Time Management Tip: Find Time For What Is Important

Time Management Tip: Find Time For What Is ImportantWe’ve all heard the saying “I don’t find time to (fill in the blank), I make the time. I would agree that if we really want to succeed at something, we have to make it a priority. But I also think we can find time to do what is important to us.

Today I had 15 minutes in between Coura‘s swim lesson and when I had to go into the gym to teach a class. I could have done anything with those 15 minutes. I could have relaxed in my car, checked my email, texted a friend, read a book, jumped on social media, eaten a snack, watched part of a show on my phone, made a list, looked at my planner, etc. We all have countless things we can do each and every day, our lists are never ever done!!

But exercise is a priority for me so I decided to get out of the car, put Coura in the stroller, and run a mile! I found a small amount of time in my day so I used it for what was most important to me at that time.

If it was the previous day where I only slept 4 hours that night, I may have opted for a quick nap. If it was the day before that when rent was due and I had to borrow from my savings, I may have used that time for income earning activities. If it were the day before that one, I may have opted for relaxing on social media because I had already run 10 miles that day!

We all have a few minutes here and there during our day that are wasted because it doesn’t seem like enough time to really accomplish anything.

I 100% disagree. For those of you who know me, you know baby steps are how I do everything and all my life successes have been built on small seemingly insignificant actions that have built up over time and resulted in big amazing results!!!

For most people, these small pockets of time are wasted because by the time you decide what to do in that 10, 15, 20 minute period, it’s over. Or we think we can’t accomplish anything so we do something meaningless just to pass the time instead of something planned or executed toward a bigger goal or purpose.

So how do we get on the right track?

Here is what I do:

  1. Know your priorities for the day/week/month/year (whatever time frame you are comfortable with)
  2. Keep a running list of activities that can be done in small pockets of time
  3. When you find an opening, no matter how small, plug in one of those activities!!

Right now I am training for an Ironman triathlon. This was a last minute decision a month ago (that’s last minute when endurance training is involved) so my training plan was to get a certain amount of hours in the pool, on the bike, and on my feet per week leading up the week before the race and then to taper. And it didn’t matter how I got them in!

I would park a quarter mile from the grocery store and walk every isle while shopping to get in a mile walk during a trip to the store. I would jump on the bike at the gym for 5 minutes before teaching a fitness class and go over my playlist instead of doing it sitting in the aerobics room. I would swim an extra 200 yards after my usual swim and skip my shower after.

While Coura was napping I would jump on my bike already set up on my trainer in the basement and I would ride for as long as I could until she woke up.

And of course I would make my “Total Body Conditioning” classes do running drills (today we did high knees, skips, butt kickers, side cross run, and backwards running) for a total of 15 minutes. I would take extra trips up and down the stairs when cleaning and doing laundry (bringing a couple clothes up at a time) to get in a few miles of stair climbing throughout the week!! And then while we are watching tv at night with the fam I use the time to foam roll, stretch, and massage my legs.

With all these little “found” segments of time, I amazingly got in 27 hours of training last week! I will add here that I woke up at 4am one morning to bike for 2 hours, my mom watched the baby one afternoon/evening so I could bike for 5 hours, and I ran a marathon plus walked 2 miles one of the days, but the majority of those other hours were less than 30 minute time blocks added up over the 7 days.

If your thing isn’t exercising, you can apply this to other areas of your life! Relationships, finances, personal growth, projects, cleaning, simplifying, etc.

If you have a book you wanted to read, carry it with you! Read 3 pages each time you go to the bathroom! Wake up 10 minutes earlier and read. Read while you’re waiting in the pick-up lane at your kids school. Read while you’re pumping gas. Read while your noodles are boiling. Read waiting in line at the post office or grocery store. Read while your kid is at soccer practice. Read while your oil is getting changed. Ask your spouse or kid to drive to your destination and read! You will have you book done in no time at all!!

Find and treasure these small windows of time to do what is important to you.

Time is our most precious resource. And we have 100% control on how we choose to spend our time. Use it to move your life in the direction you want it to go, use it to do what is going to make your life the very best it can be!!

I would love to hear how you are fitting it all in! I am constantly working toward optimal time management!

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Thank you for being in my life!!

See you soon!

Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Run Back

This is the 3rd article in a series I am writing for triathletes who have been out of the sport for whatever reason and working toward coming back.

Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Run Back

In case you missed the 2 previous, here they are…

Whether you were out by choice or forced out due to injury, surgery, etc, any time away makes coming back a challenge. I wanted to share what helped me in case you are struggling and looking for a way to get back into running.

