Career Change

Forgive me for being absent, but I’ve had a very sick tiny demon to deal with for the last week and a half. My hands were full to the brim and I was guzzling coffee simply to stay awake since her sleep schedule was all over the place thanks to her very stuffy nose. However, there has also been some very exciting things occurring simultaneously, which can finally be revealed now that everything has been made official.

I’m making a very big career change from veterinary medicine to personal trainer.

I fully intended on returning to my job. In fact, I was only looking into working as a trainer part time, however, with this new change I will now have a much more flexible schedule which will ultimately help me with tiny demon in the long run.

It’s strange to think I will not be returning to the hospital and once again living in scrubs. I love my job. I love the animals. I love the people I worked with. It has been the most positive experience I’ve had working at this hospital. Previous hospitals were full of high school drama. This was the first hospital I worked for that felt cohesive for the most part.

But, that being said, the life of working for a veterinary hospital is tough. The hours are long and you rarely get out on time. Many clients are extremely nasty and argumentative. Many clients cannot afford services that are needed which puts us in an awkward position. The stress is very real and overall you eventually start to feel emotionally drained after seeing so many “sad” cases. Far too many times I would go home frustrated from case or another that could have been preventable, etc. Eventually you just burn out.

Even then, when I started this journey to get my NASM accreditation, I still was set to go back to working in the hospital. But as my maternity leave started to dwindle I started getting nervous about working those long days again. Not getting out on time, which used to not be a big deal, now is because I want to finish work and go home to my tiny demon.

So with a sad heart I finally handed in my letter of resignation to my job. With 2 weeks left of my maternity leave, I wanted to give them some time to find someone else. I had been on several interviews until I finally settled on working at a gym that was very close to home and only requires me to be at the gym to train clients at my availability. Training starts Friday.

I am both eager and nervous to make the switch obviously. It’s a giant change. And I will absolutely have to hustle in order to get clients. But this is only the start. I can’t wait to work with fellow moms, moms to be, and whomever else in order to get them fit, healthy and the right frame of mind.

I am a prime example of a tired, busy mommy. And if I can do it, they can do it, if they have the right mindset and drive.

These next few months are going to be far from easy. But I know this is ultimately the best choice for myself, but for my family.

 

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Mamas Need to Unite, Not Fight

Anywhere you go on the internet you are sure to find people with varying opinions and ready to fight for what they believe in. Everyone thinks they know best. Their political views are right. Their views on animal care is right. Their way of parenting is right. This last one in particular drives me up the wall.

The moment I found out I was pregnant everyone had an opinion, and I sure as hell know it isn’t going to stop anytime soon now that tiny demon is here. Some people thought I shouldn’t talk about my antepartum or postpartum depression. Some people gave me crap for working out and lifting heavy while pregnant. Some people gave me hell for choosing to formula feed. It’s never ending.

But, one would think that at least fellow mamas would be able to unite.

Since I had my tiny demon I joined multiple mommy groups, including two for depression. The ones for depression are quite literally the only places where I’ve seen multitudes of support from fellow moms. This may be because so many of us are experiencing, or experienced, the same things. But holy cow, the women in the other groups are quite literally brutal to each other.

Everyone seems to think their way is the best way. Whether that be “breast is best” which drives me up the wall, or just women telling other women who site “uncontrollably crying” as baby blues. I literally had one mom tell me that my kid was going to asthmatic, autistic, and dumb compared to a breast fed kid, because formula is risky.

When I came back with good old Adam Ruins Everything she just laughed saying it doesn’t count. Notice the facts are all sited in the corner. So yes, I’m making it up. Meanwhile I look at my daughter who has been formula fed from the minute she came out and I see how healthy she is. So I stand with fed is best and do what you feel like doing. I’m pro breastfed and formula fed.

