Post Baby Body – 5 Month Update

Happy 5 months to Winter and happy 28th birthday to me today!  I am working on Winter’s 5 month update that will be posted this week, but for now it’ time to get an up-to-date glance at Mommy’s postpartum progress in relation to health and fitness!

Here is how I’m looking now:

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Here is a comparison of last month versus this month:

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 And here is a look back:

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28 years old today…I can’t believe I’m just 2 years shy of 30, which is exciting!  I think 30 is a fun age to be.  Not only am I marking a new age today, we are also celebrating Winter turning 5 months old.  She is such a sweet little girl.  My baby is much less of a newborn and much more of an interactive sweet baby girl!

I’ve continued making great progress in regards to my post baby body.  At 5 months postpartum, I weigh less than I did when I got pregnant, my jeans are all fitting me better than they have in a long time, and I even am able to wear some of my size 4 jeans that haven’t been able to fit me for several years!  It feels really great to whip my body into better shape than it was when I first got pregnant.  I wasn’t happy with my pregnancy starting weight, so now I have taken control of my fitness and am getting close to my goal: getting back to my wedding weight from 2008.  I’m almost there!!

If you missed my previous “Post Baby Body” updates, you can catch up here:

2 Month Post Baby Body Update

3 Month Post Baby Body Update

4 Month Post Baby Body Update

WEIGHT LOSS

To date I’ve lost 38 pounds.  Wow!  I lost another 5 lbs since my 4 month update in February.  I’m getting so close to my goal weight!  My goal weight is my wedding weight from 6 years ago 🙂

EATING

My calories are logged every day on myfitnesspal app on my phone.  I’m eating anywhere from 2000-2200 calories per day.  Previously I had reduced my caloric intake to 1900 and I found that it was unrealistic for me.  Giving myself an extra hundred (or two or three!) calories makes me feel like I’m able to relax a little bit more.  Obviously I’ve still been able to lose weight even though I increased my calories a bit.  Breastfeeding really helps me be able to eat this much and still lose weight!!  During the first week of March, I participated in a “7 Day Clean Eating Challenge.”  During the entire week I only ate clean foods: mainly fruits, vegetables and chicken.  It was kind of fun to “clean out” my body and focus on consuming zero processed or sweetened foods for an entire week.  It was hard at some points, but overall I enjoyed the experience.  It got me to eat a lot more vegetables than I’m used to eating.  I made tons of fruit smoothies, which were absolutely delicious.  After a week of 100% only clean foods, I feel lighter, fresher, and more energetic!

WORKING OUT

I workout 5-6 days per week (usually 6).  I’m pretty much mostly running for the main source of my exercise.  We are 4 weeks out from our half marathon, and yesterday we did a 9 mile training run.  I felt GREAT on this run!  My gym days are almost nonexistent.   I am making it there barely once per week.  But the reason is because I’d much rather run outside or workout at home because it saves so much time.  When I go to the gym, I am restricted to evenings (so that Eric is home and can watch Winter) and I also waste 20-30 minutes roundtrip commuting=dumb!  So I run outside, run on my treadmill, do kickboxing DVD in my livingroom and use my stability ball for exercise.  My half marathon training has me running 3-4 times per week (2-3 shorter runs of 4-5 miles and one long run on the weekends).  The non running days are either gym (approx. 1 time per week) or a kickboxing DVD.

GOALS

I want to successfully complete my half marathon in 4 weeks from now!  I don’t know that I’ll achieve a new PR (personal record), but if I do, I would be absolutely thrilled!!

REALITY CHECK

Life isn’t going to go perfectly 100% of the time and sometimes I’m going to miss workouts.  No biggie.  We all got sick in this house recently.  When I was sick I had to take a break from running for several days to allow my body the time to rest so I could recuperate.  With my personality, it’s difficult for me to slow down and relax/take a break from fitness.  But it was good that I took a few days off.  We had to skip our long weekend training run–but honestly it was perfect timing because both weekend days that particular weekend were snowing and too cold to take a baby out.  Such is life…sometimes we need a break.

