Running after Pregnancy

So my first 5km race since I had Little Mister is this weekend, it's also the one year anniversary to when I started this crazy journey and caught the get.all.the.medals bug!

Am I nervous? Quite possibly moreso than last year, and for a few reasons.

First and foremost, I am just a couple months postpartum. That means I haven't been training for this, and really...have no idea what to expect of myself. I know I will finish, but that stupid competitive streak will rear its head and I need to remember to listen to my body.

Secondly, I know the course. Holy moly is it hilly! We ran it in the pouring rain last year, and I have everything crossed that rain stays out of our way this year.

And finally, my poor husband will have toddlers and babies in tow. He was such a champ last year pulling a wagon with two 3 year olds in it, while watching a 10 and 5 year old, and making sure the 13 year old was within reach with the 1 year old. Whew! Add a 2 month old into that?! Ack! Thankfully, we have more help this year!

I signed up for this event all the way back in January when I was 4 months pregnant. I knew that it would be a challenge, but one that I was excited for and one that I wold welcome with open arms.

Now, I'm a ball of nerves!

But all I can do is try, right?

Keep Fit During #pregnancy with #Kettlebells!

So you've probably seen over the past couple weeks that while I have been waiting for it to warm up outside so I can get back out there and run a few km's a week, I've been doing some Kettlebell routines with the Kettlebell 360 App.

Before starting the kettlebell routine, I felt that my upper body strength was really lacking. Picking up a 38lb toddler when you're 20+wks pregnant is no small feat, so I wanted to be sure to focus on toning and strength training while I wait for the snow to melt.

My favorite move so far is the Kettlebell Halo

As you can see, it's a challenging move, but one that will give you stability in your shoulders, and build your upper body strength better than a bicep curl or bent over row. It's about mobility, flexibility and strength.

Have you tried kettlebells before? Comment with your favorite move!


Workout Motivation while on Vacation

Keeping my motivation to workout and stay healthy while we are on vacation is easier than many would think. While most would be sipping drinks with umbellas in them while sitting by the pool, I will be found IN the pool.

This is the pool at Innisbrook Golf Resort. There's a wading area for the kids with a manmade beach and jets that shoot out of the ground at the one end, then a deeper area with a volleyball net at the other end.

All around are beach loungers, and certainly there will be lounging...and snacking...but there will also be swimming which is so good for a pregnant body. It takes the pressure off your joints, is relaxing and it doesn't matter how big your bump is, it's comfortable and feels good.

So, along with running a little every day, I will be getting some laps in at the pool.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I talk about my workout routine, prenatal fitness and how a healthy mama makes for a healthy babe!


Oasis Zoo Run 5km Recap, Toronto Running Events

It was a very rainy, and slightly chilly morning this after Saturday at Metro Toronto Zoo for the Oasis Zoo Run, but adrenaline was pumping and there was a medal waiting for me at the end.

I've got to say, running in this large of an event was hugely intimidating, but once I was out on the course with my music in my ears, It was all worth it.

Going through all of this training with my bff' Tiff and Heather (left and right, respectively) has been amazing. We message one another upon completing a run, pump each other up and don't let one another down...ever. Today was no exception.

I knew that they would both be faster, but that it didn't matter. What I didn't realize is that I would see them out on the course! We greeted each other with smiles and high fives and it gave me that little boost to keep moving.

We ran by giraffes, flamingos and jaguars. We ran in huge puddles, on muddy paths, and finished when we finished. They told me that the time wouldn't matter, only finishing would; and boy, were they right!

When I saw the 4km marker, I thought ok, you got this, just one more to go. It helped that the volunteers on the coruse were offering high fives, had cow bells and were yelling for u to keep pushing. Then it was up a slight hill and I saw it...

The finish line.

And I saw about 10 people in front of me sauntering along. All of a sudden, I got competitive and started running like a bear was chasing me! I beat them....actually about 300 of them.

45:12, place 1090 {officially - tied with 3 other people). 9:03/km pace. Finished 145 of 178 in my category, and 729 of 952 in my gender.

Very proud, and seeing my bff's, husband and kiddo smiling and cheering me on was incredible!!

I'm not sure the last time that I smiled THAT big. Ear to ear, dimples, with my eyes...everything!

These girls mean everything to me! Everything in the entire world. They have been with me to make dreams come true, and today we did just that. Yahoo!!!

I really cannot think of a better piece of hardware to earn on your birthday, after months of training, tears, determination and sore muscles.

