Tuesday, May 31, 2011

35 Weeks - Pregnancy IS Exercise

Workouts this week: 0
Total walk mileage/time: 0
Weight: 216 lbs
Total weight gained: 32 lbs

Everything I do now other than sitting or lying down feels like a workout. I'm winded after walking up one flight of stairs to my kids' room, and taking a shower leaves me tired and needing a short rest. I'm no longer even trying to go for walks just for the sake of getting exercise. Now I consider myself to be active as long as I'm still running some errands (the kind where you actually walk around a store for a while) and doing activities like strawberry picking with my family. That is plenty active for me.

It's hard to believe that some women are still working out intensely at this stage of pregnancy. They are superwomen. And I am content with NOT being a superwoman. :)

I'm proud that I managed to make my fourth pregnancy the fittest and most active one of them all, after having established a pretty firm pattern of laziness each time before. I didn't do as well as I'd hoped, but I did well enough to be satisfied. I feel no shame in being at the point now where I'm happiest in the recliner with my feet up, working my way through a bowl of ice cream!

My goals are still there, waiting for me on the other side of my impending surgery/recovery, though I must confess I do not daydream about running as much as I once did. Now I mostly daydream about how wonderful it will feel just to walk without all this extra weight on me, and be able to sleep on my stomach, and not have to endure someone else's hiccups 85 times a day...etc. Once I start to feel like a normal human being again, I'm sure my running daydreams will return!

One random note: I saw a commercial yesterday for a new summer weight loss show. I can't remember what it's called, but each episode follows a year in the life of an obese person who works with a trainer to get fit and healthy. It sounds like all the amazing transformation of The Biggest Loser, but without all the hokey reality show drama. I'm excited about it! I think it premieres this week, and I will be tuning in to be inspired. :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

34 Weeks - Just Breathe

Workouts this week: 0
Total walk mileage/time: 0
Weight: 215 lbs
Total weight gained: 31 lbs

I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but I managed to get in zero walks this week. I don't remember purposely being lazy. It's possible that most days I just forgot. My brain is not functioning at its top capacity these days; that's for sure!

Anyway, I'll just keep trying this week. The temperatures are going to be a little higher, and we have another crazy busy week ahead, with 3 t-ball games and my better half working 4 nights, so that is all working against me.

However, I'm taking a new approach to mornings that might help: instead of getting up when the kids do and moving super slowly and getting to work late, thus throwing my whole day off, I'm going to try getting up at a time when I am more naturally alert. You may be familiar with the concept of pregnant ladies having to pee a lot, and let me tell you, it's not just a myth!! I'm now starting to wake up at least twice per night to go, and one of those times is usually just after dawn, between 5 and 6am. I'm more alert then than I am after going back to sleep for another hour, so I'm planning to start staying awake then, and if the weather is nice, I'll go out for a short walk. Let's see if I can actually make that happen this week!

I think the main way this new plan can fail is if morning walks leave me too exhausted to function well the rest of the day. I've been fighting some major fatigue lately, and suddenly I'm having trouble doing more than one active thing per day. Luckily my job just involves sitting at a desk all day -- it's uncomfortable, but at least I'm not too tired to do it! I just get winded so easily, and find myself needing to rest and just take lots of deep breaths. So we'll see how the walking goes with all that. If it takes me too long to recover after morning walks and I'm still getting to work late, I might have to scrap walking during the week and save it for a weekend activity!!

Being so tired is not great for my morale. I still have over 5 weeks to go, and I feel like most women are still much more functional than I am at this stage of the game. If you happen to be reading this and pregnancy has completely kicked your butt before, please share your stories and help me feel a little better! :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

33 Weeks - Let the Countdown Begin!

Workouts this week: 2 (1 normal exercise walk around the neighborhood, and then 4 hours of walking around Ikea, stopping to rest here and there..)
Total walk mileage/time: unsure, about 40 min in the first walk, probably about 2 total hours of actual walking time at Ikea
Other workouts: 0
Weight: 214 lbs
Total weight gained: 30 lbs

As long as I keep getting in at least one good walk per week, I feel successful! My rate of weight gain seems to be slowing down a little too, and I'm glad. While I'm not obsessing over every single pound, I'd rather not hit 220 lbs if possible. Unless I have a great deal of swelling near the end (somewhat likely, when it gets hotter outside!), I should be able to achieve that goal.

