Six Months

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Six months of motherhood. I blinked and we’re already at the half-year point. I have no idea how that happened. In honor of those six months, I would like to expose some of my truths:

I was slovenly all summer. It’s no secret: I’m not a desert heat kinda gal. I hibernate like it’s nobody’s business. So the extra 20 (yes, 20!) pounds have stuck around at six months. All those statements about nursing and losing the weight? Lies. Pre-pregnancy clothes have yet to fit (can I get an AMEN for yoga pants?). I’m awkwardly wide. Spanx don’t do shit. This is probably my greatest struggle with pregnancy and motherhood. I miss my wardrobe and the body I worked so hard for prior to baby.

Monkey Swings at Back Alley CrossFit

Monkey Swings at Back Alley CrossFit

CrossFit definitely helps, but I have been at a weight-loss plateau for quite some time. Have I CrossFitted five days a week? No. But it’s more than just working out. Recently, I started keeping a food journal. The minute I put what I consumed on paper, I shredded some inches and pounds (no lie). Through my week of food journaling, Coach Melissa helped me realize my sugar addiction and is currently helping me get my blood sugar back in check. Melissa has me eating so much, which seems counter-intuitive, but I am also not crashing or experiencing extreme starvation post-nursing. Huge wins – mentally, emotionally, and physically!

iPhones let you take selfies!

iPhones let you take selfies!

My iPhone and social media saved me from the long stretches of boredom and isolation and kept me engaged during the early days of hours-upon-hours of nursing. Sometimes I feel guilty about this (Should I be talking, singing, praying to her? How can I be more present? Will she be addicted to technology at a young age from seeing me like this?). But to my fellow online mommas, thank you for being there; for responding at crazy hours. It’s nice knowing there’s a village out there googling the same crazy questions, posting hilarious parenthood articles, and sharing pics of the cutie-patooties.

Courtesy of ecardforum

Courtesy of ecardforum

And when I wasn’t scrolling through my phone, TV was my best friend. I watched every season of Lost. I started Pretty Little Liars (terrible, but addicting). Chad and I watched The Office and Friday Night Lights (this was the second time we’ve watched every episode). People, that’s four series consumed from May to August. My word, that’s a lot of TV! But in the dead of summer (aka 116 degrees), there’s not much else to do with a newborn, but hole away in the air conditioning.

For the first five months, Florie refused to sleep during the day. Until we bought a swing for nap time. Yes, judge away; my child naps in the swing. But there are days (like today) where she fights a nap, even in the swing, (and wins). She just doesn’t want to miss anything. My Type-A personality struggles with the reality that I get little accomplished everyday. It’s one I’m overcoming as she becomes more independent, but those early days were hard! And I thank God everyday that she has slept through the night from a very young age.

The pendulum of emotions and weird things your body does postpartum sucks. There’s no better word. I’m tired of the hair loss, the irritability, the feelings of starvation that follow long periods of nursing (see point above; no wonder I can’t lose the extra 20 pounds), the brain fog…

Then there’s the challenge of balancing my professional self with my new role as a momma. This isn’t easy for me. My friend, and subsequently my life coach, Dr. Alessandra Wall, of Life in Focus, has helped me in this time of re-definition. We’re working on a variety of things, but, most importantly, she’s definitely my voice of reason when I’m battling the “how do I do it?” questions.

My friend Margie’s very honest blog about her first year as a mom has been a point of salvation. She suffered a rough first year with her first-born and was brave enough to share her truths with the world. I applaud her for bucking the norm and for making me feel OK with some of my own challenges. And let me tell you, she’s on baby #2, kicking ass and taking names, all while running her own business. Major props!

I wouldn’t change any of this if it meant I didn’t have my sweet, strong, fierce Little Miss. Life with her is so much brighter and better. I’m fascinated by her daily developments – what’s instinctive and what she’s picking up from us. I’ve loved getting us involved in all the fun (FREE!) activities around town. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to deepen some friendships with other (new) mommas. And I’m so thankful for my supportive, patient husband, who has risen to his fatherhood duties without hesitation. For that, I’m truly thankful and lucky.

What are your truths? Where did you turn on bad days? Any wise sages have advice for new moms?

Barbells for Boobs a Success

Courtesy of Barbells For Boobs

Courtesy of Barbells For Boobs

The Barbells for Boobs event was a huge success. I surpassed my fundraising goal; thanks to my many friends and family for helping me make a difference.

And I was 10 seconds shy of completing my “Grace” goal. I took 4:10 instead of under 4 min. Still really pleased since it’s been quite awhile since I’ve thrown that much weight around consecutively 30 times. When I was struggling to get that weight overhead and I had jiggly arms, I thought of the brave battle my Aunt committed to and won. Definitely easier to push through that way!

I had the best cheerleading section, too.

