CHAPTER NINE: Keep Holding On. Or playing the Hunger Games of Pregnancy

I’ve been slack in not writing for a while. Which is hilarious in a way because I’ve been delaying these posts anyway so no-one would ever have known unless I told you. But I am telling you. I’ve been hiding.

I keep thinking I should write. I should spell out the magic of this pregnancy in week 4 with the boobs so sore I cried, week 5 with that one day I felt like I was on a boat and probably vomited a million times and all of the other tiny nuances of being up the duff.

But I didn’t.

Because mostly I am still just afraid. I live in a bubble of barely-bearable fear that one day I’ll go to the toilet and discover a bleed. Or even worse, I won’t. And that we’ll go to a scan at some point in the future and the ultrasound technician will have to tell me that my tiny human has stopped growing. It’s a gnawing fear that I know I should ignore, but it lives there in the pit of my stomach alongside the tiny blueberry-sized creature whom I love already.

The thing is, I am having a pretty darn easy pregnancy. Some slightly sore boobs, one day where I spewed and the occasional bit of feeling erky. And then these things will disappear for days at a time. These tiny clues that my body is changing and adapting go away, and I panic that a viable pregnancy will go away with them.

There is the double-edged sword in my life that is pregnancy forums and secret facebook pages. Because we haven’t (and won’t) announce for quite a while, there is a secret community of fellow secretly-knocked-up women who convene in facebook land and can complain together of our aches and pains, our plans and tests, our thoughts and fears. All of us are in the ‘pregnant but not publically pregnant’ phase together. It’s nice. And comforting mostly. Except of course, that 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage.

It feels like every day, I log in and there is a post from someone else saying “Sorry Ladies, looks like I’ll be leaving the group…” and a short explanation of how/why they’ve realised that they aren’t going to carry a healthy baby this pregnancy. Every time, I cry. I realise how incredible the odds are. And like the cannons firing in the Hunger Games, I am both filled with sadness that someone is leaving our ranks and relief that I have made it another day.

Today I am 8 weeks and 4 days pregnant. Only 220 days to go 🙂

With love and the absence of cannon-fire,

B xx

Chapter I forgot. Don’t read this one.

07/08/2015

I’m sad tonight. Sometimes I forget that I have readers. I get sad and think instinctively, “I should write about that” but then get trapped thinking there is no funny way to say something and what a shitty downer post that’d be to read.

Sometimes there just isn’t any wit. Sometimes I’m just sad or tired or hurting or sick or irrationally emotional.

And that’s okay. I need to write more even though sometimes it looks and fees like someone is listening. And like sometimes my life isn’t perfect.

You are all now my imaginary friends.

I shall call you Gumbo. Gumbo, my imaginary friend.

Talk soon,

B

CHAPTER THREE: I need to stop peeing on things.

21st of July, 2015

pee on sticks

I need to stop peeing on things.

Okay. So not things. Sticks. I need to stop peeing on sticks.

Trying to conceive has truly turned a corner into crazy. I knew it was starting when I found the ovulation prediction kits and peed on those. I think I got the information I needed out of them. And I think it made me feel a little bit less helpless.

But now that I’m in that awful wait where I may or may not be pregnant, I’ve started almost obsessively doing pregnancy tests. NOW, contrary to my actions, I’m not an idiot. I realise that this is the first month of us trying to have a baby. And that even really good pregnancy tests couldn’t pick up a positive yet. AND that realistically there is very little chance that I will be pregnant. It makes me feel slightly more in control.

I may or may not have peed on all the pregnancy tests I have. There were a lot.

They are all negative.

And that’s okay.

I’m okay.

There is always another month. I can pee on things next month.

Eww. And sorry,

Bella

CHAPTER ONE – And so it begins

THE DECISION – 21st of June, 2015

Something strange and wondrous has been happening for more than a year. Something I didn’t expect and wouldn’t have predicted.

I was getting clucky for a third baby.

Yup. A third.

Family

Me with #1 and #2. They are aged 8 and 4 now!

