I still remember clearly all the things I would do “when I got pregnant”. One of the main things I was so positive I would do is stay really active and have a fit pregnancy à la Ashley Horner. Then I got pregnant. My reality is that I am definitely not having that fit-excercise-often-do-daily-prenatal-yoga pregnancy that I thought I would have. Maybe I was naive but I think the truth of it is that pregnancy is just something crazy that I couldn’t have prepared for.
I walked a bit in my first trimester, and did maybe a handful of light weightlifting workouts. I remember thinking, “oh, in my second trimester I’ll get into a better routine because I’ll have tons more energy!” Well, I am nearly 20 weeks pregnant and although I have a little bit more energy, I still am loving the nap life.
Am I disappointed? Definitely. I feel like we aren’t allowed to talk about it because baby’s are truly a huge blessing, and pregnancy is such a gift, but watching my body change is so much harder than I thought it would be. I had this idealized “perfect” pregnancy in my brain where I would be all belly and then BAM first trimester I gained 10 pounds, and a lot of it was on my belly, but other places too. I have cellulite on my legs and I am so used to having muscular, toned legs. I’ve gained weight on my back, which was a huge surprise to me. Of course I love what my body is doing, growing and nourishing a little baby girl, and my pregnancy has been so easy when I compare it to stories I’ve heard, but a large part of me wished I had maintained a better workout routine throughout these last 4.5 months of being pregnant.
The main reason I didn’t workout as much as I originally planned (okay, maybe the second reason, because fatigue is real) was fear. I’m a little sad to admit but fear has coloured a bit of this pregnancy, and maybe because it’s my first, but I have all these fears that swim around in my brain. In part it’s due to people’s voices, and I really need to learn how to shut my ears. One of the first things people usually say to me is “you aren’t still lifting weights, are you?” or “you stopped working out, right?” In fact, when I was two months pregnant I picked up a bag a flour and someone was so shocked and told me to put it down right away because I shouldn’t lift anything. I so understand. My body feels so different. It feels like I’m breaking from the inside, my insides are stretching and my ligaments are loosening. Sometimes just getting out of bed the wrong way makes me feel like I’m going to bust my underbelly open. The wrong movement could very likely hurt us, and I am so aware of the physical limits of this new body. It’s new, it’s amazing, its uncomfortable, and it’s sobering, because there’s so much more stretching and growing that’s in my future.
In order to prepare for growing this baby, labour, and post-partum I’ve decided, despite the little ridiculous voice of fear in the back of my head that whispers, “don’t move or you’ll hurt the baby,” to get into a decent workout routine, and find that motivation to get this body moving. I really don’t like the culture of fear that surrounds pregnancy, or at least my pregnancy because I don’t know what it’s like for other women. This past week I got into my garage and just got moving. Lightly, slowly, with lots of breaks, and let me tell you, it feels AMAZING. I am healthy, not high risk, and I was in the best shape of my entire life before I got pregnant, so as long as I do recommended exercises with proper form then there is no reason for me to not stay active. I am finding my motivation, for myself, and for this baby.
I post often on my Instagram (that I made to document my weightlifting journey) @claudine_bull. I post tons of progress belly shots and clips from workouts. Feel free to follow along. 🙂 The following is a short clip from this past week doing some light back squats: