Posted by: kurunner | October 20, 2009

Bedrest

Four days and no gym.

I love the gym.

Ok, well, I love the gym when people aren’t commenting on how much weight I’ve gained or how I shouldn’t be doing certain things in my “condition.”

For those of us who have spent years or even decades watching the number on the scale or fixating on our pant size, pregnancy can make you feel lost and out of control. Yes, yes, we all know that you have to get bigger and that the end product makes the torture of getting dressed a little easier, but it’s still hard to look in the mirror everyday and know that what you’ve spent the past year working towards is slowly unraveling.

I’m a runner. It took me a long time to be able to say that. Sure, I’ve been running since high school, but it was only last year that I decided I was going to be a “runner.” I ran my first half-marathon one week before I got married and two weeks before we conceived. I tried to keep running through the first trimester, but between fatigue and nausea, it didn’t work out so well. I didn’t make it back to the gym until August and by then, I had lost a lot of stamina. Running was no longer fun and even bordered on painful. I have bad knees anyways, and you can’t take most supplements while pregnant. Plus, pregnancy relaxes your joints — all of them, even your toes. Yeah, it helps when the baby is trying to push his big head out of your tiny pelvis, but it really sucks if you try to run more than a few feet.

It’s also really hard to run when you have to pee every three minutes.

So, my running has gone the way of my size 4 jeans.

I still run on occasion, but it’s usually only a few minutes along with a lot of walking. I’ve also slowed way down. I had imagined myself being one of those amazing pregnant women who ran up until the day they went into labor. You know, the ones who only gain weight in their stomach and maintain perfectly sculpted muscles everywhere else while wearing the most adorable maternity running clothes. (Ok, so I’m not sure where these muscles were going to come from on me, but shut up… it’s my fantasy.)

Yeah, that didn’t happen. I’m pretty sure that when I do run, it’s pretty unflattering. I have a Kim Kardashian butt when I’m not gestating, and I think it’s gotten even bigger. I’m not sure since I can’t bend back far enough to look. Plus, I had a hard time keeping the girls in check before and now with an extra cup size or two, not even the best sports bra can hold them down. Thank God there aren’t mirrors in the cardio room.

Did I mention that I was supposed to be running the Marine Corps Marathon Saturday?

At this point, you might be asking, “Well, if you can’t run, why do you love the gym so much?” And I would respond, “Well, if you are only doing cardio at the gym, you are missing out.”

I <3 weight lifting.

I started weight lifting after I had my first daughter, and I love it. Nothing changes your body like lifting heavy weights repeatedly. I am sure that if I was consistent in my workouts (ie, stopped taking six month long workout breaks every seven months), I would be in fitness model land. That is, if fitness models had stretch marks and cellulite. Weight lifting is also the perfect exercise for pregnant women. You even get to sit down most of the time! I’ve been lifting again for 2 months now (after a three month break, aka the trimester of doom) and I really look forward to it. Sometimes I feel awkward because I go to a military gym and about 99% of the other lifters are men. Very big, muscley, strong men. With lots of tattoos. But now, they accept me with a nod and we all go back to our own business. Plus, I keep a workout log (if you don’t have one, you should start one… trust me) and it’s great to look back to August and see that I’m pressing double the weight that I was then and that I’m benching twenty more pounds. In a time of chaos and hormones, it’s nice to know that my body isn’t losing everything I have been working towards, at least yet.

It’s hard for women to build muscle. We just don’t have the testosterone levels that men do and testosterone is what builds muscle. Pregnant women have even smaller amounts of testosterone than their non-gestating counterparts. So, it’s really, really hard for pregnant women to build muscle. Hell, it’s hard for us just to maintain our muscle mass so the gains in strength that I’m seeing make me pretty happy. I’m anticipating losing some muscle when I have the baby and can’t go to the gym for 6 weeks and during the third trimester when I have no energy to go to the gym.

I think that’s what is bothering me about being put on bedrest.

I’m on “modified” bedrest which means I can get up to go pee (which I do a lot), I can make myself something to eat, and I can drive Kaelin to school. I’m not supposed to be doing housework, taking the dog for a walk, or going grocery shopping. I’m now sedentary — doing only what I need to for basic survival. In addition to not burning my normal three to four hundred calories at the gym, I’m not burning the 100 calories by vacuuming the house or the 50 calories by doing laundry. Those little activities add up. I’m very interested to see how my weigh-in goes this week, since I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster since this weekend and living off of chocolate, pasta, and fast food.

Plus, daytime TV really sucks and the weather is perfect outside to take the dog for a walk.

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Responses

  1. I really need to lift weights on a more regular basis. For me cardio has always been my “go to”. I know all the great benefits behind strength training and yet my mind is completely resistant to the idea. Grrrrr…


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