*i was cleared of all pre-existing health conditions per my OB; this is my preggo/fitness journey all laid out for you to see!*
YES, of course i worried about losing my figure and having to endure months and months of working off the baby weight. women, our bodies are designed, created, and made for this. it's easier than you think to stay in a safe weight gain range. remaining active played a huuuge role in that area for me. read about my journey as well as some tips to help you along your way.
in the beginning: a couple of months prior, i began popping my prenatal and folic acid pills, daily. in the days leading up to taking the preggo test, i began to experience PMS-like symptoms, especially swollen breasts. the breast tenderness stuck around for a while and as i approached 8 weeks, fatigue hit me like a ton of bricks. i also battled afternoon headaches and evening sickness. i felt awesome in the mornings! however, as my day went on the, nausea got stronger and stronger. all i wanted to do was just puke already and get it over with! but it never, ever came up.
3 months / 9 weeks. even after my OB pushed me back to the gym, several people told me over and over and over again to 'sit down.' 'don't do this.' 'don't do that.' 'omg, you reeeeeally shouldn't be doing that.' i had been teaching early AM classes for about 2 years prior, so my body was definitely used to working out on a consistent basis. 5,6, and sometimes 7 days a week- working out was/is a part of my lifestyle. continuing to do so was right for me. so don't be afraid to do you. only you know your body anyway! at this point though, i was crashing HARD in the afternoons at work and needed a lunch-break nap to get me through the rest of my day. that fatigue was a beast.
tip: get a nice head start. upon finding out you are preggo, why would you stop exercising and/or paying attention to what you put into your mouth? wouldn't you want to do the exact opposite? if you aren't preggo yet, get your workout regiment going right now. if i did nothing for 10 months then suddenly needed to push my body above and beyond limits i've never experienced, well, i'd be extremely exhausted and out of it for a couple of months or more too!! exercising enhanced my energy levels, my self-esteem, and my mood.
4 months / 13 weeks and transitioning to the 2nd trimester. i used to DREAD heading to the gym after work at this point. i didn't understand it but i always felt better after even just 30 minutes on the elliptical...never worse. i was still using the same weight in my strength classes, and the same intensity for cardio. it was not the time to add weight (regarding my dumbbells and barbels), but i didn't have to subtract weight yet either. i was working out 5 days a week, an hour at a time. this proved to minimize my nausea, but i was still super tired!
tip: pay attention to your body. my OB did tell me that my heart rate should not exceed 140 beats per minute while i exercised. this was especially important in the 1st trimester as elevating your core temperature can be damaging to the fetus. however since the heart rate differs so much from one woman to the next, i always made sure i could comfortably carry on a conversation no matter what the display screen said.
5 months / 18 weeks. yeah absolutely nothing going on here. in this pic my linea negra was just starting to appear. really. look again. fatigue and nausea were completely gone, and the headaches were slowly fading, finally.
tip: remember the bigger picture. don't overdo it or workout to the point of complete exhaustion. let me be clear- this isn’t about your performance on the workouts anymore! pregnancy is not the time to try any new fad diet or to lose any weight. just remain active- even if it's walking. this is training for your health, your baby’s health, all in preparation for that big day.
6 months / 21 weeks. this was right around the time i felt my baby move for the very first time. i was told it would feel like butterflies. i equated that to gas bubbles cause that's what 'butterflies in my tummy' has always meant for me lol. however it didn't feel like that at all. it was definitely more of a random poking sensation. love @ first poke, for sure:)
tip: stretch. if for some reason you are unable to workout, you can still get on the floor (hopefully) and stretch your limbs. especially after a nice walk. it's important to remain flexible so you don't get stiff. activity also stimulates your 'plumbing' and fights that annoying preggo constipation.
6 months / 23 weeks. i have participated in one of the Chevron Houston Marathon running events every year since 09, and i plan to keep doing just that. pregnancy was never a deterrent! i just did the 5k though..not the half or full marathon that year. i told my husband i would only be walking the entire time, but once i had a mile left to go my adrenaline mixed with the cheering from the crowds turned my walk into a slow jog!
tip: be smart about it. pick safe exercises and do them with caution. water aerobics, brisk walking/jogging, indoor stationary cycling, step or elliptical machines, and low-impact aerobics carry little risk of injury. skiing, horseback riding, or contact sports don't sound like winners. i'm even on the fence about swimming as holding your breath from time to time is required. but hey, that's my personal opinion. water aerobics is a GREAT exercise for pregnancy cause you feel weightless! i kept my head above water the entire time though. only do what you feel comfortable doing.
and also, pow! finally had a little pooch goin on.
