WEEK TEN BLOG:
"That's a Wrap!"
We did it, friends! All five of us who signed up for the Get Fit Challenge completed it and we all saw success!
Antoine is down about 15 pounds and several inches.
Kaitlyn is down 10 pounds and added muscle, too.
Theresa's weight keeps dropping, along with her once higher numbers for high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Perris has lost weight and several pants sizes.
My changes haven't been as dramatic on the scale, but my body is definitely in a better place.
I've lost three pounds, but definitely gained muscle.
My arms and back are much more toned, which is huge when it comes to hauling around three growing children.
My stomach has come together again, after carrying a large baby for nine months. My muscles are not separated anymore, and the toning is coming back!
Overall, this challenge was so much harder than I expected.
Finding the time to work out was just...difficult.
Changing nutrition was also a challenge!
Small steps are adding up to changes, though, and that will keep me motivated for a healthier lifestyle now that this challenge has wrapped up.
I'm so appreciative of the staff with CHRISTUS Athletic Club for pushing us and holding us accountable.
No matter what craziness this season of life is throwing your way, don't neglect your health in that whirlwind.
A better you=a better work life and home life.
WEEK NINE BLOG:
"Having a Ball"
Lauren, my trainer, knows me well now, y'all!
After two months together, she knows my strengths and weaknesses - time being the biggest challenge.
It's become harder and harder for me to make it to the gym, as I try to juggle a toddler with special medical needs, another high energy toddler, and an infant I'm still nursing.
I thought it would get easier as we fell more into a routine, but that just hasn't been the case.
So, Lauren has once again stepped in to make sure I don't lose any progress that's been made and that I can continue this Get Fit journey at home after we wrap it up next week.
When I showed up at this week's personal training session, she had a gift bag for me. So sweet;)
Inside, I found an exercise ball (waiting to be inflated), along with 20+ exercises I can do at home with the ball.
The ball has been critical in helping me tone my abs and firm up my booty.
Lauren also put in two foam dice that will be used for fun drills that can involve my toddlers. Really, how thoughtful is that?!
She has truly given me no opportunity for excuses to not get moving.
Thank you, Lauren, for getting creative with me.
From one working mama to another, you get it, girlfriend! Thank you!
WEEK EIGHT BLOG:
"Fat Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday..."
Mardi Gras week has come and gone. Unfortunately the impact of the calories I consumed has not:(
I've never had as much of a sweet tooth until this carnival season. I. WANTED. KING. CAKE. EVERY. DAY.
Combine my extra calories with the fact that my children's daycare was closed for half of the week and I did not work out nearly as much as I should have.
That means I am up by about 1-2 pounds over the past week. Ahhhh!
I wish I could say it's muscle. It isn't. It's King Cake, Popeye's chicken, and boudin.
I did make it to one looooong workout with Lauren at CHRISTUS Athletic Club and I was as sore the next day as I was my first week of the Get Fit challenge.
I just need another week to start to press "restart."
I will do better!
One exciting development in the works: our Get Fit crew is signed up to take a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class together.
Hopefully there will be more participation than our infamous 5K race!
WEEK SEVEN BLOG:
"Ain't Nobody Got Time..."
I'll just go ahead and say it: I had a bad week.
If you were grading me, I would be lucky to get a D-.
I did have a good training session with Lauren, but I was only able to make it to one session instead of our normal two. And at home, my only "working out" was chasing my children.
Life just got too busy.
I hate that. I hate that some days I eat four protein bars, because there isn't time for me to cook or even heat up leftovers. I hate that I ate fast food three times this week. Yuck.
Being a mom of two toddlers, a baby, and working full-time leaves very little time for anything other than keeping the children alive, fed, clothed, and getting my job done.
When one thing goes off course, it's like a rail car going off the tracks.
That happened this week.
Our son, who has some chronic medical issues, got sick again and all of my "free time" (HA!) went into managing life.
Fitness and nutrition were not priorities for me this week.
But our little guy is on the up and up now! Hallelujah!
Lauren has once again recognized the obstacles that come along with this season of life and has created an entire workout I can now do at home!
Thank you, Lauren!
It's everything from playing a zoo animal game with my kids and having us act like the animals - crawling around, jumping, running, etc.
There's also stepping lunges, stair stepper exercises, stroller drills, and kid lifts.
Lauren isn't giving up on me and I'm not giving up on myself.
I'll be better next week...even though it's a week with a day called FAT TUESDAY...
WEEK SIX BLOG:
"Make Your Heart Race"
I did it, y'all! My first race in almost a year - my first race since birthing a child and adopting a child in a small window of time.
In a previous blog post, I shared that I needed a tangible goal for this Get Fit challenge. Something that would motivate me for a specific challenge I could see.
