Moto Leggings for Fall

Oh My Gosh, I totally owe you guys a post about moto leggings. Sorry. I’ve been busy with day job jobby job ness. SO. MOTO LEGGINGS. Let’s do this.

MOTO LEGGINGS are probably the biggest legging trend for fall. They’ve been around for a while, but they’re reaching critical mass for fall/winter 2017. You can find them in any store you walk into. There is a version of moto leggings for any style of pant you want. Even sweats. Which doesn’t make any sense. But they exist.

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I love the look of them. I used to have a pair of grey moto jeans that were my favorites until I wore them out and split the inner leg seam in a non-repairable way. So I thought, “Sweet. Moto is back in my life!”

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UM. NO.

Moto + Jeans = cool if it’s placed on the right part of the thigh.

Moto + Leggings = a sausage-creating, super unflattering disgusting disaster.

Why? Because the cut of the moto trend right now is a diagonal across the thigh. I repeat: A DIAGONAL CUT ACROSS THE THIGH.

If you have THIGHS with a capital THUH, you don’t want lines across your thighs. The jeans I had that I liked had the moto panel starting just above the knee and were more of a knee patch/ reinforced knee kind of vibe. That works. This? Does not. Especially because they’re a stretch material so you get an extra indent at every seam. No bueno.

(These are the high waisted ankle length moto leggings from Zella at Nordstrom.)

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Zella Moto Leggings

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Now I’m not saying every pair won’t work. The ones below this paragraph are from Spanx, and they know flattery. They designed the panel to divide the thigh vertically instead of cutting across, so they’re probably good. I don’t know. I haven’t tried them on. Then again, they also draw a line beneath and pointing to the saddle bag area, so maybe not.

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BUT, I had tried some on to hilarious result, so I thought I should share the pics and warn you. Good luck finding a pair that works if your thighs are bigger than your arms. There are probably some out there BUT THEY ARE NOT SPANDEX WITH A SHEER PANEL fo’ sho. *shudder*

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Stink like a girl / Vapor Fresh sports laundry detergent review.

 

#FitGirlProblem: The stinky jacket.

The stinky jacket is the jacket you wear to and from the gym, or put on after your workout before you take a shower. The stinky jacket could also be the layer you start your run in, but eventually peel off, about three minutes after you’ve sweat into it. I have 1.5 stinky jackets. I wear them because they’re my coolest, longest, best jackets. They make me feel like a superhero badass person. They’re the ones that made me say “really? over $100 for a hoodie?” when I bought them, but I reach for them every single day and they make me realize how absolutely unflattering and shitty the cheap ones are.

But I also hate wearing them as stinky jackets because they’re the kind of jacket/hoodie things that I like to wear in athleisure situations, too. (This is where the .5 comes in. One of my stinky jackets I very rarely use as a stinky jacket, mostly as a running around jacket, but all it takes is one time and…yeah. I think it’s probably a stinky jacket.) It would be nice if stinky jackets didn’t have to be stinky jackets only, and I didn’t feel like I had to buy yet ANOTHER expensive fancy hoodie jacket thingie for everyday use because the other one and a half fucking reek. And they do. They fucking reek. I don’t think other people can necessarily smell them, but I sure can. Because they get jammed up in the armpits after workouts when I’m wearing sleeveless tops, grinding stinky deodorant wax and weight training funk all up in that fabric…not their fault. They’re armpit thongs, basically. How could I expect them to not fucking reek?

And yes, of course I wash them. I wash them all the time. And yes I use my special detergents. But that’s not cutting it. Them shits still stink.

MEANWHILE, as I was pouting about my 1.5 stinky jackets and trying not to buy another expensive workout jacket…Vapor Fresh sent me a new sample of their detergent! So I thought I’d tackle two birds with one post.
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What’s this Vapor Fresh you speak of?

