Throughout the course of this campaign I have learned many things about myself. I have learned that I CAN lose weight, without the assistance of a diet pill or crazy fad diet. I have learned that the key ingredients to my success have been in my hands all along, I just had to learn how to use them.
The top ten things I have learned from this campaign are:
1. I LOVE drinking water. I’m actually quenched by it. Shocking right? When I drink nothing but water, I actually find I do not crave anything else.
2. Portions can be hard to eyeball. It’s funny how I could constantly be under my calorie needs prior to this campaign, and yet, I could be overeating certain things at the same time. It was like shooting myself in the foot. Twice. I’m still measuring things out until I get better at it. And it doesn’t bother me or really add time to the cooking process.
3. Strength training is more important than I thought. I always kind of ignored it in the past. But now that I have been working on building muscle, I’m losing weight in a different way than I ever have before.
4. Planning meals is critical!
5. I need rest days.
6. I always have time to work out. Even when I think I don’t.
7. Keeping track of my steps every day has helped me make sure I am always moving.
8. Sharing my journey with those around me not only encourages others to make healthy lifestyle changes, but keeps me accountable to the changes I have made.
9. What I am eating is just as important as what I am doing to keep active. If I put garbage in, I’ll get garbage out. If I put good food in, I’ll feel great, and work out harder!
10. I am the only one who can determine if I will reach my goals.
I know I have said it before, but I think the most surprising thing I have learned is that under eating can actually stall weight loss by putting your body into starvation mode. All my life I have heard of people starving themselves and dropping weight. I’ve always heard that to lose weight you should eat under 1200 calories (wrong BTW). Learning that the amount of calories required to maintain your body each day varies depending on your size and activity level, was surprising, even though it makes a lot of sense. But the fact that I could not eat enough and not only not lose, but actually gain weight. Yeah, that was shocking! I’m very glad that I now know a little bit more about the proper way to fuel my body. I’m glad that I can teach my children the proper way to eat now when they are young, and hopefully they will never find themselves in my shoes, but will enjoy this new lifestyle of being healthy, and carry it with them as they grow.This past week was pretty great. I had a tremendous weigh-in Sunday, dropping another 4 lbs., bringing my total for this campaign to 10.8 lbs. gone for good! I am feeling pretty awesome and hope I can keep this momentum going until I reach my goal weight! With all the wonderful support I’ve received so far, I have no doubt in my mind that I will do just that!
Before becoming a Mamavation Mom, I ate a lot of processed boxed foods, but I am happy to say that 98% of what I buy now can be found in the produce, dairy and meat departments of the store! Very rarely will I go in the middle isles of the store, in fact the only thing I buy there are my almonds, hot sauce, bread, and some things for the kids. I used to think how the heck do people just shop the perimeter of the store and make meals out of it? I won’t lie and say everything I eat is REAL food, but I am transitioning and I eat more REAL food than not, which is progress. Which is good! As Leah says,”It’s all about progress, NOT perfection.” Good thing, because I don’t know anyone that is perfect, do you?
Are you curious about the types of foods I eat as a Mamavation Mom? I will share a few here for you, but you could head over to the Mamavation forum where I journal EVERYTHING: sleep, water intake, workouts, steps, and food as well as my emotions!
So here is a typical day for me!
1 Fruit: 1/2 banana
1 Fat-Free Milk: 1c. I put it in my coffee
1 Starch: 1 Slice of cinnamon raisin toast
1 Lean meat: 2 egg whites
1 fat: 1 tbs cream cheese
1 Vegetable: 1/2 yellow bell pepper and 1/2 c mushrooms
1 Fruit: 3/4 c Blackberries
1 Fat-Free Milk: 1 c milk
1 Beans/Lentils: 1/2 c black beans
3 Lean Meat: 3 oz chicken breast
1 fruit: gala apple
2 fat: 12 almonds
(all packed and ready for the park)
2 Vegis: Mixed vegi’s
1 Fruit: 1/2 pear, grilled (OMG SOOO good!)
1 Fat-Free milk: 1 c milk
3 Lean meat: 3 oz Tilapia fillet
2 Fat: 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (used to saute the vegis)
1 Vegi: Sugar snap peas
2 fat: 3 tsp natural peanut butter, water, worcestershire sauce, cumin, onion powder
You know what the best thing is about all of these meals? They took a half hour or less to make!! That’s right, you can eat REAL food and not be in the kitchen cooking for hours! Being a busy mom with 3 really little ones at my feet, I just cannot be cooking all day, so this is a major plus for me!
