Motivation To Keep Breastfeeding, Even When It Sucks

Motivation to Keep Breastfeeding Even When It Sucks  |  The Organic Beauty Blog

Breastfeeding is one of those aspects of motherhood that you just expect to come naturally.  We’re mammals after all, right?  Do mama bears and lions really struggle with low supply, sore nipples, and mastitis? Obviously our animal counterparts are spared the emotional and lifestyle dramas and sacrifices that come with choosing to breastfeed their young — the stigma of feeding in public or breastfeeding a toddler, the limits on alcohol and potential dietary restrictions, the feeling of being totally tethered to your baby at all times (especially if, like mine, they have no interest in drinking pumped milk from any receptacle).  Even with those particularly human challenges aside, it just seems like it should be easier to do something our bodies were built to do.  But it isn’t.  At least not for many of us mamas.

Cartoon Inspiration Brings Health Motivation

By Callie McBride

I find that some of my favorite motivation to stay healthy and happy comes from the Internet. Whether on Facebook or Twitter, Tumblr or Instagram, the constant progression of technology brings with it endless resources for support for, education toward, interaction with all things health and wellness.

Think about it: there are forums to join when you want to become vegan (thekindlife.com); there are Facebook pages to “like” to receive updates about health and wellness events (wellandgoodnyc.com); and there are plenty of Twitter accounts to follow and browse through feed for the latest trends and tips in holistic living (@NU_Health).

For me, cartoon images are what get the job done. They make me think, laugh, and become inspired to take my health to entirely new levels with unique recipes and challenging workouts. C’mon? How does that hilarious little broccoli man not make you smile?

What’s so fantastic about online resources is that so many people are attracted to them, so you will constantly find new content: foods and recipes, workouts and exercise classes, new information about health benefits, and even people to connect with. Events such as vegan meet-ups, central park running groups, and free cooking classes exist for a reason: they allow like-minded folks like us to experience the joys of healthy living as one big unit full of support and understanding.

Here are a few resources to peruse on your lunch break or lazy weekend:

Facebook:

Facebook.com/nuhealthandwellness

https://www.facebook.com/FullyRawKristina

https://www.facebook.com/TaraStilesLiving

Twitter:

@nu_health

@MindBodyGreen

@HealthyLiving (Huffington Post)

Tumblr/Blogs:

tully-lou.tumblr.com (an Australian yoga clothing brand’s cute inspiration page)

The Chalkboard Mag (Pressed Juicery’s online vision board of health and wellness)

John Douillard’s LifeSpa (an awesomely nerdy and incredibly informative resource for ayurvedic health)

Okay, I think I’ve made my point. The real business here is the adorable and pleasant cartoon inspiration I found throughout the week that made me laugh and consider my relationship with food. Enjoy, and this weekend, spend some time finding your own motivation! Comment and share yourfavorite sources of inspiration.

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{All images via fitnessporn}

5 Great Mini-Workouts You Can Do Everyday!

Following up on my recent post “Start Working Out! Now!” I wanted to share some great, mini-workouts that anyone, even Mrs. BusyBusy Pants McOverworkedstein, can fit into every day life.  By no means do these mini-workouts take the place of a real, bona fide exercise regimen, but they are a great place to get started incorporating movement into everyday life, or to keep moving and burning those calories between workout days.  When you have a regular exercise routine, you’ll find that your body starts to physically crave movement, like your muscles are itching to be flexed!  These little mini-workouts are great tricks to scratch that itch, boost energy and maximize calorie burning all day long.

Photo: SeeJaneRun.com

  1. The Subway Ballerina:  While waiting for the train, I often find myself sub-consciously doing pretty little ballerina moves that are super-toning, but still subtle enough to not attract too much attention.  Opt for little leg lifts (lifting leg behind you, reps of 15 per side) and little plié/calf-raises (in first position, squat slightly and then get on your toes, come down, repeat. Reps of 15), that will tone up your butt, calves and thighs, while you’re reading Lucky Mag and waiting for your train!  Can’t find a seat on the train? Do your pliés while you’re standing!

