2016 Recap – FITNESS

Onto our fourth and final day looking back at 2016!  If you missed any of the posts, you can get caught up on Fashion Faves hereHome Decor & Organization here, and Baby and Family here

Today is our Fitness day and not a moment too soon! Yesterday, in a total act of rebellion, I made the most delicious double chocolate chip espresso cookies and ate three! Yikes!  But, I’m also eating healthy meals too and am back on the workout train! 

This year, I want to make fitness more of a mind/body approach.  I mentioned on Monday that I have in mind a way I’d like my life to feel in general, and that definitely includes being healthy and fit, with lots of energy, but also reducing stress and making more time for FUN!  I felt pretty maxed out in 2016, and I want to chill out more in 2017.  It only takes something as easy as heading to the park after school or going on a walk after dinner to help us relax, so I need to make that a priority.  
I’ve tried meditating before and could never get into it, but this app keeps popping up in my life, so I’m taking that as a sign that I should try it.  It’s called Headspace and it’s got guided meditations to help you along so you’re not just sitting there thinking, “I have so much laundry to do” and all of those kinds of things that pop into my brain when I try to sit still.  I got started with it yesterday and plan to start my day with it for 10 minutes.  It will be way better than turning to my iPhone first thing in the morning to check social media! 
Next up, I finally committed to doing the Mama Strong program to try to correct my diastasis recti (ab separation) from pregnancy.  My abs were a good 3 or so finger width apart and now they’re down to a 2 without really doing anything, but I want to close the gap to under a 1.  I’ve heard good things about this $2 a month online program from a friend I trust (Hi Angela!).  With the diastasis recti, I still have a lower ab ‘pooch’ that I’m not crazy about.  Bringing the abs back together will help fix that. 
I still workout with my awesome trainer, but I’ve been down to just one day a week because it was hard to fit in the time to drive over there and get that workout in since he’s a good 15 minute drive from me. Now that I want to ramp up and get back into good shape before Jordan’s 1st birthday, I committed to three days a week with him.  I also want to incorporate spin classes (so fun and such a great workout) along with running outside, which I love and still do.  I swear, there’s no better stress reliever (for me) than putting on my music and going for a sweaty run!
I’m doing a hot yoga class with my friend on Saturday, just as a way of trying something new and getting my body moving in a different way.  I’m not sure if I’ll stick with it, but for me, that’s part of my FUN goal.  
I’m considering competing again this year also.  My trainer is so humble and downright shy about his competitive history and titles, but he is a master bodybuilder and former Mr. Olympia.  That’s a big deal in the bodybuilding world! He’s hosting a fitness competition in October that I’m thinking of entering because I do love how lean and strong (mentally and physically) you get while preparing. Every time I train with John, it makes me want to do it again.  Then I get home and I’m like, hmm not so sure. . . . It’s grueling and super challenging, but since I can’t stop thinking about it, I’m not ruling it out. 

In the food department, I want to be a better cook and try new recipes.  That can be daunting, so I made my goal simple and doable: make one new recipe every week.  
We are creatures of habit and my fall-back meals are a version of my bikini prep meals because: 1) they are healthy and taste good; 2) they are easy to cook in batches; and 3) it saves time.  With that foundation during the day for breakfast and my meals #2 and #3 (I still eat about 5 meals a day since that is what my metabolism is used it- I’m so hungry if I miss a meal), I can try something different for dinner or on the weekends.  
We’re also going to do a few more Blue Apron Meals since we tried that last year and liked it.  I have a delivery scheduled soon, so I’ll be sure to share it with you!
I’d love to hear what your fitness goals are for 2017! 
Below is a recap of my most popular fitness posts of 2016.  Just click the pink title to read the original post in its entirety! 

I started off 2016 in my third trimester of pregnancy, but I started my pregnancy just weeks before my second NPC bikini competition.  I didn’t realize I was pregnant, and found out I was 5 weeks pregnant 4 days before competition day!  I credit continuing to workout and eat healthier for feeling so much better during my second pregnancy.  I kept up my workouts and did a leg workout the day before Jordan was born! I gained about 15 pounds less the second time, and the weight was easier to lose.

Staying Fit During Pregnancy

This post shares lots of the exercises I was doing while pregnant, even in the last trimester. 

The picture below was snapped after one sleepless night right after I had Jordan.  I shared it on Instagram and it was one of my most popular IG posts of the year.  I think it’s relatable because every new mama has been there- messy house, tired eyes, soft round belly and total bedhead.  I felt like I looked terrible in the picture at the time, but I didn’t even care because I was just so in love and blissfully happy to have a healthy baby girl in my arms.

Body After Baby – 6 Weeks

I was proud to share the real deal, body after baby pics, it’s completely normal (if a bit disheartening;) to still look pregnant after you initially give birth!  I could only walk at first, but at 6 weeks postpartum, I was cleared to start weight training again.

Body After Baby – 12 Weeks 

After 3 months, the baby weight wasn’t off completely, but I was feeling much more like myself after working out and running again.

5 Tips for Getting Started Running/Body After Baby – 4 Months

Running is such a lifesaver for me.  I’ve said it a million times, but it’s my (free!) therapy to get my stress out.   Once you make it a habit, it just comes naturally.  If I don’t “have time” to workout, I just head out my front door.  I can be back and done with my run in the time it would’ve taken me to get to the gym, park and start working out!
So many songs get me through the next steps when I want to give up.  Or they make me run faster!  I shared some of my favorites in this post- hope it gives you some new tunes to download. 

