Fitness & Food Highlights: Week 5

Last week went pretty well — better than I expected, actually! I met two of my three fitness goals, ate mostly healthy food while also indulging in some treats, and had a successful weigh-in. I’m down 5 pounds in the last 2 weeks for a total of 12 lost so far. I’m now about 34lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight.

I don’t have a specific “goal weight” or a numerical weight loss goal at all. My big-picture goals are different:

  • I would like to be able to run 15+ miles per week without problems, putting me in a good position to be able to run an impromptu 5K or 10K or to train for a half marathon.
  • I would like for my run paces to move back closer to what they were before (10:00/mile “conversational” pace, ~27:00 5K race pace, within reach of training for a ~2:00 half marathon).
  • I would like to fit back into most if not all of my old work clothes. I’m fine if my skinniest pants don’t ever fit me again, but being within that approximate range (and therefore able to wear the more generously cut items) would be great.

People are always quick to say that bodies change after pregnancy, that old weights and sizes might never be seen again. That’s why I am focusing on fitness and feel-good goals instead. Hopefully these are fairly realistic!

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The elevation from Saturday’s hilly run

OK, here’s how the week went down:

Fitness Goals: Since it was my first week back to work and was going to be full of extra obligations on top of that, I set some more achievable goals this week. Complete at least 4 workouts (yes! I did five!), run at least 8 miles (yes!), and complete at least 1 barre3 workout (no; I forgot that I’d wanted to do this. Womp womp.). 

Monday: Elliptical (45:00). Move along, please, nothing to see here! Steps: 13, 498

Tuesday: Ran 3 miles with the twins in the jogging stroller, but my Garmin didn’t save this so I don’t have any data. Lame. All I remember is: it was hot and humid. Steps: 10,704

Wednesday: Rest Day. It was the first day of teaching, plus I had a department reception, though, so I still got 7,963 steps.

Thursday: Ran 3 miles in the neighborhood (no stroller; no stats). Steps: 13,485

Friday: Rest day. Steps: 8,258

Saturday: Ran 3 miles of hills (34:48). I ran the hillier route option from my house, so instead of adding distance beyond 3 miles, I kept it relatively short. I need to improve my stamina for hilly outdoor runs, so this was a step in that direction. Steps: 12,388

Sunday: Elliptical (45:00). Steps: 11,237

Food Highlights: I don’t have any food photos from this week, but I do have some good memories. I ate more than my fair share of mini quiches at my department reception, for example. I also ate some brie and fresh blackberries Saturday night when we had a little happy hour at our house. There was also cava. CW made a really tasty curried eggplant and chickpea thing with this fabulous mint chutney — I should have taken a picture. Trust me, it was all delicious.

Goals for the Coming Week: Figure out a rough workout schedule for the semester. This will need to take into account my schedule, my husband’s schedule, and the days we’ll have our nanny. At this point I’m not sure if I’ll be staying after classes to workout at the gym and if so on which days. I’ll feel better once I have a plan in place — I definitely prefer knowing ahead of time when/what my workouts will be.

Fitness & Food Highlights: Week 4

This week was pretty successful! I did not manage to weigh in at all, so I don’t know if I had any results in the numbers, but my overall fitness and food goals fit in nicely with regular life, which is its own success. This is becoming a nice routine — and of course, fall semester is about to come along and throw a wrench in it! We’ll see how that goes.

Here’s how everything went down last week:

Fitness goals: Run ten miles (yes!), do at least one strength workout (yes!), workout at least 5 days (yes!)

Running? Again? Really?

My workout buddies. This week, it’s E who is less than enthused about the early-morning stroller ride. 

Monday: Elliptical (45:00). Boring, but effective. I would always rather be running, but I am very prone to injury if I run more than three days per week, so here we are.

Tuesday: Ran 3 miles with the twins in the jogging stroller (38:50). Last week I made it my goal to get to three miles with the stroller and I did! I had some long sections of walking (uphill), but the average pace wasn’t TOO terrible, considering the circumstances.

Wednesday: Rest Day.

Thursday: Ran 3 miles in the neighborhood (no stroller) (~36:00). This was just a hard run. I have been running mostly indoors (in the air conditioning) on a treadmill, so real outdoor running is still a bit rough right now. I expect that to improve.

Friday: Barre3 video (30:00). Some day I’ll start doing the longer videos. This was not that day.

Saturday: Rest Day.

Sunday: Ran 5 miles on the treadmill (54:00). I beat last week’s 5-mile time by over a minute, so while it is still a much slower pace than I am used to, it is getting better.

Salad

Food Highlights: The above southwestern chopped salad with cilantro-lime-yogurt dressing, my chana masala, all the iced coffee.

