The Kim Challenge http://thekimchallenge.com A Healthy Perspective Thu, 03 Aug 2017 13:13:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 8223044 The Magical Art of Imperfection http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/08/03/the-magical-art-of-imperfection/ http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/08/03/the-magical-art-of-imperfection/#comments Thu, 03 Aug 2017 13:13:52 +0000 http://thekimchallenge.com/?p=12787

I used to think that I would never let my child watch TV. But I do. Because I’m not perfect and sometimes you need the kind of chill only a Disney movie can provide.

For better or worse, one of the most drastic changes in my personality since having a child has been a shift away from my perfectionism. 

For the majority of my life I lived by the belief that if it wasn’t perfect it wasn’t worth it. If I made a mistake in my penmanship, I wouldn’t just cross it out, I would write the whole page over again. If I strayed from a self-prescribed diet I would scrap the whole thing and start over with something new. If I didn’t have the right outfit or shoes for an event, I wouldn’t go. If I couldn’t do a full, hardcore workout, why even bother going to the gym at all? My life was very black and white. 

Over the course of the last 14-months I’ve gotten very comfortable with the grey area. It’s amazing how quickly my need to be perfect devolved into a “ehh, close enough” mindset. Not to say I don’t care, but nothing is within my control these days. The house is messy. My clothes are usually covered in something indiscernible and slimy, my work is rushed and done during the exhausted hours after Ethan has gone to bed. Sometimes I just go to the gym to walk slowly on the treadmill and watch a movie.  My hair is, oy…I need to cut my hair–I totally understand mom hair now. And my diet…well, I’m working on it, but not with the laser focus I used to. 

I’ve been reading a lot about how to manage my autoimmune disease through diet. A lot of recent literature suggests that a Paleo-esque diet helps moderate the hormone fluctuations and inflammation associated with Hashimoto’s. But, umm, there are a lot of moments in my life that aren’t Paleo friendly, preparing toddler approved meals (sure, sure, I thought he would just eat what I ate and have a really broad, accepting palate…before I had him), trying out the restaurants in our new hometown. birthday cake, cocktails with friends. You know. So my mentality these days is mostly Paleo. During the day-to-day I’m happy to make separate meals for me and my guys (I do much of the time anyway since they’re vegetarian and I am not), but if I have to taste some mac and cheese to make sure it’s palatable–no stress. If there’s a cute little ice cream shop that needs trying on our weekend adventures, that’s okay. If a girl’s outing includes vineyard hopping on the North Fork of Long Island, I’ll take two. 

Since most days are normal, run-of-the-mill days I feel like this is a pretty livable balance. 

So here’s what my day looked like yesterday, and one of my August resolutions. 

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and an Israeli salad.

Snack: Coconut water blended with frozen fruit. It’s like a slushie that I can give my kid to get some fiber into him.

Lunch: Pork chop and baked summer squash chips.

Dinner: Roast chicken, asparagus and salad made from veggies my BFF grew in her garden.
And a rum punch cocktail, because the days are long and I’m not perfect.

 

FYI, I’ve been posting more of my recipes on Instagram than on my blog. If you want to look up some of the things I make follow me on Instagram at @kimberyraemiller. 

 

 

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New Month. New Resolutions. New Book. (And a New Giveaway Winner) http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/08/01/new-month-new-resolutions-new-book-and-a-new-giveaway-winner/ http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/08/01/new-month-new-resolutions-new-book-and-a-new-giveaway-winner/#comments Tue, 01 Aug 2017 20:22:04 +0000 http://thekimchallenge.com/?p=12777

I’m a cartoon! Sort of. I promise that I won’t make my entire blog a commercial for my new book. But, you know, it’s exciting, and I think that little bookmercial is just about the coolest thing ever. (I’m also simultaneously glad they didn’t make one for Coming Clean, because that would have been awkward). 

So, about that giveaway. Congratulations Cassie! (I’ll be emailing you momentarily) There were a lot of entries between the comments here and my social media platforms, and I basically kept a spreadsheet of each entry and then used a random number generator to choose a winner. Luckily, my publicist said she might be able to scavenge another tote bag. So, if you didn’t win this time, I’ll be hosting another giveaway soon—so stick around 😉

And now it’s time for our regularly scheduled new month’s resolutions. 

