Third Trimester and All The Feels

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a personal blog post and so I felt like it was time to talk about my pregnancy. Before I was pregnant, I’ve always said once I was carrying, I wasn’t going to make it a big deal. Was I thankful to be carry a baby? Hell yes, but that didn’t take away the fact that I wasn’t going to be talking about it non-stop because I’m not that person.

Throughout this pregnancy, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I got lucky. Have I felt nauseous off and on, heartburn, exhausted? Hell yeah, but those symptoms are common. I tested negative to gestational diabetes, haven’t gained weight in any other spots - besides my belly and still don’t look almost 35 weeks pregnant. Some days I just look bloated, but not really pregnant. Honestly, I look like I was pregnant before and am now trying to lose the weight.

I cannot believe how quickly May has flown by! According to the app Ovia, I have 5 weeks, 2 days left until our baby girl arrives. Like, holy shit! The realism has started to sink in that I’m going to be a mom. It feels like I’ve been pregnant forever though.

Thinking back to the night I took the test and found out I was in fact pregnant is CRAZY. I was so emotional, sad and wasn’t sure if I was ready for all of this, but ready or not, she’s coming soon! I feel different now, but my first initial thought was, can I really do this? Can I really bring a baby into this world? Am I ready for my body to completely change?

I’m sure there are many women who go through similar emotions, but no one ever talks about them. I mean, I’ve always been VERY self-conscious about my body and gaining weight, but I’ve had to set that aside because, well, I’m growing a human being, so I cannot be so concerned. I just watch what I eat and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In terms of her room, it’s all ready for her arrival, I’m preparing my hospital bag within the next few weeks, and then we’ll assemble the car seat.

I also wanted to just give you a breakdown of my symptoms each trimester:

First Trimester:

Nauseous
EXHAUSTED
Hungry all the time

Second Trimester:

More energized
Nauseous
Heartburn
Headaches

Third Trimester (up until now):

Feeling bloated all the time
Constantly having to pee
Nauseous (yeah, I wish I could say that went away)
Hungry most of the time

Again, all the symptoms I’ve named above are common and most women experience them, but for someone who has never had children, it was all new to me. At this point, I cannot sleep through the night because I wake up peeing at least 3-4 times (despite not having water) and often cannot get comfortable. My biggest issue is I’m a bad sleeper and they say NOT to sleep on your back because the weight of my uterus can compress a major blood vessel, called the vena cava. I don’t do it on purpose, but in the morning, I somehow end up waking up on my back. And, I don’t know how to prevent that from happening. If you have any tips, let me know!

So, I’m happy to report I’m almost at full-term (which will be on June 4th) = 36 weeks! HOLY. SHIT.

I'm Overcoming an Undiagnosed Eating Disorder....

**PLEASE NOTE THAT I’M DEALING WITH MY UNDIAGNOSED EATING DISORDER & NOT LETTING IT GET TO A POINT OF NO RETURN. Honestly, some days are worse than others. I wrote this in the hopes that it helps someone else in a similar situation. I’ve always told you I’ve be open & transparent with you, so here goes!

Growing up, I was always self-conscious about the way I looked.

In high school, I got a little heavier and by senior year, I knew I had to make a change. So, I lost weight, but there were days when I just didn’t think I was skinny enough.

I’ve carried that mentality ever since and I didn’t know why I felt this way - until I started attending Institute for Integrative Nutrition and found out I had an undiagnosed eating disorder.

That means I never binged or purged or did any self-conflicting damage, I would just tell myself that I wasn’t good enough and I could only eat a certain amount of calories. If I ate too much, I would NEED to work it off. If I didn’t, I would feel like absolute crap. I tried to change my mindset, but nothing worked.

Then, I got pregnant and KNEW if I did not change, I would be hurting my child.

I was nervous though because I knew my mind would creep in and potentially take over.

The first trimester was hard. Every time I would eat more than I usually do, my mind would say, “no, no, no you’re not allowed to eat that much.” I tried to fight what my mind was saying, but somehow, I couldn’t fight the urge to want to listen. Gosh, I was PETRIFIED of gaining weight. Every time I thought about gaining a pound or so, I would cringe.

“You are growing a freaking person inside of you, Hope, you need to stop,” my husband would remind me. Then, there was my mother who told me the same followed by one of my friends. And, I KNEW I had to listen.

