Due to the fact I am starting this blog so late in my pregnancy, I thought I would take the time this week to back track to my first trimester. I will share with you the morning sickness, sudden dislikes in foods, and training changes I made at this time. It in no way, shape, or form, is me telling you this is the right way to do it, I am just sharing what did and did not work for me.
Tanner and I found out the exciting news the day before we left for our honeymoon (we took our honeymoon on our one year wedding anniversary). Though it certainly put a damper on my ability to sample Alaska’s fine beer and wine selection and may have increased my ability of getting motion sickness on the boats we were on, it was a wonderful way to kick start our week long camping/fishing/hiking adventure. The timing of this pregnancy also gave me a week of rest from CrossFit to plan out my method of attack for training during the remainder of my first trimester. You see, I had committed to participate in a team competition in Casper, WY in mid-October with some close friends, and I was not planning on letting them down, as long as I had my doctor’s approval and it was safe for the baby.
The competition was to start the first day of the 17th week of my pregnancy. Tanner and I sat down and talked long and hard on it, and though he was not thrilled, we decided I would still participate if my team was comfortable with me going at “pregger speed”. The timing of the event was perfect because I would be a full month in to my second trimester, and way past the “danger zone” of the first trimester.
My goal in preparation for the event was to simply maintain as much of the fitness I already had, as long as all movements were safe for my baby. I continued my schedule of CrossFit WOD’s five days a week, taking Thursday and Sunday off each week. If I felt tired, I took an extra day off, but I never worked out more, and made sure to listen to my body if I needed to slow down or cut a workout short. During the first trimester, I continued to do all of the movements I did before I was pregnant, just at a pace I knew there was no potential for me to possibly fall (like off a box or high rings). I am lucky enough to have a garage gym, so it was really easy to keep my pace appropriate without the competition I would find in a gym. With my first pregnancy, I was working out at an affiliate and found it helpful to start a few minutes before or after the rest of the class I was working out with so I couldn’t compare myself to anyone and possibly push a little too hard. While working out with groups I also liked to wear a heart rate monitor (I know, not your typical CrossFit tool!) where I set an alarm that would go off if my heart rate reached 165. I used this as a warning that my heart rate was starting to get up there and to take it easy. I found this helpful because I tend to get a little competitive at times!
Now let’s talk food. When I am not pregnant, and am in full on training mode, I follow an 80/20 (80% of the time I eat real food, plus dairy, rice, and some bread, while 20% of the time I reward myself with naughty treats, like cheeseburgers and cookies) meal plan. This allows me to still be social and not geek out by bringing a food scale or my own sack lunch to a BBQ, and keep me sane by being able to enjoy some beer and brownies every once in a while. I believe the “20” portion of the 80/20 is a great way to remind yourself why you eat well the rest of the time, and a great opportunity to “reset” your body. Following this plan got very challenging during my first trimester because though I never really got the severe morning sickness we all fear, certain foods I would normally eat daily suddenly were not appealing at all. An example of this is eggs. Every morning eggs are my resource for protein, and during my first trimester, the simple thought of attempting to eat one would send me running for the hills. The only thing I could think of that sounded good was peanut butter toast and a glass of milk, so guess what I did? I had peanut butter toast and a glass of milk. I had to tell myself over and over that it is ok to not balance out my protein, carbohydrate, and fats like a good little CrossFitter would do, and just eat what my body would accept. If all I could eat was crackers, that is what I would have. I just made sure to be reasonable. If my body was asking for five ultra-supreme tacos from Taco Bell, I still used my brain and kept it to two, or made tacos at home where I knew exactly what was going in to them.
So how did the competition go? It was amazing! By that time my food aversions had passed and I was feeling great. I participated in five events the first day (two of which were either a strength test or a very short anaerobic test) and two the second, so don’t get me wrong, this mama was tuckered out, but I felt great. I kept my stomach full of healthy foods and a ton of water, and got as much rest as possible between events. My team was extremely supportive and helped keep me on track with keeping my heart rate low and taking care of my baby before anything else. Stella was also there to root for me, which absolutely melted my ice cold CrossFit heart. Our team took second out of 24 teams, and couldn’t have been more excited about it. Looking back, I am very glad I still participated, as it helped keep me on track with my training and healthy eating.
Overall, my advice to any lady out there in her first trimester would be to keep moving! Make sure you talk with your doctor about your activities and gain their approval first, but whatever you were doing before you got pregnant you should be able to keep doing. Make sure to listen to your body and stay well hydrated. Make sure to be extra cautious doing anything where you could potentially fall, or simply cut those movements out. Don’t try to hit any PR’s or set any records, you will have plenty of time for that later. I posted a photo from our ultrasound as well as a photo of Stella in our gym so I had a constant reminder of who I am doing this for, and to keep my workout levels appropriate to provide my baby with plenty of oxygen. As for food, eat well when you can, eat what you can keep down when you aren’t feeling well. You only really need an extra 150 calories a day to support your baby, so don’t go overboard like we have seen in commercials and movies growing up.
I am going to finish off with a list of a few websites and articles I came across that I found interesting, helpful, and downright inspiring (there are some incredibly beautiful CrossFit women talking about their pregnancies). Please give me feedback in comments with anything you may have found that worked for you during your pregnancy or working with other pregnant women as well as any questions or ideas you might have. I was SO thrilled to have heard from so many people last week, please keep it coming!
Amazing video: http://vimeo.com/88556527
– www.washingtonian.com: “CrossFit For Pregnant Women – Safe or Reckless?” By: Melissa Romero
– www.crossfit.com: CrossFit Journal Article: “The High Performance Pregnancy” By: Andrea Nitz
– www.shape.com: “How much exercise should you do while pregnant?”
– www.boxlife.com: “CrossFit Training During Pregnancy”
– www.mayoclinic.org: Pregnancy & Exercise “Baby, let’s move!”