I’ve gone through and am still going through the same struggles every mother experiences!
- I am a mother of four! I had all four in four years, starting in 1999. The last two were twins by c-section.
- I transformed my body without the help of a nanny, a personal trainer, a regular sitter or grandparents nearby.
- I do my own cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry, etc…
- I have days where I don’t get a shower
- I OFTEN find it hard to “feel like” working out
- At times my kids fight to not go to the gym childcare
- I don’t come close to eating “perfect”
BUT, I look better and feel better now as a mother than ever before
and I want to share my success secrets with you!
It all started with MY STRUGGLE.
As a young 21 year old woman, fresh out of college, I was 100% sold on the knowledge my expensive college courses gave me. I believed in and was very eager to practice what I had been taught. With my background in fitness and nutrition, I started personal training at a gym and working out consistently myself. I was expecting great results. After 6 months of working out according to the ACSM’s standards and eating according to the “Food Pyramid”, I got fatter!! I didn’t understand why? Had the scholars failed me? The authority on fitness, the American College of Sports Medicine, stated that five 60 min aerobic workouts and 2 strength training workouts a week would make me fit. I may have been fitter than most, but I was tired, constantly at the gym, constantly hungry, and noticeably fatter than I was 6 months earlier! On the nutrition side of things, the food pyramid was the only diet I was taught to promote. It is still the FDA’s chosen diet because of the government’s political interest in its success. I followed this high carbohydrate, low fat diet to a tee and I told my clients and others to do the same. I didn’t think the experts on diet and exercise could be wrong and, that they were the reason I was getting bigger. However, I did know that what I was doing wasn’t working for my own struggle with my weight!
It was a constant struggle for me to find a way to look good. I worked out harder doing an hour of cardio 6 days a week and lifting 2-3 days a week and I still got bigger!!! I thought maybe I should stop lifting all together? Maybe I had too much muscle, and it was making me look fatter? I was hungry all the time and couldn’t control my carbohydrate cravings. I was banging my head against the wall!! No one could give me good advice. I heard so many trainers and magazine articles say, “don’t lift too much or you’ll get bulky.”, “Do high reps of light weight and you’ll get a lean beautiful figure”, “Do a lot of cardio at least an hour and if you can do it twice a day. Do 30 minutes in the morning before you eat and again after supper so you don’t have anything left in your system before you go to sleep.”; “Cut the fat in your diet. Eat low fat and plenty of carbohydrates for energy”. I tried all their advice, along with many diets including Slim Fast, the Zone diet, the cabbage diet, the grapefruit diet, the all veggie and fruit diet, and Atkins diet, but they were all only a temporary 5 pound fix until my will power gave out. Anything that gave results I could hardly do for a week, much less the rest of my life!
The Fear By the age of 24 I had cellulite everywhere and, I was weighing the most I ever had. I was unhappy and so sick of looking for the answer. At this point I was definitely not ready for the news of my first pregnancy. Instantly, I got really scared. What am I going to do? I will be fat the rest of my life. I had seen it and heard it over and over. “Once you have a baby you will never be the same you will always have a pooch and your hips don’t go back.” So, what did I do? I gained 10 pounds in the first 2 months of my pregnancy. Wow! Now I was even more worried. So, I tried my hardest to do what was becoming very popular at that time. Workout while I was pregnant. I constantly failed at this endeavor. I really wanted to, but I was tired and sick. The pressure I put on myself to have a fit pregnancy stressed me out and I felt like a failure!
Then in my second trimester I did get some energy and was able to go to the gym again. I had lost a lot of strength and conditioning. I also had no clue what I should do or safely could do? Working out was a huge mental challenge. Doing cardio seemed futile. It was supposed to make you loose weight and feel energized, but all it did during my pregnancy was make my stomach get bigger and used up the little extra energy I had. Despite it all I did managed to workout consistently for 5 weeks until my belly got in the way and then I dropped out. I was a fit pregnancy failure again! ”
“Skinny Fat” It was then that I decided that pregnancy was “the greatest motivator for me to get in shape”. I made a game plan in my mind for how I would loose all the baby weight after my pregnancy was over. Once I had recovered from the horrible delivery of my son, I restricted my calories to under 1000 a day and went running at least 3x’s a week and walked pushing baby about 4 miles every other day. This was an extremely hard routine to keep up, but it worked! By nine months after my son was born I weighed what I had in college, but just like I had been told, my body was not the same. I had a gut, a shapeless butt, my legs were thin, but had cellulite and my boobs (don’t even get me started on my boobs) they were worse than saggy. I chalked it up to the cost of motherhood and figured,” I looked better than most so I shouldn’t complain”.
In order to not gain any weight I lived on a very unhealthy diet of basically coffee and one large meal a day. My body looked thin in clothes, but I had fat all over. My term to describe this body type is “Skinny Fat”. It is a somewhat attractive body with clothes on, but one that can be over fat and malnourished. The “skinny fat” individual’s lifestyle is very difficult to maintain and very unhealthy. Overtime it will lead to premature aging, low energy levels, depression and even disease. As a “skinny fat” person I had no energy and no joy but, somehow I kept it up for 2 years. I was still young enough to pull it off, but I was scared to death at the prospect of having to live this way the rest of my life and I was absolutely terrified at the prospect of having to go through another pregnancy.
