Elements of Fitness – A Mother's Memoir

Overweight Becomes a Lean and Mean Mom of 3

I may not have introduced myself.  Some of you know me, some of you don’t…  some of you I have been friends with for YEARS and some we’ve never met but have only connected online.  I don’t like to post pictures of the kiddos and I’m not all about the selfies as much as others, but you may be able to relate better knowing that I’m a single Mom of 3 and they are my world.  We are just as busy as you and we still make the time to work out.  I keep the kids in sports to make sure they stay busy and aren’t home creating unhealthy habits.  I post a lot about fitness and nutrition but have you ever wondered why I do what I do?


Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona, AZ

Have you ever wondered what exactly I do as a fitness coach?  Have you wondered how I got here?  Have I always been  shape?  (uhhhh no – I haven’t.)  How did a stay at home Mom turn working Mom with a fitness business?

I haven’t always been into fitness.  But I have always been an athlete.  I lived and breathed gymnastics until I was about 14, then I wanted to do team sports for my school (soccer, tennis, volleyball).   I was in shape but working out was not the fun part of my day.   I used to hate running.  I would do it because a lot of sports needed the cardio conditioning but I didn’t like it, and I didn’t eat right, etc.

Before kids, I could eat whatever I wanted just like when I was a teenager and not gain a pound!  But now, that’s not so much the case.  Once I had my first child, Kaitlyn (with whom I gained 64 pounds!), I could not lose that weight.  I tried every diet under the sun, got a gym membership thinking that would help, etc.

Pregnant but still overweight

Pregnant but still overweight

But I didn’t stick with it.  My husband at the time could still eat whatever he wanted and the scale would not be affected so I would gradually go back to eating like he and I always did.  Then 7 months after giving birth we were pregnant again.  It was what we wanted because I always wanted to have my kids close in age and we knew we weren’t done, HOWEVER, I never got back to my pre-pregnancy weight first.

With baby #2, I was determined not to gain another 64 lbs!  (BTW, this before pic ——–>      was really hard to post!) I did a little working out while I was pregnant with her and I ate a lot better.  Not good, like I do now but better.  I only gained 24 lbs with Britney.

After she was born was right around the time that low carb diets were the thing.  And I was sold when I read that I didn’t need to work out, I could just eat low carb.  HA!  I dropped all the baby weight and then some!  Then it became that the only time I would work out was when I ate really bad the day before.  So now that I knew I could just eat low carb whenever I had some weight to lose I went back to eating atrociously!  Then I would work out twice a week if that.

Well as the girls were getting older, I decided to start cooking and making more home cooked meals at home.  I was a huge advocate for nursing since formulas were getting so much criticism for their ingredients and I was reading more and more about baby foods and how easy it was to make at home AND this way you knew what was going in to your child’s mouth.

That lead me to start watching and learning about the foods I was eating.  All the crap sold in the supermarket were 90% chemicals!  I started trading in the commercialized grocery stores for farmers markets and Trader Joe’s (Whole Foods wasn’t in Phoenix yet).  I also started buying organic whenever we could afford to.  I started with vegetables that grew in the ground and then meats was next.

After seeing and FEELING the results of just eating right it motivated me to want to get toned and in shape especially since I knew how to eat now!  Food was fuel now, not comfort.

Now comes the year 2007, I was in better shape then I was when I was a teenager, even had more energy then I did then.  We were running, biking, I had a gym membership where I would do spin class 2- 3 times a week, my girls and my ex and I all belonged to a dojo where we were all there at least 3 times a week.  I even taught yoga there for a while for some of the moms that had kids in the karate classes.  In June I found out that I was 4 1/2 months pregnant with Baby # 3, my son Frankie!  He was due in December!   So I had 4 short months to plan to have a baby!  But I didn’t want to stop working out.  I was mostly doing cardio anyways:  running, hiking, rollerblading, spin class, kickboxing and yoga at the dojo.

Frankie was born and I ended up only gaining 22 lbs.  My doctor towards the end was concerned that I hadn’t gained enough weight.

