Returning to working out after having babies has always been a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s like burning double the amount of calories. On the other hand, the amount of sweat that I have is pretty gross. But I’ve found a couple of must-haves for nursing moms that make the transition into working out much easier.
So, my old slacks fit me again. Can we just have a moment of silence for this major accomplishment? These weren’t even normal slacks. They were the ones with the zipper on the side and they actually slid all the way over my hips. I did the most uncoordinated happy dance in the mirror and it felt great to make some major progress. The common question is how I lost weight. I didn’t starve myself or purchase any frivolous products that promote weight loss. It all started with a major change in my mindset first and putting in the work for myself and no one else.
Learning To Accept
Over the years, I struggled with accepting my body for what it was and what it was slowly becoming. Between health issues, child birth, and the scrapes and scars that reveal my life’s story, it became overwhelmingly difficult to fall in love with my personal beauty. I didn’t have the confidence to boldly proclaim that I accepted who I was inside and out.
I struggled to maintain a healthy lifestyle for myself. As a result, I lost several pounds to the point of looking and feeling very sick. I also gained several pounds while emotional eating through bouts of depression and stress. I was a complete mess. For years I watched other people’s health journeys while not even making my own conscious decisions. I spent so much time scrolling timelines wishing I could wear someone else’s shoes that I didn’t even know my own size.
Changing My Mindset
Drinking flat tummy tea or wrapping my stomach up for 45 minutes just didn’t seem realistic to me. I eventually learned that I had to do what was best for me and I mean that in every way. My decisions didn’t have to be difficult or conflicting, but just true to who I was as a person.
How I Lost Weight
I changed my way of thinking and became more intentional about the way I live my life. I’m now to the point that my only goal is to just be healthy. That’s it. No matter what it may look like to others, that’s my goal and I’m sticking to it. So, I pace myself and do what I can when I can for Me…no one else.
I listen to my body. I don’t over exude myself past my limits. I don’t confine my beauty or self-worth to a scale or the latest weight loss trends. I do what is best for Erin and I’ve found this way to be most effective. I love who I’ve become from every angle and that to me is the healthiest place I could be in.
Have you won the battle with weight-loss? What tips do you have?
There was once a time that I loved going to the gym. I felt strong and prepared and even comfortable enough to joke around with other members that I had seen on various occasions. That time is not now. Now, I hate going to the gym. It’s not because I don’t feel like working out–in fact, it’s the quite opposite. I enjoy the workout but my size and weight have made me so incredibly self-conscious, I have to give myself a pep talk to get out my house.
Why I Hate Going To The Gym
It’s New Year Resolution season and the gym is more populated now than ever. I want you to understand that everything that comes AFTER this sentence, I understand is all in my head and probably NOT reality. But with more people in the gym, that’s more people judging me and how big I’ve gotten. Yes, yes, I know. They are probably focused on their workouts and don’t even notice me–unless I fall again. Yes, again.
I’m SUPER Awkward
Outside of pregnancy, THIS is the biggest I’ve ever been. With my new and not so improved size comes a level of awkwardness that makes me unsure of just about everything.
Did I put my foot on the elliptical pedal right?
Are my shoelaces too tight?
Does everyone know that I’ve been out the gym for like, ever?
Oh, and then I fell my first day back in the gym so now I relive that moment every.single.time.
I’m Really Uncomfortable
I’m just not very comfortable in my skin right now. My workout clothes don’t fit the way that I want them too. My shirts ride up in the back, my pants fall down, I feel like a sausage in casing. It’s just super uncomfortable. And then I sweat like a lot. Not just your average amount of sweat, but like sweat pouring out of ever single pore that I have. Yeah. Not comfortable to be big and sweaty.
I Jiggle A Lot
Not in like the cute Destiny’s Child kind of jiggle but like in the, “Oh My Gosh Becky Look At Her Butt” kind of jiggle. It’s scary man. I feel like the marshmallow man from Ghost Busters when I’m walking around.
