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Monday, August 29, 2016

6 Months Body After Baby Update | 40-Day Fitness Challenge

Back to Monday friends!  How was your weekend? We had a big one!  On Friday afternoon, we had an after school play date and Jordan got her 'first kiss'!  If that isn't the sweetest thing ever, I don't know what is!  Friday night we celebrated my baby brother's engagement with all our immediate family (there's gonna be a March wedding!!!), then a birthday party on Saturday morning for one of the cutest and sassiest 4 year olds I know, and finally a couples' date night with our wonderful friends (hi Ali-Shaun if you're reading this!) on Saturday night, which was such a much-needed adult treat!  We spent most of Sunday lazying around, but now it's back at it with my weekly workout with my trainer. Which brings me to today's 'body after baby' update and fitness post.
Moving Comfort sports bra (so good for running, especially for larger chests) | shorts (black)

Bringing you back to the beginning, after I had Jordan, I wasn't consumed with losing the baby weight like I was after my first pregnancy.  I felt like I had reached a very comfortable place in my life with a healthy perspective on how our bodies change during pregnancy and I truly felt fine in my own post-pregnancy skin.  I'm not saying I was in the best shape, just that I happily accepted where I was physically.  Since the minute I found out I was pregnant with Jordan, I've just been so.very.thankful. I'm 41, so I wasn't even sure I could get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy.  I don't take it for granted for a minute.

similar top (runs small)

dress XS | jean jacket XS | necklace | sandals (on sale)

When you have a newborn baby, there is so much other stuff to focus on and enjoy and worry about and just the basics of eating and sleeping take priority.  The baby's eating and sleeping and your own! I was happy to have friends bring meals for a long time after Jordan was born and I'd thankfully eat whatever they brought!  Especially the dessert!

I started walking after about a month and got the doctor's clearance to exercise after 6 weeks, so I did, but not that much.  First of all, I was still really tired and not getting great sleep, but also with exclusive breastfeeding, it's just hard to fit it into your day.  I got a big boost in the sleep department when I transitioned Jordan to her crib and she started sleeping through the night! #praiseGod!!! I weaned her to formula at about 5 months, and I'll share more about that soon, but the reason to transition her didn't have to do with my health and fitness.  However, because I'm not tied to those feedings anymore, I do have more opportunities to workout.


Jordan 4 months old

I gained 35 pounds during my pregnancy, and continued working out until I delivered, and have been 5 pounds away from my pre-pregancy weight since about 4 months.

But, during that time, I lost a lot of the muscle I used to have.  When I got pregnant, I weighed 105 pounds, but was also about to compete in an NPC bikini competition.  Now that I'm just over 6 months postpartum, I've got the itch to get back into great shape and build back up the muscle I've lost and put more focus on me in the physical fitness department.


I'm on a new meal plan, which is similar to my bikini prep meal plan, but now I'm tracking my macros in the My Fitness Pal app on my phone.  Doing this allows you to clearly see how much calories, protein, carbs, fat a day you are consuming and you can set goals to keep you from going over. I want to get more into My Fitness Pal and what I've been eating in a separate post because I want to be detailed and it would be too much to add here.  


What's most important when you're dieting or trying to get in better shape is to define for yourself why you want to do that.  The truth is dieting is hard.  Exercising is hard.  It's not just physically difficult, but it's hard to make the time to workout and devote that energy to your healthy meals and meal prep.  Keeping the commitment is the challenge.

Some days, or maybe even every hour, when you don't FEEL like doing it anymore or you find yourself questioning, "Why in the hell am I eating grilled chicken breast for the umpteenth time?!?!" you need to dig deep and remember why you wanted to do this in the first place. 

Your why could be any number of things from wanting to be able to actively play with your kids instead of sitting on the couch saying, "mommy's tired" to wanting to lose inches from your waistline to wanting to feel better about yourself, to lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease, to get your zest for life back, to wake up with more energy, to challenge yourself and be better than you were yesterday, or simply to look hot!  I'm not above admitting vanity plays a role. Whatever your reason, there is no judgement here and only you can authentically know why you want it.  But I do encourage you to find your reason because you'll need it when the going gets tough.


