All posts by tesspartridge

Why Didn’t Anyone Ever Tell Me…

That sometimes motherhood blows?  Yep, I said it.  Sometimes being a mom, plainly and simply, sucks.  But according to everyone’s Facebook and Instagram posts, motherhood is all rainbows and butterflies. What the hell? Am I alone here?

In all honesty, it is hands down the hardest thing I have ever done.  It is by far the most tiring thing I have ever done (In college pre-season we did 3-a-days and mommy-hood easily tops the cake). It’s without a fringe of a doubt the most unpredictable, 24/7 job I have ever partaken in.  It’s the only job I have EVER heard of that never allows you to you disengage. (Even when you sleep, I swear you’re still 1/3 awake, listening for that tiny whimper.)

Sure, before and during my pregnancy, I got the broad picture… Less sleep, less socializing, less travel, less sex…will seriously never be an issue for my husband … and less spontaneity. Not too bad right? Wrong.

NO ONE told me the not so obvious details like:
Before you have children…
-Cherish your long showers when you have time to just. stand. still. under the warm, falling water.
-Cherish going #2 with a book in hand, instead of a baby (yes, this happens).
-Cherish staying up late and not having to drink 26138291 cups of coffee the next day.
-Cherish cooking meals that include 4 or more ingredients.
-Cherish eating a meal that includes sitting in a chair, at a table, opposed to standing on a floor, at a counter top.
-Cherish wearing makeup instead of clothes covered in vomit.
-Cherish the absence of spit up, in your house, in your car, at the store, and on a walk, you are so unknowingly blessed with currently.
-Cherish not having to get through your day doing everything with one hand, and sometimes your feet.  (I have mastered the ‘toe pick up.’)
-Cherish leaving the house like this-
Purse and keys. Walk to car. Get in car. Go.
Instead of like this-
Diaper bag.  Make sure diaper bag has diapers and wipes. Paci. Sophie the giraffe.  Swaddle.  Insert baby into stroller.  Walk to car. Realize you forgot purse and keys.  Walk to house.  Grab purse and keys.  Walk back to car.  Put baby in car seat.  Put paci in baby.  Put Sophie next to baby.  Cover baby with swaddle.  Put diaper bag in front seat (where it’s handy).  Fold up 40 lb stroller. Put 40 lb stroller into trunk.  Get into car.  Take a shot (kidding, but you’ll have the urge, I promise).  Go.
-Cherish taking your dear, sweet time getting ready. If your man gives you shit, tell him to shove it.  Blow dry your hair, girl. Apply 5 coats of mascara.  Cover up every pimple perfectly.  Bask in the delight of full face of flawlessly applied make up and beautifully done hair.
-Cherish seeing your friends from near and far whenever you deem it necessary.  It just won’t happen as much.
-Cherish not having to leave events early! Baby gets fussy. Baby gets hungry. Baby has an early ass bedtime!
-Cherish your dog! My poor, poor, neglected, stepped on too often, dog.
-Cherish grocery shopping without having to stop half way through, only to try again tomorrow.
-Cherish your messy house. Yes, your messy house will get more f$@% up!
-Cherish doing 7 loads of laundry a week. You’ll soon be doing 70.
-Cherish non-segmented sleep. Sure, I sleep about 6-7 hours a day. In 30 minute increments. Sometimes standing up.
-Cherish yourself and your time, because before you know it, you will so willingly put the most precious gift you could ever be given, before yourself on a minute to minute basis, day in, and day out.
-Cherish the you, you currently know. I have a baby boy who has taught me some of my biggest strengths and weaknesses, all in 6 short months.
-Lastly, cherish the world as you currently know it because although motherhood sucks sometimes, your heart is about to overflow with a love you’ve never before experienced.

So yea, motherhood is freaking hard and freaking frustrating and freaking unpredictable but it’s also so worth it. The special moments that can last only seconds trump the crappy moments that can last hours. Hence, why Facebook and Instagram are filled with pictures and stories depicting happy babies, who sleep through the night and who hit every milestone on time. Our minds tend to capture, hold onto and share the good moments and all together, forget the bad.  However, from a new mom who experiences them all too often, the BAD times do exist, regardless of what your friends post on Facebook or tell you at the beauty salon.