Vapor Fresh by Raw Athletics (rawathletics.com, vaporfresh.com) is a sports laundry detergent that says it has stain and odor lifting technology and is designed to clean sports apparel and everyday laundry. Perfect, because that’s how I roll. I wash everything together and just use my fancy delicate detergent for the whole lot. Which I shouldn’t. See my earlier post about washing your workout wear here.

FYI: liquid detergent = usually bad for stinky and/or sweat-wicking things. Why? Fragrances, dyes, softeners and brighteners can clog fabric, trap the stink, and jam the wicking fibers so they can’t wick anymore. (Read more about it in the drop-downs here.)

What’s good about Vapor Fresh Sports Laundry Detergent:

  • not liquid
  • fragrance and dye-free, hypoallergenic
  • eco-friendly, biodegradable
  • no harsh chemicals
  • uses cold water compatible surfactants (soapy sudsy things that break down oils)
  • a lot smaller than a box of Tide or a jug of Cheer or whatever
  • can be used with regular and HE washing machines
  • made in Illinois!

Did it make your stinky jackets not stink anymore?

No, and then yes.

First pass: no. They still stunk. Then I read the directions on the package of Vapor Fresh, and it said “for heavily soiled laundry, allow laundry to soak with detergent for at least 10 minutes prior to washing.” And the website says to do it for “at least 30 minutes (!)” So technically, I didn’t give the stuff a chance to do its job on those deodorant-filled stinky jacket armpits.

So I dug out my washing machine manual, learned that I have, of course, been using it incorrectly for years, and figured out which settings have extra long soak times. Alternatively, you could just pre-soak the items in question Woolite-style in the sink like this.

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Pre-soaking is a bit of a pain in the ass, but it’s worth it to save an expensive jacket from stinky jacket doom, right? Now we know.

DID IT WORK, THEN?

YES. They came out…NOT-STINKY JACKETS!

Shit. Now I don’t get to go buy a new fancy workout jacket. 😦

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VAPOR FRESH: THE VERDICT

I know that Vapor Fresh won’t harm the performance (wicking, stretching, compression) of my workout clothes, and I am happy to report that does remove B.O. when you follow the directions. Which you think would be, like, the definition of any laundry detergent’s job, but you tell me. How many of your workout shirt and jacket armpits can you stick your nose into? Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Available on Amazon , $22 for a 5lb tub, which is good for 36 regular/ 72 HE loads of laundry.

 

 

 

#2017GoalsAF

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This is a running calendar I bought last year, by I Love To Run. You’re supposed to just X off each day that you ran. And right in the middle it says “You either ran today or you didn’t.” Super simple. Love the idea. Just like Seinfeld and his red Xs on writing days. You either did the thing that gets you what you said you want or you didn’t. You’re either moving towards what you want or you’re not. Do or do not. There is no try.

And there’s nothing like seeing the entire year laid out for you, with the evidence of your effort or lack thereof, for some honesty.

My calendar from last year is pretty pathetic. 55 runs. And it’s filled with many, MANY blank weeks. Vast stretches of nothingness. Now, I didn’t record every workout. Towards the end of the year I started to use a horizontal mark to indicate that I had done some kind of strength training or barre workout. But even if I had been recording those the whole year, it wouldn’t have changed the truth of the year.

The truth of the year was that I didn’t run much. The truth of the year is that there were huge expanses of time when I wasn’t doing anything to work toward my fitness and body goals. The truth of the year was my body was still recovering from carrying a child: my hip hurt, and my lower back got fatigued really quickly, even from walking. I had no core strength anymore to support that back or those hips. And it still felt like all of my organs were going to fall out of my body when I ran or tried to do a jumping jack. And I also had a 1 year old in day care, getting all of the day care colds, which I got, and then combined with allergies to form chronic sinus infections (yay! so cool! you should totally try them!) which meant I was sick for half the year, too.

