The Weight Loss Magic Quick Fix 

  
I apologize in advance if the title of this post mislead you. 

I’m sorry if you thought I’d be sharing about some magic pill, wrap, plan or drink that was going to make you thin by tomorrow (and keep you that way).

The truth is, the weight loss magic quick fix doesn’t exist!

Ok, wait a second. I’m sure you know someone that took a magic skinny pill and lost 20 pounds in a month. So yes, there are quick ways to lose weight. The problem? They’re quick, unhealthy ways of losing weight that don’t teach you any new habits for long term sustainability!

When I lost my 50 pounds of pregnancy weight, everyone wanted to know what I was “using” to lose the weight. The truth is, I was eating a healthy, mostly clean diet and doing short, intense workouts 4 to 6 days a week.

There wasn’t a magic potion helping me take the weight off- it was good old fashioned self discipline and hard work.

When I got back down to my pre baby weight and maintained it, people said I was “lucky”.

I didn’t feel “lucky” when I was doing burpees, tuck jumps and planks, but I sure did feel amazing after the fact! 

The journey isn’t going to be the same for everyone, so it’s important to find what works best for YOU! Here’s a few tips:

1- Find your “soulmate workout”.

One of my favorite fitness trainers, Chalene Johnson, talks about this concept in her book Push. Your soulmate workout is one that you absolutely LOVE and sincerely enjoy doing! It’s important to find exercise that doesn’t feel like a chore. For some people it’s running or yoga, for others it’s Zumba. For me, it’s Turbo Kick. If you’re new to fitness it may take some searching and trial and error to find what you love. And, like me, you may find that you have a soulmate workout, but also have other workout programs that you love almost as much. This is the ONLY time I condone occasionally straying from your soulmate 😉

2- Don’t go on a diet, change your diet!

The problem with “going on a diet” is that it implies a short term change in your eating. Instead, you need to make healthy, permanent changes to your diet. You may start out with small changes- ditching soda, eating grilled instead of fried foods, adding fresh fruits and veggies to your meals. At the same time, do some research! Think about your lifestyle and your preferences and find a plan that works for you. I know people that have had tremendous success with Weight Watchers. Others go for simple clean eating, adopt a Paleo diet or work on portion control with the 21 Day Fix meal plan. Just make sure it’s a healthy, sustainable change, not a short term crash diet.

3- Focus on overall health, not “getting skinny”.

Too often we focus only on the number on the scale, which really only tells part of your story. Take measurements and pictures to document the changes that you can sometimes see physically but aren’t always reflected on the scale. Also, celebrate your “non scale victories” or NSVs. Did you fit back into an old pair of jeans? Did your cholesterol go down? Did you do some of your push-ups on your toes today instead of your knees? That’s called progress! 

And now, to answer some of the most frequent protests I hear…

But… my friend lost (fill in the blank) pounds with this 30 day shake program!

What happens after the 30 days? Did they learn anything about healthy eating or exercise? Did they learn the tools to keep that weight off?

But… you drink Shakeology, isn’t that the same thing?

It’s true that I replace my breakfast with Shakeology most days, but it’s not to shed a bunch of weight quickly. I drink it for the extreme nutritional value, which includes probiotics to aid digestion and more vitamins than I could have ever hoped to start my day with eating a bowl of oatmeal!

But… I heard these (fat burner/metabolism booster/super skinny) pills work wonders!

And what happens when you stop taking them? What are the long term affects of ingesting something so loaded with caffeine? Are heart palpitations worth it?

The bottom line is, we live in a world where we expect everything to happen quickly. But when it comes to weight loss and overall health it’s just not worth it. 

The hard to swallow truth is that if you want to lose weight you need to work for it! And, know that it will take time. You’ll often hear people refer to their fitness “journey”, because it’s a process that’s ongoing. Weight gain didn’t happen overnight and weight loss won’t either. Relax, trust the process, and enjoy the ride. It’s so worth it!

If you need help getting started or have any questions, email me at fitnfabnj@yahoo.com

Fit Mom- Is it possible?

I’ve always loved fitness and have pretty much always been in decent shape. Of course, there was some weight gain when I ate too much pizza in college, but you get the idea.