The best news right now is that the end is in sight! I have scheduled my c-section for June 28th, which is 6 weeks from today!!! And if all goes well, 6 weeks after that I will be cleared for real exercise, so on or around August 9th I will make another triumphant return to running!! Even though that date is still 12 weeks away, it no longer feels like an eternity. I really like having a date to look forward to, even if it's not etched in stone. If my math is correct, I have 84 days to go...but who's counting? :)

So for now, it will be just more of the same. I feel huge and uncomfortable most of the time, and my energy level is usually pretty low. I'm trying my best to stay active (not just the walking but also helping out around the house to prepare for the baby, and doing fun things with my other kids while I still can), but also listening to my body and resting when there is a need. My doctor appointments are now weekly, and long (I get extra monitoring here at the end due to my blood clotting disorder), but everything looks good and baby and I continue to be healthy! Now that I've reached the homestretch, I feel less grouchy and impatient, which will probably help with my stress level as well!

Thanks to any of you who continue to read these updates. I know they are not as interesting now that I'm not getting much exercise, but they are, as always, an honest snapshot of my life at the moment. The payoff for following along now will be seeing my progress when I get to the "other side." I hope that will be rewarding for all of us!

Monday, May 9, 2011

32 Weeks - Not Dead Yet

Workouts this week: 1
Total walk mileage/time: unsure, maybe about a mile, in a little less than 30 min?
Other workouts: 0
Weight: 214 lbs
Total weight gained: 30 lbs

I'm still hanging in there, just barely. I feel like I can't get into any kind of consistent routine because my schedule is so busy and varies a lot, and also because how I feel varies greatly too. It's like I need the perfect storm of circumstances to come together in order to get in a workout, and it's still only happening about once a week. Last week, I got in a good walk (with my 2 year old in the stroller, which upped the intensity of the workout a bit!) on Wednesday, and that was it.

The good news is that once a week is still better than never!!! I really have been enjoying my walks outside now that the weather is finally beautiful more days than not, so I still want to keep doing it. I just have to relax and take things one day at a time, and go for walks whenever I can.

Meanwhile, I'm starting to think a lot more about my c-section recovery and return to running. I'm concerned that my earlier expectations were completely unrealistic and that the road back to 5K's and 10K's will be longer than I'd hoped. I know I'm going to need a great deal of mental strength to overcome the physical obstacles ahead of me, so what I'm trying to do right now is stay inspired! Expect to see some posts from me soon about people and stories that motivate me to run and be fit and meet challenges with a positive attitude. If you have any suggestions for inspirational books or movies or blogs I should check out, feel free to share them! Thanks!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

31 Weeks - Mind & Body Not in Sync

Workouts this week: 1, sort of
Total swim time: 0
Total walk mileage: unsure
Other workouts: 0
Weight: 212 lbs
Total weight gained: 28 lbs

I may be entering the world of denial. I still think of myself as being somewhat active, and I keep wanting to exercise, but reality isn't matching up with those sentiments. The truth is I have hardly been exercising at all.

Last week, I completely forgot to write a blog post, but it's not like I had much to report anyway. I think I went for one walk that week. This week was no better -- I can only claim one physical activity. I walked around with my 2 year-old for about an hour during my older boys' t-ball game. It wasn't steady exercise (we stopped a lot to admire butterflies, examine rocks, and watch brief moments of the game), but it was a lot of walking and more active than anything else I did all week.

Mornings are a problem for me, as always. I'm just getting more and more tired, and I never want to get up early enough to work out before going to work. Thus, I haven't been to the pool in a few weeks, and now I'm starting to feel self-conscious about being the ginormous pregnant lady flailing around the pool. I'm going to try to motivate myself to go at least once this coming week, but if I don't manage to do it, I think I'll give up on swimming until after the baby comes. It's not worth paying for a pool membership if I'm not using it.

Evenings are still options for walking, but now that the weather is nice, I don't really want to walk on the treadmill much. At the same time, it's hard to find time to get outside for a walk before it gets dark. There is just a lot to do for dinner and bedtime with three little kids. I know these all sound like a bunch of excuses, and I guess they are. At the moment I'm not feeling terribly motivated to do anything about it though. I'm uncomfortable, tired, busy, stressed, and getting to the point where I'm just trying to get through each day. The idea of still being active sounds lovely, but I'm just not getting it done right now.