Out of the 3 disciplines of triathlon, for me the run was the hardest to get back in to, but the easiest to get back to where I was before I stopped running.

As soon as I found out I was pregnant, about 2 months in, I made the choice to stop running. I had a “high risk” pregnancy and decided it wasn’t worth the risk. A week before I found out, however, I had run a marathon, so I was still in great running shape when I stopped.

I didn’t run for the remainder of my pregnancy (6 months), the 6 weeks following the birth of my baby, and then another 4 weeks after that. During the 4 weeks after I was cleared to begin exercising again,

I rode the bike and did the elliptical and stepmill every single day at the gym. So although I wasn’t building up my “running” muscles, I was definitely building up my cardio and fitness levels before I started actually running. This helped me a LOT once I started back up!

The first thing I did was during my walks with my mom, Coura, and the dogs, I would run ahead with the dogs a few minutes and then run back to my mom and the baby.

The first couple times I did this I totaled about 5 minutes of running, the next week I did 10, and the following I did 15.

In those few weeks I also started focusing more on my nutrition and started overall feeling better due to being able to exercise, so I started losing some of my unwanted baby weight as well. Running also became easier as the pounds started coming off.

At the end of the 4th week I decided to sign up for a 5K. I personally do better with my workouts when they are “training” runs and not just running for “exercise”. I also like having a place to start so I can see improvements. I had no expectations and I knew whatever my time, it would be a post-partum PR (personal record).

I had a blast at the 5k. It was about 5 minutes slower than what I was doing before I got pregnant, which is about 1:20 per mile slower, and my effort was much much higher than my time showed! My heart rate felt almost maxed and my body was tired. But my heart and soul were happy and I had a starting point for getting back into running shape.

Over the next 4 weeks I started running 2x a week. One was “longer” (typically 3-4 miles) and one was a few minutes here and there either during a walk w the fam or on the treadmill a few minutes before or after I taught class at the gym.

After that 4 weeks, I did another 5K and took a minute off my time. At this point I had also lost most of my baby weight and Coura had just turned 6 months old which meant I could run with her in the stroller. It was coming into winter so I only ran with her a couple times, but it gave me hope and excitement for the upcoming spring/summer!

At this time, I decided to do a monthly 10K time trial on the treadmill to chart my improvement as well.

My first one was about 10 minutes slower than my usual 10K, but again a post-partum PR. My monthly 10K TT was my “long” run and I continued with one other run each week of about 1-3 miles. I was still doing stepmill weekly and biking at the gym 5 times a week. This improved my overall cardio and fitness level.

At the end of 6 months was my big test, I signed up for a half marathon to start running longer because my “A” race for the year was the St George 70.3 which was 3 ½ months later. Since my longest run had been 6.2 miles, the 13.1 was a challenge but I just took it easy with a goal of just running the whole thing. And guess what? Yep! A post-partum PR!!!

I kept up with my monthly 10K, my other shorter run, threw in a couple 5Ks, and weekly stepmill and biking at the gym. I did another half marathon 3 months later and took off almost 15 minutes!!!

The hardest part about getting back into running was getting started. For me it helped giving myself time on other “easier” cardio equipment to get some fitness back and shed a few pounds before I started running again.

It also helped me to have a monthly goal like my time trial and a few races set up to “test” my fitness and running.

And lastly, it really did help when I lost my baby weight and got back down to my pre-pregnancy weight. Running, in my experience, is much harder when I have more weight on my body. Running never came naturally to me so every advantage helps!

I am now officially one year out from the birth of Coura (her birthday was yesterday) and I would say I am only a few months away from being back to my pre-pregnancy race times. If it takes longer for you, don’t get discouraged, just make everything about your best NOW, not your best then! All my new distances are post-partum PRs and I’m learning to navigate my training/racing with a baby which is always an adventure in itself.

Have fun with it, be kind to your amazing body, and love yourself NO MATTER WHAT!!!

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Love Your Body This Summer

Love Your Body This SummerAs a kid and young adult, I always hated my thighs. It seemed no matter how much weight I lost or how strong I was (even running 7 marathons in 7 days) my legs were always “chubby” compared with the rest of my body.

My thighs always rubbed (even chafed when I ran) and my butt, hips, and thighs never had any definition. I could see every rib in my midsection and still had absolutely no definition in my legs.

I chalked it up to genetics and just wore clothes that accentuated my positive physical attributes and strategically hid my upper thighs under skirts, shorts, and skorts.

Even at my lowest weight as an adult, which was less than I weight now, I still had thicker and bulkier thighs.