So I had to take a step back (from where my ego thought I should be) and start where I actually was. Which is completely unAmerican and blows, and was NOT “run most of the days!” I had to do short, easy workouts, and focus on consistency instead of intensity. I did Betty Rocker’s MakeFat Cry challenge, which is all 15 minute workouts. I did the 21 Day Fix workouts, which are around 30 minutes long. (And they were really hard for me! And that made me super sad!) I did one or two segments of barre videos instead of hour long classes. I walked the dog because I couldn’t really run. It was a year of being a beginner even though I’ve been working out for almost 30 years. ARGH! SUCKS!

But you know what? It’s a year later. And now I can run. And now I can go back to bootcamp. And now I can really start building back up to where I was. It’s possible now. And now I can do jumping jacks without feeling like my organs are going to fall out onto the floor. (At least not, like, ALL of them.) And even though I didn’t lose “the baby weight” and actually gained ten pounds on the keto diet (what in the ever loving fuck, right?), I learned from that too. And I’ve pivoted, and I’m losing weight, and I’m probably pretty damn close to knowing exactly how to eat (for me) because now I’ve officially Tried All Of The Things.

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This is my calendar for 2017. It’s blank and I’m excited. I know it’s going to be “better” than last year. And I also know last year WASN’T a failure, because despite the lack of running days, I really did make progress. Invisible, annoying, base-level building progress, but progress nonetheless. And you have to go through progress before you can get to fitness, and you have to go through fitness before you can get to buffness. Which totally sucks and if I was in charge, you would lose 30 pounds every time you ran 3 miles. But I’m not in charge, so 1. progress 2. fitness 3. buffness is the only path there is. ONWARD!

I hope you have a big goal. And have figured out the exact things you need to do to get there. And I hope you get a big calendar. And use it. But I also hope you are kind to yourself, and acknowledge all of the work that happens along the way, you BADASS MOTHER BITCHES!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

About writing the Impossible is Nothing manifesto.

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Nope. Sorry internet. Muhammad Ali didn’t write this. I did.

 

Muhammad Ali was a singular, iconic, inspiring, and brave athlete, activist, and poet. It is sad that he has passed away, but it’s wonderful that the world is revisiting all of his accomplishments and what he stood for. He was right. He was the greatest. And he said a lot of smart, funny, inspiring, and just plain badass things. However, this is not a Muhammad Ali quote. The Impossible is Nothing manifesto was a long copy ad for Adidas, written to introduce the Impossible is Nothing campaign. I know because I wrote it.  

In real life, I am a copywriter. Like Peggy and Don on Madmen. I was working at TBWA\Chiat\Day (a partner agency to 180 Amsterdam) on the global adidas account, and it was my job to write a manifesto to help sell the “Impossible is Nothing” tagline and campaign, (which written by Boyd Coyner) to adidas. If it sounds like Ali could have said it, it should. I knew he was the hero athlete for the campaign, so I was writing something that had to fit with that iconic photograph of him towering over Sonny Liston. And lead into Boyd’s amazing tagline.

I’ll be honest with you. I was brushing my teeth, thinking about the tagline, and the “big word small man” phrase came to me and it wrote itself from there. I went in to work that morning, my boss said “we need a manifesto,” I sat down to write, and I handed it over to him before lunch. Sometimes that’s how writing happens. But it never happens like that without a great idea first. Boyd’s “Impossible is Nothing” was the idea. My bosses knew that was the idea we had to sell. Everybody knew that was the idea to sell. We just needed the rest of the words to sell it. So I wrote them.

I’ve been hesitating writing anything about this because, well, it’s tacky. But on the other hand, I haven’t stood up for myself enough over my career. (Maybe because I’m a woman, and we’re taught to see THAT as tacky. Or bitchy. Or both.) This ad wasn’t entered into any advertising award shows. The TV got recognition, (remember Laila Ali boxing Muhammad Ali?) but not the print or outdoor, which is what this was. Nobody in the industry even knows that I wrote this, unless they know me. And now that it’s getting more and more “internet famous,” I’m in a really weird spot. Muhammad Ali is getting credit for my work slash people believe my words came out of his mouth. That. Does not. Suck. That is incredibly flattering. On the other hand, my work is famous, but my name is invisible. In an industry that is all about publicity. So what’s an AdWoman to do? I’ve been doing nothing. But both doing nothing and doing something have their drawbacks. So what I’m doing is now something in between: I’m writing this, here, where all of five people will see it.

