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Fitness

    Fitness

    Be Comfortable in Your Own Shell


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    This month I partnered up with DesignR to promote a positive self image and encourage a happy healthy lifestyle with clothing made for the active style conscious woman on the go. Their motto “Embrace the Turtle”, and “Be comfortable in your own shell,” really speaks to the idea that getting fit is not a race. Everyone’s journey is different, and fitness looks different on everyone. It is not a quick fix. It doesn’t happen over night. It is a every day choice to be healthy and happy and loving yourself every step of the way. Fitness is a way of life.

    There are so many benefits to making fitness a priority in your life, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. As a wife and mother, here are my top 5 reasons why I make fitness a part of my life:

    1. It lowers my stress levels. As Ell Woods put it,  “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands.” I know my husband can appreciate this lol.

    2. It is something I do for myself. After a long busy day of working and taking care of my family, it’s nice to take 30 minutes for myself to workout. It gives me time to myself where I can wind down and do something to improve myself.

    3. It pushes me mentally to be stronger. There are many times where my body wants to give up, but my mental strength has pushed my body where I never thought it could.

    4. It strengthens my faith. When all else fails and I feel like giving up, my faith has been the number one factor to keep me going. Believing in something greater than myself has helped me in my fitness journey.

    5. And last but not least it gives me confidence in myself. All the factors above contribute to added confidence in my life. I can look in the mirror and know I can make a difference. I have all the right tools God gave me to improve myself daily.

    A healthy lifestyle is a happy lifestyle. And fitness has helped me become a better person, a better wife, and a better mother.

    Don’t forget to check out the details of my outfit below, and make sure to stop by DesignR and checkout all their cute and comfy active wear!

    <3 Dawn

    top: DesignR/ capri: BKE Sport/sports bra: New Balance/ shoes: Nike (similar style)/ water bottle: Design R

    P.S. The capris I am wearing are reversible and on sale! Check out the colorful print on the other side in my previous post here.

    IMG_0146(This post was sponsored by DesignR)

    Fashion, Fitness

    Rebel Gypsy

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    Sports Bra: Fox/ Rebel Gypsy tank: Billabong/ BKE Sport Reversible Active Tights/Reebok Sneakers (similar style)

    Sometimes it takes a really cute outfit to motivate me to go the gym. I purchased this super cute outfit from the Buckle. The bralette is made by Fox, and I love the mesh neck detail. I love this soft tank from Billabong. It’s a great lightweight tank for the summer and such a steal for less than $25! But the best thing about this outfit is the reversible workout pants. I can actually wear these inside out as a pair of black capris. How cool is that!

    Four months postpartum and I still have my hormone line going down the middle of my stomach. I have loose skin from my pregnancy, but it is getting better with the right diet and exercise. For more on my fitness journey to getting my body back better than ever follow my Facebook page.

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    Thank you all for the encouraging and kind words and for motivating me to work hard towards my fitness goals. I did a fun little Mommy and Me workout video for ya’ll to check out below. It has my new favorite song from Taylor Swift to get you motivated. Hope ya’ll like it!

    <3 Dawn

    Check out my work out video here!IMG_0104

    Fitness

    The “Mom” Diet

    I know some of you are wondering how I lost the baby weight so fast, and honestly I can credit a majority of it to my “Mom Diet.” So what is the “Mom Diet”? I know I’ve mentioned it a couple times in my previous post so I wanted to explain it you. I never knew about it until I became a mom. It’s an exclusive diet only mothers would know about, and only mothers can relate to.

    I remember the first week I was home with my baby I was exclusively breast feeding. It was one of the hardest and yet most rewarding thing I had ever done. But it was also one of the factors that contributed to my “mom diet”. They say when you breast feed you will loose your post baby weight faster. I did’t realize why until now. I remember every 3 hours breast feeding my baby with no breaks in between. I felt like a cow at a certain point because it was literally all I did for days. I rarely got any sleep, and nor did I have time to eat. I was too tired and too stressed to even think about eating. All I could think about was my baby eating and being happy.  My nutrition was no longer a priority in my life.

    I decided being a stay at home mom was not giving me the life balance I wanted. I needed to make myself a priority as well so I decided to go back to work part time where I could continue to pursue my passions yet be able to be there for Jayden. I was really thankful to work for a company that allowed me to make my schedule and prioritize my family first.

