Staying Well In A Crisis

No doubt there’s a lot more stress going around in everyone’s life right about now. Much more than any of us are accustomed to. It’s so easy to see how life can change drastically from one month to the next. In one day, one hour everything can change. Now more than ever we must continue to carve out time for ourselves to de-stress and focus on our health, both physical and mental.

Being “stuck” at home with the kids has been my life lately, so this being “quarantined” is not too far out of my everyday. Granted we are forced to stay home, so that of course makes you want to go out and do something, but we all know that things could and probably will get worse, so staying home doesn’t have to be miserable. It’s been a couple of weeks so far and we’re finally realizing that we need to establish a new norm. Starting some type of routine is going to be the only way that I will be able to stay sane and keep two kids under the age of 3 from losing their minds as well.

There’s all kinds of mom hacks floating around the internet. A lot of them have me thinking are moms really doing all of these impressive arts and crafts or is it all wishful thinking amongst the majority of us? I may get around to making mosaic chalk art or homemade slime one day (they have their dad for that, right?) but in the mean time staying active and keeping off this baby weight is my main focus. My kids love to be outdoors so why not try and get them involved in my exercise routine instead of waiting for their naps everyday (because we all know naps are unpredictable).

My 9 month old is crawling and on the move these days and while playing with her on the floor, I started doing some ab exercises. She was crawling all over me and I picked her up and started using her as my weight. Believe me, her solid 20 lb body felt heavier than any weight I was lifting at the gym. So below are some exercises that you can do with your baby or toddler. My 3 year can plank and pushup with the best of them. I bet yours can too!

 

 

 

Bosu Ballin’

One of my favorite pieces of work out equipment is the Bosu Ball. I love when you can do a million exercises on 1 thing. It’s easy to use and transport, while still being tough on you!

For these exercises shown below, I usually do this as part of a complete hour workout. Which means if I’m doing a circuit workout, I may run for 5 mins, then do strength exercises for 10mins, run for 5 then do something else. This Bosu workout below is the something else. Each exercise is done at my own pace, as many reps as possible for 30-45secs and I do it twice.

Have you tried the Bosu lately? You’ll be glad you did once you start.

Mommy Struggle #2

So it’s only been 15 months as a mom and it seems much longer! I’m just now starting to get the hang of things. How am I going to make it the next 17 years?! Forget that, the next 40! Because let’s face it, it’s not going to end when he turns 18. I still count on my mom and I’m 34. I don’t know if I can make it that long.

This leads me to the next mommy struggle: prioritizing your life and getting on a schedule. Otherwise known as the “I don’t have enough time” phase. I feel like most complaints I hear are about how moms can’t get anything done. I have to admit that even though a 15 month old can get into much more mischief now that he’s walking and older and more curious, it is a bit easier to get things done around the house. I allow him to play and explore (within reason of course) so that I can do the dishes, wash clothes, make the bed.

One thing moms kick ass at is multitasking, but don’t let it take over your life. I almost had a meltdown trying to do too much that I had to take a step back and calm down. Whenever you take on too much is when something suffers and usually that’s your child.

Instead of being stressed out about nap times and meal times, I let things happen naturally. That doesn’t mean I forget about nap time all together. I just don’t stress about it too much. Now when I want to get some things done, I put him in his high chair, let him feed himself some snacks and keep my eye on him while I get some things done.

Instead of worrying about working out during nap time, I work out while he plays next to me in his pack and play or on the floor. Sometimes I use him as added weight too 😉 And if worse comes to worse, I drop him off at his grandma’s house and do what I have to do!

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Motherhood is a learning experience and no one has all the answers. Being a perfectionist like myself doesn’t help either, because no matter how much you plan, or prepare, nothing will ever be perfect when it comes to kids. And no two experiences are the same. You do the best you can and ask for help when you need to.

How do you keep your sanity when trying to get things done with a baby or toddler? Tips and suggestions welcome!

Mommy Struggle #1

So in this “mommy struggle” series, let’s talk about the things that test all moms’ patience, drive all mommys crazy and make all of us want to give up and crawl back into bed. But won’t. Because we’re moms and our husbands and kids won’t let us.

I bring you the dreaded: “Why can’t I lose this baby weight?”

Well I don’t have the answer, not really anyway. But I do have words of advice. Don’t give up. Especially if it really means a lot to you. As a fitness professional, the pressure to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight was something I felt every time I looked in my closet and tried to find something to wear. I worked out here and there but nothing as consistent as before I was pregnant. I always had an excuse I guess. Too tired. No time. The baby won’t sleep. The key is to find your motivation, whatever it is, and use it to eliminate the excuses. Since I was fortunate enough to stay home this past year with my son you would think I had all the time in the world to get in shape. Well, running after a one year old is a lot harder than I thought and running after him doesn’t burn as many calories as you think. Big disappointment.

