<![CDATA[becci prather fitness - Blog]]>Thu, 17 Dec 2015 18:40:52 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Aiming For Selfish]]>Wed, 15 Apr 2015 22:50:00 GMThttp://www.beccipratherfitness.com/blog/aiming-for-selfish
Yes, you read that right. I am intentionally aiming to become more selfish. While I realize most people are typically working towards the opposite, I am working really hard to shift my focus and energy inward towards myself: my needs, my wants, my goals and my desires. All with good reason. I promise.

You see, something happens when you become a mother. You take on a new role and this role comes with so much more responsibility (a.k.a., time) than any other role you've held. So much so that you can't even fathom how you ever filled the hours of each day prior to having kids.

This is where you'll currently find me: Mom to Olivia (27 months) and Joah (three months). Bogged down in motherhood, which I absolutely love .. Don't get me wrong. I've never loved a job more. But I've noticed that I've slowly let every ounce of selfish tendency slip away from my core since becoming a mom. There isn't time for it. I'm too busy giving of myself and ensuring these two precious little beings are cared for in a way they deserve all while doing my best to make sure my husband knows he still has a wife. As a result, my needs are typically met last, if at all. I've placed myself at the bottom of the totem pole. Behind wife and mother comes Becci; the identity I held prior to having children. At times, it's hard to remember who I was before kids.

What I've come to realize is that this isn't healthy. The constant giving and pouring out of my time and energy leaves me feeling empty. As a result, I find myself bitter, crabby and unhappy when I don't carve out a little time to indulge myself. I notice myself becoming short with my toddler, which is never a good thing considering a toddler requires an infinite amount of patience. I start throwing myself pity parties, which means I struggle to accomplish things throughout the day and am just generally in a bad mood. As you can imagine, this version of me is not very much fun to be around (my husband will attest to this)!

The solution?
I need to reclaim a bit of my selfish ways. I need to do a better job of asking for what I need. I have no one to blame but myself. My husband doesn't expect I place myself last. It is of my own accord that I've found myself here. I'm no good at making demands of people, but I've discovered I'm not the best ME - wife, mom and individual - when my needs aren't being met. So after being called out by my husband on our recent trip to San Francisco (for not being more vocal about needing breaks, etc.), I've decided that its time to place my focus on speaking up and asking for what I need. [Thank God for the loving, caring man I married and the truth he speaks into our marriage!] Maybe I need an hour to workout at the gym vs at home while my two year old is running laps around me. Maybe I'd like to take a leisurely ride on my bike or go shopping (for something other than diapers and groceries). Maybe I'll pay a visit to my favorite cafe (Urth) for my beloved matcha green tea or maybe I'll just do nothing at all and soak up the silence and stillness around me. The point is it doesn't matter what I do, but that I take time for ME! I know what I need in order to stay sane in this game of parenting and it's time I seek it out on a regular basis.

I understand this won't be easy for me since its a habit that needs breaking and as we all know, old habits die hard. However, I'm committed to becoming better at voicing my needs and seeing that I'm given time to care for myself - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I'm excited to rediscover a bit of selfish Becci because I know she will only make me a better mom and wife. I deserve it, my husband deserves it, and my kids deserve it!

Moms, do you ever feel selfish asking for time to yourself? How do you practice self care?

<![CDATA[Lentils and Farro With Arugula Pesto]]>Tue, 24 Mar 2015 20:46:59 GMThttp://www.beccipratherfitness.com/blog/lentils-and-farro-with-arugula-pesto
I love when I stumble across a recipe that is so good it quickly becomes one of my "go-to" meals. In order to make that list it must be packed full of nutrition, relatively cheap, quick to make, and most importantly, good! This dish hits all of those categories and is incredibly fast to pull together if you've made the farro, lentils and pesto ahead of time.
This recipe is a great way to get acquainted with lentils, which are a nutritional powerhouse and a staple in many countries including those where populations are primary vegetarian/vegan. They're part of the legume family and come in a variety of colors with the most popular being black (or beluga), green and red. What makes them so special is their nutritional profile. They pack a whopping punch of protein (nearly 30% of lentils' calories come from protein) and dietary fiber. Additionally, they are high in folate and other B vitamins (like thiamine and B6) and contain high amounts of important trace minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. This makes them an excellent choice for women trying to conceive, those who are already pregnant and those individuals eating vegetarian or vegan. Lentils can also be soaked overnight (sprouted) to enhance the bioavailability of dietary minerals.

