-out (I can no longer go out all the way on these, so I just go as far as I can... too much stretching!)
  2. Battle Rope slams with the 40 foot training rope
  3. Burpees
  4. Box Jumps (I chose to do high steps ups instead of jump. I can still jump, but felt I'd beat myself up enough for the day)
  5. Med Ball Slams
After this we did a bit of core work consisting of planks held for 30 seconds each way, then cooled down with static stretching and foam rolling. I do have pictures of some of this to share, but unfortunately, not with me at the moment. I will post asap.

Prior to this boot camp class, on Friday night I lifted heavy with my other pregnant workout partner. We focused on our chest and back and for one of our sets did 5 reps of bench press with 125 lbs. We felt great!

I will say though, as these weeks progress and my baby speeds up her growth that I am having a harder time recovering. My muscles are sorer for a longer period of time than they usually are. I am keeping my nutrition very complete, but know that baby's needs are first and my muscles can just suffer if they have to.

Overall, I'm still exercising hard with less than 7 weeks to go and absolutely love how I feel! I have no bloating, no excessive weight gain, no stretch marks, very minimal back pain and few mood swings (my husband might argue that one.... hahaha).

Exercising hard through your pregnancy can be a really great thing and if it's ok for you to do and you did it before, then, go forth and be happy!