I mean, call me crazy, but it would be nice if my name came up in a search associated with the Impossible is Nothing manifesto. (It doesn’t.)  It would also be nice if ESPN, Sports Illustrated,  People Magazine, USA Today, , Business Insider, Goodreads, The Daily Mirror, and even David Beckham (who also had those words on a picture of HIM in the SAME CAMPAIGN!) (btw, it also ran on images of Laila Ali) did more than a google image search when researching things they’re calling quotes.

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Anyway.

Muhammad Ali had his own way with words. He lived impossibilities. He gave no fucks in the bravest fashion. He was bigger than a person. He was an idea.

What’s my favorite Ali quote? I don’t know. 1. because there are so many and 2. I really don’t want to misquote or miscredit. But, this is on the official MuhammadAli.com and they should know:

“I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.” -Muhammad Ali

That seems to have been his personal manifesto. Not everyone can say the first part. I can’t. But the second part, that belongs to everyone. Everyone can say that. Everyone should.

R.I.P. G.O.A.T.

Thanks for reading.

-Aimee Lehto Schewe

Education is Expensive

Hi. Sorry I’ve been MIA for a bit. I’ve had some LIFE THINGS to figure out and still have a few to go. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I have a greeting card company, Brain Surgeons & Rocket Scientists, and I was going to go to the big stationery trade show in NYC this year. But then, just when I was having a freakout about how expensive it was going to be, I realized I also needed to get a new car ASAP. Ouch. OOF! The old one-two! I lost a lot of sleep agonizing about both of those things, and I’m just now popping out on the other side. I had to drop out of the show (super sad) and say goodbye to my beloved MINI Cooper S (sobbing out loud sad) and get a “real” car with “four doors” and an “actual back seat.”

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(Side note: Do not for a second think there is anything wrong with a MINI. There’s just no way in earth-bound physics that I would be able to use a rear-facing convertible car seat (non-mom translation: frickin’ huge and you can’t take it in and out) in a two door car. It sucks. I loved my MINI. I held on to it as long as I could. I hope she ends up with a fun new owner who appreciates her as much as I did. Fuck. I’m going to cry again! I can’t help it. I love cars. Especially that one. )

When I signed up for the trade show, I thought I was doing a “just jump and you’ll figure it out” move. Which often works. Just not this time. Perhaps, and I’m just spitballing here, I mean, this could be total crazy talk, but maybe…when you have a child, you can no longer live as flexibly or spontaneously as you did before you had a child. And also, you need a four door car. You idiot.

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So. Lesson learned? Or punishment dealt? All I know is I done messed up. And it was an expensive mistake. So learn from me, folks. Sometimes you actually should look before you leap. Unless you’re in your twenties. Then you need to stop being a chicken shit and go do stuff because you’ll be old before you know it.

And now back to your regularly scheduled obsession with black workout pants and protein bars and such….

 

30 day challenge update and some postpartum bullshit

Remember how I was going to do Whole 30 and Bikini Body Mommy Challenge 4 for the last month? Here’s what happened.

Bikini Body Mommy Challenge 4: I’m still doing it. And I’m getting 10,000 steps almost every day.  I usually miss about one workout a week. I know deep down that these BBM workouts aren’t hard or long enough, but they’re great for getting into an every day workout habit. And I think they’ve been helping me get stronger in the pelvic floor, inner thigh, abs, and core. I couldn’t do mountain climbers (or any bouncing at all) when I started (because of pelvic floor issues) but now I can. Which is awesome. Also, I like doing them every other day, and doing both the strength and the cardio on the same day, back to back, so it feels closer to a real workout. So, that’s good.

