Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

May 7, 2012

On Being A Pregnant Fitness Instructor

Happy Monday friends!

I apologize for the blogging hiatus for the past few weeks – life just got to be too busy and intense for a while – but I’m so excited to be back. I love being able to write and reflect here on GPD, and it’s really become a special part of my life.

Just when I was reflecting on how lucky I’ve been to not get sick throughout my pregnancy, a wicked sinus cold/infection knocked me off my feet for all of last week.  Which was perfect because it was also finals week for me [life’s funny isn’t it?].  I actually lost my voice, wound up having to get subs for my TurboKick classes, and spent most of the week in bed.

It was rough for me not to teach my classes last week – especially as there are only a handful left – but I know just how important it is to honor my body, especially since I’m sharing it with someone else right now.  Regardless, this week will be my final week of teaching until baby comes [the new schedule starts next week, so it was the perfect time to stop], and I was really excited to get back to instructing this morning!

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Before I start, let me say that I’m simply sharing my own personal experiences.  Each person – and each pregnancy – is different, and I encourage you to find what works for you.  Also, contact your doctor or midwife before making any changes to your regimen.

This week marks my entry into the eight month of pregnancy.  Eight.  Months.  Seriously, I can’t figure out where the time went, but it’s true.  And although it’s gone by incredibly quickly, this journey never ceases to amaze me.

When Ben and I first started trying to conceive, we received all kinds of advice. Those I trusted most told me to start eating red meat and stop over-exercising.  Because we have local, grass-fed beef, I was willing to try some red meat, but as a fitness junkie, I had a really hard time with the latter.  At the time, I was teaching 3 TurboKick classes a week, running 3-4 times a week, keeping up with the LiveFit kettlebell program 4 days a week, and hiking on my rest days.  My body felt strong rather than worn down, but I could see how it might be difficult for an embryo to embed in my uterus with all the activity.

So I toned it down: I scaled back on the running and started swimming instead.

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After a couple of months with no pregnancy luck, I also decided to cut down a day on my weight training, just to see if it would help.  Throughout those months I knew that I was healthy and that I had to be patient with the process, but I was also adamant about teaching my kickboxing classes.

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Don’t get me wrong: I would have done anything to ensure a healthy pregnancy, but deep inside, I knew that being fit would help – not hurt – my pregnancy.  Being an instructor is something that has given me incredible fulfillment and joy as well, so I stuck with my guns and kept teaching.

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Because there is more to worry about during the first trimester – and because I was sick – I kept things much lower impact then, being sure to give my students their options for higher impact before class started.  Usually I’d feel sick and fatigued before class started, but once we got going I felt amazing.  As I’ve said before, I’m extremely fortunate to have incredible students who are willing to work hard and give me 100% even on those days where I’m not so bouncy, so that helped a lot.

By the second trimester my energy was back and I was doing much more with the gang than even I thought was possible.  I had to stop lying on my back or belly, so during the core sections I would demonstrate a set and then use a ball to modify while the rest of the class laid on their mats.  I also substituted a lot more standing core workouts.

I started using my maternal support band at around 20 weeks or so, which helps support the belly and lower back during activity, and it has been a life-saver!

Now that I’m in my third trimester I’ve been getting less quality sleep, am more fatigued again, and my lower back is feeling these extra 15 pounds.  I’ve reverted to my first-trimester tactics of showing options and then modifying the movements myself, but I’m always sure to encourage the students to challenge themselves and try the harder movements.

Personally, the classes have gotten harder to teach for me, but I’m always so amazed and inspired by my students that I just do what I can.  The toughest thing for me personally has been to keep the class motivated when I didn’t feel like I was giving 100%.  I’ve learned over time, though, that with motivational cues and an energetic attitude, it’s less about what I’m doing and more about what I can get out of my students.

Over these past months, I’ve gotten a lot of comments about my decision to keep teaching, both good and bad.  I know that each individual is truly just looking out for my and baby’s well-being, so I’m always sure to let them know that I feel well tuned in to my body and its needs.  I’ve always kept the mentality that if something didn’t feel right, or if it started to feel like too much, I’d find a sub for the rest of the semester.

Luckily, though, I’ve continued to feel really great while teaching, and here I am at the end of the semester – teaching my final few classes with an incredible group of students I’ve grown so fond of!

I have two more classes to teach [Wednesday and Friday], and while I feel physically ready for a break from teaching [I'll be heading to the ocean/pool much more soon!], I’m really going to miss my students and all that they bring to my life.

I know that, for me, the decision to keep teaching was necessary for my pregnancy.  I was able to inspire others while staying active, sane, and strong for myself and the baby.  I have a feeling it’ll help me with childbirth, too.

To read more about my pregnancy, click here.  And for more about my fitness routine during the second trimester, click here.

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!

November 4, 2011

Front Yard Shenanigans

Happy Friday!  Open-mouthed smile After an especially intense week at practicum [I work with adults with severe mental illness], I think I’m a little too excited to have the weekend at my fingertips. 

We’ve been transitioning to fall weather here on Maui [read: more rain], plus Halloween always brings up some weird stuff, so I’m hoping next week will bring more balance to the individuals I work with. 

To add to the practicum craziness this week, we’ve had some strange things happening in our yard:

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The house we’ve been renting for 3+ years went on the market quite a few months ago to be sold.  They’ve got a buyer but apparently there are some things that need to happen before the sale can go through – including changing some things about our septic system. 

So for the past week or so we’ve had a dude in a back-hoe digging a six-foot-deep swimming pool hole in the front yard.  I’m not sure what the rest of this process is going to entail, but we’ve been quite the talk of the neighborhood lately.  IMG_7598

In other front yard news, we’ve got many o’ papaya healthily growing

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as well as wayyy too many starfruit to possibly split between the two families on our property. 

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[I actually feel horrible that dozens have already fallen and rotted on the ground Sad smile]

And because we’re talking tropical fruit, I wanted to entice you all with the most deliciously creamy and beautiful avocado I’ve eaten all year [did you know that Hawai`i grows over 200 varieties of avocadoes?] :

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[that’s an entrée fork for size reference Winking smile]

Okay, so the avo wasn’t from my yard – I picked it up from the farmer’s market this past weekend – but I wish it was! 

We’ve got another fabulous Friday on our hands, which means I’ve got a great butt-kickin’ class to teach, a meeting, errands, and a few chapters to read before the weekend is upon us once more!  Have a beautiful weekend! 

Anything strange happening in your life lately?

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!

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