Finish the year right!

*Post contains sponsored content.*

It’s no secret to my friends and family that I gained too much weight while pregnant. I always said I wouldn’t be one of those women who blimped and gained 70 lbs. while pregnant. But I totally was! I have a few excuses why, but the biggest reason is that I just wasn’t active enough. I’d come home to an empty apartment after a long day at work (my husband was deployed), and all I’d want to do is eat and sleep or eat and watch TV. So that’s what I did.


After I had my son, I made a point of walking several times a week. If the weather was nice, I went to a local park. In bad weather, I walked around inside the mall. I’d go months without seeing a lot of results, and I wanted to give up. But I always felt better after exercising, so I continued to do it. Eventually it paid off. After 18 months postpartum, I finally reached my pre-pregnancy weight. I attribute my weight loss to a healthy diet and frequent exercise.

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Running has never been my “thing.” Walking is enjoyable, but I’ve always claimed to hate running. This fall I finally got tired of my negative mentality and decided the only way to get over it was to train for a half marathon in the Spring! In just a couple of months, I went from barely being able to run 3/4 of a mile to running 10 miles!

Here are my two tips for making running a little less sucky for moms:

  1. Run with a buddy (or several!).
  2. Buy a quality jogging stroller.

I have another mom that I run with regularly, and occasionally, other women join us. That’s the only way I could’ve made this much progress in a few months. If you don’t know anyone who wants to run…well, first try to persuade them. Maybe bribe them with coffee afterwards or something! You could also check out local meet-up groups for moms. A quick Google search should help you find other mamas in the area.

Once in a while, I still do run by myself (and Baby J, of course), but it’s difficult. I usually run longer and faster than I would’ve this summer though, before I started my running journey.

Also, a good jogging stroller is very important! I’ve only run without Baby J a couple of times. Normally, I have him with me. If it’s a cold day, I bundle him up. He’s even worn his entire snow suit before, sitting in the stroller on a cold, windy day! Baby J loves to come with me on runs. He’ll fuss if I stop moving! And if you have a baby that struggles to nap, running with a jogging stroller could be a great way to soothe your little one to sleep.

We’re approaching the new year, but before starting your resolutions…why not finish this year the right way? You still have a week and a few days. Sure, enjoy the delicious holiday foods. But why not get out there and bump up your exercise routine before 2014! is an online and brick & mortar store that I’ve recommended numerous times. They have an innovative showroom in New Jersey, and their online mom expert chat support is really helpful. The site has a huge inventory of strollers and stroller accessories. Whether you’re looking for a single, double, light weight, jogger, or more, you can probably find it at!

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Currently, has a great sale on Baby Jogger strollers. You can save up to 35 percent during this year end clearance event. You can also take a sneak peek at the 2014 Baby Jogger line and sign up to be notified when they’re available. All orders $75 and up ship free from Click HERE to see the sale!

How do you stay active?

Note: I received monetary compensation to promote the Baby Jogger sale at However, all opinions stated are my honest opinions. They may differ from yours. Get out there, walk, and run! 

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Review: Long-sleeved fitness tee and capri leggings from ActivewearUSA

If you caught my Body after Baby fitness/weight-loss post, the top I was wearing I received courtesy of ActivewearUSA.

It’s true that you don’t “need” expensive fitness wear to exercise, but I recommend it. Yes, you can throw on a t-shirt and pair of shorts, go out and run. But discomfort is probably going to affect your workout negatively. It does mine. High-quality workout gear is going to keep you cool in the heat, warm in the cold, and comfortable during the in-between. It should wick moisture away from your skin, letting you feel as dry as possible. High-quality fitness clothing should also hold up over time and last longer than cheap or regular clothing.

I received the ION Actif long sleeve fitness tee and Beyond Yoga capri leggings in white.

