Archive for the ‘Fitness and Health’ Category

BIG MAMA!

Big Mama!

That’s what one of my colleagues calls me nowadays… He usually shouts it out across the cafeteria at work as he makes his way over to say hello. Now that sure is something that does make you feel noticed, and not always in the best of ways, especially now that I really am gaining quite a big of volume.

At our last doctor’s appointment I was still under 70kg even if I had my bets on the over on that one. But I guess its only a matter of time before I do cross over to the other side of 70 especially considering I still have at least 5 weeks to go. I just wish the weight gain could be a bit easier!

I guess the explanation that my Pilates teacher always gives me when she is trying to explain how I should curl myself around a ball makes much more sense now. “Imagine you are curving your stomach and spine over the beach ball in your lap”.. Yup, got that one now, with a built in beach ball!

Living with a Bump

Pregnant BellyI cant believe I am already six months down the line, with D-Day moving closer all the time at quite a rapid pace. Or well, interestingly enough it feels like I have been pregnant for EVER, while at the same time I cant believe how time flies and that it is already July, while October is just around the corner really.

I have tried to read up on what exactly is happening during this time, and I must say I keep finding incredible facts about how amazingly well nature has arranged for it all. I keep sharing my “fun facts” with my poor colleague who has to listen to me šŸ˜‰ But I think one day she will be grateful that I taught her things like:

  • During pregnancy the amount of blood you have in your body increases by about 50% compared to pre pregnancy
  • Your stomach muscles separate and slide to the sides during pregnancy to accommodate for the bump
  • Your body changes the amniotic fluid three times a day!

I am pretty impressed constantly about all the things my body manages. I do feel like I am very much just an observer at times (mind wise), watching how my baby and my body seem to know exactly what to do and I am just in it for the ride.

But I do try to keep up and learn some stuff myself so its not just my baby and body working. šŸ˜‰ For example, I just received my Hypnobirthing book that I wanted to read as a complementary piece to the course we did earlier this summer. Thanks to the course and to the book I think I have learned quite a lot about what to do and what to expect with this whole adventure, and especially how I can just relax and let my baby and body get on with it. I think that must be the most difficult part for most women. Relying on your body to know what to do and to just relax.

So even if I am pretty relaxed about most things, I am realising I should definitely be taking many more pics of the bump! I have a few but I do want more.. You never know if this is a once in a lifetime experience, or just the first one and you will get another chance. I also think it might help me get to terms with the miracle that is happening just under my nose.. šŸ˜‰

But for now, I will just head back to bed I think. I had to get up to have sth to eat earlier on, but I think I am ready for another little snooze now next to the gorgeous J.

Cravings…

I always thought the whole thing about cravings while pregnant was a topic that had just been blown out of proportion and that surely you cannot have such massive urges to eat random things simply because of your growing bump. Well lo and behold, here I am now at 4 months with a fairly interesting palate and a need for the most random foods.

Over the last few years I have had some big changes in my diet, the biggest one according to me being the move away from being an avid coffee drinker to loving tea (green tea and oolong now being my favourites). But nothing prepared me for these changes.

OrangesI kicked off my pregnancy with purely wanting soda crackers, toast and potatoes as everything else made my stomach turn and shivers of disgust go through my body. Looking at the nutritional values of the things I was eating would make a starving child look well nourished, and needless to say I lost over a kilo between the 6th and 10th week. During this time I did though soon moved over to loving oranges to lessen my nausea. Oranges in the morning, during the day and in the afternoon, orange juice whenever possible and lemon in every water glass. Later on I heard that apparently the acidity from citrus fruits helps you feel less nauseous, but also that vitamin C plays a big role in this. without just listening to my body I would never have realised this so big respect to the body and it knowing what it wants.

Around this time I also completely stopped drinking tea. It was like I hit a wall and I just didnt have ANY interest in this lovely hot beverage anymore.. Quite surprising as I had up till then been having a happy 5 cups a day most likely. Reading about it I soon found out though that you should not have too much caffeine in your diet while pregnant and I guess this was again my body’s way to align itself with its new situation.