Then I started to want to help other Moms!  My girls started cheer and would have regular practices in a park, their Coach asked me if I would be the squad’s conditioning coach so now I started doing that every Tuesday and Thursday.  Soon after, some of the Moms of the girls recommended I do a fitness bootcamp where they could come work out.  We did and soon more and more moms showed up.  I would get the girls warmed up for cheer and then I would move over to the Moms!  It was fun.  We all created a close bond and I even helped some of them get ready to run their first marathons.

I started a blog, THIS ONE, hence why its name is Mom-related and not fitness related.  🙂  When I first created it, I started talking about tips to help breastfeeding Moms and nutrition was one of the most common posts because the questions were all closely related to the Mom being able to produce enough milk for a growing baby, etc. and then it started connecting me with women who were likeminded all across the country.

2008It was about this time that my neighbor introduced me to P90X.  Frankie was not even 2, Britney was 7 and Kaitlyn was 8 1/2.  My hands were full.  I was in shape but not getting toned.  I was still doing a ton of cardio.  P90X had weights and I knew I had to add that in.  I was always afraid of weights, always thought I would like a man, etc.  I was ready for a change.  I always wanted a personal trainer and now I had my own in MY HOUSE!!  It was amazing.

1st round of P90X

1st round of P90X


This was me in Cabo after the 1st round P90X.  I did the lean program and I refused to eat the P90X way.  I thought I knew more about what my body needed than this nutrition ‘guide’ telling me to eat 100 carbs a day!  At that point, I would barely eat 100 carbs in 4 days!!  I thought I had this whole fitness thing down and all I needed was to add weights.  HAHA.  I would be exhausted half way into the workout, or getting really bad headaches right after.  So I knew something was wrong.



90 days later 2nd Round P90X results

90 days later 2nd Round P90X results

The lack of carbs is why my first round didn’t get me the results I anticipated.   I added a little muscle but nowhere near everyone else’s 90 day results.  This got me so mad!  So then right away, I started the classic program and I ate exactly how it told me to, even bought Shakeology.  I was posting my results pics on Facebook and friends and family were the first to notice.  Then I started helping other people get through their first round of P90X.

After 3 rounds of P90X, I decided to switch it up with Insanity.  I loved Insanity because it was a more intense version of P90X’s cardio days and guess what I started thinking P90X was too EASY!!  On the P90X cardio days, (Tuesdays and Saturdays) I would do the Max Cardio Circuit from Insanity instead of PlyoX.

I started connecting with people on the Facebook P90X message boards and through my blog.  I was helping people get through the programs but not getting paid for it!  And then Tony Horton shared my blog post of How you know You’re Addicted to P90X.

I knew I could help other Moms too… and realize everyone can do this too.   Being a Coach has been one of the greatest blessings in my life.  It got me in the best shape of my life, I have a healthy relationship with food, I have spent more time learning about myself, learning about others, and learning ways to better help YOU.

You do not have to be a fitness expert or nutritionist to be a successful Coach.  All you need is the desire in your heart to help others.  Beachbody is all about helping others.  They provide the tools you need to change your body, the nutrition your body is craving, a Coach who is always there for you… (ME!) and the network of likeminded people that you can connect with on Team Beachbody.

If you are interested on learning more please contact me.   We do a very brief 15-20 min webinar once a week and you will see how it easy it is to do the same thing I do!

Let’s get in touch and work on You together!  What do you have to lose??  You never know, it could be supplemental income for you too OR even become your main source of income!


Send me an email:  at CoachChristysElementsofFitness@gmail.com

OR an Instagram:  @FitnessElements4Life


November 16, 2014 Posted by | About Me, Being a Mom, Children, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Divorce, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Family, Insanity, Me, My Low Carb Recipes, Nursing, Nutrition, P90X, P90X Recipes, P90X2, P90X3, Phoenix AZ, Pregnancy, Products That Work, Shakeology, Women Today, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Discipline and Co-parenting

Disciplining children can be hard enough as it is in a traditional family.  But add divorce, joint custody and getting remarried to the equation and it makes it even more difficult.

