Feb 28, 2014

The scale

This is a touchy subject, because I know a lot of women fight to get a lower number on the scale.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not happy with my number as it stands today.  But I AM happy, and grateful even, for the progress that I see my body make when I stay on point with my diet and exercise goals.  When I’m eating healthy, and working out regularly, I’m always amazed at the immediate changes I see.
The energy increases. 
The more defined muscles. 
The regular sleep patterns. 
The eliminated cravings for bad foods. 
And typically I also see a lower scale number….which seems to outshine (or overshadow on bad days) any other progress I might be making. 
I know I post stats a lot on this blog…weight, height, measurements, etc, and we use them as a gauge for progress, but it’s so important to look at those other things too.  Those “non scale victories” are just as important, if not MORE important than the number on the scale.
Here’s the reality of the situation.  I’m 5’-10” tall.  So is Adrianna Lima. 

She’s a supermodel with a small frame, and weighs in at 135 pounds.  She has a gorgeous body, but has a very different bone structure than I do.  I don’t think it’s realistic to think that I’ll ever weigh 135 pounds (in a healthy manner).
Molly Galbraith, creator of an amazing group called “Girls Gone Strong”, is also 5’-10” tall.  Shown here at her lowest weight (achieved for figured competition), she’s at around 155.
She’s actually blogged about how that wasn’t a maintainable weight for her with her body, and that she encountered all kinds of health ramifications by dropping that low.  (She jokes she’s not smiling in that picture for a reason).  She’s written more about how she’s more comfortable in the low 170s.
Same height.  WAY different numbers and goals.  Is one woman better than the other because of the scale number? Absolutely not.
I try to keep that in perspective when I start obsessing over the scale numbers.  Don’t compare your number to someone else’s.  Your body is totally unique, and while it may seem like common sense to find a friend or accountability partner who is the same weight as you or even the same height, every body is different.  Even my sisters and I, with the same parents, are built very differently, and I would never try to compare our body types.  My point is this: your body is uniquely yours.  You can and should fight to make it the healthiest, best version of YOU that you can.  But that number on the scale only defines your relationship with gravity, so don’t make it the only factor in your journey (I know, easier said than done, but it’s something I’m working on!).

Feb 24, 2014

21 Day Fix: What I'm eating

So I get a lot of questions about what my meals have looked like while on the 21 day fix.
This meal plan is really quite simple; there are 7 color coded containers, and based on your starting weight, you get a certain number of each color to eat throughout the day.
You don’t have to count your calories or worry about how the colors are paired together, and you don’t have any rules about eating them all at once versus 6 small meals a day, it’s whatever works for you.
Now, that being said, I find that the best way for me to feel satisfied throughout the day is to pair several colors together at once, and to eat every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism up, but that’s my preference, and what works for me may not work well for someone else.
You can follow me on IG for more pictures, but my meals most days look like this:
Meal 1: Shakeology – Usually chocolate or vanilla mixed with 1 cup cold coffee and ice in a blender.  I do prefer making Shakeology with almond milk, but the 21 day fix limits your intake from beverages with calories, and I’d rather use those calories for wine personally J
I had a Greenberry shake this weekend for a little variety.
Meal 2: Greek Yogurt (plain), fresh fruit, Kashi Go lean cereal (NOT Kashi Go Lean CRUNCH which has waay to much added sugar!)
Meal 3: Protein: (This week it’s grilled chicken, last week it was turkey muffins) Veggies (last week it was salad, but this week it’s green beans).  Last week I paired this with fruit as well (pineapple or apples) but this week I’m going to try adding a little cheese for some healthy fat and saving my fruit for an afternoon snack. (Actually I could still have a fruit here too...)
Meal 4: Hummus with baby carrots, grapes, sometimes I do apples with PB
 Meal 5: This is where it varies the most, but usually I have a protein like grilled chicken or lean ground turkey or beef plus some steamed veggies and a carb, like mashed potatoes, rice, sweet potatoes, etc.
(Seriously, look how much food that is!!!!)
We went out to dinner for the first time while on the Fix last Friday, I'd say it was a success :)
So if I eat that exact meal plan I’m actually missing a serving of fruit, and a carb serving, and a seeds/nuts serving, and a few teaspoons of healthy fats.  I usually make this up with dinner by cooking with a little oil, or by having an extra snack after dinner with some fruit and/or nuts, but honestly a lot of times I just skip them all together because I feel satisfied.  My point is: if you’re eating the RIGHT foods, you won’t be hungry!
There are definitely limitations on this plan, no question.  I’m not eating pizza, or ice cream, or girl scout cookies.  They’re not part of the plan.  I get a treat a few times a week that I usually use on wine or chocolate covered dried fruit (like raisins or pomegranates).
I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a few rough days in the beginning…day 4 in particular was tough for me when TOM showed up and I really wanted to chow down on some salty carbs and chocolate, but I managed to resist, and I feel so much better for it.
My energy levels are way up, I don’t feel bloated or sluggish like I was feeling, and I’m seeing great results already at only 10 days in.
Do I think this is a program I will follow forever? Honestly, not exactly.  I think the portion control containers are AMAZING and really help you keep your serving sizes in check.  I think I will still use them when I’m not with this 21 day plan.  Do I think it’s realistic to never eat pizza or ice cream again? Not for me, no.  But I think there’s ways to modify this program so that you keep those indulgences in check.  My goal is to get to a happy place where I can eat all things in moderation, and know my proper portion sizes without the containers, but also without binging.  I think it’s going to take more than 21 days to get me there, but I do think it’s something I can accomplish.