To all the mommies out there who have terrible days too: After you put the babes to bed, have a beer and know you are not alone. Not in your irrevocable love , your fleeting loathe or your brew at the end of the day.

& To the soon to be mommies, don’t be scared! Just know you are in line for the ride of your life; lots of ups, downs, turn arounds and whoop-di-doos. Sometimes all you can do if throw your hands up, scream and enjoy the ride.

20140617-091230-33150356.jpg

Advertisements

Tips, running throughout your pregnancy.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Running throughout your WHOLE pregnancy can be done.  Here are some learned pointers that ended up helping me along the way…
Please bear in mind, these worked for me!  It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll work for everyone.
photo (1)
1) First and foremost, BEFORE you become pregnant be able to carry out the exercise routine you wish to perform WHILE you are pregnant.  If you want to run three miles every day from conception to birth, you should be able to run three miles every day before the sperm meets the egg!

Pregnancy, in a sense, makes you feel more out of shape then you really are.
Look at it this way:

Being in shape x pregnancy (feel out of shape) = hard

Being out of shape x pregnancy (feel out of shape) = 2x as hard

Planning to combat being out of shape and pregnancy at the same time is not safe for you or your baby AND would blow a$$!  Think about it…As your growing BABY puts all these new, crazy strains on your body, YOU also plan on putting crazy strains on your body via new work out regiment? Girl, you cray!

2) Don’t take too many days off in a row.  When your pregnant your body is changing rapidly (although it may not seem like it, pregnancy is a quick change for the human body.  Hence, stretch marks) on a DAILY basis, you need to adapt your ‘active body’ right along with it.

Say you take a week off and in that week you also gain 5lbs.  After your 7 days of rest you go out for a jog.  Not only has your belly grown, but you’ve also gained weight- both of which will change your gait and put extra strain on your muscles and joints.  It probably won’t kill your running game but it will definitely leave you sore in places you didn’t realize existed.

I never went more than two days in a row without doing some form of a workout.

3) Listen to your body.  Remember it’s no longer just about you. Walk if your body is screaming at you to slow down.  Quit if your body is screaming at you to stop.  You are not trying to win any medals or get that six pack you always wanted (ha).  You are trying to stay active because of the numerous benefits it brings to you and your babes not only throughout your pregnancy but also your labor and your health post labor!

There were days when I was tired. So. Dang. Gone. Tired.  I would tell myself, “Just do one mile.” Sometimes I would get started and only do that one mile, other times I would get cruising, start feeling good and end up doing five.

4) Pregnancy is not a free pass to eat anything and everything you want.  I’m not here to formulate a diet plan for you, but just be smart.  Most Americans with access to an Internet (you) know the basics to healthy eating habits.  If you really are clueless, google it. Google knows everything.

You have so called cravings, you say?  Cravings are, to be brutally honest, bullshit.  Craving pickles?  You need more salt.  Craving sweets? You need more protein.  Craving meat?  You need more fat and protein.

I’m a decent eater. Sweets and beer (that was obviously not an issue) are my biggest vices. Sweets go to my belly and beers go to my ass– if I don’t practice moderation.  I’ve attempted to cut sweets out of my diet but that always leads to a Baskin Robbins 3 scoop sundae with caramel, marshmallow, hot fudge, cookie dough chunks, and whip cream on top, hold the cherry, please, at the end of my sweet-less week.  Decidedly so, I do better allowing myself one small treat a day!

5) Cross train!  I’m not writing this blog to promote running and running alone.  Before I became pregnant I was playing in a soccer league twice a week, lifting once a week and running in between. Once I became pregnant I could no longer play soccer but I lifted until the day I gave birth. Like literally, the day I went into labor I ran 3.5 miles and got a good lift in. When you’re pregnant it is SO beneficial to be STRONG.

6) Set goals. Sign up for races.  If you don’t you may burn out or give up.

My “long” runs while I was pregnant were 5-6.5 miles. I promised my husband I wouldn’t run further than 6.5, except for one run during the 7th month, in which I would jog 7, one during the 8th month in which I would jog 8 and lastly one run during the 9th month in which I would jog 9!

