Since I found out I was pregnant, my life hasn’t changed that much, but I had to make peace with some things. The pregnancy was planned, but if I’m honest I wasn’t expecting to get pregnant so quickly, that is 3 months after we started trying 🙂
First thing that made me suspect that I was pregnant was the fact that my running has changed suddenly and significantly. All of a sudden I wasn’t able to run as fast as before, and I would get tired and sweaty a lot quicker. A pregnancy test confirmed my suspicion, and from then on I had to make some adjustments.
One of the things you will notice too if you’re a runner, is that you will slow down, a lot. And that’s a given. I had to accept the fact that my pace was not the same and I had to slow down significantly. Even though it’s only beginnings and regardless of the fact that there’s not even “a bump” yet, everything in that sense has already changed.
I have read books on running and exercising while pregnant beforehand, and I knew that I can continue running as long as I don’t allow myself to reach the point of exhaustion. The baby and its safety has to come first now, so even though running is super important to me and is a vital part of my lifestyle as a whole, I had to make sure that I won’t be hurting the baby by continuing.
Even though my pace changed, I was able to maintain a daily distance of 5k, 5 days per week. But my long 10k run, that I used to do every Saturday, had to be forgotten after the first month. I tried to do 7k for a couple more weeks, but now being almost at the end of the second month, I had to change my priorities and be smart about it. So now I just stick to 5k 6 days per week instead. I’m hoping that I will be able to maintain it for a few more months, but if I’m not, I will have to learn to live with it, and possibly replace some of my runs with cross-training.
Things that are still hard to get used to are my weight fluctuations. I haven’t really gained that much, as I change constantly between +0.5kg to -0.5kg, so sometimes I will be at my pre-pregnancy weight, but most of the time I will be about 0.3-0.4kg more, which isn’t too bad. But for someone with a history of an eating disorder every change is a big drama.
I know that I will gain a lot (a lot!) more by the end, but that’s the hardest thing to accept at the moment. All I’m trying to do is to continue to eat healthy as I did so far, but as my food aversions make me gag at the sign of a cooked vegetable, some things had to change here also. Before vegetable tagines, salads and so on were the biggest part of my diet. Now I can eat raw vegetables like tomatoes and cucumber, but if I even think about a cooked broccoli I feel sick immediately. I guess I’m lucky in one sense, because I only suffer with nausea in the evenings, and throughout the day I’m fine. But still not to be able to eat vegetables in quantities I used to, has been a bit hard. Especially that being a pescatarian, my diet so far was 85% vegetarian with an occasional fish once or twice per week. I can still eat fruits, but vegetables for dinner are a big no-no, otherwise my nausea gets 10 times worse. I’m craving junk food sometimes, which is not a normal thing for me, I am a healthy diet addict and junk food was never really my thing. But cravings are not what I expected them to be, meaning they aren’t as strong as I was made to believe, and I don’t feel like I have to give into them or the world will end 🙂
The bottom line is that many things had to be adjusted, but I also know that I don’t have to turn my life upside down, as some people seem to think. Yes, my life is busy and stressful. Yes, I work full time, study in my free time and get up early in the morning to run my 5k. But those are things that are unlikely to change, because I am either too committed to give up on them, or I have no choice but accept them the way they are. Like my job – it was, is and will always be stressful, and it won’t change. It’s the way I deal with the stress that matters. My studies take a lot of my free time and cause more stress when I’m preparing and taking an exam, but I care too much about this to give up. And getting up early is very difficult now sometimes, and sometimes (most days now!) running feels like a chore, not something that I love doing, but I know that if I do drag myself out of bed and run, I will feel 100 times better after, than if I didn’t.
It’s hard to lose control over your body and understanding that a lot of your priorities now will have to be adjusted, but the truth is that you have to listen to your body. If you’re too tired, get rest. If you’re feeling up for it go and have a run, or work out a bit. Don’t believe in everything that other people tell you. Many people still think that pregnancy is that time in your life, when all you should be doing is lying on a couch and getting fat, but that’s neither good for you nor your baby.
I also know now that I was being too hard on myself to start with, but now I understand that maybe I’m not as fast as I used to be, and maybe I don’t get in as much mileage per week as I used to, but I am still running 6 days per week, and that’s what counts. I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to be myself, trust my instincts and listen to my body, and everything will work out in the end 🙂