Goals for the coming week: The week will be busy and stressful: classes are starting and we’re interviewing nannies. I hope to keep up with at least 4 total workouts, run at least 8 miles, and do at least one barre3 workout.

Stuff I Typed During Nap

The babies are still asleep for their morning nap (knock wood), and I’ve gotten in a 30-minute barre3 workout, showered, washed and hung the diapers to dry, and refilled my coffee. So I may as well sit here and type some words to you, the internet, on this, my blog.

Here we are! What to talk about?

My promotion dossier is due on Monday and it’s almost finished and I SUPPOSE I am mostly satsfied with it. It is currently about 215 pages long and is the embodiment of all the stereotypes you no doubt have in your mind about academic bureaucracy. It includes, for example, a PDF of the original offer letter I received when I was hired. Without this document, after all, how would the university know whether they actually employ me? (I joke because I am nervous, obviously.)

On Wednesday, I go back into the classroom for the first time since I went on bed rest at the end of November. I do not have my syllabi, assignments, or class websites finished. Or started, in some cases. It’ll be fine. Right?

We placed an ad for a part-time babysitter (2 mornings a week) online and we have a ton of applicants to go through and decide who we want to meet. I’m kind of dreading the whole process. I don’t like meeting new people, or having strangers in my house, or leaving my babies with a stranger in my house. Pretty much none of that.

I suppose I can just eliminate all the people who, instead of responding to the specific job description, just sent us their boilerplate “about me” statement from their profile, right? That shit is lazy, y’all. Tell me you have experience with twins/multiples, or that you’ve cared for babies their age, or that you have the relevant days/times available, or just anything specific to the ad. How do I know you even read the description?

Moving on.

So, I guess those things are heavy on my mind going into the next week. Returning to work and all that it entails — and I’m happy to be going back! — has got to be a little stressful. I’d be a fool not to expect that. There were times duing maternity leave where it felt like I’d be trapped in my house forever and never leave. Now I’m wondering where the last eight months went. Typical.

The babies are going to wake up from their nap soon and I need an errand or something to do to get us out of the house for an hour or so before their second nap. I am finding this makes the day go by much faster. But today I’m drawing a blank! If it were not so oppressively hot and disgusting outside, I’d just take them for a walk or to a park or something. They’re probably too little to enjoy the library, I’m guessing. They do have baby storytimes, apparently, but not today. We could….walk around the mall? I wish I needed something at Target. Who am I kidding? I always need something at Target.

Fitness & Food Highlights: Week 3

Happy Monday, friends.

This morning, I attempted to start my Monday as I have so many Mondays before: with a workout at the campus rec center, a shower, and then a day at the office working on work stuff. ALAS! I was thwarted! It’s the week between semesters, so I should have known better, but I failed to check the rec center schedule and arrived there at 7:45 this morning, dressed in my most fashionable spandex and ready to work out, only to find that they would not be open until 11:00. Well, shit.

So there I was. My only real option was to head to my office and work, planning to return to the gym at the end of the day instead. Not wanting to waddle up to my department wearing workout gear, however, I stopped on the way there at the student center to change clothes in the bathroom.  I had not showered (because I would have done that after my workout, of course) and I didn’t have any of the usual beauty/hygeine items with me because they were in my locker, at the gym, which was not open.

As I write this post, I am in my office, unshowered, with greasy hair, no deodorant,  no makeup, and no workout. And I had to get dressed in a bathroom stall. How very, very Monday of you, MONDAY.

Well. Let’s what happened last week, shall we?

Fitness goals: Run ten miles (YES!), do at least one strength workout (no!), workout at least 5 days (yes!)

Monday: Elliptical (45:00). I have been watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. while on the elliptical. A++, would recommend.

Tuesday: Ran 2.1 miles with the twins in the jogging stroller (26:00). I improved a bit on this jogging stroller run, running more of the total route. The heat-humidity-hills combo is totally killer, but I am making it work.  Can I get three miles next time?

Wednesday: Rest Day.

Thursday: Ran 3 miles on the treadmill (32:22). This was, I believe, my fastest 3 miler postpartum! I ran the first and last miles at an easy pace and did intervals during the middle mile, one minute fast + one minute slow. Fast pace was about 9:30 and slow pace was…I forget. 10:30, maybe? Felt pretty good!

Friday: Arc Trainer (20:00) and inclined walking on the treadmill (30:00). First time trying the Arc Trainer, which was not my favorite. Something about the movement feels a little herky-jerky to me. I’m not sure what the difference is between this and the elliptical exactly, or if one is supposed to be “better” in some way, but this was not my favorite (which is why I only stayed on for 20 minutes).

Saturday: Rest Day.

Sunday: Ran 5 miles on the treadmill (55:00). Woo hoo! A pretty nice new postpartum personal distance record (PDR)! This felt really good. I slowly increased the pace for the first four miles (while still keeping it relatively relaxed) and then slowed back down during mile five. This is the run that brought my weekly total up to the 10 miles I’ve been shooting for, too, so it was a double win.

