I Had a baby and I Want My Body Back: Reality VS “Reality”

Currently, there are 8 women in close proximity to me, that have had a baby within the past year. How amazing that is as a new mom, to have your own personal baby group? And how amazing is it for my little one: her own immediate entourage!

Quite frequently, these new mommy’s come to me for guidance on when to begin training again, how to overcome their frustrations with accomplishing old workouts they used to excel in, and now really struggle with. Going through this journey myself, I’m often re-evaluating my levels of fitness, and reminding myself of my instagram hashtag  #startwhereyouarenotwhereyouwere

The following fact recently occurred to me while out for a mommy-walk with a friend:
Of the women who have had their babies (3 including me…but one making a debut anytime now –quite literally, and another one in the coming weeks) each and every one of us has a very different labour and delivery story. We range from medical complications, sections, mid-wives, home births, inductions, epidurals, multiple births and the list can go on, and on. It really got me thinking today:

Why is it that we have such completely different labour and deliveries, but when it comes to postnatal recovery and getting back into fitness, we quite literally group all moms together and expect the same progress and results?

I mean, I guess I always knew that each of us has our own story to tell when it comes to having a baby, and the experience during the “big day”. But, I find it intriguing that when getting back at it, we quickly forget our own individual journeys and immediately conclude that we’re not as good as, or as fit as another person.

It is so, SO incredibly important to step back, and assess your own levels of fitness. Since I started back into my routines, I had to really scale back my expectations. I’m going to break down ONE of the many, many, different exercises that I had to slowly creep back into doing the way I had pre-baby.

THE PUSHUP
Think about what you were able to do pre-baby. For me, I could do pushups on my toes.. honestly I don’t know if I ever could do more than 15 consecutively. But, I do know that I could do push ups where I exploded up and clapped in between. I could do them on a decline, with my feet on a chair and bring one knee to my elbow as I came down, and bring it back to the chair as I came up. I could do them with my feet on a medicine ball, and my hands on a bosu ball. AND, I could do my favorite: tricep (narrow) pushups. I preferred to do them on my knees to keep my form, but I was ok with that. Sounds great, right? Impressive, even… Now… wait for it…

I got pregnant (Yay!!). Aside from the obvious medicine ball inside of me that made it tricky towards the end to actually DO the pushup, My abdominals were stretching. Stretching and therefore my core strength was changing. I slowly transferred from on my toes, to knees, to standing on the wall. No medicine ball (aside from my belly), no declines, no bosu, and my beloved triceps were removed. All this happened over the course of the next 7 months.

REMEMBER THAT LADIES: It takes your body almost one year to grow a baby, So why assume it will take anything less than that to go back?

By month 8, pushups were done. My workouts were changing, so my body conditioning was being lost. Fast forward Oct. 9th, my little gem, Vanessa arrived! Lots changes in your body after you have a baby. The obvious… baby is out, but then there’s the extra water, hormones, stretched skin, strained abdominals, maybe you have scar tissue, there’s stitches, your hips are sore, body is shifting again because of weight transfer… All valid points that we “know”.. but do we really, ACTUALLY consider this when we look in the mirror?

You should always wait a minimum of 4-6 weeks before you begin working out. 4 weeks at least until you begin walking, again it’s ALL relative to the type of pregnancy, and delivery or other health concerns you are facing. And as for the abs, or core? That area in particular took a hit (aside from the obvious sore spot heh), so it should be the one that is eased into again with the most caution and care.

Back to the pushups: When I started again.. it was on the wall, and even then, I could feel tightness and knew it wasn’t time to push. That was in late November. By the end of December, I was back to my knees. By the end of January I could do no more than 2-4 on my toes, and the rest on my knees… which brings me up to the past few months. Since February here is my official pushup status:

12 on my toes before I need a break in order to continue on
10 on a decline with a chair for my feet
4 narrow (tricep– my FAVES) pushups– ON MY TOES. Yes, I’ve actually IMPROVED my core and can do them on my toes
8 Pushups where I bring my knees to my elbow. Toes on the floor, not on the chair.

