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My Mom Stomach – Kangaroo Pouch – aka Sagging Skin after Kids

My daughter is currently three years old and in October she will be four.

FOUR YEARS OLD!

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My body is STILL not what it was before I had her – and that is OK!

However, it is something that I want to focus on for no one but myself, and this is exactly how I am going to do it:

Nutrition and Exercise

Now before I get a million e-mails from fellow moms who are also network marketers with the latest product that will help “tighten and firm” my mid-section or “detox” my insides in a week to get me the aesthetic results I am after – hear me out… DON’T.

Just… PLEASE DON’T!

There is a very specific reason I am going through this journey the way that I am…

That reason is this:

I want every mom to know that

  1. A) It takes time to get your body back in shape.
  2. B) It is unreasonable to put pressure on yourself to get back your body in a certain time frame. (Thank you social media for your constant pressure on moms to get their bodies back)
  3. C) That nutrition is the number one key ingredient in the fat loss/weight loss equation.
  4. D) That you do not have to spend hours in the gym to reach the desired effect.

 

A little back story before I dive in to my steps…

It took my husband and I 10 years to conceive and carry to term a viable pregnancy. I suffered 2 losses during that ten years and had thought that it was just not going to happen. God had other plans and shocked us when I did become pregnant – and it stuck… so I ENJOYED my pregnancy.

The day I found out I was pregnant I weighted about 122 pounds. I am 5’ tall (not to be confused with my IG post that stated I was 5’5” – wishful thinking), and I was pretty muscular. We realized I was pregnant because I was in the gym (this was also before I had my own personal gym) 5 days a week for one hour and I was doing primarily heavy lifting… but my weight was not moving. My nutrition, up to that moment was on point… so I had assumed I had hit another plateau. My energy was tanking however… I was tired and hungry all the time – and my husband called it. He knew I was pregnant before I did… and when I told him – his words were “I KNEW IT!” (funny note is that we had just paid in full for a week vacation in Cancun with our friends, which is the same thing that happened when we booked a trip to Jamaica about 5 years earlier).

Once we knew that the pregnancy was going to stick this time – I started to ENJOY my pregnancy. Paul would go and get me cheese burgers from Sonic, and everyday on my way home from work I would stop and get a small (not mini) heath bar blizzard from Dairy Queen – like I said I ENJOYED every moment. (And I do understand that some do not enjoy pregnancy and this is in no way to rub it in – it is just my experience…).

The day I delivered – I weighted a whopping 185lbs. At 5’ tall… that is a TON of weight, and my daughter did NOT weigh 63lbs.

I also did not have the easiest delivery… several things did not go “as planned” (my birth plan? My exact words to my doctor were, and I quote, “You GRADUATED from med school, and I dropped out of community college. My birth plan is to go to the hospital when you tell me to, and you do whatever it is you need to do to deliver a happy healthy baby that we have waited over ten years to meet) and I wound up needing a walker for about 2 weeks after getting home from the hospital.

All of that being said I started to focus on my recovery and health slowly, and I mean snails pace slow.

I went back to work full time, was taking care of a newborn – and on top of that, when she was 3 months old, I had the ingenious idea to start the course for personal training. I was busy, stressed, and tired. Overwhelmed I would put it…

Months turned into years. I was mindful of my eating most of the time…

Which brings me to where I am now:

Current Stats:

Weight 128.5lbs

Waist (belly button): 34.25”

MOM Belly: 35.75” (largest section on my stomach)

Hips: 38”

R Thigh: 21”

L high: 21.25”

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My focus to tighten my mid-section is going to come from nutrition and from exercise. There is no way one area is going to be able to be spot trained – that is not possible… You must reduce total body fat, and then you can gain muscle. I would be deceiving myself if I thought that ALL of the loose skin will go away, but it will decrease – and that is the overall goal.

My Steps to My #MommyMakeover

Nutrition: Attaining this goal is 80% food (and really if I am being totally honest it is more like 90% food)! That being said – I am not going to deprive myself of things that I love. I will be counting my macros (I use an ap on my phone called “Mikes Macros” to track and log my calories. I have found with my clients that if they deprive and completely cut out al the food that they love that is higher in calories, they will wind up binging on those things later.

My macro goals are as follows (please use a macro calculator such as Mike’s Macros if you are wanting to start your own 3mommymakeover journey as each person is unique and different).