I’m glad that I have a healthy mentality about my body.  This has not always been the case.  Years ago, I struggled with negative self-talk and basing my self worth on what the scale said.  To help my disordered mentality, I put away the scale for about 5 years and didn’t weigh myself until a year ago when I started my pregnancy.  The scale and I are now in a healthy relationship with each other, praise God!  Instead of basing my value on how much I weigh or how I look, I now put my self worth in how Christ sees me–I am a daughter of the King!  God sees me and loves me no matter what size jeans I wear, so I choose to love me regardless of that too.  If you have struggles with negative self-talk and feeling insecure about yourself and your body, I encourage you — you aren’t alone!  Though it never 100% goes away, it can get better, and I find that viewing myself through God’s eyes has been very helpful for me.

Here is a comparison looking back (wearing the same top!):

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Post Baby Body – 4 Month Update

I can’t believe Winter is 4 months old today!  It’s amazing how quickly time flies by.  In the early weeks (and months), time seemed to move a tad slower, but now that I know what I’m doing and have a solid routine down, time is flying!  It’s time for another monthly post baby body update.

At four months post-partum, I am feeling fantastic about my progress in regards to my health and fitness!  I have settled into a good fitness regime and have been training for my upcoming half marathon race for a month.  Less than two months until race day in April!  I continue to see positive changes in my body.  Running is getting easier, my clothes are fitting better, and the number on the scale continues to drop as keep faithful to my fitness and eating goals.

If you missed my previous “Post Baby Body” updates, you can catch up here:

2 Month Post Baby Body Update

3 Month Post Baby Body Update

Here is how I’m looking now:

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Here is a comparison of last month versus this month:

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 And here is a look back at 2 months, 3 months and 4 months:

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For me it is exciting to still be seeing changes in my body.  There were times I felt discouraged that I wouldn’t ever be as fit as I wanted to be again.  My discouraged days are gone because I am continually seeing my body change, shrink, tighten up and overall improve.  I don’t know why I expected to get into tip-top shape within 5 minutes of giving birth! 🙂  Now I know it’s a process that takes a little time, and I’m liking the positive changes more and more as I put in the work and time goes on.  My waist is still getting smaller — my waistbands aren’t as snug as they were (even from just a month ago!).  My abs are getting stronger.  My clothes are fitting better overall.  My legs and arms are feeling more trim.  My endurance is increasing — I can run for longer without having to stop for breaks.  My face looks thinner to me than it used to.  All good things!  I’m feeling very happy with the process and I’m not trying to expect myself to be perfect.

WEIGHT LOSS

During my pregnancy, I gained a total of 23 lbs.  After 2 months I was down those 23 lbs (exactly).  At 3 months I was down 28 lbs.  Now, at 4 months I am down 33 lbs!!  So I’ve lost another 5 lbs since last month.  I started my pregnancy at a higher weight than I’d have liked, so I have a goal in mind of where I’d like to end up weight wise.  I’m getting close to that goal, and would like to settle at that goal weight within the next 2 months (by 6 months postpartum).

EATING

I am faithful to myfitnesspal app on my phone to track my daily calories.  Because of breastfeeding, I am still successfully losing weight by eating approximately 1900 calories per day.  I would say that I usually do well at tracking my calories 6 out of 7 days per week.  At least 1 or 2 days per week I do run over my calorie limit, but I’m not too worried about that.  Some days I just feel more hungry than others — so I listen to my body and eat more.  Occasionally I do have a bowl of ice cream, but for the most part I try to limit any desserts or sweets.  I mainly eat healthy foods.  Lots of fresh produce, lean proteins, greek yogurt, protein granola bars,  etc.

