What’s Helping Me Stay Active Through Pregnancy

November 15, 2013

There is one part of pregnancy I’ve known since before I was pregnant that was very important to me: Keeping up with exercise.

There is also one part of pregnancy that has been a complete eye-opener as well: Keeping up with exercise.

I think we all have an idea of what pregnancy will be like in our head, whether it is how we are going to look, feel, crave etc. The crazy part is no one knows what is going to happen until you actually experience it yourself. Better yet, everyone is so different, on so many levels while pregnant. I want to share a few ways which have helped me stay active throughout this first pregnancy.

***Please note: I have given the complete go ahead by my doctor to exercise during pregnancy. These are ways that work for me.***

Listening To My Body

About a month before getting pregnant, I ran a 3:35 marathon. I was in really great shape and felt amazing. Fast forward to now, and I haven’t run more than 3-5 miles at a time since then. I would love to say I am one of the pregnant women who can run mile after mile, and feel great doing so, but I’m not. Thirty minutes is really all I have in me to exercise these days. After that, my back starts to bug me and I really feel like I pushed myself a little too far for the rest of the day. Being very conscious of this and listening to my body has been key. There are mornings I set out for a 3-4 mile run, and come back home after covering only 2.5 miles. I am perfectly ok with that. If it’s too tough to finish a workout session, then I don’t. No medals are being won here.

Buying Clothes That Fit

This seems pretty silly at first glance, but it actually took me a while to figure this out. I was trying for a while to just wear the clothes I had before, and be ok with them being “a little tight”. Needless to say, I think my version of tight and other’s version of tight are two different things. As soon as I bought exercise clothes a size up from what I normally wear, a few things happened:

  • No more wedgies
  • I could breath again (hello boobs!)
  • My waist band wasn’t leaving big red marks
  • No more arm pit flab (I know you know what I’m talking about!)
  • I felt all around more comfortable in my skin

Counting Small Victories

Before I was pregnant, I didn’t count walking as exercise. Really, I didn’t. I walk Winnie every morning and night, totaling around 60 minutes, and this was part of my daily routine. Now, you can bet I count that time as exercise. I am on my feet, my body is moving, and yes – it’s exercise.


Reevaluating Goals

Last fall, my biggest goal was crossing the finish line of the Chicago Marathon, and then ramping up again for a spring marathon. Now, I am training for a whole other marathon happening late February (or early March) – childbirth! The exercise I do at the gym are focused much more on the muscles I have read aid in childbirth. I no longer worry about keeping my stomach flat (no kidding) or having those vanity muscles. It’s all about the end goal of having a healthy baby.

Focusing on Nutrition

A common misconception I hear plenty of people saying is I am eating for two. However, this is more like 1.2. I don’t need many more calories a day than a banana with peanut butter. Instead of indulging on fried foods and sweets like too many people do during pregnancy, I am really focusing on my veggie intake and eating whole foods. This was pretty tough in the beginning, when I couldn’t even look at a vegetable. Luckily, I am good to go now. Salads are delicious and I am really not craving so many brown and white foods like I do a few months ago. Don’t worry – dessert is still being had, without a doubt – I am just saving it for special occasions instead of making it an everyday sort of thing.

Focusing on Sleep

Without adequate sleep, I am toast. My body feels tired, my mind doesn’t work correctly, and in turn, I have no energy. I make sure to get to bed at a decent hour each night and get a minimum of eight hours of sleep. I have been lucky and haven’t had many sleep issues, so this hasn’t been too tough. I also embrace naps and take one if I need it. There is nothing wrong with taking 60 minutes on a Saturday to lie down, to keep yourself full of energy for later on.

What helps you stay active during pregnancy?


Baby Baum: Weeks 24 & 25

November 13, 2013

The 6 month mark is here!

Baby Baum Week 24

I have to confess, I completely forgot to take a picture for week 24, so I am just going with the one from Halloween that is pretty darn close to the 24 week mark. Plus, my super talented husband free-handed the shirt I’m wearing, so I figured I should go ahead and show it off. Etsy has nothing on him! šŸ˜‰

As for week 25, I did a bit better. Now you can actually see that belly a poppin’!

Baby Baum Week 25

First off, here is what is going on with Baby Baum:

  • He or she is now the size of a cauliflower, measuringĀ 13.6 inches to 14.8 inches and weighs about 1.5 to 2.5 pounds. Per our last doctor’s appointment, Baby Baum is 1 lb, 11oz. That was as of last Wednesday, so I am sure there is even more weight gained as of today
  • He or she enjoying their new sense of equilibrium — he or she now knows which way is up and which is down
  • The baby is growing more fat and more hair too!

And of course, here are my bi-weekly details:

Weight Gained: As of last week, I was up to a total of 14 lbs, which means I gained 5 lbs from months 5-6. I am not surprised at all – have you seen that belly!?

Workouts: I didn’t get in nearly as much cross-training the past couple of weeks. I still was able to get in runs and strength workouts, but anything else fell to the wayside.

Labor Signs: In the past 1-2 weeks, I’ve started to experience Braxton Hicks contractions. Let me tell you, it is a very strange feeling for sure! From everything I’ve read, these are super normal starting now.

Symptoms: My low back has been definitely starting to feel my belly pulling on it. We went to 2 weddings and a football game last weekend, so I would imagine that probably didn’t help matters much. It was really bugging me Monday, but was much better yesterday. I think I may have just needed a little rest.

UCF football game 25 weeks pregnant

Movement:Ā The baby has been moving like crazy, except for when I want someone to be able to feel it. My sister was here over the weekend, and I kept hoping she would be able to feel a few kicks – nada. Of course, about 10 minutes after I dropped her at the airport, someone decided to do somersaults inside!

