MOLO: Week 2 – Lower Body

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The Mother Love Wellness Challenge (aka MOLO) is in full-swing at Baby Boot Camp franchises nationwide, and my girlfriend Ruby over at Westside Mommy and I are tag-teaming the experience by sharing our experience on our blogs. Hit her up for an overview of Week 1, and next week for week 3… and so on.

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So here I am, with the lowdown on week 2 – which focused on lower body workouts at Baby Boot Camp. Lots of squats, lunges, inchworms and cherry pickers left me waddling around for days! But what I love most about MOLO is our daily challenges – bite sized prompts for improvements, reflections, and small changes we’re encouraged to make and share our results in the private MOLO facebook group.

Here are the week 2 challenges, and how I fared: 
Sunday: Focus on water consumption: drink at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces each day.
– I’m a bit of a water-holic, and carry a 32 ounce mason jar filled with water around all day long, (even sleeping with one by my side), so this was not a very difficult challenge for me to accomplish, but I was grateful for the reminder to be mindful about drinking it!

Monday: Replace dessert with hot tea and fresh fruit.
– We’ve recently gotten into the habit of enjoying cool, sweet oranges after dinner. They’re juicy, refreshing, and the citrus helps cut through any lingering grease or fat on our palates. But replacing my typical glass of wine with hot tea was a bit more of a challenge! But, I do love a nice warm cup of candycane green tea (decaf) or roasted barley tea (aka bori cha – recipe here), and find them to be a nice relaxing alternative before bed.

Tuesday: Make a family favorite meal, but add a healthy twist.
– My plans to make lettuce-wrapped tacos was thwarted when the farmer’s market didn’t have any good butter lettuce available, so I changed gears and made a hearty-but-healthy chili and skipped the shredded cheese and sour cream with which we’d normally liberally adorn it.

Wednesday: Skip your biggest vice/trigger food today.
– Carbs. If I had my way, I’d eat carbs all day. Refined carbs, to be exact. So today, I focused on protein and veggies, and subbed in roasted sweet potato for white rice with delicious results!

Thursday: Hold a wall sit for 20 seconds every time you send a text today.
– Only sent 2 texts, haha! Thankful for baby keeping me busy! Because after Wednesday’s lower body blitz at Boot Camp, I could barely hold 20 seconds at all!

Friday: No soda for the next 3 days, or track water consumption if you don’t drink soda.
– I quit soda 3 years ago this spring, but I did manage to pour 160 ounces of water down my gullet! Huzzah!

Saturday: Plan next week’s meals and make a grocery list.
– Did this one day late, but made it happen! We’re focusing on proteins and veggies for dinners, making sure to cook enough protein that I can toss some on a salad the next day for an easy, healthy lunch.

Whew! It was an eventful week! I hope some of those prompts help inspire you to make small changes, as they all add up quickly!

Next week we’ll be focusing on our upper body, so make sure to tune in to Westside Mommy for Ruby’s report, and I’ll be back for Week 4: CORE. (Yikes!)

So far, I’m loving the MOLO Challenge. The sense of community and camaraderie in the Facebook group is absolutely wonderful and so inspiring – it helps keep me going on the days I want to throw it all out the window and drown my exhaustion in a bag of chocolate chips. And the daily prompts are just manageable enough to accomplish each day, giving me momentum and small boosts of pride. I can already see changes in my body and feel noticeably stronger than just a couple weeks ago. I can’t wait to see what kind of improvement I’m experiencing after the end of the first month!

About Baby Boot Camp
Baby Boot Camp is an innovative stroller fitness program designed to balance the fitness needs of new moms while spending time with their children. Delivered by nationally certified fitness professionals throughout the United States, Baby Boot Camp stroller-fitness classes include STROLLFIT, STROLLGA, 5K Training Program, and Nutrition Solutions. Created in 2001 by Kristen Horler, Baby Boot Camp strives to help moms regain or enhance their pre-pregnancy fitness levels and meet the physical challenges of parenting by emphasizing strength training in a supportive environment.

Click here for the website of Baby boot Camp Los Angeles (Culver City and Marina Del Rey) or visit them on Facebook.

Click here for more info about the 2016 MOLO (Mother Love) Wellness Challenge.

Disclosure: My participation in this 3-month MOLO challenge is generously sponsored by Baby Boot Camp Culver City & Marina del Rey.


Getting My Groove Back: Baby Boot Camp

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Welcome back to my fitness journey! It’s a new year, so where’s the new me?! Trust me, I’ve been looking for her, too.

The holidays were such a cliche of a struggle. I was sick for over a week just before Christmas, and then my husband was on vacation from work for the last two weeks of the year. There were so many delicacies to eat, so many lazy, cuddly mornings in bed… and it all led to so much slacking. As the holidays often do, they completely derailed my efforts to be disciplined in my health and fitness.