But it’s ok because my motivation just reared it’s head: first, a wedding coming up and then a Mardi Gras ball. 2 occasions where I would need to dress up, wash my hair and look presentable instead of wearing baby food stained shirts and sweatpants. I could do this. I wanted to do this. I needed something that was going to give me the added push. Something aside from being upset about all the clothes I couldn’t fit into. So I gave myself a few small tasks to complete each day. I would clean one room of the house, I would work out for at least 20 minutes everyday while the baby slept and I would set aside time to work on my blog. If I didn’t get to one of those things, well I would try to do it the next day and maybe for longer. Giving yourself small goals makes it a little easier to get to the bigger goal.

Another thing to remember is to go at your own pace. It’s been 14 months since I’ve had my baby and I’m just now starting to see results. I have to keep in mind that my body is completely different and not necessarily bad different, just different. That doesn’t mean I can’t lose weight, it’s just going to be a little different from what I did before.

Here I am now after 14 months 👆🏽

And here is what I was before 👇🏽

I haven’t given up and I haven’t forgotten that I gave birth to a human and it could possibly take a long time to come back from that. Each delivery is different, each body is different. It’s ok, moms who are struggling out there, we’re all in this together!

What are some things that helped you get your pre-pregnancy bod back or are you still on the struggle bus?

Calorie Counting and Workout Plans

Now that life is starting to fall into a routine, it’s time for me to try to get back to my pre-baby and even pre-wedding self.

My go-to for calorie counting is an old favorite: My Fitness Pal (free app on most smartphones, www.myfitnesspal.com). What I like most about it is the fact that you can scan any food item that you eat and it shows up. It takes the hassle out of trying to calculate calories and servings or searching for food online. You can also link it to different devices like your FitBit or other tracking devices.

myfitnesspal

For keeping myself accountable daily, that award goes to my FitBit Blaze (fitbit.com). I got it for my birthday to replace my Nike Fuelbit and I love it. It keeps track of how many hours of sleep you get, which was amazing to know being a new mom and trying to figure out a sleep pattern with a newborn. It keeps track of how much water you drink, which is also useful considering I’m nursing and need to stay hydrated. And aside from tracking basic exercise, it also tracks whether or not you are walking at least 250+ steps every hour. That helps me stay active since I’m at home with the baby and it’s easy to lay down with him or sit with him for hours and not realize it.

fitbit

Ok, so I’m going to let you all in on a trade secret. 3 words. Nike Training Club (free app on most smartphones). This app is awesome and I use it a lot for my training sessions with clients as well. Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself to workout even if you are a “professional”. The good thing about this app is that it gives you 4 week plan if you want. Just getting back into m workout game, this is perfect for me. I can let the app do the planning and I can add or substitute as needed. The workouts are beginner, intermediate and advanced and you can do no equipment if you’re working out at home, basic dumbbells and home equipment or a gym setting. It’s foolproof with videos to help those that need it.

nike

 

With the help of these 3 I’m hopeful that it will be no time before I’m back to my old self. It’s a lot harder to bounce back after having a baby and I’m here to tell you that it takes time. It took 9+ months to gain it and it’s not going away over night without a little extra work. Stay strong if you’re struggling, because you’re not alone.

Nola Fit Chick

XOXO

 

I’m With The Band!

Technology has come a long way and so has fitness. With the two combined, it’s almost impossible to not be held accountable to your workouts or at the very least staying moderately active. But it can be done! Just today, I realized I hadn’t worn my Nike FuelBand in over 4 months! Not a good look. I figured since I’m pregnant and not doing my normal workouts, why bother? Well, I should have been using it my whole pregnancy because on those days where I don’t feel like doing anything, it would have reminded me to get up and get moving, for at least a few minutes anyway.

So if you’ve been on the fence about whether or not it’s worth your money, I’m here to tell you it is. No matter what fitness level you may be, a beginner that just wants to track their steps, someone who likes to be told to get up and get moving throughout the day as a remind or the advanced workout aficionado that sets and tries to beat past goals, an activity band can only help your fitness needs.

I personally have a Nike FuelBand because I got a good deal on one at the Nike outlet but there are several on the market to chose from. I know a lot of people who have the Fitbit and the Garmin but there’s also the Jawbone (which I know nothing about!) and the Apple watch. And those are just the ones I’ve heard of. Do some research and see which one is the best fit for you.

