I was in a bit of a funk yesterday. A few reasons, really. But let's not dwell on the past! A piece of chocolate cake, a good cry, consoling from my husband and a somewhat restful night of sleep has set me straight again. And I came to a realization this morning as to why my moods have fluctuated so drastically over the last 9 months. Pregnancy hormones have certainly played a part but I think the real reason I have felt so emotionally all-over-the-map is from lack of heart-pumping, sweat-inducing, leg-aching exercise.
You see, I have worked out pretty consistently for the past 20 years. Track and cross-country in high school. First marathon at 19 years old followed by a marathon every year for the next 11 years. Three ultra marathons. Mountain biking. Trail running. And more recently, yoga. I would say I've spent more days working out than not over the last two decades. I just love being physically active so much.
And then I got pregnant. And I got scared that too much intense physical activity would cause something to go wrong. So I heavily put the brakes on running and sweating and working out. And my mood and my emotional health definitely took a hit because of that.
Without going into too much detail I will say I didn't have the easiest time getting pregnant. So when I did, I wanted to do everything possible to keep that little wee-one in there, happy and healthy. I am sure had I not had such an overly cautious OB (more on that in a later post) she would have encouraged me to continue working out and to continue being physically active but just on a less intense scale. In fact, she sort of did the opposite. Maybe I should have been more vocal about my pre-pregnancy levels of activity so that she would understand that I wasn't starting a workout regimen but just continuing what I had already been doing. Maybe if I would've explained to her how my mental and emotional health is so engrained in my working out and my running she would've given me more of a green light to staying active. Who knows. And hindsight sure is 20/20.
But now here I am... just a few days away (!!) from the end of this amazing pregnancy journey. Just a few days away (!!) from meeting our wee little daughter. And just a few weeks away (!!) from resuming running and sweating and intense workouts. And this break from all of that has taught me just how important it is to continue making staying fit and being physically active a major priority in my life.
Next pregnancy, I'll chose to live a bit differently. And I'll probably chose a different OB, too.