Total Calories: 1,232

Macro Breakdown:

98g Protein

152g Carbohydrates

26g Fat

My total calories may seem low, but I have an office job where I sit most of the day and I need to be in a calorie deficit to lose fat. For someone who is more active the total calories would be higher.

As a general rule, I am usually always over on fat and under on my protein and carbohydrate goals for the day, but overall, still in a calorie deficit.

I personally fast through breakfast. I make myself drink 20 oz of water before I allow myself to have my first cup of coffee ***and usually my only cup of coffee***

I fill my diet (meaning food consumed, and not a specific fad diet) with vegetable carbohydrates that are more filling than the grain/bread type carbohydrates – meaning they are higher in fiber to sustain hunger for longer periods of time. I also do my best to eat lean protein. I am not a fish lover… but I will eat shell fish, so I generally stick to chicken, turkey, lean beef, and bison.

I am also drinking a gallon of water (or as close to it as possible) each day.  A gallon is 128oz. I have a 20oz cup and I keep filling it and have had about 80-100oz by the time I leave work and commute home. Disclaimer *** I also LOVE the taste of Diet Coke… not regular coke, it has to be diet… and CHAMPAGNE…*** I have made a rule that I can have no other drinks (besides my morning coffee) until I have had my gallon of water. These are my rules, not saying anyone has to follow them – but I have found that my cravings for sweets has gone down, and I don’t want the diet coke as much as I used to. I still LOVE champagne – that will not change. I have two bottles in my refrigerator that I feel like I am saving, but for no particular reason.

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Exercise: I am committing to exercise for 30 min a day 6 times a week. Now hear me out – exercising could mean a weight lifting workout, resistance band training, a TRX workout, a cardio session (jog/walk, bike, rower), an afternoon stroll with my family, or a dance party with my little in the living room… for me as long as it is 30 min of intentional movement… that is exercise to me.

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I want to show you my schedule and what works for me, and before I get any “mom shaming” for what my day looks like – my daughter is well taken care of and gets plenty of attention – so don’t come for me.

My Schedule: (Mon thru F)

4:45-5:00 AM – Alarm goes off, watch the news

5.00-5:30AM – Get ready for the day, wake up my daughter and let her say “Mommy, I want to sleep for 5 more min”

5:30-5:45AM – Make lunches, pack up the car

5:45-6:00AM – Get kiddo dressed and dropped off at preschool

6:00 -7:00AM (this can be a little longer sometimes because of #houstontraffic) Commute to work.

7:00AM-4:00PM WORK (desk job, not much movement… except all the steps I am getting from trips to the bathroom – HELLO gallon of water challenge!)

4:00-5:00PM – Commute Home

5:00-5:30PM – At home workout (weight or resistance training, or cardio)

5:45PM – Pick up kiddo from preschool (Dad helps with this too)

6:00PM Dinner – playing, learning with kiddo.

6:30PM-7:00PM (M-Th) – Training clients one on one

7:15PM – Kiddo in jammies, brush teeth, read book, lights out! (unless it is Friday… Friday is “FRIDAY MOVIE DAY – where we watch a movie as a family and bed time gets pushed a little later)

7:45-9:00PM – Clean up kitchen (this is also when I fit a workout in if the commute took longer than expected)

9:00PM – Lights out!

One weekends it is different… a little more relaxed.

Now this is MY schedule, and there is not a one size fits all. There are some days when my internal clock goes off at 3:30 AM and I can get up and do some light cardio in the morning, there are other days when I feel like my eyes are cemented shut when my alarm goes off. I have learned to take each day as it comes… but also to make the most of it!

Conclusion:

This is going to be a slow-go process. The reason it is going to be so slow, it will be sustainable. It is something that will be able to be maintained for the long term and not just a challenge that will be completed in 60-90 days and then go back to eating #allthethings and drinking nothing but diet soda and watching Netflix every free minuet I have to myself. (And that is not to say that there is anything wrong with challenges – I like them too – but this is not aimed to get flat abs in one month by doing a million crunches).

I hope to show moms, like myself, that it is possible to lose the body fat in a sustainable and healthy way that is not linked to supplements and wraps/pills that you “have” to take.

If you want to follow along my journey, see my progress and encourage me as I go – check out my Facebook or Instagram. There is not a time limit on this, as I expressed before – I am not putting the pressure on myself to get results in a certain frame of time.

Also to note – we are possibly looking to expand our family (me possibly conceiving) in 2020 – and if that happens, this will change into a “keep moving and don’t gain 63lbs during pregnancy” type of thing if you get my drift… but only God knows if that will happen – and with this pandemic we have currently, I am not excited about the thought of being pregnant during this – but if it happens, it happens! I have faith that God has a plan in all of this!

