Lifestyle blogger, photographer, mother to my son Boden and frenchie Smalls, wife to my hubs Trevor. I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
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Oh hey friends. Still cooking up a baby over here :). We’re two days past my due date and I’m just trying to get in as much movement as possible to help guide our little man out. Which got me motivated to share with you a bit about how I’ve been able to stay fit during these last nine months. I’ve gotten so many sweet messages and have been asked to share any secrets. Well, definitely no secrets being kept here but I do have some great tips that I think have led to my overall ability to stay mentally sane while staying physically in shape to the best of my ability.
SHOP PREGNANCY ESSENTIALS EDIT
As I’ve mentioned before, I was pretty terrified to get pregnant. My cut off was going to be when I turned 33 so we could try for two before turning 35 and have five years of marriage under our belt. Well, I turned 33 in October and got pregnant that month all according to the plan… but the fear was still there.
The fear I’d have to give up my body — which I’ve always been very conscious of but just recently figured out how to stay in shape without killing myself. The fear I’d have to stop being selfish — being able to pick up and go as I pleased, treat myself when I wanted. And the fear I’d be unable to do anything — sick, bed-ridden and useless.
Now though a little extreme, the thoughts are completely reasonable and okay to have. Which I was was openly talked about more. So I made it a point to share when I wasn’t feeling my absolute best to keep it real. The first few months — specifically November and December were hard. I felt shocked, a little depressed and just not my normal positive self. Pregnancy is often described as a beautiful thing, where your body does something amazing… bringing life into the world. All true things, but if you’re scared or feeling alone, you should know that those feelings are okay to feel. And that many other women experience the same thoughts.
For those of you who have told me you loved being pregnant. That’s awesome. I can’t say I’ve loved it, but I can say I’ve been able to successfully turn my fear and unsteady feelings around. Over the last seven months I’ve been able to get back to feeling like myself — which in turn has felt pretty damn good compared to what I’d originally expected. I’ve been able to overcome that fear I originally had and focus on how to move forward.
Which leads me into staying mentally fit… which if you’re a “headsy” person in any capacity, get ready for a heightened “headsiness” (thanks hormones). Being a Libra, I can be very indecisive and often spend more time planning and weighing out options vs making an actual move. Which in this instance, maybe has served me pretty well since I’ve stuck to a plan. But more-so, gaining control of those thoughts internally and actually doing things to combat them has been key.
Here are some tips on how I’ve stayed mentally healthy over these last nine months:
I cannot express how massive of an impact this simple idea has had on my adult life. When I started to realize I was growing unhappy in my corporate career, I decided to devote time to other things that fueled me. This is around the time when I started my blog and got really into podcasts — specifically focused on self-improvement and entrepreneurship. If there was one thing that stood out among all the successful people I listened to stories about, it was their morning routine.
So, for the last year and a half, I’ve worked to perfect my routine into a series of non-negotiable steps that I do every morning to fuel me and set the pace for my day. View my post that shares this routine in detail along with tips on how to design one for your life. Keeping on track with these series of steps throughout my pregnancy has been huge. I feel like the enhanced person I was becoming and am more motivated to remain that better person for my soon-to-be child.
Very much easier said that done, but that’s what makes meditation so special. It’s extremely hard to become disciplined on a regular schedule where you focus on getting a hold of your mind. We have soo many thoughts that go through our head every second — especially as women and especially during pregnancy. Meditation is the art of recognizing those thoughts and then being able achieve clarity and calmness. To practice mindfulness daily can in turn lead to long-term positive mental health and output. I recommend using an app to help get you started. I’ve used Headspace, Oak and Inscape in the past but most recently am in love with Calm. What started out as a huge challenge to sit still for 3 minutes has evolved into 10 minutes going by rather quickly.
The simple act of looking inward on the things that make you thankful and happy can be so rewarding. When you’re combatting doubt and negative thoughts about your body — this can be rather useful. I swear by the Five Minute Journal and have used this for over a year. Some days I might not get to it, but there’s no reason not to pick it up the next day and move forward.
Talking to others about what’s going on inside of you can be very healing. Whether it’s chatting about fears you have about labor and delivery with other moms or doubtful thoughts you have about being a good parent with your spouse — just get them out. Be open and be in tune with how you’re feeling. If you bottle them up inside and don’t talk through how to overcome, they will fester and weigh you down.
