Feb 102016
 

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I wanted to write a post about how I’m feeling because, after all, this was a blog about gaining and losing weight and addressing body image is important to me. Read these two recent posts about the topic of weight gain and pregnancy:

Let’s Talk About Weight

Body Changes During Pregnancy

For the last few months I’ve been handling the weight gain pretty well. It was slow in the first trimester, most of the second trimester it was steady but not extreme. Then around 26 weeks I had a big jump. Even though everything I read said this was normal around that time period, it was kind of devastating. I was shocked to see an 8 pound difference from last doctor appointment. 8 pounds in one month?!

After talking to some friends that had had babies and reading that this jump was normal, I was able to talk myself down a bit and not beat myself up about the weight gain. After all, I had been staying consistent with my fitness (working out 5 days a week) and I was still counting my calories and 85% of the time I was staying within the range my doctor suggested.

Then at 27 weeks the bump POPPED. It wasn’t a cute little bump anymore, it was a “wow there’s definitely a baby in there” bump. It’s crazy to see a drastic change in just one week. Where did that big bump come from?!?

Once I was in the third trimester and the weight was consistently climbing and the baby was getting bigger, I was struggling. A lot. I’d have good days and I’d have bad days. It was hard to see my body changing in such a major way. It was HARD not to compare those changes to the OLD body I used to have. I kept trying to remind myself that this is pregnancy, I was gaining weight for a healthy baby, not because I was obese.

Those old memories were hard to shake, though.

It was hard not to focus on the number.  It was hard not to feel like I was back at my 25 year old self when I was obese. At my highest weight I was 255 pounds or so.

What’s hard to ignore is just HOW HARD I WORKED to lose that 110 pounds. It took nearly 2 years of hard work, daily effort, diligence and focus to lose the weight. So seeing the number on the scale tick up and up felt like a failure to that success.

It’s difficult to articulate just how it feels. Because logically I know it’s ok. My doctor isn’t concerned with my rate of weight gain. Everything has come back normal, right on target, baby is healthy. I’m happy I am able to stay active and workout, even if I am modifying a lot of activities. That has definitely helped my body image, self-esteem and just general mood. Working out gives me a boost of happy feelings and that’s good. So if I can still workout, feel good and I know logically that things are normal and ok, why do I get bummed out when I see my body getting bigger??

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It’s been said before many times but it’s really true. Comparison is the thief of joy. It is SO HARD not to compare yourself to other pregnant ladies. I’ll see them at the gym and it looks like they are further along then I am, yet they are all stick thin with a basketball belly. You know the type. They don’t seem to be gaining weight in other parts of their bodies…like I am…and I compare myself. Then I feel badly and then I shame myself for comparing myself and it’s a vicious cycle.

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It’s weird not having ANY control over your body changes. Something that happened when I lost 110 pounds was that I realized I was in control of my body and I COULD lose weight. Then when I spent 6+ years maintaining that weight loss, I was still in control. I could make decisions on what I ate and I made good decisions most of the time and was successful. Then all of a sudden, I was no longer in control of what happened to my body, even though I was still TRYING to be in control of it. Letting that go has been a struggle for me — I am not good at giving up control.

What sucks is the comments I get from other people. People who either think they are being charming or funny, but are not. Just don’t. Never make judgmental comments, even “joking” about a pregnant woman’s body.

I was looking through some Facebook posts recently and saw some photos of myself from last year and the year before–when I was feeling down about having gained 10 pounds or so. My first thought was, Damn, I was so much skinnier! Then I thought, why didn’t I realize it at the time? PERSPECTIVE.

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I came across this article: The Dirty Little Secret About Pregnancy Weight Gain and was a little uneasy…expecting it to be gimmicky or a waste of time but reading through it, it really spoke to me. It was more about finding perspective, and not the judge-y article I was expecting. Here is a tidbit from that article:

“According to experts, these are the main concerns:

  1. You’ll be more uncomfortable with all that extra weight to haul around.
  2. You could develop gestational diabetes.
  3. You might have high blood pressure, which can lead to scary complications.
  4. Your baby could be big, making labor more difficult and possibly leading to a C-section.
  5. You’ll have your work cut out for you to lose more weight after the baby’s born.

For me personally, I have no signs of gestational diabetes, my blood pressure is consistently low, and my baby’s growth is right on track.