If you have the same “mom belly/kangaroo pouch” belly and want some results? Message me and let’s get connected! I am taking coaching clients and would love for you to be one of them!

XOXO Meggs!

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Why Am I So Sore?

You are really pumped about the work out that you have accomplished! You have started to get focused on your health and are feeling like a CHAMP! Your leg workout consisting of lunges, squats, leg extensions, leg lifts, and lying leg lifts was such a good workout and you left feeling like you left all you had at the gym. You are feeling like a super hero!

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Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

But there is just one thing…

You wake up the next day and are so SORE

You are literally choosing to go to the handicap stall knowing full well that you feel like you need that bar to help you get on and off the toilet.

You look at the stairs going up to your office – and then you see the handicap ramp and decide that is the best decision for you mentally (and quite frankly physically).

You are crying every time you have to move after sitting still for even 5 minutes – or when you all of the sudden realize you have to go to the restroom and you are not already sitting on the toilet.

You cringe at the thought of the fact that you are going to have to move when the alarm goes off the next morning and are contemplating if you could call in to your doctor for a excuse note.

Sore

I hear you – and I can explain…

When you work out – you are actually creating microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. May sound like the opposite of what you are wanting to do – but those microscopic tears heal to build and strengthen your muscles.

An example of what I can compare this to is if you have a deep cut and it starts to heal, it starts to itch – its like that in your muscles but with them being sore. 

Still with me?

OK – let me explain Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness DOMS – (which is the pain you feel the day after or several days after) – if you were to Google it – you would see that it is because your muscles are damaged. 

“But Meggs – why would I want to damage my muscles?”

Those very small tears are the way that your muscles are re-building and getting stronger. The muscles adapt and change to the lifts that you put your body through. 

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I want to discuss one thing – whether or not you are sore – DOES NOT mean you had/or didn’t have a good work out. Ok – go read that again. There is a common misconception that you have to have some soreness in order to prove you had a good work out and that is simply not true. Those who are new to working out, sure you are working out hard and getting sore… then you notice as time goes on, that you are not as sore. Your muscles are adapting and getting stronger. 

Now that does not mean that you need to up your weights right away. A great way to gauge if you need to increase your load (weight) that you are lifting is if you are completing a set and are not feeling a slight shakiness or exertion the last few reps in your set… if you are breezing through – up the weights. **Or if you are working out from home with limited weights that you can increase – increase the number of sets in your workout**

One more thing – this is NOT lactic acid built up into your muscles. This is a slew of old theories – stating that “you have lactic acid in your muscles”… and that is not the case. I too used to believe this before I became more educated on the matter of DOMS.

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Now I want to give you some helpful tips if you ARE sore and how to minimize the number of days that you are walking like a penguin, or simply unable to wash your hair…

#1 – Self-Myofascial Release (aka foam rolling) – here is the trick – when you are foam rolling you do not want to roll your muscles on the foam roller back and forth. What you do want to do – is to roll the foam roller to the first spot of tension that is a 7-10 on the uncomfortable scale and hold the roller there for 30 seconds max. Make sure that you breathe through the hold (because you may want to hold your breath – but don’t). After the first 30 seconds roll about an inch more and hold again for 30 seconds. Do this for each muscle group that is sore for 3 or 4 holds. 

Foam Roller

#2 – Walk – “A body in motion, stays in motion.” Go for a walk. The more that you move your the more that they will have the blood pump to them and to help them heal.

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Photo by Achim Bongard on Pexels.com

#3 – Do some lighter sets – do a few set of lighter reps. You may feel some light soreness during the exercises but you also could feel some release after the lighter weight workout.

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#3 – Epsom Salt Bath – Take a 30 min bath with some Epsom Salt. You can add a couple of drops of some essential oils and as relaxing as it is – it can also help you heal.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Now these are not a “THIS MAKES YOU NOT SORE” type of “prescription”… These are things that will help you recover a tad bit faster – plus all of those things make you feel good – so there is that!

If you really can’t stand being sore at all (sounds funny but many people LOVE that sore feeling) you can make sure to not do as much in your work out. Do lighter workouts, do fewer sets, just have a less strenuous work out. Again – this does NOT mean that you are not having an effective work out – it just means that you prefer to not be sore – which is totally OK! You do You BOO!

