Right before I did this photo shoot, at six months postpartum, I asked one of my dearest friends, who is also a mother of two boys, if I should do the shoot now or “wait until I look better.“ She told me “Absolutely not. Do the shoot.“ She told me that it’s really important, as a postpartum woman, to see other women reflect similar struggles because this way she knows she isn’t alone in the journey to reclaiming herself. I have to say I agree. We had a long conversation about this; about our bodies, our new way of looking at ourselves, and our new way of thinking.
For many women much of our self identity, and sadly value, comes from physical appearance. Social media is one of the biggest pushers of this lie. This is a societal truth globally. I’m not going to go into a debate about how this is right or wrong, but I will say it makes being a woman complex.
As a postpartum woman, I can say my relationship to myself is very different than it once was. My body to date, six months postpartum, has an overall composition very different than what it once was. My approach to training is much different than ever before. I am learning to do more with less time. I have excess skin in my abdomen that once never existed. My muscle mass to fat mass has changed. My hips have changed. Lots of physical things about me have changed. But guess what? It is okay! It has been worth it. Mentally, I am more confident and accepting of myself. I have become more patient with myself. I feel I have become more focused in all aspects of my life because I have so little time for me that I have to make each second count. Even my relationship to food has changed in a real positive way. My new body may be softer, but I guarantee my little baby loves being cradled by my softness. This may be my body right now, but like all bodies they change a lot over the course of a lifetime.
If you’re a mom, or even a kid free woman reading this, and you feel your worth is only measured by your body think again. Your worth is measured in your actions and how you make others feel. So embrace yourself, go after your goals, and make yourself proud. As my best fried told me, “Do it!” Do something that gets you out of your comfort zone so you can blossom in ways you didn’t realize where possible.
I just turned 37, and I have to say I am fortunes full. It’s rumored that a life which is rich is not necessarily equivalent to dollar signs, but how you feel inside. I think that’s fairly accurate, if not completely true. When I think back on my life till now, I have lived a very full, exciting, and to some even daring life. Yet, there was always something missing. There was always a void that I felt I needed to fill. Unabashedly, I don’t feel that way anymore. I feel complete, whole, and happy. Now there’s a back story as to how I arrived at this place of genuine happiness, but I’ll share that another day.
Long story short, I feel so fortunate today and everyday that I wake up. Why? The biggest reason is because of my little family. It took me much longer than most women to find that one special man to have a family with and now I have this amazing son! I don’t need presents or cards or cake or songs for my birthday this year. I have all I need. I feel rich beyond compare and I have the big guy upstairs to thank. Another year around the sun and this time I’ll have my boy by my side keeping me in smiles.
Women: how do you feel about yourself these days? What could help you to feel more happy? Do you focus on your happiness enough? I want to hear your thoughts. Comment below and let me know.
When people ask me how motherhood is going I say words like: amazing, wonderful, fantastic, and I love it. I don’t lie to people. I love being Emilio’s momma. Have I had tough moments? Yes. Have I felt inadequate at times? Yes. Have I felt unsure of what to do? Yes. Have I felt insecure about my body? Yes. Yet, I can honestly say I love being a mother because each hard moment has helped me to grow and learn.
All my lessons have taught me little tricks and genius ways to sooth a baby or situation. Each time I felt inadequate or insecure has forced me to get in touch with my inner self and remind myself how powerful my body and mind truly are in the big picture. I mean my body made a beautiful baby and is now reshaping into an athletic physique. Incredible!
Like other women, I endured a long labor to having to care for my newborn while recovering from a cesarean alone. I handled breastfeeding, pumping, doctor visits, and healing from mastitis twice. Thank God for technology, too, because being a mom taught me to not be afraid of vulnerability and to reach out for help and to ask questions. Motherhood has been my ultimate teacher.
This new life has shown me I am beyond powerful, and I love motherhood because of this realization. Motherhood has shown me how unstoppable of a spirit I own. Motherhood has put all my preachings to the test. All the things I tell my female athletes and fat loss clients has been put to the test. Everything I tell my students has been put to the test. Proudly, I have put my words into practice and I keep seeing positive results. I feel so genuinely happy. So yeah, I love motherhood.