We’d never even really discussed it, just assumed that Oz would be our last baby and just basked in the fun and craziness that is our two lovely boys. Oz was an easy baby in lots of ways, and such a happy-go-lucky soul that raising him is a joy. And Mr H is such a little man already at 8 and so smart and thoughtful that life is pretty easy. But somewhere in my brain, the thought of MORE babies was gnawing at me.

I thought it was just me. Just some of the ‘crazy’ that I’m happy to accept as part of my personality. I’ll always love tiny babies, the same way I freak-out with pure joy if I get to pat a puppy or hold a kitten. It never meant that I NEEDED more pets, just that I love them. But I thought it was only me.

It was The Captain who actually brought it up first. He’s an amazing dad. That awesome balance of stern and structured and silly and conspiratorial. And the thought had been gnawing at him in the silence too.

But kids are expensive! Especially when you value good education and good education (IN MY OPINION) is very hard to find cheaply. I spend a lot of money on it, because I value it. And that’s my choice. So what if a baby #3 meant giving that up? Do we not educate a #3 the same way we have H and Oz? Or pull everyone out to a cheaper education? ARGH – it hurt my brain.

But kids are AMAZING! We love our family. We love our boys. We love raising little humans into bigger humans. And what we kept coming back to was the over-arching thought:

In my elderly years, or on my death-bed, will I think to myself “Thank God I didn’t have more children. That money I saved was totally worth it.”?

Hell no.

So we decided that Baby #3 is a thing. A thing we are doing. At some point soon we are going to start trying for another baby.

And I am excited and delighted and terrified.

Pretty much just being a mum in a nutshell.

Stay Tuned,

Bella

Things I’m Loving: Cheeta Recovery Tights

Sooo, it’s not much of a secret that I live in gym tights. Between my own training, working in schools doing physical activities with children and training adult clients – it’s literally the only wardrobe choice that makes sense.

I did a wardrobe clean-out the other day and sorted my clothes. NINETEEN pairs of tights. Crikey. And how many of those went in the to-donate pile? One.

I clearly have a problem.

But you see, I’m fussy. Because I wear them A LOT, I need tights to be dependable. I have basic pre-requisites for my tights. These are normally:

  • Not insanely expensive. I pay for good fabrics but I swear some brands think their tights are made of unicorn skin.
  • LONG or 3/4. Being 5’10, most “full length” tights are 7/8th pants on me and I’ve learned to deal but I love my ankles covered if I can. I won’t even start on the 3/4 tights that are the weird knee-shorts length. Urgh.
  • Versatile. I break this rule OFTEN. Every time I’m buying tights I think, “I should buy tights that I can wear with everything so I don’t need to bother matching anything”. And then I get distracted by WHOA, tiger print, YEE-HAA, giant roses, HEYHEY funky graffiti. So yes, this is a rule but one I will break for the right tight.
  • The sheer-butt issue. This is pretty much a blog post in itself but I’ll keep it short. I’m a PT, whether I like it or not when I am supervising, spotting, coaching clients, I see a lot of tights and know which ones are likely to go see-through. No-one likes it. It’s a pain in the clearly-visible ass.

SOOOO, when Jon from https://www.cheetarecovery.com.au/ emailed me asking if I’d be interested in trying a pair of their tights – I ran it through the checklist.

  • Pricing – If I was buying a pair, the full length tights are currently $60. That compared really well to other brands I had been looking at.
  • I wouldn’t know the length until I tried them on but the measurements looked promising. The models used didn’t look like teen-tiny humans which is always a clue.
  • They are all black, with a simple small logo on one quad. Super versatile right?
  • Sheer-butt issue – the great unknown. There have been tights from GREAT brands, that I paid A BOMB for that have still gone sheer when I squat or bend. But for a road-test – I was prepared to risk it.

So I agreed, and Jon sent me a pair of these:

Cheetarecovery

When they arrived I did the usual gasp – SO FREAKING SMALL. But they are a compression pant so unstretched and especially new, they looked tiny. The fabric is super soft but matte-finish which I like.

Things I hadn’t noticed on the website was the subtle seam-shaping through the butt and legs too. Also liked.

