Give Yourself Some Grace

I love starting these posts with upfront confessions, because truth is, you guys keep me accountable. The act of writing and sharing is sometimes my last ditch effort to make a change and stick to it! So, thank you for being there for me : )) So here we go… Confession time.

I originally wrote this post 9 weeks ago. I know it was exactly 9 weeks because it started like this, “Yesterday, 20 weeks and 4 days pregnant, I decided… I’m going Paleo (again).” Over the past 9 weeks, my sweet Blayne has occasionally floated, “hey, so, you think you might publish that blog post?” He challenges me but never prods or makes me feel guilty or judged, which is exactly what I need in a partner, push and inspiration with some space to flake out here and there, because frankly, I judge myself harshly enough!

Over the past 9 weeks I have NOT been Paleo. I was for a solid weekend and it felt great of course, but then I fell off the wagon, and because I hadn’t published this post, I didn’t have anyone to hold me accountable but myself, and the reality of it is I did not want a Paleo pregnancy. I mean, I did want one, but my actions clearly indicated I that I didn’t want it badly enough.

So now at 29 weeks and 4 days pregnant, I am not going Paleo. I should probably apologize if I gave the impression over the past year (or however long I have been posting Paleo recipes) that I was strict Paleo, because I am certainly not. I do have a preference for Paleo recipes especially when baking and like to share them to show how simple it really can be to clean up our diets a little. But I have a few severe weaknesses that have kept me out of the Paleo club for a few years now, one of which is hummus. I know, what a lame guilty pleasure, but seriously, those little mashed legumes are irresistible to me. I have other non-paleo demons but this post is not to beat myself up about lack of discipline so let’s move on.

Dudes, this post may have you saying, “ugh, what does lack of discipline while pregnant have to do with me?” Well, this is what it has to do with you… you may be the support figure for a pregnant lady that is beating herself up for over-indulging, or you may actually relate to the struggle because changing our habits is not easy, not just for ladies growing humans, but for everyone!

Prior to becoming a pregnant lady myself, I (unknowing and full of judgment) said, “when I’m pregnant I will workout every day and eat squeaky clean!” I knew I wanted to create the best possible environment for my baby to grow and thrive. I assumed the only challenge I would have to overcome is self-control and discipline. I’m now in my third trimester and other than a few random days and that one weekend, I don’t think I’ve had a Paleo day yet and I definitely have not worked out consistently, in fact I’m pretty sure in the beginning I went a good 3 months without working out at all and even now, 2-3 times a week with a rest week in between is basically where I’m at. So once again, I unfairly judged that which I did not understand, ugh I hate it when that happens.

I thought the greatest challenge would be discipline and self-control but actually the greatest challenge has been giving myself some grace. I don’t know about anyone else but when life gets especially stressful or when my schedule is hectic, my routine workouts are the first thing that gets cut. Oh believe me I know that routine exercise actually counters stress and can help steady your schedule but its mental for me, I feel guilty like I should be working on my thesis (no longer an excuse as of last month!), or cleaning the house, or any number of things I stack on my to do list. And then on top of that I feel guilty for abandoning my fitness! So when I became pregnant and my workouts fell off I was not easy on myself.

I won’t get into the details about how the pregnancy affected my mood and appetite because its different for everyone but what I think is really relevant here and applies to everyone no matter what change they are going through is, we really need to listen to what our bodies need, not necessarily what our bodies want (potato chips and the Lazy Boy).

This distinction can be really tough to discern but for me it comes down to instant gratification vs. how am I going to feel 2 hours from now. A trick I use is when I’m hungry and reaching for the pretzel chips, I have banana or something else to quickly curb the impulse while I consider what else I can make. This trick also works for exercise, maybe my body really needs the rest or maybe I’m just shamming. Getting started with the warm-up and deciding to take it from there is usually all I need to convince my body that it wants to keep moving.

I know for a lot of ladies, myself included, continuing exercise while pregnant raises a lot of questions. There are a ton of online resources to wade through, so to make it a little easier I collated the CrossFit related advice and built out a guide by trimester. If you’re not a CrossFitter, and even if you’re not pregnant, this guide will still be useful to you, it addresses intensity, movement substitutions, and rep schemes to consider if you’re not trying to push yourself to failure.

As for me and my declarations, I’m 29 weeks pregnant, I would like to workout 3-4 times per week and continue to eat foods that make me feel good and that I know will help Baby Smith develop and grow. So be looking for my posts on the Fitsmiths Facebook Page and Instagram (@fitsmithsjb) if you’re interested in my struggle… I mean journey!


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