Monthly Archives: April 2014

RESULTS – 21 Day Fix

After a long, at times hard, yet very eventful 21 days, I can say that my 21 Day Fix program has finally come to an end! (Round 1 of the Fix that is, since I can do it over and over again as many times as I wish for desired results!).  Just in case you haven’t been following my progress and are clueless as to what the “21 Day Fix” is, it’s a fitness and nutrition program that combines CLEAN eating and healthy, portion controlled choices with 30 minute (enjoyable) total body workouts. Everything works together to give you RESULTS in just 21 days.  SO, with that said, I’ll cut to the chase. Here’s my rundown:

Stats:
– down 3 lbs
– lost 5 inches
– clothes are not as tight, especially in the tummy area- face is thinner (most noticeably in my chin/jaw)
– abs are starting to peek through in my stomach
– I now have slight definition in my back/shoulders
– lower back is more defined
– overall FEEL better!

Let’s keep it real…sometimes all I wanted was a Venti Caramel Frappuccino.  I could very well have caved and satisfied my coffee cravings, but the whole idea behind the Fix is making healthy choices and getting quick results. So, I stuck to my guns and to get my Starbucks fix (I just LOVE the way Starbucks smells….and those green straws….gets me every time…..) I would opt for an iced (decaf) Americano (sweetened with honey) instead. Not the same, not the same, BUT, I didn’t want to sabotage my results and, I now no longer “crave” those frappuccinos. WIN!  Although at times, it was hard sticking to my meal plan, and making healthy choices I found that the longer I stuck to this Fix plan (without caving in) the easier it got!

For my fitness portion, I’ll also admit that at times it was difficult to find the time, energy, motivation or willpower to workout.  I am NOT an early riser and my kids typically wake up between 6 and 7am, so for me, getting a workout in BEFORE they woke up wasn’t an option that I wanted to entertain. This led to late night workouts after they were all snuggled up in bed. Although I didn’t always “want” to do it, I ALWAYS felt so much better after I did. (Mind, Body and Soul) 🙂

My overall take-away from the 21 Day Fix program – it works! You CAN get amazing results just from 21 days of dedication to eating right (clean, unprocessed, portion controlled foods) and staying active (daily 30 minute Fix workouts). (I do my daily Shakeology too)  I do NOT feel sluggish in the least anymore.  I don’t seem to need as much sleep now too (I typical go to bed at midnight, wake up once to feed Monroe, and get up with the kids around 6-7am with more than enough energy for my day!). I no longer “crave” sweets, and spend more time and money in the fresh fruits/veggies section of the supermarket.  My body – although I was happy with it before, I am now starting to see actual definition.  I still wear the same jeans/pants but my belly area is so much firmer and not so floppy. Everywhere is starting to firm up and I’m feeling so much stronger too. I notice this when I go to pick up the kids – I no longer have to strain in my quads or back area since those muscles have gotten noticeably stronger.

Sometimes pictures speak louder than words. Although you may not see a huge difference in these before/after pics, I sure do! (It could be because I get to “feel” the difference too, lol)  If I’m able to experience results from the 21 Day Fix (2 months post partum) I am confident that you sure can too! So, here goes! My before and after pics, taken exactly 21 days apart…….

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It certainly isn’t a get-fit-quick-miracle workout that just “happens.” You need to put in the time, effort, and dedication, but if you stick with the program, you WILL see/feel results! (speaking from my personal experience here).  Ready to make a change in your life? I’d LOVE to talk to you more about it. FB message me HERE to chat, or click HERE to order or read more about the 21Day FIX program.

I’ll also be holding a 21 Day Fix Challenge Group starting Monday, May 19, so if you’re ready to make some health/fitness changes and want in to this group, I’d be happy to chat with you about it!

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21 Day Fix Check in!

SO, I’m now 11 days into the 21 Day Fix program (or a little over 1/2 way there – woohoo!). I’ll be honest, it’s been tough so far! The fitness part – daily 30 min workouts – has been great, but what’s been the most challenging has been the nutrition portion! I’ve realized through this that I have very little self control….lol.

