Postpartum fitness after baby #2

I’m a mixture of excited, nervous, and relieved. Tomorrow I’m starting my first fitness program since having Arielle! I spent the afternoon today studying the meal plan, making a shopping list, and picking up everything I’ll need to stay on track this week! 

I’m starting about the same size as I was after having Ziva, but I’m starting at 6 weeks instead of 6 months this time, and I now know I have the resources to get the job done:

✨Beachbody on-demand & DVD programs

✨Nutrition & portion control meal plans

✨Challenge groups & Coaches for support

✨Plenty of motivation and discipline

I know this could take a while, especially since my top priority is keeping my breastmilk supply up (despite popular belief, breastfeeding does NOT melt away the lbs for everyone).

What am I starting with? The 3 week Yoga Retreat! (Why is there no yogi emoji??)


I figured this would be a great way to ease into my postpartum fitness. I’ll be focusing first on flexibility, strength, and balance in low impact daily workouts. I do hope to lose some of the extra “fluff” I picked up while pregnant with Ari, but mostly I’m hoping to ramp up my momentum and physical capacity to take on whatever program comes next! 

So, get ready for my fitness and nutrition posts to start up again… now! Seriously, I find it motivating to watch other people on their journeys, and sharing with you all keeps me on track. So I can’t stop, won’t stop. 😉😘

2nd Trimester: Energy and Exercise

I did it! I climbed back on the wagon, stuck my trusty old 21 Day Fix DVD in the player, and FINALLY got back to a real workout! 

I know, I’m a freakin’ champion. Thank you, thank you. Now let me enjoy my reward:


That first trimester hits me like a ton of bricks. This was my 4th time dragging myself through the exhaustion, nausea, and fatigue… but the prize is worth the pain, and hopefully this time around I’ll get to hold a new little person in my arms in just 22 weeks and 6 days. But who’s counting? 

I’ve tried to keep moving by taking walks and doing dance workouts here and there, but I’ve seriously struggled with finding the time, energy, and motivation to do a more intense workout. 

Well, today I’m feeling pretty good. I got pretty solid sleep last night for one of a handful of times in last 19 months (thank you Ziva!) and there were no errands to run or business to handle. 

The stars aligned and my desire to move outweighed my desire to lay like a puddle on a pillow of cotton. 

What was my workout of choice? Total Body Cardio with my homegirl Autumn Calabrese. I started my postpartum weight loss with the 21 Day Fix, why not start my pregnancy fitness with the same? I modified some stretches to my comfort level, changed the ab workouts to avoid laying on my back, and went all in!  I used these alternative ab exercises from What to Expect in place of the round 4 floor exercises. 

I FEEL GREAT. I just wish I’d gotten back to it a little sooner since working out actually helps minimize my pregnancy symptoms. 

I’ll admit it, after losing the 1st baby and having the Sub-chorionic hematoma while pregnant with Ziva, and losing the 3rd baby, I have a bit of a semi-subconscious fear of doing anything with my body that could jeopardize the pregnancy. Even if many women and their doctors find it perfectly acceptable to continue working out at their pre-pregnancy capacity, I hold back and hesitate a little with each move. That’s okay though, I’ve decided, as long as I keep moving! 

What’s your Achilles’ heel? Mine is Anxiety


Honesty time.

Anxiety is my Achilles’ heel. Meaning? There’s nothing that can trip me up, pull me ten steps back, and completely derail my health goals faster than a bout of anxiety. I’ve tried so many things over the years to manage my anxiety to make real progress, but some things in life are big, and no matter what self-care, breathing exercises, and positive thinking skills I employ, there is just real anxiety that is a lot to contend with.

For me, the stress and anxiety of pregnancy… and pregnancy loss have sent me like a yo-yo through good times and rough times when I can’t seem to pull myself forward. It’s been about 3 months since my last loss and for the most part, I’m doing okay. I’ve even had some really great bursts of anxiety free energy! I finished a full round of the 21 Day Fix Extreme and lost 9 lbs and 8.5 inches, more importantly I was feeling STRONG, HEALTHY, and POWERFUL in my body. It was amazing to feel such ownership of my body again after the alienating feeling of betrayal and confusion following another miscarriage. But, I’m human.

I may have AMAZING tools at my disposal for managing my anxiety and staying on track physically… but I’m still healing and I’m still figuring things out. In this second round of the 21DFX, I haven’t been doing very well. I’ll admit it. My mind isn’t in the game this round. We’ve made so many big changes in our lives since April, losing the baby, moving across the country back to my hometown, changing our work situations (I now work from home full-time), and all the costs and challenges that these things bring… I think it’s all starting to catch up to me all at once and it’s been rough.

