those skinny bitches…

As I’ve gotten back into coaching, I’ve been amazed with how many inspiring women have come into my life. It’s pretty incredible to be in a coaching community with so many like-minded, supportive people. One of which has had one of the most amazing transformations that I’ve ever seen.  When I first met her, I instantly knew that she was going to be one of “my people”.

So, this is Hannah.

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At first glance, I would put her in the “genetically gifted skinny bitches” category. (Not that I’m walking around judging other women, but holy shit, look at that body…it’s fitness magazine worthy). These “genetically gifted skinny bitches” are the ones that it always seems to come easy to..they love to workout, love healthy food, don’t struggle in social situations, etc. They’ve probably never stood in their closet in tears trying on every outfit they own.  That’s the story that I’ve made up for these people that I envy.  But the funny thing is, that is the FURTHEST thing from Hannah’s story. This is her instagram post from today that she gave me permission to share.

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“I’ve been so many things. I’ve been skinny, I’ve been bigger, I’ve been an athlete. I’ve been starved, a binge eater, a yoyo dieter. I’ve eaten low fat, low carb, no carb, liquid diets. I’ve been unhealthy, unsuccessful, unsupported and unmotivated. 

What am I today? 
I am healthy. 
I am balanced.
I am strong.
I am successful, motivated and supported.
I am PROUD.
I am a version of myself I have never known. I don’t have to obsess. The number on the scale has never meant so little to me. It doesn’t mean I’m not disciplined or committed. And it doesn’t mean I don’t have doubts and hiccups. It means if I want to splurge, I do, and I don’t have to beat myself up afterwards. I know that I am what I repeatedly do not what I occasionally do. 

I am not perfect nor do I strive to be. I want to be the best, healthiest, happiest version of myself. For me, for my husband, for our future family.”

Hannah changed her story.  She changed her life.  And I can’t think of anything more inspirational than that possibility. She also did it while maintaining a social life with tailgates and happy hours and girls nights.  She found a program that truly let’s you have it all, and found the best version of herself.  If that doesn’t get you fired up on a Monday, I don’t know what will.

and so it begins…

Today was the first day of preschool. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been waiting for this day for a few weeks now. It’s the beginning of me having a few mornings to myself again. This summer was so great, but also exhausting, and I’m so ready to get back into my routine. I spent all of Labor Day weekend getting my life organized. I cleaned out closets, got my car detailed (the gunk that lives underneath and in between carseats is truly fucking disgusting), organized my house, etc.  It may be cheesy, but I feel like the new school year is such a great way to hit the reset button. And on top of everything, I had my Challenge Group start yesterday, and they were all ready for a new routine/clean slate/change too, and they’ve been totally inspiring me.  I’m working with a group of 54 people in this 3 week Challenge, so their energy and excitement is totally contagious, and it’s been so much fun!

Everything went really well at drop off today, even though I was slightly offended that my baby didn’t seem to give a shit that I dropped her off with a roomful of strangers. Ha. She was so excited and didn’t even look back. I’m not sure how I feel about that, but I’ll take it.

After drop off, I met a group of preschool mamas out for brunch (with mimosas) to celebrate the first day. A year ago, I would NEVER have done that. It would have meant that I would miss my only opportunity to work out, and I would have rushed to the gym to get to my 9:15 class and reserve my spot. I definitely would have declined the invitation for brunch and mimosas, how sad is that? It feels so liberating to not be a slave to the gym. Working out is such an important part of my mental sanity, but so is being able to go out with some friends every once in awhile, and I’ve finally figured out how to have both. These at home workouts that I’ve been doing can be done before the girls wake up, while they are at school, during their rest time, outside while they are playing, when they go to sleep, etc. I can go to the gym for a class when/if I want to and when/if it works in my schedule that day. I don’t have to stress about this tiny window of time where I have to fit everything in. Anyway, my point is that it was so nice to use my only kid free time socializing with other moms as opposed to spending the entire time in the walls of the gym. I’m so glad I’ve found a more efficient way to get it all in…workout time, friend time, kid time.

I’m registering people my next Challenge Group starting today. I’ve honestly never seen these kind of results in this amount of time.  It’s unbelievable. Flexible nutrition program (that includes wine, cheese, chocolate and carbs), 30 minute daily workouts, access to private accountability group and me as a coach! Message me if the new school year has you excited for a new start and wanting to hit that reset button.  erinmhopkins@gmail.com .

instagram lies…

Today was Meet the Teacher day at Riley, Quinn and Tess’ preschool. All summer, the big girls have been going to camp 3 days a week (just for a few hours in the morning).  Camp ended a few weeks ago, and it’s been hard for us to not be in more of a regular routine.  I know that there are mom’s out there who want to be with their children all the time and don’t send their kid’s to preschool until the last second, but that’s just not me.  They need a break from me, I need a break from them. That is just what works for us. The last three weeks have been hard for me, and I’m so ready for preschool to start. We’ve decided to put our twin girls in separate classes, which may not seem like a big deal, but was an agonizing decision for us. I’ve been having so much anxiety about how it’s going to go, and one of the girls has been having anxiety about it too, which is heartbreaking. Anyway, I knew that today was going to be overwhelming. I had all three girls, and we had 4 classrooms to go to, 8 teachers to meet, a million events for me to sign up to volunteer for and a tired baby. Miles offered to go with me, but I don’t want to have to have him help me in situations like this.  I want to be able to go to something like Meet the Teacher day by myself like every other mom.

Anyway, on the way there, one of the big girls started panicking because she’s been having a hard time with the whole separate class thing. I was running about 10 minutes late, which ended up being a blessing, because there were no other parents in the classroom when I CRIED (yes me, I CRIED, not my 3 small children, ME) to the teacher about separating their girls and our reasons for making that decision. They definitely must think I’m cray.  Then we walked to the next class where there were 8 million kids playing, I lost a child for 2 minutes in the chaos, then had to fill out paperwork while my baby spit up on a teacher that was nice enough to hold her. The next classroom, the big girls got into an epic fight and were wrestling each other to the ground over a tiny elephant (a full on beat down), while the baby was throwing 40 mini water bottles on the floor (and I was trying to clean them up without her escaping the classroom), and I was literally sweating so much it was dripping on the floor. I’ve literally never been such a shitshow in my whole life.  I felt like everyone around me felt sorry for me (which I hate). My sister described it perfectly “when you lose a whole year of your life in the matter of a few hours.” As we were leaving, I let them sit on a bench and eat some popcorn before we went home, and I took this picture.

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Is this not the cutest “Meet the Teacher Day” picture ever? I laughed as I posted it on Instagram, because I knew what the last 2 hours were really like, but that picture sure made it look like it was a breeze. Instagram is a highlight reel, not real life. I use Chatbooks (if you don’t know about Chatbook, look it up immediately), and our baby books are generated from Insta. I’m using it as a tool to document my children’s lives, so I’m posting the cuteness, not the day to day struggles. Saw this again recently (on Instagram), and it’s just too perfect!

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f the scale…

I just finished my third round of this three week program. The shifts that have been happening mentally are huge for me. I look at food differently. I’ve stayed more consistent with my nutrition then I ever have in my life. I’ve never been on a program where it’s totally fine to have wine, cheese, dessert, whatever…and because I’m not feeling deprived, I’m not binging…for the first time in my life! THAT IS HUGE!

I woke up feeling good and leaner than normal.  I was actually excited to step on the scale, feeling like I might have hit my next big goal (20 lbs lost). The number on the scale was disappointing, and I let it piss me off for a few minutes. I’m still holding strong at 16 lbs down, not losing as rapidly as I did in the beginning. So instead of stressing and obsessing, I asked Miles to take a few pictures so I could see what was really happening. Here are the before and afters, from June 7-today.