Everyone’s work out looks different. That is the beauty of Life Stride Fitness! I get it! I wan your fitness to be unique to you – that is the beauty of working out in YOUR stride of life!

If you would like some more information about workouts that are tailored to you and your needs – fill out the information below and I will get back with you AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

XOXOXOXO Meggs

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Best Ways to Begin to Lose Weight

Today I want to give you the best ways to begin to lose weight.

There is an abundance of information on what you should do to get the best weight loss results when you are beginning to focus on your health. Some of that information is spot on – and some of that information is straight from a dumpster fire.

That is why I wanted to give you the best ways to begin to lose weight that I used personally in MY OWN health journey!

Whenever you start something new, there is an excitement that runs through your veins. You decide to start something different, challenging, something maybe you have never tried before. It also can be scary, and overwhelming.

Everyone starts somewhere – even when it comes to weight loss. I am going to guess that you got on your computer and searched for best ways to lose weight , or best weight loss tips because you are tired of feeling stuck and tired of feeling the way you are currently feeling. In the world we live in now with the interwebs and it’s mass amount of information, and not all of it valuable – thank you memes and viral attention seekers – it is often times overwhelming and ever so confusing.

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Years ago it seemed as though the only options were infomercial style workout video segments on daytime television (or cable if you were one of the lucky ones who could afford it), a weight loss clinic that almost made it seem like an over eaters anonymous club, or other similar options.

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Funny story I used to work at a popular weight loss clinic when I was just out of college because I had the grand idea that I was going to really help people… then I learned that the people I was helping did not really need all of the supplements and meal replacements that I was being commissioned to sell and I really lost my heat for that job… anyways… it did help some learn much better habits and how to eat more whole foods – but the meal replacement stuff… again… garbage fire.

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Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

But now in just diets alone, there is so much to overload your brain. Do you choose a diet for your blood type, do you try getting your body into ketosis, what about becoming a vegan or trying whole foods only?

I am going to try and break some things down to help you digest them maybe a little better.

First, if this is your first time reading anything from me, my name is Megan but you can call me Meggs. I’m an online health and fitness coach, that started out just like you… from the beginning.

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In 2012 I had reached my heaviest weight, and as a 5′ tall woman, 150 pounds looks slightly different then let’s say someone who is 5’7″. I grew up 90 pounds soaking wet and had a tough time gaining weight. Then came my early adult years and the some college that I attended while working two jobs and living on my own – kids if you are reading this – don’t try and grow up too fast… I partied with friends a lot. Then came marriage, then infertility issues, and weight gain and depression. I ended up a little over 150 pounds.

I snapped! I didn’t want a 6 pack of abs, or a thigh gap. I wanted to feel healthy, have energy and to not feel so blue all the time! I wanted to start losing weight.

Not to date myself, but this was before Google was king. I had every magazine with the headline stating that I could get a 30 day beach body that was in publication. So many that my apartment at the time I am sure was considered a fire hazard.

But I learned a lot from the start of my weight loss journey.

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Have you had thoughts of losing weight?

Would you like the exact steps that I used to being to lose weight that are easy to understand?

If “YES” – then keep reading, because this is just the article you need because I am going to give you the exact steps I personally used to begin to lose weight and to keep it off (minus pregnancy)…

Best Ways to Begin to Lose Weight:

  1. Know where you are beginning. You have to have an HONEST REALITY CHECK with yourself. This starts by weighing yourself and taking measurements. Without changing any part of your diet (what you eat), log everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) that you put into your body – even the spoonful of ice cream that you take when no one is watching. (My husband keeps a spoon in the freezer and thinks I don’t know it is there…)
  2. Evaluate your beginning calories for weight loss. Calories do matter and that might make you cringe, but knowing what you have been consuming (amount of calories) helps you to know where to begin to lose weight. You need to start eating in a calorie deficit in order to start losing weight. In simpler terms – you have to start eating less than you have been, and it helps if you start eating healthier things while we are discussing it.
  3. Begin to make one healthier choice at a time. Often when we start a weight loss goal and we start with a bang! We change so many things at once that we crash and burn. Make a list of the things that you would like to change and focus on only one thing at a time.

