July 26, 2019
You guys! Let me first start by saying this is my first blog post in 15 MONTHS! I cannot even believe that… I used to blog weekly back in the day but kids and life took over and thats okay. Most of you will notice I took a huge step back this year after having our 3rd child. I never made it public that I was ‘taking a step back’ or in other words, taking somewhat of a break, because I didn’t want my business to just come to a stop. I wanted to continue working and of course continue to pursue photography, I just wanted to do it on a much smaller scale. I went from photographing anywhere from 4-5 sessions a week to now only doing 1-2 per week and taking some weeks off completely for sanity reasons. As we fall into our groove of 3 kids and learning what that means for our busy schedules, I’ve started to take on more work at a gradual pace.
Never feel guilty for needing to do this, friends. Never, ever. It may feel odd or you may feel sad from having to make this decision but as long as you know its whats best for your current season of life, it will all work out.
NOW, on to the actual topic of this blog post LOL! I’ve recently had so many people noticing my fitness journey on instagram and asking lots of questions about it. Let me preface by saying I am not a fitness or nutrition guru, I’m just a girl who chose to quit feeling like shit all the time. I’m a wife and mom who realized my days were full of taking care of everyone else around me to the point where I wasn’t taking care of myself at all. I felt stressed 24/7, my anxiety started to pick back up in a major way and I felt almost robotic – like my only role in life was to take care of my children and husband and thats it. Like dirty diapers, tantrums, meal making, and cleaning were all I was good for. There was no recharge button. No fresh batteries to throw into me at the end of a long day where I felt like I couldn’t push through any more. So I knew I needed to make a change. I also really hated my body, hated how I couldn’t fit into any of my clothes and I so desperately wanted to FEEL good again.
Friends, let me tell you something you may really need to hear today: God did not call you to take care of everyone else around you SO well that you forget to take care of yourself. He made you so fearfully, so wonderfully, that he wants you to thrive and not just simply survive. You were made for so much more than that. And all you have to do as a first step is want more and better for yourself as well.
First, my journey is my own and has definitely taken its own course. Back when I got pregnant with Grady I was actually medically overweight. I’ve learned since then that doesn’t truly mean that much since the scale for whats ‘overweight’ and what isn’t are really off. At the time however, it made me feel so depressed. I knew it was my last pregnancy and I felt as if I couldn’t truly enjoy it the way I was used to enjoying my pregnancies. Food, calories, carbs, sugar, etc…all of that was in the back of my head every.single.day. It was exhausting. I made the decision to eat mostly Whole30 meals during my pregnancy with the exception of the occasional treat and adding in additional carbs at the request of my doctor. This one minor change took me from gaining my usual 40lbs per pregnancy to only gaining 20. I also had gallstones at 37 weeks pregnant and had to drastically change my diet even MORE to make sure I didn’t have anymore attacks. That meant no high fatty foods, nothing fried, etc. In February I had my gallbladder removed but I kept my cleaner eating lifestyle and that was the best first step in starting to shed a few pounds.
I eat pretty clean during the week – grilled or baked chicken, veggies galore, salad kits, lettuce wraps, eggs, oatmeal, etc. and I typically only snack on dark chocolate type items for my one sweet treat of the day. I went dairy free (for the most part) and try to severely limit my carbs. On the weekends however, I STRUGGLE! Mostly because we like to go to the beach or grill out with friends but I’m learning to go with the flow and striving for progress instead of perfection. Aside from eating SO much better and cleaner, I work out 3-4x a week. Some weeks I only make it to the gym once (rough nights with Grady who’s just learning to sleep through the night/sick kids/sick mama, etc) but on those weeks I DO try and do a home work out via Beachbody On Demand.
When I first started working out again I didn’t even feel comfortable enough to enter the gym. Kyle kept telling me how silly I was being but I just felt like I needed to get to a certain level at home first. So a few girlfriends and I went in on a Beachbody On Demand membership. We held each other accountable every single day. Texts, facetime, phone calls, etc. If our progress picture wasn’t sent via group text by noon, questions were asked! If we decided to work out at the same time, we would facetime to get it done together. Those types of friendships that push you and hold you accountable are truly the BEST ones! I just need to give a shout out to my friend Mariana who really pushed me into this new person I’ve become. She’s been my rock through it all and gave me the swift kick in the butt I needed. She’s also the only one I send my before and afters to (aside from my husband) which says a LOT about my trust for her, LOL! Mariana, you gave me the confidence I needed to get back to myself and for that I will love you forever and ever amen.
SO, in a nutshell, I started with Beachbody On Demand doing the 21 Day Fix. I think I did 2.5 rounds of that before finally going to the gym. We’re members of the YMCA and I really like a few of their classes there! My favorites are Cycle Box, Cycle, Strength Train Together and Kettle Bells. I also tried their Regymen program and LOVED it so much but just can’t justify spending the additional $60/mo for that program when there’s so many great classes included in our membership. It’s so much easier if you have a friend willing to go with you too! I have a few different girlfriends that I go with and its always so nice to laugh through the pain with them :)
I will say, taking the time for myself to get back into shape and putting my kids in child care for that 1-2 hours has brought so much life back to my soul. I’m happier, stronger, healthier, and 15lbs lighter. I get to do something for ME, have adult conversation with my girlfriends, work on my body and my mind and its made such a difference in my well being every day. I think we can all agree being a stay at home mom can be so isolating and can sometimes lead to loneliness and depression for some. If you’re one of those moms, please take advantage of free child care at the gym. Do something for yourself. Get out of the house. You don’t have to lift heavy or even take classes if you don’t want to…just hop on the elliptical or treadmill, pop in your headphones and listen to a good audio book or music and take time for yourself. I wish I would’ve done that for myself a LONG time ago!
Like I said, I’m no guru here… but I always live my life as an open book and I’m always here to encourage anyone who may need it. Questions? Ask me! If I don’t know the answer, I’ll help you find it. Need a swift kick to the booty? I’ll try and be that girl for you! Either way, you read this blog because you too are looking for a way to just START and here is your place. Now is your time. Get up and do something about it, mama. Take a walk, buy some 5lb weights ($5 from Five Below) and start the 21 Day Fix. Just start! Tomorrow you’ll be SO dang glad you did!
Health and happiness always,
PS: One day I’ll share my progress photos…ONE day! When I feel like its okay to share the girl I used to be with a gut the size I never thought I was even capable of growing. One day…