Whole 30: Not so much. It’s been a rough few weeks. Some changes, some stresses, some challenges, and overall a pretty post partum depression-y time. So I said fuck it. I’ve been having some wine. BUT, I really did go a whole 30 days with no pop, sugar, fake sugar, or non-vegetable starches. (I count popcorn as corn, which is a vegetable. Wink.) But no pop, no protein bars, no sweetner in my coffee or lemon water, and no crap carbs…that’s not nothing, man! And I’ve felt good. Green tea in the afternoon instead of pop…less achy, more energy. Good stuff! And not hard to do.

Results? I’VE FUCKING GAINED FIVE POUNDS AND MY JEANS DON’T FIT. Yeah. I’M GAINING WEIGHT. No, it’s not muscle, I’m not an idiot. OK, I am, but not that kind of idiot. It’s belly. Flabby fatty belly. I had started to lose the baby weight, for about a second, and now I’m fucking gaining.

But there’s more to the story. I also stopped breast feeding. Which I was surprisingly ambivalent about… but I’m super glad to have my freedom back, to have my body belong only to me again, and to not have big hoots. YAY! My sweaters aren’t crop tops anymore!!! SUPER JOY TIMES.

Ah, but guess what comes with that change…A SUDDEN DEPRESSION because I’m not getting dosed with happy hormones (Oxytocin) multiple times a day anymore. I’ve said it a million times before and I’ll say it a million times again: being a girl is bullshit.

AND, no breastfeeding means I’m suddenly not burning an extra 500 calories a day. A SUDDEN BIG DECREASE IN METABOLISM. So fun!

So I didn’t fail. I didn’t succeed. Other shit’s going down that’s fucking my shit up and getting in the way of weight loss. I’m pissed. And I don’t know how this next phase plays out. I don’t know if your metabolism/ hormones even out or if I have to live on carrots and lacroix for the rest of my days or what.

That’s what’s up with me. A bit of chaos in the neurotransmitters and hormones. But I shall keep moving forward because winter is coming and I have to wear pants.  Wish me luck.

Wish me luck.

So. Girl who talks about workout clothes. Are you working out? What are you doing for fitness these days? Are you trying to lose the baby weight? Like, at all? Because…yeah. You might want to start working on that. You will have to wear pants soon. Winter is coming.

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Yikes.

Yeah. I am. For nutrition, I’m doing Whole30. Which is basically: don’t eat anything processed, and no starches, legumes, sugars, fake sugars, booze, or dairy. I do a lot of that already, but the hard part is ditching the Coke Zero, Pinot Noir and Quest Bars, and watching my portions. I basically live on Coke Zero, Pinot Noir, and Quest Bars, so…yeah. It’s going to be something.

And for fitness, I’m doing Bikini Body Mommy. I know. Worst name ever. I cringe at anything “mommy.” BUT, the program is super simple, the workouts are short as hell, they email you a link to your (free) workout every day so it’s duh-proof, and the lady, Briana Christine, is very real. She’s not skinny. She lost 100 lbs a while back, (in fact, if you’ve ever searched for fitspo or before and afters, you’ve probably seen her photo, below) became a trainer, has had kids and a miscarriage, and is just continuing the lifelong, sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller, mission to be fit. So she has expertise, and she’s done it, but at the same time, she’s in a “before” phase of her life and she’s huffing and puffing so I don’t feel intimidated. (I’m doing challenge 4.0.) Kind of a magical combo. I recommend it.

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This is the Bikini Body Mommy lady.

The workouts are very short, though. So I’m trying to get my steps and fit in some barre workouts, too. I stand by barre/ Dailey Method / Barre Amped / Physique 57 etc. as the quickest way to change your shape.

But the point is, I’m on turbo for the next 30 days and I’m not stoked about it because, ew. Effort. Change. Blech. Wish me luck.

WorkOutFits for Mom Boobs.