The girl’s father was very lazy, nothing bothered him and it took pulling teeth and ultimatums to get him to lift a finger.  Now I’m in a relationship that is quite the opposite:  Frank does things way before I even need to ask.  The problem with this type of personality though is that he is ‘Johnny on the Spot’ when it comes to my girls and the proper discipline.

I’m from the school that no one disciplines your children except their own parents (unless of course they’re staying at someone else’s home and the parents aren’t around). 

disciplineFrank is from the school that anyone can and should take matters into their own hands.  [I don’t mean literally.  Neither one of us has never laid a hand on any of the kids.]

For example, this just happened the other day, Frank and I stayed up way later than we normally do watching movies and then the following morning Frankie woke up and we didn’t hear him cry.  Kaitlyn’s room is right next to his so she went in his room, took him out of his crib and brought the baby into her room to play with the idea that she was helping us out. 

Me, being the lover of all things sleep, loved this.  I’ve allowed her to do this in the past, either by me asking her to go get him or vice versa so I’ve seen her take him out of the crib many times and she’s never had a problem.  Plus, if she had a hard time taking him out and accidentally hurt his legs or something he would not hesitate to cry.  But that scenario has never happened.

So I wake up with Frank walking into our room with the baby and he said “Did you know Kaitlyn takes the baby out of the crib?”  I said yes and thought that would be the end of it.  He then says “I don’t want her taking him out of the crib unless she asks us first and we say its ok”.  To which I replied ok and went back to sleep.

The next day as we’re all sitting around the table having lunch and Kaitlyn tells Frank something funny that happened that morning and Frank asked if she got the baby out of the crib.  Her and I both said yes.  He got pretty upset and said he didn’t want her to do it anymore.  I told him I recalled that he didn’t want her to do it without getting permission first.  He then said no, he doesn’t want her doing it at all.  He explained that he doesn’t feel she’s strong enough and didn’t think it was a good idea.  Then I got upset that he was doing this in front of the children and not allowing me a say in this.  I explained that if the baby was getting hurt he would cry as she was pulling him out of the crib, etc.

The most frustrating aspect of all of this is that he and I (like all parents) are supposed to be a united front.  So we can’t argue about it in front of the children.  But at the same time, pressing issues need to be dealt with immediately so the kids understand the consequences of their actions right away.

The other reason this hit home a little too much is because just a couple weeks ago, the girl’s father told me that the girls tell him that I do ‘whatever Frank says’.  This absolutely boggled my mind, first, because supposedly it came from the girls and second, I do not do as I’m told.  I never have.  So this was a complete shocker.  Now I know that my ex loves to say stuff to get under my skin and he never has a nice thing to say about Frank but the thing that cut to the core of me was wondering if that was really the girl’s perception of me?  Now I know they’re only 7 and 6 but still.  He also told me that the girls tell him that I make Frank his dinner and his drinks.  I told my ex that this is coming from our children and that I make dinner and get drinks for everyone.  I also added that I used to make dinner and drinks for him and I too when we were together.  It was then that he realized what I was saying (or at least pretended to).

So after this heated moment at the dinner table all of these thoughts started running through my mind.  And all I kept wondering was what the girls were thinking.  So since Frank raised his voice I decided to raise mine.  I told him “I did not appreciate him talking to me that way, especially in front of the children and I wanted an apology.”  He started to apologize right then but I said I wasn’t done yet.  I then said “if you have a problem with how I do things around here talk to me about it behind closed doors where we can resolve it between the two of us.”  He told me (in front of the children) that I was right and that he was sorry… and then everyone was silent for the next few minutes.

Now this isn’t, of course, the least or worst of examples.  It was just the most recent.  We’ve always had this problem about discipline.  He thinks I’m not consistent enough and I think he’s too harsh.  We’ve been to plenty of parenting classes due to horrendous allegations by my ex where we learned that you have to tell a child 2000 times each behavior you’re trying to correct. 

