Category Archives: crossfit

My Products During Pregnancy

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Throughout this pregnancy, I have gotten lots of advice about which products to use for which ailments/symptoms.

I tried a lot of different things, and THESE are the ones that I really appreciated and used. If you’re just starting out, keep in mind that there are lots of options out there! These are just my preferences. 🙂

My least favorite thing in the world? Heartburn. I’d never had it until I got pregnant, and it is just awful.

tums

The second thing that kept me up at night was numb hands. One thing that actually helped was using wrist braces. It kept me aware of my wrist position, even if I was asleep.

Braces, Supports & Rehabilitation Products

In order to prevent stretch marks, a colleague gave me this product from Mama Mio. It’s really oily, but it feels great and smells nice. So far, no stretch marks! I’m around week 37, so I think I’m all good at this point!

mama mioYou can find the Mama Mio product at Yes Style!

Beauty Korean

Along the same lines, I have started to apply Lansinoh’s Lanolin to my boobs. It’s supposed to soothe and heal sore nipples after breastfeeding, but I’ve heard it can also help to toughen you up before you even start. So occasionally, I will use that just to get into the habit. 🙂

lansinoh

Throughout my pregnancy, you may have seen my workout posts. I did Crossfit throughout the whole thing. And I loved my Reebok Crossfit shoes. They were bright and colorful. And since Crossfit incorporates a lot of weightlifting, it’s important that the bottoms of the shoes are flat. If you’re trying to do squats, and you’re already on your toes a little (if the shoes have too much cushion), then you’re setting yourself up to fall forward. Reebok teamed up with CF to make a whole line of products. After I have the baby, I’ll stock up on some CF gear!

Here’s a picture of me, wearing my Reebok CF shoes. And then there’s a link where you can get some, too. 🙂

Picking up barbell

 

Those were the main things that kept me happy and sane!

What were your favorite pregnancy products?

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I Am Grateful

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This has not been a rough pregnancy. I have heard stories about vomit in the shower, not being able to eat your favorite foods, aching lower backs, and more. But overall, it’s been a fairly easy pregnancy; I’m just a whiner. 🙂

Along the way, there have been some people who have really made a difference and made my life more enjoyable.

These are the wonderful people I want to thank before “everything changes”.

1. My husband, Cameron

I’ve complained since September about all the aches and pains and body image issues. But he has been there, supporting, loving, and praising me. Even though I don’t always believe him, he never fails to tell me I’m beautiful every day and that he loves me every day. I can be pretty grumpy and needy, but he hasn’t let it get to him.

We’ve grown SO much closer since I got pregnant. He’s going to be a fantastic dad, and it’s pretty cool to see him get so excited about it.

2. My mom and dad

I talk to my mom every few days, and my dad and I keep in touch via text more than anything. My mom has been really happy and excited this whole time, and when I’m feeling down about something, she’s always been a support. My dad plays the role of silly father, and it cracks me up. If anyone else said I was getting “plump” since I’m pregnant, I’d be offended. But for some reason, coming from him, it’s just hilarious and instead, brightens my mood.

PART B:

There are other family members who’ve been really great!

I’m thankful to my Aunt Deena and Grammy (both on my mom’s side) who bought our crib.
I’m thankful for my brothers.
I’m thankful for my cousin Amy who has been really excited for me this whole time.
I’m thankful for my cousins Gwen, Kim, and Fran (on my dad’s side) who popped up on Facebook and have been showering me with love!
I’m thankful for Cameron’s mom Laura, who has been so sweet online and also sent a delightful care package for the baby!
Cameron’s extended family, Grandma Kay, Nanny Sue, Aunt Kay, cousin Roxie, and Sandra, who’ve been really supportive, either with care packages or just kind words!

3. My personal trainer (and friend), Chris S

I hope he doesn’t mind that I posted THIS particular picture of him. I only have two pictures to choose from!

Chris has been really supportive from the beginning. I was doing Crossfit with Cameron for about 4 months, with Chris and some other coaches. When I got pregnant, I told Chris about it, and immediately, he wanted to work with me. He’d worked with pregnant women before, so I knew he was someone I could trust. I took a brief hiatus because I was exhausted and nauseous a lot. When I came back, we started working out together on a regular basis. He always pushes me to go a little further and lift a little more (without raising my heart rate or getting overheated, of course!). He also recognizes if I’ve had a bad day and either (a) tries to cheer me up or (b) knows to just let me be. He has been the main reason I’ve stayed one of those “only pregnant in the belly” women.

