{{Giveaway}} Time to #LoseTheLaces with HICKIES! 

Mornings are usually a madhouse around here during the week!

I get the kids out of bed at 7:00am, and spend the next hour and a half making breakfast, yelling calming reminding the kids to keep eating their breakfast, yelling encouraging them to quickly get dressed, and brush their teeth.

Then trying to get them to put on their coats and shoes, usually takes three times longer than necessary! If something could make this process faster, then I am all for it. My daughter knows how to tie her laces, but watching her s-l-o-w-l-y tie them is so painful when you’re in a rush.

As for me…I love to run! You can catch me lacing up my runners and heading out on preschool mornings to get in some exercise and more importantly, some much needed “me time”!

My shoes go through a lot and get worn out pretty quickly. My laces wear out before my soles do because I tie them so tight. I like to keep my shoes tight when I run, if not, blisters are my new friends.

I recently discovered HICKIES.


The HICKIES Lacing System is a modular one, meaning that instead of one lace running through the length of each shoe, you have one unit per pair of eyelets. This allows for a one-size fits all design with maximum customization when it comes to tightness, comfort, security, and color.

These “laceless” laces are awesome!

My runners are comfortable and snug, and super quick to put on. I love the variety of colours available to mix and match with my shoes and clothing.


The great thing about these are, the variety of ways to “lace up”! You can wear them loose or tight depending on your needs and style.

{{The Giveaway}}

Hickies has provided us with two sets of Hickies “laceless” modular systems to giveaway! Two readers will be selected to WIN a set! Winners will be drawn November 19th. Contest is open to residents of the Greater Vancouver area and Sea to Sky Corridor. Please enter via the Rafflecopter link below.

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It just comes with the territory of having babies… Not true! #PelvicFloorWeakness #YMCCommunity

If you’ve ever given birth, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

My Mum has it, my sister has it, my girlfriends have, it’s just a part of life now after having babies. Right? Nope!

Giving birth after effect

After being pregnant, having a baby or being overweight or obese, many women experience “leakage”. This can happen during exercise, sneezing, coughing and even laughing too hard. You may also find that you need to pee more frequently and urgently, and on occasion, not get to the potty in time! How about farting by accident in the middle of yoga class or when you’re in the vicinity of some uber gorgeous man? Have you starting having issues going #2? What about having sex with your partner? Has it become uncomfortable or even painful?

Did you just fart?

Did you hear that?

If you said “Yes!” to any or all of the above, then you probably have a pelvic floor problem.

What is a pelvic floor problem? It’s when your pelvic floor (the group of muscles that hold your bladder, uterus, vagina, and rectum in place) become stretched, weakened or even too tight and don’t function properly.  The most common types of dysfunction are stress incontinence (leaking with exertion) and pelvic organ prolapse (when the internal organs protrude into and eventually out of the vagina). Stats will tell you around 33% of women have pelvic floor challenges but because it is a taboo subject it is often not reported so the real number is likely much higher.  

Types of Pelvic Organ Prolapse

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, your first line of defence should be seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist – you do not need a referral and it is covered by extended health if you have physiotherapy benefits.  A gynaecologist may also be helpful if surgery is required and if so, a pelvic floor physiotherapist should remain part of your pre-hab and re-hab care before and after surgery.  

Recently I decided that after years of suffering from “leakage” after having my babies, I wanted to get this issue under control. I hated buying extra pads because of my new desire for exercise. Every time I did high impact moves like running and jumping, my bladder became my worst enemy.  After having my first child, whenever I’d attend a fitness class, I would suffer from “leakage”.

Pee during exerciseTotally embarrassing!

Even though I’d pee before class started, as soon as a high impact exercise began, I’d be wetting myself like a dog kept indoors all day, excited to see his owner come home from work.

I thought that this was the new me and the only way to deal with it was to wear a pad during exercise.

I decided that this really sucked and made an appointment with Kim Vopni at Pelvienne Wellness.

Pelvienne Wellness

Kim is a Certified Personal Trainer, a Certified Pre/Post Natal Fitness Consultant, a Certified Fitness For Fertility Specialist, a Certified Pfilates Instructor and is trained in the Hypopresive Method. She is also a Trained Post Partum Doula which has many clients referring to her as The Fitness Doula.  

She asked me questions regarding my pregnancies and deliveries and had me do a series of movements to see how my body was moving.

When our session was done, Kim recommended that I make an appointment with a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist.  She recommends all of her clients do so and she advises that you should schedule a pelvic floor assessment with your physio every year as a proactive approach. There is a list of Pelvic Floor Physiotherapists across Canada available on the Pelvienne Wellness website.

