First of all, I’m completely having a freak out during the moments you are reading this because I’m just going to go ahead and warn you that in this blog there are photos of me in my panties and bra. So, if that freaks you out (mostly to my brother, dad, FIL, or grandfather that could possibly be reading this)just stop right here. I told myself it’s just as much (if not more) as swimsuit coverage, but it’s still my underwear.
I have felt a tug to share this blog since September of 2018, but definitely since March, but I really didn’t want to put photos of me in my underwear out on the internet. But here I am, trying to not puke my guts out while writing this because of the high anxiety levels it brings me. Not because there aren’t photos out there of people in less clothing (or none at all) but because this is totally NOT me. I can’t recall ever sharing a photo where my stomach is showing, ever.
Secondly, I didn’t want people judging the way I look without clothes on or being like “why do you even have these photos in your underwear you weirdo?” or “why does your face look like that?”. Well, I am a documenter first and foremost, and secondly, I love to see progress. Whether that’s a checked-off list, a fresh coat of a different color of paint, or a series of photos that shows how hard work can pay off. I really and truly took these photos for only me, so I wasn’t worried about how my face looked.
Next, I know the saying “if you have a body, and you go to the beach, then you have a beach body” is popular, but the main point of this blog is a rebound from post-baby bod to a strong mom bod. Body confidence, or lack there of, can come in all shapes and sizes, and I totally appreciate both sides of that spectrum. I am not shy in most scenarios, but you wouldn’t find me running around my own house alone without clothes on, ever. I like my body to be covered, which makes this blog even harder.
Lastly, before I get really into it, I’d like to mention that this is not a sponsored post in any way, but just a true life experience and passion I have found in the last year.
Somewhere in the 1995 range (approximately 9 years old) I started to gain weight. Not noticeably, but little by little like it always happens. This is about the time that you’ll find some of my last photos on the beach in a two piece bathing suit. So, I also have to assume around this age I also became aware that I maybe didn’t look as good as some of my friends in their little two pieces. Everyone called it “baby fat”, but yea… we all know what that means. After that I can only remember wearing one piece swimsuits, until the trend of tankinis came around. Even as a senior in high school, when I was perhaps at my thinnest and maybe (just maybe!) could have “pulled off” a bikini, I still didn’t have the guts to do it because of previous years and body comparisons.
When I got pregnant, I remember actually saying “Well, at least I’ve already been in tankinis, so it won’t be a big deal to me, but I feel sad for all those people who’ve been in bikinis and then have to switch!” Well, as it turns out most of those people have bikinis bodies to begin with bounce back pretty quickly. I’m not mad about it, it is what it is! I had heard the stories of dropping weight like crazy because of breast feeding, and how much water weight comes off after birth, and even took to heart the French birthing book about how most French ladies are back in their pre-baby jeans at 6 weeks.
That was not my story. Cue the underwear photos.
The photo on the left was three days before my daughter was born via c-section on May 19, 2017. The second photo was taken 6 weeks after, on July 12, 2017.
“It’ll come off, you look great, it’s only been six weeks, don’t rush it…” I hear you now, and heard you then too. So, along I went. Being a new mom, attempting to exercise during the crazy times of weird sleep, 8 naps, witching hour, starting to try to work again. It’s damn near impossible.
Fast forward year. It felt like nothing had changed. And to me, little had. I was weak, unhappy with my clothes, and had zero energy.
I didn’t actually intend on taking a photo one day apart from each other, but it just so happened that I was taking my first Orange Theory Fitness trial class that day, and I wanted to be able to see “if it was worth it.” If you have even an ounce of impatience in your bones, then it comes rearing it’s ugly head as big as ever when it comes to losing weight and wanting to see results FAST. I have been guilty of giving up on weight loss goals within a week… oh, who am I kidding, even days. I know how it is when nothing is happening, and how easy it is to get discouraged.
Cue more underwear photos.
There’s 9 weeks between these two photos, and I literally could not believe the difference. I was almost angry because I had waited so long to start because of the change. I’m sure there was a little shift in my diet, but nothing crazy. Mostly just realizing how hard it was to burn 500 calories, and thinking maybe that double doozie really wasn’t worth the 20 burpees I did that day. It was mostly just hard work beginning to pay off.
It was just after this photo that people started to ask me “what are you doing!?” and I started telling them—it’s Orange Theory!
In November, my husband joined. In January, my mom joined. Along the way, dozens of friends joined the “fun”. I’m going to take a sidebar now to mention that last week my mom had annual bloodwork done, and her results were almost more exciting to me than my own! I don’t think she would argue with me to say that she would not consider herself “sporty”, and is not highly competitive when it comes to sports or exercise. She’s a power walker, and declared herself as “weak” before she began. I think differently though, because she’s in there, doing the work, right alongside me. Anyways, back to her results… Her total cholesterol went from 231 to 181. It hadn’t been in the normal range (<200) since 2005. And her triglycerides went from 175 to 86. (Normal is under 149) It hasn’t been under that since 2008. That’s all since January! In her words, ” I still don’t love it, but obviously it’s good for me!”
