As I'm now in my third trimester, my belly has definitely been increasing in size at a rapid pace. I personally don't mind my belly getting big. It makes it feel all the more real to me. I like to think about my baby growing bigger too. That being said, I DO mind when I see the rest of me get bigger as well.
This pregnancy, I put on weight fast. I found out I was pregnant just before Thanksgiving.
We went to my in-laws for the big day, and needless to say, I didn't exercise much self-control. I also didn't exercise to make up for it. Then as we all know, around Christmas there is so much to do, and even more delicious stuff to eat. By the time the holiday season was over, I was already up 8 pounds. And I was only 12 weeks along.
Like I do every New Year, I vowed to workout at least 5 times a week. Although I wouldn't be able to workout as hard as I normally would, I could still burn some fat and tighten up. I was doing great, (excited for another boy!) exercising frequently, eating right and feeling good.
Then I went out to visit my family for my brothers wedding.
I didn't want to workout! I just wanted to hang out with people I don't see enough, and hit up all my favorite restaurants that I miss being away from home. Not to mention eating all that good wedding food! So all that hanging out and eating out didn't do much to help keep my weight gain to a minimum. I came home and I was 21 weeks, and had gained a total of 16 pounds!
My doctor told me that because I started at a healthy weight, I should put on about 25 pounds total. Thats only 9 more pounds and I was just over half way through my pregnancy! I should have realized it was time to take some action. But I didn't. I was in big time nesting mode and had a HUGE list of stuff I wanted to get done. Here's a sample-
- organize and get all my pics from the last 2 years printed and put them in albums.
-Catch up on my journaling from the past 6 months.
-finish pregnancy #3 memory book
-finish baby #3's baby scrapbook
-sell a bunch of stuff on craigslist
-paint the upstairs bathroom vanity
-potty train J (who is 3! 'bout time!)
thats just a fraction of the list. There's so much more on it!
So I put my "to-do" list ahead of taking care of my body. I kept telling myself, once all these things are done, I can start working out again. Well, that was not the right answer obviously. I will always have a to-do list, and there will always be something I could be doing instead of working out. The reality was, my health and the health of my baby needed to be put higher on that list. But I still procrastinated, another 4 weeks passed and I went to my next appointment- Feeling very huge, squishy and unattractive.
I felt even more so when I learned that I had gained a total of 19 pounds! Too much at only 25 weeks. My doctor reminded me of the risks that can come if I put on too much weight, and suggested I start watching what I eat and working out.
That night after the kids were in bed, I got seriously depressed. I cried to my husband complaining about how fat I am, how pathetic I am that I have no self-control, etc. He was sweet and assured me I wasn't fat, he loves my pregnant body, and all is not lost. Then he kindly (and probably nervously) suggested I head to the gym. This was the turning point. I couldn't put if off any longer, I had to take back control of my body! So I laced up my pink Nike's and went to the gym with very red, very swollen eyes.
All I did was walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes. But I felt so much better! I swear, I already felt firmer. So I went back the next night. And most nights after that for the next 3 weeks. When I didn't go to the gym, I would workout at home. I finally was living up to my goal of exercising 5 times a week! Actually 2 of those weeks, it was 6 times! I stopped eating my nightly bowl of Breyers Rocky Road Ice cream, (oh, how I miss it!) and started writing down everything I ate to help me break the habit of mindless/boredom eating. So, yesterday was my latest appointment.
I am now 28 weeks, and have gained a total of 18 pounds! You read that right, I lost a pound! So now I have 11 weeks left, and only 7 pounds left to gain if I want to stay within my goal of only gaining 25 pounds this pregnancy. I think I can do it! My doctor explained to me that because I had already put on a good amount of weight, (there's a euphemism for ya!) losing a little bit, (emphasis on little bit) of weight is not going to cause any problems or complications. Because I'm getting enough calories, and not over-doing my workouts, I'm staying healthy and the baby and I are both better for it. Now that I know my efforts were not in vain, and I can see and feel a difference in my body I'm more motivated than ever to keep up the good work!
Moral of the story- If you are pregnant, and feel like theres no point in starting to exercise now, that it's not going to make a difference, you won't be able to see/feel results- think again. It is possible to get in better shape even while you are "with child". And it doesn't have to be hard or intense. Every little bit helps.
To borrow a famous slogan "Just do it!"
Your body, and your baby will thank you.