2.0 round 2 Day 51: Reaching a Goal Early and the Revelation That Came With It

I want to begin by saying that part of my lack of blogging lately has been fatigue, but part of it, I have to admit, comes from a little place inside that says “Come on, who cares about your journey? Who wants to hear the same old redundant stuff?”

I was reminded however, by our amazing coach through her Sunday Skinny this past weekend, that this blog isn’t just an interesting read or a way to connect or a documentation of my journey for everyone else. This blog is my journey, to keep me motivated, to help me look back when needed and remember how far I’ve come and set goals for how far I want to go. I may feel very irrelevant at times, very invisible in the big scheme of things, but my journey matters. Each post matters. If only one person sees one post and connects to one sentence and finds the will to begin or pick up or be inspired, that matters! Even if that person is myself.

If these posts are a bit redundant at times, that is good! That means I’m staying consistent and working every day.

That being said, I had a little break through this past week I’d like to share. You see, if you have followed my journey at all, you know what a monster the scale has been for me. I mean, just a beast of an ogre. I have worked my butt off for 10 months, adjusted my diet, my hydration, done the bikini body mommy challenge workouts and then turned around and run a 14 minute mile, daily. I have stepped on the scale and instead of seeing no change and being discouraged, I got pissed and worked harder. I have lost almost 30 inches in the last 10 months, but I have hovered in the same 7 – 8 pound zone the whole time. I have lost a little faith at times and wondered if I was not working hard enough, or being as honest as I needed to be. I have soul searched every day to make sure I am bringing my all to every aspect of every day. For the most part I feel like I have. Definitely my loss of inches has shown that I have.

Now, in my family, I’m the very last person to spend money on myself. I have been wearing the one and only pair of jeans this whole 10 months that I have, save for the “goal” pair I kept to see how my progress has been going. Needless to say, I am long over due for some clothes, especially as my belly has kind of popped out of control in the past week. I determined from day one of finding out I was pregnant again that I wasn’t letting myself be the frumpy preggo chic again, not for a 4th time. I’m spending time on myself exercising and eating right, I am going to spend money on myself, no excuses, and dress my body in clothes that fit and give me a feeling of confidence, no matter what the number on the tag says.

I have been wearing this one pair of size 14 jeans for months now, and they have been getting looser and looser, but they weren’t falling off of me, and since the scale wasn’t moving I was really dreading any clothes shopping. I kept telling myself I would buy clothes when the scale finally moved. And then my belly popped out and I realized I was going to have to do something. Thankfully those jeans had gotten loose enough to accommodate the insanity that is this early baby bump, but they were at their limit within a week. So off to the store I went this past weekend, a slight feeling of dread at the thought of those horrid full length dressing room mirrors and trying clothes on. I usually hate it because nothing ever fits right. Well, I was pleasantly surprised to find I didn’t look as terrible as I remembered in those usually awful mirrors and I had very little trouble finding a few pieces right away that looked fabulous. In fact, I was floored to find out I had dropped into a size 12 and could even barely squeeze into a 10. A 10!! I haven’t been able to pull a 10 over my thighs for years! I still had trouble doing so, but up they came even if it took a lot of ย effort. I realized that even pregnant, my typical lumps and trouble spots were greatly diminished or gone completely. I left the store feeling exuberated and thinking I really should shop for clothes more often. All this time, even losing all the inches, my mind was still programmed to let the number on the scale affect me to the point that I had no idea that I had dropped a full jean size. It was quite a revelation to me.

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Another thing I did that left me feeling a little giddy was buy a pair of leggings for the first time in my life. I know, right? How have I survived the world of skinny jeans and leggings? Well, maybe that’s another reason I hate shopping, all you see everywhere are models and mannequins rocking skinny legs, and even at my thinnest, I’ll never have skinny legs, but these workouts have improved and toned my legs in a way they have not been since before I got married, and I am confident enough to rock out some leggings this season. I’m sure I could improve a lot, but I’m claiming this little victory. In fact, my biggest disappointment upon finding out I was pregnant was that I had been working at a major goal, to drop a pant size by Christmas. I thought I’d have to toss that out the window, completely not realizing I had already achieved that goal and won that victory.

