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.

when something’s gotta give…

I’ve been feeling myself slipping into some bad patterns the past two months.  My weight has been creeping up, my anxiety is spiraling out of control, wine has become a nightly occurrence, and french fries, TCBY and pizzas have not been limited to special occasions. This happens to me from time to time.  It’s almost like I just do it so I can remember why I don’t want to live my life feeling like that. I eat because I’m anxious, I’m anxious because I’m not making healthy choices (among other reasons)…it is a VICIOUS cycle.

I got back from vacation, and decided SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE. Time for me to get back on track. It’s been 10 days, and I can already feel the transformation.  I’ve been on a new and extremely refreshing nutrition program where I’m not obsessing about counting calories, and feel like I have healthier relationship with food than I ever have in my whole life (not to mention I feel leaner and see ab definition for the first time in a LONG time).

I’ve started to do at-home workouts, which has been so interesting and surprisingly awesome. I never thought that would be something I would like. I finish my workouts everyday before anyone even wakes up.  I realized that on days when my big girls have Mother’s Morning Out, I’ve been spending 10 minutes driving to the gym, a half hour of boring cardio, a half hour of lazy strength training, another 20 minutes chatting, and then another 10 minutes driving.  By the time I’m done, it’s pretty much time to go back and pick up the big girls, and all I got done was a half ass workout.  This new program is giving me space to do what I need to do for me.  I can use this time to go to yoga (which I need more than ever), meet a friend for coffee, catch up on emails, organize my life, go home and get things done at my house so I’m not a crazy maniac trying to get it all done during nap time.  It’s kind of incredible.

Mommy brain is REAL.  I am dumber than shit right now, even socially awkward at times (not usually a problem for me).  I’ve been finding myself struggling to complete sentences.  Moms, please tell me that I’m not alone here!!! The other day, I couldn’t think of the word “reputation”! What the fuck has happened to my brain?!?!?! This is also a contributor to my anxiety.  I resubscribed to my favorite fitness magazine and bought two personal development books.  Now that I have created a little more time for myself and have more energy, I won’t have to spend my kid’s nap time taking an emergency nap or finding myself accidentally watching Kardashian and 90210 reruns (don’t judge!).  I’ve been making an effort to read, blog, something, ANYTHING that uses my brain and not just fill the space with sleep and embarrassingly dumb TV. FullSizeRender 3.jpg

Taking this time to be productive has me thinking about going back to work in some capacity. What I know I can take away from all of this is that I’m at my best when I’m helping people, when I’m practicing what I’m preaching, and leading by example…and I know I want my little girls to grow up seeing me at my best.

 

miscarriage and loss, and how we can all stop being assholes

So, this is not fitness related whatsoever, but I came across this article a few weeks ago, and I have felt compelled to share it ever since. First of all, for those pregnant, moms or people considering getting pregnant at some point in the future ever, you need to follow The Pregnant Chicken on Facebook. If you’re pregnant, sign up for the weekly updates, they are fucking hilarious. Anyway, back to this post. 

Read this. 

http://www.pregnantchicken.com/pregnant-chicken-blog/2011/1/2/loss-and-miscarriage.html

I somehow managed to get by with two healthy pregnancies and three healthy kids. I’m not sure how, I’m not sure why, but the fact that every single baby is a true fucking miracle is not lost on me. I haven’t been through loss (at least not with babies) and miscarriage personally, but I have some people that I love with all my heart that have had to deal with this over and over again, and it’s honestly unthinkable. No one knows what to say or how to act. There are no right words or right actions, and I’ve had different friends going through similar situations who want/need completely different things (whether it’s complete seclusion or meals to their house every night). Then on top of all the pain, these people show up at baby showers, love on my babies, put smiles on their faces when everyone around them is announcing their pregnancy, etc. They are strong as shit. I wish I had read this article a year or so ago. I’ve said so many dumb things (with good intentions) to people going through hell.

OMG, I’ll never forget last August when I saw a friend at an event, she had just had a loss (one of many) and I was huge and pregnant (and sweating like a fucking pig in the 105 degree Charleston weather), which must have been hard for her to see me pregnant to beginwith. She asked me how I was feeling and if I was ready for baby #3 (which was so nice of her considering how she must have been feeling), and I went into some kind of autopilot, socially awkward mode and said “ugh, I’m so over it!” What?!?!? I just told this person who would do anything in the whole world to be pregnant that I’m so over being pregnant?!!!! Am I the dumbest fucking person EVER!?!? I literally beat myself up (and had many sleepless nights) about that idiotic comment for months. People say dumb shit, even with the best intentions. But I hope you read this article, and maybe we can all stop being accidental assholes to these people who are going through hell. 

progress report and finding the balance…

So, since this blog holds me accountable, let’s have a progress report. I’ve hit my first goal. I’m back to my preTess-pregnancy weight. Since I’ve been working out with Amanda, I’ve lost 10 pounds, 7 inches and 5 percent body fat. I’ve still got about 10 pounds and 8 percent body fat to go, but I’m happy with these results. It’s important to me to set my goals in smaller increments (10 lbs at a time) or else I get really overwhelmed and just want to give up. So first goal complete, onto the next! 

I was hoping to hit my pre-pregnancy weight at the 3 month mark instead of the 4 month mark, but here’s my struggle…I really want to lose weight, feel great and be super fit again. I really do want that. HOWEVER, I also really want to be a sane, happy person. I stay at home with three tiny humans with minimal adult interaction and a lot of frustration. I find myself having a hard time finding the balance between wanting to lose the weight and needing to go out and be social. It’s hard to be in control of your nutrition when you’re eating out (and drinking wine). So as much as I want to meet my girlfriends for brunch (with mimosas), I also want to stay on track. By the way, brunch with girlfriends always wins! So because I’m choosing to go out and be social, it took me an extra month to hit my first goal. Guess what, I’m okay with that. Continuing to find that balance will be a struggle, and I’m okay with that too.