So, when I became pregnant I didn’t think much of the aftermath of child bearing. I decided to exercise through pregnancy, was sure I’d only gain the minimum weight needed to keep the baby healthy, and of course I was going to confidently sashay out of the hospital in my pre-pregnancy jeans.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. New moms. They have no clue.

Reality: my workouts got less intense and happened fewer and farther between as the months went on. In my 7th month I stopped working out completely. I gained 50 pounds. Unfortunately, I didn’t give birth to a 50 pound baby, so I went home in the same jeans I had arrived in. 

In addition, during my pregnancy I’d been given some not-too-kind “words of wisdom” from some seasoned moms that I knew. 

“Say goodbye to your skinny jeans.”

“You’ll never be thin again!”

“You won’t have any time to work out.”

“Fitness won’t be a priority anymore.”

Was this true? Was the 35+ pounds I carried home with me destined to stay? Was I doomed to feel sluggish and unkempt forever?

At my 6 week visit the doctor gave me the ok to exercise. I went home, carefully perused my DVD collection and decided that I’d do the 21 Day Fix workouts. (Check out my previous post about that journey!)  That Monday, I put my daughter in her swing to nap and sweated and huffed and puffed my way through my first 30 minute workout in months. 

And it felt GOOD.

It felt good to pay a half hour’s worth of attention to myself. I don’t think my daughter suffered from being in her swing for 30 minutes when the reward was a happier, healthier, more energized mommy.

At times it was hard. Some days a half hour workout took me 2 hours to complete because my daughter needed me. But that’s ok! That’s life!

I decided to keep my workouts short and intense, so after 21 Day Fix, I moved on to T25. When my daughter turned 4 months old, I was back to my regular weight. Not exactly my regular shape, but that’s a whole other blog post!

Since January I’ve completed 21 Day Fix, Focus T25, and Chalean Extreme. I’m about to start week 5 of PiYo. 

At almost 9 months old, my daughter doesn’t always nap through my workouts anymore. She watches. She smiles. She cheers me on. And hopefully she’s learning a thing or two about healthy habits. 

Is being a Fit Mom possible? Absolutely. 

Please leave comments below or email me at fitnfabnj@yahoo.com I’d love to hear about your Fit Mom journey- or help you get started! 

21 Day Fix Review- My Journey After Pregnancy

Boy was i naive about pregnancy! I was the woman who swore she was going to work out until she delivered. Around month 7, that mindset changed dramatically- I was suddenly a woman just trying not to fall asleep at work!

As soon as I gave birth (to the most amazing little girl!) I was eager to start exercising again. Surprisingly the 6 weeks of recovery went by quickly (time flies with an infant!) and when my doctor gave me the green light, I jumped back into fitness.

I decided to do 21 Day Fix from trainer Autumn Calabrese to get myself back into fitness. Most programs are 60-90 days long, and I liked the idea of the shorter length program. I knew I could hang for 21 days, so finishing a whole round wouldn’t be a problem. Another huge plus is that the workouts are only 30 minutes long. Surely I could find 30 minutes per day in between feeding, soothing, cuddling, changing, etc. etc. Right? (That part proved to be harder than I thought, but I did it!)

So here’s the lowdown on 21 Day Fix.

21 days.

7 workouts per week.

Amazing trainer, Autumn Calabrese.

Simple nutrition plan focused on portion size, not counting calories.

Here’s a summary of my thoughts:

The Good:

  • Variety!  I love that each day of the week brings something new!  7 workouts over the course of 7 days means that by the time a workout comes back around you’re not bored of it.
  • Weights!  I’ve finally discovered that weights are key to getting lean.  I definitely got into shape faster after baby by incorporating resistance training.  With 21 Day Fix, you’ll use weights 4 out of 7 days, so you’ll see results a lot quicker than just doing cardio!  (Note that you may use resistance bands instead of weights, if you prefer!)
  • Modifications!  Guess what?  Despite my love of fitness and my pre-pregnancy workout intensity, getting back into shape was NOT easy!  In fact, I was shocked my first day back to working out to find that there was plenty my body couldn’t do!!!  21 Day Fix includes a wonderful modifier named Kat.  And, unlike some other workout videos, Autumn really focuses on what Kat is doing for the modification, so you won’t feel lost.  Follow the modifier until you’re strong enough to do the full exercise!
  • Food!  The food plan for 21 Day Fix is super simple.  Eat clean in moderate portions.  There aren’t any fancy recipes you need to make in order to stick to the diet.  Just eat clean foods from Autumn’s approved list, use the containers to measure your portions and eat the correct number of containers per day.  No calorie counting required!

