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Strong like a Mother

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And just like that, It's summer,

When I was in the hospital to have my oldest, the nurse told me "the days are long, but the years are short." I wasn't fond of this kind of advice at the time, given I was about to have my first baby, but it is so true. The clock seems to go backwards most days, but then all of a sudden, we're halfway through June and summer seems to already be almost over.

This summer we have a summer bucket list so we don't let summer just slip by. So far nothing has been accomplished and I can almost guarantee August will be very busy trying to make sure everything gets crossed off.

It's been a little while friends. Winter was long, and hard

There's this thing that happens after you go through body back, someone usually gets pregnant. I can see how it happens, you have more energy, you're feeling good, lookin' good, and then comes baby. Well, after I completed body back, I got pregnant! I was thrilled, we were thrilled. After having an early miscarriage over the summer this baby was an answer to hopes and prayers.

Naturally I was a bit nervous, but after a 9 week appointment and hearing that beautiful reassurance of a heartbeat, I calmed down. I put myself into some maternity jeans and we told family, told the kids, and started picturing life with 4 kids. 4 car seats, 4 little faces, 4 kids at the table.

When I went in at 14 weeks I brought all the kids thinking how cool it would be to hear the babies heartbeat. I knew after the first few seconds of searching with the doppler that something was wrong. After that didn't work and looking on the ultrasound it was confirmed that the baby no longer had a heartbeat. At 13 weeks the baby stopped growing.

That timeline was so hard. Wondering if it was something I did. Did I drink too much coffee? Carry something too heavy? Forget to take my vitamins? Searching through the last week for something I had done to cause this. I wanted something, someone to blame hoping it would ease the sadness. The deep sense of loss and sadness. Obviously nothing would ease it and there wasn't anything or anyone to blame.

There were many days of deep sadness, scary sadness, numb sadness. The only thing that helped was knowing I wasn't alone. Hearing from women who have gone through the same scenario, coming along side me in the sadness and saying, "I know it hurts, I know it's painful, it's okay to be mad, you'll make it."

I think that is so true of motherhood in general. It is the most joyful and isolating experience. It's so important to know you're not alone. You're kid never sleeps, you're not alone. Some days you lock yourself in the bathroom to avoid screaming at your kid, you're not alone. Sometimes you scream at your kid, you're not alone. Feeling sad, you're not alone. You are not alone! It not only takes a village to raise a kid, it takes a village to raise a mom.

I can not say enough good things about this group, these classes. Can't make it to class, make it to a moms night, or a play date. Reach out, someone will be there.

I haven't been to classes in a while, but these woman, this village that I have, saw me through a really hard time. These woman that I met when I had 3 kids under 3 and didn't know what day or time it was, grieved with me and were there for me, checking on me and seeing me to sunny days. And reminding me that I'm not alone.

So spring is here. The sun is shining and everything is coming back to life.

Happy New Year!!! We made it. I personally am a huge fan of the New Year. And Mondays and the beginning of the month, I love it all. I love a fresh start. A time to let go and start over and do better and change things that you're not so crazy about. The New Year is so hopeful.

I don't make resolutions, just goals. It seems the theme this year from what I'm seeing from a lot of people is to get organized, live simply, be more present, eat clean, take time for self care, let go of guilt. Those line up with mine as well. Organizing and living simply is so high on my list. I've already bought 3 planners in an effort to be more organized. Not on purpose, I just forgot I had already bought them, sooo that's going well.

With three crazy kids who don't listen and hate picking up, our house is nuts. It's so hard to stay on top of things. The laundry, the toys, the dishes, on top of trying to do activities and play with the kids and take a shower, it seems impossible and completely overwhelming. It's so easy to fall into the mindset of how do other moms do this? Why do their houses look perfect on instagram and I can't post my photo because then they'll know I haven't vacuumed in days? It's really hard and time for me to take control of it.

I've decided to be pretty cut throat. Everything must go, nothing is safe. Kid crafts, cute, but garbage. Clothes from ten years ago that I just assumed will fit again one day, get real Lydia, not gonna happen, garbage. Everything, garbage!