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Until my post-baby boobs return to pre-baby size, my wardrobe is highly useless to me. Seriously. Everything is cut for a different body. Boobs throw EVERYTHING off. Bless your heart if you want em, but I sure as hell don’t. All of my crewneck drapey sweaters? Nope. Any sweater that’s not a cardigan, actually? Nope. Any T-shirt at all? Nope. They’re all crop tops now. I live in tanks and cardigans, just like when I was pregnant. So until those jerks go back to normal, I have to work with the few things that DO work. Stupid mom boobs. Here are some things I’m loving:

  1. Racerback Tunics because A. Tunics, duh. and B. Big arm holes are about the only skin-baring feature that I can do right now. And C. you can layer fun sports bras with them. Cute + Coverage. Boom. Done. The grey one with the neon strip on the back is from Old Navy Active. (yes, they have some cool stuff. Maybe like one cool thing I can use per season. But still. that’s not nothing. And it costs next to nothing.) The pink one is Soffee, which is at Sports Authority and also cheap as hell.
  2. My Madewell black heart sweatshirt. It’s kind of somewhere between a sweatshirt and a sweater. So it falls instead of billows like a terry sweatshirt would. Simple, but with an uncommon twist. And the giant graphic camouflages like a boss. I like it with long leggings. (Long is key because short = more gym-ish and not OK for public.) If I were a skinny minnie, it would rule with boyfriend jeans and obnoxious pointy toed heels or something. But on me, that combo would look like Grimace in drag. In this pic I was just schlubbing around the house, but i think with a black boot and a long nicer t-shirt peeking out the bottom? Or maybe a white button-down shirt tied around the waist with my Ash high tops. I just really like the idea of a greyscale, almost goth twist on athleisure. That could be a good fall go-to. You know. Until I can actually wear pants again. Sigh. Fucking pants.

WorkOutFits post-baby, and what it’s like to watch your body change without your permission.

…or lack thereof, if we’re being honest here.

Here are my IG posts of workoutfits/ workout days from today back to when I was 36 month preggo.  IG = @iamaimeeschewe  Starting with today’s pic.

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Today: Day 8 of Bikini Body Mommy Challenge 4 and day 1 of Whole30. More on both of those later. 

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Self-tanner fail.

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Crunches and planks for all.

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I finally “fit” into my favorite green tunic again. And by that I mean I can put it on, but it sure as hell doesn’t fit like a tunic should. Also I lost my UP24 fitness tracker and I am TOTALLY BUMMED ABOUT IT.

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The good news is: where I live, you can throw a scarf on top of a WorkOutFit and you’ll be the best dressed lady around. That is also the bad news.

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All I want for birthday is some new fresh kicks.

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Sad about having no muscles anymore. I guess a year of not working out (basically) will do that to you. Babies. Jerks.

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I’m pretty into my purple and black tie-dye LuluLemon Wonder Under fold-over leggings. Fold-over really just means I always wear them unfolded/up over my poppin’ fresh dough. And of course, always, Nike Frees. The black tongue and laces really make this pair.  I love them to bits.

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Ah yes. This is me trying to get a feature from Fabletics on Lauren Conrad’s blog. I didn’t try very hard. Meaning I only sent in this one image. One time. But dang. Good hair day, right? Also, that is total angle trickery. Everyone looks skinny with their body cut off and from above. Try it. I do really dig that shirt though. Fabletics. Breeze top I think.

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so hipstergram.

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trying to psych up to get back into the swing of things. trying.

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Same Fabletics top. Different color. My wardrobe choices (read: what fits) right now are very 90s/ bold colors and black/ WWF/ Punky Brewster…purples, teals, black and bleachy tie-dye…not sure what’s going on. I actually wore the same type of clothes in 8th grade: tunic, sports bra top, leggings. Weirrrrrrrrd.

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See? What’d I tell you? Double black tie dye. So obnoxious. So Macho Man Randy Savage. What’s next? Zubaz?

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This is my cardio. Walking. I’m so hard core right now. Not. Can’t wait to be 100%. Srsly. 4rl.

