April 4, 2013

balanced beginnings: body with baby

there's a young woman i work with every few weeks that without fail cheerfully greets me with, "you're getting bigger and bigger!" or maybe she'll change it up with, "you're so big!" whenever she says it, in my head i translate 'big' into 'gloriously radiant' or 'impossibly beautiful' and acknowledge the compliment.

sometimes i let it bother me (especially if i've accidentally caught a picture of kate middleton whose due date is just a few weeks after mine but whose bum belly is um... smaller). when you're pregnant (in my experience), people seem to express their excitement for you by touching your belly and making comments about your body size that would never, ever happen to a non-pregnant person. like, ever. most of it comes from a place of caring, so i shrug it off. but there are days when i'm lying on the couch like a beached whale and my maternity clothes are feeling a bit snug and i complain to tovi, "i just feel like a beached whale!" and those are the days when the body comments dig into my soul just a little bit more.

pregnancy is this amazing, crazy transition from being (mostly) in control of your life and your body to having oh so much less. nine months of carrying a child in your belly, nursing, and then hauling a large toddler around the neighborhood in your arms begin to take a toll on the body. my body doesn't belong to me. my aches and pains are evidence of a life lived for others.

but it's hard. i'm not slim anymore. i don't feel strong and fit the way i used to. i swear, every single one of my friends is a skinny mini. i'm tired at the end of the day. i haven't run along the beach in years. my back hurts.

and in the midst of my beached-whale-state, my friend robin came along and created a beautiful prenatal pilates program, and i am telling you, it meets me where i am at. robin is a fellow alum from westmont, and while we didn't know each other at school, i sure wish we had (once, years ago, we sat next to each other at a wedding reception, and i thought she was just darling, which she is). in the last two years we've connected through blogging and her online pilates programs, and i was so excited to find out that we are having babies within a few weeks of each other! robin has taken her balanced, holistic, and realistic perspective on fitness and applied it to pregnancy. cue the angels singing. not only are robin's pilates workouts effective and strengthening, i so appreciate her perspective that pregnancy is a time to embrace health and wellbeing, not a time to worry about the number on a scale or your size post-baby. it perfectly mirrors our family's fitness philosophy. in fact, in the program introduction she writes:

Pregnancy can be a wonderful, yet overwhelming experience. When I started researching prenatal fitness programs I found that the general message was 'keep your body in shape so that you can be a slim, skinny pregnant lady.' Which you all know, is not my style. I didn't want to spend my 9 months desperately clinging to my pre-pregnancy body and cringing over every new curve, lump & bump. Because I know myself and I know that's what I'd be tempted to do if I didn't intentionally pursue another route. That's not the woman I want to be and that's not the kind of mom I want to be. So I set out to create a program that would help myself and others embrace this season through maintaining their strength, well-being, and most importantly, confidence.

she helps me to reconnect with my own body and to thank God for the miracle of growing this little one in my belly.

+ + +

if you're interested in finding out more about robin and the balanced beginnings program, click here. there's a lot included in the program, and as someone going through pregnancy for the second time, i can tell you that all these resources are valuable! (she had me at "those struggling with sciatic nerve pain")

Balanced Beginnings: embracing pregnancy through prenatal Pilates

The program includes:

  • 5 Pilates workouts safe for all 3 trimesters, directed at common pregnancy needs (Core & Back Care, Upper Body Upkeep, Lower Body Lift, Strengthen & Tone, and Stretching & Relaxation)
  • a 10 minute guided meditation to help you manage and eliminate stress & anxiety that often comes along with pregnancy and life transitions.
  • Positive Pregnancy Affirmations: to encourage confidence, healthy thoughts and a positive body image as your body changes and grows.
  • Prenatal Exercise Safety 101 printout to help you feel empowered and informed as you take care of your pregnant body.
  • BONUS #1: 2 short (can be done during naps) Pilates routines for new moms designed to help you ease back into our workouts.
  • BONUS #2: Nutrition recommendations from a certified nutritionist
  • BONUS #3: Guided stretching video for those struggling with sciatic nerve pain

1 comment:

  1. Becca, I saw her program on twitter-- looks like a great, healthy approach to life and pregnancy. In spanish I have become accustomed to hearing "que gordita" EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I have also have to avoid the translation"oh, how fat you're getting" and instead whisper something inside like "oh, your baby belly is beautiful." all a matter of perspective, right?


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