An eight-month-pregnant woman who was criticized for lifting weights and doing CrossFit workouts has dismissed the attacks directed at her by some, who say she's being vain and reckless for lifting heavy weights when she's two weeks from her due date.
"Haters will hate and it's OK," Lea-Ann Ellison wrote on Facebook. "My life is not their life, thank goodness."
Ellison, a 35-year-old mom of two, spurred a firestorm of controversy after a photo of her lifting weights was posted on the Facebook page of CrossFit headquarters. The picture immediately set off a barrage of emotional comments. While most people applauded Ellison for working out and staying fit during her pregnancy, others accused her of endangering her health and that of her baby.
Ellison, who has gained just 23 pounds during her pregnancy, is shocked by the criticism. "What bothers me most about all this backlash is that there are so many pregnant women who eat poorly and don't exercise at all during their pregnancies," she said. "There is an obesity epidemic in this country. What about that?"
Ellison said she has cut back on her workouts and is careful not to lift heavy weights. “I used to take CrossFit classes five days a week, but lately, I’ve scaled back to three times,” she said. "I did lift weights for my maternity photo shoot, but only 35 pounds. The most I've lifted while pregnant is 65."
While most obstetricians recommend that pregnant women stay active and work out to stave off excess weight gain, some experts say pregnant women should not lift weights above 15 pounds.
Meanwhile, fitness experts agree that pregnant women should work out to stem excess weight gain and to ensure against conditions such as gestational diabetes.
A recent study indicated that CrossFit, a strength and conditioning program that combines high-intensity weightlifting, sprinting and body-weight exercises, can dramatically improve aerobic fitness and body-fat composition.