Thursday, March 11, 2010

No ID?

A few nights ago, my husband and I met downtown for happy hour.  For some reason -- let's chalk it up to the Pregnancy Forgetsies -- I didn't have my wallet.  I guess I'd taken it out of my purse for some reason and didn't put it back.  The guy at the door asked for my ID and I scrambled around, feeling really embarrassed and hopeless.

Then I stuck out my giant tummy and said, "Well, I'm pregnant, it's not like I can drink anyway."

He waved me right in, no ID needed.  Then I had a German non-alcoholic beer that tasted like ass.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Review: DVD Penatal Yoga Complete with Mary Poppas-Sandonas

As I've previously stated, yoga and I don't really get along.  I've taken a handful of formal classes and followed the show Namaste Yoga on FitTV.  So, I'm not the expert on this field.  But I figure it's ok because as soon as I'm not pregnant anymore, I'm planning to continue my life's work of avoiding yoga at all costs.

But I promised I'd give ol' prenatal yoga a shot, just to make sure I wasn't missing out on something; it's my first time being pregnant, what do I know?  So I got the DVD "Prenatal Yoga Complete" with Mary Poppas-Sandonas.  And let's just say my attitude didn't change much.

1. There are no pregnant ladies in this video.  Instead it's just a skinny instructor who looks kind of silly using ten or fifteen props to get her lithe, flexible body into position.  I didn't think this would bother me so much, but it did.

2. This kind of yoga hurts.  The very first thing (after all the precautions, because nothing makes a pregnant lady feel like exercising than hearing about the eight hundred ways she's going to make her baby stupid if she does it wrong) was Hero's Pose, which is basically kneeling on the ground.  But the instructions says to "move your calf muscles away from your legs to make room for your butt."  Um, my calf muscles are attached to my legs.  Where am I supposed to move them to?  I did what she said and it just caused excruciating pain up and down my legs and knees.  So I stopped, per the cautionary instructions.

3. It requires too many props.  How many props to do Hero's Pose?  Four! Four things required for a pregnant lady to kneel on the ground -- a mat (fine, that was expected), two washcloths for my ankles, and a wooden block for my butt.  Every pose required many, many props, and I didn't really have any of them.  I used all the spare bathroom towels and pillows and couch cushions and still had the distinct feeling that they weren't good enough.

3. This is basically just laying or relaxing in a position for a few minutes before assembling the required props to set up the next position.  It was a lot of setting up (the instructions helpfully suggest pausing the video to get everything in the right place!) and then ... sitting in the position forever.  I was expecting more movement.  More, you know, exercising.

4. It claims to help with morning sickness.  Wrong.

5. It has literally hours of video for every trimester.  That's one thing I really liked.  There are sections for sleeping better, feeling more energized and getting rid of headaches in addition to the section on morning sickness.  And there are other sections for each of the trimesters, too, plus fertitility routines.  A lot of information packed into one DVD, that's nice.

Quick Review: Fit and Pregnant by Joan Marie Butler

Fit and Pregnant by Joan Marie Butler

Finally, a book that is about how to exercise while you're pregnant that doesn't include a meal plan and a prescribed workout.  This one focuses on some popular sports and how to modify them for pregnancy.  My only issue is that the "popular" sports don't include the one I like best (martial arts), but I'll cut some the author some slack because there's quite a lot about cycling.

One thing I've found a little silly about a lot of pregnancy workout books is this idea that they need to include everything about being pregnant -- as if this is the ONLY book I'm going to read about what happens to my body while I'm with child.  Fit and Pregnant doesn't follow this method, thankfully, and only includes the physical changes that relate to specific exercises.  For example, looser ligaments can lead to running injuries if you don't pay attention.  I also appreciate that in the section on what exercises to avoid, most of the advice is about avoiding injury to the mom-to-be instead of the baby; the baby is relatively safe inside the uterus, but if the pregnant mom gets hurt, some drugs and interventions (I'm guessing surgery, for example) aren't recommended or allowed.  So, in other words, the main reason you don't want to continue downhill skiing or whatever is because YOU might get hurt and then be stuck on the couch in a cast until the baby comes.  This makes a lot more sense to me than some of the other advice I've seen.

