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The Vain Body Journal: How gyming while pregnant saved my life

As you might know if you are a follower of this blog, I work out regularly, even since my single days.

After I got married and became pregnant with my first child, I continued working out. At about 6 weeks pregnant, morning sickness kicked in full time and I was feeling terribly nauseous. I had been doing water therapy since 2011 but after about 2 or 3 occasions of vomiting the water, I gave up on water therapy and on working out. My mornings were filled with lying in bed and feeling depressed and resentful of my husband for not experiencing the same pain I was experiencing. Some weeks later, I was hit with red degeneration of fibroid which kept coming and going until my first trimester was over

If only I had known

I resumed workouts lightly when I was 35 weeks pregnant, and continued till I delivered

Then I resumed workout 2 weeks postpartum, in form of running. By the time I came back to Nigeria, it was hard to continue because I needed to adapt to my new life.

For about 9 months, I kept jumping off and on my workout radar. It was very hard to be consistent and motivated. So I tried controlling my diet and making sure I eat healthy.

One day, I looked at my hands and thighs, and just disliked myself. I hated what I saw so much that it almost made me puke. I wasn’t fat or big but my body wasn’t toned, and my thighs and arms were full and flabby. Immediately, I sent my husband a Whatsapp message saying “I’m signing up for the gym tomorrow.” With a tone of finality. He told me not to stress too much and that he doesn’t have a problem with the way I looked. I told him I wasn’t happy with myself, and that’s what mattered. When it comes to a woman’s postpartum body, everyone has different opinions, but ultimately, I must come to the point where I am confident in the body I carry.

Prior to this period, I had never registered at a gym before. I did all my own workout routines, as a single lady and after I got married, at home. I assumed gym was a waste of money for me since I was disciplined enough to do my own workouts. But now, I had to admit that this new phase of my life required a different approach.

The next day, I signed up for the gym and in two weeks, I was toned everywhere and back to my pre pregnancy size. A month later, my son was 1 year old, and six weeks after I started working out at the gym, I found out I was one month pregnant. I did not do any pregnancy test but my period was regular enough for me to know that if I miss it, I must be pregnant. It meant I was pregnant 2 weeks after I started gyming.

When I found out I was pregnant, I resolved to do things differently this time around. So when the morning sickness hit at 6 weeks pregnant, I continued going to the gym. My stomach was as flat as a drawing board but my I was not alright at all. I was sick, depressed and very tired but I kept up with my intense workouts. In fact, the only time I felt like a human being and was actually happy was when I was working out. As soon as I leave the gym, the sickness and depression came back full force. It confirmed to me that working out was really beneficial, even in sickness

Also the second time around, I never stopped my water therapy. I drank my 1.5L dutifully every morning no matter how funny my tongue tasted

... and I never had red degeneration of fibroid, thereby saving my life and saving my baby’s life. This wasn’t a surprise to me as I had prayed against it and had enough fluid in my body to guard against it.

I kept working out all through my first trimester. A few times, I felt really tired and dizzy and had to lie down on the bench in the changing room. Apart from that, there were no serious incidents.I pushed and pushed myself because I knew that if I could see it through till the end of the first trimester, I will be the one to reap the benefits. And if I gave up in the first trimester, it would be very hard for me to resume in the second trimester

It wasn’t until I was about 4 months pregnant that my stomach started showing and my gym colleagues knew I was pregnant. By then, I was already in second trimester and my energy had tripled.

I did heavy and intense workouts till 32 weeks. I didn’t go all the way to 40 weeks like I planned because I didn’t want to be too fit and have my baby come out before my trip or on the plane since I had a little hitch in my travel plans, and had to stay in Nigeria longer than expected.

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Guess how many weeks pregnant i was here? .. Don't mind my serious face. I was having mad fun, .. All through my pregnancy, I worked out heavily, till almost the end, when I had to start mentally and physically preoare for my trip .. I did everything I could do, heavy skips, super circuits, treadmills, curcuit selection, zumba, spinning .. This was me at 30 weeks ( I know I don't look it) at an intensive zumba class, following my instructor @sandraosaigbovo .. I'm glad I was able to keep fit all through my pregnancy journey and even lost weight in third trimester, though that was not the goal. I believe I inspired many ladies at the gym cos they always told me that they kept going on with their fitness journey because of a heavily pregnant lady like me could do it, who were they to give up? The guys at the gym just always looked at me and my growing stomach in awe πŸ˜€ .. I travelled at almost 39 weeks, and looked about 25-28 weeks pregnant, if at all, that i wasn't even asked for fit to fly or medical report. .. The downside of this is that my husband always called me “strong pregnant woman” so I couldn’t even form “damsel in distress” πŸ˜” .. What is your opinion about heavy workouts while pregnant? Yay or nay? #pregnancy #pregnantlife #fitpregnancyjourney #fitpregnancy #pregnantbelly #rebellingagainstculture #mumofboys #twoundertwo #mumoftwo #30weekspregnant
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Above is me at 30 weeks pregnant

I was very fit throughout my pregnancy, and didn’t gain a single weight apart from baby weight. In fact, I lost body weight in my third trimester.