Four years ago, I changed some things about my diet, and not only did I feel healthier, recovered more quickly, and had more energy, I also started seeing a teeny tiny hint of definition on the back of my thighs. I could actually see a hamstring! Yay!!

About a year later, I made a few more changes, and low and behold, my inner thighs started slimming down a bit! They barely rubbed and I didn’t have to slather on silicone lube every time I did a long run!!

Another year later, I started a new Beachbody program called 2B Mindset. It taught most of what I believed anyway about nutrition and added an emotional component that I was constantly struggling with.

I started seeing even more changes in my body, especially my “hate zone” thighs!! And the culmination of my small changes in my nutrition resulted in definition in not only my legs, but my butt and hips as well!

I admittedly have always been obsessed with my body image, so this newfound discovery made me very very happy!

I decided to become a 2B Mindset and Plant-Based Nutrition coach to help others, like me, who felt like giving up on their bodies because they just assumed they were doomed by genetics.

I can’t guarantee that what worked for me will work for you, but I’ll do everything I can to help you figure out what DOES work for you! That is my goal as a coach!

I am starting a new group in July to make it most cost effective for you! You have 4 options for coaching:

1. Sign up for personal daily accountability/coaching which includes meal evaluation, meal suggestions based on your likes/dislikes, time avail for food prep, and finances, plus daily contact through text. You will also have access to our group through ‘My Challenge Tracker’ app. Cost is $99 for 2 months.

2. Purchase the 2B Mindset program and get all access to videos, recipes, a nutrition tracking app, and all the product that comes with the program including a journal, water bottle, recipe book, and a step by step success guide. Plus, of course, coaching for 60 days by me through ‘My Challenge Tracker’ app. Cost: $120 plus shipping.

3. Order the 2B Mindset ‘Challenge Pack’ which includes everything in package 1 and 2 PLUS a month of Shakeology, a protein superfood meal-replacement shake, and a year of Beachbody On Demand, which is a program that streams all of Beachbody‘s workout programs including P90X, Insanity, Turbofire, PiYo and 600 more videos. Cost: $200 (June 2019 only, regular price is $220) plus shipping.

4. Join our support group and get all the support you need daily plus learn steps you can take each day to help you lose weight, gain more energy, recover more quickly, and feel better about yourself on our ‘My Challenge Tracker’ app for FREE!!!

If you are ready to jump in and make yourself a priority this summer, email coachsmith@usa.com, text 970-214-7745, message me, or respond to this post and I will help you get started right away!

If you’re not sure of this is the right program for you, contact me and we can chat about it and figure it out!

I’m proud of my progress and want to spread that feeling to you! There’s nothing better than loving yourself!

Hope you join us!! See you soon!

Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes

I started this blog 5 years ago in July because I wanted to connect with people with similar interests, issues, and lifestyles. In my personal life, writing helps me figure my stuff out, clear my mind, and become a better version of myself.

On a biz level, many of my clients and customers constantly ask me the same questions so I want to have something to refer them to instead of just answering the same questions over and over again. I also just love to write.

It’s fun for me! And after all, I’m working toward more fun in my life, one of the reasons I added “fun” to food, fitness, finance, and fun!

When I first started, I was writing 2 blog posts a week. I was super excited to get it up and running. That soon became 1 post a week since I had 900 other things I love to do in my life and I had to create a little balance to keep them all in it!!

There have been a couple weeks where I have missed writing, but not many!!

And then Coura was born!!

I started writing less and less and I just looked this morning and it’s been over 3 months since I’ve written a blog post!

It would be so easy to blame the baby! After all, all moms know how much work it is to take care of another human, especially a tiny one that needs you to survive! It barely leaves time to take care of you, much less anything extra!

But I can’t blame the baby. I have time and energy for the things that are important to me, and lately I haven’t made the time (or energy) to write.

I’ve thought about writing almost every day. I’ve even jotted down ideas of what to write about. I’ve scheduled it, put it on my to-do list, and started and re-started writing streaks. But I just haven’t been able to bring myself to write!
Writers block? No time? No energy? No peace and quiet? None of the above!

To be honest the reason I haven’t been writing is because I feel like I have nothing to say. I have let my life and my dreams and my goals and my thirst for growth slip a little bit and I feel unworthy of sharing my life when I’m not working on bettering it.

I’ve always believed that I have the right to have issues or complain or sulk or bitch only about things I can change and only about things I am working to change. Lately everything I don’t want in my life I am allowing and I feel like I’ve put my journey to create my ideal life on hold. So why would anyone want to hear from someone who is powerless in her own life?

