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.

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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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.

Keeping Fitness Fresh

I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a Gemini or what, but I’m continually all over the map with what I love to do, and where I participate in fitness. I’ve done boot camp, I go to the gym, I’ve done kickboxing, I’ve tried cross fit, I run with a group of women, completed adventure races, done karate, taekwondo, aerobics, really the list is endless.  

I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong to “dabble” in a variety of fitness experiences! I’m a perfect example of someone who is continually expanding experiences, and trying new workout classes & styles! But I do think that if you’re expecting results, you need to commit to a specific type of exercise so you can see them.

For example, if you want to increase cardio.. commit to a cardio program! If you want strengthening, find something that does strength exercises, if you’re going to fat loss, find a program that balances exercises with nutrition!

This morning, for example, I put off going to the gym to change it up for a little kickboxing experience!

I Looove to fight. When I was younger, I used to participate in Karate! I never graded fully, but I worked my way (very quickly I might add) up to a Blue belt. I still sort of regret not going all the way to black (seeing as all I had left was: brown, second degree brown, then black) buuuut I’ve come to accept that I’ve managed to accomplish a lot since then anyways.

In karate, my favorite nights to go was when sparring happened. It’s in my nature, I enjoy the physical activity & adrenaline pumping when you unleash on the bag (or sometimes, your opponent!)

I suppose to look at me, I’m not exactly your bad-ass, jacked, kick-ass mother… you see where I’m going with this.

IN FACT– clients & other trainers have used the following comments to describe me:

“Beautiful Beast”
“She looks sweet, but watch out! She’ll whoop your ass!”
“She may look tiny, but she’s tough… you picked the wrong partner!”
“Watch out for the quiet ones”

I feel as though I should share my “Bad-ass picture” give you a glimpse of what I have to offer (As I write this, I have my wonderful husband behind me laughing— great encouragement haha!)

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Yeeep. Don’t mess with this.

Anyways, time to get to the point of this post!

Keeping your fitness fresh is important so that you don’t loose interest in working out, which leads to the dreaded “falling off the wagon”.

I had so much fun working out on the bag, it takes me away from my regular workouts at the gym, and from the circuit training that I run at boot camp.

But word to the wise:
If you are looking for results, and have specific goals… you absolutely need to choose your outlet, and stick to it for several months in order to see consistent progress. It can be tricky to keep yourself on a similar training program, and it’s common to feel bored with repetitive exercises.

If you are at the gym, or even in my classes I tell my ladies the following:

If exercises become “boring” or “easy” you need to run a quick mental checklist
1. How heavy are my weights? Let me set the record straight right now.
Squat to Presses are VERY different experiences if you are lifting 8lbs vs 12…15..20lbs.
2. How intense are you going? If you are half-assing reps, It’s not going to work and you’re going to get bored.
The only way to see results is to BRING IT each and every time you are at the gym, boot camp, evening kickboxing!
3. Are you concentrating on the muscles needed for each movement? It’s no use to fly through a bicep curl, or deadlifts, if you aren’t remotely concentrating on the area you are working.
The more you focus on the muscle, concentrate & contract the area you are working, the more you feel — ACTUALLY FEEL the exercise WORKING
4. How is your form? To be brutally honest, a lot of times we aren’t feeling the workout simply because our form is incorrect. Number 3 & 4 really go together, because honestly– How can you focus on the muscle you’re working if the form is incorrect?
Really take your time to learn the correct movements, understand what you’re working so that when you increase intensity you’re maximizing results.

There you have it peeps!
I encourage you to keep your fitness fresh, and always try new experiences to expand your knowledge… but don’t be so quick to give up where you are just because a new ‘fad’ has come out! Whenever you feel bored, and need that extra push… run through my checklist and see if that helps pick it up a bit before you throw in the towel and move on.

Have a fabulous weekend!! Get out and get SWEATY!!