I found out I was ‘with child’ 2-3 weeks into my pregnancy. It was both exciting and scary, suddenly realising I had this little life growing inside me.
I did my research among friends to find the best Gynae/OBGYN. But before I even did that, I messaged my good friend Sam, who is also a seasoned personal trainer and mom. The next day I saw her and told her the good news. I was so glad to hear from her that nothing need change right now in terms of my training, however as time moved on I would have to slow down and monitor my heart rate and make sure it doesn’t spike over 160 for too long.
Sounded easy enough, however when it did start becoming a problem, it was the hardest thing to maintain, suddenly, my heart rate would reach 160 and higher, quicker than I expected, even though I was not physically fatigued, my heart rate monitor was telling me a different story. Suddenly I was forced to slow down, way down on the treadmill, lift lighter weights, not push those weights over my head too much as this also contributes to elevating your heart rate.
This was a tough adjustment – being in the habit of pushing my body to its limits and really challenging myself in all my workouts, to actually now consciously holding back, running slower, lifting lighter and modifying some exercises. Then, there was also giving up most of my supplements – my glutamine, which helps alleviate muscle stiffness and pain and then my Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAS) – which would normally help with energy during workouts. I was down to just plain old water. It;s still fine for me to use my Whey protein powder, as now consuming good amounts of protein is the only safe way for me to help my muscles recover after a workout.
Let’s not even talk about how exhausted I was in my first trimester – like, ALL.THE.TIME! I planned my life around when I could catch my next nap. It was difficult to function like that.
It may seem like I am complaining, and maybe initially it was – but it was a big adjustment to my life, and I was and am super excited about this new chapter in my life. I have already learnt to adjust, I am happy to say there are still a lot that I am still able to do – in fact – in November, if my doctor continues to give me the green light by then, I will do the 10km Soweto Run, yes, I would normally have done the half marathon – but doing the 10km will be as much fun and a challenge being pregnant.
As a fit girl, who loves her exercise and any physical challenge – it was a major adjustment and continues to be – but my doctor has encouraged me saying I should continue with my exercise within the stipulated guidelines above and then there is no reason I cannot maintain my ‘fit girl’ habits. I realise now, my main priority is my baby and it’s health and it’s weird, but I already feel very protective of this little miracle growing inside me.
Happy Healthy Fabulous
Photography: Hemisha Bhana