I also had one woman jump down my throat on an article talking about getting rid of nurseries in hospitals. I commented that I think women should have it as an option, particularly for those who have had a c-section or are just struggling. I had a pretty easy birth, but since I struggled with antepartum depression my entire pregnancy the nursery was very helpful. I couldn’t hold my daughter the first 24 hours, and it sucked, but mentally I was unable to bond. After that she stayed in our room when my husband was there but at night she went back to the nursery because I still hadn’t mentally processed everything. The woman who mocked me couldn’t even wrap her head around depression and kept labeling me as a lazy mom, and that I should have “mentally prepared” my whole pregnancy. (Which was so easy while struggling with depression by the way.)

But it goes on and on. Whether its arguing that the cry it out method is bad or good, or simply when to feed babies solids, these moms all have different opinions because each and every one of them has different pediatricians. From what I see though, most of these women aren’t wrong and their babies are fine. Perhaps there isn’t just one right answer like so many moms tend to think.

And let’s not forget the whole baby blues things. I was shocked one day while browsing the mommy groups where one women mentioned she was going through a tough time as a new mom. She was crying all the time every day, which I can relate to especially when I first had tiny demon. However, instead of being supportive every woman kept saying “it’s baby blues, you’ll be fine.” Instead of commenting I messaged her letting her know her feelings are valid and that she could be suffering from postpartum depression. I shared my story, told her to talk to her doctor and get evaluated. I told her that there is no shame in having PPD, and that it doesn’t make her a bad mother. I then sent her links to my support groups.

The next day she messaged me back to let me know she had been scared to talk to her doctor but did. The doctor had been reassuring and helpful. She also joined the groups I sent her. She finished her message with “Thank you so much. I wish more women were like you. No one else was helpful.” It nearly made me cry to know that I could make someone not feel so alone.

I am a firm believer in women supporting women. Us mamas need to get behind this. We need to understand that we come from all different backgrounds and upbringings. We need to understand that there are many different ways to properly parent. If your child is healthy, fed, clean and being loved, I’d say you’re doing an excellent job. Do not let other mothers bring you down for one thing or another.

Parenting is scary. Being a first time mother myself, I’m constantly wondering if I am doing a good job. Am I holding tiny demon too much? Am I not holding her enough? How many naps is she supposed to have in a day? Why is she crying after being fed, burped and changed? So many questions run through your head. But every child is different, and every parent is different. Don’t let the nasty mamas get you down. You’re doing a great job.

Mommy and NASM Certified Musings

So I’m a bit behind on updating this blog in the last week. This is due to the fact that last week I essentially spent every waking moment I had of free time studying for my NASM exam. Any time tiny demon chose to nap or simply sit happily in her swing, I was sprawled out on the couch or bed with pages upon pages of study material, or downstairs on the computer taking multiple practice tests. I was sure my head was going to burst from all the reviewing.

Therefore, writing was the last thing on my mind. However, as of this past Tuesday I am now a certified personal trainer. That’s right, I passed the test!

Looking back now when I first started the course near the end of my pregnancy to now is pretty crazy. And if you asked me 2 years ago if this was something I’d be interested in doing as a career I would have laughed in your face. The truth is as much as I loved the gym, it never even occurred to me that this could be a potential career path. This is partially due to the fact that I was already so heavily invested in the veterinary field.

But as I struggled with my pregnancy continuously, the more I found that I turned to the gym on the regular in order to keep my mind a bit more chilled out. I already used the gym as a way to get out frustration from work, but working out did a number of positive things in regards to being pregnant.

First, it gave me a sense of empowerment. So many women in general, let alone pregnant women, are afraid of the gym, afraid to lift, and most definitely afraid to work out while pregnant. When I first started working with my trainer I was so surprised just how strong I could be. The day I leg pressed 450lbs was a mega accomplishment to me. And the day I deadlifted 135 lbs despite my beach ball of a belly was quite possibly the biggest accomplishment.

Second, I was genuinely healthier. Throughout my entire pregnancy I saw women complaining about aches, pains and swelling. Aside from my back bothering me, which is pretty much unavoidable, I was pretty much pain free and I never had ANY swelling whatsoever. The concept actually boggles my mind. Working out also helped with my balance and alignment. In the end I did start to waddle regardless but I was able to not do so for quite a long time.

Third, I found myself being an inspiration to other women. I can’t tell you how many women would come up to me at the gym and say things in the lines of “if you can do then I can do it.” My discipline to not miss a gym day and continue to push myself wound up pushing others.

