How I Plan to Lose the Baby Weight

Class Pass Baltimore

When my favorite barre instructor left my gym last year, I admit that it was harder for me to get the motivation to exercise at a gym/studio. (Not to mention that I was pregnant and getting bigger by the day.) I ended up terminating my membership and haven’t been inside a gym since.

Now that JG’s arrived and a new year has begun, I’m ready to get back to my beloved group fitness classes and lose the last bit of baby weight. But with so many awesome boutique fitness studios, I didn’t know where I wanted to start. I was dragging my feet and feeling very conflicted until I received an email from ClassPass asking me if I wanted to try it. No joke, I jumped up and down with joy.

ClassPass is a monthly membership to the best boutique fitness classes in your city. There are thousands of classes available to ClassPass members, including cycling, pilates, yoga, strength training, dance, martial arts, and more. With ClassPass, I won’t have to pick just one studio; I can test a few and find which ones I like best. Awesome, right?!

For $79 – $99 a month (price varies by city), ClassPass members get unlimited classes to studios in the ClassPass network. While members can take as many classes per month as they’d like, they can visit the same studio up to 3 times per monthly membership cycle. For more information on the program, check out the ClassPass FAQs.

In the Baltimore/Annapolis area and want in the fun? Click here to skip the waitlist and sign up today. Let me know what classes you’re attending; I’d love to join you!

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I was offered a one-month ClassPass membership to review at no cost. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Running While Pregnant: 2nd Trimester

Please note that the following post is my personal experience with running during pregnancy. Every woman and every pregnancy is different. I suggest consulting your doctor before beginning or continuing an exercise routine while pregnant.

My second trimester proved to be the best for me in terms of running. I don’t know if it was the weather, my energy level, or the fact that I cut back on barre and my legs were feeling good, but things just clicked.

If you remember, my first trimester had me completing a half marathon and then taking some time to let my body recover. (To read a full recap of my running routine during that first trimester, click here.) I started jogging with Watson and found that with my slower pace, he had become a great running buddy. We generally completed a 2ish mile route with intervals of running and walking. Some days were better, some were worse, but we stuck to our routine and relished our longer morning workouts.

Then the second trimester began. I/we got quicker. We were back in the 10-minute mile club, and it felt good. The bump continued to grow, and the weather stayed surprisingly cool for a Baltimore summer. The first few times I thought the time was a fluke, but after a some consecutive 10-min/mile runs, I was sold.

10min mile 2nd trimester

The times and the running continued right until the end of my 26th week. While the competitive side of me wished to maintain this great accomplishment and keep running through my third trimester, I also knew that the dark fall mornings were quickly approaching and that running with both an increasingly bigger belly and a sometimes finicky dog may not prove to be the best idea.

running belly and W

Stay tuned for the next update: third trimester!

Getting Into A Groove

All the warnings in the world couldn’t have prepared me for how much my world would change after both finding out I was pregnant and then starting a new job.

Both have their challenges and their triumphs, and I think I’m finally finding a good rhythm. With a little over two months to go until Baby A+ is due, I know it will be short-lived. Nevertheless, I’m enjoying this ‘quiet time.’

baby bump purple

So, since we haven’t really spoken in a few weeks, where do I begin after such a long absence? I guess this past weekend is as good any another point.

We took our babymoon to New York, kicking off a month filled with baby activities. Without gushing too much, it was glorious. Even with a bit of rain, we balanced hanging out with friends, trying new eateries, a museum visit, a Broadway show and even managed to squeeze in a walk through Central Park.

NYC JAs

In somewhat related news, I can’t believe I’m in my third trimester. Hitting 31 weeks tomorrow is making the impending arrival of our little girl more of a reality than some abstract idea. Delivery is still a big, scary unknown for me, but I’m doing my best to manage my thoughts and ideas by educating myself just enough to kind of know what to expect without being overwhelmed. Truth: some days are better than others.

I’m still exercising, although not to the extent that I was in the beginning of my pregnancy. With the mornings being darker, I’m taking the time to alternate sleeping in with some light strength training. Watson and I are making our morning rounds, as it’s good for me to start my morning outside. Getting my endorphins up and enjoying the sunrise make even the groggiest morning better.

morning sunrise

Work is good, but we’ve got a busy few weeks ahead of us. Adding this to what’s going on in my personal life has resulted in a few instances of stress/anxiety-induced tears, but in our two years of marriage (and especially the past few months) he’s become an expert in managing my emotional surges.

