I have been a figure athlete for the better part of 6 years. Most of my friends and family know that competing is a very large part of my world. If I am not preparing for a show, then I am working to improve my physique to be a stronger competitor. I love the consistency and the discipline behind competing. I even love the dieting! However, about a year ago, my husband & I decided that it was time to start a family – so it was time to hang up my competition heels for a few years.
Getting pregnant was not nearly as smooth of a journey as I expected. It took the better part of a year and had involved more sacrifices then I had originally anticipated. My hormones were not at a level that was conducive to pregnancy so we had some challenges there to overcome. To ensure my body was able to get pregnant, I needed to gain more weight than I was comfortable with, which, in and of its self was a struggle. I also found that not competing was difficult and I really missed it. To help with some of these struggles, I decided to reformulate my goals. I was going to really use the time while trying to get pregnant to become the strongest, most fit I had ever been. My new goal was to be so fit that I would be “SUPER PREGNANT GRETCHEN”!
My husband and I got the wonderful news that we are expecting about two months ago. Seeing that “positive” test was so exciting and life changing!! The sacrifices of the last year were worth it!
I am officially about 8 weeks along in my pregnancy and it’s been quite a roller coaster!! As someone who is pretty disciplined and stubborn when it comes to my personal goals, I have been quite surprised at how this very tiny baby has taken control of my body! Workouts have taken a back seat – especially on days where I am too nauseated to do much of anything. Foods that I have eaten daily for years, I now cannot tolerate! I am tired much of the time and naps are a built in strategy at this point! In other words – “SUPER PREGNANT GRETCHEN” does not feel like she has much of a cape on right now.
My vision of what pregnancy would be like for me may not totally pan out as I envisioned… but I am learning that that is a-ok! I will still do my best to pursue my goals, hit my macros & nutrition requirements (unless nausea is telling me that I can only tolerate Saltine Crackers that day), and hit the gym 4-5x a week. I also know that this may not always be possible. This is not going to be something that I can “tick every box” and pursue like competing – but I know I will learn how to be much more flexible as I move forward.
I am looking forward to embracing the new journey, the personal growth and, most importantly, welcoming our first child into this world! I know that competing & the stage will always be there but this is more important right now. And…. once this part of the journey is complete and when I step on stage again, it will make that moment extra special with my husband and children in the audience.