Black lentils are highlighted in this dish and have a distinctive earthy taste. The addition of pesto masks a little bit of the lentil flavor, which can be helpful for getting first-timers on board with trying them. You can find lentils next to the grains/beans in your local market or typically in the bulk bins - my favorite way to buy them!

Lentils and Farro With Arugula Pesto
(adapted from Fitness Magazine)
Serves 4

3 cups water
1 cup farro
3 cups cooked black lentils
1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 cups arugula

For the pesto:
3 cups arugula
1/4 cup shaved parmesan (optional)
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

In medium saucepan, bring water and farro to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender (30 minutes). Drain, return to pan and toss with vinegar.

Meanwhile, make the pesto. In a food processor pulse arugula, parmesan (if using), pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper until combined. With motor running, slowly add olive oil and blend until smooth.

In a large bowl combine farro, lentils and tomatoes. Mix in pesto and stir to combine. Place a small handful or arugula in each serving bowl, add farro/lentils and a few shavings of parmesan cheese (optional). Season with salt and pepper.

<![CDATA[A Word on Comparison's]]>Mon, 23 Mar 2015 01:50:56 GMThttp://www.beccipratherfitness.com/blog/a-word-on-comparisons
A few weeks ago I heard a great message at church centered around the quote above. Take a few minutes to simply stop and ponder these words for the truth they speak.

I've been working on being more mindful about passing judgment and making comparisons this year. I don't think I'm particularly bad when it comes to this, but I do know it is an area where improvement can be made. I think this has been a particular point of focus for me due to the fact that I'm now a mom and have two little people following me around. If you don't think your wee one is paying attention to how you act, respond, and carry yourself throughout the day think again! They are much more in tune with what is going on then you likely give him/her credit for.

As I've been watching this play out in my own life lately it has made me keenly aware of the way I choose to react to situations throughout the day. I'm starting to realize that our two year old daughter is watching each move and hearing every word that comes out of my mouth (and has been for quite some time). She is learning to respond to the world around her based on how mommy (and daddy) react so I want to make sure I'm setting a positive example for her.

Enter the Theodore Roosevelt quote. As a female, it is so hard to escape the comparison game. Guys are comparing us to those super models on the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover as well as their last girlfriend. As females we compare ourselves to other women as well as those impossibly skinny yet busty figures that the media tells us are "beautiful" and "perfect". I've noticed how this is particularly a problem when it comes to pregnancy and post natal recovery. There is so much judgment passed on the various shapes of pregnant bellies (i.e., "Look how tiny your bump is!") and many blessings lauded at those select few who are able to lose the baby weight within a short time period. Before you know it you've created a daily habit of constantly sizing up and comparing yourself to every other woman you encounter. Down the deep, dark hole of comparison you have fallen.

I love this line from Lululemon Athletica's mantra: "Jealousy works the opposite way you want it to". Have you ever stopped long enough to process how you actually feel after comparing yourself to that model on your Cosmopolitan magazine? Personally, envying someone's life, job, body, etc. never leaves me feeling on top of the world.

While I can't say I've completely cured myself of falling prey to the comparison game, I have made an intentional effort to focus on myself (my health, my body, my soul, my roles) vs others. Keeping my personal goals in front of me and thinking of the improvements that are needed to take me there has helped. It doesn't leave me as much time to focus on how fast the girl next to me on the treadmill is running or how many push ups she just finished. Instead, I am able to keep my head in the game and focus on the task at hand: completing my workout to the best of my ability. Paying compliments and lifting up other women (those I know personally as well as strangers) has been another game changer for me. It is a powerful release of jealousy to truly be happy and wish well other strong women. If only we could all be so kind and move towards a society where we build each other up instead of tearing each other down. What a world that would be!

