This Christmas, be human. Make Contact.

So it’s Christmas Eve.

Another year, another frantic scramble to have things ready. I know I’m rushing around like a crazy person. So much to do, so much to do!!

I saw this clip a couple of months ago and even without the crazed pregnancy hormones, it was enough to make me weep.

Have a watch:

See? So sweet.

But here’s a tip. There are people you KNOW, people that you LOVE that might not be feeling that love (or any love) at the moment. For whatever reason.

Here’s what I’d like you to do.

MAKE CONTACT – Seriously, grab your people (I mean whoever is close. Kids/dogs/cats/flatmates/weirdo neighbour Phil), grab your phone, take a silly photo of yourselves and send it with a personalised, individual message to the people in your contacts list that you hope have a lovely, happy and safe Christmas and holidays. It doesn’t need to be an essay, just a “Hey, from all of us, have an amazing Christmas and thanks for being an important part of my life”

For the older people in your life, pick up the damn phone and call them. I know our whole generation HATES making phone calls, but guess what? For the generations older than us, it can be a life line. There just isn’t an app for that. JUST PICK UP THE PHONE.

Put a card in your neighbour’s letterboxes. It’s okay if you don’t know their names, or even if you don’t want to give them yours. A nice “Have a great Christmas and New Year Neighbours! From the crew at Number Seventeen” is sweet, and for all you know may be the only message of joy they get this year.

The thing that makes us human is our relationships. All around us, we are seeing a breakdown in how we relate to each other, how we interact and how we communicate. Let’s be more human this coming year.

Merry Christmas Eve Peeps, you really are an important part of my life and I value you. More than you can possibly know.

With Love,

Bella

Lower Carbs? Why? Why not?

I see a lot about people who’ve dieted or lost weigh in the past becoming ‘carb-phobic’. This incredible fear of eating carbs, any carbs for the fear of getting fat.

So when I tell people that I live a lower-carb lifestyle all of the time, I get some pitying glances. I get people making assumptions about my knowledge around the role carbohydrates play in a healthy balanced diet, and I get people who strangely feel sorry for me as if I am missing out on life.

The thing is, as an individual human being, I’m not very carbohydrate tolerant. What that means for me is that I react with food intolerances to MANY types of refined carbs causing bloating, rashes, bowel issues and general unhappiness. So it makes sense that I choose not to eat too many of those. I handle unrefined and ‘real’ sources of carbohydrates much much better so have no real issue with most fruit and all vegetables, so don’t feel any need to limit those. But just by choosing not to eat the carbohydrate sources that upset me, means that my life looks pretty low-carb a lot of the time.

I do not believe that EVERYONE needs to reduce their carbohydrate intake. In fact, I’d love everyone to get a huge part of their nutrition from the beautiful vegetable sources and some of the colorful fruits that we have available to us.

For example, let’s look at the Captain. He is a lean body type, from a strong family generation of lean body types. He is active but not excessively so. BUT, if I try as I have in the past,to reduce the amount of carbohydrates in his diet – he feels awful. He doesn’t have any food intolerances, and handles even processed foods fairly well. So there is no need to try to reduce them from that point. What I do like to do is encourage him (and our boys who are the same) to eat the most nutritionally packed forms of carbs rather than the nutritionally-void mega-processed options.

As a pregnant person, it gets a bit tricky. Lots of the reading material does not support a lower-carb eating style while pregnant. I was worried that what I know from personal experience as a good way of eating for me would be detrimental to a growing baby. So I spoke with a nutritionist and got some confirmation that the way that I eat is still balanced, and healthy and not at all concerning.

It’s pretty simple. I still eat by this principle:

My food pyramid

See? Lots of colour, lots of variety and I’m not missing out on anything!

Let me know your thoughts – what do YOU do differently? And more importantly – what have you found that works for YOU?

Cheers

Bella

It’s not easy being round

I’m having one of those days today. Went to the pool for the first time this pregnancy and almost had a panic attack because I’m sure I just look fat rather then 19 weeks pregnant. And the skirt I’m trying to wear is an under-bump style and the elastic keeps rolling/folding (the same way that too-small clothes did when I was an overweight person) and making me feel awful about myself. Booo 😦

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: If you’re anxious and you know it…

The blog is rapidly approaching real-time.

The buffer that I created of a month between my real-world happenings and when the corresponding post goes live has all but eroded.

And I think I’m going to be okay with it. I think I’m mostly doing okay.

In case I wasn’t clear, I was having some real issues with anxiety for all of the early part of this pregnancy. That over-whelming worry that something was wrong, or would go wrong was just, well … over-whelming me.

Anxiety Girl - able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound!

Anxiety is a bitch. And unless you’ve really experienced it, is super hard to explain. Here’s a tip; being told to ‘calm down’ is not calming. Being told ‘everything will be okay’ does not actually reassure the person with anxiety. And telling them to ‘just breathe’ may very well result in you ‘just being throat-punched’.

People who suffer anxiety are most certainly not dumb. We understand and are usually more frustrated and upset with ourselves than you could ever possibly imagine because sometimes we aren’t capable of just breathing, calming down or being confident that everything will be okay.

But we are working on it. All. The. Time.

For me, the constant worrying has dropped back to a totally normal level of pregnant-mum concern. Stuff may still go wrong, but it probably won’t.

Today I am nearly 19 weeks pregnant. That’s nearly half way. Blueberry kicks, and wriggles and has been perfect on all of the scans we’ve had. I am healthy and happy and still doing all the things I did before.

I am okay. But not everyone is. Be kind. Always. Because you never know what other people have going on.

xx

Bella

CHAPTER TWELVE: Pregnant or Fat? Or Pregnant AND Fat?

I made a mental decision a while back that me being pregnant wasn’t going to be about my weight, or my body or any sort of struggle around those things.

For a health and fitness blogger, I just really don’t care that much in the scheme of growing a human.

I do absolutely respect people who maintain their super athletic bodies during pregnancy. I love people who continue to train and be bad-ass heavy-lifting, marathon-running gym girls right up until the day their little human/s arrive.

But it’s not the be-all and end-all of my life, and certainly won’t be of this pregnancy. Here’s the low-down of what I’ll find acceptable for myself during this pregnancy:

  • I’m going to gain weight. I have already. I’m okay with it.
  • I aim to eat well, and healthfully, in a balanced way during this pregnancy.
  • I aim to stay training for the whole pregnancy IN SOME FORM. I aim to adapt that as I go and be fluid and gentle in my approach.
  • I’m going to come back to training IN SOME FORM as soon as I can after the birth of Blueberry. I aim to be understanding of my body and gentle in my approach.

And let’s be honest, it’s my third baby. I have a history of previously being obese – my body is pretty darn keen to puff back out and chill in the chubby-zone. These first few month, there has been a lot of this:

pregnantorfat

Ergh.

I can’t say that it makes me happy. But it doesn’t worry me.

I have a meeting with a nutritionist this week just to chat about changes I can make to my pre-pregnancy diet that may better suit the changes in my body and hormone profile at this time in my life.

I’m still training, but at the moment that comprises two Spin/RPM classes a week and 2 small weights sessions with my weights dropped back considerably. And I’m okay with that at the moment.

So hey, if your following my blog hoping to see a girl stay super-lean, super small and bad-ass strong during a pregnancy – I apologise in advance. I’m just me. Doing my thing. As best as I can for the Blueberry and myself. And if it’s not pretty, or lean, or even particularly motivating as a fitness goal – I’m totally okay with that. You can catch me on the flipside when I get to work earning it all back with my three little people in tow.

But if you are keen to stick around, I’ll let you know how it all goes in the real world.

Thanks as always,

B