Summer slim down

I started my “summer slim down.” This year I have a good friend helping hold me accountable. I’m a week in and I’ve done pretty good! I’m someone who does better with a goal. I’m less likely to cheat on a diet or get lazy with workouts if I set a goal to work towards. I think it’s the competitive side of me that kicks in. I don’t like to lose. Plus, having a friend give me that little push tends to help.

I’m not doing an extreme diet or anything. I’m simply cutting out a few items that I regularly grab while grazing or boredom eating. So less cheese, less milk (I drink a crazy amount), less sugar, less carbs and less alcohol. I still consume a good amount of carbs. I need them to fuel my body. But I’m aiming to add in more complex carbs and reduce my simple carb intake.

The word diet doesn’t mean you’re going on some strict meal plan. A diet by definition is “the kinds of foods that a person habitually eats.” So I’m making little adjustments to my regular eating habits.

My overall goal is less snacking. I’m someone who goes to the fridge to eat just because I’m bored. So I’ll grab a snack when I’m not even hungry. I’m attempting to cut out these extra unnecessary snacks/meals.

9 months post baby #2

9 months pregnant on the left and 9 months post delivery on the right. I worked harder this second time around because I had a good handful of people tell me I’d never get by body back after the second baby. Or that it would be harder to get back into shape after the second baby. 🤔

I took those comments as a challenge. When someone tells me I can’t or won’t be able to do something, it makes me what to prove them wrong. So I pushed really hard this time.

I’m not 100% back to my pre pregnancy size. But almost all my clothes are back to fitting and that’s all I really wanted. I honestly haven’t weighed myself in a few months so I don’t even know my own weight. I’ve never been one to care about a number on a scale. I just kept a goal in my head to fit back into my clothes. Why? Because I hate shopping for clothes. I am not a person who enjoys going to the mall. If I have to shop I do it online so I can try things on in the comfort of my own home. But even so, I still hate clothes shopping. So, to avoid having to go out and buy new clothes, I just had to get myself back into my own clothes! And I did!

To the negative Nancy’s who told me I’d never get my body back after baby #2…… challenge accepted and won. What else ya got? 😉🤷🏼‍♀️

Cardio vs Weights

Pretty proud of the progress in these pics. The one on the left is from 2014. I did two hours of cardio a day (one in the gym and one walking the dog), little to no weights and was super restrictive with my diet. I weighed my food, counted calories and avoided oils, salts, sugar, etc.

The picture on the right is current. I do all weights, very little cardio (used as a cool down) and eat what I want (within reason.) Plus add in taking care of an infant and chasing around a toddler as my extra exercise. My diet consists of lots of protein, veggies, fruit, carbs, etc. I don’t avoid anything. I have something sweet maybe twice a week. I don’t drink sodas or juice like drinks, but honestly I’ve never been a fan of them so that makes it a bit easier.

My degree is in Sports Sciences. I took nutrition and biomechanics classes for years. I knew better than to do two hours of cardio and diet restrict. But I still did it. When I was in my 20’s I was impatient. I wanted quick results. Now at 34, I’ve learned when it comes to health and fitness you have to be patient. I’m finally taking my own advice. The advice I gave to people for years but ignored myself. Better late than never! Lol

What others see….

A friend of mine posted a quote the other day that got me thinking……”Your body is a reflection of your lifestyle.” 🤔

If someone I didn’t know was asked what kind of lifestyle I had based off how I looked, what would they guess? Would they guess a tired mom of a 4 month old and 2 year old? Or would they guess a hard partier because I look so tired? Lol

I’m not much of a makeup wearer, unless I’m going to an event or dinner. I’ve always hated the feel of makeup on my face so I rarely wear it. Most days I wear just mascara and lip gloss or chapstick. I only wear mascara because I feel like it opens up my eyes a little and makes me look less tired. Otherwise I wouldn’t normally waste the time putting it on.