Photographer: Sean P. Walker https://www.seanpwalker.com
The next series of blog posts will be the story related to my most recent photoshoot. I did a photoshoot at six month postpartum to open up a dialogue about my experience with motherhood. It is my hope that other mothers find a bit of themselves in my posts.
Want to know how I have maintained a fitness lifestyle all these years? Want to know how I keep myself accountable? Want to know how my clients transform? Well, I have five words for you!
Whether you want your body to look a certain way, to get that particular job, or to have a certain quality life YOU have to BE CONSISTENT. What you do each day has a much bigger impact on your life than what you do once in a while.
I promise you, the 20 minutes you give to cardio every day will have longer lasting results then the 2 hour session you do once a month. Consistently lifting weights multiple times a week will have a much greater impact on your physique then trying to do a marathon weight session a few times a month. Trust me friends, it is the daily habits that mold your life.
I cannot begin to explain the importance of being soft with your goals. Be stubborn in your pursuit, but keep close to heart that life is unpredictable. Things happen to us that are often out of our control. We cannot always control injuries, the loss of loved ones, illness, and more. When our life gets hit with chaos, pain, or loss we have to be FLEXIBLE and adjust our approach to our goals.
Even dealing with day to day life can be tough. Life often gets more complicated as we grow. We all have jobs, families, and many responsibilities. Be flexible with how you approach your daily schedule. Make your fitness fit into your lifestyle. You have 24 hours in a day, which means there is tons of wiggle room for that one hour workout (which is just 4% of your day!). You also have time to cook your own food. Simply, make a plan and follow through, but be flexible when needed.
There comes a point in one's journey when motivation no longer matters or is needed to get a task done. All that is needed is determination. Having determination is a HUGE, essential component to being successful. With every competition I had done, it was not motivation that got me into the gym to train 3 hours a day after working 8 hours, it was determination. Determination is all about doing what needs to be done, even when you don't feel like doing it.
Your purpose is why you stay determined. Your purpose is why you allow yourself to be flexible in your approach toward goals. Your purpose is why you decide to have daily consistency in your thoughts, words, and actions. Having purpose is what drives you to be unstoppable. Purpose is what gets you out of bed everyday. It is what navigates you through your life. Purpose is critical if you want success, happiness, and health. Find your purpose and watch your life come alive!
In the end, everything comes down to YOU. No one is going to win the race for you. No one is going to lose the weight for you. No one is going to build muscle for you. No one is going to do anything for you because you can do it for yourself. This is reality. Nothing is owed to anyone. No person deserves anything. You have to work for everything. This is the coach in me speaking to you. You have to grind to get to where you want to go. If you follow my five words to success you will be unstoppable. I promise. You mind-set is everything. Your daily actions are everything. Your attitude is everything. You are everything. Stop looking for the missing piece because it is right in front of you. Look in the mirror if you are unsure where to find it. Do you see? It's YOU! You are the one who can make anything in your life possible.
I know I just gave you a BIG pep talk and a little bit of tough love, but that is because I BELIEVE in you! I know it often takes someone to believe in us and be in our corner to help make our success a reality. I have had coaches along my path help me reach various goals. Hopefully reading these tips to success inspired you. Yet, if you feel that you still need that extra push, or someone to hold you accountable, then reach out! I can guide you through a transformational journey. Together, we can go much further then if you tried to go alone. Click above for a free consulation!
Here is a portion of my workout from using one cable. Time efficiency is my game, especially as a mom. Shown in this video is glute bridge lifts for glute shaping and core conditioning. When you lie down, take a big inhale than exhale and pull that navel in toward the spin, it should feel like you are zipping up from your pelvic floor to your navel. Once you feel "zipped up," contract the core. Hold that contraction the entire time as you raise and lower the hips while keeping your pelvic floor stabilized. Meanwhile, keep the inner thighs engaged the entire time as well. Imagine you are squeezing a ball or block in between your thighs. It will burn in a good way. The last rep, hold at the top with the contraction in abs and legs for 18 breaths.