The top is very comfortable. The fabric feels smooth and sleek, and I’ve been wearing it running when it’s around 55 to 65 degrees. After I’ve been running for over 10 minutes, the top keeps me plenty warm and does wick moisture from my skin. There are two little pockets on both sides of the shirt. They’re large enough that you can fit a set of keys and ID card. The wrists also have thumb holes, so I can keep the sleeves down (and my hands warm). Even without my thumbs through the holes, I never have trouble with the sleeves riding up, but the holes do come in handy if I’m doing push-ups, etc., after my run.

ION Actif top from Find out more on My Life: A Work in Progress #bodyafterbaby

When I first pulled the capri leggings out of the package, my initial thought was they are incredibly cute and soft. And they are…just not on me. I gave them to my SIL, who’s smaller than I am, and as you can see, the capris fit her perfectly. The ruching on the legs give these leggings a stylish touch.

BEYOND YOGA white capri leggings with ruching- Read about them on My Life: A Work in Progress #bodyafterbaby

I was impressed with both brands and will definitely purchase clothes from ActivewearUSA in the future. Besides their price match guarantee (keep reading for more on that), they have final sales on many of their clothes. This means you can purchase quality workout clothes at a great price.

Founded on a mission “to offer the largest selection of quality, high-performance, stylish women’s activewear, footwear, and accessories,” ActivewearUSA strives to provide great customer service and apparel guidance to the consumer.

With a huge selection of fitness clothes for women, ActivewearUSA features brands like BEYOND YOGA, O’Neill 365, Zumba Clothing, Fila, Hapari swimwear, lucy activewear, and many more. The inventory changes often, but if there’s a specific brand you like, you can sign up to receive notifications via email of when ActivewearUSA receives more stock in that brand.

ActivewearUSA offers free shipping on orders over $75 within the domestic United States. They also have a great return policy, provided the clothing hasn’t been worn and still has the tags on it. Just send back the new, unused items within 60 days of delivery along with your invoice. Orders under $75 will ship anywhere in the US for just $5. And they do ship to Canada as well as other countries. Check out their site for specific details on their return and shipping policies.

They also have a price match guarantee, but there are some stipulations. See HERE for more info.

Visit ActivewearUSA at the below links:

ActivewearUSA on the web | ActivewearUSA on Facebook | ActivewearUSA on Twitter | ActivewearUSA on Pinterest

What clothing does ActivewearUSA have that you really like?

General Disclaimer- Floral


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Body after Baby: Elisebet

Please read the disclaimer at the bottom of this post!

Have you been reading the Body after Baby guest posts? You can read the posts and product reviews HERE.

2 Months Before Pregnancy- 165 lbs.
2 Months Before Pregnancy- 165 lbs.

Since this is my blog, I guess it’s fitting that I close out the “Body after Baby” series with my own postpartum weight-loss story! Throughout high school and college, I fluctuated between 135-145 lbs. At 5’10” tall, that was well within a normal range. As an adult, my weight went up due to stress-related binge eating and a lack of time to exercise. Well, I should have made time, but as we all know, when you’re tired after a full day of work, the last thing you want to do is workout! At one point, I weighed around 175 lbs., but dropped that a few months later down to a very fit 150 lbs., thanks to Army basic training. Shortly after that, I started dating J. We were soon engaged, then married. By the time I was pregnant with Baby J, I’d gained weight again until I was fluctuating between 160-165 lbs. I was actually comfortable with my weight there. Not thrilled, but okay with it.

48 hours postpartum
48 hours postpartum- 200 lbs.?

I gained too much weight while pregnant. There were a few reasons why. My husband was deployed until the last two weeks of my pregnancy, so I struggled with feeling motivated to do anything. Whenever he’s away, I have to force myself to do anything beyond getting out of bed. Add to that the exhaustion of pregnancy, and so if I wasn’t working, I was sleeping.

The apartment complex I lived in was really tiny and surrounded by trees, so I also didn’t feel comfortable walking anywhere in the early mornings or evenings. It didn’t seem safe. By the time I was finished at work, it was already dark. So those were my excuses for not exercising while pregnant.

