Comfortably working out while pregnant

work it out

So you need to get your tushy moving while your belly is growing and your entire body is going through a hormonal roller coaster craving ice cream with pickles? Yiaiks! The benefits of working out while preggos are many, and thanks to Google I got the following ones for ya:

  • You’re likely to gain less weight
  • You have more energy
  • It might make labor and delivery easier (sorry, no guarantee!)
  • It might ease many of the pregnancy “side effects” such as leg cramping, swelling, constipation, gestational diabetes, sleep problems, prenatal depression
  • You will feel more like the hot mama you actually are and not the whale you can sometimes see on the mirror
  • Baby is likely to be born with less excess body fat (no, your huha doesn’t want to push a 10 lb baby out!)
  • Baby may grow smarter (yup, recent studies say that)

So clearly there’s at least one or two things that sound tempting right? Well, go for it and get your booty moving while your body is very nicely taking care of making a perfect baby! Now, don’t get me wrong, just because is good for you it doesn’t mean your body is willing to cooperate since it might be distracted say… making a baby! Not to worry about it darling! You can make a difference and keep yourself and baby healthy during pregnancy. Remember, your body won’t go where your mind doesn’t go. Talk pretty to yourself. Remind yourself why is good. When  your body says, “yeah no thank you” (and it will, I promise), convince your body that is the only choice. Again you don’t need to workout for hours, but at least 30 mins of physical activity are good for you and you should strive for that every day because your body deserves to feel its best!

It can be something simple like walking. You can go for a walk with hubby, a friend, kids if you have any, your dog if you have one or two or how many. Or you can try something else like swimming, taking a yoga class, use some light free weights and get those muscles going. Whatever you feel like doing is what you should do. And this is the part where this post comes about. Feeling comfortable while you are working out!

I started using my pre-pregnancy workout clothes during the first months. They still fit so why not? I did for as long as I could. Then you know the belly was kinda getting on the way. I was rolling my pants under my belly so the belly wasn’t feeling “pinched” by the waistline. However, this isn’t very comfortable after a little while. It could be two things, at least for me: my hips weren’t holding the pants so they kept coming down or the actual pants waistline was smaller and not as stretchy so it would hold at my hip area but it would also be too tight. So I decided that while is nice to think you still fit in your pre-preggos clothes, it just wasn’t comfortable and it was time to get maternity workout clothes. Brilliant, I know!

I don’t consider myself cheap but also I am not willing to spend more than needed in things, especially clothes. Sure Seraphine’s luxury maternity jeans ($109) are probably nicer and cooler and all you want better than Target’s maternity jeans ($34.99), but I am simply not willing to pay for the extra “nicer” in this case… or any for that matter. So I did my research and found out, or was reminded rather, that maternity clothes are expensive! The difference between now and the last time I was pregnant, is that I know many new websites that sell stuff at a discounted price such as Zulily.com. Their inventory is limited, sales are final, and you wait a bit longer than normally for items to be shipped but once shipped you get them fast! So I found some deals that seamed reasonable to me and placed my order. Below are my choices and feedback in case it is helpful to any of you. I worked out (elliptical and weight training) in all three of them.

Choice 1: Honey B  ($12.99)

This are my least favorite ones of the three pants I ordered. They fit fine. The fabric is not that stretchy see-through kind (good for me). Very comfortable on my legs and I like the length a lot. This came in third because of the waistline. While is stretchy and will give in more as my bellow grows, it hits me at the belly button. I personally don’t like that because this tend to put too much pressure in that area and that is not comfortable. Additionally with a lot of movement it rolled down to below my belly and I don’t like that very much.

Option 2: Dynabelly ($11.99)

This are my second favorite ones. I tend to use capri length for workouts but is actually nice to have the full length. Stretchy and comfortable. The waistline hits me right at the top at the belly which is great! Is very comfortable not to have any type of pressure on or below the belly because that’s where the lil one hangs out all the time, so this fit is perfect! Overall very much satisfied with it including the price.

Option 3: Topsport ($19.99)

This are my favorite of the three! If you pay attention on the pants picture it has that overbelly coverage which is simply extremely comfortable during pregnancy! Like I said, I love capri length so that’s a plus, but nothing can bit that comfortable belly feeling. This was the most expensive of the tree choices but is at least $10 cheaper that common choices like Old Navy and Target.