Fuck the scale, this is progress.  I’m so much leaner. I have so much more energy. I’m not trying on every dress in my closet just to go out to dinner. I still have a long way to go, and I’ll be honest, posting these pictures publicly makes me die inside a little, but this blog is about my journey…all of it. Even if it means I have to post pictures that make me cringe. The number on the scale is just a fucking number.  It is a tiny component of this journey, and I’m so glad there are other tools to measure my progress. Lesson learned.

Message me if you want to learn more about this program.  Registering new clients for the next round now. It’s a game changer. erinmhopkins@gmail.com

diastasis recti…

Mamas- pay attention! So many people have Diastasis Recti and have no idea!  After my twin pregnancy, my OBGYN told me that she didn’t think it would be a problem for me, and it turned out I had one of the most severe cases possible. One of my favorite celebrity trainers, Heidi Powell, wrote an amazing post about Diastasis Recti, how to see if you have it, how to minimize the separation and exercises to avoid. Unfortunately my situation was too extreme to be fixed by exercise and had to result in surgery, but there may still be hope for you!  Read this article, it could be a game changer for you.

Diastasis Recti: Closing the Gap by Heidi Powell

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progress report and accountability group…

I just finished 2 rounds of this 3 week program, and I’m amazed at the results.  I took measurements this morning, and I’m down 14 lbs and 15.75 inches…since June 6th!  Not gonna lie, I’m pretty psyched.  I feel more motivated than ever.  I still have a long way to go until I’m at my goal, but I know I’m going in the right direction and I know that IT WILL happen, I just have to stay consistent.

It’s just kind of crazy.  I’m only working out 30 minutes a day, eating plenty of food, still having dessert, still drinking wine, still going out to dinner and living my life. I feel like I’m doing LESS (not counting calories, not spending endless hours at the gym/hitting the pavement), but somehow getting MORE results. It just hasn’t felt like I’ve been making many sacrifices this time around. While I’m in survival mode day to day with these littles, this program has kind of brought me back to life. It’s the most mommy friendly program I’ve ever seen.  Let’s be honest, “me time” is not something that is easy to make happen as a mom, and this program forces me to find 30 minutes a day.  It’s also made me use my time more efficiently, so I feel less overwhelmed throughout the day trying to get everything done.

Throughout this process, I’ve realized how much I miss helping people, and I’ve decided to get back into coaching.  I’m working with an amazing group of women right now, and we are all doing this program together. There’s nothing better than women supporting women, right? This Accountability Group has been a game changer for me. As a trainer, the accountability and nutrition component has always been what lights me up, and it’s been so great for me to get back to that passion.

So, here’s your invitation. Whether you have weight to lose, just want to have more energy, make working out a part of your daily routine or just looking to find a way to make 30 minutes of “me time” per day, this program will be perfect for you. Private message me (or email erinmhopkins@gmail.com) if you’re ready to make a change.  Registration for the next Accountability group starts August 1.

 

enjoy yourself…

I was texting with a long time client (and friend) this week. She’s doing this 3 week program with me, and I hadn’t heard from her in a few days, so I just wanted to check in.  Turns out, she’s on vacation with her family. She responded, “Hard on this family vacation. Doing my best, but also trying to enjoy myself.” It got me thinking…

I want nothing more than for her to enjoy herself. I’ve known her for years, I love her, she’s been going through a hard transitional time, she’s wonderful, she deserves it, etc.  But it made me have an A-HA moment about my journey. Years and years ago, I got into this mess of feeling bad, gaining weight, having stomach problems, back problems, acne, no energy, etc. by doing exactly that…enjoying myself. I was enjoying myself so much that I stopped enjoying my life, started feeling guilty all the time, having no self confidence, not fitting into my clothes, giving up and spiraling out of control. I felt like shit all of the time. How crazy is it that “enjoying ourselves” is what makes us NOT ENJOY OURSELVES?!?!? It’s not just me or my client, this is human nature, and it’s insane. I love to have fun and the party girl inside me is a bitch and may never die, but that side of me doesn’t define me like it once did.  Finding a balance is way more “enjoyable”, right?

