Every pregnancy I say I’m going to to do better. I’m going to take my vitamins, eat healthy, keep exercising, and come out on the other side better than when I went in. And every pregnancy, I fail miserably.
Typically, I do great until 5-6 weeks when the morning sickness hits. Then, I eat only what will stay down. After the morning sickness is over, I’m just so happy I eat everything in sight! By this time the thought of vitamins and exercise make me sick, so I avoid them as I pork out, all the time excusing my bad habits as celebrating my pregnancy.
Nice one, Amy.
When it comes to eating healthy and exercising, I have always seen my life as a series of pregnancies with the time in between being the only opportunity I had to get back in shape. Sometimes that was mere months! Only a few months to undo a cycle of unhealthy habits, only to find myself right back to my old ways as soon as a new baby was on its way. And let me tell you, when you’ve been eating poorly for 9 months, it is extremely difficult to go back to eating well and exercising.
Toward the end of my pregnancy with Creed, I started reading Trim Healthy Mama and began to realize pregnancy didn’t need to be a time when I got weaker. I actually began to be excited about getting stronger and healthier. Rather than throwing my hands up because I was at the end of my pregnancy anyway, I started to think how much stronger and healthier I would be after baby arrived if I started right then.
So, that’s what I did!
And 6 weeks after baby’s birth, I was back down to pre-pregnancy weight!
I had a few readers ask for tips on what you can do while pregnant to start making healthy changes, so I decided to write out what I plan to do if the Lord should bless us again. I hope this helps some of you!
1. Start Now! Stop waiting to not be pregnant, and if you’re not currently pregnant, start these healthy habits with the intention of carrying them over into pregnancy.
2. Make your supplements a habit. I’m terrible at taking vitamins, but some of it is the fact that I don’t stick with it long enough to make it a habit. Right now, I’m working on making my vitamins a healthy habit. I’ve even enlisted the help of my husband to remind me.
3. A little exercise is better than nothing. I know, I know…you’re tired and you hurt, but really, all you have to do is 10 minutes of something that is a little more exertion than you are used to. Take the stairs up to your OB’s office instead of the elevator (yep, that was my exercise of choice 😉 ) or do some stretching or find a pregnancy workout on YouTube (there are TONS of these!). Even now, I take this approach…what time I have to exercise is what time I have. A little bit is better than nothing.
4. Eat what will nourish you and baby. The key word here is NOURISH. We have to stop seeing food as just something we do. It has to be seen as the FUEL it is. What kind of fuel you put in your body will determine how you feel burning that fuel. And when you are pregnant, you have someone else to think about as well. Are you and baby running on junk or on the best fuel you can manage? Make the choice meal by meal to nourish you and your baby. I think about this as I’m breastfeeding too…nourish me and in turn, nourish baby.
5. Make goals. I started making goals when I was pregnant for what I wanted to do once I had baby, but you can easily make goals for yourself during pregnancy. Things like a slower weight gain or exercise goals are great to have and shoot for during pregnancy. Remember, think strong!
I started making changes about 4 weeks prior to delivery. My goal was to get a jump start on losing the baby weight by eating better at the end then I ever have before. I’m focused now on getting stronger through weight training and cardio and continuing to eat nourishing foods.
I’m nowhere near perfect and sweets are still a major downfall for me, but I’m not giving up and I refuse to make pregnancy an excuse anymore!
So, how’s my progress? Baby Creed is 9 weeks old and I am 5 pounds under pre-pregnancy weight.
My next mini-goal (remember, I said I have to do small goals because if I look at ALL the weight I need to lose, it overwhelms me) is about 7 pounds away! That goal will mark the weight I was when I got pregnant with my 6th child in 2008.