Self care is so important too. After being a mom for the last 5 years and I'm pretty sure this is a life time gig, I've stopped doing things I love like showering, and changing my clothes daily, along with reading and writing and visiting with other adults. This is something I need to do, carve out time to do and not feel guilty about it.

How exciting to have a New Year to start fresh and do better, They, whoever they are, say "When you know better you do better." I know better now. I know the house is too stressful to keep doing it the way I've been doing it, I know that not taking time to still feel like Lydia is not making me a better mom, just the opposite, So here's to doing better in 2018! You've got it mama's! Let's do better together.

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It's been a week since the end of Body Back. And then it was Thanksgiving and then everyone got sick, obviously. It wouldn't be the holiday's or winter if everyone wasn't sick and just passing it back and forth. I think we're on the other side, for at least 5 minutes.

Let's get right in to it. First I'm going to talk about everything I gained during this transformation. I wanted so badly to focus on gaining physical strength and confidence during this process. I obviously wanted to lose some weight and inches, but above all I wanted to gain strength. And I did!! I was able to cut my run time down by a minute, I added two and a half minutes to my plank time, and I increased my bicep curls, squats, situps, and pushups.

When we started the class, Lindsay said to focus on the bottom part of the sheet, which was the physical part, not the weight and measurements, but our strength. She said, "that's what you want to see change." It's true. I so badly wanted to see that change. I pushed myself and wanted the change so much. I would have been more disappointed in myself had there not been a lot of change in that section.

Now we can talk about the loss. I was able to lose 8.8 lbs and 7.5 inches overall. It also feels good. I try not to be disappointed that it was only 8 lbs. The brain is a tricky place to be that I can talk myself into 8 lbs not being enough of a weight loss. It is though. It was 8 lbs lost from hard work and discipline and the encouragement of everyone.

The best part of all of this was doing it with this group of woman. All of us were there for a different reason, all of us wanted to get something out of this class, all of us wanted to put ourselves first for an hour and take care of us. To see the things that they gained gave me goosebumps. Increasing weight when lifting, ending with a five minute plank, losing 12 inches, setting goals and crushing them. Each of us went into this with something to prove, not to each other, but to ourselves. Fitness isn't about being better than anyone else, it's about being better than you were. That's what makes this program a success, the weight loss, yes, but most importantly, the strength gained.

I know I've said it a lot of times, but you don't want to pass up doing this! It happens again in January and you'll want to be in that class. It will be a great way to start the New Year and make self care and improvement your resolution. There is more to be gained than lost doing Body Back.

Food is also something that goes hand in hand with this program which I probably haven't talked much about. It does change the way you look at food and the choices you're making. It isn't about depriving yourself, or even "treating" yourself. It's about balance and making smart choices. Once you start to see your body change, and the realization that what you put in fuels you and your workouts, it becomes easier to make those smart choices.And then it's thanksgiving and pumpkin pie is served and you realize you're weak and want nothing more than to eat the entire thing, but I digress.

So do it ladies! Step out of your comfort zone and put yourself first!! You are so much stronger than you think.

Can I get some virtual high fives because all 3 kids are sleeping!!! I didn't even have to give them Benadryl. It won't last forever because they're sick, but I'm enjoying it while it does.

Guys, Body Back is almost over. I'm excited to have my nights/mornings back, but I'm also really going to miss it so much. My body craves the exercise and I crave the time away doing something for me.

Last night we had our "last" workout. Saturday is assessment day, so to not consider that a workout is silly because it's challenging, but it's not a structured workout we've been doing. I'm happy to say the last few workouts have been my best. I can say I've given it everything I had and it felt so good. One thing Tracy said last week was to pretend our kids were watching and to show them you can do anything you put your mind to. I don't know why that struck such a cord, but it did. I tell my kids all the time to never give up. It was a good reminder from Tracy to actually practice what I preach.

She also said a lot to "fight to finish." Also a great motivator. The time is almost up for the class and I want to be successful. I want to have inches and pounds lost. I want to be able to say that I gave it all I had.

