I always thought that when I became pregnant I would be really healthy and not eat any junk food at all. I also planned on exercising throughout (provided it was safe to do so). None of that happened.
Before I even found out I was pregnant, I noticed that my sense of taste had changed and I was avoiding foods that I had always loved, predominantly healthy foods. For example, I have always loved drinking coffee, but I stopped drinking it about four weeks into my pregnancy.
During the entirety of my first trimester, I would become nauseous at even the thought of healthy food. All I ever wanted was high carb, sugar-filled, salty, fatty foods like chocolate, fries, hamburgers, and ice cream. But, as my pregnancy progressed, I started having cravings for oranges. I couldn’t get enough of them! Apparently, you desire foods that contain the vitamins and minerals that your body is lacking.
Eventually, I ended up eating whatever my body craved. However, I made sure to also eat foods that were high in vitamins. I also had regular blood tests done to monitor my levels to ensure that I was not vitamin deficient, which luckily, I was not.
I'm almost eighteen weeks pregnant now and my food aversions are not as bad as they were during my first trimester. But, it's still difficult for me to eat healthy foods, such as salads and vegetables, without feeling nauseous. I almost have to force feed myself sometimes! However, I believe that I am slowly working my way back into eating healthy and nutritious meals.
In terms of exercise, during the entirety of my first trimester, I spent most of my time on my couch and hardly ever worked out. At that stage of my pregnancy, it felt like the bouts of nausea were nearly constant! I have no idea who coined the term 'morning sickness', but I have renamed it to 'all day and night sickness'.
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A few weeks ago, I started to become more consistent with my workouts after I stopped feeling so nauseous. However, I always make sure to not push myself and keep my workouts as safe as possible. I call them 'feel good workouts', since I only do them to feel good and maintain my strength and fitness level. Under the guidance of my OB, I have modified my workout to be at a lower intensity and impact. I have also ceased any workouts that include ab work--I personally just don’t feel comfortable doing them.
Currently I focus on my pelvic floor and core muscles through compound movements such as front squats, deadlifts, lunges and kettle bell swings, making sure that my core is tight and my torso is stable during any type of 'lift' movement. While I do miss plyometric training, such as sprinting and box jumps, I don't feel comfortable doing them, and if I can't exercise, I don't beat myself up about it.
Ever since I first announced I was pregnant, everyone has been telling me what I should or shouldn't do. But, I have learnt that the only people that you should really listen to are medical experts, and yourself. If something doesn't feel right, don't do it! Every pregnancy is different. You've just got to learn to tune into your own body and do what you believe is best for your growing baby.
Through this experience, I’m learning that having extra body fat, cellulite or stretch marks really are insignificant things. Growing a human being is an incredible blessing and I am overjoyed to become a mother.