Pistachio NutsMy next big craving was pistachio nuts and beet root.. Not together, but still.. Hmm.. Considering my previous cravings of such low nutritional value it was with relief that I found out that both items are great sources of nutrients! Pistachios are high in oleic acids, carotenes and vitamin E while at the same time being packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.They also contain important minerals likeĀ copper, manganese, potassium, calcium,Ā iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium.. Once again, pretty impressive craving by my body..

BeetrootsBeetroots then againĀ are apparently loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C with the greens showing a higher content of iron compared to spinach.Ā  They are also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium,Ā choline, folic acid, iodine, manganese, organic sodium, potassium, fiber and carbohydrates in the form of natural digestible sugars. And actually, its iron content, is of the highest and finest quality that makes excellent food that is blood building! (and apparently you increase the amount of blood in your body by approximately 40% during pregnancy!)

Interestingly enough my latest craving is salami.. Yesterday I had wonderful salami empanadas as my second breakfast and that same evening I was spoiled with a few slices of pepperoni pizza… Mmm.. It definitely hit the spot but I am still to find a good nutritional excuse for this craving..

Health and Happiness in January

I always thought January was such a dreadful month full och darkness and coldness, when I once again had lots of homework on my table while I was a student or simply lots of work on my desk every year after I had entered the wonderful world of working. In general it was a month that I didn’t really feel like doing much during due to all of the above, as well as feeling the need to detox and revamp myself and my diet following the usual holiday excesses of December.

This year has been a bit different. I have noticed the usual tiredness, but in contrast to what seems like forever, this tiredness was coming mainly from having tried to squeeze too much into my life for quite a few months now and not really listening to myself and my body, instead of the usual food and drink and compulsory merriment of the Christmas season.

The biggest change I have noticed over the last two years is that little by little I have started to listen to what I want and what me and my body would like and would want to do instead of what I should do. I admit, this January I have not been as social as I used to be a few years back, but I have definitely felt much better.

Having failed miserably with my attempts to write more on my Burning Fat blog (and to actually burn a little bit more in the tummy area), as well as my high ambitions to get some websites up I am now looking at February and the rest of 2011 with an interest I haven’t had in a while now thank to doing too much in general. I think doing too much is a total creativity killer, and I notice I blossom with regards to actually doing things and producing things when I have had a slight ‘draught’ in things to do for a few hours, days or weeks.

So in that respect, I do hope that the next few weeks will carry with them lots of moments of, if not boredom, then at least less activities planned in so that I will properly have the chance to actually get some of my grand plans going and off the ground. So on this last day of January, a January that has already show to be a great start to 2011, I hope the rest of 2011 will be as promising, but even more filled with idle days, ready to fill with exciting projects and fun future plans!

Last day of 2010

The last day of 2010 is about to begin, approximately 30 minutes to go over here in Costa Rica but I guess there will be lots of celebrations shared with us from over in Europe already starting at about 4pm our time. Time difference is a strange thing, thinking that in Finland its already almost 8am and a lot of my family and friends over there are at work already while I am about to tuck myself in for the last full night of 2010.

My Christmas Fairy Lights on the TerraceWe have been back up in the central valley for a few days, spending some time at the office (which I did find quite difficult following the working from home flexibility of Monday and Tuesday) and enjoying our lovely house. My youngest sister arrived today with her boyfriend and tomorrow we are heading back to the beach for some more surfing, a new years dinner at the Los Almendros restaurant as well as some hotness and sunshine. A weird but wonderful way to end the year!

Mum brought over a couple of bottles of champagne so we get to have that tomorrow since we missed the traditional Christmas Champagne on the 24th. But I think its much better this way, to get to enjoy it with my sister as well.

