Monday, January 20, 2014

What I'm Doing Now (#widn)

Even though I returned to work from maternity leave the first week in December, I didn't really bother getting into a routine until the holidays were over, and our new "permanent" schedule began the first week in January.  December was a nice slow re-introduction into working/childcare/life balance, but I knew that our schedule that month was short-lived.  Come January I would be back in the office 5 days a week, my husband would be back at work 5 days a week, and no holidays were in sight for nearly 2 months. 
My return to work was pretty smooth, as far as me being away from baby, and baby being fine without me.  I quickly learned to deal with the inconvenience of pumping every 2 hours, and even managed to make it to the gym a few times.  The fleetingness, or "just this last time" feeling of December set me up to fall back into some bad habits.  I could feel myself traveling down a familiar path (slippery slope) of being out of the habit of exercising, and allowing too many treats to cross my lips.  I began craving some sort of routine, some sort of guidlines that could keep me in check.  My new schedule would not allow for me to attend crossfit at lunch everyday and I would be leaving work too early to attend an afternoon class.  I was not preparing my breakfasts and lunches like before, and that was leading to bad on the fly choices.  I needed to figure out a plan.  So I thought about it.  I consulted with friends.  And I thought about it more.
One day late in December, it dawned on me.  My work has a gym in the back room.  On the days I work 5a-1:30p (M/Tu/F), and hubby brings baby to me at work, I can take baby into the back gym and run on the treadmill/do some weights while he hangs out in his carseat or on the floor.  Three days a week (W/Th/Sat) I can go to crossfit since either the hubby is off those days, or I am and baby watching isn't a concern.  This idea was so refreshing, it made me realize I can still have my cake and eat it too.  The only other thing left was to spend a little time on shopping and meal prep, and I'd be good to go.  I was ready for my new schedule to start in January!
So now its been 2 full weeks of the new schedule, and things are going lightning fast.  There have been a few hiccups- nights with little sleep, a fussy baby that won't let me run on the treadmill, concerns about not pumping enough milk for how much baby is eating, car trouble, and really sore muscles, but for the most part we are getting by.  Somehow.  I've managed to either get into the gym or do some exercise outside 12 of the past 14 days.  I've been taking 2 hours each Sunday to make meals for my breakfasts and lunches during the week.  I make sure to pack everything I need for the day the night before- gym bag, pumping supplies, meals in tupperware. 
At my 6 week post-baby check up, I was pretty close to my pre-baby weight.  However, my pre-baby weight was about 10lbs higher than my comfortable weight.  The first week in January, I was up 10lbs from my 6 week check up weight!  I knew I was being bad those 4 weeks in December, but the reality didn't sink in until I stepped on the scale.  Over these past 2 weeks reeling things in - not being perfect by any means, but just A LOT better, I've lost 6lbs.  I would like to continue on this path, get rid of the last of the baby pounds, get back to my comfortable weight, and THEN work on my fitness goals from there.  This is the year I will get my pull-up. 
Currently my non Crossfit days (M/Tu/F) look something like this:
4-4:30am- Wake up, feed baby, pump other side
5-5:30am- get to office, drink coffee
6:30am- eat breakfast (currently roasted broccoli and chicken sausage)
8:30am- pump
10:30am- pump/eat snack (apple, or apple w/almond butter)
11:30am- eat lunch (currently spaghetti squash and meaty sauce)
12:30p- pump/ change into gym clothes, start wrapping things up at work
1:30p- hubby drops baby off at my office
1:30-2ish- run on treadmill, do what I can at gym at work
2ish- whenever I finish workout, feed baby (usually in gym luckily NO ONE ever uses it)
3:00- 5pm- home for the night, portion out pumped milk into storage bags for next day.  Wash bottles and pump for next day.  Shower.  Get gym bag packed for next day.  Get meals packed for next day.  Take supplements (pre-natal and pro-biotic)
5ish- feed baby
6ish- eat dinner (whatever I have cooked off in fridge to re-heat)
7ish- put baby in pj's and swaddle
7:30ish- feed baby for last time
8-8:30p- put baby to bed, go to bed immediately after.
The days I go to Crossfit (W/Th) are nearly identical, except I tend to get to work a little later, go to the gym from 12p-1, pump an extra time around 2p, and leave work around 3:30 or so. My husband is off those days, so we get to have some good family time Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  I still have to make sure all my items for the next day are prepped, but I have someone to entertain the baby while I do that, so it goes a lot quicker.  My husband can also put the baby to bed those nights after I feed him, so I can go to bed right away and not worry if someone is having trouble falling asleep. 
I get to relax Friday nights, and sleep in a little later on Saturday and Sunday mornings to recharge.  Making time on Sunday for shopping and meal prep is essential.  I roast off a big sheet pan of veggies, and make sure that I have meat cooked off.  I portion those items out, and just grab them each morning on my way (yes, I eat broccoli for breakfast).  When husband is home on Wednesday or Thursday, he will do some cooking as well to replenish my healthy food options.  So, yeah.  There isn't much room for anything else in this schedule.  Probably why the time is flying by.  Baby will be asking for keys to the car next week.   