    After I started supplementing with formula and started to work part time my diet improved. I ate better at work, where I had a designated break time to enjoy my meals with no interruption. It was one of the perks of going to work. But at home the only consistent thing I was eating was my protein shake and protein peanut butter cups, still not enough nutrients or calories to keep and build my muscle. I had lost all 35lbs of my baby weight in less than 4 months.  With the “Mom diet” I was loosing weight the unhealthy way. It wasn’t fat I was loosing but muscles.

    Currently right now, I am no longer breast feeding. I still have days where I am so exhausted from staying up all night with the baby that I forget to eat all day. I never thought I would ever have a problem with eating, but it has become more of an after thought than a daily routine some days. My mindset has changed when it comes to eating. I have to remind myself daily my nutrition is important. It is hard for me when all I can think about is my baby, but I know in the long run I have to prioritize my health for me to be the best mom I can be.

    The “Mom Diet” is not as glamorous as it may seem, and I would not condone it for any mother. Ask for help, take time for yourself, and know you are enough. Don’t feel guilty for wanting to make your health a priority. Don’t feel guilty if you take ten minutes to eat while your baby entertains himself. Yes he might cry for a bit because he just wants to be held, but he will understand eventually. Don’t feel bad if you can’t juggle it all by yourself. It takes a village to raise a child. Being a mom is a selfless job, and we would give more than an arm and a leg just to make our children happy. But if we don’t put or health first, we will end up just giving bones. We are more than just a mom, we are someone’s daughter, wife, sister, friend, coworker, ect. If we want to be the best mother we can be then we have to make ourselves a priority. Our health matters for our children’s sake.

    <3 Dawn

    P.S. Capturing my little man and his little attitude. He did not want mommy to put him down at all this day.
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    Fitness

    30 Day Challenge – May Resolutions

     

    Hey guys, so my first 30 days are done! Goodbye April, hello May! So how did I do? Well I didn’t get to accomplish all my resolutions but I was still very please with how much I did get done.

    My Diet

    I was very good about not eating out unless it was to celebrate an occasion, but I did on occasion, when I was at work, eat at Chic Filay more than once in a week; however, I always had the healthy grill chicken pieces and fruit option so that was a plus. I will continue to get better at my April resolutions in addition to my new resolutions for this month. Here are this month’s diet resolutions.

    1. Before I start breaking down my macros and creating a meal plan, I will be tracking my calories  on My Fitness Pal. This will allow me to see what is working and not working for me when I start making adjustments to my diet next month.

    2. I will cook something new once a week. I will be honest with you, I am spoiled by my family and husband. But I know I need to improve my cooking skills and plus soon my son will be old enough to start eating solid food. I can’t shy from my responsibilities any longer so be on the look out for future food posts!

    My workout

    I was very pleased with my results, even though I only strength trained once a week,  the other times I did cardio or plyometric workouts with my son at home or at the park. I still noticed such a big difference in my strength. I was noticeably stronger by the end of the month. I only took one group class this month, and my goal was two. I will continue to try to make it to two group classes a month. For my gym routine I will continue following Jamie Eason’s 30 Day Total Body workout plan from my previous post. Here are my May workout resolutions:

    1. Increase my strength – Increase my squats by adding 20 lbs

    2. Increase my endurance – run 5 miles

    3. Take 2 group classes

    My spirit resolutions

      I was able to go to church once and have date night with my husband. It felt really great to have a personal life balance and to make time for what matters to me most. I’m definitely a happier mother, wife, friend, business entrepreneur, and overall just a happier person when I get to spend the time I have doing what I love with the people I love. I know I don’t get to go out as often as I did before, but when I do go I make most of the time I have. Plus it’s the quality of how you spend your time not the quantity of time you have. We all have twenty four hours in a day, and that will never change. It’s what we decide to do in those twenty four hours that we can change.

    My results

     I lost 3 lbs from 121 to 118. I’m 3 lbs from my pre pregnancy weight. You can see my mid section tighten up. My hormone line down my belly is still visible but slowly fading away. I still have work to do, but I am very proud of my results and all the hard work put into it. Progression not perfection.

     

    Thanks for following me on my journey!

    <3 Dawn

    Fitness

    Getting started at the gym and developing a work out plan.

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    To be succesful at anything in life you have to set a goal and create a plan to achieve it. If you are looking to get fit you are going to have to plan uninterrupted times to workout. Some of you might be starting off, others might be getting back on track, but whatever stage your at set a goal, create a plan, and work for it.  It’s creating little habits that lead to bigger successes.

