It’s been almost 11 months since I had my 2nd daughter. Here is my fitness update.
A little back story... I’m a certified personal trainer of 6 years and I teach Pilates fusion, body sculpt with barre, and a yoga fusion class. I generally workout 4-6 times a week and I eat healthy. I don’t do processed and my carbs are generally oatmeal, wraps, and the occasional enchilada.
With my 1st baby, I didn’t workout as much as I should, but was still moderately active, aka 3-4 workouts a week. I gained 49 lbs. After I was cleared at 4.5 weeks, I worked out like crazy (6-7 days a week) and was very careful with my food even though I had to find the balance with breastfeeding. I was back at my pre-pregnancy size at 6 months PP. I felt like my pre-pregnancy strong self around 9 months PP. I fit in my smallest clothes around 1 year postpartum and we found out about our 2nd baby 14 months PP.
With this pregnancy, I worked out 5 days a week or more. I taught 3-4 classes a week and I did 1-2 workouts of weight training a week. My food was basically perfect. I craved broccoli for crying out loud. However, even though I did everything “right”, I gained 56 lbs. Our bodies do what they do + my doctors actually praised me for my health.
I was put on bed rest around 32.5 weeks pregnant because of preterm contractions, which is different than labor. I was removed from bed rest at 37 weeks + delivered at 40.5. (Thanks for being on time, Brynnen. 😘)
I was cleared at 12 weeks PP. I had a surgery 5 weeks PP to remove very large cyst and my right ovary, so I had to be even more cautious when coming back. I did a lot of core and pelvic floor work due to the classes that I teach. However, I just didn’t want to push myself so hard like I did after my first. That meant I only worked out 3-4 times a week, and now 8 months later, I’m still very much in the postpartum weight loss journey.
First things first, I am thankful. Thankful for a body that made it through 2 very difficult pregnancies for very different reasons. Im thankful that giant cyst wasn’t cancer. I’m thankful for a body that continues to nurture my baby. Yes, I’ve been pregnant or nursing for 3.5 years. I’m honored to have stripes, loose skin, and bags under my eyes. I am.
However, I still have 15 lbs to lose + I need to lose it.
My fitness goals always have a bigger purpose than just a number. My goals revolve around how I feel + what I can do.
About a month ago, after 4 years, I joined a gym. I haven’t paid for a gym membership in 6 years! It’s like coming home for me. I’ve been fired up, inspired + excited. I’ve been lifting heavy + doing circuits. I’m incorporating my body weight classes with HIIT + hypertrophy workouts. It’s been amazing for how I feel.
Yet, the scale hasn’t budged.
My clothes still don’t fit.
I always tell my clients that you have to do the right work + the right results will come, but y’all, it’s still frustrating. I want to see tangible results. I want to do circumference measurements and see a change.
One area, I feel like I can focus on more now is nutrition. Earlier, I mentioned that I eat well + compared to the average American I eat amazingly well. However, in order to lose weight we generally need more vegetables, so I’m working on getting back into the meal planning game. All mamas know how hard it is to eat something balanced with babies running around. I’m excited about buckling down here + now that Brynnen isn’t nursing as often, I feel less pressure to keep my milk supply up. (Milk supply is hard for me.)
All that being said... here’s what I do know, as long as workouts are challenging, I will see change. As long as I’m consistent, I will see change. Period, end of story.
Why do I share all this? Because someone out there feels like the right work isn’t working... someone feels like they will never get back to pre-pregnancy clothes/weight... because someone needs to know they aren’t alone.
I am tracking what I’m doing + I will share what works for me. We can do this, mamas!
Imagine you are trying to lose weight and finally decide how you want to do it. You decide you will do a Beachbody program like 21 Day Fix. You buy it. You do it. You crush it. After round 1, you do another round. Crush it, but now you are bored. So what's next? Now you have to start the process of deciding all over again AND you have to pay for something else. Next thing you know, it's been months and you haven't worked out and you've gained some of the weight back...
What if you didn't have to buy a different program? What if you had access to thousands of dollars worth of workouts for just one price? It would make it easier to keep your momentum going, huh?
I only mention this scenario because I've seen it happen SO MANY times. It breaks my heart to see someone invest so much into themselves and to get thrown off by something sucky like more $ or not knowing what to do. This is one reason I'm so excited about Beachbody's new ALL Access Pass to Beachbody on Demand. It's structured so that you can stay consistent, not get bored, and have access to thousands of dollars of workouts, meal plans, cooking shows, etc. :)
It gives you access to ALL, yes ALL, of the programs Beachbody has in their library for a FULL year, plus any new release for 2017. This includes new programs like Core de Force, Master's Hammer & Chisel, Insanity: Max 30, BOD Exclusives like 3 Week Yoga Retreat, and old favorites like PiYo and P90X3. There is even an Active Maternity series!
