I’ve been active most of my life. Once I started having kids, I used a fitness routine to get back “in shape.” After having my first three kids, my body bounced back pretty well, but once I had my fourth child, the same ol’ routine wasn’t enough for what my mind and body had gone through.
It all started about a year after having my fourth baby.
We had just moved across the country and I had fallen into a deep depression. It was a hard move — I missed my friends and my life in Washington State. I had tried to stay active but found that was hard with four kids. This was all new to me — I hadn’t felt that way before. During previous post-baby phases, I had amazing friends who helped me mentally and physically. This time though, was unknown and really scary.
I found comfort in food and from that, I grew weak, fat and very unhappy.
On my birthday that year, I broke down in front of my husband. I was at a crossroads and I needed something to change because I didn’t want to live and feel the way I had been anymore. It was then that I started to figure out how to get out of the slump I was in.
I started with exercise because, well, that’s what everyone does, right?
I first used the MutuSystem for my Diastasis Recti (that’s a whole other post!) because I had issues with my core or lack thereof (my fourth baby was 11.1 pounds). After a couple of months doing that, I was able to heal my Diastasis Recti and regain some strength, so I felt comfortable to step up my workout regime. I started a program called Lean Moms. It focuses on both HIIT type workouts, and also on diet and food. All my life, I’ve followed the food pyramid I was taught in elementary school. I thought I was eating healthfully, yet the more I researched food and what really is IN food — especially ready to eat food — I realized that I had no idea what I was putting in my body. I also watched some food documentaries, which helped me learn about REAL food vs. processed foods. (Yes, there is a difference!)
The power of food is impressive.
Most people think exercise is what makes us fit and eliminates fat, but it’s not. In reality, it’s 20% exercise and 80% food. The power of food is very real. It’s all about what we put in our bodies. As you come to realize that more than 80% of the food in the grocery store is processed with chemicals and sugar, you also realize that that affects your body. Your body becomes what you put into it. If you eat horribly processed, fast food, you are going to feel horrible, lack energy, and feel depressed. It’s a vicious cycle. But if you put REAL food in your body, your body will start healing and you are going to see and feel results!
So what is REAL food?
Real food is anything that comes straight from earth: vegetables, fruits, nuts, natural fats, etc. There are however, many variables to this and I won’t be able to touch on them all (I only have this post), so my focus is on GREEN SMOOTHIES. If you have a strong blender, I recommend replacing one meal a day with a green smoothie. There are so many recipes you can try; look at the chart below, courtesy of www.greenthickies.com:
This is just the beginning. Green smoothies are so easy and flexible — any mixture is a new creation and with each you are putting many nutrients in your body and you will start to feel so much better! I also add a scoop of vanilla protein powder because protein is important in giving energy and building muscle. Since the start of my journey, green smoothies have become habit and part of my everyday diet. I usually have one for breakfast and maybe one as an afternoon snack. The best part is that green smoothies can heal and improve your body and there are no downsides!
I started this program with a seven-day detox. With this specific detox, I ate or drank only fruits, veggies, and natural fats for seven days. No sugar and no processed foods, which is harder than it sounds when EVERYTHING has sugar! The first few days were HARD because the body rids itself of toxins from your previous diet. Yet once you get past that initial hurtle, you feel so much better. By day seven I began seeing a difference in my weight loss.
I. was. shocked. at what seven days did to my body.
I lost eight pounds and eight inches off my body — I was a believer! The best thing was that it was a healthy way to lose weight. I felt so much better after that week, which is just what I wanted. I didn’t want to just be thin; I wanted my body at its full potential! I moved onto the next phase of the program’s food regime, which was a hormone balanced diet. I slowly reintroduced certain foods into my diet while still allowing myself cheat meals. Having that flexibility really helped me, and while it takes some planning, I was able to replace bad habits with good ones.
It’s been almost five years since going through this experience. I have been pretty successful at keeping my healthy lifestyle going (minus getting pregnant one more time a year later). My health journey continues to evolve. I research, experiment and tweak to find what works best for me. It’s become more of a lifestyle change than a diet. While that sounds cliché, it’s true: it’s not a quick fix. It’s a gradual process that you work on throughout your life.