I, for one, am flabbergasted by how quickly this summer has passed. How is it already August?

My biggest resolution this month is to really enjoy this last month of full-time momming. You see, when I was pregnant with The Little Fella I just assumed that I’d be able to work part-time and mom full-time. I would write while he slept and mom while he was awake. Well, that just didn’t happen. He is a terrible sleeper, and I am not disciplined enough to work hard at random one hour intervals. Also, as he’s getting older he’s getting SMARTER— so smart—I can’t keep up with how much stimulation he needs on a daily basis—so we decided that he would go to a daycare three days a week starting in September so that I can work, and he can be exposed to new things and new people. I’m having a hard time with it emotionally, because no one will ever love my baby like I love my baby, but I’m also really excited to have some time for myself and my brain, and to start working steadily again. So this month, The Little Fella and I are going to swim and sightsee and beach and play at the water table for as long as his little heart desires. We’ll try new flavors of ice cream, go out for lunch with Gradma and Grandpa and practice our walking skills at the playground. 

My next goal is to get my office in office-y order. We’ve been in our new home for 4 months now and there’s still so much to organize and unpack. We’ve kind of lost momentum on that, but if I’m going to start September off ready to start working on another book and whatever articles come my way, I need an office space that’s conducive to legit work. 

The Fella helped me hang my favorite inspirational art on the wall next to my desk. Now I just need to get my desk in order. 

 

And finally, I’m resolving to start photographing my eats again. Not so much for the diet aspect, but for the actually caring about what I’m eating aspect. Today I had baked zucchini for lunch. I wanted to make a  protein and a carb to go with it, but I got so sidetracked by making a variety of food options for the dictatortot that I just didn’t have time for anything else. If I learned anything from my ruptured spleen and time in the hospital it is that I need to take as good care of myself as I do my family. A little accountability in the form of photos goes a long way. 

What are you resolving for August?

(If you’re new to my blog, I like to make new resolutions for each month, they feel way more manageable and achievable than the New Year variety)

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The Birth of Beautiful Bodies (and a Giveaway!) http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/07/23/the-birth-of-beautiful-bodies-and-a-giveaway/ http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/07/23/the-birth-of-beautiful-bodies-and-a-giveaway/#comments Sun, 23 Jul 2017 17:41:50 +0000 http://thekimchallenge.com/?p=12769

 

It’s time for another birth story. This time it’s a book baby, and while just as much sweat and screaming went into this labor of love as my last one, there were far fewer stitches, thank goodness.

I remember when Coming Clean was published, thinking that I would never be able to do it again, to sit down and bare my soul on paper. I swore that if I were ever to write another book, it wouldn’t be a memoir. While the final product of my first book was a blessing, the actual writing process was something akin to living in my own personal emotional hell for a couple of years. Only a crazy person would subject themselves to reliving their most painful memories on a daily basis.

Which is why when I first conceptualized Beautiful Bodies (fun fact: the originally name for the book was SKINNY) and sold it to my publisher, it wasn’t a memoir. It was historical nonfiction with a few personal anecdotes thrown in for good measure. But, what became abundantly clear after a year plus of writing a book that was basically the history of dieting throughout this human experience we share, is that it was missing something. Me, it was missing me. And so I scrapped the entire first draft of Beautiful Bodies, we pushed my publishing date (it was originally supposed to come out in October 2015) and I started over.

I knew what I had to do; I had to do it the hard way. The way I’m good at, but the way I hate. And so began the long emotional journey of dissecting my relationship with my body, a relationship that has been the most important and tumultuous one of my life. In many ways Coming Clean was easier to write. Hoarding has had such a clear impact on my life that I knew instinctively how to tell that story. But my body, my insecurities, they were a part of everything I did. My body and its lack of perfection was the one thing I could never forgive myself for, and that colored so much of what I did and who I became. And being honest about all that was hard.

I remember a particularly emotional night when I was feeling blocked, ready to give up and write a check to my publisher returning my advance and call the whole thing a big mistake because I just couldn’t get there, I couldn’t summon up the emotional honesty to commit to telling this story. The Fella tried to coax it out of me, asking all the hard questions I refused to, and I hated him. I cried and yelled, threatened divorce and even threw something at him (okay, the last two only in my head, but still). But I answered, and I got there.

