Momo In The 6

Fitness

WORKING OUT AS A MOM

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LET'S BE REAL. Working out in any stage of life is an accomplishment. Working out as a mom is like climbing a mountain with a baby strapped to you. So managing to tie on those sneakers, and throwing your four day unwashed hair that is 92% dry shampoo into a pony to squeeze a quick workout into their nap time or, while your little ones climb all over you while you try to do mountain climbers is quite the feat! But let's talk expectations, because working out as a mom isn't as simple as "hey, I want to workout" and then you do, there are little faces that have control over all your time leaving you with only certain points in the day that you can workout.

Here are my top five tips on how to get it in:

1. Be willing to say "good enough!".  I have learned that in this season of life with small children everywhere I can't have the same expectations of myself that I would before kids. I have many responsibilities and sometimes that means that my workout isn't great because every time I try to jump lunge, Atticus comes running over to cling to my leg. So sometimes this means you won't break as good a sweat, or you won't be able to do the 7 minute circuit without stopping because someone needs something, or maybe you are using your 20lb, 18 month old as a weight instead of a 25lb medicine ball. I have learned to look at workouts at home while my kids are awake and say "it wasn't my best, but it was better than nothing" and move on with my day. I can try again tomorrow.

2. Get into workout clothes first thing. This is a game changer. Thank goodness athleisure is so in right now! I totally recommend buying workout clothes that you love, feel comfortable in, and are versatile enough to wear anywhere! You can wake up, put on your workout clothes and get all the things done until you have time to workout. Then you are already dressed for your workout. I personally love Fabletics for this since it is affordable, stylish, comfortable, and delivered right to your door (since who actually has time to go to the store?!)

3. Be flexible, and willing to adjust in certain seasons. I was on a good streak for about 6 months of waking up at 5:20am to go to the gym 4-5 days a week. But then came the summer, with longer days, earlier mornings with the kids, running around more, + my husbands work schedule meant he had to leave earlier, and all of a sudden going to the gym early stopped being practical. So this summer I have needed to adjust to fit our family's needs, meaning I workout from home, mid morning or in the afternoon after my kids wake up from their nap. It isn't ideal, especially since I love being able to workout in the morning and be done with it, but certain seasons require flexibility and the willingness to adjust to meet your family's needs.

4. When all else fails, TV and a snack. Going off of the previous point, there are a fair number of workouts now where the kids are watching guppies with a bowl of goldfish crackers in hands while mom busts out a 30 minute workout. We don't watch a lot of TV in our house, but I have no scruples about letting them watch something so that I can take care of my health. *Note: if you have a little one who gets distracted, the high chair with a snack is a genius solution to keeping them contained!*

5. Accountability.  Get an accountabili-buddy. I wouldn't have made it to 12 weeks if I didn't have a text message thread of 4 friends who we sent sweaty selfies too. There is nothing more motivating than watching your friends kick butt to make you want to join the bandwagon. And plan your workouts! Know what your week holds and adjust your workout days to fit that - If Monday, Wednesday, Friday isn't great with your family's schedule than adjust it any other days of the week to work!

 

IIFYM: HOW TO TRACK YOUR MACROS (AND WHY YOU SHOULD DO IT)

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About five months ago I began tracking my macros, I did it for three months and loved it but then the holidays hit and I put it on hold. Starting in January I will be picking it back up again since I really loved it and saw amazing results from doing it. I have received SO many questions about this and since it can be a little overwhelming and complicated (it was for me initially too!) I thought I would write an easy-to-read and compartmentalized post about it for those of you who are interested in trying it.

Before I started tracking my macros my understanding of food and how the body used it was totally warped. I used to eat hardly any protein and ate mostly carbs. I aimed to intake an average of about 1200-1400 calories a day. To hit that goal I would try and eat as little as possible, snacking throughout the day, then eat a huge dinner, and yet I was always hungry and feeling guilty about what I would eat.
Once I started tracking my macros my whole perspective on food changed and the goal became to nourish and fill my body with exactly what it needed while still getting to eat my favourite foods, if not able to eat even more of those foods. #allthecarbs 

Here it is… Macro Tracking:

Flexible dieting aka ‘if it fits your macros’ (iifym). Despite what every fad diet/wrap/juice cleanse etc says, evidence has shown that the main determining factor for weight loss is ‘calories in vs calories out’ and with macro tracking you can still achieve your “dream bod” while eating foods generally off limits to dieters (like ice cream and cookies!), given that you hit your macronutrient targets.