Why do we doubt ourselves? Why do we let society’s ideals and standards mess with our heads? If there is one thing I’m wanting to convey through all this it is don’t doubt the power you hold to change into the person you want to be. Don’t let anything make you feel incapable. You ARE the most powerful force of change in your own life. No obstacle is greater than your will to succeed. No negative vibe is more powerful than your own positive thoughts and actions.

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https://natasiachampion.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/my-newest-project-an-overview/

If you enjoyed this post or found it inspiring, please show some love and share it with someone else who needs some inspiration. ๐Ÿ™‚

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2.0 Round 2 Day 29: Regaining the Queendom

I got up this morning at 4:45 as usual, even though it’s the first day of Fall Break. I like to stay on schedule and this week I have big plans to be really productive. My hubby had been working from home since July, and while I LOVED having him around, it greatly interfered with my daily schedule. Now that he is out on the road a lot and I have my queendom back, I want to get back to my list making and organized house keeping and meal planning and healthy grocery list making. (Turns out men like steak and potatoes much more than zuccini boats and salad, at least my man does.) Hopefully I will have more recipe posts coming your way soon, I have seen some delicious spaghetti squash meal ideas and sweet potato and butternut squash yummies I want to try.

Tomorrow is also the day 30 check in. I’m still excited, despite my pregnancy news. I still feel there has been change. I certainly have generally more energy at this stage in pregnancy than all my past experiences, I mean, I still hit that exhaustion wall by about 2 pm and need a nap, but the rest of the time I’m energetic and feel great. My focus from this point is going to be on my nutrition rather than the scale and the tape measure, I really need to eat smaller more frequent portions, that is the place I struggle the most, but I find the very best results when I stick to that.

I’m proud to say I have not yet missed a day on this challenge. It was a great moment this morning when my man wrapped his arms around me to give me a big hug and looked at me and said out of the blue, “You know, you feel much more slender when I hug you, I can tell when I wrap my arms around you.” It was like medicine to my soul! Especially since I have felt so poochy lately and keep thinking about the impending moment not far in the future when I will need to don maternity gear. It’s the little things, people. I just don’t want my crazy hard work for the last 10 months to be for nothing, and honestly, lately, I have felt just a touch discouraged at the prospect of losing momentum with another pregnancy. Still 2 steps forward and five steps back is still closer to my goal than 10 steps back. Keep going, ladies, life is not as stubborn as you are, you are going to make it sooner or later.

I shall see you all tomorrow for the check in!

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Want to follow me on Pinterest? Click here:

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to get new posts in your inbox as I journey through staying fit with a fourth pregnancy. And hey, would you like to see where I started blogging about my fitness journey? That one is here:

https://natasiachampion.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/my-newest-project-an-overview/

If you enjoyed this post or found it inspiring, please show some love and share it with someone else who needs some inspiration. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

2.0 Round 2 Day 27: Oh Baby!

Well, I know it has been a while, sorry for the lack of posts. Sometimes I’m just incredibly busy, and sometimes I just feel like my posts are a bit redundant, you know, there’s only so many pictures to post of me and little man getting our workout on each week without it becoming mundane. Things are pretty routine here.

Wait, did I say they’re routine? What I meant was up until this past Monday they HAVE BEEN pretty routine.

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Wait for it…… wait for it…….. YES! That is a fourth pumpkin and yes, it says “Baby 2015” on it.

Pregnant. Talk about life getting in the way! But in a good way. ๐Ÿ™‚ We were very surprised, to say the least, but babies are a blessing in our book, so only happiness over here.

I never thought I’d be a mom to 4, but then I never thought I would lose my first child and in so many ways that changed everything, including our family size and how we planned it. I had always thought 2 was the perfect number, but after we had Faith, it didn’t seem right to stop there even though she was our second. So I surpassed my first expectation and became mom of 3. And now, even though it’s only 3 living children, I will always be mom to 4.

So, how does this affect my bikini body mommy routine, my blogging through the challenge, etc.? Well, it doesn’t, for now anyway. Since a healthy diet and regular exercise are recommended for low risk pregnancies, and since I have been working at this every day for almost 10 months and my body is used to this level of physical activity, I plan to keep going, listening to my body, modifying as needed, staying healthy, staying hydrated, and hope to have the healthiest, strongest, most stress reduced pregnancy yet.