My challenge to you this week is to choose happiness over jealousy. Choose positive over negative. Choose to see yourself as beautifully imperfect rather than inferior to anyone. Put the emphasis on YOU: where you want to be and what it will take to make that happen. Remember, wellness is multi-dimensional and comprised of more than just physicality. Get your head on straight, fill it with good thoughts (for yourself and others) and you will be shocked at how the other areas of your life will change for the better.

Is this an area where you need improvement? If so, what steps can you begin to take to free yourself from those feelings of jealousy?

<![CDATA[A Long Overdue Update]]>Sun, 15 Mar 2015 17:38:41 GMThttp://www.beccipratherfitness.com/blog/a-long-overdue-update

I can't believe it's been nearly eight months since my last post. Well, actually I can. It has been a long and trying last 10-12 months in our home. I found out I was pregnant with our second baby one year ago in March. The onset of severe morning sickness was immediate just as it had been with my first pregnancy.

We were prepared for me to be sick again since I had experienced it before. However, we were secretly hoping I would have the opposite experience this time around: floating carefree through nine months where I'd never felt better. I was not so lucky.

If you follow me on Instagram (if you're not, follow me @beccipratherfitness!) or my Facebook page then you probably saw the bits and pieces I shared regarding my pregnancy. For those of you that are just joining me I'll quickly get you up to speed.

My extreme morning sickness started at 4-5 weeks. By extreme I mean 24/7 overwhelming nauseous, vomiting, sensitivity to tons of food scents, no appetite, unable to pinpoint any food "that sounded good", etc. This was nothing new to me. At 19/20 weeks we discovered that my cervix was already effaced and "funneling" (starting to dilate on the side nearest my uterus). Ultrasounds at this time also revealed I had a placenta previa. I was immediately placed on weekly hormone injections and bed rest (read: unable to exercise, to care for my toddler, walk the dog, clean the house, squat to put laundry in the dryer, lift anything over 10-15 lbs, or even stroll one block). I can't even articulate how hard this was for a highly active person like myself. Thankfully, our baby was growing and thriving so I tried to keep that at the forefront of my mind. However, each day was a roller coaster of emotions given the drastic change in lifestyle. I was so blessed to have an amazing doula by my side (LA peeps, check her out!) who referred me to an equally amazing chiropractor. Those two women were blessings to me and my pregnancy. Fast forward to 37 weeks when we found out my placenta had moved just enough for my OB to allow me to try for a baginal delivery. At 38 weeks I spontaneously went into labor and in just two hours we welcomed a perfectly healthy baby boy, Joah David. The injections and hormones worked and helped to keep our baby boy in the womb until God was ready to bring him into our lives. We are so fortunate.

This brings us to the current day. Our sweet boy is one week shy of turning three months! Time is passing so incredibly fast. I'm getting to know Joah more each day as he wakes up and interacts with us all. I'm still learning how to juggle a newborn and a two year old, but I get better at it each day. I will admit that it seems much easier the second time around. I don't have the same fears I had the first time. I am more confident in myself and my role as a mother. I am more relaxed with my parenting. Life is good!

Workouts, blogging, etc. have temporarily taken a backseat as I adjust to life with two and give my body the time it deserves to bond with baby. I am fortunate to have quick and smooth deliveries and to bounce back to prebaby weight within a week or so of giving birth so I'm not focused on losing weight. My main goals at this time are to regain my strength, muscle definition, and cardiovascular endurance. Things that were quickly lost once I went on bed rest. For me, health is not about being skinny, wearing a certain size or fitting back into pre pregnancy clothes by a certain timeline.. Health is about feeling physically fit in my daily life. Having the energy to chase after my two year old at the park and to power through the day with a newborn who is nursing through the night. Health is about having a muscular butt that fills out my jeans because I know that this gluteal complex is responsible for motoring me around all day, allowing me to get through runs, and because well.. It's my husband's favorite physical attribute. Health is about always working towards a better and stronger version of myself.

As I navigate this new journey I beg for your patience as I learn how to work blogging back into my life. I can't promise a post every day, but I do hope to post at least, once per week. Baby steps.

I would love to know what health looks like to you!