And while I poured much of my heart and soul into my story, I didn’t quite give up on my first plan for this book, which is what I think makes Beautiful Bodies most unique—throughout, my story is our story, as people. I didn’t scrap the year of research I did into evolution and diet history, I included the nuggets I found most interesting and most healing, in hopes that they would help others find a sense of purpose and pride in their own bodies.

Writing Beautiful Bodies was so much harder (and took so much longer) than I had ever planned, and while Coming Clean was perhaps the biggest story of my life, I do believe that in many ways Beautiful Bodies is the most relatable.

Beautiful Bodies publishes this Tuesday, July 25th. I am so grateful and humbled by the response it has received so far, being named as a summer must read by Elle magazine, PureWow, PopSugar, Bitch Media, W magazine, InStyle, and earning a starred review from Booklist!

I hope that you will like it, and in honor of its release I’m hosting a giveaway, so follow me on Social Media and leave a comment here with your favorite thing about your own body for chances to win!  I will be announcing a winner on August 1st!

 

 

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Remember that time that I got mono and my spleen ruptured? http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/07/09/remember-that-time-that-i-got-mono-and-my-spleen-ruptured/ http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/07/09/remember-that-time-that-i-got-mono-and-my-spleen-ruptured/#comments Sun, 09 Jul 2017 15:39:24 +0000 http://thekimchallenge.com/?p=12757

I refused to take off my clothes for the first 24 hours at the hospital because I thought they were going to let me go home…they didn’t (also, not sure why I’m clutching my chest like that–very dramatic)

I’ve always felt like I was pretty in-tune with my body, at least in regard to health. I’m the kind of person who could tell you exactly when they were ovulating or would leave a party because I was tired and sleep was more important than socializing. But, I’ve been feeling pretty rundown for a while now, and just chalked up my exhaustion up to having a less-than-stellar sleeper, moving, and trying to cobble together some semblance of a career during nap times.

Who wouldn’t be exhausted?

Except I wasn’t just run-of-the-mill exhausted. I’ve been sick for months and didn’t know it. At least, that’s what the nice infectious disease doctor at the hospital thinks. You see, a couple of weeks ago I woke up with intense pain in my abdomen and shoulder. I didn’t really understand the connection and just assumed that I had gas and had slept in a weird position and tweaked my shoulder. The pain faded and a night or two later came back with the same coupling. Still, I didn’t think much of it until I started to feel really weak, started having dizzy spells, I may have actually fainted at one point, nausea set in and some scary sweating-chill combos kept me up at night. Still I walked around like this for about a week before heading to the doctor. Because, you know, I have a baby to take care of and a book coming out and things to do.

But eventually, when my fever spiked at 102 and I could no longer breathe without wincing in pain, I went to an urgent care center. The doctor suspected my spleen was enlarged and took some blood work. Apparently, spleen pain radiates to the shoulder. Who knew?

The doctor suspected I had mono. I didn’t even know you could get mono at 34? And even though I had a diagnosis I couldn’t help but feel like something bigger was wrong, I mean the pain in my abdomen was crippling—that’s not normal mono pain. I gave in to the stubborn nagging of my intuition and decided that I’d go to the Emergency Room on Wednesday night after The Fella got home from work. My parents begged me to call an ambulance, but I told them that ambulances are for really sick people and I was just going to the ER as a precaution, so that I wouldn’t pass out while I was alone at home with The Little Fella. Luckily, my best friend is a serious superstar and spent a very long night in the ER with me, entertaining me while experienced morphine for the first time and proceeded to tell the whole ER that I was totally good now and no longer needed medical attention (a very nice resident, informed me that I would no longer feel that way once the morphine wore off). I was actually pretty surprised when the catscan showed that I had a belly full of blood and had been living with a ruptured spleen for a week. I was admitted, and after a few days of blood tests, it was confirmed that I’d had mono, and had for a long time. I just had never given myself a chance to heal, and was just running around on four hours of sleep a night like it was no big deal.

I’m lucky, the rupture in my spleen was relatively small as far as ruptures go and the doctors don’t think I’ll need surgery. Which is good because I’m seriously phobic of surgery (if you’ve read about my mom’s history with surgery, you’ll understand why), and the internal bleeding should resolve itself as my spleen heals. In the meantime I need to rest.