Here was my list for example:

    1. Lose 30 Pounds
      • Eat 1,300 Calories a day
      • Consume 1/2 my plate full of vegetables
      • less processed carbohydrates
    2. Exercise 30 min a day 3-4 times a week
      • 2 days cardio
      • 1-2 days balance and stability
    3. No more soda

4. Begin to lose weight by moving your body. Now hear me out… I am not suggesting you sign up to run your city’s next marathon (but if that is your motivation – go for it!) I actually recommend you begin with balance and stability exercises because this is the basis for all fundamental and functional body movements. If you don’t focus on basic movements first along with balance and stability, you could set yourself up for injury as you advance too quickly. Your stronger muscles could over compensate for your weaker muscles – and can cause some muscle imbalances.

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Photo by Elly Fairytale on Pexels.com

5. Hire a coach. So much information can be tricky to navigate. It can be overpowering to your brain muscles when you just want to get started. Hiring a coach can help You navigate thru all the masses of information and can help ease your mind. You can ask questions and not have to search countless pages of Google.

These are the EXACT things that helped me get on track with my health and weight loss… Now hear me out – you do not need to do all of these at one time! Take one thing at a time and focus on it. Like you have heard before – you did not get this way overnight, so getting the weight off in a healthy and sustainable way is going to take time. This is not a sprint, but it is also not a marathon – because both of those come with a “Finish Line” somewhere along the way. It is a life long journey… some days will be better than others. There will be days that you want to give- up and throw in the towel… but in doing that you are also asking your body to give up on you.

With the world we are in now, there is a lot of uncertainty – and if you are reading this in the future – this was written during the COVID-19 Pandemic of 2020. many of us are having to find new ways to get healthy and active as our gyms are closed, and we are quarantined in our houses. Our whole nation is going through it… You are not along in this struggle and fight… I am here for you!

If you need some assistance on how to get started or where to turn to make the first step in your health journey – reach out to me – and put your information below! I would be happy to connect with you and get something going for you!

XOXO Meggs!

 

 

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COVID-19 and Your Gym

It is more than likely that this pandemic is not going away anytime in the near future.

Most likely your gym will soon shut down for a time being as an act of precaution, and this might make you go crazy inside because YOU ARE NOT SICK!

I get it – but there are people out there who are sick and who’s immune systems are compromised and who could have a dire situation on their hands if they do become sick with the Corona Virus.

 

People being treated for cancer have no immune system…

People with COPD or auto immune disorders have compromised immune systems, and just because you may not be showing the signs or you think you can work through your fever – these people can get much more sick than your chills and fever…

So how do you not lose all of your progress that you have worked so hard for in the gym?

Workout at home!

Sure, it takes discipline to work out at home – but you can… you just have to make yourself do it. Body weight exercises can still be done to help you maintain your muscle growth.

You can do some HIIT cardio sessions at home if you are a Cardio Queen and can’t stand not being able to go for a run…

Have kids? Play with them… Lay on the floor and use them to bench press. (Or – “Ketlebell” swings with your baby strapped in her car seat)

Don’t have kids but have a dog? Pick up your dog and do some squats!

Living it up bachelor style and are completely solo? Use your dining room chairs – sure it may be awkward lifting all of your furniture – but it is something!

And let’s say by some chance you get COVID-19 (Corona Virus) and you feel like crud and need to take some time off and REST because your body says so… trust me when I tell you it is NOT THE END OF THE WORLD! The rest and recovery IS what your body needs to get stronger and beat the virus.

Getting a session in at the gym is NOT going to cure you.

Running on the treadmill is NOT going to cure you.

Being able to bench press or dead lift your PR is NOT going to cure you…

SO, if the gym is closed – don’t go and curse out the gym owners for trying to keep everyone safe… respect their decision as this is probably hurting them more than it is hurting you – and return when the “all clear” is given…

It is not a personal attack on you and your gains.

If you need some at home body weight workouts, I am taking online training clients and would be happy to get you set up with home workouts so you don’t lose your mind (or your gains).

Meggs

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Some of the BEST advice I’ve ever heard….

I have a little extra “exercise” for you the next time you get your sweat on.

It all stems from a saying I learned from one of my mentors:

Train how you want to look.

For some reason, that simple saying has stuck with me more than almost any other exercise coaching advice. It stuck with me because it makes such a HUGE difference.

I’ll get into exactly HOW you “train how you want to look” in a second, but first I want to talk about what good posture is and why it matters so much.

Most of us don’t normally give much thought to our posture. It’s automatic – we rely on our muscles to take care of it for us. There are a lot of muscles that are involved in maintaining proper posture, and paying attention to them 24/7 would be overwhelming!

So, what is “good” posture, anyway?

