Today is the day of resolutions, promises we plan to keep, but know somewhere deep down that chances are good we won’t. Sound like you? Yeah, me too. I’ve committed to making this year one of personal growth, in many aspects of my life. I tend not to set weight-loss goals as New Year’s resolutions because it hasn’t historically worked for me. That being said, I am t-minus 8 weeks until my 3rd c-section and subsequent need to lose weight, so……. Like most of the world, I WILL be setting myself some physical goals for 2019. Luckily, I committed to having a fit pregnancy- mind, body, and soul– (via a vegetarian diet, yoga, strength training, and cardio) prior to my embryo transfer in hopes that I would have a healthier pregnancy and baby, maintain more energy, sleep better, help my strength and balance, and encourage my body to ‘snap back’ faster after my surgery. So how am I shaping up so far…??
If we are talking numbers, I have gained a total (so far) of 20lbs. I feel like I want to * that number, though. lol. I was 125 the day I received the embryo transfer. Until I was 12 weeks pregnant, I lost weight…Quite a bit, actually. This is super common and no big deal. But at week 20, I watched the number on the scale creep up daily to the 145 I saw this morning. Per the fertility clinic (and my contract), I was not to lift anything heavier than 10lbs until I was 10 weeks pregnant. Because this isn’t my baby, I followed that to the letter…Or number, I suppose. I didn’t want to take any chances. During that time, however, I ate pretty much whatever I wanted. Not proud of that, but life is about balance, right? And why not enjoy one of the perks of pregnancy- I am eating for 2, after all, so no one would shame me for smashing a bag of powdered donuts or a package of ‘sharing-size’ peanut M&M’s (though technically I was sharing them…with the baby).
At 10 weeks I had my first appointment with my regular OB and he said I was clear to exercise, lift, etc. So back to the gym I went. And boy did I get in my head. I never previously shied away from lifting in the main part of the gym (as opposed to in the fitness room where the girls are expected to go), but I found myself in this weird sort of exercise purgatory. I wanted to lift what I was used to, but I was still somewhat restricted and leery of potentially harming the pregnancy. Add to that the fact that in the 10 weeks I spent away from the gym, plus eating whatever I wanted to, plus my quickly growing bump…Well…Let’s just say I wasn’t looking especially fit, and I hated being seen and potentially judged. I was in that stage pregnant women have where you cannot tell if they are pregnant or if they missed one too many lift sessions. Annnnnnd my exercise clothes were already getting snug on my lumpy body. Before I knew it, I found myself nitpicking my body and on some days even disgusted with how I looked. To top it all off, I caught myself anxious after each workout, worried that I did too much. So I would check the baby’s heart rate and Google away, seeing what the popular sites suggested as acceptable workouts while pregnant. But I found myself weighed down (see what I did there?) by my limitations and what I couldn’t do. Something had to change…And it was my mindset.
So I decided from that point forward I would take an all-around positive approach to my current situation. I was going to have a fit pregnancy and focus on what I could do to make my goals happen, instead of on my limitations. At my next OB appointment, I took a list of exercises I wanted to do, and asked my doc if they were safe for me and the baby. Because I am paranoid, I checked back in with him at my next couple of appointments to verify I was not pushing things too far. I wanted to make sure that in my effort to have a fit pregnancy, and set myself up for the best-case scenario post pregnancy, that I wasn’t doing any damage to my body- especially my abs (and planks are my favorite, so I had to be sure). He encouraged me to listen to my body and take it easy on the days where I really wasn’t ‘feeling’ it. Cardio and yoga were both suggested as super gentle ways to keep fit and strong, physically and mentally.
For 20 weeks now I have stuck to my commitment and my new outlook. I visit the gym at least 4 times a week and do something, though it is my goal to lift and do at least 30 minutes of cardio, which is typically incline walking at a brisk pace. But if there is a day where I just feel tired, I simply lift or do cardio, or skip that gym day altogether…And I don’t beat myself up about it. As if the Universe knew I was in need, my yoga studio- Pulse Yoga and Fitness (located at 116 S Main St, Marysville, OH 43040 http://www.pulseyogafitness.com/) started Pre-natal Yoga sessions and they have been a game changer. It has become a bit more challenging as my belly resembles a basketball more by the day, but I leave each stretch sesh feeling stronger, more balanced, and restored. On the days I lift, do cardio, and have yoga class, I feel especially amazing! And being back to yoga has reminded me of the importance of mindfulness and daily meditation, which I have incorporated into my schedule. I try to eat every hour, though this has been my first pregnancy where not only do I not have cravings, but nothing sounds especially good. Fuji apples have been my go-to, so I stock up. I drink a TON of water. A. Ton. And while my skin looks fabulous, I make very frequent trips to the loo. If the mood strikes and I want something more tasty than it is healthy, I go ahead and indulge. I’m happy to report that because of this change of mindset, my physical exercise, and meditation, I am sleeping better than ever, have a ton of energy, and feel absolutely fantastic- mind, body, and soul!
Not too long from now, I will see if my hard work and commitment has paid off. Is ‘snapping back’ a real thing if you aren’t a celebrity with a chef and trainer? Only time will tell. I have 8 weeks left until I deliver, and then the real work begins. Until then, stay tuned while my family grows another…
>>Photo credit to Emily Olsen, owner of Pulse Yoga and Fitness Studio in Marysville, Ohio