Rest, relief and recovery

Thank goodness I have the week between Christmas and New Year’s off. It’s helped me catch up on rest, develop a more realistic plan and get some things done around the house (although today I decided Christmas cards simply are NOT getting done). There are a few things I’ve realized:

1. My energy is lowest after 4pm. Until now, my workouts were done in this window after work and before dinner. Although I’ll stick with that for Wednesday and Thursday spin classes because I love the instructors, I’m giving up on that schedule the rest of the week. Other days, my workouts will have to happen in the morning.

2. My doc said I can maintain the same level of activity prior to getting pregnant, but I had to keep my heart rate at 145 or below. During runs and some of the spin intervals, my heart rate is in the 160s. This means I need to dial down the intensity and drop running altogether. (Even running a sluggish 4mph on a flat treadmill boosts my heart rate into the 160s.)

3. #2 isn’t as disappointing as I thought it would be. I kept my heart rate in the 140-150 range for last night’s spin class and actually felt more relaxed and energized after. I missed out on the runner’s/spinner’s high, but felt good regardless.

4. Yesterday at my prenatal appointment (I’m in week 13), I asked the doc a few questions about the risk of gestational diabetes and how much weight I should really gain. Her response was surprising in some ways and not-so-much in others.

As someone with PCOS and a pre-pregnancy high-normal A1C, I have a higher than normal risk of gestational diabetes. She wants me off the metformin (which can control A1C) and has me scheduled for a glucose tolerance test the week of January 17. This is earlier than normal–most women have it at 24-28 weeks, I’ll have it at 15/16 weeks. She doesn’t want the metformin masking signs of gestational diabetes and since metformin is no longer the best intervention for diabetes, she would want to treat me with something better (insulin or a different medicine). What this means is that my diet and exercise plan is more important than ever before. I may need extra calories, but I don’t need extra sugar and unhealthy carbs. This will be a challenge, given my history restricting/limiting carbs, since it’s important for the baby’s development that I get enough of good quality carbs.

The official response from my doc regarding a healthy weight gain for someone with my risk factors and pre-pregnancy size is 15lbs. And I’ve already gained 4lbs of that. That means no more than a 1/2lb per week gain between now and the baby’s birth day.

So, New Year’s Day will bring a new Healthy Me game plan in terms of food and exercise. I don’t expect it to be terribly different than what I’ve been talking about the past couple months, but it will incorporate what I’m learning from the doc, my pregnancy book and Geneen Roth’s “Women, Food & God”–especially after reading a Parents magazine article about increasing numbers of kids as young as 6 developing eating disorders, I want to make sure that my habits are healthy–and not just in a dieting sense but in a whole life perspective.

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