This is a LIMITED TIME OFFER, so be sure to jump in on this and share it with your friends and family.
I want to give you all the details upfront so here are a few key points:
Please feel free to ask questions. Send me a message. It's okay, I only want to help. I want to know your goals so I can help see if this plan is a good fit for you.
So now, let's imagine a pregnant woman, like me. She doesn't know what to do for workouts as her pregnancy progresses, but she has BOD. She is 22 weeks pregnant and starts doing Active Maternity: 2nd trimester and some barre and a little 21 Day Fix, and maybe a little TurboFire. Now she's in her 3rd trimester and pretty much does Active Maternity: 3rd trimester, some PiYo, Cize, and Country Heat. She has the baby. Guess what?! There is Active Materntiy: Postpartum and PiYo, which is my fave program postpartum. The baby is 4 months old and she wants to do 21 Day Fix and then P90X3, then.... you get the picture. Every single one of those workouts is included in the All Access Pass. Pretty good, huh?
One of the most common comments I get from pregnant women is "when I'm not pregnant I'll get back to working out." Barring doctor's orders or conditions that stop you from working out, there should be NO reason that being pregnant stops your workouts. In fact, working out while pregnant has MANY health benefits for both the mom and baby. Now, I am not a doctor, but I am a personal trainer who is pregnant with her 2nd child. I have spoken to many doctors and done a lot of research on this topic, but please don't just take my word for it. Talk to your doctor before beginning any workout routine, especially while pregnant. Below are some tips and summaries of what to expect while working out during pregnancy.
I have found that the first trimester can be the hardest time to workout during pregnancy. Between morning sickness and sheer exhaustion from your body producing hormones and blood, it's just hard to do anything but the basics like eating and sleeping. However, a workout can be as simple as a 20-30 minute walk and the boost of endorphins has been known to help our energy-depleted bodies. Make sure to not do any quick start and stops because of your changing blood pressure, you may get light-headed. To avoid this, simply walk side to side, a la toe-taps, in between exercises or while taking a break.
The 2nd trimester is known to be the best trimester because you have more energy and some women feel amazing. I've never gotten a huge boost from this trimester, but I do notice that I can function almost like normal. As far as workouts go, you can continue whatever workouts you were doing pre-pregnancy with few modifications. Remember that our bodies store more fat while pregnant, our joints loosen, and we lose muscle mass more quickly, therefore staying consistent with building muscle is key. Seriously, lifting weights is safe. You may need to lower the pounds or lengthen your rest times due to blood pressure changes, but you can still do it. You can still run and jump as long as that baby isn't on your bladder. ;) You do have to be careful with twisting the abdomen and will need to widen your stance as the baby gets larger, meaning during squats your feet will be a little wider than shoulders-width. Most women have a big concern about core exercises during pregnancy. Any exercise like a crunch or sit-up will become next to impossible around 20 weeks due to abdominal separation. However, anything that works your pelvic floor like a hip bridge, planks which work your transverse abdominus, aka your human girdle, and side planks that work your obliques, those are all safe! Also, at this point you can still lie on your back if it's comfortable, but I don't recommend being there for longer than 3 minutes. These small changes keep you and the baby safe, but still allow you to do all of your favorites. Exercises to focus on are squats and lunges (you need these muscles for delivery), planks (done with proper form and modifications like dropping to your knees), and isometric exercises , aka holding, to prepare for long hours holding the baby, but also pushing during delivery.
The third trimester required the most modifications and this is where walks as workouts become more regular. Your stance on squats will most definitely be wider. You may notice that your balance is off so please use the wall, a chair, or something for support during lunges and even squats. Any weight bearing exercise for your core or upper body, like push-ups or bird-dog, should be done on all 4s or on an incline. This is to remove pressure of that growing belly on your spine. You can still strengthen your lower back and pelvic floor while on hands and knees vs. on your back. Leg lifts are a big favorite in preparing for delivery. You may also want to start sitting on a stability ball in order to let your hips naturally widen as you get closer to your due date. The old standby of walking is great for this as well. No matter how tired you are, safely try walking 3-5 times a week. Even you doctor will say this is a great way to prep for baby.
