It’s been almost a year since Katy Allderman took the title of Biogen Face Of Fitness 2020. The past year has been nothing short of amazing for Katy, with countless opportunities coming her way and finding out she’s pregnant. We caught up with Katy to find out how she’s balanced keeping fit while being pregnant.
How did you feel when you found out you were pregnant?
I was ecstatic!! Super chuffed, but nervous at the same time. It almost feels surreal as you’re not feeling any different, or having any ‘symptoms’ per se, but you now have this baby growing inside you. Its crazy!!
Has being pregnant changed how you approach your gym sessions? If so, in what way?
In the first trimester I did change things up a bit! I took quite a bit of advice from quite a few people…. BIG MISTAKE! It ended up making me super paranoid about exercise becoming harmful to my child (even though I’ve studied this and know better)!
Paranoia can get the better of you sometimes. So I really slowed things down a lot and did a lot of low-intensity, isolated work…very boring. But after doing more research, chatting to my gynae, and gaining more confidence I’ve gradually returned back to my way of training pre-pregnancy. So I am now doing 3 to 4 CrossFit-inspired classes a week (obviously decreasing the weight I move as I go along). And then I do 1 to 2 cardio or ‘work-on’ sessions if I’m feeling up to it. Not fitting in 9 sessions a week like I was !! But that would be over-doing things way too much!
Were you nervous about how your body would change throughout your pregnancy?
I wasn’t initially. But as I started to notice the changes as they happened, it did start to bother me. I’m now 5 months, but my tummy is only now starting to push and round out, so prior to this I felt like I was just looking like I had picked up a ton of weight. You feel like you just look chubby, so self-esteem took quite a dip. Every day I’m starting to feel more and more confident in my own skin. So it’s getting better, but it’s by no means an easy process.
What changes in your body have happened that you didn’t expect?
WOW, there are some super interesting changes that happen during pregnancy!
Body hair… that’s a real thing! It’s great having long, luscious hair on your head, but elsewhere… not so much!
A hormone known as relaxin is released during pregnancy which causes your joints and ligaments to loosen up and allow for some movement. I’ve been feeling that ‘looseness’ in my sacrum which has been super uncomfortable and sore at times.
I had obviously heard about the pregnancy fatigue and ‘pregnancy brain’, but wow, I didn’t expect how real those things are!
I also feel like my bum and tummy are having a race as to who can get bigger the fastest haha!
How has your eating changed being pregnant?
First trimester was a proper oxymoron, if I can call it that. I was feeling really nauseous all the time, but at the same time I was starving! Nothing filled me up. So all I could really stomach was salty-crax, toast and similar things. So I was eating a hell of a lot of that! Which isn’t the best diet, and not what I was used to. So that didn’t help much with the self-confidence either. But now that I’m well into my second trimester I’m able to get in more balanced meals which is making me feel a lot better about myself. I am eating more carbs compared to what I used to, as the baby needs more carbs/energy to grow. All in all, I’m eating roughly 300 to 500 calories extra per day.
Do you plan to train throughout your whole pregnancy?
YES! I’d like to train for as long as I possibly can. I know towards the end it may get a bit tricky, but even if I’m just walking I’ll be happy! Moving has helped me so much during this pregnancy! The more you move and strengthen your body the better you feel, the better you carry, the better you’ll handle the delivery and the better you’ll recover.
How do you plan to keep active after your baby’s birth?
Whether I end up having a caesar or natural, there will be a big recovery process involved. Your body goes through the most giving birth to a child and you MUST give it that time to recover properly, otherwise, you’ll end up doing more harm than good. In the first few weeks ill just try to move around my house as much as I can and practice my kegels! Unless I have any complications (God forbid), I will probably be doing some form of gentle movement before my 6 weeks check up. This will be safe movement such as walking or isolated muscle contractions. Once I’ve been given the clear by my gynae at 6 weeks i’ll start SLOWLY, with my main emphasis being on rebuilding proper core control. I plan to walk quite a bit at this stage, and to make sure my pelvic floor muscles are activating as they should. I’ll do a lot of glue bridges, pelvic tilts, gentle squats and take things from there. I won’t be rushing the process, but id like to get back to my normal functional training as soon as I can post-delivery.