But here’s the good thing: I show up.
Every week I show up feeling awkward, uncomfortable, sweaty and jiggly.
The gym that I go to has great child care and they love loving on each of the kids individually. I don’t worry about them as I take the 2 hours I get to myself to blast my music full of curse words into my ears as I work to make myself better and healthier so I can keep up with them.
I’m shocked and disappointed that my body has gotten to this point. I’m incredibly insecure. But I’m a work in progress. I’m committed to making better choices for my health because that’s the person I want to be. But man, this is hard place to be in–especially since I hate going to the gym!
Have you ever hated going to the gym? How’d you get over it?
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a self-professed cookie monster. I wasn’t always one but pregnancy with abc turned me into Sesame Street’s blue monster on steroids. Like I wouldn’t just sit and eat a couple of cookies to quench the thirst for the craving. I would sit and eat an entire package of Oreo’s under the guise that breastfeeding was eating those calories. My waistline says differently. Though I know that I can’t eat packages of cookies at a time, I still want the cookies! And now I can have them with Cookie Republic
What Is Cookie Republic?
I grew up in NY and have kept in contact with some of my friends that I knew then. One of my little brother types (he’s not so little now. In fact he’s this super strong and like big guy who’s dominating the nutrition industry) went to school for nutrition and I’d been vaguely following what was going on with him until he posted about these delicious and nutrition cookies. Naturally I paid attention because, well, cookie monster.
Just a brief history… In 2012 Sundan Seward and his fellow firehouse friends birthed the concept of the cookie out of necessity. From 2012 until 2014 they perfected the recipe and developed the brand. And now they’re here offering a deliciously clean cookie for the world to partake in.
But How Do The Cookies Taste?
I’m a natural cookie connoisseur after devouring countless (don’t judge me) different cookies as well as turning away other (I do have standards). Honestly, most of those “healthy” cookies are gross in my opinion and I’m often left offended at the mere thought that they could compare their poor excuse of a sweet snack with that of a delicious cookie but I digress.
These cookies seriously live up to their promise. Sundan sent me the Chocolate Brownie and the Peanut Butter cookies and I was really impressed. Not only did they surpass my cookie standards but my kids devoured them as well. I’d like to mention that I was really unhappy about them eating my cookies because he sent them to me and I have trouble sharing but whatever… I’m a work in progress.
Pro-Tip: These cookies are already soft and feel freshly baked. Pop them in the microwave for 10 seconds and you’ll trick yourself into thinking that they were just baked!
Where Can You Find These?
Yes, I know you want them. I want more too and I won’t withhold the information from you any longer. You can find Cookie Republic Cookies here:
I’m super proud of you Sundan!!!!
This post is sponsored by Balanced Body® through Mom It Forward Blogger Network; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Working from home certainly has its perks. There’s flexibility with work schedule, all the healthy (or unhealthy) snacks at your disposal, and if you’re a parent, the flexibility to be “there” should your kids need you. Summer working from home was great. I was able to get so much work done and had a really great workout schedule. But then school started along with extracurricular activities and a new gig for me.
Yes, a new gig.
The new gig + back to school + track practice has made things difficult getting to the gym as much as I would like to. Which is why I was excited to stumble upon a new piece of fitness equipment that allows me to get a full body workout in whatever room I’m in.
MOTR® By Balanced Body® – A Complete Home Gym
The MOTR® by Balanced Body® is a complete home gym that can be broken down and stored in a 43” cylinder. This all-in-one home gym doesn’t take up much space when it’s stored or when it’s been unpacked and ready to use. With this one piece of equipment, you can improved your strength, balance, agility, cardio and even do sports conditioning. After your done, it take less than 5 minutes to store it out of the way of clumsy children (or yourself—no judgement) in a closet.