I knew I was blessed because so many women cannot get pregnant and I was privileged enough to get pregnant, so I had to stop wasting my time on such a stupid matter. At the same time, I knew it was psychological and if I needed to seek help, now was the time to do so.

When my 2nd trimester began, my mindset started to change and I felt differently. Instead of constantly worrying about the amount of food I was consuming, I focused on my growing baby. I’m not saying I’m completely “over” it, but I’d definitely feel better about myself and am happy about being pregnant.

** Please note that there was NEVER a time I put my growing baby in danger due to my mind. I ate when I was hungry, but never overdid it.

If you’re struggling with an undiagnosed eating disorder that you had no idea you had, please talk to someone! Do not be afraid to ask for help or pretend that everything is okay.

I knew that if it got to a point where it was affecting my everyday routine and my life in general, I would seek help but at this time, I can handle it on my own and know how to talk myself out of feeling like I need to eat less. I’m NOT going to endanger my growing child just because my mind is telling me not to eat “too much.”

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Pay attention to your triggers. Does eating certain foods make you feel bad about yourself? Does a certain friend or family member make you feel about about yourself? Stay away from them because you DO NOT NEED that negative energy!

  2. You’re binge eating and then throwing up. RED Flag! It’s not normal, so you should probably find someone to talk to about why you’re doing this in the first place.

  3. If the thought of gaining weight concerns you, then you may want to seek help!

There are always people around to talk to. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a therapist YET, feel free to reach out to friends, family or a holistic health coach!

Dear Future Daughter

Dear Future Daughter:

I'm writing to you before I find out if I can have children, before I'm engaged, and before I'm ready to have children. There's so much I want you to know about this world, your daddy and what kind of man we want you to be with. I could be jumping the gun a little bit here with your daddy, but he's told me asking my hand in marriage is just a few months away. And, I'm not planning or wishing for it to come true. Instead, I'm taking it day-by-day and enjoying my time with him.

I'm going to tell you something about your daddy. He's a special guy who will do anything and everything for his little girl. He'll always protect you and love you like he loves his mommy. Your daddy will take spending time with you very seriously because he'll love you to pieces and want to make memories.

Once the time comes, he'll teach you that there are good men in this world and will be honest with you about the men who just want to sleep with you. He'll want to know who is spending time with his little girl. And, I know for a fact if this man breaks your heart, your daddy will beat the crap out of him. He'll feel devastated to see his little girl hurting and so, he'll do everything in his power to cheer you up.

I know what kind of guy he is and what kind of father he'll be because we have a dog--whom you'll grow to love--who he plays, cuddles and takes on long walks. He cherishes the moments he spends with our pooch just like he'll do with you.

He was raised to be respectful and courteous to women and that's why I love him so much. He goes out of his way to do things for me and even puts me first. You will witness these acts of kindness by your daddy when you're old enough to understand. You will learn who a good man is by watching your daddy love and care for me when I'm in pain. You'll watch your daddy be my rock, my shoulder to cry on, my co-pilot and my partner for life.

Even though he's a rather anti-social person and avoids chaotic situations, he'll never pass up an opportunity to go somewhere with you or our family.

Society can be mean sometimes. I'm so sorry if you're bullied in school. Daddy and I will teach you how to be a strong woman who doesn't care what other people think of you. We'll teach you to have a thick skin and defend yourself when people are cruel and rude to you. You will le

Unhealthy vs Healthy Carbs

When it came to carbs, I used to be obsessed with only eating carbs for one meal a day. Typically, my lunch would consist of a bagel with peanut butter, salty and sweet snack. But, then later on, I might indulge in a bag of chips. It was mostly empty calories that would fill me up for a bit and then, I’d just end up getting hungry a few hours later because it never held me over.

I would often write down exactly what I’d eat just to avoid carb overload.

All I heard was CARBS MAKE YOU FAT! And, I listened because here I was trying to stick to one meal of carbs a day, which by the way the bagel was processed with added sugar, but I really wasn’t paying attention. I wasn’t researching healthy vs unhealthy carbs.

So, when I started going to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I learned the difference between the two. You know you hear so many different perspectives about nutrition when it comes to the media, magazines and society. First we hear carbs are the enemy and then all of a sudden, we hear, oh actually carbs make you lose weight, which is what everyone wants to hear.

