Take Your Journey One Small Victory at a Time

Mrskooy Fitness is a mom!

My little one is just over 6 weeks old, and I’m absolutely loving this next venture in my life! She is such a little gem, and every moment with her I’m reminded how amazing and yes, challenging this job as “mom” can be.

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As I get back into my routines and find more time to get in my workouts, I find myself wondering…
How has my fitness changed? What is different about my body? What about the strength that I had? Now what?

That’s when I have to remind myself

Start where you are, not where you were. Trust the process and don’t forget to appreciate small victories

I’ve been working out again, and slowly incorporating new body movements and muscle groups as the weeks progress. Yes, I’m only 6 weeks postpartum but I’m a very determined, and focused individual so I have been active in small ways since about one week after my daughter’s arrival. Now, that being said, I think I should remind readers, I am a certified personal trainer, certified in pre and postnatal fitness… and have done a lot of reading on it prior to my pregnancy, through my pregnancy and after delivery.

I came into my workouts knowing that there would be significant changes in my body and in my strength after delivery. But let me tell you… reading about it and living it are two totally different experiences!

First of all, let me just break down what I have been feeling physically.. and how I decided to manage workouts since the birth:
*No core strength… coughing, sneezing, laughing SUCKED for the first week. And since my core was so fatigued.. my back was compensating, which was really exhausting!
*Fatigue in general! Small walks winded me, I would often have to sit back down!
*4 weeks postpartum I began walking on the treadmill and light weights
*I was lifting about half of what I was used to: 35 lbs down to 15lbs. and sweating just as much if not MORE than I did before
*Pushups were out of the question since I was going to wait the 6 weeks until I even attempted ANY core strengthening.
*NO ab exercises for the same reason as the pushups (also… you do not want to put more strain on your abdominal especially if you unknowingly suffer from Diastasis Recti – see link for more information–>http://www.befitmom.com/diastasis_recti.html )
*No pull ups– First of all. Hanging on the pull up bar was too much for me at first because I was not comfortable with the feeling it gave my abs. Which brings me to an important point if you are a new mom trying to get back into your fitness:

If you are uncomfortable with ANY movement as you get back into your routines.. Don’t Do It

There is no further explanation needed. You are in control of your body, and your progression and if you push past that point before your body is ready to you can set yourself back.

Baby Steps. Heh, how suiting eh? Be comfortable with the progress you make from delivery to now, and beyond. What you accomplished before baby no longer matters (in the world of recovering baby bodies that is–) What you accomplished prior to baby is obviously amazing and will always serve to remind you how kick ass you are, and the strength that you have to endure anything (as if delivery itself hasn’t already proved that to you). But what I mean is.. you will have new victories now, victories that may have been “less” than what you accomplished before.. but again I’ll remind you when you have a baby… any progress is a well deserved achievement

Since I started back working out,(which is approximately 3 weeks) I have had the following “small” victories:
1. I can jump squat, do jumping jacks, high knee sprints & burpees without peeing … don’t laugh until you’ve been there.
2. I am slowly able to do 7-8 consecutive pushups on my knees with proper form, core tight, neck in neutral position, and full range of motion
3. I can hang on the pull up bar and do 2-4 knee raises before I’m uncomfortable.
4. I can hold a plank for 30 seconds.
5. My lowest free weight for arms is 15lbs (10 if its lateral shoulders/ back flies)
6. I am using a trap bar to strengthen my squats (about 55 to 60 lbs) and keep proper form

Six things. These are six things that I need to remind myself when I want to cry doing push ups on my knees because BEFORE I had the baby I could….
Right. It doesn’t matter.

Be present. Be in the moment of this progression. Don’t live in the past of your previous victories because you can’t grow living in ANY moment but now.

Remember this my readers, I know it’s hard. I struggle with this honesty every day. But I’m also reminded of why I’m going through this. Every moment I look at my daughter I’m reminded of how important it is to me to be her role model. To live and breathe positivity and determination. I want her to know that while things may be difficult and yes, you will cry… you can finish it. You can find the focus and strength to commit to what it is that you want! A big life lesson, coming from my decision not to look back at before, but continue with right now.

Have a glorious Sunday xo

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When Your Arms Feel Like Jelly….

So today I focused on more upper body than anything today, and …well, I can barely type.

OF COURSE I would decide on the day I can’t type properly, this would be a wonderful time to post!

Since I fell off over the summer, I sadly watched the definition in my arms begin to disappear. Today however, sparked the change and regrowth of that muscle. Between the shoulder presses, bicep curls, incline chest press, push ups, rows and simply holding a plank on the stability ball, my little arms “got their swagger back”

Yes, I was listening to a dubstep song today called “I guess I got my swagger back” and say what you will, it kept me in the zone and feeling BADASS.

