Body after Baby: Gabriela

Please read the disclaimer at the bottom of this post!

Have you been reading the Body after Baby guest posts? You can read posts, product reviews, and even enter the fitness giveaway HERE.

Today’s guest writer is Gabriela. I met this mama several years ago, along with Lindsay, when we deployed to Afghanistan. Afterwards, Gabriela went on to become an Army drill sergeant! -Elisebet

Hello, young and strong women and mothers. I would like to share my so-called “wisdom” and experiences for the “body after baby.” Thank you, Elisebet, for the opportunity to share my perspective, and I hope that it can help someone out there.

The Top 5 things that helped me along the way…

  1. Manage your expectations.
  2. Accept yourself.
  3. Learn to get help and allow others to help, because no one can do it on their own (and be happy).
  4. Work with what you have and accept the results because of what you have.
  5. THERE IS NO BIG SECRET TO LOSING WEIGHT AND LOOKING LIKE A VICTORIA’S SECRET MODEL (Besides most of us aren’t models; we’re mothers… embrace it happily).

So the first thing is managing expectations; I think we get easily and quickly discouraged, because we are looking for overnight or weekly results. After a baby nothing is easy and everything is upside down, backwards, and just plain a mess. We’re a mess, our homes are a mess, our lives are a mess…I was ok with that. I accepted it, because I was happy. Some of us don’t think about the bundle of joys we were given after they’ve reached two years old, and they’re throwing tantrums. I know. That was me sometimes. I was more concerned with the house chores and food than I was enjoying my babies. I have what they call “Irish Twins,” which means they’re less than a year apart. For two weeks my kids are the same age. It was hard in the beginning. But I got smart as they kept growing. What I did was accept imperfect solutions. And in turn it did two things for me; well, it helped with my sanity for one, and it made my children more responsible and independent.  For example, I made games out of clean up. And I didn’t go back after them, if they didn’t do it “my way.” I accepted the solution the way they did it. Of course, if there was jelly all over the carpet or something crazy like that, than yes I would clean it up. But for the most part I accepted it. And I didn’t feel the need to clean up better, they were just gonna make another mess later anyway. So, if you have so many things to do in one day or week or month, than you’re going to have to manage expectations. Same thing with my husband (even to this day:/); when he cleans, I am just happy that he did it. The results of how he cleaned aren’t what I expect. I should be able to expect a grown man to clean the house the way I do, especially since we’ve been married for 10 years. But it’s not, and that’s ok now. Accept different results, by managing your expectations.

Right after my second kid

What do I mean by accepting yourself? Well most of us are easily and quickly discouraged because we, once again, are expecting overnight (or a week’s worth of working out) results. Our bodies went through 10 months of drastic change. Try giving back the same work and energy back to your body for a solid 9 months, then you can complain if the results aren’t the same. But for the most of us, we don’t do that. I know I didn’t. It wasn’t until both my kids went to school that I started to care about my body again. For me, that was ok. I wasn’t interested in being a VS model. I was happy being a mom. I generally ate healthy and did enough around the house to maintain a decent size and shape. I walked the dog; I played with the kids, go on walks, went to the pool (cause we were in FL). But I accepted myself because I knew that I wasn’t making my body a priority. I made my kids and family a priority. Could I have done both? Easily. So the only question you have to ask yourself is, which is a priority? And I’m not saying that you can’t do both, but at some point or another one will conflict with the other. And the result will be that one of those priorities gets bumped, so accept the result after one of them gets bumped. Accept yourself and the results that come with your priorities.

Assuming you have so many priorities, like I did. Work, school, kids and their school, the house, dinner, cleaning, doctor’s appointments, play dates, family events, birthday parties, extracurricular activities, etc. (You get it. It’s SUPER busy, and I am sure I am not the only one) Because life throws us so many curve balls we sometimes need to sit one out. We can’t always hit home runs. Certainly not all by yourself and not all the time. So how do you get help or accept help. Well, the funny thing about help, is that it comes in different forms, amounts, and from people you probably you didn’t expect or from someone you don’t really want it from. But you have to learn to accept help.

The main thing about giving helpful ideas and sharing experience is simply that you can take what you want and leave what you don’t want. But this by far is not a super secret to being successful or fit. It is simply my take away on the things that I struggled with and experiences I went through. So what’s the “big secret”? The big secret is that there is no big secret. The biggest things that have helped me are acceptance, moderation, commitment, patience and hard work. Although I “pig out” on the weekends I am committed (mentally) to know that I am going to the gym during the week and eating healthier during the week in order to enjoy the weekend. But on the weekend we still do activities that help sustain a healthier lifestyle like biking, hiking and swimming or simply playing sports that my kids are in like doing soccer drills that help my daughter’s skills and we are staying active in the process. You just have to figure out a way to make it fun, and possibly pick up someone interested in helping you, because although you can do it alone, it’s easier with a partner.