7) Call me Captain Obvious, but bring a dang cell phone.  Whether you are 5 weeks pregnant or 35 weeks pregnant, anything can happen at anytime regardless of what you’re doing.

Along with emergencies, cell phones are great to GPS your runs (I use the Map My Run app) and to document your progress along the way.

8) Record your mileage!  Take photos of your routes, belly included! Even now when I am running and pushing my 5 month old son in the Bob I get to tell him, “You know, you’ve actually been here lots of times previously. But last time you were here, you were in my tummy.” Or “We ran over a 1,000 miles together, Thatcher Bishop.”

photo 1 (4)

Labor and Post Birth Tid-Bits

So,
After running on average 6 days/week (accumulating close to 35 miles/week) and lifting 2-3 days/week throughout my pregnancy, what was the result?

My labor was text book.  My water broke at 5:30 PM on Oct 26, 2013 (37 weeks, 6 days). I started contracting 30 minutes later. When I got to the hospital I was 2-3 cm dilated (“take that!” to the nurse who told me I had probably just peed my pants because I was only 37 weeks) I had an epidural at 5 cm.  No pitocin.  Pushing was more painful than exhausting.  I pushed on pretty much every friggin contraction. And no, I was not one of the lucky ones who only pushed 3 times.  My son was born at 6:35 AM.  Thirty minutes later I walked from labor and delivery to our hospital room.  The nurse told my husband it was one of the smoothest labors she’s seen.  Whether or not she tells everyone that, we’ll never know but I like to believe my husband and I, as a team, did a damn good job (He was such an amazing support.)

Daddy
Daddy
My pre-pregnancy weight was 155. When I delivered I weighed 171. That’s a 16lb weight gain.

My baby boy weighed 7lbs, was 20 inches long and was/is as healthy as can be.

Thatcher Bishop
Thatcher Bishop
I chose to breastfeed and had very few issues.  The beginning WAS a learning experience for me and my baby boy.  Though I would say we crossed the beginner to intermediate to advanced thresholds quickly.  My supply was never an issue.  Some scrutinize that exercising decreases supply– they cray.  In my experience this is absolutely false. When I was pumping I get 5-6 oz…out of each boobie!

My pelvic floor is as strong as ever! I do not leak and do not have to sprint to the bathroom unexpectedly.  A lot of my friends told me my bathroom habits would never be the same after birth, especially SINCE I was running so much.  Not true.  I believe running (and especially lifting) helped STRENGTHEN my pelvic floor.  Lets be honest here, during runs in the later months you’re basically doing one long Kegel exercise the entire duration!

I went on my first post pregnancy run 7 days postpartum. Did it hurt?  No.  Feel a little funny?  Yes.

I ran 6.5 miles 2 weeks postpartum and also started developing iStroll workouts.

After my first long-ish run post partum
After my first long-ish run postpartum
I was down to my pre-pregnancy weight the same day I went on my first run,  7 days postpartum.  A week later I weighed 7 lbs less, which is pretty much where I have stayed- 143-148.

Throughout my pregnancy I never got “swollen”.  Water weight was never ever an issue. My wedding bands always fit and I never once got sausage toes or ankles! That idea is still so foreign to me.

My resting heart rate while I was pregnant was always around 58. My blood pressure was always in the 115-110 over 70 range.

8 months!
8 months!
I never purchased maternity pants. Most (some were too high waisted) of my jeans would button beneath my bump.

& Lastly, 5 months later I still feel great!

Update: 1.5 years later and with the development of iStroll I’m in the best shape ever and do not doubt that I could do it all again! 

  

Third Trimester Running

“So close, yet so far” was my third trimester mantra.

big ol belly awaiting pancakes
big ol belly after destroying pancakes

The last three months were inevitably the toughest.  It was around this time that I realized my belly growth, the amount of energy I had, and the quality of my runs ebbed and flowed in 2-3 week cycles. I would have a super, super shitty week; dragged ass throughout the day and was simply tiiired on my runs.  Like could have finished running, laid on the road and fallen into a deep sleep. The next week or so I would feel great, but my belly would be bigger!  My near and dear friend and (at the time) pregnant running partner Megyn, experienced the same cycle.  I’m positive it correlates with baby growth spurts.  Your body is using up all your energy one week to manufacture your little one inside of you and the next week, your baby and belly has clearly grown. Tune into your body- your energy, your weight and your belly growth and see if you encounter the same thing.  I imagine you don’t have to run while you’re pregnant to experience this ebb and flow and exercising just accentuates it.