Another great section is about weight training.  I don't do much of that, but one thing Fit and Pregnant points out is that working on the weight machines at the gym is a nice, safe way to keep the right muscles working even if you can't continue to participate in your favorite sports.  So, if you find you can't keep cycling like you want to, you can work out the same muscle groups on a machine instead. Ah, some practical advice.

This book includes sections on the following sports: pilates, yoga (always with the yoga, these books), aerobics, weight training, running, walking, hiking, swimming, rowing, cycling, and a bunch of winter activities that I skipped over (no winter down here in Texas).  Plus, in the back is a section called "Resources" that lists a bunch more books and websites -- including websites for maternity workout clothes and equipment.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Quick Review: Super Fit Mama, by Tracey Mallet

Super Fit Mama, by Tracey Mallet

Ah, yes, let's all be Super Fit Mamas, shall we?  Under the title of this one are the words: "Stay Fit During Pregnancy and Get Your Body Back After Baby!"  Arg, my body has been high-jacked by the baby I GREW ALL BY MYSELF, must ... fix it ... must ... pretend I never grew a baby by the POWER OF MY OWN BODY.  This is slightly more annoying than the idea of Buff Mom-To-Be following on the heels of Buff Bride-To-Be.

Again, this book is contains a workout routine to do while you're pregnant and after the baby is born.  I give it bonus points because she actually wrote several different workouts, one for each trimester and three for different phases of postpartum life.  However, I'm taking away points because all her "success" stories involve people who hated working out and ate junk food all the time before they start her program.  Let's all be clear: when you don't exercise but do eat junk food, changing those things usually results in you being fitter, no matter which diet or workout routine you pick.  I'm waiting around for someone to address those of us who do eat well and already workout but don't ever see any results from any new diet or exercise program.  Plus, most of her examples lost between 15 - 30 pounds; by the end of my pregnancy, I will probably need to lose that amount from each of my boobs, so I will probably need something more powerful.

The pregnancy workouts are pretty nice.  They are short and use stuff you probably already have at home (I'm a fan of not having to buy anything to participate).  Plus, the back of the book includes an eating guide with some recipes.  I've made a handful of them and can attest that they are pretty tasty.  Flax seed pancakes = yum.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Quick Review: Buff Moms-To-Be by Sue Fleming

Buff Moms-To-Be by Sue Fleming:

I'll admit that I became less enthusiastic about reading this book when I realized it was the sequel to Buff Brides-To-Be (Lose weight before you end up in a wedding photo! And holy crap, you gained it back by getting pregnant!  What were you thinking?).  But the advice inside isn't too bad.

I am, as I've mentioned before, looking for a book that describes how to get through real-world (i.e., the rest of the unpregnant masses) exercising while you're dealing with all the new stuff pregnancy brings on.  This book isn't exactly that, but I'm losing hope that I'll ever really find that book.  Instead, Buff Moms provides some good general pregnancy facts along with a light weight-lifting regimen that can be maintained through to the end of most uncomplicated pregnancies.

What I like most about this book is the author's practical tone and advice that (duh) you should be able to do almost any kind of exercise you want while you're pregnant.  Walking, jogging, swimming, yoga (always with the yoga) get special attention as "pregnancy friendly."  Ice hockey gets called out twice as being bad during pregnancy.  Maybe the combination of ice + skates + people ramming you = bad.

Most irritating piece of advice?  "Wear loose, comfortable clothing."  First of all, isn't that the advice about what to wear when you exercise even if you're NOT pregnant?  Also, I have two types of clothes in my closet now: things that are too tight to fit anymore and maternity clothes I am still not big enough to wear.  Where is this magical loose and yet still comfortable clothing (that I assume is tight enough not to fall off)?