Getting to the gym was much harder with a baby to breastfeed round the clock, so I started working out at home more.  If you don’t have a gym membership or time to get to the gym, you can do a quick, full body workout in your living room here with just a set of dumbbells.  And they don’t have to be that heavy!
We were so blessed to have friends who brought us meals for the first 6 weeks of Jordan’s life.  My girlfriend Ali-Shaun set it up through Meal Train, which I highly recommend if you want to do something like this for a friend.  After the meals were over, it was up to us to fend for ourselves again and we tried Blue Apron a few times and loved it.  It’s a break from the typical, go-to meals we tend to eat over and over.  We liked it so much we signed up again for the start of 2017.

A few hours spent prepping our food each week sets us up for success in the healthy eating department.  I have been getting burned out lately and definitely want to try some new food and recipes.
I needed a kick in the pants 6 months after baby, so I did a mini 40-Day fitness challenge that I created for myself and it was a great boost!
Moving Comfort sports bra (so good for running, especially for larger chests) | shorts (black)

This post shares a lot of the food I ate during the 40 days and since I tracked my macros, it has that info too.

You can read this recap post to see my result from the challenge.  I compared weight and body fat and the results were surprising!

Moving Comfort sports bra (so good for running, especially for larger chests) | shorts (black) | similar shorts | similar watch | similar Nike bra 
What We Ate in NYC

Finally, in October I went to NYC for the Better Home & Gardens Stylemaker event and you better believe I ate my heart out!  This post shares our food tour, which I highly recommend! 

What are your fitness goals for 2017?  Would you want me to blog about competing again if I decide to go for it?

keep in touch! 

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. Hi Megan.
    Happy 2017!! I just wanted to tell you that I enjoy your blog so much. Thank you for sharing so much of your life & I'm looking forward to more fitness, food, health & decorating posts. Of course, I love the fashion tips & organization posts too, oh, & the family & faith posts. There isn't much on here that I don't love! Yours is one of the first blogs I check out every day. So, here's to a Happy, Healthy, Organized & FUN filled New Year!! p.s. I would love to follow along on your fitness journey if you decide to compete in October. So inspiring!
    Maria xo

  2. I can't wait to hear reviews of the Mama Strong program; I'm not a new mom (kiddo is 9!) but love the idea of 15min/day and varied exercises. Let us know how it goes!

    1. I just started today and so far so good. It's different than the high intensity workouts that I'm used to doing- just small movements and techniques- but I like that they are short!

  3. Hi Megan! I love reading your blog. Your decor is always so clean and beautiful and I love seeing your different outfits. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your goals for this year! I'm working on getting mine together too.

    For one of your goals, you said you want to try a new recipe a week. I'm pretty much the queen of this, not because I'm an amazing cook, it's because I get bored of the same food haha! I've found that the best way to do this is to get a new cookbook. I try and pick one that is healthy and is the kind of food we like. I love Juli Bauer's cookbook, and all the Against All Grain books. We try to stick to paleo **most of the time. I go through and mark everything that looks interesting. Then, I have my hubby pick out a few options so I can narrow down what to make first. This helps to keep things interesting and I'll always have the recipe handy if I really like what I cook. 🙂

    1. I love your suggestion! I don't have those cookbooks you mentioned so I'll check it out! I did think I need to go bookmark pages with tabs or something or make a note so I remember the recipes I want to try. I'm lucky my hubby will go for anything I cook- he's just happy to have a home-cooked meal! Hope you have a great 2017 Jessica!

    2. Megan, when I meal plan on Sundays, I write out in our meal planning binder what we are having each night and then list the ingredients needed below. I also write where the recipe came from so I can always find it later. I pull all the print outs and cookbooks needed for the week and keep them where we prep our dinners. It saves me a ton of time when I want to repeat a recipe we loved or try one we bookmarked.

  4. I'm so excited to learn about Momma Strong! I am 8 weeks postpartum (2nd kid in 2.5 years) and don't recognize my body. 🙁 I wish I could walk it off but I live in the freezing cold northeast! I think I'm going to sign up – I can manage short workouts at home!

    1. Let me know how it goes for you! I'm right at the beginning myself! The good news is you can make significant changes in a relatively short time through diet and exercise. I still remember that 8 week mark though, your body is still healing and recovering so it takes time. What a sweet, precious little baby at just 2 months old! Kiss that little squish for me!

  5. I like to read your posts about health, training and exercise. They inspire me and give energy to get off my ass :))) I congratulate you especially after baby. My daughter is 20 month and I still need to lose 5 kg and I also have a big belly 🙂 I need to work harder in 2017 😉

    1. We all need that kick in the ass sometimes, right?! I can't say I usually "feel" like working out- but I know I'm gonna feel great AFTER! Here's to a healthy and fit 2017 for us! xoxo -M

  6. I love, love, love how real you are with us-I can see why that insta was so popular, because you seriously can tell how in love with Jordan you are and it is so relatable. I'm not a mama yet, but my husband and I are thinking that this is our year to try and your blog has been such a great resource for me to get as much information as possible about this season that we are about to be in! Also, I really loved your Blue Apron post from last year and would love it if you shared another one for this delivery!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

  7. Hi Megan! You talk a lot about food prep. Does James eat what you prepare for yourself and hubby? My son is such a finicky eater. there is no way I can get him to touch a vegetable or anything green!

    1. Hi Susie! That is such a good question! James is the pickiest eater, so much so that we've spoken to his pediatrician about it often. I have to always make his meals separate- pb sandwich, yogurt, fruit and milk. That's his dinner and lunch every single day! Sometimes with pretzels or chips. I still always offer whatever we're having, but he always says "No thank you!" He tried a tortilla the other day at a restaurant and we we floored!

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