Thai tofu salad with zucchini instead of lettuce 👍Latergram from Saturday night. Pear and Gorgonzola ravioli.

Food Highlights from the week: My Thai tofu and peanut sauce served salad-style with this shredded zucchini and carrots. So good, and the leftovers were just as nice. Also, I had a lovely pear and gorgonzola ravioli for dinner Saturday when CW and I went out (taking the babies with us, because we don’t have our shit together enough yet to get a babysitter). Lovely and delicious and probably way too many calories, but enh. I stuck to my goals the rest of the week.

This week’s weigh-in revealed a 1.6-pound loss, for a total of 7 pounds down so far. Feeling pleased. Let’s see if I can keep the streak alive this week!

E&L: Eight Months

E&L are eight months old! That seems so old! I can’t believe it. Two-thirds of a year. They’re so, so fun right now. They’re learning so much, crawling, sitting, eating solid foods, and so on. They’re generally happy, interactive, and loving. Just a joy to be around.

Eleanor & Linus

We went ahead and bought two new convertible car seats for them, even though they still currently fit in their bucket seats — we wanted to have car seats in each of our two vehicles, so we’ll have the new seats in one car and the old ones in the other car (until they grow out of them, when we’ll have to buy two more convertibles). We’re getting ready to have to lower their crib mattresses in preparation for them being able to pull up to standing, which E has recently started to try to do. So many changes are happening right now! The babies are adjusting with aplomb, but it all feels like quite a whirlwind to me, not least because I’ll soon be back at work full time.

At eight months, both babies consistently sleep through the night (from about 7:15 – 6:00 or 6:30). Often, they will wake up at 6 in the morning and then hang out in their cribs, head to head, talking and cooing at each other for a good half hour before starting to complain. They nap twice a day for a total of about 3-3.5 hours. We’re so grateful for their improved sleep and napping habits! They take 6-oz bottles 5x per day, plus a mini-bottle right before bed. They’re eating solid food at dinner time, including purees, cereal, yogurt melts, and some fresh fruit/vegetables from their mesh feeder thingies. They’re getting better and better at grasping the small, bite-sized bits, so we’ll probably be expanding their repertoire soon.

Eleanor
At 8 months, E:

  • Has two teeth, and seems utterly unfazed by them.
  • Can sit unassisted for long periods of time and can get up into a sitting position by herself.
  • Tips over and bonks her head/face when she’s sitting, but is starting to do this less and less as she perfects the ability to brace herself with her hands.
  • Crawls by inchworming her way forward, and is getting better and better at it.
  • Continues to be a ready smiler and laugher and a happily independent player.
  • Loves to practice making new sounds, cooing, babbling, and trilling.

Linus

At 8 months, L:

  • Has one tooth in and another (slowly) on its way. He seems more affected by teething in that he drools a lot more and seems fussier, poor guy.
  • Can sit unassisted for brief periods, as long as there is something interesting him. Otherwise, he still prefers to straighten his hips and shoot up to a standing position (with help, of course).
  • Crawls army style and is getting very fast at it! He’s so pleased with himself every time he crawls off into an unauthorized area — when we call out to him, he looks back grinning and laughing before proceeding forward anyway.
  • Is starting to make more sounds and babble to himself more, especially when he wakes up in the morning.
  • Spent 20 minutes laughing at me yesterday as I made funny faces and noises at him. Once he gets going, he’s unstoppable.

We have the best babies.

Work, Bitch*

Fall semester starts two weeks from tomorrow, and y’all, I AM READY. I’ll be back in the classroom full time, which, this year will mean teaching three classes and doing some service/leadership/mentoring work in lieu of my usual fourth class. It will put me on campus all day Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and I’ll probably spend part of the day on campus Tuesdays and Thursdays for meetings or the aforementioned mentoring work, and (hopefully!) part of the day at home.

I’ve technically been working since May, but, in comparison, this summer I’ve been teaching only one class, an online class, and have spent zero time in the classroom. I come to campus Mondays and Thursdays to work, but I am mostly spending this time alone in my office. I haven’t talked to a lot of people in person and haven’t needed to dress up. I’ve had the time to fit in trips to the gym or to the nail salon while I’ve been “working.” It’s been work-lite, with 75% fewer calories, if you know what I mean. I have really appreciated it.

I am not cut out to be a stay-at-home or work-from-home mom full time, I can now say for sure. I was at home full time for the first 6+ months of the twins’ lives, and I am so grateful I had that opportunity. I wouldn’t trade it. But it was also really, really hard. The first couple of months were hard, especially — the long nursing-feeding-pumping routine that took place every two hours, feeling trapped not only at home but specifically in the bedroom (where my ass wore a groove in one side of the mattress because I never got to get up), and all the challenges of caring for two babies while being only one person — it all took 100% of myself. I loved it, but it was not easy.