My delivery was uneventful. I healed pretty fast, in about 3 days. I snapped back pretty fast, in about 2 weeks. Although my stomach is not completely flat as I am 9 weeks postpartum but it is a million times flatter than what it was at 4 months postpartum in my first pregnancy. In fact, everyone says I don’t look like I just had a baby.

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And that was how we resumed gym at 6 weeks postpartum 😁. Was challenging the first day, but the body quickly got the message . It’s okay if you want to give your body some months to rest after pregnancy, cos as they say “it just pushed out a whole human being πŸ™„”. Also it’s okay if you are in the “quick snap back” category. Do whatever you want to do, and don’t let anyone make you feel bad for your choice, as long as your health is not jeopardized . As for me, I’m in the “snap back immediately” category, cos that’s what makes ME happy, and that’s what I will do. I don’t have a big body or a big stomach, so this is not the time for me to start fitting into society’s expectations of what a new mummy’s body should look like . Beach body, here we come 😁. #fitness #sixweekspostpartum #fitmom #rebellingagainstculture #healthylifestyle #momofboys #momoftwo
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Above is me at 6 weeks postpartum

My baby is very strong and came out as an athlete, lol. His shoulders and neck have been very strong even as a newborn. He had been lifting himself since 4 weeks and people are attributing it my workout, lol

I resumed gym at 6 weeks postpartum and I have been consistent. To be honest, I could have resumed the next week if I wanted to because I didn’t feel like someone who went through labour. I’m working on regaining my core and restoring it to pre pregnancy.

I’m glad I chose to do things differently the second time around. I’m glad I pushed myself. I definitely reaped the benefits.

The gym saved my life because

  • It saved me and my baby’s life from red degeneration of fibroid 
  • The daily boost of oxytocin helped me mentally, emotionally and physically
  • I maintained my weight all through
  • I had a hitch free delivery
  • I snapped back immediately after delivery
  • My baby’s bones are very strong

Did you work out while pregnant? If not, are you open to the idea of doing it? What is your general opinion on working out while pregnant?

P.S: I will not advise anyone to workout heavily while pregnant if you have not been doing it before pregnancy. I was able to keep up that lifestyle because it was what my body was already used to. This is also what doctors and fitness experts will advise you. If in doubt, please consult your doctor.

Who said motherhood isn’t easy?

Hi people. How are we all doing? Sorry I skipped blogging for two weeks. I moved back home, and everything was in disarray cos we moved houses. I am basically just settling in, and it has been hectic with two under two. The tail end of last week was the peak of exhaustion because we were burying my grandmother and celebrating her exit in grand style. It was my experience that inspired the writeup below

You wake up with swollen breasts, then quickly pump before the baby wakes up.

No, You cannot feed my Child!

What is it with Nigerians and their lack of understanding of boundaries? When we were children, our parents constantly drummed into our ears not to collect food from strangers, so you would assume that in today’s world, strangers with good intentions would respect themselves and not even give your children food without the parents’ permission.

My first son is at that age where he’s too old of a toddler to sit in one spot, yet too young to understand instructions like “don’t collect food from strangers.” Because of this, I’m having to do extra monitoring because of some people who just don’t know better.

Earlier this year, I went to the passport office to renew my passport. In the room where I was to capture, my 17 month old son was running around freely and I was awaiting my turn, while monitoring him with my eyes in the very small room. I looked away for about for about a minute, and he had walked towards one of the officers, who was eating small chops, and she inserted puff puff into his mouth just as I turned my head back towards him.

Twenty minus one ways my pregnancy journeys were different

I discovered I was pregnant in September 2018. I missed my period, and that was it. Unlike my first pregnancy, this was intentional on my path. There was unprotected sex, and the period was unsafe, and it happened. You remember when our parents used to lie to us that if a man dare looks at you, you will get pregnant, I am that person. My initial plan was to start trying in October 2018, but decided to start in September because I was too eager, and to get a head start in case September didn’t work out. I have only had unprotected sex in an unsafe period only once in my life, and I have been pregnant twice. So it is safe to say, I need to stay away from men as from today, lol.

After getting pregnant, I expected many things to go the same way my last pregnancy went, except the red degeneration of fibroid of course. I was quite surprised when a lot of things went differently. Looking at it with a bird’s eye view now, I believe this pregnancy was better for me than the previous one. I’m not exactly sure why, but one thing I know is that I was far more active this pregnancy, and went to gym, did treadmills, skips, and hard core work outs well over 30 weeks of my pregnancy.

