So over the last few months I have become increasingly frustrated with my fitness levels and having to change my workouts. I have felt like my fitness levels have been plummeting, things that I used to find easy have gradually become harder and harder to the point I have had to eliminate them from what I am doing. Eventually at 34 weeks I had to face facts that I was done in the gym for a while. I kept going with yoga and swimming and whilst these have been relaxing they weren’t giving me the hit of endorphins or sense of satisfaction I have become used to. Even this week I have noticed swimming is becoming harder, dragging my expanding figure through the water is hard work and I’ve had to adapt what I am doing in the pool as my pelvis and hips have caused me issues etc
I’ll not lie, this has balled me off immensely. With this pregnancy I wanted to stay fit and I wanted to exercise (completely different to when I was pregnant with Imogen, where as soon as I had taken a positive test I sat on my arse on the sofa and stayed there for pretty much 9 months!) I felt like despite my effort and intentions, I was sinking back to the levels of fitness I had 18 months ago.
What balls me off more is people who say “oh but you are pregnant, don’t worry about it, relax, sit back eat cake”. NO! Exercise is a cracking idea for me and the baby and I know some of you won’t get this but it is not just about physical ability, keeping weight off and keeping fitness levels up, for me it is a mental thing, exercise clears my mind, it de-stresses me, I enjoy it, I need it.
So this week at yoga I was knelt on all fours (having taken a monumental amount of effort to get to the floor!) and we were doing hip circles. Something that a few weeks a go were no problem for me, in fact I had quite a good range of movement but at 38 weeks I was struggling, everything felt stiff and I had virtually no range of movement, I couldn’t get down to the floor, the distance left and right was minimal. I felt I had no room to move, so I put my knees further apart and it helped a little but not much and then it dawned on me, it isn’t my fitness levels that have necessarily plummeted, it is my actual size and shape! The bump is so big now and so far forward (no it isn’t twins, no it isn’t extra fluid and yes the baby is a normal size and will not be a giant baby, I had a scan the sonographer told me!) that I just don’t physically have the room to do proper hip circles without squashing the bump, the bump is literally in the way. My yoga instructor Michelle pointed out that the bump has dropped, the bump is hanging down further towards my pelvis, there simply isn’t the room to make those hip circle movements. Take the bump away and I’d be knocking out hip circles properly.
And that ladies and gentlemen has made me feel a billion times better, it isn’t my fitness that is the problem, it literally is all down to size and space. Jason my personal trainer has said repeatedly that he thinks once I get back to training (at whatever point postpartum that might be!) that I will be surprised how quickly I’ll get back to where I was. I’ll admit increasingly as the weeks had gone on I was beginning to suspect this was a lie and that I’d be back to square on but this week I think I have reconciled in my head how much the actual size of the bump has impacted and that maybe I am not as unfit as I thought!