It was these three things that got the wheels turning in my head. Suddenly I could picture myself trying to train others, most especially women, who simply want to see someone like themselves. They want a mom who understands the crazy mom schedule, but can still show you that, yes, you can still make time to get fit and healthy. You can still be a priority. And yes, you can be one hot mama.

With interviews ahead, and one already behind me, there is more than likely a decent job in my future. And what my first clients are going to get is a new mommy also just trying to get back into the swing of things. They’re going to see a tired mommy that would love to go back to sleep but is still completing her workouts first. They are going to see that being a mom doesn’t mean you still can’t be a priority.

In the end, I want to make clients look and feel at their best. I want them to feel all the feelings I did when I first started taking my fitness goals seriously. I want them to know that you can be strong if you just work hard. Because there is nothing like looking in the mirror and saying “I’ve come so far.”

The Ever Evolving Nerd

Every nerd/geek has their own tastes. For example, my favorite games are JRPG’s, I love superheroes, Supernatural, and all things fantasy. I’m kind of all over the board. But apparently even my tastes are changing, even at 29. Not so much in the sense of genres, but I recently found myself playing a game that I once absolutely hated.

I’m a huge Final Fantasy nerd. My brother talked me into playing Final Fantasy IX and the rest is history. I soon got my hands on IV, V, VI (which I still haven’t found time to play), VII, VIII and X. I never played XI because it was online, but I remember being psyched to pick up Final Fantasy XII and being completely disappointed.

I actually abandoned playing the game at one point, which is something I never do. I’ll usually at least try and finish it because I don’t like to leave things incomplete. I went back to the game roughly a year later, restarted it and did manage to finish it, but I still hated every second of the game. Except for Balthier and Fran, but everyone likes them.

I hated the graphics. I thought the world was drab and boring compared to X’s colorful cities and landscapes. Vaan was by far the worst “hero” ever, and the license board was a legitimate nightmare. It was so overwhelming and I didn’t understand it. On top of it all, I had zero interest in the story. I thought it to be lame follow up after X’s rich anti-religion, free thinking, let’s kill God, storyline.

You would think I would have skipped over the remaster for the Playstation 4 then. But ever the Final Fantasy fan, I decided I’d give the game one more go. I admit I still felt pretty reluctant about the game, and wasn’t bouncing up and down for it when it landed on my doorstep. But apparently something had changed in my taste.

First, the license board became far from confusing with the introduction to the job classes. I found myself not aimlessly filling in the grid, but strategically picking each square in order to build each of my character’s jobs. Finally, the grid made so much more sense. And perhaps my age and interest in politics also suddenly gave me an appreciation for the storyline this time around. I was much more engaged in everything about this game, including Vaan.

For the record, I still find Vaan a very weak main protagonist. I still think Ashe or Balthier should have always been the main focus. But I didn’t hate Vaan nearly as much as I used to and I appreciated why he was there this time around. I loved how he interacted with Ashe in particular.


And call me stupid, but I seriously don’t remember such a beautiful soundtrack. Final Fantasy is known for some of the greatest videogame music, but my teenage brain somehow blocked Final Fantasy XII’s music out of my mind. (For the record, Salikawood’s music may be my favorite piece of music to date from Final Fantasy). Hell, I didn’t remember at least 50% of the game I was playing. I know I beat the game, but half the places I traveled I had no recollection of whatsoever.

It’s almost as if a light went off in my head this time. Perhaps I didn’t understand the story. Maybe it just went over my head way back when. I know the license board was frustrating for me then. But, my gosh, Final Fantasy XII was much more enjoyable playing now then it was way back when. The only thing I still agree on with my teenage self is that the battle system could have been better. With gambits on it almost feels like everything is automatically done, which kind of takes the fun out of battles. That being said, I kept my gambits to a minimum and instead utilized pausing in between to choose specific spells and the like for each character.