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Help in Unexpected Places

Recently my grand-boss (my boss' boss) assigned a book for the 'team' (employees that fall under his responsibility) to read.  Me being me, I judged the book by its cover- flashy title, banner about being a NY Times top-seller, hearty claims, and even a review in quotes.  It appeared to be the standard "motivational" type self-help book that I was supposed to read and suddendly become an instant success in all ways after reading it.  I mean, that's why people buy it, right? 
The first few pages had my eyes rolling big time as I read about the authors "ah-ha" moments and how he discovered ground-breaking things like the harder you work, the more good things happen, spending small amounts of time and/or money up front on maintence of things can save A LOT of time/money down the road, and that every life needs balance (work, home, social, etc.).  No sh*t.  These themes were drilled in further with highly contrived stories from his personal life (right...).   
We received an e-mail from our grand-boss shortly after I began reading saying that he wanted us to take notes as we made our way through the book, and submit to him. I really had to read it.  So I began highlighting the phrases that stood out, things that I always need reminding of, and continued to make my way through the book.  I know the book was given to us in a work setting, with the idea of applying it to career/work scenarios, but I found that the themes are applicable to just about everything.  Including weight loss, living healthy, fitness, marriage, child raising, education, social relationships, and everything else life entails.  The first three chapters highlighted the need for a lot of internal work/introspection before results can be obtained.  Basically, if you aren't where you want to be in certain areas, or in all areas, you need to shift the way to you think, shift the way you typically respond.  This of course takes practice, and he gave some tools to aid in the process.  The main tool for shifting the way you do everything is to come up with a personal mission statement.  Just like a large business has.  Come up with a statement that suits your unwaivering self and principles.  Then, in theory, when you have a decision to make, such as- should I eat this cupcake or just pass?  or- should I watch TV or spend quality time listening to my husband/child?  or- should I spend an extra hour at work, or go to the gym? you then refer to your mission statement and see what is important to your core values, and act based on that.  So, if your mission statement included mentions of eating well, spending time with family, and taking care of your body, you might choose the second option for each decision.  If you mission statment included statements about living in the moment, relaxing when possible, and making a lot of money, you might choose the first option for each decision.  Oversimplified, but that's kind of how the book is. 
ANYWAY...I decided I could always use a little help/kick in the butt with the tough things in my life.  So, I made the choice to start to change the way I do things, beginning with how I was initially reading the book (cynical, jaded) and open my mind (what!!!).  I understood that how I was reading the book was a metaphor for how I do things in life, the exact thing the book was trying to get across!  So far, I have come up with a personal mission statement that I keep in the notes section of my phone so I can refer to it often.  It's very simple.  Either things fit into how I want to live (eating right, exercise, mental stimulation, family time, and practicing gratefulness) or they don't.  I'm going to test this out for a little bit, and see if it has any far reaching effects to other areas of my life.  Can't hurt, right?  So, yeah, I suppose every cliche is true- positive attitudes make things look different, open your mind to see challenges as opportunities, blah blah.  I will end with my very favorite quote from the book thus far-it's from a book written by E.M. Gray (The Common Denominator of Success) in which the author quotes:
"The successful person has the habit of doing things failures don't like to do.  They don't like doing them either necessarily.  But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose."
Yeah, I'm going to chew on that for awhile.