“Can” and “Should”

Today I made the decision to stop formally working out for the duration of my pregnancy. It wasn’t an easy decision to come to, but it’s the right decision for me right now.

For weeks, Luis has been asking me — OK, begging me — to take it easy and stop working out. Friends have asked if I’m sure I should be still doing Zumba/Body Pump/training.  But I’ve been on the go and didn’t want to slow down. My logic (however twisted) was: “I feel good, I should do it now while I still can!”

And while there is truth to that — I do think being active during pregnancy is a good thing and will still say it’s been great for my mind, body, and soul — I also have not just been “active.” More like, I’ve not really taken many days off from working out the whole nine months. And it’s catching up to me …

I admit–I have kept up my routine for one reason only: to prove to myself I could. If I’m being totally honest with myself, I have been miserably uncomfortable for weeks … but yet I’ve kept at it in spite of that just because I could.

But now I have 2.5 weeks to go and really want him to stay put. Bouncing around in Zumba, lifting during training and Body Pump — even with modifications — just seems like an open invitation to labor and I want … no, I need … him to stay put til October 3.

All of which is to say, “just because I physically can work out … doesn’t mean I should at this stage in the game” — especially since I am hell-bent on making it to 10/3. So I’m making the executive decision to stop formal exercise. I’m super-proud of what I’ve accomplished and I’m very proud of my body. Even with these 30 lbs, it is [mostly] in my belly, as seen in my bi-weekly bump shots.

So while there will surely be post-partum work to do, for now, my only goal is to keep him tucked safe and sound til 9 AM, October 3.

I know myself and know I need exercise in my life for my overall well-being. Somehow, at some point, I’ll find a way back to the gym … albeit it likely with much less intensity, as finding a new routine with two kids won’t be easy. But I’ll do it because it’s something important to me.

Although I don’t over-exercise anymore, for someone who is literally addicted to exercise, it’s not an easy thing to take a step back and truly listen to my body — but this time, I’m also listening to my mind … which says, use common sense and rest.

So that’s what I plan to do the next 2.5 weeks: rest. Go for family walks. And just enjoy these last couple weeks as a family of three.

That’s something I can and should do. 😉


9 thoughts on ““Can” and “Should”

  1. Good for you! I’m trying to find a balance with working out. (I’m just starting second trimester). Did you try to keep your heart rate under a certain number? My doctor basically told me to stop doing crossfit and HIIT because they are too intense. Truth be told they didn’t quite feel safe to me but I’m not far along. I know people still do high intensity exercise pregnant but for me I’ve decided just to be consistent with medium intensity. I do have fear of gaining too much (my sister and mom both gained half their body weight). This is becoming all about me! I was just wondering what your thoughts Are on intensity of exercise while pregnant 🙂 I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well!!

    1. Congrats to you on your pregnancy! So exciting!!! I never wore my HRM (made me too obsessive years ago so I sold it) but I def. agree with your doc that crossfit and HIIT is probably too intense while pregnant. My trainer is also my Zumba and Body Pump teacher (and a mom herself) and she has helped me a ton — modifying moves, doing things differently to still get a good burn, which has kept me in check. So up til today, I’d been working out most days a week at a pretty good level — but I’ve been slowing down a lot lately. 30 extra pounds will do that to a person 😉

      Aw, I know it’s hard but you will gain what your body needs to gain. With Maya I gained less than this time around, that’s for sure. But I’m also carrying him completely differently and it feels like it’s nearly all in my belly (whereas with Maya yes it was belly but also everywhere else. Of course, post-partum I am sure I will be countering that assessment! But we can’t worry about that now. Gaining weight is a fact of pregnancy; go with it and stay as calm as you can about it. The weight will come off later!

      1. Thank you so much for the reply! I haven’t told very many people at all yet about my pregnancy because of career implications so I don’t have a lot of people to help. Even at that I don’t have a lot of friends who share my health conscious and active balanced lifestyle. Any of my friends who work out have never been pregnant! So I very much appreciate the thoughts and advice. I guess I’ll have to get used to medium intensity lol. My body has been saying the same though whenever I do think ill test it. Enjoy these last couple weeks.

  2. you dork! if i had known you weren’t comfortable, i would have been yelling at you! i’m proud of you for recognizing its time and hope you feel completely cool with ‘coasting’ until its time for mr. henriquez jr. to arrive.

    1. Ha! 🙂 Thank you … and yes, I do feel cool with ‘coasting’ these next few weeks. I think it will be a nice change-up. 🙂 Mwah–and thanks for the pics! LOVE.

  3. I get this!! Totally do. I think you and I are similar in obsessive exercise. I have been pushing myself a little too hard exercise-wise on some days, and I have to keep remembering my contract with myself: LISTEN TO MY BODY. Yesterday I didn’t listen to my body and just went all out and I suffered the rest of the day. Today, at my 37 week doctor appointment, I spoke in depth with my ob about exercising. I was very clear with her the amount and intensity of my workouts. She told me that it’s great to continue to workout and she applauds it–although she did say that it’s very important to keep it at a level where you feel comfortable to talk (I often cannot talk). She told me it’s great to keep on running all the way to delivery as long as I feel able.

    Your post really hits me…..now I don’t think I’m going to stop working out or stop running, but I think reading your perspective makes me step back and analyze what my intentions are about my own fitness routine. I also do it to “prove it to myself I can”…. Today on my run I kept my distance short (2 miles) and let myself stop to walk when my calves were burning (instead of just torturing myself by pushing through).

    Thank you for your post. It’s great that you are realizing you need to slow down and keep that baby in for the time being. Sometimes it’s hard to be honest with ourselves, so great job for listening to what you and your baby need.

    1. I am so glad this post resonated! Most docs do encourage being active, but there’s a difference between being active and over-exercising during pregnancy and it’s a fine line and one only we can really be the judges over. I can’t believe you are still running!!!!!!! My goodness; I have to take a break at least once during each hour-long Zumba or Body Pump class for a bathroom break and running just seems like it would be SO hard this big. Good job listening to your body — it isn’t always easy to do but especially now, it’s imperative. I always have in the back of my head the warning my doc gave me last time at 36 weeks not to work out anymore (walking was ok) b/c it could set me into preterm labor and I already had a complicated pregnancy with Maya. This time, albeit no known complications, I am just making the call myself that it’s time to stop the jostling. Gotta get to the finish line: 10/3!!! Best wishes to you!! 🙂

      1. Best wishes to you too! It will only be a short break from working out and then eventually you will get back at it. It’s all worth it. Glad you are listening to your body and doing what is right for you.

        I’m trying to do the best of listening to my body too—I never expected to still be running at 37 weeks, but guess somehow I’ve been lucky. I run slow as dirt, lol, but I’m just proud that I am doing it. Who knows, I might run all the way until delivery….if my body lets me.

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