Nearly 10 years later… patience and acceptance

The biggest excuse I hear is “I don’t have time.” Time is a luxury; if you waste it or abuse it, it will never work in your favor. So be selfish with your time, because in the long run it will help you and your family out more. And I don’t know about you, but I would rather be fit than look like a VS model, being fit serves a purpose. But being fit doesn’t mean having the body of a supermodel. So, what I’m about to tell you might be regarded as harsh or blunt, but that’s kind of the point. My best advice is this, truly embrace the fact that your body might not ever go back to what it used to be. I really mean for you to sit there and accept that you may never be the same weight or shape. I’m not saying this is true for all women. I’m just saying it’s a lucky break if your body does go back to what it was after kids. For some of us, it gets better, it did for me (at least in my husband’s eyes, which was an important factor). But for others it’s a struggle, a challenge, and a battle (which it was also for me).  A battle we give up on so quickly. And we give up because we don’t see the results we want when we want them. So the sooner you can embrace your new body the better. But don’t think of it as something bad. Think of it as your result from bringing the miracle into this world, because no battle is pretty and now you have the scars or weight or shape to prove it. Be proud of yourself, be content, and be grateful that your child is here in this world because you did what you were supposed to like a mother should. BUT now it’s game time. Do you want your body back? (or as close to it as possible) You will have to be a little selfish with time, with house work, with all the things (excuses) that you use that stop you from getting a new body. Most of us carry the burden of “I have to do the cooking, the cleaning, the doctor’s appointments, the soccer mom duties, the play dates, the grocery shopping, etc.” But you aren’t as adamant about your personal time for something that will make you feel better and actually results in a better lifestyle that aids the overall outcome of your family’s well-being.

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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Body after Baby: Ashley

Please read the disclaimer at the bottom of this post!

Have you been reading the Body after Baby guest posts? You can read posts, product reviews, and even enter the fitness giveaway HERE.

Hello! I’m Ashley from Weighing My Options, and I am a first time mommy to a beautiful little princess. I am currently 4 months post baby and under pre baby weight. How did I do it?

There are no weight loss secrets, no simple diet pills to take, no drink a shake for breakfast, lunch and dinner recipe. It takes time and work. I know that being a new mom, you can feel exhausted. There are days that all you want to do is sit on the couch, holding your little one and sleep while they sleep. I’ve been there too! Those are the days that I push myself. I push myself to move. I push myself to make sure I’m eating enough calories to keep my body going. I push myself to drink water…and water…and some more water!

I can’t say that every day since the day she was born; I have been eating healthy, and pushing myself to move. I took my bad days and turned them into motivation. Motivation I need to make sure (even though she is only 4 months old) I am setting a good example.

In order to make sure I am doing everything I can in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I plan. I know sometimes this is easier said than done. I personally am a BIG planner. I love lists and routines.

Here’s how I plan:
Friday and Saturdays are usually to make a menu up for the week.
Sundays are grocery store days.
Sundays and Mondays are used for meal prep. (Sometimes that consists of cooking meals at 10pm)

I feel like if I didn’t plan out a menu for the week, or prep food for the week, I wouldn’t be able to eat a healthy lifestyle.

I will share one of my favorite breakfast recipes:

Egg Muffins:
-8 to 10 eggs
-green pepper (cut into small pieces)
-1/8c of shredded cheese (more or less to your taste)
-1/2c of baby spinach leaves (cut into small pieces)

Preheat oven to 350°.
Spray muffin pan with non stick spray.
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl until well mixed.
Pour into muffin pan (filling about ½ full).
Bake for about 15-20 mins.

These will keep in the fridge for about a week. Pull out one or two every morning to enjoy, and you have a healthy and quick breakfast. Some weeks I also make a large pot of oatmeal and divide it into smaller bowls so all I have to do is heat and eat.

Lunches usually consist of sandwiches and salads. I pre-make the salads also a week in advance and use mason jars to store them. Have you ever made Mason Jar Salads?

Dinners are Crock-Pot dinners or pre-made meals that I have prepped for the week.