Being at home with them full time now would, of course, be different. They’re in a different stage — they eat and nap at predictable times; we can go out without it being too big a hassle; they’re more active and interactive. In a lot of ways, it’s much easier (no more endless nurse-feed-pump grind, for example). On the other hand, it still takes 100% of myself. Mobile babies, y’all. Two of them. Today they shut me out of the nursery — I was using the bathroom next door and had left them playing. Then, I heard the door slam. When I tried to get back in, L was leaning up against the door from the inside. I could swear I heard them laughing. 

Monday mornings are always a little rough, as Monday mornings often can be when you’re faced with re-entering your workday routine after having put it on the shelf for the past couple of days, but Monday mornings now also come with a little breath of relief. When I arrive on campus, I stop at Starbucks on my way to my desk and pick up a giant iced coffee and then when I get to my office I close the door and sit down in the quiet and drink my coffee while handling emails from the weekend and planning my day. It’s quiet. There is coffee. I can drink the coffee while it’s still at its intended temperature.

I assume the transition back to working full time will be rough. I’ll lose the less-structured time at the office that I’ve recently been enjoying. It won’t be as easy to fit in trips to the gym, for example. At least three days a week, I won’t see E&L until dinner time, at which point I’ll only have a couple of hours with them before they’re in bed. I know that’s going to be hard and I’ll miss them. I’ll also have plenty of exhausting days at work — time in the classroom and/or in meetings will do that — and when I get home from work, I won’t be able to zone out on the couch, because there will be two babies there who need me and a tired husband who will need a break after spending the last 10 hours caring for them. (He’s taking his parental leave during fall semester and will be at home with them while I’m at work.) It won’t be easy, I know. It will take 100% of myself, too.

If all goes well back in the classroom, however, I can only assume that no one will scream at me, vomit on me, or defecate directly into my hand. Even better, I will not have to try so hard to put anyone to sleep at nap time — in my classes, it just happens naturally!

*Britney Spears, obvs 

Food & Fitness Highlights: Week 2

Good morning, internet! I am here to report what I’ve been up to in the world of fitness and food over the past week. I’m experimenting with doing this type of post every Monday, so here goes!

Fitness and Exercise Goals this Week: Five workouts per week (yes!), run 10 miles per week (still no!), do at least two strength or barre3 workouts, i.e. one more than last week (yes!).

I keep posting that one of my goals has been to run ten miles in the week, and I keep not reaching it because I’m only running two days a week. I will not reach this goal unless I run three days per week, which is what I normally prefer to do anyway. The reason I’ve only been running twice is that I swapped out one of my normal run days for a spin class. That’ll change in the coming weeks, though, since the gym’s group fit schedule is changing with the end of the summer term. Look for 10-mile running weeks in the near future!

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My theme song for the week. Every now and then, Britney Spears is just the thing.

Monday: Inclined walking on the treadmill (30:00) and spin class (45:00).

Tuesday: Barre3 video (40:00). This was my first time doing a 40-minute barre3 workout since the babies were born. Felt good! It’s a rush to try to get in a longer workout + shower during the babies’ morning nap, which is usually only an hour, but it happened on this day!

Wednesday: Rest Day.

Thursday: Ran 4 miles on the treadmill (44:00). Treated this like a track workout and ran the first mile as a warmup, then 4×400 fast with 400 recoveries, then a mile cool down. “Fast” pace is 10:00/mile, currently. Could do better than that!

Friday: Body Pump class (60:00) + Elliptical (30:00). This was the last body pump class of the summer! Boo. Just as I was getting into a good groove, too. I use the university rec center gym, and they have limited hours and no group fitness classes during final exam week and the times between semesters — so groupfit won’t be available again until August 15th.

Saturday: Rest Day.

Sunday: Ran 3.65 miles on the treadmill (40:00). I had intended to do four miles, but my foot was too sore to go on in the end. I’ve been having issues with my right foot since the babies were born, and it was just acting up quite a bit on this day. Not sure what that’s about and hoping it will just magically go away. Hmm.

Currently obsessed with: fresh dill

Food Highlights: Greek salad and these vaguely falafel-ish things I made, homemade pizza Saturday night, so much iced coffee.

This week I weighed myself at the gym on Thursday and I am VERY PLEASED to report a 5-lb loss over the past two weeks. In retrospect, when I weighed in two weeks ago, I must have been retaining a lot of water due to PMS (my cycle just came back after weaning, but I didn’t know that at the time). So this probably wasn’t “real” (fat) weight loss, but it sure is a relief to see the scale moving in the right direction again in accordance with the effort I’ve been putting in.