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Currently, I’m learning and improving on diamond pushups. These bad boys are tricky, but hey– if you don’t raise the bar, you wont be better than yesterday.

So, my final words are simply this:

Ladies, it IS possible for you to get back to it, and regain the strength. But remember… if your labour and delivery was different than your friends, chances are– the recovery and journey back will be to. Reach out to those going through this similar experience, because even though your challenges may be different– your emotions, frustrations and disappointments will feel the same.

You can always reach me on this blog, or email me mrskooy@gmail.com if you need some extra support. Always happy to talk it out 🙂

Much love my readers. xo

Remembering All Levels of Fitness and Goals

I’ve written a post similar to this one before, but I felt like I wanted to discuss this topic again in light of the new program that is beginning at our boot camp. We have a 6 week fat loss program called the “Sexy in 6” which continually proves to provide much success toward the women who join; for no other reason than they put in a solid effort and commitment, and keep their goals in front of them at all times as they get closer and closer to success.

Yesterday I decided I was going to participate in the program, and a requirement of the program is to record your weight and your measurements. Truth be told, I stepped on the scale for the first time in months and had a bitter taste of reality. There is a 15 pound difference from where I was in the summer to where I am now.

Yesterday I was so disappointed in myself, but today I woke up feeling more determined than ever to change what I saw. This, I have come to realize, was inevitable. Since the summer when I began to be so overwhelmed with the changes in my life, the regular bad habits crept back in:
wine, beer, deep fried foods, chips, ice cream, and NO consistent physical activity.

Disgusting for a person who knows better but…

I am human and made unhealthy choices when stress dominated my life.

I had an interesting experience yesterday while I was taking my measurements, one that has definitely happened to me before. A woman from the program caught sight of me, and stated
“If I had a body like that I wouldn’t need to be on this program”

Now, as flattering as that may be the reality is every body has their own goals they are working towards
And that’s exactly now I responded.

I know as a female we sometimes use comments like that as compliments for other women, but I have always found it to be completely the opposite. It is so important to validate ANY goal that a woman makes with regards to her health and fitness level. Because otherwise, what we’re saying is that they’re done. Perfect. No need to set any goals, or challenge themselves in any way to be a better version of themselves.

And that is simply not true.

There are always ways to improve yourself, and to be a healthier, stronger, more confident, deserving version of you.

I’m going to propose a challenge to the women out there today:

Try to embrace others who may have goals similar or different than the ones you have set. Try not to pass judgement, or assume that body size or higher numbers on the scale makes a person more deserving of working towards change in their lives. Try to remember that every one has their own demons they’re working through, and what you can do is stand behind them and work with them to reach their full potential; Their full potential, not yours or anyone elses.

Because after all, that’s what makes being united as women so inspiring. We’re all different and have our own strengths. So it should only make sense that our goals may look different as well.

So yes, I do have some weight loss goals added to my list of fitness accomplishments for 2014:

*10 pounds by Feb. 22nd

*15 total by April 1st.

*Fitness Photoshoot in May

*1/2 Marathon at the end of May.

What have I started to put in action to reach those goals?

NO
Alcohol for the next 2 months
Chips, Ice Cream, or other JUNK for 2 Months (once it’s out of my system it’s less likely I’ll be craving them excessively like before)
Sitting on my ass 5-6 days a week

YES
High protein, and Complex Carb intake. After two weeks, taking in carbs ONLY post workout (healthy carbs… not chips haha)
Packing more lunches for school
Making more dinners at night that carry over for lunch!
Running 3-5 K twice a week for the month of Jan–> Increasing to 5-8K for February
Kickboxing once a week
Train (and work out) at Boot camp once a week (sometimes twice)
Gym 2- 3 times (depending on schedule and what I’ve also done during the week)
Begin morning yoga routine again

MY ACCOUNTABILITY
My friend, co-trainer, and fitness partner: Rosie
THIS BLOG–> I’m putting it out there for you all to read to know I’m bloody serious

So there you have it peeps. I’ve made my goals, I’ve posted them for others to see and now it’s time to start my journey towards being a better, healthier version of me.

