The Fit You

Love Your Body. Love Your Life

Tag: fit moms

Try, Fail, Try Again – Don’t Give Up at Weightloss

If you’re trying to get fit and lose weight, it can be SO extremely depressing and difficult.  As someone whose body clings to fat as though I’m in a concentration camp (or will be lol), I feel like I can understand the frustration that comes with seeing slower results than people with faster metabolisms.

Fitness, or losing fat and gaining muscle, always depends largely on your diet – not BEING on a certain kind of new, flashy, popular diet, but literally the things you’re eating day in and day out.  The reason why I post so much of our food preps and recipe ideas I’ve created over the years, is because fitness truly is about 80% what you eat, and 20% exercise.

We go to a gym almost daily during the week to lift and do some cardio (sometimes), and there are all types of fit people we see.  Unfortunately, there are also a couple of women we see and have seen since 2015, who have actually gained weight over the 3 years we’ve been there.  While it could be a combination of things (not working out hard or long enough – smart exercise in other words, or bad eating habits or even hormones out of whack, as in hypothyroidism), you always have to look at your diet if this is happening to you.  Even hormonal problems with weight can usually be controlled when you stick to a very strict and proper diet that is tailored to only YOUR specific biological needs.  Sometimes it takes just a visit to the doctor to get tested, but there is usually a solution out there somewhere.

The most important thing though that trainers don’t usually say, probably because they figure you’ll find this to be common sense, is to just simply not give up!

I’m serious!  All of the women that I know who have lost lots and lots of weight through the fitness groups I’m active in, the ones who have been the most successful were the ones who just NEVER GAVE UP.

You will fail!  Fitness, for women whose bodies biologically hold on to fat, is VERY hard.  Even for models who are “naturally thin,” if they stop their very strict eating habits and rigorous exercise routines, they gain weight fairly fast, too.

Everyone fails at times.  Even the most successful, beautiful women I’ve talked to personally who have done bikini competitions (and placed!!!!), even THEY feel like a failure at times in their own personal journeys.  There are ups and downs in life, there are periods of time where you won’t be able to stick to something that works because a major life event happened that you weren’t prepared for (child death, parental death… anything!).  I’ve seen things like this happen, and I’ve seen the women who get back up and keep on going eventually find success.

You’re going to backslide at some point.  It’s just the honest truth.  You need to accept that it will happen so that when it happens, you aren’t mentally derailed and depressed about it.  There was once a woman in a church group I was in who got fairly angry at me when I tried to tell her this and warn her about not expecting success right away.  Her retort was that she was completely backed up with Scriptures and the Holy Spirit and that it was for sure going to work this time.  Even years later when I saw her again, she was still overweight.  But that kind of mentality she insisted upon is a recipe for disaster!  Again, it’s better to humble yourself, realize that you’re only human, and maybe a woman with a propensity to hold onto fat like you’re a dying person lol, and roll with the ups and downs.

What truly matters is persistence and the resolve that you’re not going to let failure make you stop.

I’ve talked to a few trainers now 🙂 they are the most awesome people in  my mind ❤  So encouraging, optimistic and sweet!  But I don’t think they tell people this when they first start out on a journey to try to be fit or lose weight.

You have to be really patient and kind to yourself.  I’ve known quite a few women who came to their journey through hating their bodies as they were – seeing a photo on facebook where it suddenly hits them how far they’ve let themselves go is a big one.  And maybe that is enough motivation to get them through to the end.

But I’ve also seen that it’s good to look at this journey as loving yourself and finally taking care of your body the way you should have been.  Self-hatred may not be the best way longterm, as I know it drives other eating disorders like anorexia as well as over-eating.  Changing the way you think about your body can be so empowering in getting in shape.

And truly loving yourself and valuing yourself shows up by taking care of the only body you have.  If you’re Christian, there’s even a deeper spiritual element to why you need to take good care of your body:

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”

1 Corinthians 6:19

So keep going.  No matter where you are in your journey… if you have over 100 pounds to lose, or just 10, DO NOT GIVE UP.

