I’m sharing with you my latest ‘before and after’ and a few thoughts on my progress:
1) It took me 9 months to get here, to this fit place where I now stand. We all know and expect our bodies to change over 9 months of pregnancy yet we expect we will bounce back in just one. It is important to know that although some may, most women do not return to the pre-baby weight or fitness level right away. In fact, although this journey has been 9 months in the making my youngest is actually 16 months old.
2) Getting fit takes hard work and persistence. It is a SLOW process and sometimes you don’t notice how far you’ve come until you look back at an older picture. Take pictures of yourself, no matter how uncomfortable it makes you! No, you don’t have to share them on a blog or Instagram as I choose to do but months down the road you will return to these pictures and smile at the progress you didn’t realize you had made!
3) As awesome as I look and feel (yes, I did just toot my own horn) I have areas that I want to improve on. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love my body. I absolutely do! I think my problem area is a typical post baby problem. My mummy tummy IS getting flatter, but it doesn’t seem to take much to bloat or make it stick out. Like at a moments notice it’s going to revert to pregnant muscle memory or something. I also have the expected post-prego loose skin. Part of me kinda hopes I don’t totally lose that though.
4) I have only lost 15 pounds between my before and after picture. I am actually still 10-15 pounds heavier than I was pre-baby and where I thought I needed to be to be happy. Don’t trust your scale or a number you think you need to be.
5) I am choosing to make this fitness routine and healthy eating a way of life. That means I don’t get to jump off the bandwagon when I reach a certain goal or number on the scale and scarf down a bathtub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. I try to let myself have treats along the way and I have weeks where I indulge a little too much. My journey ebbs and flows but that is what keeps me moving.
I have been following a particular company on Instagram for quite a while now. In my news feed there it was, this workout tank top that said
‘Made in the Gym’
with a barcode above it.
I immediately loved it but didn’t order it for months. It’s silly really, but I would tell myself I’m in the beginning of my fitness journey and I certainly don’t LOOK like I was made in the gym so I would probably look foolish to wear the shirt. So, I kept following Swag Tag Tees, looking at pictures of muscular and cut people wearing their ‘Made in the Gym’ shirt with pride. A few weeks ago before we left Arizona it finally hit me. Those people are proud because they know the hard work they have put in. I’m putting in hard work at the gym everyday and that is reason enough to rock this shirt! So, I ordered it and waited excitedly for it to arrive! The day in came in the mail I pulled it straight out of the package, put it on, and went to the gym. And you know what? I got lots of compliments!
Now onto an unexpected positive customer service experience. I posted a picture of me in my new shirt on Instagram and was shortly there after asked to contact the company. It seems that from my picture the shirt design looked slightly off and if that was the case they wanted to replace my shirt because they pride their company on quality for every single product. This, my friends, is excellent customer service. It turns out the graphic was ever so slightly off. So slight, I hadn’t even noticed! The matter was further complicated as I was leaving Arizona in just a few days. I gave a new address and by the time I arrived in Virginia I had a new package waiting for me. A pretty pink version of the shirt and an adorable pink watch!
I mean really, how cute is this watch?
It’s safe to say that Swag Tag Tees went above and beyond in customer service. In today’s world where customer service seems to be lacking it’s nice to see a small business with such care for their customers. You can see all of their products at http://www.swagtagtees.com .
So my first lesson of the day is to reward yourself for hard work. In the gym, at work, or wherever. Only you can judge you. The second lesson? Support small businesses who provide excellent customer service!
*Disclaimer – I purchased from Swag Tag Tees and this was my experience. I was not paid or compensated for this blog post.
I talked a little bit about our California (moving) vacation in my last post, My Last Week in Arizona. My husband is active duty military and we are moving to Germany from Arizona but first will stop in California, Baltimore, and Virginia. Got that? I’m attempting to keep myself somewhat on track with food and working out but not totally rob myself of vacation indulgence. I was, however, taking Emergen-C since both kids had colds that turned into ear infections (thank goodness we found that before boarding a plane.) I eventually turned to Zicam determined to fight off any sickness, but more on that later.
We began our trip in San Clemente, CA. One word – Gorgeous! We had planned to drop-in at a local Crossfit Box but were unsure about the childcare situation. Since my husband and I both wanted to workout we decided to not chance it, load the kids (age 1 & 3) in the stroller and see if we could find the Ocean! A gorgeous 4 mile walk along the beach, pier, and up a huge hill later we were in love with Cali! That evening my (crazy) husband suggest we take turns doing a WOD. I groaned but did it!
