photos via Kelsey Erin Photography
Pregnancy is a weird, weird, weird time for your body! If you are like me, you have made exercise a mostly regular part of your life. As I've gotten older, I've found that it's necessary for my sanity to exercise often. When I found out I was preggo back in January I'm not gonna lie something about the idea of exercise made me nervous, like oh-my-God I'm squishing it or is that gonna hurt the baby!??! Completely irrational fears!! You should note, I am NOT a doctor. My advice is not the end-all be-all. My personal Doctor, was not only super supportive of my vegan diet, he encouraged regular exercise. Pilates, yoga, light weights, etc etc. Basically avoid getting punched in the stomach and you're pretty much clear . Talk to your Doc before starting any new exercise while preggs.
I have long been a fan of Tracy Anderson [despite all of the trainer bashing that follows her] and when I found out that she had a dvd set that followed her throughout her own pregnancy, I was totes onboard. It made me feel more at ease knowing that she was dealing with the same things and that, even better, month-to-month the exercise changed. I bought it immediately. Now here's the part where I tell you that I then exercised 3-4 times a week and felt so wonderful… Yeah, horse shit. I have never been so tired in my freaking life. I barely wanted to eat anything other than rice and toast for weeks 5-9, all smells made me want to barf and I was truly amazed at my ability to fall asleep during a meal. I used the dvds 4, maybe 5 times during the first trimester. I found that walking and taking nice light hikes was more my speed during the first 3 months. It definitely kept my nausea at bay.
Around 13 weeks, I was able to start doing the dvds regularly. I would aim for 2-3 times a week and at least one light hike thrown into the mix. Now at 18 weeks, I like to do the dvd's Monday-Friday, while I have the energy I am totally taking advantage. I'm a big fan of how Tracy explains why the exercise is good for us and baby. You can tell she understands the preggo body. I love working on lifting my very large ass and keeping my arms tiny. When I start my morning with her dvd my day is truly more productive and focused, which I suppose could be said for any workout, but especially during pregnancy when you can feel so scattered and tired!!
Now, I am a stickler for variety which is why I love that the The Pregnancy Project changes each month, but even still I like to add a touch of something different to freshen up my workout. Once or twice a week I will switch out TPP for the Pure Barre Prenatal 2 dvd which was lovingly gifted to me by the best sister-in-laws in the world! This dvd has similar movements to Tracy's, but definitely kicks it into high gear. The founder of Pure Barre, Carrie Rezabek Dorr, is 26 weeks preggo in the video and I at 18 weeks I look like I ate her and a burrito… I see how it is lady, game on! The pace is quick and the workout is legit. I am a HUGE advocate of barre classes! I think they are amazingly fun and seriously affective! They are also brilliant for preggos with their constant focus on hip opening! I really like this dvd and my ass has never hurt so badly. My only critiques are firstly, that it is definitely not for the beginner, there is very little direction on proper form which to me is so important in barre and extra important while preggs. I would suggest taking some actual in-studio classes first to nail down your form!!! Secondly, there also isn't a ton of explanation for what to do as you grow even larger. So without any modifications, I'm definitely considering this a 2nd trimester dvd, but again, it's an AWESOME total body workout and damn if your ass doesn't BURN!!!!!!!!
So here's some real talk. One of my very real concerns getting pregnant was my changing body and dealing with extra weight… Sure, a selfish fear, but a fear non-the-less. I've definitely had a moment or two where I get overwhelmed by all the physical changes thus far. When yet another pair of pants doesn't fit or a piece that used to be flattering is now a disaster, I've had a serious breakdown. I think the harder part is dealing with the growing hips and booty, at least for my body type. I'd like to blame the tears and emotions exclusively on hormones, but it really is shocking! I've found the best way to combat these feelings is exercising regularly. The truth is my growing belly is amazing and I'm actually pretty obsessed with it and I'm already more than a little in love with this baby!!! At the end of the day, you are doing such important work housing this little alien, so take it easy on yourself and stay active for everyone's best health.