7 months / 26 weeks along. my little bean had a growth spurt and according to my friends, i finally looked preggo. at this point, no more lying on my back (chest press, chest flyes, etc) to lift weights, at all. per my OB- 'when you lie on your back, your uterus presses on the vein that returns blood from your lower body to your heart. doing this for an extended period of time could interfere with the flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta and your developing baby'. that's all she had to say and i cut it out completely. even sleeping- only on the right or left, no more back. i breezed right on through my 2nd trimester with no issues whatsoever.
tip: drink your water. before during and after your workout. a certain amount per day is required, exercise or not. since you are losing even more fluid by exercising, you have to replenish those levels, double time. stay on it and keep a bottle in the car, at work, in your bag, everywhere. also, (even sans baby) don't confuse hunger with thirst...staying hydrated helps you distinguish the two.
7 months. V-day dinner 2011 with Sonny- i thought i was really doing something and showing a lot here!
side view @ 7 months / 28 weeks.
Sonny caught me taking out the trash @ 7 months. not too amused.
9 months / 33weeks. and it was my birthdaaaaaaaaaaay!!! my hubby surprised me later that evening by picking me up from work and taking me to a quaint, private dinner. i ordered my fav (slice of key lime pie) and ate the whole thing.
tip: induuuuuuuulge!!! in moderation. 'this is your time to eat an unlimited supply of whatever you want!!!' 'don't hold back!' if i had a nickel... sure you can indulge. i had fun doing it, too. but that doesn't mean to go overboard every. single. time. then you'll have another annoying problem on your hands- stretch marks. defined as: scarring of the skin caused by growing or gaining weight really quickly. nothing more, nothing less. you can get them from bodybuilding, yo-yo dieting, or even losing a bunch of weight really fast. and no lotion will prevent them OR make them go away, only moisturize, minimize/shrink them. are they hereditary? (my mom had them on her tummy, i verified). i didn't get them soooo.. in my experience, no.
36 weeks along here and still trucking- see my gifts from my lovely LT members!
9 months along here as well. this is Sonny and i celebrating at the co-ed shower hosted for us by our dear friends.
tip: cherish and enjoy. might seem like it, but pregnancy doesn't last forever! take a moment to honor and appreciate the blessing inside your tummy that will change your life forever. the aches, pains, and changes will all be worth it shortly:) enjoy the special events and/or showers for your baby and you might even try a pregnancy massage at the spa. i did!
10 months / 39 weeks and ready to pop. Once my LO reached 37 weeks, i put a halt on teaching my morning and saturday classes. could i have taught until i delivered? totally. however i wanted to just take a quick break to spend more time doing baby stuff with Sonny! i stopped teaching, but i didn't stop moving. i kept up my daily walks, and took low impact cardio classes like step and zumba. i gained 26 lbs, total.
tip: 'eat for two'. well, two what, exactly?? two grown adults? if so, that's really not necessary. i got sick of hearing this phrase as it has definitely gotten out of hand. eating twice as much does not double your chances of healthy baby. it means more work for you after the baby is delivered and too much weight gain could also complicate your delivery. and why does it have to be another burger? another burrito? more fries? why cant it be an extra salad? for a single baby, an extra 300 cals is required in the 2nd tri, and 450 in the 3rd. what does this look like? here are some great examples. shocking. one more thing- if you're working out, then you are burning some of those extra calories that you need. so sometimes, you do need to eat more to compensate for that. not a problem, right!?
7 days later (one day before his due date), our LO made his appearance weighing in at 6 lbs 12oz! this pic was taken less than 24 hours after i gave birth. i was ready to get up and start moving around again, and i was sick of being cooped up in that hospital room. i had a natural delivery + an episiotomy after 25 min of pushing. with the epidural already doing its thing, that was fine by me. the recovery process was tough, at first. i vividly remember feeling like i would never, ever be normal again down there.
41 weeks. after two solid weeks, i was pretty much healed and began walking in my neighborhood. just around the block to check the mail though, nothing strenuous. i was a good girl and waited the full 6 weeks before hitting the gym or lifting any weight.
tip: take care of yourself. i know it's all about the baby now, but you need to be at your absolute best in order to care for your little one. Sonny drilled this into my brain as there were days where i wouldn't have eaten a thing had someone not cooked or prepared it for me. it was literally the last thing on my mind. this is especially important if you are breastfeeding cause baby can't get his/her nutrition until you get yours. not everyone has an extra hand or three available to help out in those first few weeks/months, so make your health a top priority for yourself.
now, go grow that healthy baby!!!