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Like Built-in Dumbbells


Warning: Baby bumps add serious resistance to workouts. (Credit: 40weeks_ua)

Wow, what a week last week, huh? Fit Bottomed Girls’ second blogging anniversary allowed us to give you the gifts, which is the best part of the whole she-bang. If you missed it, it’s not too late! Check out all of last week’s content and comment to win any of our stellar giveaways.

And now that the partying is over, we’re getting back to normal on FBG. Which means a fitness update from me. I wasn’t ashamed to admit that I was not a fitness angel in my first trimester of pregnancy. I did more sleeping than sweating, and my healthy food habits took a hit. And although it was a challenge to get back into the exercise habit (yes, even for me!), once I was back in the groove, I realized how much I’d missed it. Exercise felt wonderful. It was good to feel well enough to move again. It was good to work those muscles and feel myself getting stronger. Plus, I know how good exercise is for both mom and baby, so I feel like I’m benefiting the baby while also helping myself prepare for bouncing back after pregnancy.

I was surprised by how much pregnancy added to my clumsiness. But I’m even more surprised by how much an extra 15 pounds affects a workout. Because I hadn’t exactly been running marathons the first weeks of my pregnancy, I expected workouts to be a little more challenging once I started up full force again, getting my muscles back up to speed, if you will. But oh, man.

I’ve been consistently doing several pregnancy workout videos that I’ll later be reviewing for the future Fit Bottomed Babies site (mark those calendars for our July 12 launch date, preggies and mommies!). And holy shock and awe, they are hard. In my head, I know they are videos I would have breezed through pre-pregnancy. And probably made a comment about how they’re “best for beginners.” But it turns out that an extra 15 pounds or so, concentrated awkwardly in your mid-section, kinda-sorta turns you into a beginner again.

While it hasn’t been more difficult to work with dumbbells for upper-body exercises, anything that involves the entire body is significantly more challenging. I noticed that lunges especially started burning after just a handful of reps, instead of the 20 it used to take. And I’ve resorted to “girl” push-ups because I just can’t keep up with the real thing. Even my hips and butt feel the burn way more quickly. In one exercise video, I had to lie on my side over a stability ball while doing leg lifts. No problem. But once I switched to the other side, my lifting leg, which had already been working hard to keep me stable on my other side, was on fire. Four-alarm fire. I had to rest. Okay, I’ll be honest: I had to rest more than once. During, like, a 12-rep set.

And it makes sense: Packing on additional pounds is like carrying around built-in dumbbells. Even when you’re not working out, you’re working harder. Which is probably why the lower-body exercises get to me much more quickly.

I’ll admit that it’s been a little hard at times to admit that I can’t finish all the reps, all the time. I’m the girl who pushes through the challenges! But if pregnancy teaches you one thing, it’s that you must listen to your body. So I’m working hard, but pacing myself. Taking breaks when needed. I feel good that I’m maintaining my fitness level, even if I’m not jumping forward by leaps and bounds. And now I have a goal: Getting through those darn leg lifts without skipping reps. —Erin

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