 

fitness dates…

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been working on breaking some patterns.  I feel like as moms, it’s so easy to be like “shit, you know what, today was HARD.  I totally deserve wine/chocolate/bubble bath/a month off/whatevs.”  And most days, we DO deserve all of those things and more, but let’s be real…it’s easy to get carried away with that mentality, and then find yourself indulging a little more frequently than necessary.  For me, when I’m feeling stressed and overworked and burned out, I need to GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE HOUSE! I call my girls and it’s kind of a “Wine. Now. Let’s do this.” situation.  Same with Miles, our time away is based around food and drinks. So, I’ve been trying to break this pattern by making an effort with friends to get out and meet at yoga or some other fun class. I still get out of the house, still get to see my people, but still stay on plan. I’ve been doing my workouts at home every day, and it only takes 30 minutes (finally using my time efficiently), so I get that out of the way, and then anything extra seems like a fun activity, rather than a workout that I need to do to burn calories or get my strength training in.

Over the weekend, Miles and I got a babysitter for the morning and went paddle boarding. It was SO fun.  We got to be outside on the water with each other. We got a little workout, but also some relaxation.  We paddled against the wind and current on the way out, and then just got to float and relax on the way back as the current took us in.  It was so awesome to be out on the water, and it’s very rare for us to get away during the day. It was a blast.IMG_1343.JPG

Last week, I also met two of my favs at an amazing new studio in town called Method 29403.  It’s something completely new to the Charleston area.  I’ve never seen a megaformer before, and it’s a pretty intimidating piece of equipment, but this class is so awesome and SO SO HARD. I was sore for days in all the best ways.  I’m gonna try to make this class part of my weekly routine.  It was so fun to switch it up.  If you live in town, you’ve got to try it.

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Let’s be honest, girl’s night out and date nights are here to stay.  I believe in splurges, I believe in cheat meals, and I will always want to go out and have fun with my friends. It’s important for my marriage for us to get babysitters, go out together and feel like there is a glimpse of the old Erin and Miles. But incorporating fitness dates with our normal nights out is what’s working for me right now.

 

 

all or nothing…

I just finished 3 weeks of this new program, and I’m pretty psyched about the results. Besides the physical results (9 lbs and 7 inches, woohoo!), the biggest benefits that I’ve seen are breaking some bad cycles. The worst cycle is my “all the way on and all the way off my diet” cycle. I’m a pretty clean eater when I’m in control of my food.  However, I’ve been in this terrible pattern for months (who am I kidding, I’ve been in this pattern for YEARS), where I am super disciplined Monday-Thursday around 5pm.  Then, Thursday happy hour rolls around and I make bad choices until Sunday.  Because why not?  I’ve already blown it…might as well blow it out, right?  I’ll have a few glasses of wine and then end up elbow deep in my toddler’s gummy snacks and all the sudden have eaten 6 packs…oops. PLEASE TELL ME I’M NOT ALONE! Then Monday rolls around and I spend the next 4 days eating super clean, working out like a maniac and trying desperately to make up for all the bad things I ate and drank over the weekend and beating myself up for blowing it.  Then, after a few days of clean eating, Thursday comes back around and it starts the cycle all over again.  It’s like it has to be all or nothing. I’ve been sabotaging myself like this for as long as I can remember. This new program just doesn’t seem that strict.  I was even out of town for the last week, and I still managed to make it work. It doesn’t have to be ALL OR NOTHING. I can have some wine, I can have some cheese, I can have some chocolate…I’m not totally restricting myself (which is what leads to my crazy binges). I have been consistent for 3 weeks straight (even though there have been a few slip ups), and I really think that this is what it’s all about.  If you mess up, get back on the program the next chance you can. Don’t let one little bad choice spiral into 3 days of bad choices. I’ve always been an all or nothing person, and working on moderation is good for me when it comes to health and fitness and other aspects of my life, like relationships.

I just started another round of this program, and this time some of my former clients and close friends are doing it with me. The more the merrier, right?  I’m a believer and I’m so excited for us to do this together and hold each other accountable.