Thursday, April 29, 2010

36 Weeks today

(This photo is from our Thanksgiving Day workout.  So, I was about 15 weeks at that point, I think.  Early on, I noticed that even though I hadn't gained any weight, everything was just harder.  I couldn't do muscle ups at all anymore, pullups were harder.  Hell, air squatting was hard!  Lots of hormones in play there, increasing my blood volume and what not.  It was frustrating because I still was small and should be able to do a lot of stuff, but just didn't have the energy).

Four weeks to go!  Plus or minus, of course.  I'm 36 weeks today, which means that Sprocket could make his entrance anywhere between now and 6 weeks from now.  So much for planning ahead!

The last two days at the gym we did the CrossFit Total (1 Rep Max Back Squat, Shoulder Press, and Deadlift....add them up to find your total).  I so badly wanted to do a max deadlift - not to mention back squat, which I have always loved.  Deadlifting though....the deadlift and I have not always had the best relationship.  I would love it if I could pull 300#, but I am stuck in the low 200s.  Ahem, WAS stuck in the low 200s.  I feel a big PR coming on sometime in 2010!!!

So, that leads me to my postpartum workout plan.  I have nothing set in stone yet.  I figured that is a project that can wait until after the baby is here when I am really itching to workout.  But, I have definitely been thinking about it for some time.

I have solicited the other active mamas I know for advice on how they made a come-back.  The general consensus is:  Take it easy at first.  Walking and hiking is all you need to do for the first month or so.  My midwife likes to add that if you go super, super easy for the first week (like, don't get out of bed, easy) then your recovery will be much, much better.  She said that you could maybe even do some light jogging 3 weeks after the delivery if you take that first week super easy.

So, 3-6 weeks after the birth, I will start working out again.  I'm mostly worried about high impact exercises for now - box jumps, heavy olympic lifting, etc.  Basically, any jumping.  To be honest, I'm not even interested in any "light jogging" 3 weeks after the birth.  I'll stick to the rower, thank you.  So, my early workouts will consist of some of the following:
  • Strength work.  I'll focus on powerlifting exercises to get my strength back.  Shoulder presses for the core strength, squats and deads, also for core strength.  As a side note, I feel like my abs are still really strong, so I'm curious to see how long it will take for them to "recover"
  • Short, only moderately-intense metcons.  Things like 10 minutes of "Cindy" (5 pullups, 10 pushups, 15 squats, repeated for 10 minutes), rowing and kettlebell swings, lunges and situps (if I am able), etc.  Basic movements to work on general metabolic conditioning and that work the whole-body.
What's really up in the air is how long that will last.  Stay tuned.  Next time:  The Benchmarks.  When, how, and why.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Never get between a pregnant lady and her food

Here's a photo of me at, I think it was, 11 weeks.  Maybe 12.  This is the last photo I have of me where you can't really even tell that I am pregnant - not even I can.

The photo down below is just a week later - so, 12 or 13 weeks.  Amazing the difference!

When deciding what steps to take to get back into shape after Sprocket arrives (Sprocket is the baby, which is probably pretty obvious....but you never know), the first thing I considered was my nutrition.  After all, about 80% of your body composition can be attributed to what you put in your pie-hole.

Naturally, I thought about the Paleo Diet.  I did some preliminary research (on discussion boards, mostly), and it appears that a lot of women find that the paleo diet doesn't work for them post-partum, but, that Paleo + Dairy works great.  Maybe you need to drink milk to make milk.  Maybe these particular women couldn't get enough calories without the dairy.  Who knows.  But, what I do know, is that I have also come across stories of nursing mamas who do not consume dairy, and do just fine.  In fact, when babies appear to be having an allergic reaction to something that mom is consuming that is getting passed down through the breast milk, dairy is high on the list of things to remove from the diet to see if baby improves.  (Wheat and Soy are also high on the list.  Shocker.)

So, I have not completely decided on one diet of the other.  (By "diet" of course, I mean "type of eating", and in no way mean that I will be restricting calories!!!)  I have a bit more research to do.  I'm thinking paleo is the way to go, but I also want to see what the research says about amounts of protein, fat, and carbs I will need to intake.  I'd like to have a bit more of a game plan than just "going paleo".  Maybe. 

All of this talk of the Paleo Diet reminded me of how completely and fully I fell off the paleo bandwagon when I got pregnant.  Twice, actually.  (The second time was in Los Angeles when I went to a breakfast joint where they served fresh, hot, cornbread muffins.  Wow.  That was the beginning of the end.)  Now, I probably could have stuck paleo, honestly, but it would have been hard.  Really HARD.  Where I normally crave vegetables and meat, I found myself craving bagels with cream cheese, and sourdough bread.  Sourdough bread.  I don't even like sourdough.  At all.

Doing some reading in a book I borrowed from my midwife (Anatomy and Physiology for Midwives by Jane Coad), I learned a little bit about prenatal nutrition.  Here's the cliff's notes:
  • The energy requirements for pregnant mamas is only about 200 calories/day especially taking into account the decreased energy expenditure of most pregnant women.
  • Protein requirements are only about 1.1g/kg/day (or, about 65 g for someone like myself) and in fact, high protein intakes during pregnancy have been linked with increased risk of congenital abnormalities in the offspring.  That's probably why I felt that my protein intake was drastically reduced - it was.
  • High fat diets during pregnancy are not recommended, again, because abnormalities can develop.  Research suggests that a diet that is around 30% fat and 50% carbs is optimal.  I am taking that with a grain of salt, of course, because I completely disagree with a lot of "recommended" diets.  
However, because my cravings tended to reflect what is "recommended", I have to wonder.  I certainly wouldn't create an eating "plan" based on what I read in this book, but it's interesting when it validates what I have been eating all along.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Welcome, please enjoy

Welcome to my new blog!  As I near my 35th week of pregnancy, I am less able to workout, which leaves me with a little more time on my hands to plan my postpartum return to fitness.  This blog will chronicle the adventure from the end of pregnancy as I return to full-time CrossFit training.  I'm not leaving out any of the dirty details, either.  (I mean, haven't YOU always wondered what a woman's stomach looks like 30 minutes after giving birth?!?).  I will include all the "before" photos, before I even have the "after" ones to compare them to.  I'm not going to paint a pretty picture of what being a new mom is like - and let me say, I have NO IDEA, yet, what it will be like.  My hope is that this blog will help other women have an easier, or at least, more confident transition from pregnancy back to fitness.  If nothing else, know that you are not alone on this journey.

And, for a little more detailed background on me:

I am a CrossFitter.  I qualified for and competed in the 2009 CrossFit Games.  My training for the games can be found at my other blog.  I own and operate a CrossFit Affiliate in Bozeman, MT named Bridger CrossFit.

Here are some of my stats, pre-baby:
Press 90#
Squat 220#
Deadlift 245#
Clean and Jerk 145#
Clean 155#
Snatch 115#
Fran 4:15
Grace 4:14
Helen 8:12
2k Row 8:33
Max Pullups 31
Karen 9:31
Cindy 21 Rounds
Angie 19:57

It's hard for me to write those down, not knowing how long it will take for me to get back to that kind of fitness.  I have heard that women are stronger post-baby.  I sure hope so, because that deadlift could use a little bit of work!

My due date is May 27, 2010.  Between now and D-day, I will be posting about any workouts I do, my plan for working out after the baby arrives, as well as some interesting research that I have been doing about insulin and pregnancy/breastfeeding.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to having you along with me on my journey.