A HUGE thank you to Alysa for putting my meal plan together and teaching me that eating healthy doesn’t mean that I have to eat bland, that it can be done and can be easy! You can find some pretty amazing recipes on her blog, Inspired RD! You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter!
Yup I am that girl that loves to hate exercise. I know that part of the reason I applied to be a Mamavation Mom was because I needed some help in the whole workout department yet I was scared of what this whole exercise and hazing business would be like.
Lets talk hazing shall we-YIKES!!!! We were randomly tweeted workouts throughout the day. In fact one day as I stated in the video we were given 340 burpees (burpees are those crazy squat, plank, squat, jump thingy-If that description doesn’t help-go to google). When I managed to make it through the hazing I was shocked and PROUD. I was proud of what I could do. The picture here is me post 340 burpees covered in sweat and passed out on my mat!
The plan that Mark has sent us is very similar to the Two Week Challenge that he set up for Mamavation a few weeks ago. I won’t bother posting them workout again if you want to know go check out Amy or Lindsay who posted it up for everyone, but I will tell you a bit about them. We alternate days between core and lower body and upper body and core. So on lower body days we are doing squats, lunges, and burpees and upper body days we are rocking push ups, triceps push ups (OMG these are hard), crunches, and some free weight work. Again sometimes I hate them (Ok most times I hate them) but they are getting resutls and are over in less than a half hour. Additionally, we are asked to make sure that we walk at least 10,000 steps.
I wish I could say that I love every minute of this exercise plan but that would be a big ole fat lie and I wasn’t picked to me a Mamavation Mom to blow smoke-this is about living life as a Mom who is taking her life back. Even if I don’t love the exercise…you know what I love? This picture-
No its not my newly painted toes silly! Its that this number is down 2.8 POUNDS BABY!!!!!!!! So as much as a dread the exercise and as hard as it is some days…its getting the job done! So I guess I will keep pissing and moaning and grunting and groaning while exercising because honestly, I want that number to go down more than I want to quit!
Hello everyone-My name is Erica (aka Mommahunt16) and I am so excited to have been chosen one of the three moms for campaign 16! It sure has been a wild ride to get here and I couldn’t be more proud and scared that I have been chosen. Yet, before we get to the proud and scared, lets start at the beginning shall we.
Why did I do this….there are two reasons. The first is this….
This BLEEP, BLEEP, BLEEPING number. I have always hated it. I hate it now, I hated it ten years ago, I hated it when I was 12. I have always had weight issues and I have always had a stigma about this number. I know now one really cares about that number but me, but it haunts me. So shortly after my daughter J was born I realized I needed to get my act together. I didn’t want her to hate that number and herself because of the number on a scale. I spent a long time in therapy dealing with my self esteem issues and my eating issues. Yet, despite all the mental work that number didn’t move. So I decided it was time to make a change and so something. So I joined Mamavation and shortly after decicded to apply to be a Mom-I needed the help and the support that comes with this process.
My other reason for trying out to be a mom…….These guys!
I mean how cute are they! They are my world and I want to be the best mom for them and I know that means being happy and healthy. The reason I was so drawn to Mamavation was because it was a group of other moms who knew that being a mom is great motivation to get healthy, but is also often your greatest challenge because of all the demands being a mom means.
Ok now back to what I said at the start of the post…I am so excited to be picked. I know that this community will support me in my journey and be my cheerleaders. Both Amy and Lindsay are amazing ladies who I know would not mind that I already consider them friends. Yet, I am also scared. I have never been so good at loosing weight (hence the number on the scale). I am scared that I will let you down, the Mamavation Team down, and myself. I did promise myself thought that I would get my big girl panties on and give this my all for the next seven weeks. I just want to say thank you again to the Mamavation Team for believing in me enough to be one of the Moms and I hope to make you all proud!
Before I go…..here are my stats and my before pics (please feel to divert your eyes here folks this is not for the faint of heart)
|Start of Campaign||227.4||-||38||43||29.5||50||14.5|
Hi! My name is Amy. I am a wife and mother of five. I spent exactly 193 weeks of my life being pregnant, in a span of 7 years. During that same time frame I spent 27 months breastfeeding, which I liked to call “eat whatever you want dieting”. And then I resigned myself to being overweight simply because I’d had 5 kids. Just like so many of you here on Mamavation I am unhappy with my weight. For too long I have allowed my own excuses and bad choices to control my weight loss. No more excuses! I want more than anything to take back my body, to take back control and be the best me I can be. I want to set an example of how to live in a healthy way, and I feel my body should reflect that. The Mamavation community has given me such a fabulous start on my weight loss journey and I really hope to reach my goal by the end of this campaign. I would be so honored to have you support me during these next 7 weeks!
