I just was informed at my last doc appointment that I have diastasis recti (abs are tearing down the middle due to the pressure of growing uterus) 😦 It is not that bad yet, so that’s good. I was suuuuuper bummed because I still have 3 more months to go and it will probably get worse. HOWEVER, I am happy that LOTS of research has been done on what exercises I can do WHILE pregnant AND I am so thankful for the many fit mamas who have paved the way for me. One in particular who I recently received great pointers and encouragement from is IFPA Pro Melissa Cunningham (check out her blog at: melissacunninghamifpapro.blogspot.com). I had originally contacted her for my friend who had diastasis recti with her 2nd pregnancy, so I had all this info, youtube links and tips already at my fingertips! Special thank you to you, Melissa, for your time and compassion for reaching out to someone you don’t even know!
Thankfully, running is still totally ok. I was bummed when the Physician’s Assistant told me no lifting or exercising, BUT …I am going to wait and talk to my doc (who was out of office that day) who’s husband was a bodybuilder and knows my backgroud, so she is very familiar with workouts. I am hoping she will be able to shed more light on what REALLY is ok or not ok. Like pull ups with my transverse abs activated- are those ok? I’m thinking yes. But push ups…maybe not since gravity is putting pressure on the weak connective tissue.
Informative online resources:
I’m an all-in kinda girl. When I set my mind to do something I give it everything I’ve got and I don’t let up. I am a force, a fierce hurricane of ambition. With my baby now trying to walk everywhere and getting into everything and knowing I am only 3 months away from also having an infant in tow it has brought my hurricane to a stagnant stale air. I have felt fatalist and allowed my mind to think that if I can’t get it in consistently then what’s the point of getting it in at all? I mean TODAY I have time, but I probably wont again the whole rest of the week, so is it worth the energy?
The answer is…yes!
I am learning to break this bond I have on myself and learn to seize the 1 set of 50 squats and tomorrow a full run and maybe the next day nothing, but maybe a set of pushups or pull ups. Fitness is there for the taking and I am truly the only one stopping me.
I am going to write a challenge for myself, but its the kind that allows me to stop stressing and beating myself just because I can’t be on my previous bodybuilding rampage right now. Life changes…we have to learn to change with it and not against it.
Eventually I know I will have the time to reach all the crazy goals my heart desires, for now, life has me in a different place.
Sometimes your goals of being active may not align with friends or homemates, so reaching those goals can sometimes leave you feeling alone.
For me, when I was pregnant for the first time it left me feeling unsure about how to tackle my goals or feeling at a loss because my normal “ways” of reaching my goals I was told were unsafe or unhealthy for me and the baby.
Here are some solutions to sane and active:
Get outside. The vitamin D always does your psyche good – its a mood lifter. I once read that sunny San Diego was rated one of the country’s top cities for happy and active people – they attributed this to people spending time in the sun and being active in the sun (who wouldn’t want to with a beach front in your back yard?). Well…it’s not like the sun is only in San Diego! Which brings me to my next point…
Explore. I was surprised how much is available in my metroplex! It is known for it’s fine dining and shopping, so I never ever thought I would find AMAZING hiking trails just 40 minutes from downtown! Not to mention our spectacular lakes for kayaking! We even have little shacks that rent everything from canoes to paddleboards! Don’t be subject to your circumstances, make fun happen!
Ritualize. Plan a once a month outing. The scheduled time means you won’t break it and it could force you to get creative with HOW you will “out”. This month I rallied people to run a 5k with me. Next…hiking with the girlfriends! Now that the weather is warming up just a smidge I’ll bust out my lovely kayaks with the hubs or a girlfriend – or maybe rally a few others and rent from that little shack by the lake.
Don’t let anything stop you from your desire to be active – get out there and have fun with it! Active or not, people like to have fun, so maybe they just need an instigator – you! 🙂
Time for a little breakfast myth busting!
Truth or Myth: Breakfast is the most important meal
Truth. Remember being told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well, that is no wives’ tale. What you eat for breakfast tells your body what to expect for the remainder of the day. Piling on sugary cereals, carb-laden bagels or high-sodium fast-food for breakfast can cause your body to look for at LEAST that same amount of sugar allllll dayyyy longggg! WHAT?! YES! So be careful little mouths what you eat and make healthful, informed choices!