This is officially the last week that the 21 day fix is on sale (free shipping on the base program, awesome price and free shipping on the challenge pack), so if you are interested in ordering, feel free to shoot me any questions at babebeforebaby@gmail.com

Feb 21, 2014

Week 1 Recap - The Fix

Today is day 7 of the fix, and although I’m not officially through my first week until tomorrow, I wanted to give you a quick update on how it’s going.
First, let’s talk about the workouts, which are, in a word, amazing.  I don’t think I’ve been this sore since going to Bootcamp; this woman knows her stuff! The workouts are not complicated, and they’re not about speed or difficult footwork like some of the other programs I’ve done (TurboFire and T25).  The format of these workouts is actually VERY similar to what I used to do in Bootcamp, which I really liked: 4 rounds of exercise, each round has 2 moves.  You do the move for 1 minute, 20 seconds rest, then then next move for 1 minute, 20 seconds rest, and repeat.  She breaks down what to expect at the beginning of each workout, she spouts out motivation just at that second you’re about to give up, and she makes the workout go by pretty quickly all things considered.  Not to mention, looking at her amazing body in those booty shorts and exposed abs is pretty much enough to make you work harder to try and get a body like hers!

Now let’s talk about the nutrition.  I’ve been posting some of my meals on IG, so make sure you follow me there for more info, but the basic gist of the program is that there are 7 color coded containers, based on the major food groups, and you get a certain number of each container every day. 
That’s it.  The containers are used as portion control, so I’ve been using them like measuring cups and putting my food on regular dinner plates so I can try and re-train my brain to understand what proper portion sizes really do look like.  In some cases, I’m amazed at how much food I can eat.  In other cases, I’m surprised at how LITTLE I should be eating.  The containers are deceptive, and hold a lot more food than you would think, like a yellow container of Mashed Potatoes.  I thought I’d have a tiny serving, but it’s really quite generous.  In comparison, I can also have crackers (whole wheat) for a yellow container serving, but I only get 8 crackers as opposed to just filling up that yellow container.  I think I’ll skip the crackers next week. 
So part of this process is learning how to volumize the foods you CAN eat…we all know that if you eat super healthy food, you can actually eat way more than if you were eating a burger and fries, so it’s really about being smarter with your choices too.  At the end of this week, I can say that I do feel leaner, my stomach is less bloated, I feel more energized, and my cravings for sugary foods have subsided.  I had some issues with headaches earlier in the week, but I’m pretty sure that was the sugar detoxing my body since I’ve been eating so crappy for so long now!
I have to say, it feels good to be back! I’m really loving this program so far, and I can’t wait to weigh in at the end of my 21 days and see how much progress I’ve made!

