Listening to Your Body.. Not the Critics

As I journey through this pregnancy, and have fully immersed myself into my second trimester– I’ve been feeling fantastic!

My energy levels have returned, and other than the little belly and added weight at the front of my abdomen, I have pretty much returned to my regular fitness routines. Of course, there are always modifications now, and the intensity is much different than I would normally bring to the table, but regardless I’m up to about 3-4 times a week for some sort of physical activity! 

Last Sunday I had a pretty exciting accomplishment. I ran in the Sportinglife 10K in downtown Toronto. I had mixed opinions from others about me participating in the run, but ultimately

it was up to me to listen to my body and make the decision about whether this was the best decision for me to do!

 

It was absolutely the most rewarding decision to run in this race. I was running with a friend of mine and naturally our paces were not well matched. Within the first 2K I could already tell that I needed to slow my pace down to maintain a safe heart rate, and could feel her pace getting ready to build with the adrenaline of other racers that surrounded us. I told her to continue without me, which she reluctantly agreed to, and with that– it was just me and my baby lime (who has graduated to a small cantaloupe) running together!

At the 5K mark I checked my time. Now, I’ve had to adjust to the fact that my time is much slower than usual, but I was very happy to see that I was at 35 minutes. With most physical activity, I find that it’s more of a mental game than physical. So

I told myself that I was doing amazing, gave little lime a loving rub and got ready to count down the last 5K.

At around 7K, I could feel myself starting to fatigue. There was a water station up ahead and I told myself that really– I had nothing to prove so it would be in my best interest to take a quick walk and enjoy the water break before continuing on. I’m an all-in kind of girl, so slowing down my pace and even walking for part of the run is a hard pill to swallow. But– let me tell you– it takes a stronger person to know when to listen to your body, rather than pushing through and ignoring possible problems. I sent my hubby a quick text and let him know that I was coming into my last couple kilometers. He sent me the motivation text that I needed, which helped me push through for the final stretch.

When I hit the 9K mark, I could feel myself finish that last kilometer with a huge grin on my face.

I had done it. I had listened to my body and successfully ran a 10K race with a tiny baby growing in my belly.

Crossing that finish line felt fabulous. Any negative comments I had been told, or recommendations to “just quit” if it was too hard were so far removed from me at that moment. I had started instilling healthy values that I feel will continue into the parenting of this young child, and hope will carry through into their own healthy choices for an active lifestyle further in the future.

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With any decision in life there are always those that will support you through lifes choices, and those that will try and deter you from what you want. I’m slowly discovering that as a mother-to-be there are many supporters of my choices to be physically active during pregnancy, and many that are unsure of my choices and seem to take my choices personally– as if it reflects poorly on their own pregnancies. 

I want to be clear. I don’t make these choices, write about my accomplishments and lack of “excuses” to continue this lifestyle for any other reason than to be proud of me. I don’t judge those who choose not to participate in these activities while pregnant. I can’t possibly judge a woman or pregnancy I know nothing about. I only know me. I only know what I am capable of doing, and what I know my body will let me achieve. If along the way it inspires someone who was unsure whether to take that route on her own pregnancy journey, then as a fitness professional I have done my job. 

Be safe, listen to your body above all the opinions of others. You will know what is right for you and your growing baby, but please remember– don’t be afraid to try!