I tried them on and they are indeed super comfortable. I would describe them as a light compression style tight, certainly not the ‘spanx’ feeling that you get with some. Bonus was that you don’t get the squeezy muffin-topping that you can with those.

The waistband does sit higher on me than in the picture, but as a Mum of two with a c-section lower ab jiggle, I love that. The length was surprisingly good too. I won’t say they were super long but absolutely touching my ankle-bones which is a win.

But I can hear the screaming – Do Cheeta Recovery tights go sheer?? Well, do they?

Well, um, yes and no.

The proper answer is no. I am still wearing mine more than a month after receiving them. Happily training in them, wearing them to work and have even been known to layer them with dresses and boots on the odd occasion I was pretending to have clothes other than gym gear. And on all of these occasions, my butt was indeed not sheer.

But yes, while I was brutally testing them after receiving them, I COULD make the butt go sheer. In order to do that though I had to:

  • Pull them up high on my waist.
  • Pull the legs low down on my ankles.
  • Perform a full ass-to-grass squat or low stiff-legged deadlift WHILE
  • wearing patterned and/or coloured undies.

So really, no. Cheeta Recovery tights are not going to go sheer. I’ve seen much more expensive tights be sheer with far less provocation.

BUT – With all brands of tights, the simple steps for not baring your ass are the same.

  • Choose the right size – for me, this meant sizing up so that I chose tights appropriate for my height not my weight.
  • Put them on properly, like pantyhose (bunch them up, then inch them gradually up your legs evenly).
  • Wear solid coloured underwear.

To wrap up – I’m wearing them a lot, I love them and think they represent really good value. I wash mine 1-2 times a week on average and the logo is still intact (I don’t know about you but I hate the look of big peeling X’s on other tights!).

I train with both weights and spin classes in them a lot and haven’t had any issues with slipping or falling down either. They do have a drawstring but I honestly find the compression enough to keep them in place.

Certainly have a look at them and let me know what you think. I love that they have a money-back guarantee as well!

DISCLAIMER – Jon from Cheeta Recovery did indeed send me a free pair in order to have me road-test them but my opinion is definitely mine. If you’d like to snap yourself up a pair, check out https://www.cheetarecovery.com.au/ and feel free to use the promo code SAILORVEE to get 10% off. I don’t get a kick-back for that either – I just like making people happy!

Hope that helps in your shopping adventures!
Bella

Why would you Even Meal Prep your Food?


So, my life is back to super busy, as I’m sure all of you are experiencing as well!  Whether you’re a student, working, have a family of your own (or knowing lots of you – doing all three!) life is busy and can get stressful.  Eliminate the stress and time factor of having to scrounge to find something appropriate at each lunch-time and having to cook every single night by meal prepping!  It saves you time in the kitchen and helps keep you on track with healthy eating!  You can prep and plan for just dinners, for lunch and dinner, or even all three main meals of the day and snacks too!  The amount of prep you do, depends on how much time you have to dedicate to prepping and your personal preferences.

I prep my lunches for the week, cut up my veggies for snacks, as well as all my dinners for the week.  At different times, I’ve prepped my breakfasts as well but I seem to have a bit more time in the mornings to make it now that the boys are a bit bigger.

So what exactly is meal prepping?  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, essentially it is planning and prepping your meals in advance for the week.  This means cooking items in bulk and eating leftovers!  For those of you who just groaned and are turned off to the thought of left overs, listen up, I used to hate left overs when I was younger, well actually up until I was at uni!  Now I rejoice in their existence and you should too!  Left overs are a wondrous time saver!

If prepping and planning can stop you eating off track and keeping you eating good wholesome and nutritious food one extra time each week – that’s a fantastic result and will certainly help you on your way to your goals faster!

And no, I’m not ‘preparing’ for anything special at the moment. Not competing, no shoots booked any time soon. This is just my life. And meal prepping is a life-hack I’ve really grown to enjoy and see the benefits of.

What do you do to keep your weeks prepped and ready to enjoy?

With hugs I prepared earlier,

Bella

7 Steps to achieve your Nutrition & Weight loss Goals

Oh hi there. I’m totally not one for pretending the struggle is simple, but I do believe in breaking things down into tasty, tasty bite-size chunks to make it easier.