That goal was accomplished as I crossed the finish line over the weekend in the CHRISTUS Louisiana Athletic Club's Make Your Heart Race 5K!
The day didn't start off very promising...as I chugged Pepto and tried to convince myself that I could indeed do the race.
When I arrived at the venue, I panned the crowd, looking for my fellow Get Fit-ers. Much to my dismay, NO ONE ELSE WAS THERE!
I felt so discouraged, thinking I would be the LAST person to cross the finish line, due to a lack of moral support from my KPLC peers.
Fortunately, my co-anchor, John Bridges, was there as the announcer and he gave me immediate encouragement.
Then, I saw my trainer and she boosted my spirits, as well.
Just before the race started, like a beacon from Heaven, I saw Kaitlin Rust, a partner in this Get Fit challenge!
I was so relieved and grateful to have a race friend.
We cruised through our first mile and felt like warriors!
Mile two...well, that's a different story. Kaitlin and I are convinced that mile two was actually 10 miles - and that we ran a half-marathon by the time we were done.
We did make it through that mile, though, and only walked to grab a much-needed cup of water.
Our third mile was much easier and I am proud to say we had a final sprint across the finish line with our trainers cheering us along!
With races I've completed in the past, I was very fixated on my pace and overall time to get to the finish line.
This one was different, though. It was just about DOING it. I have no idea how long it took us to jog/walk 3.1 miles, but I know we did it!
Just as I grabbed my water bottle and towel to head back home, I could see a woman in the distance with a race number and a trainer on each side.
I had met her several years ago when we were both members of a running club. She had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and was doing everything in her power to stay healthy and mobile.
Fast forward to present day and she's dealt with several setbacks as the disease attacked her body.
This race was her first in years and as I watched her cross the finish line - the last person to do it - it become so clear that we all have struggles, obstacles, and weaknesses. It's not about who can get to the finish line first, it's about not dropping out of the race.
I felt so silly that I was worried about petty things that morning, like whether or not I would have to walk a chunk of the course. Who cares?!
Kudos to every person who laid their personal roadblocks aside and got out there to make their heart race!
We are all victorious!
WEEK FIVE BLOG:
God bless our trainers. And our wellness coach, Mona. And the staff at Kroger on McNeese Street in Lake Charles.
If you've watched any of our Get Fit confessional videos over the past five weeks, you've undoubtedly been able to see that the five of us in the challenge are, well...all over the place!
When Mona suggested we all go on a "field trip" together, we were excited to get to planning.
Our destination: Kroger, for a healthy shopping trip.
As soon as we walked in, we were attracted to a GIANT Valentine's Day display, full of chocolates, cookies, and food sin altogether.
Mona grabbed her invisible hook and moved us on to the freezer section, where she promised us healthy options that are fast and easy.
Here's a rundown of some of her top suggestions:
*Boca burgers: these are veggie burgers that come in different flavors. They are low calorie, high protein, and can be heated in the microwave for a fast meal.
*Cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes, and tots: so many options to substitute instead of starchy rice and potatoes.
*Birds Eye Protein Blends: these are steamable bags of veggies in lots of different flavors.
We also spent some time on the chips aisle, where many of us were distracted by Doritos, Cheetos, and the not-so-healthy options.
Mona suggested if we want to mindlessly eat something like chips, Skinny Pop, flavored low calorie popcorn is the way to go.
As we moved on to the dairy aisle, almost all of us had to be herded in again as we dreamed about cheese.
Mona encouraged us to look for the pre-packaged individual servings, like Laughing Cow, unless we were going to be disciplined enough to pre-slice according to serving size. She knows us well, haha!
The bottom line of this trip: our Get Fit challenge cannot be successful with exercise, alone. We have to be better about our nutrition and there are lots of options out there.
Calories in, calories out...
Thank you for your patience in what must have felt like herding cats, Mona. You are the purrrrfect drill sergeant to keep us on track!
Stay tuned for next week as we take part in the Make Your Heart Race 5K run and One Mile Fun Run!
WEEK FOUR BLOG:
"What's That I See?"
It's happening, y'all!
I'm actually starting to see some positive body changes!
My toothpick arms are starting to show some definition, my back is much more toned, my abs are starting to come back together after housing a baby for nine months, and my legs are actually showing some muscle, too.
On the scale, the number has dropped from 144 to 142 - not a big change, but I actually expected I might gain a couple of pounds as my fat turned into muscle.
When you take into consideration that I have not drastically changed my diet - and I've eaten a LOT of king cake over the past two weeks, I'm thrilled that my weight hasn't soared.
I am definitely burning more calories and I know my body is becoming more efficient.
