For the most part, healthy living now is not that much different than before. I’m still staying active for about an hour a day, and I’m still eating a variety of real foods in the form of 3 meals and a snack or two everyday. And one other positive for my health: fewer hangovers ; ) I luckily haven’t had major cravings that send Matt running for Ben & Jerry’s at midnight or put chocolate cake on my plate for breakfast. Real Food still makes me feel best, inside and out.
But both my exercise and my eating have changed somewhat:
-My workout intensity is drastically different than before: I am rarely out of breath or covered in sweat now – something I used to aim for daily
-My diet doesn’t look exactly the same since vegetables just don’t taste as good
The other day I was trying to put into words to Matt why I just don’t want to run or eat tons of vegetables even though I could force myself to do both. And what it comes down to is this: high intensity exercise and huge salads just don’t make me FEEL as good as they used to.
Before pregnancy, there was nothing like a sweaty run followed by a Hugh Jass salad filled with all kinds of hearty vegetables. I used to love the feeling of racing, being out of breath, being covered in sweat. At 30 weeks pregnant, a run would probably leave me uncomfortable, dehydrated and exhausted. Maybe even sick.
I used to bulk up my plate with all the veggies I could find at buffets and restaurants and would never turn down extras. I wanted them to fill me up but also because they tasted really good. These days I have no reason to fill up my shrinking stomach, and my salads are more like side dishes of simple greens without all the bulky veggies. I used to eat 2-3 servings of veggies but now 1 serving is enough. Enough to get in the nutrients and balance out my plate.
Walking, yoga, swimming, lighter weight lifting feel good to me.
Running, intervals and pushing myself hard don’t.
While I do still enjoy most vegetables and eat them daily, including salads, they just don’t bring on the same feel-good feeling that they used to and my portions of them are smaller.
Fruit, lightly-dressed greens, yogurt, cheese, eggs – these make me feel good.
So I guess my point is this: do what makes you feel good.
Run marathons at 39 weeks if that’s what it takes to raise your spirits. Or drop down to only slow walks and yoga. So long as you’re staying active in some shape or form given all the benefits of exercise during pregnancy, then pick what you want to do most.
Similarly, there are so many healthy foods out there – choose the ones you want to eat most and enjoy them. Have smaller portions of the ones that you’re not as crazy about (likely the green ones).
While exercise and nutrition are extremely important during pregnancy, don’t feel bad if you can’t keep up with your old self. Because your old self is gone – at least for the short term!
I actually can’t WAIT to run again – and hopefully get my taste buds back! You know how when you go on vacation for a week you come home just craving the way you felt before the vacation with your healthy habits in place? Pregnancy is like one looooooooooooong vacation. It hit me about 6 months in when I started to miss my old body – not so much its shape or appearance, but how it felt. Now that I’m closer to the end than the beginning, I absolutely cannot wait to go back to my old self. Or rather, Old Self 2.0!
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