15 October 2009

Belly bumps Part 2

Yesterday I wrote a blog about how it is actually a great idea to plan ahead and start a workout routine before getting pregnant so that it can be sustained through the pregnancy and after.   Being a fit mother-to-be is a wonderful way to embrace motherhood as well as giving a stronger ability to manage weight during and after the pregnancy.  So many women struggle with weight issues after childbirth to the degree that it lingers for many years after. If your doctor says it 's ok (and be honest about the TYPE of workout you will do), then go FORTH and exercise Mommy!

More memories came to mind yesterday's blog about my two pregnancies and I decided to come back today and share some more.  I had many other friends and work associates who went through pregnancies before, during and after my own, and so I definitely witnessed different experiences.  It was very easy for me to maintain my fitness program during my pregnancies for two reasons, (1) I had exercise equipment at home, and (2) I had a  FULL-service, FITNESS CLUB in the building where I worked, and I would go EVERY MORNING, Monday -Friday at 5:15 a.m.

For the first 4 months, I did not tell anyone that I was pregnant, though I suspected that they could tell that my body was looking different week after week.   I got very "BUSTY" almost immediately and it was very difficult to hide the "GROWTH," a growth I should have definitely embraced (LOL), but I did not because (a) it gave away my "secret", and (b) it was harder to run with the extra "BOUNCY" volume!  See how my mind worked?  I was more worried about not being able to exercise than being "BOOB mama!"  How did I manage this?  I wore 2 sports bras together for extra support and minimization of "bounce!"

I was not one of those women who did not show until month 7 --- my "BELLY BUMP" was protruding from month 3 despite my 5 day a week workout routine, and it was a pretty intense routine.  I think I was more self-conscious about it because I was used to having a FLAT stomach.   I was still running 4-5 miles a day up until about month 6, and I cut back to about 3 miles in month 7 with the first pregnancy.   I lifted weights and did the machines throughout both pregnancies.    I did not have the opportunity to do "pregnancy" exercise classes, but I know that NOW, there are MANY fantastic ones to pick, choose and refuse, as well as home pregnancy workout DVDs.   Prenatal YOGA seems DELICIOUS! 

During my 1st pregnancy, my company attire was very "corporatey" and so I purchased quite a few very lovely suits and dresses.   Three years later for my second pregnancy, we had become a "dress down" firm, and so I was able to be more trendy and cute, sporting things like, leather pants, tight tops, designer jeans, and I have to mention (don't recommend this) that I was quite vain about how I looked walking, and I wore heels throughout BOTH pregnancies.  I refused to "WADDLEl!"   There was a very sweet security guard who greeted me every morning as I entered the building to go to the gym, and he was always amazed that I was showing up every morning as usual.   He would often comment, "so, when are you going to start waddling?  All pregnant women waddle."   That's all I had to hear.  I REFUSED to waddle.

I truly think "exercising" helped me to not waddle.   I felt strong, had good posture, strong legs, and I did continue to wear a 3 inch heels throughout and I can proudly say.... NO WADDLING occurred.  My security guard will attest to this fact. Again, I am not recommending that anyone wear heels... just sharing what I did.   

I can truthfully tell you that during my first pregnancy, I was the "center" of attraction.   All eyes were on me every morning!  "Here she comes, Miss Belly!"  There were no other "very" pregnant women coming to the gym everyday.  Most of the time, the women who got pregnant would start out with good intentions, and then stop coming after their 5th month or so.   I was a bit self-conscious of how I "looked" and thought about only working out at home, but I truly "FELT" great all over, so why did I need to change my routine?? The only thing I did change was I stopped driving in around month 7 and my husband would drive me in  -- door to door service!  Milk it if you can Mommas!!   This we did because I was lugging a big backpack and clothes everyday so it helped to not have to walk from the parking garage with all that stuff and MY BIG BELLY!

The guys at the gym (who by the way, I worked with them) started getting nervous when I was still showing up in month 9... it was HYSTERICAL.  Some of them would crack jokes saying, "hey you need to be careful, your water may break and I want to use that machine!"   Ha ha!  Making them nervous was a LOT of FUN!!

I was truly a TREND setter!  A few women who became pregnant toward the end of my pregnant approached me and said, "I hope I can last as long as you did!  You are my inspiration!"   I rooted for them even when I was at home on maternity leave, I would sometimes call the job to find out if they were still "at it."

I also ended up sharing some of my clothes with other Mommies-to-be because I knew how they felt, and I knew how expensive it was to buy a lot of "cute" maternity clothes.   I knew how it felt to wake up to get dressed for work and stand in front of the closet wanting to cry because nothing fit, or nothing looked good when you put it on. 

Though it was hard to be energetic while pregnant, I can say that I was sooooooooooooo happy I chose to work out consistently with both pregnancies because I truly felt strong and healthy during both pregnancies, and I recouped quickly from both c-sections within a few days.

Often times when a woman gets pregnant she considers the pregnancy like a time to "take a break" and "rest" as if she is going through an illness or recovering from a bad wound.   This is not the case.  You do NOT have to do strenuous exercise, and should not if you were not doing it before your pregnancy, but you should do something that is HEALTHY and good for you.   It can help to improve your mood, relieve stress, and prevent you from developing certain conditions like gestational diabetes for starters!  

Consider if you already exercise, why would you stop?  You have lovely toned arms, legs, back.... keep working on them so that they remain that way throughout!  

Exercising tends to keep a person disciplined about how they eat as well.   Being pregnant does not mean "open season for gluttonous" eating.   Your baby deserves good nutrition and so do you!   Just how some foods can trigger headaches, mood swings, stomach issues, etc., when you are not pregnant, they still have the same capacity when you are pregnant.

To all the Mommies-to-be, don't agonize over being pregnant.  Sit down and figure out how you want your pregnancy to be, and try to "plan" out what few things you will do that will ultimately make you feel better, healthier, happier, and excited about the life that you are bringing into the world.

There is "LIFE AFTER PREGNANCY," so consider that what you do for 9 months will have a huge impact thereafter.   It's a tough job alone having to be a parent, possibly dealing with a colicky baby, adjusting to the new life .... so if you can combat the issue of HEALTH and WEIGHT to some degree beforehand, it will make things a bit (or a lot) easier down the line!

Maybe you will be the trendsetter at your job, in your family... in your neighborhood!   Don't worry about how you look... just take care of you Mommy!

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