Pretty proud of the progress in these pics. The one on the left is from 2014. I did two hours of cardio a day (one in the gym and one walking the dog), little to no weights and was super restrictive with my diet. I weighed my food, counted calories and avoided oils, salts, sugar, etc.
The picture on the right is current. I do all weights, very little cardio (used as a cool down) and eat what I want (within reason.) Plus add in taking care of an infant and chasing around a toddler as my extra exercise. My diet consists of lots of protein, veggies, fruit, carbs, etc. I don’t avoid anything. I have something sweet maybe twice a week. I don’t drink sodas or juice like drinks, but honestly I’ve never been a fan of them so that makes it a bit easier.
My degree is in Sports Sciences. I took nutrition and biomechanics classes for years. I knew better than to do two hours of cardio and diet restrict. But I still did it. When I was in my 20’s I was impatient. I wanted quick results. Now at 34, I’ve learned when it comes to health and fitness you have to be patient. I’m finally taking my own advice. The advice I gave to people for years but ignored myself. Better late than never! Lol
My gym got this machine called a TRX map. I’d watched people use it every so often and they looked ridiculous. But it peaked my curiosity. So with a little push from my husband I tried it.
The machine has you stand in place and do three squats. While doing this it measures your balance, flexibility, etc. When I got my results I was shocked but things made sense.
The results literally told me I’m standing crooked. It’s not obvious to any person looking at me but the machine picked it up. My right shoulder sits higher than my left and my left hip is higher than my right. When I brought my results to the head trainer at my gym he explained them to me. The imbalance is likely due to how I carry my kids. I ALWAYS carry them on my left hip. Hence why my left hip is up more than my right. I’m constantly pushing it up and out. My right shoulder is higher than my left because my spine is out of alignment. This is due to the muscles on my left side being stronger than my right due to the way I hold my kids! So crazy but it makes sense!
The trainer recommended that I foam roll my hips, back, and glutes more regularly. He also recommended I try to use my right side more when carrying the kids and stretch after workouts.
I’ve been foam rolling daily and alternating sides when I carry the kids. I’m not the best about stretching but I’ve been trying to squeeze it in here and there. I could actually feel a difference in my hips within two days of making the change.
I’m going to retest myself on the machine in exactly a month and see if there’s much of a difference in my results. I’d assume there would be since I can already feel a difference but we shall see! 💪🏻
I did all weights and little cardio this time around. It made a HUGE difference! With Ryder I did mainly cardio. I was tired a lot and it took me a good 6 months to really get my body “back.” This time around I focused mainly on weights and did a little cardio here and there. I had so much more energy this time around and I could feel a difference in my strength. I was heavier, weight wise, but visually looked thinner. That’s because I put on more muscle instead of fat this time so I was leaner in my pregnancy. (Muscle weighs more than fat!) Because of the added muscle and weight routine, it’s been easier to get the extra baby weight off. I still have some lingering weight but it’s not as obvious as it was the first time around. 💪🏻
This second pregnancy, I was back in the gym working out (light workout) at 4 weeks. With Ryder I struggled to get myself into the gym at 2 months! Before anyone goes off telling me I should have waited till 6 weeks to start working out, let me just tell you that that is old school thinking. My doctor agreed. She told me if I worked out up until the day I gave birth, that I should be perfectly fine to go back to workouts whenever I felt I was ready after birth. With that being said, she did say don’t try to workout the day after labor! But come on, I’m not that much of an idiot! Lol I let my body heal for 4 weeks. When I felt I had strength and energy I started back but very slow and with light weights. 🏋️♀️
I can honestly say I’m in better shape at 34 after two kids than I was in my 20’s. Don’t get me wrong, I had a few years where I looked amazing in my 20’s. But I didn’t have the muscle I have now. That just goes to show that it’s not to late to get the body you want. It just takes a little hard work and focus! 👍🏻
I think it’s interesting to see a “new aged” doctors view vs an “old school” one. My first pregnancy I went to an older doctor. Despite being perfectly healthy, she put me on SO many physical restrictions while pregnant. She wouldn’t allow me to lift more than 20lbs or get my heart rate above 140. She told me to limit back exercises and avoid any workout involving my core.