Stephanie

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New Year Resolutions & Diet Fads

It seems every year there are many people planning to pledge or re-pledge themselves to getting healthy or finally losing weight.

And along with those great goals comes fad diets :/

I’m NOT a fan of weird diets… instead I think it’s usually best for people to just eat healthy and see how their body responds to cutting out *some* foods, but certainly nothing that would be longterm forever “you can not eat carbs,” kind of “diet.”

Someone in my fitness group brought up that the Keto diet and Whole 30 both tied for last place in ABC’s list of the Best diets for 2018.  While I’ve known plenty of women who have lost substantial weight with Keto, I still don’t trust it to be a viable option for women longterm (their whole lives).

I think one can lose a bunch of weight while on Keto, but once you start eating normal again (if you ever go back to eating normal carbs, pies, pastries, french fries etc.), you’ll just gain it all back because you haven’t discovered a way to eat that’s truly balanced (“bad” and “good” stuff you can enjoy).

Having been an athlete in school and longtime dancer always interested in health and fitness pretty much, these kinds of diets don’t work in my opinion because they never really teach the person how to take control of their eating longterm (life-long), how to enjoy something once in a while, and not stress about it, and yet still be able to stay on track with their fitness goals.

It’s a careful balance that I’m sure is truly different for every person, but what these fad diets don’t do is to teach individuals how to manage that balancing.

***

Are there certain foods that you should definitely avoid when trying to lose weight?  Yes definitely.

But do you need to stick to a very strict diet that doesn’t allow you to eat entire food groups like carbohydrates for the rest of your life just to stay thin and strong?  Heck no!

Again, just because something may work for a season while you’re doing it, won’t mean it’s always going to work for you.  Eventually there may come a time when you’re working a drastically different schedule or maybe in a depression, and you just want carbs again, and there goes your keto plan or Atkin’s diet.

It’s better to learn how to manage yourself through true discipline in being allowed to eat the “bad” stuff, as well as knowing what and when to eat the good stuff.

 

Sweet Potato Mash

This is one of the healthiest sides that is also conveniently easy to make and delicious enough your kids will eat it!

We try to do sweet potato fries also, which taste incredible!  But the mash is a good side dish for normal meals of chicken and vegetables, etc.

Here is the recipe I made tonight:

7 Great Tips for Getting Your Body Back After Baby

This woman’s video is GREAT for some important tips to try out when losing the baby weight after pregnancy.  She goes over pretty much everything I’ve done or tried at least once and it worked for her personally (and me too), but she does mention that this may not work for everyone.  It really is true that some people respond better or not at all to some tweaks in their diet or exercise routines – basically, you have to do the research for your own body type (it’s out there! I’ll post some on things like that after the baby) and figure out what you should even be eating for your genes etc.

Ashley’s Tips:

  1. Work out – She works out everyday and started working out just a few days after having her baby.  Nothing too hard or crazy, mostly just walking and prenatal workouts which are safe even when you are pregnant.  Even with my 2 c-sections, walking as much as possible (as much as I could do without over-doing it), really helped me heal faster and lose the fluid easier.

Once she was past the healing phase, she ran and did other things that **worked for         her body.**  One of these I saw in her video is the “Barre Method,” it’s basically what         I’ve done before using Ballet Beautiful or even Tracy Anderson’s Method.  Those          workouts are extremely hard and not for the faint-hearted!  But the results are beyond fantastic, I mean, you’re doing the same workouts the Victoria’s Secret Angels do when you do the Barre Method or Tracy’s Method (which is barre, pilates, and dance for 30 minutes straight).  Many women’s bodies respond very fast to barre-type workouts as well, so it may be good to try it out.  If you’re completely new to working out though, try something less hard at first like a Jillian Michael’s 20 minute workout video – it will still be hard but it’s so short it’s over before you know it.  That’s how I lost the weight with the first baby.  It took longer with JM’s 20 minute workouts, but it was doable and didn’t kill my motivation and my husband even did it with me to encourage me!!

2 . Use a Belly Bandit after having your baby

So Ashley recommends using one of the belly bands (specifically bellybandit) to kind of squeeze everything in again.  I do think these work, although I only used it with my first baby.  With the second baby, I used compression panties (weird I know, but they had the somewhat same affect).

