Fitnessness

A Workout for the Discouraged

Hi! Welcome to Motivation Mondays!!! Today, I have a new workout for you! I recently found out that a few women I knew were doing the last workout that I posted! That was so encouraging! Please keep sending me feedback! I love it!

No Change

If you are anything like me, and you workout pretty consistently, you know that you can get get pretty discouraged. There are times when you follow a workout program, eat well and stay active and you STILL do not see progress.

That nasty “place” that you get stuck in is called “Plateau land”.

Here is the definition…

Pla·teau

an area of relatively level high ground.
2.
a state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress.
“the peace process had reached a plateau
Hey, I’ve been there many times! It kind of sucks being a female sometimes. Our hormones control so many factors of our health, unfortunately.
But, Don’t be discouraged!!!
You can do it!!!

“If Only I had a Nanny!!!”

With all that being said though….we still need to be consistent!
Consistency wins the race!!! You don’t have to workout every day to see results!
The other morning, I had the privilege of working out with my husband in the morning, before he left for work. I love working out with him!
We get to talk, encourage each other and the best part…Slap each other on the booty!!! 😉
We started talking about when the kids grow up and move out (which seems like a lifetime away…but it’s really not). I told him, “man o man, if I only had a nanny…I would look soooooo good! I’d go to the gym every day for 2-3 hours (uninterrupted), take spa days, get manicures and pedicures and generally be so relaxed!!!”
We laughed at that sentiment. I realize that some have the resources to be able to do that sort of thing, and that’s great, but I also have to be realistic. This season of life is really for my husband and my  babies! I have to remember that THAT is my priority right now…and THAT’S OK!
Does that mean that I let myself justify being unhealthy and out of shape? Heckles no! But I also have to be realistic. I could easily tell myself, “if only I had a…”.  You fill in the blanks.
Justification is a dangerous thing ;).

The Workout

Before I show you the workout plan, I just want to remind you that health and fitness is only 20% achieved in the gym! A whopping 80% is achieved in the kitchen!!!

That’s right! Your health begins and ends at what you eat! So, don’t beat yourself up if your life doesn’t allow for 2-3 hours at the gym, spa days, nanny’s etc!

This season is for your husband first, and then your kids! But, start in the kitchen!

Don’t be discouraged! 

With all that being said….
I put together a workout that you can easily do 3 times a week. This is a 2-4 week workout. It should only take about 25-30 minutes. Make sure to keep your heart rate up! It is a full body workout, so you can focus on burning fat and toning up every area of your body!  Hope you enjoy it!
Here is the (pdf) printed version.
Just click on it and print it out!
Enjoy!
-Z
Healthy Mama · Healthy Mom

Sleep-The Most Important Exercise

Yes, I just said most “IMPORTANT” exercise. That’s because it is.

sleep

 

Unfortunately, people do not talk about the importance of sleep very much. But, you can bet your “bottom dollar” that it is a very important factor to having a healthy life.

I was just talking the other day with a women who was telling me about how awful her sleep was. She then began to tell me that she was working out all the time, trying to eat healthy and doing “everything she was supposed to be doing”, but still suffered from insomnia. I told her, “all that stuff is great, but if you don’t sleep and are always exhausted, what’s the point of all that other stuff?”

More people than you think suffer from sleep disorders, whether as a permanent disorder, or a seasonal thing.

Sleep Disorder Statistics:

50-70 million US adults have a sleep disorder.

48.0% report snoring.

37.9% reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once in the preceding month.

4.7% reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving at least once in the preceding month.

Drowsy driving is responsible for 1,550 fatalities and 40,000 nonfatal injuries annually in the United States.

Insomnia is the most common specific sleep disorder,  with short-term issues reported by about 30% of adults and chronic insomnia by 10%

3–5% of the overall proportion of obesity in adults could be attributable to short sleep

(https://www.sleepassociation.org/sleep/sleep-statistics/)

How does lack of sleep affect you?

My third born son, Josiah I don’t know about you, but if I don’t get enough sleep, I am a pretty cranky person. I aint gonna lie. Sleep not only affects my mood, but obviously my energy during the day. With 4 kids and a myriad of responsibilities…that just won’t work for me! Sleep is a treasure to me, and it should be to you too!

“Those who report poor quality sleep also report poor quality health.