The next morning we drove down to San Diego and dropped in at Crossfit Invictus. The workout was a partner WOD where 2 people work together to complete the workout.
The workout – 5 rounds
50 kettle bell swings
The hubs and I teamed up (of course) and came in 4th out of about 15 teams!
It was a long, grueling, 40 minute workout. We had a great first drop-in experience and look forward to more!
After our workout we cleaned up and took the kids to SeaWorld and that’s where the sickness started. No amount of Emergen-C or Zicam could have saved me. Turned out to be, I think, food poisoning. Likely from the fish tacos the night before. Uggh. It was a rough night and I mostly laid in the hotel room recovering the next day while Hubs took the kids to play on the beach. I managed to feel good enough to go for a short jog on the beach Today but the only food that appeals to me right now is processed carbs and salt. Why is that?!?
Anyways, tomorrow we’ll be on a plane most of the day and hopefully the next day we can make it to the gym that we’ll go to for our 3 weeks in VA.
So if you were keeping track I worked out 3 out of 5 days of our California trip and my diet, well. It WAS on track. Hopefully my stomach will feel 100% soon.
I’m enjoying the journey but honestly I am already looking forward to being settled gain!
As most of you know my little family and I are moving to Germany. Our last week in Arizona was anything but boring. I spent 3 days with my little guy who had a fever that turned out to be an ear infection, followed a few days later by his little sister. I’m glad we were able to treat them a week before flying or we would have had to delay our trip.
Next we tackled Murph for the first time. For those who aren’t familiar it is a WOD named after Lt. Michael Murphy who was killed in action. He is one of the soldiers from the book, ‘The Lone Survivor.’ If you’re not familiar then do yourself a favor and look it up. The workout is a long, grueling one and it was his favorite. Here is the workout:
1 mile run
300 air squats
1 mile run
My husband completed it with a 20lb vest in 49 minutes. I completed it in 61 minutes. Here is a picture of our class after we finished!
A couple of days later was our last WOD at Crossfit Cochise, where we both began. We had to take a photo op with Coach Jason before we left!
Then it was goodbye Arizona, hello California…for a few days. Our car will be shipped to Germany from the West Coast so we decided to make a little vacation out of it. We stayed North of San Diego for a couple nights. A spur of the moment walk turned into a beautiful 4 mile walk along the beach and an overall gorgeous day. Here are a few pictures.
At 7:30 at night my crazy husband decided we could still squeeze in a workout. The picture quality is horrible but you get the point. We did 5 rounds of…
30 double unders (90 single unders for me)
20 air squats
Now we are headed back down to San Diego for a drop-in at a box and Sea World and Zoo fun for the kiddos!
Finding time to workout when you have kids is HARD. Your day to day life is no longer just about you and what you want to do. There are schedules to keep, toddler energy to burn, naps to be taken, tantrums to be tamed, and meals to be prepared. And you know what? Kids get sick. A lot. No one wants you bringing you sick kids to the gym daycare. As I am writing this I’m looking at my sick, sleeping 3 year old on an air mattress in our living room. Yeah, sick and in the transition of a move too. My two littles, 3 years and 15 months, definitely making getting workouts in tough but when you commit to a healthy lifestyle you just have to find time and be flexible.
Early on in my fitness journey I would run with my youngest in the stroller while my eldest was in preschool or sneak in a morning run during a 30 minute window I had before my husband left for work. My 15 month old sometimes cries in the gym daycare but she’s always happy in the stroller so I often will bring it in so that I have an hour of peace to break a sweat. Saturday afternoon and my husband needs to do school work but my toddler is throwing a fit? I throw him in the stroller and go for a run! This week while the kids have been sick my husband and I played tag (aka traded cars in between classes) in the parking lot so we could both get a workout in and the kids didn’t spread their sick germs. I understand that that is time consuming and probably most of you would say is not worth it. I get it. I am a stay-at-home mom, we are a military family living in Arizona for a short time with, frankly, not much else to do so for us it worked.