PS: yes I chose a matching shoes and socks and shirt are pink!


Zaggora...2 weeks later

So, I've been wearing my Zaggora hotpants for the past two weeks when working out (three times a week). These work outs have included running, Insanity Plyometrics, Insanity Cardio Power and Resistance, and Insanity Cardio Recovery.

How did we do?

While I'm sure that it could have been better, I am pretty pleased with the results. I broke the 157lb barrier that I have been sitting at since March, which is great, and lost a total of 3" overall.

The biggest change that I saw from doing the Zaggora 2week Challenge was a decrease in bloating. The skin on my tush and my legs is considerably smoother, and I feel really confident in slimmer fitting pants. I even more some rockin' leggings out for dinner, with heels, for my anniversary and felt like a million bucks. Never would I have imagined that I would have that amount of confidence, and am very thankful to have found it.

The Zaggora hotpants, in my opinion, are a must for any runner or athlete looking to take their fitness to the next level. The amount of sweat that you will feel inside the pants is positively disgusting, but it's really amazing all at the same time to know that you are ridding your body of toxins, impurities and extra water.

Two thumbs up from this girl!

*Disclaimer: I received a pair of Hot Pants by Zaggora for the purposes of this review. All opinions and views expressed are my own.


New Year New Me, Inspiration To Keep Going

Time for some inspiration!

How awesome are we as women? VERY!
We birth babies
We take on a world of stress
We rarely take time for ourselves
We care unconditionally for others
Did I mention that we birth babies??

Today, I want you to celebrate your awesome. Raise a glass, go for a run, look in the mirror and smile.

For you...are....awesome.

Disclaimer: A huge thank you to Zaggora, the makers of Hot Pants, for this incredible reminder. This post was not sponsored.


New Year New Me, C25K Training

Before we get into the C25K training, here's a little video tutorial for a leg exercise using resistance bands. I'm still using them from time to time, but I have a new fitness love...(get your chuckles out now with the ultra flattering pose below)

My new love? I've joined the Couch to 5km revolution, otherwise known as C25K. I started running a couple of weeks ago, but found that I was only doing it when I felt like it and we all know what that means.

Oh, I'll run tomorrow.
It's raining, I'll wait for later
It's sunny, let's go to the park

Really, anything to get my out of running. Then, there was a coyote attack on my running trail and I seriously considered just giving it up in its entirety.

Then, my bff Heather was telling me about the 5K Runner app for iPhone and it dawned on me. I did Insanity, probably one of the hardest workout programs out there. How did I push through that?

Because there was a schedule!

It has been working fantastically, and I've completed the first two days in week 1, already earning the Braveheart badge.

It all starts with a step, right? In my case, 1min of walking, 1 min of running...over and over and over and over. I'm finding it difficult with the jogging stroller since my upper body is keeping that steady, therefore is super stiff by the end of the run, but over's a really awesome system. I get in a 1.8mi run, and feel fantastic afterward!

I have some running goals in mind and hope to share them with you soon as long as no scheduling conflicts happen!


New Year New Me, BONUS Tricep Exercises!

It's BONUS resistance training video tutorial day!

My triceps are an area that have been an area of contention my entire life. I was always the overweight kid in the class, always the one getting teased over those issues. I felt self conscious in short sleeved shirts, and often wore baggy sweatshirts, sweaters, and long sleeved tops. I'm sure that alot of my readers can relate to having one body issue or another, be it real or self-imagined.

Another thing that I have learned is that the power lies within me and me alone to change the way that I feel about myself, how I see myself in the mirror and to change my body on the outside.

Now, for that comparison that you {and I} have all been waiting for. May 26th marks the 6month mark in this body transformation journey that I am on.

6months of hard work. Over 25" lost overall, and over 15lbs. lost.

The biggest changes that I see are in my upper body; my shoulders, arms, collarbone, chest and yes my waist and hips too! Pretty awesome, and in just 6months! I feel more confident in my body than I ever have in my life and am definitely the smallest that I have ever been in my adult life.

Now for the BIG reality check...the 2009 and 2013 comparison

I'm a little speechless right now. I am so thankful for all of your love and support. For pushing me to do better and be better. For letting me be real and embracing me, fault and all.

I cried tears of joy seeing this side-by-side. I cannot believe it...but it's me! It's ME!


New Year New Me, Neutral Row with Torso Twist transition

The final set in our upper body series using resistance bands for building strength and toning our muscles!! I am so very excited! The past few weeks have been amazing, and I am really impressed with how much strength I have gained, both inner strength and physical strength.