I wouldn’t say hospital food is good, but I will say it was nice to eat a few meals without a tiny dictatortot yelling at me for some of my food.

I’m not sure I really know how to rest anymore, but I am lucky in that I have a great network of friends and family helping out with The Little Fella so that I can sit around watching Netflix like a bum.

All this has been a real wakeup call, I need to pay more attention to myself. It’s as simple as that. And yet that is so very hard.

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My home, my body http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/06/16/my-home-my-body/ http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/06/16/my-home-my-body/#comments Fri, 16 Jun 2017 15:10:57 +0000 http://thekimchallenge.com/?p=12751

There are lots of mommy bloggers I follow who always seem have their hair and makeup done and their kids are always pristinely dressed. I’m not one of those bloggers. 

Nine months ago I wrote a blog about my feelings regarding my postpartum body, how hard it was to look at my newly plus sized figure. I was just three months into this momming business. I hadn’t slept more than two hours a night for 90 days. I was breastfeeding and pumping constantly to increase my supply. I was basically chained to my couch underneath a baby who was eating or who would only sleep while I was holding him. And yet I expected that I’d bounce back immediately. 

I wish I could go hang out on the couch and hug the me of nine months ago, then I’d make her a sandwich and hold the baby while she ate it. Ethan just turned one and I’m only NOW starting to really lose my baby weight. I do go to the gym 4-5 days a week now, but it’s not so much about my calorie burn as it is carving out an hour or so a day just for myself. Time to be alone in my thoughts while jogging or lifting weights or just walking on a treadmill watching a movie. Now I can do that. Nine months ago I couldn’t. That’s not to say others can’t, I know people who ran marathons a few months after giving birth.  I wasn’t one of those people. I didn’t have that kind of baby. That’s okay. I wish I’d known that was okay.

So much has changed between my body and me over the last year or so. My body is bigger and softer now than it has ever been before, but I’m also at peace in it–something I can’t ever remember being. This may be the first time in my 34 years that my body has felt like my home.  I am thankful for it in a way I have never been before. It got me through the hardest physical year of my life. It made and nourished another human being. It’s earned a little slack in the bouncing back department. Sure, I’d like to fit back into my pre-baby wardrobe, but I don’t have a deadline. I’ll get there when I get there. 

Food is another thing that I have a totally different relationship with now. Before Ethan was born I loved to cook. Cooking was what I did at the end of the day to relax. Now, while I still love cooking, I either stick with easy foods I can prepare while he plays in a playpen (which usually has a 15-minute tolerance level) or foods I can prep while he’s napping and heat up later for dinner. If I make dinner during nap time it means I don’t get other things done, like cleaning or writing articles or working on books or blogs. Everything is a trade-off. All of this is hard. I’m not going to obsess over the calories or macros or points involved in the food I feed this family, I just focus on healthy ingredients and hope for the best. 

There’s something about just not having the time to obsess over my weight/having more important things in life to focus on that’s actually very freeing.

Who knew that my lumpy, bumpy post-baby body would be the body I ended up feeling the most like myself in? 

 

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A Year of Motherhood http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/06/07/a-year-of-motherhood/ http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/06/07/a-year-of-motherhood/#comments Wed, 07 Jun 2017 12:54:45 +0000 http://thekimchallenge.com/?p=12744

I’m obviously very glamorous.

This week marks a year that our Little Fella has been in our life. In many ways I feel like the same person I’ve always been, just with a tiny buddy who looks just like me, makes a big mess, and deters me from actually getting anything done professionally. In other ways I know that I’ll never be the same person I was before Ethan entered the world.

For starters, I will never not be worried. Long gone are the days when I can walk into a room and just exist in it. Now, I enter the room and assess all the ways in which my child is going to maim or kill himself. I worry about something happening while he sleeps. I worry about car accidents and house fires, bee stings and the drug epidemic; I worry about bathtub drowning or incurable illnesses. I worry that I’m not doing enough during the day to encourage learning. I worry that I’m not patient enough, I worry that I’m too loosey goosey and that he needs more discipline. I worry. I worry. I worry.

If possible, I love my husband more than I ever thought possible. I love watching my guys together. I love the love they have. I’m also way meaner to my husband that I was pre-baby. My fuse is shorter. By the end of the day I’m touched out and crave quiet and personal space in way that is not always great for a marriage.