More than pounds and inches though, I'm so proud of the physical accomplishments I've had, The running, the weight lifting, the planking, it's all getting easier. That of course means I have to push myself harder. Like Tracy said too, "we've come too far to just come this far." I tell her she should write a motivational quote book, she's got all the good ones! The transformation doesn't end here. I don't reach the end of the eight weeks and then go back to old ways. I do have a different mindset on exercise and food. It's important to make sure I'm taking care of me and my health and showing my kids this example. I don't want my kids to see healthy eating and exercise as a form of punishment, but as something beneficial that's enjoyable.

I'm so excited for Saturday. I'm excited to see the change in my body and the strength it's gained. I'll obviously report back and learn how to post pictures so you can see. But seriously, if you're even kind of considering doing this, just do it!! You're stronger than your excuses and so capable. You will not regret it. You'll have amazing support from instructors who are there for you, incredible workouts, and a great group of ladies who are on the same journey. I can't say enough good things about this program.

Can't wait to share my results! And nap time is over.

I'm a little behind, on everything, story of my life. It's been a rough few weeks around here. Can we all agree that being a mom is sometimes kind of a brutal job? Lately I feel like all I'm doing is correcting behavior, scolding behavior, loosing my temper about behavior I've already corrected and scolded, and repeat. I find myself researching parenting books that will make me a more patient mom, and then praying my kids never remember this and only the fun mom that goes to the zoo and park and chases and lets them eat popcorn in my bed.

So basically everything is suffering, My house is a mess, I'm crabby, it's cold, and there's Halloween candy taunting me from the basement freezer.

We've completed week 5 and 6, and now in the home stretch. I can see myself "sleeping in" on a Saturday again. The classes have been particularly difficult the last few weeks. A lot of focus on cardio and then a switch to intense strength training. I've had to really focus on why I'm there otherwise it would be easy for me to skip the classes.

Last week I was able to run a mile without stopping. I can honestly say I've never done that. I started off just thinking I'd do my usual 3 minute run 1 minute walk, but after 3 minutes I felt fine so I thought i'd go 5 minutes, then I was still fine. I tried a half mile and was still feeling good so I pushed it to a mile and was able to do it and even a little past. It felt amazing! I was so excited to see that all the hard work was working.

I love instant gratification so at times this process can be frustrating because I just want to be a success. I want to lift 10 lbs for an hour and then have amazing biceps at the end of the night. I want to do the tricep dips and then have my arm flaps magically disappear. I want to eat the salad and fit into my size 6 jeans immediately following. It's the same with the kids, I want to tell them to stop licking me and then never have to tell them again, or to not run in the parking lot and then never have to chase them screaming "you could die" ever again.

I've had to constantly remind myself that all of this is a journey. There is no one that is at their physical peak of health and vitality and doesn't have to work at it everyday. Same with parenting, it is constant work. All of it though, is so much better when done with a village, The encouragement from the women in class both with the workouts and the solidarity of motherhood is actually my favorite part of all this.

So on we go, telling myself I am so much stronger than I give myself credit for. I'm not referring to the workouts or parenting actually, I'm referring to the gallon size bag of butterfingers in the freezer that I WILL NOT EAT!

We're halfway done!!! It feels good. The week started great, then Wednesday we did our 100's class. If you think that sounds terrifying, you're right, it is. It's 100 reps of pretty much every muscle. Squats, lunges, push ups, sit ups, biceps, triceps, back, shoulder, and calves. It was pretty brutal, in the best way.

We knew this class was coming up, so it was mostly just trying to psych yourself out for it, And mentally prepare for the days of soreness to follow. 100 feels like such an unattainable number, like there's absolutely no way I can do that much of anything. AND THEN YOU DO!! And it feels amazing, and once again you're reminded of how much you're capable of.

I was pretty certain most of the class I wouldn't get through the whole workout. Since we were moving at our own pace and counting on our own, and once again I was pretty slow, I started to feel like I couldn't do it. Then I realized this was my workout, the only one I would be cheating out of a great workout was myself if I decided to cut corners. I just did it then, at my own pace, and I finished, I did 100 of every workout and finished. It felt so good!

