Guest post by La’Shandra Holmes-Russell of Mom & Fitness
Hello Femme Fitale Followers! I am La’Shandra Holmes-Russell of Mom and Fitness and Fit2BaMom(both can be found on Facebook, will add links at the end of commentary). I am not a fitness guru, but I am a mom who enjoys the benefits of working out including, but not limited to increased stamina and energy for those long days involving work and family care, better night’s sleep, clarity of mental thought and of course WEIGHT LOSS. While I’ve always been active as child and “younger adult”…yes, I consider myself still you;-), I did not want to be another mom saying ” I’m this size/weight due to baby weight during and after pregnancy”. Believe me, I do understand full well about that struggles of eating healthy and exercising after having baby, so please don’t feel as if I’m making any judgment on anyone. I’m here to support , encourage and possibly show you how can do those things in an already hectic schedule. It’s just that FOR ME, this was an unacceptable reason for to not taking control and better responsibility of my OVERALL health (SPIRIT, MIND, BODY and SOUL).
So, during my pregnancy with my BEAUTIFUL son , I gained approx. 30 lbs., going from 166 to 196. Even at 166, I was 20lbs over the recommended weight for my height. Then after giving birth (2.5 years ago), I begin to work out approximately 4 months later, initially weighing in at 186 lbs.…down 10lbs…of WATER WEIGHT. Hey, I’ll still take that loss. From there, I set a goal to lose 40lbs by my son’s 1st birthday. Sadly, I did not meet that goal… not even coming close…losing only 6lbs…and that is with 6 months of working out at least 5 days per week, 30-45 minutes each day. To be honest, I’d only lost 3lbs in 5.2 months. What was I doing wrong?! I mean, during and after the birth of my son, I started eating healthier, markedly reducing the amount of fried food and fast food that I ate, increased my water intake and exercised on a regular basis, but still, only 3 lbs. lost! Then I started journaling my food intake, and found that although I changed my eating habits in the fried/fast food category, I had increased my junk food intake with a bag of M&Ms at least 2 times per day.
Two bags of M&Ms = EMPTY calories. I also noticed that I was eating 3 meals a day and not the recommended 6 (3 meals + 3 snacks)…quite a debatable topic, but hey, I like eating, so 6 meals a day sounded great to me;-). So thereafter, I kept the same meal routine for breakfast/lunch/dinner AND started incorporating snacks (Planter’s Nut-trition, banana, yogurt, whey shake, etc.) in between meals. With working out and MY revised eating plan, I lost 3lbs in 2 weeks! With help and motivation, you can have the same results! So what is this revised meal plan? I’m glad you asked;-). But before I give you the sample, I MUST ADMIT that this plan was revised with a good friend of mine whose a Personal Trainer (Chari Pollard-info at bottom of write-up).
Sample Meal Plan
Meal #1 (Post Workout) IF working out in the morning. If working out in the afternoon, please eat starting at meal 2 and use this after your afternoon or evening workout 1 to 2 Scoops of High protein meal replacement shake IMMEDIATELY after an intense workout. Blend with 1/4 Oatmeal, 1/3 cup blueberries or strawberries, 1/2 unsweetened Coconut or Almond milk, Cinnamon, and Ice.
Meal #2 1/4 cup Oatmeal with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 packet of stevia or 1 whole wheat wrap 4 to 5 Egg whites (with spinach and salsa if your like)
Meal #3 (Lunch) 4 ounce Chicken breast 1 cup brown rice (cooked) or 4 oz. baked sweet potato 2 cup Asparagus or Large Mixed Greens Chicken Salad
Meal #4 (Mid Afternoon Snack) 20 Almonds or high protein meal replacement bar/shake or plain Greek yogurt with 3 strawberries
Meal #5 (Dinner) 4 ounces Tilapia/Lean Turkey Breast/Chicken breast 4 ounces Green beans 2 cup mixed greens salad with vinegar and lemon
Meal 6– Egg whites with spinach or a protein shake if still hungry 3 hours later. No carbs before bed. This includes – Fruits (Eat your fruits in the early in the day or right after your workout WITH protein. Do not eat carbs by themselves but always with a protein) Any starches – simple or complex (Eat your carbs during the day)
- Meats should be – Lean, low fat cuts of meat. Avoid fatty cuts
- Carbs should be – complex such as sweet potatoes, wheat bread, quinoa, brown rice, plain oatmeal
- Non starchy veggies – broccoli, spinach, kale, asparagus, etc.
