As I write this, I’m officially 21 weeks pregnant! I really don’t know where the time went and how it has gone by so fast! As we’ve crossed over the halfway mark though, I wanted to share what I’ve been doing for workouts and a little bit of what I’ve been eating and craving so far.
A Little Background
To start off, I’m going to be completely honest. For as long as I can remember, I have been terrified (T-E-R-R-I-F-I-E-D) of what pregnancy was going to do to my body. I’ve spent my entire adult life on some sort of health and fitness journey. Always trying to lose those “last 10 pounds,” and oftentimes, the extra 20. I was successful a couple times, but my weight was always fluctuating once I went off whatever diet I was following.
This might seem silly, or vain (understandable) to some people. Worrying about my weight and body while I’m pregnant…crazy, right? But not to me…seriously, the thought was always in the back of my mind when I thought about having kids one day. I always wanted to “get in the best shape of my life” before I got pregnant so I’d have a better chance of not gaining too much weight and bouncing back after pregnancy.
While I try not to worry too much about my weight these days, how I look and feel in my clothes really has an effect on how I feel about myself. Whether it’s healthy to feel that way or not, it is what it is. I also don’t feel my best when I’m carrying extra weight, and I definitely feel better when I’m exercising and eating healthy.
I always knew that I wanted to do my best when I was pregnant to stay healthy and stay active and not use pregnancy as an excuse.
Disclaimer: I know that EVERY BODY is different, so whether you gained 20 lbs, 50 lbs, 100 lbs, there is absolutely no judgment behind this post! These are just my feelings and experiences that I want to share.
Before Getting Pregnant
I went into trying to get pregnant right after we finished a fitness challenge at our gym. I felt pretty good about myself, but right after the challenge, I ate and drank a lot of unhealthy things for about a month straight. Story of my life 😂 And as you could image, I felt like total crap! Things had gotten a little out of control, so naturally I decided to go in the complete opposite direction and start the Whole30 Diet.
I’ve done Paleo and other no sugar diets in the past, but Whole30 is on another level, which is why I had never done it. But I jumped right in on September 19, 2018, which I thought would be perfect timing. My husband was gone for a week for work, and when he got back the next week, he was having shoulder surgery. It’s always easier to be healthy when I’m by myself. I knew he’d be out for a week or two with surgery, so we wouldn’t be leaving the house much.
I won’t bore you with my review of Whole30, but let’s just say it was hard. I don’t mind eating healthy, but I was tired of cooking, I missed alcohol (a glass of wine would have helped during those post-surgery days haha!), and I just wanted to enjoy a normal meal. We probably eat out more than we should, and I think I ate out 3 times during the whole 30 days, which is pretty impressive. I was really proud of myself for finishing and not cheating, but I am 99.9% sure I’ll never do that again. Just way too strict.
Anddddd I’m Pregnant!
I found out I was pregnant on October 15, 2018, just 4 days shy of finishing my Whole30. Hahaha. Hysterical that it worked out that way, given 30 days is the longest I’ve gone without alcohol. Now I’d just have to wait another 9 months! Obviously, I was ecstatic, but pretty funny nevertheless.
The good news is, I probably went into my pregnancy pretty darn healthy! And miraculously, I didn’t accidentally drink too much before getting a positive pregnancy test! So looking back, it did all work out perfectly! 🙌🏻
Obviously, I couldn’t wait to eat some deliciously greasy food after finishing Whole30. That’s totally how it’s supposed to work, right? Yea, I skipped the whole reintegration of grains, dairy, etc. and went straight for the good stuff! We probably went out to dinner that Friday, Saturday and Sunday and nothing I ordered was healthy! And I’m sure this is taboo, but I had an ice cold sip of Josh’s beer, and man was it good!
First trimester survival
The first couple of weeks after I found out, I didn’t feel any different and ate a mix of “good” and “bad” foods. I definitely wanted to be healthy during my pregnancy, but I wasn’t eating 100% healthy. From about 6-9 weeks I didn’t feel great. I survived by eating a lot of bagels, pasta and cereal (some nights this was dinner). Carbs were the only thing that sounded good, and while I felt a little guilty for not getting many nutrients in (read: I don’t know if I ate one vegetable), I was hopeful things would get better by the 2nd trimester. I read a lot of things that said in the 1st trimester, you just try to survive, which made me feel a little better about my eating choices!
Looking back, it’s a little funny because I was so lucky I only had those 3 weeks of just not feeling great. In the moment, you don’t know how long it’s going to last, or if it’s going to get worse. Thankfully, I was back to feeling like myself around 10 weeks…woohoo!!
Feeling like myself again
I’ve been feeling really well since about 10 weeks up until now! I’ve been eating a mix of healthy and not-so-healthy foods, but I do try to make better decisions more often. Some of the healthier things I’ve been eating:
- Protein pancakes – I don’t feel as guilty when they have protein, but I’ve definitely been on a pancake kick!
- Oatmeal with berries
- Scrambled eggs and sausage with toast
- Homemade salads
- Smoothies (packed with fruit, protein powder and spinach)
- Veggie Pasta – if you haven’t tried these in the frozen section, you’re missing out!
- Chicken with veggies/potato and salad
- Elk meat tacos – yes, I’m claiming these as healthy
- Cauliflower Pizza
- Yogurt, granola and berries
- Homemade muffins
Some of the not-so-healthy things I’ve been eating. Gotta keep it honest!
- Cereal (thankfully this craving died off a little)
- Donuts – although last time I ate some I thought I was going to die of sugar overload, so I’ll probably stay away from those for a bit.