My cheerleaders

My cheerleaders

What inspires you to push harder?

Barbells for Boobs

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More than 20 years ago, my Aunt Mary “Mimi” was diagnosed with breast cancer. With the support of her family and friends, she beat it and has had a successful remission. Not everyone is as lucky.

Meghan & Mimi

Meghan & Mimi

To honor her brave fight and the fight of so many women and men, I’m raising money for early detection education and participating in the CrossFit Barbells for Boobs WOD (Workout of the Day) on Oct. 17 at Back Alley CrossFit. The WOD is called “Grace,” which is 30 clean and jerks for time. My attempted weight and time will be announced this week.

Please help me support Barbells for Boobs by making a donation through my page. Even a small donation will help me achieve my goal. The process is fast, easy, and secure. If you donate and would like your donation to honor someone, I’ll gladly temporarily tattoo their name or favorite saying on my legs or arms … so let’s get my skin covered!

Thanks so much for your support.

Meghan

Post Partum: Weeks 12 and 13

Awesome week and finally made it to Back Alley in addition to yoga and walking. Feeling excellent! I’m attending the 101 classes twice a week. This is allowing me to ease back into it and minimize any scaling. I’m also still wearing my heart rate monitor to now gauge my capabilities without a baby.

Some things I’ve learned in my short three months as a momma:

1. CrossFit is the best way to start shedding that baby weight. Shouldn’t come as a surprise, I know, but after just two days, I can see and feel a difference.

2. The minute you don’t have clothing back-up, the baby will have a blow-out. Thanks little miss for christening my come back to the box with a blow-out mid-WOD. Glad you’re comfortable in just a diaper!

3. That being said, less really is more! All of the sudden my car is full of stuff – bags of returns, swimming gear, workout gear, library books, a stroller, dog gear – and our baby is only three months! We love the Skip Hop pronto changing station. We now have three because they are totally genius. I keep mine stocked with diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, Advil, first aid kit, extra outfit. When out and about, I can easily just grab it to change her – in the car, in a random bathroom, at the box, etc. We have three because we keep one in each car and one with the stroller.

4. Drive-throughs are a mom’s best friend (and I don’t mean the McDonalds!). Thanks Starbucks for keeping me caffeinated and hydrated while I keep my baby sleeping in the back seat.

I’m sure it’s old news by now, but love that CrossFit HQ is finally giving some attention to all the awesome women out there who CrossFit while pregnant. Be sure to watch the latest video, if you haven’t already.

For a quick snack pre- or post-WOD, I recently made these no bake protein bites from HeandSheEatClean. Super simple to make and who can beat the no bake part?! I also made mine lactation friendly by adding in a tablespooon of brewer’s yeast. You can easily sub the peanut butter for almond butter for a more paleo-friendly option. YUM!

And we have been meeting the newest CrossFit babies! Both Katie and Sara delivered healthy, precious babes. Aren’t they darling?

With Katie and Baby Rounds at Back Alley

With Katie and Baby Rounds at Back Alley

Meeting Baby Hillman at the hospital.

Meeting Baby Hillman at the hospital.

Postpartum Weeks 10 and 11

As I mentioned in my previous post, my number one goal is to preserve my ability to make milk. However, I am equally eager to shed some of these added pounds in the next few months. This balance is a huge mental challenge, especially because I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I read a blog post by Blonde Ponytail on “Body after Baby,” which provides great tips, number five being the most important for me: BE PATIENT.

In the spirit of CrossFit’s constantly varied mentality, I have been working out slowly and strategically OUTSIDE the box. Yoga. Barre. Running. At home weight training. Easing my body back into it before I hit the big weights. Week 10 I managed some running and yoga. This week, I worked in a Barre class and managed to do something Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Not too shabby. Here’s hoping I can keep up the momentum and work in some higher intensity.

In the meantime, I’ve received some great questions from readers about my experiences while pregnant.

Did you increase [weight] during your pregnancy? My doctor said to stop lifting at seven months. I see you did not do that. I am no where near the weight you lift but did you decrease your weight the last few months? Yes, but I understand I’m an anomaly. My coach and I worked closely together to monitor this. But my body craved and thrived with bigger weights. I hit a number of PRs on a number of Olympic lift in my third trimester. As always, work closely with your doctor and coach before attempting this and LISTEN to your body.

After having your baby have you lifted weights? While traveling recently, I visited two boxes and did some Olympic lifts, but I haven’t been to my home box yet. I have done some free weights at home. I’m trying to balance a lot and I hurt myself around weeks 5/6 postpartum with a kettlebell workout, so I’m hypersensitive because of that.

I want to try to keep my core as strong as possible so it isn’t as rough getting my mid-line back in shape after the baby. I do a lot of planks, but do you have any other suggestions? During my pregnancy, my core modification was v-sits on the box. It was amazing for my mid-line post-baby and something I plan to do daily next baby. Planks are also great, especially if you can vary with side planks and leg or arm raises.

