Today, I awoke bright and early at 6:00a.m. Due to the pouring rain, my clients were cancelled, but I immediately jumped on work, made my buckwheat blender pancakes, and began a steady stream of typing. Around noon, I felt insanely tired and decided to take a short nap and go work out. Making a quick detour to Whole Foods for pasta ingredients for tonight, I picked up an issue of Fit Pregnancy. It was like a whole new world.
Thankfully, this issue was perfect for me. On the cover was a vegan actress (the star of Bones, Emily Deschanel). Inside was a complete “clueless” guide for first-time mothers. (Thank you, Jesus!) What to eat, what not to eat, what to buy, what to worry about, and what not worry about. In a word: savior.
As I walked mindlessly on the step mill, I devoured the information, and it was nice reading something out of my comfort zone for once. This isn’t another magazine full of exercises to help you get slim or lose five pounds – it’s about preserving your life for another’s. The selflessness overwhelmed me.
When I talked to my friend, Johnny Cooke, MAT specialist, the night before about altering my fitness routine, I became panicked.
“You have no idea how ravaged your body is about to become. You will not be doing anything explosive for 18 months. Once that baby is born you aren’t going to be thinking about going to the gym. You’re going to want to sleep.”
Johnny has two children. When his daughter was born, his dad pulled him aside and told him he would never again have a good night’s sleep. This is what I fear, and what I’ve always been intrigued by. If Alex and I don’t get a good night’s sleep, we are groggy, grumpy, and float through the day in a funky fog. But, parents all over the world miraculously work three jobs and make ends meet. They do what they have to with no regard to the bone weariness that keeps them up well into the night.
While sleep deprivation cannot be avoided, the way we construct our days and lives can be controlled. For instance, Alex is one of the most helpful human beings on the planet. He will be that dad up all night if that means I get to sleep. He is the laundry and dish king. When he gets stressed, he cleans (yes, really). He is emotionally and physically supportive, and together, I want this to be completely new and interesting and tough and hilarious – because that’s the way our entire relationship has been.
We haven’t listened to anyone. We’ve gone with our intuition on every decision (yes, even that impulse purchase of our puppy, whom I love more than anything) and it has never led us astray.
I also know that over these nine months my workout philosophy will shift and change, but exercise is my sanity. It always has been. Going to the gym is as much a part of my life as brushing my teeth. It’s what I’ve done since I was three years old, as I tumbled across a mat, little brown curls bouncing. My mother said I used to throw elbows and knees in her womb: even in utero, I was a fighter.
And as my first OBGYN appointment looms closer, and I will have to divulge the details of my brain surgery 10 years ago (and that clipped vein still swimming around my head somewhere) and my knee surgery and the fact that I am a plant eater and don’t have maternity insurance, I am, in this moment, calm.
Over the past week, I have been given help and advice and different suggestions. But, the lesson I’ve learned for today?
Trust your own instincts.
I am listening to myself and to my body. It’s what millions of women did before they had magazines or websites or guidelines to follow.
Our bodies are made for this. It is awesome and inspiring and miraculous.
As is my hunger right now… so I am going to go eat.
I will leave you with a haiku:
I place my hand to
My belly and breathe; how can
Just one breath feed two?
Vegan Strawberry Oat Bars
1 1/2 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup raw macadamia nuts
2 Tbsp. old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup strawberries, thinly sliced
2. Press the date mixture into the bottom of a glass container or a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
3. Mash half of the berries and spread on top of date mixture. Top with remaining strawberries. Slice into rectangles, if desired!