My point, really, is to be creative and flexible and find what works for you. I generally don’t plan a rest day in advance because with two little kids I’m often forced to take one for one reason or another. Including having to walk home from the gym withOUT working out because my kids would not cooperate in the daycare. Yeah, that happened. I guess on the bright side I got the 1.5 mile walk to the gym and home, right? If I’ve managed to workout 5 or 6 days in a row, then I will take a rest day. It never fails thst if I take an early rest day, something will come up and prevent me from getting to the gym the following day.
You can still make the time to workout with kids, no matter their age. The key is YOU have to DECIDE to do it. I have found that making time for me to break a sweat really makes me a better Mom. I’m more refreshed, energized, and a short break gives my mind time to recharge before jumping back into all of the juggling that we Mom’s do. Today I will have to do a home workout or just call it a rest day because one kid still has a fever and my other half is working an extra long day today. Oh and I have to pack our suitcases, in between sick snuggles, and nursing my little guy back to health. Ahh, the life of a Mom. How do you make fitness a priority with kids?
If you have followed my blog from the beginning it comes as no surprise that I’ve had my share of aches and pains (and I’m not talking about my Krav Maga bruises either.) It occurred to me over the past couple of days that a lot of the aches and pains I have had no longer exist. First it was my hip pain from running. I ended up seeing a Doctor for that one and attended physical therapy for a few weeks. I eased back from running for quite a while and then back into it again with Crossfit. Now my hip doesn’t seem to hurt at all. Hooray! Maybe I will attempt a few longer runs again. Next was my knees. A few weeks into Crossfit they started to ache. Sitting down. Getting up. I felt like an old lady! That problem was partially my shoes which were too cushy (for running) and threw my body off balance for squats and lifting. I went through a few weeks where one shoulder felt really tight. Most recently my tailbone bothered me.
Long story short I have dealt with my share of aches and pains in my fitness journey and this is what I have learned:
- Minor aches and pains are normal, especially as you are losing weight, gaining muscle, and changing your body. Don’t quit because you are sore, your knees are achy, or you feel like you are 80 when you get out of bed. It WILL get better and by getting fit you will ultimately feel better on a daily basis.
- Listen to your body. Sometimes the pain is something more and needs attention. If the pain persists or concerns you, see a doctor! If it turns out to be nothing at least you had it checked and in the future may be better at determining the severity of your aches and pains.
- Mobility, mobility, mobility. Don’t simply workout and go home. Stretch your muscles out, use a foam roller, and use a lacross ball to help relieve tight muscles. Not sure how to use these things? Ask a staff member at your gym. I would expect and hope that someone would be educated and could assist you.
- Massage therapy. I can’t even begin to express how much massage therapy has helped myself and my husband. It has helped him heal from a shoulder injury, work through my hip pain when PT wasn’t enough, determine if aches and pains are just that or something more, and most recently help eleviate the bruising and tendon damage from my, ahem, Krav Maga experience. No really…
It helped 10,000%! (This might be a slight exaggeration!)
But really, getting fit hurts. That’s the reality of it and it is certainly no reason to stop.
This past weekend I took my first Krav Maga self-defense class. My box was offering them and what girl/wife/mom couldn’t benefit from a elf-defense class, right? While I definitely benefited in the knowledge gain, I unfortunately left hurt. Well, bruised and swollen mostly. We were playing out a scenario of being attacked with a knife and blocking the attacker’s arm. I should mention, here, that I was partnered with a guy, much bigger, and I should have said ‘uncle’ when my wrist started to really hurt but I didn’t want to be a weeny! Towards the end of class I walked out intears and a lot of pain (and embarrased about the tears, ugh.) Five hours later after lots of ice, ibprofen, and rest, my right wrist looked like this:
Yeah. Honestly, despite how it looked, I was able to move it so I was thinking it was on the mend. At the suggestions of others, namely my Father, I decided to go get it looked at the next morning just in case. I DO a lot of heavy lifting in Crossfit afterall.
Good news – No fracture.
Bad news – I get to wear a beautiful wrist brace for a week. (Enter sarcasm here)
Here is the brace and pictures of the bruising on my good arm he day after.
Yeah. I may have gone in a little too intense there. Eek! So Doctor’s orders are to wear this brace for one week and no lifting or ‘combatives’ for 2 weeks. His words, not mine, haha!
Do you think that kept me from going to the box today?
Of course not! My legs aren’t broke are they? Coach just modified the movements for me. Jumping pullups instead of my usual kneeling and medicine ball cleans instead of the bar with weights. I even PRed my 5×5 rep back squat at 100# today!
