My Journey To Fit & Healthy

I get asked a lot about how I lost the weight or started eating healthy and so on. So I thought I would write my story so far. I'm going to go back 4 years. Pregnant with my first. I gained 60 lbs, had a large cherry pepsi almost everyday, ate all my cravings and wasn't that active, despite having a personal trainer even.

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After the birth of my first, an emergency c section, I thought I had to loose the baby weight. I was breastfeeding and ate the My Fitness Pal recommended 1200 calories plus 500 for nursing. That didnt last long, I hated it. I tried eating relatively clean with cheats here and there, did the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred and a few other videos and lost the weight by 3/4 months PP.

I wasn't too happy with my pre baby weight though, so of course not happy with it then. Never did too much extreme to change it though. The summer of 2012 I trained for a half marathon and ran it at 7 weeks pregnant with my second. Never really shifted my body composition much. (So there goes the cardio looses fat rule!)

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I got pregnant with my second when my first was 17 months old, just two months after I finished breastfeeding. I started becoming really interested in food, healthy eating and holistic type nutrition. I began reading a lot about foods through the internet, books and so on. Especially interested in food knowledge now because I was responsible for feeding my child and I want her to grow up healthy.

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I sadly had another emergency c section. I gained a healthy 26 lbs with my second pregnancy though. Most lost before 6 weeks pp. I was breastfeeding and eating a lot. I forgot how hungry you get after having a baby!!!!

The first picture here on the left is at about 6-8 weeks post partum. I was proud I looked like this so soon after baby by the way. Body pride all along the way. This I believe to be key. Love your body at each stage. Learn to find something about it that makes you happy.

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I spent the time from Mid June to September doing basically cardio. I research more this time and found HIIT to be how to loose that stubborn fat the fastest way. Before googling exactly what that is, I must caution you to actually read about it's benefits and suggested usage. I did it every second day, sometime third. Do NOT do this type of training daily. Sometime I did some HIIT and then a long distance run after it too. I am a runner after all.

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In my head I had a a number goal. Which I never had before. I wanted to get to 125. Every time I was dying on the treadmill, I just kept thinking, "you can do 10 more seconds. This is for 125" I also had my sisters wedding coming in September in Cuba and wanted to be a hot mama. So I bought and hung in view a motivation bikini. These goals were strong motivation for me. Two kids, one of which was extremely colic and a husband working away mostly I had to dig deep for the motivation some days. Some days running on that treadmill in the basement at 11 pm was my stress relieve.

I reached my goal in September, got a gym membership to change it up (AND DAYCARE!) and stopped cardio and started lifting weights. Mostly high rep, low weight stuff, I was a) scared of getting hurt and b) healing a diastasis recti. Please google Wendy Powell and her Mutu System to find out all about this.

I loved my body in Cuba in November. Still at 125, two months later, and proud as hell to walk on the beach with my two kids. Even post a picture of me in a bikini on Facebook and Instagram when I got back!

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Then I got into heavy weight lifting. And my love of weights began. First goal? Be able to squat with the bar on my shoulders without the pad. I had to build those muscles to be strong enough so it didn't hurt. Second goal? Build my ass I lost from all that cardio. Okay this might have been my priority in September, but was really serious about it now.

This is also about the time I started really thinking about bikini competing. A goal to obtain in 1.5 years. By my 30th birthday. (July 2015) Give my body time to get ready, and also because I was still breastfeeding and planned to until my second was at least a year old. I didn't want to risk getting my body fat too low and loosing my milk before we were both done. I like to make assumingly crazy goals and try my best to achieve them. See above about my half marathon!

I then heard about a competition November 1st and thought to myself, "you can do that. You've been training hard, made great progress. Worst that can happen is dead last, but it's still a win to try".Okay in reality worst that can happen is developing an eating disorder, body viewing issues, a destroyed metabolism, hardened relationships from grouchy hangryness and post show depression. But all things I've researched intensely to be mindful of and avoid as much as possible.

Bringing me to my believes. I still believe in being as healthy as possible, eating whole nutrition rich foods and paying attention to my body and what it needs. I don't like taking fat burners, artificial sweeteners or other strange things filled with chemicals that aren't good for you. All supplements and foods as natural as possible. And vegetarian. Did I forget to mention I don't eat meat?

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I didn't want a coach for contest prep, because I was sure I would never find soemone that believed the same things as me. One that wouldn't starve me on 800-1200 calories, wouldn't tell me to take fat burners or make me do hours and hours of cardio each week. There are things such as macro counting, smart ways of doing cardio and natural supplements that can do the same job without ruining your body. Again please research all of these.

Had some trial and error with macro counting myself. Especially hard figuring it out while breastfeeding, but if you refer to my It's a Lifestyle, Not A Diet Post, you'll understand some things take some time. And they are worth figuring out. Plus of course, the time will pass anyways, make it worth your while and try. Below is a picture of me from about April to June with macro counting, lifting weights and zero-minimum cardio. I of course went over macros a lot, cheated on them lots and so on. I'm human, forgave myself and moved on.

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June 29th I started with my coach. One I researched a lot and read every post on his blog to make sure we viewed how this should go as the same. When I started with him I was basically the exact same weight as I was in September. See the difference in my body though? Weight isn't everything. I gained lots of muscle, leaned out and remained the same weight. This picture is from November to April but the above one shows me in June too. All the same weight.

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Now it's almost 7 weeks later and I'm amazed at myself and what I've accomplished. All my muscles I've spent the last 11 months building are coming out as a I lean out. Here is the difference in the last 8 weeks.

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And 3 weeks.

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And for shits and giggles the difference since starting with coach 7 weeks ago.

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I can't wait to see more. Knowing stage weight isn't something I want to keep obtainable forever too. It's just that, stage/competition weight. I was really happy at 125 and will likely go back up there afterwards. Maybe more to bulk in the winter and grow a bigger booty and shoulders. ;)

The whole process has been trial and error over the last 15 months. Food wise, exercise wise and mentally wise. But I think being told what to do and not knowing why or how it works is something that just never works for me. If I invest the time to research and try different ways of doing things I will find my stride. Which I believe I have. Which is how I hope most people view it for themselves. Find your own journey, in the healthiest way possible of course. Last picture July 2013 - August 2014. The journey may be long, but it's worth it.

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Thanks for reading and good luck in your journey!