When my son was 21/2 I decided to try working out on the home gym my husband had bought us for Christmas a month earlier. It seemed to be working to help him look better, so I thought “I’ll do this a couple days a week and maybe I’ll look better too.” Sure enough a month into it I began to notice positive change and then surprise! I was looking so good that I got pregnant again.
Pregnant Again Now what? Well first I had to start eating again. Through the morning sickness, tiredness, feeling bloated and fat, I was able to keep up with using my home gym and walking. Once I hit month 5 I was unable to walk without bad hip and low back pain. So, I reluctantly stopped walking. I did however continue strength training 3 days a week up until 2 weeks before I gave birth. I had gained about 30 pounds and was very ready to loose it all again. After my little girl was born, I fell into my former habits of eating hardly any food and doing lots of cardio. By six weeks after, I was already back to being thin and was working on getting thinner. My weight loss was so fast!!! A light bulb then lit up in my head “the consistent strength training I did through my pregnancy had enabled me to recover from this pregnancy so much faster. The muscle I had built made the ‘baby fat” melt off my body!” I was excited by this revelation, but still didn’t follow through on the strength training. Instead, I used my now higher metabolism to get really thin. By six months after having my second child I weighed 115 and thought I looked very good (but not really). I didn’t realize that by getting that thin my body was eating itself and causing me to loose most of the muscle I had gained.
Then after my run one day I was horribly nauseous. I thought, “Yuck what did I eat?” Nothing bad, I was just pregnant!!! WOW and OOPS. With a colicky baby who was only 6 months old and my 3 year old son, how was I going to handle this? I was so very sick and tired. I could hardly get out of bed to take care of my 2 kids much less worry about exercising. Then at 7 weeks I had an ultrasound and everything was fine except – surprise TWINS! Man I was a “fertile myrtle”!!! The doctor explained that that is why I was so sick and to be prepared for a much harder pregnancy with twins. I had no idea what lay ahead. I truly believe that twin pregnancies are at least 4x’s harder than normal ones. I couldn’t believe how much more physically and mentally traumatic being pregnant with twins was!
I was a wreck. No way in the world could I workout. I had to save any ounce of energy I had to focus on my other 2 kids and trying to gain 45 pounds. My belly exploded in size and I kept trying to tell myself that it would be Okay. The agony I went through in my mind about what my body would look like post-twin pregnancy was very defeating. I had survived 2 normal pregnancies with few war wounds, but this one was different. I wouldn’t leave it untarnished, and I could become a big puddle of fat. I was so sad.
After months of sickness, daily naps, eating everything in sight, no exercise and felling like I was going to explode, I got the pleasure of spending about 3 weeks in the hospital hooked up to every machine and IV they had in order to keep my baby girls in my tummy as long as possible. The drugs they use to stop labor are horrible! They make you very sick, unable to eat and turn any muscle on your body to fat. Finally at 34 weeks my uterus couldn’t take it anymore, and I had my twins by C-section. They were only 4 pounds and had to be in the intensive care nursery for an agonizing month. I then nursed them for 3 months and didn’t go anywhere until they were about 5 months old. (I couldn’t go anywhere, I hadn’t had a car since my first child was born just so I could be a true “stay at home mom”, Ha, Ha!)
For a total of four years I had either been just recovering from a pregnancy or actually pregnant. I did not know who Michelle was anymore. I had lost myself in my motherhood. That’s when I decided I had to get a car, so I could go back to the gym. It was the best therapy $350/month could buy! After three months back, I found myself. My competitive personality came back to life and in November of 2003 I decided I would, beat the odds, and rebuild a better body than I had as a teen. My goal was to develop a national level figure physique in five short months and astonishingly it worked! In March of 2004 I won my first two figure titles and three more followed that year! The program I followed was designed by me, to specifically overcome the problems women face. Hormonal Timing® It has worked for me and countless other women!
I am a born again believer in Jesus Christ. He is my strength and my salvation. I owe who I am entirely to HIM!!
I have a GREAT life and I owe my peace, success and happiness to GOD. I was born again young and grew up in a Christian home, searched out and married a Christian man and now live am raising a Christian Family. I don’t understand what life would be like without Jesus Christ, nor do I want to.
I believe that God has called me to inspire women, especially mothers to BELIEVE that they are in control of their bodies, lives and the legacies they leave to their children. I have a huge unyielding passion to use my knowledge and personal fitness success to reach millions of women and be a shining “light in the darkness” for Jesus.
If you would like to know more about how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I would love to correspond with you. Please e-mail me : email@example.com
Here are a few Christian books that have touched me deeply in recent years:
The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson
Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
Reduce Me To Love by Joyce Meyer
Thanks so much for reading this,
God Bless YOU!