WORKING OUT

I started training for my upcoming half marathon a month ago.  After 4 weeks of training, I can say that my stamina and endurance are improving!  I usually run 4 days per week and cross train at the gym 2 days per week.  My weekday runs are currently 3.5 or 4 mile distances and my weekend runs are were I do my “long distance” run.  This weekend I ran 7 miles.  Every weekend my long distance run increases by a half mile or mile.  Race day I’ll be trained and ready for 13.1 miles!  I love getting outdoors and running with my BOB stroller with the baby in tow, but on especially cold weather days, I’m grateful I can run on my treadmill.  My hubby has been so sweet to join Winter and I on our weekend long runs, and now I’ve finally convinced him to sign up for the race and run it with me!!!  This will be his first race besides doing a 5K.  I feel honored that he is training with me despite his strong dislike of running.

GOALS

I’m still working towards my half marathon goal (maybe even a new PR!).  This month I want to continue to be faithful to my training program and not miss scheduled runs or workouts.  I’m hoping to lose another 4 pounds by next month.

REALITY CHECK

I’m really happy with the changes in my body.  Though I’m happy with myself, it’s very important for me to remind myself NOT to compare myself with others.  There are always the “flaws” in our bodies that will never fully be perfect.  We are our own worst critics.  My body type might never be the body type of another woman, so I need to remember to only compare my body with MYSELF and not with OTHERS!!  So important to continually remind myself of this!

Here is a comparison of the days after birth versus 4 months postpartum:

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Post Baby Body – 3 Month Update

Today marks 13 weeks since I gave birth to my daughter.  So it’s time for another post-baby body update!  It’s so hard to believe that tomorrow she turns 3 months old.  Seriously, where has the time gone???  With the Christmas and New Years holidays, it feels that this past month has flown by.  I feel that I have continued to make progress with my body since last month, despite letting loose for the week of Christmas.  To date, I have lost a total of 27 pounds (4 lbs lost since a month ago).

Here is how I’m looking now:

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Here is a comparison of this month versus last month:

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I’m seeing and feeling changes!!  I love it!  My waist is still not as small as pre-pregnancy, but I am definitely seeing it get smaller since last month.  I’m doing a lot of ab work, and they are feeling tighter and stronger.  My legs are also feeling smaller.  I guess it would be helpful if I got my tape measure out, so I could look at some real numbers.  Haha!  Maybe I’ll do that, but realistically I probably won’t.  I don’t need to be obsessing over all of those numbers.  My boobs are going down.  Though I’m breastfeeding, my boobs have definitely reduced in size, which I can admit I’m happy about…I’ve never been a fan of big boobs!  Overall, I feel tighter and my stamina and endurance are increasing.  I’m happy with my progress this month, and hope to see more next month!

EATING

My eating has been pretty healthy.  That is, if you exclude the entire week of Christmas where I stuffed my face with loads of Christmas treats and goodies.  😦  We travelled 18 hours on the road (each way) to Indiana, and from the moment we left until the moment we returned, my eating was far from nutritious.  I believe that set me back a little bit, but as soon as I got home, I got right back to working out and eating healthy.  I use MyFitnessPal app on my phone to track my daily calories.  In early December, I cut back from 2100 calories per day to 1950.  As of this week, I cut back to 1900 per day.  As long as I don’t dip below 1800 per day, it shouldn’t affect my milk supply.  I try to eat a lot of healthy foods, avoiding sweets and overly processed junk.

WORKING OUT

Over the week of Christmas, I only got one day of exercise in: running in the freezing cold on snow-covered back country roads.  Besides that week, my workouts have been very consistent!  I workout on Sunday through Fridays, averaging 6 workouts per week.  I hit the gym in the evenings on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and run on my treadmill at home on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.  I have focused mainly on doing lots of cardio and abdominal exercises.  I am desperate to get my small waist and strong abs back!  Unfortunately I have not done tons of weight training yet, but I am limited by how much time I have at the gym since I’m on a schedule for feeding my baby.  I need to figure out how to get more weights in my workouts!