- Wendy’s – I’ve always been a Wendy’s lover, and since we don’t have Chick-fil-a (I know, it’s tragic), it’s second best. I usually get their spicy chicken sandwich, but lately I’ve been loving their chicken nuggets, especially when I’m starving and need a quick lunch!
- Ice cream – my all-time favorite is Coldstone Creamery cheesecake mixed with cake batter and cookie dough mixed in. So. Good.
- Burgers – when I make them at home, they’re a little healthier, but sometimes a good burger out just tastes so good!
Cravings & Hunger
Surprisingly, I don’t think I’ve had that many cravings, and nothing too weird and crazy! In the first trimester, bagels and cereal, and none of the healthy stuff. Fruity pebbles, lucky charms, cinnamon toast crunch! I’ve since switched to Special K, which I’ve never really eaten. Not that it’s much better, but I don’t feel as bad about eating it as the other sugar loaded ones 😂
I already love pickles, but I had a few weeks where I was eating like 4 a day. I was even drinking pickle juice from the jar. My husband thought it was disgusting, I thought it was delicious, because it was, duh.
The weirdest one, which isn’t even that weird, I just never drank it before – is lemonade. I’ve been mixing regular lemonade with raspberry lemonade, and it is so good! I think it’s because I’m so thirsty all the time, and while I drink a ton of water, there’s only so much flavorless liquid you can drink!
And lately I’ve been loving yogurt bowls with granola and berries. I never ate much yogurt before I was pregnant either, but I’m loving it as a mid-morning snack!
The one thing I quit drinking for like 10-12 weeks was my beloved iced coffee! It’s probably my favorite part of the morning (sad, huh!?), but when I was feeling bleh I had no desire for coffee. And even weeks after that, it just didn’t sound good. It started tasting good again about 2 or 3 weeks ago, and my iced coffee loving heart is so happy!
I haven’t felt ravenous like I thought I would. I feel like I’m probably consuming the same amount of food as I was pre-pregnancy. Now that I’m halfway, and probably little before that, I am starving by about 10:30am. Other than that, nothing too crazy, and I don’t feel like I need to “eat for two.”
Ok, that was a lot about food…onto exercise!
Another thing I always wondered about when I thought of getting pregnant, was exercise. I’ve worked out pretty consistently for the last 6 or 7 years, with some breaks here and there. I always wondered if I would continue working out throughout pregnancy. I’m sure you’re thinking it’s a choice, and I can just choose what I want to do. You’re right, but I definitely have periods where I’m unmotivated. I wasn’t sure if pregnancy would be one of those “periods.”
Thankfully, I joined an amazing gym last January, and I’ve been consistently going ever since. I workout with the same group of people every time, and I love it there. I think that has helped keep me motivated, and I’m so glad I have a gym like that to go to! I’m a group workout kind of girl and would never workout consistently on my own without someone telling me to do it.
In October, after I found out, I kept going like normal. Of course I was a little concerned since I hadn’t been to the doctor yet, but I knew if I continued doing what I had been doing then I should be fine. I just made sure not to let my heart rate get too high.
November was when I wasn’t feeling great, but I still managed to make it a few times. It’s hard when you workout with the same people and they notice you haven’t been there but you can’t tell them why! I remember asking my doctor early on if it was better to sit on the couch if I felt like crap or try to go workout. Her response, “I would be sitting on the couch, but if you feel like going, that’s perfectly fine.” Haha! I’m not like some crazy hardcore workout person, but I wanted to continue going and thought it might make me feel better. Most days, I was glad I went, but there was one day when I thought, “I’ll just go and see if I throw up and re-evaluate from there.” 😂 I never did get sick but some of those early days were questionable!
What I’ve been doing
I’ve been able to do most of the same moves as before, I’ve just been lowering the intensity a little. We do a lot of HIIT where we rotate through several stations. This past Monday was the first day I really felt pregnant. I was out of breath after maybe one minute and wondered how I was going to make it to the end, but I did it! I tend to skip most ab movements because they are non-existent right now. Also, I can feel my stomach pulling, so probably not the best moves to do right now. Other than that, I’ve been feeling great, and I’m making it to the gym 2-3 times a week.
Sometimes I feel like I could be doing more, but I’ve just been doing the cardio workouts which are only on certain days. I know I should have probably continued with the strength workouts too, but I get abnormally sore in general, and my body already hurts enough from growing a baby. I keep telling myself as long as I’m moving, then I’m doing well enough!
In other news, I’m happy to report that as of my 21 week appointment yesterday, I’ve gained 3 pounds so far! Again, there is absolutely no right or wrong amount to gain during pregnancy since everyone is different! But I just always knew with my history of always trying to lose weight that I was going to gain a lot. Who knows how much I’ll gain over the next 19 weeks, but I’m really happy with where I’m at and love watching this little baby grow! ❤️
Maybe you’re wondering if I have anything negative to say about pregnancy? 😂 I’m not gonna lie, I kind of feel like an asshole talking about how great I’m feeling. I know most women are not so lucky! My only complaint so far would be lower back pain, which started pretty early on. And not being able to get comfortable at night. I did finally invest in a pregnancy pillow, which is helping a little, but man it’s hard to get comfortable at night. Every morning I wake up with something hurting. But I AM growing a human, so I think all of that is to be expected!
Overall, I’m really really grateful that it has been such a good experience for me and that I’m feeling as good as I am and can still exercise. It’s such an amazing process and our bodies can do some incredible things!
OH, and the best update of all??
I’M FINALLY FEELING BABY KICKS PRETTY REGULARLY! I was impatiently waiting, and I just LOVE feeling her move all around. So special.
This ended up being much longer than I anticipated, but maybe you read all the way to the end!