When I started my journey with Mamavation back in January I was 172 lbs.This picture was taken at Christmas. My first reaction was, “Wow, what an unflattering picture!” Then a couple weeks later, I bought a scale and was shocked by the number staring back at me. I really thought I was about 150 lbs, and somehow I was off by 22 lbs. No wonder I couldn’t fit into any of my clothes!
That was such a hard number to wrap my head around. When I was gave birth to both my 4th and 5th children I weighed 180 lbs. Both boys were OVER 9 lbs at birth! I couldn’t believe I had let so much weight creep up on me. I was determined to do something about it. I struggle most with my diet. I think that is probably pretty normal, but in my case I was definitely eating far too many carbs and not enough proteins. And not enough calories in general as well. When I applied to for this campaign my weight was 158.6 lbs. On Sunday, I was pleased to weigh in and see the number below (Please ignore the cat, and the lack of nail polish on my toes!). Yay for losing 3.6 lbs thus far!!
I am wicked excited about having been chosen as one of the Mamavation Moms. I plan to do everything in my power to take full advantage of this amazing opportunity and shed these excess pounds! And now I will share with you a picture of my adorable little loves because they are far cuter than my feet and you need to un-see that right now!
Are they not the most gorgeous little creatures ever?
My Before Pictures
Please ignore the lovely face I was making, I hate having my picture taken! Apparently so much so, that I scowl! Lovely!!
And of course here are my beginning measurements:
Waist: 31 inches
Hips: 39 inches
L thigh: 19.5 inches
R thigh: 20.5 inches
L Arm: 12 inches
R Arm: 11.75 inches
Chest: 36 inches
To Leah, Mark, Shelley, Shannon, and Alysa: Thank you again for this amazing opportunity! I hope to amaze you all with my results! And to the wonderful mentors, thank you for your support and guidance!
Hello! My name is Lindsay. I am a 32 year old mother to four pretty cool kids, ages 14, 4, 3, and 14 months, and wife to an super smart amazing husband. We are a multicultural family and are pretty dang proud of it. When I met my husband I was 135 lbs. We started trying to get pregnant immediately after we married and was quite successful. I found out I was pregnant in December of 2007 and not soon after was put on bed rest, where I stayed for 30+ weeks. I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in my early 20′s and the surgery that was required to remove it caused me to have an incompetent cervix. As soon as my cervix started to thin and dilate my doctor placed a stitch there to keep my baby in, but this meant bed rest. I seriously only got up to shower and use the bathroom. It was totally worth it though because this is what I got out of it all:
Fast forward 5 months when I realize my period is late. I take a pregnancy test and sure enough, I’m PREGNANT. I cried! Shhhh don’t that tell my little man. Again I was placed on bed rest and got this reward:
Needless to say that was ALOT of laying around for 2 years. I gained weight. A LOT of weight. I couldn’t even tell you how much weight. I was just starting to make progress with loosing some of it when I found out I was pregnant with my youngest (whom will always be my youngest! HA) I of course had the same issues and was again placed on bed rest and diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes to boot. I had a really though time keeping him in, even with cerclage (stitch in cervix) and he was born at 35 weeks. He was in the hospital for a few days longer than me but was healthy.
I am now done having babies and am ready to take my body back. I want to be around a VERY long time for these precious little blessings. I want to be able to run around and play with them in the back yard and not be out of breathe. I want to set a good example of what health is and gain back the confidence that I once had. I am so excited to have been given this amazing opportunity! I promise I won’t disappoint!
My before pics:
Okay so this pic was taken this evening. I swear this morning it said 205 :/
L Thigh: 25″
R Thigh: 25″
L Arm: 14″
R Arm: 14″
A special thank you to Leah, Mark, Shelley, Shannon, and Alysa for giving me this amazing opportunity and to the graduates of campaign 15, my mentors, I love you and look forward to your encouragement!
THIS IS IT! Week 7. WHAT???!!!??? Where on earth has the time gone?
I have been engulfed by a whirlwind of activities, and I seriously had no idea that we were ending. It is much better this way — I can focus on how truly amazing Campaign 15 has been rather than dreading any measure of “good-bye.” Never you fear – - I am NOT going anywhere; I am here to cheer on the next batch of recruits and applicants! The love continues.
How can I describe all that I have learned and acquired from being a Mamavation Mom? There simply are not enough words in the English language to convey how grateful I am to Leah (@Bookieboo) and Mark (@MrBookieboo) for the existence of Mamavation! I found this organization just when I needed it the most, and the leadership gave me what I needed most – MY LIFE. The Mamavation Moms were basically granted All Access passes into the lives of Leah and Mark, and gained priceless mentoring and knowledge.