I know that the stressful times are a great test for any lifestyle change. If it doesn’t work for you even through the worst of times, is it really a lifestyle change or is it just a diet? I’m finding that for me, right now, I’m so grateful to have found my Beachbody family. I may not be making perfect progress at the moment, but I’m still moving forward, and doing so is one thing that can help me with my anxiety. Every time I force myself to press play, or at least get up and go for a walk outside so that I can participate in my accountability group, it helps lighten my mood. It helps give me even just the slightest lift so that I can see out of my anxiety haze. Knowing I have challengers watching and relying on me to be an example and a motivator helps me manage the urge to eat my emotions. I may not be making perfect progress every month, but I’m living my real story and being honest as I go.

I’m grateful that with Beachbody I have a ton of options to choose from, and even though right now my anxiety is too much and I am not up for pressing play on a hardcore boot camp style workout everyday, I’m grateful for the light-hearted options that allow me to workout with less pressure and lower impact. Sometimes all you need is a good dance, a little laugh, and to just get moving.

So, my weight loss story may be a little up and down, my ‘after’ photo may still look like a ‘before’, but I’m so proud of how far I’ve come in managing my hard times. I’m proud that despite wanting nothing more than to curl up in a ball under the covers, this community has pushed me to be the kind of person who gets up and gets moving.

So, despite my Achilles’ Heel, I’m finding ways to keep moving forward.

This got me thinking, for many of us who struggle with our weight and our fitness, there is something that trips us up and keeps us from successfully making the lifestyle changes necessary to allow progress to happen. But, if we are able to identify our greatest weakness. If we are able to figure out what triggers our self-destructive behaviors, maybe we can prepare ourselves to confront them more effectively.

Knowing what sets you off course means you can plan ways to try to keep the negative cycle from continuing.

For me, when my anxiety runs high and I want to hide and eat everything, the number one thing I need to do on those days is to get up and get moving. If it’s not my workout video, than it needs to at least be a walk outside. By breaking the downward spiral, often, I can start to pull myself back up.

On that note, time to go press play.

Country Heat Challenge Packs!


It’s Here!!!! The Country Heat Challenge Packs are live and available EXCLUSIVELY to Team Beachbody. 

I’m so excited to try all 30 days of this program. After 21 Day Fix Extreme I’m ready for some fun, boot scootin’, low impact fitness. 

So, you might be wondering “What’s in a Challenge Pack?” 

You get everything you need to get your best results:

  • Your first 30-day supply of Shakeology—the superfood supplement shake with dense nutrition to help support weight loss, healthy energy levels, and reduced cravings—delivered on Home Direct (monthly shipments)
  • The Country Heat program, featuring 6 workouts on 3 DVDs, a set of 7 portion-control containers, a Shakeology shaker cup, and the Country Heat Eating Plan to help you achieve your weight-loss goals.
  • A FREE 30-day trial membership to the Team Beachbody® Club, so you can start streaming Country Heat workouts on Beachbody On Demand, and hundreds of other proven Beachbody workouts, plus find all the support you need to succeed in your challenge. After your 30-Day Trial Membership is up, you will be billed quarterly for Club Membership, which you may cancel at any time. (OR- ask me about annual payment for HUGE SAVINGS).
  • ME AS YOUR COACH! The best part of Beachbody programs is that you can get them through Beachbody Coaches- your own personal cheerleader and support team. I’ll be there to push you, help you trouble shoot and guide you to your fitness goals. I want nothing more than to see you succeed and I’d be honored to help you do so! 


You have a few options to get started:

  • Country Heat Challenge Pack
  • Country Heat Kickstart Challenge Pack (comes with everything listed above PLUS- 3-Day Refresh Kit to kick-start your weight loss, break the cycle of unhealthy eating, and visibly lose 3–5 pounds in just 3 days!)
  • Sign up to be a Coach and SAVE MONEY EVERY MONTH on your Shakeology Home Direct order and get 25% off future product purchases. Just select Country Heat as your challenge pack purchase as you sign up! 

Pick your poison, and send me a friend request so that I can add you to my COUNTRY HEAT CHALLENGE GROUP kicking off soon!! 

Need help deciding? I’m available to chat! Send me a message or comment below with the best way to contact you and I’ll be in touch!! 

Yummy (healthy) 4th of July Snack

Happy 4th of July y’all! Well, almost… I tend to get in the patriotic mood a little early since Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. It’s always packed with sunshine, fun, and all the best that summer brings. … Continue reading

Big Changes Part 3: Getting Some Answers

Before we moved, before we miscarried, I had done my research and found a GREAT OB to provide my prenatal care once we were to arrive in California. I was super excited to work with my new doctor after receiving countless recommendations from women who had delivered with him. My 12 week appointment was scheduled for our first week in town and after I miscarried I decided to keep the appointment for follow-up and planning for future pregnancies. I’m so glad I did.

