March 7, 2013

Stroller Walks & Fig Bars

When you have to go to the restroom, go.

Your body is signaling so that you go. It doesn't matter if you're busy at the moment, just go. If you have been holding it for whatever reason, and I am the queen of "reasons why using the restroom at this moment is extremely inconvenient" so don't feel bad about it, and you finally decide to go, walk. Do not run to your potty destination. Walk. This is very important.

You see, when you have to go, your bladder tells you pelvic floor, which relaxes, and then tells your brain, "release, now" yet we often ignore this signal, so the bladder is strained and full, our pelvic floor which was relaxed and ready then tightens back up, but our bladder is full, so it relaxes again, and tells our brain to go, but we don't... Can you see how much bad goes down when we hold it?

I did this, regularly, for hours at a time, when I was a daycare teacher some 2-3 years ago. I probably did it for a year straight or more. On top of that, I ran. I ran a lot, running brought me great joy so I did it often. You guessed it, running puts stress of the pelvic floor, as well. Bounce, bounce, boom, boom, our feet smash upon that pavement, treadmill, dirt, track, you name it. And everything inside of us bounces along with them.

And then... Pregnancy. Not only pregnant, but, after the nausea went away (around the 3 month mark) I decided to run while pregnant. Hmmm... Hormones are going wild, weight gain, baby growing, do you think this is going to help my already weakened pelvic floor? No ma'am, no sir, no way. Oh wait, there's more. So I couldn't always get a run in. I think I was actually running maximum twice a week but mainly once a week. So when I woke up, didn't exercise at all, and found myself at work early, do you know what I did?

Stairs. I walked or bounced or hopped or jogged up and down 3 flights of stairs before work. Sometimes I climbed them in the "every other stair" technique, and it did wonders for that PF of mine! Also, if I didn't get stairs in, there would always be a walk at lunchtime.

Oh goodness me, there is more damage to be done? I s'pose this was the case, because I made things worse. Toward the end of my pregnancy, I could no longer run because it causes crazy pelvic-area muscle strain. I stopped officially at 33 weeks. Pelvic floor happy? Probably. Yet, I seemed to have replaced running with another fun time: speed walking up and down an inclined surface with legs wide, and a hop in my step. I called it, "Nicole's Method for Induction" but it should have been called "How to have vaginal wall prolapse after your baby is born."

Jump to today. I am a proud owner of a pessary. I do pelvic floor physical therapy every morning and throughout the day. I go for walks that last less than 15 minutes. My exercise is limited to those walks, yoga with Tara Stiles on YouTube, and 5-8 minute plank workouts with Lori and Michelle (purelytwins on YouTube). Prolapse is fun!

All that said just to introduce this photo to you, showing our peanut ready for his daily walk. He doesn't seem to love it much, his face has a permanent scowl and the word, "lame" written all over it. But I think he'll like it someday. He's just being an observer. I observe, too. It's okay, Santi, you're completely normal and we aren't judging your attitude toward the neighborhood.

Ohhh and these fig bars! I was a recipe tester for the lovely folks behind Golubka, Anya and Masha. Head over to their website to find out when their recipe book is coming out so you can make these, too! Absolutely divine, sticky sweet, filling, rich, giant cookie in my mouth I can't stop who can we give the rest to because having them in the kitchen is dangerous for me I have no control I need to eat an apple or that whole dish is going into my belly.

Yes. That good.

"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, "Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost." Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:4-7 ESV)

I love this parable, Christ's words make it so easy to understand how He feels about sinners. My prayer is that I look at those who do not yet know Him in the same way He sees them. Lost sheep, looking for their shepherd. A shepherd full of love, who leaves His flock to find the lost and bring them home. I pray for a love like Jesus' for the lost, a compassion for those that are wandering and don't know where to find Him. Bring them back to their Creator with love.

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