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.

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-

My Vegetable Habit

It’s actually incredible how quickly my body has adjusted to getting the proper servings of vegetables each day. Whereas before I would start itching for a high carb, high sugar treat in the late afternoon energy lull, I now long for something crunchy and green. Not to say I wouldn’t go for a good pumpkin spice muffin if you’re offering… But seriously, my body has started to crave the real good stuff.

What also might surprise you is that both my husband and I are getting VERY full from our veg-heavy meals. It’s amazing what balanced nutrition can do! Now that we’re in the habit, it seems natural to have vegetables as the majority in most meals.

The only trouble? Keeping enough veggies in the house!

Examples of my yummy meals.

Examples of my yummy meals.

Set yourself free from sugar addiction and get on the good stuff. Eat real, whole foods, and fuel your body with only the best. Ready to join me and make a commitment to your health? 21 day Fall Fitness Bootcamp starts September 14th and space is limited! Click here to participate and learn more. 

Labor Day Weekend 2015

We were in need of some time at home to work on projects and spend quality time with each other. Thank goodness for the long weekend! On Saturday we did a ton of normal errands, living room workout, and brought in big haul of greens for the 5 day clean eating challenge we’re kicking off this Tuesday.

Grocery haul

There’s still time to sign up if you are interested, by the way.

On Sunday a few of my friends came over to practice for their budding personal organization business. I’m so grateful to them for offering to practice on my closet because it was in dire straits. I’ve been maintaining multiple size wardrobes for a while and it has resulted in an overflowing closet and dressers. I made them an egg bake for brunch and they spent like 4 hours helping me cut through the clutter and clean out the excess.

They pulled out every piece of clothes I owned. Only a portion was allowed back in the closet.

They pulled out every piece of clothes I owned. Only a portion was allowed back in the closet.

The results? 6 bags of clothing on its way out the door! They even took it with them so I wouldn’t have a chance to pick back through it later. I’m telling you, if you ever have a chance to work with professional organizers it is so worth it! If you’d like a recommendation, shoot me a message and I’ll put you in touch. I just hope they want more practice soon because the nursery needs their help!

Sunday night we headed out to the in-laws for a get together with out of town family. Our new little nephew and Ziva had a great time practicing tummy time together. Ziva is really getting to the age where she notices and wants to interact with other babies. It’s pretty cute! Cousins

Today we were ready to get some exercise to burn off some of the treats from the night before. There are so many adorable neighborhoods here in Ann Arbor and we love going for walks to oogle the cute little houses and quaint family neighborhoods. Today we drove over to the old west side and took Brinkley and Ziva for a nice long walk. It’s pretty hot out, but there was a nice breeze.

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Ziva slept through most of the walk, but Brinkley was loving it! She loves taking walks in new places and she stops to mark EVERYWHERE. You’d think she was a boy dog.

At the end of our walk we stopped in at Argus Farm Stop for some coffee and water. I love the farm stop for their delicious drinks and fresh local produce. It’s a bonus that it’s also completely adorable.

Argus Farm Stop

Argus Farm Stop

Brinks waiting for daddy to come back out.

Brinks waiting for daddy to come back out.

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We’ve been trying to get out and active each weekend since we know the nice days are numbered with the fall closing in on us. Our holiday weekends may not look quite like they used to, but they’re wonderful all the same. As for tonight? Meal prep and the 21 Day Fix Dirty 30 workout for me.

Hope you all enjoyed your labor day holiday!

Prepped for success

MealPrepMondays

#mealprepmonday #mealprepsunday

Search them on Instagram, I promise you, it’s a thing. It’s a thing for a good reason, too! Planning and preparing meals in advance is a great way to stay ahead in healthy eating.

This week it was my birthday. I didn’t feel like making a giant salad and portions of protein on Sunday. I took the day off for other things. Well, whaddaya think happened? Monday I went out for lunch, not ideal, but delicious. Then Tuesday rolls around and there was no time for lunch packing or breakfast making. I grabbed whatever was easy to transport or fast to throw together (my shipment of Shakeology needs to get here already). I sat down to eat lunch and immediately regretted skipping prep day. Hardly any veggies, not enough of anything, dense calories but not really satisfying…

When I fail to prep, I’m left with a raggletaggle bundle of random things. There’s most often no semblance of balance to my meals this way. I’m left hungry for that something that was missing (most often either the proteins or veggies), and I’m more susceptible to temptations and “easy” snacks.

Needless to say, I wasn’t about to let the same thing happen again on Wednesday!  

Since I started the 21 day fix it’s been really interesting to see where the holes are in my eating habits. It’s obvious now I was definitely eating WAY TOO FEW veggies. That’s right.  Not too many, too few. In this meal plan sometimes the issue is you need to eat more, not less. I would fill up on nuts and cereals, calorie dense foods but I’d still be missing something, and it was definitely veggies. By prepping my week day meals I’m able to make sure I have enough veggie snacks, protein, and veggie-full lunches to keep me going strong.
I’d love to hear new ideas for balanced lunches. Post your pics on my Facebook page or tag me on Instagram @Sarah_Ivy! Are you looking for a meal plan to follow? Drop your email below or send me a message here. I’ll help you find the best program for your goals.

Happy preppin’ y’all!