BA3B: 1 Month to Go, Sneak Peek!

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Almost There!

My 30th birthday and challenge deadline is one month away from this week. I can’t believe it is almost here! I have been busy making party preparations and now deciding on what to wear for the photo shoot. If you have walked with me through this whole journey I am so glad you have. If you are new to this simply click on the bikini graphic above and you will be taken to all the posts since I started the challenge.

A Surprise is Coming!

I have learned so much this year not just about diet and exercise but also about myself. There is no way I could have predicted what the outcome is going to be but I think you all will be pleasantly surprised with the end reveal.

The Sneak Peek

My body has drastically changed the past 14 months but as I near the deadline even more changes are taking place. I have documented the entire journey through “selfie” pictures for myself. I thought I would share one of the most recent pictures with you. Here it is next to my “before” picture. I take them for myself only typically so the quality is not great, but it gives you a peek of where I am at right now. Also it appears that I am sucking in, but I am, in fact, flexing my abdominal muscles instead:

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Be sure to subscribe to my posts in the sidebar so you don’t miss he big reveal with high quality professional pictures. If I can do this so can you!

BA3B: Less than 3 Months to Go!

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Overcoming Setbacks

This summer was rough on my progress. I started out the summer with the worst stomach virus I have ever had in my life. About 2 weeks and 1 ER visit later, I was finally getting in the groove of 6 workouts a week. And then I broke my foot and was down for the count for over 2 months. I have to admit I almost quit, I wanted to quit. I had come so far only to be so far back again (or so I thought). There is no way I could reach my goal now in such a short period of time. But this past year has been about so much more than just my physical appearance and it turns out my health on the inside needed some work too, but more about that later.

Going to the the gym for the first time after that 2 months was more difficult than the very first time I walked in the doors. But thanks to a two of my awesome friends I did it and it was not even close to as terrible as I thought it would be. It has now been about a month since I have been in full force. With less than 3 months until my 30th Birthday, it is go time.

During this off time I gained back about 7 pounds, which which puts me back at a total of 29 pounds lost since the picture of me at my brother’s wedding in the yellow dress. I was less than excited about the gain, but happy to see it was under 10 pounds. I am hopeful it will fall off quickly.

Diet and Workout Routines

This month I began a super strict diet of nothing but fruit, veggies, lean protein, and a little bit of good carbs (sweet potatoes, brown rice, and quinoa). This was brutal getting into. I felt like a sugar and/or cheese vampire for a few days, my poor husband didn’t dare even mention anything sweet, but I am already noticing a substantial difference (check out the picture below) at about a week in and the detox is about over. I am also drinking a gallon of water every day and 1-2 protein shakes a day. The most difficult part of this for me has been no cheat meals. I lived for cheat meals, but I have committed to go all the way to Halloween with no cheating. A little cheating for our Halloweeen celebration is planned (a girl has to have some pumpkin sweets) and then back on track until Thanksgiving Day (more pumpkin treats), and then 30th birthday is a just one short week after Thanksgiving.

Workouts are intense and happening 6 days a week. 5 days of weight training and 2 days of cardio. Yes, 5+2=7, so one day a week I do both cardio and weights.  I also meet with my trainer, FitNix, one day a week this month and next month will up it to twice a week.

Progress

As I mentioned above this week I saw some substantial progress. I want to make it clear on the front end that I have never in my life been athletic, aside from running Cross Country one season in high school (which I detested) and some equestrian as a teenager, I am not naturally fit. My genes, if anything, work against me. I have never had visible muscle mass in my life. This week while working out with my trainer she told me she saw muscle in my back and asked if she could take a picture. Later that morning, in the privacy of my own car I nervously looked at the pictures she took, expecting to see my squishy back and couldn’t believe my eyes:

536218_10201153474253538_981072146_nTears came. I couldn’t believe it. Over a year of literal blood, sweat, and tears and this is MY back. I kept looking at it all day in absolute disbelief and realized this is why I am doing this, this is what it is all about.

