Before I got pregnant I was extremely thin. I had little to no chest, I had a very small waist, thick thighs and a butt that I got all from genetics. Needless to say, with my body type, it wasn’t hard for me to keep in shape.
I used to love to run, it was a bonding experience with my dog who has an infinite amount of energy, and it was a good way to tire me out before bed as I had awful insomnia. After an accident, I stopped running and people in my life wondered how it would impact my shape. Would I suddenly gain a bunch of weight without running 10 kilometers in a day (5 in the mornings and 5 at night before bed).
In short, nothing really changed besides me overall stamina. Without that constant energy, my body got lazy and doing overactive things robbed me of my breath but my body remained pretty much the same. I was actually hoping I would gain more weight as my BMI has always been low and I was always 10-15 pounds under where I wanted to be, especially for my height which is almost 5″8.
When I got pregnant, especially in my first trimester, I got really lazy. I was plagued with exhaustion and spent every spare moment of my time in a mini coma. However, I also couldn’t keep any food down. So my weight in my first trimester actually dropped.
Once the nausea seemed to subside at about 14 weeks, I started eating everything I could get my hands on. My doctor had told me that she wanted me to gain 40-45 pounds because of where my weight was before my pregnancy. The very thought made my brow furrow.
I had always struggled to gain weight, and now she was telling me she not only wanted me to gain the average 35 but she wanted me to exceed that by ten more pounds. Could I even do that?
How I laugh at the thought now. Before I got pregnant I was 110 pounds. Now at 7 months, I weigh 147 pounds. Sure, I haven’t quite hit the 40 pound mark my doctor has wanted, but I still have almost two months to gain.
I think what is important for pregnant women to come to terms with during their pregnancy is that the extra weight doesn’t mean you are not fit or that you are unhealthy. Sure I have gained 37 pounds, but that was what was needed to ensure my baby gets everything it needs, and I walk at least two-four hours every single day.
Gaining weight during pregnancy is not only normal, but it is necessary and it is all just a number. I can’t tell you how many times I have been told by people who ask me how far along I am that I am too small for seven months. Yet when I tell them how much weight I have gained so far, they tell me that I shouldn’t gain much more because I am already at the top of where I should be.
It’s just a number and I can’t tell you how many pregnant women I see and talk to who seem defeated by that number. It makes me really sad.
Staying “fit” during pregnancy doesn’t really take too much. All you really need to do is make sure you are walking enough. This is also helpful with bloat and swelling. In this insane heat, I thought for sure that walking as much as I do would make my feet swell and be extremely painful. I’ve actually noticed that days I walk more and drink more water they seem to look less swollen. They are still somewhat sore at the end of the day, at this point in pregnancy everything is.
Stretching is also important. I am always so stiff. Stretching your calves and legs seems to have been the most important thing. I started stretching when I would get these painful spasms in my calves that would wake me up about a dozen times a night.
Stretching out your back is also helpful because all that extra weight in the front because of your belly will through your back completely out of whack.
Honestly, just the walking and the stretching is enough to keep you fit through your pregnancy. I am outdoors and walk a lot during the day for my work as well, which helps. I think if you have a job where you are immobile most of the time you should make a point of getting up and moving around as much as you can.
Again, these are things that I have noticed in my personal experience. Everyone is different and you may need to do a little bit more but I don’t think you can do any less.
Until next time…