Overall health was highly associated with sleep quality.  Sixty-seven percent of those with less than good sleep quality also report “poor” or “only fair” health, with 27 percent reporting otherwise “good” health. Low life satisfaction and high stress were also related to sleep quality. Groups that reported poorer sleep quality were those with an annual income of less than $20,000, those with education levels of high school or less, and Americans between 30 and 64 years old compared to younger American adults ages 18-29.

Women are more likely to report insomnia symptoms; men are more likely to say they snore, supporting previous data that have shown women are more commonly diagnosed with insomnia and men with sleep apnea.”

(https://sleepfoundation.org/media-center/press-release/lack-sleep-affecting-americans-finds-the-national-sleep-foundation)

Why is sleep THE MOST IMPORTANT EXERCISE?

bicep
Me getting my “sweat” on

In my opinion, exercise and sleep go hand in hand. Yes, exercise is very important, but if you don’t have the proper amount of sleep, then it doesn’t work; you just don’t have the energy for it. You could work out and eat healthy, but if you don’t sleep enough….it’s defeating the purpose. The only thing you’ll end up doing for yourself, is wear yourself out!

I think as mama’s especially, we need to get our health priorities in check first. Before we start a new diet, or go on a new workout plan, we need to get our sleep down first.

Nevertheless, Sleep and exercise go hand in hand.

“People sleep significantly better and feel more alert during the day if they get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week, a new study concludes.

A nationally representative sample of more than 2,600 men and women, ages 18-85, found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, which is the national guideline, provided a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. People also said they felt less sleepy during the day, compared to those with less physical activity.” (https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/study-physical-activity-impacts-overall-quality-sleep)

If you don’t sleep well, you don’t exercise well. If you don’t exercise well, you don’t sleep well.

Yes, there needs to be a balance, but like I said before…you need to make sleep a very important priority! Especially when you have a husband and or kids to tend to. When I’m sleep deprived, I am cranky, short, easily agitated etc. That just doesn’t work If I am trying to be loving, kind, patient…

Now, before children, I was able to take naps. Does anyone here remember NAPS???? I do….vaguely. Nowadays, I would be lucky to get 5 minutes! I guess that’s just the mom-life.

But, back to the subject…

Sleep is so very important.

Some Practical Tips…

If you are like me, I get a “to do list” going round in circles in my mind, right about bed time.  My husband always says, “ok…lets go to sleep now”, turns over and is literally asleep! It drives me nuts, because usually, I have to “wind down”. I need to slowly turn my brain off. I usually read a book, watch a show (usually for about 15 minutes before I pass out), read emails etc. before actually falling asleep.

Even with my exercise and eating right, I still struggle with falling asleep sometimes. Maybe this is you too. With all that being said, here are some tips for falling asleep AND having a healthy nights sleep…

  1. Limit your “screen time” before bed. Studies show that “The blue light emitted by your phone, tablet, computer, or TV is especially disruptive.” (Helpguide.org) It is generally a bad idea to watch a show (like I do sometimes), read articles, scroll Facebook etc. It does nothing but stimulate your brain, not relax you.
  2. Exercise during the day. Exercise is a great way to achieve weight loss and to give you that “burst of energy” during the day, but most importantly, it allows you to sleep better at night!
  3. Control your exposure to light at night. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark—making you sleepy—and less when it’s light—making you more alert.
  4. Watch what you eat. Watch the caffeine intake mamas! Caffeine, sugar and carbs can be a bad thing in excess. “Cut back on sugary foods and refined carbs. Eating lots of sugar and refined carbs such as white bread, white rice, and pasta during the day can trigger wakefulness at night and pull you out of the deep, restorative stages of sleep. Also, don’t eat a heavy meal at night.” -(help guide.org)
  5. Clear your mind before bed. Stress can be a huge factor in lack-of-sleep too. God tells us to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” Phil 4:6. Praying as you are falling asleep is awesome. It is one of my favorite ways to fall asleep.

There you go! Now you know my “shpeal” on sleep, and how incredibly important it is for your health as a whole. I hope that this post was encouraging!

Be sure to “like” this post, and share it so that others can learn about how important sleep is! Thanks!

God Bless!

-Z

 

 

Fitnessness · Fitnessness

Give yourself a break!

Welcome to Motivation Monday!

