Thank you to Nicole and Healthy Mom Handbook for the access to your program in exchange for an honest review. As always all thoughts and opinions shared are 100% my own.
As you all know by now from following along my foodie blog posts, my Instagram stories & youtube updates… I’ve been on a journey to a healthier me.
I was approached by Nicole about sharing her program with other mothers. I told her yes, but in order to share her program with my readers I wanted to take it for a test drive. So she gave me access to her online program. I want you all to know I really stand behind products and programs I share.
Before I share my journey I want to share a little background on me & my body struggles.
I’ve always been short. I’m only 5′ 1″… it’s not always easy to see height in photos. To me being short meant and still means I have less space to put my fat.
As a child/student I played sports. I played basketball, tennis, competed in track and played year round field hockey. If it wasn’t for some injuries I most likely would have played in college. I still struggle with shoulder and knee pains so finding ways to workout and eat right have made all the difference in my body. Why am I telling you about my injuries? They play a big part in my struggles to stay fit or so I thought. The Healthy Mom Handbook has perfect workouts for those who need low impact for knees and other joints.
In college I gained the freshman 15, I mean 30. I’m not joking, I was the biggest I’ve been in my whole life. The weight eventually came off but I didn’t get into great shape again until I got a trainer. Her name was Jana & she trained me super hard right before Joe and I tried to get pregnant. I wanted to start off my pregnancy at a healthy weight. I did look great (but I wasn’t eating healthy all the time.) For my pregnancy I only gained 15 lbs. “Lucky” for me (as some say), I had hyperemesis gravidarum and so my appetite was low and I was very sick. I was able to keep my weight down after having Izzy, thank you breast feeding. As Izzy breastfed less and weaned off I noticed weight slowly crept on.
My tummy has always been the last place I lose weight. As you will see, I still do not have abs. I’m also a curvier girl, which means I definitely don’t have a slender build.
I really work hard to not talk badly about my body in front of Izzy. I’m trying to end the family cycle of body hate. Instead I want Izzy to hear about and see me making healthy choices when I eat & I want her to see me working out. Loving my body and the hard work I’ve put in vs. the body I want has been a big struggle.
I use to want a “fit looking” body because that’s what society tells us to want. But now I want a FIT body because I want to live a long and healthy life. Now when I see fat, on my body I know if I can see that, there is that much more I don’t see covering my organs.
My Fitness Journey
At first I was kind of doing it for the wrong reason. To lose this mom bod.
I can’t change the world we live in or how it can persuade us to think one way over another. But I can change my thought process and I did.
A week into the Healthy Mom Handbook program (I worked closely with Nicole) I was feeling better… mentally and physically. I know that seems weird and you are saying, “1 week in, ya right!” No really! I dropped gluten, she said more people than not have digestive issues with gluten. I also dropped dairy, because I’ve always kind of struggled with it. I ate it because… queso was worth a stomach ache?
Come to find out.. none of the foods with gluten or dairy were worth it. Because these foods did more than increase my IBS. They affected my sleep, my anxiety and my weight. They made me bloated and unhappy.
Nicole taught me to have balance in my life. You need sleep, fuel for your body and exercise.
8 Weeks In
8 weeks in and I’m 8lbs down from my original weight. I went from 136 to 128. Guys I’m 5 foot 1… so at this point I’m still technically overweight for my height.
My clothes are fitting more loosely (clothes that got too tight, now fit) and I’m feeling really good. People are noticing my weight fat loss not just me.
I don’t really miss foods I’m no longer eating. I feel like I’ve passed that hump. Not to mention, I’d never go back. I FEEL good! My IBS is gone and my anxiety dropped. Why feel crappy again?
Nicole has been an amazing coach and support on this journey to a healthier me.
Somewhere along the line my husband and I decided to watch a couple documentaries on eating plant based, mostly known as vegan, per the suggestion of his co worker. I was floored by the information. I listened closely as they spoke about how eating plant based can reduce arthritis. I dropped meat, eggs and any animal products that week. Halfway through the week, pain from the arthritis in my hands reduced. 1 week in the pain in my hands was gone. I spoke to Nicole about this and she suggested I try to have 10% of my diet meat. Everything in moderation she tells me. There are studies that float both ways saying you don’t need any animal products and some saying you need a tiny bit. (I’m not going to jump on that argument, I’m still not sure what I think.) On occasion (maybe 2 times a month) I eat a few bites of sushi with meat, have muscles, or oysters. I do notice the inflammation in my hands when I do, but until I do more research on being fully plant based, this is my diet.
Like I said, the point of this is to understand your body. This is one of the biggest things that Nicole from the Healthy Mom Handbook taught me. Figure out what your body needs and doesn’t process well. For example, I can eat just about any veggie, but cauliflower makes me super gassy and can upset my stomach. So I don’t cook with it anymore.
12 Weeks In
12 weeks in and I’m 10lbs down from my original weight. I went from 136 to 126.
I HIGHLY recommend you check out the Healthy Mom Handbook! If you are looking for a lifestyle change, this has been a huge help to me. This program is perfect for all women of all ages. Trying to get pregnant, pregnant, nursing, toddler mom (like me), or just a person looking to create a more healthy lifestyle.
The plan gives you recipe ideas, foods to eat and how much of each type. There are also workouts that are easy to do at home. If you are a busy mama you know how hard it can be to actually get into the gym.
But let me be clear… I did not work out 5 days a week. Some weeks I worked out at home or the gym a total of 4 days a week and some weeks only 2 days week. I really push myself to find and make time. But Nicole made it very clear that sleep is super important and there are certain times in the night that you should be sleeping. So this pushed me away from my early morning workouts and on to mid day or evening workouts. All of this wealth of information is in her handbook & I couldn’t put a price on her knowledge.
Okay I’m sure you kept scrolling for these bad boys. It’s pretty amazing how much better I feel from my diet change and by regularly adding exercise to my routine. I didn’t have a set number of pounds to lose and I’m honestly shocked how much fat I had to lose & still have one my body.
I’m not done yet guys! This is a lifestyle change, as every “diet” should be. Finding a healthy lifestyle change is the best thing for your body.
Hips: Hips: 36 1/4 inches – 35 1/2 inches
Waist: 32 1/4 inches – 28 1/2 inches
Weight: 136 pounds – 126 pounds
I went from a “I will squeeze my ass into these size 6 jeans”, to a comfortable size 4.
15 Weeks In
My next goals… lose more fat & gain more muscle.
I’m also trying to find more time for working out…. but not beat myself up when all I want is to curl up on the couch with a glass of wine. #momlife
Also I would have NEVER worn white before this. But I’ve found a new love and appreciation for this body of mine. I super proud of my health and continued lifestyle change.
What I Learned
1. Food is fuel for your body and mind, feed it well.
2. Drink a lot of water, it’s great for your weight loss and overall health.
3. Everything in moderation, you can have “bad” foods and treats from time to time.
4. Be patient, you didn’t put that weight on over night. So don’t expect it to come off overnight.
5. Celebrate the little accomplishments along the way. You hit your water goal for the day? You said no to donuts or pop tarts for breakfast? You made it to the gym? GO YOU!