First pregnancy reflections:
As I am inching towards the end of my first pregnancy journey. I feel comfortable now to share more about the last 9 months. The first and second trimester were honestly a breeze considering how things are changing fast and hard in the 3rd trimester. So let’s look back at some memories now.
When looking back, It was a lot of adjusting and realigning my thoughts and mental state to what pregnancy is like and managing my expectations from people around me. To be fair, it is my first pregnancy, so a lot of things came as a shock. It took time for me to see my belly grow week by week and not think I am just getting fat. It made me happy and it made me insecure all at the same time because no one wants to be seen getting bigger so I had to shift my mindset from getting bigger to growing a life!
I work in an industry that celebrate abs and a flat stomach and to flip that coin around took me a second. The woman’s body is magical and that’s what I have to keep telling myself every single day. As I can create the body I want through strength training and nutrition. I can create the mindset I want throughout my pregnancy too.
Pregnancy training + workout:
Before I begin, I am a personal trainer, a bodybuilder, and a health coach so I do understand my body and the way it works fairly well. Okay, let’s begin. When I first found out I was pregnant around 6-8 weeks, I did take things a little easier. I did more yoga again. I didn’t push the body to go heavy if I didn’t want to and was very cautious about over-exerting myself. I don’t incorporate a lot of specific core work in my pre-pregnancy training, but I almost immediately stopped doing any form of direct core engaging exercises routine except pushups, planks, pull ups, front squats etc just because those exercises helps with inner core muscles and balance as my COG changes long-term.
Despite growing a human, I stuck to a strict 5-day active training days, 1 cardio day and 1 full rest day. The active days could last anywhere from 30 minutes, 45 minutes and sometimes even an hour if I am up for it that day. My goal is to stay fit throughout my entire pregnancy. Yes, I did not want to blow up, but I also wanted to stay healthy and strong. I’ve heard of all the aches and pain that comes with pregnancy and I wanted my body to be ready for it. (and boy oh boy did it come in the 8th month!)
My parents, friends, clients, and keyboard warriors were worried if I was going to do anything stupid to harm the baby, but I always listened to my body. If something was too challenging or didn’t feel right, I would stop immediately. It rarely happened, but there were the occasional exercises that just didn’t feel good like jumping jacks or running (for me at least).
I documented my trainings and workouts from the very beginning until now so you can watch how my body transformed over the last 9 months, which is pretty incredible to watch to say the least. Things really took a turn around 30 weeks when my bump didn’t just look like I ate too much pizza last night.
Days that I was not in the gym I would take long walks and try to clock in 10,000 steps a day. It is getting harder as I am writing to you in my 3rd trimester, but we made it happen whenever we can. I had to remind myself not to be too hard on myself because there is 2 of us now and she needs me too.
Pregnancy diet + nutrition:
Just like my pregnancy workouts and training, there were some modifications and adjustments to my diet that was made too. I drank less coffee, add more protein, load up on vegetables because constipation is a real thing during pregnancy. Carbs were more fun because I wasn’t restricting myself, but it changes on the weekly basis depending on how I am feeling because some days I could barely look at piece of bread. Brown rice and rice vermicelli were my staple, and they were low in GI so it was all good if I wanted more on my plate.
The most controversial part of my diet was I ate raw salmon yes salmon sashimi every once in a while, when I had a craving. I didn’t do it every day or every week. but I didn’t budge if I wanted to. The only strict diet rule my husband had was NO ALCOHOL. I didn’t care for the rest such as cheeses or oysters etc and pre-pregnancy I was barely drinking any alcohol anyway. But oddly enough, around the 2nd trimester, I craved the taste of beer or the smell of red wine. Odd. Really odd. I know.
Everyone should do their own research and do what they feel comfortable for their own pregnancy. People love to judge and LOVE to talk shit to/about pregnant people. There is so much judgement and opinions being thrown around that is truly appalling to me, and I learned very early on that I never want to be one them. If someone ask, ill share my story but to just impose your opinions on someone is plain rude.
Anyway, in summary, I try to eat a high protein diet because protein is crucial for the brain development of the baby. Good fats are also really important too. Of course, I didn’t always eat “right.” There were lazy days, night out, ordering in etc. where I would just cave and eat a burrito or pasta but it happened only a handful of times. For the most part I really tried to be good for the baby.
Here are my 5 non-negotiable staples in my pregnancy diet:
1 Banana a day
1 tsp of Chia seeds
Weight gain is unavoidable during pregnancy and welcome with open arms by your doctor and your loved ones around you. But it is still never easy to watch the scale go up month by month. But let’s break down where the weight is really coming from. Your breast is bigger, there is additional volume of blood, your growing fetus, the placenta (you are growing a whole new organ), the growing uterus, amniotic fluid and then the fat stores to support the baby and all that extra goodness that comes with it.
Sometimes I worry will I ever will lose the baby weight, will I get my strength back? Will I stay this size or will I shrink? Is my metabolism rate shot to the drain? Soo much worries and unnecessary thoughts in my mind just because we don’t hold the future and we can’t always predict what will happen. Trust the process. Trust your body. Trust that you have the capability to do anything that you set your mind to. Trust that your body has built a whole human being from scratch and it can do anything when it sets the mind to it. You got this mama. Enjoy your moment!
There is no easy way to put this, but pregnancy is a time where we have to embrace the weight gain at its fullest. If you are eating right and healthy, you are keeping active and the body moving. There is no need to panic about the weight gain. It is all for and about the baby. If we can try to stay active during pregnancy. We are promised an easier time post-pregnancy. (That I can’t promise you but I will tell you again when I get there.)
Stay tune for Part 2