I was thrilled to tell my physical therapist yesterday that I got a stationary bike for my house, the kind with the back support. An older patient chuckled and said I wouldn’t have to worry about using that after my little one comes. I smiled back to be polite, as I know he meant well, but deep down, I have to admit that it frustrated me.
People who don’t have chronic anxiety or tics often don’t understand why exercise is so important to me.
I’m so stinkin’ excited about my bike and balance ball! To them, it might not mean a whole lot to stop exercising, but for me, it’s not just an activity – it’s a necessity. I’ve had to cancel at least half of my exercise plans during the second two trimesters because of back problems, nausea, and all the other fun things that pregnancy brings, but I could always tell when I’d cancelled too often. My tics would jump, and so would my stress.
Because simply getting to the gym can be a hassle (and will be even more after Jelly Bean arrives), I decided I needed to tackle my problem from another direction. I researched exercise bikes and then purchased a simple, somewhat inexpensive one for my home, along with a balance ball. Those, combined with the small sets of weights I already owned, made up my new home gym. It was pricey, but to me, keeping my stress levels down and my health up is worth it. That way, after Jelly Bean comes, I’ll be ready for some quick rounds of exercise whenever the time presents itself.
I’m not saying I’ll get in an hour every day, but from the first day I’m allowed back on that bike, I will be. Exercise will be a priority because I’m making it one. The only way I’m going to keep myself healthy and at peace enough to properly take care of my family is if I’m taking care of my own anxiety levels first.
Now about my diet …
No, I don’t mean going on a diet during pregnancy. I mean watching what I’m putting into my body to make sure it’s beneficial to me and to Jelly Bean. As far as cravings go, I get them, but not with the intensity that I did in Trimester 1 (back when I would eat practically anything because even getting crackers down was a victory). The interesting thing is that my cravings have changed as I’ve honed what I’ve put into my body. Rarely do I really crave ice cream or candy. (Okay, you’ve got me with dark chocolate, but that happened before pregnancy, too!)
I’ve noticed that while sugar doesn’t affect me as severely now as it does when I’m not pregnant, I can still tell a huge difference in how I feel when I make healthy food choices. When I make healthy choices, I can tell that my anxiety is better, which means my tics are better. It’s good for my brain, which means it’s good for Jelly Bean’s brain. Something I fear for women who use pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever they want is that they’ll have to completely reset their bodies and their brains after the baby is born. I mean, who wants that shock after you’ve just given birth?
While the beginning of the pregnancy did have me craving mostly salty foods, I’m now craving foods I usually eat. I just want more of them. This translates into things like quinoa, cheese, oats, nuts, and fruit. I’ve also been forcing myself to try and drink a glass of low-sodium V8 Vegetable Juice every day. When I get a craving for something sweet, I’ll drink a glass of cranberry juice instead. Yes, I know it’s full of sugar, but it does have beneficial properties, such as the ability to help stave off certain infections, that candy bars just don’t have.
In order to keep myself on track, I’ve also begun to search for new foods, so that when I get blindsided by my appetite, I have a variety of options when I open the cabinet door. That way I’m not tempted to go after my husband’s snacks. (Because strangely, he doesn’t seem to appreciate cheddar rice cakes covered in Laughing Cow Cheese to the extent that I do. Oh wait…he’s a meat loving man. Lol.)
What To Expect When You’re Expecting with Tourette
I honestly don’t know what to expect, either now or in postpartum period. It’s hard to find information out there about going through pregnancy with Tourettes, so I’ll try to keep you updated as I round these last few bends. It’s important to remember that my experience won’t be exactly the same as any other woman’s. I’m just writing to let ladies like (or their hubbies) know they’re not alone.
Have you ever experienced workout induced anxiety attacks? What did you do to address them? Do you have any tips to share? I’d love to hear your comments and questions, so please post them in the Comment Box below. Also, don’t forget that if you sign up for my weekly newsletter, you’ll get extra resources on neurological disorders, as well as a gift in thanks for signing up. Thanks for reading!