Friday, October 8, 2010

Commit to be Fit!

Ok, so over time I have had several people ask me about my "work out" routine and about my diet.  I figured I would do a small ridiculously long-winded post on this to those of you who are interested in this topic. How do you feel about health? Do these quotes go along with your philosophy on the matter?...

Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate. ~Author Unknown

I consider exercise vulgar. It makes people smell. ~Alec Yuill Thornton

My idea of exercise is a good brisk sit. ~Phyllis Diller

I thought those quotes were cute! Especially the first one. 

So before I had Keshlyn I was scared to death of losing the baby weight and being able to look and feel good after the brutal beautiful "giving birth" process. Especially since Keshlyn stretched my stomach OUT! I mean, come on...remember this? 

The Damage 
As a matter of fact, I had a strip of skin directly under my belly button that became so white (and, yes, I know I am a pasty WHITE cracker but this was literally white! lol) and progressively became more and more transparent because of the stretching in that one area! My doctor said she had never seen anything like it. Luckily, that was the only little spot that gave me a stretch mark... and no matter what I do there is still loose skin there. It's fine when I'm standing up but when I bend forward, no matter how tightly I'm squeezing my core, gravity wins every time! haha. But at any rate, It is quite amazing how much your skin/body does go back to normal considering the major stretching that goes on for those 9 months! Obviously after you give birth you have a lot of loose skin and most of it tightens back up with time. And you know, me being the size I am, I thought I would have a cute tiny little 6 lb baby but apparently being rH negative is correlated with large babies! 8 lbs for my first (and girl, at that) was not fun, to say the least. And the saying goes that boys are bigger and each baby gets bigger! The doc says I will definitely never be able to carry til full term because I   correction---  my treasure box won't be able to handle it!

The Weight

After having Keshlyn, the last 10 pounds (from pre-weight) would not come off naturally.  I worked out before I was pregnant, I worked out the entire time I was pregnant, and I intended on continuing working out post-pregnancy but something drastic was going to have to happen right away or I was going to be very upset! So, I did some research. I read everything I could about being healthy. Several books, articles, lots of internet searching. I was determined to drop those 10 pounds. Especially since the stupid nurse at the hospital (in a birthing class) told me to my face I could kiss all of my normal jeans good-bye because I would never be the size I was again and my hips would never fit into them. That ticked me off so bad I was heated the rest of the day. That nurse was very brave to be so dumb bold and very lucky that I kept my mouth shut. You do NOT cross a pregnant lady! They tend to be very moody at times! lol


1. Eat this, Not that- You HAVE to buy this! There is a whole SERIES of these books. There is one on the top worst foods in America. There is one book devoted to fast food/restaurants letting you know what's safe to order and what you must stay away from. (This is great if you travel and are on the go a lot) It gives you all of the nutritional info and compares the foods. It is EYE OPENING! The Supermarket version is my favorite one and I could write a testimonial on how it has changed my life! This book has the slogan of "a no-diet weight loss solution" and it is true. Shannon and I both lost weight from just making a few switches in products. Even if you still bought the same products in the grocery store and just bought the "healthier" version/different brand, you will notice in the book and on your waistline how many calories and fat you will be eliminating from your diet. It's insane! There's even a "cook this, not that" version and it shows you restaurant favorites and gives you the healthier recipe to make at home! Good stuff here. CHECK IT OUT! It will kill you to learn what is really in some of those things we eat on a day to day basis. And DON"T worry if you don't like to read! This is mainly a picture book! lol. It shows you pictures of bread and cereal and frozen food brands etc. and gives you the stats compared to other choices. 

2. Body for Life-  This book has a lot of great principles in it. It is a great guide to getting on track with eating and exercising. I love and firmly believe in a "free day" with food. Once a week you are allowed to eat whatever you want. People fall off the wagon way too often when they tell themselves no more sweets forever! That  would just be insane! (and I'm  not going to lie...I slip and have more than one free day a week sometimes!...but if you want to see results FAST, you must be strict in the beginning and form self discipline! ) For more on Body for Life, click here

3. Hungry Girl

Ok, so Hungry Girl recipes are SO GOOD! They're not always necessarily the healthiest (for example all of her cool whip recipes) but they are low in fat and calories and sugar and that equals less likely to gain weight! hehe I LOVE 200 Recipes under 200 Calories. She has a couple of other recipe books as well. She has a new one that came out this year that I haven't tried yet! These have great breakfast, snacks, and dessert recipes that will NOT make you feel guilty and allow you to eat a lot of what you want for a lot less damage to the gut! Seriously, check this one out from the library and make as many recipes as you can to test drive the book. I have only found a couple that I won't make again. Shannon, who does not like anything that "tastes" healthy, loves everything I make from this book. Maybe I will share a couple of my favorite recipes as a sample in a near future post! Check out her website here. P.S. The extra bonus to this book is in the front of it there is a shopping list of items you will need to make pretty much everything in the book!
4. Ellie Krieger-  

She is the host of the Food Network show "Healthy Appetite," and she provides healthful recipes . She takes care to make sure that her recipes have flavor! She is a big advocate of eating all foods we like in moderation and with a little more healthy of a  twist. Probably my FAVORITE "healthy" recipe of all time is from Ellie. It is right here: Aromatic Noodles with Lime Peanut Sauce. Don't worry if the ingredients may look a  little strange to you. Shannon asked me what my back up plan was the first time I made it because he was pretty sure it was going to be terrible...It is a dish we have every few weeks now! Yummmmm
The Grub

So here's the deal that no one likes to hear:  "Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym!" It does not matter how much we work out and work out and work out! If we do not change the way we eat and take care of what we're putting into our bodies, we will see little to no results. That is unless you're a freak of nature like my friend, Amanda. She pretty much thrives off of Starburst and Snicker's bars daily and looks amazing! She is definitely one of the few though! smooches! 