Here’s a post where I talk about doing Crossfit while pregnant! And here’s my most recent workout.

4. Crosswalk Kids (aka Jen G)

That’s a picture of our pastor and his wife, Jen. She is the coordinator of the kids’ ministry at our church. (Technically, our church has 7 locations, so she’s the coordinator at our particular location.) I serve as the “greeter”, which means I welcome all of the kids and parents every Sunday morning, get everyone checked in, pass out name tags, and that sort of thing. Jen does a little bit of everything. On top of that, she’s a great mom to 3 awesome little boys. And she’s become a really good friend of mine over the past year.

Right when I became pregnant, she was one of the first people I told (before I even got it confirmed by the doctor). She has been so helpful and supportive throughout this journey. From a few hand-me-downs from her own children to helping with the baby shower, she has been an invaluable part of my life the past 8 months.

PART B:

There are some other folks involved with CWK that I’d like to mention.

Bethany (aka B3), who has helped me take my mind off being pregnant every Sunday with her silly stories.
All the teachers who have been so sweet with their words: Hannah, Becca, Catherine, Chenoa, Carissa, Kathryn, Rachel, Ian, Kara, and I just know I’m leaving someone out.
All the moms! I don’t even know everyone’s name (I know all the kids’ names because those are on the name tags!). Lori, Diedre, Eun, Karen, and all the other moms (and a few dads 🙂 ) who ask how I’m feeling and tell me I look great every week. I don’t usually believe those comments, but it is nice to hear them on a regular basis!

5. My coworkers

Here’s our Math department (on Pi Day this year)! That’s Yufanyi, Kim, Susan, me, and Shanna (the chair). These ladies have been supportive in a very practical way this year. There’ve been days when I just couldn’t make it. I either needed to stay home or leave early, and they were all there to help out. Someone would make my copies, cover my classes, or just make sure I was okay at home. Either way, I knew that I was covered. It also helps to get rides home when I’m just too tired to walk and don’t feel like waiting for the bus!

It was refreshing to know that my classroom wasn’t going to go haywire because I wasn’t there: I have a great team of support to help out and back me up as needed. That’s great any time but especially when you’re pregnant! It doesn’t hurt that Susan has 5 children of her own, and Shanna has 3, so they are also great resources in that respect!

PART B:

There are some coworkers that aren’t pictured who have been amazing.

Katy, who always tells me stories about her kids and asks how I’m doing every day.
Mr Bennett, who says “How Y’ALL doing?” every day.
Tina, who I think may be more excited than I am about having this baby. She also helped out tremendously with the baby shower (with Jen, above).
Barb, who was one of the first to empathize with my more mellow reaction to being pregnant.
Grace, who came back late this year after having her first child. She’s given me loads of insight and also some sweet pillows. 🙂
To all you guys and everyone else, THANK YOU for your support! It really has meant so much.

6. New mom, Sophia/Best friend

This is Sophia and her husband Ty. She just had her baby in March. She was in my wedding, and before that, we were in grad school together in NYC (and we were roommates there). She’s hilarious, and I was so surprised back around September when she told me she was expecting! I was thrilled because Cameron and I were just about to find out we, too, were expecting. Since she was 3 months ahead of me, it was so great talking to her on the phone from time to time. I had questions, she had answers. It was fun to dish about pregnancy with a close friend. And now that she has a little one (and we’re almost there), I know she’ll be honest with me about the realities of having a newborn.

7. Expecting mom, Mary/Best friend

Another best friend of mine who was also in my wedding, Mary was my college roommate back in Louisiana. For a while, she was living in Georgia with her husband Payton. Then, around October, she told me that she, too, was pregnant! And then, better news, they moved up here to Washington DC in January. While we don’t see each other ALL that often, we’ve hung out several times. And it’s fun to chat about pregnancy stuff, honestly. It’s not always a treat to discuss it with friends who aren’t pregnant (or even married). But when I know that Mary is going through the same sorts of things, it’s kind of fun. And now, I can be her Sophia since I’m a month ahead!

