Carbs… I love em!

I have always enjoyed “carbs” but since being pregnant I adore them…

Fresh tiger loaf bread still warm from the oven, mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, Hot Chips and any other form of potatos, pasta & rice…I just can’t seem to get enough.

So I thought I would take this opportunity to write about my biggest biff with the “weight-loss” industry (well one of them anyway):

THE PROMOTION OF LOW (or worse, NO) CARB DIETS!

People are scared of “Carbs” and avoid them like the plague. I don’t think “carbs” deserve the bad rap at all and here’s why…

Carbs are gold! But I am a runner and runners are bias – they are our life blood. The reason we embrace them is they are the most useful and easily converted energy source for our body. But runner or not we all need energy every day so it is no wonder that “carbs” are recommended to make up over 50% of our diets each day.

When you mention “carbs” people tend to think of things like I mentioned earlier, potatoes, bread, rice and pasta. And yes while these are excellent sources of carbohydrates these only make up a small portion of the carbohydrate family. These “carbs” are still good and an important part of EVERY diet but people avoid them like the very mention of them is going to add inches to their thighs. The truth is these particular carbs are energy dense and you get a lot of energy per serving as opposed to other carbs and protein. But rather than cut out important foods in achieving a healthy balanced diet we just need to adjust our serving size for how energy rich they are.

So yes some carbs if eaten in excess will make it easier to gain weight based purely on the fact that more energy in than out = weight gain – NOT carbs in = weight gain.

Also another reason not to be a carb hater is not all carbs are high in energy. Did you know all fruit & vegetables are primarily carbs? In fact if its not protein and its not fat it must be carbs! Obviously foods can and do have all three (fat, carbs & protein) but if something mainly consists of carbs or protein we tend to classify it as that.

so to recap so far:

1. Carbs aren’t the devil….our serving sizes are
2. Carbs should make up over half your daily diet
3. Carbs are the most important energy source for ENERGY
4. Carbs is a term that is misused to describe only a small portion of what carbs are. So don’t just jump on the anti-carb banwagon.

Balance is always the key. So just be aware of the energy dense carbs and realise that you may not need as much of them to feel satisfied and be refeulled as you thought you did. But please, do not deprive yourself. At the end of the day a potato is a vegetable and if you want to have a potatoe every day then you are eating a vegetable every day! However remember that one potatoe has more energy than a bowl of broccoli so adjust your portion size accordingly.

my final thoughts…

LOW or NO carb diets will NOT achieve a long-term, healthy maintainable weight -loss. Diets that do not follow the healthy eating guidelines i.e 50-55% carbs will not be sustainable and are not the answer to weight loss.

Anything and everything in moderation and remember there is only one simple answer for weight loss. Burn more than you eat!

So in conclusion if you would like to lose some Kgs move more and eat less don’t remove a VITAL food group.

As for carb-loading (after all, this is a running blog) I will save that for another post because “effective” carb loading is a skill and worthy of much detailed discussion.

Body Image

“You wear tight clothes, usually (pregnant) women buy bigger dresses and hide their bodies but you are proud of it”

This was a comment I got yesterday from a a dear and special 88 year old man. So yes his views and opinions are a little dated and probably don’t apply today but his comment still stopped me in my tracks and I would say it has been the highlight of my week. Let me explain…

Firstly I might just clarify that I wasn’t exactly strutting around in a tight mini dress or a skimpy outfit at the time. I was actually in a “training” singlet and long tights. So whilst I was covered up and modest, yes it was a figure hugging ensemble.

Whether the comment was meant as a compliment, criticsm or whether I was meant to respond by going to the nearest Target and buying up on oversized clothes – I didn’t care! I was too busy marvelling in his last five words!

I am proud of it…. very proud of it! That very statement still surprises me. I truly don’t believe “proud” and “my body” have ever been in the same sentence before. For the first time in years I honestly admire my body (and do so in the mirror every night before bed).

For all the changes that pregnancy brings the transformation to your body is definitely a big one. I have always wondered and speculated how I would feel about the changes, especially being a body conscious Personal Trainer who has never been classified as “overweight”. And although I have never been classified as “overweight” I have always struggled with my body. Even at my lightest and lowest body fats I have always looked in the mirror and seen the things that I want to change. I have never appreciated and genuinely loved my body in that moment. Pregnancy has been the greatest gift in so many ways but it is my relationship with ME that it has had the biggest impact on.

For me PREGNANCY IS LIKE A BIG RELIEF. A relief that there is something bigger and more important in my life than me! My body’s purpose is so much more than aesthetics and how fast and well it can perform. It is growing and nurturing a life and it truly blows my mind. I feel so indebted to my body for being able to give me and my husband something we so desperately want. Every thought I have ever had about how my body should look or behave seems so trivial and insignificant now. For the first time in my life I have no expectations of my body and I just want to support and look after it in hope that it will support and look after our child.

I am now nearly 6 months pregnant and “officially” the heaviest I have been in my life yet completely in love and in awe of my body. It is an amazing feeling and provides me with so much hope for the future. My self worth is not measured by how I look but who I am. It is not real happiness or real living when you are at war with your body. Your body should be loved and appreciated for something more than how it looks. Only then can we every “truely” be happy.

