Fitness Maven Megan Roup Says movement is like therapy.

By Colleen Crivello

You probably recognize Megan from lighting up your social feed with her dance-meets-workout moves. Warm and high energy, this professional dancer turned fitness guru and founder of The Sculpt Society app is in her third trimester with her first.

Here, she talks staying active and accountable to her community throughout her pregnancy, deciding not to delay starting a family because of Covid, preparing for maternity leave when her job is body-reliant, and the launch of The Sculpt Society Mama, an in-depth pre and postnatal fitness program. 

Feeling?

I’m just entering my third trimester and grateful to be feeling good after a difficult first. Thankfully, once I entered my second trimester, nausea subsided, my energy returned, and so did my appetite for healthy food! If I can maintain this level of feel-good throughout my third trimester, I’ll be golden.

Path to pregnancy?

This is such a delicate topic. With so many of our family members and friends who have struggled or are currently struggling to get pregnant, Morgan and I approached assumed this would be the case for us as well. Therefore, six months before we were actually ready, we started planning and gathering information—I got my blood tested, and he got all his stuff tested too, and luckily, everything came back normal.

Simultaneously we were planning our wedding, which initially was supposed to be in September; however, when the date kept changing due to COVID (at least 10 times!), we decided not to postpone starting a family. We figured that if we’re lucky enough to get pregnant quickly, then I’d be in my first trimester at our wedding, and if it took longer, then at least we weren’t delaying any further. So, with our levels checked and in hand, we started trying. Honestly, I feel guilty saying this, but it happened pretty swiftly for us. I’m sensitive to this because many women experience pregnancy loss and fertility issues, and I know it can be triggering to read that it was easy for someone. The truth is, there isn’t a day that passes that I don’t acknowledge and appreciate how fortunate we are that it happened as it did.

And finally in October, when we got married, I was six weeks pregnant at our wedding! At the reception, Morgan gave this beautiful speech and revealed we were expecting during dinner. There were lots of tears and champagne, and more tears.

Working out while pregnant?

I didn’t announce I was pregnant until I was five months along, which was really hard to do, given I go “live” on my app three to four times a week, and my community knows my body. Once I obviously started showing, I had to come out with the news. That said, I’m thankful for my community and for remaining accountable to them. If it hadn’t been for those weekly lives, I would have talked myself out of working out during the first trimester. The truth is, as hard as it was to motivate, anytime I moved my body, it was like therapy for me; I just felt better. As a result I haven’t stopped or slowed down.

What is the best pregnancy workout?

Interestingly, being pregnant has opened another side of Sculpt Society. While I have been pre and postnatal certified for years and offered that content on the app, it’s very different now. Teaching these courses while pregnant and experiencing these changes in my body and mind is a whole other level different from a prenatal video wherein the trainer is not pregnant.

For the longest time, women have complained to me that pre and post natal fitness classes are slow and tedious across the industry. The question I got was always: why can’t there be a safe, fun, effective, sweaty workout while pregnant? The moment I found out I was expecting, I knew I wanted to provide that kind of content for my mamas and began crafting a robust pre and postnatal program which we just launched called TSS Mama. Meant to take a woman from pregnancy to postpartum with a follow-along calendar plus offerings like pelvic floor exercises and breathing videos. Leading up to having the baby, I’m continuing to build this program and film content daily. To be honest, I’m almost working harder and more throughout pregnancy to get all the pre and postnatal content up and live.

Maternity Leave?

When it comes to my business, I’m very forward-thinking and leading up to my pregnancy, I knew I needed to have enough non-pregnant Megan content to get me through pregnancy and maternity leave. Seeing as my body is my business, it was a little scary to get pregnant as I didn’t know how I would feel throughout the process. As a result, I went into beast mode to create enough content to set myself and my community up for success while I heal post-birth. I post a new non-pregnant workout video every week in addition to my pregnant content. Many women in my community aren’t going through this and still want regular training, and I needed to continue to provide that throughout my pregnancy and my postpartum journey. I want Sculpt Society to be a place for any woman at any stage of her life to come and feel she can get a proper workout and be part of a community that supports her.

As for maternity leave, I plan to give myself between 8 and 12 weeks to get back into motion. While I want to give my body time to recover, I also know that I will be anxious to get back to it. Hopefully, this level of preparation will allow me to take the time to heal and enjoy our new family.

Cravings?

From week 7 to 14, I was throwing up every other night, completely lost my sense of smell and taste and basically lived off fruit, yogurt, smoothies, and anything sweet. Usually I love eggs, avocado, and salads, but couldn’t even look at these things. Once I hit my second trimester, everything came back, taste and smell, plus my love of eating as well.

Birth Plan?

I fully plan to get an epidural and just hope that it goes smoothly from there. To all the women out there who can do it drug-free, I salute you, but I don’t think I can do it. Aside from that, there is no plan. When it comes to birthing, everyone has different experiences, and I’m not sure this is something that can be planned.

Plans to breastfeed?

I’m absolutely going to try my best as long as my milk comes in and I’m able to do it. Obviously, everyone tells you how great it is for the baby, but I also believe fed is best. If it’s not happening or isn’t working, I am open to formula because I don’t want to torture myself.

Any advice?

There’s a lot of misconception around exercise and fitness for pregnant mamas out there. Keeping active and feeling good is the best thing you can do for your baby if you have that energy. Many women question what they can and can’t do during pregnancy when it comes to cardio. I think there’s a big misconception that you can’t jump or run all of a sudden, but as long as you’re cleared by your doctor to do cardio, and you were doing it before, then you still can. Most importantly, listen to your body during pregnancy and make modifications when you need them. Long story short, find a workout plan that feels fun and something you can stick to, but also be kind to yourself. If you’re not up for a complete workout, then take a 20-minute walk outside to get the blood moving. Do what works for you.