Bumpdate: 24 Weeks

Woosh, woosh, woosh.  Every time we have the chance to hear Baby Szed’s itty-bitty heartbeat, my heart swells.  Sometimes I still am in disbelief that I have a little person living inside my belly.  Today Ryan and I went to our monthly check-up and the doctor said that both momma and baby are doing great!

After the appointment I treated myself to a mani + pedi to celebrate the good news {and to complete this weekend’s wedding look} :)   “Princesses Rule” shellac on my fingers and “My Chihuahua Bites” on my toes.

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I was hoping to start sharing bumpdates {baby bump + updates} earlier in my pregnancy so that I could look back {and laugh}, but that didn’t happen.  Later is better than never, something is better than nothing.  I’ll try to do a first trimester recap sometime soon, but I warn you – I napped a lot, felt nauseous, and ate a lot of ramen noodles.

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Due Date:  Thursday, November 13th.  We’re taking bets on when she’ll actually arrive because there are a few family members with November birthdays.

Gender:  Girl!  We found out on June 26th {20 weeks}.

Name:  Choosing a name is one of the most difficult things we’ve had to do yet.  There are so many names, the possibilities are endless.  We ultimately chose a family name – it was the only name that Ryan said “I like that!”

Size:  Cantaloupe {10.5 – 11.8 in}

Symptoms:  No aches or pains.  The only thing that’s uncomfortable is that it feels like I just ate a big Thanksgiving dinner and need to unbuckle my belt…  Except I’m not wearing a belt, that’s just my belly.  Thankfully, still no stretch marks.

Movement:  Yes!  And it’s so cool, although she sleeps most of the day and dances all night.  Party animal in the making!

Weight Gain:  My weight fluctuated up and down a pound or two during the first trimester, but I have been slowly gaining weight each week since.  Today the doctor said I’m right on track.

Cravings:  Nothing intense, like “I’ve gotta have it right now or I’m going to have an emotional breakdown!” but I’m still loving fruit, carbs, and salt.  Salt on everything – salads included.  Berries, cherries, melon, and pineapple as far as fruits.  Some type of doughy carb, crackers/chips, or pasta makes an appearance in every meal/snack.  As for protein,  I’ve stuck mostly with cheese, yogurt {regular, not Greek}, eggs with ketchup, and deli meat.  Some days I can’t stand the thought of meat.

Aversions:  None at the moment.  Coffee was a big aversion until just recently.  Some days I’ll sip a cup with breakfast, but I haven’t been able to finish a full cup.  The smell still sometimes makes me queasy.

Fitness:  I’m still working out about 5 days a week, give or take a day depending upon how I feel and our schedule.  Walking on the treadmill {with an incline} has been my go-to.  Today I ran 1 {very slow} mile but it was the first mile I’ve run in months – happy, happy!

Sleep:  I’ve been falling asleep in bed, but waking up around 1 – 2AM and moving out to the family room to sleep on the couch.  It helps to keep me from rolling onto my stomach.  I still haven’t purchased a full-body pillow but it’s high on my list.

Question:  What’s your favorite salty food/snack?

Question:  What’s your favorite nail polish color?

— Allison

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Selfie Self-Confidence {Guest Post}

Hi!  I’m Megan.  I’m a health and wellness coach in Dallas, TX and I blog over at The Lyons’ Share Wellness.  I’m so excited to be here today and grateful to Allison for letting me share with you!

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When I was thinking about what to talk about here on Life’s a Bowl, I started by thinking of the three things that come to mind when I think about Allison:

  • First, her delicious looking breakfasts (especially pancakes)…  But I have to admit, I tend to stick with my favorite yogurt breakfast at least 50% of the time and I’ve already blogged about that (my 4th ever blog post)!
  • Second, her love for Ryan and Charlie…  But she can talk about those better than I can!
  • And finally, the way she radiates so much confidence and happiness in her workout selfies shared via Instagram…  So that is what I’m going to talk about today!

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If those pictures don’t make you smile, I don’t know what will!  And it’s not just Allison…  It’s actually a scientifically proven fact that exercise boosts your self-confidence!

  • A study by the Medical College of Georgia showed that 20 – 40 minutes of daily exercise dramatically improved the self-esteem and reduced depressive symptoms in overweight children.
  • Another study in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology showed that increased physical activity led middle-aged women to perceive their attractiveness and physical condition in a better light.
  • A third study showed that young girls who exercise had a better self-esteem in their adolescent years than those who didn’t.

I could go on and on, but I don’t want Allison to kick me off for boring you!

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The point is…  There are many benefits of exercise, but improved self-confidence is one that often gets forgotten in discussions.  I’ll bet that you can identify the feeling in yourself.  Think back to the last time you had a really great workout.  Maybe you ran a new-to-you distance without stopping, maybe you deadlifted a higher weight than you ever thought possible, maybe you really rocked it in your last Zumba class.

Whatever it was, do you remember that feeling of “I just ran five whole miles!  I can do anything!”?

