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WHAT I LEARNED WHILE PREGNANT- REINFORCING BEHAVIORS


How was i going to make progress> this was my question before getting pregnant.

I know it was a time to stop thinking of progress to only focus on my health and my baby’s. Especially since it happened when COVID came.

But as I have told you all before, progress is health!

It keeps our body balance because to be honest to make progress we need balance..


Balance and progress will keep me at a healthy weight.

But I lift heavy? How would I keep adding more weight if to be honest, it gets harder as the time passes by…


This is what i did while pregnant and i will do now during my prep for now that i am prepping for my bikini show. I also think this is important not just when preparing for a specific occasion, but monitoring your progress for long term success!


Key point:

Conditioning!

When I finished my first bikini prep. I struggled with eating. I couldn’t stop eating and would eat until I felt sick or passed out. I swore I tried as hard as I could but I wasn't able to win my body’s willpower.

I swear! I pray and pray that I could stop this. I didn’t care about my physique anymore. I only wanted my health back because I would also get angry and blame people around me for eating that way or for letting me do it.

Thank God! I was at the time taking a psychology class and learned about classical and operant conditioning and learned how a dog could salivate with just the ring of a bell so I understood that my reaction towards food was a conditioned behavior that I had to change.

After learning to go crazy and enjoy what i didn’t on my “cheat days”.

For a time I hated fitness…

I couldn’t understand how something that would make me healthier or that would give me confidence could make me feel this way.

Was this the price I had to take? Can’t we really have it all?

A lot of people I look around were going through the same. I counted macros and ate everything I craved within my calories but that never helped me improve my relationship with food.

My behaviors were the same and I wasn't making any progress and continue until I had willpower. Then, willpower didn’t last. I felt tired or had other issues. My emotions were triggered with my eating choices and my eating choices, same way triggered my emotions.


I really wanted to focus on my training and I wanted to really live fit. No bounce back and no use the phrase; “get back in shape” I wanted to be in shape all the time!

Stability and slow but continuously progress (you know, happiness).


And you know about different eating styles: intermittent fasting, intuitively, mindful, flexible dieting, carb cycling, vegan, vegetarian, keto, etc.

Which lifestyle would i have to be to have that…

I know we have to work hard, but is working hard always a requirement? I had done it for so long and got burnt out many times for always working hard and for giving my all.


This was something I couldn’t definitely do on my own. I am going to say that thanks to my background education, when I had this crisis happening to my life, I was able to develop a positive mindset and understand that this is not how it has to be.

It is hard to trust what we see on social media right? Because I learned that what we do or eat or how we look can’t make us healthy. We can eat salads and have a ton of candies and sodas at night. We can exercise but during the rest of the day we don’t pay attention to our posture and sit and binge on netflix afterwards. We can look nice, curvy, muscular but deep inside we are crying fighting to maintain what we are seeing. Or even worse, we can look nice but think we are too fat or too skinny. We cannot like ourselves and look nice.

Health is none of those things…

Because health is an armonous feeling that gives you strength and control without you seeking for control. Health is a state of mind! The one conditioning has!

Ofcourse, not all conditioning is right but we won't focus on that (this time).


TO THE POINT

The mistakes I made during my wrong eating and conditioned behaviors were all together with the associations I made. I did cardio everyday during prep so I thought cardio was key to losing weight (more calories burned). Not knowing that cardio actually was getting to the point that will help my body not burn(expand) too many calories while on prep so I could work on my physique while on the long term prep. My body was not able to burn more calories because i wasn't eating more calories..

My metabolism slowed down which was a good thing when I was already lean.

This is why I say do not do cardio to lose weight. You will have to eat more and I know, for many, eating more sounds scary!

That was one..

But let me go straight and I will slowly show you the associations that condition our behaviors to not have success, especially when information is not explained. Logic does not equal right.


At the beginning of my pregnancy, I lost my strength. My body was adapting to my new environment (a baby was growing inside me). But before that, I was forced to decrease my weight since I had a wrist injury when I went skating, so it kind of worked for me to keep my weight low at the beginning of my pregnancy.

After week 17, I started feeling more content with myself after I also increased my calories. My body was settleting. I lifted more weight until my belly grew more and it was uncomfortable for me to move so I had to back down again. I did not set new personal records (PRs), which wasn't my goal. I focused on getting movement and keeping my body balanced with my diet.

I started lifting lighter and slowly=weekly managing my weight back to what my previous PR was. The goal during my whole pregnancy was to stay calm so that I was able to understand changes in my body (hormones) so that it wouldn’t interfere with my sleep and diet.


I played with the same load during the whole pregnancy. Tempering weight down and moving up until i was close to my max, then will go back down but more than previously to then move up a little bit more and slowly close to my max. Every time feeling easier and less tiring even though it was my weight (check my recipe ebook:How to diet; "Flip your Tastebuds" to help you with performance).


A lot of the times (huge mistake), we believe that exercising is about making ourselves tired (like if we were punishing us for taking care of ourselves, but when we track and let the body adapt (learning)to every new weight we add (load) or movement, our body will do it as normal as walking and sitting it is to you. Then yes, “showing up is the best way to push yourself”.


Our body does not want to burn calories. If it does it will act as a survival mode and will hold more fat to preserve what it is afraid of losing. Our body settles back and then gets rid of the fat by making your bones stronger (adding density) and changing the shape of your muscles, giving you a curvier physique which also relates to a more balanced physique.


BEST OF ALL!

It taught me patience (I thought I had it, but it forced me to really own it/keep my cells calm). I do not have to get there faster if I am risking losing more afterwards, if there’s no adaptation. Every new thing in our body has to be learned and repeatedly learned (reinforced) by our body for the change to last. The change in our body isn't something we should be focused on (to be honest). Because the only way our body will truly change is when we measure what we do.


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