GOALS

I have successfully lost my pregnancy pounds (plus some), but I’d still like to continue to tighten up and lose more weight.  I am starting my 1/2 marathon training next week, and I have a goal to complete that race in April with a semi-decent time (maybe even a PR!).  I have a goal to complete my training program and not slack off.  I also have a goal to feel confident in a swimsuit this summer.  A short term goal is to lose another 5 pounds by 4 months postpartum.

REALITY CHECK

It’s emotionally tough for me to look at some of the negative changes in my body, the main one being a bigger waist than I used to have.  I know with hard work, I can get my abs back, but in the meantime it’s a struggle for me.  Most of my jeans and pants are fitting me, but they still feel somewhat snug in the waistbands, making me feel self-conscious.  I finally broke down and bought a pair of nice jeans in a bigger size.  I will wear these and rejoice as they start to get looser and looser, but for now, it makes me feel better.

Here is a comparison of the day after birth versus 3 months postpartum:

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Pregnant Running — Run all the way until delivery?

Pregnancy Running – Run Until Delivery

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Running while pregnant.  I never thought I’d be the lady who is strong enough to be a pregnant runner.  Or a runner into my 3rd trimester of pregnancy.  Let alone potentially running all the way up until delivery!  At almost 39 weeks pregnant, it’s truly AMAZING that this body is still going.  I am starting to believe that I am indeed a strong lady — heck, I have continued to run regularly for my entire pregnancy!  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t proud of myself.

I have been a runner for years.  Just in 2012, I ran a number of races, including four half marathons, a 10-mile trail race and a number of 5K races.  When I became pregnant in January 2013, my goal was to have a healthy pregnancy.  The way I intended to maintain above-average health was by continuing to exercise and eat a nutritious diet.  Going into the pregnancy I had no complications or reasons that I shouldn’t be exercising, so I continued running as normally as I could on a regular basis.  Later, I will break down the three trimesters and what my exercise/running looked like during each of those phases.

Running while pregnant is NOT easy.  It’s only for those who are strong and determined.  Only for the extremely motivated.  Had I not been motivated and determined, I would have taken it easy a long time ago and settled for just walking.

To me, as long as there is no medical reason that prevents exercise during pregnancy, it’s a no brainer: EXERCISE!  It’s going to make a healthier baby and a healthier momma….  I understand that there are special circumstances or medical situations that do not allow an expectant mother to exercise; that is different.  Only exercise while pregnant with the medical clearance of an O.B. doctor.

First, let’s talk about some of the benefits of exercise during pregnancy:

1. Healthier baby & healthier momma.

2. Easier time getting through labor & delivery.  (Possibly even a shorter time laboring!)

3. Keeps pregnancy weight gain under control (healthy range for an average size woman is 25-35 pounds).

4. Gives more energy to expectant momma.

5. Keeps stress level under control.

6. Helps momma to “bounce back” and regain her previous shape after birth.

Here are the reasons I {THINK} have been able to run up until delivery:

-I listen to my body. This has been my #1 rule when it comes to running during my pregnancy.  If I were to push myself past the point of what my body is capable of doing, it would have benefited no one.  Listening to my body means this: if I can do it, then go for it…if I can’t do it, then slow down or stop.  At all stages of this pregnancy I have allowed myself the freedom to stop and take walking breaks during runs as necessary.  Do I like taking walking breaks??  My pride doesn’t, but sometimes my body needs them.  Listening to your body is KEY.

-I don’t run every single day. Years ago, I went through a phase where I ran six days per week.  I did that until I became injured.  I have found that running on alternating days is the best thing for my body.  This averages out to 3-4 days per week.  I do workout 6 days per week, but only half of those days are running workouts.  The other days are spent in the gym.

-I crosstrain.  At the gym I typically perform 40-45 minutes of cardio exercise (elliptical, arc trainer, rowing machine, bike, etc) and spend 20 minutes doing a variety of free weights/cable pulleys/weight machine exercises.  My weight training is usually performed in 3 sets of 12 repetitions at a heavy weight (no sissy stuff!)  By lifting weights on a regular basis, my overall body strength is much higher than if I were to only have performed cardio exercise.