So, what are macros?

Macronutrients are the protein, carbohydrates and fats that make up the calories in all foods. When you count calories to lose weight you are just limiting the number of calories you take to create an energy deficit and your body will shrink in size to adapt to this energy deficit. When you are mindful of your macronutrient intake you will be more effective at burning fat and building lean muscle (not bulking).

1 gram of protein = 4 calories
1 gram carbs = 4 calories
1 gram fat = 9 calories
1 gram alcohol = 7 calories

As you can see above, not all calories are created equally since 20 grams of fat will be used very differently then 20 grams of carbohydrates. The general rule of thumb is to eat 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. So if you weight 130lbs you need to intake 130 grams of protein/day.


Why Track Macros?

When you track your macros you eat in a way to feed your body exactly what it needs for optimal performance and definition. It ensures that the calories you take in go to all the right places in your body, preserving lean muscle mass and helps to get rid of unwanted body fat. Tracking your macros and eating the proper amounts of protein, fat and carbs for your body and activity level can make all the difference in toning up your body and helping to get that definition you always wanted. This has made a huge difference for me, not only in leaning out and with muscle definition but also in my energy levels, how I feel, and to help curb hunger throughout the day.

IIFYM is not a diet. There are no set foods or meal plans to follow and you can track your macros whether you eat clean, vegan, paleo, vegetarian etc. You may have seen photos of people who track macros eating foods that are considered off limits to most, such as ice cream and highly processed sugary treats. To clear the air on this… This is not how they eat most of the time. If you have calorie and macro goals you cannot eat that way and hit your target goals and numbers. Most people who track their macros eat clean with a lean protein and lots of veg at any given meal. Unlike strict diets or clean eating plans, macro tracking simply allows people to occasionally include treats and discretionary foods while still hitting their macro targets and calorie goals for the day.

For example: My current calorie intake is 2100 calories a day (since I am still breastfeeding I add 300 extra calories a day) and my macros are at 142g protein, 61g fat, 239g carbs or 28% protein, 25% fat, 46% carbs. I currently weigh 123lbs.
I was so nervous to increase my daily calorie intake from 1400 to 2100 since I had no interest in bulking up or gaining weight - after all, the goal was to lose the baby weight! But I can attest to the fact that when you give your body the exact nutrients it needs to produce lean muscle mass, your body responds by leaning out and giving definition in places you’ve never seen definition before!

My favourite macros:

Proteins:
Chicken (breasts, thighs, legs)
Extra-lean ground turkey
Eggs
Low Fat Cottage Cheese
Greek Yogurt (Non-fat and plain)
Extra-Firm Tofu marinated in tamari, apple cider vinegar and a bit of water
Protein powder (my favourites are Canadian Protein’s 100% Whey Isolate and ...)

Carbs:
Fruits
Veg (especially dark leafy greens and sweet potatoes!)
Pasta (yes, I eat pasta at least once a week)
Oatmeal and Steel Cut Oats
Soba Noodles
Ezekiel 4:9 bread, or Homemade Oat Bread
Brown rice
Granola

Fats:
Olive Oil
Butter
Avocado
Cheese
Peanut Butter (all the praise hands!)
Coconut Oil


To help with my protein intake (because it can be hard to get protein into your diet without all the additional fat) I usually have two scoops of protein powder at different points of the day. At 30g protein each scoop that takes care of 60g of protein without any additional fat. Sometimes this looks like a scoop of protein in a smoothie or overnight oats in the morning, sometimes it is just mixing it into water and drinking it like that.