Feb 17, 2014


Happy Monday!
If you follow me on IG you know a few things happened this weekend.
1)      On Friday (Valentine’s Day), GSN re-aired my husband and I’s episode of the Newlywed Game! How fun, right? I’m a little honored that we were one of the episodes chosen to air on such a special date J
2)      On Saturday, I started the 21 day fix.
These things are more tied to each other than you realize.
Let’s start with Friday, when I watched myself on TV…the episode originally aired January of 2013, but we filmed it in August 2012.  That date was my official “AHA” moment.  We took a picture with Sherry Shepard which was emailed to us the next day.
I remember seeing the picture and being MORTIFIED. 
Holy crap.
Did I really look that awful?
Was it just the lighting?
Bad camera angle?
I was looking for all kinds of excuses that would explain away how terrible I looked in that picture. 
It was that day that I took a long hard look in the mirror, and I realized that it wasn’t the lighting.  It wasn’t the camera.  It was me.
I was uncomfortable in my own skin. 
I remember crying trying to find an outfit that I thought flattered me enough to wear on national TV.  I thought I chose wisely, but when I re-watch the show, I can see how the buttons were pulling, how my bare arms were wiggling, and how much I looked like I wanted to crawl out of my own skin because I just didn’t have any self-confidence.  It was that day that I decided to make a change.
I decided I’d had enough of this yo-yo dieting.  This lose a few pounds, gain it all back plus some.  This half-assed effort to just diet until I got to a more comfortable weight then reverting back to my old ways.
It was time to make a change, and it had to be a lifestyle change, not just a temporary fix.  This time I knew it was going to be different. 
I started this blog a few short days later.
I realized watching that episode last Friday, that I was slowly letting my old ways creep back in.  I was being lazy about my diet and exercise.  I was letting the old me settle in.  I have gained some weight over the past few months, I’ve made no secret about that.  The holidays were tough for me, and my work schedule in January was the nail in my coffin.  But as I watched that episode, I knew I had the power to change.  It gave me some perspective: I’ve come so far, and there is NO WAY I’m EVER going back to where I was that day.  I never want to feel like that again.  I had already planned on starting the 21 day fix on Saturday morning, but watching myself on national TV Friday night was all the motivation I needed to kick my butt into high gear.  It’s time to get serious again.  Time to let those healthy habits I had created make their way back in.  Time to reign in my diet.  Time to step on the scale again and face the music.  Time to do work.
I weighed in on Saturday and took my starting measurements and “Before” photos.

I’m excited to share my progress with you, but I’m going to wait for the big reveal at the end of these 21 days.  I can tell you that so far, on my 3rd day of this program, I’m really loving it.  The workouts are challenging but very simple moves; if you’re a fan of Jillian Michaels style workouts where it’s not about complicated choreography or speed, it’s about proper form and powerful reps, then you’ll love this workout program.  Seriously, Autumn is like everything I WANTED to like about Jillian, plus a million times better.  I have an issue with JM workouts…I find her very annoying, I find her workouts tedious and boring, and I feel like she’s berating me.  Autumn is the exact opposite.  She encourages you, she pushes you, and she makes the time fly by, and I can tell you that I’m so sore today I can barely walk!  Plus, with 7 different workouts, I won’t repeat any of them until next week when I start the second week of the program, so the variety is really nice to have something new every day.
If you don’t follow me on IG already, please do..I’m sharing a lot of my 21 day journey there, so if you’re interested in seeing my meals, food prep, workouts, etc, make sure you’re following me, there’s fun little button in the sidebar on the right that will link you right to my page.
Feel free to email me or leave me a comment if you want to know more about the Fix, and I'd love to hear about your own "AHA" moment!

Feb 13, 2014

Snow day and plans

Snow day!

I'm working from home today (which as you might imagine is a bit hard...there's too many distractions here!)
I'm doing my best to be productive, but in the meantime, I wanted to tell you about my plans for the next few weeks.
If you follow me on IG, you know that my 21 Day Fix program arrived in the mail earlier this week.  I've been doing a lot of research, reading the book cover to cover, going on message boards, watching live chats, calling in to Q and A sessions, all to make sure I've got this program figured out! (It's not that complicated, but you know me...I need to do my research!!)  I want to make sure I really give it a fair shake and don't half a$$ anything during the 21 day program, because I really want to see some serious results...I know a few coaches that were part of the test group last fall, and their results were killer!

I went grocery shopping last night, so I think I've got the food I need to get me started, and I'll be doing some prep work this weekend to keep me going through the work week.  All that being said, I'll most likely be starting the program on Saturday, when I'm home for the day and can make sure I have the portion control containers and my kitchen at my disposal for the first few days while I get the hang of things.  I don't think this program is complicated at all, but it's a change from what I'm used to, so I want to make sure I'm leaving myself some leeway so I'm not stuck and work with not enough food or snacks that I shouldn't be eating!
I'm really excited to share my 21 day journey with you; I'm going to be very honest, as I always have been with my experiences, so hopefully you'll get a real look at what this program is all about!

