You might be looking at my huge baby bump and thinking “Lean?!”. Well, L.E.A.N in this post stands for Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition (according to Dr Sears Wellness Institute). As I write this post, I am just a few days away from my due date (March 15), and I can say that I truly LOVED being pregnant and all the stages and changes that came along with it, even the extra 30 pounds.
I know now more than ever, that each woman and baby are very unique and there are so many nuances that happen during the pregnancy journey that are out of our control, and that can be scary at times. However, the choices we make and the things we can control regarding our lifestyle, exercise, attitude and nutrition can help moms-to-be and baby to grow stronger everyday.
When we started to talk about having a baby, Tim and I met a couple in their mid forties that just had a new-born baby. They told us that a few months before they started to get pregnant they improved their diet and reduced the amount of alcohol they were drinking to prepare their bodies to conceive a healthy baby. We thought this was a really interesting concept. So that’s what we did…
BEFORE WE GOT PREGNANT
enjoyed the moments between us.
Tim and I intensified our quality time together even more than it is on a regular day-to-day basis…traveling, hanging out at coffee shops and just chatting for hours about everything and about nothing too.
reduced training load.
We both have been training a lot these past years for ironman and marathon, so we decided to reduce the hours in the sun, pushing our hearts and bodies to the limit. It felt good to slow down.
shared our thoughts and feelings about having a baby.
One day I asked Tim: “Why do you want to have a baby?” his answer was “Honestly, I feel that my whole life was always about me. I lived a great self-fish life. Now I want life to be about somebody else!”
took prenatal multivitamin, and beers just on weekends.
Of course Mariane started to take the prenatal vitamins and Tim slowed down with his “delicious cold IPA beers” for the sake of healthy sperm.
focused on my work & how to balance what I want.
Finding out that I was pregnant gave me the urge to really clarify what I want to do for work and how I want to balance my passions. I love the creativity and flexibility of being a graphic designer, but my true passion is health and wellness. So I dedicated a great amount of hours studying to become a Certified Masters Health Coach.
ran easy, turbo trainer at home, & swam.
It was refreshing to exercise just for the sake of feeling good and not having any race goal to reach. I ran easy 3 to 4 miles 2x per week, turbo trainer at home for 40 min 2x per week, and swam 1 to 2k at least 2x per week.
kept my pregnancy news to close family and friends.
When I found out that I was pregnant I wanted to tell the whole word that a little new human was growing inside of me. But I am glad I didn’t because these first months can be fragile and sensitive, so keeping the news to my close family and friends took the unnecessary pressure and expectations away.
wrote a food journal.
To make sure I was eating the right foods in the appropriate quantities for a pregnant woman, I wrote down all my meals for the first three months almost everyday. It made me extra conscious about my nutrition, and helped to realized what was missing in my diet: iron, protein and calcium.
I am an early bird. I love to be the first one awake, and go for a run during sunrise. But by the second trimester I needed the sleep more than anything, so I enjoyed the lazy mornings with Tim.
aqua fitness class.
By 4 months the bouncing of running didn’t fell good at all so I had to stop running and even jogging. A friend told me to try an aqua fitness class, I am glad she did because it was the perfect fit for me and baby. I did the class at least 2x per week. I also kept turbo training at home for 40 min 2x per week, swam 1 to 2k at least 2 times per week.
surrounded myself with positive people & information.
Once you share with the world your news, everyone has a piece of advice to share with you. Most of the time it is presented in a caring way from a place of good thoughts, however not all the information shared is always positive. So I made sure to avoid the scary and fearful comments. And I surrounded myself with people and books (The Healthy Pregnancy and The Baby Book) that made me stronger and confident about being pregnant.
went grocery shopping.
I was always hungry during this second trimester, so I went grocery shopping and to the farmers market almost every week to guarantee that my refrigerator and pantry had the right food for me and baby.
“dolce far niente”
Tim often tells me that I am always “on a mission”, I have to agree with him, since my mind is always a hundred miles per hour, but especially these past days. So now I am consciously practicing “dolce far niente”, the sweetness of doing nothing…
pregnancy exercises routine.
I tried to do those pregnancy exercises in the first trimester, but honestly they were a little too easy and boring for me at that time. So I didn’t do them until this last semester. Now I love it, and I try do the routine every night while watching TV with Tim. It really relieves the pressure of baby on my belly. Also I keep doing the aqua fitness class and swimming at least 2x per week.
hired a doula
This trimester has been the most intense emotionally and physically, since now more than ever things are getting really real! During my first two trimesters I chose to focus on growing a healthy baby and not worrying too much about the delivery process. But labor process is a big deal, full of details, options and decisions we have to make it. So I am glad we hired a wonderful doula to educate and walk us through the whole complex and wonderful process of delivering a baby.
ate more greens & lean protein
My appetite reduced a lot these final months, I think because baby and I are running out of space. So for most of my meals, I am choosing the greens (salads and green juices) and the lean proteins (salmon, tofu, eggs, grilled chicken) before I eat the carbs, pasta, rice, and ice-cream.
I am grateful for the divine opportunity of sharing my body with my baby, and now we are looking forward to showing & sharing the world with him or her.
some dreams are worth sharing….