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.


What are some of your favorite healthy foods?
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Remaking memories from childhood- family game night

Although our family is small and young, I’ve already started planning things I want to do in the future when Baby J is old enough (and hopefully when we have more kids). I want to homeschool my son and watch his little eyes light up as he grows and learns. I also look forward to spending time together on family bike rides, picnics, trips to the fair, and you get the idea… Yes, some of these activities we already do, but Baby J doesn’t enjoy them now the way I know he will in a few years.

We’re surrounded by technology, and that’s not a bad thing, by any means. But I think it’s important to balance technology with human interaction. Technology should complement our lives, not be the center of them. One thing I remember doing often with my siblings and occasionally my parents growing up, was playing board games. It was a fun way to spend time together, especially on cold winter nights in Northwest Ontario!

I want to incorporate family game night into our lives for a few reasons: it’s fun, it’s inexpensive, and it builds unity within the family. It’s a way for families to slow down and just spend time enjoying each other’s company. Games can also be a learning opportunity. Many board games require strategy to play or quick thinking.

The games I remember playing the most with my brothers were: (affiliate links)

1. Candyland- I loved this as a little girl! The colors and candy part are super fun, and it’s easy for little kids to play.

2. Monopoly- A great game for all ages. It teaches strategy, money management, etc.

3. Clue- This one was a favorite, because I figured out quickly how to bluff and beat my brothers.

These two games aren’t board games, but we played them a great deal as well:

1. Uno- promotes quick thinking!

2. Dutch Blitz- like Uno, you have to think quickly, but you also need to move quickly too.

These games are nostalgic for me, so they’re probably the ones I’ll introduce to Baby J. But if you don’t want to go old school with games, visit this article to see how to bring family game night into the 21st century.

Here are a few fun facts about Family Game Night (sponsored content):

Visual from:

Do you have a family game night? What are your favorite games?

Note: This post contains sponsored content and affiliate links.

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Giveaway: Yummi Pouch “Back to School” ($330+), open to US and Canada, 9/11-18

Enter to win this collection of awesome gear for your little ones going back to school!

Prize Package Includes:

  • Yummi Pouch Brights – 2 sets of reusable food pouches ($30 value)
  • milkdot – Striped lunch tote ($27 value)
  • Applepark – Preschool backpack ($39 value)
  • EasyLunchboxes – One lunch container set, one set of Mini-Dippers,
    and one cooler bag ($30 value)
  • Early Lingo – 6-DVD box set, and the winner can choose the language ($100 value)
  • SNOOKNUK – Once Upon a Day, A Little Less Tears album ($14.95 value)
  • Pura Stainless – Stainless Steel Kiki Sippy Cup ($15.99 value)
  • Name Bubbles – School Labels Pack ($34 value)
  • Sock It to Me – 4 style sock set: Kids Dinomite & Green Monkeys, Youth PB&J Sock, Youth Super Juicy Sock, Juniors Red Ninja Power Sock ($41 value)

Total Value = $330+

Yummi Pouch – Reusable Food Pouches

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yummi pouch reusable food pouches

Yummi Pouch Brights – 2 sets – Retail Price: $30

Yummi Pouch Brights (Set of 4) combine style and convenience in an eco-friendly container you can fill with homemade smoothies and blended snacks! Easy to fill and clean through the top zipper opening and enjoyed by drinking from the side spout, Yummi Pouch reusable food pouches are great for kids taking healthy snacks on the go. Includes set of 4 assorted patterns. For more information visit

  • Set of 4 Yummi Pouch Brights reusable food pouches
  • Dishwasher and freezer safe
  • BPA and phthalate free
  • Great for on the go snacks!
  • Hold up to 6 ounces each


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milkdot back to school giveaway

One Stoh stripe lunch tote, winner can choose the color – Retail Price: $27
Winner can choose from green apple, blueberry, or raspberry.

milkdot believes that good design can be appreciated by anyone, big or small where each product is created with love for design, color, simplicity of clean lines, versatility and love for the world we live in. Contemporary products with an all-ages appeal. Products that are not only safe for kids, but also fit a kid’s need to be cool and unique with the functionality and style that parents love. For more information visit


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applepark back to school giveaway

Preschool backpack – Retail Price: $39
Winner can choose the style from online store.

Apple Park makes eco-friendly products for babies and kids using only the finest organic, sustainable and recycled materials!