Food Aversions/Cravings: I’ve been eating a bit more sweets lately, which I have backed off of in the past couple of days. I can only imagine that had something to do with the 5lb weight gain last month. I don’t care about the weight, but I do care about the nutrients being put in my body. I want to make sure the baby is getting (mostly) good things to help him or her grow.

Sleep: I have been good to go in this department. I have been falling asleep really hard at night, and sleeping all the way through. I am hoping this trend continues, at least for a little bit longer.

Stretch Marks: Nope!

Miss Anything?: Sleeping on my stomach. What I wouldn’t give for a little tummy time!

Fun things from the week: Marcus and I decided on names! We have both a girl and a boy name picked out that we love, so I am thrilled for that! Oh, you guessed it – we aren’t sharing them until he or she is born. We also were able to get another picture of him or her. Seeing that wiggly baby never gets old! I am required to get monthly ultrasounds as a precaution to chart the growth. Good news – he or she is measuring a week ahead, so I’d say the growth is just fine :)

Belly button in or out? It is officially poking through! I wasn’t expecting that to happen for a bit, but whoa it happened early!

Baby Baum Week 25

Wedding rings on or off? On – I am really hoping they stay that way the whole time. I really don’t want to take them off!

Happy or Moody? I am all around very happy. I can’t say I get very moody in general, and this pregnancy has been no different. I get a little bit irritable when I’m tired at night, but I think that just has to do with being worn out. As for being snappy or mean – none of that :)

Looking forward to:Ā Maternity photos! I was torn over whether or not I wanted to get them, but I decided to go for it. A childhood friend of mine is an amazing photographer and is going to be in town over Thanksgiving. I am having her take some photos. She has an amazing artistic style, and I am thrilled to see how they turn out!

When did Braxton Hicks start for any other momma’s out there?


Friday Five Body Weight Workout

November 8, 2013

Happy happy Friday! Woo hoo! I hope everyone has something fun (or super relaxing) planned. We are completely booked up – 2 weddings and a quick Orlando trip for the UCF homecoming game.

Here is a quick workout to get in sometime this weekend. It doesn’t require any equipment, so take a few minutes wherever you are to get in a sweat!

Friday Five Workout


Good luck to everyone racing this weekend, especially Meghan, Steph, and Jess, going after their first half ironmans! Anyone have any fun plans this weekend?

Spectating IRONMAN Florida

November 4, 2013

I had the privilege this past weekend to attend an amazing event – IRONMAN Florida! Not only was it an amazing experience to see so many amazing athletes complete a distance many think to be impossible, but I was able to see 3 friends check a huge item off their goal list all in the same day. Meghann and two of her siblings, Ben and Kelly, volunteered and signed up for the IRONMAN last year, and all ran across the finish line Saturday night to complete their year long journey of training and dedication.

Anderson Siblings


Marcus and I arrived in Panama City around 9:30 am the morning of the race, so we didn’t catch the swim or transition to the bike. We did catch everyone going from the bike to the run though, and it was quite the sight to see! The professional triathletes are unreal to see in action – everything is so precise and calculated.


Marcus and I hung with Meghann’s family for the day on the run course, which was right in the first and 13th mile of the run course. It was an out and back course of two loops, so each athlete passed our spot 4 times. We had an awesome setup with tons of supporters for #IronSiblings.



All three siblings had great swim and bike times, and before we knew it, they were out for the run! Ben came up first, followed by Meghann and then Kelly.



Without going on and on about too much of the cheering and spectating, I figured it would be more fun to leave you with some photos from the day. All I can say about the #IRONSIBLINGS completing the race is INSPIRATIONAL! It was so so so much fun to see a best friend complete a monumental goal – one she has been working on for so much longer than just the 24 weeks her training program alloted. Meghann cross the finish line in 13:05, which is unbelievable! She kicked major ass, which is perfectly summed up with this spectator’s sign:


So without further adieu, here is our day at IRONMAN Florida watching the #IRONSIBLINGS. Thanks for Steph for the use of a few of her photos!








Ironman FL

Ironman FL

Ironman FL

And last but not least, Meghann’s (very shaky, but hey, I got it) finishing video

Congrats #IRONSIBLINGS!!! Ya’ll are all so amazing!

Would You Rather – Running Style!

November 1, 2013

Today’s post is a fun and light hearted one as I get ready to head to Panama City to watch Meghann, Kelly, and Ben complete their very first Ironman! I can not wait to be inspired by these athletes and see one of my best friends complete a goal she has been working towards for so long.Ā Let’s play a little game – Would You Rather – Running Style!


Would you rather…

Run without a sports bra


Run without socks

Would you rather…

Run a marathon without a Garmin


Run a marathon without your headphones

Garmin 11 mile run

Would you rather…

Run a flat race in the heat


Run a hilly race in the cold

Would you rather…

Chafe between your legs


Chafe under your armpit

Would you rather…

Have to take a potty break in the middle of a PR race


Just let it flow on course

RNR 3 port o potty

Would you rather…

Show up to a race two hours early and freeze in the cold


Show up to a race a few minutes late and miss the starting gunĀ 

Would you rather…

Run in a pair of shoes completely wrong for your foot, but that are cute


Run in a pair of shoes perfect for your foot but are utterly hideous

Would you rather…

Enter a race with the cutest race tshirt


Enter a race with a badass medal

Gasparilla 2013

Would you rather…

Trip and fall in a race


Cramp up and have to run through it

Would you rather…

Have sweat constantly get in your eyes


Have sunscreen constantly get in your eyes

Would you rather…

Have a Gu packet explode in your pocket during a race


Mistake a stick of Vaseline for Gu during a race

Answer a few in the comments – I would love to see what you would rather!