You can get cardio done anywhere—just grab some sneakers and hit the pavement for a great walk or run. But did you know that in a relaxed state, muscle burns 20% more calories? So that means the more muscle you build, the more calories you burn. The more calories you burn, the more weight you lose—see where I’m going with this? As a mom, my time is limited. Like REALLY limited. As much as I would love to return to spending 2 hours at the gym daily, that’s just not what I can afford right now schedule wise.
The MOTR® is a great, budget-friendly workout tool for we busy moms who can squeeze in a 15 minute workout in between loads of laundry and taking over the world. Now be clear, this isn’t just a tool for women. The hubs tried this out and he got a great workout in too.
How To Best Use The MOTR®
The MOTR® comes with a DVD as well as workout cards. As much as I love a DVD taking me through a routine, I just don’t have the time for that plus I normally just drop my MOTR down in my bedroom or office where I don’t have a DVD player. Because I suffer from exercise ADD (self diagnosed!) I like to play a game with the cards where I randomly draw out 5 cards. I do each of the movements on the card for 45 seconds with a 10 second rest.
What’s even better is that if you prefer to plan the parts of your body you’re working out, you can do so with these as well. They are labelled with Arms, Legs, Core, Balance, and Agility—the focus groups for this equipment. One of my goals is to be more agile and increase my balance. I’m clumsy by nature but I think working on my core can help me with this and these cards let me set up a workout based on my goals.
Want to Learn More?
Head over to Balanced Body® and check them out. Get a head start on your New Year’s Resolutions now so you’re one step closer to feeling amazing in that bikini or preparing for the zombie apocalypse.
Balanced Body: http://www.pilates.com/
MOTR Introduction page: http://www.pilates.com/BBAPP/V/store/motr/index.html
MOTR Product page: http://www.pilates.com/BBAPP/V/store/motr.html
I have a present for you…
I’m not shy about sharing my love affair of Life Time Fitness. I’ve been a member for what’s going on 2 years and kick myself for not joining earlier. Outside of having an amazing facility, Life Time also offers some of the most original classes with the best teachers. My favorite teacher is Moe Adams and I had a major fan-girl moment when she friended me on Facebook.
Who Is Moe Adams?
Up until I met her the day of the event, I had never seen her close up. Yes, let that sink in for a sec. I’ve been to her class plenty of times and only see a mirage as the sweat drips down into my face. But she’s a powerhouse who takes what Billy Blanks made popular to a whole different level. She has the ability to conduct her classes as though we’re her orchestra. It’s truly amazing!
When Life Time asked me to host an event, I knew that it had to be one with her!
The Fight “Night” Kickboxing Event
Moe’s classes typically have over 100 members in there attempting to kick the a$$es of the air surrounding them so it was nice to have a smaller, private class with her. But this also mean that we turnt ALL the way up! She took us through 45 minutes of jab-hook-uppercut combinations followed by kneeing and kicking non-existent perps. It was fun to show off my favorite aspect of Life Time with friends and fellow bloggers that are interested in getting their health together. I did a FB live feed of part of the class that you can check out here.
Work hard, play hard, right?
Definitely so at Life Time! In addition to the café that I’ve previously swooned about, Life Time also has their own spa that I’ve never actually ventured into! But after having our butts whipped into shape with Moe, we were invited to relax with in the Spa. We sat in their beautiful relaxation room and sipped a tea blend that made want to pass out as I waited for my massage. We all received chair massages that revealed the tension that comes with mom life as the massage therapist worked to relieve it.
Even though our Fight “Night” was an afternoon, it was a great one where I was able to share my love of Life Time with friends!
At the end of July we wrapped up the 60 day challenge. While I didn’t finish in first place, I still feel like a winner–so cliche right? But I do. I know, what place did I finish? Fifth. Ok, back to my cliche statement–I did win in other ways.