I do want to say this is my back, the area of my body that has been the most difficult to change has been my abdominal area, which you cannot see at all in this picture. If this picture was taken from the front things you would see a completely different story. I still have a good bit to go.

Why Am I Doing This?

Originally, I must admit this was done out of a dislike for my physical appearance after having three children. My whole life I have struggled with feeling like I was not good enough. Putting on 60 plus pounds during pregnancy and then keeping a little bit with each one led me to feel even more like I was completely unattractive. Throughout this entire process I have learned so much that it is no longer about that. My original goal was to get my outside healthy and through the process my inside has actually had some things shed off as well.

I am doing this for me, to allow my inner beauty to shine through my outer beauty. To encourage all moms to know that they can do this, even of genetics are against you and even if you have never been fit or athletic in your life. It is possible. It is a lot of work, but it is possible, and you are absolutely worth it.

The last thing I want to say is that over the past year I have been inspired by dozens of fit moms on social media. It is so common for outsiders to say things like: “I am not neglecting my children to spend hours in the gym all week like you are”. I just want to encourage you to take time for yourself. I am a homeschooling, “crunchy” mom to three boys ages 2,4, and 6, I am still breastfeeding my two year old, my kids watch minimal television, and I still cook at least 5 dinners from scratch a week. I am rarely out of bed before 8 am and also in bed by 11 each night. I am not saying all this to toot my own horn, but just to encourage you to make getting yourself healthy a priority. If I can do this, so can you! I can’t think of a better gift to give my children than a healthy, happy mom.

There Will Be an Abdomen

As the date approaches I have been a little nervous about my original commitment, but I have come to realize just this week, that I want all moms to know that beauty doesn’t equal perfection. I contacted a mom photographer this week about taking those pictures in just 3 short months. I doubt there will be a 6 pack on display, but I will be bearing my abdomen for you all to see in December to show that it is possible.

 

BA3B: Major Setbacks – No Excuses

It has been a busy season here, typically when you don’t see weight loss updates it is not a good sign, that is not the case here. I have made huge progress since my last update. I have been so excited to come and share my progress with you, but haven’t had the time… until now:

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But let’s start with the good news first.

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The Progress

First up is a new progress pic. Now this may not appear to be an awesome progress picture since you can’t really see any muscle unless you know what I am wearing. While cleaning out my closet a few weeks ago I happened upon the pair of shorts I am wearing. Those are a pair of shorts I bought when I was a sophomore in high school. I thought it would be fun to try them on and see how far I had to go and shockingly they fit.

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Breakthrough at the Gym

As I have shared previously, my trainer FitNix is currently on maternity leave and due any day with her third child. I have been struggling a little bit on my own. I tried some training at the gym and while I loved the trainer, I was not a fan of the way they ran their training. After my training ended there Christie encouraged me to give the training program she wrote with Valerie at Busy Mom Gets Fit a try. So I bought the 5 day split program and got to work. The first day was really hard. For some reason at my gym women don’t really work out in the free weight area and I have always struggled with going over there by myself. However, a few days in I was feeling comfortable and was so proud of myself. For the first time ever I was able to push myself through a workout and be extremely sore the next day.

I had started eating a more primal/paleo diet and two weeks in I was noticing big changes. Muscles were popping and I was feeling stronger. And then this Tuesday I hit a little bit of a bump in the road (pun intended).

