So I actually wrote this a few weeks ago but I’ve hesitated to put it up, for reasons that will immediately become obvious. I am not a fitness blogger nor do I have any desire to EVER be one, but I *DO* really enjoy reading about REAL people and their REAL struggles/successes to manage their health. Anyone who has known me for a decent chunk of time knows that sometimes my weight is up, sometimes it is down, but it is ALWAYS something I’m working on. So I share this for two reasons…the first is to remind MYSELF how much I accomplished in the unlikeliest of times, and the second is to show anyone who’s interested something that worked for me that MIGHT work for them.
Here I am: 41 years old and 39.5 weeks pregnant.
I can’t believe I am posting a picture of this on the internet, but I also can’t believe that I am so HAPPY with my body at this age/stage of life, and I feel like it’s worth documenting. I mean, aren’t women supposed to feel crappy at the end of pregnancy? The truth is, I would take THIS geriatric pregnant body and all its strength and energy and general badassery over my high-school three-sport-athlete body or my 25-year-old gym-addicted, carb-phobic one. THAT acceptance in itself is an accomplishment worth shouting about.
Part of it is timing, right? I knew going into pregnancy, at my age, after multiple miscarriages, and this time, in the middle of a pandemic, that I had to be as healthy as possible to give me and the babe a fighting chance should any challenges come our way. So I trained for pregnancy and giving birth as if it were an athletic event. Also, for me, anyway: pandemic living lends itself well to structure, and this was helpful as opposed to traveling a lot and running around from event to event like a crazy person. Right now, there is literally NOTHING going on that could get in the way of my routine.
Here’s what I did:
- Strength: Workouts every weekday, first thing in the morning, courtesy of the amazing prenatal program in the Tone It Up app. I think I only skipped maybe 5 weekdays all pregnancy. The workouts were short and challenging (if they were longer than 20 minutes I just split them in half over two days because I refused to exercise longer than that). I absolutely LOVE everything Katrina Scott does. She is so incredibly positive and uplifting and encouraging and EXACTLY what I need to start my day each and every day.
- Cardio: 2,457,462 steps over nine months, per my FitBit. It averages out to just shy of 9k steps a day, which is not bad considering, ahem, WINTER IN MICHIGAN. My goal was 10k steps as many days as I could.
- Flexibility: Prenatal yoga, as included in the @toneitup prenatal program, and then in the third trimester I added another practice I bought from www.spinningbabies.com because I was terrified my baby would be breech (read about that HERE). This was at the suggestion of my nurse case manager and it was VERY gentle and a great addition at the end when my body was getting a little more tender.
I always have energy in the morning, so that’s why I did my strength training or yoga then…before I had a chance to get tired or not feel like it. As for the steps…I usually snuck out for a neighborhood walk around 2:30 to get those in, to wake myself up a little after working in my home office all day. It was a good time to return phone calls, too…so THANK YOU to everybody who put up with my huffing and puffing as the months went on. It did NOT sound pretty, but I rarely skipped unless the weather was AWFUL, because I knew if I stopped moving it would be too hard to get started again.
This little program served me well! As of 39.5 weeks, I gained exactly 25 pounds…right in range with what my OB recommended. I’m pretty sure I put on some legit muscle as well…I mean, LOOK! You can see my TRICEP. I didn’t even know I HAD a tricep. ?
Obviously, half of the weight game is nutrition, and that is a story for another post…but I *do* feel like the workouts were responsible for me feeling strong, energetic, and up for anything, even at full term. I am looking forward to starting the Tone It Up postnatal program in early June, once I get cleared to work out. I’ll share that journey too, if anyone is interested. I LOVE to hear any stories about others’ fitness journeys…whether pregnancy or postnatal related, or just EVERY DAMN DAY related. This is a battle I will fight for the rest of my life, and I feel like we are all in this together.
Would love to hear YOUR comments and experiences. Any workouts working right now for YOU that I should try?
Thanks for being a safe place for me to be a little vulnerable here!
Donald D Wolford says
Are you going to talk about your post-natal fitness? Fitness Ben and Jerry’s in every night?
You are a goddess and look beautiful and strong. I feel like I’ve been around long enough to know how meaningful this was for you. Will be happy to take walks with you and the new fella soon! Xoxo
You have DEFINITELY been around for ALL OF IT. Thank you for your kind words…love you, friend! 🙂
? Don you’re silly!
Great job! This was a struggle for me my first go round. Hoping to find this balance and motivation the next time.
Fingers crossed for you…I don’t know if I would have found the motivation if it weren’t for my age, risk factors, and the pandemic. It is so, so hard, but I’m rooting for you! 🙂
Hey, if it ain’t broke…
Thanks for sharing Melissa! I wasn’t really “into fitness “ when I had my kids many years ago;however, now I am really into it. It was also super difficult for me to make time for fitness. That’s one mistake I made…not focusing on me enough. So that is great you are focusing on you! Keep that up!
I have been a member of Burn Boot Camp in Northville since they came to town 2 years ago. I am in the best shape of my life! (Except for the hiccup I am on right now-recovering from foot surgery) I am also a lifetime Weight Watcher member as well. Oh believe me, it’s a struggle everyday and will always be for me too. Reach out anytime!
I’ve seen your Burn check-ins…sounds like a really great group of ladies! I swear that is half the battle…finding something you like and doing it with PEOPLE you like. Good luck with your foot! 🙂
You inspire me!
As a mama working to get stronger and healthier… and knowing skinnier will be a part of it but not the most important thing, I absolutely love this. Thanks also for the very specific recommendations for apps and sites.
I know what you mean…strong and healthy are definitely the goal. Believe it or not, I am a *Full* 200 lbs in these pictures…but strong AF. Skinny is not in my genes. Good luck to you, and check out the sites when it’s time…you’ll love them! 🙂