My sense of hearing is on fire. Ethan could be three houses down and whimper a little and I would hear it. I don’t know how to explain this, but it’s like my senses exploded when he was born.

My ability to love is so much bigger than I ever thought possible. It is a part of everything that I do and think and say. My capacity to love more doesn’t just translate to Ethan (although he is the main recipient), but to everything I do and every person I meet. I give people more credit than I used to now; I judge less and listen more. Life is hard and we’re all just doing the best we can. In the end we’re each and every one of us someone’s baby. 

I miss being by myself. I miss being able to dictate my own schedule, to work when I want to work, to eat when I want to eat, to sleep when I want to sleep. If I’m lucky The Little Fella sleeps for two hours a day, if I’m not lucky I might get a half hour nap out of him. Those times are the only time I have to clean, to eat a meal without having to share it with grabby little hands, and to work—because I still need to be a productive member of society. It’s not easy and sometimes I really miss the freedom of my pre-baby life.

But in the end, I’m happier than I have ever been. There has not been a day in the last 369 days that I haven’t smiled. The days are hard, but they’re better than they have ever been before. There is not a day that goes by that I’m not in awe of the person I made. And really, really amused by him. He’s a funny guy. 

Happy Birthday Little Fella! Thank you for making me a mom. Now please take a nap.

 

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June 2017 Resolutions! http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/06/01/june-2017-resolutions/ http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/06/01/june-2017-resolutions/#comments Fri, 02 Jun 2017 03:11:03 +0000 http://thekimchallenge.com/?p=12739

Much of my new suburban life consists of sitting in the car waiting for The Little Fella to wake up. I’ve started stashing books in the car to help me accomplish resolution #2.

Happy June!

The last two months have been a whirlwind. Would you believe that we just wrapped up renovations on the house this week?! We’ve been living in a state of moving chaos boxtopia for two months. It was pretty rough, but as soon as the renos finished we were able to unpack the remaining boxes and get some furniture delivered. I’m starting to feel at home here.

I still miss NYC everyday, but now that we’re not living in a constant state of anxiety there are definitely things I can appreciate about our new home. Inez couldn’t be happier with life. The Little Fella is finally sleeping through the night now that he has his own room. Life is much more affordable here, and The Fella and I get to tackle projects together each weekend. Also, we have our own office, which will make working easier than it’s been in the past few years. Once we’re cleaned up and ready for “visitors” I’ll take you all on a tour of the new place.

Being that it’s the first of the month, it’s time for some resolutions.

  1. Whole30 again—Starting on June 4th. The Little Fella turns one on Saturday, I’ll wait until I’ve had a piece of birthday cake before I do my month of paleo. I’ve done Whole30 before and really enjoy it. I find it pretty easy to stick to and it’s a nice way to curb sugar and carb cravings. The only hard part is making two sets of food for the fam since Roy is a vegetarian and thusly not Whole30 complaint.
  2. Read more books. I will admit that this year has been my least literary in all my reading years. I’m ready to carve out more time for book learnin’ now that we have cozy places to curl up with a page-turner and Ethan is finally sleeping through the night. One of my favorite parts of our house is that there’s no television in the living room, which is on the main floor. We have a TV, but it’s in a small den that we only really go into late at night after all people are fed and things are cleaned. We watch way less TV now.
  3. Carve out more time for work. I’m so excited to have a legit work space again and to be able to really settle in and start working again. I love that my career allows me to be home, but I also really miss working and feeling like a productive member of society.

What are you resolving for June?

 

 

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We’ve Moved! Can we Move Back? http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/04/18/weve-moved-can-we-move-back/ http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/04/18/weve-moved-can-we-move-back/#comments Tue, 18 Apr 2017 16:26:02 +0000 http://thekimchallenge.com/?p=12731 Hello from the suburbs!

That’s my lawn being dug up. Yay!

I’ll be honest ya’ll, this isn’t a super easy breezy transition for me.

I miss New York City every day. I have yet to get through a day without wondering if we could just call this whole grand experiment a mistake and go running back to our old life in New York City.

At least I’m not sharing my room with an infant anymore. The Little Fella is loving his new room.