How to do it:
- Here is a link to a macro tracking calculator that I found helpful, they email you your results but I would recommend editing your protein intake to 1gram protein per pound of bodyweight on the results page.   Here's how I did it --> I selected the “Total Body Weight Formula”, at “Light Activity” … Sadly BBG girls even though you feel like you are killing yourself it is considered light activity. I said my intensity was moderate and in the goals section I set it at 10% textbook increase for bulking.  
- If you want to figure out your numbers manually, I found this page helpful
- If you are still nursing you will need to add about 300 calories to your TDEE. (Here is a really helpful article on tracking your macros while nursing.)
- I track my macros with the MyFitnessPal app. The nice thing is that if you eat the same foods most of the time, after about two weeks you will have most of your meals and foods in your phone and you won’t have to spend as much time inputting it since you can save it as one of your meals.

It can feel really overwhelming to start tracking your macros, but, as with anything it gets less stressful as it becomes a part of your regular routine overtime. You’ll need a scale, this one is great - small and cheap! And I highly recommend downloading an app to help you, since it makes the whole process a lot easier.

If you have any questions feel free to ask them below!

BBG 1.0 COMPLETE

FitnessMomo in the 63 Comments

AS OF LAST week I have officially finished 12 weeks (technically 16 weeks including pre-training) of BBG!! I have started and stopped and restarted that workout a number of times in the past and have never been able to complete it, so to make it this far feels like a huge accomplishment.

Like I have said before, it is definitely the hardest workout I have ever done, but considering it is only 28 minutes/3x a week + two 10-15 minute HIIT workouts on top of all the city walking I do, it is so doable.

As far as meeting my goals that I set in this post: I have lost six pounds during the 12 weeks and am noticing a lot of definition beginning to show, particularly in my stomach and my arms. I feel so much stronger. My endurance has definitely improved and I can do 15 pushups in a row without stopping, and have even managed to do the odd circuit straight through without stopping.

As far as weight goes, I gained roughly 32lbs (so 152ish pounds at full term) during my pregnancy and lost the bulk of that in the first four weeks postpartum - thank you water weight and breast feeding! (Also, the Belly Bandit is your literally your BFF and I recommend it to everyone... it's pricey but it is SO worth it.) I began pre-training at 132lbs and I finished the twelve weeks at 122lbs and have lost 7 inches off of my body. Weight means much less to me than how I look and how I feel, but I know that some people like seeing numbers so there you have them.

I am really enjoying the HIIT exercises in particular. HIIT workouts are high intensity workouts over a short period of time where you give 90% effort and then take breaks. A perfect example is to sprint for 30 seconds and stand still for 30 seconds for 10 minutes total. Since I only workout at home and don't own any equipment beyond a medicine ball and hand weights,  I try to modify to do high intensity movements that I can do in my living room, such as doing five burpees with a tuck jump, rest for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times. They burn while you do them but since they are so short it feels good to move and it isn't hard to commit the time to doing them, plus I am loving making up challenging HIIT workouts to push myself.

As a part of my BBG support group we decided that we will do 1.0 again before moving on to 2.0 to continue to build up endurance and strength before moving on to the more challenging movements.

I wanted to set some goals for BBG 1.0 round two to help motivate and push myself.   I am wanting to increase my endurance this time through while maintaining and perfecting my technique. "PERFECT practice makes perfect" is my motto this time around... I am going to focus less on how many times I can get through a round and focus more on doing the moves slowly and consistently. I know the speed will come eventually, but only after the technique is perfected! I am going to start incorporating yoga into my weekly LISS routine and I want to work on doing headstands. I also want to be more intentional about walking at least 5km a day,  I want to get out more and explore this amazing city and what better way to see it then on foot!?

As of August 1st we have started BBG 1.0 for a second time and I am already feeling the difference of really striving to perfect my technique and doing the movements slowly. Here's to being a stronger, healthier and better version of myself after the next 12 weeks!

You can follow along with my fitness journey on Instagram @fitinthe6.

PEANUT BUTTER CUP OVERNIGHT OATS

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FOR THOSE OF you who don't know my son Finn, you should know that he is obsessed with oats. The first thing he says to me when I go to get him in the morning, every morning, without fail, is "oats". Sometimes I opt to make a big batch of oatmeal and keep it on hand for a few days, other times its last minute oats in the morning and he hates waiting for them to cool down since he wakes up starving. So lately I have been tinkering around with overnight oats and i made these and they are a WIN. While eating them for breakfast Sam told me they were the best ones I've made yet.