I still hate weight training, but I am feeling encouraged now that the hard work is starting to pay off.
Another big development this week: I've only consumed two diet sodas!
That's an accomplishment for me. I love Sprite Zero, but I'm really trying to reach for the water every time I get the craving.
I've drank a LOT of water over this past month and I do think that's helping me keep my milk supply for nursing/pumping ample while working out more strenuously.
I have a RAVENOUS appetite that I blame on breastfeeding - along with working out more. I've done much better this week with keeping healthier snacks on hand.
I have raw almonds in my desk drawer, protein bars in my pumping bag, and homemade soup in my work fridge for when I need something warm to satisfy me.
It is taking more planning in advance, but it is keeping me from shoveling fast food in my mouth during a hunger crisis.
My fabulous trainer at CHRISTUS Athletic Club, Lauren Veronie, is definitely in tune with my challenges to get to the gym more than two to three times a week, so she has created some more "mommy moves" for me to do at home.
There are core strengthening exercises that I can do on the floor with my 30 pound weight: Lila Rose.
Lauren also showed me a leg extension exercise that works the quads and booty with a 20ish pound weight: James.
And I love the "Kiss the Baby" move that involves squatting, lifting my arms up with a 15 pound weight, "kissing it," then lifting it up again. The weight this time is my sweet Adeline.
Thank you, Lauren, for finding a fun way to incorporate my three kiddos into my exercises at home. It gives them entertainment and me a "no excuses" home exercise plan.
Altogether, this was a good week and I'm learning slow and steady wins the race!
WEEK THREE BLOG:
"You Gotta Have a Goal"
I'm back in the saddle and feeling much better!
I felt so discouraged during my sick week as I was forced to sloooooow down, but stepping back aboard the fitness train has been easier than expected.
My first day back with my trainer, Lauren, after five days off was intense.
I broke a big sweat. I got sore all over again. But I did it and the soreness only lasted a couple of days.
I did two back-to-back days with Lauren to play catch-up.
One day was focused more on short interval cardio and the next day was strength training.
The more strength training I do, the more I recognize its benefits. I almost typed "the more I like it," but that would not be true!
I like the results I'm starting to see, but truth be told - I hate lifting weights.
I am a cardio junkie. I equate a "good workout" with dripping in sweat.
That's not exactly what happens to me moving from one station to another with weight training. But now that I'm three weeks into this challenge, I'm starting to see the toning paying off.
I also met with Mona, the wellness coach at CHRISTUS Athletic Club, for the second time to talk about my nutrition and ways to eat on-the-go healthier.
She gave some great tips about enjoying pizza, my favorite food group, while cutting out lots of bad stuff. I will be trying my hand at a cauliflower crust and nixing the greasy cheese with lots of flavorful veggies.
Mona also explained there are some easy options to get at the drive-thru window, from a veggie burger at Burger King, to a grilled chicken wrap at McDonald's, grilled nuggets and a side salad at Chick-fil-a, and a small chili with a baked potato at Wendy's.
After these meetings and training sessions, my motivation was definitely returning. Still, I felt like something was lacking.
Here's the deal: I've lost my pregnancy weight. My clothes are fitting again, although my stomach and love handles are a bit mushier than I would like. My energy level isn't better, but it isn't worse, in spite of doing much more physical activity.
But I need something more tangible to work toward. I need a goal that I can knowingly accomplish, versus something that feels more vague, like, "feeling healthier, more energetic, etc."
So, I'm committing to run, okay, complete, a 5K in three weeks.
That seems like a lofty goal for me right now, since I haven't run more than one mile without stopping since April 2016.
I know I can do it, though, and having a specific training goal is what I need to find that extra motivation.
I'd love to see you complete the finish line with me! Registration is open for the Make Your Heart Race 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run happening Saturday, February 18. You can meet the great trainers working with us on the Get Fit Challenge and you can burn some calories with new friends.
I'm excited about this goal and excited that I'm getting to know "me" better about what works and what doesn't in this challenge.
WEEK TWO BLOG:
"Setbacks, But Not Sitting Out"
This. Week. Kicked. My. Booty.
I wanted to throw in the towel by mid-week, but I know there are more opportunities for redemption than there are for failures, so I will keep truckin'!
Here's what got me down:
1) The weekend defeat
It was my first weekend into the challenge and I realized just how big this struggle would be.
Iwant to start the weekend off with sweat and knock out my workout, BUT, Saturday and Sunday mornings are the only ones when I actually get to be the one to get my three kiddos out of their beds in the morning. I don't get that privilege on Mondays-Fridays, because I'm on set at work.
I didn't realize how hard it would be to say "Good Morning" to my kids, then zip off to the gym early.