I learned from Alysa (@InspiredRD) how to plan, prepare, and pair the perfect foods for my dietary needs. I never starved during this Campaign! In fact, I originally thought that she was nuts for expecting me to eat so much food. Little by little, my body adjusted, and started doing what it needed to do – - consume enough fuel to operate and burn, and use the protein to help repair and build muscle. I was the number 1 skeptic at first, but now I understand and appreciate all that Alysa and Leah sought to teach me. I not only shop and cook smarter, but I am prepping my own backyard for a garden again. Me? Really? Yes, really.
Stephanie (@fitmomtraining) got the party started with Hazing, and Mark took over with the actual Campaign workouts. All of the exercises were designed to tone and strengthen, although they often felt as though they would cause permanent damage I worked out 6 days per week, and saw myself grow stronger as the Campaign progressed.
Shannon (@ShannonMSander) & Shelley (Momma_Oz) kept me on track, organized, and supported throughout the application, hazing, finalist and Campaign stages. All girls need great girl talks, and funny stories to help us bond. Believe me – - the stories have been HILARIOUS, and yes, oh yes, we have bonded. We are stuck like crazy glue! Speaking of crazy – - it simply defies logic that anyone can find such amazingly deep connections in such a short amount of time, but that is precisely what happened. My sisters for life, Rebecca and Joanna, captured my heart.
I learned that I could push myself harder than ever, and even if the pain increased, I would not break. I learned that life could throw some pretty devastating curve balls, but I could persevere, and I would not shrivel up and give up. I pressed forward. I didn’t look back. I didn’t dwell on any of the challenges or setbacks of the past. I just kept going. My commitment to change my life meant that some situations and relationships had to be left behind. I didn’t just shed weight; I cleared my life and thoughts of the old way of doing things. I lost 43.8 pounds, but I gained a new life.
|Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5||Week 6||Week 7||Change|
My Mamavation Mom journey would not exist had Rachel (@rachhabs) not bravely shared her story. She was my inspiration, and encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone to complete the application video. So, THANK YOU, Rachel!!! I made that video, and never looked back. I hope to pay it forward by encouraging all those who think of applying. You CAN do this! Take a leap of faith, and you may very well find yourself on a 7 week express train to a new life. I look forward to cheering you on!
Until next time,
HOLLA , my fellow Mamavation Sista’s and to everyone else reading this. I for one can not believe that we are already at the end of Campaign 15. This has been the fastest 7 weeks of my life and I really thought they were going to be loooooooong. I have learned so much about myself and what I can really do. I have met great people who really want the best for me. I have figured out that my body wants to sweat it wants to move.
Leah ( @bookieboo ) has brought out the Lioness in me the woman who can raise a family, break a serious sweat and still look cute. Mark ( @MrBookieboo ) has introduced me to my new friends , burpees, push ups, foot fires and criss cross jumps. Not to mention new muscles that I now have. Alyssa ( @InspiredRD) gave me personalized food choices and ideas that aren’t a diet but a lifestyle. Shelley ( @momma_oz ) & Shannon ( @ShannonMSander ) have been my lifeline if I had a question or problem they had the answer. Then there are the Sistas of Mamavation who I could not list because there are so many you know who you are who anytime I asked they answered. That is what Sistahood and Mamavation is all about. I now know there is no excuse not to workout. I have started a mad love affair with running I thought we would never mesh but we did. Mark made lifting weights fun with Pyramids that at first I did wrong but now LOVE them and have the callouses to prove it. I now have a waistline, defined thighs and mini FLOTUS arms. I see a difference in my face I have a chin again before I had a couple of them. This is not only my journey but my families because now we are going to be fit and fabulous together. Like Taylor Swift would say ” We are never ever ever getting back together ” that is my song to fat. I would so recommend Mamavation to everyone out there who doesn’t think they can do it. But be warned you have to want it. You have to be the one to do it. Most importantly you have to be committed to doing it. Real life happens people get sick, die, feelings hurt and there is no time for excuses or whining. So a strong mind is a must have. Last but never least are my 2 Soul Sisters, my Ride or Die Chicks, My Destiny’s Child, My Supreme’s , My Bangles, Joanna (@way2gomom ) & Jeanae (@jeanae) who took this 7 week journey with me and who I can say are the most genuine real women around THANK YOU. Thank You for allowing me to go on this ride with you ladies I look forward to a long , fit and fine friendship for years to come.
|Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5||Week 6||Week 7||Total|
Family. Friends. Health. Sound about right? I am BEYOND thankful right now because I have received the greatest gift I didn’t even think was possible. Through the past 7 weeks, I have watched in awe as the Mamavation Mom Bootcamp tools, which on the surface look pretty straightforward – specifically the eating plan and workouts, have transformed not only my weight, but also my health, my family, and given me the gift of my girls, Rebecca and Jeanae. Thank you Leah, Mark, Alysa, Shelley, and Shannon – I will never be able to thank you enough for letting me hand myself over to you for this bootcamp.
