By Kate Horney
Last year I shared 13 things I learned in 2013, so in keeping with tradition, I stuck Patrick on “Daddy Duty” and sat down with my laptop (and coffee) to reflect on the past year.
It’s been a great year!
In addition to watching our little man grow into a crazy busy, and incredibly joyful toddler (moms: you know how busy toddler life is!), we found out we were expecting #the2ndbabyh and were thrilled again when we learned we would be adding another BOY to our family.
I spent over 80% of my workouts this year with a baby in my belly….
So my training went from training for ME to training for WE!
Staying active throughout my pregnancy lead to a wonderful, all natural labor & delivery (read about our birth story here) and on 9:36pm on September 8, 2014 we welcomed our 9lb blessing, Warren James….
To finish out the year (in addition to some fantastic newborn snuggles) I found time to complete my 12 week “operation Beyond Baby” program to work on rebuilding a solid foundation and beginning to get my body back.
On the business front…
In addition to our local boot camps, BeyondFit continues to grow as we reach more women across the globe (via the BeyondFit Life member’s portal) with the message of sustainable fat loss. It has been a privilege to walk alongside hundreds of women as they not only completely reshape their bodies, but learn how to live healthy, happy and balanced lives.
And as we look forward to 2015, I’m excited about some BIG things ahead. (stay tuned… I can’t WAIT to share the news with you!)
I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions…
But I do believe the end of the year is a great time to take a moment to reflect on the past year, determine where you want to go and set some small, attainable goals as you work towards your bigger goals for 2015. So, as you work to reach your goals in the upcoming year, I want to leave you with…
The top 14 (Health & Fitness related) things I learned in 2014:
1. Fitness means more than flat abs. Yep, I traded my ABS for some STRETCH MARKS. And I’m ok with it. The photo below shows the same bikini- just 3 years apart. And you know what, I’d rather have some stretch marks, if it means I get to have my 2nd little man. Sure, I’m working towards getting my body back now that our bundle of joy has arrived, but even if it never happens, I’ll be ok… because to me, fitness means MORE than flat abs. Sure I may not have six pack abs, I have a few stretch marks, and my hips may be wider than they were before babies, but being a MOM does not mean the end to your fitness… I just see it as a different TYPE of fit! Now I’m not just training for myself- I’m training to set an example for and to keep up with my kids! When I became pregnant for the 2nd time, my world changed. I focused on nourishing my body, accepting it and ultimately loving it, but I also refused to give in to the lie that being a mom means you can’t be fit and healthy. My body isn’t just an attraction or ornament, it’s a vehicle for life. That’s what fitness means to me!
2. Pregnancy isn’t the end to your fitness. It’s easy to think fitness is a lost cause during pregnancy, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right pregnancy exercises you can help have a healthier pregnancy, have an easier delivery and prevent too much weight gain. In dealing with many pregnant moms, one of the most common questions I am asked is “how do I stay toned during pregnancy?” My answer: lift weights! You don’t need to be a body builder (after all, you’re doing that already), but by incorporating the right strength training exercises into your exercise routine, you can keep yourself feeling fit and looking toned all pregnancy long.
3. Pregnancy cravings are REAL. As to craving comfort foods during pregnancy…the struggle is REAL! If your diet is balanced overall, you can definitely splurge on a few of your favorite comfort foods now and then, but the key is balance and moderation. It’s when you begin to indulge on a regular basis that it becomes less of a treat and more of an expectation or habit… and THAT is the issue- both for you and for your baby. Your health & your baby’s health is much more important than a quick fix of sugar. Personally, I found it was much better to treat myself and Baby H #2 to a healthy version of my pregnancy comfort food craving instead. You’ll still satisfy your sweet tooth or that desire for some comfort food, but without sacrificing proper health and nutrition. (Here are a few of my pregnancy comfort food cravings turned healthy).
4. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to get results. Balancing fitness + motherhood is a challenge. I’m all about making time to make health a priority, and I’m not bashing moms who regularly hit the gym…. But I do hope we will all remember to practice BALANCE as we navigate life as busy moms. Personally, I find I’m a better, more patient mom when I make time to get a workout in… Buuuut I also don’t want to miss lots of time with my boys when they’re so little and with a tiny little newborn I hate to drag them to a germ-filled gym day-care just so I can get my workout in. So, I created workouts that can be done entirely from HOME! (Yes, you can get slim without the gym). All I need is a set of dumbbells, a yoga mat and some sweat and effort, and I get fat burning results without leaving home. (I haven’t had a gym membership in over 2 years!) There’s no right or wrong way to be a fit mom, but I do think it needs to be said that you DON’T have to spend hours at the gym to stay fit and healthy.
