Squirrel.

So I’m officially into what I’ve been calling “Operation M.I.L.F (F)”–> decide what you want that to stand for but I’ve adapted the acronym from what I was calling Mom In Love with Fitness… to Mom Is Looking Freaking Fantastic. (Hense, my extra F) haha.

There are SO many programs that you can hop into to get that body back, SO many challenges, work outs, nutrition plans, etc that quite frankly it can be overwhelming. This is why lately, I’ve been feeling a little ‘squirrely’. One day, I’m deciding to go on a cleanse, another day I’m deciding that I’m going to strength train… a few weeks ago I thought I’d train for a half marathon, I agreed to do another fitness photoshoot with other trainers in May, I started HIIT training in between strength days… played around with my circuits again, saw a fitness coach for help… And then took a mental break and went to Alberta to visit family with my daughter. (PHEW!)

So I get back, and it immediately all comes flooding back to me. I think to myself:
– your core strength and leg strength was brutal snowboarding: let’s work on that
– you rocked a one piece in the hot tub: let’s change that
– hum.. 1/2 marathon? You almost collapsed hiking back country with your sisters on the mountains: let’s fix that
– Your “cleanse” failed miserably, and you’re not eating right at ALL: let’s get on a plan
– You’re extremely tired, and not taking the proper supplements/ vitamins: find a PLAN

PLAN, PLAN, PLAN… FIX, FIX, FIX,

Squirrel.

Time to reset, and remember what it is exactly I want to accomplish. What do I REALLY want. Yes, I DO want to accomplish those things above, but just READING all of those things makes me squirrely. So, SELF: WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT?

When I ask myself that question, the answer is surprisingly simple– almost embarrassingly honest.
I want to feel comfortable in my skin again.

How many people can relate to THAT? I bet hundreds, maybe even more.

So how can I do that?

Since I seemed completely incapable of making my own decisions, I tagged in my other half. Hubby told me I’m biting off too much (yes, that I knew– I asked you why?) and then told me to forget about it all, and do 12 weeks of insanity with him. In doing this I can stick to a program, have an accountability partner, incorporate that HIIT training I wanted, increase my stamina, quite possibly want to die throughout every workout, but most importantly–> I can track my results with little complications and start to feel like me again. Hum, start to feel like me again– that would ultimately lead to what it is I really want: to feel comfortable in my skin again.

We also decided that WE would use Sundays to prep our food for the week, that WE would get our food scale fixed, that WE would stock up on multivitamins, BCAAs, Protein, etc. For this journey, I think it’s important for me to remember that I’m part of a WE, and that I’m not in this alone. (After all HE did this to me — heh just kidding!)

Having a goal is SUPER important because it gives you that motivation, and keeps you focused on what you want, but sometimes you have to step back and really ask yourself what do you want?
If your goal is too vague, you can get lost on which path to take to get there
If your goal is too complicated, you can loose focus on what’s most important, and end up making zero progress

I was the latter of the two. Wanting too much, too fast and therefore getting NO where. They teach you in training to make S.M.A.R.T goals, I’d like to make a S.M.A.R.T goal that can K.I.S.S my …
Specific –> Want to commit to insanity for the full 12 weeks
Measurable–> Will track progress before, half way, and after.
Attainable (I’m changing to ACCOUNTABLE)–> touching base with my husband to keep me focused
Realistic –> It’s one program, 12 weeks, with my husband. I can do that.
Time Oriented–> 12 weeks is enough time to see progression

This goal can K.I.S.S myyy buttt! because I have remembered to Keep, It, Simple, Steph!

I start on Sunday.

Let the games begin.

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When You Battle the Voice Inside Your Head

Last night was tough. Earlier in the week I went to my first kickboxing class since I had the baby. It felt fantastic! I was so happy to be back, and of course I challenged myself to do exercises that I am not quite used to again… but it really felt amazing. Naturally, I have been sore since that class so I took the next day off to recover.. but anyone who’s ever done a REALLY good workout knows that it’s actually the second day off when you can barely move.