Think of your body like a mountain, with its base at your feet. The mountain rises up tall through the front of your body – your shins, quadriceps, core, chest and shoulders – and then goes down your back, hips, hamstrings and calves.

All of those muscles work together to hold your body in place, keep your balance, etc.

They even can affect your breathing! For example, if your shoulders are rounded forward and your chest muscles are tight, it can be hard to expand your lungs for a deep breath.

That’s why it is super important to think about your posture when you exercise. After all, you are working to make your body STRONGER, and you want to make it stronger in an upright, aligned posture, am I right?

Now, it’s time for that extra “exercise” I mentioned above.

The next time you pick up a set of weights, crank out a set of core exercises, go for a walk or jog, or do any kind of workout, take a good look at your posture. If you can’t do a quick posture check in a mirror, take a moment to at least think about it.

Are you standing tall with your core engaged? Are you grooving good body patterns: shoulders back, chest up, and legs strong?

Or are you reinforcing patterns that you don’t love so much, with your shoulders rounded or your joints locked?

When you start training your body the way you want it to look, you’ll reinforce your mind-muscle connection and you’ll reap the benefits.

Your posture will start to improve 24/7 (even outside the gym), your core will get stronger, fast – and there’s a good chance you’ll notice a boost in your confidence, too.

Who doesn’t want that!?

If you aren’t sure about YOUR posture or you need some guidance, we’re here to help with an assessment or guidance on your workouts.  Just comment below or email me and I’ll back to you to come up with a plan!

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Why LIFE STRIDE HAS to CHANGE

PASSION

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2

I am CALLED to be different. And that includes my passion! Life Stride Fitness has been my passion project – and at times I have been confused and caught up in trying to make it something that it was NOT INTENDED BY GOD to be. It was never supposed to be about financial gain. It was never about increasing my income… It has always SUPPOSED to have been about using this passion of mine to GLORIFY GOD. To help those who need my help and assistance. My REALISTIC approach to health and fitness.

So if you have not noticed all pricing has come down off this site. That does not mean that the training comes free – but it means that I am getting back to individualized, which means pricing too… There is no cookie cutter way for people to train with me or to be priced… so I am getting back to the focus of helping those who need the help and guidance – my passion… I am getting back to my passion!

ALSO – I realize that I may not be the perfect fit for everyone. I firmly believe that you need to find a trainer that meets your needs and helps you the way you need to be helped. If you are looking to compete – I am not the trainer for you… if you are looking for someone to tell you EXACTLY what you need to eat – I am not the trainer for you… So – I will give everyone who wants to start their health and fitness journey a FREE 1 week trial to see if I will be a good fit as your trainer – and if not THERE IS NO HARD FEELINGS! I will never make you feel as though you HAVE to buy from me – or hound you or put you down… heck, I will even give you some other names of trainers who might be better suited for you, because I WANT you to find the perfect fit for you!

And if by chance I AM that trainer – I hope to be able to guide you and help you learn – so that in time YOU WON’T NEED A TRAINER! That is right! I WANT YOU to NOT NEED ME!

This is crazy to most… this is unthinkable and unheard of to many – but I am CALLED to be different!

Does that mean I am setting myself up to be taken advantage of – sure… and I know that will happen… and I am starting to pray for those people as we speak… but where I choose to Glorify God – will be blessed!

Thank you all for your support on this journey – and if I can help you get started or assist you – please reach out to me by email: lifestridefitnesstraining@gmail.com

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How to avoid aches and pains from sitting all day

Anyone who has ever spent a lot of time sitting at a desk – or hunched over their phone or iPad – knows the aches and pains of sitting for too long.

Here’s the thing, though. The dangers of sitting all day extend far beyond just shuffling around for the first few minutes after you stand up.

Just a few days ago I emailed many of my friends and clients to let them know that sitting is likely NOT the new smoking!  But that doesn’t mean it can’t take its toll on your body. (If you would like to be added to the email list comment below!)

If you don’t take a few precautions, it can have a long-term effect on your posture that even has its own scary-sounding name: kyphosis.

Kyphosis when you develop posture that leads to a forward head, rounded shoulders, back pain, muscle stiffness, and pain in your neck. It can even affect muscles around your hips and glutes.

I’ve got some strategies that can help you avoid all of that – because preventing kyphosis is so much easier than fixing it.

The most important thing is to do these exercises consistently – a couple times a day if possible. Set a timer and make it a non-negotiable. Your coworkers should join in, too! Set your alarm on your phone and call it a “posture party!” (joking, but make it fun!)

