Monday, April 23, 2012

The Wedding/Summer How-To Game Plan

I've had quite a few of you out there in blogging land emailing me asking for tips on how to get in shape for the summer, how to get fit for your upcoming wedding, etc. Obviously, my game plan is now back in high gear to drop the pregnancy pounds as soon as possible, so I thought I would try to hit some of the high points to making any lifestyle change a successful one. And yes, I am going to be 100% honest with where I am at and my progress...hoping this can pep up others, too!  
a. Set Goals. You need to establish what you're looking to achieve with weight loss/muscle tone/etc. Before my wedding, I knew I wanted to lose a few pounds, but for the most part, I wanted to lean out the muscle I had and work on refining my arms, midsection, and legs.
Now, my goal is to refine/tone everything...yes, I said everything, with a focus on my legs, thighs, and booty as this is where I gained most of my baby weight.
I cannot believe I am going to share this, but here are a few pictures of me pre-workout aka what my body looks like now {5 weeks post delivery}...I'm currently at 127 pounds and I am wanting to get back down around 118-120=my happy weight.
b. Count the Calories. This is the number #1 thing to do to figure out exactly what may be inhibiting your weight loss-you can burn hundreds of calories by doing lengthy sessions of cardio, yet if you don't know exactly what is going into your body, you won't be able to figure out what you need to eliminate to lose that pesky weight. For me (given my BMI, height, starting weight, etc) I normally stick to about 1400-1500 calories a day, broken down by 3 small meals and 2 snacks, which helps to keep the metabolism going! {Also, keep in mind, this number is a bit higher for me right now since I am breastfeeding and need additional calories, so it's most like 1800-2000 calories}.
A great way to find out whow many calories you need to be consuming to lose weight is here.
c. The Workouts. During operation "think wedding skinny", I worked out about 4 times per week. The people at the Y loved seeing me so much, I am sure of it. Typically, I would run 3-4 miles on the treadmill (rotating between a 5.5 and a 6.5 pace), and would mix that with strength training with light weights (5, 8, and 10 pound weights depending on each exercise) 2 days per week. Before AND after each workout, I would do 5-10 minutes of stretching to keep muscles loose, and I always finished with a 10-15 minute ab workout...yes, I know this sounds like a lot, but once I got the hang of it, my gym trips lasted right about 1 hour.
Currently, my workouts connsist of running 2 miles on the treadmill, doing my normal ab routine, and lifting weights...right at about 45 minutes at the gym. I cannot wait until CC can go to the gym nursery so I won't have to be so rushed and she can have some playtime, too.
d. The Other Stuff. To really see a difference, you must be willing to make big changes. I limit myself to a few alcoholic beverages per week, and when I do drink, I consume low calorie/low sugar drinks-SkinnyGirl Margaritas, champagne, red wine, light beer, etc. However, I do admit, I let myself indulge and I allow myself to have a sweet or two each week-nothing crazy, but a sugar free popsicle or frozen yogurt every so often. Don't deprive yourself!
e. Dress the Part. Part of the motivation to workout is to look good while doing it. Spend some of your hard earned money on some flattering {yet still comfortable} workout clothes...this really helps me when I get in a lull. Even better, you don't have to spend your entire paycheck on a new wardrobe. I buy most of my tanks, sports bras, and shorts/skorts from Target and Old Navy...moderatley priced, fun colors, and the fit is fantastic!
f. The Most Important Detail. Stay hydrated! Sure, we all love our addictive drinks-coffee, tea, sodas, etc-but the most essential thing we can do for our bodies is to drink plenty of the good stuff, H2O! You should be drinking between 8-10 glasses a day so arm yourself with a great water bottle and keep refilling it!
All in all, my best advice is to get on a routine, and log each and every thing you eat and drink into a food/drink journal. I use the My Fitness Pal on my iPhone and it really helps to keep me accountable. I also recommend not eating late night (7pm should be the latest you eat dinner unless it's a special occasion), and try to eat smaller portions-after all, restaurant dishes are likely double what you should be consuming anyways.
I promise you, this isn't rocket science...it's learning to eat differently, working out to be healthy and fit, and knowing the end result is worth a little sweat. Having a goal in mind to work towards is something that also keeps us on track-for me, it's fitting into my new bathing suit {seen below from VS} for our beach trip in May, which is a mere 20 days away!
I hope this answers some of the lingering questions a few of you have had. I am an open book so if you ever need advice, support, or other suggestions, I am here to help...good luck my friends!

