Last night I was browsing through the pictures on my iPhone and every Tuesday beginning at 12 weeks, I have taken a picture of my pregnancy. Every Tuesday marks a new week. When you see yourself every day, you don’t seem to notice the changes as much, and I have never realized the true importance of taking weekly pictures until this period of time in my life. It is an amazing feeling to go back and look at how your body has changed and grown to provide a safe haven for your baby until they are born. I can honestly say I love being pregnant. At the beginning, I wasn’t sure of the changes I should expect. I went from someone who worked out 5-6 times a week at a fairly intense pace, ate healthfully and had control over their weight, to becoming pregnant and having to learn how to deal with, well lets say a whole new body. I don’t think I am alone when I say, this can be a confusing time. How much should I work out, am I eating enough, am I eating enough nutrients for my baby, how much weight should I gain? For a first time mama, I didn’t know the answer to ANY of these questions….yet. Good ol’ me couldn’t stand being so unsure of anything in my life and began my research. The first resource, my doctor. She advised me to continue working out if I was feeling good, okay one question down. She also advised me she wasn’t worried about me at all, and to eat as I was, adding in a few more calories (200-300), and as for weight gain, 25 pounds was normal.
So I had the okay to workout, but now I had to find how hard (I am not sure my doctor understood the intensity of my workouts), and I knew I couldn’t continue with my current workouts as they were. So my hands were typing away on the internet for hours and hours figuring out what was appropriate for expecting mama’s. There was contradictory information out there. One person would say don’t get your heart rate over 140, and the next would say, if you are already in shape going over 140 is okay as long as you don’t overheat…okay so which is it? What have I taken away from what I have read and that also works for me? Remember, this may not work for everyone, but I have found I am able to have a safe workout that leaves me feeling great by following a few simple guidelines. Number one, bring water! I make sure I have water with me (or at least have a water fountain nearby), and to take sips between every set. I make sure (and so does my hubby) that I never overheat (good thing they turn the air conditioning on full blast in the middle of winter at my gym ;)). I am also careful to not let my heart rate get too high. I have never been concerned or worried about working out during my pregnancy, I knew ahead of time I was going to continue on with my lifestyle (if my doctor agreed), but on a much more modest scale. I am in the last week of the Livefit Trainer, but with proper modifications, I have been able to do this program along with my husband. It has been a great way for us to spend time together, and also have another set of eyes making sure I am okay. But you don’t need to lift weights to exercise together, grab your partner and/or kiddo’s on a nice day for a walk together, so you can talk about how your pregnancy is going and your hopes for your baby :).
As for the eating portion of my lifestyle, I haven’t relaxed at all. I have actually become even more in tune with what my body needs. I NEVER skip meals and make sure every meal contains nutrients to help my baby grow and develop. I am human and enjoy the occasional (and I mean occasional) piece of chocolate, but if I am craving something I will always make a healthy version at home. Pregnancy isn’t an excuse to “eat for two” or give into your cravings, it’s a time to get in tune with yourself and more importantly your baby. You are their home and source of nutrients for the next 9 (well could be longer ;)) months of their lives. If you know something isn’t good for your own body, it probably isn’t good for your babies. My daily diet consists of eating about 3 pieces/servings of fruit (apples, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, oranges, grapefruit, kiwis), lots of raw and fresh veggies, including a large salad at each meal. I know constipation can be a symptom of pregnancy (trust me I have been there), but since incorporating a huge salad (not in a little soup bowl either) for lunch and supper, which contains spinach, mixed greens, peppers, mushrooms, onions, carrots, celery (or whatever other veggies you fancy), my digestive system has been extremely regular and that makes everyone happy ;). I apologize if that was TMI, but if someone would have shared that information with me earlier, I wouldn’t have felt like a fart the size of the atom bomb needed to escape from my body ;). Moral of the story, make sure to eat LOTS of veggies. I also make sure to eat protein, as I have read you need more during pregnancy. My protein sources include, beans, lentils, lean ground turkey, hemp, almonds, almond butter, Greek yogurt and occasionally egg whites. I also make sure to eat enough carbs throughout the day including, brown rice, sweet potatoes, rolled oats, air popped popcorn (that means no butter), and beans. And you cannot forget the trusty healthy fats, avocado, flaxseed, chia seed, nuts, nut butters and coconut oil! One last thing, drink your water! I feel drinking enough water helps me stay hydrated but also keeps everything working in harmony inside my body.
I know this post was mainly geared towards pregnant mama’s but there are also things that apply to everyone. Make sure to take pictures of progress, whether it be a growing belly or a shrinking one! It is AMAZING to see your progress, and half the time you won’t be able to notice, but if you take pictures, you will be able to put them side by side to see your transformation! Also eat healthfully, even if you are not pregnant. You should always eat for the benefit of your own health, and put foods in your body that nourish.
I can’t wait for the next 20 weeks of my pregnancy! The journey has been amazing so far, and this past week my husband and I got to see our baby at 20 weeks old! I cannot explain how amazing this feeling was. To be able to see their heart beat, hands and feet move, see them swallow and their little stomach. Keep following my blog for my updates along the way :).
I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend and is ready to take on the upcoming week!!