So I hope you find this info helpful. Whether you’re preggos and need motivation to workout and also looking for cheaper clothing choices. Or if you’re planning to become preggos and just want to know what’s out there.

Til next time!

xoxoxo

 

Why am I trying so badly to have a healthy pregnancy

Pregnant

So this is pregnancy #3, and trying it for it to be a healthy one. My first pregnancy was the unhealthiest thus far. I gained nearly 70 lbs! The silliest part was that I was under some silly assumption that all the weight gain would automatically disappear once the baby was born, and guess what? Nope, it didn’t happened! Nearly 8 years later I am still holding unto at least half of the weight I gained during my first pregnancy. I have learned to love my body and accept the prize of motherhood. This doesn’t mean that just because you learn to accept and love your flaws  you can’t work towards a better you. The best way to thank our body, especially as a mom I think, is to care for it and being healthy. This is my goal!

I remember when I was at the hospital after my son was born (24 hours of labor later) and went to use the bathroom. I was wearing a loose hospital gown. I distinctly remember, checking my belly in the bathroom mirror and thinking: “holly schnaps, I still look pregnant!” People kept telling me not to worry about it, that the weight would just go down with time, but that didn’t happened. Why? Because at that time I wasn’t taking care of myself the way I should have. During my first pregnancy, I never worked out, I didn’t drink enough water, I often gave into unhealthy cravings. After my son was born, I didn’t have time or energy to care for myself the way I should have. I was working graveyard shift at the hotel, only sleeping 4-5 hours per day, and eating a lot more than I should have for energy. UNHEALTHY any way you look at it!

When I got pregnant again, I promised myself I wouldn’t let myself reach such unhealthy levels. And I tried… sorta. The first trimester I was sleeping a lot because of low iron. No morning sickness just tired. As soon as the second trimester started, I had more energy but I was miserable! I know is hard to explain but I promise every single cell in my body seemed to be in some sort of pain ALL THE TIME! I was going to the gym at first, but decided to cancel my membership because there was no point in paying for not going since my body was always aching. I was happy that our family was growing, but my body was taking its sweet time to carefully bake an amazing little girl in my oven. The price tag was more than I hopped, and I was just not feeling physically well most of the time. Despite, I was on track with my weight gain goal until nearly the end. The doctor recommended to gain only about 20 lbs since I was overweight for my height. And I did so until I went on my maternity leave. Because of medical coverage I stayed extra weeks at work and only took about 2 weeks off before due date. This two weeks at home, pretty miserable I confess, were enough to kill my good vibe gaining another 10 lbs! 30 lbs is better than 66 lbs gained during pregnancy, BUT this was still unhealthy because of my BMI.

After years of struggling to lose weight and deciding that no more babies was best for our family because life in the Bay Area is quite expensive, I was surprised with pregnancy #3, my current one. I am enjoying every bit of it, but still keeping in mind that for my own health and the baby’s is best to make healthy choices as much as possible. I had gestational diabetes with baby #2, and is one of the things I am working hard to stay away this time around. With quite some pregnancy experience, better informed about healthy eating, and becoming obsessed with exercising, I was better prepared this time. Now just because you know what the outcome should be, it doesn’t mean you can easily put the equation together. And sure enough, I am having challenges this time around but the difference is I have a plan that will hopefully keep me on track.

Over the past year I have learned a lot about fitness. I have gotten really good at meal prepping because it truly is about 80% diet, 20% exercise. I have also done research about working out, which kind is best for what, added weight lifting into my routine, and understand better the cardio/weight training combination. After the long story about my pregnancies I can actually get down to my point which is my plan to stay healthy. How exercising is possible during pregnancy and how it is beneficial for both mommy and baby. And very little food information (for now). My experience will not apply to everyone, just FYI.

They recommend staying active through the entire pregnancy but you need to be careful during the first trimester. All I really did during the first trimester was walking. Since I don’t believe in going to the gym to just walk/run on a treadmill, I started walking more at work during my lunch hour. Once the second trimester starts you can take your exercise to a higher level but always remember to be careful not to hurt yourself or baby. I added yoga to my life which by the way is amazeballs! I tried it in the past and I was very uncomfortable because I am more of the boot camp type, but this time it was different. Is soft enough not to hurt you and baby (the instructor will know which poses are not safe or can be modified to keep you and baby safe), but is still a workout that your body needs and it helps with labor.

My current workout routine is not super strict as I was before, but it keeps me active. For cardio I started using the elliptical. I really wanted to participate in a half marathon (at least) so I was running before I got pregnant. I know is possible even while your’e pregnant but since my endurance is not that good I switched to the elliptical that is easier on your joints. For weight training I kept doing split days for zones: chest & triceps/ shoulders, legs & calves/ back, traps, biceps. I use lighter weights and remove abs as a target zone but I am keeping some exercising that will help in this area but are not as direct as crunches for instance. I was doing all the above before I got pregnant, so I am just modifying it now. Instead of using free weights at the gym which I prefer, I am using the machines that allow you to workout in the same areas just as fine. The days I workout on my legs are no longer on the Smith machine. I used my own body weight plus 10 lbs free weights for just a little extra. I’m not going hard on my body, I am just trying to keep muscles engaged.

Meal prepping is the biggest part always! I can easily make healthy choices when I have healthy choices handy. I am back to preparing my breakfast and lunches for work. I don’t always have the time but I tried to do it often. I can easily go for the bagel with cream cheese instead of overnight fridge oats which is why I try to be prepared with the healthy choice. I don’t think that salads are always the healthier choice because dressing can easily kill a salad! When I prepare a lunch I choose a protein (usually grilled chicken and no I don’t get sick of it), grilled veggies and quinoa or black beans. I stay away from processed food as much as possible so my snacks are often fruit, cheese or celery sticks. I sip on water throughout the day, although I think I need more. I am not drinking coffee anymore and if you know me, you know I used to drink coffee with every meal! But this isn’t so much to be healthy but I simply can’t stand the smell of coffee.

I am not saying I workout every day and that my food choices are on point every day. If you’ve seen my instagram you know that I’ve had some not healthy choices but I am pretty content with the effort I am making every day for baby and I to be healthy. I am enjoying this pregnancy and not eating a Big Mac, for instance, doesn’t mean that I am being hard on myself. I just know that isn’t worth to eat this crap even if “the baby wants it!”

 

So what if you got a flat tire? Fix it!

flat tire

So you were driving down Fit Life Lane when suddenly you hit a bump on the road and boom, you got a flat tire! So what do you do?

Many see this as the end of the road. They decide is too hard to try to continue driving to make your way to “Healthy Land”, and they instead quit. Some people see challenge, whether big or small, as a sign to quit and give up. The idea that life is perfect and a challenge shouldn’t have obstacles is crazy! I mean, hello!!! This is life, and when life happens there are ups and downs and curves and twists and all kinds of crazy stuff along the way but is just part of it.

Say you have purchased tickets to an amazing show which has the absolute best reviews in the whole world. You are excited to go see what everyone is talking about. You buy yourself a nice new outfit and glam up to be at your best to enjoy the show. You look forward to having the best time of your life. You are leaving the house, walking to the theater when suddenly it starts to rain. Is not the sky is falling to pieces kinda of heavy rain, just a light rain. You decide that is a sign not to go because you don’t have an umbrella with you. So you go home, get in your bed and miss the show and experience. Do you really think you would throw everything down the drain just like that? NO, of course not! You would probably jump on a cab, or Huber these days, and get yourself to the theater to enjoy the show. Maybe your outfit got a bit wet, but while you are sweet you are not made out of sugar, so you didn’t melted and made in one, slightly wet, piece.

Kudos to you my friend for not giving up and making the choice to continue to your destination and enjoy yourself! There are many obstacles when you are trying to be healthy. People at work bring donuts and cupcakes to potlucks, your friends invite you for happy hour and you have more drinks than you should, you can’t go to the fair and not get the funnel cake, you have to eat you child’s ice cream because your little sunshine couldn’t finish it. I am sure you get the idea. We are humans, is okay if you don’t make healthy choices 100% of the time. Is okay to have an occasional slice of cake, miss one day at the gym, take the escalator instead of the stairs. The key is to understand that one “bad day” in your fitness journey is acceptable and probably necessary to remain sane as long as you get back on track the next meal or the next day.

I am sure you’ve heard of Jillian Michaels, one of the world’s most recognized personal trainers. She is very respected in the fitness community for her success story. There is one phrase of hers that I think better describes my point: “You messed up your diet and you didn’t exercise today. So what? You didn’t ruin anything. Get back on track tomorrow. If you have a flat tire, do you slash the other three? Of course not! You fix the flat and you keep going.

Before and After Jillian Michaels
Before and After
Jillian Michaels

Decision time: are you ready to become a better you?

I am not gonna lie. There has been many times where I wanted to look like someone else. How is that bad? Well, is not really. It is important however, to understand the difference between liking the way another person looks, or dresses, or wears her makeup and using her style to design your own, and wanting to become that person.

I spent a ridiculous, in my mind at least, amount of time commuting to work. During this time, about 40 mins one way with no delays, I tend to keep myself busy on my phone. I open my Pinterest app, get ideas to decorate my home, recipes, workout ideas, fashion ideas too. I also sometimes browse through funny pics just to make the commute a little better. I sometimes spend this time scrolling on my Instagram account. I look at what other people are up to. Sometimes I will find a “Pic Challenge” for a month and “participate” on it. I have a fitness IG account where I receive and give support to a great number of amazing woman who are also in their fitness journey. I leave comments, try to make them feel better, and reminding them that we are in this together. So how is it wanting to look like someone else relate to this and is bad again? Wait, I am building to it!

Of course there are gazillions of fitness accounts that feature women and men with great physiques. I am talking six-pack not just in abs but their back too (yup, there is such a thing apparently!).

back abs!!
back abs!!

It is easy to be like a child at a store when you see something irresistible and you want it and suddenly you NEED it. In this case, you see someone like Michelle Lewin, admire her gorgeous body and decided that you want a body like hers and need a body like hers. Is that bad fit mommy? No, that is great!! You need that kind of motivation. You actually probably want to have that kind of motivation. The problem becomes when people stop working on improving themselves and want to become the other person. Now THAT is the problem!

I really, really, really, really like Michelle Lewin’s body.

Fitness Model Michelle Lewin
Fitness Model Michelle Lewin

I mean she is a goddess! And while I am sure many find her WAY prettier than me, I don’t really want to become her. I love me, with the good and the bad. I love my body because it has given me two amazing kids who I am beyond grateful for and crazy in love with. I love my body because it hasn’t failed me. I have failed my body by not taking better care of it sooner. I love my life, my family, my friends… I love me! I am sure Michelle’s life might be more fascinating to some and I am happy for her success, but I don’t want to be her. She is an inspiration to me. She is a hot Latina who has worked hard to be where she is now, and I admire that. She reminds me that hard work pays off. She reminds me that I do want to improve myself. I want to get rid of some of this unnecessary and unhealthy fat and go back to a healthy weight. I am working on it. I am caring for my body by reading labels and making sure I am not eating things that will only make me sick.  I am working every day to a better version than the day before.

If you are not happy with your life, body, hairstyle, fashion style, then change it. Just like the many software versions that get, if You 1.0 is not working at one thing or another, change it. Improve it. Make You 2.0 who now drinks more water every day and hits the minimum recommended 10K steps a day. If that is not enough do more. Create You 3.0 who now takes a Zumba class twice a week and stopped drinking soda. Pay attention. Is always “You”, just new improved versions. Each version canhave as many new “features” as you wish. Sometimes there might be a “bug” like a bad haircut, but you will just have to change it and get one that works for you and makes you feel pretty!

update

Work in progress…

work in progress

Imagine my surprise when my belly didn’t shrink after my son was born… 7 years ago! I admit I did gained a bit more than I probably should have. I am talking here about a nearly 70 pounds gained over 8 months. In case you didn’t know this yet, I highly doubt it, that is not healthy weight wain even for a pregnancy. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that losing that weight was not easy. Actually, it is still not easy. This is about my journey to a healthier. All I want is to become a better version of myself. A better Kim than I was yesterday. I am not competing with the other girls I follow on Instagram, or my friend who shrink back to pre-pregnancy with abs included (yup, I am rolling my eyes a bit here), or the amazing fitness figures I follow. I just wanna be me, but the best possible version of me. Is a work in progress. I try to work out every morning, to make healthy food choices, to read more about fitness related articles, and of course Pin a ton of workout ideas that I am sure hoping one day I will actually be capable of doing.

Follow me through this process. Let’s do it together. Maybe you have already reached your fitness goals and you want to give me advise. That’s cool, I will take it! Or maybe you need inspiration and motivation to drag your booty to the gym or to be able to order the salad instead of the french fries. I am here for you! Life can be hard, but when you have people to help you, support you, and push you if needed, it is like a piece of cake which ironically I can’t quite eat much right now, but you know what I mean!