But, honestly, it’s based on the individual and not every single person gains weight from carbs, not to mention, there is a difference between unhealthy and healthy carbs.

HEALTHY CARBS include:
✔️ Whole grain bread
✔️ brown rice
✔️ quinoa
✔️ oatmeal
✔️ beans
✔️ sweet potato

UNHEALTHY CARBS include:

✔️processed pastries
✔️cookies
✔️white bread
✔️potato chips
✔️white rice
✔️ candy
✔️ sugary cereal

I mean, it’s not going to kill you if you consume a donut once a while. My tip is NOT to deprive yourself because you’ll end up binging later on, which will be worse than actually eating it in the first place. Just know that carbs give you energy, You NEED carbs to keep you going and you shouldn’t be afraid of them. You need them in order to feel full. So, next time you start thinking, “maybe I shouldn’t eat this, remember this article!” Refer to it whenever you need to. And, as always, I’m here if you need me!

If you’d like to schedule a FREE HEALTH CONSULTATION, CLICK ON THE LEARN MORE BUTTON BELOW 👇

You Live & You Learn. Here's What Happened To Me.....

“You owe a couple thousand dollars for taxes,” said our accountant. I sat there in AWE. It was shocked beyond disbelief.

My husband & I had never owed money. I mean, he had a hunch that we would need to pay money, but I had no idea.

On top of that, we just learned that something is wrong with the circuit board on the outside unit of our HVAC system, so that’s going to cost us some money. Right now we’re not really running the heat in order to save money. Our last two bills for our electric were a couple hundred dollars, vs $80, which is what we were paying at our apartment.

Not to mention, I found out today that my dog chewed my prescription glasses, so that’s another expense we never took into account. Oh, and, we’re spending a couple thousand every month just to LIVE. It’s disgusting & absolutely frustrating.

So, I went into the garage, went on the elliptical & cried.

I cried because I feel like everything is crashing down. I feel like we just can’t catch a break no matter what we do in life. Every time we want to save money, it always bites us in the ass. Every time we think we’re about to get ahead in life, we get a set-back. I know, I know, that’s life and there are SO MANY worse things that could have happened. I know that I need to appreciate what I have, but why can’t I be frustrated? Do I have to be happy ALL THE TIME?

But, this is it: in life, there’s always a lesson to be learned.

You should put away money for taxes.

You should have an emergency account.

You shouldn’t leave your glasses where your dog can reach.

You need to spend less money on groceries.

For me, those are just some things that come to mind. But, it’s not that simple for some people. Some people are struggling & trying to stay above water while the waves continue to crash down. And, I know that. I remind myself that every time something bad happens.

I start focusing on the positives.

Do I have a nice house? Heck yeah.

Do I deserve it? Heck yeah! My husband & I worked hard for this house & it’s about time we got SOMETHING that we wanted. We’ve been through so much shit and we’re just getting started.

But, you live & you learn. So, let me ask you: what lessons in life have you learned?

Instead of New Years Resolutions, Let's Come Up With a List of Goals

2019 is finally here.

And, I’m sure the gym is more packed than usual because most people’s resolutions will be to go to the gym. For about a month, they will be dedicated to working out and eating healthy , but once it becomes too hard for them and they feel like they’re unable to eat certain foods, they’ll end up binge eating, punishing themselves and falling off the wagon and unfortunately not hopping back on.

Then, they are disappointed in themselves and might in turn gain even more weight. The cycle continues and they either try again and fail or they feel frustrated that the weight isn’t coming off as quickly as they’d like.

Okay, well, I have a suggestion: instead of creating New Years Resolutions, let’s come up with a list of ATTAINABLE GOALS.

What are some goals you KNOW you can achieve this year?

Maybe one of your goals is to eat healthier. Okay, that is definitely doable. There are thousands of great recipes ideas online and in cookbooks. Maybe one of your goals is to feel confident. Well, what are some ways you can do that? Maybe by buying a few new outfits, wearing a little makeup, hanging out with friends more often or even going for a pamper session. Whatever makes you feel good inside, I would recommend doing in order to build your confidence.

If you need an accountability coach, I’d be more than happy to help you write a list of goals and stick to them this year! Please send me an email and let’s chat: adashofhopee@gmail.com!