Let me rewind back to the start, all of 11 days ago.  I started this program with a weekly menu in hand (that I sat down and prepared the week prior to the start of the Fix), a fridge full of healthy ingredients, and a drive to finish what I was about to start!  My first few meals were SO basic! I wasn’t yet comfortable “mixing” foods (like good ole fashion stir-frys) or doing 1/2 container measurements, etc. I was very by-the-book, and left no room for modification. Well, that didn’t last very long!  1/2 way through that 1st week, I decided that I needed to have more variety and have FUN with my meals! For example, instead of just plain greek yogurt, why not mix it with a dash of cinnamon and a banana (or other fruit) to sweeten it up and make it feel like you’re eating a Chobani yogurt, or add in some chopped nuts and again some fresh fruit to make a mini parfait?  (All totally Fix approved)  Or experiment with those stir-frys – add ginger or coconut oil to boost natural flavors, mix in all sorts of different vegetables for different textures, and substitute brown rice (vs white) or a mix of purple and yellow sweet potato!  For me, eating is just as much about flavor as it is appearance.  I mean, who wants to sit down and eat a boring plate of “stuff”. If you can jazz it up and make it look fun and appealing, it no longer feels like a chore to prepare or eat “healthy” foods, but rather an exciting adventure.

All in all, the biggest thing nutrition-wise that I’ve so far been able to take away from this 21 Day Fix program is that my portions were WAY out of whack before! I was probably consuming 3-4x’s the recommended amount of carbs pre-program. What can I say?….I LOVE my breads – bagels, waffles, muffins, cereals!  It’s been hard to cut waaaaay back on these, but in doing so, I’ve noticed that I don’t feel as sluggish throughout the day.  Also, I never realized just how many processed food items I was consuming on a daily basis. My fridge now is fully stocked (vs my pantry), and I’m consciously making smart grocery purchases for not only me but for my family now as well.  It’s about a lifestyle change and in my wanting to eat better, and focus on CLEAN eating (vs lots of store-bought processed foods), my family is benefiting too.

Moving onto the fitness portion – at just 30 minutes for each workout, these are totally do-able!  I do my workouts just after the kids go to bed at night (since that’s the only uninterrupted time I get each day). I LOVE that there’s a count-down clock that stays at the bottom of the screen throughout the workout  so you can visually see each second ticking down 🙂 Every workout has a modifier (Kat), and she modifies all the moves to lower intensity ones.  I LOVE how every workout has a different group of people in it and they all look “normal”.  So often do you see programs where everyone is BUFF – this program is real and makes you feel like you’re working out in the crowd of other REAL people.  From their ethnicities, to body builds, to gender, and even to their clothes – I just feel so comfortable working out amongst my fellow video workout peeps. Also, Autumn does a great job at explaining and demonstrating every move before she begins the exercise.  This is lacking in some other programs and is a breath of fresh air in the Fix!  In sticking with these nightly 30 min workout sessions, my stamina has increased, and muscles I never knew I had have started to get a workout (i.e. they’re hurting).

Lastly, in what I’m sure is a carefully planned out combo of this fitness AND nutrition program, I’ve lost a whole entire pound! woohoo!  But in all seriousness, I’m convinced I’m gaining muscle where there was once jiggle and fat (so weight loss is not very important to me at all)  My clothes are fitting better, and I don’t have quite as much jiggle to my belly or thighs.  The weight doesn’t really matter a whole lot to me – what I focus on is how my clothes fit, and I’m excited to attempt to get into more of my pre-pregnancy clothes soon!  That alone is great motivation to continue with this program for the full 21 days, and to carry on portion controlled, CLEAN meals afterwards.

I look forward to checking in in another 10 days or so to weight in on my final thoughts on the 21 Day Fix program!

Interested in joining me on this 21 Day Fix journey? I’ll be doing it again in May and will be hosting a private FB Challenge Group for accountability, encouragement and motivation….did I mention I’ll be supplying yummy HEALTHY Fix approved recipes 🙂 Click HERE for more info on the Fix or comment below or send me a FB message!

Experiment away!

SO… I love experimenting. Whether it’s looking up a pinterest project, YouTube-ing how to make a certain “thing” (food, DIY, etc), or just flying by the seat of my pants <—-which usually turns out in failure…..I just love experimenting.