Core Conditioning Does Not Mean More Crunches
One thing I have learned since having a baby via C-Section, is the importance of reestablishing my pelvic floor and transverse abdominis muscles. I am still not fully put back together, but each day I get stronger. I went from not even being able to correctly breathe in my diaphragm to now doing warm up back squats at 110 pounds in just three months of consistent training and breath work.
One thing men and women should know is that the way to a stronger core is not by doing more crunches. If you are a postnatal woman (be it 5 months or 5 years) you should go through a proper evaluation of diastasis recti first and foremost. Many people (men and women) have some level of abdominal separation. Women who have been pregnant, however, can have the severity of it increase after pregnancy. This is why breath work and establishing a new connection with the core is so important. If you do not know how to check for diastasis recti please reach out to your local health professional or email me about the specialist I trained with for rehabbing this condition.
Through my postnatal experience and training, I have learned the way to a stronger core is knowing how to breathe properly, engage the with the muscles mentally, having good posture, and having all those aspects supporting each other to help your body become stronger. When people who fail to do these things when lifting, they end up injured.
I have done ZERO crunches or sit-ups since having my baby and my abdomen is pretty flat and becoming more defined each week. How is this possible? First, around 5 weeks postpartum I exclusively did breath work. I did this for several weeks. In fact, I did exercises like the video above to reestablish a connection with my core. That was all I did until I was cleared to exercise. To me, that was my foundational work of getting me put back together. I did this work right in my living room, next to my baby.
Once, I was cleared to exercise, I continued doing exercises which encouraged the engagement of my TVA muscles. When I would lift (which started VERY light or body weight resistance), I made sure to have insane mind-muscle connection. I concentrated HARD and I took my time. If my breath was off, or my posture was poor, I immediately stopped and tried again. It was humbling. At times it was frustrating and sometimes it hurt. But it was surely worth the patience and thoughtfulness. I never compromised proper form for my ego. I always would make sure that my core was engaged throughout an entire movement while breathing long and light, soft and smooth. If you have ever taken my yoga classes, you have heard me say that millions of times. I feel this new approach to training, is only going to make me a better trainer and athlete.
I had said a while back that I wanted to share with you ways to truly engage your core beyond crunches and sit-ups. Periodically, I plan to drop off more tools for you to add to your workout routines so you can be your strongest and healthiest version. I plan to provide for you floor based movements that can be done in your own living room and traditional lifting videos that may or may not require a gym.
If you like this video, you should consider subscribing to my humble little Youtube Channel. I plan to expand on it with time. If you like the content I send out, go even further by enrolling in one of my programs. Check out my website for further details.
I intentionally make all of my programs incredibly affordable because I know how challenging it can be to raise a family and make bills each month. I believe that all people should have access to quality fitness professionals who can help them achieve fitness related goals. I would love to be that person for you!
I even offer month to month programs that you can start and stop along your fitness journey.
Check out these month to month programs:
PERSONALIZED MEAL PLANNING
$100 Four Weeks (about $25.00 a week)
FULLY CUSTOMIZED TO HELP YOU REACH YOUR GOALS
MACROS CALCULATED AND TAILORED TO YOUR SPECIFIC GOALS
FULL MEAL PLAN WITH MACROS AND CALORIES PROVIDED
CUSTOM TRAINING PROGRAM
$80 FOR FOUR WEEKS (about $20.00 a week)
FULLY CUSTOMIZED TRAINING PROGRAM BASED ON YOUR GOALS
INCLUDES CARDIO AND WEIGHT TRAINING
PLEASE NOTE THAT IT IS HELPFUL TO SWITCH UP A TRAINING PROGRAM
EVERY 6-8 WEEKS TO AVOID PLATEAUS
FITNESS LIFESTYLE COACHING
Month to Month MEAL PLAN + TRAINING PACKAGE
INCLUDES MEAL PLANS SAMPLES AND WORKOUTS
WEEKLY CHECK-INS WITH PROGRESS MONITORING via Whats App
$140 FOR FOUR WEEKS (SAVE $40 BY BUYING AS A PACKAGE)
I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to ask me questions, comment on material below, or share my blog with others on social media or via email. Supporting others to become healthier and more fit brings my life so much happiness and fulfillment.