How do you find the time and energy to move during the day, you might ask. I have a gym membership that helps to keep me motivated, because I know that if I am not using that, I am just wasting money I could be using to buy my little princess more pretty clothes, um…I mean put towards “needs.” But you don’t need to have a gym membership to get yourself moving!! Take your little one for a walk. I use a pedometer during the day to make sure I am getting 10,000 steps a day (which equals about 5 miles!!!). Also, I have used Pinterest to find different at-home workouts I can do that take no more than 20 mins, so while little one is taking her cat nap, momma gets a workout in quick.

I am blessed to be able to be a SAHM/Home Daycare Provider, but I know that there are many moms that need to work outside the home. Some ideas to get moving if you’re working outside the home, take a walk around the office. Set your alarm for once an hour and walk to the bathroom and back, stand up while you’re on the phone and march in place. You may seem silly doing it, but you’re moving and moving burns calories.

Just some important things to remember:
-Water is our friend! Add lemon, lime, frozen fruit to it to add flavor.
-Track your food and exercise.
-Listen to your body.
-Prep Meals.
-Cut out processed meals; make your own.
-Try a new recipe/food each week.
-Involve the children to help with meal prep (if they are able too).

Just remember that we are all humans; we need to listen to our bodies. There will be days that the cravings get the best of us. There will be days where the nap wins out. There will be days that you think it’s easier to just eat whatever you want and you will start tomorrow. Well, tomorrow is today. Why not start now? Don’t give up, because you are worth it!

Track your food and exercise. Make yourself accountable for everything that you eat. I am on Lose It (smltwngrl920) if you want to start there; add me, and we can keep each other accountable. (The app is amazing!!! – shameless plug!)

If you want to keep up with me and my journey, you can follow me on twitter (@smltwngrl920), pinterest (smltwngrl920), and my blog. I hope that each and everyone of you realizes that you can do this. You are worth it. Your health is worth it, and being able to see our babies grow up is definitely worth it.

Do you make meals ahead of time? What are your tips for preparing healthy meals for your family?

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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Giveaway: Body after Baby ($60), 10/28-11/3

Body after Baby Giveaway Event 10/28/13-11/3/13 on My Life: A Work in Progress

 Welcome to the Body after Baby Giveaway!

The “Body after Baby” fitness event kicked off October 21 and runs into November. If you haven’t read them yet, you can see the guest posts and reviews HERE. Writers have included the creator of The Babywearing Workout, a personal trainer and fitness model, a Zumba instructor, and more. What do all these women have in common? They’re all mothers!

For this giveaway, one winner (US resident) will receive the following awesome prizes to help them on their fitness journey:

  • Two sample tins of ENERGYbits® and SKINNYbits® ($10+)
  • A Sweaty Band ($15)
  • An e-coupon to Road ID ($35)
The Prizes:

*ENERGYbits® & SKINNYbits®

Made with 100 percent organically-grown spirulina algae, ENERGYbits® and SKINNYbits® are small bits of food loaded with 40 nutrients. With just one calorie per tab, they have an exceptionally high concentration of protein. Considered a superfood by many, spirulina algae has even been endorsed by the United Nations as a means to fight malnutrition. Both types of bits can increase your energy and endurance, curb hunger, and even more. Read my review HERE.

SKINNYbits® and ENERGYbits® are only available at Jonathan (their brand manager) has shared with me that he’d be happy to connect anyone with a current ambassador to share a discount on a bag of bits. You can email him at

*Sweaty Bands-

With their no-slip design, these American-made headbands stay put, no matter the task. Running, yoga, golfing, aerobics, and even skydiving have all put Sweaty Bands to the test, with these trendy and colorful bands coming out on top. Sweaty Bands are available in dozens of prints, patterns, and colors. Read my review HERE

*Road ID-

Launched in 1999, provides identification products for runners, cyclists, triathlete, or anyone with an active lifestyle. Current products include variations of the Wrist ID, the Shoe ID, the Ankle ID, and even high visibility gear to keep you safe. Customize your ID to feature things like your name, emergency contacts, blood type, and anything you’d like first responders to know in an emergency. Read my review HERE.

The Giveaway:

If you agree to the Terms & Conditions listed at the bottom of this post, enter to win using the Giveaway Tools form below.

Terms & Conditions: Sweepstakes open to residents of the US. Must be 18 years or older. Void where prohibited by law. Two entrants allowed per household. Odds of winning depend on total number of eligible entries received. Once winner has been selected and emailed, winner will have 48 hours to respond or new winner will be selected. Winner’s name may be posted on this blog and other social media and Web sites. My Life: A Work in Progress (MLAWP) and participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment, with the exception of the Sweaty Band. MLAWP will ship Sweaty Band to winner. Sweepstakes not associated with Facebook or any other social media platform. Entrance into the sweepstakes indicates acceptance of these terms and conditions.

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