What things did you stay away from in the second and third trimesters? Again, do what makes you feel good and work with your coaches to determine modifications. What worked for me, might not work for you. With that said, here are the modifications I used:

  • Once I started to put on weight, I couldn’t do pull-ups (that isn’t a strength of mine and something I was working on prior to my pregnancy). I subbed with ring rows.
  • I avoided inversions, but I know previously featured athletes Sara and Katie had no problems with handstand walks and push-ups. Coach & I subbed in something else entirely for me here.
  • Sit-ups became v-sits on the box (though I did sit-ups longer than some of the other athletes thought I should have. I probably could have gone longer, but I let them get in my head.
  • Push-ups became problematic third trimester because of my protruding belly, so I worked on push-ups on the wall.
  • I slam my body during burpees; in the first and second trimester, I subbed with push-ups and jumping jacks; third trimester it was wall push-ups and air squats.
  • Box jumps became step ups.
  • I didn’t do any bench press and in the second trimester stopped snatching. Usually, I just did another lift. I did a lot of shoulder work my entire pregnancy, which was to my advantage because it’s a weakness of mine.
  • Running was uncomfortable in the third trimester so I walked or rowed.
  • I stopped yoga at week 35 or 36 because the positions got too uncomfortable.

Any lessons learned? I wish I would have eaten cleaner/more paleo so I wouldn’t have gained as much weight. Ironic I know because I was poo-pooing the doctors for scolding me. Live and learn. But the reality is that losing these extra pounds is a tricky physical and mental challenge for me because I’m up against a low milk supply + a strong desire to nurse for 12 months.

I also wish I had known my heart rate prior to becoming pregnant. Any readers out there who are trying to get pregnant: I highly recommend investing in a heart rate monitor now and learn what your body is capable of before you get pregnant. That way you can better modify and understand your limits.

All-in-all, I was blessed with an easy pregnancy, delivery, and first two and a half months. I appreciate my support system and all my readers.

And nothing like getting major inspiration watching the CrossFit Games, which are live on ESPN 3 this weekend. Be sure to tune in and watch some of the best. Wish we were there again this year! Such an awesome weekend, celebrating the sport we love.

Any words of wisdom or modifications to add?

Nine weeks Postpartum

What an awesome journey! We are loving parenthood with all the joys and challenges it brings, and we’ve had many of both. The joys are pretty obvious – nothing can compete with the love in our hearts, especially with all the smiles and coos she shares with us.

The greatest challenge has been milk production. Since we weren’t sure I would even be able to nurse, we’re obviously thrilled that I can. However, it took quite awhile (six weeks) for my milk to truly come in and it took some time to figure out how much I was producing. With the help of an excellent lactation consultant and support of many momma friends, I have found the right balance of supplements needed to boost my supply (the best of the best being Fenugreek). And little miss is gaining the proper weight (but that took many weeks!).

Fenugreek

As a result, I haven’t been back to CrossFit as quickly as I wanted because I haven’t wanted to hurt my supply. For the early weeks, I was also nursing around the clock, so I was too depleted to even try to get in the box. Now add in the 115 degrees and, well, it’s honestly a challenge to motivate.

In the early weeks, I did do a few at home WODs, one of which left me injured, delaying my return. It seems as though my joints are more sensitive and I’m more likely to pull a muscle now that little miss isn’t around to hold me together. It’s what my doctor warned me of during my pregnancy, but since it never happened, I never thought it would happen postpartum. A week of ice, heat, Advil, and a trip to the chiropractor and I was healed. But it left me nervous to do too much.

We also spent three weeks in the Midwest and Colorado. That time afforded me cooler temps to walk, run and squeeze in some WODs between visits with family and friends. I visited CrossFit Fond du Lac with my cousin, Maggie, for a great workout. Definitely check out this box in you’re in the area. Nick is a great coach and was extremely sensitive to my injury and postpartum status.

CrossFit FDL WOD

CrossFit FDL WOD

Post-WOD with Maggie

Post-WOD with Maggie

I was also able to fit in some lifting at CrossFit Beat, the newest box in South Boulder, Colo. Awesome garage set-up and fun atmosphere at the foot of the Flat Irons. Our friend Adam is a great guy and coach. Strongly recommend hitting it up when in Boulder.

Lifting at CrossFit Beat

Lifting at CrossFit Beat

Field bounding for Frankie in Boulder

Field bounding for Frankie in Boulder

Now that we’re home, and I am feeling more confident in my ability to nurse, I’ll be getting back to Back Alley and hopefully some yoga. Can’t wait for the cooler temps to walk and run, too!

Any postpartum tips or motivation you have to share?