If you do have pelvic floor issues and you are into fitness, here is a list of exercises that you can do and also ones that you should avoid:

Pelvic floor safe cardio exercises

  • walking
  • swimming
  • seated cycling
  • cross trainer (low resistance)
  • low intensity water aerobics
  • walking in the water, and
  • low impact exercise classes.

Cardio exercises to avoid

  • running
  • jumping
  • star jumps
  • skipping
  • boxing
  • high impact exercise classes that involve running and jumping, and
  • sports involving stop-start running and rapid direction change (e.g. tennis, netball, basketball, hockey, touch football).

I have also stumbled across an App for pelvic floor-friendly exercises that you may find helpful.

PFF_APP_V3

For Apple users.

For Android users.

I think that the authors of the pregnancy books, that we all pick up when we find out that we’re expecting, should really include information regarding your pelvic floor, for during pregnancy and after delivery. The information should be provided towards the beginning of the book so that you can start the exercises early to help prevent injury, strain and tearing of your lady parts once your baby decides to make it’s way into the world. Women don’t tend to know about ways of prevention until AFTER they give birth, and by then it could be more difficult to correct. Kim Vopni also offers workshops in person and via skype called Prepare To Push, where she covers the preventative information. This will also be coming out as a book in early Fall.

For more information about pelvic floor health, please visit the Pelvienne Wellness website.

 

Taking the kids swimming solo should be considered an Olympic sport! #YMCCommunity

Our 4 year old daughter is currently enrolled in her second round of swim lessons where she is doing it all on her own. I mean, sans Mom & Dad.

Swim lessons

I decided that it would be a good idea to have her do them on the mornings that she’s not in preschool because she’s at the age where she needs to be doing something active, daily or she turns into a pre-pubescent teenager with her dramatic outbursts and irrational behaviour.

While she’s in her class, our 18 month old son and I paddle around the pool and splash away, burning off some of his surplus energy in hopes of an epic afternoon nap for him. This usually works out very well and our daughter and I get to spend a few hours in the afternoon doing stuff together like colouring, her homework from preschool, cooking or baking. She loves this, because now she gets me all to herself and I’m relieved of the refereeing duty of keeping our spawn from tearing each other’s heads off or destroying more of the house.

So after swim class, neither kid is ready to get out of the pool. And of course they want to go off in different directions. With the “Arms reach under 7” Rule, this makes Mommy swimming solo with the mites a challenging venture. We grab a floaty pad, not a floating maxi pad, but a foam “sheet” that both kids fit on, that doesn’t sink under their combined weight, and head over to the “river” and quickly float on down. Then a quick detour through the waterfalls and bubbles before heading back to the shallow end where Little Dude does a belly flop into the water. A couple minutes in the wading bubble pool and Mr. Man decides he’d like to go for a walk run around the pool deck, prompting a hasty retreat from the pool area into the change room. Not before said micro man throws an epic spazz and protests being strapped into the stroller that we’ve parked along poolside.

Fighting the stroller
Screaming all the way to the change room, one imitating a 2×4 in the stroller and the other stomping and pouting, we manage to find an available shower cubicle. I park the stroller inside and tell our 4 year old to stand guard as I grab our things from the locker right across the way.

As my back is turned, Little Miss Awesome, closes the door and locks it. I load up my arms with all our stuff, turn around and smack right into the door, dropping everything onto the soaking wet floor that has little bits of grossness swimming about. Through my teeth, I growl for her to open the door and by using that tone, she knows that if it’s not opened immediately, the afternoon is going to turn out very badly for her.

Once inside, swimsuits are stripped off, shampoo is applied and I allow the princess to do the rinsing of her and her brother as I quickly get dressed. Bad decision, ’cause immediately, water is being sprayed everywhere getting all our stuff wet yet again. Hilarity ensues and the kids are having a ball. I manage to get everyone dressed and the wee lad returns to his backwards arch as I try to get him back in the stroller. Jeez Louise! I pick him up, throw the pool bag into the stroller, turf the swim diaper in the bin and head to the van. Our daughter is being more helpful now, but insists that SHE open all the doors en route and throws a hissy fit when a gentleman holds the door open for us because she wanted to do it.

I just keep walking. At this point, I’m beyond nuclear meltdown and just have to get everyone into the van before I lose my cool.
We arrive at the van, I let the diva unlock the doors, but Grumplesaurus Rex will not sit in his seat!

I hate my car seat

Photo credit : Illustrated with Crappy Pictures™

Patience, don’t fail me now!

I wait for him to break his concentration and when he finally does, I get the buckles clicked. Touchdown!

The 10 minute drive home was filled with an awesome aria of screaming from the boy and the yelling from our daughter to “Be quiet!”

