- Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park
Before my pregnancy, I had just finished training for a 3-day bike ride across three mountain passes. Needless to say, I was in tip-top shape. At 5′ 10″ I was just under 150 lbs. Not my lowest weight, but plenty of muscle mass to take into account. I was cross-training on my own and with a trainer weekly. The week I found out I was pregnant, we climbed 2 mountains, hiked 37 miles, and biked another 55. I’m not exaggerating.
Then, first-trimester assitude kicked in, and I scaled back on exercise majorly because I felt so BLERGH. I would still go to the gym, and saw my trainer once a week, but it was definitely nothing hardcore. Once my energy started coming back, I was able to exercise a bit more strenuously through about week 12, when things like sprinting and pull-ups started feeling WEIRD and like too much for my body.
My weight stayed stable at 150 until 10 weeks, and at that point I started gaining about a pound a week. I’m up just over 8 lbs at 19 weeks 4 days. For my size, I fully expect to gain about 30-35 lbs with this pregnancy. I’ll be very surprised if I gain less.
Most women don’t realize that their caloric needs change by only a small amount during pregnancy. Approximately 300 calories extra is all your body requires during the second and third trimesters. This, sadly, is disproportionately low compared to the hunger most of us feel and the severity of our blood-sugar fluxuations. Self included.
One thing that is important to remember is that most of the weight you gain during your pregnancy is NOT body fat. Increased blood volume, amniotic fluid, organ growth, and of course the baby itself contribute to the largest percentage of pregnancy weight. One figure I’ve seen says that for a 25-lb weight gain in a normal pregnancy, only about 20% of the weight is fat. That’s 5 pounds over 9 months. NOT A BIG DEAL!
For women who breastfeed, this weight often comes off during the first month post-pregnancy as a result of caloric detriment from breastfeeding alone. That doesn’t mean you will return to the same “shape,” or look the same, as it takes work to re-train muscle and skin tone for most people. Staying hydrated can help!