You guys want to know my amazing work out regime that has kept me feeling amazing and sane the last month of pregnancy?
You’re looking at it. Ha!
Sitting my butt on an exercise ball and rolling around.
I haven’t done much AT ALL except hobble around and sit on this ball since about 35 weeks.
Is exercise important during pregnancy and life in general? Yes. Of course. But what is MORE important is listening to your body.
I want to touch on the health myth that you probably ALL know: EAT LESS + EXERCISE MORE = WEIGHT LOSS. How many of you have heard this, believe this or are currently on a plan to do this? Before I debunk this myth, let me tell you a little bit about my first pregnancy journey and my fear of weight gain.
Due to doing IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) for my first pregnancy, being high risk, and having a lot of complications I was on strict pelvic and bed rest for literally 11 months. So, my whole pregnancy and of course the 6 weeks of so afterwards when you’re body is recovering from birth. I literally didn’t work out for an ENTIRE YEAR. According to what we all know “eat less, exercise more” I should have gained a ton of weight right? This is what I thought. I sadly lived in FEAR that I would gain SO much pregnancy weight since I wasn’t exercising. I was terrified I’d lose all my muscle, become flabby and miserable.
Guess what? I gained the perfect amount of weight during my pregnancy, and my body went back to it’s normal weight and shape within about a year or so. (Go back and re-read...I said about ONE YEAR. Not freakin’ 2 days okay?) And I DID NOT diet, or exercise myself to death. Crazy right? We’ve been taught the other way around. We are taught, starve myself, go nuts with workouts and I’ll lose the weight. THERE ARE LIKE A MILLION MORE FACTORS THAN THIS!
Here are some other factors that come into play when it comes to weight loss besides just “eat less, exercise more”
This formula intuitively sounds good but is definitely missing some things. For the majority of people this approach fails over and over again, hence it’s called yo-yo dieting. If the eat less and exercise more actually worked...we’d all be thin.
However currently 99% of weight lost from traditional weight loss strategies is gained back in 1 year. Underfeeding the body can slow down metabolism, as can over-exercising.
Dieting can’t fight your own biology. Dieting is a short-term form of starvation for most people So, when you are given the first opportunity to really eat, (like Thanksgiving dinner) eating feels uncontrollable and desperate. “In the moment of biological hunger, all intentions to diet and the desire to be thin are fleeting and paradoxically irrelevant. “ (Intuitive Eating)
Our body interprets dieting as a stressor. When we’re stressed, we produce high-levels of cortisol and adrenaline (stress hormones). These hormones cause our body to slow down our calorie burning rate. Our body is INTENTIONALLY slowing down our weight loss efforts, because it thinks our reduced calorie intake as a threat to survival.
My body, weight gain and exercise with this pregnancy has been totally different. I have felt completely relaxed around food, weight gain and exercise during pregnancy. I’ve exercised way MORE during this pregnancy and yet I’ve gained almost the exact same amount of weight as my first when I was on strict bedrest. I was obsessed with the scale and lived in fear my first pregnancy. This pregnancy I’ve literally done nothing different with my food and exercise than I would do not pregnant.
After the baby comes, I REFUSE to “get my body back” with punishing exercise and restrictive diets. I WILL NOT give into diet culture, social media and body shaming and pressure that is put on mothers after just giving birth and growing a freakin’ human being inside them for basically 10 months. I will IGNORE comments that say, “Wow, you look so great! You just had a baby?!” These are just silly and PERPETUATE that THIN = BETTER. These comments perpetuate this stupid obsession with getting your body back after baby. THIS IS BULLSHIT. STOP THIS. When you see a mom with a newborn, your initial thoughts should not be about commenting on her BODY. It should be, “Wow, how are you FEELING? How is being a new mom? How can I help you?”
So, to recap, when it comes to exercise, do what feels right for your body. You can’t fight your own biology. Remember, for weight loss, there are SO many more factors than eat less, exercise more. When it comes to body image and societal pressure, just say NO, ignore, and stop commenting on people’s weight loss or body shape. There are a hundred other things to talk about.
For more information on the eat less, exercise more diet myth, read here.
Listen to some amazing TOP podcasts about body shaming, breaking free from dieting, diet culture, the Health at Every Size movement here.