Pregnancy And Weights

preggo lifterBy now most of you have seen this article  cycling across your Yahoo homepage.  The controversial piece focuses on a pregnant stay-at-home mom who lifts weights through her Crossfit program.  Her picture went viral and elicited a backlash of negativity and stupidity in my opinion.

Now I must confess that I am not into Crossfit (though I did try it once) but by most accounts this chick and I have a lot in common.  I was also age 35 when I birthed the small person, and I lifted weights during my pregnancy.  How I wish I’d have been bold enough to have photos taken during my workouts!  Oh well, no guts no expectant glory (or scathing comments slung by ignorant wives-tales peddlers).  Though I clearly missed out on any prenatal notoriety, I am still an ambassador for women and weights, so I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut on this one.

9mos preggoOnce again perspective is key, along with moderation and a deep level of respect for your personal situation.  I have to say I am duly impressed with most of the comments I scrolled past.  At this moment in time there are 6,042. That’s up from the 6,009 when I started sifting through them.  Clearly this is a hot topic, and I’m SO glad to see everyone chiming in!

I did come across one naysayer who needs a brain tweak. “I just think the weights in the photo are too heavy for her (since she’s pregnant),” writes Tusk.  Really?  So define heavy.  It’s pure projection of Tusk’s weakness onto a strong woman.  This one just irks the crap out of me, and it’s why women are so afraid in the gym.  Heavy is relative, and not only is this woman on her THIRD pregnancy incorporating this exercise, she has her doctor’s blessing and is only lifting weight that is WORTHY of her, not you, Facehorn.  An uncommon mom, right here folks.  I should send her a t-shirt!

McD apple pieIt was comforting to see so many positive comments. The fact that they comprised the majority gives me hope for us muscle-y and soon-to-be muscle-y moms.  I think my favorite from the few frames I browsed was this clever quip from Michael.  “I don’t see people slapping Big Mac’s out of pregnant mothers hands. Eating like that is more unhealthy than working out. But then again, NONE OF OUR BUSINESS!!!”

Now I don’t like to judge because I was a McDonald’s fan at one point in life, not to mention the even-though-I-just-downed-the-Quarter-Pounder-with-cheese-and-an-order-of-fries-I-will-still-be-dunking-the-fried-apple-pie-in-the-large-vanilla-shake phase.  The people from my past can vouch for this – they witnessed first hand the train wreck that was my diet.  That said, I agree with Michael, but tend to use gentler words, ’cause that’s just how I roll.  I gained 40 POUNDS with my pregnancy because I ate so poorly.  I can’t imagine how much easier it would have been to snap back postpartum had I made better food choices.  But then I wouldn’t have needed a big transformation (as I’ve said, this is where my body took the biggest hit).  And I wouldn’t have met all of you!  Blessings in disguise, but yet another example of how clean eating could have changed my life if only I’d accepted it earlier!

no quieroDespite my bad eating habits in 2003-2004, I managed to have a healthy and carefree pregnancy with door-to-door vaginal delivery in under 6 hours.  Well wait, it was carefree if you don’t count the Mexico thing.  During my first trimester ANYTHING from or about Mexico made me want to hurl.  And where do you think the whole thing started?  On vacation.   In Mexico.  The sights (colorful paper flowers, pottery and serapes and chihuahuas) the sounds (mariachis, the labored, squeaky song of the ancient air-conditioner in our hotel room, Taco Bell commercials) and the smells, WHOA the smells (margaritas, enchiladas, salsa, you name it)!  It was pretty disturbing because half my house is decorated with a south-of-the-border flair, and as you well know I LOVE me some good Mexican food!

Anyway, I chalk-up my easy gestation and delivery to exercise, and I have made a point to approach pregnant women in the gym and give them encouragement for being there.  We Americans are such weenies and tend to look for any excuse to lay around and whine.  While I believe women with child should have some special privileges (I particularly loved being banned from cat box duty and getting ‘glow’ comments), that doesn’t give us sedentary carte blanche.

You can see the belly-to-bar ratio could prove troublesome
You can see the belly-to-bar ratio could prove troublesome

Whether you’re a runner, lifter, crossfitter, swimmer or whatever type of athlete – the bottom line is to just keep doing what you’re doing with your little on-board passenger.  And yes, you may need to reduce the intensity, but in the long run BOTH of you will benefit from your commitment to staying active and ultimately healthy!  If you were inactive before you got pregnant, now is not the time to start training for a marathon or take up pole vaulting.  The body adapts as long as you don’t change things up too drastically.

Walking and bodyweight exercise are perfect for those trying to start fresh by moving on a regular basis.  And I have to admit that at eight months that was most of what I was doing.  Unlike Ms. Ellison above, I was easing up in my final trimester and enjoying my last few months of freedom, knowing my long stint on the ever-spinning parenting wheel was imminent.  All things in moderation.  Thanks mom (and small person)!

hp photosmart 720I don’t know your opinion or experience on this topic, but I’d love to hear your take!