Overall, when I finished the game I felt a sense of completion. I actually was a bit sad I barreled through the game so quickly. I beat the game with all my characters under level 50, except for Vaan who had double experience equipped to him the whole game. He wound up being level 70. But in essence, the game was over much more quickly than I even expected. The end basically sneaked up on me, and now I have a huge gaping hole from no more Final Fantasy in my heart.

This has got me thinking what other games I may have looked over though. Did I pass certain things over because I thought I wouldn’t like them? What about any games I abandoned? I’m even considering giving Final Fantasy VII a chance again, especially since I know that everything levels up with Squall. (That was a huge mistake my first play through.)

utawarerumonaFor now I have my hands full with a very interesting visual novel game that also has a few tactical battles thrown in there for fun. It’s something I wouldn’t usually play. To be honest, I did zero research on the game, and bought just because it sounded super Japanese. Super Japanese usually equals super fun videogame. The jury is still out on the game thus far. The battles are fun, but they totally skipped innuendos and went right for dick swinging jokes. (I literally busted up laughing at the one screenshot.) I do plan on seeing it to the end for sure, more so out of extreme curiosity.

Putting Me First

I’ve always been a pretty selfish person. It’s partially why I never really had much of an interest in having kids. I like my time, and I was certainly afraid I would lose it if I had kids. In some ways, yes I lost a lot of freedom. I can’t just up and leave whenever I want. Going anywhere now consists of me having to pack up tiny demon and a diaper bag, so I usually don’t venture out of the house unless I have to (like for my gym time.) But, that being said, I still make time for myself.

Since 4 weeks postpartum I have spent roughly 5 to 6 days at the gym working out. For about 2 hours I get some baby free time that involves something I love to do. I can get out a ton of frustration through lifting and cardio. This is also my time to catch up on some Netflix while on the treadmill. After a good sweat I’m usually in a better mood, and a happy  mama equals a happy baby.

But aside from the gym I have to say I was not putting myself first. I rarely put any work into my appearance. I think I’ve worn makeup about 3 times since having tiny demon, I practically live in sweats or gym clothes, and I’m lucky if I get to shower every day. I mean a real shower, not one where I’m jumping in for a hot second just to feel somewhat clean. And eating? Ha. I’m lucky if I get one real meal in a day. Then of course the struggle to not snack on complete crap is real. Funnily enough half the time I don’t even feel hungry.

So, this week, when I did a number on my calf and had to take a week off, I decided to put me first. I caught up on shows I’ve been trying to watch for ages. Tiny demon didn’t always spend time in my arms. She also spent time in her swing and crib while I just chilled out for a half hour. I gamed and even completed a JRPG which I thought was going to take me months and months. Basically I vegged out. I reset. And of course I snuggled my tiny demon.

The thing about being a mom is you really are tethered to this tiny human. It’s tough. Every part of your day revolves around them. Some days I do hate it, and ask myself why the hell did we have a kid. But for the most part, I do love it. And I’m loving it more this week now that I see I can put myself first and still make tiny demon a priority.

Today I made myself a priority. I put on makeup. I dressed in real clothes, all pre-pregnancy clothes I might add. I’m wearing shorts of crying out loud! I pretty much imagined I wouldn’t be wearing those just 3 months out from having a kid. Today I feel human, and I vow that I will continue to try and make myself feel human. I already feel better, just because I don’t feel as if I’m channeling the stereotypical tired mom look. That’s not to say I’m cutting out the gym clothes. I will probably still live in those, but maybe I’ll ditch the baggy sweats, and maybe I’ll do my makeup a few times a week if I can.

It’s simply nice to look in the mirror and recognize the person staring back. Having a baby doesn’t define me. I’m still me, and I want to look the part.

So to all you moms struggling. You’re beautiful. You’re fabulous. And you can still be you. Take some time for you. You’ll thank yourself later.

 

Small Progress is Progress

I am nearly 11 weeks postpartum at this rate, and it’s been a hell of a ride. Learning how to be a mom,  plus learning how to heal physically and mentally is a ton of work. And truly, all you want to do after giving birth is feel human again, which is seriously hard with an infant.