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If you are an avid gym goer, you might agree that some people are polite and respectful in the gym and others are absolutely disrespectful and clueless. As a fitness professional and former competitive figure athlete, I feel it is time I speak up about gym etiquette.
I have included a list describing how gym culture should be treated. If you have an opinion about anything I listed, please comment below. If you think I left anything out, let me know and I'll be sure to add it to the list.
Numero Uno: Make sure you are CLEAN! This means come to the gym in clean clothes (not yesterday's dirty gym clothes or stinky underwear). Make sure you have showered recently. Also, wear deodorant. I understand hygiene may be different from culture to culture, but gyms are melting pots, so be respectful and don't come in smelling like a jockstrap!
Number Two: Speaking of smell. Do NOT overdue the cologne or perfume. Some people have allergies and not everyone wants to smell your Axe or Victoria Secret spray. The wrong smell can totally wreck havoc for someone trying to run on the treadmill. It's just as bad as being next to someone who smells like rotten onions, sweat and puke all mixed together. Just make sure you recently showered and have put on some deodorant.
Number Three: Dress appropriately. This one is huge. I am sorry but the gym is not a dance club. No one wants to see your camel toe or ass crack. You don't need to expose your boobs like you would at the beach. Make sure your leggings are not see through. No one is interested in knowing the color of your thong. Leave something for the imagination for crying out loud. The purpose of the gym is to train. Please be respectful to others and remember gyms are also a place of business for coaches and trainers. Also, some gyms have childcare centers, so keep it PG please.
Number Four: RACK YOUR WEIGHTS! This one is super irritating. Gym staff work hard to keep the gym equipment in its proper place. The gym is a shared space. No one in the gym is there to pick up after you. If you were strong enough to load the weights on the leg press than you are strong enough to unload the sled. If you were strong enough to pick up the dumbbells than you are strong enough to put them back. The best part is that the dumbbell rack generally tells you where your weights need to return because the poundage is listed. It is amazing. Gyms are very organized places, so please respect the community by doing your part too.
Number Five: Speaking of cleaning up, please clean shared equipment. I get super sweaty in the gym. I don't always carry a towel, but I do make sure to wipe down equipment after I used it with the disinfectant spray. If you don't like using the spray and a paper towel to wipe down equipment than carry a towel around with you, so you can either lay it down before getting on the equipment or to wipe it down after use. There is not one person who wants to either sit in your butt sweat or clean it up. It's just foul, so please clean up your sweaty puddles.
Above is one of my affiliate links. These are the gym towels we use in my household. Click to buy.
Number Six: Do not block the free weights. This might be hard to believe, but you will NOT get stronger by standing in front of the rack. This is beyond annoying. Do not block the rack. It is just rude and it is very intimidating to newbies in the gym. There should be an isle wide space between the benches and rack. No one will steal the weights you want to use because they aren't yours; they are everyone's to use.
Number Seven: Do not hog the mirror. Just like you shouldn't stand right in front of the rack to do your set. Don't block someone's view of the mirror. True, you don't need a mirror to lift, but many people enjoy the mirror. The mirror is a tool in the gym. It helps someone make sure they are lifting with symmetry. This is especially helpful for both beginners and advanced athletes in the gym.
Number Eight: To extend on the mirror, please be mindful of how much you stare at yourself or pose in front of the mirror. It is perfectly acceptable to be proud of how you look and to admire all your hard work. It is another thing to flex or do a model turn after every set. You look like an ass. It is narcissism at its finest. Selfies can be fun, and posing has its time and place, but just be aware of your audience. It does make people uncomfortable whether you realize it or not. If you want to practice your posing for a competition make sure your gym allows it. Not all gyms do. If your gym does, they generally ask you to use a designated area. The reason for designated posing areas is to prevent distracting others.
Number Nine: Make sure you know the rules of your gym. Every gym has different rules about videos and photography. In our day and age, selfies are an obsession. It is like if there is no picture then it didn't happen. Make sure you know the rules about videos and photos. Many gyms do not allow videos, especially if they are meant to promote your business. Also, make sure you are not getting someone in a picture that doesn't want to be. That is a violation of privacy. If you are taking gym selfies be tasteful. A picture of you in front of toilets is just crap!
