Category Archives: Fitness Journey

DAY 6: The “Cutting” Struggle is Real | Starbucks

Sorry, not sorry...

The verdict is in-

I absolutely have to have my iced coffee or vanilla chai tea from Starbucks. One thing that I love about Starbucks is the option to add sugar free flavors to my drink. My favorite sugar free syrups include: SF Vanilla and SF Cinnamon Dolce. Opting for a sugar free sweetener is a better choice for flavor if you are seeking to eliminate excessive sugars and calories from your diet.

I know I made a commitment to refrain from coffee over the next 30 days but I enjoy coffee entirely too much. Plus, hubby has started drinking Starbucks iced coffee again and I absolutely love our weekend coffee dates.

(What have you found to be the hardest item to cut out of your diet over the course of the next 30 days? Is it a specific food, sweet, or beverage? What appeals you about this particular item? Does it make you feel good? Describe the feeling you get when you consume it.)

Iced coffee excites and jolts me with every sip. I honestly feel like after I consume my coffee I am capable of conquering anything ahead of me for that day. I definitely would say that the caffeine makes me feel good. Also, the flavors are delicious!

If you enjoy Starbucks and are looking for a low carb beverage I will list a few of my favorite drink options below that are “keto-friendly”.

Starbucks Keto-Friendly Drinks

Iced Coffee: Iced Coffee, heavy whipping cream, SF vanilla, SF cinnamon dolce

Caffe Mistro: Caffe Mistro, 50/50 heavy cream and water

Low Carb Americano: Americano, heavy cream

Comment below if you would like for me to create a post specifically for low carb Starbucks drink options.

Choosing to live a healthier life does not have to be torture. It all starts with having the discipline to make better choices. I am here to support you as I continue on my journey to health and wellness.

FLWE ❤

DAY 4 OF 30: 2 Cakes are Better than 1: Having my Cake and Eating it Too | Chapter 26 | Motivational Monday

Hello Readers,

I am checking in. Today is day 4 of 30 of my “strict” meat & veggies only challenge. Welp, for all of you who follow me on social media you know today is my Birthday. My momentum was high and consistency was even more on point, until today.

My amazing friends surprised me with a beautiful and delicious cake. What kind of friend would I have been if I had turned down a slice? I am a advocate for spreading goodness and positivity. Therefore, no way was I going to spark negativity by turning down a opportunity to socialize over a slice of cake, in celebration of yours truly (ME). Those calories were calling my name. Rest assured I only indulged in one slice, even though that’s no excuse and does not make things any better.

Oops, correction “two slices”.

Side Note: Hubby surprised me with a mini carrot cake when I arrived home. He knows me best and to make things even better he was extremely thoughtful and considerate of my goals by picking out a mini cake rather than a traditional sized cake. The mini is a perfect size to enjoy and satisfy my sweet tooth while not falling victim to “over” indulgence.

But, guess what? Tomorrow is always a new day and I can always hit my “reset” button and start again.

[ Motivational Monday ]

We wake up each day with the power to change what we do, and what we eat. We have choices and the ability to chose our path. The power of choice is the message I am seeking to convey to all of you reading this post.

I am will not allow a slice of cake succumb my goals. No indulgence should. Just know that if you do cheat, make it a cheat “snack” aka “sample”. Not an entire meal, or a day. Never, get in over your head. If you have goals you have some sort of self discipline and know your limits. Cheat “snacks” or “samples” can happen. You should be able to enjoy and treat yourself every so often. As long as you know you limits, a slice of cake won’t hurt or set you off track from your goals.

For those of you following me on this challenge. Share with me your progress. Comment what is working or not working for you. Have you had a cheat snack? If so, what was it?

FLWE ❤

DAY 1 of 30: MEAT & VEGGIES ONLY CHALLENGE

I have been challenged by my husband to commit to consuming meat and vegetables for the next 30 days, effective today 01|02|2020. With meat and vegetables I am able to add any condiments and/or toppings. For example: ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes (I hate tomatoes), and pickles. For beverages: water and tea (tea counts towards your water intake). Now, when I mention tea I am not referencing “sweet tea” or any tea beverages with artificial sweeteners.

Most importantly, this challenge involves me eliminating iced coffee. I am one of those avid iced coffee addicts and this 30 day challenge definitely will be a challenge for me as I eliminate coffee. Aside, from a caffeine headache which will probably occur with my sudden stop of caffeine, I am going to miss the social part of enjoying my iced coffee in the mornings.

During the next 30 days I hope to successfully transition from coffee to tea. There are so many different tea blends that have multiple health benefits (reduce bloating, curve cravings, cure upset stomach, relax).

I will keep each of you updated with my progress over the next 30 days and post pictures of my meals throughout the day.

Take a look at my lunch from today:

Chicken Caesar Salad (no croutons) from Panera Bread

July Goals & Upcoming 5k: 1st Annual Remembering Our Angels 5k Walk/Run

Monthly Goals Overview:

  • Limiting Screen Time. I wanted to make some changes this month and it started with my social media cleanse.

