Category: Pregnancy + Motherhood

Throw Away Your Scale : Why You Can STOP Weighing Yourself TODAY

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Once upon a time, I weighed myself every morning. It helped me stay accountable and kept me motivated. I thought it was for good reason, but it was horribly unhealthy. I let that little number dictate my day. My LIFE, really.

When I got pregnant, I saw the number increase at such a rapid rate, and because there was absolutely nothing I could do about it, I started to become less and less focused on it. I knew I HAD to gain weight to keep my baby healthy. For once, I gave myself grace to gain.

In the process, my habits changed. I knew I was going to be gaining weight no matter how healthy I ate, so I didn’t need to step on the scale. I felt such a sense of relief. When “the baby wanted me too”, I indulged. And really, I didn’t go overboard. My husband and I ate out at restaurants whenever we wanted, because we knew those lunch dates would be few and far between when our little bundle arrived. I exercised daily and listened to my body.

I gained 40 pounds and I don’t regret an ounce of it.

For once I chose what I wanted from the menu. Not what was the lowest calories, but what really, truly sounded tasty. I stopped eating when I was full (because when you’re THAT prego, you can only fit SO much). I learned what hunger and satisfaction actually felt like.

My relationship with the scale changed for the better during those 10 months. I fell out of the habit of weighing in regularly and measuring my success by that stupid little number. And now…I DON’T weigh myself everyday, or even every week, for that matter. I go by pictures. How I feel. How my clothes fit. My measurements.

Do you ever let the number on the scale dictate your progress? Or even worse, your day? Do you get anxious to step on the scale? 

Well today I want to encourage you to STOP. Stop letting that little number control your life. You are worth so much more than a number.

When we weigh ourselves on a daily basis, the number we see plays tricks on us. Our weight naturally fluctuates day to day due to water retention, hormones, sodium intake, etc.  Another big factor is our body composition – our muscle to fat ratio.

Now I know you’ve probably heard “muscle weighs more than fat.” Well friends, that is NOT true. A pound of muscle actually WEIGHS the same as a pound of muscle. !! They are both a pound. The real concept is that a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat. So if you replace fat with muscle by incorporating strength training into your workout routine, you may not actually see the scale go down, but you’ll be smaller.

Today, I encourage you to let the numbers go. Throw the scale away for all I care! Focus on your journey. Focus on fueling your body with wholesome nutrients. Focus on moving your body. Focus on challenging yourself every day. When you let go of the stress of the scale, you’ll be amazed at what your body will accomplish.

What’s Been Happening!

Hi friends!

I took a (really) long, much needed break from blogging because, well… I had a baby! 14 months ago, actually. (Where does the time go??)

Becoming a mother has been the greatest gift. I just adore that little girl more than I ever thought possible.

Adjusting to the whole mama thing has been so exciting and fun for me. I LOVE it. A funny thing happens when you become a mom: you instantly have a connection to every other mother you run into. You develop a little community of new momma friends which is incredible and SO necessary, especially in those early months.

The first time Kaylee smiled at me, I thought, “THIS.” THIS is what life is about.

“Being a mom is my jam.” (Bachelor, anyone?)

When Kaylee was born, I got SO immersed in my new found role and love for being a momma that I sort of lost my sense of self, as I’m sure many moms do. I spent every ounce of energy I had caring for this tiny bundle. She was my world. And then I went back to work. Suddenly I had to figure out how to make money and keep this child smiling. Six months in, we moved 500 miles away from everything we knew. Where we met, where we fell in love, where we developed the most genuine friendships, that we cherish so much. SD friends: we love you. And where our family started.

All these changes in a relatively short time really makes you sit down and think. Or write, in my case. I needed to feel like myself again. I needed to rediscover my passions again and carve out time for myself.

So, yes, I’m back! I don’t plan on blogging nearly as much as I once did, but I’m shooting for weekly articles. You can follow me on instagram: @skinnyopinion or facebook.com/skinnyopinion for daily motivation and inspiration.

Thank you for following along!

XO
Jenn

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It’s a GIRL!

First off – I know I’ve been MIA for a while…growing a baby is exhausting and all-consuming. To be quite honest, blogging has been the last thing on my mind these days.

But it’s about time I announce that we’re having a beautiful baby GIRL!

