The Connection Runners + [workout]

On Not "Eating For Two"

I don't think it's a secret anymore: My running schedule has changed quite drastically recently.

I went from running a 10:00/mile pace during the Crim 10-Mile Race in August, to lamenting my having to pull out of the Chicago Marathon this year, to dealing with the woes of slowing way, way down.

It's come to the point where I'm running one, maybe two days a week. When energy levels permit, I've walked a few miles here and there and occasionally took the elliptical for a spin.

Mostly, though, I've been doing a whole lot of nothing. However, since I'm constantly on my feet at work, literally only sitting down to check e-mail and take a rare bathroom break, I figure I get a decent workout there.

Humor me while I develop mediocre excuses for not getting to the gym more often.

In addition to all of that not working out, I've been indulging a bit more than usual.

A cookie here and there, where there didn't use to be one at all.
A few swirls of froyo topped with Reese's and brownie bites.
A heaping pile of Monogolian BBQ stir-fry consumed in place of an at-home meal of salad and grilled chicken. (It helped that Megan and Erika and our menfolk met up for $5 bowls on Tuesday night.)


It doesn't help, though, that for some reason, people love to push the "well, you are eating for two" line on pregnant women like myself whenever we're around food.

Though I am digesting extra calories these days (with fewer runs to balance them out), I've made it a goal not to go overboard with unhealthy habits during pregnancy.

Considering my pre-pregnancy stats (5'3", 120 pounds), I've been told by my doctor, and the pregnancy books, to gain roughly 26 to 30 pounds over these 40 weeks. That averages to less than a pound per week.

Some of the weight gained is directly due to LBA's needs (fluids, placenta, other TMI stuff I won't get into) as well as the weight she gains as she grows; other poundage will just be me flat out getting heavier.

In short: There's no way around gaining weight while pregnant. It happens, and I'm okay with that.

However, what is manageable is how much I gain and how it all accumulates.

What to Expect When You're Expecting, the popular pregnancy guide book and website, advocates monitoring extra calorie intake during pregnancy. Pregnant women of an average weight (i.e., not over or under weight) may need as few as 300 extra calories during the first trimester, and as many as 500 extra calories during the third.

In short: I'm not feeding a football-playing teenage boy, here. I'm feeding a (currently) 2-pound bouncing baby who needs just a bit extra to be healthy.

So while I don't bust out the calorie counter or food journal every day because that kind of control makes me crazy, I do keep most of an eye on what's going down my gullet.

Some "Rules" I Follow When Not "Eating For Two"

When hunger strikes, I eat what sounds good. And then I stop when I'm full. Being pregnant doesn't mean overeating for the sake of overeating. If I allow myself to eat when I'm hungry, then I don't feel the need to chow down on a ton of junk later.

Having a few treats is perfectly acceptable... The froyo, the cookies, the donuts in the teachers' workroom that call out to me while my copies run. They're all tasty, yes, and I rarely hesitate to munch on them.

... provided I balance it out later with fruit and veggies. Lunch usually features a tasty salad, and my afternoon snack almost always includes an apple or banana. Kevin and I try to eat as many meals at home as possible, too, thus cutting down on the chances we'll swing through Wendy's or Jimmy John's.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. This has become increasingly important lately. Though I passed my gestational diabetes test taken during my Week 28 check-up, my iron levels came back low. My doctor put me on an over-the-counter iron supplement which, in turn, can cause some potty problems. (Sorry, TMI warning... oops, too late.)

She recommended increase my fluids intake in addition to adding more fiber to my diet to even things out. I've already been downing water, hot tea, and orange juice daily, and I recently received some tasty Crystal Light Pure samples to test out.

Crystal Light Pure is naturally sweetened with sugar and Truvia (a stevia-based sweetener); each packet makes a yummy 16.9-ounce drink with only 30 calories. I can get on board with that. With my samples came a few friendly pointers from registered dietitian on how to stay hydrated (all things I need to keep in mind):

  • Aim to tally up half of your body weight in ounces in fluid each day
  • Eat foods rich in electrolytes and water
  • Avoid too much caffeine (I stick to one caffeinated drink per day)
So far, my plan of "not eating for two" has worked. I've maintain a healthy weight gain to this point, and I hope I'm successful going into these last 11 weeks.

Pregnant or not, what healthy tip can you share? How do you maintain your health & fitness goals while enjoying your life?

Disclaimer: I was provided with samples of Crystal Light Pure at no cost from Kraft. All opinions are my own and are here listed here with any compensation to me.