I'm still loving the Zella jacket and shorts I got during the awesome Nordstrom Anniversary sale.  I ordered them online with free shipping and they arrived right away.  I've been wearing them ever since.   This jacket comes in 4 colors and is fantastic quality.  The material is so soft and stretchy. 

The shorts are very lightweight material with perforated, vented sides.  I personally like the 3-inch inseam and higher cut sides.  They make my short legs appear longer.  The waistband is nice and wide and super comfy.  These are perfect for running outside on hot days, but aren't lined, so you may want to wear boyshorts underneath.

Our bodies don't change overnight, but every day, those small changes add up and over time, you will see results if you stick with it.  A typical bikini prep is 12 weeks.  I've learned that that's a long time, yet also a relatively short time to see such drastic changes in your body.  For me, it always took about 6 weeks of strict compliance with the diet and exercise to really notice a difference.

I've been on my new fitness kick (for lack of a better term) for a little over a week now and I've already had to resort to my own WHY several times.  It gets easier down the road when you actually start seeing results and you'll probably question your motivation less then.  My WHYs are all of those mentioned above and not any looming contest date.  

I wondered if I could be strict about getting in shape without such a contest to kick my butt and scare the crap out of me, but I'm reminded to just do this for me, my health, my kids and husband and also with you to share and hopefully help any of you on the same journey. 


I haven't ruled out the possibility of competing in the future, but right now, I just want a short-term, attainable goal, so I'm doing a 40-day challenge of sticking to my meal plan, with one cheat meal a week.  My challenge actually works out to 39 days because on the 40th day I travel to NY for the Better Homes & Gardens Stylemaker Event, but "39 Day Challenge" doesn't really have the same ring to it!

My 40 Day Challenge Goals:  

1.  Macros: 1400 calories, 35% carbs, 35% protein, 30% fat which equals 123g carbs, 123g protein, and 47g fat.  Ideally, I'd actually be at 100 grams of carbs, but the calculation worked out that way on MFP (My Fitness Pal).  I chose 1400 calories because I know my BMR is around 1250. Your BMR is the number of calories that reflects how much energy your body requires to support it's vital functions if you were resting all day.  You can calculate your BMR with an online calculator, but I'm not sure how accurate it will be.

I can't tell you where your macros should be, but one way to help you find out is to use MFP to track every single thing you eat for at least 5-7 days to find your average calories consumed.  You have to track it all and not diet for it to be accurate, but once you do, you can start by cutting your calories by 15-20% to lose weight.  Again, I'll get more specific about MFP and how to use it in the next post, but you can also input goals there and let it calculate for you the calories, protein, fat, carbs, etc.

2.  Exercise 5 days a week.  I train once a week with my trainer, but the other 4 days are up to me.  I want to incorporate more strength training than cardio because running is what I had been mostly doing and I want to keep/build muscle.  If you need an at-home workout, this post is for you.

3.  Drink at least 64 oz water.  Ever wonder where the fat goes when you 'lose' it?  Scientists say you actually exhale the fat, but you also lose it through sweat and urine.  I have been so bad about drinking enough water lately, so I made it one of my goals.  I fill a 32 ounce cup twice a day, but while I'm exercising, I also drink another 24 ounces.

4.  Get 8 hours of sleep.  For me, that means going to bed at 10pm and waking up at 6am or 10:30pm/6:30am.  You need that sleep to give your body time to rest, renew, and regenerate those muscles from your workouts!



Starting Stats:  Height 5'0 , Weight 109.7, Body Fat 22.7%
Goal Body Fat: 19% 
p.s. As far as my height, I think I am actually 5' 3/4", so I've called it 5' or 5'1 in past posts.  I'm gonna get my husband to measure me again so I can be certain. 

I chose 19% body fat because I know what my body looks and feels like at that percent.  I remember feeling good with lots of energy at that percentage when I've been at it before.   I was at 19.5% body fat in this picture.  I don't have a goal weight because I'm okay with weighing more through muscle. The biggest thing will be losing fat and not muscle during this challenge.  That's why I eat so much protein and strength train.

