Yesterday at 28 weeks pregnant with twins, I wobbled into the YMCA and with pleasure inhaled the old familiar smell of sweat and burning rubber. “I never thought I would be like this” I tried to rationalize my pregnancy laziness and lack of an exercise regime to the membership girl. Who couldn’t care less whether I worked out more than once this whole upcoming year as long as I paid my dues.
As we walked amidst clanking weights, humming treadmills and sweating bodies I had an urge to jump in and start my old normal routine before I remembered that my belly now hung out several inches in front of me and that my swollen legs tired from my simple 20 minute walks in the morning. A wave of sadness took over me as I pondered how I could have let myself fall so out of shape when I am supposed to be the one guiding others in physical fitness and health .
I had always assumed back in my skinny days, when I worked out six days a week and wore tight spandex to the gym, that if I did happen to get pregnant I would not be the woman who sat at home and ate everything in sight just because it looked good. In fact, I even had an inspiration; a friend of mine who cycled next to me once or twice a week at my old gym. This friend , lets call her Andrea, worked out during both her pregnancies and looked absolutely amazing six weeks after giving birth. I can recall laughing with her, while both our legs circled madly in never ending circles, about friends of hers that had stopped exercising and had put on 50 to 60 pounds during their pregnancy.
“ How can they just let themselves go? I mean I couldn’t imagine how horrible I would feel if I didn’t work out.” I remember stating as we giggled and took a giant sip of water.
“ I know what you mean. I love working out and I don’t think I will gain more than 20 pounds my whole pregnancy. Once the babies come out I will have only ten pounds or less to lose. Its so worth it to workout and watch my eating now because pregnancy weight is the hardest to get off.” Andrea claimed as her baby bounced up and down inside her belly.
I can’t help now but wonder if maybe Andrea should be writing this blog instead of me. She was much more motivated and had a lot more energy than I do. The only way I can rationalize my unmotivated mood and lack of energy is to blame it on the twins. When I tell myself she was only carrying one baby while I am carrying two, I tend to feel a lot better and it’s true if you think about it. Even though I am only 28 weeks pregnant I am measuring 34 weeks and I am sure her exercise routine dwindled by this point in her pregnancy. So maybe I am not being as lazy as I had originally felt or maybe I am.
I just don’t know what to say, here I am supposed to be telling everyone else how to stay motivated and fit while pregnant and I have done little to follow my own advice. The pregnancy has seemed to kick my empowered butt and most of the time all I feel like doing is sleeping and buying baby stuff.
I am sure things will chance dramatically after the babies are born though, in fact I am already writing a diet and exercise plan, but as for now I feel like a lost cause. The motivation just isn’t there maybe because I know that no matter what I do I am still going to be wearing beluga size clothes and flip flops (because my feet and calves are to swollen to fit in most of my shoes). The only thing I can do is give you some advice as to how to stay fit even though it might not be the weight reps/sets, lunges and miles I had original planned on. Who knows, maybe the little amount of exercise I am doing will be more than you are doing now. I was always hard on myself and the truth is every little bit helps.
As for after the babies are born the laziness must stop and the work has to start. Fitting exercise into sleepless nights is going to be hard but I know I will be more than ready to take on the task and help you do the same as well. Also I plan to share with you how to incorporate exercise into your daily routines without having to spend two hours at the gym. It is hard to find time to exercise with just one baby I’m sure, but with two or more it can be nearly impossible. My job is to help you and myself find a way to get our bodies back in shape and return our energy and health to its pregnancy state.
Tips for this week:
Even though the gym might seem like a far cry at this point try to incorporate fitness into your everyday life by changing and adding a few simple things.
1. Always take the stairs instead of the elevator. ( This little extra step.. no pun intended… is a great cardiovascular activity as well as a way to tone your legs without putting extra pressure on your knees like running might do. Walking up steps will work, not only your heart but also your quads, glutes, claves and hamstrings.)
2. Try to walk briskly for a least 20 minutes three times a week. ( Is a great Cardiovascular activity that helps keep you fit without putting to much added pressure on your joints).
3. While sitting at your desk or while watching television pick up a five-pound dumb bell and due some light weight lifting.
• Bicep-Seated Curls: Reps 8- 10, Sets 3, Rest two minutes.
• Overhead Shoulder Press: Reps 8-10, Sets 3, Rest two minutes.
• Tricep-seated Extension: Reps 8-10, Sets 3, Rest two minutes.
• REMEMBER IF YOU FEEL ANY DISCOMFORT STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING. ALSO REMEMBER TO DRINK LOTS OF WATER.