Thursday, February 11, 2016

Top 5 Tips on Weight Gain Mindset During Pregnancy

As women, we are BOMBARDED with the idea that gaining weight is a negative thing.  Like, our whole lives.  That's the message.

As a COACH it's well, kind of my job to NOT gain weight (unless it's muscle, right Sagi?!) ;)

So, you can see the conflict that I personally may have while I'm pregnant....because I'm BOTH.

You want to know what's an even COOLER job than being a coach is though?  I mean, there's not a lot, but, I'd say 'mom' is going to be even better.

So, here are my top tips on how to overcome that mindset.  There's a reason these are coming to you NOW instead of a few months ago, or even a few weeks ago, it's because I've had to think on them too, and come to my own conclusions about contentment in this area.  I may feel differently at week 39, ha, but that's when I'll look back at this post and remember how wise I am (sometimes).

1. You're growing a HUMAN.

I know that this gets mentioned SOMETIMES, but, not often enough.  I personally was super surprised at all of the OTHER changes that happen when you're pregnant aside from weight gain.  Like, my hips are just bigger.  I didn't even gain weight in the weeks that I noticed this.  But, my body just got WIDER all on its own.  It makes sense, but when I pulled a dressed over my head at the beginning of my second trimester that wasn't maternity and couldn't fit it over my hips, it really surprised me.  I'm not getting FAT.  I'm getting ready for labor.  Two 100% totally different things.  As Shakira so wisely said, 'Hips Don't Lie'.

So, there's a LOT going on.  You've got gas.  You've got heartburn.  You might be throwing up for weeks on end.  This is a time that you really have to give it your best shot to give yourself some grace in some pretty ungraceful moments.  I have puked or ran to the bathroom in front of so many people at this point, that I had to just laugh about it, reassure them that I'm totally fine, and then go on about my day.  You're growing a human.  And it seems that right from the start, we humans are pretty messy, cause discomfort and even pain, but man, we're all pretty worth it, right?  I think so.

2. Everyone Carries Differently.

I wish I was one of those 'basketball under the shirt' types.  I've got friends that have carried that way, and man, they are so stinking cute!  But that's just not me.  I love my bump, don't get me wrong!  But I see my face filling out, my arms getting bigger (not in a bicep kind of way), along with a few other areas, and, it's just the way my body is carrying.  And it's totally cool!  Firstly, because I can feel my little guy moving around and gaining more and more life in his little body each day.  And secondly, I AM a coach.  I know how to get all of that BACK after this little guy is born.  So, I'm not sweating it.  I am right on track with my weight gain, and that is something that I feel so GOOD about.

Just like not everyone gets sick in their first trimester, not everyone has a perfect delivery story, not everyone's feet swell, not everyone gets sciatic pain, not everyone is going to carry the same way you do.  So don't worry about it.

3. Don't Allow Weight Gain to Become the Excuse.

Did you know that you really only need 300 extra calories when you're pregnant?  That's not even an entire blueberry muffin at Starbucks.'s not a lot, is what I'm trying to say.  Have I fallen victim to the 'eating for two' syndrome?  Not exactly.  BUT I did fall victim to 'I ate crackers and drank gingerale for 8 weeks straight and I deserve to eat everything in sight now that I know I won't puke it up' syndrome.  So.  It's sort of the same thing, because it's an EXCUSE.  Yes.  You gain weight.  No.  You don't really have to help it along as much as you think you do.  And I know this is a weird little secret but did you know that healthy food has calories in it too?  Yep, that's right.  An apple has calories, just like a snickers bar does.  So, you could opt for those extra calories to be eaten in a better way.  And again, I say all this with the disclaimer that I ALSO fall prey to this excuse and man, it's HARD because you have people who tell you 'it's fine!' 'you deserve it!', and hey, I have said it, and I definitely have a donut every now and again.  But I try VERY hard to have that NOT be the norm.  My rule of thumb:  I eat healthy on the weekdays, I have a few not so healthy things on the weekends.  It works for me in this phase of my life, and I feel good about the decisions I make.  And, my body feels good too, which is a very cool bonus.  I am already feeling sort of bloated all the time, I don't need to compound that with poor food choices.

4. This is a Season.

I've been learning a lot about this phrase lately.  And I've come to appreciate it.  Because I know that for a long time the buzz phrases you hear are things like 'life can have balance', and 'live a well rounded life', things like that.  And I get what the intention is there.  But here's the thing.  No one who is successful lives a very 'balanced' life.  If anything, my life has taught me that balance just isn't in the cards.  And anything that I've had to work really hard for required me to focus on ONE thing, and I had to make sacrifices in other areas of my life.  And if you look at your life, you might find the same thing.

-When we've worked hard at paying down debt, we had less dates.
-When my husband joined the military we didn't live together for 11 months....but he achieved his dream and worked HARD in that time.
-When I worked on my master's degree I was spending HOURS studying and going to classes.  My communication with others suffered a little because of that.
-When I zeroed in on my health and fitness, going out to eat just wasn't important to me.

Seasons.  And pregnancy isn't any different.  It's just that it's a season that effects YOU a lot.  And if it's not going particularly well for you, it can feel like it will never end.  I promise you that it will.  I don't know one pregnant lady who stayed pregnant for eternity.  True story.  Gaining weight?  That's just part of the season.  And here's the thing with seasons.  They change.  You move on to the next one.  You don't have to stay in the weight gaining season after you're pregnant.  You can move on.  I know that I totally intend on it, but it can be hard to do since you're in a whole new season of taking care of a newborn.  So again, give grace, adjust the sails of your tired little boat with the wind of little sleep, shrill cries in the middle of the night, but a determined mind set that when you make personal goals for yourself, you're going to be a pretty awesome mom to that little miracle.

5. Accept that it Frustrates You.

Have you heard of the five stages of grief?  Or Alcoholic Anonymous' 12 Steps?  Acceptance is part of each of their process.  I only mention them because they both acknowledge how important acceptance is.  And while pregnancy certainly can't be equated to grief, or to an addiction,  I think it is important that we accept what's happening.  Accept that there are days you are frustrated with how big you're getting.  It's okay.  You're not used to it.  In many cases, it's going to be the biggest you've ever been or will be.  Miracle growing inside you or not.  Big is big.  And it's 100% out of our control, which can make it even more frustrating if you like having control (like me!).  There are days I see the miracle, and there are days I see the belly, ha.  And that's just me being honest and real about it.  And I think that's fine.  The important thing that acceptance allows us to do is that it allows us to not feel GUILTY for our thoughts, and then, we can let them go much more easily.  It's a lot easier for me to say 'eh, today I just feel big, time to break out the sweatpants!', than it is for me to say 'gosh I feel so big, but I shouldn't feel this way, that's so dumb, of course I have this miracle, I should be thankful, why do I have to be negative, why can't I be happy?!'  See how that spirals SUPER quickly?

Acceptance.  It's a simple, but very powerful tool in many areas of our life, and this one is no exception.  

I hope this helps all the moms out there.  As someone who is preparing to be one, I think you're all amazing people, I am learning so much from each of you, and sometimes, you guys just need a reminder that you're totally cool.  Thanks for reading, friends.


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