Below are the similarities and differences I noticed in my two pregnancy journeys. Some of them took me by surprise, but most were pleasant.

Call me Mum of Boys: Two Under Two

Hello Beautiful people. It's been a minute since I last blogged. I took an unintentional break because I was concerting a lot of spiritiual and physical energy in other areas of  my life. A lot has happened in the past few months, scratch that, in the past one year, the most significant of them being that I had a new addition to my family six days ago, on the 18th of June, 2019. One thing I can say is that this boy is a warrior, and a victorious one at that. I honestly believe that if he is shot now, the bullet will deflect from his skin, lol. That is why he is called Lyon.

I currently do not have official pictures of him, so you will help me manage the ones below. In my usual fashion, if you know me, you will know that I will be doing a series on his journey soon. The story is actually more spiritual than physical, so if you are in a phase of believing for something, that looks like it is not forthcoming after such a long time, you want to stay tuned. Don't worry, you won't be waiting for too long, as you will be hearing from me before you can finish saying the word LYON.


Two under Two

A completely honest post: The downside of marriage and motherhood

I interviewed some very smart young ladies over the phone this past weekend. I asked them for feedback over the shortcomings they have noticed on my business page. While their answers were very revealing to me, what struck me was the fact that majority of the trends in my life that I am currently not satisfied with was largely due to my fault.

I have been complaining of less productivity, declining results, etc. But as I traced the timeline in my head, I realised that this negative trend started when I got married, and later started growing my family. It is not that I became lazier or laid back, but I completely ditched some important aspects of my business, and outsourced what I couldn't ditch to people. Outsourcing is not bad, but I didn't occasionally supervise the outsourced areas. And I also realised that the parts I ditched should never have been ditched in the first place, at least, not for so long. This is because this is actually the engine that ran the entire business, something I was completely oblivious of.

Ever since I got married and started building a family, my creativity has been on the decline. Sometimes, I look at old articles and quotes, and ask "was I really the one who wrote these things? Where is my former brain?" It's like since I left my parents' house, my brain has shut down. After I had my son in 2017, I have been under constant pressure (self-imposed), I hardly smile, I can't remember when last I genuinely laughed, my level of productivity has declined, taking my income along with it. I like to think that I've been able to balance motherhood, marriage, and business, but if I am not producing as much result as I used to, then the balance is just an illusion. The truth is I haven't yet found a rhythm that works for me, like I had in my single days. It's like the world is moving forward, while I am receding

Please, if anyone reading this has gone through, or is going through what I am currently going through, let me know in the comment section. If you are already out of it, how were you able to free your mind from being held back.

P.S: I am talking about lack of, or decline in productivity and results, as a result of change in marital status or motherhood, not marital pressure in itself

Death gives no hoot about your plans!

On Friday Morning, as I was just about stepping out of the our for my daily business, I got a call from my brother that my maternal grandmother had just passed. Honestly, I was shocked, and this caused me to scream and then start crying loudly. She was my last surviving relative, and she raised me for the first two years of my existence on earth.

I was quite close to her, but I recently started withdrawing from her, because I just couldn't handle her deteriorating state well. At the age of 81 going on 82, we had to forcefully move her from her house to my house (the one I lived with my original nuclear family) so she could be well looked after.

She died at 84 going on 85, with her mind very intact, but her body getting weaker by the day. I didn't go to the house this year to see her. The last time I went to the house was December 30th, for our annual party. I went to her room, greeted her, hugged her, and left after about 5 minutes. I promised to see her again before leaving, but I didn't. This is not a note of regret, but a statement of the facts. Before this, I have never dealt with gradual loss. Every other close loss I've suffered were sudden. If you have been following this blog for a while, you will know my dad was shot and killed by armed robbers at 47, and my cousin was hit by a driver who was texting while driving, while cousin was changing his tire.

Dear Pastor's Wife, It takes both parties to make marriage work

Last week, I saw a flyer on Instagram, where a pastor's wife was calling for women to pray and fast for their husbands for 31 days (all through the month of March). I did not like the feeling the flyer generated in me.

I wanted to like the idea and the thought for calling for a prayer watch, but I did not, and I didn't like that I didn't like the idea... at all. Imagine if everyone is good, and you want to be good also, but you keep being bad, and you don't like the fact that you are bad. You know you should be good, but there's something about this 'good' that doesn't sit well with you... that's exactly how I felt.

I feel every woman should pray for her husband, because under normal circumstances, if it is well for your husband, it would be well for you too. They should also pray for their children. It is normal for most religious women to pray for their entire households, because there's something about a woman's heart that is always drawn towards her home, and its well-being. And for Christian women who are not very prayerful, but desire to be, or ones just struggling with their prayer lives, which is quite common, this special call for 'prayers for husbands' would most likely encourage them to catch the prayer train.

However, the question is... where are the men? Are they praying for their wives?