Keyboard Stretch

If you spend a lot of time keyboarding, this is one you can’t miss. If this causes pain, back off and work to make small improvements. (Note, if you regularly train your chest and shoulders with heavy weights, it’s good for you, too!)

1. Stand tall at the edge of your desk. Place your fingers on the edge of your desk so that your fingers are facing you, your forearms are facing away. (Palms are NOT touching the desk yet.)

2. Being careful not to lock your elbows, with good posture slowly start to lean forward and drop your palms to the surface of the desk. You should feel a stretch along your forearms and wrist. If this causes pain, back off the stretch slightly.

3. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Do this one to three times.

Standing Stretch

1. Stand behind your desk, your right hand on your chair for balance.

2. Bend your left knee and grip your left ankle behind you with your left hand, slowly bringing your heel up toward your left glute muscle.


3. Tighten your glute muscles so you don’t arch your back – this also will intensify the stretch.

4. Try to bring your knees together while maintaining an upright posture, and hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Seated Stretch

1. Sit tall in your chair, both feet flat on the floor.

2. Keeping your right foot on the floor, bend your left knee and place your left ankle on your right thigh, just above the knee, so that your legs form the top of the number 4.

3. Remain sitting tall as you keep your left foot flexed, and slowly press your left knee gently downard, feeling a stretch in the outer part of your left hip. You can lead forward gently for extra fun. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Upper Body Stretch

This one will have your coworkers wondering what you’re doing, but it’ll feel so good you won’t care!

1. Standing tall, abs braced, perform a hip hinge (bending from the hips, not the waist) so that your upper body bends forward, toward your thighs. Let your arms hang in front of you as you relax to feel a stretch in your hamstring muscles.

2. Take a few deep breaths and re-engage your abs, standing tall as you reach your arms out to your sides until they are shoulder height. As you do this, rotate your thumbs backward so your palms face up.

3. As you feel the front part of your body stretch, tighten your glutes to protect your back and imagine your thumbs pointing at each other behind you. Stop if you feel pain, but you should feel the muscles of your upper back “pinch” together.

4. Hold for a few breaths, and repeat this exercise 5 times.

Hope these help! Consistency is the key. Over time, you will notice that it becomes easier to sit tall throughout the day, and nagging pains may go away!

Resistance training also helps. Keeping a strong back, core and shoulders will help you avoid posture issues as you get older.

If you’d like some 1-1 guidance, I’m here to help with assessments, training and workout programs! Comment below or email me to set up a time that we can chat!

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Truth About MY Transformation

Here is the truth about my transformation – piece by piece… and total honesty!

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On the way to the Hospital
This picture was taken while I was on the phone with my mom telling her that we were no our way to the hospital – actually we were on our way to the food court at the mall because I knew I was not going to get anything but ice chips for a while and that was just not going to give me the energy to push… So I had a Cheese Steak and fries… and it was GLORIOUS! I didn’t even feel bad about it, even when I expelled it later right before I was operated on… #noregrets!

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Feeling happy
I was the heaviest I had ever been… but HELLO! I had a little girl in my belly that was growing! Even at two weeks early she was still over 7 lbs! I can tell you that I ENJOYED my pregnancy! I ate what I wanted, when I wanted… which to be honest consisted of Whataburger cheese burgers and small Dairy Queen Heath Bar Blizzards (there was one that had just opened on the way home… it was dangerous). In this picture I believe I was 185… I think – I don’t remember exactly – and to be honest… I still don’t care! I did make fun of myself that I weighed the same as my husband and I am only 5 feet tall…

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3 Months PP
This was January 1 2017. Still swollen – but slowly getting down… I was back to work full time, my mom was able to watch my sweet baby during the day – and I was well on my way to getting back into shape. (Notice I said nothing about my “body back” or anything of that nature… This was the time that I also decided that I was going to start my Personal Training Certification – here is the kicker – I had a 3 month old… maybe not the smartest decision I have made – but there I was – FULL STEAM AHEAD!

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6 Months PP
Here I am feeling a little discouraged. Not feeling like the progress I was making was showing. Self doubt was creeping in. I took a week or two off. Gave myself a mental break from the work out schedule I had created for myself. With being a new mom, working full time, and studying to be a NASM CPT – my time was stretched so thin!

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Lost track of timing
I did not let myself stay in a funk for long. I did get back to it. Reorganized my “life” schedule so that I could make the most of my awake hours and get as much as I could accomplished. The more I was able to accomplish – the more I felt like myself again. Cleaning House, getting a load of laundry done (washed, dried, and folded/hung-up), finishing a chapter in my study, fixing a homemade dinner – all were accomplishments!