I think 2010 has been an absolutely wonderful year, I would not want to change a thing.. I guess I almost wish I could have squeezed a few more days into the year, days that I wouldnt have had to work during so that I could have spent them just enjoying J’s company, life in general and this wonderful country. But then again, I am very much looking forwards to what the future and 2011 brings… Happy New Year everyone!

P.s. New years resolutions for this year:

– Work on my frustrations to reduce them and control them more (in general – not let my emotions take over)

– Get fitter šŸ˜‰

– Appreciate what I have in life

– Spend lots of time with J and Sofia and as much time as possible with the people I hold dear

Ps 2: What I was striving for in 2005-2006

 

Pillar 5: Health and Fitness

And so we have arrived at the last pillar, the one focusing on the physical well being and the “Health and Fitness” of your body. As mentioned previously, the pillars are not arranged in any particular order, each one of them carries as much weight as the other ones, while simultaneously supporting each other. This is exactly what a habit of being healthy and keeping fit will do to your mental well being as well your physical well being.

I have always liked being active, possibly due to my slight hyperactivity. Sports was my energy outlet where I could let off steam in a controlled and enjoyable way that benefitted me both physically and mentally.

Although I was never particularly fond of the PE classes at school, at that point in time I used to spend hours and hours on the horse back or orienteering or playing badminton or just running around playing. Anything that involved building up and improvingĀ a skill or that had a competitive element has always appealed to me massively, and pushed me to do my best, see how far I could go.

Later on I discovered dancing andĀ didn’ t look back.Ā It started off with Dance Hall Reggae, then Jive. But then came Salsa and a life long passion was born. I know I have only been dancing salsa for 10 years, but you just KNOW when you have found your thing. You know, because its something that is so much part of you, you don’t even question it anymore. I did go through a lot of other dances as well such as Lindy-Hop and Swing in general.. They have all beenĀ fun, but mainly because I love partnerwork, nothing has yet been able toĀ compete withĀ salsa for my affection…

Then another format of exercise entered the picture. I found Pilates and immediately following my first classĀ I knew I had been lucky enough to find yet another thing that I clicked with. Pilates not only helped me build up my core strenght (something that helped my salsa spins massively!) but helped me just focus on my breathing and isolating muscles for two hours a week, bringing a much needed element of meditation into the picture. The connection and support that existed between the dancing and Pilates at this point was alsoĀ fantastic. It helped me get to complete new levels of both balance (physical and mental) and fitness (physical health) while improving my posture as well as adding routineĀ to my life.

The main destabilizers in my life have always happened following a disruption in my exercise routine. When you move city or move country or start a new job or go to a new school you somehow end up destabilizing your usual routines, most often this would mean your exercise routine.Ā I have moved quite a few times in my life, and every time I have not paid enough attention to the fact that I should focus on getting my exercising back on track asap, instead of letting that go uncorrected for weeks on end while “settling in”. Having this pillar destabilized will affect your other pillars and your life for sure,Ā maybe not as quickly as if the disruption starts from one of the other pillars, but it will definitely undermine your balance and routine and have consequences beyond the realm of just this pillar.

I experienced the disruptions with all my other moves, except for this one. The disruptions I have noticed following my move to Costa Rica have mainly been withdrawal sympthoms from dancing, something I have not done for months now. But looking at the general picture, I have not felt the same type of destabilization here as I have before. And I think that is mainly because of surfing.

Surfing came into my life with J. He took me down to Cornwall and “threw” me into the freezing water in August last year, and I must say, I enjoyed it immensely. Surfing has everything I like in a sport. It offers me the possibility to cultivate both a skill as well as a meditative mindset, something I find very difficult in everyday life due to all the white noise that I seem to have going on in my head. Surfing has helped me click right into this place, as well as added another form of exercise into my life that helps me stay balancedĀ as well as fit. AndĀ I have J to thankĀ for introducing me to it.. šŸ™‚

So to wrap this pillar up, what I want to say is that I think everyone needs exercise in their lives, both for their mental and for their physical wellbeing. Having this element present in your life will bring benefit to all other areas in your life as well. In other words, help support your other pillars.