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“Arielle, you lost all this weight, what happens if you get pregnant? You’re going to have to start all over again.” A friend told me after my fitness transformation.
“Well, at least I know what works for me if I do.” I responded.
But then I thought, really, what would happen to my health if I ever got pregnant again?
So it turned out, yes! In September 2021 I became pregnant with my third baby! My question was though… how can I safely continue my fitness routine while pregnant? How will I transition back to my routine after birth? My plan… I have at least until the end of my first trimester to utilize Google to figure that out.
The First Trimester
For my first trimester I just continued my regular fitness routine using Marina Santos’s “Body Sculpting Series” and eating clean (approved by doctor). It wasn’t easy! I get so sick when I’m pregnant, but thankful that I already built discipline in myself during my fitness journey so I continued my workouts and clean diet even when I didn’t feel like it (which was always). As far as cravings go, I’m so thankful I was craving generally healthy foods… I think it helped so much that I had a clean diet before getting pregnant! I threw up a lot though, so actually lost some weight during my first trimester.
The Second Trimester
From experience with my first two pregnancies, I was expecting to finally start feeling more like myself during my second trimester. Low and behold, we all ended up getting the Covid virus, then pneumonia, then the stomach flu. I could barely get out of bed for three weeks! What did I do during this time? Sleep, scroll through prenatal fitness pages and healthy recipe ideas, and finally started to research safe HIIT exercises to do while pregnant. At that time Marina didn’t have a prenatal workout plan, so I went out to find one that could work for me.
Finding Sia Cooper
I stumbled upon a before and after 10 days postpartum picture of Sia Cooper and was very impressed! I wanted to know how she bounced back so fast after giving birth, so I visited her website. I found she had a HIIT Prenatal workout plan similar to what I was used to called “Fit For Two”. I decided to purchase the plan, printed it out, and added it to my workout binder. Doctor approved, I went ahead and continued my workout routine using Sia’s “Fit For Two” plan.
Workouts became harder during the third trimester as I started getting bigger, but I went on strong and continued the third trimester workouts from “Fit For Two”. I did wear a belly band for my cardio workouts during this time… I felt it really helped with belly support.
Was It Worth It To Keep Up Fitness During Pregnancy ?
I’m not going to lie… it’s hard work. And also… it’s so worth it. Here are some of the things I noticed was different during this pregnancy compared to my first two:
The Birth Of My Third Child
Baby girl came 6 days late… my doctor “swept” me in the afternoon June 1, at midnight on June 2, 2022 the contractions got to the “511” rule, we got to the hospital and baby girl was born 45min later. Thank God no complications, completely natural (really wanted an epidural but didn’t have time for it lol), pushed her out in two contractions, and no tearing. We were both strong and healthy and went home the next day. It felt like a dream… especially compared to my first two births!
Per Sia Cooper’s advice, I wore a Belly Bandit belly wrap soon after giving birth, and wore it consistently for almost 3 months. It seemed to help hold me together after birth. As far as exercising went, I just did some walking and stretches here and there because I was just so stiff from sitting and breastfeeding all the time I actually craved some kind of exercise! I noticed as soon as I would do a little something to stretch or work my body I immediately felt so much better.
Fitness And Breastfeeding
I really wondered if I continued my nutrition if I would have enough breast milk… answer, yes! I continued eating lean proteins and lots of fresh stuff (especially fruits and smoothies), and got a lot of good fats from nut / nut butters, seeds, and avocados. Protein is by far the most helpful tool to help keep me full while breastfeeding (I feel like a hungry beast whenever I breastfeed lol). I never had any issues with my milk supply so far… baby girl is happy and healthy and getting nice and chunky… solely breastfed!
It always seems like I tend to gain more weight while breastfeeding than when I actually am pregnant. This time around I feel like my hormones are keeping me “fluffier” for my milkies (which is totally fine and normal!), but nothing compared to the weight I gained when I breastfed my first two. Even though I am a little fluffy because of breastfeeding, I’m not going to give up on fitness or freak out or try to eat less. It’s all part of being a mommy and I need to make good nutritional milkies for my baby! My hormones can balance out later. I’m still keeping up my fitness for my health and strength, not to be “skinny”.
Back To My Original Fitness Routine
I could not wait to start Marina Santos’s Body Sculpting Series again! At 5.5 weeks postpartum (with doctor approval) I was able to start!
Halfway through the program I decided to try Kari Pearce’s 30 day “PowerAbs!” to help strengthen my core (an extra 10min a day). I realized doing Marina’s exercises and Kari’s right after each other was too much for me, but when I did Marina’s exercises in the morning and Kari’s exercises in the afternoon/night it felt perfect.
The Body Sculpting Series
I finished BSS a little after 4 months of giving birth, and just blown away at the results of my fitness journey while pregnant and post birth! The hard work definitely pays off, and the fitness training is such an amazing tool to keep the body up with the demands of being a mom.
This is my first experience trying to be fit while pregnant and continued fitness after birth, and I can’t be more thankful for the results. If you’re interested to continue following up on my journey, you can find my fitness page on Instagram under @arnamfit . Hope this inspires you!