The bigger I got, the longer my post run recovery time lengthened. After a long run I would be mildly sore and tired for a few hours. Usually sitting down and relaxing and having a big, healthy meal did the trick.

The WORST part of running (or even walking for that matter ) during the third trimester was having to pee ALL the time.  With every damn stride, I had to pee!  I would be running and feel like I had the world’s worst UTI and could stop and stand still and no longer feel like I had to go.  I FEARED going on walks or runs without knowing where the nearest restroom was.  The ‘having to pee 24/7’ urge hit me at 29 weeks pregnant.  I remember it plain as day because I practically peed my pants on a popular boardwalk in NY.  I was visiting family in Long Beach and while out for a jog had to dive into a squat behind a bench because I started peeing my pants OUT OF NO WHERE.  One minute I would be fine and the next I felt the ‘crossing my legs, holding my crotch, bouncing up and down, waiting in the bathroom line’ urge to pee- the absolute worse!

I tried everything to subdue the peeing urge.  I tried not drinking water before my early AM runs.  I made sure I peed 45893274985 times before walking out the door.  I tried holding it because “maybe its psychological.” (It’s not!).  I even caved, went against my intuition and tried a belly band.  None of it worked.

A couple things that DID help were accepting it and planning routes with bathrooms, whether it was a port a potty, gas station or restaurant, I made sure there was a place to stop, drop and pee  on my route!  On some 5 mile runs, I would stop 5 times.  No joke- the WORST (my poor running partner too!). Next was cutting out coffee before I ran. The caffeine in coffee has a strong diuretic affect and the caffeine itself stimulates our little bladders making the urge to have to go, even worse!

Hubby and me after the Wormsloe 10k
Hubby and me after the Wormsloe 10k

Since I mentioned it, I’ll touch on the belly band.  A belly band never seemed like a good idea to me.  First and foremost, god created women to carry babies.  We 100% capable of doing so.  The moment you introduce a crutch, aka a belly support band, you are making yourself dependent on the crutch.  As your belly and baby grow, your body will adapt and strengthen itself in the places that need strengthening.  The moment you introduce a support band is the moment your body will stop fully adapting in the ways it needs to adapt because it has an external support.

So after that rant, why did it I try it? I tried EVERYTHING to help with the peeing issue, but the belly band too did not help. On top of not relieving my urge to pee with every. single. step, it chaffed me and was hot! I did not like it, not one bit.

Our dog did nine too!
Our dog did nine too!

My 3rd trimester miles, notice I did cut back towards the end… sort of.

28 weeks Aug 20, 7 Aug 21, 5 +lift Aug 22, 5.5 Aug 23, 6 Aug 24, 4.5 + lift Aug 25 off Aug 26, 5
29 weeks Aug 27, 7 Aug 28, 5.5 Aug 29, 6 Aug 30, 5 Aug 31, 5 Sept 1, off Sept 2, 5.5 Sept 3, 6.5
30 weeks Sept 4, 5.5 Sept 5, 3.5–lift Sept 6, 5 Sept 7, 5.5 Sept 8, off Sept 9, 4 + lift Sept 10, 6.5
31 weeks Sept 11, off Sept 12,  5 Sept 13, 6 Sept 14, 5 Sept 15, off Sept 16, 5.5 Sept 17, 5.5 
32 weeks Sept 18, 4 Sept 19, 6 Sept 20, 3.5 Sept 21, 8 Sept 22, off Sept 23, 5 Sept 24, 3.5 + lift
33 weeks Sept 25, 6 Sept 26, 5.5 Sept 27, 4.5 Sept 28, off Sept 29, 5.5 Sept 30, 6 Oct 1, 4 + lift
34 weeks Oct 2, 5 Oct 3, 4 Oct 4, 6 Oct 5, 5.5 Oct 6, off Oct 7, 5.5 Oct 8, 5.5
35 weeks Oct 9, 6 Oct 10, 5.5 Oct 11, off Oct 12, 4 Oct 13, off Oct 14, 6 Oct 15, 4 + lift
36 weeks Oct 16, 5 Oct 17, 3.5 Oct 19, 9 Oct 20, off Oct 21, 5.5 Oct 22, off
37 weeks Oct 23, 5.5 Oct 24, 6 Oct 25, 7 Oct 26, 3.5 + lift Oct 27, gave birth at 6:35AM

Second Trimester Running

Ahhh! The second trimester! This is the best you will feel. Embrace it and run all you can.