Want to live a healthier life but don’t think you’re disciplined enough to stick to a plan to achieve that goal? Don’t worry Poppet! Self-discipline can be learned…

Even the smallest actions are steps in the right direction

Formulate a ‘mission statement’
Ask yourself what you want to accomplish with your eating, overall health and body. Is it to get your pre-baby body back or just tighten up a little? The answers will help you formulate your mission statement. One example might be: “My goal is to reach a healthy weight and feel more confident with my body.”

Develop role models
One excellent strategy for learning how to reach your weight loss goals is to model your behaviour after a successful achiever — someone you know who now has a healthier life, or an athlete with impressive work and training ethic . While you don’t have to follow that person’s exact goals and philosophy, you can match certain elements of their strategy for success that make sense for you and your diet.

Develop an action plan
First, identify and isolate any unhealthy behaviours that keep you from reaching your weight loss goal, then ask yourself how you would act if you had already reached your ideal weight. For example, if you normally stay at the office later than everyone else, you’re probably too tired to go to the gym when you finally do leave. So think about how you might leave the office earlier, in time to get to that 6pm class. Are there meetings you can get out of? Is there work you can delegate? Or can you motivate yourself to exercise at lunch instead?

Visualise your goals
Self-disciplined people form images of themselves achieving their goal. As dumb as it sounds, visualising the new healthy you helps the brain convert images into reality. If weight loss is your goal, imagine yourself looking and feeling fantastic in your new wardrobe or looking your best and being comfortable and relaxed at the beach — you’ll find it much easier to stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan with this image in mind.

Search for pleasure as you pursue your goal
Many people find delight, excitement and intense involvement in working towards a healthy goal. Even if the idea of the diet  changes and exercise needed to achieve your goal may not seem instantly gratifying, the overall feeling of accomplishment will be well worth it in the end, so hang in there. Don’t stress about any occasional diet slip ups or if it feels like you’re not changing at all at first – it takes time to reach a goal.

Section up your life
People who achieve weight loss goals have a remarkable capacity to divide up the differing spheres of their lives to stay focused on what they are doing at the moment. You can make continual improvements to your food choices and healthy meal options, for instance, while other aspects of your goal — like stress reduction — may require other strategies. Set aside some time to think about how your can take control of your life and implement these improvements.

Stop making excuses
If you want to reach your goal, concentrate your energies on healthy accomplishments and successes rather than on concocting reasons for what you haven’t done. To avoid this behaviour, write down all the reasons why you are unable to achieve your goal, like all your excuses not to exercise then write down ways you might overcome them. So what if you don’t have the money right now to purchase new workout clothes? Exercise in a t-shirt and shorts.
By following these seven supportive steps you can re-invigorate yourself about your ability to achieve your goals and maintain the healthy life the way you want it.

Let me know what works best for you!!

Making lists and taking names!
Bella

Goodbye Grandma Winning

I remember being so small that I recognised you by your knees in the airport, because they were the first thing I saw.

I remember you being appalled that I didn’t eat a mango every day, and that my skin burned in the sun.

I remember being terrified of the border security dogs because you stuffed my suitcase (you always said ‘port’) with mangoes to bring home to my mum.

I remember how much you loved Grandad. Even though you called him ‘Silly bugger” and ‘Stupid Old Man’, you did it while holding his hand, or making his cup of tea and looking at him like he was anything but silly.

Your beautiful eyes never missed a thing. Not ever.

I remember that one time you tried to teach me to make marshmallow to enter in ‘The Show’. We set fire to the kitchen. We fed three batches to the dogs. I’m pretty sure you remade it when I was finally asleep. But I remember how freaking proud I was of that first place ribbon.

I remember how little you became at the same rate I became big. How small your hands became against my growing ones.

I remember your music.

Your art.

Your tremendous cooking skills and

Your enormous capacity for friendship.

I remember so much about your strength. You were bad-ass before it was cool to be bad-ass.

You probably wouldn’t like me saying ‘ass’ though. You were a proper country lady, after all.