I think I’ve worn make up twice since I gave birth, my showers typically last 3 minutes if I’m home alone with tiny demon, and my meals revolve around her schedule. For the record, I’m pretty sure she knows when I’m about to make an attempt at eating. All of these things I’ve done a pretty good job at handling for the most part. I don’t mind that I’m makeup free and you can see the bags under my eyes. I don’t mind the quick in and out showers, because when I do get the chance for a long shower I appreciate the hell out of it. And half the time I don’t even realize I’m hungry because I’m in such a go, go, go kind of mode.

But the one thing I’ve been super serious about is getting my body back. That’s what really make me feel like a human. It makes me feel like me again. And while I’m still in the early stages of getting my prepregnancy body back, I am starting to notice the difference thanks to pictures. Forget the scale, which thoroughly discouraged the hell out of me, the pictures say it all.

The above pictures were taken at 10 and half weeks postpartum. Granted the yoga pants do wonders at compressing all that loose skin just hanging around my middle, but the fact remains that it is shrinking regardless. Is it shrinking as fast as I want it to? Of course not. But, in reality, I didn’t get my prepregnancy body overnight. It was a butt ton of months and months of work. Therefore, my postpartum tummy isn’t going anywhere immediately either. Which is okay. I’ve come to terms with it finally.

prepreggobody

Small progress is still progress. Getting fit and hitting goals is a major process that you have to be fully committed to. So today, with these pictures, I remind myself that I am doing fine. I’m on my way and I need to simply continue on the right track. I will eventually get the tummy back I originally worked so hard to get.

Little Miss Fuss Pot

The above picture was taken yesterday to send to my husband. Basically, I was telling him “your tiny demon has been crying for the last hour.”

Truthfully, tiny demon has been exceptionally cranky the last several days. It started Sunday when I left the little miss with Chris for roughly 2 hours in order for me to get a good workout in. By the time I got back, he had managed to do the grocery shopping, but nothing else due to her being a fuss pot. “Welcome to my life,” I said, all in good fun, since he does actually understand that I basically am not getting any house chores done unless my mom is over helping me with tiny demon.

Yesterday my mom came to relieve me as I went to the gym, and she had been trying to get her to nap after a bottle when I got home. That wasn’t happening whatsoever. These past few days, tiny demon has become very anti-nap. My mom desperately tried to get her to pass out before having to head home, but I told her not to worry. Soon after I wound up taking that lovely picture of her screaming inconsolably. She was clean, had been fed and had no interest in another bottle, and her eyes were extremely heavy. She was absolutely exhausted but didn’t want to sleep. She just wanted her mama. (Which sometimes is really great, as long as I don’t have 1,000 other things to do).

Luckily, she did eventually pass out. I managed to finish folding a good amount of laundry that had been sitting in baskets for the last 2 days. And then I basically said “screw this,” put my feet up and played a few hours on my Playstation 4. Why? Because I needed to chill. I needed a second to zone out.

Today wasn’t much different. Tiny demon was being a big ol’ cranky pants. She didn’t even want her bottle this morning. Normally I don’t like bringing her to the gym daycare unfed, but since the hours are limited there I packed her up anyway, along with a bottle, and hit the road. Because if I didn’t get my workout in then, I probably wouldn’t have today at all.

While, Amara usually sleeps through the hour and half/2 hour daycare stay usually, today she spent it up. Even after being given a bottle she was up and ready to be cranky. (Seriously, thank you daycare people, because I needed that hour and a half to myself.)

Aching all over due to a fabulous booty builder workout I’m doing, and another program, I picked tiny demon up. Somehow she had fallen asleep shortly before I came to get her. Sadly, that lasted the ten minute ride home and then she was awake again. And then the cycle of not wanting to take her actual nap begun again.

I changed her. I fed her. I rocked her. I snuggled her. I tried placing her in the bassinet for a bit (which usually works). But nope, nope, nope. This child just wanted to yell and scream. Starving, I placed her in her bassinet for a third time, and she FINALLY passed out.

I took one look at the new pile of laundry I needed to fold and went “nope.” I made myself a protein shake, turned on my Playstation 4 and chilled out. Because sometimes a fussy child warrants a big F U to the chores while you sit back and relax.