But, I went to Baby Boot Camp whenever I could. I didn’t give up – so all is not lost! That said, let’s take a moment to focus on what I did lose – like 3 inches from my waist – what what?!? That’s right, even with my holiday dalliances, I’ve still managed to shed a trifecta of inches from my body and that gives me just the hit of inspiration I need to double-down my efforts and approach 2016 with renewed energy. And I know it was all thanks to the exercise I do at Boot Camp, because who’s got 2 thumbs and couldn’t control her diet over the holidays? THIS GIRL. Guilty as charged.

Just in time for a new year and all the self-care resolutions on everyone’s lists… It’s MOLO time! The Baby Boot Camp 2016 Mother Love Wellness Challenge (aka MOLO) is upon us.

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From the Baby Boot Camp – Culver City and Marina del Rey site:

Are you looking to make a lifestyle change through proper fitness and nutrition, but need some extra motivation? The Baby Boot Camp® Mother Love Wellness Challenge (MOLO), held each year from February-April, is our 12-week wellness challenge that focuses on helping moms across America to achieve their health and wellness goals safely and effectively, and to help them make their own health and wellness goals a priority. In addition to fitness and nutrition, we will also be focusing on communication, relationships, self-esteem, and emotional support.

Each MOLO participant will receive the following with their paid registration:

  • A challenge tee
  • ‘Before’ and ‘After’ measurements and photos
  • A week-by-week calendar with 12 weeks full of fitness and wellness challenges
  • Access to private challenge content, including weekly videos, a MOLO newsletter, and a private Facebook group with 1000+ other moms nationwide cheering you onOverall challenge winners will qualify to win national prizes, including a Mountain Buggy® stroller! And to help inspire other girls to get fit, too, Baby Boot Camp Corporate will donate $2 to the charity Girls on the Run® for every 2016 MOLO registration purchased.Gain control of your health and wellness goals safely and effectively by joining our Baby Boot Camp 2016 Mother Love Wellness Challenge!

I love that MOLO isn’t just about fitness or weight loss. It’s about whole-self improvement. Lord knows, self-care is a top priority for new-and-seasoned moms alike! Get in on the fun, and come join me! We’ll motivate each other 🙂 And stay tuned here for updates!

I think I can… I think I can… I think I can…….

 


Getting My Groove Back: Baby Boot Camp, Week 4

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Confession time: Thanksgiving week was an epic fail in the health and fitness department in my world. My sister came to town, which gave me a convenient excuse to skip Baby Boot Camp, and the holiday made rationalizing over-indulgences all-too-easy. I went to class on Monday last week. And it was all downhill from there. As much as I’d love to show up today and humblebrag about my discipline… alas, it was nowhere to be found.

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Sunday night, I resolved to make up for it this week. My house is stocked up with healthy choices in food. I boot camped Monday and Tuesday, and took a 1.5 mile walk yesterday (with a 17lb baby strapped to me, no less!). Planning another walk today and boot camp again tomorrow. So far, so good. I definitely feel my dalliances last week in my body this week – I’m slower, my stamina is suffering – but I know fitness is often a two steps forward, one step back game. So I’m trying to practice patience with myself.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I cried a little after Tuesday’s class because it broke me a little bit. But I repeated some kind affirmations to myself afterwards, in an act of self-forgiveness. I never cease to be surprised, horrified, and amazed at how different my body and it’s functions are since giving birth. I used to be so strong! I’m learning to love my new self a little more every day – but that doesn’t stop me mourning my old self too.

On the bright side, this was my view during ab exercises that day. Not too shabby. It was my first time at the Playa Vista location – and I really like the park we’re based in there. It’s spacious, cheerful, and in a charming part of town.

palm trees

And on the even brighter side: this week, my husband is joining me on this challenge, in his own way! He sold his car last weekend, and will be walking to and from work (which is a little less than a mile from our house), and eating healthier meals with me at home. It’s always easier to meet goals with a partner involved… especially a hot and sexy partner that I love 🙂

Tune in next week for more goal and measurement updates! EEK!

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Disclosure: My participation in this 3-month challenge is generously sponsored by Baby Boot Camp Culver City & Marina del Rey. 


Getting My Groove Back with Baby Boot Camp: Week 3

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Last week, I promised you guys “before” photos, and so photos you shall have. Here I am, in all my 4 months post-partum glory. I had to work stupidly hard to not suck in my stomach for these pictures, by automatic instinct. Vanity, friends. It’s a bitch.

Baby Boot Camp Before and After
I also took measurements before starting my 3 month Baby Boot Camp challenge, so I could track my progress with greater specificity. I’ll be sharing the changes in my measurements monthly. Since muscle weighs more than fat, and I’m hoping to convert a lot of this fat into heavier muscle… numbers on a scale are the least of my concern.

But, for transparency’s sake, I’ll tell you right now: I weighed 200lbs on the dot the first morning I went to Boot Camp. It is definitely the heaviest I’ve ever been. I’m OK with it, inasmuch as I know this body is responsible for creating, housing, and birthing the most beautiful, wonderful creature I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. But still, it would be nice if I could fit into any of my old clothes, y’know?