The guy in the picture is Dan, He owns this baby. I'm on the right. Rosie is on the left.

The guy in the picture is Dan, He owns this baby. I’m on the right. Rosie is on the left.

Getting Back to Me

For the last month and a half, I have felt like I’ve been holding on to life by the tips of my fingers. Just gripping onto the ledge, hoping to keep the strength for a few more days… trying so hard not to let go.

Anyone that knows me know that I am NOTORIOUS for taking on too many things at once. But this time– I really over did it! Moving into my first house with Hubby, while starting my first LTO as a teacher, personal training 2-3 days during the week, certifying myself as a prenatal and postnatal specialist in training and trying to maintain my own personal fitness… was TOOOOO much!

You would think once teaching finished at the end of June it would slow down… but it hasn’t! I’m currently supervising Soccer camps which turned out to be more effort than I thought— I also have an online course that I’m trying to complete at the moment. Sadly, I’m subtracting a day of my training during the week.. but only to regain some much needed personal space to get back to me.

This week is looking promising! Aside from the soccer camp, I only have one day this week where I don’t be home before 9:00pm.

Today I went for a run, and it felt fantastic.
pre-run selfie!

I woke up at 6:30, slowly got myself ready to run at 7:00. I ran for 50 minutes, and finished the run off with some yoga upstairs– just in time for hubby to wake up! These are the types of mornings that have been lacking in my life. Ones where you

take the time to be alone, appreciate everything around you, reflect on circumstances in your life, and just BE.

It felt so good concentrating on my breathing, feeling my heart rate at a steady pace, and working up a great sweat! I’m aiming to revisit the gym tomorrow to get a good muscle burn on.

I also felt like I haven’t been getting the chance to sit and reflect on the fitness experiences and healthy eating habits I’ve been exploring and share them with you on here. I want to work really hard to bring posts to my readers that you can appreciate and that resonates with you.

So tonight, I put these questions out there to you:

What experiences have you had recently, or in the past that have made you feel like you’re at a stand and unable to complete ALL the things you’d love to do?
What have you done to help get yourself through those tough times, and back on track?

Would love to hear some of your comments,
Have a wonderful evening!

May’s Spotlight: Rosie Metayer

Meet Rosie! She’s a wonderful wife & mother of 3, and one hell of a personal trainer! I’ve have the privilege of being a client of Rosie’s in our boot camp, and now I work alongside her. She’s such a wonderful inspiration and GREAT motivator for those mothers out there who don’t believe it’s possible to be a great mother AND take care of yourself by pursuing your passions. Enjoy this interview, she’s a pretty spectacular woman!

 

rosieName: Rosie Metayer

Age: 39

Occupation: Personal Trainer Specialist

(Credentials:- PTS, FKS(Fitness Kickboxing Specialist)

Zumba Instructor –Level 1

What were you doing before you fell onto this path?

 I was a Commercial Insurance Broker


Would you say you were happy with what you were doing previously? Or was there something that was missing from your previous career path?

Let’s just say it wasn’t my dream job, I fell into the Insurance World and the money was good at the time and so you keep plugging away.  I moved companies a few times, and my last company was much smaller than those Alpha Broker Houses downtown that I worked at.  Working in a smaller office certainly had advantages but also some disadvantages.  Although it started very positive, I ended up not enjoying my job.

