Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Getting back on the horse

Throughout my pregnancy, people have been telling me the importance of exercise. How good it is for me & Baby J, how much easier it will make labour if I am fit and so on.

Truth be told, 33 weeks ago I was the fittest I have ever been. In the run up to my wedding, I went on an exercise overload and for the first time in my life started to really enjoy that burning sensation felt from a serious workout session.  

Like most women, I was terrified the first three months of pregnancy. Given my situation (falling pregnant having JUST come off the pill i.e. without a natural bleed) the risk of miscarriage in my case was higher than usual so the last thing on my mind was a good workout. I could barely get through my commute without breaking into a sweat for fear of being pushed or tripped by some vicious commuter.

After getting through the stress of the first three months, the second trimester hit me like a tonne of bricks. I was shattered. I may not have suffered morning sickness, but I certainly suffered exhaustion. Work at this point was tough. By 3pm I was dizzy & dazed feeling almost jet lagged. As I am sure you can imagine, exercise was once again the last thing on my mind.

I honestly was worried most days that I would fall asleep in a meeting. I am bad sleeper generally so used to feeling a bit rough, but this was something else. This actually hurt.

You know that thing where you sort of drift off whilst sitting or standing up but are quickly jolted back to reality with a head flick? I am not sure I have described that very well, but that's what happened to me, all the time. Walking for 10 minutes "did me in" for the day which I found pretty tough as I am an active person. I rush around (normally) at 100 miles per hour juggling several things at once so this feeling of fatigue that I just couldn't fight was new to me and if I am honest a little upsetting. I decided to embrace it rather than getting to upset by my new reality by eating all those delicious treats I'd deprived myself of forever... if I was going down, I was going down in style! (This was short lived, but wonderful!)

I am not sure if it's stopping work, or if it's the joys of the third trimester BUT my energy level has taken a shift for the better in the last few weeks.

Yes, I've had a few sleepless nights, (I imagine that's normal) but I can honestly say that over the last few days I've felt more like the old me than I have during the entire pregnancy. Ironic I know as Baby J is now the size of a watermelon and I am officially a pro-waddler.

Not only have I felt like me, but I've craved that sweat that can only be achieved through a good workout. Being 33 weeks pregnant this is a tough craving to fulfil but one I cracked today.
As ever I woke early. 

I thought that maternity leave would mean long days filled with reality TV and grazing on rubbish food, but I've realised that my days literally fly by. Given our recent large purchases e.g. our first home, money is tight at the moment so I can't go on shopping sprees or long lunches with friends. I am being the most careful I've ever had to be which is challenging but achievable with careful planning.
If you know me, you know I love food so a large part of my day is spent preparing dinners, making pack lunches for the hubs or preparing meals for when Baby J is here... it is actually really fun working to such a tight budget... it feels like I am achieving something everyday!

Anyway, as I was saying I woke early today. After breakfast and my morning chores (washing, ironing etc) I decided to do a pilates DVD. It's one I was given ages ago but never tried.. Erin O'Brien's "Complete Pregnancy Fitness". It was weird digging out my old workout gear... it really has been a while!

I was a little nervous at first that I'd really struggle, but I had nothing to worry about. I am still (weirdly) fit and loved every second of it. It was more intense than I thought it would be, but I can't tell you how good it felt to sweat again!!! She starts off slow in the DVD but there is a good fifteen minutes of proper exercise, followed by a long but needed cool down session. 

For a while, I really wanted to find a class I could go to do yoga, pilates or something similar. I have to say though, doing it in your own home is so much more pleasant (not to mention convenient) No one was judging me, I could break whenever I needed the loo (a lot!) and the best part... it cost nothing!

Once I'd finished, I went and met a friend to walk his dog in the park. I ruined a perfectly good pair of trainers (soaked through and so so muddy) but it was great and I can't tell you how much better I feel having done some real exercise rather than yoga (which is fab, but doesn't quite get the heart racing) or light walking.

Part of the reason I wanted to write this blog post, was to remind myself (on tired days) just how good exercise can feel and how important it is for the body as well as the mind. I feel energised but relaxed, happy yet calm.

(For your reference, the image above is not fairytale. This was my tube stop for some time and this was my reality on an almost daily basis)

I'm all set tomorrow to do it all over again ;-) I really hope I keep it up!

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