When I was little, my favorite heroine was Joan of Arc. I'm not quite sure why, but I was fascinated by her. I felt like I heard God's voice clearly as a little girl and was also tad 'odd,' so I felt akin to girls that felt misplaced and different. Maybe you relate.
I adored that Joan honored her inner femininity, but never saw her femininity as something to hinder her from God's calling. And for her, his call was to lead an army and fight for what she believed was right. There is one point where someone asks her if she is afraid, and supposedly, she says,
"I am not afraid, for God is with me. I was born for this!"
To live with that kind of passion and belief in what you are doing is seemingly absurd and also wonderful. How much more confident would we be if we approached the scary situations in our life believing that really, truly God had created us for that very thing?
As I got older, I felt called to many things that scared me. Starting businesses as a teenager, trying to build a company growing at a crazy rate, fighting for women's rights worldwide, speaking, traveling, and now having a baby.
Now, none of these things have quite the craziness of becoming a military leader at age 17 like Joan of Arc, but they were scary none-the-less. There have been times (especially in the last year) where I have felt so under-qualified to do what I have felt called to do.
Funny enough, the biggest thing I've ever felt this about has been having a baby. Seems goofy, but I've always had this innate fear that I just wasn't made overly maternal. I'm not even sure why, but getting pregnant has brought out that worst fear in me. Can I still be the woman I want to be - world changer, business owner, traveler, speaker.....and a mom?
Early in my pregnancy, I had to bring this to God and wrestle with it. I felt as if I had to be a different person to be pregnant and become a mom. I know that all the moms out there probably think that it's silly....and of course you can do all of those things! But it was a real fear of mine.
Gently, God told me two very important things:
- Chelsie, how do you want your daughter to feel about herself? Because if you aren't confident in yourself and how God made you, will she be? I want her to love herself, no matter how she is made or what quirky things are a part of her. There are no mistakes, so I have to believe that about how God created me too.
- I made you the way I made you for a reason. Jeremiah 1:5 says that we are known and loved before we are even in the womb. And that from conception, we are set apart for something incredible and specific. How can I say I was not made for this when God carefully created my personality for ALL of the plans he had for me - entrepreneurship AND motherhood? I was made for this.
Maybe it's not motherhood for you. But maybe you are also living in a season that scares you. A calling you've felt since you were little, or a crazy new idea you had just last night, a big business idea, or a step that you need to take in healing. Maybe you are in a situation that you never asked for, something you feel so unqualified to handle. Something that is just plain scary. Know this - you were specifically made to walk through what are walking through and conquer it. You were especially made to do that one thing you've felt tugging on your heart.
No one else. You.
I keep this letterboard (pictured above) in my kitchen every morning.
As I'm making my nutella and toast and OJ, I read it and remind myself of what Joan of Arc said. If I can believe this about myself, I can do anything.
My business - I was made for it. Every piece of my personality, no matter how quirky I feel.
My calling - as scary and unknown as it sometimes feels, there is no one better equipped to do it than me.
My child - I was made for her, formed in MY mother's womb with the exact things God knew I would need to love her and raise her to be a world changer.
God is with us and has designed us for this very moment in history to make a difference and overcome.
You were made for this.
Though pregnancy comes with natural ups and downs, I truly do feel like I can say it's been an amazing and enjoyable experience! One of the main reasons is because I continued working out and eating well while being pregnant.
I completely understand that not everyone can work out, and that eating well is a personal choice we all have to make for our own bodies. But I am so thankful I was able to keep up with both (even though it was hard) for the majority of my pregnancy!
Here are my top 3 tips for doing both while pregnant. A lot of instagram friends have asked, so at the end you'll find my work out schedule. I've have kept this pretty consistent even into my third trimester.
Remember, there is no shame in whatever you choose to do and EVERYTHING you do should be done with your doctor's approval.
1. Find healthy foods that satisfy your cravings
Your body is generally not craving McDonalds. Bodies are typically not that specific (though our minds can be. ;). When you're craving McDonalds, you probably are craving salt. When you want a huge creamy milkshake or smoothie, you might be thirsty and need to guzzle some water. When you just want a chocolate bar, your body might be looking for natural sugar.