Peanut Butter Cup Overnight Oats

If you are planning on using protein powder to up the heartiness of these oats I highly recommend using Canadian Protein's "Grass Fed New Zealand Whey Isolate" in milk chocolate or vanilla. Milk chocolate is my all time fave but the vanilla is also delicious, particularly in my protein power balls.

 

POSTPARTUM FITNESS | PROGRESS

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YOU MAY REMEMBER this post I shared a couple months ago about postpartum fitness and my goals. After having finished BBG pre-training and now on my eighth week of BBG 1.0 I thought I would share my progress and thoughts on the program.   ALSO, I'm totally fangirling today since Kayla Itsines herself featured my progress on her page! #icanthandleit

By eight weeks into BBG 1.0 I have already met most of my goals. I feel stronger, as a family we are eating better and I have toned up quite a bit already. I still have to take breaks during the circuits but I have been able to stick to roughly 30 second long breaks in between circuits... progress people! It's happening! I have stuck to doing the workouts, 3x/week and have been walking at least 10km a week + one 7km run as a family once a week.

I have tightened and toned, but I find that can change based on the week. I don't know if that is hormones, or water weight, or just getting older, but one week my stomach will feel toned and tight and the next it feels much looser and flabby. Thankfully Kayla incorporates at least one core workout into every week so I always have the opportunity to work at it.

Something that has been so helpful for me this time around doing BBG is having an accountability group. I have a group chat on iMessage on my phone with three other girls and we send each other our sweaty selfies post workout. I wasn't sure when we started whether I would like it but I have found it to be so helpful... There are few things that will get my butt in gear faster on a day when I don't feel like working out and then I see all the other girls (who are also moms) getting it done!

A few weeks into BBG, in an effort to make healthier eating choices, I started tracking my macros. You can learn more about that here and here. It is a bit of work initially to calculate your daily percentages and to learn what foods have what amounts of protein/fat/carbs but I have had amazing success with it so far. I found it so helpful to have a protein shake during the day to up my protein intake without upping my fat intake. I have also hated protein powders but I recently discovered Canadian Protein's "Grass fed New Zealand Whey Isolate" in chocolate milkshake is unreal and I highly recommend it. I always used to count calories and I would end up feeling so hungry at the end of the day. When I began to track my macros I realized that 90% of my diet was carbs - be it veggies or things like crackers etc. But those things burn up so quickly in your body and then leave you feeling way more hungry. Now that I am more intentional about my protein and fat intake I am able to eat way more food in the day and feel full longer (so snacking less) and am feeling so much stronger. Not to mention I lost three pounds (!!) within 10 days of starting.

I am not usually one to post photos of myself in workout gear, but I love to see other people's progress photos, so I thought I would share some of mine. I have a ways to go, but I am really proud of the progress I have made so far.

 From beginning of Pre-Training to four weeks into BBG 1.0

From beginning of Pre-Training to four weeks into BBG 1.0

 One day postpartum to week 7 BBG 1.0

One day postpartum to week 7 BBG 1.0

You can follow along with my fitness journey on Instagram: @fitinthe6

Let's talk: What workouts have worked best for you? How do you stick to your goals?

POSTPARTUM FITNESS

Motherhood, FitnessMomo in the 64 Comments

TWO WEEKS AGO my doctor gave me the clearance for physical activity and that was music to my ears as I have been itching to workout and move my body. Growing and delivering a baby is no joke. It's exhausting, it stretches you (physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually) in ways you didn't know were possible. Once my doctor gave me the "go ahead" this time around I knew I wanted to jump back into working out and toning up. As I mentioned in this post, I work out regularly when I am pregnant and I make sure to eat really good food that will nourish me and the baby (with a few treats along the way). So after having worked out till the day before he was born, I waited until Finn was three months old to really start working out again, and as much as I enjoyed my time resting I felt pretty "blah" for those three months. Endorphins are no joke people!