We are currently 8 days into the month of July. Goals are still being set and worked towards despite the lack of me posting them. I have really been living in the present moment and on a social media cleanse. I am active on social media but not as much as I was before our newest addition arrived. One of my main goals this month is to remove myself from social media in order to be more attentive and present in life. We too often get wrapped up in social media stories, updates, and timeline feeds that we lose track of time.

  • More Vacations. Hubby and I decided that we shouldn’t wait until certain times of the year to plan trips. We are just returning from a road trip with our little ones. Baby Andrew did so well on our trip and we even had a chance to visit with family along the way.

This includes day and weekend trips. This is truly something my husband and I have enjoyed over the years. This is definitely a lifestyle we are passing on to our children. Vacations do not have to wait until select times of the year. Planning more trips is on my list of to-do’s. Local adventures and road trips included.

  • Home Workouts. I am 8 weeks PP and have been cleared to resume my normal workout regimen.

I downloaded Katy Hearn’s app, FIT by Katy which has a workout generator based on your workout environment, home or the gym. The workout generator creates workout plans based on the muscle group you’d like to focus on. This is perfect for me since I am home with the kids and it’s impossible to make it to anyone’s gym when breastfeeding on demand.

  • Morning Runs. Starting today, 1-3 miles beginning at sun rise each morning.

Running is my new outlet and a perfect way to incorporate working out and enjoying nature. I’m also preparing for my first run, Remembering Our Angels 5k Walk/Run which will be on Oct. 5, 2019. This is the 1st Annual Remembering Our Angels 5k Walk/Run hosted by Alaina’s Gift Inc., a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to helping others who have suffered infant and/or pregnancy loss. It is funded solely from donations.

My husband and I will be walking in memory of our Angel, Hope. We hope that our friends and family will sign up to walk with us for this great cause as well. Sponsors are also needed, please spread the word and share the event.

Walk/Run Sign Up: Remembering Our Angels 5k Walk/Run

If you are not able to attend donations are appreciated.

Please check out Alaina’s Gift Inc. to read the story behind the organization and for more information about upcoming events. As well as learn about ways you can offer your support.

Website:  www.alainasgiftinc.com

Facebook: @AlainasGiftInc

Instagram: @Alainas_Gift_Inc

FLWE ❤

Update: Exclusively Breastfeeding (EBF) & Postpartum Weight Check

This blog post is long overdue; sorry not sorry. I am enjoying these precious moments home with our little baby boy. I know all to well the truth in the saying, ‘They do not stay little for long’. It’s the bitter sweet reality of motherhood and parenting. You find out the exciting news that you are pregnant and the time seems to take forever as your body changes over the course of 9 months. Nearing the end you grow even more impatient on your little one’s arrival as the growing pains increase and the due date nears. Once they arrive you are mesmerized by their being. Yet, with each day they grow older and milestones continue. Soon they start walking and talking. Then they start running and before you know it they are ready to start school (Kindergarten).

We take for granted these moments. Time stands still for no one. I am soaking in all the cuddles I can get before our little one grows too big that I can’t cradle him in my arms. Today marks his 25th day here in this world and that also means day 25 of exclusively breastfeeding (EBF). I am here to debunk the myth that breastfeeding is easy. Yes, it is natural, but far from easy. Most women give up on breastfeeding within 21 days after delivery. I believe that breast is best and I was determined to make this work for us. Day 25 and we are successfully making it happen. Yes, it is exhausting: nurse, pump, eat, sleep, and repeat (my life story).

EBF has been the main reason why I have been M.I.A from blogging. Blogging definitely becomes pretty difficult now that I have a baby laid across my lap and chest, rather than my macbook. Always, check in with me on social media if you want to stay updated. I have been posting more on IG and Twitter. I definitely promise to work blogging back into my schedule. I have so many topics that I am excited to share with you all.

~

Postpartum Weight Check:Prior to delivery, my last recorded weight on 5/8/19 was 180.6 lbs. I delivered on 5/11/19. Above you can see my progress pictures prior to and after delivery. At 6 days PP I weighed in at 166 lbs. By 12 days PP I weighed in at 161 lbs. If you look back at my initial post, Weekly Weigh-In Pregnancy Edition: http://fitlifewitherica.com/2019/02/28/wednesday-weekly-weigh-in-pregnancy-edition/ my pre-pregnancy weight was recorded at 163 lbs [documented on 8/19/18].

I am so amazed at how quickly I was able to reach my pre-pregnancy weight and even loose an additional few pounds. I definitely give credit to the fact that I am breastfeeding (burns calories). While, I am taking in an additional 500 calories daily in order to keep my supply up I am efficiently burning calories. All of this progress has been made without exercising. I really have not found the time to fit exercise back into my schedule yet. When I say ‘exercising’ I mean actual workouts and running. Right now I am just staying active by walking which is better than nothing. For those of you that know me, you know that keeping moving is a priority to me.