I have so many opportunities to listen to and read great personal growth books but I choose to spend my time watching Grey’s Anatomy (no offense to Meredith and the gang, I’m a huge fan) and the Voice (awesomely uplifting show).

I also have time in the mornings and evening to work on my bizes and work toward my ideal life, but typically do a lot of nothing or piddly activities that I feel are wasting my life away.

I need to make some changes, I want to make some changes, so I thought I would start with writing it all down!

Putting out to the universe that I am finally ready to get my shit together and work toward something bigger and better than what I am giving myself now.

I have no idea what all this even means or what I am even writing about! I just know I needed to start and do something and this is it!!

“Nothing changes if nothing changes” has always been a quote I believe in and has a lot of power and meaning for me. If you want something different, you need to do something different!

Start small, baby steps! Pick something you want to change in your life and start today doing one thing differently.

Drink water when you wake up, park far away from your office and walk, wake up 15 minutes earlier, go to bed 30 minutes earlier, cancel one of your subscriptions you don’t use, go through your closet and toss a few things, tell your friends how much you love them, eat fruit for breakfast, turn off the tv one night a week, eat more veggies, write down your goals, walk the dog longer, find a success partner, reach out to an old friend, meditate, join a gym, sign up for a 5k, eat out less, get outside more, share your story, challenge yourself daily, get uncomfortable, read 10 pages of a book every day, watch an inspirational YouTube video, plan your dream vaca, write down your goals, make a bucket list, eat less sugar, love yourself more, spend less on material things, have more adventures, breathe deeper, love harder, be more you!

Ok! I have my to-do list for the day 😂!!

Thanks for loving me unconditionally!

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See you soon…I mean it this time!

Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Bike Back

This is my second article in a series of five articles for triathletes who are just getting back into training.

Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Bike Back

Whether you were injured, sick, off-season, took a break, or had a baby like me, it takes some time to get back to the shape you were in before you stopped training.

My goal for these articles is to share what has worked for me to give you some ideas to try for yourself. If you missed the other ones…

In my opinion, the bike was the easiest for me to get back on, but the hardest to get back to where I was, especially since I was training for an Ironman when I got pregnant and it is now winter here in Colorado.

My baby is almost 7 months old, and I have only been on my bike outside one time in over a year. It’s a lot easier for me mentally, physically, and schedule wise, to do my training either at the gym where there’s childcare and bikes with feedback, or on my trainer in my basement where I don’t have to leave the house, and can do it anytime.

For those reasons, I probably will stay primarily indoors for another few months.

My first race back is in May, which will be 11 months after Coura was born. I plan on biking indoors until March, which will give me two months to transfer my indoor skills to outside riding.

After my six-week check-up and I got the OK to start working out again, my first workout was on the bike. The first week I did 30 minutes, with no resistance, just spinning my legs and getting my butt back in saddle shape! I did most of the sessions at home, I wasn’t ready yet to leave the house and get to the gym or to take Coura to childcare.

My intention was to start a bike streak and bike 30 minutes a day minimum, but with my new mommy life, that didn’t always work. I still kept it as my intention, which usually got me on the bike five days a week. Some days it took me an hour to bike for 15 minutes because I was also taking care of a baby, but it was always my goal to get 30 minutes in!

For the first eight weeks, each week I just tried to add a little more time during one of my rides. For example, if I got on the bike five times, one time would be 40 minutes, and the next week that ride would be 50 minutes, and following week an hour.

I typically didn’t have time to go more than an hour so I would start adding time to a second ride of the week, working up to another ride of an hour.

By the end of the eight weeks, I was doing 2 to 3 60-minute rides and 2 to 3 30-minute rides, still at very little or no resistance.

After 8 weeks, I decided to start adding intensity to one of my weekly rides. I really like a challenge and working on improving, so I decided to do a weekly time trial on the bike at the gym.

The first week I started at level 1 and every 5 minutes went up a level. I ended up 12.0 miles in the hour. Each week I started at the next level (week 2=level 2, week 3=level 3, etc) so that I was progressively working harder each week and going longer in the hour.

I just did my week 13 time trial and have increased about 5 miles in the hour!!! I had a couple weeks where I was sick that went down, but in general I am getting better each week.

After about 8 weeks of one hard workout a week, I started adding one moderate intensity hour ride a week.
And that’s it for now! So in general I am doing my hour time trial, an hour moderate effort ride, and 3-5 30-minute easy rides.

My plan in another 4 weeks is to start increasing my moderate level ride by 30 minutes each week to train for the St George 70.3 I have coming up on May 4th.