“I have a plan!…P-A-L-N”

Ever seen that movie Sgt. Bilko? Hilarious. It is a goofy military spoof. The Sgt. is a guy who goes against the rules and runs an illegal gaming operation in his auto shop on base. He gets the guys together and tells them that he has a plan to make everything work out for them.  He talks about his strategic plans for his platoon and gaming operation, and spells the word “plan” wrong on the drawing board as he is “rallying the troops”. Funny movie….watch it!

Back to the story…

That’s kind of how my morning went when I thought about the word “plan”…totally wrong.

Ever have a plan to be really “good” on a Monday, and to start back on your exercise after a long weekend of gluttony and laziness? Your plan is to wake up early, do an awesome workout and start your day off right. Right?

That was my plan today (although, I didn’t have a weekend of gluttony, and for the most part, didn’t have a weekend of laziness).

I utterly failed.

You see, I was wide awake last night around bed time. I could not go to sleep! I even took a melatonin! When I did eventually fall asleep, I kept waking up…all night! It was rough night for me, and I have no idea why I kept waking up or why I couldn’t fall asleep in the first place. Weird.

Because of my inconvenient night, I could not, for the life of me, wake up this morning! My alarm went off as usual, at 5:30 am. I pushed snooze as I incoherently could hear my husband stomping around in the kitchen throwing pots and pans around as if no one was sleeping in the house, and being extremely loud (he wakes up before me). (Husband! You’re fired!). I’m sure I am over embellishing because of my half-asleep state. But seriously husband…you’re a “bull in a china shop”!

I eventually just turned off my alarm, instead of “snoozing” it, and rested my eyes again. So, I pretty much just went back to sleep. I couldn’t even keep my eyes open!

I eventually woke up to the sound of children playing in their room. If you have ever been woken up this way…it’s horrible! Especially when you are dreaming that you are sleeping in a hotel room, surrounded my big pillows and no children. 😉

I eventually got up and got coffee and went back to bed as the kids ensued in their revelries. I just sat in bed staring at the wall, wondering how I messed up my morning so bad, and why the crap I was so dang tired. OMG.

Why tell this story of my morning? Because….wait for it…Theres a lesson to be learned here.

Exhausted after a night of sleeplessness.

Give yourself a break!

If you are like me and you had a similar morning…Your whole structure and routine just fell apart! Mine did. At first.

You see, I started “beating myself up” because I, “Didn’t work-out”, I, “didn’t do my regular routine of devotions”, “I wasn’t up and ready before the kids”, “I slept in”….ETC ETC. (WA WA WA)

I just to want to use this short post to encourage you ladies who may be in the same “boat” as me. Who may “utterly fail” some mornings. Wether you are a routine and structure kind of person (like me) that fails at it, or just someone who tries to set goals of exercise and structure and fails at them on any given Monday.  Give yourself a break!

I had to. I started to think about how bad I was messing up my day, how “off” my plans were going to be…but in the scheme of things…IT’S OK!!! The world did not end. The kids are not going to die. The house chores aren’t going to be mad at you…

Give yourself a break!

Stuff happens. Things come up. Nights with no sleep happen.

That homeschool will be there all day, those dishes will be there all day (in abundance), that laundry will still be piled up in that corner, and your kids will be ok with you waking up with them. Take this opportunity to read them a story in your pj’s, or have a day off school, or do a deep-cleaning of the house…. You may have to switch stuff around a little bit…but that is ok!

laundry piled high
Dirty laundry for days!

Try, Try Again

All that to say… Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t start your exercise on the day you intended to, or if you can’t seem to wake up early enough, Etc.

Don’t stay there, of course! Do your best to be active and healthy and to set goals for yourself. But, if you failed today, like I did…TRY AGAIN TOMORROW! Give yourself a break!

Have grace on yourself, and know that failing at your goals is not the end of the world! It’s just one of those things that happens a lot in motherhood. It just does.

My mom always said, “If you fail at something, try, try again!”

Happy Monday! have a blessed day!

-Z

 

Fitnessness · Fitnessness

My Fitness Journey Through 5 Pregnancies

fitness journey 2

My Fitness Journey Through 5 Pregnancies

Yes, you heard right…5 pregnancies! Although I only had 4 full-term pregnancies, I’ve learned a lot about nutrition and fitness in the past 9 years.

I wanted to share some pregnancy photos with y’all, so that you have a better idea of where I started from, and hopefully encourage you to be healthy in your pregnancy.