With your body changing throughout your pregnancy, what have you been doing to keep yourself mentally well?
This has been an extremely tough challenge for me… I have my ups and downs. Staying active and eating as healthily as I can (whilst not being restrictive) has definitely helped me mentally as I don’t have the guilt of knowing that I’m not moving and I’m eating terribly! At one stage my insecurity was at an all time high, and this was when I was comparing myself to every other woman who’s ever been pregnant!! I’d look at friends, fitness models, and supermodels and compare what they looked like at my stage of pregnancy and what I look like. I’d look at how much weight they gained compared to me, and research how they trained and what they ate!It was really unhealthy!!
EVERY WOMAN CARRIES DIFFERENTLY AND IT IS (to a large extent) COMPLETELY OUT OF YOUR CONTROL! It doesn’t help that our culture is saturated with articles and tips on how to have a ‘belly only’ pregnancy, which makes you feel like an absolute failure if you pick up any weight other than on your tummy, which is completely unrealistic!
I’ve since forced myself to stop comparing myself to other women and their pregnancies – I literally restrain myself from stalking instagram profiles! Instead, I’ve been researching exactly what is going on in my body at each stage, how my body is adapting to grow this little baby and all the miraculous things a woman’s body instinctively knows what to do and when to bring new life into this world! Honestly, when you think of it like that you can’t help but praise your body for literally performing miracles ! It’s a beautiful thing! Women are seriously superheroes!!
Can you give 5 tips to other fit mom-to-be’s on keeping fit and healthy during pregnancy?
- Don’t take advice from everyone! Choose one or two women who have been pregnant before and who had stayed active throughout, and ask their advice.
- Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. This is your own unique journey, focus on you.
- Listen to your body! You aren’t going to be able to keep the same intensity that you were training at pre-pregnancy, and that is completely healthy and normal! You body is working 10 X harder by creating this life inside of you. If your body is telling you it needs a break, take it! Don’t undermine what a good walk can do for your head and body.
- On the other side of the spectrum: remember that pregnancy is PHYSIOLOGICAL, it is not a PATHOLOGY! You are pregnant, you are not sick!! Pregnancy is a completely normal process, your body is designed to do exactly this! Don’t be afraid to move around and live your life! You are not sick, you are not going to break. You can absolutely continue working out, especially if you have been doing so before being pregnant! You will eventually need to scale down a bit, but you absolutely do not need to stop!! Keeping fit is the best thing you can do for yourself and for your baby!
- People will always have something to say! “She’s selfish and a bad mom because she is training too hard while pregnant. Doesn’t she know that she’s harming her child” ; “How can she just sit on her backside and not move? Doesn’t she realise that being unhealthy will make her child unhealthy.”! Whatever you do people will judge, focus on you and your child! Listen to your body, give yourself enough fuel to support training and growing a human being; and if you’re doing all that and listening to your gynae, then completely ignore and remove yourself from any and all negativity around you.
What are you most excited about being a new mother?
WOW!! So so so much! Knowing that I’m going to be having a little girl has made me so excited to raise a strong woman!! Not only physically, but mentally as well. I’m so excited to speak life into the next generation, to be able to teach my daughter that the way you look is NOT the most important thing about you! I know the struggles I had growing up and the societal pressures on women to look and talk and act a certain way! I want my daughter to know that the inside counts far more than the outside! I want her to be tough, and strong and a little warrior!
I also can’t wait to have a permanent little workout buddy joining me for all my sessions! Haha its going to be such fun!
Author: Logan Leigh Rix
Logan blends her passion and profession by working as a digital and social media marketer and content creator in the fitness, health and wellness industry. She’s also a personal trainer, former Face of Fitness finalist and Fitness Magazine featured athlete.