Progress Report

In November, I began a pursuit of fitness, which was rather rocky at the beginning. I missed workouts and struggled with my diet. I wanted to give up, but my body begged for results. After getting the hang of counting macros and exercising, I began seeing results. Although, the results were difficult to see since I was examining my body in the mirror on a daily basis. But a side by side by side photo opened my eyes. My body was undergoing drastic changes, and I was super excited!

I am now coming to the end of the “lean” phase of my diet as I now have 13.7% body fat. Now for the scary part – reverse dieting. Ah, it just sounds like a bad idea! However, after several encouraging conversations with my personal trainer, I am ready for the next step in this process. The best part is, I get to enjoy more carbs!

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When I started this transformation, my goal was to have abs. I didn’t care how I got them, I just knew it was my goal. Fast forward several months – I now want more than just abs. I want to continue to stay healthy and feel good about myself. I’ve always worried about my arms getting too big. I have since moved past this fear, and I am beginning the process of muscle development.

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Enough of me talking about my progress. Here are my measurements from the day I started compared to now. Results speak for themselves, and all my of hard work is finally paying off!

Nov 10th

May 14th

Waist

28”

23.5”

Hips:

34”

33.5”

Arms:

9.5”

8 3/4”

Thigh:

17 3/4”

16”

Weight:

124 lbs

115 lbs

Body Fat:

20%

13.7%

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I’ve lost all of this weight and never set foot in a gym? That’s right! You don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment at home to see great results. Read more about when the gym isn’t an option on a previous post. To me, this proves the saying “losing weight is 80% diet and 20% working out”. Anyone can workout. It takes real dedication to stick to a diet.

If you’re looking to start or have started a life style change, my advice is to document everything. Start from day one. On the days you lack motivation, you can take a look at your progress and keep moving forward. Not everyone is going to get the same results I have at the same pace. It may not happen as quickly as you want, but don’t give up! Keep fighting for those changes you want to see. Anyone can get on track to a happy, healthier lifestyle if you’re willing to put the time and effort into it. I hope you’ll continue to follow along as I dive in to this next stage.

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Healthy Creates Happy

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I’ve been slacking when it comes to my fitness blogging, but don’t worry, I have something up my sleeve for the future. I’ve been working hard and can’t wait to share my results with you guys. However, this isn’t that blog. Today, I want to share with you how becoming healthy has become my happy.

We all have a hobby we love. Over the years, mine has changed several times. I’ll usually start something and then drop it within a few weeks. With the demand of my jobs, it’s hard to set aside time for myself. Juggling every day life and then adding in extra activities starts to become a job in and of itself.

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I’m writing today to encourage you to not let go of the things you love. Make time. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself becoming bitter. Life only gets busier, so don’t put off the hobbies and activities you enjoy. If it makes you happy, it’s worth finding the time in your schedule. Don’t feel guilty either. You’re allowed to do something for yourself.

For me, I have grown to love exercising and improving my health. It’s become my passion, and my body is thanking me constantly. The better I am with my workouts and diet, the more energy I have. Overall, I feel better; my body feels better. This fitness journey has rekindled my interest in running, a favorite pastime of mine. I am now challenging myself and constantly attempting to beat old records.

I look forward to my workouts. I usually wait until Ella goes to bed and Evan practices his golf swing in the garage. It’s just enough time for us to enjoy our hobbies while not taking away from family time. I don’t have to worry about people judging me. That’s the beauty of turning your bedroom into a gym. I get to enjoy peace and quiet and a great workout all at the same time. I also feel like I’ve accomplished something for the day, so there is no real loss here.

Now, I’m not saying everyone should enjoy exercising. Let’s face it – some people will never find happiness in bench presses and squats. My point is this: make time for yourself. Do the things you love. It doesn’t have to be everyday, but if you can squeeze in a few hours for hobbies each week, I can assure that you’ll be a happier person.

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What is your happy? If you don’t know, explore and see what sticks. Mine may be working out, but the possibilities are endless!

Happy National Women’s Health Week! I hope you’re working extra hard this week ladies!

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Meet My Personal Trainer

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After beginning my healthy transformation last October, I’ve had numerous people reach out to me for more information, people wanting to know my “secret”. Well, here’s the secret: there’s not one! It’s a combination of hard work, dedication, diet, exercise, and an amazing personal trainer.