I am finally feeling good on the bike! It will be interesting to see how my indoor fitness translates to riding outside. My goal is to get outside once a month!

Let me know if you have any questions about getting back into training after taking time off!

If you want to follow my training…

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For a weekly workout…

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And if you or anyone you know is looking for a coach for this upcoming triathlon season, I have room for 3 more clients this year!!

Call or text me to set up an appointment to see if we are the right fit for each other!!!

See you soon!

My Top 11 Blog Posts from 2018

My Top 11 Blog Posts From 2018The reason I started my blog about 4 ½ years ago was to share my life experiences to help me connect with others who may be going through the same “stuff” in life!

My blog is all about food, fitness, finance, and fun because those are the 4 biggest parts of my life.

I know there have got to be others like me who may be struggling, so I am putting my life out there in hopes of connecting with other. We are not alone!

My favorite part about sharing is when I get a message from someone saying how much they appreciate what I wrote because it helped them in some way. My mission in life is to inspire others to be better just by being myself. This is how I can do that!

So THANK YOU for loving me for ME and not because I have accomplished something or did something spectacular, but because I am human and flawed and need love and support as we all do!

I was looking through my posts from the past year. I wanted to share with you my top 11 of the year. The reason they are my faves is because they are the ones that gave me the most response from others that they appreciated the post. And the reason there are 11 is because 11 is my favorite number!!

Here we go…

My Top Posts For 2018

It is always fun to see which of my posts strikes a note with my readers. Here are the top posts from 2018!

1

Welcome Coura McCay Sutphin to this MIRACULOUS World!

I may have gone a little crazy on social media the past 2 weeks on posting pics of my new baby girl, but I am not apologizing. I do the same thing every time I have been proud of an accomplishment, enthusiastic about a new adventure, or pretty much anything I am excited about in my life, which is usually a lot.

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2

Our Birth Plan: Have a F-ing Baby!

On Wednesday, June 13th, exactly 4 weeks before I was “scheduled” to have my baby girl, I had some “leaking” from my girl parts. If this is already TMI, I suggest you close out and pick another one of my 200 blog posts to read instead.

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3

Cherish this moment? Tips For Real Newborn Moms!

Every time I post a picture of Coura on social media, I have somebody comment to “cherish this moment” or something similar. It’s probably my fault because I only post the totes adorable pictures of her and avoid posting the ones where she’s blowing a gasket or needing to eat every 45 minutes for 45 minutes, but I’m not really sure I want to treasure all of these these moments.

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4

Peace of Mind: The Greatest Gift of All

When I got pregnant, I suddenly went from the most optimistic, positive person on the planet to a total doomsday prepper when it came to my baby. Instantly everything weird or different or unusual happening in my body was something horrible.

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5

My Next Big Adventure!

I tend to set big goals and work towards accomplishing giant feats. And since I have gotten in the habit of announcing all my goals and dreams and plans to the world, when I get done with one thing, people always ask me what’s next!

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6

My Top 10: Reasons I Like Being Pregnant

When I first began to share the news that I was pregnant, after the initial shock from others wore off, I started getting stories of how awful pregnancy is. From morning sickness to being uncomfortable all the time to weird cravings and back pain! Gee, something to look forward to!

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7

Focus With Your Word of the Year

Each year I pick a word that encompasses what I am working on in my life and want to accomplish in the following year. I don’t try hard to find a word, I wait for one to choose me. I reflect on the past year, think about the upcoming year, and then meditate on how I can be the best possible version of myself.

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8

My Fave Vegan Cheeses

The number one reason people tell me they could never be vegan is because they could never give up cheese. I get it! It took me months to give up milk and eggs, but literally years to give up cheese.

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9

My Word For 2018: Trust

Every year I choose a word that will help guide me through the upcoming year. This year I chose “trust” as my word, or it chose me!

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10

O.M.G!! Dave Ramsey Baby Step One…AGAIN!

So I thought I was DONE with Dave Ramsey’s “Baby Step 1” which is saving $1,000 to start an emergency fund. Dave Ramsey is a financial guru who gives very “common sense” and “sound” advice on finances, debt, and building wealth. He has been on the radio answering finance questions for the past 25 years. He has a general financial plan with 7 “baby steps” to help everyone get out of debt and gain more control of their personal finances.

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11

Keep It Simple!

I am constantly working toward simplifying my life. I love decluttering, organizing, and coming up with systems to help make things easier for me. With a baby girl arriving in the next 6 weeks, I am working double-time to simplify, as I know babies are time consuming and can complicate life more than it already is.