This second time around I have a younger doctor. Her views are quite a bit different. She gave me no restrictions other than to not push myself too hard and to rest when needed. Since I lifted weights pre baby, she saw no reason to restrict my weight lifting. However, she recommended I not push myself more than my usual. Adding heavier weights than what I’m used to would obviously not be a good idea. But I was allowed to run, lift weights, etc as I please. She also saw no reason for me to worry about my heart rate. Since my body was used to workouts pre baby, and baby and I are currently very healthy, she saw no risks in me getting my heart rate above 140. She did say to make sure I could breathe well and wasn’t struggling or wheezing. You want to be able to get enough oxygen to your muscles and the baby.
I love how people are finally accepting fitness in pregnancy rather than running scared from it. Restricting workouts doesn’t benefit the mother (unless there is a physical need for restriction.) It actually has so many amazing benefits!
I have almost no back or hip pain this time around. I credit that to my workouts and the fact that I still have most of my strength. I have way less joint pain and I’ve had very few headaches compared to what I had the first time around.
Obviously you should talk to your doctor before participating in any physical activity while pregnant. But don’t be afraid to go for a walk, lift weights, etc if given the green light. Your body, and your baby will thank you!
Recently I bumped into someone (not a close friend) who seemed shocked to find out I was still going to the gym while pregnant. They gave me this confused look then the awkward “good for you” comment. 🤦🏼♀️
I’m really confused. Do people just quit going to the gym when pregnant? Or is it just assumed that with pregnancy comes laziness? Because in all honesty none of my friends have quit working out when they got pregnant. Maybe I’m sheltered and live in a little fitness bubble or something. I have been an athlete my whole life and I do tend to associate with people who have similar healthy lifestyles. So perhaps the general population is different?
Doctors encourage workouts when pregnant, as long as there are no current or potential complications at hand. There have been studies done that prove exercise to have benefit for mom and baby while pregnant and after delivery. So do people just not listen to their doctors and decide to use pregnancy as an excuse to forget about health and be lazy? I don’t know.
Working out is the one thing that keeps me sane and helps me manage my pregnancy. It eases the aching muscles due to growth and stretching of the baby. It also gives me more energy so I can make it through the day and still be able to chase around my toddler. I tend to have an upset stomach often while pregnant and even a little light cardio seems to settle it. I’m not big on taking medications so I use workouts as my medication.
I guess I have to remind myself that everyone is different and not everyone chooses the same healthy paths. If I ever get that comment again I’ll just smile and nod and remind myself that I’m doing what’s best for me and my little one. 😊
Soon to be moms……did you know regular exercisers are 75% less likely to need a forceps delivery, 55% less likely to have an episiotomy, and up to 4x less likely to have a C-section! 💡
If that’s not reason enough to continue (or start) working out while pregnant, I don’t know what else is!
Working out doesn’t always mean lifting heavy weights or doing those intense workouts you see people doing on IG. A workout is what works for YOUR body. Everyone is different. Everyone has different obstacles. I currently lift light weights and do occasional cardio as my workout. When I hit about 8 months I know light cardio is about all I’ll be able to manage. When I was pregnant with Ryder at 8 months, my belly was too big for me to comfortably lift weights. But I could do the elliptical without issue. However when I hit 9 months I had too much pressure and aching that workout became something I had to just let go of for the time being.
If you’re someone who doesn’t workout at all, try starting with just walking. Going on a walk can be considered a workout! It gets your body moving and blood flowing! It’s better than doing nothing at all!🏃♀️
Have you ever dreaded going to workout…..got yourself there…..and come out thinking, yeah that still sucked? 😂 That’s not what you thought I was going to say was it 🤪 But seriously. Some days when I am not feeling the gym, I drag myself there and afterward I’m like oh yeah that was great I’m glad I went. Other days I think to myself, that was horrible and I’m still annoyed I’m not just sitting on my sofa.
We all have our days! Today was one of mine. I just had zero motivation. I finished my workout and still felt no motivation. I would much rather have been in sweatpants sitting on my sofa with a hot bowl of pho.
I’m sure my body is grateful I went to the gym, it’s just not letting me know it yet. The movement helps increase blood flow which reduces my risk of blood clot during pregnancy. It also reduces my leg and foot swelling so I have less aching during the day. There’s so many amazing benefits of workout during pregnancy. So for now I’ll just be grateful I made it through the workout despite my lack of motivation. I know there will come a day, last time it was right at 9 months, when I almost physically can’t workout due to size even though I’ll be dying to.