True beauty is so much more than how you look on the outside. A genuine smile and honest eyes are beautiful in a way highlights and liposuction never can be. I have had three pregnancies over the past seven years and the last one I was carrying twins. I have had so many emotions due to stretching and re-stretching. I've cried many times over what I thought I had lost and wondering if my husband would find me as attractive as he once did. Let me just say, every woman carrying their unborn children and the months and years that follow, are incredibly beautiful even with the weight gain and stretch marks.
This post is NOT how to become more beautiful, but how to become healthier.
Some women can go back to the gym weeks after delivering a baby. I'm not one of them. I was nursing around the clock, getting very little sleep, and considered my day productive if I had showered. The thought of going to the gym and all that involved made me want to cry. Four kids to get ready, get out the door, buckle up, drive to the gym, get everyone out, walk across the parking lot, go through the building to childcare and then convince them I would be back soon, WAS a workout. No, thank you.
My baby girls are now almost two years old. I stopped nursing them about two months ago and they are finally sleeping through the night. I knew now was the time to change my "newborn" habits. You might know them. Eating junk food between the hours of 10-2am (because I'm up nursing and watching tv). Skipping breakfast (because I'm feeding the kids, changing diapers, and trying to keep the house in a livable condition). Or scarfing down 2 (okay, 3) doughnuts (because look at all I do! I deserve them). I was feeling tired all the time, my stomach felt like it constantly had pressure on it, and my posture seemed to be getting worse.
A sweet friend had mentioned something called the 21 day fix. I'm not big on commitments when it comes to exercise but 21 days seemed doable. Nervously, I emailed her asking if she had space in her group secretly hoping she would say no, but instead I got "yes". Different programs work for different people, but this one seemed like something I could commit to in order to jump start my healthy lifestyle change.
I'm going to be honest, I cheated a little. I changed it up from the very beginning to something I knew I could stick with. I kept my one cup of coffee with creamer a day and I ate one serving of dessert on Saturdays. I also was not perfect completing my work outs everyday. I did about 70% of them (although some of the days I didn't work out were replaced with a hike). BUT, I made changes. I succeeded in small ways everyday choosing grapes over crackers, lettuce over buns and water over soda. Each days' small victories led to big progress at the end. It. Was. Hard. The first four days were awful. I could barely walk after working out and I was coming off of an intense sugar high. But I got through it, and felt so much better entering my second week.
Being healthy is so important for your family. It takes a lot of energy keeping up with daily responsibilities and feeling your best makes things easier. God made our bodies to do amazing things and they are capable of so much more than we give them credit for. If I can do this, anybody can. I'm pretty sure my husband will vouch for that.
I almost didn't do a before and after picture because I was embarrassed that my flat stomach was long gone. But I'm so glad I did. Our bodies can bounce back. It won't be overnight and it's not easy, but it is possible. So here it is, day 1 and day 21. My plan right now is to do a few rounds of 21 day fix with a week break in between. Just until good habits are formed and this lifestyle of being active and excluding most sugars becomes my normal. I'm currently in my second round of 21 days and my goal is to complete 95% of the workouts.
If you are interested in trying the 21 day fix, you can go here and sign up through Amber from Mommy's Me Time.* She knows the struggles of getting to a healthier place and I was thankful for her daily encouragement. Keep in mind this is not 21 days and you're done. You don't go back to your normal unhealthy eating, this becomes your new normal. The extra energy and stronger body, that becomes your new normal.
Amber has generously given one of Imperfect Housewife's readers a 21 Day Fix Essential package. To enter this giveaway, leave a comment giving one reason you want to be healthier. For extra entries, visit Imperfect Housewife on Facebook and/or Instagram. Giveaway ends Wednesday, July 8th, at 10 PST. Winner will be announced Thursday, July 9th. ***Giveaway Closed***
*I received no compensation for this review.