Then the food…I actually ate healthy overall (I think, anyway) during my pregnancy. In fact, the first time I had ice cream my entire pregnancy was in my last trimester. But I did have a burger and french fries at least once a week, sometimes twice. Burgers and fries are my downfall! And I ate too many portions of the food I cooked. Chicken, veggies, and brown rice may be healthy, but you will still gain weight if you eat too much of it.

When I hit 230 lbs., I stopped looking at the scale during my doctor’s appointments, and that was still at least a month before I delivered. My OB would chide me for my weight gain, but I was fortunate to have low blood pressure my entire pregnancy. So despite her concerns about pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes, I never had any issues. I did retain a lot of water. The last few weeks, my limbs were very swollen.

Within 5 days after having my son, I dropped down to 195 lbs. That tells me that a lot of my weight gain was baby and water, but I still had at least 30 lbs. that was just fat, nothing else. Thanks to breastfeeding, I lost the first 10 lbs. pretty quickly, but it took me months to get through the 170s and down into the 160s. I seemed to plateau for about 5 or 6 months. It was really frustrating. I use MyFitnessPal to keep track of how many calories I’m consuming and to estimate how many I’m burning through exercise. I started walking more, trying to get out and walk at least an hour every day, 4 times a week. If the weather was nice, I’d go to the park. If it was raining, hot, or cold, I’d walk around the mall. Finally, it paid off, and I was down into the 160s.

At that point, my son was almost a year old. Again, my weight didn’t seem to go anywhere, but after Baby J weaned at 13 months, I dropped a few more pounds quickly. I started this past summer at 155lbs. I was thrilled, since that was actually 10 lbs. less than my pre-pregnancy weight (although my body was not as firm). Over the summer, I ate too much and exercised too little. Back to 160 lbs!

So, yes, I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight (slightly under it). My body isn’t the same yet (I still have a lot of toning up to do), but I’m getting there. You can read my final Fitness Friday post HERE, along with before and after photos of my postpartum weight loss journey.

Postpartum weight loss tips- My Life: A Work in Progress
17 months postpartum- 160 lbs.

What worked for me was keeping track of what I was eating, not just calories but the types of food. How much protein was I consuming compared to saturated fat, etc? Was I getting enough fiber? Was I eating too much sugar?

I also concentrated on eating clean and avoiding processed foods. I do have a cheat day every week! I don’t think I could survive without one. Knowing that I have one day that I can eat whatever I want, that helps me make it through the rest of the week.

Besides a healthy diet, I took off most of the “baby weight” from walking and just getting out and being active. When I took Baby J to the playground, I followed him around instead of sitting down. We walked to the grocery store instead of driving. Just making small changes like that really helped.

By this coming Spring, I want to be a toned and muscular 145-150 lbs. I try to not focus on numbers, but I know from the past that when I’m in really good shape, that’s about what the scale will say. I’ve started training for a half marathon with a friend, and it’s been really exciting to see how my endurance has improved. I used to get out of breath climbing stairs or walking quickly, but no more! I couldn’t believe it when I ran 8 miles a couple weeks ago, pushing a toddler in a jogging stroller! (Okay, my friend pushed Baby J half the time for me, but I did push him SOME of the time!) =D

I really want to be in better shape my next pregnancy. I know that I need to get into a fitness habit now, before I’m pregnant again. I was really inspired by Sarah’s story about setting a fitness goal during pregnancy. Working out during pregnancy and gaining just the right amount of weight will help me have an easier delivery and recover more quickly afterwards.

I want to not only keep up with my kids, but be a good example to them by staying active.

By the way, I don’t think I could train for a race without a friend to motivate me. If you can find moms to work out with, I think that makes the process so much easier!

What are your favorite ways of staying active? Do you incorporate your children into your workouts?

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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