I think that hits all the major points of what’s been happening over here. I’m hoping to have posts with a bit more detail regarding the pregnancy, books I’ve been reading, and other fun things, but for now, let’s consider ourselves all caught up.

What’s been happening with you? Any exciting news I should know? Spill! I’ve missed all of you.

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

Linking up with Katie at Healthy Diva Life for Marvelous in My Monday!

First Trimester Recap

I know I said this isn’t going to turn into a baby-centric blog, but I did want to let you know what’s been happening during those first few weeks after I announced my pregnancy.

preg header blog.jpg

First Trimester Recap

The Good Stuff
Running my first half marathon
Carbohydrates – specifically cookies, bread, and pasta
Naps
Crabs and shrimp
Seeing the baby for the first time
Hearing the baby’s heartbeat
Sharing the news with our immediate family and close friends

The Not-So-Good Stuff
Other fish/fishy smells
Periodic nausea (but not anything too bad)
Fatigue
Scaling back on intensity/frequency of workouts
HORMONES

The biggest issue for me was learning the limits of my hormone-ridden, pregnant self. If you recall, I ran my first half marathon just before week 9 of my pregnancy. I was burned out from running (or so I originally thought) and didn’t push myself as much as I know I could have. Upon confirming my pregnancy, I also started scaling back during some of my other workouts. I was unsure of how frequent/intense my workouts could be. It was hard knowing that I probably could have pushed myself harder and further, but wanting to protect my (very small) child. Things have gotten better since then, but I definitely had a moment or two where the JA had to talk me through a particularly rough patch while I sat crying and saying, ‘But I could do all this fine before!’

In regard to diet, my doctor has the ‘everything in moderation’ mentality. One of my first questions about food, being from Baltimore, was, “Can I have crabs this summer?” He answered, “Yes” and I was one happy lady. Ice cream has become a regular staple in our grocery cart in addition to gummy bears. I’ve scaled back on other proteins like chicken and fish, but have enjoyed baked ham, shrimp, and tuna here and there. While I do want to do what’s best for my baby, I know that making myself happy will produce a happy child. So if I want an small decaf iced coffee in the morning, I get one.

One question I get asked from non-pregnant friends is about booze. I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t miss it. However, the urge to drink simply isn’t there anymore. I do miss champagne, but have used sparkling water to get my carbonation fix. Crabs aren’t the same without a nice cold brew, but I know that this period will only last a short time. Additionally, since my doctor is in the ‘everything in moderation’ camp, he has said that a glass of wine here and there wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. I don’t trust my heavy-handed self to pour a correctly portioned glass. If I am to have a glass, it will be with dinner at a restaurant.

I think that’s it. We’re just passed the halfway point (ridiculousness), so let me know if you have any questions for the next recap!

For more information on this crazy journey, check out the Pregnancy page!

Pop Physique

If you’ve been reading for a while, you’re well aware that barre is one of my all-time favorite group fitness classes. Being a former dancer, the moves came naturally to me and I reconnected with my inner child. All this without the pain of pointe shoes?! I’m so there.

So when I got the opportunity to attend a free class at Pop Physique Baltimore last week, I jumped at the chance.

pop physique logo

Let me tell you, they don’t call it ‘butt school’ for nothing. Although I’ve been taking barre classes at my gym on a regular basis, this was a bit more intense. This fast-paced, high repetition workout uses small movements to isolate various parts of the body to give you a total body workout within an hour. (Learn more details about the workout here.) Shaky legs are encouraged and the grippy socks are mandatory for a reason. The instructors were knowledgable, encouraging, and succinct – they aren’t there to mess around, they’re there to help you get the most of your workout. However, don’t get the impression that they are extremely disciplined or mean, in fact, just the opposite. They were more than excited to help me modify moves for my pregnancy, but also made sure that my form was on point (no pun intended).

belly at the barre

belly at the barre

While I don’t know if I’ll be back before the end of my pregnancy, the Baltimore shop does have a New Mom’s special so I’m hoping to see the team there in the new year.

TIU group at Pop Physique

Special thanks to Pop Physique Baltimore for opening their doors to the Baltimore Tone It Up crew! I paid a small fee to attend the class, and all thoughts and opinions on the experience are my own.

Spin, Sweat, Sip

I’ve chronicled my journey with running while pregnant, but what about other exercise? I’ve been trying to make the barre class at my local gym on a regular basis, but since I have more time in the summer, I wanted to take the opportunity to test out some of the newer exercise options here in Baltimore.