That was particularly true with leaving my baby. She's just two months old and being away from her on a morning when I could actually be home and snuggle her instead hurts my heart.
I will likely be sticking to at-home exercises on those days from here on out.
2) Milk supply
After intense workouts, my milk supply drops drastically. I pump more often than I nurse, and I get about 1/10th of what I am used to after working out.
I am trying to drink LOTS more water and time my workout to immediately follow a pumping session, so there is time for the supply to bounce back before the next feeding time.
I will be writing more about this in the weeks to follow, because right now it really is experimental to see what is working best.
3) Getting sick
I think my immune system isn't at its best right now. My body is pretty exhausted and I am running ragged most days.
That's the biggest reason I decided to do this health/fitness challenge, but it's also one of the hardest obstacles to overcome.
A little over a month ago, I had a bad case of strep. Sickness+a baby+two toddlers=helplessness.
Praise the Lord that I have the BEST husband. He picks up so much of my slack and he has had to do that a lot lately.
A couple of weeks after strep was gone, I started coughing...a lot. Not a little annoying cough, but one that made me gag, have to get off set during Sunrise, constantly suck on cough drops, etc.
This week, it got to the point that I started coughing up blood and running a high fever. Not. Fun.
I went to the doctor and was told to get more rest (ha!), drink lots of fluid, and I am on an antibiotic for a bacterial sinus infection.
I'm not quitting
Have I exercised the past few days? NO.
Have I been prepping nutritious meals? NO.
I feel like I have fallen off the wagon for the week, but I have to remember that the week started with me running a mile without stopping for the first time in nine months.
The next day, I planked twice as long as my trainer asked me to for the at-home challenge.
The day after that, I made a huge delicious salad chocked full of fresh veggies that fed me for a few meals.
I worked out with my trainer twice this week and did a session with a health coach.
It wasn't the best week, but it wasn't the worst!
There were victories and there were defeats.
I am not quitting, because I know the ultimate goal - being the healthiest me - is going to be worth it!
WEEK ONE BLOG:
I am so glad you are peeking in on this new venture and I hope you'll join me in this Get Fit challenge over the next 11 weeks!
Life is crazy. Life is wild. Life is BUSY.
Can you relate?
To give you a little snapshot of my life today and why I need to make some health changes, here goes:
I am a mom of two one-year-olds and a two-month-old baby.
I work full time.
I don't get enough sleep.
I eat whenever I can grab food.
I am exhausted.
Two pregnancies in two years changed my body.
I have no fitness routine.
Prior to becoming a mom, I was in the best shape of my life. I was in a running club and completing half marathons. I had a lot more energy and time to prioritize my health.
In May 2014, I found out I was pregnant with Lila. She was born in February 2015 and I nursed/pumped until she turned one in February 2016. Then BAM! I found out I was pregnant with Adeline in March 2016. One-year-old James joined our family in May 2016 and Adeline was born in November. Currently, my body is fueling her body.
Got that? So, in a nutshell...my body has been growing or feeding a child non-stop for 2 1/2 years.
If I'm honest, I've kind of lost myself in this season of life.
My health and fitness has been on the back burner.
But you know what?
In order for me to be the best mom to these babies and the best wife to my incredible husband, I have to be the best ME.
That means I have to carve out the time to put my own health first.
Realistically, I can't work out an hour each day. But, I can do 30 minutes. It might not be at the gym, it might be playing chase with my toddlers in the backyard or lunging across my living room with a baby strapped to my chest.
I am meeting with a trainer for 30 minutes twice a week to do fast-paced high intensity work-outs. She is a mom, too, with a toddler and baby. The workouts she's creating for me are perfect for busy mommas and she is taking into account nursing needs.
I have no excuse to not better myself. Neither do you!
Let's do this together:)
Goals for 2017: I want to tone up after having two babies in two years and find some energy! I feel pretty zombie-like right now and am in survival mode most days. I want to become healthier overall.
I feel the most fit when: I'm running long distances. That feels like another life ago! I have completed several half-marathons, but my last race was a 10K when I was two months pregnant (last spring).
Hardest habit to break: Eating on-the-go. My work hours are so weird that I end up eating a couple of extra meals each day – or driving thru at a fast-food place when it's a meal-time crisis.
My go-to meal usually is: A crockpot soup I can eat on for a couple of days or an over-priced salad from a restaurant.
Foods I do not like are: Creamy, mayonnaise-y, sour creamy type stuff
I normally work out: It's been pretty non-existent for the past six months. I chase two toddlers around every day, but have not had an exercise routine in ages. My plan with this challenge is to go straight from work to the gym or outdoors to jog. If I step a foot in the door at home, it isn't happening! I do have exercise equipment at home that I use for quick workouts on the weekend.