Now… The “Eh”…

I say “eh” because there was nothing “bad” about 21 Day Fix.  Just some personal preferences:

  • Yoga Fix and Pilates Fix… not my favorites of the workouts.  I get too bored too easily (which is why I’m now doing PiYo to cure that boredom!)  But, it’s only 21 days, which means each of these workouts only come up 3 times!
  • The name… a lot of people are misinterpreting the name of this program!  Women I work with think it’s a cure-all that strips your fat away in 21 days and afterwards your left to live a carefree life doing whatever you want!  In reality, it’s a nod towards the fact that it takes 21 days to form new habits.  The intensity of focusing on your workouts and nutrition for 21 days will help you make fitness and nutrition a habit.  After my 21 days, I continued with the nutrition aspect of the program and began T25.  As the months went on I didn’t feel I needed the containers anymore, as I was used to eating clean, well portioned food.  It’s not a diet or a quick fix… it’s a lifestyle and mindset change.

And now.. the part we’re all waiting for… the results!  What the heck happened to my body from doing the 21 Day Fix?

Well, I didn’t get the dramatic numbers you see on the infomercial.  Here’s what I got:

  • A 5 pound weight loss
  • A waist!!!  I started this program at 6 weeks postpartum and my body was straight up and down with no defined waistline.  I lost 4 inches in my waist and finally didn’t look boxy!
  • Energy and strength!  Pregnancy and childbirth take a lot out of you.  It’s a tough road back and by the end of the 21 days I wasn’t winded anymore.  I felt strong and able, when just 21 days earlier I had felt weak.
  • And… drumroll please… I PUT AWAY MY MATERNITY CLOTHES.  Yes, after the 21 Day Fix, I put on real pants with an actual zipper and button closure!  Granted, I wasn’t yet my pre-pregnancy size, but I no longer felt like a toddler with elastic waist pants 🙂

This wasn’t the end of my postpartum journey.  I continued on to Focus T25, Chalean Extreme and as of 3 weeks ago, PiYo.  (I’m a busy mom, so I’m just getting around to blogging about a journey that started in January, haha!)  What has your postpartum journey consisted of?

Feel free to comment below.  If you are interested in learning more about the 21 Day Fix, email me at fitnfabnj@yahoo.com  I’m here to help other moms get their bodies back!  Why not you?

6 Day “Work Off The Turkey” Challenge!

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The holidays are literally the worst time to stay on track. Even though I love fitness, I’m also very into baking. And when I bake, I taste. And then I love my creations so much that I eat them at the celebrations too 😉

Most people overindulge at Thanksgiving, and then it’s kind of like “well, the train has already left the station!”, so we keep overindulging straight into the new year. Who can resist Turkey Day leftovers? Then there’s the office party, the open houses, the family gatherings… bad choices to be made everywhere!

And then January 1st we’re all like “ok, I’m going to change now!”.

Let’s do it differently this year.

Let’s enjoy Thanksgiving, then get ourselves back on track ASAP. Some discipline now will avoid regret later!

Beginning Monday December 1st I am hosting a 6 Day “Work Off The Turkey” Challenge. Only 6 days? Yes. I find December is too overwhelming for people to make a long term health commitment, but we can all handle 6 days.

So what does this entail?

-A 6 day commitment to jumpstarting weight loss, improving energy and getting back on track.

-An easy to follow meal plan.

-A 6 day supply of Shakeology, my go-to nutrient dense health shake.

-Personal coaching and support from me 🙂

If you’d like to get in on this challenge, comment below for details. I have limited spots available!

I’m ready, are you??

If Not Now, When?!?

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This pic was posted on Facebook by one of my favorite free workout sites, The Daily HIIT (formerly Bodyrock). The message for me was twofold.

First, a lot of people are waiting for that magical “right” time to take control of their health. It has to start on a Monday, the 1st of a new month, or at the beginning of a new year. That shouldn’t be the case. Start NOW. Make a change today.

