Monday, April 15, 2013

Staying Fit While Growing a Child

Happy Monday, everyone!

If you missed my last post in regards to my 40 pound weight loss before finding out I was pregnant, you can read that here.

But for now, we will get back to where I left you hanging:

A year's worth of working my behind off (literally) and losing 40 lbs, and then came that positive pregnancy test...

Now, I know most women are over the moon excited when they find out that they are going to be bringing a new little life into the world.  And don't think I wasn't excited, because believe me, I really, truly was.  It's just that, in my head, this wasn't the way things were supposed to go.  "A" and I had a plan to wait five years before we would even consider having a baby.  Plus, we were living in a one bedroom apartment, barely making ends meet.  I knew we could work through that.  "A" is the most determined, driven and financially wise person (he does work in finance, so he should be, right?) I know, so that stuff wasn't going to be an issue.

All I kept thinking was, how is this going to affect my body?  I mean you hear all of these stories about what pregnancy can do to your body: swollen limbs, water retention, back pain, leg pain, weight gain...I could go on and on.  But they say that pregnancy is so short lived and you do it all out of love for the health of your baby.  I had to keep telling myself this as my pregnancy began and progressed.  I was determined to take care of myself and to stay in the best shape possible throughout those 40 weeks.  So, with permission from my doctor to continue my workouts, and just tweaking minor things, I began my pregnant fitness journey.

My Mom, Me and my Mother-in-Law 1 week before my due date.
My workouts really didn't change all that much.  I had been running about 3-5 miles, 3 times a week, with a mixture of other cardio (elliptical, stair stepper and the arc trainer) every other day and I continued to do just that.  I would do my cardio for about 45 minutes to an hour every day, then follow up with my weight training.  I would focus on biceps and triceps one day, shoulders, chest, back and then legs on the last day.  (If you want a full, detailed workout list, I will post one, but for now I just want to focus on the main points of how I maintained what I was doing prior to getting pregnant.)

My focus was to get in as many reps as possible before I felt fatigued.  This would typically consist of 4 sets of 10-12 reps for each lift.  I wore my Polar heart rate monitor everyday as to watch and make sure that I didn't get my heart rate up too high. (I always tried to keep it at or below the 130-140 bpm range.)  I also dropped the amount of weight I was lifting as the pregnancy progressed as to not add stress to my baby.  The bigger he got, the easier it was to get my heart rate up and I did fatigue a lot faster!  I was determined to keep my body in the best shape possible to better prepare my body for labor and delivery and to make my recovery that much smoother.

Madden and Mommy the day he was born.
And what do you know?  At my last doctor appointment before "D-Day" on December 26th, 2010, I weighed 153 pounds.  I had only gained a total of 11 pounds during my pregnancy.  I know it doesn't seem like much, and some people probably think that it is an unhealthy amount of weight to gain when you are growing a child, but "M" was born weighing 7 lbs, 3 oz and was 20 1/2 inches long.  Happy, healthy and perfectly content!  I was down to my pre-baby weight before I even left the hospital.  And, even through a c-section, my doctor gave me the go ahead to start my workouts back up 6 weeks post delivery.  My body had bounced back super quick!  I owe it all to my determination and work ethic to focus on staying healthy and doing the best I possibly could for my little peanut.
Our first night at home, two days after Madden was born.

Now, I know I am not a doctor, or certified dietician, or physical trainer.  I just did what felt right for me.  Every woman is different, and you should always check with your doctor before beginning any type of workout regimen.  I just wanted to show you that you CAN workout while pregnant, and stay in shape and combat the fear of your body being "ruined" post-baby!

So there you have fitness journey before "M" came into the picture, during his time in my belly, and immediately after he came into this world.  But it doesn't stop there!  I am continually a work in progress, as fitness is a part of my everyday life.  How do I manage that?  Tune in tomorrow as I give you an insider's look at what "a day in the life of Jenna Rae" looks like and where I am today!

Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. So...somehow I missed reading this post (way back when)! You looks soooo amazing after just having a baby and Madden is so adorable!!!!!