In this series, Fit To Be Pregnant is highlighting inspirational mamas from around the globe and how they made their pregnancies fit, comfortable, and healthy. If you’d like to be be featured, get in touch! We’d love to have you!
Michelyn is due to give birth to her first baby this year, but that didn’t stop her from PR’ing at her back squat. You will be amazed at what this soon-to-be mom has accomplished during her pregnancy!
How many weeks pregnant are you?
I am currently 24 weeks pregnant.
Is this your first baby?
“Little Miss Kemp” will be our firstborn human child. My husband and I rescued a Pomeranian-mix puppy over a year and a half ago. His name is Prince and he is presently 1 ½ years-old
Describe your food choices during your healthy pregnancy.
I tend to prepare Paleo and Gluten-free meals, though am not overly strict about either ‘diet plan.’ Overall, my main goal is to eat as little processed foods, as possible, and to buy local!
Describe your exercise routine during your healthy pregnancy.
I am a pregnant CrossFit athlete and very proud of it! My husband, Jason Kemp, is a college basketball coach. We have been married for two years, and moved three times since my first move when we were engaged. When we moved to Athens, OH (home to Ohio University – Go Bobcats!), there were limited gym options! I was hesitant to join a CrossFit gym, given a previous experience, and my hopes of getting pregnant. However, it was the BEST decision I could have made. I absolutely adore the coaches and members at CrossFit SEO. You can find me doing modified WODs 5 days/week! I too walk on the treadmill 3-4 days/week.
What was your greatest obstacle to staying healthy during your pregnancy, and how did you overcome it?
Once I stopped dancing, I picked up running which too has filled my competitive nature after my “pageant career.” At about 3 months pregnant, running became excruciatingly painful. Though not physical, it has been very hard for me to overcome the reality that running while pregnant is not in my future. I had to overcome my feelings of depression and angst that I was not the pregnant woman that I had envisioned for myself. Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman’s life, one that many others wish for. I had to stop, be thankful, and put the whole “running while pregnant” identity in perspective.
What motivated you to exercise and eat healthy food during your pregnancy? How did you manage when you didn’t feel motivated?
Working out and staying active has been a norm for me since I was very young. I grew up a competitive dancer and then competed in pageants. To say I have a love for activity is an under-statement. It has been my main focus to have a healthy pregnancy which includes eating healthy foods and staying active, in my opinion.
Have you allowed yourself to give in to any cravings?
I haven’t succumbed to any major pregnancy cravings; only because they have been no different than before I was pregnant. My husband complains often that he is not experiencing true pregnancy because he hasn’t had the opportunity to buy indulgent foods late at night. Now, I do have a sweet tooth and cave in more than I would have prior to being pregnant, but I too try to keep those on the healthier side. For example, I really love melting chocolate chip morsels and then adding a tablespoon of natural nut butter! When I need ice cream, I buy almond milk frozen dessert.
What is your birth plan? How does your healthy lifestyle factor in to your hopes for birth?
I presently do not have a birth plan set in stone. I would like to try a natural birth, but also do not feel that it is imperative. Whether you have a natural birth, medicated, c-section, or even adopt; I believe becoming a parent is a monumental occasion. My birth plan includes keeping myself and “Little Miss Kemp” safe and healthy!
Were you leading a healthy lifestyle before pregnancy, or did pregnancy inspire you to become healthier?
Like I mentioned earlier, living a healthy lifestyle has always been important for me as well as my husband. I grew up very active in dance which lead me to pageantry. Once I hung up my sash, I took to running half and full marathons. All throughout that time, I too weight trained whether through Cross Fit, boot camp style classes, and even TRX.
What is your proudest accomplishment of your pregnancy?
At 22 weeks pregnant I got a PR (personal record) doing back squats! Let’s just say, I squatted my total weight including those extra pregnancy pounds! I was pretty stoked!
What advice do you have for other moms who want to have a fit and healthy pregnancy?
Do it! If you want to have a fit and healthy pregnancy, then make that choice by making small adjustments. Too often people fail because they try becoming healthy in an extreme manner. Start out by walking 2-3 days/week, and reviewing your daily food intake. Am I suggesting that you start a restrictive diet plan? Absolutely not! But, you can replace those chips with celery and hummus!
What book, website, person inspired you to stay fit and healthy during pregnancy, or did you find useful?
Wow! I follow so many fitness blogs that I would be unable to name just a few! However, Jolene Quirke, owner and head coach at CrossFit SEO, has inspired and supported me throughout my pregnancy. See, Jolene recently gave birth to a bundle of joy herself, and it was amazing to observe her activity level and continued commitment to fitness during those nine months. Honestly, the woman was doing muscle ups, 24 inch box jumps, and lifting heavy up until Baby Quirke was born! She has and will always be my fit-pregnant idol.
What was your favorite product that helped you stay fit and healthy during your pregnancy?
What motivates one more than new gym clothes, right? I have really found the ForTwoFitness line of tops and bottoms great! I have been an avid Nike Pro Sports Bra wearer, and continue to sing their praises – just in a larger size!
Did anyone judge you or say anything negative about your exercise routine during pregnancy?
Quite the contrary! I have had a lot of support from my friends and family for my continued exercise routine, perhaps because they know I am stubborn so their dissent would have only fueled my ambitions. I too have an insurmountable amount of support at my box. One day sticks out to me, in particular, in which nearly all of the other athletes had completed the WOD, and I was only half-way done. They all cheered for me while I finished the WOD which was really cool. There have been several other pregnant women at our box, so everyone is very supportive and caring. I truly could not have lucked out anymore with our move to Athens!
What was the one thing you did for yourself during pregnancy that you would recommend to anyone else who is expecting?
I recently scheduled a massage and am wondering what took me so long! Isn’t pregnancy the time to completely indulge yourself in every pampering activity possible? I will now be scheduling monthly massages until the birth of my little girl. Heck, I may just continue those for the first year of her life as well.
Do you have a blog about your pregnancy or postpartum journey that you’d like to share?
‘Brains, Beauty & Basketball’ is a life and style blog which chronicles my life as a basketball coach’s wife, health and fitness enthusiast, as well as my journey to motherhood. Once I have “Little Miss Kemp,” I will surely document life as a new mommy, my weight loss journey, and everything in between.