I just got back from the gym for the first time in a few weeks. I’ve been reluctant to go because of a condition I’ve developed during my pregnancy that may require me to go on full bed rest during my final months. I’ve been taking it easy this month partly because of the new development in my pregnancy, and partly because I simply enjoy taking it easy. Come on, how often do I have a good excuse to nap in the middle of the day.
The problem is I’ve fallen into a slump of resting and eating just a little too much. The result is that I’ve already gained 25 pounds and I still have three months to go in my pregnancy. The holidays and cold winter weather isn’t helping my situation. A similar scenario happened during my last pregnancy and I gained 50+ pounds.
I know I’m not the only one struggling with weight and healthy eating this time of year. Offices around the city are getting deliveries of Christmas cookies, chocolates and other treats. The holidays and in my case, being pregnant, are easy excuses to indulge, but there is a price. I started eating more sugar and carbs when I cut down on my gym visits. I’ve been lethargic and my energy level for freelance projects and managing the household has been way down. My mental health could use a jolt of positive energy as well.
I can’t afford to be tired or negative. I have freelance contracts, an 18-month-old-ball-of fire for a daughter, a household to run and Christmas just weeks away. We are always on the go; I make it a point to take my daughter to one activity every day (after all that is why I left my job, so I could spend more time parenting my daughter). Eating well and exercise are the only ways for me to maintain an energy level that allows me keep up with an active lifestyle. Below are some measures I’ve taken to try to get back on track:
1. I measure all of my food. I’ve been craving cereal, but only allow myself one cup a day.
2. I’m not buying butter anymore because it is my weakness. I do peanut butter instead but again, only allow myself one tablespoon. Once I started measuring, I realized that my idea of a tablespoon was way off. It’s no wonder that I’ve already gained 25 pounds!
3. I could suck down an entire loaf of bread in a few days and in fact, have sucked down a lot of bread during my pregnancy so far (Great Harvest white chocolate cherry bread is at the top of the craving list). I have limited myself to two pieces a day.
4. Exercise a little self control. An entire box of truffles is sitting on the counter and I have not touched one (yet).
5. Get moving. I am on a restricted exercise regime because of a condition I’ve developed in my pregnancy. My doctor said I can walk on the treadmill at a slow pace, no incline. So, what’s the point of even working out? Well, I went today and feel great. An hour at a slow pace on the treadmill is better than nothing. And, it was a good boost for my mental health being in an atmosphere where people are taking care of themselves. If you can’t make the gym, go for a walk at lunch or during a break. The difference is amazing.
Healthy Holiday Eating