Thursday, March 20, 2014
Back when I was pregnant with Miss A, I was really committed to working out throughout my pregnancy. For me, working out has always been partially about managing my weight and partially about relieving stress. I started a new job that fall, in a new school, new grade levels, teaching new subjects, so keeping my stress in check was important. Plus, working out had been a part of my weekly routine for years, and everything I read about working out while pregnant was positive, so I stuck pretty much to my regular routine. I continued going to the gym until around 38 weeks when I was more tired and getting a lot of funny looks from other gym members. Plus it was nice enough outside for E and I to walk around the lake most nights.
After Miss A was born, I had a hard time getting to the gym. The one E and I belonged to didn't have child care, and I hated leaving as soon as E walked in the door to go work out. Miss A was born in late March, and we had a beautiful spring, so we walked miles every day. By my 6 week postpartum visit I was a few pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight and fit in my old clothes okay, so I didn't really worry about it.
I gained a few pounds back as I was weaning Miss A (she was about a year old) but it was still winter here, so I didn't worry much about it. Then I found out I was pregnant with Little J, so I really wasn't worrying about it. During my first trimester with Little J (as will all three pregnancies it turns out) I was really sick and tired, so I wasn't able to do much. Summer came, and I walked a lot with Miss A and E, and pretty much called that my exercise throughout the rest of my pregnancy. In fact, we made it out for a nice, somewhat chilly walk around the lake the day before Little J was born.
When Little J was born, my postpartum experience was much different. For one thing, Little J was born in late November, meaning there were limited options for outdoor activities. I could have gone to a mall to walk, but the idea of getting two kids under two bundled up to go walk around a mall was not appealing. I also had to go back to work a lot earlier with Little J (8 weeks versus the 5 months... big difference!). I picked up a Jillian Michael's DVD and some hand weights at Target, and tried to do those a few times a week. Those helped me get started on my weight loss and back into a workout routine.
That spring was probably the nicest spring I can remember. We had Miss A's birthday party and Little J's baptism over St. Patrick's Day weekend and it was 80 degrees. We were about to have people out on the deck and playing in the yard. It was wonderful. The nice spring also helped me start running. Running had never been my go to exercise, but it was something I could do fairly quickly in the evenings, and I knew it would be effective in helping boost my weight loss. A friend suggested we run a 5k later that spring, and once I signed up I was committed to not embarrass myself at the race. I ran a lot that spring, making it below my goal time for the race, and below my goal weight for a Biggest Loser contest we were having at work. I continued running throughout the summer and fall, and the next year when it warmed up again I started running again.
When I found out I was pregnant this time around, in early December, 2013, I was in a pretty good workout routine. The weather had gotten colder, so I was mixing in time on the elliptical (we got one for the house) on days I couldn't run outside. So far I've been able to keep up with cardio 3 to 4 times per week, which I'm pretty happy with. I joined a rec center near our house with a running track so I have somewhere to run in this crazy winter we're having. I'm not running fast or far, but it's helping me to stay active. I'm not sure how long I'll continue, but at 18 weeks it's still feeling okay. The elliptical is a nice alternative. The movement is much more smooth, but I don't always feel like I'm getting the best workout. As the weather gets nicer, I'll probably add in a lot of walking too. I haven't done much for weights during this pregnancy, but now that I'm starting to feel like myself again, I'll probably try to work more light weights in too.
I really feel that working out during my first pregnancy helped my postpartum experience, so I'm trying to keep that in mind as I go through this pregnancy. I'm being careful to listen to my body and not do too much, but I'm hoping to continue some kind of work out routine throughout this pregnancy. Any advice or suggestions for things to try in the coming months?