-I kept my weight gain under control.  Most of my weight was gained in the 2nd trimester.  In the 3rd trimester I have gained almost nothing.  I guess everyone’s bodies are different.  At almost 39 weeks, I have gained 23 pounds, so I doubt I’ll top out at more than 25 (if that).  I think that keeping my weight gain under control, it has allowed my body to keep going because I’m not as heavy as, say, someone who gains 50 pounds during their pregnancy.  50 pounds gained + trying to run = won’t work.

-I wear a maternity support belt.  Mid-pregnancy (around 25 weeks), I began researching maternity support belts.  Several blogger friends were using the Gabrialla Maternity Support Belt for running, so I decided to give it a whirl.  At 27 weeks, my amazon purchase arrived in the mail and I was excited to try it out.  Talk about a major difference!  The belt is designed to support a growing belly and displace the impact to other areas.  Without my support belt, there would be NO WAY I could still be running.  It truly is amazing how well it helps keep my body feeling better and puts my mind at easy that the baby is safer.

-I don’t run far distances.  I’ve heard of these extreme runners who run full marathons at term….no way, this gal isn’t that big of a champion!  I have consistently ran a distance of 3-5 miles.  Never any more than that.  I’m sure some people could, but I never cared to push myself any further distance than that.  Now that I’m full term, some days I only run 2 or 2.5 miles…but I think that is to be expected.

-I accept that my running now barely resembles my pre-pregnancy running.  Before I got pregnant, my typical running pace averaged between 9-10 minute miles.  Usually I ran around 9:30/min/miles, but the better shape I was in, the more like 9:00/min/miles, and if I was in worse shape, I usually was never quite as slow as 10:00/min/miles pace.  This changed pretty drastically once I became pregnant.  I had to stop using my Nike Pro app on my phone.  Seeing just how much SLOWER I was running was killing my mojo, so I decided to just run based on feel.  This was smart, because I’m way too much of a perfectionist, so I didn’t need to hear my slower pace recited in my headphones.  In my 1st trimester I was still probably averaging 10:00/min/miles, 2nd trimester I slowed to (I’m guessing) 10:30-10:45min/miles and NOW at the end of my 3rd trimester I am running 11:45/min/miles.  WAY SLOW!  But—no matter how slow I am, I am just proud that I am still going.  Doesn’t matter that I’m slow:)

-I never stopped running.  I have maintained my 3 times per week running routine throughout the entire duration of the pregnancy.  I never took a week off.  Had I stopped and given myself a break, I might not have ever resumed.  It allowed my body the ability to adapt as my body and the baby grew.

-I have had the support of my doctor.  My doctor has been 100% supportive of my active lifestyle.  She spent time talking to me about all of the benefits for both me and the baby.  She also recommended that I “listen to my body” and take my level down if it became necessary.  At my appointments she asks if I’m still running and I see her excitement when I tell her I still am:)

What my running has looked like during the 3 trimesters of pregnancy:

1st Trimester.  I suffered from morning sickness throughout my first trimester.  Yuck!  I did not throw up a lot, but I did have constant nausea 100% of the time.  I felt extreme fatigue and overall awful.  It was hard to maintain a high level of fitness during that phase because I felt so awful.  But I did push myself to keep on going, even if it wasn’t pretty.  During the first trimester, I averaged 4-5 days per week of exercise, with at least two of those days being running days.  Because it was still winter, I did majority of those runs on the treadmill.

2nd Trimester.  During my second trimester is when I started to get my energy back, but as my weight increased, I felt heavier as I hit the pavement.  I ran a 5K race with some friends at 17 weeks and felt great.  Once I hit week 20 or so, I was really beginning to FEEL my weight gain.  I felt slower, but I continued to push on and listen to my body.  Somewhere around weeks 16-18 is when I started battling calf tightness.  That calf tightness has stuck around ever since, boo!  I think it has to do with my center of gravity affecting my running gait or from the added weight on my body.  Not sure.  Throughout this trimester, I maintained 6 days per week of exercise, with 3 of those days being running days.  Most of my running in this trimester was outdoors.