Our dear friends threw us the most beautiful gender reveal party to celebrate the new addition to our family. It was the most perfect and memorable day and we were so blessed to be surrounded by our closest friends and family to find out the gender of our new little bundle of love.

I can honestly say I was SHOCKED. I thought for sure it would be a boy! So much for mother’s intuition, right? I am so excited to have a little girl and mostly just so thankful that she is growing healthy and strong. I can’t believe she’ll be here in just three months!

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Pregnancy Progression Pics

Tomorrow I’ll be 19 weeks. I can’t believe I’m almost half way there. I’m so looking forward to finding out if our little bun is a boy or a girl next week. I honestly have no idea and like most things in my life, I change my mind on a daily basis about the gender of this little babe. Some mother’s say they “just knew.” I say, lucky guess.

Part of me hates to be “that girl” sharing my preggo pics, but let’s be honest — pregnancy is one of life’s most beautiful adventures. I love seeing other girl’s bump progression and I wanted to document my own journey here on the blog.

Admittedly, it’s not easy to watch your body change on a daily basis. I’m sure this is something all women struggle with during pregnancy. I’ve found that taking these progression pictures and being able to look back on how I’m changing every two weeks opens my eyes even more to the miracle of pregnancy.

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8 weeks | baby is the size of a raspberry

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10 weeks | baby is the size of a strawberry

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12 weeks | baby is the size of a plum

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14 weeks | baby is the size of a lemon

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16 weeks | baby is the size of an avocado

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18 weeks | baby is the size of a bell pepper

First Trimester Essentials

Can you guys believe I’m already 17 weeks? It feels like I just passed the first trimester, but I’m really already a month into my second! Time is flying.

While it’s still (relatively) fresh in my mind, I wanted to share my first trimester essentials that helped me through those first 13 weeks.

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one || crystalized ginger || I don’t know why it works, but trust me on this one. Candied ginger helped more than anything else to combat my morning sickness. I didn’t go anywhere with out this stuff. Yes, it tastes like ****, but I got over that pretty quickly when I realized how much it works. Oh, and don’t bother with the ginger or flavored hard candies — go for the real deal.

two || fitbit || Low to moderate intensity exercise is very safe and is actually essential for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Since my doctor recommended I back off on my normal fitness routine, I relied on my trusty fitbit to help motivate me to move enough throughout the day, especially during a time when I was honestly feeling pretty lazy.

three || prenatal vitamins || Prenatal vitamins are an absolute must throughout the entire pregnancy (and especially early on), to support fetal brain and eye development. The Nature Made prenatal vitamins + DHA have served me well, but a word to the wise: take them shortly after eating a meal or that ginger will come in more handy than you hoped!

four || baby center app || Pregnancy is full of so many unknowns. Is what I’m feeling normal? When will I start to show? What can I expect at my first prenatal appointment? Mark and I decided to only share our pregnancy news with immediate family and close friends during the first trimester. As you can imagine, my brain was full of questions and I had few people I could talk to! The baby center app is a great resource for week by week updates and lots of Q&A.

five || unisom || Despite being so fatigued, I struggled to get a good night’s sleep. Between the frequent bathroom trips and all the excitement and fears surrounding becoming a new mom, I experienced horrible insomnia (which I’m told is extremely common). My doctor recommended taking Unisom and what a LIFESAVER it is. I’ve found that a half a tablet is plenty for me to avoid that groggy feeling in the morning.

six || healthy snacks || Pregnancy hunger is no joke and for me personally, I basically felt like I was starving throughout the first trimester. I learned to never leave the house without a few snacks. Chilled green grapes, protein bars, and almonds were some of my first tri go-to snacks.

seven || palmer’s cocoa butter || I am all about stretch mark prevention, so when a coworker gave me a bottle of this stuff with a high recommendation, I started using it daily and never looked back. I also use their skin soothing oil to relieve dry, itchy pregnancy skin.

eight || loose clothing || During the summer months, there’s nothing worse than tight, restrictive clothing…unless you’re also pregnant and your body is changing daily. During the first trimester, I lived in either a flowy top and comfy shorts or a loose-fitting dress. It’s all about comfort these days!

I hope this helps out all the newly pregnant and future mamas. Plus, who am I kidding – with the pregnancy brain I’m experiencing these days, if I don’t write it down, there’s no way I’ll remember when baby #2 is on board!

Did I miss anything? If you’re a mom, what could you not live without during your first trimester?

How Safe is Exercise During Pregnancy?

Healthy pregnancy.I was shocked to hear my doctor’s advice on exercise during pregnancy: “You should exercise at least 30 minutes a day up until the day you give birth, but avoid anything that increases your heart rate above 140 BPM, and absolutely nothing over 150.

Now, you all know I’m more than happy to exercise every day, but I had always heard: whatever you did pre-pregnancy, you could continue throughout pregnancy as long as you listen to your body. So since I was used to seeing my heart rates upwards of 160-170 quite often during workouts, shouldn’t that still be ok?

Nope.

Apparently, when your heart rate gets above 140, your blood starts rapidly fueling your muscles — and not baby.

According to Baby Center, the best way to keep your prenatal exercise routine safe and effective is to use your body’s responses as your guide.

The goal is to keep your intensity in a range that is moderate to somewhat challenging. That corresponds to the level of exercise your body can do without feeling so out of breath that you can’t talk. If you’re feeling out of breath, that’s your signal to reduce your intensity or take a break. The great thing about using this method for monitoring exercise intensity is that it allows women of every level of fitness to continue to exercise in a zone that keeps them fit.

Remember these tips when exercising during pregnancy, whether you’re continuing or starting a fitness program:

  • Keep your intensity at a level where you can carry on a conversation without feeling out of breath.
  • Reduce your exercise intensity or take a break if you start to feel out of breath, exhausted, or dizzy.
  • Modify your exercise routine as your pregnancy progresses. Remember that your growing baby adds weight to your body. So as you move through pregnancy, it’s as if you’re carrying a backpack that gets heavier each week. Whatever you’re doing when you’re 10 weeks pregnant will feel much harder at 30 weeks because you have to support more weight.
  • Listen to your body and discuss your exercise routine with your healthcare provider if you experience any discomfort, pain, or extreme exhaustion.

After hearing the advice from my doctor and doing my own research, I decided that quitting Fitwall would be best for me and the baby. I’m happy to report I’ve been able to continue exercising 30 minutes a day by modifying my workouts and slowing the intensity.

 

First Trimester Symptoms

pickled cucumberThank you all for the sweet words on the blog and all over social media yesterday after I shared our big news!

Pregnancy is a crazy thing. I never expected my body to experience so many changes in just three months. While it’s fresh in my mind, I wanted to document a little on my personal symptoms during the first trimester.

Exhausted. Turns out, growing a tiny person is very hard work. The last three months have been extremely exhausting! I have never experienced so much fatigue in my life. There would  be days when I’d come home from work, take a nap and then literally go to bed at 8:00.

Emotional. I think my first clue I could be pregnant was when I cried watching Click starring Adam Sandler. One minute I’m laughing hysterically and the next I’m crying over something so silly. Thank you, hormones!

Nauseous. I’ve felt pretty sick throughout my entire first trimester, but thankfully didn’t experience full blown morning sickness (aka vomitting) like many women do. Some days I’d actually hope I’d vomit just to relieve some queasiness. Nope. Just a constant yucky feeling, similar to motion sickness.

Hungry. I’m not gonna lie, there were days when I threw my normal healthy eating habits completely out the window and probably consumed way more calories than I’d like to admit. Pregnancy hunger is REAL, my friends. I’ve had a few interesting cravings: pickles, fruit, cottage cheese, yogurt, and Chipotle (!!). Oh, and veggies / salads make me gag.

Oily. I have always been lucky when it comes to my skin and never really experienced breakouts or zits, even as a teenager. My skin is normally on the drier side, but lately I’ve felt like a total grease ball and am experiencing more acne than ever. Ugh!

Phew, I’m glad the first tri is over with!

As I’m writing this, I realize how horrible the first three months sound. Even though most of the symptoms aren’t very appealing, it has, hands down, been one of the most exciting seasons of my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Thankfully I’m starting to feel a lot more like myself these days!

Special Announcement!!

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IT’S TRUE, It’s true!! Today is the day I can finally share my very exciting news…I’m pregnant!! Mark and are expecting our own little bundle of love next Valentine’s Day!

It’s been killing me to keep this little secret for the past 13 weeks, but now that I’m officially in the second trimester I could not be happier to share our special announcement.

Stay tuned for some upcoming posts on how I’ve been trying to stay healthy during this crazy season of life!

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