Truth or Myth: Skipping breakfast helps you burn fat longer
Myth. A common misconception is to skip breakfast. Your body is going through a fast while you sleep and some people want to continue that fast, but your body is actually burning through nutrients and “eating” those amazing muscles you’ve been building! Bust the fear that eating breakfast will dampen your fat-blasting efforts!
My general rules is “Protein + Complex Carb”, so think eggs+english muffin or greek yogurt with berries and shredded wheat or cottage cheese and rye bread or protein shake and oatmeal or protein bar and sweet potato hash brown sticks (sweet potato hash brown sticks, you say? Yep! Recipe below and on http://www.faithkeith.com)
Now, Let’s Eat!
Get creative! Here are a few fun “recipes” to shake up your breakfast blues:
Power Oatmeal Pancakes
Vanilla Cupcake Oatmeal
Clean-Eating Power Protein Bars
Egg White Frittata
Oh-My-Gosh Egg-White Omelet
Sweet Potato Hash Brown sticks
Want more nitty-gritty?
Check out The Better Breakfast Guide | FitnessRX for Women it has your do’s and don’ts about what to eat for breakfast. It is such an excellent guideline because it breaks down the “why’s” in plain terms, so you can make more informed choices. Happy Breakfast!
Day 42 HALF WAY THROUGH!!! Be sure to click on Day 42 to read some of Jamie Eason’s tips. She talks about journaling so you rememebr how you felt after a particular meal or workout. Documentation like this helps you make progress when you don’t have a trainer doing this for you.
Don’t stop now. If you really, really want to create lasting change, you need to stick with it for the entire 12-week program, even if you’re an advanced person.
Even though I’ve been doing this for a long time, I still start at the beginning and go through the whole program after I’ve been traveling way too much or holiday time.
I’m much better off at the end when I get through the whole program versus just thinking. “I still look OK so I’ll just start in the middle somewhere and just keep going.”
How are you feeling?! Loving this? I sure am and can’t wait to finish so I can do it all over again.
Day 41 – the workout, tips and daily motivator from bodybuilding.com & Jamie Eason
These variations were like Day 34. No, as usual, these variations do NOT replace the quality you get from doing the ACTUAL exercises listed on the Trainer. These variations are being created to help those who want to make FIT happen, but need help removing one more excuse – whether that be “time”, or “can’t afford gym membership” or “no transportation” etc.
Seated Leg Curl: Swiss ball bridge. Lying on your back, put your heals on the swiss ball. Then keeping your feet in place, roll the ball towards you, lifting your pelvis towards the ceiling. The key is to get your butt all the way up so that from knee to shoulder your body is flat. I do these as single-leg bridges to intensify it OR do these as single-leg bench bridges.
Leg Extensions: I did fast body weight squats or jump squats for these. Shoulder-width stance.
Abductor Machine: I have a sports resistance band designed for the legs – it is a really tough tubing band with straps on each end to velcro around your ankles. I strapped them to my ankles and, seated, I did the abductor motion (fully flexed = open; starting position = closed knees).
Lying Leg Curls: I did the same exercise as the Seated Leg Curl above. This worked perfectly since it was supersetted with Adductors (see below)
Adductor Machine: Lying on back, put swissball between knees and SQUEEZE.
Leg Press: Wide stance barbell squats. Drop set to failure.
Seated and Standing Calf Raises: Hold weights on knees for seated and on shoulders for standing.
Woot! Lovin’ this! I’m feeling stronger for sure and I can see the difference in my body. The key, I know, was the diet. Once I re-balanced my diet change started showing up fast. Diet is 80% of your results, people! Diet true and all that hard work you’re doing will get show cased!
Day 40 tips of the day and workout.
Smith Machine Military Press: This is hard to get the full benefit of the military press, but if you have a barbell you can come close. If you do not have a barbell, then use dumbbells. They key is to keep your grips stationary and controlled so that they are not pulling in or out as you perform the rep.