5. The fitness industry is LACKING when it comes to resources for MOMS. I’ve been really disappointed in watching the fitness industry this past year. From quick fixes to diet gimmicks, it seems that many I this industry are more interested in money than in genuinely helping women. Unfortunately, it seems like mainstream media and fitness experts don’t understand how to communicate with new moms about fat-loss, nutrition and fitness. If there was one thing I could tell you to look for re: new years fitness trends, diets, workouts, etc, it would be this…. SUSTAINABILITY! If it’s not sustainable- it won’t work long term. Don’t waste your money on quick fixes. Look for something that lasts.
6. Motherhood isn’t the end of your fitness. Being a mom does not mean settling for a life of frustration and exhaustion. You can get your body, your energy and your confidence back. I know, because I did it. (in LESS THAN 3 HOURS per week!) With the right training and nutrition plan, it IS possible. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t settle.
7. Love your body for what it can DO- not just what it looks like. Earlier this year, I was asked what my “favorite body part” was. My answer? My Tummy. I know that not many moms would list their #mummytummy as their favorite body part, but allow me to explain… My body- and my tummy- isn’t just an attraction or ornament, it’s a vehicle for life. I celebrate it- not just for what it looks like, but for what it has done and can do! Now I’m not just training for myself and for what I can get my body to look like- I’m training to set an example for and to keep up with my kids- kids that were made possible because of what my body can DO!
8. Lift more than your baby! You have to lift more than your baby- plain and simple. The ideal postpartum fitness program incorporates a balance of activities including leisurely walks, some HIIT, plenty of stretching, core training, and also weight training. I realize that carrying a baby around all day is a workout in and of itself, but if you really want to take your fat loss to the next level, adding some strength training will be key. Cardiovascular exercise may get you bigger or smaller, but you will stay the same shape– weight training is the number 1 way to change the shape of your body. Here’s my current plan, and what I recommend to all the mama’s I work with… do strength training 3 times a week for 30 minutes. This will increase hormones that help burn fat long after your workout is over and will go will a long way toward speeding up your metabolism, tightening and toning. I believe this is the most often missed secret in postpartum fat loss.
9. You have to EAT! Starvation diets don’t work. You have to eat! I remind myself every day that my body changed in order to create and nourish a miracle, and I’m enjoying that miracle and helping him to grow healthy and strong! I’m typically not a big fan of counting calories- 1⃣ Because What busy mom has time for THAT?! and 2⃣ Because when it comes to breastfeeding and fat loss, both calories AND hormones play a role. But with that said, you DO need to make sure you’re giving your body enough fuel. If you’re a breastfeeding mom, you are not the only concern. You are a primary food source for your baby, and your body will need about 300-500 calories a day JUST FOR MILK PRODUCTION. If you dip TOO low in calories while you nurse, your milk supply can be affected, and you can start becoming malnourished as well! And speaking of fuel for milk production, if you’re a nursing mom, did you know you should be having a small, fat loss friendly meal or snack every 2 to 3 hours?! I know it’s tough when we’re so busy, but it’s very important in the first few weeks after having a baby!
11. Time + consistency = results! Fat loss friendly eating, smart workouts, and a solid mindset (aka I’m not doing this to look good naked on your newsfeed, but to be a healthy mom who leads by example) are habits that are all part of my daily routine. From there, it just takes TIME! I’ve noticed each week that commitment reveals positive change and I’m increasingly energetic (even despite the lack of sleep)… which is great for toddler and newborn life.
12. Save cardio for the end! For the majority of this year, I completely ditched the cardio. No Cardiovascular Exercise, just a focus on optimal nutrition & some weight training circuits when I have time (and energy What? NO CARDIO?! Yes. You read that correctly). I refused to be spending hours killing myself on the elliptical at the gym! (I’d much rather be using that time for some newborn snuggles!) In fact, during my first four postpartum weeks, I was building the foundation to get my body back and was not doing any cardio. I know this may come as a surprise, but this is a key element of building a solid foundation for fat loss. By focusing on weight training and skipping cardio completely, I was ensuring that my body is adding the muscle I need for a killer transformation- and not just using up too many calories for immediate fuel rather than muscle building. (This also helps with establishing a great milk supply- woo hoo!)
13. Motivation must go beyond looking good naked. This year I decided to stop scrolling through those “motivational” pics of photoshopped girls in lacy thongs and to focus on some real life motivation. No makeup and no photoshop… May not be pretty, but for me, that’s what it looks like when a real life, busy mom gets up early to squeeze in a quick workout before her family starts the day. My motivation for staying fit isn’t to look good naked on your newsfeed…. It’s to set a good example for my boys! The fitness industry needs less of the trashy fitness trend and more real life mamas makin a change
14. Just do something! Since becoming a mom, “just do something” has become my motto…. And I held on to this mantra throughout the year. Really, it comes down to either doing something or nothing… it’s your choice! It’s ok if you can’t commit to a full workout today. In fact, with a new baby, some days finding just 30 minutes in a row might be impossible… That’s ok! I suggest breaking up the time into 10-minute increments- then work your way up to 20 or 30-minute sessions as you can. The key is to do SOMETHING…
I wish you a wonderful year with good health, love and lots of happiness!