Health, Weight, VBACs and more… oh my!

You know what’s frustrating?  Having that feeling of wanting change, recommitting and the fire lit from within once again to further on my journey of weight loss and the discovery of the new me only to remember that crap, I’m pregnant.

Seriously, now that the morning sickness doesn’t plague me anymore, I forget I’m pregnant sometimes.

I still find myself watching inspiring weight loss TV shows and at end the program I feel uplifted and hopeful and I’m ready to bounce off the couch and go to it when it occurs to me… oh yeah, I’m pregnant… I have to wait for that level of “gun-ho” to be allowed.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m very thankful I got pregnant and it’s certainly something we tried for months and months to achieve, however I’ve been on this weight loss journey (actively) for a couple years now and it’s hard to drop that mindset and the pregnancy kind of feels like a large speed bump on my road to better health and fitness.

I had natural slumps between my successes on my weight loss journey and the couple months of couch time & eating crap because it was the only thing I could stomach just felt like another dip in the road I can finally recover from and I have to keep reminding myself it was much more than that… it was my first trimester.

Sure I would have loved to keep up my healthy eating and daily exercise, but my morning sickness severely debilitated me and I didn’t have the physicality to get up and take a walk if I wanted to.

And since I did not keep up my level of activity, my body now considers it “new” if I started up again and any obgyn will tell you not to take on any new vigorous physical activity… just the mild stuff or keep up what you were doing (unfortunately it’s too late for that).  I think if I popped in my Turbo Jam workout DVD today, I’d probably hurt myself.

I just keep thinking “I can’t wait until my body is my own again”.  Especially now when I feel re-inspired to continue to lose weight, I really am looking forward to what I can achieve after the baby comes.  I keep trying to picture my life with a baby and getting back on track health-wise.  Sure, it won’t be as easy as I had it with my only child in school for almost 8 hours a day giving me plenty of time for no excuses, getting in my exercise and keeping my house clean.  I’ll have a baby, no daycare and I’ll probably want to nap when they do for the first few months… and need to.

It takes 6 weeks before I can even be cleared for physical activity, possibly longer if I unfortunately need another c-section… so I’m not counting that time.  It’s after that… when I get into more of a routine and so does the baby.  If I don’t start building back in healthy eating habits and daily or at least every other day exercise in the first 6 months, it’s not going to happen… I fear for another 5 years like it seemed to take with my first baby before I got my crap together again.

I don’t want that kind of a break this time.  I really want to hit the ground running.
Meanwhile, I don’t want to completely miss the miracle happening in my body currently.  This will probably be the last time I’m ever pregnant and I don’t want to regret not enjoying it or not paying attention.  I mean as of this Thursday I’m already to the halfway point of my pregnancy… it feels like the time has flown by already!
I feel rather torn at the moment… between the weight loss journey me and the pregnant me.

I forget that I’m currently not the person I was 5 months ago… sure, I weigh less, but I’m in much worse shape and have lost a lot of stamina and muscle.  Activities that were a breeze for me then completely wear me out right now.

Since I’ve been feeling better, my food choices have definitely improved and I do get more done during the day that keeps me more physically active, but it is simple stuff like vacuuming, laundry, dishes and general clean up.  Yup, everything I couldn’t do for about 2.5 horrible months.  To me, this is an improvement when it used to be my bare minimum.

We also bought a large sized pool (the 15 foot round, deeper kind).  I’ve been swimming in it every single day (at least once if not more) since we got it filled with water on July 2nd.  This has become my new daily exercise and it’s awesome because it beats the heat, I don’t feel myself sweating and it feels really great on my growing belly and joints to have a bit of weightlessness.

I wanted to get my walks back into my routine (great low impact and obviously completely pregnancy approved) however even at night here in the South the heat is brutal and I can no longer walk in my house like I was because my son had taken over and there is now a fort where my walking path was in the family room.  Plus I never liked walking interior laps with any witnesses, so since he’s home 24/7 with me during summer vacation, there isn’t really any “alone” time for me to fit that in (I miss it – talking to myself while walking was great therapy!)
So since the walks weren’t happening, I’m so glad I have the pool.
I think the improvement in how I feel and my muscle tone regaining is also fueling my fire for health and change.

Just recently I committed to choosing to attempt a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section).  At my very first appointment with the nurse and me barely pregnant, I let fear talk and said I’d probably have a repeat c-section (only because it was familiar and felt less scary – I hate the unknown).  I’ve given it more thought and since I’ve only had 1 c-section, I am eligible for a VBAC, though it does rely on other factors later on in the pregnancy if I’ll truly get the opportunity (baby’s estimated weight, if I get diagnosed with gestational diabetes again & I if actually go into spontaneous labor – something I never got to do last time).

In my research and reading, one thing that inspires me (and instills a bit of fear) is that the chance of a successful VBAC has a lot to do with how good of shape you’re in.  If you are a fit, healthy person who eats right, your chances are higher for success (and lowers the risk of uterine rupture – the number one concern in doctor’s opinion with VBACs).
I think about this every time I’m in my pool.  I may have to take it slow and build up my stamina again in the most cautious way possible, but it’s something I’m determined to do before my due date.  I need to work with my exercise ball again, do stretches and get/keep myself tone and flexible.  It all helps.  And if the circumstances are against me and I need a c-section after all?  Well, then I’ll just be in better shape anyway.  It’s win-win.
I just can’t attack it like I would normally if I wasn’t pregnant and out of my former shape.  Slow and steady… step by step… one little goal at a time:
Goal #1:  handling daily chores again (check)
Goal #2:  drink water again (check)
Goal #3:  exercise via pool time (check)
Goal #4:  get back on the exercise ball
and so on…
Maybe I should actually write down a plan to keep me on track.
The best part is that come September, October and most of November, I’ll get some alone time back with my son in school which means I can more easily ease back into my walks and at that point, I’ll be much bigger and looking for easier exercises (plus pool time will be limited to only the really warm days at that point in the fall).
Not accounting for what my weight will do, I could still end up in much better shape than I am right now.

But speaking of weight, I currently range between 7-9 lbs under my conception weight with the lowest being 13 lbs under (when I was really sick).  I am pleased with this and wouldn’t be upset if a few more pounds came back on, as long as they were muscle!

Even though I’ve been here before with my previous pregnancy where I maintained my conception weight basically the entire time, it still feels strange to feel and see my belly getting bigger as the scale stays the same or goes down a little.  It is wrong that I totally love that?  I mean I know my baby is getting enough of everything it needs, so that fact helps me enjoy my increasing health/decreasing weight (while also setting me up for the weight loss I’d love to see 4 days after delivery like I did last time when I came home 15 lbs under my conception weight).
I’m in the low 260’s now which means if I maintain around this weight the whole time, I could conceivably skip over the 250’s and come home from the hospital and see the 240’s… ahh… the 40’s… haven’t seen those since 2004!!!  That would be an awesome achievement, but if it doesn’t happen at that point, it will soon enough.

It’s rare for me to be so excited and positive about my health and my future.  I finally feel like I figured out what works for me and am at peace with the peaks and valleys and yes, even the sometimes agonizingly slow progression because I’ve really learned that it all really does add up and that I *will* get there.

Just today I was going through my laundry and found some capris I was wearing last year (almost 30 lbs heavier).  It felt awesome and proud that I could put them on at 5 months pregnant and have them be roomy & comfy and definitely an option for my pregnant summer and growing belly.  If they are too big by next spring (let’s hope so!), they are either going to my sister or off to Goodwill or Freecycle. 🙂


About gwenacious

Always a person in progress. On a mission of self-improvement and exploring my artistic side.
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