Smacked right in my 2nd Trimester….

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Woah! A blink and it’s already October. My last post was in July! While I managed to write in my first trimester, hitting the 2nd trimester was getting into me. A few challenges hit us as we had to navigate through this pregnancy. A few scares + exhaustion + nausea over took me. Yes, you read it right. I’m still experiencing morning sickness although it is certainly a lot better as the weeks goes by. Things are certainly looking up and I’m feeling much better. 

I haven’t stopped cooking and baking. If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, you will noticed that I’m still cooking away. Even more so as I went on gumtree and bought Thermomix. Yes! After hesitating for 2 years, we decided that I will need another sous chef as we approach being parents of 2. My food processor is starting to show it’s age after 7+ years of weekly use so we decided to splurge on a fancy machine. 

My post today though is an update of how I have been managing fitness and food through the 2nd trimester. I still have not yet weighed myself but using clothes and what I can do as workout as a gauge. 

What has not changed?

  • I still workout 4-5 times a week. 
  • I continue to do boxing, HITT, weight training and metabolic conditioning
  • We continue to eat with a focus of nutrition
  • My meals and snacks are usually planned out 

What has changed?

  • My workouts have been modified. At week 20, I realised I can’t do full burpees anymore. At week 22, I get an odd sensation even doing a modified burpeee (without pushups). I regressed and do squat with a wall pushups. I’m finding I can’t run as much, or do jumping lunges/squats. Abs workout are more pilates core movements. 
  • I take breaks and slow down. If I have a harder workout on Monday, Tuesdays are gentler.
  • I eat more carbs. On the days I work out, or the morning after, I tend to indulge with two slices of sprouted bread. 
  • If I feel more hungry, I eat. I don’t use to have morning tea, but I find that I do get hungry 2-3 hours, so it is better to anticipate it and have something ready than to eat “whatever”. 
  • My snacks have changed. I eat even more protein. I snack on eggs, greek yogurt, cheese, nut butters, bananas, nuts, avocado… Basically, it has more variety and I’m eating more often. I’m eating more dairy simply because I feel like it. 
  • I try to sleep more. 
  • I drink a lot of ginger tea
  • My coffee intake has decreased. Probably an average of 2 coffees a week. 

Compared to my last pregnancy, I certainly do not get the cravings for refined carbohydrates as much. Perhaps it is about reading my body better, or by increasing unrefined carbs, it get what it needs. 

My mood has been terrible for the first 20 weeks. I felt that I was walking in a cloudy haze, feeling absolutely miserable. Constant nausea, exhaustion, and trying to meet my expectations of how I do my job, operate at home and being a present focus mum was so not working. Many times I resorted to the I-baysitter, using devices to keep Ash entertain while I lie on the couch. I even fell asleep reading him a story before! Poor kid. Learning how to scale back and say no was something that has never been easy for me. It was also what prompted me to take a break from blogging and just focus on getting my health back on track. I take naps when I do get Ash down for one. If I’m unwell, I totally stop exercising for a few days. I started scaling back on some commitments. 

I’m not sure when I will be back writing. I do still want to use this space to reflect on this pregnancy and document more food experiments. I’m still very much active on Facebook and Instagram so please hop that that see more. Till the next time, take care ūüôā 

 

img_4587Me and Bump at around 20 weeks

Pumpkin Pancakes (Paleo, Gluten Free, Clean eating) + Update on views of fitness and food

Pumpkin PancakesIt’s nearly the end of the year. I thought I would like to update myself (and if you are reading) about my thoughts on fitness, food and body image. I have written about scales talkfood judgement, and also my fitness routine. Things have changed since Feb 2015! 

There are many reasons. One is that I truly believe fitness is a journey. It does sound cliche, but the more I work out, the more I’m realising other reasons to do so. Yes, it started off as aesthetics, then it was the fear of returning to where I was. Gradually it became a competition with myself on how far I can push my body. Now, I’m at a space where I work out to feel good, be healthy, have energy, be strong and have fun. Do I want to pump out more pull ups? Oh you bet I do! Do I want to run faster, yep or tackle heavier weights? it’s there.