- Please eat 5 to 6 Mini meals per day and drink at least 3 to 4 liters of water throughout the day.
- Ensure that you eat every 3 to 4 hours to keep your metabolism going. Example (If your first meal is at 7, your in-between snack (Meal) will be at 10)
- Don’t skip meals; keep your body in fat burning mode by eating small meals throughout the day
- Have one cheat MEAL per week. This will also be your time to have a small dessert (if eating a low fat dessert, enjoy just a tad bit more). Do not make the entire day as a cheat meal or over indulge. Just have enough to satisfy your need and to let your hair down.
Recommended Supplements Omega-3 tablets or Ground Flax Seed Oil such as Udos 3-6-9 Omega supplement Daily Multi-vitamin of your choice High Protein/High Fiber Meal Replacement Shake (before or after workouts) Green tea – metabolism igniter. Have a cup with honey as often as you like. So now that we’ve looked at goal setting, discussed ways to for healthier eating, now lets look at getting that body in shape…the Workout Plan. And before you start thinking “workout….who has time to workout” , let me share with you my perspective of time and how to still get it (the workout) done. Time, the quintessential element of life that we all get the same amount of, don’t have enough of and wish we had more of…or so we think;-). When it comes to working out, we all find reasons as to why we couldn’t do it, and time is generally in the top 3 if not #1, particularly for us busy moms. Well ladies, through my cycle of ups and down in this fitness journey, I found out that time is my ally, not my enemy as it helps keep me accountable and responsible. Not only to my workouts, but to time itself. With that said, don’t feel as if you have to spend 1-2 hours to get a good, result driven workout done. In fact, I like “interval training” as it allows me to burn a great deal of calories in a short amount of time (405 calories in 35 minutes).
When choosing your workout, start with smaller increments of time, 15-30 minutes if you must AND begin SCHEDULING when and where you will get those workouts done. Yes, I said “schedule them”. I find that when I schedule my workouts as an “appointment” with myself, I tend to get them done. You see, you’re the boss, CEO and person in charge of your body and bosses rarely cancel appointments, particularly those that are beneficial to the well-being and your workout is very beneficial to your well-being. So how does one schedule in a workout, even if it’s 15-30 minutes, because remember as a busy mom, I don’t have time to spare. Again, I’m glad you asked;-) On Sundays, I do what is called “Schedule It Sunday”. I began with scheduling in my family’s appointments (those that can’t be cancelled/postponed such as study, practice, rehearsals, etc) and then I begin to schedule in my workout appointments around those times. I’ve found that once I did this, I was able to find more than enough moments where I could get in 30-60 minutes of exercise without feeling rushed or having to sacrifice time with my family. Now this may require you to have to put in some early mornings (currently I workout at 4:30am), or late nights (any time after 9pm).
But remember, you’re so worth it! I’ve also found that including my family in my decision to become more fit and healthier has also assisted in their willingness to be more flexible in terms of helping me reach my goals. So you see, this journey can be a family affair and I’m all about that. So as you begin your journey to become a “fit mom”, my prayer is that you reach the goal that you envision for yourself. The fact that you’ve already made the decision to become “fit” has given you victory in 50% of this battle. So check in from time to time, I’d love to hear how you’re doing. And remember, your journey is your journey. So don’t worry if you’re not the fastest or the strongest, with time this will soon change. You’ve already shown your strength for caring and nurturing for others, now its time to benefit from that same gift…you are worth it!