The FuelBand was awesome when I first got it because it connected to a bunch of other fitness apps on my phone such as My Fitness Pal (which totally saved me when I was getting in shape for my wedding), the Nike Training app, Nike running app and more. It kept track of my steps, calories and what Nike calls “fuel”. The “fuel” is their universal metric of tracking activity that is the same for everyone regardless of age, gender, or weight. The more you move, the more fuel points you get. You can surpass your goal set, or up it or lower it depending on what you want. For me, this was my only con to the FuelBand. What do I care about fuel points?? I want to know how many calories I’m losing per workout session. The only thing it told me during my sessions was how long I worked out for, how many fuel points I would receive and how many fuel points per minute I acquired. I started to want more. Now I’m sure there are more advanced ones on the market but at the time, it served it’s purpose and I will continue to use it until after my pregnancy when I’ll get back to my normal workout routine and then I’ll want to step it up a bit.

The one that I might try next is the newest Fitbit. The Fitbit Blaze retails for $199.95 (but I’m sure you can find it at Walmart or Target or even online for cheaper) and has features such as touchscreen, calories burned, heart rate, on screen workouts, GPS, call, texts, and calendar alerts as well as sleep control, just to name a few. If these are things you want to know about and track then this might be the one for you. I’m not super high-tech but I’m a step up from the basics. There are so many more to choose from and some that might be better than the 2 I described. It all depends on the individual.

As far as using one for pregnancy, why not? If you’re not on bed rest and you’re having a normal pregnancy, a fitness tracker is perfect to keep you motivated to stay active so you can continue to stay healthy. Adjust it to your comfort level and remember that you are carrying added weight and another human being so don’t over do it!

**Fitbit Blaze                                      **Nike FuelBand

I would love to hear your thoughts on fitness trackers!

Be Well!

XOXO

The struggle is real…

As I end my second trimester, I realize the real end is almost near. Am I ready? Well, I don’t really have a choice! My baby is coming in August no matter if I’m ready or not.

Things are getting very real for me: my feet are swelling, the numbers on the scale are getting higher and I haven’t finished the baby’s room yet. And as always, the struggle to stay on track with my workouts is still very much….well, a struggle. However, I have to admit that I wouldn’t be able to do anything if I didn’t have support. My husband has been amazing. Through all my mood swings and aches and pains, he’s been there with compliments (even when I don’t believe them myself), motivation to keep it together and the occasional foot rub.

Just today, we worked out together. We alternated walking on the treadmill and strength training. I mean, we have a workout room in our house! How difficult can it be to workout everyday? Well apparently, very, right now but working out with him, it didn’t seem so daunting. It was such a simple thing to do and something we both need to do as well, but it meant so much. So we’ve decided to do it more often. Like I said, it’s the little things. And when you have love and support, well the struggle becomes less and less of a struggle and more like real life.

Here I am trying not to look out of breath 😉

Me on treadmill

Be well

XOXO

 

 

 

Finding Time and Motivation

Well it’s been awhile and here’s what I’ve been up to:

Like most people I always start out with good intentions but life gets in the way. Everyone’s motivation for doing things obviously are different, just like the drive to continue on your path may be stronger than others. For me, the numbers on the scale were lying to me. They had to be! I know, I know, I’m pregnant. This is the time to indulge a little right? As someone who is considered a health professional and an active exerciser who is constantly watching their weight, this has been a struggle. Couple that with being more tired than I ever have been in my entire life (even more so than partying all night and staying up for class the next day) the working out regularly was not panning out like I thought. The eating, however, has been not bad at all. I’ve discovered a new love of cooking. Thank god for the cooking channel and Pinterest! The ones that I’ve posted have been the ones that I’ve tried so far and my husband has been loving being my guinea pig.

Back to working out. Since I love to read and now that I’m working less and less, I discovered reading on the treadmill and walking (not for everyone of course) and before I know it, 45 mins has gone by! If I’m going to read on the couch anyway, then I might as well read and walk. In addition to that, I add basic strength training exercises each week.

Using my 6lb medicine ball and a 5-10lb kettlebell this is what I do….next time I’ll have pics of me doing it 😉

I start off with a basic squat (after walking on the treadmill for 45 mins at an incline of 4-5%) 1 set of 15 reps

fit_squats

Next I do push ups 1 set of 15 reps

knees-pushup-munster-bootcamp

Lunges in place 10-15 reps on each leg

Medicine-Ball-Cross-Behind-Lunge-Front-Raise_Exercise

Side bends or oblique crunches with a kettlebell 20 reps on each side

Standing-oblique-crunch

Bicep curls with medicine ball 1 set of 15 reps

Medicine-ball-exercises-Total-Body-Bicep-Curl

Lastly tricep overhead extension ( I do it standing) with medicine ball 1 set of 15 reps

medtriextension

 

Each week I’ll add on to these basic exercises or I’ll increase the sets and/or reps.It helps me feel more energized and less worried about gaining weight, even though I know it’s only natural to do so.

My main motivation has changed from exercising to be skinny to exercising and eating healthy so that I have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Finding the time to do it, well I really have no excuse there!

 

Be healthy!

XOXO