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.

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.

1399691_10100548096472970_7682491134385939759_o

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

1271173_10100550360046750_7087898434912503379_o

1604600_10100550360076690_6235643933613926238_n

10420081_10100550359862120_4563122435725977645_n

Workouts, Nutrition & Determination: A Recount of My First Fitness Photoshoot!

You’re going to have professional shots- some with just a sports bra- oh and make sure you have a bikini because you’ll do those ones too

Yeeeaah. The idea of having shots wearing (or really.. NOT wearing) particular items scared the crap out of me. I don’t care how big, small, tall, thin, square, pear, apple or plum you are… EVERYONE has their areas which make them cringe. Mine, has always been my stomach.

When I was first approached to do this photo shoot, there was no doubt in my mind that this was the push I need to take my fitness to the next level. After our wedding in July, I had plateaued. That’s not to say I was unhappy where my body and fitness levels had reached– I actually was super pumped for my results! I just knew that I was ready to challenge the old Steph.

The Steph that had accepted sitting down & crossing her arms over her stomach. The Steph that never really believed having VISUAL abdominal muscles was an accomplishment she could attain.

And so, I graciously accepted the challenge. And my 3 month body transformation began!

I want to put something out there.

I am not a full time personal trainer, nor do I have a lot of free time to devote to working out & being on a strict nutrition plan. My usual day consists of me being extremely busy… so Murphy’s Law… multiple areas of my life fall into place at once.

The final 2-3 weeks before the shoot (which happened on May 11th) I finally got into the school board for teaching. As most of you probably know, adjusting to a new job with a new morning schedule/ routine is exhausting enough! Factor in that I had a course for Personal Training over the course of 2 weekends, I train between 5 & 7 boot camp classes a week on TOP of the full working days I’m putting in, I tutor between 2-4 hours one NIGHT a week, we’re MOVING so we’re continually packing, annnd just for kicks how about we toss in Kickboxing at two different facilities, and my own personal workout sessions at the gym! (And– HUBBY?? haha I swear, I don’t forget about hubby!!)

NONE of those are excuses. They are reality. And that– my friends– is life.

LIFE will always get in the way! If you can STILL achieve results despite all that life will throw at you, THAT is the true testament to your health, and to your dedication to succeed.

So, while I know that I can still get myself further along– I am DAMN proud of how these pictures turned out. Not only do I have multiple bikini pictures I am proud of, I have fitness shots that demonstrate the strength that I have built in the last two years. And, on top of all that– I proved to myself that while I am damn busy at the moment, I didn’t let it get in the way of continuing on my path towards maintaining a healthy & active lifestyle.

It’s possible for anyone to do this. So before you sit back and start with the “Yeah– but you don’t have kids, or _____, or _____,” you can put in ANY excuse that you feel makes you the exception to making changes in your own life but let me tell you this:

The only person you are kidding, is yourself.

I’m not here to compare myself to you, nor should you compare what your life is like to me.  We all have stress in life, much like we all have areas on our body that we would love to “fix”. All I’m saying, is before you sit back and allow the busy days you have beat you, why don’t you step up and rise to the challenge?

At the end of the day, I speak honestly when I say that it feels damn good to look at those pictures, especially knowing how busy my life is at the moment. It’s a reminder that whenever I decide  that it’s time to get results, I determine how and when it happens. And, despite any distraction… I did it!! 323097_4215679170524_1747270089_o 919370_4222557062467_1783961205_o 920900_4222554902413_930026568_o 920982_4215684890667_2115775914_o 966226_4222549662282_1211942489_o 967183_4215676490457_419581716_o 976650_4215688290752_995252312_o 977349_4215676730463_1154164387_o

17 Quotes to Keep You Going When You Want to Quit

Image

When I decided to finally step up and get myself back to the athletic woman I knew deep down was inside of me, it was tough. I can remember at times running on the treadmill in my apartment and collapsing in a heap on the floor in tears. I remember feeling defeated, weak, incompetent…etc. You name it, and I had labelled myself some sort of failure.

Finally, I had enough. I really wanted to prove to myself that I COULD do it, and that I was actually going to see something through to the end. (Now, at the time I didn’t realize that once you hit your goals.. the end is indefinite because you’re continually surpassing old goals and creating new ones)

I sat on my laptop and typed out as many words as possible that I could print out to tell myself to keep on going! I printed them out, glued them to a pretty pink background… and literally tacked them onto the wall beside the treadmill.

Every time I wanted to quit, I would yell those quotes out. (I’m sure hubby thought I was nuts) And let me tell you….IT HELPED!

Slowly, but surely I was crying less (hehe), lasting longer on my runs, and lunges & squats didn’t make me want to keel over and die.

You have to get out of your own head when you’re working out. Your mind will quit WAY before your body ever does. If you can retrain your brain to embrace the struggle, and feel pride at your accomplishments…. that old you, the one who was quick to judge & quick to quit, eventually becomes quiet.

I know she’s still in there, waiting for an opportunity to show up in a moment of struggle. But I also know now that I’ve got a LOUDER voice that reminds me where I’ve come from, how strong I REALLY am, and how much I deserve to finish—for my confidence, and for my health!