To The Women Who Call Themselves Ugly

As women, we’re always critiquing and picking apart our body. We constantly bash ourselves about our appearance. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we’re ugly. Here’s The ugly truth, we actually listen.

The other day, I read this status made from someone on my Facebook, “I might be ugly but at least I ain’t stupid cause ugly can be fixed and your stupidity can’t.” And, this absolutely disgusted me. As a woman, why do we need to call ourselves, “ugly?” Why is it necessary to put ourselves down? Everyone is attractive in their own way.

Your personality might be cute as a button and that’s why so many people like you. Or, you may always make a negative into a positive, making you beautiful. We need to stop labeling ourselves as “unworthy” “ugly” or “stupid.”

So what if you don’t wear a size 0 or have a rather large nose, that doesn’t mean you’re unworthy of love. Everyone deserves to be loved and to be happy. We need to start telling each other we’re beautiful. And, we must start believing and having confidence in ourselves.
In the past, only tall and thin-framed girls could be models.

But, now, you see plus size models are just as successful and still beautiful. So, whomever tells you you must be skinny to be attractive should go to hell! Feel comfortable in your own skin and feel proud of who you are.

Therefore, stop telling yourself you’re hideous when you look at yourself in the mirror. Post positive aspects of yourself and post it on your bathroom mirror. Then, after you write at least 5 positive characteristics of yourself, repeat them to yourself every single day. Don’t ever put yourself down. You are your worst enemy and nothing will change if you don’t alter the way you show yourself.

Here's Why You Need to Take Risks......

“Dude, we moved here on the skin of our teeth,” I heard my husband say to his brother-in-law yesterday on the phone.

Oh, right. I almost forgot.

For those of you who are skeptical about taking risks and scared shitless to jump, I say go for it! Honestly, you’ll learn so much about yourself in the process that it will be worth it.

Let me take you back to January 2017 (where I did just that!)

We just got married two months prior to that and we were living with his folks in a 2-bedroom apartment. In March, our lease was up and we had two options: 1) move to Delaware with his parents in their new house, 2) come up with a plan to somehow move away (again). We both struggled with this and went back and forth as to where we should go. At the time, he was going to school in North Carolina to pursue a career as a home inspector. He would make trips every other week back and forth. I was working part-time and he was on unemployment, so we didn’t have tons of money coming in. So, traveling back and forth was draining our bank account and him. He would come home after his trip absolutely exhausted. He would left PA on Wednesday afternoon, stay at a hotel Wednesday and Thursday night, and then leave after his class on Friday evening. Keep in mind the drive was 10 hours and I felt bad for my poor husband who was doing his damnest to pursue a new career. And, I commend him for his dedication.

It was getting closer and closer to the time we had to make a decision.

This was when we decided to move to Greenville because he was offered a home inspection job in Asheville once he was done his schooling. Not to mention, his trips would only be 3 hours instead of 10!

In the back of my mind, I was afraid that the same thing that happened in Tennessee would haunt us again in South Carolina, but was willing to take the risk. And, when I say we took a risk, I meant it.

When we moved here, he used an offer letter the company he was supposed to work for and I used the offer letter from my remote position. We both did not have jobs so, we were left using our savings and then gradually, I saw an even bigger dip in our bank account.

Luckily, it only took me a month to find a full-time job.

Fast forward to now, we’re living in a house. But, moral of this story is don’t let fear hold you back. Though, it’s scary, you never know what door it could open for you. You never know what could come out of it.

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The Day I Realized I Had Become "The Nagging Wife"

Let me be real with you on this topic. In my blog, I plan on being transparent, truthful and authentic, so this is something couples rarely talk about, so I figured I’d shed some light.

It was on a Saturday morning when I realized I’d somehow become “the nagging wife.”

“Do you really have to eat that whole bagel?” I asked my husband. “Carbs are the enemy.” He shrugged it off as I proceeded to continuously ask him the same question which lead to him ignoring me. Unfortunately, this sort of situation is a common occurrence.

About a year into dating, I began nagging him about his eating habits. He’s a binge eater and sometimes eats when he’s not hungry, which in my opinion isn’t healthy. Me on the other hand who is overly obsessive about my weight and stomach only eats when I’m hungry, which is the norm. But, still, the person who is self-conscious about her own weight is telling her husband what to do when it comes to eating.

