Today we’re introducing you to Kim S., a mama who maintained her Whole30 habits and continued to workout throughout her pregnancy. She gave birth to a beautiful, healthy little girl in October 2016, and today she’s sharing her Healthy, Happy Pregnancy story with us.
Do you have questions about exercising while pregnant? Our Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program includes an in depth look at the topic. We’ve also got additional resources on our blog. If you have questions about how to include exercise in your pregnancy, be sure to address these with your doctor or healthcare provider.
In Kim’s Own Words…
I am 32 years old and married the love of my life 4 years ago. We live a very active and social life together as we both love to travel, spend time outdoors, and are always busy and on the go. We also both work hard and long hours, so it is important to us to take advantage of any free time we get.
About two years ago, we started tossing around the idea of starting a family. I was in a bit of an exercise slump and ate whatever I felt like eating without a second thought. As a result I was tired and unhappy.
Before starting a family, I knew I had to change. I wanted to become healthier and more physically fit. I started following an exercise program and gradually changed my eating habits: eating clean, being mindful of my portions, and having a variety of different foods in my diet.
I wanted to establish healthy habits before life got even more busy and crazy for us. It was definitely the best decision I ever made. I became so much happier and more energized as a result.
Since making those changes I have become the best version of myself that I can be: physically and emotionally. My entire mindset changed, I have better relationships with friends and family, and I am doing better at work and have found a balance in my life.
I knew I wanted to sustain these changes throughout my pregnancy because of the positive effect they have had on my life. In fact, I was even more motivated because I wasn’t just going to keep up with my healthy habits for me, but I was doing it for our baby and myself. I firmly believe you have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others!
What Worked For Me…
I have done a variety of exercises throughout my pregnancy: blending a mix of cardio, strength training and yoga throughout. I have always been an avid runner, and was able to run until I was 30 weeks into my pregnancy. After that, I kept up with my cardio by walking and hiking easy trails.
I found a strength training maternity workout series that worked really well for me. Keeping up with my strength training hasn’t been just about trying to maintain my physique. It became even more important for me to stay strong. I realized I would be supporting and carrying extra weight. I needed to be strong for delivery and strong after delivery.
For example, during and after pregnancy our bodies are constantly being pulled forward, so I worked my back a lot more. I work my legs and core to be strong during delivery, and I’ve worked my arms to be able to carry her around all day once she arrives.
My strength training was less intense during the last 2 trimesters. I focused on trying to maintain the strength I had, and stuck to using 5-10 pound dumbbells for most of my exercises.
My Challenge: Overcoming Tiredness
My biggest struggles in the first trimester were overcoming tiredness and anxiety. Prior to becoming pregnant, I was a morning workout girl. I was shocked by how tired I felt during the first trimester. I can count on one hand the number of times I actually managed to get up before work to workout, so I switched to working out in the evenings.
Even then I struggled.
Some days I would have to take a nap before I was able to workout, but generally once I started moving I felt better. I was also nervous about what workouts and exercises to do, and how much to push myself during my workouts.
I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardize my pregnancy or hurt my growing baby. I talked with my doctor about it and with their reassurance, began to feel more comfortable with my workout routine.
The second trimester lived up to it’s hype for me – I felt great, and was much more comfortable listening to my body to know how much I should be pushing myself. I was running 2-3 times per week, strength training 2 times per week and kept up with yoga when I felt I needed it.
My mindset really changed during the second trimester as well. I finally came to terms with the fact that I wasn’t working out to train for a marathon or competition and began to really enjoy taking it down a notch and seeing what my body was capable of while pregnant.
At around 21 weeks or so, I started feeling much more out of breath. I just listened to my body and slowed down to compensate. While running, I would sometimes have to stop and walk up hills. I’d have to take more frequent breaks during my strength training sessions.
Around 27 weeks I began to experience round ligament pain. This mostly affected my running. I distinctly remember the upsetting day that I thought would be my last run. I got about a mile in and the pain became way too intense to continue. I had to turn around and walk home.
I didn’t run the rest of that week, but with determination, I tried again the following week and had success. With my growing belly, I had to gradually end my running days. I would go for walk/jogs as long as I was comfortable, and around week 30 I completely switched to walking.
My third trimester to be the hardest to stay motivated and consistent. Tiredness set in again, along with feeling more aches, pains and my belly making me feel uncomfortable. I managed to keep it going with the mindset of: I’ve made it this far; I can’t and won’t stop now!
Listen to Your Body
I found that if I just listened to my body, I felt great working out throughout my entire pregnancy. In fact, being active kept me energized and even a short workout would make me feel better and more comfortable.
An added bonus: after my workouts I could always count on feeling my baby wiggle around inside of me, which is the best feeling of all!
Are you interested in rocking your pregnancy like Kim? Join our Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program for access to our virtual pregnancy handbook of over 20 videos and tons of resources, support and practical steps.
Do you have a Healthy Mama, Happy Baby Pregnancy Story to Tell? Email [email protected]