The first thing I said to myself when I got pregnant was that I wasn’t going to be one of “those” pregnant women… you know the kind- who take being pregnant as a free pass to eat EVERYTHING & ANYTHING, ALL-THE-TIME. Ha! Great endeavor for someone who has never been pregnant before, but now that I’m 6 months into it, I can tell you that your honorable intentions all go out the window- or at least mine did. You are tired, you are hungry, you are stressed and you can’t have booze! Next best thing for me is some delicious food and I’ve had my fair share of it over the last 6 months. That being said, I still don’t want to come out on the other end of this looking like a whale… So here are a few things I keep in mind in order to keep myself semi-fit AND sane during this time 🙂
1. Don’t beat yourself up!
I had been in the swing of losing some weight and staying consistently active when I found out I was pregnant. I told myself being pregnant wasn’t going to be an excuse for not exercising. I did good for awhile, especially in the 1st trimester when I continued a boot camp class I had been going to, but slowly and surely exercise became a little less important. Instead of making myself feel guilty when I’d skip a workout (or a whole week of workouts!), I’d just appreciate that my body was going through a change, that it was OK to be tired and stressed and not be hardcore every day. Again, we shouldn’t use it as an excuse but don’t beat yourself up when you need a rest or a break. Feeling guilty won’t make skipping that workout any better- use that time to take a nap, read a book or do something else on your to-do list!
2. Stay Consistent
While rest days are definitely needed, especially when pregnant, consistency is always the key with fitness. Long spurts of minimal or no exercise really lowers your strength and cardio ability very quickly. While taking a break here and there is OK, staying consistently active over these months is going to be key. Even if you are too tired for a hardcore workout, you can always fit in a short walk and a few pushups or squats. Something is always better than nothing! Sometimes I even do a few squats in the shower or while I’m brushing my teeth. Don’t let your body forget what it feels like to sweat and move. Do something daily, no matter how small. If you still find yourself going more than a few days without a workout, see Tip #1!
3. Drink Water!!
Water is so, so, so important. Even when we aren’t pregnant we often never get enough water each day. I also live at altitude (8900ft!) so I need even more water than the average person + even more than that when I’m pregnant. I seriously can’t get enough water into my system it seems. Keep a water bottle on your desk, in your purse, or in the fridge. Always opt for water with meals and skip the soda & juice. If you don’t like water (I know personally it can often be an acquired taste) then you need to be drinking more until you do like it. I swear it works! Of course there are great tricks to making water more tasty if you really struggle with getting it down- here are some awesome recipes I found. Water not only will hydrate you and your baby but also provides lots of other benefits like great looking skin, fewer headaches, and better digestion.
4. Choose Healthy Alternatives for Snacks
I haven’t been an ice cream person in recent years, salty things have always been my snack of choice but after getting pregnant ice cream is the only thing on my radar. I’ve given into the craving far too many times the last few months and swear I could feel my cheeks getting fatter as I ate each spoonful. I knew for my own health and the health of my baby, I couldn’t continue that way. So instead of completely denying myself this treat- I thought of a tasty alternative. Instead of a bowl of ice cream, I started eating yogurt drizzled lightly with chocolate syrup. Might sound gross and is surely not a replacement for the tastiness of ice cream but the chocolate on top tricks my mouth. Obviously not the best tactic but still better than a bowl of ice cream!
5. Feed the Need
Sometimes (or more than sometimes) you have to give in to your cravings. Let’s be honest, being pregnant is not fun. Sure it’s very exciting to be growing a human being, but what it does to your body is not exciting at all. If I restricted myself to ONLY healthy food the whole time, I’d think I’d be in an insane asylum. So Kit-Kat bars, ice cream, big juicy cheeseburgers, or delicious bowls of pasta have definitely made it on my menu. And guess what I don’t feel bad about it! (See Tip #1) Plus your little one needs the extra calories! Not a ton, but in moderation! Since I can’t have booze to relieve my stress, a Kit-Kat bar and big glass of milk has been the next best thing for me 🙂 No matter what, pregnancy is a long and tough time. We want to do what we can to make things easy for ourselves but also healthy for our baby. Taking a break and giving into temptation (within reason) here and there is not going to cause major effects on us or our children. I’m a big fan of everything in moderation- that goes for treats, exercise, & rest. Enjoy this special time in your life, try to make good decisions most of the time, and the rest of the time kick, back, relax, have some ice cream and chocolate and enjoy every bite!