Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Exercise and Pregnancy

Finishing the Beat Coach Pete 5k with the kids a couple weeks ago. It was Camden and Luke's first 5k and they did great.

I am so sore today. I've been doing the penguin waddle all day (very similar to the pregnant waddle). When I was in the gym yesterday, I overdid it on the leg extensions and shoulder press so my quads and deltoids have been absolutely killing me. For once it's nice to be waddling not because of my protruding belly, loosey-goosey hips, or other areas that I will avoid mentioning.

I find that no matter how hard I try, there will always be things that I do that people will raise their eyebrows at or mutter about, and exercising, pregnant or not, has definitely been one of those for me. When I'm in the weight room lately, a number of people watch my every move and not a day goes by that I don't get a comment or two- some admiring, some reprimanding- about being in the gym while sporting my big gut.

I feel so blessed to have had the physical capacity during this pregnancy to exercise so far into it. I've had pregnancies in the past where it took all of my strength just to get through the day and exercising was the furthest thing from my mind. I think Heavenly Father knew I needed to feel in control of my life enough to at least be able to make it to the gym to get through this pregnancy. I've needed to exercise during this pregnancy more than ever before for my sanity and feeling of well-being.

I find it interesting that about half of the people approve and give encouraging remarks while the other half shake their heads as though I were giving vodka to the child in my womb.

I've found though, that if your house is too clean, some will say you're a perfectionist who is depriving your children of a normal, care-free childhood. But if you're house is too dirty, then you're a slob who needs to get their act together before they call DCFS.

If you're too fit, people will say you're self-centered and spend too much time on yourself. But if you're too fat, then you need to get off your butt and teach your children the importance of a healthy lifestyle with exercise and nutrition.

If you're too frugal, you're a tightwad who needs to learn to have fun and not let money rule your life. But if you're careless with money, you really need to exercise some self-control.

So then you find yourself going in circles thinking: How clean and smudged with fingerprints, at the same time, does my house need to be for people to get off my back about being too uptight?

How much chubs, while still staying fit, do I need to to keep to stop getting snide remarks about my exercise?

How old does my vehicle need to be to still be reliable but for people not to interrogate me on my monthly payments?

It's as if there's a certain level of mediocrity that people are the most comfortable with and feel the least threatened by- and that's where they want you to be.

I've always known I worry too much about what other people think and say. Remarks that pass judgment on me and my family have always affected me way more than I cared for them to. I find there are people who's approval I subconsciously want, but will never measure up, no matter what I do... or don't do for that matter.

Sometimes the most hurtful things are those said in reference to the things you work the hardest at, take the greatest pride in, or mean the most to you. Sometimes the people you think would approve of your choices don't, and that can also be a blow.

I've found that one of the best things about getting older is that with every passing year, I care less and less about other's judgments of me. I've found that as I try to do things for myself instead of seeking the approval of others, most of my choices and lifestyle remain the same, but carry less guilt and pressure. That is one perk about getting older I certainly didn't expect but very much enjoy.


Cynthia said...

I am actually in awe of your ability to work out while pregnant. I managed to exercise some when pregnant with Wesley but less with the last two pregnancies. I am more motivated to work out with the next pregnancy because of an article I read today about the awesome benefits to baby when Mom exercises. I say good for you!

Cher said...

i think that's awesome too. i wouldn't dare to say anything to someone at the gym i don't know. but how could it be bad? if you're not over exerting yourself? i wish i was more motivated to exercise. i'm sure your labor and recovery will be way smoother than mine.