“I’m a much bigger person than you, Hope and need to consume more calories. I can’t eat pea-sized meals like you,” he said. And, you know what? He’s right. It seems I’ve projected my body issues onto him. It seems I’ve become the woman who is pushy and controlling.

In the last year, I’d say I've become “that” wife. The type of wife who pouts if he doesn’t give me enough attention, the wife who gets pissed off if he watches football every Sunday for a few hours, the type of woman who tells their husband what he can and cannot eat. Ew. I’ve always told myself I would never ever act like that because it’s appalling.

Every time I start to nag my husband about this and that, I need to remember that it’s really annoying and not helpful. There are other ways to get my point across and nagging is definitely not the route to go.

On that Saturday, as we drove in the car, all I could think about was hopping out due to embarrassment. I finally listened to myself and sounded really immature. I was always the cool and laid-back girl who let situations roll off her shoulders, so why have I turned into a control freak?

Going forward, when I start to become “that wife,” I need to step back, and just let It go.  I am not going to be in control of every situation and monitoring his eating is only hurting our relationship. The more I push, the more he’ll start to distance himself.

If you’re in this type of situation, here are some key aspects to keep in mind.

1) Being a controlling wife is annoying. Need I elaborate?

2) If he doesn’t tell you what you can and cannot eat, then why do the same for him?

3) Stop projecting your self-conscious body issues onto him and deal with them YOURSELF. Harsh, but true!

4) When you feel yourself in a nagging mood, do something to distract yourself so you don’t go down that path.

Have you ever gone through a similar situation? If so, how’d you handle it?

Let’s chat : therealwayshopegvl@gmail.com

Listen Up, Mommies, and Mommies-to-be You Should Enroll in Baby Boot Camp

Listen here mommies and mommies-to-be, if you're pregnant, a new mom, a mom with one or more stroller-aged children or a mom who is at least 6 weeks postpartum (8 weeks for a c-section), then you need to check out Baby Boot Camp Greenville with Allison Puckett.

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"I was looking to start my own fitness company here in Greenville and stumbled across this amazing program for moms," said Allison.  "Although no young ones of my own (dog mom), I saw a lot of my friends and family members struggle with the challenges of early motherhood and wanted to make a difference in their lives as well as others." 

Baby Boot Camp stroller fitness classes are geared toward these moms and moms-to-be looking to do some cardio, strength and core total body workout along with their baby. Yes, you heard that right! You don't have to drop off your child at daycare or wait until your spouse comes home from work, you can actually workout with baby by your side. 

"Baby Boot Camp offers a wide variety of programs. We specialize in 60-minute stroller fitness classes, 5k training programs, nutritional guidance, diastasis, birth recovery, and prenatal programs," said Allison. "We bring the mom community together all while being able to workout with their little ones (under age 6 preferred). No babysitter or daycare is needed. "

Started in 2001, Baby Boot Camp was founded by Kristen Horler with its mission to empower women to realize their full potential through inspiring health and wellness in their community.  That's the same mentality Allison Puckett possesses.

"I want to not only help them get fit, but to find others to bond with in the mom community here in Greenville," says Allison. "It can be a lonely road, and its important to have a network that can relate and want the same things in life. "

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Since buying Baby Boot Camp Greenville at the end of April, Allison has hosted Pop-up classes at Noma Square on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:00 A.M. On Saturday, August 11th, she'll celebrate Baby Boot Camp's Grand Opening at the Haywood Mall from 2:00 P.M - 4:00 P. M. 

In addition to that, Allison will also be attending The Ness Fest in October to help moms learn how to get in shape with their little one.  Speaking of, are you wondering what the Ness Fest is? Glad you asked! The Ness Fest is a two-day health and lifestyle festival in Greenville, SC focusing on wellNESS, goodNESS, fitNESS, and wholeNESS.  This event will be held at Fluor Field and will give people the chance to chat with health professionals, fitness instructions and watch cooking demos. What better way to spend your weekend? I know, right! 

So, if you'd like to see Allison at The Ness Fest, purchase your tickets asap and check out their schedule HERE

FYI, Your first class Baby Boot Camp is free, so if you're interested, click the link below. 

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