Saturday was the half way mark when they did weigh in and measurements. I missed the class because my daughter turned 5 ::insert ugly cry:: and I couldn't miss the morning with her. It was a good day and I didn't eat any body back approved food, whoops.

What are you supposed to do when your daughter requests Portillo's and their chocolate cake?? I ate some, tried to be conservative with my portions, and tell myself I wasn't a failure. This is just one meal and doesn't take away any success and doesn't mean I won't be back on track for dinner and the days following. And I was. I don't want my kids to see me thinking food is the enemy, or always eating a salad, or saying things like "I can't eat that." This transformation is also about creating a healthy relationship with food. I'm always learning.

My home workouts have been better. I've used the videos we get, but also fitness blender on youtube. It's free and you can get any workout. My daughter and I did kickboxing this week and it was so fun. She just did it because she thought she was learning to fight, but I loved doing it with her and hopefully setting a good example.

I feel the pressure at halfway to really finish with great results. I'm feeling really good, and healthy choices are starting to be habit. I have a million excuses as to why I can't finish strong and get my workouts in, but I'm stronger than my excuses. I have my goals written down and I have that pair of jeans I want to put on with out laying down to zip up so here we go!

Goals this week:

get 6 workouts in, meal plan more efficiently, and kick ass

Week 3 is done and done. It was a good week. Saturday was a good workout, as they all are, but felt kind of long and I was in my head a little with some negativity. Wednesday though I felt like I had done a really good job. It was a circuit workout which I love! I love when the workouts go really quick that you don't even realize how hard you worked until you're done. I was super sore most of the week which really feels awesome. We're starting the four week mark which means we're halfway through.

Halfway we're doing weigh in and measurements again to see our progress. I'm on the fence about how I feel about this. We're not supposed to weigh ourselves during the program and I've done a really good job with this. I don't know about you guys, but I have a problem with weighing myself. Meaning, I do it too much. I'd weigh myself in the morning, usually at nap time when I'd lay the kids down, and again before bed. I'd let the number I saw dictate how I felt about myself at that given moment and even how I felt about food that day. It would usually put me in a bad mood and create a negative attitude. It didn't matter if I started the day feeling good about myself, but if the number was higher than I wanted, then I'd feel bad in my clothes, I'd have lots of negative thoughts about myself, and I'd feel pretty insecure most of the day. This is not healthy.

I have two daughters and I want so badly for them to see a secure and confident mom. That's what this transformation is about for me. It would be a lie if I said it wasn't all about the number, because it is a little, but I don't want that to be the only goal. At this halfway mark I'm trying to reevaluate my goals and make sure I'm on track and know what I'm working for.

I've had 3 babies in 4 years and suffered a miscarriage over the summer. My body has been put through the ringer and is unrecognizable to me. My goals are to not get my body back, but to get the best version of my body now. I want a body that can keep up with my kids at the park, that can pace the kitchen floor all night long with a newborn, that can chase my kids around the house, strong arms that can play baseball with my son, strong legs to play soccer with my daughter, energy to chase my toddler up the stairs and down again. A body that I feel beautiful in when I go out for date nights with my main squeeze. I'm trying to focus on these things and not what the scale says about my body.

I'm feeling really good about my progress so far, I'm noticing weight loss in my face, shirts fitting differently, and pants getting loose. I know that I can amp up my at home workouts which is my goal for this week. I've been trying to get them in, but the intensity isn't as strong as when I'm at class and I'm usually interrupted by someone dying of thirst or starving or needing me to braid barbies hair. Food is also going well. Still lots of eggs and veggies and really trying to keep on track with my water intake.

Looking forward to reaching the halfway mark and finishing stronger than I started.

Week two is done. Classes are getting progressively harder, obviously. The whole point is to build strength and burn calories so it makes sense, but it's still a little surprising, like not being able to breath most of the class, or feeling like your arms will never work the right way again. I had to take a few more breaks which is frustrating, but the point is to build strength, I wouldn't be in the class if I already was the strongest person ever.