Being pregnant has been such a crazy learning experience, because well, I’ve never been pregnant before. Nor, did I really do a lot of research beforehand. So what’s the best thing to do as you’re going through it? Educate yourself on the process. Get equipped with the many resources you have to learn about what’s actually happening to your body. Lean on others who have gone through it to learn from their experiences. Knowledge is power ladies, don’t go along thinking naivety will do you any good here. But also remember you’ll be given a lot of unsolicited advice so be sure to make decisions that feel right to you based on what it is you’ve learned.
Something I’ve struggled with my whole life. When you set an expectation that is hard to meet, it’s very easy to get let down. So set expectations for yourself at this very trying and emotional time that are realistic. If you’re too tired to make it to a social engagement you’d previously said yes to, realize that’s okay. If you didn’t make it to the yoga class you had signed up for, understand listening to your body will be better for you in the end. Tweak your normal habits to your new speed as you’ll feel better about yourself in the end.
Don’t ever forget to breathe. When you feel anxious, overwhelmed with stress, in some sort of pain… take deep breaths and remember this soon shall pass. Being pregnant can be a very intense time with all of the changes going on in your body. Practicing regular breathe can help you through it all.
Now onto the body — which transforms in some incredible ways throughout this pregnancy journey. Now going back to my fear I had of my body changing — this stemmed from knowing my mother gained nearly 80 pounds with me as her first born. I was expecting to gain so much weight, have an insane appetite and not be able to fit into anything I owned. Well luckily I was wrong and I think that stemmed from the fact that I was in the best condition and shape I had ever been in right before getting pregnant. I was no longer killing myself doing cardio 4-5 times a week, dieting and then binging. I had found a well-balanced exercise routine of strength training, at-home cycling and eating right without restrictions. So when I got pregnant, it seemed only natural to continue on the best I could.
I’m proud to say, when I became pregnant I weighed 115 and now at 40 weeks, I’ve been weighing in between 136-137 over the last two weeks. 22 pounds of weight gain without any restriction of foods that I craved at all.
Here are some tips on how I’ve managed to pull that off and stay physically fit over these last 40 weeks:
At the start of my term, I made a mental promise to myself that I’d try and maintain my shape in some capacity as I grew. I would listen to my body throughout the process but remember how great I felt after a workout to keep me driven. Committing to yourself at the start will help you embark on a fulfilling journey ahead.
After some harder winter months of November and December, feeling low and out of sorts given the weather and my condition gave me motivation to want to come out of it. So Trevor and I decided to do a 30 Day Fitness Challenge between the two of us during the month of January. Love that guy but I kicked his butt and stuck with it every day — doing one physical activity a day whether that be cycling, a class, weight training or walking at least 4 miles. Doing this on your own, with a partner or with a group can be a great way to hold accountability — also keeping a tracker in your phone.
Another great way to stay accountable is to sign up for your favorite classes for strengthening and toning — and ensuring you’re attending regularly. I was working part time at Pure Barre and so was averaging twice a week classes, which was the perfect low-impact core / arms / butt workout I needed. Some other great ideas are pilates, yoga and cycling.
But because many times you’d rather stay in the comfort of your own home vs going out and being social, finding workouts to do at home is a great idea. We jumped on the Peloton train two years ago and haven’t looked back. I’m still obsessed and love that I can simply wake up, sit on the bike and be done with a 30-45 minute workout in no time. I also love the yoga, core and arm workouts they provide. Having a spot in your home to lay out a mat or do some squats will allow you to keep up with your workouts.
Drinking water is essential during this time. Your body is changing so much, you’re sharing all things inside with another human and if you’re working out, you’ll need to make sure you’re staying hydrated. Definitely ensure you have a water bottle that you can carry around at all times. I love my Hydro Flask and it’s been my mate during these last nine months.
If you’re working out regularly, drinking a ton of water, it goes without saying — put good nutrients into your body too. Having a well balanced diet and eating the foods you need more at this time can do wonders to your physique. Of course there will be cravings, but if you’re focused on balance and crowding with good, you’ll find you might not be gorging so often on cheeseburgers and ice cream. But let’s be honest — I’ve gotten my fair share of cookies and cream intake these last nine months ;). That’s why we workout!
I hope this has been informative in some way for those of you hoping to maintain a healthy relationship with your mind and body during your pregnancy. If there’s anything I’ve missed that has helped you, please share in the comments below.
// cb ✌????
Lifestyle blogger, photographer, mother to my son Boden and frenchie Smalls, wife to my hubs Trevor.
I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
Get To Know Me
Mother. Wife. Blogger. Photographer. I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
Hi, I'm Cortney
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