A lot happened at my last prenatal appointment: I got to pick the birthing room that I wanted for baby’s birth day, I gained another three pounds (although I did eat a big lunch right before stepping on the scale!), baby boy turned, and we did a private birth prep session with a doula.
Where I’m giving birth, they have two beautiful birthing suites: a garden room and a beach room. Tough choice! I ultimately decided to go with the garden suite since it has quaint little windows and a bigger tub for a water birth.
Whenever my midwife checked the baby’s position, she informed me that he was now facing up! She said “You do NOT want to go into labor with him in that position”, so I was instructed to do some exercises to try and turn him. Since my abdominal and pelvic floor muscles are so tight from all my years of training, she told me I had to try to “loosen” them so that the baby has more flexibility to move around. How does a trainer relax muscles that they have trained to be strong and taut all of this time? This is a whole new ball game!
After the appointment my husband and I met with a doula (and a past acquaintance of mine) to run through a birth preparatory course; it was wonderful! My husband learned all sorts of wonderful techniques and tips to truly help me physically and mentally during labor. After two hours (of practicing in the birth room) I felt even more confident in my abilities—I can do this!
Have you ever practiced or trained for something that seemed overwhelming at first, but once you put in the time and effort everything worked out wonderfully? Maybe it’s training for a marathon, a tournament, or other fitness feat? I believe that no matter the event, it is first mental, then physical. You have to see it to achieve it. You have to believe in yourself before you take that first step—then you attack it.
This week, try training your mental muscles; purposefully pick a goal that you have been wanting to pursue,but for whatever reason have been putting aside. It could be grabbing a friend to go for regular walks, taking a fitness class, or starting a weight-loss program. Find your motivation, then visualize your desired outcome—get specific, write it down and put it somewhere where it is in your face every day for you to see. Finally, write down the steps in order of what it takes to achieve that goal and get busy!
One of the most powerful things you can do is visualize your goal and say it out loud, exactly as you want. If you want to lose weight, picture exactly what you want to look like and say specifically what you want: for instance, “I’m going to lose ten pounds and have more than enough energy to work, clean my house, and play with my kids. I’ll feel so amazing, I won’t know what to do with myself. Every day I’m getting stronger, leaner, and more energized.” And so on.
I’ve practiced this in my own life spiritually as well as mentally and physically in past goals (or even obstacles) in my life; now is no different. To prepare for something that I have never been able to adequately train for (labor) can be daunting, but I make certain to mentally and verbally affirm my goals and visualize precisely my desired outcome. I prepared my body with good food, exercise, prayer, and positive affirmations. I am going to continue to do this until, during, and after labor as well.
To change your life, you have to change your thinking and no one will do it for you. Don’t wait on others to motivate you—no one cares about your goals, dreams, and desires more than you do. Go for it! And if you need any help, I’m just an email away: Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com.
Crystal Manjarres is the owner of One-On-One Fitness, a private personal training and Pilates studio for men and women on Marco Island. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist and Stott Pilates certified instructor. Her focus is “Empowering men and women of all shapes and sizes”. To send in a question, email Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com She can also be reached at www.101FIT.com or www.PinkIslandFitness.com and 239-333-5771.