The Setback

photo (11)That is my left foot on Tuesday night. This past weekend we were rearranging our house and turning the bonus room from a storage room into a big playroom for the kids. I was so proud on Tuesday that I was able to finish it without the help of my husband thanks to my new strength. I was keeping it a surprise for the boys to see. When I finished Tuesday with just one more load of plastic storage bins to bring down the stairs I called them up to see. They were so excited, especially since they were never allowed up the stairs previously. I showed them around and shared the rules of their new room. I spent a good bit of time explaining how since it was upstairs no ride on toys were allowed upstairs or on the stairs (and I am sure you now know exactly where this is going). I left them to play and went to carry the last load down the stairs. I am not a graceful woman by nature, I am tall, lanky, and just downright clumsy. I distinctly remember reaching the last step and letting out a sigh of relief that I managed to carry all those items down the stairs without injuring myself. Then I stepped off the last step… and onto my youngest sons’s motorcycle at the very bottom of the steps which promptly rolled out from underneath me and I felt a snap in my foot. I then rotated the foot back into place and was greeted by the most excruciating pain I have ever felt in my life. I fell backwards onto the stairs and screamed. Thankfully we have walked our oldest through exactly what to do in this situation and he was awesome, he picked up the phone and called his daddy who was on his way home from a meeting in Atlanta and I managed to call a close friend who is also an RN. I spent about 20 minutes on the stairs trying to keep from passing out from the pain, and the kids were great. Once my friend got there, put a splint and some ice on it the pain was much more tolerable and we headed to the ER.

1001820_10200607463483610_1283737438_n So now 4 days, 3 casts, and three doctor appointments later I have a fractured 5th metatarsal and sprained ligament on my left foot. The x-ray at the top of the post is a zoomed in picture of the fracture from the x-ray above. If you look a little below and to the left of the 150 mm in the picture above you will see a little triangle shaped bone. That little triangle is not supposed to be a triangle it is supposed to be attached to the rest of the bone.

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My littlest will not stop kissing my cast. He is such a sweetie!

I have two weeks to wait and pray that that little triangle reattaches itself to the bone so that I can avoid surgery. The surgeon put me in this lovely walking cast for the next two weeks, which I have to say is much more comfortable and easier to deal with than the lovely purple plaster cast I was originally in.

photo (13)Over the next two weeks I have to stay off of it as much as possible and keep it elevated for my greatest chance of avoiding surgery. I am on crutches and once the pain stops I am okay to hobble around, but that hasn’t happened yet. Although today is the first day I haven’t had to take any pain pills, so we are making progress.

Just When I Start to Get Comfortable…

I am not going to stop working out. Once the pain stops I am headed right back into the gym and hobbling around on my crutches to work on my upper body (and yes the surgeon told me I could do that). The funny thing is that thanks to a youth spent riding horses competitively my legs have always been freakishly stronger than my upper body, so maybe this will give my upper body a chance to catch up. Also funny is how I was just getting comfortable working out by myself and now I will get to comfortable with everyone staring at the woman on crutches working out.

Yes it is extremely frustrating and yes I have shed some tears and I don’t know what this is going to do to my goal of being in a bikini by my 30th birthday, but all I can do is the best I can and keep pushing through the obstacles. But I refuse to give up and spend the next six to nine weeks on my butt with the excuse of my injury keep me from working towards my goal.

 

BA3B: Hello Plateau!

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Hello Plateau!

Well it is official, measurements were taken last week and I have hit a plateau. After just under 40 pounds lost and a whopping 8 inches off my waist since last summer over the past 8 weeks I have not lost a single pound and only an inch or so in measurements. So incredibly frustrating! This past week I had a moment of panic. This body is nowhere near ready for a bikini yet, I have thousands of you following my progress on here and come December you are expecting a bikini picture. Can I really do this? Is it really possible to reach the peak of physical health after giving birth to three children in a row? Does being a mom mean that I am destined to hide my body in sweats and t-shirts the rest of my life? The answer is Yes I can do this and I will get healthy so that I can enjoy every moment of my life with my crazy house full of active boys.

What Now?

I don’t really know for sure yet. First up, I am looking to tweak my diet and figure out exactly what I do and do not need to be eating. I am looking at hiring a professional to map my meals and my workouts out for me. I have never been an athlete and I feel so overwhelmed when I have to plan my workouts on my own. I am still working out 5 or 6 days a week.  Last week I did double my weight load in the power class I took and I felt it for sure the next day.