The More You Know…
I’ve seen a nutritionist maybe once in my life. I was like, 22, and at that age if I wanted to lose 15lbs I would run for 3 weeks and boom, the weight would be gone. At 33 (I think?) with two babes this is NOT the case. Working with Kendall, my nutritionist, was game changing for me. Literally the week I implemented his tips and tricks I lost 5lbs. I’d lost more but July 4th was a doozy. Either way, he demystified and debunked so many myths that go along with eating and then gave me easy to apply tips on how to improve upon what I was doing. I didn’t have to swear off my Oreos and S’mores–I just had to earn them.
The Better You Feel!
Working with my trainer Ceddy was empowering. Exercise isn’t new for me. Being in shape is not something that I’ve never done before but I was almost embarrassed at the realization that I needed help. I mean, after having mini I dropped a whopping SIXTY pounds on my own! Of course I was depressed and used running as my coping method but I digress… I had done it on my own so needing help was hard for me. Working with Ceddy was fun and he made me feel like where I was so long ago was more than achievable. Trying out new workouts, different exercises and working dormant muscles not only almost killed me but really built my strength.
Why Life Time?
I joined last year in May. I walked in to use the pool with a friend of mini’s and told the manager that I would come with him because I knew he had to give me the sales pitch but that I wouldn’t be signing anything. Not even fifteen minutes later I was signing here, here, and here before saying “Cheese!!” for the picture associated with the membership card. Did Devin, the sales manager, do a great job selling me? No, he didn’t. No shade to him but he didn’t pressure me into the membership. I looked around at everything they had to offer with my own eyes and knew that I had to join. And more than a year later, I’m still a happy member for these 10 reasons:
1. They’re childcare is amazing. Seriously. There are days that I walk in and I just want to stay and play with them.
2. I see the same people working there. When I drop the girls off, they know who they are and my name and this makes me feel secure.
3. They have a Spa in the building. And they do amazing blow outs. On natural hair. Just ask Maria from Mamalicious Maria!
4. They are committed to the health of the whole family. They offer Mommy & Me yoga, have Daddy-Daughter dances and Parents Night Out. How awesome is that?
5. Life Time has a cafe–not just a juice bar. As in they make their food there. Chris, one of the managers there, has a degree in nutrition science. It’s not JUST food–this is their art.
6. Their food is REALLY delicious! The Asian Tuna Salad turned into a wrap will literally have you tearing up–SHOUT OUT TO ALL MY FOODIES!
7. I’ve never had to wait for a machine. Ever. It feels like they have thousands of the same machine and I’ve never had to wait for a treadmill or anything.
8. There’s a run club and clinic. They help you with your form and endurance and welcome runners of all speeds–yes, including walkers.
9. Their classes are fun and innovative. They have your standard kickboxing and spin but it’s done differently. I take 6000+ steps with Moe in her kickboxing classes. And they offer Life Time only classes that challenge your body in ways that you had no idea could be done in a group setting.
10. They’re not “just” another gym. I’ve belonged to MANY gyms and this is not a gym. This is seriously a health club. They are committed to the entire picture of your health which is why they offer the assessments they do, bootcamps, healthy food, and are open 24 hours.
**Bonus** I’m a member! Ha! Which should actually be number 1 but whatever.
But seriously, I’ve never felt like I mattered at any other workout facility but here, I do. I love walking in and seeing Shawn or Kyle or Matthew. I love that Devin is STILL there and in the year plus he’s never worn the same outfit but always looks fresh. I love that my kids are growing up in an environment where they aren’t just another kid but they are loved on by the people in childcare. When you’re a mom, a wife, a husband, a father, a woman, man, whatever, you want to matter and you want to be able to workout in peace with the knowledge that it’s ok to just take this time to focus on you. And that’s what Life Time does. They give you the space and time to solely be about you and isn’t that something we all need?
If you’re in the Atlanta-area, I’ll be hosting a mid-day “Fight Night” with my favorite kickboxing instructor Moe so stay tuned for deets on that. Have questions about Life Time that weren’t answered? Shoot me a message! Want to try it out? Snag a guest pass!