Baby’s estimated debut is May 27, 2015, which puts me 6-7 weeks along. There is still time for morning sickness to set in, but I had only mild nausea with my other babies, so I am not surprised to find I feel great at this point other than that early pregnancy fatigue and needing a daily nap like you need to pee. Fight it all you want, it’s gonna happen.

I plan to keep blogging, keep doing the weigh ins and check ins. Obviously my measurements and weight will be going up, but I am really striving to gain at a healthy rate and not go into the excessive. Physically, mentally, emotionally, I have never been at a healthier point during any of my other pregnancies, certainly not with nutrition and hydration, so I’m excited to see how staying fit through pregnancy impacts me in a positive way. Any of you moms out there wondering how these workouts fit into a pregnant daily scenario? Now is the time to hit the subscribe button and follow along with my journey as it heads down this new path. I’m committed. I found out Monday about our new addition and have been doing the BBMC workouts every day as well as walking to run errands most days as well, pulling my little guy in the wagon. In fact, it was probably a comical sight, seeing all the pumpkins yesterday loaded into the wagon along with my little guy and my trusty 32 oz. big cup of water, walking the mile back from Fred’s, my girl skipping along beside me after school.

I’m looking forward to the good, the bad, and the awkward that pregnancy brings. I’m keeping up my positive energy forcefield. My goals are still in sight, some of them are just going to take a little longer to achieve and new ones are on the horizon. I’m excited!

2.0 Round 2 Day 11: Baby Bumps and Best Friends

Uhg! I’m sorry, I know I told you I’m shooting for 3 posts a week and here it’s been 6 days since the last one. It has been a busy week for me. I had 2 photography clients and lots of computer work to go through the photos. Since I generally use my 5 am to 6:20 am time to work on the computer or blog or whatever, (you know, so I can concentrate without the kids needing me for a million things and so I can get my morning coffee in ) I had to put the blog writing aside to work on photos. However, I’m glad to be able to report I have yet to miss a day’s workout and I’m already seeing changes that I’m really hoping the scale will reflect this time around. We shall see on day 15, right?

The air has turned positively balmy here as my favorite season moves in for it’s short stay. If I had it my way, it would be Fall forever! I got to put on my boots and 3/4 sleeves to shoot a maternity session for a special lady, she was my first client back in the day, before I was even interested in being a photographer. 3 years ago she saw something in my snap shots of my kids that even I didn’t see at the time and asked me if I would take maternity pictures of her first pregnancy. Now, with a much better camera and a lot more experience, I was able to help her capture her third pregnancy and got to see how her sweet family has grown.

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My other client this week was my best friend, visiting me on her way to a business meeting from out of state. We both hated it when I moved away and were so glad to have a little sleep over the other night after not seeing each other in person for a year. Maria is extra special because she is actually the one who first told me about Bikini Body Mommy and would have recruited me for an accountability partner if I hadn’t been pregnant with my 3rd. She did an amazing job and transformed her body doing the challenge and was the biggest inspiration, planting the seeds to get me ready to start for real back in January. Of course, she would be my accountability partner now if not for her own 3rd pregnancy. She is due in November which gives her enough time, hopefully, to get in on 3.0 and we will finally be doing the challenges together.

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I can’t think of anything more spectacular than getting outside into the fall air to photograph gorgeous baby bumps. I definitely have a great job. ๐Ÿ™‚

Stay active, my friends. Keep pushing it. Don’t let busy schedules or life get in the way of your 20 minutes. Speaking from experience, I know it’s tough, last week I was out all day Saturday and had to take my rest day and do day 6. You can do it! ย I believe in you. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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What is Bikini Body Mommy?

Bikini Body Mommy, a movement led by Briana Christine, and you can find out more at http://www.bikinibodymommy.com

Looking to find some inspiration on Pinterest? You can follow me there too.

To get my new posts as I continue to reach for my goals, delivered right to your inbox, hit the subscribe button at the top left of this page, right under my profile picture.

And finally, has this post delighted, inspired, or amused you? Feel free to share it with your friends.

2.0 Round 2 Day 4: Recipe – My Favorite GoTo Salad

I took some pictures yesterday of my son and I doing some extra stretches and warm up. I have issues with my lower back and have to take extra care to warm up completely before doing planks and squat jumps and what not. Here’s one for the mommies who can’t get away from the kiddos during work out time, just make a game of it.