I also chose 19% body fat because it's a realistic goal, but maybe not for 40 days.  I'll likely get back on the challenge after NY. If I do another 40 days, I'd end around November 10, and be able to spend the holidays and rest of the year in maintenance mode and then hit it hard again at the new year.  At that time, I can consider if another contest is in my future for 2017.  Why knows??  I'm not dying to do another contest, but I sure enjoy the challenge and seeing my body transform in that amount of time.  At the end of the day, it just makes you feel strong and fulfilled to set a target goal and accomplish it.

But for now, let's just focus on the next 40 days and see what we can accomplish in that time. Wouldn't it be nice to head into the holidays already ahead of the game in terms of our physique and level of fitness?!





And if you need a good sports bra, below are some to check out.



Who's in with me for 40 days??!! 

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Big thank you to my friend, Leticia Carlson, for her talent in taking these fitness pics and making me laugh along the way! She got the toe touch pic on the first try- thank God! ;)



35 comments:

  1. Do you mind sharing your recipe for your protein pancakes? So motivated to start eating better and working out more after reading your post! Thanks :)

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    1. Good for you Kaitlin! My old protein pancake recipe is here: http://honeywerehealthy.blogspot.com/2012/09/protein-pancakes.html

      But you can also use a mix- Kodiac cakes and I just started making a waffle with 1 scoop protein powder, 1/2 cup egg whites, 1/4 cup baking powder. I'll share some pics here soon!

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  2. Megan, Thanks for the inspiring and detailed post! My fitness routine (strength training 2x week, daily walking, occasional cardio) is decent, but my on again/off again healthy eating habits are undermining my efforts. MFP has been a good resource in the past, but I haven't used it as well as you have. I'll be following along! Thanks, Cathy

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    1. I'm glad it's helpful Cathy, especially since these posts take a long time to write. It's so interesting to see how everything adds up in MFP. It's perfect for my personality because I love tracking things. But they also make it easy because you can easily copy a meal from another day instead of having to log each thing every time.

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  3. Wow, you look amazing, and this post is so inspiring!! As I sit here with no water and only 6 hours of sleep!!! :/ Thanks for the encouragement to do better at those simple things...who knows, maybe I'll add working out someday! ;) And so excited for NYC with a non-training, not-pregnant Megan!!! (although, you know I love me some pregnant-megan) ;) xo

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    1. I don't know how you do it with all your Mexican food and still having the cutest figure around! Dat booty too! ;) I'm so excited to room with you again next month- gonna miss the kids so much though!! :(((((((

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  4. Your posts make me feel SO INSPIRED!! I truly love them. Thank you for being honest, and giving us the good and the bad with your journey!!! I'm hoping I can *SORT OF* keep up!

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    1. Thank you Arika! You can definitely do it! It's one day at a time and all the days of disciple really add up to results you can see and feel!

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  5. Yay for consistent gym time! I'm already in a challenge or I'd do yours!
    I didn't realize you're part of the 5'0 club too! Your starting weight is my goal, but I started at 127 (23% BF) and have 5 lbs to go! Let's do this!

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    1. Oh yes, super shorty over here!! Keep checking in with me! We're at the same starting BF!

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  6. Wow! You already look so amazing... We are the same age but my children are significantly older (22, 18, 14, and 11). And my weight has increased so much since I turned 40. I'm 5' 3" and really need to lose 20-30 lbs. For my health and my daughter's wedding next year ... Say wah??? Yep, future mother-of-the-bride here and wanting to look as great as I can!
    Thanks for the motivation:) ~Kim

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    1. We have a wedding next year too, so we can definitely be in better shape by then. So exciting for your daughter to be getting married! My mom had me really young too, so it's similar age difference.

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  7. My youngest is going to be 2 in a week and it's about time I lose the 20 pounds I've been complaining about! I love to workout but my major problem is food. I love it. Who doesn't? But it hits home when you realize you're only hurting yourself by indulging. Glass of wine here, shared dessert there, crumbs from the little one's plate. Enough is enough. I'm going to start tracking my food on MFP. In your face calculations always help me say NO.

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    1. That's one reason I like MFP, you can see how everything adds up and then create room for a glass of wine by eliminating something else earlier in the day. I ate a small amount of dark chocolate 2 days and before I don't think I would've realized I could do that. Also, I know I need fat, so peanut butter is on my list! I'll share more about that soon so you can see!