Incline Bench Front Dumbbell Delt Raises: This time I sat in the middle of the seat of my kitchen chair and leaned back till my back was against the back board (putting me in a slight incline position). (Click here to see what I did last time)
Rear Delt Cable Flyes: This time I did these as dumbbell reverse flys, but last time I did these as follows: Seated, I put my feet on the center of my cable and executed these. I did not get enough resistance so ended up shortening the band and doing single-arm flyes. On the last set I did these standing, bent over cable flyes and liked that a bit better.
If nausea has you down in your first trimester (and beyond) the first thing to try is a brisk walk outdoors. Speed is something you can control and chances are the fresh air will make you feel better. After about 15 minutes your nausea will probably subside. Here is some science behind that (as confirmed by a doctor as well): Nausea, as you know is hormones and a lot of other things (the smell of unwanted food, etc), but did you know that it intensifies when you are immobile? When everything in your body is still and stomach fluids and bile is just settled it causes nausea in most women. The term “Morning Sickness” actually came about because women usually experienced it in the morning after laying down all night. That being said, usually taking it easy and propping your feet up is the worst thing you could do for nausea. Surprised? I was! No wonder, when I would break from my computer to do some pop squats and lunges my nausea would subside after 10-15 minutes.
To combat my nausea I take to the bike, elliptical, outdoor trail or my home gym equipment for a lifting session. During the work day I will periodically stop and do lunges or just walk to get some tea or to a co-worker’s office to keep myself moving. Working out while nauseous seems MISERABLE at first and the will power it takes to get your walking shoes on I KNOW is just practically non-existent, but you will be glad you did.
Just remember to stay well hydrated and have a healthy snack in your belly before (and possibly again after) your little exercise. Apples are my g0-to pre-workout food if I am in between meals but need some energy.
Day 39 rolled around and I am getting more and more frustrated about working out at home! Ha! I guess I just miss the gym so much and am too used to the luxury of having all my equipment. HOWEVER, this will spur me on to get more creative. I have been trying to do things with just basic home equipment to avoid excluding people who cannot just turn a room of their house into a mini gym. I may purchase a Power Tower and a bench, since working out at a gym just does not work for my schedule at all, BUT I will still continue writing variations for those who do not have these tools.
Barbell Curl: If you don’t have a barbell, use dumbbells. The key, however, is to keep your grips stationary so that they do not pull inward or outward motion during the entire execution.
Overhead Cable Curl: I am short so this worked perfectly for me – I hooked one end of my resistance band to the stationary grip of my elliptical machine. Then I stood far enough back to get good resistance and performed single-arm overhead curls.
Cable Hammer Curls: Since the LiveFit Trainer uses the rope attachment, this variation worked excellently – I stood, with one foot, on the center of my resistance band, then with grips in hammer position, I performed the curls. Flawless!
Triceps Pushdown – Rope Attachment: I hooked my resistance band around the top of my elliptical machine. Kneeling down gave me enough resistance to perform this exercise.
Hanging Leg Raise (or roman chair): I sat at the edge of my firm leather coffee table. Starting with my heels touching the ground, my legs straight. Not bending my legs, I raised my legs till my feet were at least shoulder height. ADDED COMMENT: I am planning to get a Power Tower so I can do these and pull ups and dips.
I love plie squats! So excited to get these today. So excited, in fact, that I am contemplating repeating Phase 3. For the sake of continuity I will continue with the LiveFit schedule until completion, then perhaps go back to phase 3 for more building. The leg days have become my main energy-focus. I go through phases – a phase where I devote tons of attention to my shoulders, or a phase where I devote my attention to my back, etc. I work everything as evenly as possible, but when your energy and mind is on a particular body part it makes a difference. Right now, I am going through a leg phase. (Probably because I know it is my weakest area ESPECIALLY during pregnancy because it uses the most energy)
Leg Extensions: Shoulder-width stance, body weight squats or jump squats for the warm up. Use dumbbells for next set of squats.
Leg Press (shoulder width stance): Shoulder width dumbbell squats OR lay on your back, loop a very taut high resistance resistant band over your feet, gripping well in both hands on either side of your waist, press.
Standing Calf Raises: Dumbbell calf raises
Donkey Calf Raises (Leg Press Calf Raise): Dumbbell calf raises OR lay on your back, loop a very taut high resistance resistant band over the balls of your shoes, gripping well in both hands on either side of your waist, calf press.