What have I learned about myself in the past few weeks?

I am determined to fit in resistance training every day
I recognize the rush of hormones and endorphin's
Resistance training makes me happy
I feel stronger than ever
I have no issues picking up and carrying my 3year old {well, almost 3 years old! 18 more days!}
I have a flat stomach
I have slim legs
I have cheekbones

It's so important in this whole body transformation process to look at yourself and be proud of all of the thing that you have accomplished. I most definitely still have areas that I want to work on, but I have come SO far in the past six months.

I will be posting a bonus video next week, along with a Month1 to Month6 comparison photo. I am PUMPED about seeing that difference. After that, straight into tips for beginning jogging, running, and lower body resistance training!


New Year New Me, Lateral Pull Downs and Alternating Jabs

Almost the last segment in the upper boy resistance training series! I'm getting really excited about how my upper body is looking, and that next week will be our last tutorial {a segment on a neutral row with a transition into a torso twist}.

Doing these upper body exercises has really improved my balance, strength and stability. I look in the mirror and see a confident woman who is strong and sure of herself.


I have really been focusing on bicep, back and chest strength without really even trying. I didn't realize that I had been neglecting my triceps, so that is something that I'll be focusing on over the next few weeks, along with leg strength and toning.

Another element that I'll be adding...jogging. Heck...maybe even running! We have a fantastic jogging stroller, complete with pedometer and iPod dock, but it seems to have seized when you try to unfold it. I'm not overly sure what happened what happened, but it's an issue I am determined to figure out. Stay tuned for pics of me on the go, Bear in tow!


New Year New Me, Resistance Training Tricep Extensions

I can't believe just how much my upper body is changing from doing a quick 20 mins resistance training circut in the morning before we get going into another busy day. I am thrilled with the results, and what is even more amazing is that others are noticing.

My full routine consists of 20reps of each of the following

Bicep curls
Tricep extensions
Standing row
Torso twist {great for the obliques!}
Lateral pulldowns

Sometimes I throw in an alternating jab, sometimes a bent over row.

I also had a big AHA moment this past week. I was having my headshots for my new BlogHer13 bio cards. It was this moment right here

Sitting in our chic guest room, wearing trendy and beautiful clothes by Kristine Cook, accessories by Amber Bryce, and big blue wedge heels...reading a book to my Bear, who was in his pj's. I had a moment of Wow...I am that trendy home decor expert and artist, and a mom. Both worlds collided and fit together so perfectly.

I honestly could not be happier right now. I look in the mirror and I saw thin, toned legs. I saw my cheekbones and my tiny little waist. I

and for once, I liked what I saw.


New Year New Me...Resistance Training

Happy Thursday, everyone!

I have a renewed sense of self and have made some really positive choices for myself over the past couple of weeks. I have been doing daily meditations to ensure that my head and heart are in a good space, and that I am open to the possibility of being awesome.

I have also been doing resistance training for my upper body, every morning, over the past two weeks. The sense of strength and the visual transformation that I have been noticing is incredible.

I was always that girl who was self conscious of her arms. I had the chicken wing/Oprah underhang and would wear the baggiest of baggy clothe to cover it up. Now, I have strong shoulders, a defined collar bone area, and I'm starting to get a bicep bump!

Training with resistance bands is something that takes a whopping 15minutes of my day, in the morning, and something that my little guy cheers me on while I'm doing. I absolutely love it and over the next couple of weeks I will show you the moves that I do so that you can recreate it at home!

And remember - you've worked really hard this week and have gotten yourself into a positive space. Don't throw away all of that work by slacking over the weekend. It's all about balance; if you want to go for a dinner out, get in an extra workout or make sure that your snacks are super healthy and clean!


New Year New Me....a Confession

Have you been missing the updates? Wondering about how the journey to a healthier and more positive me is going?

Well...I hit a wall. I got emotional and I gave up.

I gave up.

Yep. Me. I gave up.

I know I know. I have accomplished so much, and I have come so far and I should be proud. So, why in the world did I feel like a sloth, and why in the world did I let the what's the point mentality take over?

I honestly am not sure. My husband started traveling, I got busy with studio work, proposals, mentorship pieces (a new facet to my business that I absolutely adore) and I found myself pulled in a tonne of different directions.

Then I got sad, and I got down on myself for being sad, which sent me into a spiral. I gave up.

Then, this week I recommitted myself.

And I recommitted myself to my little dude who watches my every move