Learning how to listen to my body with regards to both exercise and nutrition are skills that will serve me well being pregnant. I believe that strength training and healthy nutrition will not only help me throughout my pregnancy but also helped me to get pregnant in the first place.
As it turns out I was pregnant at my wedding! Anthony and I had known that we wanted to be parents for a while, and we weren’t sure how long it would take to conceive, so we decided together to give it a shot. Due to the fact that neither one of us had gotten pregnant before; combined with our previous unhealthy dieting experiences…we weren’t sure if we were actually fertile.
We got engaged in mid- June, married in August and found out we were pregnant in September. It was a lot of AWESOME to handle …to be quite honest, it was stressful. Anthony had recently started a brand new career and was working crazy hours and I was busy with a successful business. Rather than continue to ignore what we both were feeling, we did a lot of communicating, talked out our fears and soon were in a better place.
As many of you know I suffer from clinical depression. I have always feared that I would have miscarriages, unhealthy pregnancies, or that I wouldn’t be able to continue taking my meds during pregnancy. If you do enough reading online, you will scare the shit out of yourself. I truly believe that a mother’s health and happiness is paramount in pregnancy. My meds keep me out of that low place and it was in my best interest and the interest of our child to keep me on the medication. My primary care, mid- wife as well as OB-GYN were all in agreement with this decision.
The first inkling that I might be pregnant came when I was sitting down for my usual snack of greek yogurt and fruit and it utterly disgusted me. The very thought of taking another bite of my favorite treat was unthinkable. Later in the week Anthony and I were in the car, Anthony was talking and I literally told him to “SHUT UP…you’re going to make me puke.” We both just looked at each other and Anthony declared, “You are SOOOOOO pregnant.” There had been other signs such as my ravenous appetite and my surprisingly large breasts but that could be chocked up to getting my period. When it never came we decided to take a pregnancy test (OR FIVE)
Once I knew I was pregnant there were little things or (NOT SO LITTLE THINGS) I noticed:
My weekly workout videos that I filmed would now leave me out of breath. Where once I could easily coach and perform the exercises I would feel myself getting much more easily winded. In fact, my heart rate was easily a good 10 bpm faster at all times.
I would wake up from my afternoon naps completely soaking wet with sweat.
Within weeks my boobs literally DOUBLED IN SIZE + they began to leak. #humanscienceexperiment
I had some pigmentation loss on my thighs.
I was easily irritated… PREGNANCY RAGE is REAL :0
My friend Sarah sent me this during my first trimester and it explained a lot of things 🙂
If the fetus continued to grow that the rate it does in the first trimester for your entire pregnancy, then the baby would be 1.5 TONS at birth.
THIS explained my exhaustion better than anything had previously and really put things into perspective. Of course I was fucking EXHAUSTED… my body had other priorities, I was making a human!
I would have to say that the toughest thing about the first trimester was just feeling exhausted. I would wake up at 4am, train my morning groups /privates, come home, EAT, walk the dog and SLEEP. That was if Tater was lucky! Sometimes the naps came first. On certain days I would wake up and return to work, other days I would simply stay at home and do my online coaching. Either way I was always in bed before 8pm. Poor Anthony, he never knew which version of exhausted he would find when he came home from work.
I would say from weeks 6-12 my priorities were as follows:
- Get as much sleep as possible and take care of myself by eating well-rounded meals (proteins, fats + carbs) when I felt hungry.
- Take care of my clients + my business.
- Get daily hikes in with Tater
- EAT, SLEEP, WORK repeat.
- 2-3x per week Strength Training (this was honestly my lowest priority but I did make it happen)
Another of my first trimester pregnancy symptoms was morning sickness. The name can prove quite deceiving, since it doesn’t necessarily have to occur in the morning. As many of you know I really love my coffee and I really love sex. Oh well, both of those favorites made me puke in my first trimester. BAHAHAHAHAH, yes I’m 100% serious, its okay we laughed too. Around week 16 I started to get my taste for coffee back, and for the record I never gave up on the sex.
As far as food aversions and cravings go, these went it waves and I have a feeling they will continue to do so throughout my pregnancy. At first I just wanted more food and carbs to keep the constant nausea at bay. I relied heavily on rice crackers and treated myself to an assortment of sweet and tangy candy, from the Whole Foods candy stand on Friday nights. The majority of my other processed carbs came from cheddar cheese rice pop chips (AKA better than cheetos). I didn’t restrict myself from what my body was asking for…but I also didn’t let myself eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. I found a manageable middle ground continuing with my sustainable approach to eating, prioritizing protein, vegetables I could stand as well as my favorite sources of starchy carbs + fats. Cucumbers, broccoli zucchini and pickled cabbage are still a daily occurrence along with topping anything in marinara sauce or ketchup.
HELLO zucchini noodles topped with shrimp, sausage, pork chicken or scallops… you saved me when my appetite was through the roof.
Our usual weekly nachos were out of the question seeing as they no longer appealed to me. Lucky for all of us I came up with this pizza recipe, seriously so good!
You must give it a try.
Stacey’s Protein Pizza
I discovered these high protein wraps at Wegman’s and decided to give them a try!
-1/3 cup Rao’s marinara sauce
-1/4 cup of reduced fat shredded cheese of choice
-1 serving turkey pepperoni
-1.5 cups broccoli
(PICK TOPPINGS OF YOUR CHOICE :))
Cook in the oven at 375 for 10 minutes and you have my PROTEIN PIZZA!
Last but not least….EXERCISE.
- WALK! Get outside, breathe the fresh air and walk. Hiking with Tater was my main form of movement during my first trimester. Maybe even just make an effort to lay in the sun with your eyes closed. This saved me.
2. Strength Train to the degree your body allows. I LOVE the fact that I have kettlebells in my wheelhouse, I think that they are the PERFECT piece of equipment to take a woman safely through her pregnancy. The kettlebell utilizes total body movements, it elevates the heart rate giving you that cardio effect and utilizes the posterior chain, core as well as the postural muscles of the upper back. WIN- WIN -WIN for pregnant women.
I have found that some days when I feel really great, I chased after a typical “Stacey Training session,” performing front squats or deadlifts with the barbell at 60% I would have a hard time recovering the next day and it simply wasn’t worth the previous days training session. It took me a few times to learn that :0 #progressnotperfection.
3. I really enjoy yoga and self myofascial release and I highly recommend Creative Live’s Healthy Pregnancy Healthy Baby program with Jill Miller. I have a brief home practice for yoga but I am definitely looking for a good prenatal yoga DVD. Anyone have any recommendations?
I am now a few weeks into my second trimester and I can feel a tangible difference in my energy, cravings as well as a shift in my priorities. I am feeling more and more like myself everyday 🙂 I am looking forward to all the changes this pregnancy has in store for me and sharing them with you all!