Mental Wellness,  Mom Life,  Pregnancy,  Wellness

My Third Trimester Commitment — how I plan to be my best self physically, mentally, and emotionally in the final months of pregnancy

I’m 28 weeks today.

I have finally entered my third trimester.

And… wow.

I’m not completely sure how much further I have to go in this pregnancy, but I do know that I’m in the home stretch now which is both comforting and absolutely terrifying.

Since I’m 28 weeks and at the start of my last trimester, I’ve decided to set a little challenge for myself to keep me grounded and in tune with myself as I progress through these final months.

Actually, I’m not going to call it a challenge because I imagine the rest of this pregnancy is going to be quite the challenge enough. I’m already having a tough time sitting up or staying asleep during the night so I’m instead going to call this a Third Trimester Commitment. 

The end goal of this Commitment is to get as fit physically, mentally, and spiritually as I can before I actually give birth.

I’m not going to make any drastic or unsustainable lifestyle changes, but I am going to hold myself more accountable for doing things that will strengthen my resolve, my body, and my mind before I shift into survival mode trying to take care of the new human.

The overarching theme of this challenge/commitment is to do something today that my future self will appreciate.

That’s the mindset I am functioning under throughout the duration of my Third Trimester Commitment.

And along with that mindset, I only have six subtle changes to my daily routine to help me achieve my third trimester goals.

The first daily activity for my Third Trimester Commitment is something that I’ve already been doing for weeks, but something I want to purposefully maintain for the rest of my pregnancy.

I want to maintain my daily hour workouts.

My second trimester energy only kicked in a few weeks ago, but ever since then, I have been motivated every morning to complete an hour workout. 

I don’t have a specific workout plan because I like to go by intuition, so I’m not setting or creating a workout plan for my third trimester. 

If my body feels like dancing for the entire hour, I will dance for the entire hour instead of forcing myself to do an hour lifting routine.

If my body feels ready and well enough to follow a weighted lower body workout, then squats and lunges it will be.

The entire goal that I have with this activity, especially going forward, is to maintain a mindful hour of movement in the mornings. 

Spending this hour by myself and my body has definitely given me the confidence that I need to embrace all the physical changes I’ve been seeing and feeling. 

I can’t bend and move the way I used to before I got pregnant and that fact is actually a source of a lot of depression that I’ve been experiencing. It’s not fun seeing yourself regress from the fitness goals that you made only a few months before.

But setting time in the morning to see all the ways I still CAN move while still growing a person inside me has been filling me with much needed confidence and motivation for the rest of my days.

Since I don’t have any “fitness” goals for my pregnancy, I think mindful movement that raises my heart rate and makes me feel good about my body is an achievable daily activity that I can maintain for the rest of my third trimester.

So first activity for Third Trimester Commitment: maintain daily hour workout.

My second planned activity is another physical task, but one focused on relaxing and sitting deep with the new pains I’m feeling. 

I want to dedicate space and time every day to stretching and foam rolling.

I developed sciatic nerve pain along my left leg in recent weeks and it is SO painful. I sometimes walk with a limp or swing my left leg with me while I walk so I don’t tweak it, but even then it sometimes pinches and I yell out a bit.

From what I’ve read, sciatic nerve pain is normal in pregnancy and usually resolves itself after my uterus is no longer the size of a basketball, but in the meantime, I want to dedicate more time to getting in tune with my body and relax into the changes I am experiencing.

It will help me embrace the new pains as things that are temporary but necessary during this time of my life.

I want to stretch, do light yoga, and/or foam roll for at least 15 to 30 minutes each day or night.

I like to stretch after my showers in the evening, and this time can also be used to decompress for the evening and abandon any lingering stress from my day.

Stretching for 15 to 30 minutes every night is activity number two.

Activity number three is simple. Drink a gallon of water a day.

I have a 32 ounce water bottle that I carry with me literally everywhere I go, and I recently bought myself a 30 ounce insulated tumbler so that my tea stays warm all day.

My goal is to drink at least two of my water bottles and two tumblers worth of water and decaf/herbal tea a day for the rest of my third trimester.

I always drink a 20 ounce bottle of water when I get up in the morning, so with that, I should be well over my 128 ounces per day.

I live in the desert so staying hydrated is super important whether I’m pregnant or not. But with my body now getting more overworked in these last months of pregnancy, as well as my commitment to moving more, I think staying hydrated should be a huge priority for me in this final stretch of pregnancy.