I’ve had a lot of inquiries lately about Beachbody workout programs that people want to start “after the holidays” or “for the new year”. If you know you want to change, why not do it now?

Health and fitness aren’t one size fits all, but there definitely is a fit for everyone. Find workouts you love on You Tube, start walking or jogging, join an online community for support, invest in an at home program or gym membership. Find what works for YOU! Not in January, but NOW!

The second meaning of this picture for me? My due date came and went two days ago, and no sign of baby girl yet! So yes, I’ve been asking myself (and her, and my husband, and my doctor) if not now, WHEN?!?! Lol.

Enjoy your Sunday! And if you do need some help getting started on a health and fitness journey, I’m here to help!

Craving a Sweat Sesh!

When I found out I was pregnant back in March, I had been hitting the gym pretty hardcore. My doctor said it was fine to continue my routine, but I backed off on the intensity. I was, however, determined to keep my fitness regimen going for the entire 40 weeks.

On Facebook I follow many fitness accounts, so my head was filled with stories of the mom doing Cross Fit at 9 months pregnant and the trainer getting one last chance workout in on the morning of her scheduled C section. I’d be able to pull that off too, right?

Nope, reality struck this summer when my workouts began to dwindle to 3 then 2 then only 1 day a week. Then I started finding my workout DVDs (Piyo, Turbo Fire, 21 Day Fix, T25) getting to be a bit too much. And I had long since abandoned trips to the gym, feeling self conscious about my growing mid section and the opinions of strangers.

Now, at 37 weeks my fitness routine is non existent. I’m not wasting any time feeling guilty about it, as I’ve listened to my body throughout pregnancy and have done what feels best for me. Sorry 9 months prego Cross Fit mom- that just didn’t work out for me!

But… I’m absolutely 100% craving a hardcore, push-myself-to-my-limits workout. I keep daydreaming of doing tuck jumps, burpees and push-ups without a medicine ball sized belly in the way! I keep going back and forth in my mind of what my post pregnancy comeback workout routine will be. A round of 21 Day Fix or Piyo? A new lifting program at the gym? The new Insanity Max 30 that’s debuting in December? Decisions, decisions!

And then, of course, I’m sure all these lofty fitness goals will change when in 3 weeks our baby girl is born. I’m sure my daydreams will turn from intense workouts to grabbing a power nap or the laundry miraculously washing itself. We shall see!

How did you get back in shape after pregnancy?

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Fit and Fab- the Pregnancy Edition!

So, it’s been quite awhile since I last blogged. And, in that time I’ve been trying my best to stay both Fit and Fab. It’s been a bit of a struggle though, because I’m almost 28 weeks pregnant!

Yes, I’m so excited to say that my husband and I are expecting our first child on November 7th. And, I couldn’t be more excited! But, the Fit and Fab part of it all? It’s been a little rough to say the least.

Many women have weighed in with their opinions of pregnancy when I make my big announcement. I’ve heard:

“Oh I LOVED being pregnant!”

“I enjoyed every minute of my pregnancy!”

“I felt GREAT the whole 9 months!”

And then there’s me, standing there going “WHAT?!?”

I spent the first 4 and a half months being in a constant state of feeling like I was going to throw up, without actually throwing up at all. At one point, I was eating so many TUMS per day that I actually asked my doctor (ok, and I Googled it too) if it was possible to overdose on them.

Needless to say, my FABness kind of went down the tubes for a little while. Before publicly announcing my news, I’m pretty sure everyone just thought I was letting myself go! I’m a girl that doesn’t leave the house without eyeliner. At one point, I was going to work makeup free, just because I didn’t feel up to the challenge!

Things improved and I’m pleased to say I’m back to wearing full makeup daily 🙂

On the fitness end of things- it’s a struggle! At this point I’m trying to get a workout in about 4 days a week. I’ve found that I’m tiring out much quicker, and my recovery time is much longer. Growing a human will do that to you!

My current (very modified) workout faves are Turbo Kick (or Turbo Fire at home) T25 and 21 Day Fix. I tried some pregnancy DVDs but they seemed geared towards women who had never worked out before. I prefer to modify and adjust as my body tells me. And don’t worry, it’s all doctor approved!

So, moms out there- any tips, tricks or advice for maintaining fitness and fabness while prego? How about after baby arrives? Weigh in with your comments!