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

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

An Ode to Stay At Home Moms!

This is for all you Stay-At-Home Mom’s out there… 

I don’t get much time these days to do this (being a SAHM and all) but I love it when I can sit down while the baby is sleeping and read a good book! 

Recently, I have been feeling a little negative about my current situation and trying to find some creative outlet (besides blogging!) that I could do in my spare time.  Then, while catching bits and pieces of the Today Show last week I heard what sounded like a knowledgable voice talking about how we should be praising the “Stay At Home Mom” and it got my attention.   

Author, Dr. Laura Schlessinger was speaking to Meredith Vieira about how SAHM’s really get a bad reputation but they should instead be given credit to forming the next generation of people. 

Me, being in need of an ego boost and an internal pep rally, went right out to Barnes & Noble to get this book.  I finished reading it the next day and I truly loved it.  It was the pick-me-up I wanted and so badly needed.

Yes, there are parts that sound a bit 1950’s but when you cut to the core of what she is trying to say it all makes sense and it is very truthful.   SAHM’s put their families as priority #1 and we rarely get credit for it.   After all, these are the women who are choosing to take responsibility for the choice they made to have a child and want to actually be there to raise that child with our own morals and views of right and wrong instead of a minimum wage day care worker.

We are also perceived as being unintelligent, lazy and/or unmotivated.  But we’re not.  We are not lazy since we know being a Mom is work 24/7,  not just 8-5  and we’re not unintelligent.  We are trying to share our intelligence and instill it in this brand new beautiful mind we’ve created.  We want to be there to teach our children the morals we grew up with, our beliefs, our truths, and our knowledge of the world so that when they are presented with a choice that could dramatically change their life they will be equipped with the skills needed to make an “intelligent” decision. 

To me, it is extremely smart to choose to be there for your children and one of the best and most important decisions a woman can make.

I am very aware of the women who have to work due to financial situations and I’m not saying we should accept just cooking, cleaning, and taking care of children all day as a means that defines us.  So please don’t be offended by what I’m saying.  If you have a skill, a talent or a dream by all means fulfill it!  But rearrange your goals and dreams around your children, not the other way around.  They are only in our care for 18 years!  In the bigger picture of life, that is not very long!  Make the most of it!

What I enjoyed most about the book is the letters and emails from other Moms that the author shared.  Heartfelt and uplifting true life stories of other moms and children brought tears to my eyes many times throughout the book.

Most importantly, it inspired me.   As I was reading it, I couldn’t wait for the baby to wake up from his nap and the girls to walk in the door from school. 

There are days I get so frustrated I want to pull my hair out, getting upset over something so miniscule, or that certain things didn’t get done that day or I am so totally exhausted by the end of the day that I think to myself that any other job would be a pleasant relief.  But then I remember there were also so many moments I would never trade in for any other job on the planet:

Those moments when your child gives you a smile or just a look of sheer happiness, moments when they would give you a kiss, a hug, or just hold your hand for no reason, or one that just happened to me the other day:  my daughter told me that when she grew up she wanted to be just like me!

Those are the moments a mother treasures forever in her heart.  They cannot be replaced.

No, SAHM’s don’t get a paycheck at the end of a very hard week.  We get hugs, kisses and an immense joy that fill our hearts so deep that money feels like… well,  just that …. money.

April 23, 2009 Posted by | About Me, Baby Care, Being a Mom, Children, Family, Me, Women Today, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Nothing Feels Better Than Family

2008 was a hard year for millions of people.  Many of us probably are still struggling with finances and wondering if our jobs are safe.

What better time is it to reconnect with our families?  Spend more time at home playing games with your kids or just go for a walk with them.   Read books, go outside or just ‘hang out’ with them?  What would your children say to you if you were 100% there for them with no distractions? 

The next time they go to their room, go with them and just be there for them.  Just sit there with them and do nothing but watch them until they start interacting with you. 

Depending on their age they might hand you a toy (2-3 year olds), they might want you to play ‘make believe’ with them (4-5 year olds), or they might just say something so astoundingly astute to you such as “our democracy is a great thing, except for the part about letting anyone vote” (6-7 year olds).  And yes,  my 7 1/2 year old daughter really said that.  It was last October during election season!  We laughed so hard.

Anywho, what do you think your children would say to you if they noticed you sitting there for 5 minutes just totally focused on them?

Remember when our children were babies and we would just sit on the floor with them and watch them explore?  Remember their sincere delight when they noticed you were sitting there just for them?  Our children still need that closeness. 

Something that I found that works really well to break the ice is right after dinner go around the table and start with the youngest and play the ‘high/low’ game.  Their high is what made them smile the most that day, and their low is what made them sad or unhappy that day.  I wish I could take credit for this idea but I can’t.  It came from the movie “Story of Us” with Michelle Pheifer and Bruce Willis.  Love that movie and I still cry every time I watch it!

Also, don’t neglect your spouse.  They need one on one time as well.  Get the kids to bed a little earlier tonight and make a separate dinner under candle light for just the 2 of you.

I’m feeling a little mushy tonight because today we had a family photo shoot with the photographer who’s going to shoot our wedding.  It was supposed to be an engagement session but we already got that done so we wanted to include the kids.

We met Jennifer from O’Grace Photography at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

                                                            

and she took some really great photos.  She’s big on candid shots and so am I so I can’t wait to see all the images.  I’ll post some once I get them.

Have a great week everyone!     Smiley Sunglasses                                             

January 25, 2009 Posted by | Being a Mom, Children, Family, Photography | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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