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  8. I am in!! I've been doing beachbody workouts religiously all year, and recently started adding one day of Pure Barre...do great on nutrition during the week, but totally blow it on the weekend. I have about 8 lbs more to lose!

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    1. I'm trying to do ONE cheat meal per week so I don't blow all my hard work! You're SO close to your goal!! Go girl!!

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  9. We are literally the exact same size! People often stop me and ask if i'm a gymnast-do you get that?! I love this post as I feel like while I am consistent about working out and eating mostly healthy I would still like to lean out a little. Your macro percentiles are super helpful for me as I am clueless about them. Do you find it makes a big difference when you pay attention to macros and not just calories? Also, I am always hungry before bed and typically I eat dry roasted peanuts. Doing that would put me over my macro limit for fats for the day though. Do you have any healthy but filling suggestions for post-dinner snacks? Thanks for always being so real and inspiring!

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    1. Maybe not gymnast so much, but sometimes people ask what I do for legs or if I am a runner. The macros are super important- not just the calories. I'm working this week on eating enough- last week I was having trouble getting to 1400 and getting enough fat. Yesterday, to get more fat/calories I ate 1/2 avocado, 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, 1/2 tablespoon light ranch and Tony Chaachere seasoning. You mix it all together and it's delicious!

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  10. You look so fabulous! I've got more than a dozen years on you but I'm going to (try) to keep up. I saw another reader comment on Pure Barre--I've been doing that for a few years and love (to hate) it! Dieting is the challenge--as soon as something is forbidden, it's the first thing I want.

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    1. I've heard of Pure Barre but never tried it. I think my gym has a class but it never fit my schedule so I haven't done it. Dieting is the hardest, but most important component I think for my body to make changes. Now I just have to do more strength training.

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  11. WOW congrats, but i must to say first pic with your daughter is lovely:D

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    1. Thank you! I'm already looking back at that pic thinking how tiny she was then! Now she's crawling around!!

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  12. Megan you are such a great inspiration! I just started back working out, after developing a pinched nerve, and I feel great. Per your recommendation I started using the fitness pal app. So far so good but it will take me some time getting use to it. I'm a shorty too, I don't know if you remember that from Haven. My goal is to lose 17-lbs. I would love for you to share more healthy lunch options, as I need to stop eating out at work. Thanks Megan!

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    1. Of course I know you! It's been a couple years since Haven and unfortunately I missed last year with Jordan being a newborn and all. Maybe next year?? I'll share what I eat in a day soon and maybe that will help with your lunches.

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  13. I'm in! I partook in far too much wine this summer and I need to get back on track. I'm doing another round of insanity max 30, but my diet is what I always struggle with. Time to get back at it. I'd like to be at 19% body fat too and am currently at about 22-23.

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  14. Love your fitness posts! I keep referring back. I recently started actually loving the gym...but have such a hard time with my eating!! Maybe sometime you could do a food post! The pre and post workout food is easy...but the rest of the day kills me!

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    1. I must have read your mind, did you catch this food post?

      http://www.honeywerehome.com/2016/09/40-day-challenge-full-day-of-meals-with.html

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  15. I love your fitness posts too although we are polar opposites (I am 5'9"... way heavier... more BF!.. oh, and my "baby" is 10 YEARS old). I'd love to follow along!

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  16. Did you know that Body calipers are not very accurate? I read they can under estimate body fat by 3.2-5.6% in woman. Try a Dexa Scan its the most accurate out there, I just did one and it gave a lot of helpful info including bone density.

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    1. I've done the InBody Analyzer also and my trainer's measurements were always w/n 1% of that, but I agree that calipers aren't the most accurate. For me, I don't mind as long as we are consistent because then at least I know from week to week if I'm up or down. Those in-depth machines can really give you great info on your body composition.

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  17. What do you eat after working out?

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    1. I eat 5 meals a day, so usually protein, veggies and a carb at each meal.

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  18. Hi Megan! Would you please share your experience with breastfeeding and switching your baby to formula at 5 months? -- I'm ccurrently breastfeeding and supplementing my baby (Leo is 4 months old) and have questions on what will happen next?

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    1. I'll have a baby update soon and include that!

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, I read every one! I try to answer questions in the comment section since many readers are "no reply" and so everyone can benefit from the response- so please check back. :)

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