But do remember that our mind is a creature of habit. If you eat chocolate bars everyday, it will tell you that you need a chocolate bar. If you eat fruit habitually, your mind will eventually tell you that you want fruit.
I kept a pretty healthy diet of fruits, veggies, and high protein during this pregnancy. I did have some unhealthy cravings, but I tried to find healthy alternatives. When I wanted chocolate, I'd do chocolate covered strawberries to keep some fruit in there and cut down on the chocolate amount. When I wanted carbs, I'd eat some of my favorite low salt pita chips. Over time, your body will crave healthy things, even while pregnant!
2. Keep a consistent gym schedule & go easy so you don't give up
For me, being consistent was key. Some days, I wouldn't feel good and my brain would try to convince me not to go. But when I reminded myself, "Chelsie, even the act of getting to the gym is important. You don't have to push yourself or kill yourself. If you can't lift, just walk on the treadmill for 10 minutes and leave." Whenever I spoke that into myself, I'd always end up going and then would do way more than I thought. And I'd leave feeling like a total baller and so motivated.
My work out of choice is lifting. I didn't push myself or lift heavier while pregnant. I kept myself on my normal routine, went slow, and stayed at a consistent, low impact weight. But I actually got more tone and stayed fairly limber, even with all the baby growing. ;)
3. Stay inspired & know your why
I know the things I personally value and try to put those things first. In the end, I know it'll make me happier. Feeling limber and strong makes me feel whole and at peace. It makes me more fun to be around and motivated for my day.
I knew that my 'why' was that I wanted to be fully myself when Amelia came. I wanted to be healthy and able to keep up with her. I wanted to be able to take her with us on airplane rides, hiking trips, and lots of outdoor things. If working out 3 times a week did that for my mental health, happiness, and body, I could push myself to do it. So do whatever brings you that type of personal peace too. ✌️
My workout plan while pregnant:
*This was approved by my doctor, as should any work out program be that you do while pregnant. As long as I wasn't lifting much more than 30lbs and it didn't feel uncomfortable, it was generally pretty safe.
Each workout has about 20-30 minutes of lifting, 10 minutes of stretching, and 10 minutes of walking
*Google any of the below names to see how to do each exercise correctly)
Shoulder & Triceps
1. Front Dumbbell Raises
3 sets of 12 at 10-15 lbs in each hand
2. Tricep Straight Bar Cable Pressdown
3 sets of 12 at around 40 lbs
3. Shoulder Shrugs
3 sets of 12 at 20 lbs
4. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
3 sets of 12 at 10-15 lbs in each hand
5. Tricep Overhead Exentsions
3 sets of 12 at 15 lbs
6. Upright Row with Dumbbells
3 sets of 12 at 10 lbs in each hand
Chest & Back
1. Machine Bench Press
3 sets of 12
I start with 10lbs on each side and I increase to 20 lbs. This is light, but I go easy while pregnant and always have someone around (even on a machine) in case it doesn't feel right.
2. Row Machine
3 sets of 12 at around 30lbs
3. Pec-Deck Machine
3 sets of 12 around 15-20lbs
4. Hammer Strength machine
3 sets of 12 around 20lbs
5. Lat Pulldowns
3 sets of 12 around 15 lbs
Legs & Biceps
1. Squats with dumbells
3 sets of 12 with 10lbs
(I am very careful and cognizant of my foot and belly placement).
2. Calf Machine Raises
3 sets of 12 with around 20 lbs
3. Bicep Curls
3 sets of 12 with around 10-15 lbs in each hand
4. Leg Adduction / Abduction Machine
3 sets of 12 of each motion.
5. Preacher Curl Machine
3 sets of 12 at 15-20 lbs
6. Leg Extension Machine
3 sets of 12
Outdoor Cardio Day
Hey, friend! I'm Chelsie!
Stay a while and get comfy. <3