Before I became expectant with Cora back in 2011, I hadn’t really been exercising too terribly much. When I made the unexpected discovery that we were pregnant it scared me to death to imagine working out during pregnancy when my body wasn’t really used to it beforehand. So I mostly sat around, walked a bit, ate whatever I wanted, and gained almost 60 pounds. Insert gasp from the crowd here. And I think about 20 of those were in the last month. I can’t stand looking at pictures of myself from the tail end of pregnancy, and there is maybe one from Cora’s birth that I can see without feeling like a whale. Beyond the superficial aspect, my self-esteem took a hit when the weight didn’t just fall right off, and it took me a good two years before I really felt up to the task of losing the weight and getting back to an active lifestyle again. So I lost about 20 pounds that were hanging around, started feeling good about myself again and then God laughed and we became expectant with baby number two. He’s got a great sense of humor, that guy. 🙂
I’m bound and determined that this go around will be different though. I’m not under any illusions that I won’t gain ANY weight (plus that ship has already sailed), but I do want to be healthier and smarter about my weight gain. To hold myself accountable, I’m laying out the plan I’ve been following thus far for you all today! See what you think, and PLEASE send me suggestions on what worked/is working for you in your past or current pregnancies!
1) Keep doing what I love.
With Cora, I was too scared to keep playing volleyball past the first trimester. But this time, since I was playing in leagues well before I become expectant, my midwife has given me the OK to step on to the sand court once a week, provided I don’t dive or push myself too hard. I’m also very careful to eat/drink plenty beforehand so it doesn’t catch up to me during the game. It’s only once a week, but it makes me so happy to have that hour or two of carefree time to play a sport I love. I’m planning on keeping it up through the end of this season, which should end before Christmas and a healthy time before my due date.
2) Swimming once a week.
Especially when I get in to the later stages of pregnancy, I just feel heavy. Not only from a literal standpoint, but mentally it just feels like so much more of a mountain to climb to summon the energy for a workout. Swimming has been an easy, low-impact, and relaxing way to stay in shape without putting too much strain on my body. I’ve been going to my gym on Tuesdays/Thursdays when Cora doesn’t have school and swimming for part of the time while she’s in the daycare. I’d like to plan on doing that once a week at least. I do laps for at least 30 minutes and by the end my heart is pounding but my mind is clear. Fantastic combination!
3) Yoga once a week.
On the days I go to the gym but don’t swim, a yoga class is the perfect way to tone my upper and lower body, but again have a stress-free, low-impact environment where I’m free to go at my own pace and modify activities as my body requires. Perhaps my favorite part of every yoga class is Shavasana at the very end, where you basically just lay on the floor and do absolutely nothing for five minutes. Do you know how often that happens when you’re pregnant and chasing after a toddler? Exactly. So I soak up those five minutes and towards the end of pregnancy roll on to my side when laying on my back is uncomfortable. Ah, bliss.
4) Never be scared to keep mixing it up.
As I mentioned earlier, with my first pregnancy I was scared to try anything that I hadn’t been doing prior to getting the two little lines on the test stick. This go around, I feel more confident in my body’s capabilities, so I’ve been trying out new classes, including a cycling class with JoyRide San Antonio. The pictures in this post are from their gorgeous studio in the Pearl Brewery area, where I stopped by for a midday workout, compliments of the staff, a few weeks ago. You reserve your bike online, work it out to heart-pounding music for 45 minutes, and then jet off to whatever the rest of the day has in store for you.
Cycling classes have always been a bit of a bore for me prior to experiencing JoyRide, so I was glad to see that they not only incorporate a brand new soundtrack every class, but they provide weighted sticks for an upper body workout during your session as well. I will admit that my butt was sore for a few days after, so I need to figure out if that goes away with consistent participation or if I’m doing something wrong. You would think with all the padding I have back there it wouldn’t be an issue, but it was a struggle to sit down for the next 48 hours.
My adorable instructor and I! Emily completely understood that my pregnancy status meant I would have to take it easy a few times in class, and truth to be told I faked turning the knob to a harder resistance for 98% of the class. I’m not the only one that does that, right? As for additional adventures, I also want to try a boxing class with a friend that’s been raving about it, and I’ve heard great things about PureBarre classes as well. Anything that keeps the variety high and the fun at a maximum is up my alley these days. I know it will lead to a healthier pregnancy, delivery, and baby. And I hope it will make my recovery easier, with a faster return to my pre-pregnancy weight. Throw your tips and tricks at me as well, I’m ready to hear ’em!
P.S. I attended a complimentary JoyRide class in exchange for this post. Don’t worry though, all opinions are my own!