Maternity leave from the gym…

And so the time has come to have a bit of a break from the gym. I knew this day would have to come eventually, although admittedly I thought it would have happened at around week 20 way back in April, not at week 34!

Yesterday I saw a physio as I have been experiencing some pelvic pain and more recently lower back pain. Turns out I have “Diastasis Recti” which basically means my rectus abdominis are starting to separate or in simple speak my stomach muscles are starting to come away from each other (nice huh!)

I can’t say I am too surprised. The warning signs were there, doming of the abdomen when I tense my stomach muscles, back ache, pelvic pain etc I had a small amount of doming in my first pregnancy and my yoga instructor spotted a few weeks ago my abs looked like they were struggling. It is a reasonably common ailment in pregnancy but not one you particularly want to aggravate. (I wonder if I will ever get the flat toned stomach I have dreamt of for so long and that I was beginning to get before that positive pregnancy test?)

So Jason, my personal trainer has said it is time to temporarily knock the gym on the head and I know that I have to listen to him as well as my body. Not going to lie it isn’t sitting easy with me at the minute but I knew it would have to happen at some point.

I seem to remember last time my yoga instructor telling me I would have to take post-natal exercise slowly and not hammer my abs to avoid permanent damage (I possibly took that a little too literally as it took me 3 years to venture in to the gym and get a personal trainer!)

This time is different though. I want to get back to it as soon as I am able to. Obviously I will seek advice from my doctor, midwife, health visitor and of course Jason but this time my mentality is different. I’ve already factored in that exercise and eating properly will be a part of my life post-birth, last time it didn’t even cross my mind! I’ve already factored in my gym costs and PT costs whilst on maternity leave to make sure I can afford it. I want to feel as good as I felt back in December, if not better!

It has been a long time since this post and I have not forgotten that Jason still owes me “the most gruelling and arduous session you’ve ever experienced” , it’ll come I’m sure!

What has surprised me is how much my attitude towards ante-natal fitness has changed. Back in January I was apprehensive, unsure what I could do, hesitant to push myself, fearful of doing myself and even worse the baby some damage. That has changed, I know what I can achieve (within sensible limits and with support and advice). I’ve also been surprised at how frustrated I have felt when I haven’t been able to push myself as hard as I want. My mind set is so different to when I was pregnant over 4 years ago. It has shocked me a little.

I haven’t maintained my weight as much as I would have liked, yes I know pregnant women put weight on but I have put on way more than I wanted to. I know I will have some serious work to do post-partum, but it’ll happen.

My whole journey since January has not been about fat loss and smashing circuits and upping reps. It has been about maintenance and building strength in various muscles and as that journey has gone on my training has had to adapt to accommodate various ailments and my ever expanding stomach. This week is no different, I’m having to adapt again but this time it is about taking the gym out of the equation and focussing on yoga, breathing and swimming.

It has just dawned on me that pretty much the next time I enter the gym properly I should be a mummy of 2, ah shit!!!!!!!

H x

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