Speaking of rules, make sure you know how to use machines before use. Machines generally have instructions and graphics to help explain the proper use of the machine. If you are unsure either ask for help or skip its use for the session. If you're too shy to ask for help, then skip the machine and when you get home look up how to use the machine on YouTube. It would be tragic if you injured yourself by incorrectly using a machine, or worse being the main objective of a viral video about a moron using a machine wrong.
Last one on rules. Don't try to be an under the table trainer. It is obvious. I see it all the time and it's upsetting. The trainers in the gym either pay rent to be an independent trainer in the club or work for the gym making less than you want to know. Either way, it's not respectful to the trainers in the club working with integrity. If you want to be a trainer follow the rules and train clients properly and professionally.
Number Ten: There is no need to scream or slam weights. This seems to be an issue for men more than women. It is pretty annoying. I am sure there are garage gyms or places where that is acceptable, but in most gyms it's just tacky.
Number Eleven: Don't be a creep. Gym creeps are the worse. Just thinking of them makes my skin crawl. The purpose of the gym is to workout and destress. There is nothing more stressful and annoying than someone trying to throw pickup lines at you when you are trying to zen out and feel good. If you are digging someone you see at the gym, try to talk to them on the way out of the gym, but don't interrupt their workout with cheesy pickup lines. Also, don't make your staring obvious. It's creepy.
If you ever feel threatened by a person or feel as though you are being sexually harassed please speak to a front desk person or gym manager. Anyone who is overly pushy or overly sexual toward you at a gym is not acceptable and you should speak up.
Number Twelve: Hold your calls and texts. Do not take calls when you are on a machine and get into a long conversation. This is just rude. Other people want to use the machine, and you sitting on the machine like it's your couch having a deep conversation is not polite. If you want to talk on your phone on the treadmill, good luck, but make sure it isn't distracting someone trying to run or clear their mind next you. Remember gyms are place to release stress, not to accumulate more stress. I do not recommend taking a phone call at the gym. It can wait (unless it is a complete emergency). The same with texting. Don't text on weight machines when someone is waiting to use the machine. If you want to text on a cardio machine that is your choice, but are you pushing yourself enough if you are doing this?
Remember, the gym is a communal space. Everyone has the right to feel safe in the gym. Use your best manners. Smile at people once and while. Say thank you. Say excuse me. Be clean and clean up after yourself. Remember you are not the only person in the gym. Be modest and remember there are professionals in the gym working. Reserve other venues for sexual attire and behavior. Be mindful of other cultures. Find joy in taking care of yourself more than taking a million selfies. Most importantly, have fun and work hard!
One thing I am extremely passionate about is health. Not only my health, but the health of others like yourself. I have worked with a wide range of clients over the years, both male and female. Together, I have helped many people achieve fat loss goals and muscle building goals. What helped each client achieve their goals was proper nutrition and consistent training. I also had to support each person in developing better, healthier habits. One of the habits that I have helped people let go of is the over consumption of alcohol. The main reason being that alcohol is detrimental to lifelong health and physique goals.
But is it a complete foe?
The quick answer to that is no. A drink here and there will not harm progress toward fitness goals. Several drinks a day or multiple times a week will harm goals and the body. Binge drinking is the worst and could even kill someone.
As I coach, it is my duty to be honest with all my clients and loyal readers. Please know that me teaching clients to count macros does not mean that I support being reckless with food and especially with alcohol. Just because a person can make alcohol fit their macros doesn't mean they are going to get results. Alcohol is toxic, empty calories when consumed in excess.
If a person (perhaps yourself) truly wants to change their body composition, alcohol in surplus quantities is not going to help. All research shows that alcohol has negative effects, especially in large quantities (4 plus drinks) for muscle building. Muscle is what I want my clients to put on their body for so many reasons. One great reason to have more muscle than fat on the body is because a person can burn more calories at a rested rate. Alcohol in large quantities prohibits mTOR and protein synthesis. It also reduces testosterone levels which is a hormone needed in both men and women for increased muscle mass.
