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.