The joy of experimenting is being able to create something that you perhaps never thought you could do before.  For example, making our Halloween costumes for the past 3 years with a little craftiness and LOTS of trial and error after not having sewn since junior school – we were a family of skeletons (Maya was in my tummy), the Flintstones the next year, and Superheroes (Marv was deployed for the superheroes, but Monroe was in my tummy) this most recent year:
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Aside from those joys of experimenting, some of the lows are using up your time, money (ingredients/fabric/crafting items, etc), and brain power and sometimes having something not-so-good to show for it. For example – these “cookies” I made yesterday:
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Now, I must say, they look pretty darn tasty in this pic. Little do you know though, that these “cookies” were actually dry, crumbly little biscuit tasting things with pieces of chocolate chips in them (the saving grace of it all).  You see, I’ve never baked with coconut flour before. Yes, my bad for not having researched it more beforehand. I just figured that it’d be a good, tasty alternative to regular baking flour but boy was I wrong about that! I followed the recipe to a T, making sure I checked and double checked that I didn’t leave anything out, but nope, what should have been a nice gooey cookie batter was a dry crumbly mess. Darn coconut flour…..  I thought perhaps I could salvage it so I used my hands and balled these babies up, placed them on the cookie sheet and baked them. By golly the oven was already hot and ready to go so I was going to give it every chance of turning out that I could. Nope, dry cookie biscuits are what I got. My thoughts on this flour-swap-out-experiement = Epic Failure. Kids thoughts = yummy chocolate chip cookie biscuits! (they each got seconds) Yes they were crumbly and dry, but overall, the taste wasn’t all that bad…not good enough for me to save the leftovers though- it hurt to throw away all those used up, wasted chocolate chips 😦  BUT, lesson learned. So for everyone out there who’s reading this….do your research on coconut flour beforehand, find a coconut flour specific recipe, make sure lots of liquid/moisture is involved (since the flour apparently soaks it all up) and bake on!

So, basically, that’s my long winded way of saying experimenting can yield some great results but along the way, you’ll have lots of flops (as I just described above). But you know what? That’s what makes everything so exciting!  Marv will be the first to tell you that (especially in the kitchen) I’m either a hit or a miss:
– Basil pesto with pine nuts = miss.
– Chinese 5 spice slow cooker chicken = miss.
– Made from scratch cinnamon bread (the first 3 times) = miss
– Graham crackers (again w/ coconut flour) = miss
* Homemade organic chicken nuggets = HIT!
I love experimenting (poor Marv), because I know that eventually, I will hit that jackpot, and reap the joy of having created something exceptional! Whether it be the satisfaction from being able to make our own Halloween Costumes (just wait til you see our costumes this year…. 😉 ) or the satisfaction from finally cooking/baking something yummy for us ALL to enjoy. It WILL happen eventually!

The same goes for life. For every negative experience in life that you go through, that just means you’re one step closer to experiencing something positive. Never give up. Never lose hope. Just imagine what’s waiting for you right around the next corner……. If you give up now or stop trying, you’ll never get there.

 

Brazil Butt Lift FINAL REVIEW!

So, I’ve just spent the last few weeks completing the 4 week Brazil Butt Lift fitness program! (well, it got stretched closer to 5.5-6 weeks due to being sick then having a wisdom tooth pulled and not wanting to do any type of exercise for a few days….) But, regardless of how long it took me to do, I can finally check that one off and say it’s COMPLETE!  So, my review:

When I first started this program, I was 2.5 weeks post partum.  Here are my before pics:

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* Disclaimer —–> after I have a kid (going on my 3rd now), I typically  very quickly lose almost all of my baby weight, then gain back some of it where I plateau out during the duration of my nursing. I’m sure it has something to do with hormones? In any case these pictures were taken after that quick after-birth weight loss.  My thighs were jiggly, my tummy was squishy, I had no stamina going up and down stairs…basically I was starting from ground zero.

