Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Baby Watch & The skinny (or fat) on my pregnancy weight gain

First...The update on Baby Watch is that there is no update... Nothing happening yet besides a whole lot of waiting and since the nesting/organizing is done, I've moved on to preparing for post-baby return to "work"- Today I brought my Cannondales into Nytro to be built and tuned- pretty exciting but not quite as exciting as an actual baby.

Ok, on to today's topic: the fit & fat of pregnancy  weight gain & "nutrition":

When you get pregnant and start googling everything related to pregnancy, one thing you read is that many women don't gain weight during the first trimester, or if they do, it's usually one to two pounds and many women even lose weight due to morning sickness and nausea... Then, at the other end of the spectrum there's.... well, ME! By the time I visited the lady/baby doctor, I had already gained close to 10 pounds in the first trimester.. I'm quite sure my body realized it was pregnant (well before I did) and decided it needed to hold on to every last calorie to feed the baby since my body was only used to the fuel up/ drain-to-empty cycle of 25+hrs training/week...
Of course I began to freak out, because at the rate I was gaining weight, I was on track for a 50-60lb weight gain, though I was sure I was not eating that much. I also continued to exercise (swim, bike, run, weights) about 1.5-2 hrs/day. Instead of fighting it though, I just decided to let nature run her course. I figured that "dieting" while pregnant was not a brilliant idea and I also knew that some of my nutritional changes and choices may have influenced the rapid weight gain.

While pregnant, I consciously chose to forego any of the typical athlete diets you see around- dairy free, gluten free, paleo, etc... I did a little reading, but also came to my own conclusions that (in my mind) that I wanted to feed my baby everything. If I didn't and say, went gluten free for pregnancy, would I be contributing to risks of gluten intolerance since my baby had never been exposed to it? I didn't dig too far into the research, I just trusted my gut and  decided to eat what I wanted, believing that in some way eating mindfully but what I craved would be what the baby needs. So I kept eating (normally, not excessively), kept exercising (more than the average bear), and kept gaining weight faster the speed of light for the first 24 weeks.... I think the only reason I wasn't scolded by my doctor was that I had already gained about 10lbs by the time I wandered into her office, so her definition of ground zero was a little inflated...
Where did all the weight go? Short answer? my thighs and butt and a middle section that looked fat instead of pregnant. I was wearing running shorts a size or 2 up because of my bigger legs before I ever had to consider maternity wear for the actual stomach part....I looked like I had a REALLY good offseason, but not very "pregnant" until about 23-24 weeks.

After that, things started to even out.... by 24 weeks I had gained exactly 30 lbs., clocking in at 147. (WHOA baby)... But now, here we are at my due date (tomorrow, actually) and since week 24 I've gained a whopping 2 pounds but haven't changed my diet or training... Grand total at 40 weeks pregnant: 32 pounds, smack in the middle of the recommended weight gain.

on a run this week... the final product. 

My plan is to update this chart w/ my (hopeful) return back to fighting weigh....should be another fun ride. 

My pregnancy diet has been a combination of 2 types of things:
1) Things I feed myself because they sound good and appealing
Most of which happen to be things that toddlers love. I'm convinced pregnancy "cravings" revert your tastebuds to that of a 2-year old. I would have been happy living on mac 'n cheese, toast and butter, bagels & cream cheese, fruit, spaghetti........Totally random foods that I typically rarely eat and have little nutritional value. I'd say these were about 30-40% of the things I ate, because honestly when you're pregnant- it's hard to find things that sound appealing!

2) Things I feed myself because they are nutritious for the baby and I want a healthy baby
My typical non-pregnant dinner is a MASSIVE salad with fish, chicken or steak. The darker the greens the better. The problem with (my) pregnancy is that these foods sometimes sound nasty..ok, usually sound nasty. Kale & spinach can be tolerated in small amounts, fish sounds gross as does meat in general... Things like beets?!?! how did I ever love beets?!?. Seriously, I feel like a toddler alien has taken over my stomach. So, instead of force-feeding myself a massive fish salad, I'll have a small piece of chicken and a small salad (often with iceberg...GASP! or romaine lettuce) but that's usually enough after a day of bagels & smoothies. Luckily, I compensate and get a lot of vitamins and fiber from fruit (berries, oranges, melons, etc are all still delicious)... But the most helpful thing has been SMOOTHIES... Nearly every day I make myself a green-based smoothie or buy one over at Nekter, a juice bar by me (try the Tropical Cooler + Hemp protein) ....
When I make my smoothies at home, I go with  a combo of almond milk, kale, spinach, berries, mango & MRM Veggie Elite Performance Protein. This way, I can ensure I'm supplementing my toddler diet with plenty of good stuff every day. (I also take a pre-natal multi-Vitamin and MRM Vitamin D3 to help promote my baby's skeletal growth.)

I'm really hoping my taste buds return to normal after this baby pops out... Oddly enough, my two biggest food addictions- coffee & dark chocolate have been near total aversions this whole pregnancy. I know it's wrong, but I'm secretly hoping the coffee cravings come back..

That's all I got for now...Will keep you posted on baby watch and hopefully soon the post-partum aftermath and I'm excited to track my (hopeful) return to training and racing!