It seems we spend more time at work than we do at home, and when we put in extra time and come in on a weekend to get caught up, or to help with meeting a deadline and we leave our families behind, it is quite upsetting when there’s not any recognition of ones hard work.  Instead, there were words of sarcasm.  This was eating at me, deep down inside I knew where I wanted to be and that was in the FITNESS WORLD! This was my passion, this was what I loved.   I loved seeing people push themselves beyond imaginable limits and be healthy, I started to think seriously about departing and leaving the Insurance Broker role, I wasn’t happy, didn’t like how I was being treated, very unfairly and I knew this job was sucking the energy out of me! The energy that I love to have and push forward to my clients, but yet I still stuck it out. I continuously fought with myself, I was scared of making a move, I would say to myself “Is it the right time, 3 kids, expenses, financially can I do this?” I needed out and knew that I had my personal training to fall back on and I not only loved personal training because of how rewarding it was,  I was good at it too!

If you were happy with your current career, what was it about personal training and fitness that made you believe it was time to act on this interest & develop it into more than just a hobby?

The fact that I was Personal Training Go Girl Bootcamp already and knowing how much I have made a difference in many women lives and that I was being told on a continuous basis I was very motivating and inspiring, was making my decision to leave my full time job and fulfill this dream much easier. This wasn’t just a hobby for me. I had transformed my own body loosing my pregnancy weight; I was the living proof to many women in that bootcamp that I was a working mom, had 3 kids and was also personal training clients on a part time basis that, exercising was a lifestyle change, but so rewarding too! When you first start seeing those results on your body, it’s such an incredible feeling. The women I trained saw how this worked for me and my drive to get my results but also I was pushing them too.

I knew..once and for all this was it, this is where I wanted to be, in this space of Fitness, there was no other choice. I was going to make it work, it was time to push forward and just do it.


Had you had experience in an area like this before?

I didn’t’ have previous experience in doing Personal Training on a full time basis, but I did have experience with fitness. I guess deep down inside, what probably has been engraved in my head was seeing my dad being sick with heart disease as a child, and I often wondered how I could make a difference in the world with helping someone become healthier. I was always very active growing up as a child and teenager. I played many sports was captain of house league sports for a year. I took physical education throughout high school and one component of the program was to put a training circuit as well as a cardio routine. I did very well with this and I knew then this could be a possibility to get into this field of work. I also helped friends and family train.

Did you have a mentor/ role model whom you confided in as you ventured into this new territory? How did they help shape your decision to follow your passion/ how have they shaped your journey?

Yes I had a couple mentors who have influenced my decision to get into this field.

One is my good friend and trainer Essam Tossom, who I’ve known now for the last 7 years. I hired him as a trainer to give me the extra push, throughout our training circuits he would say that I was a natural, I had very good form and that I should consider getting into the Personal Training and Fitness World.  We would sometimes tag team personal train with other clients and trainers and he would be astonished at how I could motivate the other trainer’s clients.  “You are good” he would say.  I remember him also saying, it is so rewarding, especially when your clients push themselves and they too see that their hard work pays off.

The second mentor is my current employer, and mentor, Mr. Dan GO, known as the Ninja Man, from Go Girl Bootcamp.  At the time, I was just his client at his bootcamp, I was one of his first clients in the bootcamp world and I got amazing results after my second child was born! It didn’t come easy, I pushed it so hard in that bootcamp and did extra cardio on the side to get that body back.  Every so often Dan would pull me aside and say, “Have you ever considered being a trainer, damn you are good! you bring so much energy to the room and you inspire and push all those women around you during the workout– consider it” he would say.
Dan is a great guy, he knew I wanted a hardcore workout and would always throw things at me to go over and beyond the normal workouts…I loved it!  He planted the seed with the thought that I should consider getting into personal training, and from there I thought about this every day.  In fact, I almost quit my job and not go back to work from maternity leave, but again, I didn’t feel ready, or was I hiding from the fact I was scared of failing?  Well the thought would always enter my mind, in the mean time I ended up getting pregnant with my 3rd child. Now the Personal Training thing was on my mind again, this time I knew that as soon as I had my baby, I was going to get my body back ASAP, I continued to workout with Dan at the bootcamp and went back to my full time job, and every so often Dan would put me on the spot in bootcamp, and would ask me to share my story, of my body transformation and at the same time I had people saying to me, “you should be a trainer, your energy is so good, you helped me push today through class, seeing you not giving up made me get another rep in, you inspired me”  I would keep hearing this every time I went to bootcamp, I had ladies that wanted to be in my group because they felt they wouldn’t quite in the circuit because they were with me.