Everything was your canvas.Canvasses were your canvas. But so were notebooks, paper, recycled boxes, tree bark and rocks.

We were your canvasses. You created such wonderful things with your family. We weren’t raised. We were crafted. With love, and attention to detail.

You were an artist in it’s truest sense. In life, and as a painter, who through the virtue of imagination, talent, skill and passion was able to draw together, sculpt, shape and develop a family of the deepest value and love for you.

I will miss you more than I can even articulate.
x

Winning Family Queensland

There is a Post I need to Write… But not today.

Someday soon I’m going to need to post. It’s going to be a hard post to write, but I’ll need to do it. For me.

It’ll be the post about how I deal with grief.

I’m (sure as Hell) no counsellor. I have no formal advice to give.

But what I am learning is that somewhere inside, along with my other quirks and issues, is still the food addiction.

I don’t see it anymore. I don’t feel it on a daily basis. I was pretty sure it didn’t even exist anymore. It was a fat-girl problem.

But today, when I heard my Grandma is really unwell, it was like an avalanche.

There was numbness. Then an OVERWHELMING desire to eat. A pizza. A whole one. Or maybe a pie. Or icecream, buckets and buckets of it.

Right now, I’m not eating any of that. But the feelings are still there.

I’ll need to write about that.

But not today.

Today I just need to breathe.

lungs

The post where I talk about the Healthy Eating Pyramid..

Nutrition Australia have finally updated their food pyramid for the first time in 15 years. Seriously – FIFTEEN YEARS!! The new pyramid is based on the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines, which was a thoroughly nerdy-wordy 52 pages, refined it back down into the pyramid and get this – it’s pretty fantastic! Not even joking…

I’ve been annoyed by the old pyramid (below) for SUCH a long time. There was so much weighting on heavy carbohydrates, a fairly decent allowance for junk/crap foods and demonisation of fats, healthy or otherwise.

old food pyramid

But wait – Check out the new food pyramid here:

New food pyramid

You see it? All of the amazing-ness?

Here are the major changes:

  • The food pyramid is now separated into five sections… way better than just three! This gives us a much clearer picture of what a healthy diet should look like. You know what I’d love? To turn it upside down! We read from top to bottom and I think it would help to see/read the ‘eat most’ section at the top. But hey, Healthy Upside-Down Food Triangle doesn’t have the same ring to it.
  • The new food pyramid very clearly gives veggies precedence over breads and cereals. Finally!
  • There’s so many greens. From a guess, I can identify bok choy, pak choi, green beans, broccoli, zucchini, basil, rosemary and lettuce – GREEEENS for the win.
  • More nutrient-dense whole grains are included. Like quinoa, cous cous, soba noodles and oats. Carbs are your friend.
  • Fruits and veg have different weighting. The new food pyramid calls for about three times as many veggies as whole fruit. This is exactly what I do with my kids, myself and my PT clients – quality proteins and filling up on veggies first.
  • There’s no junk food at all. Not even in the “sometimes” area like the original food pyramid. Actual REAL food for the masses, yeah!
  • Good fats are actually named up as good. The old food pyramid has margarine and reduced-fat spreads in the “sometimes” food. Now this spot is reserved for healthy fats like olive oil and almonds.
  • Spices and herbs have been included.
  • Avocados are included in the “eat most” section. Now there’s definitely no need to feel bad about having an avo a day
  • Margarine has been taken off the new food pyramid! Not even a food 🙂
  • There’s no allowance for added sugars.

What’s the bad news then? Hmm, there isn’t much. Not really. For a generic suggestion that needs to be broad enough to cover a whole country and therefore can’t possibly take into consideration each individual’s needs and reactions, it’s pretty great in general terms. If I were being really picky, I am still a little iffy on processed soy products like tofu. I don’t do soy at all and with clients who feel they need these in their diets I prefer they lean to the less-processed soy products. And personally, I run better on a much higher fat ratio in my diet. But hey – such an improvement.

So, that’s my thoughts on the new food pyramid, now I’m interested to hear yours. Sing out in the comments!

Cheers,

Bella