Pregnancy/Post Pregnancy Fitness Thoughts

I didn’t originally plan on typing up anything on my pregnancy/post pregnancy fitness-y ‘stuff’, but I typed up a quick email about it to a friend and thought it might be a good idea to post just in case anyone else is interested. Here goes (it’s pretty abbreviated. if you want me to elaborate, let me know!! I think I have WAY too many thoughts about my experience, and I don’t know if I could even begin to properly discuss it!)
Pre-pregnancy:
I worked out 6 days a week for about 60-90 minutes. It was a combination of treadmill work, HIIT, tabatas, strength intervals, spin, hot yoga, you name it- I did it. I was sore and exhausted most days- because that’s how I loved to be! I was still indulging in drinks/sweets- just balancing them much better than I had in the past. I was in the best physical/mental shape of my life before pregnancy.
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While I was pregnant:
So my workouts pretty much stayed the same as pre-pregnancy until around week 23-25. For the most part, the intensity and the same exercises were there, but some days I was more fatigued than others and would go for a walk instead.
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Here’s the crazy part- I got weighed at all my appointments and even though I knew I was going to gain weight (duh, there’s a baby in there) I still didn’t want to see the numbers. So even on those appointment days, I would drink less water so the number wouldn’t be so high. TERRIBLE.–> don’t judge. (I think it was about 27 lbs I wound up gaining?)¬†I normally don’t care about the numbers, but now that I had to actually see them every few weeks, it was just….bleck.
From 25-30ish weeks, I started to modify all my workouts. Plus, my gym membership ended so all my workouts were done at home. I was doing some WODs, circuits, HIIT, prenatal yoga, Tracy Anderson prenatal workout DVDs and modified T25 (it’s high impact, but there were several ways to modify and still get a great cardiovascular workout). I wasn’t walking the dogs anymore because crazy dogs + snow/ice + pregnant lady= no bueno. I made sure to take long walks on my lunch break at work (about 3ish miles).
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30ish-end of pregnancy: this is when I started to get pinched nerves and had a real mobility problem. But I knew I still needed to move to stay healthy (docs said me/baby were both perfect, so it was really where I was mentally). I was still eating as healthy as possible, but not neglecting my sweet tooth! Some days were TERRIBLE. I literally could not get up from the couch, but knew I needed to move in some way, so I would attempt some workouts…mostly just standing up was my workout. Or just going up and down the stairs for laundry would do the trick. Can someone say winded?!! Doctors advised to only do what made me comfortable; PT advised the same after an assessment. PS: I worked out until the day before Wes was born! I probably would have worked out the day of, but he was born at 3:30am
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Lucky for me, the birth went great and my body handled it really well. To be honest, it was still EXHAUSTING to even walk around the block pushing the stroller the first two weeks. I even ventured to the mall a few times and was extremely fatigued afterwards (pelvic floor muscles are shot and it feels like your insides might fall out).
I knew I’d have to wait 6 weeks to workout, and in those first weeks I didn’t even THINK about working out because I was EXHAUSTED and trying to figure out this whole baby thing. Breastfeeding probably helped with the post baby weight loss, and my appetite was pretty low. It’s weird because I am one of those people who hate going more than 2 days in a row of no workouts, but for 4 weeks I didn’t even break a sweat! (Is it weird that I wouldn’t mind going back to those days already? Yup, probably)
I really can’t stress enough how much it didn’t even bother me..which I still think is so weird! The doctor cleared me to workout at 4 weeks so I decided to do the entire T25 program from start to finish (currently halfway through it). The first week was TOUGH and I modified it just about as much as I did when I was 39 weeks. After the first week, I noticed improvement in my strength and endurance and was gradually able to transition from modified to full-intensity workouts.
I even dared to step on the scale and was shocked to see the number be less than my pre-preg weight! (I am more than sure that there is some muscle loss that caused this..my butt is pretty flat lately! although my guns? NEVER BETTER. That’s what will happen when you hold a 15lb baby in a precarious position because that’s how he fell asleep and you DARE.NOT.WAKE.HIM.)
So now, I’m still very in tune with my activity level (and conscious of making sure I eat a good balance of fruits/veggies/protein/dairy/carbs—especially since what I eat goes directly to what Wes eats!) but it’s not my main focus anymore. Which I think is a pretty good thing because my more relaxed approach to it has allowed me my SANITY, allowed me to enjoy Wes, and to just enjoy the time I have off to be with him and NOT worry about logging hours of sweating. Plus, I’m still not drinking a lot like I was pre-pregnancy, so I’m not consuming all these crazy calories!
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I think my biggest fear was stretch marks (let me rephrase that: more¬†stretch marks. I already had a lot on my hips and inner thighs) and not being able to shed the weight, but even after he was born my stomach flattened out after only a couple days and my hips/thighs and everything in between seemed to be exactly how I *left* them pre-pregnancy! And those days after birth when your tummy is still big is honestly not as big of a deal because not only do you have a baby to look after but it’s still way better than a 40 week belly and the fatigue that comes with it! I still have my mental fat days and they’re a struggle to get over but it’s nothing some fresh air/bowl of veggies/baby snuggles can’t fix!!
So there you have it…some of my briefest thoughts on how I tackled fitness during my pregnancy, and how my approach has changed!