Now, you might be thinking how can I have fun in life if I can't drink? I encourage you to try. It is the media who says the only way to have fun is to drink. Next time you watch a movie or TV show just notice how producers normalize drinking. It is the media who tells people the only way to unwind after work is with a drink. However, the opposite is true. Life can be enjoyed sober. In fact, most people find they remember more about personal experiences when they do them sober. They report feeling less up and down emotionally as well. Experiencing life sober feels great in the morning too. Waking up after events more clear headed and without a sour stomach is priceless. It is one hundred percent possible for people to like each other when not drunk or buzzed. Plus, there are many ways to destress without alcohol. For example, walking, yoga, or a quick workout can do wonders for the body and mind.
I’m probably not the right coach for someone who doesn't want to reduce alcohol consumption, or be open to giving it up if it will create better health. I will never encourage binge eating or drinking which I find most fad diets end up promoting. I will never sympathize with a client who struggles with self-control. I wouldn't be doing my job as a health and fitness professional if I did enable those types of behaviors.
Macros counting is about freeing yourself from the idea that food is bad or off limits. It is about realizing that there is not a magical meal plan that will make you have rock hard abs. Macro counting is meant to help you control your food quantity, not restrict the variety. No food is necessarily bad. It's the over eating or under eating that hurts us. Same with alcohol. A glass of wine or a cocktail can be appropriate from time to time. Yet, alcohol can quickly become a fitness foe the moment one decides to be gluttonous. My advise to clients is to be kind to their bodies and stop binging in general.
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If you are ready to see what you are truly capable of mentally and physically then you should reach out for coaching. I offer an array of programs. All my programs will provide you with the tools necessary to continue living your best life even after our time together has ended.
I look forward to working with you!
Email me for a free consultation.
Lately, I'm all about supersets and triple set circuit training at the gym. Circuits are great for many reasons. Weight enhanced and resistance style circuits help with muscle building, along with supplying the body with short bouts of intense cardio.
You may find that circuits could benefit your routine if you find yourself bored lately on the treadmill, or feel as though you have become mindless on the elliptical. I think circuit training can fix your cardio boredom and inspire you to work hard and re-engage your mind-muscle connection.
The exercise options with circuits are endless. I am always inventing new ones. Sometimes I focus on particular body parts, and other days I like to train my whole body. What I also love about circuits, is being forced to train like a well-rounded athlete. Circuits also save time because the tempo is high with little rest time. Being a new mom, I need time saving workouts that burn a significant amount of calories.
If you prefer your typical bodybuilding split, where you focus on muscle groups throughout the week that is fine. Yet, I CHALLENGE you to fit in ONE full body circuit training session a week. You will be blown away at how hard you have to work. You will walk away a sweaty mess and will have accomplished the goal of hitting all major muscle groups in under 40 minutes!
Below is one of my favorite circuit sessions from the week. Give it a go and let me know what you think.
MS.B Fitness Total Body Circuit
Each set is meant to be completed for
the amount of seconds provided.
This style of training is about pushing yourself to do as many reps as possible in the amount of time given.
Get ready to feel the burn!
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Then, I suggest building your home gym.
When you have a home gym there is never an excuse that you couldn't workout.
You don't need a lot of space for dumbbells either.
Use this link or click on the image below
for the dumbbell set I have at home.
The price changes dependent on the pounds you buy.
Disclouser: the link I provided is my affiliate link.
I only recommend quality products which I have personally used.
If you are like me then you spent your entire 20s focused on one thing: yourself. During my 20s,
I essentially focused on being extremely physically active while pursuing my personal ambitions. In my late 20s and early 30s, my focus was not just on my career and physical fitness, but on understanding nutrition better as well. I got exceptionally good at managing my daily diet and using food to help me reach fitness goals. I will say that part of my success was always working with a coach. My success having a coach is one reason I pursued becoming a fitness coach. Plus, I had become so well-educated about nutrition and fitness that I wanted to share my knowledge by coaching others to reach their goals too. In fact, I made it a point to surround myself with experts in personal training, healing arts, and health and wellness fields.