So this time, at five weeks postpartum, after having worn my favourite gift to myself postpartum - I swear it made my tummy flat again within a week! - I got the clearance and decided that I would start working out right away. I feel so much better when I am moving. Yes, it is exhausting and I would much rather use the boys nap time to nap myself or get things done around the house but I am a better mother when I have taken time do something just for me. It feels good to move. It feels good to throw on some great music and push your body to it's limits. Even the burn in your muscles feels good to remind you that you are working hard and toning up. A friend of mine once said that the pain is simply "your fat screaming as it dies" haha!
I have found after having both my babies that the number on the scale means way less to me than how my body looks and feels. With both of my boys I shed the excess weight quickly, by eating really well, drinking tons of water, wearing this and nursing the boys. I don't know if anyone else had this (and sorry if it's TMI) but I found I was so sweaty, particularly at night, I would wake up soaked in sweat! But to give you an idea of how how my body fluctuates in weight with pregnancy: I gained around 35lbs with both pregnancies and within a week of both deliveries I had dropped to about 3-7lbs above my pre-pregnancy weight and stayed there for the first few months until my milk regulated itself.

That said I know that every woman's body is different and reacts differently to pregnancy and fitness. I am just sharing my own fitness and health journey in the hopes that it might encourage other women to embrace their bodies and challenge themselves physically and to keep myself accountable to my own goals.

My current physical goals are to tighten and tone, feel strong, and eat well. My current fitness goals are: Finish BBG Pre-training, do BBG 1.0 & 2.0, walk 10km/week. At the end of the first twelve weeks I would love to be able to do the BBG workout without stopping during the circuit and to only take the 30 second break rather than the three minute break I always end up taking haha.

If you don't feel like going to a fitness store to buy your equipment I bought all of my equipment off Amazon, because with babies at home, delivery to your door just can't be beat! I bought these 8lb hand weights, this medicine ball, this exercise mat, and this skipping rope.

As my boys grow up and get more and more active I always want to be able to keep up with them, I want to model what a strong, healthy woman is for my boys, and I want to feel comfortable with my body and in my own skin.

Let's talk: What are your postpartum fitness goals? How did you find bouncing back post-pregnancy? Any tips that you found helpful?

MOMO'S PREGNANCY ESSENTIALS

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 PREGGO ESSENTIALS

PREGGO ESSENTIALS

SAM AND I always knew we wanted kids and that we loved the idea of having them close together. Since Finn and baby #2 will be about 17 months apart, I have spent a lot of time being pregnant in the last two years. I have fairly easy pregnancies and for the most part enjoy being pregnant, I love to watch my body grow and get bigger and curvier and to see and feel the baby move around in my belly. That said, there are lots of discomforts that come alongside being pregnant and today I am 37 weeks and feeling huge so it seemed like the perfect time to write about things that have helped me in pregnancy.

Tracy Anderson: The Pregnancy Project: I have blogged before about staying fit while pregnant and these DVD's have made it possible even on days where it's too cold to get out walking. There are nine DVD's that adapt and change with each month of pregnancy and help to stretch out difficult places and keep you as toned as possible as your body changes. Around six or seven months pregnant I begin to get sciatica regularly when I walk and I had a lot of back and leg pain with Finn. With both pregnancies I have found that when the aches and pains come, if I do the workout, by the next day the pains have subsided and I feel significantly better.

Carriage 44 Pure Shea Butter: I can't rave enough about this product. The company uses only natural ingredients and all their products are handmade. I have used this to moisturize my belly in both pregnancies and not only does it leave my skin feeling so smooth but I swear its the reason I avoided getting stretch marks on my belly.

Urban Spa Stimulating Body Brush: I am big on exfoliating and this brush does the trick! I sometimes use it to dry exfoliate and other times I use it with my body soap. Exfoliating is so good for your skin and has also been said to help avoid and/or reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

Aura Cacia Organic Rosehip Oil + Aura Cacia Jojoba Pure Skin Care Oil: I remember asking a friend of mine how she got her skin to glow like it did. She was two weeks postpartum with a baby who wasn't sleeping and her face looked so fresh and had this amazing, healthy glow. She confessed that she mixes two parts Rosehip Oil with one part Jojoba oil on her face and I immediately went out and bought some and have been using it ever since! Trust me, even on tired days it gives the illusion of the coveted "pregnancy glow" and your skin will thank you. S'well Stainless Steel Water Bottle: The moment I get pregnant it seems my body needs 10 times more water than normal. I am always feeling incredibly thirsty and contrary to my normal preferences I crave cold water over room temperature. This water bottle is amazing and keeps cold drinks cold for 24 hours. I love the design of it, the stone texture makes it easy to grip, and I love that Finn can't open it.