31 comments:

  1. This is perfect advice! Thank you, it's inspiring me to get on a routine.

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  2. Great tips! Thank you so much for taking the time to write this post - I am trying to begin a better routine for healthy weight loss and muscle toning and this advice was wonderful! I wondered if you would mind telling me/us how tall you are? You seem to be roughly my size/body type but it's so hard to tell from photos! I'm 5 feet 3 inches and just wondered if you are significantly taller than that? Thank you! :)

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  3. LOVE this post! Thanks for doing this and I welcome more tips. I can't wait to hear how you progress!

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  4. so motivating and positive as always~!! btw, how tall are you? you look so great already 5 weeks post baby!!

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  5. These are great tips for everybody trying to get into shape. I'm currently working out 5-6 days a week, through a variety of classes. I totally agree on the water tip! The only thing I drink, besides a cup of coffee everyday, is water. It's amazing how those liquid calories add up! Best of luck on your fitness journey!

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  6. Great tips and you look so great already!!! :)

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  7. You look great :) Thanks for sharing this post, it was really helpful for me :)

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  8. This is all great advice Natasha - and you are looking GREAT by the way! Can't believe you are only 5 weeks out - keep it up!!

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  9. Natasha, thanks for being so candid with everything -- I know health and wellness is a topic you are passionate about, and it shows! You look fantastic already!

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  10. All simple stuff and it is great to see it laid out like this with real life perspective! Thanks!

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  11. Look at you!! Congrats on everything:) I just made it back to bogland - Caroline is a doll!! Heart your running skirt too

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  12. I recently started Cross Fit and the instructors stress using My Fitness Pal BIG time. It is so helpful{minus the part when you overeat and it predicts your going to be huge in 5 weeks}.

    Also, champagne is totally my new drink of choice. The bottle I got from Trader Joes the other day is 36 calories per 5 oz {he entire bottle was 180 calories}!

    So proud of you for dominating that last itty bitty pregnancy weight! You'll be back to your happy weight in no time!

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  13. You look fantastic - keep up the great work! And thanks for sharing your common-sense approach. A lot of women will read your blog and look up to you, it's good to know you're giving out solid info. No quick fixes, just going about it the right way. That's one of the reasons I love your blog!!

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  14. Thanks for the tips and you look great and will get your pre-preggo body back in no time! You're so motivated, I need a little of that sent my way! ;)

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  15. 5 weeks out and you really look great!!

    Great post and tips!! Good luck with your goals!! That bikini is super cute!! :)

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  16. You look incredible friend. I can't believe you had little Caroline a few short weeks ago and you are already back in great shape. Go you! :)

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  17. I just found out I'm pregnant and will definitely be wanting to lose the baby weight after Oct. Will have to get my butt in gear before the holidays.

    BTW you look great after only a month of delivering. Gives me hope! ha!

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  18. You look amazing! The weight loss with BFing is awesome isn't it? I'm still trying to lose the last 4 lbs :)

    Best,
    Colleen @ Meet the Sullivans

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  19. i love this post!! great advice and you look great! i love the point about buying yourself workout clothes to help motivate you because it works! i always want to work out more when i have new stuff!

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  20. Exactly the motivation I needed to start my wedding 'get skinny' goal. You look fabulous!

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  21. Great tips! I'm a really petite person so I am not interested in losing weight, but I really want to have a healthy lifestyle before getting married! Thanks for all your great advice and encouragement!

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  23. Natasha,

    You look great! Thanks so much for sharing...my big day is sneaking up on me (3 more months!) and I need all the help I can get :)
    Love all of your posts!

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  24. You will bounce back so quickly considering you were so lil and fit before!!! Get it gurllll!!!!!!!

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  25. Thanks for posting this! I was doing really well with running/eating right/hitting the gym until I cracked my tailbone a few weeks ago. I've lost all motivation. But if you can do it so soon after delivery with such enthusiasm, then I can too! Good luck!

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  26. You look great! I have not made much of an effort yet with my baby weight- I need to get on it( well, I had to wait 6 weeks b/c of c-section). Now I am walking with her every day, and jazzercising once a week. It's tough since I have gone back to work though. Time to shed these last 5 lbs! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  27. awesome advice!
    It's easy to just throw back the alcohol and let all your hard work go out the window by consuming your calories in liquid form. You look great! Congrats on your hard work!

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  28. For starters, you already look AMAZING [[[ pretty dang sure you weigh what I do right now..... ughh hmmmm... you're 5 weeks postpartum and I'm 10 months]]]. Can you move to Houston and help make me skinny!? ;)

    Way to go ---- you already look fabulous and I know you're determined and always so healthy --- you'll be back to the size you're happy with in NO time. But for real, some envy the body you have today!!

    Happy day to you and Miss C!

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  29. You look AMAZING!!! I cannot believe you JUST had a baby!

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  30. Loving all your advice! I am so inspired by your goals and hard work. :)

    XO,

    Sam
    www.ThePeakofTresChic.com

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