Stop the Stress and Disbelief

Adding weight this past week is a perfect example of my constant disbelief in my abilities. At the beginning of the class the instructor mentioned to everyone that if we had hit a wall it may be time to add weight. I was so afraid that if I added weight I couldn’t do it, but I was so frustrated I decided to give it a try. And I did it! And the best part was I really felt it the next day.

Lastly, I need to stop stressing over my lack of change. I am going to try to remember to take deep breaths and be proud of how far I have come already and not be disappointed in the path I have left to travel.

 

BA3B: Finding a Love for Cardio

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I am still here working my way through my challenge, I just haven’t had as much time to blog as I would have liked. However I am super excited to share that I have finally found my cardio groove. Finally!

Not a Fan of Cardio

I absolutely detest cardio exercise. I DETEST it. All of those people who say things like “once you get into shape you will love it” are big fat liars. It doesn’t matter how much cardio I do, the more I do it the only thing that grows is my dislike for it. No perfect weather, pretty setting, favorite music track, or fun partner ever has or ever will change my mind. It is simple: I hate cardio. I hate the way it makes my throat feel, I have how boring it is, I hate how it makes my saliva thicken, I just really can’t stand it.  I think that is why I have done so well working out with Christie, her workouts are fun and normally involve resistance training or weights, both of which I love. However, as I got further into my journey it was time to face the facts: I needed some sort of cardio.

Finding the Love

spin bike

In a previous post I mentioned how my trainer at the gym told me that I would enjoy the stairmaster because I didn’t have to do it for long. So I gave that a try one week. And then I renamed that particular piece of equipment “the never-ending stairway to hell”. Anyone need any further explanation? One of my friends has been trying to get me to try spin class. I have heard of spin class before and stayed far, far away. It seemed to be just another form of cardio torture that I was going to hate. Finally I gave in and I was so nervous to try it, especially in a class. What happens if I can’t finish? Will I have to walk out in front of all those people? I also have done a few workouts on a bike in the cardio area and really hated those as well. But remember this is about pushing through the fear? So I went and I absolutely loved it. I am not really sure why, but I found the class challenging yet not monotonous. I was working out like crazy, but it felt completely different than running or the never-ending stairway.  My bum was a little sore the next day, but nothing terrible and by my third class there was no soreness at all. However, I don’t have much of a butt at all so that could be part of why I didn’t suffer any terrible soreness :)

Find What Works

One of the biggest lessons I have learned so far in this journey is that if you don’t like it you won’t do it. I don’t think that anyone starts out loving a workout but as you try more and more new things you beging to find what works for you. I know my brother and his wife love to run, they run all the time and find it not only relaxing and refreshing, but also a great way to spend time together. So incredibly NOT for me, but spin class is that for me. I leave spin feeling proud of the workout I accomplished, reenergized, and I also look forward to going each week. If I had to run a mile or do the never-ending stairway to hell multiple times a week I would be setting myself up for failure, but once you find that sweet spot cardio (or any type of exercise) will no longer feel like torture. Sometimes we need to do things we hate, but it is nice for regular workout routines to have something you love in the mix.  What exercise do you love to do?

BA3B Week 6: Progress and Giving up Carbs

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I was sore all week this past week, which makes for a really good week. And I am finally seeing some real progress besides just pounds lost. I haven’t stepped on a scale in about 3 weeks and am looking forward to a monthly weigh in next week, but I am seeing change all over which is really exciting!

Body Changes

This week I saw definition in my arms for the first time. It is faint, but absolutely there.

Nick mentioned this week I am getting a little bit of a butt, which is kinda funny but also progress. I have no butt, seriously even when I was overweight my butt was nonexistent. But all those glute exercises seem to be giving me a little lift.

Lastly, I am still noticing thinning around my hip areas. Pants that I bought just 2 months ago are getting big and pants that were just a little tight a few months ago, now fit with ease.

