New Beginnings: Bikini Body Guide

New week. New month. New beginnings. 

I’ll admit, I start a lot of things [read diets] and never complete them. I do my best work staying healthy and getting in shape when I have a goal to work towards. Right before we ran the Rock’n’Roll half & Tough Mudder – I was in the best shape of my life. Time to work back to that place. I feel I’ve taken the time to enjoy Gunnar as a baby without the stresses of getting “back to pre-baby body”. Now he’s becoming more active and I can include him [and hopefully teach him in the future] in my journey to a healthier me.

As I’ve said before, I have PCOS. This brings with it: hair loss, unpredictable periods, ovarian cysts, so much more and my biggest obstacle – difficulty losing weight. I’ve seen doctors, tried prescription weight loss pills, you name it, I’ve tried it. One of the few things that works for me is going on a very strict diet and constant intense exercise. So I’m starting something new that includes a planned diet, scheduled workouts and also gives me a box to check each day. I also have all of you to hold me accountable each week.

Kayla Itsines – 12 week Beach Body Guide. 

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Today is Day 1, Week 1, Round 1. I’ve written out my meal plan and workout plan for the week and am ready to hit the ground running. Time to lose this baby weight, I do have a few weddings I’m sweating for now.

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Follow along, I’ll provide weekly updates here and more frequent updates on my Instagram page!

Exercise Ball Office Chair

Working from home I’ve realized I don’t get up as often as I used to. There’s no walking with friends, getting things off the printer, walking to and from my car, etc. So, except for the occasional dance break with the dogs or to switch a load of laundry, I find myself pretty stationary most of the day. Which is horrible for your body! [especially with my back issues] So I decided to become one of “those people” who sits [read bounces] on an exercise ball at their desk.

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So why am I doing this? Why should you do this?

  • It forces proper spine alignment. I’m a sloucher, I try to correct it but still end up hunching or slouching behind the screens. Because the ball isn’t stable your body has to try to adjust itself to stay balanced. In order to stay balanced your body will automatically try to align itself into proper posture – which helps your spinal health and decreases back pains!
  • Get that 6-pack you’ve been wanting! Ok, maybe not – but it does strengthen and build your core muscles. To aid in balancing, your core is also engaged and if you think how often you’re sitting at the computer every day, those hours can add up and maybe you’ll start to see those abs poke through.
  • Inspiration to stretch. Let’s face it – although you’re using the ball as a chair, it’s still a piece of exercise equipment. It’s hard to sit on it without being inspired to stretch or do some strengthening moves throughout the day. Some days Leep will come home to find me rolled out under the desk with my back on the ball stretching my ab & back muscles. [getting back up is the tricky part]
  • You can burn up to 350 calories per day. More movement during the day = more calories burned. It will help you stay fit with minimal effort!
  • Reduced damage for sitting. A desk job means sitting in the same position, hour after hour, but staying sedentary for too long can be lethal. It’s easy to slump and stay in one spot for extended periods of time. With the ball even the slightest movement causes it to roll and you have to adjust to remain balanced.
  • It’s fun! Who doesn’t like the idea of bouncing around all day. If the people on the other end of my conference calls only knew I was bouncing around over here.

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So if you’re inclined, want to be healthier at your desk, or just have some fun – grab a ball and join me!

Peloton Update

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So we’ve officially had our spin bike and the Peloton app for a little over a month now. I’ve been asked about it a lot lately and figured I’d do a quick update! I can’t sing its praises enough. We didn’t drop the large amount of dough on the “real” Peloton bike because frankly, I wasn’t sure how much we’d like it or use it. We started small with the intention that if we fell in love and used it often – potentially down the road we would upgrade.

About Peloton

Peloton offers tons of on demand classes as well as live spin classes from 6am-8:30pm. They range anywhere from beginner to more advanced. There are various time lengths available as well as types of classes and lots of instructors to choose from. A little something for everyone. I will typically do a 45 min rhythm or live DJ class. Cody Rigsby is my favorite – he’s my spirit animal.

Our Journey So Far

We started out strong – Leep and I both riding once a day. Alternating between live classes and on demand depending on the time of day all while juggling Gunnar. Then I twisted my ankle and right as that was healing… I came down with pneumonia. Right as I was getting comfortable and the soreness [in areas] was wearing off – had to take 10 steps back.

It’s safe to say its been a slow start. I finally jumped back on the bike yesterday evening and remembered how much I loved it. We have our bike set up in the garage with a small TV that we connect to the iPad. With the volume cranked loud and the dim lights of the garage you can really dig deep, jam out and get a good workout in!

Pictured above – follow me on Snapchat [mhuett] for a “day in the life” look of: tons of filter photos, randomness and Gunnar cuteness.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. My body after baby isn’t going to just bounce back – after all, it did take 9 months to put on, I created a human, it’s not going to just fall right off. Also – my main priority is focusing on time with my family and staying healthy, not a number on the scale!

Tell me about your journey to health and fitness after a baby below!

Springtime Ready Skin

It’s in the 70’s all this week and I couldn’t be happier that Spring is right around the corner! Spring also means tank tops, dresses and showing more skin. I took great care of my skin while pregnant but after Gunnar arrived and this winter, my skin has been neglected.

Shore Thing Lavender is an amazing local small business who delivers quality, all natural products for your body all over the country. Here are some of my favorite products to help get your skin Springtime ready!  Continue reading

Body After Baby

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As I watched my belly grow and my body change during pregnancy I always preached “As soon as I get my “All good!” clearance at six weeks postpartum I’m going to start working out”. Man, was I delusional. Between breastfeeding, Thanksgiving, sleeplessness, Christmas and a colicky baby it was hard enough to remember or even find time to eat, let alone worry about it being healthy. That said, I’m glad I’ve taken this time without the stresses of calories and workouts to enjoy motherhood, bond with Gunnar and fall into our new routine.

Background: I’ve never been a super fit person, but I have always tried to stay [semi]healthy. Six years ago I hit a roadblock in my fitness journey when I had back surgery. Between that and other health issues my weight has fluctuated significantly (for the worse) over the past few years. When I met Leep 4 years ago I got back into running and working out again. We have a love of good food and strong drinks, so this helped maintain the balance. We did fun runs, a half marathon and a Tough Mudder. Followed by an engagement and intense ‘sweating for the wedding’. A few pounds were packed back on during our indulgent honeymoon and just when we were ready to get back on the health wagon, we got the surprise of a positive pregnancy test. (Who am I kidding – 5 positive pregnancy tests) All thoughts of eating healthy and working out flew out the window as I embraced the ‘enjoy your pregnancy’ mentality head on.

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Thirty pounds gained during pregnancy and a baby later, I was pleasantly surprised to be back down to my pre-pregnancy weight within 2 weeks. But I wasn’t happy with where I started to being with. Now 3.5 months into motherhood this foreign post pregnancy body has got to go! I’m ready to kick it into high gear and get that “bikini body” back.

Enter… the spin bike. I invested in my health and bought a spin bike and a subscription to the Peloton app. The goal isn’t a mystical lower number on the scale, or a specific jean size – it’s a healthier, stronger me.

This week was supposed to be the beginning of this journey…. unfortunately, my bike is lost in the FedEx shipping truck world, BUT when it arrives it will be Day 1. Tag along on my journey of body after baby – here goes nothing! Until then, pizza! (Just kidding…kinda)