I might feel differently if we hadn’t had the transition from hell, but there really hasn’t been much that hasn’t gone wrong for us in the last week, including mover screw ups (if you’re moving in the NY area and want to know which company to absolutely not ever use email me), asbestos abatement, digging up a cesspool and a flood in our basement. I’m a whole lot poorer and a whole lot homesick. The Fella works long hours and commutes about four hours a day door-to-door, which means I don’t really see him. It might not feel quite so isolating and transient if we had a nice comfortable place to spend the day, but we’re still living out of boxes because we’re still renovating and thanks to all the last minute expenses I don’t expect to be able to afford furniture anytime soon. Like years.

Kitchen Before & After

I’m pretty overwhelmed. I also have a cold and pinkeye in both eyes and a looming deadline…so you know, a little stressed.

Bathroom Before & Almost After

In the midst of it all Ethan stopped breastfeeding cold turkey. Well, he started biting, I screamed and he’s refused to nurse ever since, so I’m a little emotional on that front as well. Stupid mommy hormones. The good part of all that is that without wanting to nurse for comfort in the middle of the night he’s started sleeping through the night. That makes it all a helluva lot easier to deal with. I’m sure having his own room helps.

I’m taking comfort in the fact that now that I’ve had to sell my kidneys to cover fixing this money pit of mine, everything is pretty new and we’ve raised the equity of the house…which is good because I’m pretty much ready to sell it. Anyone want to buy my house?

 

 

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March Resolutions: MOVING!!! http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/03/01/march-resolutions-moving/ http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/03/01/march-resolutions-moving/#comments Wed, 01 Mar 2017 15:44:40 +0000 http://thekimchallenge.com/?p=12725

Happy March!

Spring is right around the corner. In fact, New York City is feeling a bit manic about weather these days, as we alternate between 60 degrees and sunny and 30 degrees and snowy. The change of season is always a little rough.

This will be our last month as city folk. WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! (That’s one major life accomplishment we can check off the list) We’re doing a few repairs before we move in, as babies and construction don’t mix all that well, but as of April 1st The Fellas and I are heading out to the ‘burbs!

Honestly, as exciting as this is I have very mixed feelings about this move. I’m so excited to have more space – The Fella and I have sacrificed our bedroom and our skeletal health to sleep training and now sleep in our living room on an air-mattress and a beat up old Ikea couch, but I’m also scared of what life will look like for us out there. My roots are pretty firmly planted in New York City. I haven’t lived on Long Island for half my life. While I know that this will be a good move for our little guy, I don’t know how to live that kind of life anymore. I’ve only recently started to make mom friends in the city and to set up playdates and now I have to start all over again (If you live in Western Suffolk County and want to be mom friends, reach out!) I’m scared of having to wake a sleeping baby every night so that we can pick up The Fella from the train. I’m scared of never seeing my husband because he’ll be commuting. I’m scared of the distance between things—I’m used to just walking down the block and being at a park or a museum or a restaurant.

This is where I’ve been sleeping for the last three months.

These are big intimidating changes. I never thought I’d be a suburban girl. BUT, we’re just normal middle class people and we can’t afford the space we need in NYC to have a family. Sacrifice. Sigh.

Well, that was a downer. How about I list some things I’m excited about:

I’m excited to cook in my kitchen again. One of the main reasons I stopped photographing my food was because my kitchen in the city is so small it’s almost completely unusable. I can’t even stand in front of my stove, I have to stand to the side of it. As much as I love cooking, I never really get to do it because it’s just too challenging given our limited space. Also, we literally have no counter space, so the stove top has been repurposed as a counter with which to dry bottles. I am so excited to have a kitchen again!

I’m excited to have a backyard. So is Inez.

I’m excited to see my best friends more. I’m so incredibly blessed to have had the same sisterhood of friends since grade school. While I moved away, they stayed near home and I’m excited that I get to be closer to them and that they get to be a regular part of my life again…not just a special occasion outing.

I’m excited that I get to be near my family and establish new family traditions in our home. Memories that our little guy will carry with him throughout his life.

I’m excited to sleep in my bed again. Ya’ll, my back is so jacked up at this point that I can’t even bend at the waist. I need to sleep like a normal person.

Now it’s your turn, what should I be looking forward to and who wants to be my friend?

Oh, right and resolutions.

I only have two resolutions this month, okay three.

The first is to get through the whole month doing Whole30. It’s trendy and I do love me some diet trends. The diet aligns pretty well with some of the reading I’m doing about living with thyroid disease and I’m willing to give it a shot if it helps keep my autoimmune issues in check.