On Saturday, July 23rd, Life Time Fitness’s all over the country celebrated bootcamps with BBQ. Full disclosure: I was completely ready to not show up but then I remembered the BBQ part and figured I HAD to come and do a taste test of the food since I have high standards (be clear I’m laughing as I type this). Why didn’t I want to come? I had just been at an awesome and amazing conference for 2 straight days and my mind was trying to process all of the valuable information I had just received. And I didn’t feel like sweating. Ha!
Nonetheless, I dragged my handsome husband to do the bootcamp with me.
We arrived late (on purpose–I despise a warm-up!) but made it just in time to jump in for our group assignments. Naturally the hubs and I were on the same team–GO RED!!! We completed a series of
absurd great moves that were a mix of both strength and cardio. We completed 3 rounds of 5 exercises where we did 45 seconds of work followed by 15 seconds of rest–classic HiiT style, my fave.
There were 3 stations and out of them all, my favorite was the one with the tires and hurdles. See, in my head I’m always training for the impending zombie apocalypse and jumping over hurdles, doing zig zag dashes, and tossing around heavy tires are all things that we would have to do in the event there was a science experiment gone wrong. Not only that, but it challenged your agility and speed–not just strength. I’m not especially fast of agile but I wasn’t the last or the most winded so I felt really good doing these.
The real reason I came. Listen, I’m a foodie and you guys already know this. I like fantastic food and delicious drinks and BBQ is my favorite. I was skeptical until I saw that there was an authentic smoker sitting poolside that had meat inside calling my name.
Let me tell you this: the BBQ was every bit of a reward after the trainers nearly stole our lives in this bootcamp. There were hamburgers, ribs, and chicken and all were incredibly delicious. As president of Team Eat, abc left childcare to give her seal of approval on the eats enthusiastically. Although the ribs were divine, my fave was the kale salad–so cliche right?
The Aftermath of the Bootcamp & BBQ
There were naps. And sore muscles. And I’m excited to say that they weren’t mine! I LOVE a bootcamp style workout since I suffer from self-diagnosed exercise A.D.D. so the constant change and moving is something that I truly love. But my husband? Nope. He likes to pick heavy things up and put them down. He’s still on my team should the zombie apocalypse come but he’s going to have to get some more cardio in if he’s going to hold a leadership position! He was sore, I was not and I felt REALLY good about that!
It was a great workout followed by some even better food but my favorite was the people. When I go to the gym, I have tunnel vision. I speak to Ceddy on occasion, Kendall when I see him, and the guys in the cafe as I fill up water or tea and that’s it. But being able to chat, cheer, and sweat with others was a lot of fun. It was great to encourage others and be encouraged by them as well. In the end, that’s what matters right? The people.
The Final Week of The Competition
The Good, The Bad, And the Ugly
I’m not going to lie, last week I feel off a bit. It was my birthday week, I was stressed out, a little sad, and surrounded by free DoubleTree Cookies. Naturally I did what most of us who are letting go of self-control do–I indulged. Shamelessly. And no, I didn’t get on the scale this week. But I’m also not beating myself up. I can’t wait to share everything that I’ve learned, loved and hated throughout this competition with my recap so stay tuned!
I have a confession to make: I wear makeup when I workout. No, not a full out beat face but yes, I normally don at least 5 pieces of makeup for my sweat sesh’s. Because I’m normally on Snapchat pre, post, or during workouts, I’ve been asked what it is that I’m wearing so I’ve put this list together!
1. Shea Moisture Foundation
I tried this out doing a post for my girl Brittany and now I wear it everyday. I mix it with a moisturizer to create my own version of a BB cream that gives my complexion a clear and even look. Now honestly speaking, because I sweat a lot, this does come off.
2. Dr. Brandt’s XYZ Face Cream
I’ll be 33 in a couple days and have become obsessed with making sure I don’t look like I’m aging. I mix the Shea Moisture Foundation with this cream so that all day I’m fighting wrinkles. Plus, this moisturizer feels amazing. Nothing like my pores opening up and welcoming this in!
