So, this is my final week of all out pedal to the metal exercise before I take a “recovery” week and start the process of concieving baby two with some medical help. I hope. I’m a little anxious that the doctor will want us to wait longer, though I have no reason to be. I’m just weird that way.
I’m still kinda processing in my head that in 2 weeks when I resume my usual exercise schedule the focus will be something it’s never been before. Or maybe that it won’t be what it’s always been, which is weight loss. I have far surpassed my inch loss/size goal and though I’d love a leaner body, I also know that there is time for that post babies and that a little extra softness is healthy in a woman of childbearing age. I mean, if I’m trying to get pregnant, what’s the point in working toward shredding my abs when I’m about to stretch them out?
If, for at least the next 10 months, weight loss/getting smaller is not my fitness goal, what is? It’s hard to adjust my thinking after 12 years of just wanting to be smaller. I mean, I am where I wanted to be, so baby or not it’s time for the focus to shift. However, even as I try to get pregnant and as I go through the early months of pregnancy, I can still strive to be fitter, stronger, healthier. And that’s my new focus.
Old focus: burn all the calories, create at least a 7000 calorie defecit a week!
New focus: be active, eat clean, fine tune form and performance.
It might be a subtle difference sometimes, but an important one. For instance, in cycle class, I’ve always pushed as hard as I could trying to burn as many calories as I can, where now I’m going to work toward my best performance while keeping my heart rate in a reasonable zone, even though that likely means a lower burn. Less desperation, I guess. I need to practice this, because like Scott says, I don’t really do anything without maximum effort, and I have a tendency to quit if I can’t achieve an extreme outcome. If I really want to continue to cycle throughout pregnancy, I need to teach myself to modify. My first level of modification is going to be keeping my heart rate around 160 (my 85%) instead of “below 180” which is like 95% of my max, because once I’m pregnant, I’m gonna have to ease off a bit more even at some point, and I have to teach myself to be ok with that.
On my DVD workouts, the focus will again shift from “how many calories can I burn?” to “how many solid reps can I do?” And “how can I improve my form?” A subtle change, but, I think, an important one. I’m focusing on getting stronger and improving, but not killing myself. Fitness becomes a part of life, not it’s driving force.
I plan on continuing to count calories through these months and through pregnancy because it keeps me aware and because I need to be sure I’m eating enough. However, as pregnancy progresses, I won’t be eating at a defecit anymore. My goal is a fit pregnancy where I gain the weight the baby needs me to but not a bunch of extra. I want to be able to bounce back physically, not just aesthetically but energy wise so I can be at my best for both of my children. I am also striving for an active enough pregnancy that I can wait as long as possible to go on my anxiety meds if I need to go on them at all.
The next few months will likely be quite a ride mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. I get to learn to strive to be my best fitness wise, to do what I need to in order to get pregnant, to rest in the One who ultimately has control over that, and when it happens, to enjoy every minute without letting fear steal it. That last part may be harder than the rest combined.