3rd Trimester.  When I got to the third trimester, I had a renewed sense of excitement for running since I had just started wearing my Gabrialla Maternity Support Belt.  I also felt really proud of myself that I was still continuing to run.  We moved to Florida for 6 weeks when I was 29 weeks pregnant, and my running actually improved between weeks 29-35!  I think it had something to do with being at sea-level instead of mile-high-altitude.  Because of the extreme heat & humidity of Florida, I did majority of the runs during weeks 29-35 indoors on the treadmill.  During those weeks I actually STOPPED taking walking breaks!!  I could consistently run 3.1 miles (5K distance) without ever stopping to walk.  I felt amazing and so EMPOWERED!!

Ever since returning home to Colorado, I have transitioned back to outdoor running, with the occasional indoor treadmill run.  As I am getting close to delivery, my runs are getting much harder day by day, but I just listen to what my body is telling me.  I am no longer able to run 3.1 miles without stopping for a walking break.  Sad, but it’s the truth.  Typically I make myself run the entire first mile without a walking break and then I allow myself to run in intervals of 3 minutes running/3 minutes walking until I have reached my final distance.  I usually try to run at LEAST 2-3 miles.  I’ve started staying close to home on my runs (JUST IN CASE!)  In the past two weeks I have been running laps around my neighborhood (boring, but then I’m not far from home in case I go into labor).  I calculated that 5 laps is 2 miles, so I try to run at least 5 laps (or add in more laps if I need to add walking breaks).  My calves continue to be extremely tight.   I just grin and bear it.  Here is to running all the way until delivery!

Getting to the end—delivery is near….

Summary.  With my due date looming in the near future, I have no intentions of ceasing running unless (God forbid) something happens.  My doctor has really been an encouragement to me.  At my appointment earlier this week she asked for an update to see if I was still running.  She was really excited to hear that I was.  Even though I can honestly say it’s not all that FUN to be running anymore, I want to keep going as long as I can — even if it’s just to “say that I did.”

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Disclaimer: These are just my own personal thoughts, opinions and personal experience.  I am not a doctor.  You should only exercise under the care of a doctor.  I am aware that there are situations where it is unsafe to exercise during pregnancy.  I also understand that when someone becomes pregnant, it is NOT the time to start up a brand new, intense routine.  The only way I was able to continue running is because I was ALREADY a runner before pregnancy.  I would never encourage someone to become a runner if they were not already doing so before their pregnancy. 

10 Pregnancy Health Goals

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For the majority of this pregnancy to date I have felt that I try to “stay healthy” as a whole.  Faithfully I exercise 6 days per week and I generally “eat healthy” for the most part.  I am happy with my exercise performance, but I feel that my eating habits have slowly gone downhill and I would like to revisit what my health and eating goals look like.

My goal is to keep my pregnancy weight gain at a slower pace.  It’s mentally tough to watch those numbers on the scale go up to a weight I have never seen before.  My goal for pregnancy weight gain is to cap off at around 30 lbs gained (plus or minus).  At the beginning of my pregnancy, my doctor informed me that healthy weight gain for pregnancy should fall in the range of 25-35 pounds.  30 pounds puts me right in the middle.  By eating healthier, it will help me achieve that weight goal, as well as eat more nutritious foods to help my baby’s growth, instead of eating junk that has no nutritional value for my growing baby.

My 10 Pregnancy Health Goals:

1. Drink lots of water. When I say lots, my goal is to be drinking at least 10 glasses (or approximately 5 nalgene water bottles) each day.  The more hydrated I can stay, the healthier baby and I will be.  When you become dehydrated, sometimes you can mistake dehydration for hunger. Rather than grabbing for a snack, I want to try to always go for a drink of water first to see whether it’s really hunger or if it’s thirst.

