Australian trainer Emily Skye doesn't BS her nearly 13 million social-media followers about pregnancy. She's full of body confidence—but it's not a glow-fest.
Emily Skye: Behind the Scenes of her Fit Pregnancy Cover Shoot
Pregnancy changes can be profound, confusing, and if you’re Emily Skye, very surprising. “I’ve got cellulite in places I’ve never had it before,” says the fitness trainer, who’s expecting her first child with boyfriend Declan Redmond in December. “It’s even on my calves!” Earlier this year, the Reebok global-fitness ambassador was posting selfies of her flat abs for her 2.1M Instagram followers. Now she’s taking votes on what’s grown bigger: her belly or her butt. And yet, she’s feeling grateful for it all. “I’m growing a human being inside of me,” she says. “I feel like a superhero!” That candor, coupled with her positivity, is what has catapulted Skye into a worldwide social influencer, and it’s also what makes her the very best person to talk to while you’re coming to terms with your own burgeoning bump.
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“I wanted to be pregnant.
After three months of trying, I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. Declan and I rang my mom and sister. I started watching pregnancy videos on YouTube, because I get obsessive and want to know everything. But after a few days, something didn’t feel right. I said to Declan, ‘I have a feeling I’m not pregnant anymore.’ It was midnight, and he raced out to a 24-hour drugstore and bought pregnancy tests. I took a few, and they were all negative. It was so upsetting, but I said, ‘All right, we’ll keep trying.’”
“We got another positive a month later. Amazing!
I kept taking pregnancy tests to be sure. By the time I went to the doctor’s office, the staff asked, ‘Have you done any home tests?’ I pulled out a big baggie of them: 15, all positive! They were like, ‘Yeah, okay.’”
“The first time I felt flutters was at 12 weeks.
One of my best friends had just had her baby, and she told me that it would feel like you’re having a muscle twitch, and it did! By 15 weeks, I felt my first proper movement, the kind where you know you feel a foot. I was so excited, but it was also so creepy! It feels like an alien.”
“I had terrible morning sickness until 14 weeks.
It lasted all day. The lowest moment was on a day when I tried to go to the gym but left because I was too dizzy. On the drive home with Declan I had him stop the car so I could vomit, and I was so disgusted that I had to then vomit again. Declan was trying to hold my hair and I kept pushing him away. It was so horrible. One thing that helped ease my nausea was ginger tea with hot water, lemon, and freshly grated ginger. Ginger beer was also a lifesaver.”
“Before I got pregnant, I said I would eat organic and drink no coffee.
That did not happen. In my first trimester, I couldn’t stomach anything that wasn’t junk food. Burgers, chips, pizza. I ate anything fatty with high carbs. I hated vegetables, hated salads. Pregnancy doesn’t always go according to plan. That’s why I think you shouldn’t have a set plan. If you do, you’ll only be disappointed.”
“Listen to your doctor, but your body is boss.
My doctor said I could exercise as usual, but I was training like an athlete before, and that felt uncomfortable once I was pregnant. You’ve got to trust your body. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. I spent my entire first trimester lying on the couch, watching TV, and I ended up losing around 11 pounds of muscle. So much hard work, gone! But it’s okay. I’m not going to do anything that makes my body hurt.”
“I try not to dwell on what I can’t do and focus on the exercise I can do.
I can’t walk up a flight of stairs without puffing. It feels like I’ve just run sprints while holding weights. When I go to the gym now, I do the exercises that feel comfortable for me: dead lifts, squats, kettlebell swings. Nothing intense, and I use very light weights, with higher reps and more rest in between. And if there are days when I don’t exercise, I know it’s not the end of the world.”
“I have to laugh at myself.
I’ve always had a tiny butt, and I used to get teased for being such a twig. I’ve trained for years to build my glutes, but my backside has never grown as fast as it has now. I used to look in the mirror and ask Declan, ‘Has my butt grown yet?’ Now, I don’t have to ask. I’ve actually knocked things over with my butt! And years ago, I would have thought that cellulite was the worst thing. It’s insignificant. I love my body now. I appreciate what it’s doing.”
”My birth plan is ‘whatever happens, happens.’
I know I’m delivering in a hospital. I’d love to do it without drugs, but I say that never having had a baby. If I need them, I’m not going to deny myself! I know I want Declan to be the first person to hold the baby, and next I want to put the baby on my chest, skin to skin.”
“I refuse to be pressured to ‘get my body back.’
It takes nine months to grow a baby, so I’ll take my time, and it’ll take however long it takes! That said, I have a fitness business, so I do need to be in some sort of shape. But for me, it’s not about how I look. Other trainers get back into shape fast, but I think that’s unrealistic. I’m not worried about having extra fat. I just want to feel strong. My baby is the most important thing to me now—and making sure I’m a good mom.”