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?

Examples

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

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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

Programming your Body For Fat Loss

dedicationYes.  Programming. 

Everyone wants to get lean and lose fat in the shortest time possible.  Everyone also, at least at first, seems to believe they must do cardio 3-4 times a week and cut their calories by 300-400 to create the caloric deficit.  Don’t get me wrong.  Now the truth is that if you do nearly everything right and your nutrition is spot on, as well as do cardio both intensely and frequently, of course you can lose fat.    

Keyword there was can.   Is it possible?  Yes.  Is it doable?  Yes.  But definitely not optimal or ideal.  Plus, as we all know, its just not that simple.   Otherwise I would be out of a job and everyone would have the body they’ve always wanted!  Right?  Right.

If you want rapid results, you have to be 100% focused.  100%  committed.  Not just “oh well, I trained yesterday so I’m going to indulge today.”  You must be willing to do the work and you must be willing to do it often.  I tell my clients to eat 1-1.5g of protein per pound of lean body mass.  The reason for the range is because as long as you are eating at least 1g per pound of your LBM then you are eating enough protein.  The range is so that if you find yourself still hungry you can add a little more protein to help satisfy your hunger.

As for carbs, most people should aim for .5g of carbs for every pound of LBM unless you are the type of person who can handle carbs well, then you can go up to .75g.   After that, fat will be the difference in your total caloric intake.  Of that amount, calculate at least 1 gram per pound of your bodyfat for 1 gram of fish oil.  For example, if you are 10% bodyfat, take 10 grams of fish oil every day.

Cardio is necessary but a lot is not needed.  What is needed is weight training.  A 2 on/1 off double split routine (doubles) gives the most dramatic results and no 1 workout session should be longer than 45 minutes.  All that does is create a wonderful recipe for overtraining and injury. 

I also tell my clients to train twice a day.  Once in the morning (15-20 min) and once in the evening (35-40 min) .  As we talked about, this is obvious dedication.  So keep that in mind.  But this is also good because it keeps your body in a high metabolic rate consistently ALL day long.  Yes – I do know that MOST people whether it is due to kids, their occupation, etc. cannot workout twice a day.  To them I say, ok.  Then choose which part of the day, every day, that you can commit to to working out.  Mornings or evenings.   Pick one.  But promise yourself you will do weight training first and THEN cardio. 

All of this can be done.  It is possible.  As soon as you realize you WANT results MORE than anything else.  You will find a way to get it done. 

the perfect timing

So please feel free to contact me.  This is what I do.  I love helping people get in fantastic shape and making positive changes in their life. 

Share this on Facebook, if you think your friends and family would be interested.

October 1, 2013 Posted by | Diet and Exercise, Discipline, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Insanity, Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do You Do It Indoors or Outdoors?

camelback mountainGet your mind out of the gutter!  I’m talking about exercise!

Here in the suburbs of Phoenix today it is supposed to reach 100 degrees.  That is way too hot to workout in so, needless to say, if I don’t get out of bed in the morning by 7am I won’t end up working out.  By the time the kids go to bed at the end of the day I am exhausted.  The last thing I want to do is workout at 8:30-9pm.

So, after this whirlwind of a weekend where we were going to bed late and sleeping late, I decided last night at midnight that I would wake up at 7am this morning.  I set my alarm for 7 and I woke up this morning at 6:30 … because of our cat!  He just comes up sometimes and lays right by my head and purrs so loud that it wakes me up!  He’ll do this just to get me to wake up and refresh his bowl.  I say “refresh” because there is food in it but I have to toss it around to make it sound new to him I guess.

Anyways, so thanks to Cosmo I woke up before I wanted to today.  And now it is only 3:30 in the afternoon and I am drinking yet another cup of coffee.  But, I did get right on the treadmill this morning after getting out of bed.  That is not an exageration at all.  I take a sip of water and then go right to running.  I ran straight this morning for 28 minutes without stopping.

