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The No Diet Challenge: Step 6 I Wasn't Always Skinny (And What I Did About It)

I have to admit that I did start out small. I was 88 lbs all through my teens, then 94 lbs in my early twenties. But, I wasn't always skinny. In 1997, I gained over 65 pounds with my first child, then gave birth two more times after that and did not escape the baby weight.

This weekend, as I dug out this old photo of  me and my newborn (now 16), my son who is 10, peeked over my shoulder and gasped, "WHOA!! Those thighs!" He wasn't talking about the baby; I really looked different then. He did apologize afterwards, but I think the damage was already done.

After Baby #1
Just because I was tiny to start with, didn't mean I automatically shrank back down  again after giving birth- like some people do when they leave the hospital in pre-pregnancy clothes…

How do they do that!?

After Baby #2
I have to say that I don't have an ideal weight that I'm shooting for (remember, I don't own a scale), and I've never been back down to my starting weight- and frankly don't care. I also don't care what other people weigh.
Right before Baby #3
I just want to feel healthy.

And when I'm not healthy, I don't feel good physically, don't function well emotionally, and don't parent well either. So after having that first baby, I actually had to do something I'd never done before…I had to exercise. 

The following are successful routines that helped me through the years to get, and stay, healthy:

After child #1:
- I watched what I ate
-Busted my tail on workout videos 3-4 days a week
-I walked daily (with tons of uphill)
About a year after Baby #1
 I used Denise Austin videos; back then she was amazing. She actually has videos out now too I believe; she got me to burn my abs bad. (Now a days there are workout plans you can even stream on your phone or TV.)

Four years later, and after child #2: 
-I chased around child #1
-Ate healthy
1 year after Baby #2
-Went back to my last known exercises with Denise Austin
-Added some light yoga for strengthening muscles and relaxation

Just under 2 years later, and after child #3 :  I was exhausted, he was tough on my body, and I originally didn't want to work out at all. So in the meantime I followed my own healthy eating habits and tried to use the treadmill a couple of times a week at least (but you bet there wasn't a whole lot of up hill).

About a year and a half after baby #3

Eventually, when I was finally ready this was my new routine:
  • Jumped rope daily (100x+)
  • Lifted weights at home (+ leg presses)
  • I walked on the tread mill (uphill with a cool down)
  • Did jumping jacks (30x - 50x) 
  • Alternated these things every couple of days with, you guessed it, Ms. Austin

Later on I learned why building muscle in women is so important, especially after a certain age, so I visited the gym to do weight training 3-4 x's a week in my mid 30's. I have since gone back to doing simple exercises as home because of my budget, but I am still always doing something. Jump rope, walking (sometimes with ankle weights), dumbbells, light yoga.

This is me now.
It's common sense:

Use the rule your child's physical education instructor gives: 
30 minutes a day of physical activity. 

It makes a difference-it improves your mood, your sleep pattern/quality and inevitably helps to burn calories and boost your metabolism. It also teaches your children how to be healthy and not be afraid of exercise.

While the No Diet Challenge is great for helping you watch what you eat and educating you, it should not be the sole factor in becoming healthy. As any doctor or health professional will tell you, good eating habits paired with daily exercise, are the keys to a healthier life. During the No Diet Challenge I'm working on sharing with you my habit of eating, cooking and shopping. But, it doesn't stop there. Remember, there's always a need for balance. Exercise should to be part of your No Diet regimen.

If Your are Currently Pregnant, My Biggest Tip Is: If you exercise or work full time, don't immediately quit either of these. There are plenty of things women can still do while they are expecting. If you do not currently exercise, make a choice today to walk daily or swim. Do this only under your doctor's discretion of course. 

Step #6 of The No Diet Challenge:
Start Small: Choose just two days a week and 2 separate types of simple activities to get started!
Challenge yourself to do them for at least 4 weeks. 
Before you know it - it will be second nature and your mood and energy level will increase!

Improve your health~Improve parenting. 
And be a great role model.

If you are already a monster at the gym, KUDOS! Give yourself permission to take a break ~ 
And never feel guilty about missing a day because that's even worse. 

Next Week of The No Diet Challenge: Step 7 How Foods Affect Us & Why Should You Care? 

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