Friday, July 20, 2007

Our bodies, our choice

My summer "project" that I mentioned in my "excuses" post is to get back into shape after going through my pregnancy with Lily over the past year. I figured that with David home for the summer I had a better chance of getting decent chunks of time without kiddos in order to work out. I also thought that I would have more help at home so I could concentrate more closely on what I'm eating, as opposed to grabbing the last two chicken nuggets that Moses didn't want and using caffeine to supply the rest of the necessary energy needed to keep up with him (ok, let's be honest, to run behind him frantically picking up the pieces of my life as he tears past).
Spending so much time and energy on getting into shape has left me thinking about it a lot also and I had one thought that David said may be worth sharing.
* For each pregnancy that a woman goes through she will lose 1.5 lbs of muscle (resulting in a lowering of her metabolism by 75 calories a day and an increase of 8 lbs in one year)
* The older we get the harder it is for our fat-cells to release fat.
* Breast-feeding takes massive amounts of energy and calcium (which will deplete our bone density if we don't do something about it).
* Pregnancy takes a tole on your joints, ligaments, and back.
* Exercise, both aerobic and weight training can help restore your lost fitness.

The larger point that I am trying to get across is that each pregnancy puts our boies through the ringer. Now, if you are going to have 1 - 2.5 kids this doesn't really mean that much to you. I mean, so what if you are going to lose 3 lbs of muscle? So what if you spend 20 months of your life being stretched to the max? No big deal if your back gets a little out of whack and puts some strain on your joints. Besides, I'll be done having kids before I'm 30, so I don't have to worry about my fat cells getting more stubborn as I get older - I won't be putting on 25 - 50 lbs in 10 months anymore.
OR...maybe you're a Catholic wife and mother who is at least open to possibility of God having other family planning ideas for you. Maybe, heaven forbid, you are even hoping to have 5+ children! Well, if this is true then we are now talking about losing 7.5 lbs of muscle (that's 35 lbs in one year of calories that won't be getting burned just by you being alive). That is some serious back, joint and ligament strain without those back and abdominal muscles that you have been losing with each pregnancy. Not to mention the fact that you now have 4 children to keep up with and you are completely drained because you're breastfeeding number 5. Not to mention those poor, sad, density sacrificing bones that haven't been able to grow for years b/c of the lack of weight bearing activity in your life.
In fact...your body might be presenting you with so many aches and pains and you may be so drained that you think enough is enough and, legitimately, decide you just can't physically go through another pregnancy.
This is the possible image of myself that runs through my head when I want to stop running. It helps inspire and motivate me to keep trying to get fit in a way that simply losing weight can't. I want to be open to life, to be PRO-life in this area as in all areas of my life. I know that there are going to be enough things in life that will challenge my willingness and excitement about being open to life - I don't want my body to be one of them. Exercising is my newest participation in Pro-life activism. I want to be a lean, mean, finely-tuned baby growing machine, if ever God has use for one.

P.S. Here are two books that I've found very reliable and helpful.


"Every morning I read two things, the Holy Bible and the New York Times. That way I know what both sides are up to." - Oliver North

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Love-Kresta vacation 2007

James' 18th birthday was the center of the family vacation this year, as he invited 10 of his closest friends and enemies to join us Up North. Our Up North (to non-michigander readers out there, you really must understand that every self-respecting Michigan resident vacations Up North and there are at least as many versions of Up North as there are vacationers in this Great State), is just 2.5 (3.5 according to my mom) hours NW of A2 at a lake home that friends of my parents have owned and lent out to us and others for the entirety of my life. I love that I am now taking my children there.
Anyway, the house is in the shape of an octogon and reminds me very much of Devine and Weston's space shuttle in C.S. Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet. The side of the house that has the bedrooms is always dark - no matter what it is like outside. Whereas the other side of almost inevitable sunny and hot. You can experience all seasons just by walking around the house once.
This year was really very nice, James's friends were fun to be around and added a lively element with their multiple-island game of capture the flag and their nude streaking in the dunes (I wasn't there to witness this, thank goodness - the stories of the sunburns were funny though). Moses and Vid had a wonderful time together playing air hockey, pool, trains and splashing each other at the beach and even getting along most of the time.
It's always great going up there and it's just really a gift to be able to take my kids on vacation to the same place that I've been going every since my mom was pregnant with me and where David and I honeymooned. Every year it gets better.

Best Buddies

Maxin' Relaxin' (this lasted for about as long as it took me to take the picture)

"What? You got a problem with my mohawk?"

Dad/Grampy at a GREAT Children's Museum in Grand Rapids

Two lovely ladies

Bathing beauties

Could he BE any cooler?!
Gotta' love that look, birthday boy


It's been so long since I've blogged...I've been feeling very guilty about it. Summer is such a hard time to regularly do anything. We've been on vacation with my family and have had 2 birthdays in the past couple weeks and now Moses and Lily both have colds and next week we go on vacation again. Plus David and I both have summer projects that we are working on and those things have thrown me so off my schedule. Phew. I've now given my pathetic little excuses and blogging can commence hence-forth.