So as a professional athlete, as well as a health & personal development coach, it’s safe to say that wondering what food restrictions and requirements I’d face in my pregnancy were top thoughts in my mind.
I had just finished competing in three back-to-back shows around the world. Fitness competitions require a very strict diet and lots of exercise to achieve the physique that we bring to the stage. Although I wasn’t starving myself (no way, never again, not how I prep), my variety in food was limited. I was also very lean - fitness competition, top 4 in the world, unattractive veins almost down to your crotch lean LOL. Yeahhh. Okay, you get the point.
So, food was definitely one of my first thoughts. Not to mention, how was I able to conceive literally the same month of those competitions?! Well, it’s easy. I was eating enough food, I wasn’t killing myself with cardio, and I was very healthy mentally. Good topic for another blog in the near future ;)
Okay so on to the good stuff - what can I eat and what can’t I eat? Can I train? I immediately started doing all sorts of extensive research on this topic, as well as speaking to my doctor about it all.
Here are a few of the major changes I made immediately:
- I eliminated raw fish, aka sushi. This was a tough one as I ate sushi almost every day when I wasn’t prepping. I was going through a sushi phase. The reason I eliminated this raw fish is because when eating raw anything there is a higher risk of catching parasites. This topic is viewed differently amongst health professionals, however, for me, it was an easy decision and a risk I did not want to take. Although IF you were to catch any parasites, they probably would not cross the placenta, BUT they could cause other issues such as gastrointestinal ones that may cause developmental issues for your baby. I didn’t need to hear anymore. Sushi is just food and I don’t need it THAT bad. LOL
- I cut out coffee. Ahh my start to every day! It was my own little morning ritual to get in my car, jam out to music, drive to Starbucks and get a grande iced coffee with almond milk and two equal. I would sometimes add stevia instead, which I like better, but sometimes forget to bring it with me.
Surprisingly, I had no negative effects (meaning headaches or anything) from cutting coffee out from one day to the next. I truly believe it had everything to do with my mind. You see, when you do something that you are truly ready to do, and you genuinely believe in it with your whole body, your soul transitions easier because it is right with YOU! Your mind has no choice but to obey instead of throwing the ego at you and tempting you to stick to what you are trying to let go of. Most times, when trying to get rid of a bad habit or something similar, it begins with force. We try to force ourselves because we know this “thing” is affecting us negatively, however, normally only one part of us feels this way. Our heart, our minds or whatever may not be ready to give it up, and so the battle begins. For me, I was just ready to do whatever - I was able to directly relate it to the little being growing inside of me. Now, I am not saying that if you have a hard time giving something up that you don’t care about your little one. NO. No way, that’s not what I am saying at all. We are all wired differently and we are all on different levels of consciousness. We are all different individuals who process and experience things differently due to may factors and for me this is how it happened.
- No more alcohol. I was never a wine drinker. I didn’t care for it because it made me sleepy. A friend of mine was a wine connoisseur and got me on the wine wagon. During prep for the show, I wouldn’t have it, so it had been a while, and after my shows I was looking forward to having a glass here and there when I would go out. Well, not this year baby girl! Alcohol was a no no for me. Throughout my pregnancy I would say, “Man! What I wouldn’t do for a glass of wine right now!” Hahaha. I cut it out and didn’t have it until months after I had baby boy due to breastfeeding. I lived girls - we can do it! We can handle the stresses of life in a different way LOL. Wow! That probably made me seem like I drink a lot and it’s funny because now, I probably have one drink a month IF even that! Hahaha. All good to have more wine because it’s yummy, but to find the time to go out and have a drink now is a different story.
I could go on and on about the foods I eliminated and the foods I incorporated and I don’t want you guys to sit in front of your computer for hours reading it all, so I created a Pregnancy eBook where I provide all of this information for new moms to be or even pregnant moms who want to have a healthier pregnancy this time around. It covers nutrition and training. I’m excited for its launch in June 2018.
Let’s cover training really quickly. The BIG question: How much can I train and what can I do?
Training is a big part of my life and the thought of not being able to touch a weight in nine months was weird. At my first prenatal appointment, 6 weeks into my pregnancy, I spoke to my doctor. Since I have been training pretty hard for eight plus years, I was cleared to continue. There were things that changed of course, such as intensity, the weight I was lifting and some of the exercises I did (this changed per trimester for me).
First trimester I was so exhausted that I barely trained. I did what I could: I dropped my sets to about three and did low reps and low weights. At the end of each workout I was exhausted. Hell, who am I kidding, I was dead walking into the gym. I mean, I would fall asleep on car rides with Whitney all of the time lol.
Best thing I can say is LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! If I felt too tired and wanted to lay in my bed then that’s just what I did. I mean, after all, I was working really hard to create something pretty cool inside my belly.
Second trimester, when the risk of miscarriage went down significantly, and the fatigue started subsiding, I started to feel more comfortable at the gym. I still kept my sets to about three and the intensity was nowhere near before pregnancy, but I got good workouts in. I avoided crunches and any heavy lat pull downs or anything that required me to pull down from high up. It just didn’t feel right the further along into pregnancy I got.
So I will leave you with this: Do your research, speak to your doctor and you can also check out my eBook if you are expecting or want to have a little one soon. Exercising is healthy but every pregnancy is different, so please check with your doctor before engaging in exercises once you get the amazing news! If you are bedridden due to complications, there are so many other things you can do to stay healthy and communicate health to your baby. Again, another blog.
Until next week, Love India