My new doctor listened to my pregnancy history– my first miscarriage, the challenges we faced with Ziva’s pregnancy, and this most recent miscarriage. Generally the medical establishment look at early miscarriages as bad luck until there are 3 or more in a row without live births in between. But this new doctor really listened, and he decided that despite my not having had 3 successive miscarriages without a live birth in between, he felt there was reason enough to do some blood tests to take a look at why I may be experiencing recurrent miscarriages. I’m so glad he did.

I went in and had my blood drawn right away and waited till after my next cycle to go back to meet with the doc for my results. I fully expected and was bracing myself to hear that there was no explanation, nothing unusual with my results, and no potential explanation for why my babies keep miscarrying. I’ve never been so relieve to find out there was a problem. I mean, usually a positive test for a medical test isn’t a good thing… but in this case it meant answers. It means I may be able to do something about my recurrent miscarriages and POSSIBLY avoid losing another baby when we decide we’re ready to try again. I can’t imagine a more hopeful result.

Of the handful of tests they ran on my blood I received 2 positive results.

I received an ANA result (Antinuclear-Antibodies) that was positive. I don’t know a ton about this test and I wonder if it could be caused by my Psoriasis, which is an inflammatory autoimmune condition. The doctor wants to retest me for this in a month because it has a high false-positive rate. He did not make any treatment recommendations based on this test. You can read more about ANA here- http://www.rheumatology.org/I-Am-A/Patient-Caregiver/Diseases-Conditions/Antinuclear-Antibodies-ANA

The second thing that came back positive was MTHFR. I won’t even attempt at explaining it myself, I’ll let my doctor do that:

What Is MTHFR?

MTHFR (5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase – what a mouthful…) is a specific gene found on a specific chromosome within every cell in every person The MTHFR gene produces an enzyme responsible for a multi-step process that converts the amino acid homocysteine to another amino acid, methionine. Specifically, MTHFR irreversibly reduces 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate to 5-methyltetrahydrofolate.  5-methyltetrahydrofolate is ultimately converted to methionine to make proteins and other important compounds. When the MTHFR enzyme “malfunctions” the process gets backed up, so that homocysteine (considered to be somewhat of a toxic amino acid) levels increase.  Elevated homocysteine can cause inflammation in blood vessels and increases the risk of microscopic clot formation.”

(From http://www.stephenwellsmd.com/mthfr.htm)

This is the test that gives me hope. There are treatment options available that may reduce the likelihood of miscarrying due to this condition.

There’s something I can do.

There’s something I can do.

No words are sweeter to a mom who’s lost multiple babies (or even just one). No hope greater than learning there may be something you can do to keep it from happening again.

My doctor recommended that whenever we decide we’re open to becoming pregnant again, or if there is a possibility I will become pregnant, I should start taking a low-dose aspirin daily.

Just one little pill.

Hopefully this is the first step towards our next baby sticking around for the long haul. I cannot tell you what a relief it is to know that there is hope, if even just a small glimmer, there is a little bit of hope that maybe we won’t have to go through an early pregnancy loss again.

May it be so.

 

* This is not meant to be medical advice to anyone. I am just sharing my own experience and what I believe my doctor told me to do for my health. Please consult your own physician before taking anything.

5 Reason why I LOVE being a coach


Why do I love being a coach?

1) Motivation. Knowing I have a team and clients to be accountable to keeps me on my game. I have to lead by example!

2) Friendship. The say your vibe attracts your tribe and it’s so true. The women on our team and the clients we help are such driven, giving people. They are people who are taking charge in their own lives and genuinely want to help others improve their health and overall well-being. Which leads to…

3) Helping people. That is the core of what a being a Beachbody coach is all about. We help people find a way to take charge of their health physically, which usually spreads into wellness in other areas of their lives. And the company itself is always giving back to the community in one way or another. Just in the month of January we helped raise TONS of money for Upward Bound House in Santa Monica to help get homeless families into housing for the year.

4) It’s not sales. When you’re offering a product and system you believe in, it becomes more than just sales. When someone does buy a Challenge pack or program, that isn’t the end of the deal. What you buy when you buy from a coach is a support system, cheerleader, troubleshooter, and motivator. We are here to help make sure you stay on your path to wellness and to ensure that you have the most success possible When I offer the Beachbody opportunity to my friends and family, I’m offering them a solution that I truly believe in. I’m offering products that have made my own life better. I don’t want to keep this to myself!

5) Extra Income. Long before I started with Beachbody I followed coaches on social media who inspired me. I found their lifestyles appealing and was inspired by their dedication to a healthy lifestyle and the freedom that coaching provided them. For some the financial freedom allows them to be full-time Work-at-home moms, for others it allows them the freedom to travel the world and explore the great outdoors. For me, it’s a little extra spending money. Whatever your goals are when you start a Beachbody business, it’s an awesome opportunity that can (with hard work, consistency and talent) give you the freedom to build a life of your own design.