Don’t you just love the feeling of reaching muscle failure, and how jacked your body feels afterwards??

hardcore

Yes, today was definitely one of those Ego days, but let’s be real here– how often do you see a woman in the gym, confident and feeling good? I wish I saw more ladies in with the weights, pushing their limits and working their way around those weights.

I hope this gets out there to some more ladies who are maybe feeling too shy to get in there. Put on a good tune, and go challenge that body! Trust me, as much as your body needs it sometimes you just need to be in there to look in the mirror and think:

Damn, I look good. I look good and the person beside me is lifting the same weight that I am. Well done.

“I think you’re having a mid-twenties life crisis”

So the other day my husband accused me of having a mid-twenties life crisis!

haha, and to be honest– the more that I thought about it, I don’t think he’s too off track.

mid-twenties

See, here’s the thing. I’m happily married, fresh into a new house, career getting officially started in September, great second career with fitness, and loads of favorable pass times to keep me busy. The next thing on my life agenda (and trust me, I HAVE a life agenda) is when to start our family. Yes, most of the people I talk to respond the same way: ENJOY yourself, DON’T RUSH, Kids are GREAT– but it changes everything. All valid points, but guess what?

I’m okay with this.

So then, why might my beloved hubby accuse me of this mid-twenties crisis?

Well, lately all I’ve wanted to do is get a new tattoo. Actually, TWO tattoos. Not large ones, I already have two small ones but I can’t stop thinking about placements, designs, and getting together with friends to do it! The first one I want will directly relate to my personality & the love of being happy & free. The second one I want to connect to my love for fitness & health.

Besides the tattoo obsession at the moment, I’ve found myself taking an interest in drinking more alcohol than usual. Not excessively, but if you knew Jeremy & I, you would know that it’s not something that we frequently do!

I’ve come to the realization that these new interests in my life may quite possibly correlate to the fact that maybe this time next year I won’t be able to participate in any of these events!

SO then, to a degree, I’m definitely having a mid-twenties crisis– which I don’t think is a bad thing! I’m ready to move forward and keep advancing in my life with my husband, so perhaps I’m looking at this summer as my last “fling”!

I think it’s important to recognize these life changes, and embrace them. So while I titled this post about my “crisis” I want to suggest that it really is nothing but positive changes moving forward. These are healthy & exciting responses to me accepting the next phases in my life, and marking a few permanent lifestyle choices on my body before my body changes!

Now now, no one needs to get the wrong idea here. Don’t expect the “we’re pregnant” post ANY TIME SOON.

I just want to put out there that I’ve recognized the change within myself, and the small impulsive behaviors that I have mulled over enough to know that my they will not be regretted! And perhaps, there’s a small piece of you, my readers who have gone through- or are going through something similar in your own lives! It may not directly correlate to having a baby, or starting a family… but I’m sure there’s been a time in your life with big change and you felt like there were some impulsive decisions made along the way while you figured out your next move.

Take a moment to embrace those decisions, and know that those impulsive “blips” along the way is what makes the road ahead SO much more exciting!

Have a great night 🙂

Fighting Cancer with Fitness: A Guest Post by Melanie Bowen

Recently, I was contacted by a reader who came across my blog. She emailed me, and asked if she could do a guest post on my blog to share the benefits of incorporating fitness into lifestyles of those battling serious illness. Here’s the Article, following by a brief description of who Melanie is, and how she’s come to study this area.
Enjoy!!

Fighting Cancer with Fitness

Exercise is an excellent means for keeping both the mind and body active. Maintaining a safe and comfortable level of physical fitness during cancer treatments can actually help reduce some of the negative side effects by increasing joint mobility, lessening muscular atrophy, staving off bedsores, enhancing blood flow and even assisting with daily bodily functions, such as excretion and respiration. Additionally, as you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which actually boost your mood.

Light Exercise: Light Stretching

It is essential to find the balance between strengthening the heart, lungs and muscles without placing excessive strain on the body. The following exercises are ideal for patients undergoing aggressive treatments for mesothelioma or other more serious forms of cancer.

How You Should Feel?

You should feel comfortable with your breathing and not winded or breathy. You can still carry on a conversation with long sentences or possibly even sing a song. Stretching helps to improve flexibility and increases circulation. Stretching may reduce swelling while delivering feelings of calmness and well-being. It can also help you to sleep better, thus reducing fatigue. Simple movements, such as reaching the arms overhead or bending the body forward, help to keep the muscles supple and elongated while increasing overall range of motion.

Moderate Exercise Recommendations

For patients who are actively recovering and beginning to gain strength, moderate exercise carries many benefits. One great example of a moderate exercise is water aerobics.

