Category Archives: Healthy Living/Running

Mamavation Monday: Keeping fit and keeping family happy

can breastfeeding, babywearing and a banging body all go together?

can breastfeeding, babywearing and a banging body all go together?

So Monkey #2 decided she forgot how to breastfeed yesterday. For realz…She fed as normal at 1AM, 4AM and then at 7 she would go to the boob and not latch on. I spent a frustrating 15 minutes switching from side to side, not at all understanding why she wouldn’t or rather couldn’t feed. She was visibly thirtsy – rooting for the source of milk and licking her lips the obvious signs all babies make. But on contact she was howling and pulling away. I went through all the scenarios – maybe the Thai takeaway I had last night had changed the taste of my milk, maybe she had a neck cramp that was making it difficult for her to latch, maybe she was a little refluxy or developing some sort of cold/throat problem. All those possibilities were negated as I pumped and fed her my milk via bottle. She took it with ease and without any problems each time super satisfied and sleeping more peacefully than she had in days after each feed.

Fast forward to her 11PM feed and I was still completely at a lost as to why she was only taking the bottle. My boobs, particularly my left one was rock hard and slightly lumpy (ouch!). It’s such a science knowing how much to pump and when to pump when up until then I was exclusively breastfeeding. I needed to pump to get milk for baby girl as well as to relieve the pressure, but a pump is not as efficient as an actual baby. Pump too much, too often or not enough and too little and you end up as I was last night. Hot shower, warm compresses and crossing my fingers and toes hoping that on the next feed all would return to normal, which it did. At 1AM, she fed as normal and has continued to since.

I still have absolutely no idea why she went on a boobie strike, but it reminds me that I will have to get better at pumping and understanding the ins and outs of pumping when I am away from her in the future. With Monkey #1 I committed myself to breastfeeding exclusively for at least 6 months and then ended up breastfeeding for a year. During that time, I wasn’t comfortable with exercising “to the limit” so I told myself at a year I would definitely stop and then get back into a more rigourous fitness routine. This time around I feel more confident in combining breastfeeding and exercise. I know I’ll get the pumping thing under control and I’m already starting to surround myself with people that will support me on my training back up to half marathon fitness – running groups, a fantastic babysitter and a supportive husband are just some of them. The great thing about being in a new city is that I can choose to surround myself with like minded people who value healthy living as much as I do.

My husband also has some lofty goals for his running and other health pursuits in the new year and is supportive about me keeping fit post partum. He knows that if I am feeling energized it’s a good thing for the whole family. I’m excited about what he wants to do and I have already identified Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal as a half marathon we should do together. My parents are a few hours away in Montreal, so the plan is to get up their with the monkeys and have my parents babysit. Their is a bit of logistics involved, but we have til September to sort it out. In the meantime, we can also have a trial run in May for the Brooklyn Half Marathon in May that is conveniently at the same time Big Monkey’s parents visit from New Zealand – guess who’ll be on babysitting duty. Being race worthy for May is going to mean strict training – I’m already planning a revised Couch to 5K plan starting in January followed by a Hal Higdon half marathon plan (I’ve had previous success with his plans).

Now to get through the holidays without having a total blowout :)



Mamavation Monday: big girls want to look cute too

Sometimes fitting into workout gear is like squeezing into a toy plane

Ok, so it’s not Monday…but I started writing this on Monday :)

This post could also be called Fashion Fascism in the Fitness industry or Fitness Fashion Industry Fail: a story as old as time of how the fit keep the wanna be fit from looking and feeling good. How is a size 14 person suppose to get fit if they can’t fit into the cute clothes like everyone else….

I fluctuate from a size 10 to a size 16 at my biggest. This depends on my fitness routine as well as what hemisphere I am in. In America clothing tends to be sized smaller than in New Zealand. So something that is a 14 in NZ would be a 12 in Canada or the US.

Clothes go along way in making you feel good.

Clothes make the (wo)man and motivate. If you look good, you feel good.

It is every wonan’s right to look and feel fabulous. I’m not hating on slimmer people, I just think fitness clothing needs to be inclusive to everyone.

A person who wants to lose weight is likely to be body conscious. Going into a shop that either has your size as the absolute largest (14) or doesn’t have your size at all is likely to make you feel hopeless. Why is the workout fashion industry ignoring women who are above the average size 14? Don’t they know that some size 6, 8 and 10s started out as size 16, 18 and 22s. Their is definitely an untapped market for clothing that looks good , is functional and works to a plus size person’s body traits.

  • Running jackets that zip up over a set of big knockers :)
  • Sports bras with wide shoulder straps so you don’t come away from every workout with marks engraved in your shoulders thanks to the force of gravity and a EE cup size
  • Clothing sized above the “traditional” large
  • Cute tops and matching workout pants in girly colors like pinks and purples
  • Invest in a designer who will come up with flattering styles. Clothes don’t need to be skin tight, that’s not flattering. But who’s gonna feel confident in a man shaped oversized top, that’s not flattering either.

To read more stories on how the fitness industry could be more inclusive, go here.



Mamavation Monday: starting from scratch

sweating in all the right places after my first off road half marathon (April 2010)

sweating in all the right places after my first off road half marathon (April 2010)

Don’t put off til tomorrow what you can do today.

It may seem a little excessive 3 weeks post pregnancy to be talking about fitness goals already. But having already gone through the weight gain yo-yo post pregnancy with Monkey #1, I know how important it is to be in the right mindset now.

I was thinking of joining the Mamavation group in the new year, but I realized putting it off til then would allow me to make excuses all through the holidays. Excuses that would be the basis of bad habits all through 2012. Excuses that would start me on the upward path of that weight gain yo-yo. Instead, I’m going to start small. I’m going to make time for walking, then in the new year I’ll be ready to start the Couch to 5K, working back up to my pre pregnancy half marathon distance.

I know how weight loss works. I understand you have to eat less calories and increase your fitness. I know that a healthy life is a mixture of mindset, physical activity and nutrition. I even have a Bachelors in Education with a specialization in Physical Education and English. So this healthy living thing should be easy for me right? Wrong. Without the proper peer support it it still difficult.

I’ve moved around a fair bit in the last couple of years, each time losing a favorite Bikram yoga studio and teachers, a running buddy, Zumba with workmates or some other motivator. I’m looking forward to the support of the Sistahood while I find my ground in my new home and with my new baby girl.

I’m a good sounding board and I have some good knowledge around fitness that I love to share with others. I hope to connect with others on the same path to feeling strong and healthy, to offer what knowledge I have as well as an injection of humor. If I can’t enjoy what I’m doing, I might as well give up now.

So this week while we move into our new permanent house (yeah!) and continue to heal as a family from the events of the past few weeks, my main goal is to take time out from everything and get out for a walk everyday. I also have to work on the crazy sugar cravings I get from breastfeeding – that one’s gonna be hard!

I will update every Monday to let you know how it’s going.