Go on dates with my husband. We’ve worked out a deal with our neighbors where we babysit one another’s little ones for date nights. I want to take as much advantage of this arrangement as possible before we leave.

Pack. Who wants to come help me pack?

What are you resolving for March?

 

 

 

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Apps for Getting Active in the New Year…or whenever http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/01/09/apps-for-getting-active-in-the-new-year-or-whenever/ http://thekimchallenge.com/2017/01/09/apps-for-getting-active-in-the-new-year-or-whenever/#comments Mon, 09 Jan 2017 23:00:08 +0000 http://thekimchallenge.com/?p=12718

Screenshot of the Aaptiv app on my phone

Disclaimer: I have paid full price for the products reviewed below. This review was not paid for by the companies presented monetarily nor in kind.

 One of the most notable changes in my person over the last few months is a serious shift from my former perfectionist tendencies. It used to be that I followed a strict gym going schedule, and when I strayed from that schedule for any reason I would have a hard time getting back on track—I couldn’t just pick up where I left off, I had to start all over again so that I’d have flawless streak of perfect behavior. I was like this with homework during my school days too. Perfectionism is not always a productive personality quirk.

Fast-forward to life with a baby and I’m so proud of every little personal accomplishment. Took a shower? Excellent. Ate vegetables? AMAZING. Left the apartment? All star!

Once The Little Fella was old enough to hang out at the gym daycare center (6 months) while I worked out I started exercising again. I no longer aspire to six sweat sessions a week. I’m pretty happy with three. I’m a total star if I make four. And I don’t sweat it if I only get there once or twice. And since I no longer adhere to a strict training schedule, my workouts are a little more fly by seat of my spandex. I am, after all, getting back in shape after almost a year of very limited activity (I had some complications in my pregnancy that meant I wasn’t allowed to exercise after my first trimester).

While I’ve never been a particularly big fan of fitness based phone apps, I was recently suckered into free trial periods with two apps that I’ve subsequently fallen in love with and now pay for because they’re rocking my new loosey-goosey gym going personality.

The first is Aaptiv (which started out as SkyFit when I downloaded it). Aaptiv has the feel of a live fitness class. The instructors are recorded, not automated, and you have the feeling they’re actually marking the workouts with you while you exercise. The workouts are set and cued to music that’s both up-to-date with popular songs and appropriate to the workout that they’re accompanying. What I like most about this app is that the workouts ever updating and they cover a wide range of exercises, with options for meditation, walking, treadmill, outdoor running, elliptical, yoga, strength training, cycling, and race training programs. You can filter the workouts based on fitness level, length of workout and trainers. Other than cardio equipment, none of the exercises require specific equipment, so while I often do them at the gym I could just as easily do the strength, yoga, or meditation sessions at home while the baby is napping.

I’m a big fan of Aaptiv for forcing me to up my cardio game on the elliptical and treadmill and guiding me through ab and stretch routines—areas I tend to get bored with and give up on quickly. My spin bike is currently covered in baby gear, but once we move and I have time to cycle at home again I’m looking forward to giving their indoor cycling sessions a shot. 

Which brings me to the next one. Running for Weightloss. I’ll admit that I was suckered into this one by a Facebook ad that featured a rapidly shrinking animated woman. While not as elaborate as Aaptiv, I like that that this running app is beginner friendly (it does have beginner, intermediate and advanced options available). I haven’t logged any serious running hours since I broke my foot while training for a half marathon and I am most definitely in beginner running shape. The program options are: Start Running, Running for Weightloss (basically interval training), 5k, and 10k training programs. While the app boasts four different trainer options, the trainers are computer generated voices that offer running cues and varied levels of canned support throughout your run. The playlists are limited, but fine enough—I’ve only really listened to one (the pop music mix) although the upgraded version of the app allows you to use your own music. While this is pretty much a no frills running app; it’s actually a bit more my speed in the novice arena than the Aaptiv beginner runs. I plan on transitioning out of this one as I get a bit more confident in my mileage, but I am enjoying the slow and steady increases in running intervals that the program consists of. Every time my interval increases by another 30 seconds and I don’t die I feel better about myself.

 

Do you use any fitness apps? Which ones?

 

 

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