Body after Baby: Anna Reed

 Please read the disclaimer at the bottom of this post!

Did you catch the introduction to Body after Baby as well as the first post by Nicole Elizabeth? Come back tomorrow for a follow-up post by Anna Reed!

GUEST WRITER BIO: From modeling ventures to fitness craziness, this is my life. There is never a dull moment between kids, jobs, and training. My name is Anna Reed and I am an NFPT certified personal trainer, fitness model and competitor, and assistant editor for activelife Guide magazine where I write monthly as well as design and model each fitness routine. From modeling ventures to fitness craziness, this is my life. There is never a dull moment between kids, jobs, and training. Modeling is more of a hobby than anything at this point, but I love hamming it up for the camera. I really don’t see what they see, but when I get a job offer, I am not one to turn it down. I love being busy, and modeling adds spice to my life. Fitness, however, is a passion and here is the story of where I came from and how I got to where I am today. When it comes to being fit, not everyone battles being overweight and overeating. Some people like me struggle with being underweight and too skinny. Until a couple of years ago, I was stuck in what I refer to as the “skinny trap” and thought being in shape was all about the number on the scale, eating salad, running a lot, and having skinny legs. Yes, I was quite thin (not to the point of anorexia but teetering on the edge). However, I was constantly exhausted. I saw the alternative method of weight lifting as something that was only for men and for those women who wanted to become massive like a man. I wanted NOTHING to do with it. I struggled to gain weight in my teens due to some sad circumstances and saw myself as the ugliest person imaginable.

When I arrived at college in August, 2003, I weighed less than 100 lbs. Because of my work and class schedule, the only cafeteria I had time to eat in served fried chicken, pizza, and burgers. Needless to say, I had gained almost 50 lbs. by the end of my first semester. I struggled to get my weight under control for the next 3 years. During the first semester of my senior year, I took a physical education class called Physical Fitness where I had to run and lift weights in order to pass the class. I also enrolled in a kayaking course and got in fairly decent shape. I was able to keep my weight down to a reasonable number until graduation but did not maintain my muscle mass after the classes ended. I got married a few months after graduating college and was pregnant not long after. Throughout my first pregnancy, I simply ate normal and went on walks every now and then but that was the extent of my “workouts.” By the time I delivered, I had gained 35 pounds, a completely acceptable amount. The weight came off within a few months, but I went right back into my “skinny” process until I weighed between 110 and 115 pounds. At my height of 5’ 8”, that is far from an ideal weight. Once again, I was skinny, but I had no energy. I joined the local volunteer fire department where I stayed until we transferred to Indiana in 2010. The trainings we had at the department were good workouts, and I figured that was enough to stay in shape.

Upon moving to Indiana, I got memberships at the gym where I worked. I begrudgingly decided to try my hand at weight lifting, of course keeping it low weight and high rep, so I didn’t bulk up. It was intimidating to say the least. I hated the “big boy weights” (free weights) and felt so out of place, but with the help of some great friends, I learned to shove my headphones in my ears, buckle down, and go no matter who stared at me and what faces they made. Shortly after moving, I got pregnant for the second time, but I was determined to stick with my workouts. I was very careful to listen to my body and my doctor throughout. I worked out 5-6 days a week through the whole pregnancy, including the day I went into labor. I cannot describe what a vast difference there was between my pregnancies. I gained the same amount of weight both times, but I was left with ridiculous muscle when the “baby” weight came off about 9 weeks after delivering. I had energy to spare despite having two kids to care for and other responsibilities. Helping people has always been second nature to me, and I desperately wanted to help others have the same success as I had. I tested and received my NFPT personal training certification. I recently began working at Point Blank Nutrition and have learned so much more about the importance of incorporating nutrition into one’s fitness regime. My philosophy is that health cannot be measured in pounds, but rather by energy and progress. There is always room for improvement, and you are only limited by how much you believe in yourself and in your ability to achieve the goals you set. There is no “half-way.” It’s all or nothing, so go for it and never look back!

Anna Reed- Body after Baby on My Life: A Work in Progress
Courtesy Photo

To eat or not to eat. That is the question.

Proper nutrition is the key that women today are missing in their quest for that killer body after baby. So many women, myself included, think that the baby weight won’t come off because “so and so” has not lost their baby weight and their child is already a year old or, God forbid, starting kindergarten! Well, I have a secret for you (and don’t be offended)…that weight that remains after about 6-8 months is not baby weight. It’s laziness and improper nutrition. Dieting and eating salads will do nothing for your body. Why? Because from my experience (personal and observation), when women “diet,” they are essentially starving themselves by creating such a huge calorie deficit that their metabolism screeches to a grinding halt. Yes, some of them lose pounds, but what they won’t realize is that this “weight” they are losing is not fat but rather muscle tissue. When the body does not get it’s caloric needs met in the diet, it will store fat because this is what it will depend on in emergencies. Muscle then becomes the expendable tissue and the body will feed off muscle tissue as the caloric needs are not being met. This starts a vicious cycle since muscle tissue is what generates metabolism and as muscle tissue decreases, so does metabolism.
Think I am crazy? Think about this: does fat tissue require any kind of food to feed it or does it cease to exist when you don’t eat food? That cottage cheese that we all despise on our thighs- does it disappear when you diet? The answer is NO! Muscle on the other hand is what makes your body move throughout the day. It requires fuel, which is the food you eat. The more muscle you have, the more fuel it requires which in essence translates to the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism will be. If your body is starving and feeding off the muscle that once maintained your metabolism, SURPRISE! Your metabolism goes bye-bye. Don’t be afraid of eating the calories your body needs. A quick, easy formula to use to find how many calories you need (without running the long one I use for clients) is to multiply your body weight by 14. That gives you a good estimate of you caloric needs. If you want to create a small deficit, subtract 500 calories from that number but keep in mind that anything more than that could create too big a deficit. Are you wondering what you should eat to fill those calories? I have you covered….in my next post! 🙂 Eat food, darlings. Food is fuel and we mommies need energy more than anyone!

Disclaimer: All information presented during this event is purely personal opinion and shared for educational purposes only. The information contained herein is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your physician before beginning any exercise, weight-loss, or nutrition program. Please note, My Life: A Work in Progress does not necessarily endorse any opinions presented by guest writers during this event. Not all exercise or nutrition programs are suitable for everyone.


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    1. Andi,
      You should visit my Facebook page and check out some of the workouts and recipes I’ve shared. 🙂 glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for having me write, Elisebet. 🙂

      1. You’re welcome, Anna, and thank YOU for posting! Andi, you should definitely check out her page…lots of great stuff!

  1. That makes me want to eat a pound of Ice Cream. But my weight has been bothering me a lot the last couple months and it’s just getting worse. Maybe this will help, after I get over the “woe as me” thing about how gorgeous she is. ha

    1. Hahah, I totally get the pound of ice cream thing! We’ve been visiting relatives this week, and I’ve tried to get out every day and exercise, but I’ve also been eating poorly…it’s definitely messing with my head…which makes me want to eat even more junk. It’s a vicious cycle for me!

  2. You are so dedicated. I’m glad that you are spreading the word about not dieting. It’s not healthy at all! You look amazing.

  3. You look amazing. I lost all of my pregnancy weight + 20 lbs by just breastfeeding for 18 months. Now I’m pregnant with #2, overlapping nursing, so my weight has stayed very stable and normal. I do need to start thinking about toning after the birth though. Weight loss does not always mean healthy..

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