I’m determined, as far as my body allows, to have a healthy and fit pregnancy. So far, I’ve managed to maintain a relatively healthy diet and I exercise three to four times a week when possible. But this journey into a fit pregnancy started long before I actually became pregnant and I’d love to share the decisions we made prior to finding out that baby Eksteen was growing in my belly.
As I mentioned in my pregnancy announcement post, Wesley and I started the year knowing that we’d like to start a family; with that in mind I decided to take real steps towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In January of this year I committed to running a minimum of three times a week and doing strength training about two days a week. Regardless of the weather or how the day went, I used exercise as my outlet and really started enjoying the fact that exercise was about being healthy and not solely about how I looked. Coupled with this, I started eating better and cut out about 90% of processed sugar, allowing for a sweet treat on occasion.
I started taking important vitamins, namely omega 3, folic acid and calcium and, once we decided that it would be my last month on birth control, I changed over to the chela-preg antenatal vitamin.
Fast forward to my pregnancy: I have been able to maintain a moderate level of exercise. I walk two to three times a week (sadly, running has become a bit of a challenge) and do strength/mini circuit training about three times a week. I miss my pre-pregnancy level of fitness but I am really proud that I am still able to workout; the amount of reps I am able to complete have decreased and I move at a much slower pace but these are because of my growing uterus and baby, softening ligaments and also just general caution around movement.
What I’m most grateful for is what exercise does for my emotional wellbeing. Some of my workouts are challenging but I push through because I know that I will not only sleep better that night but that I will feel better the next morning. When I’m busy and can’t workout I find myself becoming quite cranky and irritable and my energy levels drop quite drastically, which means that I struggle to get through the day. I also find that I experience more cramps in my lower abdomen and legs when time doesn’t allow for me to exercise.
I’m able to do the following exercises: Speed walkSquat/lunge/deadlift/step-ups/light-weight arm presses and curls/resistance band kick-outs/bridges/modified burpees Light aerobics Yoga
I feel that my shortcoming, of late, is that I’ve allowed myself to indulge in quite a bit of carbs and the occasional doughnut. I shouldn’t be eating many of these foods because of gluten and find myself in an awkward position because my body wants to be full but, at the same time, I feel quite sluggish after indulging in these foods that were not a part of my diet before. I’ve been really fortunate that my sweet cravings are for fruit and I need to remind myself that that processed sugar amounts to heartburn, something that can be avoided.
In general, however, Wesley and I really make an effort to eat well and to avoid unnecessary cheats because I don’t have any real cravings outside of fruit. We eat a lot of vegetables and we stay away from processed meats. I am reminding myself with this post that baby feeds on everything that I eat, which is a good reason to keep choosing healthy options.
I shared this post because I believe that adopting a healthy lifestyle before I became pregnant has allowed me to be active and maintain a level of fitness during my pregnancy. My goal isn’t weight-bound but I would like to gain a healthy and not excessive amount of weight over the next five months. I feel really fortunate that my ‘cravings’ in themselves are healthy and I want to be mindful about what I feed my body as we move through this journey.
Everyone’s story and experience is different but, if you were to ask me, I’d say that it’s never too late to start thinking about taking care of yourself. Also, if you are planning to have a baby I believe that it’s good to decide what your priorities are and to start those good habits before your pregnancy; doing so may make how challenging it is to stick to your routines and practices a little easier. Pregnancy has been a wonderful journey up until this point and I’d like to believe that making healthier choices early in our journey to pregnancy has contributed to my overall happiness and well-being.
Have you found this post useful? Leave a comment because I enjoy reading your responses. Keep scrolling to view the fitness images I took with Charmé Kriel Photography.
Until my next post, Bronny xx