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Feeling stonger
I learned to be nice to myself. Life is not about being rigid with a routine. Sure routines help me and routines are nice to have – but I stopped beating myself up. I stopped worrying about if things didn’t get done according to my schedule. If I was not a size I thought I should be by now. I started enjoying the process.

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Fit
This is me now. I am over 2 years past giving birth – and how did I do it?

  • No pills
  • No wraps
  • No teas
  • No “special supplements”
  • No dieting – I literally have eaten what I want… but I regulate my portions
  • No frozen or prepackaged “lean meals”
  • No rigid workouts
  • No counting calories
  • No weighing weekly… I literally MAYBE weighed myself once a month…
  • No gimmicks WHATSOEVER!

Here is the deal – if you want something to stick – you have to make a lifestyle out of it. You have to make a choice to make SOME changes… and not to change it all at once. You have to learn to live life in a healthy way – not a RESTRICTIVE WAY!

I wrote all my own workouts – I ate intuitively (that is more for another post) – I LIVED LIFE! I enjoyed cake, drinks with friends, chips and queso… I learned how to buy groceries and make food that tasted great and was healthy too! I CHANGED MY MINDSET – and it does not happen overnight, it is a slow process… but WHO SAID YOU HAVE TO DO IT ACCORDING TO ANYONE ELSE’S TIME LINE? (Unless your doctor is advising you – that is a different story – always listen to your doctor or get a second opinion etc.)

Bottom line – I learned how to be HAPPY… I found my HAPPY place…

And if you are an EVERYDAY kinda WOMAN like me… I can help you… YOU can FIND your happy too! I WANT you to be HAPPY! I WANT YOU TO BE WHOLE!

Reach out to me and let’s help you get stated RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE NOW! Don’t wait – your time is too precious to spend any more of it unhappy!

XOXO Meggs (PS I am now 123.8 – smaller than I was before I was pregnant…)

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Happy

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Sick and Tired

 

 

Are you TIRED of being SICK AND TIRED?

I am!

Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in the Summer/Fall of 2017. Since that natural disaster, the allergen count in Houston has been on the rise… as it was predicted.

I have suffered quite a bit, and I used to only really get it twice a year… Now I feel like I am battling it all year long! I consulted my cousin (well known ENT Dr. Brad LeBert of ENT & Allergy Clinic) a few weeks ago and he told me that what I described to him sounded like it was a sinus infection. He also told me that I needed to pick up some Flonase and to start using it daily… basically he told me that I am a grown up and to start taking care of myself – yes sir!

But ya’ll… I am so TRIED of being SICK AND TIRED!

I run myself ragged. There are a lot o responsibilities we have as adults – and here is the thing – THAT’S NOT GOING TO CHANGE! So here is the thing… we MUST start taking care of ourselves. Just like my cousin told me to do – basically – START TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF DAILY and not when it becomes a problem…

If you are an avid gym go-er when you are not feeling your best – here are some things I want you to consider:

Fever – Don’t go to the gym and risk infecting other people… don’t be selfish that way – you are not helping ANYONE!

Achy – Did you check for a fever? I often find that even though I may not have a fever, if my temperature is much lower than normal – I find myself feeling achy and under the weather…

Dehydrated – When was the last time you checked your hydration levels? I know it is disgusting – but is your urine thick? (EWW I know – but it is important to check – especially when you are sick) Is it really light yellow? Has it been several hours since you last went? Do you even know the last time you went? Hydration is KEY to helping you flush out what is in your system and to keep you well. Check yourself. If you are not well hydrated – do not risk injuring yourself by going to the gym and passing out…

Coughing – Are you coughing up phlegm? Are you constantly hacking lugies? Do yourself a favor – and everyone around you… STAY AWAY FROM SHARED SPACES.

There are some instances where if you are a tad bit under the weather or feeling not like yourself that going for a good sweat session can help boost your mood and help you feel better – but the times listed above – PLEASE DO NOT!

You’re Welcome!

Meggs

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#TunesTuesday – 11/15/19

This week’s playlist to keep me going and crushing my goals:

I’m a Mess – Bebe Rexha

Cold (feat. Future) – Maroon 5

Stay – Zedd & Alessia Cara

Leave a Message – Gnash

Despacito (feat. Justin Bieber) – Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee

<3 Meggs

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