Here's the thing. Safety is key. You know your body and if you don't recognize this changing, moving, growing thing that is your body simply try and pay attention and alter your plans as needed. With my first pregnancy, I hated jumping starting at 8 weeks pregnant, but with this pregnancy I am still doing limited jumping exercises at 22 weeks. I had severe hip issues my first pregnancy and nothing relieved them, while this pregnancy I have found that working out and stretching carefully with yoga and Pilates has really helped alleviate similar issues. Also, be gentle with yourself. There is no need to go 100%, your body is already working overtime. A little goes a long way with a pregnancy workout and it will also make your recovery postpartum MUCH easier. Always drink a lot of water; I try for an ounce per pound. Be sure to talk to your doctor and when in doubt listen to your body first. I just wanted to write this because I don't want women to be scared of being active during pregnancy. I want the fear and stigma of working out during pregnancy to go away, because the benefits are too great to be ignored.
Having a goal doesn't mean anything if you don't have a plan. Having a plan without realistic expectations can lead to disappointment. Here are 5 tips:
1. Be specific. Instead of saying I want to lose weight, clarify how many pounds, when you will workout, what workouts, what meal plan, and who will help you.
2. Find a healthy way to measure success. For instance, the scale can be a big fat liar, so pic non-scale items like circumference inches, size of pants, how consistent your workouts and nutrition were.
3. Make sure it's attainable. It's great to say you want to lose 40 lbs, but not very realistic to say you want to lose 40 lbs by April. The average pounds lost in a week is 1-2, so that would mean you would need a minimum of 20 weeks to lose the weight. Adjust accordingly.
4. Is this realistic? It's all fine and well to say that you want to workout an hour a day, 6 days a week, but really, is it? Start with something smaller and create consistency and success, then increase if you can. The recommended activity for us is 5 days a week, 30 minutes a day of moderate activity.
5. Set a timely goal. Just like being attainable and realistic, set a timeline for yourself ensures you work for it. We all do better with something at stake, so setting small goals and attaining them will be better for the long haul. Example, you want to lose the above mentioned 40 lbs. Set a goal for January to workout 5 times a week. Eat 5 healthy meals a day. Scale goal will be to lose 5 lbs by January 31. Non-scale goal to have checked off all those workouts by the end of the month.
This recipe has all of my favorite fall/winter flavors and it's made in one skillet. While this recipe has a little more prep work than my usual dinners, it's so worth it. My husband works most nights, so we always save this for a night that he's home. We love to cook together and with him chopping the veggies and me in charge of the skillet, it's a fun date night in activity for us. Plus, it's because of him that we added more bacon and it's delicious. 😍
4-6 slices of bacon, nitrite and nitrate free, chopped
1 lb chicken breasts, cubed
3 cups Brussel sprouts, trimmed and quartered
4 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 sweet potato, 1/2 inch cubes
2 tsp fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1. In large skillet (we used cast-iron), medium-high, cook chicken cubes for 5-8 minutes with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Remove to a plate and set aside.
2. Turn skillet down to medium-low, cook bacon until crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper towel using a slotted spoon. I placed my paper towel on top of the chicken. Leave 1 1/2 tbsp of bacon grease in pan, remove extra.
3. Skillet goes back up to medium-high, add in brussels, sweet potato cubes, onion, and remaining 1/2 tsp of salt. Cook until onions are translucent, 10-15 minutes.
4. Stir in apple cubes, garlic, thyme, and cinnamon. Cook for 30 seconds then add 1/2 cup chicken broth. Bring to a boil and cook until absorbed. (2-5 minutes). Add chicken and the rest of the broth in and cook until it's absorbed as well. (2-5 minutes). Stir in bacon.
I am absolutely loving my December: Balancing It All group. I am thrilled that I got to create the workouts for that group and gather up and doctor some delicious recipes. December is a month unique to itself because of holiday parties, travel, and family time. January on the other hand is when most people buckle down on new goals. Therefore, I'll be going back a little bit to my Beachbody roots.
Here's the real reason why: Beachbody covers all the bases and they do it with excellence. Need a different workout for everyday of the week? Covered. Need a full, detailed, specific, no questions needed meal plan? Covered. Need help balancing your blood sugar, curbing cravings, and fueling your body? Covered. Need online streaming? Covered. Need daily support, accountability, and love. I've got you covered there too. :) So you see, me pairing up with BB lets you have the details and plans AND have me investing in you daily. It lets me focus on your success and helping you anyway I can.
How do you know if this group is for you?
-Have you tried to lose weight on your own and given up after just a few weeks?
-Are you so confused by all the "rules" about what to eat and what not to eat that you don't know where to begin?