The personal trainer ties everything together. My personal trainer helped me create a diet plan and exercise routine specific to my body and personal goals. Then, she made me stick to them! Accountability – that’s the big factor for me. I have wanted to give up almost every week, but she hasn’t allowed me to do that. She pushes me to stick to it and reminds me of my results. Sometimes, it’s hard to see them yourself, but when someone points them out, you start to take notice.

I’ve never met a personal trainer who wasn’t passionate about what they’re doing. It’s the love for fitness and helping others that show through the results of their clients. You’re not the only one excited about your progress; they’re right there with you, encouraging you to keep moving forward.

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Lucky for me, my personal trainer happens to be my best friend. She knows my weaknesses and what to say to keep me reaching for new goals. She applies this same encouragement to her other clients. It’s always great to see the passion she exemplifies with her other clients, and she pushes them just as hard as she pushes me.

When we were growing up, I never pictured her being a personal trainer. Since then, she has has devoted countless hours to fitness, both her’s and others’, that I couldn’t see her doing anything else. She has not only transformed her body, but all of her clients are seeing similar results. I know I wouldn’t have been successful on this journey without her help, and I am so glad to have such a great role model to look up to. Did I mention she’s a figure pro? Yeah, she’s pretty awesome.

As I mentioned in previous blogs, I do a strictly online training with her, and we communicate via email and phone calls. I check-in each week. I send her photos, my weight, and updates on my workouts. I never have to use a gym because she has built special home workout plans for me, focusing around the use of dumbbells, kettle bells, and a newly added exercise ball to take place of a bench. She has designed a nutrition plan specific to me and is very helpful with suggesting foods.

Now, it’s your turn! Stop putting off your physical health and start to do something about it. Those fast food trips aren’t going to go away just by running twice a week. If you’re ready to get serious, I highly recommend seeking a personal trainer to hold you accountable, teach you target areas, and get you in the best physical shape possible. These results don’t happen over night, so don’t put it off any longer.

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For all of my readers, here’s a special for you: Mention my blog to lock in a special rate of $125 a month for the first 5 new distance training clients and join the Body By Bam team today. For all others, enjoy 25% off if you sign up in April. Follow them on Facebook to get other offers and discounts.

You can email her at bodybymrsbam@gmail.com.

For anyone who would prefer a male personal trainer, her husband, John, started the company and is pretty buff himself 😉 You can reach him at bodybybamllc@gmail.com.

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Transformation

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My church launched a campus-wide bible study with the book, “Transformed” by Rick Warren at its center. I absolutely love this book and the change it has inspired in my life. It focuses on seven key areas of life: spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, relational, financial, and vocational health.

We have all struggled in these areas of our lives, creating a barrier between us and our creator. When reading this book, I realized I struggle with my physical health the most. I took for granted the fact that my body is not mine to keep, it’s borrowed. In the second week of the study, something pulled at my heart and cultivated my desire for physical change.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” 1 Corintians 6:19-20

This verse speaks volumes as to why I began my fitness journey. Jesus paid the ultimate price for my body. Why would I not treasure it as he has commanded? Physical health is a form of obedience to God, and I’ve let years go by letting myself think this body was mine to keep. After completing one of the weekly lessons, I decided I wasn’t going to wait any longer. That day, I gave my body back to the Lord.

I struggled when I first started my fitness journey. I wouldn’t stick to my diet; I would miss workouts; and I just felt like I couldn’t do it. When I was close to throwing in the towel completely, I remembered why I started in the first place. God has yet to give up on me. He has granted me salvation, and all he asks in return is obedience to him. So I adjusted my attitude and continuously come back to scripture on the tough days.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

When I feel like I can’t push any further, I always remember I can’t do it alone. There is nothing my God can’t push me through. He is the unseen strength that gives me motivation to continuously reach new goals. He has started great works in me and continues to change areas of my life I never knew were a problem.

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A New Level of Confidence

Today was check-in day with my trainer. I sent her the same information I do every week: measurements, weight, pictures, and an update on my diet and workouts. She then sent me a side by side comparison of where I started and now. Wow! What a difference.