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Thank you for all your love and support this past year. It has been such a big adjustment for me, mostly because I’m used to getting 10 hours of sleep a night so this ‘2 hours here and 3 hours there’ sleep is throwing me all out of whack! It gets better right?? Right??? Bueller??? Bueller?

I hope you decide to make 2019 your best year EVER!!!

Stay in touch!

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See you soon!

How I Lost My “Baby Weight”

How I Lost My “Baby Weight”I have been using various Beachbody products since I became a coach (rep) in 2010. I have never been overweight but have fluctuated between 140-160 throughout most of my adult life. In 2017, I changed my diet and got down to my lowest weight since middle school. I was in the best shape of my life, competing at a high level in ironman distance triathlons.

In November 2017 I found out I was pregnant. I was 45 years old so this was a bit of a shock, but a miraculous blessing! In June I had my perfect baby girl and was surprised that instead of losing weight immediately after I had her, I actually gained weight.

None of my maternity clothes fit because I was bigger everywhere (except my belly of course). I was frustrated and depressed and already sleep deprived and overwhelmed having a newborn. I have a background of depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, which didn’t help at all!

During my pregnancy, I knew I would have some struggles with my weight gain and new bod, so I immediately started the 2B Mindset program as soon as it was released in May 2018. 2B Mindset was the newest program from Beachbody (a health/fitness company) which focused on simple healthy nutrition habits and changing your mindset about food, eating, and your body.

As soon as I could mentally wrap my head around starting to take care of myself again, I started back up on the program that I had spent 6 weeks practicing before I had Coura. It was easier because I had been working on it for 6 weeks already and I understood and believed in the concepts and practices it taught.

Between the 2B Mindset, drinking Shakeology several times daily (typically 3-4), PiYo, and Energize, 7 months later I am back to my pre-preg weight.

The main principles of the 2B Mindset program are: weigh daily, water first, veggies most, and track everything.

I have always weighed myself daily with mixed emotions. This program taught me how to do this as “data collection” only and not to be so attached to the number! I love that the 2B Mindset program encourages this!

It also focuses on drinking water first thing in the morning and before each meal/snack throughout the day. This has helped with the dehydration of breastfeeding and lack of sleep as well!!
And eating more veggies is one of the main principles of the program, so I am eating twice as many veggies as I was before. I love veggies but I am lazy and tend to grab a shake or bar instead.

When I am tired or cranky or only have one hand to make a meal (due to baby holding/feeding), I still opt for a shake since Shakeology is easy to make and drink!

The other thing that helped is after 6 weeks of not being able to work out, I was able to start. Exercise has never helped me lose weight, but when I exercise, I feel less stress and anxiety so it’s easier to want to eat healthier and take care of myself and my body.

I am super grateful for the tools and products that Beachbody has given me! I am still following the principles of the 2B Mindset and will forever. It is a lifestyle change, not a short-term diet/nutrition plan.

I am getting my 2B Mindset Coaching Certification so I can help others who are struggling like I was. I am also running monthly success groups to help teach others these basic principles.

I would love for you to join us!!
https://www.facebook.com/groups/2BFreeFromFood

Or you can stay connected with me here…
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Thanks for all your love and encouragement over the past 7 months!!

See you soon!

Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Swim Back

Five months after having my baby, I’m finally feeling like I can swim again! I wanted to share what I did to get back into swimming after taking some time off.

Postpartum Triathlete: Getting Your Swim Back

This is the 1st article in a series I am writing for triathletes who have been out of the sport for whatever reason and working toward coming back.

In case you missed the other ones, here they are…

Whether it is intentional (off-season, break, hate swimming) or unintentional (injury, illness, surgery, life change), it’s tough to get back in the pool when you’ve been out for a while.

I wanted to share the steps I took in hopes that it may help somebody else who is struggling to get back in swimming shape after being out of the pool for a while.

I want to start by saying when I found out I was pregnant, I was in really good shape. As in Kona Ironman shape. I took a break from swimming after the Ironman because I got 3 new tattoos. Before I had a chance to get back in the water, I found out I was pregnant. I always heard that swimming was the best thing to do while you’re pregnant.

When I was a personal trainer my clients who were pregnant loved being in the water. They said it took the weight off their joints and their back and they loved to feel light, cool, etc.

I swam a little at the beginning of my pregnancy, but by the time my belly started getting bigger, it was actually really uncomfortable for me to swim. I continued to swimming just to keep swimming, but it was typically 1 to 2 times a week 15 to 30 minutes at a time, at a very leisurely pace, and using all the equipment I could find!!