5 months pregnant!
5 months pregnant!

My second trimester was fabulous. I felt normal… which is pretty damn good for a pregnant woman. There were even seconds where I would think to myself, “oh yeah, I’m pregnant!”

Running got better in the second trimester. Although I still wasn’t making record breaking mile times (heck yea 10 minute miles!), the fatigue and feeling of being out of shape did disappear.

6 months!
6 months!

During the second trimester I made sure I incorporated weight lifting into my workout routine.  Weight training helped me avoid the wiggly joint feeling I heard so much about.   Lots of women complained that towards their third trimester their hips started to feel “loose,” putting a stop to their running.  Having the muscle strength to support your joints is key.

As an ex-D1 athlete I’m fortunate to have a familiarity with proper weight training.  If you do not have an understanding of correct technique, I highly suggest asking a fellow gym patron or trainer for advice on lifting weights.  The last thing you want to do is tweek muscles while you’re already putting extra strain on your muscles from being pregnant.

I didn’t lift extravagantly, I just made sure I hit all my muscle groups.  I am one of those females who fears the ‘too muscle-ly’ look.  I am naturally strong and gain muscle mass rather easily.  So many fitness fanatics say women can lift without getting bulky.  I promise — I am the exception!  If I lift without doing cardio, it’s like pop-eye eating spinach but with an extra couple layers of fat over the muscle.  I prefer running/doing cardio 5-6 days a week, but on one or two of those days only doing a couple miles and getting in a good lift.
While pregnant I tried to lift twice a week, which honestly usually did not happen.  I almost always got in one solid lift per week.

I did make a point to start consuming a lot more water in the second trimester.  I began getting headaches, one of my few pregnancy symptoms.  I’m fortunate that I am not normally someone burdened with migraines and such, but pregnancy definitely brought about some temple pounders.  After speaking with my doctor, she suggested drinking more water.  She believed the headaches were due to mild dehydration and boy was she right. After being super conscientious and drinking enough h20, the headaches disappeared.

Along with in-taking enough water, I also made a point to consume more protein than I normally would. I’m not a vegetarian by any means, but unless I’m eating a beautiful, bloody steak, some nicely marinated chicken or even better, some sushi, I’d much rather have something easy like an almond butter sandwich or avocado and black bean wrap. In desperate times a bowl of granola cereal does the job even.  Running up to 35 miles a week AND creating a little human being inside you definitely requires some extra amino acids! Extra meat, especially red meat, was a must for me.

I was never one to have crazy cravings. If you read my running tips you’ll see why, but I could always go for a cheeseburger! It was my body telling me, more fatty protein, please!

photo (3)

Mileage:

21 weeks
July 1, 5.5
July 2, 4.5
July 3, 6 + lift
July 4, 5 (greenway)
July 6, 6 (greenway)
July 7, 3 (Washington Park)
July 8, 5.5 (Washington Park)

22 weeks
July 9, 5.5
July 11, 3 (Omaha)
July 12, 5.5 + lift
July 13, 2.5
July 14, 6
July 15, 6.5

23 weeks July 17, 6 + lift
July 18, 5
July 19, 5
July 20, 6
July 21, 6 + lift

24 weeks
July 23, 6
July 24, 5.5 + lift
July 25, 5
July 26, 5
July 27, 6
July 29, 4

25 weeks
July 30, 5.5
July 31, 5
Aug 1, 4
Aug 2, 6.5
Aug 3, 5.5 + lift
Aug 5, 6

26 weeks
Aug 6, 6.5
Aug 7, 4.5 + lift
Aug 8, 6
Aug 10, 6
Aug 11, 4 + lift
Aug 12, 5.5

27 weeks
Aug 13, 6
Aug 14, 3.5
Aug 15, 4.5
Aug 16, 6.0 + lift
Aug 17, 6.5
Aug 18, off
Aug 19, 4.5

Getting started, First Trimester Running

One of my biggest regrets as I begin this blog is that I did not start tracking my mileage until the 2nd trimester.  Thus, I don’t have numbers to share reflecting my first trimester runs, but I do have a good recollection of my experience.