I also promised you goals this week. One thing that gives Baby Boot Camp some sweet added value is that Melinda and Elizabeth don’t just lead class, they also provide coaching outside of class time, via emails and a private Facebook group for Boot Camp members. It’s turning out to be a wonderful community of women, as we share inspiration, tips and tricks together. Elizabeth and Melinda encouraged us to set goals for ourselves through the end of the year, and provided great guidelines for setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound) goals.

So I thought on it, and decided that my goals would be as foolproof as possible.

  1. Attend Baby Boot Camp 3x/week
  2. Take long walks (minimum 1 mile) on non-bootcamp weekdays
  3. Cut back on sugar and refined carbs by not having them in the house
  4. Eat larger lunches and smaller dinners
  5. Acknowledge my beauty, growing strength, and the non-physical benefits of this challenge every day

Somehow, I think the last one might be the hardest. But it’s so, so crucial.

Every day when I get dressed, or catch my reflection in a mirror, an insipid little voice inside me tries to bully me into a state of disappointment and defeat. It’s gross, and I try to vigilantly tell that little voice to FUCK OFF every time I hear it’s whispers. And the best way I know how to shut that voice down is by working out, feeling my strength, and honoring my journey. I’m only human. I’m doing the best I can.

And sure, I’m often the slowest in class. When we jog around the park or do walking lunges, I often lag behind the other women, huffing and puffing and red-in-the-face. In these moments, when instinct has me wanting to speak unkindly to myself, I practice a new mantra:

This is for her. This is for me. This is for him. This is for us.

Because this challenge isn’t just about vanity. It’s about modeling a healthy lifestyle by example for my daughter. It’s about my mental health, physical wellbeing and longevity. And being happy and healthy makes me a better wife to my husband and a better mother to my baby. I work out because it betters my whole family.

So, my challenge is going strong, and I’m feeling the benefits add up more and more every day. I’ll be back next week to check in on my goals and progress!

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Disclosure: My participation in this 3-month challenge is generously sponsored by Baby Boot Camp Culver City & Marina del Rey. 


Getting My Groove Back with Baby Boot Camp

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Before I got pregnant, I was pretty friendly with my fitness. I worked out regularly, and ate a healthy diet of mostly whole foods. Let’s not forget, I was careening quickly toward my wedding day – always a great incentive to watch my figure and double down on my commitment to a healthy lifestyle. And on my wedding day, I looked and felt great! Success!

Then I went on my honeymoon to Paris and Korea and came back 5 lbs heavier (Thank you, cheese. Thank you, chocolate. Thank you, 3-michelin star meals), and 3 weeks pregnant. Then came the chronic first trimester migraines, followed quickly by second trimester nerve pain, and working out quickly became the absolutely least desirable activity I could possibly think of. I was basically couch-bound for the majority of my pregnancy, and while having Gestational Diabetes helped mitigate my weight gain, I lost considerable muscle mass as a result.

In the 4 months since having Maeve, things have not improved at all. I’m now 35 lbs up from my pre-pregnancy weight. Nothing I own fits me. I feel schlumpy and weak and tired all the time, and I hate it. Working out is a huge part of my mental health upkeep as well as my physical well being, and neglecting it was starting to take a real toll on every part of my spirit. And modeling a healthy lifestyle for my daughter is incredibly important to me. I’ve reached critical mass of feeling like shit. So, I knew it was time for a serious change.

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I found Baby Boot Camp during a search for fitness options that allow me to bring my baby along, and as luck would have it, they were offering a free class to celebrate their grand opening of a new location at Howard Hughes Promenade. I went, and over the course of the 30 minute demo, doing exercises that used to be in my comfort zone, I thought I was going to die no less than 10 times. It was a huge wake up call for me.

I talked to Melinda and Elizabeth, the owners of my local Baby Boot Camp franchise, and we thought it would be fun for me to document my progress as a Brand Ambassador, so they’re generously sponsoring my attendance for the next 3 months. I’m historically useless about exercise without some form of accountability, and this way failure is not an option!

Baby Boot Camp Culver City

I started my program last week and had a great time! Their Howard Hughes Promenade location has stairs that Melinda integrated for a really strong leg work out, and the Helms Bakery location has a lovely cobblestone courtyard with nice grassy areas for people’s kids to play on. Women brought their children ranging from 6 weeks to 4 years, and if a baby got fussy or needed to be fed, Melinda was happy to push their stroller or hold a bottle so mom could keep working out. It was so nice to be among women just like myself, rather than in a gym setting surrounded by muscle-bound weightlifters and impossibly perfect bikini babes.

“Boot Camp” is a bit of a misnomer for the experience though. There’s no “tough love” whatsoever in these classes, as you might imagine in a boot camp-y setting. Rather, it’s warm and encouraging. We do lots of body-weight resistance work like squats, lunges, and planks; and use resistance bands for bicep curls, obliques, triceps, and more. I love the variety of exercises we do, because as soon I start to get tired of one, we move onto another.

After only one week, I’m already noticing a change in my energy level and mood. I’m so excited to see what other progress I can achieve over the next 3 months thanks to Boot Camp in conjunction with clean eating. I’ll be sharing my journey along the way. Wish me luck, and stay tuned next week for my before photos (youch) and goal setting update!

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