Day: August 8, 2012

Get This Thing Out of Me!

At the end of May in 2011 I found out I was pregnant (finally!) and boy were my husband and I so excited! I was really unsure about pregnancy and how much I would like it. Well, I LOVED it… until 8 months and then I wouldn’t have wished it on my worst enemy. In the beginning I continued to do my normal workouts for the most part. My husband said NO jumping, however, the doctor said I could do whatever I wanted, even handstands, I asked. But as time went on and I got bigger my workouts changed. I couldn’t run (too many trips to the bathroom to make it worth it), at a certain point my deep front squats stopped happening, and my every 3 steps stair running wasn’t working because my thighs kept hitting my baby. But I did what I wanted for the most part. I lifted a little less heavy, my cardio was slightly less intense because I was breathing so much harder as my baby pressed into my lungs, and I may have taken a few more breaks than normal but other than that the workout world was my oyster. Kettlebells were my favorite, it still felt good, I could do swings without having to work around my big stomach, and I felt powerful. Towards the end I started doing a lot more stair running (and stepmill), jump roping (the husband may or may not have known about that), and a lot more lunging. By 35-40 weeks I was just ready to have my little guest come into the world so I could feel normal again.

The day before I gave birth, my workout was the following:

  • 10 kettlebell snatches (each arm)
  • 10 kettlebell crush push-ups
  • 10 kettlebell lockout lunges (each leg)
  • 1 minute jump rope
  • potty break 😉

I repeated that 5 or 6 times, I don’t remember.

The moral of this story?
When pregnant you should do what YOU are comfortable with. Had I never workout out before and gotten pregnant then decided to get in shape I would NOT have done these workouts. I know my body, I know what I’m capable of, I know how to lift properly. I didn’t do anything that made me work too hard (at least not without adequate breaks), I didn’t try new things, I stayed away from the exercises I knew I couldn’t do correctly (goodbye clean and jerks). But I made it my goal to continue to workout 6 days a week. I didn’t always feel up to it but I had a goal and i stuck to it. I strongly believe that because I was so active I had a relatively easy birth (as easy as a natural birth can be I suppose) and a super fast recovery time.

Post baby
After my 15 days of doctor recommended, no exercise, I began doing body weight workouts in my living room while my adorable baby girl slept. I started pretty basic and it was quite a shock at how hard the basics were. I moved from there into workouts wearing my baby, I swear she liked it. It kept us close and bonding, she loved the movement, and it usually put her to sleep. We did squats, lunges, “ran” the stairs in our house, did one legged squats, step ups on the coffee table, etc etc. From there I moved back into kettlebells. Granted I was using a lighter bell than I usually do but I felt pretty good doing them none the less. Again, I did what I felt I was capable of, what didn’t cause me pain, and what made me feel good.

5 months later I’m doing everything I want to do. I’m slowly working my way back to the weights I was using before pregnancy and my fitness level is getting close to where I left off. I feel better about my health every day and I’m excited to be close to my goal weight. It’s taken longer than I thought which is a little frustrating and my post pregnancy body may never be the same but I’m okay with that. In total I gained 38 lbs. during my pregnancy, and at the time of posting this blog I have lost all but 1/2 lbs. (back to “normal”). Its been a long hard journey but I’m happy to be healthy again!

But it’s not all exercise. A member (a male member at that) asked me the other day, “Adriana, how did you lose all your baby weight so quickly?” Well, I was thinking in my head, “not all” but I was happy to hear he thought so : ) My answer… Paleo. Paleo has been something I’ve been doing for the past year and a half before I got pregnant. I’ve never felt so good, felt so strong, recovered faster from workouts, felt healthier, moved better, or kept off those 5 pounds that I gain and lose all the time. When I got pregnant after about 4 months and my cravings set in and I was getting “fat” I said, screw it. When in my life will I ever get to be “fat” and not care? I didn’t get nuts but I did eat oatmeal on the weekends, enjoyed gluten free cupcakes, and maybe had some cheese and gluten free crackers! But about a month after having my baby I got back to Paleo. That is the real reason I dropped weight. The working out helps and has definitely helped tighten my body parts back up but it’s really the clean healthy eating that got me back close to where I want to be. If you don’t know what Paleo is, the basics are; I eat meat, poultry, seafood, all veggies (except basic potatoes), fruits (except I stay away from the tropical fruits), natural fats like avocados, coconut/oil, and animal fat, and nuts and seeds (except no peanuts, those are a legume in which I do not eat). It seems really restrictive and it is but in a good way. I chose to live my life this way, it’s NOT A DIET, this is really how I live. I don’t buy packaged food, I don’t eat may if any processed foods, and I drink nothing but water, flavored mineral water, black coffee, and wine (wine by the way is not exactly Paleo, a girls gotta live!). If you would like to know more about Paleo, just ask me, I’ll talk your ear off about it. I think it’s the best thing ever and I wish more people would believe they can do it because, without sounding too corny, it will change your life and they way you look at food.

So if you were wondering how to have a good (ish) and healthy pregnancy/post pregnancy this is what I found worked for me. Whatever you do, don’t stop working out! Modify, take it easy, rest more, stay hydrated, but whatever you do keep exercising! You’ll thank me in the long run!