So I’m happy nothing is broken, to have learned a little bit about self-defense, and happy to keep on moving in my fitness journey.
I’ve been slacking in a few areas of my life. Blogging (sorry) cleaning, and food. I’ve let the stress of this move to Germany and my three year old being….well, being a three year old, get to me. No excuse though, right! I’ve actually not been slacking in my workouts at all. I take one, maybe 2 days off per week at most and am really getting stronger. I’ve just let myself induldge more and have additional snacks around the house and those really add up over time! When we are preparing for a move or major change I end to get the ‘whatever’ attitude. Shopping with no grocery list, randomly assembling dinner, running out of essentials. Sad but true. But, today I am taking control again. We were givne these awesome WOD books with kots of information and a place to record our progress with weights, as well as our daily workout and food.
Now I have no excuse! Call me old fashioned but I actually like having an actual book I can write in instead of using an online app. Maybe that’s why I never kept it up for long.
Now time to relax while the kids are napping and pretend I don’t have 10,000 things I could be doing!!
Girls will get bulky if they lift heavy weights, right?
Well guess what?
I can deadlift 200lbs.
I’m as guitly as any girl for the misconception that lifting heavy weights will make you look like a man. When I began my fitness journey I ran a lot and did some other ab workouts and light weights (*disclaimer – I didn’t think they were light at the time.) Heavy lifting seemed scary and was just generally unknown to me. Even when I joined Crossfit in October I didn’t realize that I would be lifting heavy weights. I just knew that someone else would be kicking my ass and I wanted, no I needed that. I’ve often said I want to be ‘toned’ and recently I read an article (I can’t for the life of me remember where) that said ‘toned’ is a made up word women created. ‘Toned’ means muscle. Guess how you build muscle? You lift heavy weights! I do agree there are varying levels or goals of lifting weights. I, for example, don’t have any goals to lift the heaviest weight a woman has ever lifted. I like lifting and realizing new things that I can accomplish but I’m not out to be the strongest woman in the world. Just the strongest me.
Need some visual proof of the benefits of lifting?
Here is my progress picture of July to October (before I joined Crossfit):
About 10lbs was lost during these 3 months.
Here is my progress picture from 3 months of Crossfit:
There is only a 4lb difference during these 3 months.
When you are lifting weights you are gaining muscle and burning fat. Your progress is determined by how your clothes feel, not a scale.
Needless to say, I feel awesome! I haven’t accomplished all of my fitness goals but getting fit takes time. That is why it’s a journey!
I hope you find my fitness journey as an inspiration and will stay with me.
When I started this blog in July my fitness was mostly running. Although I ran before kids, I was pretty much starting over and adjusting to the elevation here in Southern Arizona (that makes your lungs burn!)
My first goal was to run a mile, then 2 miles, and then 3 miles without stopping to walk. Then I wanted to reach a 10 minute pace. I eventually reached a 9 minute pace for 2 miles, a sub-10 minute pace 5K and accomplished a few 5 mile runs. My point? I run slow. Sometimes far, but slow. So imagine my fear when I saw part of our WOD this week was a 1 mile run for time. ONE mile!!! My first mile is usually my slowest and you know there were going to be super fast people sprinting a 6 minute (or faster) pace. Plus I hadn’t been running much since my hip issues began in October. That is when I began Crossfit. Honestly, my hip still hurts when I go on long runs so as much as I love running it’s just taken a backseat until I can resolve the issue. So yeah, scared is an understatement.
I. Don’t. Sprint.
But alas I showed up and prepared to run like everyone else hoping I could run below a 9 minute mile. I had my Nike running watch so I could document the time for my own records but the silly gps wouldn’t connect before the coach said
So I just took off and started running. Not super slow, but not a dead sprint. Those in front of me were pulling away, but not as fast as I expected. In the last 500m a girl passed me and I felt myself pick up my pace to stick with her. Even still my mind is thinking – really? I’m not dead last all by myself? When I approach the finish I hear the coach say, ‘Liz 7:31.’
I didn’t have much time to sit and think because we moved on to other things…
Yeah. It was a good day. Several days later I’m still in shock about that one mile run. I guess it just proves that strength training and cross training really can improve your run speed. Whoda thunk it? Not this girl.
The girl who started her fitness journey doing only one thing – running.