At 27 weeks pregnant, I hit a milestone of emotional upheaval this past week. So far this pregnancy I have been pretty balanced, happy, and generally very healthy.
It’s pretty easy to celebrate and enjoy life when everything is going well.
However, this past month of pregnancy I have been dealing with worsening varicose veins- not a very welcome part of my entry to the third trimester.
We all encounter times when our body suddenly throws us a warning sign that something isn’t quite right. The trouble is we too easily discard the information and move on without considering what our body is really trying to tell us.
Up until now I have always brushed off pregnancy related weight gain or body changes with a grin- knowing how grateful and happy I am just to be pregnant. I mean who really cares if I have big black splotches and bulging veins? It’s still pants season, right?!
One of the things that can manage the symptoms and prevent worsening of varicose veins is exercise. Well, wouldn’t you know?
Some of the hardest information to swallow is the information that can be the most obvious.
Listen, even with the best of days, life can be frustrating, confusing, and maybe even feel a little unfair.
Here’s a golden nugget to remember for life:
Whether you choose to see it or not, you are an amazing gift from God and your body is here to support you to play a unique role on this planet.
Your body is a miracle and can give you so much energy, strength, and power when you take care of it.
What is your body trying to tell you that you have been ignoring for too long?
Now, as a personal trainer and health coach, this news about how exercise improves vein integrity is wonderful because it means I have a tool I know a lot about to help myself.
But as a mom of three kids who has had less activity in the last 3 years than I have had since I was 12, it is apparently causing me some pretty hefty grief.
Sure, there are some things that need to change when you have kids and are pregnant. But I was using all my wonderful distractions as a mom and business owner as excuses to neglect my workouts. (Yes, I do it too).
There is nearly always a way to use movement to help when your body is showing signs of fatigue, weakness, or disease. #MovementIsMedicine
Rather than linger in self-pity or feel bad about how I look, I took action.
I immediately started to walk an hour everyday (sometimes in 15 minute increments around the park while my kids played), and take yoga at least twice per week.
If you are stuck in a negative pattern, the best way to coach yourself out of it is to offer yourself self-compassion.
There’s a ton of research that backs up the positive benefits and outcomes of gifting yourself self-compassion. Here's how to actually apply it:
- Let your feelings out. I had to cry a little, acknowledge my sadness over my older age and having kids, and admit that I get overwhelmed and need help.
- Talk to yourself like you would your best friend. Literally, get out a mirror and respond to your feelings like you just heard what you felt from your bestie.
- Find the commonness of your experience in others. Are you really the only one who has experienced this? I got online and found an incredible article of a woman who had varicosities so bad she was on nearly constant bedrest from 6 months on. I got perspective, and it helped SO much.
So here me now. If you are a mom or your know a mom...no matter how old her children may be, if she is still battling fatigue, erratic emotions, and hormone hell, it is time to give her some grace and gently suggest that it is OK for her to get help and take time to heal! One of the biggest ways to elevate mood is with consistent movement. Sunshine, sleep, and support can also go a long way, so reach out and get the help you need to start feeling more like you again.
Take a moment and enroll in my 5-day Health Revolution Challenge as a first step toward truly reviving your energy, nourishment, and to get support to take the baby steps you need for self-care.
It's no joke that hormones surge during pregnancy and often have a hard time re-balancing once we hit our groove in motherhood. The most common hormonal imbalances that can linger and wreak havoc on energy and metabolism are Estrogen Dominance, Hypothryroidism, and Adrenal Fatigue. All of these hormone imbalances can lead to depression, anxiety, and once again...fatigue!
You can offer yourself self-compassion, and then take action in whatever way you can to get moving…both metaphorically and literally in your life. I'd love to hear about how you have used movement to overcome a negative funk in the comments below.
I am here for you always,