If you’re curious what Beachbody coaching is all about I invite you to join my team this week in a private Sneak Peak into Coaching Facebook group. We have an amazing team and if you are interested in working from home and love health and fitness this just might be the gig for you too. If you’re curious about this whole coaching gig, send me a message here and I’ll get in touch! 

Sign me up for the 5 Day Sneak Peak!

Thanksgiving Dinner Survival Guide from Autumn Calabrese

Thanksgiving dinner can be a minefield of temptations. While I’m all for enjoying special occasions and holidays, it can be really useful to be thoughtful about how and when you indulge. Plan your meal right, and you can have that slice of pie with a little more room in your belt at the end of the night.

21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme Creator and Celebrity trainer, Autumn Calabrese has some simple and helpful suggestions about how to get through Thanksgiving dinner (or any holiday meal) while sticking to your meal plan and you long term goals. Check her out-

The “Right Time”

Do Something

Once when I was complaining about my weight and my body to a friend back in my early 20’s that friend said something that struck a chord in me. She responded “If you really wanted to do something about it you would. It’s not impossible.” She meant it as a “shut up or do something” statement I’m sure. How annoying would it be to listen to a friend always make self-deprecating comments about their body?

At first I was hurt “She doesn’t understand it’s not as easy for me!” And, “but I do really want to do something about it…” But then it really got me thinking. For a smart girl I feel really silly that it had never really occurred to me that I could LEARN how to get fit. I only knew vaguely about calories and really knew nothing about how much fat, calories, etc. were appropriate for my body and activity level. I grew up in a healthy foods type of home. We didn’t eat a ton of sugary processed foods. I got Eden soy milk boxes in my lunches and we had vegetables and whole grains in abundance, but I didn’t learn about healthy portions or nutritional balance.

I had always felt like an active, athletic person stuck in the wrong body. Like something went wrong along the way and I wasn’t supposed to be so out of shape. So, the idea that I could do something about how my body felt was inspiring, though incredibly obvious looking back now. It wasn’t about blaming me for how I got to where I was, it was about empowering me to feel a sense of control over my situation. I really could do something about it, it might not be easy, but it is/was possible. It’s taken a number of years, stops and starts to finally get a handle on the “how,” but knowing I can has helped me stay on the journey.

Making now the “Right time”

I’ve had a number of friends contact me who are interested in the Beachbody programs. Some are totally ready to go and jump right in with the 21 day fix, but there are many who decide they aren’t ready or “it isn’t a good time right now.” That’s legitimate. You really do have to be ready to do the work for these programs, or any programs to really be effective. But, I also have to ask “When will it be a good time? Can you define what will be different in the future that would make that the right time, rather than now? Perhaps the reason right now isn’t a good time is still going to be an issue a month from now, or a year.”

Waiting for the right time may end up an endless cycle of wishing you’d already started. I watched a Beachbody coach on social media for over a year before I jumped in, and you know what? I wish I hadn’t waited. I have LESS time now than I did when I first found the programs. I am MORE exhausted than I was before I had Ziva. If I was using my old system of judgment, now wouldn’t look at all like the “right time”. The thing is, I decided to make it the right time. I decided this journey is my priority right now, along with my job and family responsibilities.

Caring for myself and working towards my goals doesn’t need a magical start date in some elusive future when life is easier. It needs to start now, so that I feel good, have energy and stamina for all that life throws my way. Now is the right time, because I’m making it so.

So, perhaps right now really is too hectic and stress filled to dive in to a lifestyle program like the 21 day fix. Or, maybe it’s the perfect time. Exercise helps to relieve stress, it releases endorphins that can boost your mood and leave you feeling more energized.

If you really want to see change happen in your life starting NOW;

If you can carve 30 minutes a day out of your schedule (maybe drop a TV show, or shave 15 minutes off of a few other activities each day);

If you can commit to being thoughtful about your eating habits and spending as little as 3 hours a week pre-prepping your meals (not mandatory, but super helpful- especially later when you can grab prepared meals all week and gain back extra time in the evenings. Perfect for leaving extra time to workout!);

If you want to stop lamenting the state you’re in and start taking action;

Than now is the perfect time to start.

How can you get started?

The 21 Day Fix is on sale until the end of November! Don’t miss this opportunity to get started with all the tools you need for success: an easy to learn meal plan, 30 minute daily workouts, 30 day supply of Shakeology (the super-food nutrient packed protein powder), 30 day access to streaming tons of workouts on Beachbody onDemand, and a motivational coach and private online accountability group.

I can work with you to track your time management to find time for your workouts. I can help you strategize your meals so that you can stick with the plan. I want to see you succeed.

Send me a message or comment below with a way to get in touch so we can get you started right away.