Sunday, 24 August 2014

24 Weeks

Yup, I've officially "popped" :)
I've said it before and I'll say it again: one of the greatest benefits of being healthy and active is the relationship and understanding you build with your own body.  Under normal circumstances, I'm able to pinpoint any trouble spots in my body, figure out (somewhat accurately) what I did wrong, and then develop a suitable action plan for recovery. The problem with pregnancy is that there's a whole new component to your body that you are not in control of - or sometimes even aware of.  For me, relinquishing some control over my body is the part that I'm most frustrated by, but the process I'm most in awe of.

Last week, a few odd things happened:
1) I lost almost all interest in going to the gym
2) My usual recovery time of 1-3 days per body part was dragged out to 4-6!
3) I got SUPER tired and nauseous for no apparent reason for a couple days (though, my mother suggested that this was probably due to baby having a little growth spurt.  Makes total sense. Leave it to the woman who's had 7 pregnancies to know what's up with my body lol).

Still, what these things signaled to me was that it was time to change up my gym routine; not just a simple change of exercises... a complete overhaul!

At the centre of my new program is a 90-day yoga challenge, which should absolutely help with my recovery time. Some days will be in-studio, but most will be at home, and I'm committing to at least 45 minutes per session. I'm also moving into a functional style training program.  I find after a few months of training all my body parts separately that my body starts to feel disconnected - like it's not operating cohesively. This functional phase will have lots of full-body movements, which totally revs the metabolism, but more importantly will generate some interest in workouts again. *Part of the reason trainers recommend changing your program every few weeks/months isn't just to make you pay them more money... it's to ensure you don't lose interest in, and thus bail on, your workouts.*

Some of the exercises I did this week and will be doing for the next month or two include:
-KB swings
-KB windmills
-Med ball throws and slams
-Walking lunges with front kicks
-Walking plie squats with side kicks
-Single-leg squats and deadlifts
-Shadow boxing, katas, and weapon training (if my gym will allow me to bring in weapons lol)
-Battle ropes
-Burpee chinups
-Inverted rows
-Renegade rows with pushups
-Cable wood chops
-Cable squat & strike
-Cable power punch
-Cable pull-throughs 
-Bear crawl
-Clean & snatch (light weight)
-Split jerk (light weight)
-Dynamic prone plank
-Planks and any kind of plank variation you can think of!
-Box lateral shuffle
-Frog jumps
-Box jumps (low box)

Please note that this is simply my own personal list of exercises, not an exercise prescription for pregnant women. If you'd like more information about functional exercises during pregnancy, I HIGHLY recommend this website/article which is full of practical, helpful, reliable information for preconception, pregnancy, and postpartum. It is absolutely worth a very thorough read-through.

Don't forget your kegels and pelvic tilts, ladies! 


Sunday, 3 August 2014

21 Weeks & A Ramble About My Nutrition

Disclaimer: this post is quite the ramble! If you’re set on reading the whole thing, I suggest you find yourself a comfortable chair :)  But first.... bump pics! (Yes, I realize I am wearing the exact same outfit, and yes it is a complete coincidence, lol.) 

21 weeks - baby #2
21 weeks - baby #1

Ok, so I haven’t talked too much about my pregnancy diet yet because, well, I’m not really following any sort of “diet” per se.  I don’t give myself too many rules while I’m pregnant, and I actually find that this helps me to control my cravings better.  I’m the type of person who, if I’m told I’m not allowed to have a certain food, I’ll binge on it, lol. I really struggled with my eating for my first two fitness competitions, and it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my first baby that I started to change my relationship with food: I told myself at the beginning of my pregnancy that I could indulge in any strong cravings I would have, with the only stipulation being that I had to nourish my baby with predominantly healthy foods. Now, in the back of my mind, I also had the intention of doing a fitness show soon after the baby was born, and as a result I found myself simply not wanting to indulge too much because I knew the more weight I gained during pregnancy, the harder and longer I would have to diet afterwards.  I also knew that I would be having more kids down the road, and that I would have plenty more chances to indulge in the future.  By framing it like that in my mind – in knowing that this piece of pizza staring me in the face right now would not be my last chance to ever have another slice of pizza again, I didn’t feel so desperate to eat it. And once that desperation was removed, I was able to think logically: do I really want pizza, or do I just need something salty? Can I replace it with something healthier, like smoked salmon? Am I thirsty? Am I tired? Have I eaten healthfully enough today that I can afford to eat this pizza? If those answers all lined up and I found that I still did want that slice of pizza, well then I ate it! And I never felt guilty. I felt heartburn, but not guilt, lol. And if there was a day that I over-indulged some, then guess what, there’s always tomorrow to do better (although the trick there is to actually follow through and eat better the next day!).

I do have some general guidelines that I like to follow, not just during pregnancy but always:
-eat 20-30g of protein with every major meal, and try to incorporate at least 10g with snacks
-minimum 3 servings of veggies per day, and 1 serving fruit
-one serving nuts/seeds daily
-at least one of my carbs should come from an unprocessed source, like rice, quinoa, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, or beans
-don’t start the day with sugary foods 
-drink lots of water!

Typical breakfast: oatmeal with raisins, almonds and maple syrup, egg whites with mushrooms, and a big ole coffee! Not too different from non-pregnancy, except there's more food on the plate. And not too different from competition diet except.... there's WAY more food on the plate! lol

Aside from that, all’s fair. I don’t monitor my calories at all, but I do respect my appetite (not doing so usually has terrible consequences for me: excess hunger leads to nausea, and overeating leads to serious heartburn), and thankfully I do have a pretty firm grasp on portion sizes. Some of my favourite meals and snacks lately are:
-smoked salmon on crackers
-hot chocolate (made with real cocoa powder, NOT the stuff from the box)
-home-made Egg McMuffins
-grits with butter and turkey bacon
-veggie straws
-freezies (hey, I’m pregnant in Florida in the summer… I need me some freezies!)
-raw carrots
-ants on a log
-home-made sweet potato fries
-scrambled eggs with mushrooms
-granola bars (store bought or home-made)

As you can see, not too many veggies on that list :S Outside of pregnancy I try not to “drink my calories” too often, but during pregnancy whey protein shakes and powdered greens drinks become staples as I sometimes (ok, often) just can’t choke down my baked fish, or bring myself to eat a salad.

I’ve also purposely kept away from mentioning my pregnancy weight gain as I think talking about the numbers freaks people out more than it helps. In the end, the only people your weight gain is relevant to are you, your baby, and your doctor.  Most experts will say that a healthy weight gain for women of a normal starting BMI is 25-35lbs; some people gain more despite all their best efforts, and some people gain less with no effort at all. The most beautiful and scary thing about pregnancy is the lack of control you have over your body, and that includes how it chooses to put on weight – not just how much, but where! My personal feeling on the issue is this: if you are eating NUTRITIOUSLY and are exercising to the best of your abilities, then “que sera, sera!” If your weight gain (or lack thereof) becomes a concern, your doctor will bring it up and the two of you can discuss an appropriate weight management plan.

Oh, and for those of you who missed it (and have managed to get to the end of this post), we are having a girl!