Feb 10, 2014

Manic Monday and 21 Day Fix Update

Another week has come and gone and I’m sad to say I’ve made no significant progress in getting my derailed health and fitness train back on track.
My eating has to improve, like now.
As I type this, I’m in a semi-comatose state, thanks to a dose of Nyquil last night that hasn’t quite worn off.  Here’s my issue: between battling the fatigue brought on by a full month of ridiculous stress and long hours at work, and pile on a head cold that just keeps getting worse, and I barely have the energy to shower, let alone work out or cook myself something healthy to eat.
I am proud of myself for getting on the treadmill for a  workout both Friday and Saturday, but I think I used up all my allotted energy for the week with those, and I’m running on empty again and ready to go back to bed L
I am very VERY excited for my 21 day fix program to arrive this week, but until it gets here, I need to figure out some easy weeknight dinners that don’t require a lot of effort on my part but are still healthy for me and my husband.
I have a few go-to staples, but if you have any recipes you’d like to share, I’m all ears!
In other news, 21 day fix update:
The response to this program has been OVERWHELMING.  Unbelievably overwhelming! This is the biggest product launch Beachbody has ever seen, bigger than even T25 which was their biggest launch until this point.
The downside to this popularity is that the program is now officially on backorder until late March…with one BIG exception.
If you’ve ever considered becoming a team Beachbody coach like me, even if it’s only for the 20% discount you get on your orders, or you've always been interested in helping others reach their health and fitness goals, then now is the perfect time to do it, because the ONLY availability for the 21 day fix at this time is for those signing up as a new coach with a 21 day fix challenge pack. 

All other orders, including the base kit and challenge pack for non-coaches, must be pre-ordered through a team Beachbody coach page.  You can’t get this program any other way right now; not on amazon, not through an infomercial, not on the main Beachbody site, only through a coach.  All orders for this program will be filled in the order they were received, so the sooner you place your pre-order, the sooner you’ll get the program! And no, you won’t be charged a cent until your order is shipped, so I would plan ahead if I were you and wanted to be the first to get it in March when it’s restocked!  Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions or are interested in the coaching opportunity! babebeforebaby@gmail.com

Feb 6, 2014

Random Thoughts of the Day

This week has been a struggle for me to get back on track.  Honestly I’m so damn tired still from the craziness of January, that it was really hard for me to just jump back in…morning workouts have been non-existent, but I did shovel through 2 different snow storms this week, so that counts for something, right?
I have my 21-day fix program arriving early next week, and since I know that’s coming, I’m having a hard time starting anything else, which I know is an awful mindset to have (well, I’ll just slack off until my new program arrives…)
I think I do so well with these different Beachbody programs in general because there’s a set schedule; I don’t have to think about it, I just look at the calendar they provide and do what I’m told.
When I’m left to my own devices, I have a hard time deciding what I want to do, and therefore I usually end up doing nothing.
Last night, my younger sister asked me to run a 5k with her…but not just any 5k, the Boston Strong 5k which will be 2 days before the Boston Marathon, and will cross the same finish line as the marathoners do days later.  What an incredible experience.  I’m so proud of my sister for starting back at running, and although she’s not sure she will be able to run the whole thing, this is such a personal run for her since she personally treated some of the wounded after the attacks last year as a nurse at Boston Children’s ICU.
I haven’t really run much at all these past few months, so this will be incentive for me to get back on track.  I want to try and do a St. Patrick’s day 5k as well, which is really only about a month away, and I’d like to work on my speed for this one…I was so close to breaking the 30 minute mark in my 5k time last year but never saw it come to fruition because I ended up running my last few 5ks of the year with friends and family whom I didn’t want to leave behind because I promised to run with them.
I’m really needing a plan to get me through this weekend, so I’m promising to run and/or walk every day this weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).  Hold me to it!
Total side note: if you're still interested in the 21-day fix and getting in my accountability group which starts March 3rd, shoot me an email at babebeforebaby@gmail.com.  The program was so popular that there is now limited availablity if you want to get it in time for the start of this group, so let me know asap if you want more info!

Feb 4, 2014

21 Day Fix. Why didn't someone think of this sooner?

I’ve made no secret about how much I’ve struggled these past few months.
I’m human.  I fall.  The important thing here is that I’m not going to stay down.  I won’t let myself.  That’s the difference between falling and failing.  Don’t give up.  Fight your way back.  Put the work in.
And that’s exactly what I intend to do.
It’s for this reason, that I couldn’t be more excited about the new product launch by Beachbody yesterday.