This was incredible, that I could actually make such a difference in these ladies lives! I still had the feeling of failing, failing the exam, failing myself to not have that perfect body image I had visualized, but really deep down inside, I knew I had what it took to bite the bullet and just go for it.

Together with Dan Go and Linda Watson (Personal Trainer and Franchise owner Of Ilovekickboxing.com) they kept planting that seed, and would say “Why are you hesitating, you are good at what you do- just do it!”

Many books that I’ve been reading talk about discovering your happiness in life, and the easiest way to start is to look back at what you were interested in as a child. Did you ever play games/ participate in activities related to this field?

Yes I always played games and was very active as a child, sort of like a tom boy. Even the simplest of games, like hopscotch, would turn into an athletic hop.  I often thought that I wanted to be fit because my dad was a diabetic and passed away with a heart attack, so I wanted to make sure that I was always fit.

What were some of the challenges you faced when deciding to follow your passion & pursue this dream?

The biggest challenge is financially, it’s scary when you are used to a certain income and lifestyle. I almost felt silly and selfish leaving a good paying job to be a trainer. It’s tough to have your own business, but I feel now that this is my space I can make this happen.


Do you have any advice to other women who are possibly on the fence with following their own directions?

My advice would be to at least TRY following your dreams and passion.  If you don’t try, you would never know if you could succeed, or where you would be in a couple of years.

For myself, I use this perspective: it’s like making a drastic hair colour or hair style change. Chop off your hair, the hair will grow back eventually right? I looked at it as this is my opportunity to try this Personal Training Full Time and to make a difference in peoples lives, and if “financially” I can’t make things work for me and my family, well then it’s just like hair– “it” grows back. I can go back to work full time or part time and still do what I love. But my point is, as scary as it is, sometimes we need to take risks, and those risks we take we will encounter big hills and small ones, sometimes even a bumpy road to travel, but we need those hills to allow us to make mistakes and learn from them.  You become a better person and are true to yourself.

I urge one to try to follow your dream and give it your 100% all of everything you have to make it work, if this is where you truly want to be!  I haven’t looked back since 4 months ago, when this happened to me!

Looking back, is there anything that you may have changed that you think would have helped you get on this path sooner?

No, I don’t think I would change anything, I believe everything happened for a reason, and at the right time.  I also needed to be ready physically and mentally to be able to go on this journey.  It is now that I’m able to deliver the amazing  workouts that I do, I  am more experienced, I know what works, I know what can get people moving and I am confident at what I do….because it truly comes from my heart.

Where do you see this passion growing to over the next 5 years? And 10?

I see myself in the next 5 years, still working along side Dan GO at Go Girl Bootcamp and at Nox as a Fitness Kickboxing Instructor.  I’m slowly building my own clientele in addition to the bootcamp and eventually I would love to have my own facility not only working with women, but work with teenagers and give them a place for them to turn to. I want to promote healthiness and hopefully I can be a role model of having fun, but living a healthy lifestyle too.

Where can someone find more information about your company/ career choice?

At present I am registering my company name-.COMING SOON!

In the meantime, if you would like personal training sessions, I can be reached at: Rosie16@rogers.com or facebook message me.

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions! It’s so important for women to read about other women who have found success in the activities they love. Do you have anything else you’d like to add to our discussion?

Thank you Stephanie for selecting me as your feature, this has motivated me some more, and has made me realize how much more I have made the right choice to follow my dream!

kickboxingrosie 2bootcamp

 

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!