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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

120 Day Healthy Mama/Healthy Baby Challenge

Now that I've been nursing my babe for almost 3 months and established a great milk supply, I am ready to ditch this postpartum baby body for GOOD!  I just embarked on Monday on my own, personal 120-Day challenge (countdown to my 33rd birthday) and am excited to invite all of you to follow along!  Want to do your own challenge?  Here are my step-by-step suggestions of what I've done to ensure success:

1) Start with a Plan and a Buddy!  
My good friend Camille - who lives in Alaska and I have not seen for YEARS - and I decided we were going to hit this together!  We set up some ground rules for our first 30 Days and each put $50 in the pot!  The catch? It's ALL OR NOTHING!!!  This isn't about the highest score at the end of the day -- this is about being IN IT to WIN IT!  So if we fail to complete even ONE of our "ground rules" even ONE day - we lose ALL $50 to the other person!  Know how we're going to keep it really fun?  We're adding $10 each week to the pot!!!  So after we have our PERFECT first week, we move on to week #2 with $60 at stake - and so on and so forth!!!  When we finish without ANY mess-ups, we not only get to enjoy PERFECT health and fitness, we also get to enjoy a girls' weekend and/or shopping spree to celebrate!

2) Focus on Nutrition! 
This is ESPECIALLY important if you are a nursing momma!  Your baby can't get from you what you don't have to give -- and this first year is SO IMPORTANT for those little ones!  In addition to the prenatals, I am starting each day with a delicious, organic, nutrient-dense, perfectly-balanced meal replacement shake to keep up on the minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and nutrients my body needs but doesn't always get from food!  I mix it with an energizing Orange Electrolyte drink to really boost my energy and focus for the day (tastes like a creamsicle or orange julius and gives me some added Vitamins A, B, and C without any artificial colors, flavors, or sugars).  I am also taking the IsaOmega Supreme (best I've found in purity and quality - and no fish oil burps -- YUCK!) for my and my baby's brain development.  Other than that, though, the FOCUS is on CLEAN eating!  Raw when I can stomach it -- whole foods ALWAYS -- organic when I can afford it! :-)

3) Don't Forget Exercise!
A perfect fitness plan for optimal health includes two things: Cardio and Resistance.
  • For Cardio -- especially if you are like me and took a vacation on fitness for your pregnancy or longer -- I HIGHLY recommend the Couch to 5K Running program!  "But Melinda," you say, "I am not a runner!"  PERFECT!  Cuz this running program is for COUCH POTATOES who want to BE runners! :-)  But, to help with your transition, you might consider adding a supplement to your diet to help with cardiovascular health.  I am following the C25K program up with a Half Marathon Training -- running the Legacy Midnight Run on July 19. (WITH GLOW STICKS -- doesn't that sound FUN?  And really, if you were running 13.1 miles in JULY, wouldn't YOU choose a midnight run, too? I thought so!) "But, Melinda," you say, "my knees won't allow me to run like that!"  Well, that's why I'm taking this amazing joint support supplement to help my body adjust to this extra weight I've dumped on it and still carry me to the finish line!
  • For Resistance -- I just started doing my morning POWER HOUR!  In that POWER HOUR, I do 20 min. of resistance training.  Since I am a busy mom with 4 kids, ages 4 to 3 months, I rarely have the time for a BIG routine!  And if it includes weights right now -- well, I end up spending the entire workout routine struggling with my kids about why I need my weights more than they do!  Can you relate? So thank goodness my friend Sarah introduced me to Tracy Anderson's routines on YouTube! For this first month, I'll be doing her Arms, Legs, Abs - and in 20 minutes, without props, I can do a little of each (even if my kids join me - no fighting over who gets the fun equipment).  
4) Make sure you SLEEP!
Yeah - I know.  The word sleep holds no meaning to the mother of small children.  BUT - I will explain later how IMPORTANT sleep is to your health and why you -- yes, YOU -- absolutely MUST get enough of it every day.  For yourself, your baby, your whole family!  If you need some help getting into a good sleep routine at first, I highly recommend this all-natural, melatonin-based spray - formulated to help even the most untrained sleeper get his/her body back into the routine.  It's non-habit-forming and will help you get healthy, deep sleep (which synthetic sleep support doesn't do - FYI).   Oh - and I heard you say that melatonin doesn't work for you -- yes, I DID hear you!  Well, I have turned non-believers who thought THEY couldn't get enough power from melatonin-based products into believers and helped them get off their prescription drug dependence for sleep. Don't knock it til you try it -- for only $13 a bottle (which could last you up to 3 months), you can't afford not to! ;-)

5) Get Your Water In!
Water.  Pure, clear, undefiled.  The perfect, most refreshing, health-enhancing drink out there.  You need more than you think!  I'll write about that later as well, but for now -- aim to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you need to drink 75 oz. of water (minimum).

6) Two Words: Rest and Relaxation
After you've planned all that physical stuff in to help you get healthy, plan in a little R&R for yourself. Studies have shown that even 15 minutes of some form of meditation reduces inflammation in your body immensely!  So - do yourself a favor and plug in some R&R.  If you don't, you'll be coming back and telling me you can't lose weight (not to mention you are incredibly moody, stressed, and un-focused/unhappy in your life) -- and I'll kindly re-direct you to one source of your problems! :-)

7) It's a Kodak Moment
Take a before picture. Not so you can show the world, but so you'll remember if you get back here after the next baby that you were here before - and it wasn't the end of the world. So you can see how far you've come and not get discouraged if your body stalls and adjusts a few times. So you can remember on the days when you feel like you aren't doing anything right that you ARE!  And - in the end - YES! So you can brag your head off about all your hard work, how far you've come, and that it IS possible to any naysayers in your world (and even inspire others to overcome the naysayers in their worlds -- even themselves -- and embark on their own journey to optimal health). Take your measurements, too - the scale is NOT the predictor or definition of HEALTH!

There you go, friends! Welcome to my 120-Day Healthy Baby/Healthy Mama Challenge!  I'm delighted to have you on board!

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