|Yes, I will continue to enjoy wearing my yoga pants despite my no-gym status :)|
Since finding out I was pregnant, I've trying to make the best decisions possible, especially regarding health. As this pregnancy has progressed, I have become a little lax here and there (mostly with soda consumption--that devil!), but I'm happy to say that I've been able to be relatively consistent in the area of exercise.
Anyone who's gone through this process before knows that a pregnant lady's energy and physical capacity vary throughout the ten months she's carrying a baby. I remember being so exhausted for the first few months that I would work, workout, then sleep. Awake and repeat. (Did I mention napping during lunch?) Thankfully I have some very encouraging people in my life who gave me the best advice I could get about pregnancy and exercise: If you don't start at the beginning, you won't start at all. So, despite the voice in my head begging me NOT to get to the gym, I started early and count that as a large factor in my prenatal exercise commitment.
Because I was so tired in my first trimester, when someone commented to me that the second trimester was the "energy trimester" and that I'd feel great, I did NOT believe them. However, as I watched my heart rate get stronger and more efficient (You MUST monitor your HR, ladies!), my workouts easily become more intense and my motivation sky rocket, I started to believe that my exercise life was back on track. In fact, the gym was almost addicting during those months in the middle; it reminded me that I was still me. I set a personal goal during this time to walk three miles the day before I gave birth--little did I know...
In my third trimester, my physical capacity lowered. It was totally bizarre; it was as if one day I woke up and my body had a mind of its own, and it did NOT want to continue at my second trimester pace. I felt really guilty for a while--allowing my physical pain to dictate the length and intensity of my workouts really made me feel out of control. Then I had a day with a particularly bad workout and I decided to change my attitude: Even being at the gym is a win! So what if my back could only handle my treadmill being on 0% incline? I was WALKING, and, dangit, that was better than nothing.
I've been brought back down to reality somewhere in the past two months, relinquishing my walking-three-miles-before-birth goal because 1.) I don't know her exact arrival date, and I don't want to walk three miles a day for the next week :) and 2.) I don't want to be overly sore while laboring. Oh, and my running shoes barely tie because of the size of my feet. Not to mention that my swollen legs throb every second I'm working out! I've had to make amends with the passing of that goal and remind myself that a physically fit labor (the REAL goal) requires a rested body. (And, really, what was I thinking? Unrealistic expectations? Uh, yeah...)
Now I'm on to thinking about exercise in the upcoming months. I have to admit that I'm a little weirded out by not being able to do much of anything but walk the baby around in a stroller during the typical six-week recovery period: It's perhaps obnoxious to admit, but I really am proud to say that I've consistently worked out four to six days a week over the past ten months (minus two particularly busy weeks), so it's going to be an odd feeling to not be allowed workout. Plus, walking the baby around the neighborhood doesn't seem like an appealing exercise to me right now; I mean, I'm a treadmill girl (Another secret to keeping my workouts consistent? I watch "Biggest Loser" on Netflix while I walk...totally motivating!) because I like to know exactly how far I've gone, how many calories I've burned and how it compares to my previous workouts. And although strength/weight training isn't my favorite thing, it's a part of my life now, and (I can't believe I'm saying this) I'll miss it...
Now that you know my gym history over the past ten months, you can imagine the mixed emotions I had today as I declared to Ryan that this was my "last chance workout" (a "Biggest Loser" term, ha!). I'm afraid that if I continue over the next few days, I'll be sore for the delivery, especially in my lower back and legs, and I really don't want that. (Also, my stomach has gotten so big that even my maternity pants slip down, and, ugh, who wants to be that lady with a belly hanging out while she does lunges? Yuck.) Thus, I *think* I'm done for now. I just wish I knew the exact day she was coming; it'd make my decision to officially stop my routine much easier.
So now I suppose it's just sit back and relax--literally!