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We see the impact of exercise-boosted self-confidence all over social media.  The idea of posting a public image of myself with a shiny, red face, greasy hair, and sweat stains all over my shirt really does not sound like a good one.  Yet, I do it all the time and so do so many others.  Have you ever thought about why?  It’s probably because in that moment, we feel so great about ourselves and accomplishing our workout that we want to share it with the world.  To motivate others, to get praise for what we did, to make someone smile, to hold ourselves accountable…  And it works!

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So today if you’re looking for a reason to exercise, just think about how great you’ll feel about yourself afterwards.  Get out there, do your best, and then show it off to the world!

Tell me in the comments…  Have you felt that boost of self-confidence in yourself after a workout? What workout makes you feel the most confident?

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Thanks so much for sharing such a positive and uplifting post, Megan!  I took a peek at it when Megan originally sent it to me, but since the post was in HTML {code} format, I couldn’t see the pictures…  Until I pasted everything into WordPress and the code transformed into text and pictures.  I laughed.out.loud. :D   It’s definitely my first ever #selfie collage!  But I think she did a fabulous job capturing some of my most {ridiculously} silly selfies.

Selfies are always fun, but always awkward.  Don’t you agree?  Should I tilt my head?  Stick my tongue out?  What do I do with my hands?  How does my hair look?  Nonetheless, Megan’s message is spot-on…  Exercise does in fact foster self-confidence.  We’ve all heard that quote “‘Wow.  I really regret that workout.’  Said no one ever.” and it’s absolutely true.  The only workouts that we can regret are the ones that didn’t happen.

— Allison

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Just Move It! {Guest Post}

Hi LAB readers!  I’m Amber, lover of peanut butter and anything pink!  A diagnosis of severe IBS and celiac disease doesn’t hold me back from enjoying food that’s delicious and nutritious, which is why I started my blog Eats and Exercise by AmberOn my blog I show that people with dietary limitations can still eat deliciously with a little creativity!  In addition to my love of food and fitness, I’m passionate about the promotion of positive body image.  I believe in order to be healthy you must first be happy, which comes from self love.  I hope that you enjoy my post today!

You’re sitting at your desk, whether it be at work or home, and you feel completely drained.  As if sitting at your computer or even standing for the duration of your work day was equivalent to an intense sweat session at the gym.  This happens to me all the time and I am left feeling lethargic and unmotivated – both my brain and my body.  This is especially true in the wintertime because the weather and lack of sunshine can leave you feeling rather sluggish!

The cure to combat this fatigue (also known as the mid-day slump)?  GET UP, STRETCH, AND MOVE!  Whether you want to or not, I promise it will work AND is good for you!

 

 

Move It

 

 

Known as NEAT, Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, a fancy term for the calories burned through non-exercise activities such as walking, taking the stairs, or standing while on the phone as opposed to sitting.  Current research at the Mayo Clinic has found that by simply getting off your butt and moving around more, you can burn up to an additional 800 calories a day!  Extra calorie burn is great, but the real benefit is that you’re saving your life by simply getting up and moving.

Results from studies done by the American Cancer Society showed that sitting for extended periods of time can shorten your life, even if you exercise!  EEK!  Scary right?  Even more motivation to get off your butt and get moving whenever you can throughout the day!  Read more about the study here or this CNN published article which is a bit easier to understand.

GET UP!  Close your eye, take a few deep breaths, raise your arms on the inhale, and lower them on the exhale.  Feel awkward doing this in front of your coworkers or peers?  Then (as silly as it sounds) try it out the next time you use to the restroom.  It’s amazing how much of a difference some deep breathing can make – it wakes up your brain!  Plus, you’ll get in some extra movement when you walk to the bathroom.

Got time and room for a little something extra?  STRETCH!  Stretching feels good and sends blood flow to your brain and muscles.  It also helps your body to wake up!  When I’m walking up and down the stairs at school, I always do a quick hamstring stretch on my way up (if the hallways are empty).  And if you’ve been sitting at your desk all day, it’s especially important to remember to stretch your shoulders and neck.

Most importantly, MOVE!  Move as much as you can.  Here are a few suggestions, but I encourage you to get creative because the possibilities are endless.

  • Opt to take the stairs instead of the elevator and/or escalator
  • Use a copier, water fountain, or restroom, that’s farther away from your desk
  • Take a lap around the office or school before stopping by the break room or bathroom
  • Park your car farther away from the entrance
  • Sneak in some squats
  • Stand instead of sitting while talking on the phone
  • Do calf raises or leg raises while waiting for copies to print
  • Have a 60 second dance party

Warning:  All of this movement may cause increased happiness and infect those around you!

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Thanks Amber for taking the time to guest post and sharing this important information!  As a teacher, I spend a majority of my day on my feet, but when I worked in the event industry I spent most of the day sitting at a desk.  I frequently went for a walk during my lunch break, but didn’t move much otherwise – when there’s work to be done I want to get it done as quickly as possible!  Taking the stairs rather than the elevator, using a bathroom/water fountain on another floor, or going for a walk during your lunch break are all small things but they quickly add up!

Question:  What’s your favorite way to move during the work day?

Question:  Do you use a sitting or standing desk?

— Allison

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