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On another note, one of my very favorite foods is salad. Thankfully salad is a healthy, clean eating friendly option and I love it, I could eat it every day for every meal and I often do. But for those of you who aren’t completely sold, I’m going to share one of my very favorite salads that I make a lot and the best part is I buy everything at my local Aldi and that saves me all kinds of money. I make a big bowl of this and eat on it for several days. Having it made up and in the fridge makes sure I’m more likely to grab it to munch on rather than a higher calorie or less nutritious option when I’m pressed for time.

My Favorite GoTo Salad

2 small heads/bunches of spring greens or artisan lettuce

1 heart of romaine lettuce

1 orange, red, or yellow bell pepper

2/3 cup dried apricots

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half

1/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

4 oz cheese (I usually use swiss, sharp cheddar, or colby) grated

4 boiled eggs

I believe the trick to making a fabulous tasting salad is all about how you slice your veggies. For the lettuce I like to wash the heads and slice the whole bunch like a loaf of bread into no wider than 1/4 inch wide slivers, then turn my cutting board 90 degrees and chop those long strips in half or thirds. For the bell pepper I cut the flesh off the seeds in four or five big pieces and then slice those into very thin, longer strips, about an inch long. The apricots also get sliced into thin strips. I always cut my grape or cherry tomatoes in half, and rather than buying pre shredded cheese, I buy the block and grate it myself, it’s both cheaper and there is no anti caking agent on it. The eggs I cut into quarters long ways and then slice those in thin pieces. Basically, slicing everything long and thin as a general rule is so much better than square and chunky. Again, that’s my opinion, and a matter of personal preference. I also like to leave my salads layered ย with the cheese on top, that keeps it from getting soggy if a big salad sits in the fridge for a few days. I usually put my layers together in the order they are listed above, except the lettuces, I toss those together. As for dressing, anything goes with this, from ranch to french to Italian. I am personally a french dressing fan, but since it is more sauce like, I tend to use too much. I can modify a lot of habits, but not having enough dressing on my salad is just a no go for me. Making my own dressing would be way more awesome, but to get a little real, I just don’t have the creative flare or the time on a daily basis and it is just very easy to grab a pre-made dressing. Lately I have been loving Aldi’s brand Three Cheese Vinaigrette.

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It is delicious and the ingredient list is pretty clean and simple. I like a vinaigrette because it takes less to coat the whole salad. This recipe makes a pretty big bowl of salad, if it’s just me eating on it with or for every meal it will generally last about 2-3 days, ย and costs somewhere around $4.50 – $6. Not bad for 5-7 meals!

 

 

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A single serve helping, add a dressing of your choice.

I hope you all enjoyed this and I’d love to hear your favorite salad toss ins or recipes! Viva la Real FOOD! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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What is Bikini Body Mommy?

Bikini Body Mommy, a movement led by Briana Christine, and you can find out more at http://www.bikinibodymommy.com

Looking to find some inspiration on Pinterest? You can follow me there too.

To get my new posts as I continue to reach for my goals, delivered right to your inbox, hit the subscribe button at the top left of this page, right under my profile picture.

And finally, has this post delighted, inspired, or amused you? Feel free to share it with your friends.

2.0 Round 2 Day 2: What a newbie needs to remember from a multi BBM Challenge veteran

Day 1 was amazing! I didn’t realize just how much I missed the sweat. I rocked the work out, did a couple of exercises beyond the 20 minutes, took a 2.5 mile walk pulling little man in the wagon and made it in 30 minutes, drank well over 96 oz of water not including coffee, stayed completely on track with my small, frequent, clean meals, and got a ton of house work done. I felt so motivated and active!

I’m determined to carry on that momentum after seeing this yesterday.

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When I finished 2.0 last month on August 2nd, I was proud of how toned and strong my body had become, but I kind of had it in my mind that because no actual weight was lost, my relative size wasn’t much different in my before and afters. I mean, I had trimmed up and toned up, but my jean size remained the same, albeit a better fit. And over the last month as life happened and I lost momentum and kind of told myself it was ok to take a little break (that turned into more of a long 35 day break with only random days that I worked out) both on exercise and way too loose on my nutrition, because my jeans still fit, even if a little more roll creeped up over the top, I told myself there wasn’t much change. When I measured yesterday, my measurements were the same on my arms and legs, and there was only about a half inch gain on each of my chest and core measures. I didn’t think that was much, but after comparing the photos I realized just what a half inch over all looks like. I only gained about 2 lbs, but I see a big difference in these sets of photos.