-Are you prepared to be disciplined even when you lack the motivation?
-Will you let me help you make the lifestyle changes needed for a balanced life, not just a challenge?
-Do you need someone to be your supporter and encourager? Someone who is knowledgeable, but also a loving friend?
If your answers to those questions is a resounding "yes", then let's get started.
Here is how it works:
We schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation to determine your goals and talk about your specific situation. Examples of questions I will ask: What type of workouts do you like/not like? What physical or mental limitations do you have? What's worked or not worked in the past? How can I best serve you? After that, I will suggest a Beachbody program that is tailored to your goals and that I have personally tweaked to your story. Your commitment consists of purchasing a challenge pack, which will include your program, a 30 day supply of Shakeology (more on that later), a 30 day free trial to Beachbody On Demand that has access to hundreds of workouts, a full meal plan, and plenty of bonuses. Your purchase secures your spot in the group and me as your coach. I become your coach for FREE.
Extra perk: just for logging 3 workouts a week and 5 Shakeology pics, you are entered in to win your portion of a 3 million dollar BEACHBODY Health Bet pool. How fun is that? Talk about bonus!
What does me being your coach mean?
As many of my clients and now friends will say, I am your coach for life. Whether you stick with a Beachbody program, only drink your one bag of Shakeology, or stay for life, I am your biggest cheerleader. I LOVE investing in people who desire a lifestyle change. I will be there with you every step of the way. If something works and it's time for a change, we will figure it out together. If something doesn't work, I will work tirelessly alongside you until we find what does. That's for as long as you want me to be a part of your journey. However, it all starts with daily check-ins on the BB app during our 4-5 weeks together.
What does your actual commitment to this group look like day to day?
-You do your workout. Most are around 30 minutes a day.
-You drink your Shakeology EVERY day.
-You follow your meal plan as closely as you possibly can.
-You log those things on the BB app for accountability and my ability to track your progress.
-You show up to support those who are working hard alongside you.
-You tell me when something isn't going right or you tell me when something is going well.
We are on this journey together and I want you to have a rocking 2017. The group starts Monday, January 9th and ends February 5th.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to set up your free phone consultation. Slots are limited so email promptly.
Average cost for your challenge pack: $147
I'm going to be honest with you. I'm pregnant, the holidays are fast approaching and I know that somehow someway I have to find a way to not eat the entire house or conveniently "forget" to do my workouts. I will, I totally will. I'm notorious for skipping an entire week of workouts during each holiday. I'm also pretty awesome when it comes to making sure there aren't any leftovers. 😜 So, I decided I would try something new this year and I want to see if you'd like to join me.
Following a strict program is NOT for me during the holidays. Having to be perfect and counting calories definitely NOT how I want to do this. So, I'm starting a little group where we each set our own goals, NOW, for accountability. For instance, I'm going to workout 4 times a week and eat no worse than 70/30 for the entire month of December. If you don't know what that means or where to start, I'll help you set a plan that works for you.
But here is the best part, I'm providing this group with 4 FULL workouts from yours truly ($120 value), 8 delicious, healthy recipes for your holiday festivities and a weekly check-in for accountability. The goal is to get us off of social media and being more present with our families, but not to gain the average 10+ lbs Americans gain during the holidays. The group is $25 and that's it. Does that sound good to you?
This is totally different than what I normally do. It's so different I even filmed a video or two about it on my this page www.facebook.com/healthystronghappy.
This has nothing to do with BB, simply me wanting to help my friends not feel guilty or discouraged this holiday season. Send me a message if you are interested! I'm taking sign-ups through this week.
Getting back on track today after a carb and cheese fun-filled weekend. your body is used to pretty clean foods, it means the sooner you get back on track the better. I tried this one-pan balsamic chicken to get in as many veggies as possible. My hubs and I both loved it and I think it's a great option for those of you who struggle to get veggies in. So many people tell me that they don't just want to eat boring chicken and veggies to lose weight, and I totally understand. The recipe is proof that you chicken and veggies doesn't have to be boring or take a ton of time in the kitchen. 😘
The original recipe calls for asparagus and tomatoes, but I'm still restocking my fridge so we had carrots and zucchini.
3-4 chicken breasts, cut into tenders
2-3 cups of veggies, your choices
1-2 tbsp EVOO
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp Italian dressing
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1/8 tsp red chili flakes
1. Cook chicken in a large skillet, medium high heat with salt, pepper, and olive oil. About 5 minutes each side or until done.
