MENTAL MONDAYS: WINTERVENTION

Okay, so to look out the window it doesn't look particularly different than it has all winter long, but it is officially spring as of last week. This change in the calendar alone has lightened my moods. Lifted my spirits! Given me hope! (Even if we had to shovel loads of snow this past weekend). I've said before how much I typically love winter. But this winter - what was with this winter? I don't know if it was the very wintery winter weather we've had, and the countless days stuck inside due to a -20 reading on the thermostat, but I struggled this winter. I struggled to get to the pool for my morning swims - I just wanted to sssssleep. I struggled to get other physical activity in. I struggled to eat well. I struggled with feeling moody and tired. I struggled to just feel myself some days.

I am SO thankful for my good health, and that of my family. But when you just feel out of sorts, you don't feel yourself, it gets to you. It weighs on you. Is it the lack of sunshine? Is it out-of-whack hormones from breastfeeding and starting to wean? Is it the lack of physical activity? The not-so-great eating habits? The lack of socializing? Maybe it is all of these things. Or none at all.

I am also so thankful that B has been by my side all winter long. Although I do think much of my mood has been related to the baby-hormones and breastfeeding, I can't imagine what winter would have been like without his constant snuggles, slobbery kisses and giggles. He has been my little ray of sunshine on those dark, cold winter days. Sounds so cheesy, but it is so true. Just seeing his chubby little face is enough to lift my spirits.

Even though we are still a ways away from flip flops and tank tops, just knowing that this winter weather is so close to being over is enough. It's time to crawl from our dens, open the windows, get dirty in the garden, wash the winter muck away, and play outside every day.

Okay, so maybe not today (it is -15 out there), but soon! In the mean time, I will keep (foolishly) dreaming about these things.

Here's my spring bucket list:

  1. Plan a weekend get-away with my man.
  2. Get a pedi (or two or three).
  3. Get a hair cut.
  4. Do hot yoga once a week.
  5. Swim three times a week.
  6. Get back to running (+ signup for a fall race).
  7. Sell my road bike.
  8. Buy a "mom" bike equipped with kiddy seat.
  9. Buy a power saw (I've always secretly wanted one of these - it's time. Any suggestions?).
  10. Build a raised veggie garden (buy saw first) + plant veggies.
  11. Don't kill veggies.

C'mon spring. Do your thing.

NEW YEAR GOAL SETTING

Hello there, 2014.

After all the feasting we've done over the holidays, I always look forward to getting back to healthier eating once Jan 1 rolls around. That and getting back to our daily routines, including regular exercise. Other then lifting drink and fork to mouth, a few walks and one ski day, I did diddly squat worth of activity over the last two weeks. My body is revolting.

I'm not one to set resolutions this time of year (I do, however, resolve to decrease my sugar intake by 90% from holiday levels). Years ago, I was working for a popular yoga wear retailer that required their employees to do homework tasks, beyond selling the overpriced merchandise. Okay, so the free yoga was nice, but we were also expected to set and share personal goals. I'd never worked retail before, but I thought this was a little odd. It was just retail after all. Most of us were there to make some cash and score their sweet employee discount on the gear. But if reading their books, listening to hours of Brian Tracy, and setting goals meant I'd have a job, get free yoga and a great discount, I would join their cult.

The books were interesting. The free yoga was great. But the goal setting is what stuck with me. Oddly enough.

Every year around my birthday, I still write and tweak my goals. I think it's kinda weird that a part-time retail job taught me to set goals properly.

I write 1, 3, 5, 7 and 10 year goals for career/financial, personal and health. They are short and specific, and all laid out on a one page table. Not all of the boxes are filled out. Some boxes have more then one goal. The one and three year goals are usually more specific (i.e. swim 3X/week, core work 3X/week). Whereas the long term goals may be a little more vague (i.e. own a lakefront cottage). Or dreams.

It's been neat to see them evolve over the years. To see how priorities change. Most are achieved, but some are not, and that's okay.

If you are goal setting this time of year, don't forget that special little goal setting acronym, S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-targeted). Remember that? Write them down. Stick them on the fridge or on your phone. Share them with someone special who will support you and your goals.

I have one month before I review my goals. So today, I just send a little wish to the wind for 2014: for health and happiness for me, my husband and B, and for my family and friends. And especially for the new mummas and mummas-to-be out there.

Welcome, 2014.

FIRST POST. EVER

Hi there. Welcome, to Healthy Mumma. A first (ever!) blog post feels like a lot of pressure...even though this will likely be read by fewer people than I have fingers. If you are reading this, it probably means that you are a pretty important person in my life. And this is intended for you. Which explains my performance anxiety. Ramble, ramble, ramble.

I do have a ton of "real" ideas to chit-chat about, but I thought I would just start with a little "welcome!"

Why did I start the 1,893,689th fitness/health/mom blog? Many reasons, but one important one is to tap into my love for injury prevention and health education. Ten years of postsecondary education, and nine years in clinical practice as an athletic therapist and an osteopathic manual practitioner, have taught me a few good things. And my favourite part of working with my patients is educating them. Whether it be teaching them new exercises to address postural imbalances or simple pain management strategies, I LOVE to see them better understand their body, and ultimately take charge of it. Own it.

Also it seems like every other friend or family member of mine is pregnant these days (yay! hi!), and I seem to be answering a lot of their health related questions - about midwifery, natural births, pre and postnatal exercise, various aches and pains during and after pregnancy, etc. Questions and answers that are worth sharing!

I also have a sporty background, having been involved in sport my whole life (skiing, swimming, running, triathlon, rugby…). Rarely has this been really competitive sport, but more sport to stay fit, and strong, and healthy. And happy. Activity keeps my sanity sane. Whether it's a little gardening or a 3 km swim. I neeeeeed it.

When I got pregnant, I just kept going. I didn't really let up for nine (really ten, right?) months. I had a great pregnancy and a pretty awesome natural birth experience. And I attribute much of my experience, pre and postnatal, to the physical health that I strive for.

Okay, so if you don't know me, you might be thinking that I'm an exercise crazed Jillian Michaels hot mumma. Not. At. All. I do what I need to do to feel good about myself, and to keep healthy, strong and injury free. But like most new mummas, I struggle to get it all in, let alone find the time for me. For my health - body and brain. We often forget that as mummas, our good health and wellbeing is crucial for the health and wellbeing of our wee ones, and our family as a whole. But it so easily gets pushed to the bottom of the daily priority list.

And so, this blog is a way for me to share my trials and tribulations of trying to stay healthy, along this crazy new journey that is motherhood - what has and has not worked for me. It will also be a place where I can share current research, my clinical knowledge and practical experiences with you in a straight forward kinda way. Hopefully, all in the name of better health for all of us.

So what can you expect, dear mumma?

I hope to touch on a good variety of topics, such as:

Preventing injuries (ugh, low back pain!) and taking care of your prenatal bod.

Preventing postnatal injuries (ugh, breastfeeding back!), and getting back to your prenatal awesomeness.

Tid bits, research and advice that are helpful, related to:

birth,

breastfeeding,

postpartum care,

pre and postnatal exercise,

weight loss, ergonomics and posture.

Generally, I hope to share my thoughts and ideas with mummas seeking a similar state of healthiness that I try to keep up. And since I've been down the pregnancy path once already, I hope to share lots of great info, advice and thoughts on staying healthy through those long ten months.

I hope you get something out of this little blog. As I have never done this before, it will be a bit of a learning process. I hope that you actively participate here (drop me a line!), because this is for you. Health seeking. Hot. Mumma.

S