Ability Level Changes

When I started working out back in August I was so weak that I did most weight lifting exercises without weight. Yes that is right I went through the motions with NO weight. This week I made some major strides in this area. I curled 30 pounds with my biceps , did 25 pound rows, and most exciting did Russian Twists with my legs up in the air and not resting on the ground. Also, ever since we started during our ab workouts Christie brings out this little square with castor wheels attached. I am supposed to plank, put my feet up on the cart, and pull my legs in. I have never been able to do even one of these exercises. Normally I can’t even get my feet on the cart without falling on my face. This past week I did FIVE.

Giving Up the Carbs

No matter how hard I work I cannot get this little “pouch” (as I not so lovingly call it) to go away:

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So this week I finally committed to seriously cut back on carbs for a few weeks and see if I can get it to leave. or at least shrink. I haven’t had white flour or white rice in MONTHS but I still have been eating my homemade freshly milled whole wheat bread and potatoes. I am going to go two weeks and see what my “pouch” looks like at the end of those two weeks. I must confess I am still a little confused on what I should be eating. I know I need lots of protein and veggies, but beyond that it seems like there is a lot of conflicting information out there, so I thought I would do a little experiment with the carbs and see what happens.

BA3B: Week 5 Working Out is Like Cloth Diapers…

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Am I crazy? Ok maybe I am. But this week the thought above came to me and I promise by the time you finish reading this post it will all make sense. In them meantime make sure you don’t miss a post and sign up for these posts to come straight to your inbox under “Get Our Posts By Email” on the right hand side bar. If you are a blogger, I would love for you to grab my button and if you do let me know so I can return the favor and let other know about your journey! I missed last week’s update because I was still fighting off illness and there really wasn’t much to report, but I am happy to be back on track.

36 Weeks Left

Cloth Diapers

One of the services I offer is cloth diaper consulting. That may sound silly to some of you, but it is one of my most favorite things to do. If you know nothing about cloth diapers just for fun hop over to google and enter “cloth diapers” and see what comes up. It is just a tad bot overwhelming. The choices for cloth diapering are endless. After several years of owning a cloth diaper business that sold all different kinds of cloth diapers, I decided I wanted to stop feeling pressured by sales and really just commit to helping moms figure out which cloth diaper system is best for them. Since then I have had the opportunity to meet with so many moms both locally in person and in other states via skype. We spend a good 60-90 minutes talking through all the different options, their lifestyle, and then I even connect them with a retailer when they are ready to buy.  Every mom that comes to me is almost always overwhelmed by the thought of having to decide which diapers to use for their babies and I help them break it down and they leave our meeting feeling confident in where to go next. They also have me to call and email throughout the process as they get started, which proves to be very helpful to them.

I know this has nothing to do with working out, but this is my youngest in his cloth diaper at bed time tonight. How cute is he?

I know this has nothing to do with working out, but this is my youngest in his cloth diaper at bed time tonight. How cute is he?

 

The Gym is Like Diapers?

This week while giving up mid workout (I’ll explain in a minute) I realized that the overwhelming, deer-in-headlights look that moms come to me with is exactly how I felt at the gym. I walk into the gym and I feel overwhelmed at all the choices that I have no idea how to use. I look at pictures, read workouts, ask questions, and I still feel overwhelmed, lost, confused, and so incredibly frustrated. On my way home it helped me to realize this. I tell moms all the time there is a lot of information to digest and it just takes time. It was time for me to take some of my own advice.

This Week’s Exercise Journal

Monday- Back and Shoulders Session with Trainer

I was lifting about 30-35 pounds on each machine which was progress for me considering a few months ago I was do most exercises with no weights at all.

Tuesday -Core Class at the Gym and 20 Minutes on the StairMaster

Getting stronger in the core class as well. When I first started more than half the exercises I couldn’t complete all the reps and was unable to do any of the modifications. This week I was able to complete about 75% of the reps and even managed a few modifications. And the stairmaster oh the stairmaster. I was told by a trainer on Monday that if I hated cardio the stair master would be “fun” for me. Note to self: anytime a trainer uses the word “fun” in reference to any exercise assume the opposite. I have now renamed the stairmaster the “Evil Never-ending Stairway to Hell”. Enough said.

