Thursday, March 21, 2013

Let the floodgates of unsolicited advice begin

I'm not even pregnant, and yet I am already completely turned off by the apparent need for other women to impose their often highly opinionated (but not based in actual fact or demonstrated research) feelings on what to do/not to do when expecting (or getting ready to expect). In fact, I feel closer to Dr. Oz right now than I do some of my girlfriends that are either expecting or have small children and don't seem to "get" the fact that I plan to not completely abandon my active lifestyle the minute we go from only a fur-child to planning for a human one. I get it, signing up for another Ironman in the near future would be pretty stupid. I mean come on, that $500 registration fee could buy a LOT of diapers.

However, I've been running, biking, swimming and or lifting pretty much every day the past oh, I don't know, every day since I finished grad school and realized I was entering the real world. Yeah, the real world, where your metabolism suddenly realizes you're no longer a college student and forces you to pay in interest on the treadmill what you took out on yourself the past scholastic years. Exercise is such a habit and way of life for me, I don't think it's fair to myself (or my unborn child, for that matter) suddenly flip a switch and relegate myself to the elliptical for 2-3 days of week when I'm completely capable of lower-speed running or cycling.

So, I've started a few projects in preparation for baby. First and foremost, I'm doing my own damn research on what's considered generally accepted by the medical community for appropriate levels of physical activity for PREVIOUSLY ACTIVE INDIVIDUALS. Lest ye forget, I do have a little bit of a background in this stuff (i.e. Exercise Science), so I kinda get the fact that a pregnant couch potato is not a great candidate for starting a bootcamp class or signing up for a 10k out of the gate. Most of the literature I've pulled (published 2008-present) corroborates my intentions to continue to be active. Complications may arise, at which time, I back off (or heaven forbid, stop altogether... in which case, someone will need to check on Tyler on occasion. I won't be pleasant company). I may be nauseous all the time. I may be so immersed in reading the stack of baby books people have donated to my personal maternity library that I won't have time to exercise... other than some light reading on my indoor trainer.  I know that things come up, may preclude me from my usual routine. I'm prepared for that possibility.

What I wasn't prepared for is the polarizing opinions and staunch beliefs of some that teeter on the line between jealousy ("Oh, must be nice to run for an hour. I barely get 15 minutes to myself anymore") and cynicism ("You really think you'll be able to run another marathon in the next five years?"). No, I'm not a mom yet, so you're right, I don't know what it's like to only have 10 minutes to myself in the shower and the rest of the day is chaos. No I don't know what it's like to wake up every two hours in the middle of the night and then try to make it through a full day of work without passing out on my keyboard. What I do know is I'm trying to prepare myself for baby as best I see fit given the guidance I have ASKED for in addition to the recommendations from the medical community I have found and continue to seek out.

I'm very excited for us to start this chapter in our lives, so to all you Debbie Downers out there trying to rain on my healthy baby body parade, go for a walk. It would probably do you good.


  1. People constantly project their own fears on us. When you are dating, then engadgaged, then wedding planning, etc. It is just progression of what time line you are on. People are naturally curious about your life and plans. It can drive you nuts if you allow it. When it comes to our biological clock, a very personal time line, it seems that people speak without thinking about how much you might be affected by all the questions. Worry is wasted energy both on their part and on yours. Find ways to switch up the conversations with short answers and follow up questions about their life. As for training, your body will tell you everything you need to know if you can find the quiet time to listen to it. Add patience and compassion to your training. If your intentions always come from a pure place, there is no reason to worry. Chin up.

  2. People looked at me like I had 3 heads when I was working out hard at 7 months pregnant, but I always just said, I listen to my body and when I feel tired or something doesn't feel right, I stop doing that exercise. Don't let others tell you you shouldn't work out hard if, like you, have already been doing that. Don't get me wrong, if you haven't been working out, getting started on a hard core workout when you get pregnant is not a good idea. But I worked out everyday up until I went to the hospital with both pregnancies and I had a very quick recovery. Good Luck :)
    PS - Running does get hard at the end so I switched to drills, biking and swimming.

  3. It's amazing how other people think they know what's best for us. I even get it on the opposite end of the spectrum--I don't want kids and many of my friends, including my own mother, tell me I will either change my mind or that I need to change my mind. Then they passively imply that there must be something wrong with me to make such a decision. I think what goes on between a woman's legs is her own business whether she's pregnant or not. The women who are 8-months pregnant and have gained 70 pounds have enough to worry about without projecting their jealousy on you. You're right, it would do them some good to take a walk.