As the class goes on insecurities start to come to the surface a bit. I'm not fast, running is difficult, I'm always the last one at everything. It's fine, no one else seems to care, but I do. I start getting very comparative and that's not good. I never win in that situation. It just creates a lot of self doubt and negative thoughts that I don't have any time for. We're all there to better ourselves so who really cares if I'm 10 seconds slower?

This week I've found the hardest part of Body Back is actually getting to class. There's so much on the plate of a mom that at the end or beginning of the day it just seems like too much to get there. Plus my husband was suffering from a man cold ::insert eye roll:: and while he would never say please don't go, I could see the pleading in his eyes as I left him alone with 3 demanding children. I felt guilty the whole time. And my daughter begs me to skip every time and I feel guilt. There's laundry and dishes to be done and I feel guilt. I could go on and on, but you get it. Mom guilt is the real deal and when I'm doing something for me, it's even worse. Even though I know that I need to make time for myself, and this makes me a better wife and mom, and I should never have to apologize for doing something good for my health it still feels like a luxury and I should be home.

This transformation is not just a physical one, it's also emotional and mental. It's about focusing on me, on us as moms for one hour and letting go of the guilt and demands that are on us 24/7. At the end of the class we meditate for a few minutes. Best few minutes of the class, mostly because we're laying down, but also because it's a few moments to tell yourself you did good, you showed up and you worked hard, everyone and everything at home survived and you will too.

Food went better this week. Trying to make little changes that make a big difference. Some of my favorites were a tuna melt. The leftover tuna I ate the next day in a bell pepper. So good and skipping the bread is always a good choice. Eggs, lots of eggs, hard boiled and deviled made with greek yogurt. Chicken sausage with sweet potato and apples, all cut to the same size and sauteed, really good and easy. Leftovers are delicious the next day with a fried egg. Snacks were lots of veggies, carrots, bell peppers, string cheese, and apple with peanut butter.

You've got this mamma's, we all do.

Week one is done and behind me! It wasn't a bad week, but it wasn't a great week.

Saturday was assessment day, the day of reckoning. First measurements are taken. Awesome, and by that I mean, not awesome. Then the weigh in. Had it not been in the park I would have requested to strip down completely naked to get the most accurate reading. I tried to convince myself that 7 of those pounds were my compression leggings. I mean, it must be a pretty heavy duty fabric to compress all that I need compressing so therefore it could be an extra 7 pounds. The numbers are hard to see. As much as I'd like to say it's not about the number, it's still unpleasant to see numbers that are a lot bigger than anticipated. To come to the realization that I haven't been taking good care of myself is hard.

After the weight in/measuring, is the physical assessment. This is difficult too, but also a little fun, It's hard to run. I'm not a fast runner and I'm not a good runner. The running portion makes me feel the most out of shape because it is a struggle. It will be good to see this become a little easier over the next 7 weeks. Everything else is okay, except for the sit up portion. It looks and sounds so easy, until you you try one and realize you've had 3 kids and you might as well just quite now because a sit up just will not happen.

Wednesday was the first official class. It was exciting and nerve racking. It was filled with so many squats and planks I was afraid I would never move again. Also a lot of jumping, which is fine, but in a class full of moms, a friendly reminder to wear your poise pad would be nice. I was pleasantly surprised at my own determination to try to make it through the entire minute of every workout. There were times I paused because I felt so shaky, but I got right back into it and finished, Tracy kept saying, "show me how bad you want this." And I do. I want the physical change so bad. I want to feel and be strong in my own skin.

I missed the class this Saturday, but I did run a 5K. I know, I said running is difficult, and it is, but I never would have had the courage or confidence to do a race if not for this group of ladies.

The meal plan portion of the week was not as successful as I wanted. We did some traveling so car snacks and vacation food are hard. I tried to focus on my portion and make smarter choices. Also tried to drink more water and use apples to fulfill a sweet craving. Trying really hard this program to kick the diet coke habit. That's gonna be hard. I've been replacing with sparkling water and fruit in my water.

I'm sure there hasn't been much, if any noticeable physical change yet, but my perspective has already changed. I'm already walking a little taller and feeling better in my own skin.

My goals for this week are to workout 4 times and stick to a good meal plan. I'll share some of my favorite recipes next week.

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