For starters, I have to throw this out there- I didn’t have a lick of morning sickness.  Toss it up to good luck, good genes, healthy eating habits or working out daily (I have heard working out helps with morning sickness!).  I didn’t get sick– not once.   With that, I cannot, at all, compare my experience to the mama’s out there who are strung over the toilet, spewing out their guts multiple times a day in the first, and sometimes second and third, trimester.

6 weeks pregnant
6 weeks pregnant

So I got lucky and dodged morning sickness, but I sure as hell felt tired; literally could have slept All. Day. Every. Day. Fatigue was definitely my biggest pregnancy-symptom-culprit, second being the drastic decline in my running pace.

(Side note: I did also get some weird skin tag on my neck and a freckly face!)

To put it into perspective, the week before I got pregnant I ran a half marathon.  Around 4 weeks after baby boy’s conception before I knew I was pregnant, I THOUGHT I had hit a weird running wall.  My average training pace on a, say 4 mile run, went from 7:00:00-7:15:00 mile to 9:00:00-9:30:00/mile.  Low and behold, I was not somehow regressing, I was just preggers!

When I found out I was pregnant I was 6 weeks along.  I quickly dove into any information (There’s some, but not enough!) I could find on running/exercising while pregnant.  One of the first things I looked into was  why I was dragging ass on my runs…

Broken down into a very simple summary, this is what I found:
When you become pregnant your body’s hormones change to support your growing belly and the little baby inside.  One of these hormonal changes causes an increase in blood PLASMA (Note plasma, not cells).  So the volume of the fluid that your red blood cells float around in increases, but (very generally speaking) the number of cells in the fluid remains the same.  One of the main jobs of a red blood cells is to transport oxygen to muscles.

Got all that? So- When you exercise (use your muscles at a greater rate and with more force) your muscles need more oxygen.  But now that you’re pregnant your heart has to pump quicker and you have to breathe harder to push oxygen (attached to all the cells) to your muscles through your extra blood plasma (fluid).  All in all, exercising DOES become more difficult and in a sense you DO regress; you’re having to breathe harder to get more oxygen than before and your heart has to pump quicker to get the same amount of oxygen to your muscles as it was prior to pregnancy.

Confusing right? Let me draw you a picture.

for blog
Pumping heart to get O2 to muscles. Left- not pregnant; Right- pregnant
Besides fatigue, my symptoms were minimal. I had mild round ligament in pain in my pelvis and groin-ish area that often felt worse after a run. I’ve read journals and googled to the days end and haven’t found any research on running while pregnant and the affects on the ligaments supporting your belly. I truly believe running strengthened every muscle, ligament, tendon and joint that partook in carrying my unborn son. My scientific two cents is that if the ligaments supporting your belly are like everything else in your body, they’ll adapt to keep up with your daily activity. I held baby boy super high and super tight (My belly didn’t “pop” until 8 months.) so I assure you my ligaments were nice and strong– perhaps due to running every day.

During the first trimester definitely don’t over consume. Your babes is still the size of a tube of lipstick therefore when you gain 10 lbs in the first three months, you can’t blame it on your new addition! Yes you’re working out and yes you’re pregnant so you DO need more calories than the average shmo. BUT we’re not talking a banana split after breakfast lunch and dinner. Be mindful. Be smart.

photo 3 (7)
Remember, he’s the size of your Chapstick tube!
If you can over come first trimester fatigue as well as the blow to your running ego, you should be able to keep chugging right along to the second trimester- the most pleasant time frame of your pregnancy!

Unsolicited advice on critiquing women.

This advice has nothing to do with running or pregnancy.  It is perhaps, pre-“running while pregnant and life thereafter” but could also apply to the “thereafter” counterpart.  So in a sense it makes sense but doesn’t quite make sense at all.

Anyway.