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More with the teal. Hey, lets add neon green! Those are the mom boobs. Gotta say. I’m not a fan. I was totally fine with having smaller boobs and I can’t wait for these jobbies to go away. Oooh. Look how shiny my new fitness ball is. Ooooh. Silver.

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I was proud of my angles and art direction.

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So this was basically my all day post-baby uniform for the summer. Joggers and some kind of a baggy but with big arm holes so you see my bra type of shirt. The top and bottom are both Athleta. The top is sold out now (summer item) but the bottoms are the Metro Slouch capris and you can get them in full length for fall. I recommend them. Comfy. Not tight but not sloppy. If you have an ass, that is.

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This is me starting to work out again. And by that I mean doing my prenatal workout as my postpartum (that just means after baby, not postpartum depression) workout. Note the lack of waist and obvious tip toe leg-lengthening trick.

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Going further back in time, two months after giving birth, even less-little in the middle. Also, I braided my hair one day.

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angles and trickery!! I’m twice as wide when I’m facing forward.

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I thought I’d be using the Ergo Baby Carrier a lot. Too bad baby hated it. He likes the Bjorn.  We’ll try this one again when he grows out of that.

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This was right after my 6 weeks post-baby check up. When my doctor said I could work out again. But she also said I should go to physical therapy. So…yeah. Now it’s 6 months later and I’m basically still fixin’ to get ready to get back in shape. But that’s better than peeing myself for the rest of my life. Probably.

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And this was my belly at 36 weeks. I’m so glad to be not pregnant anymore! Love the baby. But man I LOVE being NOT PREGNANT. aaaaaah. The best thing about being pregnant is appreciating not being pregnant.

I haven’t posted a ton of pics because 1. I haven’t been working out a ton and 2. I don’t fit into much. I basically have three pairs of leggings that I rotate and two big baggy black tunics. That’s what’s comfortable and flowy and makes me the least sad when I look in the mirror. Your body changes a lot when you’re pregnant, and then again after you have a baby (and are breast feeding), and then again as time goes on, and then again when you stop breast feeding. (I hope.)

During pregnancy my waist got thicker before the baby bump showed up. And my boobs got bigger and hurt like hell. I am a pear / T-Rex (little in the middle but she got much back) with a medium-small upper body, so this was not fun for me. Me no likey big booby.  And I gained some cushioning all around. But it wasn’t too incredibly grotesque. Not as freakish as it could have been. I think the baby just took up organ space before growing out toward the world. Sure fucking felt like it. But not as bad as it could have been. I mean. I was still pregnant. It was gross and weird and a total alien parasite situation. But it could have been worse. So I’m thankful for that.

I walked a fair bit, but couldn’t do much more. I had no energy and bouncing was NOT an option. I stopped running pretty early on. It just felt like my organs were going to fall out. So…nope! I guess I didn’t do enough pelvic floor work before and during pregnancy. (be warned!)

Afterward, I wore a belly wrap corset thing and a hip minimizer (highly recommend, more on those later). And after six weeks I started walking again. And I’ve done some barre workouts, but I’ve been taking it very slowly and gradually because I’m still in pelvic floor rehab. (Long story. I’ll write a thing on that soon. I’m not “injured” any more than anyone else who’s ever carried a baby, but it’s important to rehab those muscles first so you don’t pee your pants your whole life. Other countries know this. America apparently doesn’t. Probably not a coincidence that my Physical Therapists are from New Zealand and India. )

Anyway, I’m just trying to give you an idea of what happens to your shape after pregnancy, even without workout out or watching what you eat too much. (me.) My waist is getting smaller on its own/ returning back to a more “me” shape. What isn’t changing is the boobs and upper body weight. Like the fat arms and armpits and upper back and whatnot. That’s still disorienting because it’s not my natural body shape and all of my clothes fit differently/ don’t fit because of the damn boobs. Everything is a crop top all of a sudden. It’s ridiculous. But that should change soon enough, when I stop with the breast feeding. I look forward to that.

