The Good Stuff and the Not So Good Stuff
OK, I'm the first to admit I neglected my health prior to pregnancy. I didn't eat the best food at times, drank, and didn't exercise as much as I probably should have (who does?). All that changed after a round of tests my OB-GYN performed eight months ago when we were trying to figure out why I still wasn't pregnant. My blood tests showed I was borderline diabetic. My healthcare provider carefully sat me down and told me that if I didn't make some changes, I would become diabetic … and if were ever able to become pregnant, diabetes would adversely affect my child. I couldn't have that. This was my moment of reality. If I wanted to get pregnant, I had to make some major changes—and stick to them.
Path to Pregnancy: How I Finally Got on Track
The first to go was wine. I didn't have a glass a night—I sometimes had three glasses … and extra on the weekends. I would occasionally have a couple of cigarettes here and there. Both of these vices absolutely had to go.
I changed from wine to a shot of gin mixed with mineral water, and hid the smokes. My weight started dropping and I began an exercise routine. I started easy by having low expectations, and by purchasing DVDs to use at home. I figured if I joined a gym, it would be easier for me to put off going, but if my routine involved my home and neighborhood, what excuse could I make?
I had been jogging three miles a week and doing two hours of Pilates a week as well. I lost 20 pounds in about three months and was seeing good changes in my body and health. I was on my way!
I'm not sure how much of this helped me to finally get pregnant. I'm sure many would say—lots! But I know it helped me to concentrate on something other than why I wasn't pregnant. And now I am pregnant! Now it is time to find ways to continue this healthy routine for me and for Baby!
How I'm Staying On Track Now
I know that the first trimester is a challenging time, and it's also the period when there is the highest risk for miscarriage. At week eight, I definitely do not have any energy and my all-day sickness is still happening, but I want to maintain my health. Most of the information I was finding supported continuing light exercise through pregnancy, but not exerting yourself or trying to start a weight loss routine.
I wanted to continue doing the Pilates that I really enjoy. I decided on Pilates during Pregnancy with Niece Pecenka. I hadn't heard of Niece before, but liked the look of her DVD, ordered it, and I had it in my hands in a couple of days.
Niece has the program set up in two sections and you can choose to do them together or separately—I opted for the whole thing! First off, Niece is pregnant and doing the Pilates with you! I wasn't ready for that, and it makes the program very relatable and comfortable. I found the whole DVD relaxing, challenging, and definitely invigorating! She made me feel good and safe—and it kicked my butt! If you aren't familiar with Pilates, this workout might be a little bit of a challenge, but I do recommend it.
I try to walk my old jogging route a couple of times a week, and it is hard. I'm tired—but it is such a good feeling to walk through the neighborhood with my head held high, the birds singing in the trees, the flowers blooming and smelling good. Even though no one might be able to tell that I'm pregnant yet, I'm walking with pride and joy, and definitely with an extra spring in my step.
Waist measurement: 32 inches
Weekly weigh-in: 153 pounds
My pregnancy advice for the week: I want to be a healthy, sexy mama!
Pregnancy "first" of the week: We are talking about names! Looking through books and feeling out names.
Doctor's visit: No doctor's appointments yet!
About the Photo: The above picture of the author was taken during her eigth week of pregnancy by Dean Lipoff.
Read the next installment: week nine