SO, I started my Brazil Butt Lift program.  Basically, it consists of 5 workouts (Bum Bum, High & Tight, Sculpt, Cardio Axe, and Tummy Tuck) that are rotated in a specific order in order to get your desired results. There are 4 workout plans to choose from (each being 4 weeks long). These include Lift & Shape (for flat bottoms), Slim & Shape (for pear shaped bottoms), Slim & Lift (for “too big” bottoms), and Combination – the classic solution. I chose to do the Combination workout.  And man, that first workout was intense! (it was a combo of Bum Bum and Tummy Tuck) I remember I had to stop half way through to nurse Monroe who was crying (she was just about 2.5-3 weeks old at the time)

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Luckily it was a weekend and Marv was there to help watch the other 2 who eventually got in on the action with me, lol 🙂

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During that first workout, my squats were barely squats – thighs were BURNING – and my muscles were so tight, it hurt to stretch:

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BUT, it got easier with every passing day. My squats got deeper, my stamina increased, balance improved – I started having fun with it.

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I must admit though that there were 2 particular workouts that were not my “favorites” – Bum Bum and Sculpt. Bum Bum because it WORKS YOU! That one is no joke and you work hard from the moment it starts.  But, those types of workouts are there to get you going so you can see results, so even if I didn’t necessarily “like” it, because it was hard, I knew it was getting me to my goal of that “Brazil Butt”!  I didn’t much care for Sculpt because it was 50 mins long.  Something about my mind knowing that it was 50 mins long made it draaaaag on. But the workout itself was totally do-able and the 50 mins in reality wasn’t so bad.  Mind over matter right?

Surprisingly my favorite workout of the 5 ended up being what I initially thought was my least favorite  – Cardio Axe. This one is like teaching a dance routine.  Leandro teaches it to you in 4 segments – just like you’re slowly learning a dance and adding on more moves once you get the first ones down.  I have BAD coordination, am a horrible dancer, and to be quite honest felt like a jellyfish trying to rollerblade the first time I attempted Cardio Axe. I did NOT like it that first time. Even though I did this workout alone (with no one watching me), I was still embarrassed at how uncoordinated I looked initially! Well, to get good at anything, you need to stick with it right? By the end of this 4 week program, I looked forward to my Cardio Axe days! I had fun with the “dance” workout and no longer felt uncoordinated at all!  I definitely stepped out of my comfort zone with that workout (since I hate dancing, lol) and it paid off! Having fun….while working out….and dancing?! Made the time fly by, got a good sweat going, and enjoyed myself. PLUS PLUS PLUS!

Final results from the 4 week Brazil Butt Lift program? As far as my weight goes, I GAINED 4 lbs.  Now, I know for most people, you do NOT want to hear you gained weight after completing an exercise program! Well, for my situation, I know I’ve gained a couple lbs from my weight stabling out while continuing to nurse Monroe, but I also am POSITIVE that I’ve gained a couple lbs in muscle! My thighs are firming up and not so jiggly, my stomach (although it still has a layer of jiggle and loose skin on top) is getting firmer underneath, and my clothes are fitting better.  Although I may not be so confident going to the beach in a bikini just yet, I know I’m well on my way thanks to this Brazil Butt Lift workout giving me a jumpstart to getting my body in gear post baby Monroe!  SO…….here are my “after” pics. You may not see a huge difference from my “before” pics, but again, “jiggle” doesn’t translate in pics, and I’ve lost lots of that! Also, it’s probably hard to see in the pics, but I think my tush has some “pop” to it now, 😉 ALWAYS a good thing…..

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Now, I know what you’re thinking, how do I get on this program! …. 😉 Am I right?!? lol…  The Brazil Butt Lift Challenge Pack is $140. This Challenge Pack will include the complete Brazil Butt Lift workout, a yellow stretch band that’s used in some of the workouts, a body tape measurer, eating plan, AND a month of Shakeology (shakeology alone will run you $130, so you’re basically getting this whole workout for just $10 more!).  I AM A FAN and fully endorse the Brazil Butt Lift program coming from this mama who just completed it and SAW first hand results! (Even Marv mentioned that my clothes now fit better)  You can click HERE for more info on the Brazil Butt Lift Challenge Pack. Feel free to also comment below or FB private message me for more info!