I also don’t want you to think that not working out for 6 months is normal. (Or that I just said “Fuck it, I’m a mom!” I didn’t.) You can totally work out. And I could have gotten to this point quicker if I had been more religious about doing my physical therapy.  But I wasn’t. (I will be now, though. Promise. I’m sick of this.) So it’s taking a long time to get to the point where I can do all the fun high impact/ plank/ quick movement/ boot camp/ real exercise stuff again.  And to be able to wear my ninety seven different pairs of black workout pants.

Also, I should note that I’m finally realizing how much of this shit it is out of my control. Hormones tell your body to store fat because it’s going to use it or baby stuff and baby feeding stuff. Hormones tell your body you don’t need some of that anymore. Hormones tell you to lay the fuck down because your body needs all the energy for other functions you don’t even know are happening. I never went totally nuts food-wise or workout-wise while pregnant or after. I’ve just been normal, up and down, sometimes a total pig, sometimes not -me. Watching my waist get thicker and thinner despite my intake and output has taken some pressure off and given me a little faith in my body actually maybe deciding it wants to be smaller one day and it all happening pretty naturally. Maybe. I mean. That would be cool, right? Is that how normal people think and live? Huh. Must be nice.

But I’m for sure going to get more serious about my PT and keep on working in more working out.

And at least for a little while longer I’ll still be in tunics and leggings town. Hope you like purple tie dye and Punky Brewster…

 

Pregnancy Workout I loved: Susanne Bowen Prenatal Barre

So you know I love me some Dailey Method. And you also know I had me a baby. Which means I haven’t been able/allowed to do traditional core work for a long time. And core work is literally 1/3 of every single Dailey Method workout. So…sad face. No can do.

But, good news! While I was preggo I ordered prenatal workout DVDs by Suzanne Bowen of Barre Amped, and they are THE SHIIIIT!!!  They’re also great for after baby.

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Suzanne Bowen’s Slim & Toned Prenatal Barre Workout is like Dailey Method lite. You get some thigh and butt and core and arm stuff, but it’s do-able. It’s perfect. She also makes sure to incorporate the pelvic floor work in your positioning. Which is key. She calls it “zipping up a tight pair of jeans.” Which is a pretty good cue, I think.

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The Long & Lean Prenatal Workout is a little weird, but it’s really gentle and gets you moving and flowing without feeling like it’s a wussy waste of time. As you get up there in months, it’s a really nice option. Sometimes it’s hard to remember to move in any plane other than forward and backward, and this gets you moving all around and keeps you limber. The movements are repetitive, but almost in a meditative way. Like moving yoga? Strengthening Tai Chi? I don’t know.  I’ve never done anything like it before. Try it. It feels good. Mostly, in my 3rd trimester, it felt good to be able to do ANYTHING other than walk. Especially since I had to pee every four minutes.  Getting some movement in  at home, near the bathroom, became key.

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After I had the kid, I kept on using the Slim and Toned Prenatal Barre workout as my post-baby workout. I still use it, actually. Mostly because it’s broken into short segments that I can A. handle, because I’m out of shape as hell and B. squeeze in before the kid wakes up / shits/ gets bored / starts crying again.

Yeah, 15 minutes of strength training a day isn’t much. But you know what? It’s not nothing. And it’s a super easy, attainable, no-pressure way start building up some consistency. One segment a day? Awesome. Then you work up to two segments a day. Sweet. Pretty soon you’re doing a whole DVD a day. Progress, man. It happens fast and it’s not that hard. Woo hoo!

I also ordered some more of her Barre Amped DVDs now that I can handle more activity, and I love them. To me, Barre Amped is just a more approachable version of Dailey/Barre/Physique 57/ Ballet Body/ whatever. Still with results. Just a hair less serious. Less intimidating. More down to earth. More Southern or something. I like it. I like it a lot.

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So yeah. Suzanne Bowen. Barre Amped and Prenatal workouts. All on Amazon. Check ’em out.