Athlete Profile: Katie Rounds

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Katie Rounds and I met at Back Alley CrossFit in Phoenix, Ariz. She’s a smart, successful woman with two beautiful girls and an equally successful husband, Cody. They are expecting baby number three and unlike the first two, the gender is a surprise for this little one.

Katie started CrossFitting in March of 2012, at the persistence of Cody and one of her best friends, Katy. Katy and Cody were working out in Katy’s back alley garage. Subsequently, Katy and Cody now own Back Alley CrossFit with two other partners. A bit serendipitous, wouldn’t you say?

Katie and her family

Katie and her family

Katie is due in June and has consistently CrossFitted during her third pregnancy. Here are her thoughts on the experience:

Why I started CrossFit: While I have always loved working out and have been a member at a gym since I was old enough to join, CrossFit wasn’t an easy sell for me at first. I was very hesitant about the financial commitment, childcare options and convenience of locations and class schedules. My husband, Cody, and friend, Katy, convinced me to work out with them in Katy’s back alley garage to see what it was all about and I obliged (it was really a stall tactic from agreeing to join a CrossFit gym). My “big box” gym membership was cancelled that same month and I can’t imagine my life without CrossFit in it now.

Kettlebell swings - prebump

Kettlebell swings – prebump

Other exercise practices: I grew up through school always participating in athletics (volleyball, swim, track and cheer). I also enjoy hiking during the cool Arizona months, but with two kiddos always in tow, CrossFit has been my primary source of exercise for the last two years.

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is: To maintain my pre-pregnancy workout level (with modifications of course….superman core work on the ground just isn’t an option with a belly!). With this being my third pregnancy, I understand how important it is for my body to sustain a strong core to help minimize the third trimester back pain always accompanies my pregnancies. With each of my prior pregnancies, I have gained more than 50 pounds, and this pregnancy is on track to be the same. Being a naturally smaller person in height and weight, this additional pressure on my back and hips has been intense; maintaining that strong core has been my only way to overcome this.

Overhead squats

Overhead squats

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it? My doctor is very supportive, as this was an exercise practice that I had been doing pre-pregnancy. There was no “limit” set on my heart rate, but was instead told to listen to my body and respond accordingly.

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find support? The community of the Back Alley CrossFit has been supportive and encouraging. Having several others in our gym that are pregnant and CrossFitting at the same time also helps for modification advice for certain workouts.

Don't drink the water at Back Alley CrossFit!

Don’t drink the water at Back Alley CrossFit!

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned: I’ve learned that many people who aren’t familiar with CrossFit can be quick to pass judgment that being pregnant and doing CrossFit “isn’t safe” or is “too intense.” Standing in my shoes and knowing what my limits were pre-pregnancy and what my limits are currently, I know that what I am doing is an incredibly healthy thing for my body and my pregnancy.

Handstand push ups

Handstand push ups

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: I am a very competitive person so it has been hard to force myself to step back, let others pass me and not push as hard as I typically would. Lifting lighter and slowing down has also allowed me to work on correcting form in areas that I may have been sacrificing before. I am hoping that being pregnant is kind of like working out with a weighted vest…once it comes off, everything that felt hard before will be much easier and I can finally beat Katy at something!

Katie and Katy - pre bump

Katie and Katy – pre bump

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle? We have followed a partial paleo lifestyle through most of our years doing CrossFit. Throughout this pregnancy, we have done less paleo with the introduction more dairy and grains (and coffee almond Haagen dazs ice cream bars!). The kids certainly enjoy this change. Overall, even when we aren’t following a paleo lifestyle, we are still eating healthy and balanced meals.

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: Sit ups are still possible! I was doing regular CrossFit sit-ups until about six months pregnant, but when the belly started to get too much in the way, I used bands on the pull-up rig to hold onto and allow assistance up.

What have you found most valuable about CrossFit while pregnant? Besides the satisfaction and energy that comes after a CrossFit workout while pregnant, I know that my recovery post-baby will be so much easier and faster because of CrossFit.

Favorite quote: “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

Favorite girl WOD: Cindy (20 min AMRAP- 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats). I like small batches of things that I can do over and over again.

Three words that describe me: Multi-tasker (but really good at delegating; ask my husband!), determined, organized

When I’m not in the box, you can find me: Working full-time as senior development manager for a local real estate company, moonlighting as a wedding and lifestyle photographer for my photography company (Round Lens Photography), chauffeuring my two daughters around town to school, gymnastics, dance, t-ball, swim…you name it, we do it! Free time is a rare thing in the Rounds’ house but when we have it, I enjoy playing in the yard with the kids, taking naps all afternoon, catching up on good Netflix shows and extended shopping trips to Target without the kids!

Doesn't she look amazing?

Doesn’t she look amazing?