Mary has a calming presence, so whenever we’re together, I feel like everything’s going to be okay.

8. My circles of friends

PART A: Church

Thanks to my smaller small group: Claire, Emma, Rachel, and Brooke. These ladies have been really supportive in the short time I’ve known them. Brooke is also expecting (about 3 months behind me!).
Thanks to Heidi, the leader of the big small group. She is a constant smiling face and is a really great mentor to all the girls in our humongous group.
Helen (and Jesse) helped tremendously with putting together the crib and organizing baby clothes!
The hospitality girls are perfect for brightening my Sundays: Katy, Paige, Jessica, Hope, Jinna, Gia…

PART B: Crossfit

There are other coaches at the gym besides Chris. For example, here’s Stephanie (Chris’ better half) and Sara. These two, along with Tom and Julia, have been great at keeping me motivated and helping me to stay strong.

Additionally, I’ve really come to appreciate Erica, Adrian, Devon, Kelly, Katie, and Lizzie (who’s also expecting). Adrian always smiles and tells me how cute my bump is. Erica is the most encouraging, uplifting person EVER. And everyone else has just been great. I was self-conscious at first about showing up and taking up so much time from Chris, but I’ve really felt supported there.

PART C: Craigslist

My Craigslist friend is Elena. We found each other on Craigslist about two years ago! I posted something about looking for friends in the area, and she had posted something similar. So we started hanging out from time to time. Then she found out she was pregnant, and last February (2012), she had her son Ian. We have kept in touch for a while now, and she’s been another support in my life if I have pregnancy or baby questions.

9. My students

I can’t post any pictures of my students since they’re minors, and I’d probably need written permission from all 130 of their parents!

But I’ll say that my students have been really great. Of course, they don’t always have a lot of tact (“Ooo, she gettin’ big!” or “You look REAL pregnant today!”), but mostly, they ask lots of questions. How much longer? Is it a boy or a girl? Do you have a name (generally followed by, “If it’s a boy/girl, you should name him insert student’s name)? They are often brutally honest, so when someone says “You’re big up front, but you still look gooood”, I believe it. And don’t think I’ve forgotten that having 130 teenagers every year for the past 4 years here in DC has given me a nice collection of  about 500 potential babysitters!

10. The rest of ’em

There are a few folks who I’ll just group together 🙂

Shea, my former eye doctor and current neighbor, is also a new mom. Her baby was born in May (just last week!) of this year. We would bump (hehe) into each other from time to time, and it was fun to see each other grow. We talked about the weird things happening to us and what sort of stroller to get. It was fun knowing that she’s just a few floors down. It’s also great to know that she and her husband are probably going to move out of their larger apartment some time in the next year or two, so Cameron and I can check that out when the time comes!

Facebook friends! I have lots of FB friends, folks from high school and elementary school, some former students, Cameron’s family, and a lot in between. I have been trying NOT to post too much baby stuff on Facebook (I’m not sure what the percentage is, but I think that my posts are about 20% baby or pregnancy-related). The feedback is so kind! There are way too many nice comments and likes for me to really thank everyone individually. I hope that I did a good enough job of thanking you along the way.

The next phase of life is near! And I’m afraid that if I hadn’t written this post beforehand, it never would have happened. It has been a wild ride, but I do hope that I look back with fond memories. There were good times and bad, just like with anything. And soon enough, it’ll all be worth it.

Crossfit Workout 37 Weeks Pregnant

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Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Location: Washington DC, Crossfit Affiliate
Trainer: Chris, as always
Photographer: Cameron, my hubby

Picture of the gym

Warmup

Inchworms

Inchworms: Start standing. Touch your toes (or get as close as possible) then inch your hands forward as far as you can go. Then walk your feet in toward your hands. Repeat over and over.

Ring rows 2

Ring Rows: Hold onto the rings. Lean backward, keeping your body straight. Pull yourself upward using only your upper body.

Pull apart rings

Ring Pull-Aparts: Start in the same position as ring rows. Pull your arms apart. [This was my first time doing these. They are way more tough than they look!]

Pushups: I do regular “boy” pushups. I can’t go all the way to the ground though! The belly gets in the way.

Squats against the wall

Wall Squats A: Standing with your back against the wall, carefully squat, going a little further each time.