So yesterday, was my second day. It was my second day and emotionally I was feeling defeated. Looking at my post baby body I have been feeling frustrated, disappointed, and quite frankly: ugly. Silly, I know… but honest.  I felt tired, I felt sore, but mostly in my upper body in abdominal area–which clearly meant I was totally fine to do my lower body– or at least I thought.

Hubby and I went downstairs to set up for our workout, and I created my plan for leg day. Ugh. It was horrible. It was that kind of workout where my head fought every single movement that my body was doing. It felt like I should have had an angel and devil positioned on my shoulder whispering lies to me.

The first exercise that I wanted to try (since obviously the only thing to do when you’re already tired and feeling defeated is introduce new exercises, and increase your weights) was Ham curls on the TRX. I set the goal for 12 reps, and forced myself to do 4 sets. Why did I want to do 4 sets? Well, because that voice inside my head was telling me that 3 wouldn’t be enough to feel anything, so suck it up and do it. So, I would get to about 9 reps and want to cry. Not because it hurt, and not because it was hard– but yes it was hard. I wanted to cry because while I was doing the reps I had to battle the voice inside my head that was telling me each rep sucked. I was literally trying to ignore phrases like
“Why are you doing this?”
“That rep did nothing for you”
“Just quit, you’re never going to loose this baby weight”

It was awful. And it didn’t stop there. When I got to my deadlifts with the trap bar, I decided to add 10 lbs to each side. I honestly think I was getting so angry at myself that I would counter my negative comments by increasing the weight and working harder. I finished 3 sets, and there was that voice again:
“You know, you did 3 sets, you’re sweating… just stop there”

No. I wont stop there. Screw you, voice.

I have to say, I was so thankful to have my hubby there with me last night. There were so many times where I felt like I could have just crumbled and sat on the floor crying. But each time he saw me struggling, he would stop his set, come over and help me refocus and get back on track.

I’m realizing more and more that this journey to “get my body back” requires a lot of love and support of those around me. I find that there seems to be a faux timeline that I’m getting sucked into of when I should “fit into my regular pants”. It’s crap. I will fit into those pants when my body is ready to. I’m 7 weeks post baby and I have GOT to stop putting pressure on myself to be back so fast, because it will quite honestly hinder any progress that I’m working hard to achieve.

Ugh, that damn voice. It really needs to SHUT. UP.
fitness

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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Moving Though the Days With My Personalized 30 Pound Medicine Ball

Coming in on 31 weeks, and holy do I ever feel it! Squats, lunges and any other body weight exercise makes me laugh when I break a sweat and have to pause because my legs are on fire!

On the weekend I finally caved and bought some new workout pants, and 2 larger tops that I can put on.. without the help of my husband. I rocked them to a boot camp class in Bradford last night and it felt amazing! Boot camp classes are typically interval/ circuit style and are meant to kick your butt the whole time. I love them. I know my modifications partly because I’ve been working out through my whole pregnancy, but also in large part because I’ve done my certification for pre & postnatal for this very reason! I’m officially using no more than 25 pounds on kettlebells, when using two dumb bells I’m no heavier than 15 pounds, and… well you can pretty much call it a day with ab exercises.

Last night when I was working out I took particular notice to the extra weight at the front of my body. We were doing stairs– every other step.. with kettle bells. I decided that I could use a 15 pound weight because if you add that to what’s out in front, I should be more than set. HAH! I did it, I finished it, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel like dying. People were lapping me on the stairs as I took one step at a time, and set my mind to breathing and keeping proper form.

In the beginning of this journey I remember feeling frustrated with myself because I wanted to continue pushing hard in the gym, and lifting my regular weights, with the same speed and intensity.

Now, it’s not to say that I can’t push it, but I’ve had to play it smart with my intensity and the amount I’m lifting. The fact is, I could really hurt myself which could throw the rest of my pregnancy, and even opportunities to train the girls at the boot camp I still work at!