     First look at your schedule and plan at least 3 days where you have one hour or two hours blocked off to either go to the gym, complete a workout video, attend boot camp, walk or run around your neighborhood. If three days are all you can afford right now, then do it. If you go more than three days, then do it. Schedule it in your planner. Like they say,  think of your workouts as important meetings you’ve scheduled for yourself. Bosses don’t cancel.

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    If you’ve never been to the gym and just don’t know where to start, try a group class. Every week get out of your comfort zone and try a new class. You might be surprised how much you learn, and you might find a new workout buddy! Sometimes it’s the fear of the unknown that keeps us from reaching our goals.

     When planning a workout plan I recommend breaking up your body parts. Your workouts should change monthly  to prevent your body from plateauing. As your body changes and becomes stronger you have to challenge it with different things to keep progressing. Here are some helpful links of workout plans from beginners to advanced.

    Beginner Weight Training Guide

    30 days Knockout Total Body Workout

    Bootcamp Workout

    Remember set realistic goals and create a schedule that works for you. Challenge yourself every day, every week, every month to do a little more than you did before. If you want this bad enough you will make the time. It takes 21 days to make a habit, 12 weeks to see changes, and never quit to make it part of your lifestyle. You can do it!

    💛 Dawn

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    P.S. Follow my Facebook page here for more fitness tips!

    Fitness

    Helluva Life – Mommy and Me Workout video

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    Hey guys I wanted to share my first ever “Mommy and Me” workout video with ya’ll. This is a fun little video we did outside showing a couple of exercises you can do with with your baby. Jayden loves working out with me. He is at the stage where he is curious about everything and wants to be a part of everything mommy does. Not only is it a great bonding activity with the baby, but it actually helps him sleep through the night. Try it out and let me know what ya’ll think!

    3 sets, 1 minute each exercise followed with 1 minute jumping jacks and 1 minute burpees.

    • 1 min hip thrust
    • 1 min crunches
    • 1 min leg raises
    • 1 min scissor kicks
    • 1 min jumping jacks
    • 1 min burpees
    • 1 minute rest

    workout time: 21 minutes

    <3 Dawn

     

    P.S. Stay tuned to the end for bloopers! Atticus our family dog wanted to be part of the video too!

    Fitness

    30 Day Challenge – April Resolutions

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    Three months postpartum and I’m finally ready to get myself back on track. It took me a while to get my body and mind right to where I could take the time to really focus on my fitness goals.  I created this personal 90 day program  to get back to living a healthy lifestyle.  The first 30 days I will be focusing on creating healthy habits.  Here are my resolutions for the first 30 days of my 90 day challenge.

    My diet resolutions:

    This month for my diet, I will not be tracking my macros or calories. Instead I will focus on making healthy choices and creating healthy habits that will set me up for success in the future.

     1. I will not eat fast food with the exclusion of Subway or Chic Filay and only once a week. There was a time in my pregnancy where I use to eat fast food everyday, no joke!

    2. I will only eat out when I am celebrating with family and friends, and that also means no take out or delivery. When you make eating out a special event, it won’t be part of your daily routine.

    3. I will eat protein for lunch and dinner whether its from a protein powder or an animal. Getting enough protein is very important for fat loss and muscle gain. I struggle with it because I don’t like to eat meat. I’m more of a “carbivore”.

    My workout resolution:

    1. I will exercise for 30 min at least 3 days a week. It doesn’t matter  where I work out, if I’m at the gym, at the park, or at home, as long as I work out for at least 30 minutes. Click here for the fitness apps I use for workouts on the go.

    2. When I go to the gym I will follow this 30 day total body workout from Fitness RX. Having a monthly plan when I go to the gym saves me time and also allows me to track my progress. You can print it out here.

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    3. I will attend two group fitness class a moth. I eventually want to teach my own fitness class, and there is no better way to learn than to be part of it. Also I get bored easily and I love trying new things, and group exercise classes are a great way to mix things up!

    My mind and spirit resolution:

    1. I will go to church at least once a month. Faith has always been important to me and going to church has always helped strengthen my faith. I struggled going to church when I was pregnant and recently went for the first time this year with my family. I want it to be a priority in my life and for my son as well.

    2. I will make time to go on dates with my husband on the weeks he has off. I have taken this for granted lately since I’ve had my baby. Sometimes we get so caught up in the baby and doing family things that we rarely take time to spend with just each other. I want to make sure I have a good life balance with my family, my marriage, my work, and fitness.