3. Tarte Lip Stain
One of my oldest friends introduced me to this a couple years ago and I haven’t stopped wearing it since. I love the red because red is such a power color to me and when I’m working out, that’s exactly what I need. Plus, who doesn’t look great in a beautiful red right? The best part of this is that it doesn’t kiss, bite, or sweat off.
4. Stila Waterproof Eye Liner
5. Waterproof Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
Sweat-Proof Makeup For the Win
You know how some people get up and get dressed every day regardless of whether the leave their homes for work or not? This is the equivalent to that. While I’m not 100% comfortable with my body, that doesn’t mean that I can’t look good while I’m working towards my goals. A little bit of makeup makes the difference for me and makes me feel beautiful as I’m working on my goals.
Do you wear makeup when you workout?
60-Day Challenge Update
Week 7: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly
This morning when I weigh-ed in on my scale I was officially down 15lbs since the beginning of the competition. I’m stoked. I’m gaining more and more confidence and am feeling more like I’m ready for the zombie apocalypse should it come (that IS what I’m training for after all!!). I’m paying more attention to what I’m eating and when and my cravings. I find that if I haven’t properly spaced out my eating then I all I want to do is stuff my face which is counterproductive. I’ve also found that starting my day off with some quality proteins combats my hunger.
**Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links so feel free to click away and support your girl!
Between babies and my poor eating habits, my metabolism has hit a slump. It’s no secret that my goal out here is to lose weight and be able to survive a zombie apocalypse–weight loss being the primary goal ha! I met with a nutritionist at Life Time that gave me some pretty simple changes that resulted in a 5lb weight loss within 1 week–and no, it wasn’t water weight.
4 Ways to Speed Up Your Metabolism
1. Drink half your body weight in water daily.
This one was something that I knew anyway. Most days I get a gallon in but water is so important for the weight loss journey. Hydration–especially in the summer–is crucial since your body will need to replace all the water it loses while working out. Get your water in and it’ll help get that weight out.
2. Set up alarms to remind you to eat.
Working at home can sometimes throw your entire schedule off. You don’t have co-workers around eating or drinking reminding you it’s time to do so as well. There have been days where I went from 4:30am until 2pm without eating simply because I had forgotten. Set alarm with 4 hour increments reminding you to eat something.
3. Eat clean.
Yes, I said it as well. Eating clean is like everyone’s go-to statement when it comes to healthy eating. What does it mean? It means eat unprocessed or minimally processed foods. So things that need to be refrigerated and that can be found on the perimeter of the store at farmers markets. And no, it’s not expensive. And yes, it is rather delicious.
A photo posted by The Crunchy Mommy (@thecrunchymommy) on
4. Keep snacks handy and already portioned out.
Fresh fruits, nuts, trailmixes, etc are all things that would be perfect for you to keep within an arms reach. Protein shakes are excellent for recovery and to have along with some hummus and veggies. The important thing here is to keep it convenient. Not everyone has the time to stop and prepare a snack (because eating clean does require preparation) so it’s good to just prepare them all at once so they’re ready to go.
While these aren’t the only things that you can do to rev your metabolism and get it burning fat, these are 4 things that can get you started.
What tips would you include here?
60-Day Challenge Update
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Going into week 6 I’m feeling great. Since the last weigh-in, I dropped 5lbs and I’m really happy that the scale is moving. I’m down over 5% body fat and am incredibly proud of myself. This heat is stifling me and it’s hard to go to the gym and sweat when I walk outside and continue the sweating. I made a bet with my cousin that we could swim 450 laps this month and I’ve yet to hop in the water so I’ll be working on that for the rest of the month.
I did a “Try It Tuesday” with Ceddy and the crew this week and it burned a lot of calories which I loved so much. And guess who’s going to be leading her own??? If you’re guess is me, that’s right! So stay tuned for when I announce that date!!!