As the months have progressed I find myself laughing at the different positions I have to lay in, how much slower my movements are, and how freaking much my legs BURN when I do squats and lunges with my not so little lime. In one of the classes I did recently, we were doing leg raises on steps. You have to lay on the ground, place a weighted bar over your hips, and then dig your heals into the step and raise your hips up to the sky. For obvious reasons, I opted out of the bar across my hips… and decided on body weight. In my mind I told myself I can easily do one leg in the air for more intensity because– well– let’s be honest, this will be a breeze otherwise.

Annnnd once again there I was, NOT modifying to lift my leg in the air but actually working my butt off trying not to take a break in between each rep! It wasn’t until I was finished that circuit that I really pieced together that I do, in fact, have my own personal medicine ball that weighs everything down for me.

I love that little ball. She’s just doing her thing, flipping around, poking mama’s organs to make sure they’re still functioning, challenging my breathing… really– making me stronger. With each inch she takes up in my body, I become more aware of the focus and strength I need to keep my body healthy so that her body stays healthy too.

I joke when we go kickboxing about how she kicks me, so it’s fair that I kick the bag but really what it comes down to is that

I’m fostering a lifestyle that I want my baby to embrace when she’s able to make her own choices about health and fitness.

I have a couple more goals I’d like to achieve with her as we near the home stretch of our time connected to one another. I just love being able to take her along on these little adventures, because once she arrives it’s game on and I’m sure she will be taking me along for hers.

So you keep growing little ball, keep making mommy work harder, and get stronger because I promise that with all my strength, mommy will always be there to support you too.

cant stop me

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Listening to Your Body.. Not the Critics

As I journey through this pregnancy, and have fully immersed myself into my second trimester– I’ve been feeling fantastic!

My energy levels have returned, and other than the little belly and added weight at the front of my abdomen, I have pretty much returned to my regular fitness routines. Of course, there are always modifications now, and the intensity is much different than I would normally bring to the table, but regardless I’m up to about 3-4 times a week for some sort of physical activity! 

Last Sunday I had a pretty exciting accomplishment. I ran in the Sportinglife 10K in downtown Toronto. I had mixed opinions from others about me participating in the run, but ultimately

it was up to me to listen to my body and make the decision about whether this was the best decision for me to do!

 

It was absolutely the most rewarding decision to run in this race. I was running with a friend of mine and naturally our paces were not well matched. Within the first 2K I could already tell that I needed to slow my pace down to maintain a safe heart rate, and could feel her pace getting ready to build with the adrenaline of other racers that surrounded us. I told her to continue without me, which she reluctantly agreed to, and with that– it was just me and my baby lime (who has graduated to a small cantaloupe) running together!

At the 5K mark I checked my time. Now, I’ve had to adjust to the fact that my time is much slower than usual, but I was very happy to see that I was at 35 minutes. With most physical activity, I find that it’s more of a mental game than physical. So

I told myself that I was doing amazing, gave little lime a loving rub and got ready to count down the last 5K.

At around 7K, I could feel myself starting to fatigue. There was a water station up ahead and I told myself that really– I had nothing to prove so it would be in my best interest to take a quick walk and enjoy the water break before continuing on. I’m an all-in kind of girl, so slowing down my pace and even walking for part of the run is a hard pill to swallow. But– let me tell you– it takes a stronger person to know when to listen to your body, rather than pushing through and ignoring possible problems. I sent my hubby a quick text and let him know that I was coming into my last couple kilometers. He sent me the motivation text that I needed, which helped me push through for the final stretch.

When I hit the 9K mark, I could feel myself finish that last kilometer with a huge grin on my face.

I had done it. I had listened to my body and successfully ran a 10K race with a tiny baby growing in my belly.

Crossing that finish line felt fabulous. Any negative comments I had been told, or recommendations to “just quit” if it was too hard were so far removed from me at that moment. I had started instilling healthy values that I feel will continue into the parenting of this young child, and hope will carry through into their own healthy choices for an active lifestyle further in the future.

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With any decision in life there are always those that will support you through lifes choices, and those that will try and deter you from what you want. I’m slowly discovering that as a mother-to-be there are many supporters of my choices to be physically active during pregnancy, and many that are unsure of my choices and seem to take my choices personally– as if it reflects poorly on their own pregnancies. 