My second pregnancy was actually my first full term pregnancy (be sure to watch out for my post about My Miscarriage).

Enter pregnancy #2…

1st pregnancy

This is me only at 6 months along! I gained so much weight right off the bat! I had no idea that I needed to be active and eat nutritious food for the health of my baby and me. People told me, “you need to eat for two!”. I believed them.

fat
Jesse at 2 months old. My heaviest weight.

I had gained so much weight with his pregnancy, that after I had him, I wasn’t able to lose weight. At that point, I was about 25 pounds over my healthy weight, and I didn’t know any better! While I was nursing, I was always hungry, and because everyone told me that I needed eat a bunch of carbs to be able to make milk for him…I ate a bunch of carbs! Not healthy carbs either!

6 months after I gave birth to my first, I got pregnant!!! I know right?!?!?

I had no idea that you could get pregnant while you were nursing!

But, alas…I was pregnant!!!

Pregnancy #3…

IMG_0576
About 6 months along with #2 full-term pregnancy.

I had no idea what I was doing, and I sure as heck did not understand nutrition during pregnancy. This was my heaviest of all pregnancies. I had gained almost 50 pounds (for my 5′ 4″ self, that’s a lot!)!

Then there was pregnancy #4…

181535_1896515457105_1694512_n
The most embarrassing swimsuit choice ever!

About 6 months along with #3 baby

Although this picture doesn’t do me (or that hideous swimsuit), any justice….I actually was smaller during this pregnancy. This is where I began to understand that I needed to be active and eat nutritious food for health. I started to read articles about how staying fit during pregnancy was very important, and began implementing some of things I learned.

Let me just tell you…I barely made it to the hospital with this guy! This was not only the easiest pregnancy, by far, but the easiest labor too! I barely made it to the hospital in time to deliver! I arrived at the hospital, and then 7 minutes later…he was born!

I attribute the ease of this pregnancy to the implementation of nutrition and health (although not perfect at the time).

Pregnancy #4…

IMG_0578.jpg

By this pregnancy….I began to understand the importance of nutrition and exercise. I was exercising regularly and eating fairly nutritious at that point, and feeling a lot better.

Enter THM (Trim Healthy Mama). This lifestyle of eating really changed my husbands and my health in so many ways! We both felt better, had more energy and were over-all, looking thinner and more trim.

For the first time ever, we were able to eat decadently and not feel guilty or “nasty” afterwards. We began seeing so many benefits that we couldn’t deny.

We love THM, and will be lifetime “THM’rs”.

Fortunately, this pregnancy and labor went pretty easy as well.

Pregnancy #5…

fullsizeoutput_329
4 months along with pregnancy #5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now pu-lease tell me you see the difference! I was like 16 weeks along here, and was ripped! After 4 pregnancies…I finally got the point of how important physical fitness was to a pregnancy! I was actually still lifting weights and doing quite a bit of cardio for all of the pregnancy. This was by far, my most healthy pregnancy.

Here is me about 6 months along with #5, and with pregnancy #2. Same amount of months-completly different figures!

fullsizeoutput_31c
6 months along with pregnancy #5.
1st pregnancy
6 months along with pregnancy # 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See the difference?!?!

So…I definitely am a big advocate for fitness during pregnancy. It is beneficial, not only in the way you feel and look, but in the ease of labor! My labors were so easy after I began exercise during pregnancy!

Note: I didn’t use any pain meds or epidural’s in any of my labors! Maybe it is because of my phobia of needles, or just the fact that my pregnancies were healthy, and I really didn’t need them. Regardless, I didn’t use any, and I believe that most women are stronger than they think. If you’re thinking about going “all natural”….DO IT! You’ll be happy you did!

Now that I am done with babies (God-willing haha), I am still on my journey to be healthy, and to be the example of what health looks like to my kids.

I am not perfect…FAR FROM IT. I still have stretch marks, skin that is not as “elastic” as I would wish, wrinkles, grey hairs, and many other imperfections,  but I strive to be as healthy and active as I can be.

So, here is encouragement to all you mamas out there…Don’t give up!

Keep up being active, and especially eating nutritious foods! If you haven’t hear of THM…I highly suggest you toking into it! It’s an amazing lifestyle!

You can do it! I believe in you!

God Bless!

-Z