I feel like running, but I'm pregnant
I get asked all the time if exercising pregnant, particularly running pregnant is harmful to you or your baby. This opened up a can of emotional worms...
I see pregnancy as an opportunity, like a holiday to India. I can either spend time exploring the culture, discover myself, maybe get some perspective on my normal life. Or I can sit at the hotel buffet, complaining about the heat and eating myself stupid.
A unique opportunity
Most women get only one pregnancy in their entire lives, some more, some none. Yes, there are things to complain about, but for every bad thing, I can think of a hundred good ones.
I was once blinded by my own self doubt, seeing pregnancy as a curse. I ate for two, and stayed home, afraid to do the things I wanted to do, things that felt right. I was afraid that I might inadvertently harm the baby.
My one regret
If I have one regret is that I cared about what the faceless crowd thought. I was afraid to run pregnant, in case I was judged for it. I was afraid to dance, to chase my kids, to go out in the sun. I was afraid of fun.
Now, I love it. I’ve learnt more about myself in each pregnancy than my entire life before. The idea that this may be my last pregnancy ever is scaring me a little, I love the vitality of being pregnant, the hormones, the excitement, the love people give and I don’t want it to end. Strangers look and talk to pregnant women with love and care, they subconsciously know that the future of the human race is inside her glowing belly.
This time, like the last two pregnancies, I’ve trusted my body more. Centuries of the continuation of the human race, in much more confronting times than these, have led me to believe that my body knows what it’s doing.
If I feel like running, I’ll run. If I feel like dancing, I’ll dance. If I feel like warming my belly up in the gorgeous sun, I’ll lay in it for a few minutes.
Healthy eating is just as easy as eating junk
I nourish my body and my growing baby with clean food and lots of water. I’m convinced that this alone has been influential in reducing unhealthy cravings. I have found that it’s just as easy to eat healthy food as it is to eat junk food. Changing from one to the other, breaking the habits is the hard part.
What do you focus on?
People who shell out negative comments when they see a photo of a pregnant woman running, exercising or just being happy are like cockroaches exposed to the light - they want to hide under their rock, believing that they are a victim. I understand. I was one of them, until one day instead of hiding behind hate, blaming the very people trying to enlighten me. I sat up and took notice of the opportunity. I thought “why can’t I be happy?”
After all, it’s so much easier to be the underdog. Point out and focus on the bad stuff. The “poor me” stuff. It’s so refreshing when a mother-to-be says “I feel amazing! I’m growing a baby inside me, what’s not to love about it?”
I guarantee that even in the darkest days, the toughest days, there are a thousand women struggling to fall pregnant who would trade places with us in a heartbeat.
Pregnancy to me is not only creating a life inside of me, but an opportunity to recreate myself. The hormones and untapped emotions coursing through my body can be put to good use. At no other time in a woman’s life, do we get that indescribable glow, the pregnancy glow. We radiate health, vitality and opportunity. That is what I choose to focus on, rather than the small uncomfortable things.
3 Types of Women, Standing At A Crossroad
I know that there are women who feel something more, something special about being pregnant. Women that are standing at the crossroads, deciding what to do.
They look down the road of empowerment and get excited. Inside, they know it’s the right choice. The road is empty, so they check the other way. The safe way, the way everybody else is going. This way requires nothing of you, except to give up your identity, your power, your self. Let someone else tell you what to do, what to think, how to be.
The "Safe" Road
For some women, this is the right road.
As Julius says, most people are just looking for a place to plug their umbilical cord in. The safe road is where you plug your umbilical cord into society and hope for the best.
The Road Less Travelled
The top road though, well, that’s for the adventurers, the believers. The mums who plug their umbilical cord directly into their own souls and start dancing down the road less travelled.
These women, I don’t need to talk to. They’ll be alright.
The women I’m trying to get to, at the risk of losing all of my “likeability”, are the women who feel like dancing, or running, or exercising, but are too afraid to. It’s these women who I want to get to, to tell them that it’s OK. You’ve got this. You know your body and your baby better than anyone else in the world. Trust yourself, you’re not stupid, a bad mother or dangerous, you’re capable.
Your baby chose you, ahead of every other woman on earth for a reason.
And you know what that reason is?
It’s because you’re perfect.
So if you feel like running while pregnant... run. If you don't feel like running... don't.