  • These adorable backpacks are made from 100% recycled fabrics
  • Fabric: 100% recycled material from PET bottles *Bottles saved from landfills = 24!
  • Made of 100% recycled fabrics from plastic bottles, your kids will make a style statement while you feel good knowing that you’re helping out the planet.
  • Size: 10.75″ x 12″ x 5.5″

For more information visit


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easy lunchboxes back to school giveaway

One lunch container set (winner chooses from BRIGHTS or CLASSIC), one set of Mini-Dippers, and one cooler bag (winner chooses from 7 colors). – Retail Price: $29.85

The best selling lunchboxes on Amazon! For all ages. BPA-Free, easy-open lids. Make homemade “Lunchables” kids will love! Foods don’t “touch”, and just one lid covers all. No more time wasted looking for the right size container & lid or baggie for every item you pack. And EasyLunchboxes make portion control easy – just the right amount of food, without having to weigh or measure your meals. The cooler holds everything needed for a great meal – container(s), water bottle, ice block, extra snacks, even a thermos. No more wasteful baggies, mismatched containers, or struggles to fit your meal in one bag. The lunch containers are long lasting, reusable, and of much heavier quality than similar ‘take and toss’ products. (Not leakproof). The sleek and functional, zip-shut insulated cooler will hold even a whole day’s worth of food and keep it fresh. Roomy enough for up to three of the lunch containers. Small dip and sauce containers are leak-resistant. For more information visit

Early Lingo

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early lingo back to school giveaway

6-DVD box set – Retail Price: $99.99
Winner can choose the language from online store.

Early Lingo is an entertaining and educational DVD series for ages 6 months to 9 years that allows children to become familiar with foreign languages through immersive and repetitive learning techniques. Currently there are 6 languages available: English, French, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin and German. The 6-DVD box set includes parts 1-6: Colors and Shapes at the Park, Numbers and Counting at the Farm, Opposites at the Beach, Alphabet at School, At the Market and In the City. With approximately 210 minutes total running time and over 450 words and phrases, each set will give a child a solid foundation in the language of their choice. For more information visit


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snooknuk back to school giveaway

“Once Upon a Day, A Little Less Tears” album – Retail Price: $14.95
An array of songs covering topics from the time your child wakes up until sleepy time. Use as your companion while teaching your child to brush their teeth, wash their hands, potty training, eat vegetables & more. Melodies are catchy, easy to remember and the music is Enchanting. Makes for a great day!!

SNOOKNUK is a brand that is dedicated to creating original and innovative content to make childhood a magical adventure. We are focused on children’s early development, specifically on teaching important life lessons and basic hygiene, producing products such as Music, Videos, Shows, Toys, Books & more! For more information visit

Our Goal is to:

  • Provide parents with a fun way to teach and engage their child.
  • Help make kids less resistant.
  • Motivate children to have a healthy outlook on life.
  • Create amazing memories for kids and families.

Pura Stainless

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pura back to school giveaway

Stainless Steel Kiki Sippy Cup – Retail Price: $15.99
Winner can choose the color from online store.

Pura crafts the safest infant and toddler sippy cups on the planet from stainless steel with silicone components and NO PLASTIC. Our completely modular and interchangeable system grows with your child from infancy through grade school. Silicone bottle components include infant nipples, sippy cup spouts, and sealing disks. The sealing disks convert the bottles to both snack cups and water bottles.

In 2012 Pura was recognized with 11 product & business awards and is now available in more than 30 countries. Most importantly, we remain a family-owned business focused on innovation and unparalleled quality.

Pura Stainless’ award winning bottles can be found in most Whole Food markets, fine children’s boutiques, or on-line at and For more information or to order visit

Name Bubbles

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name bubbles back to school giveaway

Name Bubbles School Labels Pack – Retail Price: $33.88
The Name Bubbles School Labels Pack is a collection of our customer-favorite name labels, designed to keep all of your child’s school supplies and gear coming home. These award-winning personalized labels are waterproof and durable enough to stick strong to backpacks, lunch boxes, school supplies, water bottles, sports equipment, uniforms, and clothing for the entire school year. With dozens of styles, icons, and colors to choose from, personalizing a pack to fit your child’s unique style is a breeze.

Name Bubbles personalized labels will help keep the entire family organized for daycare, preschool, school, and at home. A recipient of the Parent Tested, Parent Approved Seal of Approval, our award-winning name labels are made from top-of-the-line materials that are guaranteed to last. They’re waterproof, fade resistant, and contain an ultra-strong adhesive that means they’ll stick where you need them while staying bright and vibrant. Perfect for anything from bottles, blankets, and clothing headed to daycare, to jacket and supplies headed to school, these labels will stay strong and keep everything coming home. Available in individual labels or our customer-favorite Value Packs, personalization and organization has never been easier. For more information visit

Sock It to Me

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sock it to me back to school giveaway

4 style sock set: Kids Dinomite & Green Monkeys, Youth PB&J Sock, Youth Super Juicy Sock, Juniors Red Ninja Power Sock – Retail Price: $41
Winner can choose sock size, which may affect style from online store.

Sock It to Me is a business that sells fun, funky socks. We are talking about knee high socks with ninjas, unicorns, and monkeys; men’s socks with mustaches, monsters, and beer. With over 200 different sock designs, there is something for every personality, from punk rock to peacock and everything in between. Sock It To Me is a Portland-based brand selling socks worldwide. For more information visit

Enter to Win this Fabulous Set of Prizes!

One Winner will be selected September 19th. Have fun and good luck!

back to school giveaway prizes

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