With our first baby, even though I gained 45 lbs compared to only 23 lbs with the second, I was still pretty active – walking all the time and for long distances on our college campus, going up tons and tons of stairs because we worked for our apartment agency we were living at during that time.  Basically, I gained quite a bit, but I was also very active which seemed to help my body be stronger.  When my doctor did my c-section, he was so surprised that my abs were that good that he took the time to sew up every layer.  Apparently that’s not normal, as even the nurse who was attending the surgery told me during recovery that she’d never seen him do that before, and that I “looked really good in there.”   :O  great, but yuck!

After I recovered for a day he came by to see me again to check in on how I was doing, and he brought me a belly wrap, telling me it would help shrink the uterus back to size and compress everything out.  It did seem to help quite a bit and I was so grateful!

This time I’m thinking of getting another band like she mentions in her video, or going full-out this time and wearing a corset like this:

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I figure if I’m going to do a wrap or band again, better to be serious about it – and from the reviews, this one is extremely intense – but again, it seems to really work!

3. Breastfeed if you can

I’m not so sure about this anymore – whether it helps or hinders women to lose the baby weight.  I’ve known quite a few moms that have sworn that breastfeeding caused them to keep the weight on – but some of them also admitted that they were still ravenous and ate all the time as if they were still pregnant.  For me personally, breastfeeding did seem to cause me to slim down fast – or it was the fluid.  The strange thing is that breastfeeding really does seem to make you hungrier, and I did eat more than usual even though I was burning so many calories my body still looked amazing.  So when I stopped breastfeeding, I gained a bit of weight almost immediately due to probably not altering my eating habits that had been set for a year.  I was also grieving my dad at the same time and going through depression – those also contributed to the lack of exercise and lack of eating healthy (I just didn’t care anymore).  But being so used to being able to eat anything while breastfeeding is something to be aware of – you may have to alter your food intake after you stop.

4. Get more sleep!

She mentions how she aimed for just 30 minutes extra every night and that really helped her lose the last of the weight as she was so rested.  It is so true that being stressed, sleep deprived, or anxious keeps you generally from losing any weight – it can even make you *gain* weight to not sleep enough.  Your body produces a hormone called orexin when you’re extremely tired that actually makes you hungrier, causing you to potentially eat too many calories when you don’t need them.  I know with our second baby, it was just such a peaceful transition for our family – when I was breastfeeding during the day, it literally felt like I was resting on a cloud – the hormones of breastfeeding are like a high and actually relax you!  My husband had to go back to work after only 5 days with that baby, but somehow the transition from 1 to 2 kids wasn’t that difficult.

Because of his police schedule and the danger of his job, I felt it critically important that I be the only one waking up with the baby all night, allowing him to get his much needed sleep and rest.  He’d get a full night’s sleep and then let me sleep in for 2-4 hours in morning when he’d watch our kids for me since he went in later.  This was only possible because of his weird schedule, but wow did it feel so different from our first when both of us were trying to share baby responsibilities, and he had to be up in the morning as well.  This time he’s taking off for a whole month ❤ ❤ ❤ but I’m still planning to exclusively breastfeed during that time, so I’m going to keep the baby all night and he’ll watch her in the morning so I can rest up again.  It felt so incredible to both of us last time to handle it this way – why mess with something that’s working?!

5. Drink more water

Definitely!  But everyone probably knows this….  If you feel like you’re retaining fluid, drinking more water helps to generally flush it out.  I snack on ice and crave it like it’s candy, even when I’m not pregnant.  So drinking a few liters of water (has to be iced) a day is normal for me.

