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May 16 2012

Pregnancy Cravings & The Evils of Trader Joe’s

By at 2:58 pm
trader joes milk chocolate peanut butter pretzels

How cruel.

I suspected I was pregnant with my fourth child even before the little ritual with peeing on the stick for two reasons. Reason 1: It is not normal to fall asleep in the (parked) car in the carpool line. Reason 2: It is not normal to think that dipping chocolate covered pretzels in hot sriracha sauce would constitute a tasty snack. Well, okay, both of those reasons are “normal” behavior–normal behavior for a woman who is pregnant, that is.

Food is a touchstone of pregnancy. It’s not only because a pregnant woman has to think of the developing child in her womb as she chooses what to eat, but also because those “pregnancy cravings” are very real. Trader Joe’s trips, normally a comparatively inexpensive supermarket trip to stock up on fresh vegetables, have become a veritable minefield of lethal snacks. There is definitely someone pregnant working in product development for that store (chocolate covered peanut butter filled pretzels, exhibit A), and they prey on my dramatic pregnant appetites. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 23 2012

Running Marathons is a Lot Like Having Kids

By at 11:05 am

marathon runnersLast month, I finished my third marathon. It was a good race and a triumphant experience.

Looking back on the five months of training, I still can’t believe how quickly it went by and how easy it was compared to my first marathon. Like raising my fourth baby, I have found myself trying to remember what was so hard the first time around. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 10 2012

Losing Weight is HARD

By at 10:18 am

bathroom scaleThere is a half-eaten challah sitting on our counter, left over from Friday night.

This might not seem like much to you, but this is a very big deal to me. Because I didn’t eat it.

Yes, like millions of other Americans, I am determined to lose weight this year. But the odds are stacked against me, and I know it. Not only do 80% of New Year’s Resolutions fail, but, as Tara Parker Pope outlined in her recent New York Times article, my body is literally fighting against me to hang on to the weight. It’s no surprise that obesity runs in families (as it does in mine), but what may be more surprising is that once our body gains extra weight, a variety of different hormones conspire against us to fight against weight loss. Even if we do manage to drop the pounds, other hormones kick in to try and get them back. As Parker Pope says, “This translates into a sobering reality: once we become fat, most of us, despite our best efforts, will probably stay fat.”


It’s certainly true for me. In the eight years since I dropped ten pounds to fit into my wedding dress, my weight has crept up, and two rounds of IVF and two babies didn’t help. I’ve got 20 pounds to lose (and keep off), and I know my body isn’t interested in cooperating in the least. It’s found a steady state, and despite the fact that I was exercising and eating relatively well, the pounds weren’t coming off. I knew something needed to change, but I didn’t know what, or how. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 10 2011

Accessorizing My Way to Exercise

By at 12:24 pm

running shoesEarlier this week, Shannon wrote about running marathons to keep her sanity. But it’s not for everybody. What’s your exercise routine, or should we say, do you have one?

It has been a little over a year since I gave birth, yet I still look seven months pregnant.  My momma friends back in NYC were those lucky women who bounce back to their original size moments after giving birth and then run marathons.  I was never a size 2 to begin with, but I was thinner once upon a time.

I convinced myself that dieting and exercise could wait until after I finished nursing. Since I am not the healthiest eater and have Crohn’s disease, I didn’t want to reduce any of the few nutrients I was getting into my body. But when I finished nursing, I was trying to get pregnant. Once again, I did not want to change anything in my lifestyle or eating habits in case it jeopardized my getting pregnant again. In the meantime, my self-image has fallen to an all-time low. I just can’t stand the way I look anymore. I am embarrassed to go out, and in a new town,  that makes meeting people pretty much impossible. It is almost too hard to write about because I am so unhappy with it.

A few days ago I decided to take charge of the situation. I decided to start working out on the treadmill at the small gym in our apartment complex. It is not in my DNA to be a gym rat, and it is hard for me to stay motivated. I also have plantar fascitis (a painful foot condition) that sidelines me easily. I tackled this problem like anything I put my mind to: with shopping. Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 8 2011

Running: The Closest I Come to Prayer

By at 3:19 pm

This weekend, I will run 13.1 miles. On January 29th, I will run 26.2 miles. This is what I do. I have a baby, sit around for a bit loving on and taking care of my baby, and then I decide I need a break. I run. Without the goal of a race, I would never make the time for myself and always opt to do that extra load of laundry, make a bed, clean, etc. But when a race in the distance, I know I had better make running a priority if I am going to meet my goal. So I run.

Running used to be a burden, something to endure for the sake of my health or the number on the scale. I thought running 3 miles without stopping was an accomplishment and running 5 miles was out of the question. But after training for my first marathon, I came to really enjoy the meditative state I get into while alone on the road. I went on to run a second marathon after the birth of my son in 2009 and am excited to run another in January in honor of my newest baby girl.

My addiction to running started soon after the birth of my first daughter. Her colic and my isolation on a military base in south Texas were taking their toll. With the recommendation of a close friend, I read the book The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer and decided to give training a shot. Running seemed like a great way to get some me time and lose some of my baby weight. I had no idea what an impact it would have on my life. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 15 2011

How to Get Thinner Thighs and Cope with Toddlers

By at 11:32 am

"I sweat my buns off to a trashy Ke$ha remix while watching Regis on closed caption...I had more energy, dealt with his tantrums better and overall just felt, stronger."

I’m super attached to my child and not just in an “attached-parenting” sort of way.

My husband works insane hours and we have no family nearby so I’m pretty much the sole caretaker of our little guy. I love that he’s my constant companion from the time I wake up until the time I rock him to sleep at night. We share breakfast, lunch and dinner, stories and play dates, happy days and cranky ones. But as toddlerhood rears its bi-polar head, I find myself needing a “Mama time-out”. Perhaps he’s bored with me or just wants to push my buttons to get a nice big reaction out of me. I swear I say, “that’s not for babies” FIVE HUNDRED TIMES A DAY or “Yuckies, give to Mama!” before he pops a cat turd in his mouth. Diaper changes? Forget it. Try Mama-baby wrestling sessions complete with pooh-flinging and powder clouds. And if I dare open my laptop or talk on the phone the result is complete hysterics.

Mama needs a time-out? More like Mama needs to snort some Xanax, take a 20 minute shower and then pound a bottle of cheap wine while watching Bachelor Pad.

Instead, I broke down and went to the gym. I need a way to vent my frustration and he needs some fresh faces in his day so I figured it was time to try the baby drop-off. I fret over what a selfish bitch I was to abandon my child just so I could have thinner thighs, wondering if he knew how horrible is was going to be when I took him to a room full of toys and strangers and LEFT HIM THERE. I pictured him sobbing in the arms of some poor high school girl while I sweat my buns off to a trashy Ke$ha remix while watching Regis on closed caption. Read the rest of this entry →


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