Wednesday- Legs with a Workout Buddy

I attacked the machines with the help of a friend and did well. In grade school I rode horse competitively and as a result ones I get those muscles working again they are quick to add strength. I did most machines right around 95 pounds, but I wasn’t sore the next day so the weight is on my list to ask a trainer about this week.

Thursday – Rest

Or work day actually. Thursdays are my Community Box Pick Up days, so I spend all day on my feet lifting boxes of organic produce and goods.

Friday – Epic Fail Arms Attempt

Friday I went in by myself to do arms. Everything about it was terrifying for me. I feel awkward by myself. I feel like everyone is staring at me. Obviously, logically I know that is not true. I have an all or nothing personality and I just want to be confident that I am doing it “right”. I tried the machines but couldn’t figure three of them out. And I just feel weird with the free weights and that area was full of men and I just couldn’t do it. After trying a few of the arm machines and thinking I wasn’t doing them right I just left. I went in my car and had a good cry on the way home. I want to be fit so much, but just really struggle with the confidence to do it. Hopefully a few more weeks of working through routines with my trainer at the gym and I will be able to push through these areas a little better.

Saturday – Core Class

This Saturday I did the strength training core class at the gym. I brought all my weights up to the next level and managed to complete everything except for a few of the shoulder exercises and boy was I sore this morning! This class is great for someone who struggles to workout without supervision.

This Week

I have a busy week coming up, but I have already scheduled all my workout for the week. I am excited to work out with Christie at Fitnix on Tuesday, I missed her last week. I have another session with the trainer at my gym and then I have another date with the Evil Never-Ending Stairway as well as plans to go to a a few classes.

I also plan to talk with both trainers about some of the questions I have to help me push through my anxiety of working out alone.

 

BA3B: Week 3 – Pushing Past Sickness

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Another week has come and gone in my challenge. Make sure you don’t miss a post and sign up for these posts to come straight to your inbox under “Get Our Posts By Email” on the right hand side bar. If you are a blogger, I would love for you to grab my button and if you do let me know so I can return the favor and let other know about your journey!

38 Weeks Left

The Sickness

Last Sunday night I started to feel a little tickle in my throat. By Monday it was a cold and then I woke up on Wednesday morning and I didn’t even want to swallow my saliva. Ick! Turns out I had a sinus infection/cold that in turn became tonsillitis. I wasn’t able to work out all week until today. The post nasal drip gave me a nasty cough and I wasn’t able to work out at all. I really wasn’t that miserable just really tired. I ate macaroni and cheese because it always makes me feel better and did a lot of sitting on the couch trying to rest.

I have to be honest: I was terrified of losing ground. Then on Friday I read a post on Facebook that said “Eating one bad meal won’t make you fat, any more than eating one good meal will make you skinny”. That brought me some peace and then when I woke up this morning and my nose was clear I was ready to get my workout on!

That Darn Fear

I hate working out in front of people, especially men and especially people I don’t know. After quiet time today we loaded the kids up in the car and headed to the park. I was excited to let the kids play while I did Christie’s Playground Workout and then to play with them afterwards. We pulled into the parking lot and it was PACKED.

This picture makes it look much less crowded than it was but I promise there were people everywhere! I had to switch benches three times because those crazy people kept sitting on my bench in between sets!

This picture makes it look much less crowded than it was but I promise there were people everywhere! I had to switch benches three times because those crazy people kept sitting on my bench in between sets!

I felt a little panicky. But after week of being laid up on the couch I knew it had to be done. So I grabbed my water bottle, told Nick to play with the kids while I did my workout and I would join him shortly. The first set was the hardest. People were looking that was for sure. At one point my baby wanted to be held so I did the bench step up with him in my arms. I just kept thinking: “They may think I look silly but I won’t feel silly in that bikini in December!”

Then the craziest thing happened: I went over to Nick and the kids to do my jumping pull-up on my third set and he told me to turn around. Three moms that were sitting on the bench next to the one I did my first set on were now doing the same thing!! Suddenly I didn’t feel so silly. I finished the workout, felt great and then went to play with my kids. My oldest even made it across the sliding monkey bars for the first time by himself. All in all, building a family tradition of loving the active life together is such an amazing experience. I am looking forward to spending many more days like this:

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BA3B Week 2: Pushing Past Fear

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I have had so many positive comments from this challenge I decided to make it a little easier for everyone to follow my progress. You can now grab my button to put on your blog (above) or on the right hand side under “Get Our Posts by Email” you can have them delivered straight to your inbox so you never miss a post! If you grab my button let me know, I would love to return the favor in an upcoming post! The button will bring you to a page that lists all the BA3B posts!

39 Weeks Left

This week was all about pushing past fear for me. I started the week really frustrated at a scale that wasn’t moving. I was working so hard at the gym 5-6 days a week, sore all the time, and the scale wouldn’t move. It quickly turned into an obsession with my weighing myself multiple times a day. Thankfully, I had my private session with Christie on Wednesday and she took my measurements again and we discovered I was changing, just in not my weight. I left my scale with her and haven’t been back on it since.

Since our meeting, Christie said she would like to see me focus more on weights and muscle growth and less on classes and cardio, which is where all the fear moved in for me.

The Fear

I am not a small woman and I don’t mean that in a fat/skinny way, but I am almost 6 feet tall and have always felt “big”. I remember I stopped being able to wear junior clothes in the 7th grade. I have a very curvy figure with very long legs that many would say is beautiful, but I have always felt uncomfortable with it. It made me awkward and lengthy in school and earned me the nickname “the jolly green giant” in grade school. There were several times growing up when I tried sports: gymnastics, basketball, dancing, soccer, and even running. But kids are mean and my height, freakishly long legs, and uncoordinated self made me an easy target for laughter. As a result I stayed as far away as possible from sports or anything athletic. I always loved horse back riding and was very good at it, but equestrian is a very expensive sport to play.

The idea of going to a gym picking up weights and working out was absolutely terrifying to me. Beyond terrifying. I pictured everyone else laughing at me and it just made me sick to my stomach. I also am a little bit of a perfectionist and I have only been doing this for a few months so I was also afraid of not doing the exercises correctly without Christie there helping me. I will say that I go to a really great gym. Most the time it is full of people of all ages from older teens to the elderly working out. There has never been anyone there that has made me feel uncomfortable this is just a “me” thing. It is hard to screw up or look silly on an elliptical and I always workout in the back of the classes so no one sees me. But walking over to the free weights just scared me. When I met with Christie this week I left armed with exercises for every area of my body, now all I needed to do was do it.

The Victory

The day after I worked out with Christie, Nick came home and asked me if I was going to the gym and I hesitated. He was surprised and asked me what was going on. I told him a little bit of what I was feeling and he said:

“Emily, I never in the decade that I have known you, seen you work so hard for something that wasn’t for me or the kids. I am so proud of you and honestly, a little surprised at how well you have done. So don’t stop now, just go get your gym clothes on and do it!” (Isn’t he a keeper?)

So I as I did this one of my close friends called and she could tell I was upset about something and offered to join me for the first time. I was SO HAPPY she would be there with me. She is one of the most confident women I know and I was so glad she was there to push me. So we went to the gym and we did an arm and shoulder workout together.

Was I still uncomfortable? Yes a little bit. Was it as bad as I thought it would be? No, not at all. Again for me, this isn’t just a diet, a fad, or a get skinny so I can look hot again (although that is a plus). This is about changing my life so that I can use my body to its greatest potential. And as much as I wish I had an endless amount of money to pay a trainer to work by my side for every workout, I don’t and I have to push past my insecurities and lies that I believe about myself and just do it.

