One of my New Year's resolutions for 2013 was to get healthy, lose the 35 pounds I gained from being pregnant, and to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes. These are very lofty goals and I knew that achieving these three goals wasn't going to be easy. Through the ups and downs of having a newborn, the adjustments to be a new mom, and nursing; I found myself one day looking at the mirror and I cried. I didn't recognize my body at all. I have to give my body a lot of credit because it did house, gave birth, and fed a baby for many months. I had high expectations that I was going to lose the extra baby weight through nursing, well that didn't work for me at all. My problem was a combination of not being active, being exhausted, and not eating healthy. Because I was a SAHM I would try to be domestic and make some cookies or a yummy treat. Well a lot of the times I would eat the entire batch before McKay would get home. I had no self control at all. I knew this combination of eating crappy and not moving was preventing me from getting back into shape. I needed to make changes in my life and I needed help, but I didn't know where to start.
I was really active before I got pregnant and this was me right when I found out I was pregnant.
This was me during pregnancy, I can't believe I would go golfing in heat like that!
Me after having Amelia
I belong to a blogging support group on Facebook and that's when I first heard of a program called LeanMoms. Leanmoms.com is an online strength training and body sculpting program created specifically for busy women and mothers, like myself. Each level is a comprehensive 12-week program designed to help you learn proper strength training and nutrition for a female body to yield great results. Lacy, the CEO and and founder of LeanMoms breaks everything down from the workouts to the meal plan. I've been really impressed because the workouts are challenging but totally doable and the meal plan is easy to follow because Lacey tell you what to eat, how much, and when to eat it. So there's no guess work.
I've been doing the program for 18 weeks now and I'm almost done with Level 2! Each level is 12 weeks long. It has changed my LIFE, literally. They're days and weeks I made a lot of mistakes. I cheated on the meal plan or I didn't get my work outs in. By doing this program I found out what my weaknesses are that were preventing me from losing weight. I've learned I eat a lot of snacks and treats because I like to "treat" myself and that I filled boredom with food. Weekends and social gatherings are really hard for me. Weekends are not as structured as weekdays and most social gathering focus around food. I had to find balance, self control, and find enjoyment all at the same time if I was going to succeed. On the path to finding this balance I realized I'm human, and I make mistakes. By remembering the goals I set before I started the program, this helped me to get back on track when I was struggling. One other thing that is so helpful is LeanMoms has an awesome Facebook support group for all of its members. I can't tell you how many times did I post questions, concerns, issues I has having, or in need of some extra support from other women who were going through the same thing as me. Lacy, the creator of LeanMoms was always responded to my questions!
What I really like about LeanMoms is that the mentality of the program when it comes to the meal plan is if you get off track, don't give up, just get back on track on your next meal and tomorrow is another day to try harder. I feel one of the hardest things about losing weight is what should you eat and how much and when? With Lacy's program she tells you what to eat, how much, and when. She gives you shopping lists to make it even easier for you. The meal plans includes recipes so you know how to make every meal. I never felt hungry on the meal plans or deprived. To sum up the meal plan you have six meal in a day. You eat every 2-3 hours and consume anywhere between 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day. You eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats. On Level 1 you get one cheat meal a week that can't be more than 1,000 calories. This can get tricky if you have a girlfriend who wants to go out to lunch, a husband who wants to go out to eat, and a family dinner all in one week. You then have decide which meal is going to be your cheat meal. Planning ahead is critical to sticking to the plan. On Level 2, depending on how your progressing, you get a cheat day or a cheat meal. When you get to Level 2 if you have a lot more choices to choose from. Also, you have alternating high carb and low carb days. Having more options is awesome, but when you are given more options, you have to track what you eat (I like to use MyFitnessPal on my iphone) and be accountable. Level 2 has been harder for me when it comes to the meal plan because of the more freedom. I found myself cheating more often and so I have to reevaluate how I'm doing and recommit myself on a daily and weekly basis.
My dinners for a week. Lot's of salad, lean protein, and complex carbs!
The exercise program for Level 1 is all about losing the fat % and building lean muscle mass. Level 2 is about maintaining and defining your lean muscle. The plan for both levels consist of alternating high intensity cardio and weights (machines and free weights). Lacy gives you a worksheet for each of your five workout days. To progress faster, she recommends you do an extra day of cardio. With the worksheets are links to videos of each particular workout being demonstrated so you know how to do it! You can either print out your workout worksheets (I like doing this option) or you can keep track on your smart phone. The workouts aren't the same each day. They're different every two weeks so you don't get bored week after week. The workouts take between a hour and a hour a half. This program isn't a quick fix. It's the good old exercise and eating right plan, and it works! One day is dedicated to each body part: butt, legs, arms, shoulder, and back. Most workouts include some type of ab workout too. You have two options you can do the workouts at home or at the gym. I like going to the gym because its a way for me to be social, to be around other adults, and a chance to get out of the house. When you start the workouts it's important to start at a slow weight and slowly increase them overtime. I remember the first time I used the weighted pull up bar. The higher the weight, the less resistance it is. I could only lift 10-15 pounds of my body. Slowy over 18 weeks, I can now lift more than 60 pounds of my body weight. One last thing, stretching exercises are included on the worksheet.
By following the plan I've lost the 35 pounds, I've lost over 16 inches, lost 7% of body fat, I'm a lot more toned then I was before I was pregnant, I have a better understanding of what it takes to lose weight and keep it off, how to exercise and eat properly, I have more energy, feel stronger, have more endurance, but most of all, I've gained a lot of confidence that I can accomplish something really hard. LeanMoms is not a fad diet or quick fix. It's a program dedicated to staying healthy long term. It takes commitment and discipline, but if you have the willpower, you can do it!
To win a free LeanMoms Molly Membership for life with a value of $197, enter into the giveaway! The giveaway ends on June 24th and the winner will be announced that day!
Make sure you sign up with LeanMoms. It changed my life and the things I learned in the program were priceless. I now know how to live a healthy and active lifestyle that gets results. Click here to sign up.
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