    3. I will not let my situation become an excuse. Its been really easy lately to blame everything on having a baby, my bad moods, my lack of time, or sleep, my unhealthy habits, ect., but I don’t want that to be the reason why I don’t get things done. I know having a child is challenging, but it’s not an excuse. Where there is a will, there is a way.

    I am really excited to get back on track and I can’t wait to see my progress in the next 30 days. It won’t be an overnight transformation but each step will help me get closer to my goal. It may take longer than 90 days for me to get to where I want to be, but its a plan to set me up for success.  And for any successful fitness transformation, it must be one built on healthy habits. I challenge you to create your own personal 30 day challenge, and challenge yourself to make daily improvements. It takes just a step at a time to eventually get where you want to be. Be patient, work hard, and never give up. What will you do to be a better you?

    Thank you for following me on my journey!

    <3 Dawn

    P.S. For more fitness tips and motivation make to sure to like my Facebook page. Thanks and have a great day!

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    Fitness

    Top 3 FREE Fitness apps

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    Here are my top three favorite fitness apps I use. Not only are they free but they allow you to connect with friends who share a similar interest so you can work out and stay fit together!

    1. Nike Training Club – This is my favorite workout app. I love all the different types of cardio, strength,  interval, and body specific workout they have. It is great for all fitness levels, beginner, intermediate, and advance. Most of the workouts require no equipment and can be done anywhere at your home, the park, at the gym, or even a hotel room if you travel. It guides you through each workout and has a video and step by step instruction for each exercise. I first fell in love with it as a busy working woman who like many people didn’t have the time to go to the gym everyday, but now as a mom I appreciate it more in a whole new level. I do these workouts with my baby, and he loves being part of my workout routine.Processed with Moldiv

    2. Map my Run – This is for the walkers, the joggers, the runners, the explores, the ones who like to take the unbeaten path. Guess what?!? No matter where you go you can always find your way home because it has a live tracking GPS! It’s great for safety reasons, just in case anything happens your friends and family will be able to find you. I loved it because when I was single and living on my own, I felt secure no matter where I went running or what time of day because my family always knew where I was at. I also love how it tracks your pace,  your distance, the altitude of your run, and you can compare results with your friends on your app.Processed with Moldiv

    3.My Fitness Pal – This is more than just a food diary, it is the largest nutrition and calorie database! I love how you can scan nutrition labels with this app so it makes it easy to track food you buy from the grocery store. If you are a calorie counter or follow IIFYM you will love this app. It breaks down carbs, protein, and fat percentage  of your daily intake and you can also set your goals to follow a certain percentage breakdown. It is the easiest food diary app and a must have for anyone working towards a fitness goal.

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    I highly recommend these apps for anyone at any fitness level. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

    <3 Dawn

    P.S. For more fitness tips and motivation make to sure to like my Facebook page. Thanks and have a great day!

    Fitness

    4 things to do to prevent stretch marks when you’re pregnant

    When I found out I was pregnant I feared what everyone else feared and that was getting stretch marks. You read all of these things about what causes them and what you can do to prevent them and wonder what works and what doesn’t. I was worried because I had read genetics played a part in it, and my mother had stretch marks from her pregnancies. I already had stretch marks on my thighs and waist from my younger days when I went through a growth spurt, and even though they weren’t noticeable it still worried me because I didn’t want them to spread to my stomach. But here are somethings I swear helped me from getting stretch marks through my pregnancy. I’m not a doctor, but I hope my personal experience can help others out there.

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    1. Drink lots of water – stay as hydrated as possible! Flavored water and tea was my drink of choice. When your skin stays hydrated it allows for better elasticity.

    2. Take your vitamins – Prenatals everyday helps you get the vitamins you need for you and your baby. Sometimes it can be hard to eat healthy when your pregnant, especially when your hormones are out of whack and all you want to do is eat sweets like I did. Vitamins are good for your skin.

    3. Stretch and exercise – I do believe keeping your body active and flexible through your pregnancy helps with circulation and blood flow through your skin.

    4. Body butter – I am a big believer in Palmer’s cocoa tummy butter. My sister gave me a tub like this and it lasted me through my whole pregnancy. I lathered it on twice a day religiously, when I woke up and before I went to bed. I was not stingy with my application at all.

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    I truly believe in incorporating these simple steps throughout your pregnancy to help prevent stretch marks. It may not work for everybody but it’s worth a try. Hopefully it works for you as it’s worked for me.

    💛- Dawn 😊✌️