Clothing wise, I live in leggings. It’s the most comfortable attire when chasing around a 2 year old. I see these Instagram moms in skinny pants or beautiful flowy dresses hanging out with their kids and I think to myself…..nope. I can’t even wear jeans and be comfortable during the day. I do too much up and down movements, squatting, crawling on my hands and knees, etc. I’m constantly cleaning up or picking up something. Leggings are literally the only clothing item that allows me freedom to move and feel comfortable.

I hope to most I have a “mom look” and not too much of a lazy look going on. I guess I could try a little harder in the mornings to look nice, but does it really matter? Right now my kids don’t care if I dress up for them and they’re pretty much the only people that see me regularly during the day.

I am always curious what someone passing me thinks when they see me. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Maybe it’s best I don’t know….😂

TRX Map

My gym got this machine called a TRX map. I’d watched people use it every so often and they looked ridiculous. But it peaked my curiosity. So with a little push from my husband I tried it.

The machine has you stand in place and do three squats. While doing this it measures your balance, flexibility, etc. When I got my results I was shocked but things made sense.

The results literally told me I’m standing crooked. It’s not obvious to any person looking at me but the machine picked it up. My right shoulder sits higher than my left and my left hip is higher than my right. When I brought my results to the head trainer at my gym he explained them to me. The imbalance is likely due to how I carry my kids. I ALWAYS carry them on my left hip. Hence why my left hip is up more than my right. I’m constantly pushing it up and out. My right shoulder is higher than my left because my spine is out of alignment. This is due to the muscles on my left side being stronger than my right due to the way I hold my kids! So crazy but it makes sense!

The trainer recommended that I foam roll my hips, back, and glutes more regularly. He also recommended I try to use my right side more when carrying the kids and stretch after workouts.

I’ve been foam rolling daily and alternating sides when I carry the kids. I’m not the best about stretching but I’ve been trying to squeeze it in here and there. I could actually feel a difference in my hips within two days of making the change.

I’m going to retest myself on the machine in exactly a month and see if there’s much of a difference in my results. I’d assume there would be since I can already feel a difference but we shall see! 💪🏻

Post baby

2 months pregnant vs 2 months post delivery. 💃🏼

I did all weights and little cardio this time around. It made a HUGE difference! With Ryder I did mainly cardio. I was tired a lot and it took me a good 6 months to really get my body “back.” This time around I focused mainly on weights and did a little cardio here and there. I had so much more energy this time around and I could feel a difference in my strength. I was heavier, weight wise, but visually looked thinner. That’s because I put on more muscle instead of fat this time so I was leaner in my pregnancy. (Muscle weighs more than fat!) Because of the added muscle and weight routine, it’s been easier to get the extra baby weight off. I still have some lingering weight but it’s not as obvious as it was the first time around. 💪🏻

This second pregnancy, I was back in the gym working out (light workout) at 4 weeks. With Ryder I struggled to get myself into the gym at 2 months! Before anyone goes off telling me I should have waited till 6 weeks to start working out, let me just tell you that that is old school thinking. My doctor agreed. She told me if I worked out up until the day I gave birth, that I should be perfectly fine to go back to workouts whenever I felt I was ready after birth. With that being said, she did say don’t try to workout the day after labor! But come on, I’m not that much of an idiot! Lol I let my body heal for 4 weeks. When I felt I had strength and energy I started back but very slow and with light weights. 🏋️‍♀️

I can honestly say I’m in better shape at 34 after two kids than I was in my 20’s. Don’t get me wrong, I had a few years where I looked amazing in my 20’s. But I didn’t have the muscle I have now. That just goes to show that it’s not to late to get the body you want. It just takes a little hard work and focus! 👍🏻

The Dreaded Workout

Have you ever dreaded going to workout…..got yourself there…..and come out thinking, yeah that still sucked? 😂 That’s not what you thought I was going to say was it 🤪 But seriously. Some days when I am not feeling the gym, I drag myself there and afterward I’m like oh yeah that was great I’m glad I went. Other days I think to myself, that was horrible and I’m still annoyed I’m not just sitting on my sofa.