The Goal

The short term goal was go back to the gym and do a few more workouts by myself  but… I got sick and am currently hanging out on the couch with my loves nursing a nasty cold.

The long term goal is to get to a place where going to the gym and getting strong doesn’t cause me to have a mild panic attack :)

I was reminded this week of something silly I hear in Christian circles all the time. You don’t go to church because you have faith, you go to church so your faith can be encouraged and grow. I think that is the perspective I want to have with the gym. I don’t go to the gym because I am strong (yet). I go to the gym to get strong.

Progress

This week while at my session with Christie I noticed definition in my arms for the very first time. I have always had scrawny arms with no bicep. No literally, it was nonexistent. I have had a bicep muscle I can feel for about 6-8 weeks now, but this week was the first time I actually SAW it. You may have to squint a little bit, but it is there I promise:

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BA3B: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, Week 1

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40 Weeks to Go

So technically I have been at this since last August, but I have a nice even 40 weeks until my birthday and it has been one week since I made it public knowledge that I was going for a bikini by my 30th Birthday in December. Officially this marks the end of week 1 of my BA3B Challenge. Come back every Sunday for a weekly update on my progress. I am working on getting a button together for the challenge so that will hopefully be ready in the next few weeks.

The Good

I am really loving going to the gym. Really loving it. I started out just working out one day a week, then moved it up to two days a week and then I jumped right into five days a week. I was afraid I would hate it, but I really love it. I am feeling my body change and am learning to push through. For the past two weeks I have worked out 5 days a week and last week I managed to work out six.

I also tried a yoga/pilates class nervously for the the first time this past week. I am tall, awkward, and anything but graceful. I expected to go into the class and feel like everyone was laughing at me. I ended up really enjoying the class and being surprised at the moves I could actually do, that I knew I couldn’t have done 3 months ago. Yea for getting stronger!

I also decided to train with a trainer at the gym on top of my training with Christie at FitNix. I have never been a member of a regular gym before (curves doesn’t count). I feel a little overwhelmed with all the equipment and met with one of the trainers there and surprisingly I really liked him. So now I will be meeting with Christie once a month and the trainer at my gym once a month to make sure I stay on track.

My underwear is bigger, yep that is right. My love handles are almost gone. I started out in a size XL panty, went down to a large, and about 2 weeks ago bought mediums, but they were a little snug. That is no longer the case. And I am pretty sure this is where I will stay. I am pretty sure no matter how small I get my 5’11 frame is not going to fit in small panties.

The Bad

I am not a fan of food tracking lately. I make everything from scratch. And I mean EVERYTHING (bread, dressings, etc). Putting every recipe into my app is a royal, time sucking pain in my shrinking behind. Seriously. It takes me 10 minutes to make lunch and an hour to input each thing in the app. And all this has to occur while my three children are asking me to get them more water, wipe their hands, etc. Ok, maybe it doesn’t take an hour but still it takes a lot of time that I do not like to give to it. But I need to do this, so I have to get better.

I didn’t want to work out for the first time. I know I said above that I love working out and I do. But this week I needed to get one more workout in and I just wasn’t feeling it. I was tired and I wanted to stay home and sit on the couch with Nick after the kids were in bed. But I pushed through and did 45 minutes of cardio instead. And then I got to sit on the couch with Nick, guilt free! So glad I pushed through.

The Ugly

The scale refuses to move. I am about ready to go nuts over my scale. It.will.not.move. And don’t give me the whole “muscle weighs more than fat” excuse. I still need to lose at least 10 more pounds before that comes into play. How is it possible that I am working out 5-6 days a week and the scale will.not.budge.? Christie has me trying a few things over the next few weeks, but in the meantime I really need to stop weighing myself twice a day because I just may go crazy. I think it is safe to say that I have hit my first official plateau.