“He who lives in harmony with himself, lives in harmony with the universe” Marcus Aurelius

My Post-baby body will no doubt be different and how I feel about it will be compltely different again. I just hope that I have the ability to continue loving and appreciating my body for the miracle it is. Whether its growing a child or not it does amazing things every day (like keeping me alive and running 42.2km) and for that I am very grateful!

In the meantime I am going to continue to enjoy and admire the softer, rounder more feminie version of me!

Rest Days

Talk about a love/hate relationship!

Why is it that all week you are hanging out for a rest day and then on the rest day all you want to do is go out and train?

Despite the fact that I am only walking at the moment I am still trying to take a rest day every couple of weeks. The higher the intensity of the training the more important the rest days becomes for the recovery of the body. While walking is only of low to moderate intensity I still can appreciate the mental benefits of a “break” from your routine. But mentally Rest days can also do your head in. Here are some of the things I struggle with about rest days:

1) Seeing that blank spot in my training calendar
2) Missing out on the post training high (that gets me through the day!)
3) Guilt (even as a PT who knows the benefits, importance and science of rest days I still can’t shake the occassional pang of guilt)

But there is a lot to love about rest days too. So from now on when ever I feel the pang of guilt or am looking at that empty spot in my calendar I am going to focus on and appreciate the things that only come with rest days:

1) Sleep ins
2) Breakfast with my husband
3) No sweaty clothes to wash
4) Longer showers (more time in the morning)
5) An awesome next session (because all my great sessions are after a rest day!)

Guilt can be good. It is what gets us out the door some mornings. But there are definitely times when its just not warranted. So from now on I am going to love and appreciate my rest days and treat them as an opportunity to nurture and appreciate my body and how hard it works for me every other day!

Why this Blog

This is the first official post of Mummy Loves to Run and yet strangely it will be at least 4 months before this mummy runs again!!!! So why start a running blog now I hear you ask. well it was actually this (sometimes painful) hiatus from running that has conceived this blog. But let me go back to where it all began…

As a keen runner who relied on that runners high to stay sane and get through the day I had always envisaged I’d run through a pregnancy. Much research online and a conversation with my GP confirmed that this was not only possible but if done with correct precautions would have a positive influence on my pregnancy experience. It seems I completely underestimated the impact pregnancy would have on my body and my mind.

After completing my first marathon my husband and I were keen to start a family (something we put on hold so I could “squeeze” out a marathon before I “squeezed” out something else). Much to my surprise I’d barely finished (and enjoyed) my 2 weeks post marathon recovery before we discovered that baby was made.

I never could have predicted the mental shift that followed. Upon finding out I was pregnant I did what every control freak does – read anything and everything I could. I was going to know everything there is to know and was going to do everything “just right”. My every thought was about this little peanut and how to give him/her the best shot at life and making sure nothing went wrong. (because pregnancy is something you can control?!?!)

So with this in mind and after being absolutley horrified at the miscarraige statistic in early pregnancy I decided to extend my 2 week post marathon recovery to the 12 week mark. Once I got to that stage surely I would be feeling more confident and then I could start some light jogging again.

HA!

The joke was on me at 6 weeks when the morning sickness and extreme tiredness kicked in. How could I ever have dreamt of running through pregnancy when I could barely function through a day? Between sleeping 10 hours at night, going to work, napping for 2 hours after work I didn’t really have much time left to run let alone any desire. The 24 hour seedy feeling inspired nothing but being horizontal – “Morning” sickness my arse!

But there was light at the end of the tunnel around 12 weeks when I was starting to get through the days with out a nanna nap. By 14 weeks the sick feeling had passed and I was ready to hit the pavement again. I decided to do a few walks and build back slowly. By the end of the first week of walking it was clear that I was no longer a specimen of fitness and that a brisk walk was enough intensity for this over cautious first time “mother to be”.

The lack of fitness and the anxiety and uncertainty that came with being a first timer in this thing they call pregnancy lead to my decision to put my running on hold until post bub. The decision itself was not hard. My primary concern was creating a healthy little baby and erring on the side of caution appealed to my overly anxious side. Strangley the decision not to run made me think about running more. Even though I didn’t feel like I was depriving myself I couldn’t stop thinking and dreaming about running!!

So whilst I’d dream about running by night I would actually hit the pavement by day (walking). After a few weeks I had built up my distance and frequency. By 19 weeks I was comfortably walking 7-9km every morning and feeling great for it. So great I felt fit enough to even contemplate jogging. But I decided to stick to my original plan. Every day brought new feelings and new sensations. My body that I had once been so in tune with had been hijacked and I didn’t have the confidence to trust in the fact that women do this all the time. I would never forgive myself if anything happened. So what was 9 months off running in the big scheme of things? So I continued to enjoy my break from running and  focused all my energy on feeling good and growing my little runner.

Each day that passes I feel more confident and comfortable in my pregnant body and  it is this experience and confidence that I hope will allow me to run through future pregnancies.

So here I am 24 weeks pregnant, dreaming and blogging about running but not actually running. But just like I am looking forward to the challenge of motherhood I am looking forward to the challenge of returning to running after an extended break. This blog will serve to record both those challenging journeys and their relationship. I hope it entertains and inspires the mother and runner inside you.