It was during my late 20s, where I discovered the wonders of nutritional healing and alternative forms of health. By my 30s, everything I ate was directly related to how it would make me look and feel. When I found myself at 35 and pregnant, all my food obsessions and physical fitness pursuits completely changed. The moment I saw the take home pregnancy test strips read a big blue, positive plus sign, everything that was once my central focus: me, shifted to being all about the life growing inside of me.
This is not to say that I threw in the towel about being physically active or eating right. Actually, I became more aware of my body than ever before because I was now a vessel to create a new life. I immediately had to let go of my ego when it came to working out, the number on the scale, and how I looked compared to the childless self I had always known. What also dramatically changed was how I approached my daily diet and lifestyle routine.
Now, if physical fitness and nutritional knowledge has not been part of your lifestyle until getting pregnant, that is fine. Enclosed are recommendations I feel are essentials to having a healthy and happy pregnancy for both you and your baby. I will provide for you everything I found to be most essential during my pregnancy. My recommendations come from the collaborative efforts with my naturopathic medicine doctor, my doula, my prenatal trainer program, my self-research through readings and classes, and my fellow community of mothers and elders. Please note, I am not a medical doctor, so make sure to get your doctor’s approval before practicing any advice or undergoing any exercises.
When it comes to diet for a pregnant woman, there will be things you want to make sure you eat and things that you will want to avoid. I will list both for you. You do not need to follow the myth of eating for two. In fact, in the first trimester eat as you had always done, but perhaps cut out certain food, like raw fish. As you move further into your pregnancy, you will want to slowly increase your calories. Be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations for caloric increases. Every woman starts her pregnancy at a different weight and with a different BMI (body mass index). Also, each woman comes in with a different body composition. Your doctor will determine a healthy weight gain range for you to be mindful of as you journey forward in your pregnancy. However, don’t get hard on yourself if you gain more than the recommendation or struggle to gain weight. Everyone woman is different and will experience pregnancy differently. I cannot express this enough. Do not compare yourself, your body, or your pregnancy to any other woman. Your body is going to do its thing, so ride the waves, and just take care of yourself and your baby.
I will say, enjoy eating. Think of eating as a way to connect with your baby. You want to give this new life the best nutrition possible. This is not the time in your life to diet down or worry about the scale. The scale will go up no matter what. Again, do not compare yourself to other women. Some women gain no more than 15 pounds being pregnant, whereas other women can gain up to 40, 50, 60 plus pounds. The most important thing is to eat a well-balanced diet that provides you with enough energy to create a healthy baby.
Diet Avoidance Recommendations:
When it comes to supplementation, every woman is different and may require different variations. Make sure you go through all the necessary blood work before taking more than a recommended prenatal vitamin. For example, make sure your thyroid is in good working order. The thyroid hormone is paramount in the creation of a baby. Also, make sure your progesterone levels are healthy. It is important to know if your progesterone levels are healthy because healthy levels of this hormone will reduce your chances of miscarriage. If you do have to take anything for your thyroid or hormones, I advise you to go the natural path and seek out a homeopathic or naturopathic doctor in your area. Stay clear of synthetic hormones or chemicals in your body if possible. You will want to follow all your midwives or OB’s directions for specific supplementation and blood work. Below are the essentials I feel support healthy gestation.
Below is a direct link to Amazon where you can purchase all these products in one place. If you have Amazon prime you can have them delivered to your front door in as quickly as one day!
Please note: this is my affliate link. All suggested products are products I use. I am not a medical doctor so my advice are merely suggestions and not medical advise. Please consult a physician before taking any supplements.
Lifestyle Practices While PregnanT
When it comes to physical exercise, you really need to listen to your body. It is critically important that you do not get blindsided by false representations of being active and pregnant from magazines and social media. Do not compare yourself to other women. You do need to be active though. If physical exercise was not part of your life before getting pregnant, that does not mean you should not make it a priority now. You should aim to make it part of your daily lifestyle because it will benefit both you and the baby for all kinds of reasons.