I’m writing this post today for those of you like me who peetered out between challenges. These photos prove it’s a life style. If we look at it as just a challenge, our bodies will begin changing back once the challenge is over. That workout each day makes a difference. That meal structure is important. Taking a break is ok, but 35 days is not a break, it’s a cop out. It would be a shame to work so hard for 90 days and lose all your progress because suddenly you are “too busy” to keep getting your 20 minutes in daily. (That was one of the lines I fed myself this past month.) Note to self: I wouldn’t skip a shower for more than a few days because I was “too busy”, then I should not skip this important part of health and personal care.

The littlest bit of progress is still progress ladies. You may not lose weight this round, you may not drop a clothing size, but I promise you, the more defined abs and leaner look of the left side photos above is going to get you to your goals sooner than the backward step of the photos on the right. Take it from a girl who has been there.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it now at the beginning of this challenge, don’t make this about the scale. This is a journey. It took 6 years for my body to attain it’s mommy of 3 babies and busy life look. It is going to take more than 90 days for me to get back to a pre-baby weight. For 6 years (and even more, really) I have thought solely of little people and my family where meeting out time is concerned, it is going to take more than 90 days to reprogram my brain to set aside a little time for myself. Don’t give up on this. If you are a new-to-the-challenge-mom, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see progress right away. It took me one whole 90 day challenge (1.0) just to get back in the habit of daily exercise and a whole nother challenge (2.0 round 1) to get my nutrition under control. I did not begin to see major change until about half way through the first 2.0, that’s like 135 days!!

Just keep going. You will not regret it, make it about the journey because it is so much more than just a 90 day challenge and you are changing SO MUCH MORE than just a number on a scale. You are going to change differently than every other woman, at a different rate, and you’ll need different measures to tweak even this program and make it just for you. It will take time for you to figure out what these are. Don’t get impatient. Don’t quit. I promise you, change is happening, and it will surprise you when you recognize it.

2.0 Round 2 Day 1: Measurements and getting back on the wagon

Hello friends! Are you as excited as I am? I’m pretty excited to be starting a new challenge. For me, there is something about the energy of being part of a big movement. Maybe it’s the daily posts, the words of encouragement on the Bikini Body Mommy page, or maybe it’s just a mental thing, but this last month between school starting and that learning curve coupled with every day busy life and my art starting back up, I kind of fell off the wagon both with exercise and nutrition. I got some exercise in, but definitely not every day. But you know what? Here I am, and this round will be bringing big changes! I’m determined to peel off weight this round. I am committed to keeping my meals small and frequent and doing each day’s exercise. Failure isn’t an option for me! I have goals and I have seen amazing changes in the last 9 months, now I’m ready to fit into a smaller jean size this Christmas.

I’m going to try to keep these short blog posts coming through this round of the journey too. They may not happen every day, but I’m shooting for at least 3 a week. I have been so inspired by all the love and support thrown my way and I will aim to love and support as many of you as I can too. I really feel that makes all the difference in success.

Despite having dropped off dramatically in between this challenge and the last, I was pleasantly surprised to see my measurements (except that pesky weight, of course) hadn’t changed for the most part, and where they did it wasn’t dramatic. It goes to show that 1) this is a lifestyle that builds healthy habits that stick with you even when you “cheat”, and 2) you can’t stop, you have to keep going and it is more than a challenge, it is a journey.

So in the spirit of short and sweet, here are my day one measurements, my first stepping stone into another adventure.

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NOTE: I am doing a 15 point measurement this round, which is more than what Briana suggests, but these are the areas I want to watch change.

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Want to see where I began blogging through this journey? It starts here!

https://natasiachampion.wordpress.com/2014/04/05/my-newest-project-an-overview/

Don’t forget to hit the subscribe button if you want to get these posts right in your inbox and help me stay motivated by helping you stay motivated. ๐Ÿ™‚