I may have mentioned before, I was 21 years old when I had my first daughter. Just prior to getting pregnant, I had lost about 10 pounds with a low carb diet. That weight loss probably helped it happen. After having her, my main concern was this new baby and I didn’t focus on myself right away.
I went through a lot of ups and downs in the next few years, relationship issues, insecurity, depression. The tightness of my pants fluctuated constantly.
I’ve always been a big fan of food. I plan vacations around restaurants for pete’s sake. Before having children, my fitness routine was to go the gym a couple times a week and eat whatever I wanted… it worked well for a few years until it finally caught up with me.
Prior to getting married in 2011, I set a goal to finally get fit before the wedding. The truth is, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I did a food home-delivery program for a few months but I really didn’t enjoy the restrictions, besides, packaged preservative-ridden food is really bad for you anyway. At the gym, I stuck with cardio because I knew it burned a lot of calories. I did spin class (stationary bike riding), bikram yoga (yoga in heated room), and lots of treadmill running. I lost a considerable amount of inches and paid tons of alterations fees.
My husband and I planned to have a baby right away, and it happened right away! Unlike my first pregnancy, the first 4 months were full of nausea and fatigue. I tried going to the gym, I really did, but eventually I just gave up on the idea of working out while pregnant. Again, the cycle repeated itself and once that baby was born my body was definitely not high on my priority list.
I breastfed for 14 months and honestly, it didn’t help me lose all the baby weight. It was not a big deal, I didn’t do it for my benefit.
I started my business in August of 2012, my main reason was to supplement my husband’s income and give myself some spending money here and there. I distribute It Works! Global products which are primarily a body wrap that firms the skin and nutritional supplements. I wasn’t able to use all the products I sold because of the fact that I was still breastfeeding. Once I was done nursing in April 2013, I knew it was time to get on board. How could I offer people products that I wasn’t consistently using myself?
At this point, my business was providing me full time income even though I really worked less than part time hours around my husband’s schedule. I was still a stay at home mom with only a toddler to worry about while my daughter was in school.
I started with workout videos at home, I tried Insanity and Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I liked the workouts, don’t get me wrong, but working out at home leaves a lot of opportunity for a little boy to either wake up from his nap and interrupt me or yell and scream from his high chair while I try to catch my breath. On a good day, when I was able to finish a video without interruption, I would then have to wait hours to shower until my husband got home… it was not a good look for me.
I took a good look at my finances, if I gave up a couple restaurant dinners here and there I could afford a gym membership with their childcare charge. So I did it. I even bought personal training sessions because I figured if I’m going to do this, I am going to do it right.
Here are my results after 5 months…
Yes, I have stretch marks. No, they probably won’t go anywhere without expensive laser treatments. I use a wrap once a week, normally on Monday to keep me on track for the rest of the week and help my skin tighten/firm up and catch up with my weight loss. I use a stretch mark cream to help diminish the appearance of the scars, it has definitely helped and eased the redness.
A few things I learned from working with a trainer:
- Form and posture is extremely important to any exercise, if you don’t know if you’re doing it right, ask for help.
- Weight lifting/ weight training will not cause a woman to bulk up. (Whew!)
- Building muscle will allow you to burn more calories even while you aren’t actively exercising. (Burning calories while sitting at my pc? I’m in!)
- Cardio is a great stress reliever. (I KNOW that’s a fact)
- Strength training, done properly, minimizes the risk of injuries while exercising. (Runner’s knee be gone)
- Replenishing your muscles with quality protein is key.
I do a combination of strength/cardio/circuit training. I still love Spin class so I will do that once or twice a week for my cardio day. My trainer would write out circuits for me to do and I had a tiny anxiety attack when I realized I wouldn’t have him anymore. What did I do? I turned to Pinterest! I created a workouts/exercise board and pinned my favorite moves. Before my workout, I go to my board and pick 3 or 4 things I want to do as my circuit. It’s pretty simple and I love feeling organized.
My results are still in progress because I am still actively working towards my health goals. I’m not very concerned with the number on the scale. However, I am determined to reach a healthy body fat percentage and ultimately feel comfortable in ALL my jeans and dresses.
I’ve never been a big fan of the gym, in my case it just happens to be the most convenient because of the childcare amenity. Hiring a trainer kept me accountable the first couple of months, after that it was such a routine that I couldn’t change my schedule. Regardless of what you what choose as your exercise method, I believe it is important to be consistent about it. Do it until it becomes a habit and it won’t feel like a chore.