2. While chicken is cooking, mix up your sauce and prep your veggies.
3. When chicken is cooked through, add half the sauce to pan and coat chicken. Promptly remove and set aside, leaving sauce in the pan.
4. Add veggies, coat in sauce and cook for 4-5 minutes until crispy tender.
5. Add remainder of sauce and chicken back to pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
6. Serve and enjoy!!!
Let me tell you a little story... 😘 A long time ago, I struggled with anxiety and depression. My doctor recommended working out to help with my seratonin levels. Years of ups and downs in weight, consistency, knee surgery, and carb addiction (it's a real thing right!?!) and I still struggled to find time to take care of myself. What I really kept saying is that I wasn't a priority. About 5 years ago, my husband and I were living in Los Angeles and I was really low, like the kind of low that you just know something HAS to change. So, I became a certified personal trainer. Then, I got ambitious and wanted to help everyone, so I also became a Beachbody coach. Stay with me here. God had other plans. Little did I know that God would seriously change my heart. I started noticing that He was chasing after me HARD. He tore down my walls. He made me stop living for the world's definition of success, but to live for the only thing that matters... His glory. He used my darkest moments and made them a ministry. A ministry where I get to love on people. Maybe I'm not the most successful coach or personal trainer by the world's standards, but I do know that God uses me to LOVE on people and love on them hard. All those years ago, I never would have imagined serving His kingdom over my dreams and my goals, and I'm so grateful God chased me down and reminded me that I'm HIS. I don't know where you are in your journey tonight, but I do know this. It's never too late to seek Him, to make a change, and to grow in faith and strength. If you want, I'll love on you right beside God. It would be my honor. And if you feel like loving on people right beside me and God, well, why don't you join my ministry that serves others through fitness. It's brought more to my life than I could ever imagine. God, strong Christ-centered women, my health, overcoming of anxiety and depression, and a faith that is bigger than I could have ever imagined. Send me a message and let me know how I can pray for you. Thanks for staying with me the whole long post. You deserve a prize! 🙌🏻😘
3 workouts a week.
5 Shakeology's a week with picture proof.
Sounds like easy enough goals, right?
In my experience when most people start a new workout program they go all in... for about 2 weeks. Seriously, they workout every single day. They eat no sugar, no gluten, no dairy, blah, blah, blah. While that is great, it often is not maintainable long term. So, I encourage people to be realistic about their game plan.
The first snag is the workout. It is better to workout 3 times a week for 3 months than it is to workout 14 days and then stop for 3 months. Right? I'm sure some of you reading this have been there. It happens to all of us.
Another snag most people run into is not fueling their body right. They crash diet or quit everything or drop to a ridiculously low amount of calories. That's not healthy either. Shakeology feeds your body 70 foods/superfoods that have a higher nutrient balance than anything we can find here in the States. Why is that awesome? Well, when our bodies have nutrient dense foods, they are able to stop craving the wrong foods, have higher energy, and seriously help the gut.
The other main snag is accountability. You already read about how many people fall off after 2 weeks. I'll give some of us credit and say that we make it 3 weeks. Why did we fail? Either discipline, accountability, or a simple reward could have saved it for us.
-Discipline is showing up even when you don't want to. Use the 5 minute rule. Push play for 5 minutes and if you still want to quit, you can, but most likely since you already started you will keep going. Getting started is often the hardest part.
-Accountability is where your friends and coach, aka me, come in. We get to help you on the rough days. We get to cheer you on when you did an extra pushup or dropped a pant size. Knowing you have support can mean the difference between skipping a workout or sticking to the plan.
-Rewards can keep you focused when everything else fails. I often set a reward like a new workout top for a 30 day program or a new pair of fancy yoga pants for a 90 day program. It keeps my chin up and keeps me moving.
So, that's why I'm pumped about the Beachbody Health Bet. You have realistic goals for workouts, nutrient focus for food, and the reward is money. So far, the pool is $1.5 million. For any person who logs those 3 workouts (doesn't have to be Beachbody) and 5 Shakeology's with pics for the 4 weeks between September 5th and October 2nd, you win money.
If you already have Shakeology and I'm your coach and you want to try this version of accountability and reward, send me a message or email. email@example.com
If you have been thinking about when to get started, now is the time. I've got you. Send me an email and we will get you signed up. Our most popular challenge packs are all on sale this month, so estimate around $147 after tax.
If you already have a Beachbody coach and it's not me, send them a message. I'm sure they will be happy to get you set up!
We are in the middle of prep week right now, so you have 4-5 more days before we start. Let's do this!