Activity number four of my Commitment deals with food and maintaining a healthy relationship with food as my pregnancy progresses. 

My goal for the remaining time of my third trimester is to eat as mindfully as possible. 

Mindfulness and intuitive eating is important to me.

I’ve dealt with eating disorders in the past where I severely limited and restricted what I would allow myself to eat because of how I perceived my body. I’ve tried to avoid falling into those same habits in pregnancy, and so far, I’ve done really well with allowing myself to embrace cravings instead of punishing myself for indulging.

I don’t like to set restrictions on myself when it comes to food.

I don’t like restricting myself to not eating chips or sweets every once in a while. I like to honor my cravings and I like to see food as a neutral source of energy. I don’t like separating food into “good” or “bad” foods because that has more of an impact on my mental health than it has an impact on my eating habits.

If I think that the food I am eating is bad, yet I still crave it and eat it, I start to feel worse about myself than if I just accepted that I want to eat a treat and move on.

Instead of setting restrictions or trying to change my diet, I want to support my mindful eating habits.

Mindful eating means stepping into the role of being the caretaker of my body.

I know that I need to eat specific foods like veggies, fruits, and proteins in abundance in order to feel good and to give my babe all the nutrients he needs to grow and develop. I can do that, no problem.

But at the same time, I also know I need to honor what my mind wants as well to keep myself happy and stimulated with new foods and treats as my body changes.

I’ve had a real hankering for sour gummy worms lately, and it gives me joy to have them on hand and be able to munch on a handful of them throughout the day. 

I don’t run through a whole bag because I’ve never had the inclination to do so, but I don’t hide them and tell myself that they’re bad either. I know that having a snack or indulging in a craving isn’t ruinous to my body or my baby, and if it makes me happy and makes me feel fulfilled, then I should do my best to honor that. 

I wanted to include this as part of my Third Trimester Commitment because I am starting to get bigger and gain more weight and there are some times where I feel triggered into falling back into old restrictive habits.

I hope to remind myself for the rest of my pregnancy that mindfulness in my eating habits is more important than cutting foods or restricting myself.

Happiness is my priority for the rest of this pregnancy. Food makes me happy, so while I will still eat healthy and clean, I will also strive to make myself happy as well.

Mindful eating is the fourth activity of my Third Trimester Commitment.

My fifth daily activity delves deeper into building and maintaining my mental health by making time to check in with myself every day.

I want to set aside at least ten minutes each day to journal and record my thoughts, feelings, and emotions for the day, be they good or bad.

I’ve been keeping a journal for as long as I can remember, but this year I have gone weeks without making an entry.

Gee, I wonder why.

But for the remaining time of my third trimester, I hope to sit down each day and journal for at least ten minutes.

For me, this is about two full pages of journaling. It is definitely manageable, and I think I will appreciate that I did it when I look back on it years from now.

Along with journaling for me in my own journal, I have also been keeping a journal for my son as well. Every now and again I’ll sit down and update him about what life is like, how I’m feeling, how he’s doing, and what his dad and his family are up to. I would like to be more consistent with that as I near the end of my pregnancy, as well.

The fifth habit of my Commitment is journaling for at least ten minutes every day.

My sixth daily activity focuses on working on myself from the inside-out by setting aside time to read and work on myself.

I bought a bunch of parenting books and self development books earlier in October. I’m making made steady progress through most of them, but I want to read at least 10 pages, or read for at least 30 minutes (depending on how I’m feeling) every day to get through all of them before the baby comes.

The books I have are on topics like how to live authentically, how to overcome self sabotage, and how to live in your truth.

These are topics that I know I have to work on in order to live the life that I want, so I want to work through them and apply the principles to my life before my mind is consumed with all things baby.

Along with those books, I also have a bunch of books on parenting and how to raise emotionally intelligent children.

I think finishing those will help me feel more open to embracing the huge life change that is coming since I am already starting to feel a bit anxious about what life will be like once I’m a mom.

So that is the entirety of my Third Trimester Commitment.

Subtle tweaks to my daily life that will help me maintain my happiness, build my confidence, and accomplish things that my future self would thank me for.

On top of that, I hope to keep a log or at least write about how I’m doing with my Commitment as I progress through my final trimester.

Above all else, I’m excited for these next few months!

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