Embracing Body Changes

Embracing Body Changes

Another week of modified workouts and prenatal running is in the books. It feels like my body is changing really fast at this point, even if it doesn’t always look like it. I’m feeling a lot more pregnant this month than I was just a few weeks ago, and embracing body changes has been an interesting process so far. I’m gaining some weight, the bump is making itself more visible, and I’m having to adjust my training a lot more.

It can be a little mentally exhausting to constantly figure out what my body needs, and how to balance being a pregnant person with just being me. My sleep hasn’t been great, which has slowed me down, and I really wonder sometimes how I’ll survive the next 21 weeks. But I’ve started to feel kicks here and there, and that’s always a nice reminder that the discomfort is serving a purpose.

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For the most part, this week was pretty relaxed.  We had a lot of rain during the last half of it, which has a way of slowing things down.  Cancelled baseball practices and games, Shipt shopping to avoid the weather, and a little more couch time than usual.  After a few busy weekends, I didn’t mind spending most of this weekend at home.  On Saturday, I slept in a little later, waiting for a thunderstorm to pass.  Once it did, I hit the greenway for some sloshy miles.  Most of the greenway follows dry creek beds that fill up during heavy storms.

I had to reroute a few times to avoid flooded water crossings, but was really loving the little dip in temperatures that we got. My husband and I spent a lot of the day cleaning our house, which always seems to get messier faster during storm season. On Sunday, we went back to the greenway as a family so that he could run a few miles. I walked with our 7 year old (who rode his bike), and we checked out all the streams that will dry up again over the next few days. It’s the time of year where our cactus flowers bloom, and they were definitely showing off for us after all the rain.

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I also finally did some maternity shopping since my clothing options seem to shrink by the day.  It honestly feels weird to see how quickly my workouts and wardrobe are changing from day to day.  It’s a reminder for me that a lot of women struggle with how our bodies change over the years.  We have a lot of pressure to try to find ways to stay looking young, and it’s almost always a losing battle.  Bodies are meant to change over time, so I’m sharing a few things that I’ve found helpful in embracing body changes.

Related Post: How Stress Affects Training

Embracing Body Changes

I remember how quickly my body put on muscle when I first started CrossFitting, and while I was really proud of my hard work, I also felt really uncomfortable when friends or family would make comments about how my body was changing.  Even when they meant to be complimentary.  The same thing happens for me during pregnancy.  It’s like I spend a lot of my life not really thinking too much about how my body looks, because I spend so much time thinking about how it performs.  But then suddenly, it starts changing in a very visible way, and my attention is brought to it when I realize jeans won’t button or my belly gets in the way of putting on running shoes.

And I know I’m not alone in having some sort of reaction to my body changing.  I know so many women who were hesitant to try strength training because they didn’t want to “bulk up.”  I also know lots of women who used to spend every weekend at the beach avoiding swimsuits at all costs, because now they have wrinkles and stretch marks.  All of our bodies will change over the course of our lives; they’re meant to.  In response to lifestyle changes, pregnancy, and just aging.  There are a few things that have helped me to feel more comfortable in the ever-changing skin I’m in.

  • Buy Comfortable Clothes – For me, right now, that means a mix of maternity clothes and sizing up.  I feel like I’m too big for most of my regular clothes, but a lot of maternity clothes honestly look oversized or unflattering.   And as much as I hate shopping, I also know that if I’m stuck in clothes that just don’t fit, I’m going to be uncomfortable.  And the same is true if your body is changing for other reasons.  Don’t put off buying nice jeans because your weight has changed during quarantine.  Embrace your body where it’s at, and find clothes that help you feel as comfortable and confident as possible.
  • Appreciate Movement – Working out should be an enjoyable experience, and sometimes that might mean finding different ways to move than what you’re used to doing.  If you’re struggling with a new autoimmune diagnosis that prevents you from high intensity training, don’t try to force your body to cooperate.  Instead, find something that feels good and is enjoyable.  If lifting weights isn’t fun, try a spin class.  Spending time forcing your body to do something that doesn’t feel good doesn’t allow you to embrace and enjoy what your body is actually capable of.
  • Follow/Unfollow Wisely – Social media is literally everywhere; don’t underestimate how much what you see influences what you think.  If you find yourself comparing yourself to other runners while you’re recovering from an injury, don’t be afraid to snooze a few accounts.  If you recently fell in love with power lifting, don’t let your entire instagram feed be 20 year old bikini competitors.  If you’re on a journey to body acceptance, make sure to follow some accounts that help remind you of why it’s important.
  • Know Your Triggers – If embracing body changes is difficult, recognize the things that make it more difficult.  That doesn’t mean avoiding the pool just because you don’t love how you look in a swimsuit, but it might mean not staring at yourself in the mirror right before you head out.  A few years ago, I left a CrossFit gym because I felt like it was overly competitive, and the environment just wasn’t healthy for me.  Don’t be afraid to make some changes to your lifestyle that are more supportive of your changing body
  • Talk – Everyone needs a good therapist.  We all have struggles and challenges, and having a non-judgmental person to listen can really shift your perspective.  If you’re struggling with body image or the fact that your body is changing, sharing your thoughts and feelings can help you work them out.

This Weeks Workouts

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Total Miles: 24. Miles
Total Workouts: 5
How the Run Felt
Feeling like I need to pee has become a pretty consistent feeling during most of my runs.  I remember experiencing this with Enrique’s pregnancy, but it seemed like it went away after a few weeks until the very end.  My overall mileage hasn’t changed too drastically, but I’ve been able to run longer without walking breaks, which is awesome.  My center of gravity has started shifting, and I have to be really aware of my form.

Related Post: Transitioning to Trail Running

I was finally able to run further than a 10k this weekend. I was hoping to get out on the trails for my long run, but the weather thwarted my plans again this weekend. We definitely need the rain, but I will be very grateful when my trails go back to dirt and rocks. Especially because slipping and falling is not a mild inconvenience when you’re pregnant. The rain did bring a little drop in temperature, which was very welcomed. I know this summer is going to be brutal, so I really appreciate the later start.

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How the WODs Felt
The weights are getting lighter and lighter, which is just fine.  I’m honestly wondering how many more weeks I’ll be moving a barbell, rather than dumbbells.  My stomach has really started popping these last couple of weeks, and I don’t know how much longer it won’t get in the bar path.  Once it does, I’ll be on the dumbbell-only train, but I’m taking it day by day.  I have had to start modifying burpees to make sure I don’t slam my stomach into the ground.  I do feel like I’m having an easier time with my heart rate and intensity, and the workouts are still fun.

What I’ve Been Listening To
This was a really good week for podcasts.  Counter Clock released their entire third season, so I’ve been binging that one recently.  This season, the reporter is covering a four person murder that was widely believed to be committed by the deceased parents son.  It seems like there were a lot of assumptions made in the process, and it’s definitely not a clear cut case.  It’s been really crazy to listen to.  I also started another investigative journalism podcase called Camp Hell.  It’s about a treatment center that abused the kids that were sent there.  I’ve only listened to the first episode, but it sounds like a story that definitely needs to be told.

What Went Well
Having a long run over the weekend that actually felt somewhat long.

What Went Shitty
I’m really missing the trails lately.

Plans to Improve Next Week
Try to get out on the trails next weekend.

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