Hi ladies! I have such a love/hate relationship with today’s topic right now: pregnancy weight and working out during pregnancy.
Here is why I felt the need to put this into a post: My weight is something that gives me massive anxiety when I am pregnant because I have so little control over it and it affects me in a big way. I also have a hard time finding ways to exercise and incorporate workouts into at a time when they are much more physically challenging and my exhaustion is at its peak. I fully understand if this of no interest to you and you don’t want to read on, but I have bottled it all up through three pregnancies now and I need to get it out for my own sanity.
First, let’s discuss weight.
I know that no two women are the same when it comes to pregnancy weight and bodies. I have some friends who barely look pregnant for seven months of a pregnancy and others who have giant bellies and nothing else on their body changes. I have friends who bounced back within weeks, and others who struggled for months or years.
I am someone who gains a lot of weight all over during pregnancy, particularly in my bottom half. My legs and butt have doubled in size (not even exaggerating) and my arms and face are rapidly expanding as we speak. Even my nose gets bigger. MY NOSE. I have also had multiple people tell me I look further along than I am, which always helps to hear (um, NO.)
I realize that this is a silly thing to get down on, but it definitely can bring me down. I have a hard time looking in the mirror and getting dressed without being a little bummed out. I know it is temporary, but it is not easy for me to get my body back and I get a little further away from where I was with each pregnancy. For someone who is soothed and calmed by control, this is a little difficult.
Now, let’s talk about working out.
My mentality with my first pregnancy with Avery was to do an hour of cardio every day and eat whatever I wanted. I worked out up until I went into labor with her, as in four hours before labor started. I still gained a lot of weight, 55 pounds, and was very swollen. I actually came home from the hospital with her weighing more than when I went in, but I think that was from the IV fluids. I wasn’t able to nurse her, so I just worked out and dieted and was able to lose most of the weight, with 15ish pounds hanging around. However, my body changed, so even though my weight was different my size wasn’t too different.
When I was pregnant with Greyson I felt like absolute death all nine months and couldn’t work out no matter how hard I tried. I gained 65 pounds with him and nursed him for three months. It took me about two years to get back to where I wanted to be after that. It was definitely frustrating, especially as my stomach changed and I developed a lot of GI issues during that pregnancy that never went away.
I started at a much higher weight this time because of medication I was on for six months prior to getting pregnant. I have been trying to make smarter food choices and maintain my workouts to help me feel better and to hopefully help with delivery and after birth. I have gained much less so far this pregnancy, but because of where I started, I feel bigger than ever before.
When I am not pregnant, I love to workout. I am a semi-reformed cardio junkie and have worked out since I was in high school for the vanity reasons, plus the health benefits and as a tool to fight anxiety. I love all types of workouts from straight cardio to spin, weights, barre and hot yoga.
With this pregnancy, I was extremely queasy, tired and basically felt like I was getting the flu for the first 16 weeks. I have managed to push myself to do at least four workouts a week, which I am really glad I have done. In the first months, during and after my workouts were the times when I felt the best. I do some light cardio, either walking with inclines and weights on the treadmill or hitting the elliptical for 30-45 minutes depending on the day. I have also been doing a ton of Barre3, both in studio and at home. I swear that Barre3 has helped with my back pain like nothing else and is helping me feel better and stronger than I ever have while pregnant.
What I Love
I picked up some hand weights (the purple and black things in the picture) that I can wear while I hit the treadmill. They are super dorky looking, but they get the job done (try these.) On days when I can’t get in to take a class at my Barre3 studio, I do their online workouts (here) which are awesome and offered in different time lengths. They add a new one every week so there is always something different to do. I got my ball from their online store and use two pound weights (here.) I also have a yoga block (here) that I like to use for more support or stretching after cardio. I highly recommend picking one up, because it can help with so many things. Just google “yoga block during pregnancy” and see all of the different things you can do with it!
Phew, major props to you if you got through this post. I feel badly venting at all about any negative feelings and emotions during pregnancy because it’s such a blessing to be able to be pregnant, but I know that there are a lot of you out there who have amazing advice to give, and I want to be as transparent and honest as I can be with you ladies.
I would love to hear any advice, tips, suggestions you may have and hear your experiences! -XO