Thursday, April 12, 2012

One thing I absolutely love about my pregnancies is how industrious I become.  I have some project going all the time.  I love the productivity!








Exercise and Allergy Relief

I am so grateful that I can be active during this pregnancy.  Though my intensity is nowhere near pre-pregnancy intensity (and I sometimes find that annoying), the movement helps me tremendously.  Allergy season is upon us and I cannot take my regular medicine since it's not recommended in pregnancy.  I've been drinking nettle tea, lemon water with local honey, and just whatever I can to minimize the severity of the allergies.  But nothing takes care of the allergy symptoms better than exercise.  And in this case, a little goes a long way.  So I huff and puff at the gym.  Build up  a bit of sweat.  And my nasal passages clear.  My lungs get clear.  My eyes stop watering. The sinus swelling goes down.  And I get to enjoy the feeling for hours and hours.  Doesn't matter if I'm moving maximum weight or less than a 1/4 of that . . . I still get the same benefit.  

My attitude towards exercise has changed so much from when I first started.  The aesthetic has become such a small part of why I do what I do.  It's surprising actually because that was the whole reason I started!  I exercise because it makes me feel good physically and mentally--and that gives me enough motivation to keep going when it gets challenging.  And getting through the challenging parts provides motivation in so many other aspects of my life.  Kind of amazing.  

Monday, April 9, 2012

Learning to trust the Process

Not necessarily because I want to, but because I have to!

The moment I found out that I was expecting our third was an interesting moment in my life. I had a lot of conflicting thoughts and many worries. To a certain extent, I still do but I am so very happy about this baby on his/her way.

One of the issues I thought about was my fitness, training, and admittedly, my weight.

Without a doubt, a healthy pregnancy involves weight gain and even though I understand that from an intellectual point of view, it is very difficult to let go of the emotional angst that comes with the weight gain. I can see that I am putting on weight in a healthy way but I'm still nervous about putting it on. How difficult will it be to lose the weight? How long will it take? I know that if worse comes to worst, I can always go back to Weight Watchers, which is how I successfully lost weight last time. But I eat a paleo diet now and it was difficult for me to reconcile paleo (high fat) to Weight Watchers. I mean, how can I really trust that my paleo diet will ensure that I lose the weight? I always hear that it's difficult to overeat fat and protein but let me tell you, it just is not the truth for me. I love to eat. A lot. I will continue to eat after I am full just because the food tastes good. I have not yet gotten to a point where I can trust myself to eat and then stop when I am full. There is a whole list of foods that I totally avoid because I know once I start, I won't or can't stop until the entire bag is gone. I have absolutely no self-control around those foods. So yeah, I'm nervous. Weight Watchers worked so well for me because it imposed limits on how much I could eat. I wouldn't eat the whole bag because that would be well over 3/4ths of my daily allowance. I am a stickler for the rules and guidelines and if they are in place, I seem to function better. Eating paleo and trying to lose weight is like jumping out of a plane but this time without a parachute. Just hoping I eventually land. I'm just not sure about it. I do know that this pregnancy has involved me eating a lot more sweets (in the form of fruit) than I usually do. I've also been eating honey pretty liberally (one of the few sweeteners allowed on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet). It's obvious to me that to lose weight, I will need to cut those out or at least significantly reduce how much of it I have. But how soon can I do that while nursing? The bottom line is that I do not trust myself. I do not know exactly what my body needs to be healthy. I am learning what my body doesn't need but I honestly do not know what it does need. Also, I think sugar is addictive so can a craving for something sweet really be trusted? But there is nothing left to do but to trust the process. Continue to eat nourishing foods. Get good sleep. Relax. Move. And I hope that will do the trick.

And then there's my weight training and fitness. I had planned to stay active throughout my pregnancy and, for the most part, I am. However, I have had to slow down significantly and although I know I should be relaxing and enjoying not pushing as much, the truth is I love to push. I love to set personal records. I do not like taking it easy. But I really have no choice in the matter. Running is really uncomfortable. Most of the movements I used to do for my high intensity interval training are a no-go too. I run out of breath easily. Heck, even walking 15 minutes to the gym feels like I have *worked*. I definitely have had to drop the weights that I use and on certain lifts (most recently vertical push and pull exercises) I feel too much strain so I refuse to do them. I'm worried about losing some of the gains I've made. When I finished Power Training for Strength, I was deadifting at a maximum 170 pounds. When I started lifting weight, I could only deadlift about 80 pounds. I mean, I have been seeing some really great gains with consistency and discipline and I worry about how much of those gains I will lose. When will I actually get my life back together after the baby is born to start seriously lifting again? I just have to accept that my body is already doing a great deal of work by growing a baby and realize that backing off is not defeat or a sign of weakness. And I also have to be grateful that I am having a low-risk pregnancy which means that even though I'm not as active as I'd want to be, I can be active.

There are many questions in my mind but I am trying to relax despite my concerns. I am regularly practicing yoga (accepting that most of my yoga DVDs are no longer suitable and I need to stick to prenatal ones). And I've finally incorporated a meditation practice into my life that relaxes me and helps me be more patient and understanding. I have been working with Shimoff's book Happy for No Reason. I've been keeping a gratitude journal every day, no exception. I write down three or more things for which I am grateful. And surprisingly, even on days that I don't think I have much to be grateful for, I come up with things. Usually far more than 3 things. So if nothing else, not being able to do fitness related things has given me time to do more meditative, healing things. Spiritual fitness, I suppose one could say. And that is a wonderful gift that this baby is giving me. Another thing for which to be grateful.  
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