6.  Try a vegan diet

LOL!!!!!  As if!!!!  Just kidding 😀 – she is right on one thing, eating more fruits and veggies and less dairy and meats does help most women’s bodies lose weight.  She mentions that her body fat pre-vegan was at 23%, versus getting to 15-16% body fat with her vegan diet.  I have to say, that’s impressive, but I’ve also seen women get those results from maintaining a mostly keto diet style (opposite vegans for the most part), or even just tracking their macros and carb-cycling (what I’ve done).  Macro tracking is just keeping track of the proteins, carbs, and fats you eat every day or even weekly.  It’s a little annoying, and shouldn’t be obsessed over, but it does work and the benefit is that you can still eat things that aren’t on a specific diet like “vegan” only foods or “keto” only foods.  You have more freedom when you’re tracking the proteins/carbs/fats, and I always do at least one cheat day so that I can eat things I normally wouldn’t eat throughout the week.  It really is just whatever works for you.

Hidden Tip!!!  Dry Brushing!

She adds in a random tip not numbered that doesn’t go with being vegan that I know of LOL….  She “skin brushes,” otherwise known as “dry brushing.”  This really does work for many women, I’ve seen results from women in my fitness group that are mind-blowing how well just simply dry brushing can tighten and firm loose skin (really loose skin!).  It is very strange that simply dry brushing your loose skin areas can have that great of an affect.

Another thing that is very much like dry brushing only more intense, is “needling,” or using something called the “derma-roller.”  It works by using needles that you literally roll over your loose skin areas creating tiny injuries that cause your body to produce more elastin & collagen in those areas.  I remember when they first came out for this type of device for the face (using tinier needles), my husband and I laughed about it because it sounded like a torture device.  But you know what??  It actually works!  Both for your face and for apparently your tummy! Click here to read just one woman’s response with it.  I’ve seen the same results more than a few times with the women in my fitness group.  It’s legit.

7. Give it time!

Very true, I thought I’d never lose the weight with the first baby, it was just dragging on and on and on.  We were in the gym several days a week at first and then switched to home workouts, and yet it still took a whole year.  Just be committed and willing to try new things.  And just don’t give up!  I’ve often seen it take women a couple of years if not 3 years to get to the place where they want to be with their bodies and there’s no shame in that at all!

Everyone’s body and genetics are different and respond to different things.  It is crucial to find out what your particular body and genetic makeup responds to best, but it may take a year or two to even figure that out unfortunately, especially if you weren’t at all athletic to begin with.  Starting from scratch like that is hard and you HAVE to give yourself time to try all kinds of things to see what works and what doesn’t.  It’s more than worth it though.  Every woman I’ve talked to that lost significant amounts of weight even when it took years has said it was the most important decision of her life to keep with it.  Being overweight affects everything about you and your life, so it’s no wonder there are so many women who feel as though it completely changed everything for them when they get the results they want.

Stephanie

To Be the Best Mom I Can Be

joselyn

 

This is a message of inspiration from another awesome woman in my fitness group.  Love her words of encouragement for us!!!!

 

“I’m a Mommy to 3 boys (ages 7, 4 and 1). For a long time I thought if I could achieve my pre baby body that I’d hit some special mom goal. But the older I get the more I realize that I don’t want that body. Yes, muscles are there like before…however, in the last 7 years I’ve had hip surgery, heart surgery, shattered my shin bone, developed a herniated disc, had prolapse,a hernia, diastasis recti, and of course can’t forget the 5 times of dealing with mastitis from nursing my boys. Sounds icky but I’m here!

I’ve coped and managed and realized my body is strong and has housed 3 humans and that as a result some things shift.

I’ve also learned living at the gym or working out every minute doesn’t make me a no excuse mom. I’m a no excuse mom because I‘ve learned to listen to my body so I can be the best mom I can be. That sometimes means getting a run in to cope with Mommy duties but it also means taking a day off so my body can rest and recover.

I turn 35 tomorrow, and as I enter this year, I cannot help but thank God for this body. I will try to do my best with it physically, nutritionally, emotionally and most importantly spiritually. To many more great years! 🤗”

So wonderful to see moms take care of themselves and have that balance between working out and resting enough or taking care of normal “mom duties.”

Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not doable, but also don’t think it’s for the faint of heart or somehow easy.  Getting past surgeries or injuries and set backs – making the time to even pay attention to our bodies needing rest – all these things are difficult and take motivation.

Hope this motivates you as it’s motivated me!

Stephanie