In January, I participated in the OT weight loss challenge. In June, I made second for my age group in a rowing benchmark challenge. Just this week, I ran my fastest mile of my whole life at 7:34. I never, ever, ever would have thought I could run a mile under 10 minutes a year ago. On Thursday, I hit my highest rowing meters of all time.
I’m not telling you this to toot my own horn, or get accolades, but to let you know you how bad off I was, and how far I’ve come. How Orange Theory has challenged me, and made me do things I never thought I could do, faster than I ever thought I could do them. My workout stats appear about the same in the post-workout summary from my first trial class to now, but I’m running and rowing WAY faster and lifting WAY heavier than I was that first day.
So, in one year, here are my overall stats—pretty crazy! One year of hard work, and a lotttt of sweat. (See hat below!)
One year, and a giant transformation in my physical and mental strength.
Cue the last set of underwear photos.
Y’all I’m never going to be happy about taking an underwear photo.
When you sign up for Orange Theory they ask you your “why” and what your “goal” is. My “goal” was to be prepared for a Disney Half Marathon in 2019, and my mom and I are already well on our way! We are signed up for our second Disney half in November, and not just that, but we are doing the 10K on Saturday, and the half on Sunday. I know for a fact we will beat our last half time. (Nevermind the fact I won’t be 27 weeks pregnant, but still!) I currently go to Orange Theory classes anywhere from 3-5x a week, but closer to 4 right now, and tackle my longer training runs on the weekend instead of taking a class. In a month, when my training runs get longer, I’ll probably bump it down to 3x a week to make sure my muscles have plenty of time to recover.
Now, my “why” was to get in-shape because I had a baby girl I wanted to have energy for, and be able to play with! People ask me all the time “how much weight have you lost?” and the truth is, it’s probably only about 10 pounds, if that. But my body is definitely composed differently. Less fat, and more strong muscle. I hope to show Gemma that strong really is beautiful, and to be proud of her body her whole life. I really hope she likes to run too, because she’s signed up for her very own Kids Dash in November! I can’t wait til she can run her first 5K… is three too soon?! 😉
I feel like this blog is already so much longer than I wanted it to be, but here’s the last thing. Here are the excuses I hear when I invite people to join me without. a. doubt.
1. “I can’t do that” “I will die” “I need to get in shape first” No, no and no. You actually can do it. There are skinny people, and super fit people, and not so fit people, and short people, and really tall people. There’s old people (like 70!) and young people (like 13!) and people that work, and moms that stay home, moms that work from home (hi, me!) and lot of people that need the accountability, and a one-hour brainless workout. I can’t tell you house nice it is to have someone deciding what you’re going to do instead of you wandering and wondering what thing to do next. And you’re not going to die. If you can’t run, you walk. If you can’t do either, you bike or elliptical. There’s options. It’s hard, don’t get me wrong. And it really doesn’t get easier, because you just get better. But it’s hard in the best way possible, I promise.
Whatever level you’re at, they can work with you. If you’ve had a gym membership that you haven’t used in the last week, then you’re not going to get in shape and then start Orange Theory. You’re gonna get there way faster with a team of people working alongside you, motivating you. Oh, and if you cancel within 8 hours, they are going to charge you. People are like offended when they hear this at first (me included) but you have no idea how much that $12 keeps me from making an excuse about how I could just sit at my desk and “get ahead” or “clean this or that”. ‘Cause before, that’s exactly what I would do. Now, I’m addicted. I feel awful when I miss more than 2 days, and I honestly can’t imagine it not being a part of my routine now.
2. “I can’t afford it.” Yea, it’s a little expensive, but that’s because it’s like hiring a personal trainer and it works. Yea, it’s a sacrifice, but it’s also saving me from medications, and other doctors appointments because I’m in better overall health now. I was in the chiropractor’s office weekly two years ago, because my lower back was too weak to support my posture while I worked, and it caused all kinds of issues! I wish there was a way to quantify the cost vs. what I might pay later because of poor health, but there isn’t. I just have to believe it’s the right choice for me. I have definitely saved money on eating out after starting OT because, again, the calories aren’t worth it to me after a workout!
Here’s the best part about this blog, and why I am furiously typing to share it “on time”… they are offering their “founders rate for life” to anyone who signs up before the end of July. That means the lowest rate it ever was, and ever will be. It’s $139 for unlimited, and $89 (I think?!) for 8x a month. I started on the 8x a month to make sure I liked it, and it was a good fit for me, so you can totally do that too if you’re nervous! After two weeks, I was hooked, and bumped up to unlimited. That means you can go as many days/times as you want. Still unsure? Just come with me to one class! I promise I’ll help you through it, and I promise you will make it. If you have my number, text me and let’s set it up. If you don’t, shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and let’s get started! (I’d rather put photos of me in my underwear on the internet than my phone number…)
I’ll probably never have my dream “beach body”, and I’ll always be wanting to cover my belly, but if sharing this motivates someone else to make the choice to better their life through exercise instead of a fad diet, drink, or some other unhealthy way (I’ve done it all!), then my high anxiety levels of sharing photos in my underwear will all be worth it. And, I’ll be a little more confident of my strong(er) mom-bod, with my mini-me in tow because of it all.