I have to admit, I’m not as crazy about my body this pregnancy. This is the second go around for me and my size is really starting to sink in. When I was pregnant with my first son, I felt like superwoman. I was running 15-20 miles a week up until about 30 weeks and really didn’t have to use my maternity clothes until late in my second trimester. Wow, this time is so different. They weren’t kidding when they said you show faster with each subsequent pregnancy.
I have already been warned by me doctor about my weight gain. I don’t get it. I have been working out. Actually, I feel like I have been working harder at being healthy this time compared to my first pregnancy. I really don’t know where all the weight is coming from. I don’t have cravings (other than food in general) and it’s not like I live a sedentary lifestyle. I have been trying to keep up with my workout regimen while making modifications as needed. I am still running (I am running obsessed) and have taken up yoga three times a week. My eating is not out of control, but I can admit that it could be better. I don’t eat fast food but I also don’t have salads everyday. I am usually pretty good at moderation, but with Halloween recently and the holidays coming, there is a lot of temptation in my house.
I’m sure I’m not alone. Women can be so hard on themselves. As a mother, you want to set the best example you can for your kids and to show them how to lead a healthy lifestyle. I believe I do that by my everyday actions. I have never been the one who was naturally thin. I have always had to work at it. I LOVE to workout. It makes me feel incredible. But as this pregnancy progresses, I am getting harder and harder on myself about my cellulite, varicose veins, and overall appearance. I really envy those women who only look pregnant from the side. You know the ones, they have a beautiful round baby bump that is only visible from a lateral view. Everything else is in perfect proportion and shape. I question how they do it. Do they eat? Do they workout? Do they have other kids?
I just wish I could accept my body and the miraculous endeavor it is taking on. I am growing a life inside of me. That’s pretty extraordinary! So I’ll have a few extra pounds, some lose skin, and some stretch marks. I guess I can call them battle wounds and be proud of what I’ve done. I’m not going to stop wanting my old body back. I’m not going to give up on working hard and trying with all my might to fight the inevitable. But what I do need to do is cut myself some slack.
Us women have so many pressures when it comes to life. It’s unfair that we have to watch celebrities give birth and be back in their size zero within six weeks. We need to encourage one another and know we are doing the best we can. I always became so upset when I would read about women who were unhappy based on how they look. There is so much beauty in the world and our differences make it that way. I love that I have to work hard to be in shape, even if I get down on myself sometimes about it. It makes me who I am. I can be proud when I accomplish a goal and know that it took a lot of dedication and perseverance to get there. I just need to remind myself of that more often.
So for all you preggos out there (or post-partum mamas), I have decided to add one of my favorite exercises for the legs. This can be done while pregnant but always remember to listen to your body. The Yoga Bridge is excellent for the legs and core.
- You lie supine (on your back) and if you are pregnant you can put a pillow (or use a yoga block) under your head for elevation if necessary.
- Never spend extended periods of time flat on your back after the first trimester.
- Bend you knees and keep them hip width apart.
- Roll your tailbone under and slowly lift your hips up as high as they can go. You can hold the bridge or do gentle dips by lowering and lifting your pelvis. Try to hold it for 30-60 seconds and do at least 3 sets of them.
This is a great exercise to strengthen the hamstrings, glutes, and low back which are generally very overused muscles if you lifting anything (such as a child) on a regular basis. Tightens up my major problem areas, hope it helps for you.
photo credit here