Your Foundation

Without a strong foundation it’s hard to create and maintain health.  Inconsistencies, stress, and distractions will continue to get in the way until you address this important step.

What do I mean by foundation?

 

I’m talking about things that set off your flight or fight instinct.  This can be slightly different for everyone but for the most part we’re talking about a place to live, food to eat, feeling safe, and having a tribe.  Finances are a big part of this; however, we’re focusing more on our environment than money at this point.

Look at your home and your car (if you have one).  How do they make you feel?  Do you feel stressed out if someone else will be entering them?  Do you feel secure that you won’t lose them?  Look for ways to ensure that your home and your car make you feel safe and comfortable.

Where do you buy your food?  How is it prepared? Do you feel better after eating it or does it bring shame and guilt?  We’re not focusing on what to eat yet, just the qualities of our food and how it impacts us.  Eating healthy and vibrant living food (plant matter) will ensure that we have these qualities in our body.  If you splurge on something you feel either you can’t really afford financially or can’t really afford health wise, is the stress it creates in your body really worth it?

Do you live in a safe neighborhood?  Do you feel safe around your coworkers? Do you feel safe as you commute around during the day?  Are there things you can do or put into motion to make you feel safer?

Do you have people you connect emotionally with?  Do you identify with a certain group of people?  Are there people who brighten your day?  Make sure you are active in building a tribe around you and that you continue to add value to the tribe you’re in.

What else in your life creates high amounts of stress for you?  Make a list of these things and then start working on ways to reduce the stress.  Keep in mind that you can only control you.  It’s your reactions, your choices, what you allow things to do to you that creates stress.

All of these things require you to be present in the moment to evaluate how you feel.  One of the best practices to start now, if you aren’t already doing it, is meditation.  Remember that for most meditation there is no “destination”, it’s about the journey.  It’s the process that will give you results.  Stress happens internally when we are thinking of the past or the future.  Leaning to bring yourself into the present moment will reduce the stress you impose on yourself and give you a solid foundation to build health on.

4 Months PP (Post Partum) Nursing and Ready to Get Fit!

My Peanut is adorable and quite possibly the easiest baby out of the 5 I have.  She’s impatient with building my milk supply but not intolerable.  I’ve added Fenugreek to my supplementation regimen (I also take prenatal, Vitamin B complex, and fish oil).  I’ve also added Vitamin D3 after reading how important it is for a growing baby to have it for bone density.  The research that I did said if I take 6400 IU a day then she’ll get enough through my breast milk.  I’ve started tracking my water intake to make sure I’m staying hydrated enough to make more milk.  All in all, this seems to be working to build my milk supply in conjunction with nursing her as frequently as possible.  Her ties are being revised in a week and a half (at least one of them will be).  I’m feeling confident now that I can work on getting fit without impacting my milk supply too much.

Here’s my plan:

I had already started all of this last Monday, but then on Wednesday I gave myself a mild concussion.  It’s like being drunk with a hang over for days.  Seriously sucks.  Plus, I can’t workout.  So, a little more tweaking to my plan and back to work at things hopefully on Wednesday (if all my concussion symptoms have subsided).  **I’ve been to Urgent Care, ER, and a sports medicine (ie hands concussions frequently) specialist, it’s being handled.

I’m taking a multifaceted approach with getting fit because if I’ve proved anything these past four months it’s that calories in vs calories out is not all that’s at work here with me.

Nutrition: My main focus for nutrition is to stay hydrated, cut out almost completely processed foods (oatmeal is really helping my supply so that’s staying in the mix), and eating mostly raw.  I’m choosing this method because:

  1. Meat makes me angry.  (literally)
  2. Processed foods make my Borderline Personality Disorder more difficult to manage.
  3. Raw plant food is good for your gut which leads to better moods, better hormone functioning, and better immune system.

Exercise:  This one has to be something I’ll enjoy and there’s actually so many that I want to be doing right now I’m struggling with narrowing it down.  I know for sure that 30 minutes of hula hooping about five days a week is going to happen because I want to become a hula hoop instructor.  I also know that every morning I’m going to be doing yoga from the online streaming program I use.  There is also a Yoga Booty Ballet on that streaming program that my daughter gets rewarded with for not having any points taken away from school (yes I reward my children with “exercise”).  I’m really wanting to work on my strength training but I know I need cardio more at this point so since it’s cooled off enough I’m going to do the Zombie Run App I just downloaded on my phone.  BTW, we can actually be apart of each other’s “community” on the Zombie Run App, so let me know if you have it too!  So yoga in the morning, hula hooping in the afternoon and then either the Yoga Booty Ballet with my older daughter or the Zombie Run App with my middle son (he’s seriously excited about it).  We’re also planning on hiking on Sunday evenings.

I know that’s a lot of exercise stuff but with 5 kids we all have to stay active or we drive each other crazy.  Plus, physical activity is part of the way I manage my BPD.