A year ago I couldn’t run for longer than 3 minutes without stopping.  I always heard about these strange people that could run for miles at a time and I never thought I could do it.  But now I’m facing a different dilemma:  I’m not sweating as much anymore after I run for 30 minutes.  So last week I started running for 40 minutes but this morning I didn’t want to.  I do want to run a marathon someday but right now I’m just trying to lose 10-15 more pounds.   Usually after I run I will do 3 sets each of reverse lunges, pushups and crunches.  I will change it up daily to either different crunches or instead of push-ups I will do dips using a bench or vanity stool.

After I ran this morning I started to make a pot of coffee (even though I didn’t really need it anymore) and I was wanting to work out some more.  So I put in the Wii Active that Frank bought (for himself) a couple weeks ago.   Wow!  It actually made me sweat!    I did the high intensity 30 minute workout.  It has you do kick ups, lunges, inline skating, tennis, dancing, rows, barbell lifts, and all kinds of other things.   We almost bought the Wii Fit but I think we’re happy with this one for now.  I couldn’t believe it.  When he bought it I thought it would be another thing that would just sit and collect dust but I see now why he likes it.

 The summers in Arizona really don’t permit any outdoor workouts at all.   I am the type of person who would rather be outside exercising than inside.   Normally, during the fall, winter and spring you will find me on any one of the 10 or so hiking trails within the city limits.   But during the summer I stay inside!  Because of this, I am the opposite of most people:  I tend to gain weight in the summers! 

So all this made me wonder:  which do you prefer (weather permitting)?  Are you an indoor or outdoor exerciser and what are your favorite workouts?  I need some ideas flowing my way to give me some alternating workouts.

Visit https://amothersmemoir.wordpress.com/2009/01/21/my-secret-for-weight-loss/  for low carb recipes and tips and tricks for getting over weight loss plateaus.

June 16, 2009 Posted by | About Me, Diet and Exercise, Exercise, Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Secret for Weight Loss that Men Don’t Possess

BOOBS!  That’s right.  You always hear that men have an advantage to losing weight.  Well not if we’re nursing.  Nursing burns 500 calories just by itself.  Then add good nutrition and a little exercise and you’re well on your way to a leaner you!

Here’s a picture of my secret right here.

  Frankie turned 1 in December and about a week later we stopped nursing.   But 2 months before he stopped I started eating low carb again.  In those 2 months I lost almost 10 pounds.  I think the combination of eating low carb and nursing really did the trick (not to mention chasing after a 1 year old).

See full size image

But before I got pregnant I would combine low carb with running and that gave me some pretty fast results too.  But nothing like this.  I am amazed.  I wish I would’ve connected the two together before so I could’ve kept pumping!

I know a lot of people question the low carb lifestyle and say its not healthy.  But for me, it’s the only thing that works well.  I was afraid to start low carb when the baby was still young because everything I read said it would diminish the milk supply and could also taste differently to the baby so I did the Body for Life  diet which made me lose about 5 pounds.  But the last couple months that I did low carb he still nursed and we didn’t have any problems.

That brings us to now.  I try to run every day and do a little circuit training every other day.  Plus, sometimes after I run I rollerblade for another 15-20 minutes just to change it up.  I get bored really easy.  Sometimes I’ll even take a spin class at the gym because I get bored of the treadmill.

 The circuit training is more effective when I do it right after cardio.  The thought on this seems to be split 50/50 in terms of people saying weight training should be done before or after cardio.  But cardio gets my heart and strength ready and then I’m burning more calories and being more effective with every rep. 

Others say to do your strength training before cardio so you have the energy to complete each set efficiently.

I’ve heard both opinions but mine makes more sense to me.  Just do what works for you.  I’m a firm believer that just one way doesn’t work for everyone.

January 21, 2009 Posted by | Diet and Exercise, Exercise, Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

   

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