I want to be clear. I don’t make these choices, write about my accomplishments and lack of “excuses” to continue this lifestyle for any other reason than to be proud of me. I don’t judge those who choose not to participate in these activities while pregnant. I can’t possibly judge a woman or pregnancy I know nothing about. I only know me. I only know what I am capable of doing, and what I know my body will let me achieve. If along the way it inspires someone who was unsure whether to take that route on her own pregnancy journey, then as a fitness professional I have done my job. 

Be safe, listen to your body above all the opinions of others. You will know what is right for you and your growing baby, but please remember– don’t be afraid to try! 

Me…. and the Lime ;)

I’m BACCK 🙂

It feels so darn good to get back to writing! Let me tell you, when you want to be writing about what is going on in your life and how it relates to fitness but you have to distance yourself for a little while it is HARD. But, alas– the time has come to dust off my keyboard and begin my journey on here again!

Why, do you ask, would I leave you in the dark like this? When I was posting about my new goals and how I was going to push through for new accomplishments this year?

Well– actually– it has something to do with the fact that some of my goals have changed sliiighhtly in these last few months. As you may recall from previous posts, I have some race dates approaching in May– and was supposed to have some weight loss goals accomplished by– well– now. Not to disappoint, but weight loss for me is something that is NOT going to be on my agenda– at least for the next.. let’s say…9 months?

Yep. That’s right folks, your MrsKooyFitness is going to be MrsKooyMama! 🙂

I’m finally at a stage in my journey when I can begin to discuss this exciting event openly. And well there are never any guarantees in life, all one can hope for is to continue on this healthy path which will lead to the birth of a happy and healthy baby. But let me tell you– not only has it been difficult not writing on here to share my experiences thus far– the changes I have had to make to my own regularly active lifestyle have taken me some time to adjust to– and be okay with.

Slowly, I’m gaining my energy back (this little poppyseed, turned olive, turned prune, turned lime— has been eating away at my energy levels!) and dare I say– I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the toile– ugh— tunnel?

Today I accomplished a significant landmark for myself and baby lime. (the food references are not my cravings, they are — according to my “in depth” reading on my phone APP “baby bump”– the size of my growing baby!) Last night a good friend send me a text letting me know that our usual running crew were going to venture out tomorrow and try a small 7K to get back on the road. (7K used to be smaller for me.. but lately walking on the treadmill gets my heart rate up there so I was unsure whether I wanted to hold them back) I decided I was going to show up and do my best, and if I had to walk a bit so be it. We typically run before our bootcamp classes on Saturday so I thought if I was going to make the trek down there I would stay for the class afterwards and work at my own pace. My own pace. Something that was hard to dial down.. but I’m getting better at.

So I woke up this morning at 5:15– snoozed until 5:30… and finally got my little booty out of bed at 5:45 to get dressed, pack, and be ready to leave at 6:00. Well– apparently little lime wasn’t having this new agenda. One quick brush of my teeth sent me right over to my porcelain friend. The first few interactions with the toilet had me feeling like maybe I should just call the girls and tell them it’s not the morning for me, and go back to bed. But by the 5th, 6th, and 7th heave-hoe it was time for baby lime and I to have a little heart to heart.

I stood up, rubbed my tummy and said

“Look baby lime– you and I have to learn how to cooperate with one another. Otherwise this is going to be a long journey for the two of us. I’m going for this run today, and baby– you’re coming with me. So please, let’s work together and have a great morning”

So off we went. And you know what?

We did it! We ran 4K together, had a nice pick-me-up at Tim Hortons to refuel, and finished with a great workout together in boot camp!

It can be scary in the beginning to know your limits when you’re pushing for two. The important thing to remember though is so long as you have been physically active up to your pregnancy, and your doctor gives you the ok to continue what you’re doing– go for it!

The rest is up to you– and your baby! Listen to your body, ultimately it will tell you if you need to slow down. But let me tell you– there is no greater feeling that knowing you took your time but finished a great workout that not only benefits you, but benefits your little addition. The one who’s also working hard– trying to grow.

Have a wonderful weekend my readers!
Talk soon! 🙂

“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.

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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 🙂