Last month, my youngest daughter got all her toys taken away by Frank because he’s had to tell her too many times to pick up her toys after she’s done playing with them.  And he did this when I wasn’t home.  Now I understand that there should have been some form of consequence but I thought taking away all her toys was way over the top.  I also don’t think that he, being the soon-to-be-Stepdad, should be the disciplinarian.  And many counselors and other people in the field we’ve spoken to agree with me on that.

But he disagrees.  He doesn’t believe he should’ve waited til I got home to let me handle it.

Anyways, the point of me sharing this is to try and figure out if I’m alone in this.  I can’t be.  But does every blended family household go through this?  Or anything remotely similar?  Did anyone grow up in a broken home?  What were your experiences?  How would you have handled either scenario differently?

July 8, 2009 Posted by | Being a Mom, Children, Discipline, Divorce, Family | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Young Women Need to Be Selective not Selected

As you know, if you’ve read my very first post, that I share joint custody of my two girls with my ex.  Just recently, the jerk that is my ex husband decided to quit working so that his parenting time wouldn’t be reduced to only weekends.  This resulted in the judge ‘awarding’ us 50/50 parenting time.  So now, I have the girls from Saturday to Wednesday (4 nights) and he has Wednesday to Saturday (3 nights). 

It is awful.  He picks up the girls after school on Wednesdays so that we do not have to interact with each other.  Which is great, however, it gives me only an hour with them in the morning at the breakfast table before school.

Whenever I drop them off at school and I drive home it’s like a deafening silence.  The girls were just in the car with me singing and passing the lip gloss around and then all of a sudden within a matter of seconds they’re gone . . . and I don’t see them again for 3 days. 

Oh and did I mention that he has since gone back to work.  He doesn’t get home now til 7pm and his parents pick up the girls from school and babysit them until he gets home.

I would not wish this feeling on anyone.   It is by far the worst thing I’ve ever had to endure.  Yes, even worse than the stressful process of trying to get divorced.

Anyways, the point of this post today is if I could reach at least one young woman who is very anxiously awaiting the hot date she has this weekend to remember one thing:  Don’t hope that he selects you – be the one doing the selecting!

Because that is my message.  We women, and yes I have felt this way too, get so excited and hope that the guy ‘picks’ us that we forget that the whole thing is up to us. 

We sit back and constantly complain about these men in our lives but we’re the ones that picked them.   Set your standards high and then uphold them!   Be picky!  Because if you don’t you will wake up one day in my very same shoes!

We need to value ourselves above any relationship we might have.  When I was 18, I was lost (like most 18 years olds).  I didn’t know what the heck I wanted to do with my life or where I would be in 5 years.  And because I didn’t, the first guy that I “let” come into my life was my ex.  I didn’t have the wisdom to know what I wanted out of life yet or more importantly, what I didn’t want in my life.   If it were now and a person like him came up to me I wouldn’t give him the time of day. 

It did take me 2 months of him asking me out to give him a chance.  I told him over and over that he was way too young for me (even though he was a year older).  I liked older guys and I didn’t know why.  I was still a virgin at the time.  And every guy I tried to date wanted to have sex on the first date!  At least I had enough sense back then not to but that was just Catholic guilt engraved into my head!

A couple months later after he so patiently waited, I lost my virginity to him.  He was unlike all the other guys so I really thought he was a keeper.   Long story short, 3 years after having the high school kind of relationship I never had I got pregnant. 

I don’t regret the decisions I made.  I am not in the business of doing that.  My message is to look at dating in a new way.  Have fun but don’t get serious with anyone until you have dated them for at least a year and a half.  And don’t even think of getting married if you’re still in your twenties! 

If I had stayed in the marriage for the sake of the kids (that’s garbage by the way!) like so many people do I would not be where I am today.  I have a healthy relationship with someone whom I love, trust and admire and now I have the family I always wanted. 

April 29, 2009 Posted by | About Me, Being a Mom, Children, Divorce | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments


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