After Coura was born, I was antsy to get back into the pool, but had to wait 6 weeks for everything to heal. Once I was cleared to get into the pool, I jumped right in, only to discover that even 100 yards at a moderate pace got my heart rate up and my arms and legs felt uncoordinated and weak. I was also having a lot of shoulder pain from the way I was holding my baby when I breastfed her, so that flared up almost immediately after trying to swim freestyle.

Here is how I progressed…

Month 1: I swam 1-2 times a week for about 20 minutes using ALL my equipment (other than paddles). A typical swim looked like this:

  • 200 streamline kick on back w fins
  • 100 backstroke w fins
  • 200 kick on side with fins
  • 200 breastroke kick w board
  • 4×50 scull/swim w buoy and snorkel
  • 100 breastroke

Month 2: I swam 1-2 times a week for about 40 minutes still using lots of equipment, still not using paddles, only because my shoulder was still super sore after a swim. A typical swim looked like this:

  • 400 swim with fins, kick on back every 4th 25
  • 8×50 kick w board free/breast
  • 4×100 w buoy and snorkel 25 scull/75 swim
  • 3×75 kick/drill/swim IM order
  • 200 dolphin kick on back w fins
  • 200 breastroke

Month 3: I swam 2-3 times a week and tried to get an hour in for one of the swims. I started doing part of my set on an interval, and added back paddles. A typical swim looked like this:

  • 4×100 swim/kick w fins
  • 4×100 kick/drill w fins IM order
  • 8×50 kick w board free/breast on 1:10
  • 3×100 pull right paddle/left paddle/both paddles
  • 200 breast
  • 4×100 free on 1:45
  • 4×50 IM/free on 1:00
  • 200 breast
  • 300 dolphin kick w fins on back

Month 4: Sometimes I get in 3 swims a week, but usually still only 2. Swam my longest swim of the year this month at 3,600 yards. Here is what it looked like:

  • 8×100 w fins swim/kick by 100
  • 8×50 kick w board on 1:10
  • 8×50 swim w paddles on :50
  • 4×75 k/d/s IM order
  • 200 breast
  • 6×100 free on 1:40
  • 100 breast
  • 6×50 fast free/easy breast on 1:00
  • 200 IM easy
  • 300 back w fins
  • 100 breast

Over the weeks I am slowly adding a little distance (usually only 200 to my longest swim every 2 weeks) and a little speed (timing one more set each month). If something isn’t fun or hurts, I stop. There is no reason to hurt myself or get sick of swimming this early in my season.

If you are newer to swimming, I would also focus the majority of your workout on drills!

If you want a list of great drills (and lots of already written out workouts), join our facebook group here…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/IHeartSwimming

If you want a swim workout a day emailed to you for 30 days, click here…

www.FoodFitnessFinanceFun.com/dailyswim

If you want 10 great workouts for endurance training, go here…

https://www.etsy.com/listing/281141398/10-awesome-swim-workouts-for-long

And remember…Just Keep Swimming!

See you soon!

My 46th Birthday Workout

My 46th Birthday Workout.... Every year for my birthday, I do a birthday workout. I do this because I love my birthday and I want to celebrate me. I try to think of all the things I love to do and cram them all into one day! Every year for my birthday, I do a birthday workout. I do this because I love my birthday and I want to celebrate me. I try to think of all the things I love to do and cram them all into one day! Working out is one of my favorite things to do, and I love to challenge myself, so I always make my birthday workout a pretty big challenge.

This year was a little different. I don’t have as much time and freedom as I’ve had in the past, I was already teaching two classes at the gym, and of course I have Coura now. I still wanted to do something challenging, but doable, and like everything else in my life right now, I need it to be a little more flexible than in the past. I decided on a 46 minute swim, 46 minute bike, and a 46 minute run. Not all at once, not necessarily in that order, spread out throughout the day.

I got up early on November 6 to have enough time to pump after feeding Coura, as I’m not supposed to wear a sports bra unless my breasts are completely empty. I was planning on getting to the gym 15 minutes before my first class to drop Coura off at childcare and get started on my run. As with all my other plans over the past four months, I was running behind. I got to the gym five minutes before my class started, dropped Coura off, and went and taught class. I did however jump on a treadmill for 15 minutes after class to get the party started!

I visited childcare to feed myself and Coura, changed her, and played with her until it was time to teach my second class. After that class, I jumped on the treadmill for nine more minutes, before heading out to meet my mom at a different gym for part of my bike and leave Coura with her so I can finish my workout.

I biked 33 minutes with my mom, fed and changed Coura, and sent her to spend the afternoon with Grandma! Thank you Mom!