It is without question some of the best advice I have ever been given.  It’s advice I have repeated to my husband once or [1161628126 x] twice and have repeated to friends, mostly men, some women, 100 times more.

I received this advice my freshman year of college while standing in a team huddle following an early season soccer practice.  Our coach was beginning to “critique” our play that evening but to soften the blow, he shared a personal philosophy he carried out with his wife, players, and students daily.

He told us that when critiquing — we women see it as “insulting”– a woman, before spewing the insult, be sure to compliment her two (or even three!) times.

He followed by continuing our soccer practice ‘critique.’
“First compliment; You guys are really coming together as a team.  I see it in your passes and your communication on the field.
Second compliment;  Everyone’s passing this evening was spot on too. You would think you all have played together for more than a months time.  Insult;  BUT you are still being lazy asses.
If you all sprinted to the ball instead of the half ass jog you’re giving, your predictability would make it easier for you and your teammates.”

Do you see? Compliment, compliment, critique.

Here’s a different senerio from a professional standpoint.

“Y, please come into my office.”  Y leaves her desk, walks down a hallway outlined by cubicles and crosses the threshold into her bosses office.  Her boss (man or woman) shuts the door and asks her to sit down.  “Y, I’ve been going over some of your work.  You rarely fail to impress me; definitely one of my top performers … but I need a lot more out of you when it comes to case files.  When editing case files, please be sure to double, even triple, check your work. I’ve noticed too many errors. An intelligent girl like you can definitely do a lot better.

Again, compliment, compliment, critique, compliment, critique, compliment.

The last couple examples are between husband and wife.

Husband Z thinks his wife looks hefty in the outfit she plans on wearing to dinner. Initially he does not plan to say anything, but then wife Z asks the famous and oh-so-touchy question, “Hunny, do I look fat in this?” Husband Z responds, “You know your red dress? You’re irresistible in it! That red dress is my standard, and this one doesn’t come close. What were your other outfit options? I’ve seen you in other dresses that look a lot better on you.  I don’t think it’s you, I simply think this dress fits funny.

Compliment, critique, compliment.

Or here’s a super duper simple one my husband has mastered.  My husband walks into our bedroom as I am changing clothes and says “Babe you know I love ya to the moon and back, right?  Me: “Yea…” Husband: “And you’re the girl of my dreams?” Me: (At this point generally knowing what’s about to come) “Mmm Hmmm.” Husband: “Well, those jeans give you Mom Butt.”

The couple compliments in the beginning really adds cushion to the insult at the end, whether the insult be true or not. It’s just so much better, so much more lighthearted, and so much more approachable than if he were to flattly say, “Ummm those jeans give you Mom Butt.” I would want to say, “Ummm F off.”

IMG_4098

Now, you’re probably thinking this is crazy and far too complicated BUT remember, women ARE complicated creatures!
Complimenting a woman before you critique her does more than a couple things.

First, it does the obvious; compliments her.  You’re checking that block for the day/week/month…  Whatever is necessary for the relationship you have with the woman, whether it be lovers, friends, or business.  Next, and most importantly, after receiving a compliment there’s a waterfall of positive feelings that over comes a woman as you stroke her ego, though she would probably never admit it.

The instant ego boost then grabs her attention; “Oh, you said what? You, my boss, thinks I’m the top auditor in the firm? Please, keep talking.”  So nooow she’s listening and when you throw out the ‘insult’ aka critique, she’s not going to feel as though you’ve backed her into a corner.  A woman will become instantly defensive if the first thing you say to her in regards to HER, isn’t positive, even if deep down, she knows you’re right.  But if your approach is compliment, compliment, critique, you’ll grab her attention, lighten the mood, drop her defense, and leave her thinking, “Well I obviously have nice hair and amazing eye brows, he’s right about that! So if he thinks I need to wax my upper lip, maybe he’s right😳.” — –Obviously a radical example, but you’re getting the jist.

To sum it up, when a woman receives a few compliments from someone, followed with a single insult/critique, will she argue? It’s unlikely. “Compliment, compliment, critique” is a great communication technique, especially on the lover and friendship front. Use it with your wife, girlfriend, best friend or dramatic guy friend (we all know one ;)) and I guarantee a better response from the lady you need to breach a touchy subject with.