Tonight, I weigh in at 159.4 lbs. I am not too focused on the scale numbers. Since I am EBF I do not plan on making any drastic dieting cuts. It is important that I am consuming enough calories daily in order to maintain and support my milk supply. However, I still have fitness goals to be achieved. My goal is to become leaner and strength train. Over the course of the next few months I will be focusing more on reducing visceral fat and building muscle. I have some love handles that I would like to see gone and in order to make that happen the visceral fat has to go.

Fitness Tip:

Reduce the visceral fat prior to building muscle [muscle gains do not look good over fat]

I will continue to keep you all updated on my fitness journey and goals. Please continue to follow for updates, as well as other great content as it relates to: Motherhood, Fitness, Health, and Life.

FLWE ❤

Staying Active While Pregnant: Week 39

This picture does no justice to show how big my belly is 🙂
At least, I am still able to see my feet.

Exercising while pregnant does not have to be extensive or exhausting. Since approaching my final weeks of pregnancy, I have transitioned to strictly walking. In the mornings I challenge myself to complete 1 mile of walking between the hours of 5-7 am. I enjoy this time the most because the morning crisp air feels good and wakes me up as I prepare myself for the day ahead. I really do not enjoy the heat so I am more encouraged to workout/walking during the early morning hours. This is a great time to get moving since it is considered ‘fasted cardio.’

Around lunch time I strive to get in another mile or two. Throughout, the day I also work to meet my hourly step goal of 250+ steps between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. I easily reach my step goal of 5,000 steps by 8 am.

Honestly, since I have been walking more in the past few weeks I have been feeling my best. Prior, I was experiencing a lot of back and pelvic pressure from the additional weight from my pregnancy. However, since I have been walking and moving more the pain has eased. My muscles are nicely loosened and relaxed. The tension has completely disappeared. At 39 weeks pregnant I feel more energized than ever. This morning after getting dressed and ready I prepared myself to walk our dog Roger and I sprinted down the stairs so easily. For a moment, I had forgotten that I was pregnant and carrying a estimated 7 lb baby.

Here is a look into my morning walk:

My fitness commitment is to keep moving. I know I can’t run a marathon at this point in my journey. But by moving and staying active it will make for a easier recovery after delivery. Walking not only helps me physically but it is beneficial mentally. Walking relieves stress and we all need to breathe in some fresh often- walking is the best opportunity for this. I use my walking time to catch up on current audiobooks that I am reading. Since I am a busy mom on the go I don’t often have time to sit and read a book. Yet, I don’t use my busy schedule as an excuse- I make it a priority to read on the go through the use of audiobooks. I listen to my books while in the car driving and while walking. The saying is true that we make time for what is important to us.

I encourage you to make time for yourself and your health. Commit to your journey and the progress. Progress requires effort, so you have to be 100% in and committed to the challenge. It only takes 1-2 weeks to form a habit; start today!

FLWE ❤

9K Steps @ 39 Weeks Pregnant: What’s your excuse?

I have been even more motivated to get my steps in during the past few weeks to hopefully progress faster in labor once it begins.

Today, I logged 9,160 steps, 3.93 miles, burned 2,125 cals, and spent 49 minutes exercising.

I managed to meet my hourly step goal of 250+ steps between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. This is something I do not typically target to accomplish but was very proud of myself to have completed it. I really enjoy using my Fitbit to manage my stats.

To record my walking I use Map my Walk which tracks your walk via GPS. I find it to be very accurate. This morning I started out my day with fasted cardio at 6:15 am and walked for 1.10 miles before work. Around lunch I took another walk and accomplished another 1.11 miles. It’s hard to make an excuse for not having time to walk. Walking is one of the simplest exercises routines you can incorporate into your daily activities. One strategy is to park further away from your destination and walk (parking lots at stores). This can help you burn a few calories, increase your heart rate, and save your car from someone dinging your doors.

Take a look at my stats from my two walking sessions today:

It’s not too bad for someone who is 39 weeks pregnant and carrying a whole (7+ lb) human in her womb. If I can get out and walk- so can you! So, what’s your excuse?

The most important part of embarking on your fitness journey is to START today! Small progress is better than no progress at all. I am not challenging you to be a runner or a top athlete. It’s okay to be a walker and have a slower pace. It’s not about running a marathon, it’s about keeping moving!

My advice to you is to cancel that gym membership that you are paying for and not using. Walking is totally FREE! It’s easy to make an excuse of why getting to the gym is out of the way or inconvenient for you. It’s tougher to make an excuse on how you can’t incorporate walking into your daily routine.

Story time: While I was walking today around lunch time I passed a wounded Veteran who was sitting in his wheelchair outside of Starbucks. After I passed him for the third time he looked at me and told me to get some steps in for him. This moment made me realize that while I am complaining about pelvic pressure and backaches from pregnancy I should not take for granted my ability to walk and still be mobile. There in front of me was a man who has lost his ability to walk. Just a Monday reminder to be humble and thankful.

FLWE ❤