1water2. Eliminate sweets (for a while). So far this week I have eliminated sweets completely since I was eating ice cream, cookies or other dessert/sweets on a daily basis for a period of time.   Now, I want to completely eliminate sweets to get those cravings under control.  Once I feel ready, I would like to change this goal to eating a dessert/sweet one to two times per week (max).  An example of this would be: eating an ice cream cone on a Monday night and having a brownie for dessert on Saturday night with dinner.  For now (the next week or two weeks), I am making a goal to eat zero sweets.2sweets

3. Don’t count calories – rather focus on healthy foods & portion control.  If I count calories I already know I’m going to drive myself crazy.  This is not the time to count calories since I am pregnant.  I know that I only need to consume an extra 300 calories per day due to pregnancy, but I haven’t counted calories in years.  I’m not about to start. But, with that being said, I want to choose HEALTHY foods to eat my calories with, instead of non-healthy foods.  I want to consume reasonable sized portions.

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4. Avoid processed foods – eat mainly whole or natural foods.  I’m trying to avoid things like crackers, chips, etc, but find that okay snacks are things like: fruit, string cheese, greek yogurt, granola bar, hard boiled egg, natural dried fruit, almonds or veggies.

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5. Consume a lot of fibrous foods. IE fruits and vegetables.  I already eat a lot of fruit, but I want to try to make it a point to eat vegetables with dinner every night.

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6. Eat healthy snacks and don’t allow my sugar to drop.  A mistake I’ve been known to make to save calories is to try to limit my food intake and get in a bad mood because my blood sugar drops.  This makes me an angry person who yells at people for no reason.  I want to make sure I am regularly consuming healthy snacks to avoid this pitfall.  Snacks could be: string cheese, fruit, granola bar, almonds, yogurt, etc.

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7. Eat fruit or greek yogurt in place of dessert. I do like the idea of “having dessert” at night.  The past few days after dinner, instead of going for actual dessert, I have been eating a fruit flavored greek yogurt to satisfy my sweet craving.  Another option could be to chop up some strawberries and eat those from a bowl or something like that.

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8. Continue with 5-6 days per week of exercise.  Currently my typical exercise routine includes 3 gym days and 3 outdoor running days.  The running on some days is starting to be at the gym in the air conditioning rather than outdoors.   Maintaining 6 (or 5) days per week is my goal.  I want to continue doing 30-60 minutes per day of exercise throughout the remainder of the pregnancy.  Ideally I like to complete at least 40 minutes of cardio (40 minutes for 40 weeks!)  On non-running days, I usually find myself doing the elliptical trainer, the rowing machine or the bike.  Plus some weight training.

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9. Don’t stress if I’m not perfect. If and when I slip up, don’t beat myself up about it. Just move on.  I cannot expect myself to make perfect choices 100% of the time.  I am a human, after all.  But if I do make a mistake, I don’t want to let the mistake spiral out of control—I want to move on and continue with healthier choices.

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10. Allow myself one “free meal” per week. Right now I’m not going to do this quite yet since I’m trying to stabilize myself after eating less than perfectly.  But I want to note that I think it’s realistic for me to have one meal per week where I’m not overly worried if the meal is healthy or not. This will be saved for more special occasions such as: going out to eat for dinner with my husband or going to a barbeque at a friend’s house.

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With these guidelines, I hope that I will be able to keep my pregnancy weight gain in check and have an overall healthier pregnancy.  I also realize that it will allow the transition of post-natal weight loss much easier if I am eating in a healthful way NOW, rather than eating terribly and then having to fix my diet after the baby is born.

Note/Disclaimer: These are simply MY THOUGHTS and opinions for my personal pregnancy health.  I am not a registered dietitian or an MD.  These are simply how I plan to stay healthy for the remainder of my pregnancy.  Thanks for reading.