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It’s true: you are your own worst critic. Through this process, I have questioned myself on many occasions. I felt like I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, but when I saw that photo, I completely changed my mind. The picture from three months ago didn’t even look like me. I was truly blown away by the difference.

I’ve always been extremely self-conscious about my body. Never in a million years did I see myself telling my trainer she had my permission to post my picture on social media. Today is different. I am proud of my success and change. I allowed her to post the photo, and the positive feedback I received was just as inspiring as seeing my transformation. I received several texts, private messages, requests for more information, and sweet words of encouragement.

I loved it. My confidence has shot through the roof. Today, I walked out of the house not only feeling content with myself, but truly feeling good about how I look. It is such an amazing feeling, and I never want lose this confidence.

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Focus on healthy, not skinny

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All too often I hear girls say how they wish they were “skinny”. By who’s definition do they want to be skinny? If it’s Barbie Doll skinny, let’s hang that up. Not only is it unrealistic, but it’s very dangerous. There are healthy ways to get yourself in shape. Starving yourself will not be on that list. I am personally on a diet, and it’s very flexible. Yes, I have to cut back on sweets, but that doesn’t mean I don’t get to treat myself. Nor does it mean I can only have 800 calories a day. If you think starving yourself will help, look at the research that proves this is not a positive approach.

Set realistic, attainable goals when it comes to losing weight. If you think you can lose 20 pounds in a week, think again. Losing weight and actually keeping it off takes time and dedication. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it is totally worth it. Also, eating healthy plays a role in not only your physical health but your mental health as well.

But don’t stop there. Eating healthy is only the beginning. Make sure you’re keeping your body active. Don’t over do it. Take rest days as your body can only take so much. Any trainer will tell you how important it is to give your body rest. Working out 7 days a week can really take a toll on your body. Now we all know eating healthy and exercise are important, but don’t forget another important key step: Sleep. Your body needs sleep, and a good amount of it. When your body has time to rest, you recharge and are ready to tackle the long day ahead. If you’re making sure to make real efforts in these areas of your life, you wont have to worry if you’re skinny enough, because being healthy is far more important. Your body will start to look good and feel even better.

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When the gym isn’t an option

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A full-time working mom just doesn’t have time for the gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the body you’ve always dreamed of! In October of 2015, I decided I had enough with the excuses. I was ready to make time for my physical health. Did that mean I had to sign up for a gym membership and attempt to go two times a week before cancelling after three months with no results? Of course not. I did, however, get a personal trainer who works with me long distance. She’s located in my hometown of Greenville, so everything we do is online and over the phone.

I started with my diet. Never in a million years did I see myself on a diet. However, if you want to see results, you have to start here. I’ve never been overweight, but I’ve never been one to go on a run in a sports bra either. I want that confidence. So I started counting macros. This is a very flexible diet that really works for my sweet tooth. It allows for those sweet treats in moderation. It hasn’t always been easy. To be honest, I really sucked at it for the first three months. Now it’s rare that I don’t hit my diet goals. After diet, then comes exercise. Both go hand-in-hand and are a commitment, a life changing commitment. My trainer has started me on an at-home workout that usually takes 45 minutes, and I usually squeeze this in after putting my daughter down for bed. The most it has required me to purchase, as far as equipment goes, is dumbbells and kettle bells. I have three different workouts that I can spread throughout the week. This is perfect for me because every day is so different in my life, and I need that flexibility. I then run a total of two miles at some point in the week. Again, this is totally on my schedule and the weather, of course. Here in South Carolina, rain is almost always in our forecast.

Once I got both of these aspects of my life in-line, I broke my plateau, and I am seeing results every day. Not only am I looking leaner, I have more energy than I’ve ever had. With four jobs and a toddler, you just don’t hear that often. Having a trainer has been such a constant in my route to success. She holds me accountable, and even though she’s one of my best friends, she doesn’t go easy on me. She’s pushing me to goals I never thought possible, and I am loving every minute of it.

If you’ve been up in the air about getting into shape and living a healthier life, don’t put it off like I did for the past three years. There is no time like the present to get that fit mom bod you always wanted. Results speak for themselves, and they don’t lie.

 

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