How You Should Feel?

You may notice the breath quickening. However, you should not feel out of breath. You can still carry on a conversation, perhaps with shorter sentences, but not be able to sing. After about 10 minutes, you may begin to break a sweat. Taking part in water aerobics is a great way to build muscle and control your weight without placing too much impact on the bones and joints. It strengthens the cardiovascular system while allowing you to increase or decrease the intensity as needed. The water produces 12 to 14 times the amount of resistance as training on land, but you won’t feel overheated, as the water helps to cool the body.

Advanced Exercise Recommendations

For patients in the later stages of recovery who are able to use fitness to regain strength and improve their overall physical condition, weight lifting should be undertaken with caution.

How You Should Feel?

Your breathing is quicker and you are unable to sing. You can speak in short sentences and may begin to sweat after a few minutes. Weight training is excellent for maintaining and developing muscular strength and endurance . Building lean muscle mass helps to support fat loss as well. This is ideal for those who have suffered from cancers such as prostate, stomach, intestinal, head, or neck, as these types all lead to a significant decrease in muscle mass. Start with lighter weights or begin on resistance machines. Gradually increase the weight or the repetitions, as you feel stronger and more comfortable with the technique of lifting. Seek assistance when transitioning to free weights.

Remember that you will most likely feel quite fatigued after beginning a new exercise program. Start slowly and pay attention to your body. Always listen to and follow your doctor’s recommendations to ensure that you are exercising at a level that is appropriate to your current condition.

About the Author
Melanie is currently a Master’s student with a passion that stems from her grandmother’s cancer diagnosis. She often highlights the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. To read more from Melanie, visit her blog for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. In her spare time, you can find Melanie trying new vegan recipes, on her yoga mat, or spending time with her family.

The Laughing Buddha Cleanse & Goals for June!

WOoooooWwweeEE!!

These past few days have been extremely busy! We’re all moved in to our new home (still unpacking) and it’s time to clean out my system and start fresh back into regular routines! If there is anything I’ve realized these past few weeks, it’s how important routines are for me! They give me the structure to my busy days, and keep me focused on eating right and working out!

I’ve started a cleanse today based on the book “Super Cleanse” by Adina Niemerow and it’s called The Laughing Buddah Cleanse. It’s 5 days long, and what I really like about this cleanse, is that you’re still eating throughout the day! It’s a vegetarian cleanse, so I’m not eating any meat for the next week, and I’m nourishing my body with fresh veggies that have definitely been missing in my life for the past few weeks!

Here’s a break down of my days:

Upon Waking: Drink a cup of hot lemon water
Breakfast: choose from a list of smoothies in the book; today I chose “Hello, World!”
– 2 cups Water
– 1/4 cup hemp seeds
-5 dried figs, soaked for an hour to rehydrate
– 2 teaspoons of raw honey
Snack: cup of mint tea lemonade (home made 🙂 )
Lunch: Choose from a list of options; today I choose “Big Ol’ Chopped Salad”
– 1 medium tomato
– 1 avacado
– 1 endive
– 1 cup of shredded cabbage
– 1 small zucchini
-1 medium beet
– 1 cup baby arugula
– 1 cup romaine leaves
– 1/2 fennel bulb
– 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
– 5 olives of your choice

Mix all ingredients together, and top with dressing: 1/2 cup raw Tahini & 3 tablespoons water with 1/3 up of lemon, lime or grapefruit juice
Snack: 1/2 an apple & cup of tea
Dinner: Choose from a list of dinner options; today (and the basis for this food post!) SUSHI!
sweet potato & cucumber sushi rolls
Today was great! I do feel the typical side effects of starting the cleanse… minor headache, feeling light headed… etc. But, I know that in the next day or so all will be good, and my body will be back on track, cleared of the junk & refreshed and ready to continue my healthy habits.

Check out her site if you’re interested in this cleanse!  http://adinaniemerow.com/

June is my birthday month, and with this new month starting, my LTO (long-term occasional teaching position) starting next Monday, and having just moved into our house… it’s time for my new goals for the month!

JUNE GOALS:

  • Daily Yoga
  • Laughing Buddha Cleanse (5 days)
  • Gym 3 times a week
  • Training / Working out with the ladies 2 times a week
  • Spartan training once a week
  • 3 medium- long runs/ week
  • 2-4 L of Water per day
  • Prenatal/ Postnatal Exam
  • Spartan Race on June 22nd
  • Cheer Hubby on with his race on June 16th!!
  • Prepare/ Training for Job with Royal City Soccer this summer!
  • Camping Trip at the end of the month!
  • Spotlight for June
  • 2-3 posts a week for my blog 🙂
  • Increase my views/ followers!!