    Photo: Lulus.com

  2. The Stairmaster:  You know you should be taking the stairs, but now, actually do it!  Leaving your building, going up to your office… any time you have a chance to take the stairs (particularly going up), do it!  It’s great cardio, and a wonderful workout for your legs

    Photo: Sheknows.com

  3. The Compulsive Walker:  This is the easiest daily mini-workout you can do.  If you live in an urban environment, this is definitely a lot easier.  Get off the train a stop early on your walk to work, and at the end of the day, pick a station slightly further away, so you can have a nice, long walk to end your day!  If you live in a rural or suburban environment, pick a parking spot further away from your destination, so you can sneak a longer walk in.  For lunch, skip the car, and get the gang together to walk to your favorite lunch spot! In the evening, a wonderful activity to do as a couple or family (or even solo!) is taking a nice walk after dinner!  It gets everything moving, improves digestion, and is another great way to sneak in some physical activity!

    Photo: Getty Images

  4. The Office Iron Pumper:  Depending on what you do for a living, there is tons of time throughout the day when you can multitask in some exercise throughout your workday.  When I had an office job, I, along with a lot of the women I worked with, kept some light weights in their cubicles to do bicep curls (3 sets of 10-15 reps per arm), or overhead triceps extensions (3 sets of 10) while talking on the phone at work.  Don’t want to bring weights to work?  You can use water bottles, soup cans, or any other comfortable 2-4 lb. item!

    Photo: Tyler Edwards/Photodisc/Getty Images

  5. The Ball Chair Baby:  I am a big fan of the exercise ball office chair.  In addition to being amazing for stability, posture, and core strength, the ball chair comes with a ton of awesome exercises you can do, right at your desk!  Your ball chair should come with a little booklet of workouts, but my favorites are seated leg lifts, seated side crunches, and trunk rotations.  You can do these throughout the day to maximize time spent in front of the computer, and tone up that core!

 

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Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor

Start Working Out! Now!

Yeah, yeah… You don’t have time to workout. You’re so, insanely busy that you can’t fit in 20 minutes on a mat in front of your tv with your favorite exercise DVD. Blah, blah, blah. Listen, sister, we both know that’s a load of hooey. Time isn’t the issue. Everyone has an extra 20 minutes, or can make room for it. Sometimes it’s a bit of the ol’ laziness, sometimes it’s simply not knowing what workouts to do (or which won’t make you cringe). Often times it’s a legitimate (albeit pretty suppressed) fear that if you just make the time, you’ll be out of excuses for why you’re out of shape, or a little heavier than you’d like to be. You would actually have to start living the most fulfilled and awesome life you can, which takes some work and commitment. Whatever your reasons, make it a point to cut the crap with yourself. Today. Right now. Not tomorrow, or after this weekend, or when work calms down. Now.

Don’t know where to start? A big mistake we tend to make with our health is getting super ambitious, biting off a little more than we can currently chew, and then petering out when we lose interest or focus. How many times have you vowed to start working out 5 days a week, or to cut out sugar completely, or to eat greens twice a day, everyday? How long did that last?

The trick is to ease yourself into big lifestyle changes, that you can then build on until you get where you want to be.  Start making movement a part of your everyday life.  EVERYDAY.. not just on your workout days.  Do some stretches when you wake up, some leg lifts or pliés on the subway platform, bicep curls while you’re on the phone, and walk, walk, walk.  Up the stairs, down the street, walk more, walk always.  Check out 5 Great Mini-Workouts You Can Do Everyday!

Once your body starts to get the hang of regular, daily, intentional movement, it starts to crave it, which makes motivating yourself to work out that much easier.

  • Give yourself manageable workout goals.  Don’t have a gym membership?  Don’t wait until you get one… (that’s another excuse in and of itself!).  Pick up some workout videos or hell, even get on YouTube and search for any workout you like and GET MOVING!
  • If you’re starting at zero, shoot for 15-20 minutes just three days a week, and build your way up from there.  Schedule those 15-20 minutes into your calendar and make it a non-negotiable event.
  • Commit to your consistent routine for a few weeks, and then add on.  Make it 20 minutes 4 days a week, or up your workouts to 40 minutes.

Don’t start by worrying about the how’s or when’s right now.  Just. Start. Moving.  Losing weight, getting fit, eliminating cellulite, aging gracefully and slowly, and decreasing risk of all kinds of illness will not happen any other way.  You owe it to yourself to start today.

Stay tuned for my upcoming series of posts focusing on all things exercise.  The best workouts, videos, and guides out there, sorted for your workout personality!

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Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Holistic Health & Nutrition Counselor