Relationships/Social Life:  In my personal Circle of Life evaluation these two categories are the most deficient.  Being a coach, massage therapist, and mother I give a lot but I really struggle with receiving.  I start to feel that if I don’t have anything to give then I’m just being a burden.  As you can imagine, that hinders my social life and relationships quite a bit.  In order to not feel guilty about allowing someone else to give to me (time, assistance, what have you) I just avoid having real relationships with anyone other than my kids.  What does this have to do with getting fit?  A lot actually.  With no one else to nurture me I turn to food when I need to feel comforted or when I need to block something out that’s overwhelming me, or when I need to crunch almonds instead of yelling at someone.  I know my patterns and this was one I don’t actually want to face.  I have a lot of negative programming in my head that I’m going to have to face head on and rewrite.  My coach (yes coaches have coaches) has just started toeing around this topic with me because he realized it was a hot button of mine.  I’m going to start with a goal of going out, (without children *gasp*) with a friend once a month.  For those of you who don’t have social anxiety that may seem like no big deal, but trust me, this is huge for me.  I’ve already started building (and re-building) a couple of intimate relationships with friends as well.

Stress Coping:  This is another very important one.  I am currently working on the main issues of stress in my life (I’m talking about almost life altering crushing stress, not the daily stress that everyone has).  While I’m getting things worked out and rewiring my brain so that these situations don’t happen again, I have to learn to handle the stress.  Stress not only makes me stress eat but it also tells my body to hold onto fat, uses up any motivation and willpower I have, and ruins my mood.  My current coping mechanism is Candy Crush and Pet Rescue Saga on Facebook.  (Don’t judge me)  I had started doing a Miracle Morning routine and keeping a Bullet Journal but as life happened (having a baby) I became inconsistent with both.  Both of these combined really helps me feel better altogether during the day and keeps me on task so things don’t become overwhelming.  I love crafting and miss doing it.  I need to set aside time to do things that are fun for me (creativity in my Circle of Life).  Let’s go with a goal of finishing a coloring page a week.  I’ll post them on my Instagram account.

Alright, I have a good plan in place.  Can’t wait to share my results with you and the twists and turns of my journey!

I’m Lactating, Now What?

Peanut was born May 7th.  Healthy, beautiful, and by C- Section (not planned).  She’s my fifth child, to say I feel confident breastfeeding is an understatement.  My older daughter nursed for two years, sure she was seven at this time, but it’s like riding a bike, right?

In the hospital before we left I talked with an LC to make sure everything looked good.  She latched fairly well, I had good positioning, I knew how to take it from there.  A couple of days later she started getting pretty yellow. So I took her to her pediatrician even though I know it’s common for breast-fed babies to get jaundice, especially since my milk was just starting to come in.  The pediatrician was concerned so we went to the ER so they could test her blood to see where she’s at.  I’m not going to tell you how many times over the next several days they had to draw blood, let’s just say it was traumatic for her and me and not something I ever want to experience again.  Our first ER couldn’t treat her.  They said she needed to be under the lights for a couple of hours and sent us to the children’s ER.  There they explained to me that it could take a week or more as they were admitting her to the hospital.

But I’m breastfeeding.  “Oh” they explained, “You can stay here with her and nurse her whenever you’d like.”

That would totally work if I wasn’t a single mom of 5 children who were all in school, 3 of which we lived outside that school’s district so I had to drop them off and pick them up…

Did I mention the hospital isn’t close to my home at all?…

Ok, ok, I can do this.  It’s very important to me to nurse my baby so I’ll go home in the morning to get my kids ready, take them to school, stay all day with Peanut and nurse her, go back when my kids get out of school, help them with their homework, get them settled with dinner, get them ready for bed, and then go back to spend the night in the hospital.  My oldest was 15, he has watched the kids before.  This will work.  The hospital had a pump I could use so she could get breast milk from a bottle while I was gone.  It would only be a couple feedings a day…

My first pumping only yielded less than half an ounce after twenty minutes of pumping on both sides.  I wasn’t surprised.  I have never successfully pumped with any of my kids.

I was able to see an Lactation Consultant who said that Peanut was a lazy sucker.  She just wasn’t being aggressive enough with it to really stimulate the milk to flow.

This is about the time that the nurses started pushing me to supplement with formula.  I was so hesitant but I knew it would help clear up her jaundice quicker and I had four other children who needed me home and a newborn who needed me at the hospital.  I needed this to be over and chose to nurse first and then give her some formula.

Yes, I understood that this would make it harder for me to keep my supply up.  It’s not an ideal decision but it was the one I made and I don’t regret it.

Three crazy, sleep deprived, emotional roller coaster days later I was able to leave the hospital with her. (It might have been 5 days, I forget now)

It took a while longer to realize that the pain meds I was on from my C-Section were also sabotaging our nursing success (and causing my feet to swell bigger than they’ve ever been!).  In the three weeks I was home before I was pain-free enough to go back to work (financially I couldn’t stay home) I wasn’t able to build my supply to match her demand.  Since we’ve come home from her having jaundice she’s had two to three bottles.  Originally it was 2 ounce bottles but had to bump up to four-ounce bottles around two months.

Why all this back story?  I’m so over formula.  I’m done with not producing enough milk to keep her satisfied.  I am ready to be successful at solely breast-feeding.

Today starts my journey on so many levels.  I’ve been working hard at being healthy and shrinking my body back down (not very successful at the shrinking part).  In addition to being healthy I am going to be successful at breastfeeding my daughter.  Lastly, I’m working towards building my coaching career big enough that I can stay home with my children.

Three big goals!  I’m excited!  I hope to hear from you about your journey too!

To be healthier and to increase lactation I’ve started with adding Ovaltine to my Shakeology, consuming more oats, and drinking Mother’s Milk Tea.

lactation foods

nursing hi mom

Happily on our way to the journey of a life time!