To recap Campaign 15, I will say this – absolutely amazing. With the help of Jeanae and Rebecca, we laughed and cried our way through the bootcamp. We were sleep-deprived, sweaty, gross, and still laughing our butts off. It was awesome. I would definitely, definitely recommend this program to others. I would caution you though, make sure you are ready before you apply. Make sure you are ready to learn how to balance your life completely differently, to really take on all of the requirements of the campaign before you sign on the dotted line, and to really give your life over to the campaign. If you do, you won’t have regrets, you won’t have to step down, you won’t have to watch from the sidelines. But if any part of you is not ready, it will be a struggle. I wasn’t ready the first time I applied, and I know that if I had been chosen back then, I wouldn’t have done well. But now, combined the three of us have lost over 100 pounds. If that’s not amazing, I don’t know what is…
There will definitely be some aspects of the campaign that will stick with me. For instance, the food. I do not have a single question about what I’m going to eat anymore, which is awesome. And my family is now eating the same with me – I started the campaign making separate meals, and now we are all eating the same things. Even my baby loves to eat salads now! It’s awesome. I am so, so thrilled to be setting such a strong foundation in the health of my children. It’s amazing. In fact, the food is part of the reason my husband has been dropping pounds too. Not only have I lost weight during this campaign, but my husband has as well. He’s down nearly 30 pounds also! Crazy, isn’t it? So yeah, this is definitely sticking. And then, of course, there’s Rebecca and Jeanae. They already know they can’t escape me.
BIG PUFFY HEARTS ALL AROUND. I love you guys, and not in the drunk-off-your-ass way that college students say it. But in the honest-to-goodness, mean it from the bottom of my shoes to the top of my ponytail way. <3
This week, we are discussing our families, and how being Mamavation Mom impacts them. My family has adjusted well to the demands of the Campaign, and I am continuously amazed by how even the smallest changes I make can affect my household. For example, one of my favorite excuses for not working out daily was my office schedule, and the stress it induced. I realize that many moms do not have the option to work from home, and yet many of them still manage to get to the gym. I somehow could not. Seriously, I couldn’t. Some emergency or deadline ALWAYS came up. Now that I am no longer on lockdown in the cubicle jungle, I not only celebrate my freedom to make my own work schedule, but I also have no excuses for not maintaining workouts during the week. I have a set schedule for my individual exercises, and I also make time to get active with my child. This can range from taking a jog through our subdivision, walking our beast of a dog, playing tag, to breaking out our best moves with our Kinect games. We have great bonding time just by getting up, and moving together.
In addition to making time to exercise, I also concentrate on preparing fresh, rather than boxed or packaged meals. This takes considerably more time, and some would argue more money, but the long-term benefits far outweigh any arguments to take short cuts. I recently heard someone say that buying fresh, organic produce may cost a little more, but it will always be less expensive than medical bills from poor health. Thankfully, I have been able to find several recipes that work for the multiple allergies of the household, as well as make the taste buds happy . There is nothing worse than hearing someone emphasize how healthy a dish is, and it ends up tasting like dirty socks! I don’t know about you, but I have encountered several dishes of the sort, and I vowed to NEVER introduce them into the meal plans for my family. My husband and son have very distinct food preferences, and we have been able to find the healthiest versions of everything that they desire.
Real life didn’t pause just because I became one of the Mamavation Moms. When challenges arose, I had my biological family, as well as my Campaign family, rally around me. I am grateful for their support, as it is not only vital to maintain enthusiasm and commitment for this lifestyle change, but to also be able to accomplish all that is required in the face of adversity. My heart was broken last week due to the death of a loved one, but the love and support of my Campaign Sistas and Mamavation leadership helped pull me through the darkest moments. Previous encounters with trials and tragedies typically led me to abandon exercise plans, and eat whatever brought comfort for the moment. Thanks to all that I have learned, as well as my Sistas Rebecca and Joanna, I didn’t have a desire to undermind my progress. I am eternally grateful for this Campaign because it has given me the opportunity to not only change my life, but to influence the healthy choices of my family.
And now, it is time for the real reason you read these updates. Here are the numbers:
|Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4||Week 5|
Total weight loss since applying: -34lbs.
I hope that you will find fun and simple ways to get moving with your family.
Until next week,