I then got back on the bike for another 13 minutes, jumped on the treadmill for my final 22 minutes, and then headed in to the pool for my 46 minutes swim!!

So yay! I got my entire birthday workout done! My total workout was a little over two hours and 15 minutes, which is my longest work out since I had Coura in June! So although it wasn’t a challenge like in the past (last year’s workout took 6 ½ hours), it was a challenge for me in my new life!

It felt amazing, and I had a blast! It was also the first time in a year that I actually felt like a triathlete! It got me super excited about my upcoming season, and I started thinking about what I want to do for training and racing this year.

After my birthday work out, Matt took me to eat at my favorite restaurant, Native Foods Café, and luckily they were fully stocked with oatmeal cream pies! The perfect end to my birthday workout!

How do you spend your birthday? What do you do to celebrate you?

And thanks for all the birthday messages, posts, and texts!

MY FRIENDS ROCK!

See you next year!

Peace of Mind: The Greatest Gift of All

Peace of Mind - The Greatest Gift of AllWhen I got pregnant, I suddenly went from the most optimistic, positive person on the planet to a total doomsday prepper when it came to my baby. Instantly everything weird or different or unusual happening in my body was something horrible.

And it only got worse after Coura was born. If she was crying, something was wrong, if she was quiet, something was wrong. I had crazy dreams about dropping her, or leaving her somewhere, or forgetting to feed her. So in the real world, knowing that she was safe and taken care of no matter what, was extremely valuable.

I want to say right off the bat, that if I read this blog post a year ago, I would have been super judgemental toward the person who wrote it. I’ve been hesitant to share anything about this because of that, but I decided to be brave and write it anyway! Here is why…

  • To help others and give them hope if they are in a similar situation
  • To show my gratitude and appreciation
  • To bring awareness to all the options we have available as parents and future parents

When I found out I was pregnant a year ago, I had just come out a 21-year marriage where I left my ex-husband. I had spent the previous six months shacking up with friends and family, training and racing, and doing some soul-searching to figure out what was next for me. What I didn’t focus on was making money. I made enough to get by, but I didn’t have anything saved, especially for what was coming next in my life, a baby.

I wasn’t freaked out about having a baby when I found out I was pregnant, but I was a little concerned with the financial aspect. I knew if I had a completely simple, easy, normal birth, I could come up with the money to pay for it. But with all the testing, extra doctor visits, and potential issues that go along with having a “geriatric pregnancy” (yes, that is what it was called since I was 45 years old), I wasn’t sure how much more that would all cost.

I had never needed any financial assistance, so I didn’t know how it would all work or if I would even qualify, but a couple people suggested that I look into Medicaid. I did some research, filled out all the paperwork, and was accepted.

What a godsend this program was for me. It gave me so much peace of mind when it came to prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postnatal care for me and my baby. I didn’t have to decide which appointments were most important and which I could skip. I didn’t have to decide which tests I could afford and which I couldn’t. And I didn’t have to ask when given the options during my delivery how much things cost such as an epidural, the Bili light, and the supplies I use during my five-day stay in the hospital.

I also didn’t have to worry about finding the cheapest pediatrician or deciding which appointments where most importance when Coura was born. Because she was not gaining weight for the first two weeks after her birth, we had to go to her pediatrician every two days until she did. I’m so grateful I didn’t have to worry about how I was going to pay for all this help. Plus, being a stressed-out mom to be, or a worried mother, doesn’t help a struggling baby at all.

At first, I was super embarrassed being on Medicaid. Whenever I was asked who my insurance was, I hated hearing the word come out of my mouth. I thought for sure people would judge me or think I was irresponsible or that I wasn’t fit to be a mother.

But now I am just grateful.

Grateful I got the best care for me and my baby. Grateful I didn’t have the added stress to pass onto Coura before and after she was born. Grateful I can focus on spending time with her and taking care of her needs now instead of working over-time to pay off thousands of dollars in medical bills. I am just grateful.

This has also taught me not to judge others so quickly! Like I said earlier, I would have totally judged me before this! I thought people who needed financial assistance were lazy or irresponsible, or worse! I never considered they may just be going through a life change or transition or a tragedy or whatever!!

Most of us just need a little temporary help to get back on track when we’ve been side-swiped! Luckily mine was a little bundle of blessing and even luckilier (did I make up that word?) that there is a program out there to support me in supporting her!

Thank you Medicaid! I don’t know what I have done without you!

And thank you peeps for loving me unconditionally!

Stay hopeful!

See you soon!