Exciting news in FBG land! If you didn’t guess the news by the headline, I’m pregnant! My due date is September 11, so I’m quickly nearing the half-way mark.
I would love to sit here and tell you I’ve been the model for a healthy and fit pregnancy—the pregnant woman everyone should aspire to emulate. And to tell you the truth, before I got pregnant, I thought I would be getting an A+ in pregnancy nutrition and fitness. I thought I’d maintain my workout schedule, eat lots of leafy greens, and be all Zen and pregnant.
And then I actually got pregnant. And guess what? That wee little baby had other plans for me. It’s shocking that something the size of a pea can have such an impact on your life. Out went the workouts, in came the exhaustion. Out went the salads, in came the Arby’s roast beef sandwiches. Out went feeling normal, in came the nausea and gagging (thankfully, no vomiting, so I know it could have been much worse). Out went three square meals a day, in came eating nonstop to settle my stomach. And I swear, the lack of vegetables in my diet was nearly criminal. And water, of all things, would make me gag, so I had to rely on juice and milk for hydration.
For the first few weeks of pregnancy, I was a little afraid to work out. Most doctors will tell you that you’re safely able to maintain your previous activity levels and will give you the green light to work out. Mine, bless him, did specify “No ab stuff” to which I gladly complied. And although I knew in my head that a workout wasn’t going to jar a baby loose, I skipped over harder workouts in favor of gentler cardio and strength exercises.
But then working out became too much effort. Too tired, I started to choose the couch over the cardio. I stayed active by walking to run errands, walking the dog, testing a DVD or two, painting the house. But I wouldn’t call most of what I did in my first trimester a workout. As the weeks went by, I started to see myself in the future—at the end of my pregnancy— not having worked out at all. And I’m a fitness blogger? For shame! And while I didn’t want that to happen, it also didn’t change the fact that I didn’t feel good enough to work out.
And then something called “the second trimester” came along. Thank goodness for the second trimester! Veggies re-entered my diet! Energy came creeping back! Exercise entered the realm of possible activities I could enjoy again! The second trimester is my bestest friend.
I’ve learned a lot in the last few months. And as I’m sure there are many of you out there who are pregnant or will be pregnant at some point in your life, here are my FBG pregnancy rules to live by!
FBG Rules for Pregnancy
1. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t feel well enough to work out. Even the most dedicated athlete can get hit by exhaustion and morning sickness. Try to stay active, even if you’re not heading to the gym. Walking, other light cardio and a few stretches and strength exercises will get you by until you’re feeling better. And don’t even worry about “workouts.” You can make room for activity in all sorts of ways!
2. Give yourself a break. Don’t try to do too much. Now that I’m working out again, I notice that I fatigue waaay more easily. I even get out of breath walking up one flight of stairs. Don’t beat yourself up about it. As my nurse said, “Of course you’re tired. Your body is working around the clock to make a human.” You might not look any different yet, but there’s a lot going on in there!
3. Don’t succumb to food guilt. In an ideal world, you’d be able to eat all of your fruits and veggies and get the correct amount of calcium every day. But in the pregnant world, sometimes the healthiest stuff just makes you want to vomit. Remember that, especially in the early weeks, the nutritional needs of a baby are very small. If you can only keep peanut butter sandwiches down, go with it! Your menu will expand again soon enough. Plus, those prenatal vitamins will help fill in the nutritional gaps.
4. Sleep. I can’t stress this one enough. If you’re tired, sleep! You may even pass out at 8 p.m. while watching TV. If your husband or significant other gives you a hard time, have them call my nurse (see No. 2).
5. Enjoy it! Even though there are admittedly drawbacks to pregnancy (No wine! Back aches! ), I’m savoring every moment of pregnancy. (And honestly, wine sounds gross to me anyway.) When else will I get to enjoy watching my belly get bigger and the numbers on the scale go up?
For you non-pregnant peeps who are miles away from being interested in pregnancy, have no fear! FBG won’t be turning into all baby, all the time. I will of course be updating throughout my pregnancy, but Jenn and I are gearing up to launch Fit Bottomed Babies (how cute is that?). It will be a great place to turn for news and tips on nutrition and fitness for pregnancy and baby, as well as my experiences trying to stay active throughout my pregnancy and get back in shape post baby. And it won’t be all health-related; we’ll tackle parenting and relationship issues, as well as finding “me” time . I’m sure there will be a lot to share about trying to find balance when a little munchkin turns my world upside down! —Erin