Leachco Snoogle Body Pillow: This body pillow may be the bane of my poor husbands existence but it has been a life saver in both of my pregnancies. I am naturally a back or stomach sleeper but this makes sleeping on your side so much easier and helps to alleviate some of the aches and pains when you get really big. Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice: This tea is incredible. It is spicy and comforting and has been a huge comfort to me during this pregnancy, especially since so much of this pregnancy has been in the colder weather and most days I feel averse to coffee. It's caffeine free and I have found that one bag can be used twice!

MOMO'S PEANUT BUTTER POWER PROTEIN BALLS

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I HAVE BEEN making these power balls for at least 5 years now. The recipe has grown with me as my needs changed or wanted to mix up the flavours but the base has always remained the same. I bring these over for friends when they have a baby for them to have a quick and filling snack during the blur of the first few weeks. My one friend even joked that these saved her pregnancy and her marriage from her "hangry" moments. I can definitely relate. I eat one before my morning workouts to get a quick bite in me without making me too full, and I will typically have another throughout the day as a snack to get me through the afternoons when things are in full-swing and I am on the go with my little man!

The recipe is very much to taste and you can adjust the amounts of ingredients as you wish.

Peanut Butter Protein Power Balls

 

ON STAYING FIT WHILE PREGNANT

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A GOOD FITNESS regime has always been important to me. I have always tried to prioritize working out, walking everywhere and eating well. When I found out I was pregnant with Phineas, I had just run my first half marathon and I was determined to stay in the best shape I could while taking care of the human growing inside of me. I was not prepared for the first trimester fatigue or for the mommy-community-threads with a million different opinions about exercising and the harms vs benefits for my child. I ended up taking it really easy in my first trimester and sleeping as much as possible. I was nervous to work out or to continue running at the rate I had been so I toned it down and did some yoga and walking. I didn't find that to be enough for me and felt like I wanted something more challenging so, once I entered my second trimester I discovered and promptly ordered Tracy Anderson's Pregnancy Project and began doing her workouts four times a week. Tracy is formerly a dancer and the workouts require coordination while they focus on keeping you as toned and lifted as possible throughout your pregnancy so that you can bounce back quickly once the baby is born. I really loved this workout. There is a different workout for every month of pregnancy and they are only 40 minutes long. I found that when I would get the classic pregnancy back aches and leg pains if I did the workout it would stretch things back out and provide some much needed relief.

All that said, this pregnancy has been quite different from my first. I had just finished my 12 weeks of Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body Program which was the best hardest workout I've done. It gave me better results for less time working out than any workout before... Like, "hello abs, I never though I'd see you again after having a baby"! With this pregnancy though, I suffered from nausea in my first trimester which I hadn't experienced with Finn, and I also had to take care of my at-the-time 9 month old baby and try to get as much sleep as possible. That said, I had no energy to do the intense workouts that I had been doing. Thankfully it was the summer so I continued to walk everywhere and tried to incorporate as many veggies as I could into my daily cracker-and-pasta-all-day diet.

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Processed with VSCOcam with s3 preset

At five months pregnant I am in the sweet spot of the second trimester with more energy and a few weeks ago I began intentionally waking up before Finn and working out. Post Halloween and binge eating bowls upon bowls of candy, I realized I need to get my act together and into a routine before the winter hits and I don't want to do anything, not to mention I was asked to be a bridesmaid in a wedding that is happening three months after the baby is born... talk about motivation! So, after my first week of consistently working out, combined with my "No Sweets November" intentionally cutting out refined sugars, I found that I had way more energy that was sustained throughout the whole day and into the evening. I'm trying to be realistic about bouncing back after the second baby, I have heard that it is much, much harder to do and much more difficult to keep toned and in shape with every child you have. (Abbie over at Grumbling Grace is 3 months post baby with her second child and has been on a road to find how to bounce back and incorporate working out with two young babes at home). But I figure I have to try. Being in shape and living a healthy, active lifestyle is so important to me and it is something I hope to model and motivate my kids to do.

How about you? Any tips on how you manage to have kids and maintain some semblance of your former pre-baby body?