Squats facing the wall

Wall Squats B: Standing facing the wall, carefully squat and keep your body as close to the wall as you can!

Workout

For three rounds…..

12 Spin-Arounds: Chris just  made these up. Holding a weight plate, I sat on the box and had to use my core/lower body to spin around from one side to the other.

4 Prenatal Burpees: A single burpee consists of 1 pushup, 1 squat, 1 step-up (weighted) with left leg, and 1 step-up with right leg.

12 Dumbbell Curl + Press: Starting with the dumbbell at your side, curl it up to shoulder, then press it overhead. I did 6 per side.

Altogether, I took about 13 minutes to complete the Workout portion.

Mentioned on a Blog!

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Well this is exciting for me.

Over at Not So Ugly Ducklings, Desirae hosts a link party called Inspired Tuesday.

Inspired Tuesday
Last week, I posted my Crossfit During Pregnancy post. And she featured it!

Here’s the blurb:

“Next up we have Bethany from Before, During and After and she blogged about doing Crossfit during pregnancy…. I say good for her, and very inspiring post!…”
That kind of made my night. Thanks Desirae!

Crossfit During Pregnancy

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I’ve been doing Crossfit for about one year.

Let me explain what it is, if you’re unfamiliar:
Crossfit is “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement”. The idea is that we only do movements that are realistic. I mean, is this movement something you would do in real life?

It’s not!

I don’t want to misrepresent anything, but Crossfit uses squats (with proper form so that you do NOT hurt your back or knees), deadlifts (again, so you don’t hurt yourself), and presses (lifting something over your head without losing your balance or hurting your back). Those are functional and useful!

Here’s a short video of a workout that I did once (it’s the only working out video I have!):

DISCLAIMER: I’m not certified or anything. And I can’t speak for your doctor.

When I found out I was pregnant, I set up an appointment with an OB. At the very first appointment, I asked her about working out. She said, “Oh sure, treadmills and stationary bikes are just fine!” I said, “That’s not the sort of working out that I do. I do weightlifting.” And she said, “Oh….well don’t lift more than 25 pounds.”

And I said, “The bar weighs 45 pounds.”

Awkward.

Right when I found out I was pregnant, I found Crossfit Mom. You don’t need a lot of equipment at all to do the workouts, and you can do just about everything in your house or apartment. So it’s convenient, since we live in a little apartment! *We DO, however, have a small gym in the basement of our building. It has a set of hand weights and some machines. It’s not much, but it’s convenient.

You really need some hand weights, a pull-up bar, and some cute maternity workout clothes. 🙂 You can basically modify everything else to work for you! This is the pull-up bar that we have in our apartment:

Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, I spoke with Chris, one of the trainers at the gym we frequented. Chris and I set up a schedule for workouts. He would come over once a week and work out with me here, in the small gym in the basement of our apartment building. And at least once a week (usually twice), I’d go in for a class.

As things have progressed, I’ve started going in to two personal training sessions a week plus one class on the weekends. I’m 36 weeks now, and I’ve kept up that regimen the whole time. Here are some past photos of me, doing Crossfit with Chris!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ultimately, you should do what makes you feel comfortable. I always stop doing something if I feel uncomfortable. Now, let me be clear: Working out should not be comfortable or feel great while you’re doing it! I mean, if you’re lifting weights, it’s probably going to hurt a little if you’re challenging yourself. But if you’re lifting too much, then it hurts in a different way. You have to strain and scream to complete the reps, your face gets hot, and your veins pop out of your head.

There’s a difference!

Benefits of Doing Crossfit (or working out, period) During Pregnancy

1. Your body is going through lots of changes. This is one way you can maintain some control! That was important to me.


2. When you get pregnant, your posture gets all wacky. By the end, you’ll notice a lot of pregnant women have the telltale arched back. Crossfit helps keep your back strong so that, by the end, it’s no big deal to hold up the extra belly weight. In the same vein, unlike most pregnant women, I do NOT have an achy lower back because I’ve kept my posture in check!

3. During pregnancy, your balance is off, too, because you’re carrying extra weight. Doing Crossfit has helped me to maintain my balance. If I ever feel like I’m losing my balance when standing, I hear Chris saying, “Squeeze your glutes. Shoulders back.” And it makes a difference.