I recommend walking at least five times a week for at least 30 minutes. If you can maintain a jogging lifestyle, hats off to you, but if you find it uncomfortable then walking is perfectly fine. Walking will help maintain core stabilizing muscles, which is important as you lose core strength the further you go in your pregnancy. You might even find that swimming becomes your most favorite way to get physical movement. I did not have access to a pool until the bitter end of my pregnancy, and though I only got to go a few times, it sure felt amazing to be weightless.
When it comes to physical exercise, you should do physical activities that you enjoy to help reduce stress and anxiety. Resistance training is also still important, but you don’t need to go heavy. Listen to your body first and foremost. As you get bigger, you will find your strength reduces and that is okay and normal. You can always rebuild your strength and muscles after the baby. If you feel you are straining to lift something then go lighter. You don’t want to compromise the baby’s well-being for any reason. Make sure to take adequate rests too. For example, I suggest two minute breaks and drinking water between sets. Do not resume another set or interval until you have fully regained your breath. Never compromise your ability to breathe because now you breathe for two.
I also recommend exploring meditation and other relaxation practices to promote more parasympathetic activity within the body to reduce anxiety. Many women go through periods of worry, mood swings, and anxiety throughout their pregnancy. Doing things like meditation or yoga can help to reduce any troubling thoughts. I found yoga to be super helpful preparing my mind to give birth. The breath work used in yoga is translatable during labor. Plus, as you go through the different stages of pregnancy you might find that your joints hurt, your body swells, or your ligaments ache. Yoga can gently open up the body, so both you and your baby have more room to grow.
I also encourage you to get prenatal massage, acupuncture, and/or chiropractic care throughout your pregnancy. We all have different budgets, but trying to do these periodically will help you to create more circulation in your body and to help you manage the surplus of pregnancy symptoms that you may face.
For all personal care, I recommend anything you put on your skin to be as free of parabens or anything highly chemical as possible. This is a great opportunity for you to explore new skin care regimens. I found my skin completely changed during my pregnancy and I discovered that I needed to add extra moisture to my skin. Everyone is different, but what is not different is the fact that a fragile life is being made inside you. It is best to use all natural and organic products on your body.
Each pregnancy is radically different. Each woman will experience her own unique pregnancy. There are many different symptoms in pregnancy, but that does not mean you have to experience them all. For example, some women have intense morning sickness where other women have none. Some women suffer from extreme swelling while other women have little. Your goal during pregnancy should be becoming your best self. Be as healthy as possible each day. Listen to your body. Allow yourself to slow down when needed. Rest when needed. Ask for help when needed. This is one of the most precious times in a woman’s life, but it goes very fast. Embrace all your changes. Remember, you have your whole life to get fit, but you don’t have your whole life to make a remarkable baby. Enjoy this time in your life. It’s a miracle.
Famous actress and humanitarian, Audrey Hepburn, was once quoted saying: "The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows, and the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years." I have to say I agree. As women age, their beauty enhances. I feel our beauty enhances over time simply as a result of our daily actions and habits.
Have you ever looked at pictures from your past and compared them to today? Don't you see yourself as wiser and more confident? More together? More sure of yourself? With humor, I bet you even think your overall style and way of carrying yourself has improved. Yet, in all seriousness, I feel a woman's beauty only blossoms with age because most women, past a certain age, fully embrace themselves. Women over 30, have not only come to terms with who they truly are, but also have the resources and know-how to pursue their own self-growth and development. What is also great for mature women is their ability to live free of fear or the opinion of others. In my opinion, it is personal growth that expresses our beauty and keeps us looking youthful.
As I march further into my mid-thirties this fall, I feel my life only getting better with age. I have people all the time asking me how I manage to get so much done, have so much energy, and stay looking so young. Well, I want to share with you my top 10 list to lifelong, youthful beauty. Hopefully, my list will help you tap into your inner beauty and youthful spirit. This list has helped me to maintain my youthful spirit and glow.
Top Ten Ways to Keep Growing
I am a new mother who has her hands full! I juggle not just my coaching business, but I am also a full time educator. I also teach yoga in the Bay Area, and I mentor first generation college students.