REV logo

I heard about REV Cycle Studio when they opened, but was a little nervous about attending a class. I haven’t been to cycle in ages, much less with a growing belly. But when I got the invite to #SpinSweatSip, I knew I had to go.

REV studio

The evening began with a preview of REV60Blast, described on the studios website as follows:

“Push through your fitness threshold with our intense, signature 60-minute cycling class. Get inspired by one of REV’s certified indoor cycle instructors, who are trained to help you crush your fitness walls over flats, climbs, and valleys. All fitness levels are welcome.”

Our instructor for the evening was Jami, who led about 20 of us ‘social media influencers’ through 45 minutes of spin combined with strength. It was a great balance and each portion was easily modifiable to fit one’s fitness level. Her music choice was on point, and her teaching style left you invigorated and ready to conquer anything.

SpinSweatSip

Once we finished our workout (which certainly lived up to the promise of making us sweat), we were treated to wine and appetizers from The Wine Market, a local restaurant.

SSS food

All in all, I LOVED this event. Often, a group fitness class can be scary the first time. This way, I was allowed to meet other like-minded people and chat/commiserate about our experience. I also got the chance to speak to REV staff and learn about other classes and specials they currently offer.

SSS group

Special shout outs again to REV for hosting and The Wine Market for feeding us. Can’t wait to return and try out some other classes!

Spilling the Beans

Not sure how you all would feel about pregnancy updates/details, so I’m going to keep these catalogued on a separate Pregnancy Page. Check it out for all that’s going on with our family as we plan to welcome Baby A+ in December.

preg header blog.jpg

I found out I was pregnant on April 19th, the day before Easter. I had felt some nausea on and off for a few days and, although it wasn’t bad, figured that it might be a sign. So I waited for the JA to go out and took a pregnancy test. It turned out positive.

So then I took another one, just to make sure. This one didn’t show a result.

Obviously, I had to then take a third. Positive. Oh boy.

Yes, these are also three different tests. Don't judge.

Yes, these are also three different tests. Don’t judge. The record number, for our OB, was six.

At this point, our neighbors were scheduled to arrive at our house for game night in a few hours. I quickly baked some carrot cake cupcakes and tried to figure out a cute way to tell the JA. I wanted to tell him prior to their arrival for a multitude of reasons: 1 – I wouldn’t be drinking that night; 2 – we also were attending Easter Vigil, which is one of the longest Masses of the year. I didn’t want nausea to hit (or anything worse to happen) and for him to be left worrying as I beelined out of the church.

So he came back from the gym and I blurted out, “So, I think I’m pregnant..” as he stood at the bottom of our stairs. Smooth, Jess. He replied that I’m never allowed to bake carrot cake anything again, as he would forever associate the two. And then, being the loving husband (and now father-to-be) had a look of both shock and awe on his face as he ran up the stairs to hug me.

Just to make sure, I took a fourth test the following morning. Still pregnant. Okay. This is really happening.

We weren’t exactly trying to get pregnant but weren’t NOT trying, either. It was a pleasant surprise. However, this made it difficult to track, being that my periods were a bit irregular. We told some close friends that we had begun our journey, but not our families.

We confirmed the pregnancy with my OB, I ran my half marathon (with the blessing from my doctor), and tried to figure out a way to tell our parents. Mother’s Day was around the corner, and while we only had an estimate of how far a long I was, it wasn’t far enough that I was ready to share just yet.

Then fate stepped in.

There’s a huge community yard sale in the neighborhood adjacent to ours. We walked around, picked up a few things for the house, and also scored a bassinet (for $5!) and couldn’t resist picking out a few baby clothes. [Let me tell you, smuggling that bassinet into the house without anyone seeing us is a story in and of itself!]

I had already purchased spa gift cards for our mothers and decided to place a onesie in the box as well.

grandma onesies

Our parents came over for our monthly dinner date, we had the moms open their gifts, and lots of joy (and maybe a few tears) followed. We vowed them to secrecy until we confirmed how far along I was and made it out of the first trimester.

The rest is pretty straightforward – calling family and friends, announcing it at our Memorial Day gathering to friends, finishing with an announcement a few weeks later to the other side of the family, and then to you all and on social media.

Special kudos to those who stuck with me this entire post – I’m hoping not all of these updates will be this lengthy, but who knows?