4. It’s nice to be part of a community where so many people are supportive of what I’m doing. If I were just going to a gym (or just jogging or whatever), I’m sure I would have quit by now. But I know that folks at the gym are always excited/impressed to see me at this stage.

5. Learning proper form for squatting and lifting is really important! I can deadlift about 80 pounds right now (safely, pregnant). It seems excessive, but imagine I have a diaper bag on one shoulder, purse on the other shoulder, and I’m trying to move the stroller into the trunk of a car. There’s a lot going on there, and I would NOT want to throw out my back when I have to carry around the baby!

6. Working out is proven to help with recovery after childbirth! Since I have the muscles present (hidden, no doubt), it will be much easier to “bounce back” to my original weight than if I hadn’t worked out at all.

One month before I got pregnant!:

Today’s Workout!

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No pictures this time. I just need someone to follow me around with a camera so I’ll have pictures for this doggone blog! Everything’s better with pictures. Right?

Good news! That pesky groin pain seems to be subsiding. I could finally do some squatting today without pain. Awesome! That opens up a world of possibilities. I was getting sick of JUST doing upper body workouts.

Warmup
500 meter row
10 squats with my back against the wall
5 squats facing the wall (so close that my belly is just about touching)
10 reverse hand pushups against the wall (your hands are essentially upside down)
Repeat italicized part 2 more times

10 strict presses with 15-pound bar

Conditioning (the Tough Stuff)
This was an ABABAB workout:

Part A:
For 3 minutes, do as many reps as possible (AMRAP):
5 presses (with 40 pounds)
10 Russian twists

Rest 1 minute

Part B:
For 3 minutes, do AMRAP:
5 prenatal Burpees (1 Burpee = 1 pushup + 1 squat + 1 step-up with left + 1 step-up with right)
5 Pallof presses per side

Rest 1 minute

Total workout was 23 minutes after the warmup. It was exhausting! My poor shoulders were killing me. 🙂

Two Looks: Workin’ and Workin’ Out

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I’m a high school Math teacher, if you didn’t know. I don’t usually dress like a typical teacher (I’m talking about cat sweaters and white sneakers); I try to have some style most days, although pregnancy impedes that a little. It’s just too expensive to have an entire, cute maternity wardrobe. So I make do.

Today we learned about logarithms. 🙂 I really like teaching this particular topic. Notice the overhead projector? I have officially started sitting down most days (as of last week)! My feet were swelling and starting to hurt after being on my feet for nearly 5 hours a day.

Overhead projector 4_23

And heeeere is what I wore today!

Front shot of outfit 4_23

Side shot of outfit 4_23

Dress: Old Navy maternity
Cardigan: Forever 21
Shoes: Shoe Style by Hush Puppies
Earrings and Necklace: Forever 21

Here are the shoes – They are tiny little heels, and they’re comfortable. My kids think they look like old-lady shoes.

Red shoes 4_23

After work, I went straight to the gym. It was a doozy today. My shoulders are KILLING me right now; I can’t imagine what tomorrow will feel like!

Strength

Using a 8-kg kettle bell, I did 5 strict presses per arm.
Using a 12-kg kettle bell, I did 5 step-ups per arm.
Then I repeated those two parts for 3 rounds.

Kettle bell from front 4_23

Kettlebell from side 4_23

Conditioning

We set the rower to the highest resistance, and I grabbed a 16-kg kettle bell.
There were 8 parts altogether:

1. Farmer’s Walk holding a 16-kg and a 12-kg kettle bell. At the other end of the room, I switched arms and walked back.
2. Step 1 took 44 seconds, so I had to row 220 meters.
3. Farmer’s Walk (same thing with the 12 and 16).
4. Step 3 took 32 seconds, so I had to row until I burned 32 calories.
5. Farmer’s Walk
6. Step 5 took 31 seconds, so I had to row 310 meters.
7. Farmer’s Walk
8. TOTAL TIME for the 4 Farmer’s Walks was 4 minutes, 14 seconds. So, I had to do as many Farmer’s Walks as possible in 4 minutes, 14 seconds.

I completed 6.5 rounds.

Needless to say, my shoulders are on fire. Typing this post right now is painful! Thanks a lot, Chris.

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