I highly recommend "eating clean" every once in a while and especially when trying to see some serious transformation in your bod. This means only eating lean protein, vegetables, fruits, only the recommended amount of dairy (limiting cheese!), and minimal carbs. No processed foods! A lot of grilled chicken and vegetables! You will absolutely feel SO different after doing this for a week. 

Also, take a multi-vitamin everyday to make sure you are getting your nutrients!

The Work Out

Ok, so here is where I am really passionate about telling you what I do.  I've been a long time gym member and love group classes. BUT, once I had Keshlyn, time to go to the gym was a struggle for me. Schedules didn't always work out between me and Shannon to get me to the gym every day at a convenient time for my new little bundle of joy. And if there is anything that I will say about working out, it is that CONSISTENCY is KEY for success!!!!! We are creatures of habit! For me, I have to work out in the morning. So if I don't work out in the morning, I won't work out. That's just how I work. If you can make yourself work out each morning (for example) for a week (minus your rest day(s)) you will find it much easier to start back up on Monday. If you only work out once every couple weeks, you'll find that it is very hard to motivate yourself to even get started! Now I'm so used to working out in the morning that it's just apart of life and not even an option to me anymore. I wake up, eat breakfast, and get down to it! Then I shower and get ready for the day. It's Habit! And that habit has changed everything for me. 

I had learned through research that the best kind of work out that is going to yield results the quickest is by doing intense calisthenics for short periods of time and brief recovery time in between exercises (30-60 seconds) High Intensity Interval Training is the technical term. HIIT is considered to be an excellent way to maximize a workout that is limited on time. Google High Intensity Interval Training and learn about it like I did. It is very motivating to get started. So what did I find that went along with this philosophy as a workout to fit into my schedule and become a solution to my inability to get to the gym consistently?... 

1. Barry's Bootcamp. I've had so many people say they could never do this because they wouldn't be motivated enough to do this at home. But, I say to that, "how is your constant reminder of looking in the mirror not enough motivation?" To me, when I saw what I didn't like, I automatically knew what I had to do each day. Keshlyn went down for a nap and I would head to the living room. Barry's Bootcamp is awesome because it comes with 3 DVD's, 2 resistance bands, and an exercise ball shaped like an oval so you can use it as a bench. It comes with everything you need and you can often find good deals for the set on Amazon! I've never been the one to fall for infomercials but this one sold me! And I'm so glad it did. On these dvds are 2 different cardio segments (one for upper body and one for lower) as well as 3 "mission specialists" for upper body, lower body, and abs. You start out only doing 21 minutes a day! How sweet is that?! I don't know about you but every time I went to the gym I was there for an hour and a half and that doesn't calculate the time it takes to drive to the gym and back home. I can go downstairs and work out for 21 minutes and see results! Seriously! (Granted that your eating healthy as well.) I worked out 6 days a week for months and months. And I was amazed at the results. It actually comes with a booklet and calendar giving you your meal schedule sample to try for a week and it tells you what videos to do on which days for 30 days. Do it for 30 days and you will see the results you are wanting. Honest. Check it out on amazon here

2. Crossfit- Just for a variety and after being introduced to this from a friend, I got into Crossfit. It is another very high intensity/high demanding work out that pays off BIG TIME! I work out Mon-Friday for about 20-30 minutes each morning and I'm DONE! "CrossFit workouts are extremely demanding and will tax the capacities of even the world's best athletes." "CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide." There are some licensed gyms popping up across the map, but largely these exercises are done at home in a "garage gym" with a few pieces of equipment.

 The Result
I'm mad at myself because I think I accidentally erased my "before shot" (2 months post-Keshlyn lol) so it's not as cool to see the transformation but I at least have my stats that I wrote down. 
 Stats: (July 2009)
Upper Arms: 9"
Waist- 28.5"
Hips- 35
Weight: ~115 (between 115 and 118)
After: I mean, aside from looking gross from a sweaty workout, I have definition in my stomach and my arms! Neither of which I've ever had before in my life! I feel great and I even weigh nearly 20 pounds lighter than I did in high school...which is weird because I never thought I was chubby or anything. It's funny what eating better and exercising will do for you. I now have lines on both sides of my stomach and the "v" indentations on my lower stomach which obviously you can't see because I would really need to pull my pants down for that shot and since this isn't that kind of site you'll just have to take my word for it. *wink! lol.

Stats: (originally done in 12/09 but stats are still same except arms a little bigger now from more muscle!)
Upper Arms: 9.5"
Waist- 25"
Hips- 32.5"
Weight: ~103lbs (I fluctuate between 100-105lbs. Most people have a few pound variation)

Any Recommendations for staying healthy? Favorite Healthy Recipe? How do you stay on track? Check out this website for some info: