Need I say more? Let’s have a little chat about our cute little preggo bods!
As you know from my birth story, I felt great during all of my pregnancy. I ate 5-6 small meals a day and I lifted 4-5 days a week. Not much changed in my routine, however my body definitely changed more than I anticipated, and I’m not just talking about the growing belly. Despite my efforts of continuing to lift fairly heavy (but safe, of course), my body started storing fat in place of that hard earned muscle I had! The first to go was my butt, I noticed a little less muscle, and a lot more fat (cough, cottage cheese, cough) and my boyfriend can attest to this LOL. I got saddlebags for the first time in my life. My inner thighs looked way less toned and my big ol’ quads shrank in half. I was fairly built from being an athlete all my life (if you count competitive cheer.. I do!), so this was a bit of a shock to me. I was so in love with being pregnant so my changing body wasn’t the end of the world.
What happened next really surprised me! Having a C-section. That first week of recovery was so tough on the tummy. When I got cleared to work out again after 6 weeks, I gladly started P90X in my 1 bedroom apartment (Thanks Mom! And sorry to whoever lived below me!). But something wasn’t quite right. MY. CORE. I used to have abs of steel - not a 6-pack kind of abs - but it was no doubt my strongest muscle. That was gone, and I actually was afraid to use my core and engage it in my workout - definitely mental. I still don’t feel like it’s the same almost 2 years later!
Needless to say, from starting P90X at 6 weeks postpartum to now, I have been extremely inconsistent with eating and working out, and it shows. It’s amazing how having a child can turn your life into a roller coaster ride. And a constant battle to make some time for yourself. Now, some moms would say, “don’t be so hard on yourself, being a new mom is hard!”. And that’s true, but I don’t feel good any more. What I’m putting in my body, my lack of working out, my inconsistency. I feel like I’ve lost a part of myself and I think I need to re-gain control to get that part of myself back in hopes that I can be a better mom, a better girlfriend and a better homemaker. I need some consistency on this roller coaster ride.
Now let’s dig a little deeper…
LETS. GET. REAL.
Let me be very clear that when I tell you “I am not happy with my body”, it is not because I want to look a certain way, like a specific person. Or that I want to look “skinny” or “thin”, I honestly just want to feel good about myself, my body, my habits, my mood, my attitude. And I honestly don’t feel good about ANY of that. When I receive compliments about how “skinny” or “great” I look, I know they are genuine compliments, but I don’t feel skinny or great, so they don’t make me feel better (like compliments should!). But how I receive those compliments says so much more about ME than the kind people giving them!!
I realized that I was feeling this way when I started re-reading the overview of Kayla Itsines’s Bikini Body Training Guide (BBG). It states:
To us, a “bikini body” is not a certain body weight, size or look, but rather a state of mind where you are confident and feel good about YOU. I do not believe that a single figure, idealistic individual or image should be the sole goal for a broad-spectrum audience. I think the end goal should still all be the same - that goal being happiness through health.
Amen sisters, am I right? However…...
I feel unhappy about so many things in my life (gasp, I know!!) and I feel so lost as to how to fix ANY of it. Like I’ve created this big mess and I don’t even know where to start (think faith, relationships, finances, parenting, health, career, etc.). But somehow being in Alaska, somewhat removed from the comfort of my normal routine, caused me to really start thinking about my mess. The first thing that came to mind was fitness. Fitness is something I’m so passionate about, yet have had such an up-and-down relationship with since having Sofia. And it’s not even her fault, it’s MY fault for having zero discipline. I get tired during her naps and I get tired at night time after she goes down and I make the choice to not workout.
I make excuses because I’m literally exhausted all the time (what SAHM isn’t?). But then I started realizing how much correlation there is between all of those moments when I’ve made an excuse and how terrible I feel all these months later. It’s such a snowball effect - I have become those excuses. Instead of being disciplined and making healthy choices, I have become an undisciplined person who just makes excuse after excuse. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay in moderation - we all need a break - but it’s not in moderation for me, it’s my everyday. And we all go through seasons of life where different things take priority, but I’m starting to realize that I really need to make health a priority ALL THE TIME, not just in certain seasons. Because having good health in my opinion is tied to every single area of our life and impacts all of those facets. I know for a fact that I’m a better girlfriend, mother, friend, sister, daughter, etc. when I am treating my body with love and respect (i.e. eating healthy and working out). I have more confidence, I am more kind to others, I have more patience, I have more energy.. You get my drift.
With all of that being said, I decided that this day would be the day I make a change and stop making excuses. BUT TRUST ME WHEN I SAY THIS. If there was ever a time to make an excuse to put off starting this whole “fitness journey” of mine, NOW WAS THE TIME. Let me paint you a picture - I’m in Alaska in the winter, it’s snowing, it’s cold, I can’t exactly workout outside, they don’t have LA Fitness here, I’m in a 1-bedroom apartment with my family, I sometimes don’t have a car to get out of the house… all of this puts you in hibernation mode HARDCORE. This is my first experience having a white winter and all I want to do when Sofía is napping is turn on the Hallmark channel and snuggle up in a blanket on the couch watching Christmas movies while eating soup (trust me, I made a ton).
So believe me when I say it crossed my mind to wait until I go back home in a week or two to start this. BUT that’s exactly the mindset I’ve always had, so I immediately knew that had to go. I started right then and there on that Monday (coincidence, don’t put it off until a Monday lol). I’ve had the Sweat app for forever and haven’t used it yet, so I popped that bad boy open so quick and started BBG 1.0, Week 1, Day 1. I immediately thought of this because I knew it could be done at home with the limited weights I had (thank you to whoever left these weights here). I wasn’t sure how I was going to do cardio, so I got creative and made up my own HIIT routines I could do indoors with simple stationary moves like jumping jacks, knee ups, step ups, etc. If you really want something, you will find a way.
So I am going to share my fitness journey with you all for the next 6 weeks using BBG (progress pics included… aren’t those addicting?? You’re welcome!). I haven’t quite decided my diet just yet, as I’m transitioning into that, so I’ll share sample meals once I get that figured out. But what’s more important than the actual workouts and the diet is how I feel. I know fitness can’t solve all the mess in my life, but I honestly think it’s a darn good place to start. Starting with yourself is the best choice you can make, because guess what? You can only control yourself. And if you’re a mess, what good are you going to be at fixing anything else in your life? I’m starting to notice that as a theme in my life - worry about myself, not others. I truly think it will start to pay off pretty soon… I’ll let you know. Until then, I'll leave you with another one of Kayla's inspiring quotes.
The amazing confidence we all seek is only reserved for those individuals who are willing to put in time and effort into their whole lifestyle.
P.s. Brittany, being the amazing friend and sister that she is, is going to do BBG with me as well and I couldn’t be more excited to share this with her. Let us know if any of you want to join us for the next 6 weeks!!
Stephanie + Brittany here! We'll be sharing different topics week to week depending on what life throws at us! Funny moments, frustrating moments, heart to hearts, epiphanies, ideas, thoughts and anything in between.