I was feeling really good at about 6 months postpartum when my weight was lower than my pre-baby weight, but something wasn't really sitting right with me. Actually, many things weren't sitting right....or the same way they used to.
I was all excited that the baby weight seemed to fall off even though I was enjoying a diet of red wine, pizza, and McDonald's. I knew breastfeeding was doing the majority of the work, but I figured chasing after all the other kiddos was helping, too. However, my clothes were not fitting the same. They fit, but they did not look good. I had a little extra junk in the trunk, wiggle in my middle, and a wing-like look to my arms. WTF? The baby weight was gone! I didn't even have to DO anything! But, my body was definitely different and I did not like it. I had an epiphany that I needed to start doing something to make all of that go away, and that's when I decided to make a change.
I decided that I was going to eat healthier and exercise. WHAT!?!? I was done getting up every morning and spending so much time picking out what I was going to wear based on what outfit covered my flub and chub the best. I came to the realization that I actually had to DO something if I wanted to see a change. The breastfeeding only took me so far, and now I needed to actually work for the rest. I needed to change my lifestyle, my mindset, and my passion for wine (ok, so maybe not my passion for wine, but I needed to stop drinking it every.single.day).
My friend Shannon just happened to sign up as a Beachbody coach as I was having this epiphany. (Good timing on her part!) She put a call out to Facebook for people to join her first accountability group. I looked at Mark, told him I was thinking about signing up for a month of torture, and he told me to go for it! I signed up, and there was no looking back.
When I signed up with Beachbody, it gave me access to all of the Beachbody workouts On-Demand. This meant that I could decide which program I wanted to follow, or try a different workout every day. I also received a month of Shakeology and the Portion Fix Containers to help me get the right ratio of fruits, veggies, proteins, carbs, and healthy fats throughout the day based on my weight. I was actually getting really excited to change my life by eating healthier and exercising. Mark decided to do the whole thing with me, too!
We overhauled our grocery list with things like almond milk, fresh spinach, frozen berries, bone broth, plain Greek yogurt, and A LOT of chicken. Goodbye to potato chips, cheese, mayo, and candy. We then actually planned and prepped what we were going to eat for the week to get in all of the appropriate containers on a daily basis. I went from eating a greasy breakfast sandwich on my way in to work, to eating two eggs, a piece of wheat toast, and black coffee after my morning workout.
YES, I said after my morning workout. I also decided that the only time I could really fit a workout in with four kids is to get up at 5am and knock it out. I followed the 21 Day Fix program and really liked it. Each workout was only 30 minutes long and it had enough variety that I stayed consistent with it for the full 21 days. Getting my jiggly ass out of bed at 5am was the worst part, but I felt great during and after the workout.
I started seeing a change right away with the way I was feeling and the energy I had. It was also a fun thing for Mark and I to do together. We spent more time together in the mornings, whether it was working out or actually eating a nice breakfast together. We also meal planned together and got to help each other with our pre and post challenge measurements! ;)
Most days were pretty easy to follow the eating plan and get a workout in. However, working for a food company made the challenge difficult on some days. There are always baked goods, food tastings, and meetings centered around food. I also found it difficult on some days to come home from a stressful day at work and not reach for a glass of wine. However, I pushed through it and re-programmed my brain to get past that.
After I completed the 21 days of the program, I ended up losing seven pounds and about 16 total inches. Doing the challenge also totally changed my mindset on things. I've been naturally choosing and craving better food options, and I like the way I feel when I work out. While I have indulged in wine since the challenge ended (you can actually drink wine in small portions if you plan for it during the 21 Day Fix, but I wanted to be very strict), I am trying to be a little better about not drinking a glass (or bottle) every day. I've also realized that I actually do like healthy food, like bone broth!
I did this challenge for myself. I did it to feel better in my own skin. I did not do it to look like a super model, or because I'm supposed to look any certain way. I did it because I realized I was living a very unhealthy life and the only person who could get me back to healthy was myself. I am lucky that I had the support of my husband along the way, and we continue to support each other and work out in the mornings together. We are also still following a healthier eating plan, and we plan to do the 21 Day Fix again if we feel we are falling back off the wagon.
If you are interested in hearing more about my journey, please let me know ! Or, if you want to get in touch with Shannon, my amazing Beachbody coach, let me know that, too! I'm super grateful for her giving me the opportunity to change my life for the better. I'm sure my kids will thank her for it, too! While I will never have the "perfect" body, I am pretty happy with imperfect and healthy.
Read more about my imperfect and happy life at www.happilyimperfecteverafter.com.
Published by Veronica Cowen