We all have our days! Today was one of mine. I just had zero motivation. I finished my workout and still felt no motivation. I would much rather have been in sweatpants sitting on my sofa with a hot bowl of pho.

I’m sure my body is grateful I went to the gym, it’s just not letting me know it yet. The movement helps increase blood flow which reduces my risk of blood clot during pregnancy. It also reduces my leg and foot swelling so I have less aching during the day. There’s so many amazing benefits of workout during pregnancy. So for now I’ll just be grateful I made it through the workout despite my lack of motivation. I know there will come a day, last time it was right at 9 months, when I almost physically can’t workout due to size even though I’ll be dying to.

Morning vs Evening Workout

Should you workout in the morning or in the evening? In all honesty it’s up to you.

There have been studies that show you burn more in the early morning before breakfast. This is because your body has to burn fat for fuel, as your glycogen stores will be depleted after a night of fasting.

With evening workouts, some studies have found that muscular function and strength peaks in the evening hours, in addition to oxygen uptake and utilization. This means you may be able to push harder, better, faster and stronger! Some people find it easier to sleep better at night after an evening workout.

I personally prefer morning workouts. If I get up and workout first thing in the morning, I feel like I have more energy throughout the day. I also feel more productive. With morning workouts I’ve started my day out “healthy” so I’m encouraged I stay on track better with my diet throughout the day.

If I try to do evening workouts I’m typically really exhausted by the end of the day and I’ve usually lost motivation. For me personally my workouts struggle a bit in the evening. It takes me longer to get through an evening workout than a morning one. I feel like I piddle around more at the gym in the evenings than I would in the morning.

Honestly it just comes down to what works best for you. Are you a morning or evening gym person?

Steam Rooms

I made a post a few weeks ago about my regular use of the steam room. I got some fantastic questions about it after! So I’m going to go into more detail of the benefits of a steam room in hopes of answering those questions!

During a steam, there is an increase in blood flow and circulation in the body. This is because the heat causes blood vessels in your skin to expand. The moist heat stimulates the skin causing the pours to open up. By opening the pores through perspiration, steam induces the expulsion of toxins. This also helps to eliminate black heads to give you clearer skin! My skin always has a light pink glow to it after and my skin tone looks more even.

The steam room helps to open up airways which improves your breathing and alleviates congestion. The wet heat from the steam room thins and opens the mucous membranes in the body, which helps to relieve pressure. Any time I have allergies or congestion I use the steam room and feel a significant difference after!

Benefits of a steam room:

-Increases metabolism

-Cleanses the skin

-Boosts your immune system

-Eliminates toxins from the body

-Relieves discomfort from allergies

-Relaxes muscles

-Relieves couching

-Enhances circulation and blood flow

-Hydrates dry skin

Not only does you skin look amazing after a steam but you’ll feel so much better! Give it a try if you have the chance!

Avoid a flat butt

This is probably going to be one of my weirdest blog posts. It’s about butts. Bear with me 😂

Have you ever seen someone’s butt that was flat, as if they sat on it too long? Did you know that sitting for too long can actually flatten out your butt? Now don’t freak out. This won’t happen over night. But hours of sitting, day after day, can change the shape of your butt over time.

When you sit for long periods of time with poor posture (which 90% of people are guilty of), your hip flexors tighten up and cause reciprocal inhibition (preventing activation) of the glutes. This weakens the muscle and “flattens” it out.

Bad posture when sitting can also cause an anterior pelvic tilt. This means your pelvis rotates backward causing your butt to appear flatter.

If you have a desk job where you are forced to sit every day for hours on end, make sure to move often. Set an alarm on your phone to remind yourself to get up every hour. Walk around the office or go up and down the stairs for a little bit. Get those muscles moving. Also be cautious of your posture while sitting. Make sure your spine is aligned and you aren’t hunching.

You can easily keep that butt of yours from getting the dreaded flattened look!