I have also learned though, that it is ok to take breaks. I used to feel SO bad about missing a session. Now, if I missed one, over the weekdays, I might choose to let it go, do something on my usual rest day, or turn on a HITT session. A good stretch or remedial massage is a fitness session too. 

Another big change is that my really really awesome gym closed in July 2015. I.grieved.big.time. Thankfully, the people that I work out together felt the same way and so we decided to do something about our grief and channelled it into our own workout sessions. We even have a name! I just have to remember it. 

I have a workout buddy now too. We decided that we want to continue the momentum and practice kettle bells. We bought some equipment and transformed one of my living areas into a home gym. 

My current work out routine

Monday- Metcon

Tuesday- Weights/Kbs

Wednesday- Boxing

Thursday- HITT or KBs

Friday- Rest day

Saturday- boxing

Sunday- Rest day 

Active rest days are the best. I walk, swim, run around, dance with Asher or do a BIG stretch. 

The biggest change of course is probably my mindset. 

I tracked food in June after discovering a couple of my pants became a little too tight (aka bursting) for my liking. I turned a notch down in snacking and returned to just sensible 3 meals with a snack before workout. I practiced being kind to myself and slip a coffee when I need or feel like one instead of berating myself for too much caffeine. I savoured dark chocolate and ate my berries. I continued to do what I used to do- which is to ask myself is the food item for pleasure or nourishment or both. Enjoying my food rather than freaking out.

I stopped weighing myself. 

Surprise surprise. My pants fit, I’m feeling better and I actually conquered turkish get ups. Plus hit a few PB with lifting weights. 

So what’s next?

  • Install a pull up bar
  • Continue to practice sensible eating. 
  • Continue with weights and hopefully able to deadlight heavier 
  • Be kind to self

Speaking of kindness, we are not in the US and I am more than aware that pumpkin season is sort of over. Here in my household though, it feels like pumpkin season is weekly. Asher is into pancakes and here is my attempt to include in a good dose of antioxidants and beta-carotene  in him. A dollop of coconut yogurt or yogurt completes it. Or if you are Asher, plain is the best way. 

[yumprint-recipe id=’98’]

HELLO 2015!

Oh hello there! Is it the year 2015 already? 2014 was here just a minute ago. I blinked and here we are at the New Year.

Not often do I take a break from writing here. For the past few weeks though, I took a step back and simply enjoy my family. My parents visited and I soaked in their presence. Including being spoilt by taking a 2 hour nap on Christmas Day, having my laundry folded, and a babysitter for Asher when hubby and I go out for lunch and coffee dates. Seriously spoilt.

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Together with my parents, we went down to Margaret River for 3 days, and I was reminded by how gorgeous Western Australia is.

 

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Coming back though, I wanted to do my annual reflections post.The year 2013 was epic, with Asher being born. Year 2014 was a year of adjustments.

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My grandmother was very ill. I was back in Singapore for close to 2 months earlier in the year. I saw her fought HARD. She had such a strong fighting spirit and survived being in the ICU.

 

However, she fell ill again (different condition) and passed away in early May.

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Grieve is a complicated emotion. I swing from being relieved that her agony and suffering was short-lived but felt a deep sense of loss. Time and being busy helped me healed but the sense of loss never went away.


With my parents over here, we planted a rose plant in our garden in her memory. Mum and I made her famous yam cake. Dad even commented that my soups reminded him of her. My heart ached when Asher called my mum “popo” knowing that he would have called my grandmother “Ah Tai” if she is still alive now.

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In the midst of it all, I received an offer to work part time mid 2014. Life as a working mum is hectic but we adjusted. Asher also started day care. I had to get used to the idea of someone caring for him!

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Asher turned 1. He started walking, talking and looking more like a toddler. My baby is no longer a baby anymore!

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As a couple, we have settled into a routine. We appreciate time together and learned how important it is to be a couple even though we have a family. It’s not always easy. My brain is frequently running a million kms an hour with endless lists of doing things, neglecting that I need to be present for my marriage. Hubby falls to the trap of dealing with the day to day work and home stressors and needed reminders to see me as a wife first than a mother. A marriage needs constant work. There is no room for being complacent.

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To the outside world, it just seems perfect. We are generally happy people. We like being in the same room as each other and we have a gorgeous son. Perhaps what is less known is that we struggle too. Like most young parents, we are sleep deprived and time poor. We rarely yell at each other, but that does not mean we do not have unhappy or even angry moments.

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Fitness remains a journey. I lost most of my baby weight when Asher was 6 months young. I continued to eat clean and train hard. All in all, I think I did pretty well in gaining strength and endurance. From doing wall push ups to full push ups. From not being able to do a full burpees to doing 100 burpees. ¬†I ended the year knowing that I’m stronger and fitter than 2013.

 

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My self image demons continued to haunt me from time to time. Somewhere towards end of September, I was reaching a plateau at the gym. I felt that I was doing “ok” but struggling to lift heavier weights or running faster. I realised that even though I was eating clean, I was probably not eating enough. So I took the plunge and decided to increase my food intake as an experiment. That was a little tricky as I was used to listening to my body and eating accordingly. Slowly, I ate just a little more for my main meals. Surprise surprise, I gained over a kilo of muscle, and started to see progress at the gym. While it was all positive, the increase in the number at the scale affected me. In my head, I see myself as bigger and if I search deep enough, even thinking that I have gone backwards in performance.¬†Just because of a number at the scale.

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I thought I was over that. Being obese and overweight as a child means I have been used to measuring progress by the scale. Gaining weight scares me. Logically I know that muscle and fat are different. Emotionally I reacted. This little experiment brought out more than what I expected. Insecure feelings about my self image appeared.

 

I could choose to freak and bailed out. The old me might even go back to how I was eating before. I needed to stop and breathe. To give myself permission to freak for a while and then question where all these feelings come from. I had to sit with these uncomfortable sensations and question where to from here.

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The answer I think is simple. Why complicate things. What I am doing is working and I have to trust the process though how scary it may appear to be. Looking back, I have lost 35 kgs two times (Childhood and Post Pregnancy). Clean eating and moving well is part of my life now. Is it likely that I will gain back 30 kgs from what I am doing now? Unlikely. Can I tweak my meal plans and workouts as I go along? Very much so. Do I want to lead a life jailed by a number on a machine? No.

Food remains a joy to us. I experimented with more clean cooking and desserts and LOVE it! From making raw desserts to experimenting and developing recipes for my family, I found a kind of rhythm.

So what were my goals for 2014?

My goals for 2014 
РContinue to create and experiment clean desserts and meals. (done!) 
– Make that cream br√Ľl√©e!¬†(OOPSIE! Got to¬†really get that butane!)¬†
РGetting my fitness back on track. (Yep!) 
-Make baby food… (DONE!) 
– Not sweat the small stuff as much¬†(ok, half done… )¬†
РTravel back and see my family even more. (I went back to SG 3 times last year. Done) 
РStay in the moment more. Babies grow up too fast. (Done and ongoing) 
РThank God every day for our blessed family. (Could do better) 
Рblog more often! (I think so!)

Where to for 2015? 

  1. Continue to provide my family with clean and healthy meals. I would like to make more chinese style broths and get back to my roots with more Chinese clean cooking.
  2. See beyond the number at the scale. Getting stronger. Doing more drills with full pushups, using heavier weights for thrusters, deadlifts, turkish get ups and squats.
  3. As a wife, be kinder.
  4. Talk and communicate with my parents more.
  5. As a mother, to be patient and stay in the moment. Asher is growing too quick.
  6. Maintain a gratitude journal.
  7. Pray more. I don’t think I do enough of praying and reflection.
  8. Schedule in rests.
  9. Connecting with friends. Regular meet ups with my mummy girlfriends. Maintaing contact with my close friends through whatsapp, phone conversations and any channels we can think of. Being a better gift giver.
  10. Bringing this website to a wider audience

This is ¬†going to be a year of Back to Basics. Basics of being in the moment with my family and loved ones. Losing grandma made me yearn for more family contact. Learning how to have peace with myself- Trusting in the Lord rather than being self-focus in appearance. Cooking and creating recipes that fits well with our ethos. Re establishing and building existing relationships. It’s going to be a year of giving myself permission to slow down to speed up.

Here is to a GREAT start to the New Year! 

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