I couldn’t get home fast enough, but safely drove the posted speed limit, of course.

Have you attempted to take the little ones swimming on your own? What are your tricks to make it a fun and stress-free adventure?

A Mom That Runs

Back in January, I started training for the Vancouver Sun Run. This is a 10K run, that takes place in downtown Vancouver and weaves it’s way through English Bay and False Creek.

I have always disliked, nay, loathed running!

Never being a “fit” looking woman from puberty to current status (I have also given birth “naturally” to two children), I have struggled with being overweight. Just before my daughter turned two, I trained and participated in Femsport, an all women fitness challenge, which kick started my journey into fitness. After Femsport, I started spinning, and took Zumba classes. I began to see results within a couple months and I was feeling great! Then it happened, I got pregnant.

FemSport

FemSport

My energy level dropped. Blah, I felt so crappy that I couldn’t fathom exercising. Galdarnnit, I was doing so well with staying motivated to workout, but alas, my body decided otherwise.

Jump ahead 9 months, and we welcomed our wee little dude. Labour and delivery went awesome and I was keen to jump back onto the fitness bandwagon ASAP. I started off by spinning again, then the personal trainer that I did Femsport with, Margaret at MaxPo, said that she was going to start a running group and training for the Sun Run in January. I pondered it for awhile. My sister is a runner and my husband used to run as well, and they both had said for years, that running was the best way to lose weight. I figured, well it’s worth a shot. I’ve never tried it, so what the hey.

January arrives and the group begins. To my surprise it was very easy. We started off slowly by running for 1 minute, walking for 2 and repeating this several times. We were given homework runs to complete on our own before we met up again as a group the following week. Gradually the length of the run times increased and my stamina did as well. Eventually, I was able to run straight for 40 minutes! Are you kidding me? I never dreamed that I could manage this. After 5 months of run training, the BIG day arrived for the Sun Run. I was nervous and asked my Facebook friends to cheer me on virtually through my Nike+ running app that I had on my iPod. Throughout the run, my friends cheered and it brought tears to my eyes, but it kept me motivated and I finished the run with a time of 1 hour 10 minutes.
Vancouver Sun Run
I kept up the running for awhile, but my husband travels out of town for work, so it impeded my run schedule. I am full time Mom and we don’t use babysitters or have family members available to look after them, so whatever I do, I have to do it with 2 littles in tow. If you break for too long, your motivation slips and your endurance starts to dwindle.

I recently started working out with a local studio, however my family’s schedule began to conflict with my workout schedule, so I had to discontinue my training which really sucked.

After taking a break from running for a couple of months, I have started it up again. I forgot how good it felt to get out and just be focused on myself. I can run when I can fit it in, and I can take my son out with me in our recently acquired jogging stroller. The weather has become chilly with the onset of winter, so precautions are made so that I remain safe while out on my run. I wear a headlamp, a flashing armband and reflective clothing. I have also placed some Dots and Dashes on my gear, to increase my visibility during my night time runs.

Dots and Dashes.

Dots and Dashes.

My goal is to get out every day for an hour and hopefully the momentum will stay with me.

Wish me luck

Getting fit with kids in tow.

Now that I’m done having kids, I seriously want to get into shape.

I'm not happy with this.

I’m not happy with this.

I am a full time Stay-At-Home-Mom. My kids go where I go, so I need to include one, if not both of my kids into my workout schedule.

Fortunately our eldest goes to preschool three times a week for a few hours, but that still leaves me with our 1 year old to hang out with. He’s started to drop the morning nap, so now I can take him with me for workouts.

Now I just need to find something that will allow me to workout while he’s with me.

I know the rec centre has child minding, so that is an option. There are also some studios that offer it as well. I tried a facility that has an area for the wee ones to hang out in by themselves, but Captain Clingy wanted nothing to do with that.

I’m thinking that I need to pick up a jogging stroller. I can take the wee man along with me, he doesn’t weigh too much yet and running is FREE. On the down side, I’ll have the weather to contend with. Now that Old Man Winter is approaching, we’ll have to deal with the cold, rain, ice and possibly snow. Could get treacherous. I wonder if there are indoor tracks to go to?

My new jogging partner.

My new jogging partner.

I suppose I could also pick up a fitness DVD and do workouts at home, but our space is the size of a closet and I think that if I fire up the Jillian Michael’s Kickboxing DVD that’s been collecting dust on the shelf, I’ll either kick my son clear across the room or end up with my foot firmly planted in the TV. Maybe I’ll pick up these 10 Minute Solution DVD’s that I just came across. There’s bound to be something in there that’ll work for me.

10 Minute Solution

How do you stay fit whilst caring for your young ones?