Leaving only concerns number 1 and 5, which are really just about my own convenience. After talking to my midwife and reading up on the risks, I’m not concerned about my “high” pregnancy weight gain.”

It was kind of an eye-opening DUH moment for me. Perspective. I do not have gestational diabetes. My baby is not measuring extra large, my blood pressure is normal and I’m not having any other issues. On top of that, I am counting my calories per my doctor’s instructions and I’ve been exercising pretty much the same throughout. Those are all positives! So what if my body is gaining a little bit more than I was hoping? All signs are pointing to healthy–isn’t that the most important part?

I have no idea how much I weigh at this moment. Once I got to the middle of the third trimester I stopped looking at the doctor’s office. I didn’t need to know how much weight I was gaining because really…this pregnancy has shown me that it’s out of my control and feeling badly about myself isn’t going to be a positive thing at this stage in the game. Besides, I’m almost to the end. Why do I need to know right now? Maybe my focus needs to be on other things for these last few weeks.

So I’m not weighing myself, I’m still working out when I can, doing what I can, counting my calories and eating healthy, and LETTING IT GO. My mind is now focused on the baby and not the weight, even if I do have a “bad” day. I can’t wait for him to be here and I’m happy my body is doing so well as he grows.

How am I feeling now?

At 35 weeks I am finding that I care less about the weight gain. Maybe that’s because I haven’t been to the doctor in a few weeks and I don’t know how much I weigh…ignorance is bliss? But I’m honestly feeling pretty good about my body right now. I feel like I’m in the homestretch and just generally feeling happy with my body these days!

If you’ve had kids, how did you feel about the weight gain?

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Nov 302015
 

My Thanksgiving started out ok — this year I slept in a bit and then went to the gym. Because I had a leisurely morning I missed the crowds at the gym, which was also nice! Usually it’s a freakin’ mad house but there weren’t many people there by the time I arrived. Last year I went to the Warrior Room for a killer workout, this year I took it kind of easy. I was feeling kind of yucky due to some dental work and being pregnant I wasn’t all about killing myself to get a mega calorie burn before a day of marathon eating. I was more into doing everything (including eating) in moderation.

I did my standard warm-up (PT stretches, pushups, jumping jacks) and then went into the weights part. This was my workout of the day:

Bent-over Row

Squats (just body weights)

2-Handed kettlebell swing

Leg Press Machine

Seated Cable Row

Lat Pulldown machine

Triceps pulldown

Pec-fly Machine

Then I did some “Ab” work. I use that term loosely because I wouldn’t really call it ab work these days. My usual ab routine is down to just a few things on a matt: planks, Bird Dogs, and the Glute Bridge. Then I did 3 miles on the elliptical and called it a day.

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I got home and cleaned up and then prepped the veggie tray for dinner and then we went over to Michael’s mom’s house for the holiday. His sister made her amazing deviled eggs (yum) and we munched for a few hours. Because of the dental work I had done I was eating mostly softer foods, so the eggs were nice.

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Michael’s brother got the entire thanksgiving meal from Zupan’s again (I think this is the 3rd year we’ve done this?) and it was fabulous! Everything comes pre-cooked and you just heat it up in the oven for 30 minutes or so and it’s done. It’s so tasty and easy.

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Michael usually carves up the bird and this year he tried it the Alton Brown way and it went surprisingly well!

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I love Thanksgiving. It’s one of my favorite holidays. Probably because I love mashed potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie. Those are like my favorite foods. :) Thankfully most of the traditional foods of the holiday are on the softer side so I could actually EAT my favorite foods despite my tooth pain.

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The upside to being pregnant on Thanksgiving? I was already wearing stretchy pants! Yay maternity pants! The downside? I think there is less room in my body for food. LOL Oh well. I still enjoyed all my favorites!

There was some extended family with us this year, one of which is an almost 2 year old. Who is adorable and charming. And he discovered the black-olives-on-fingers tradition for the first time, which was so cute to watch. He spent the rest of the evening sticking his finger out wanting olives. It’s hard to believe that next year this time we’ll have a little munchkin discovering new things too!

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I barely had room for dessert but it was my favorite so you better believe I made room! Yay pumpkin pie! Food coma commenced pretty much immediately.

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It was a really chilled day, which was nice after some of the stressful stuff we’ve had going on lately. Never felt rushed or frantic and could just kind of relax and hang out. And we got lucky and scored some leftovers for a few days! Hope everyone had a lovely holiday!

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