The 21 day Fix is different than any other program they’ve done before…why? Because it’s the first time that they’ve fully integrated a nutritional program in with the workouts.  This is key for me…you’ve probably realized by now that I’ve pretty much got the exercise thing down, but when it comes to the food I shove in my mouth, I really struggle here.
This program not only comes with a nutritional plan, but also with 7 portion control containers that are color-coded to simplify the process.  Nothing is off limits.  No counting.  No deprivation.  It’s so simple I don’t know why someone hasn’t thought of it before: if it fits in the container, you can eat it! I can still have chocolate and wine, and lose weight?? Count me in!
In addition to the nutritional component, you get 7 different 30 minute workouts…you know how much I love T25 because of the short workouts, so this is another key component that I thought was perfect for me.

I’m actually really excited that this program is so short too…it’s only 21 days, so it will give me results a lot sooner than some of the longer 60 or 90 day programs, which is exactly what I need to get myself back on track!
I’ll be hosting a private support group for anyone who’s interested in purchasing through me, starting either the end of Feb/first Monday in March to give people time to account for shipping....I think this is the best pricing Beachbody has ever offered on any program, so this is really a great program for everyone!
I've seen some incredible results with this program..I actually follow a few of the coaches that were part of the test group, and all I can say is WOWZA!

I love the thought that I could lose 15 pounds in 21 days…goodbye holiday and deadline weight gain!!

!If you have questions or want more info, please don’t hesitate to email me at babebeforebaby@gmail.com

Feb 3, 2014

The month from hell

Oh where to begin?
January was NOT a good month for me, all around.
I know I’ve alluded to crazy work stuff both here and on IG, but my month was literally just overwhelming.
I had a crazy deadline at work on January 31st, and because everyone basically took 2 weeks off over the holidays, the remaining time left to do the work was just not enough.  Enter Saturdays, Sundays, and ridiculously late nights.

Last Thursday, I went in at 8am and didn’t leave the office until Friday morning at 6:30am, when I went home to take a quick shower and a 30 minute nap, and head right back into the office, where I worked until about 9pm to finish out the deadline. 
Exhausting right?
Well throw in the mix the stomach bug I got in the middle of this, plus issues with Crohn’s flare ups (highly affected by stress, mind you), and oh yeah, did I mention I got a flat tire and my catalytic converter in my car is shot?  Yup, my 7 year old, 98k car is kicking the bucket a bit too prematurely, and I honestly don’t have the money to buy a new car right now so I’m praying I can make it last at least a few more months, but we’ll see (insert more stress here).  As if that weren’t enough, we looked at our taxes and it looks like we’re going to have to write a check to the government this year (who has money for that!?!?!) ARGH!

So…to say that these events have affected my health and fitness goals would likely be the understatement of the year.  The problem with me and stress is that I’m definitely an emotional eater; salad just doesn’t cut it for me when I’ve been working 12 hour days all month, and 14+ hour days for the last week.  Then the office starts buying food to compensate.  Muffins.  Donuts.  Bagels.  Pizza.  Chinese food.  (Do you see a trend here?)  I didn’t have the energy to exercise after about 2 weeks into this craziness, so pair my inactivity, sitting on my butt for literally the entire day, and nothing but donuts and pizza, and you can guess where this is going. 
The only reason I lost any weight at all in the month of January was because I got a stomach bug, but I promptly gained that all back plus some once I started eating normally again.
I am not looking forward to stepping on the scale.  I know my body is bigger and flabbier than I started January with, even though I don’t know the number, I know already it will be bad.  This week I’m really going to focus on getting back to my routine; catching up on some much needed sleep, drinking Shakeology daily, getting in at least 100oz of water, and counting my calories.  I am going to try to get back to a morning workout routine again too, but honestly it was just too much this morning.
I am ready to make February a better month than January was, no question.  My sleep patterns are still way off, and really I’m just exhausted still, so it’s hard to project when I’ll feel like myself again, but I do think that getting my diet in check will go a long way with that (the late night last night with the Superbowl didn’t help things there!)  I’ll be starting a new program in a few weeks that Beachbody is releasing TODAY (EEK, so excited!!!)…but I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow!
So..in short, I’m sorry for my absence last month, I’m really hoping I can do much better in February!

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