My Fitness Journey + Progress Pictures

fitness journey progress pictures

Not sure why my skin looks crazy in the first pic but these were taken roughly 5 months apart. They aren’t meant to be shockingly different but it’s nice to see progress!

 

Good morning friends! I hope you are all enjoying a big cup of coffee and saddling up for a long read. This post has been on my mind for quite some time but I have hesitated to share what I’ve been doing and the changes I’ve made because I really wanted to make sure I could stick to it and see results. I tried to break down a bit of the backstory, what we changed, what motivates me and our current goals!

 

Background

 

I’ve always been an active person so working out is not new to me. I loved playing sports as a child, enjoyed them in college (along with pizza) and really started a good fitness routine in dental school. It’s always been a wonderful release for me mentally and physically. As someone who tends to be very high strung I can tell (more so mentally) when I haven’t been working out and I need that for myself. 

Before having Zain my workout routine’s were all over the place. While going through infertility I questioned everything: was I working out too much, too little, should I walk instead of run, etc so I was always changing things up and often times skipping the gym altogether. While I was going through IVF and on injections and hormones, I wasn’t allowed to maintain my normal routine and kind of fell out of one altogether. Once I got pregnant with Zain, I maintained a healthy routine of prenatal classes but also steered away form things like HIIT for fear of the unknown. 

Flash forward to post delivery and my high hopes of getting my body right back, whatever that means. I was lucky in the sense that a lot of my weight gain had been water weight which shed fairly fast. I am not totally sure how much weight I gained in total because when my water broke it was such a panic that everything following was such a blur. I can’t remember exactly what I weighed at the hospital but I was just shy of 37 weeks and had gained over 35 pounds by that point I believe. 

After that original water weight fell off and I stopped breastfeeding I kind of hit a stand still. As much as I wanted to get back to working out, it was now much more challenging. Getting anywhere in the city is a pain, especially with a baby and with Zain’s nap schedule it was hard to really get into a routine. I could never count on getting to classes and was honestly exhausted a lot of the time. We did spend a decent amount of time outside on walks when the weather was nice but I wasn’t feeling great about where I was physically.

When we moved back to Louisville I thought to myself ‘now is my time.‘ I was a year and a half out from childbirth, had family around to help and was determined to tone it up. After working out for a few months and ‘eating healthy‘ I seemed to be getting nowhere. I sat down and talked to Trevor before the holidays about how I really needed to make a change and take control. He felt the same way and we both decided to do it together. 

 

 

What We Changed

 

Overall Diet: 

Although I told myself we only ate out on the weekends, we would find ourselves ordering takeout during the week and picking up food on a whim. Every time I indulged I told myself it was no big deal but it was in fact stopping me from getting where I wanted to be. 

When we came home from Trevor’s parents over the holidays we both downloaded the My Fitness Pal app, meal planned and decided to really commit to a routine. Having accountability with the app really helped me cut down on the snacking, emotional eating and processed sugars.

If you aren’t familiar with the app, when you set up your account you will enter your current weight and goal weight and it will configure a daily calorie goal for you. The app is totally free but if you want to upgrade you have that option and will be able to access things like a macro calculator. 

We strictly entered our food for the first few months and have just recently stopped using it religiously. We now trust ourselves a bit more and have really gotten into a groove during the week. Most of that lies within our preparedness. I meal plan on Sunday’s and make sure to have enough healthy options on hand for quick meals. I’ve been trying to share a lot of our recipes on Instagram and saving them to my “Eats’ highlight so check there if you are curious. I have also been rounding them up in blog posts when I can!

 

 

***A few updates answering questions you all asked over on Instagram***

 

Do you drink alcohol outside of your fasting window? We don’t usually. I don’t want to be too fast and hard with our answers because we all know how life goes but we rarely drink or eat anything outside of the window. Times like this past weekend when we had company in town we obviously drank and ate later than normal but also tried to break our fast in the morning later. 

Do you drink during the week? Far less than we used to. I don’t know about you all, but even though I am not a big drinker I still crave some wine after I put Zain to bed. I used to barely finish half a glass so it wasn’t a lot but once we changed our diet I cut that out. 

Do you workout while fasting? Trevor and I both do. I was worried the first time but it was totally fine and I’ve never had any issues with it. 

What kinds of workouts do you do? Almost exclusively HIIT classes. The combination of cardio and weights prove most useful for me and are just the kinds of classes I personally prefer.  

 

Intermittent Fasting:

One of the largest things about our diet that has changed is that we now fast. Trevor had listened to several podcasts where the idea had surfaced and I had been seeing it everywhere. We did not sign up for Faster Way to Fat Loss (although I hear great things about it) but decided to incorporate a fast into our life.It was something we knew we could adjust based on our schedules and seemed feasible to us.

When I first tried it, I thought I was going to die. I am an early riser and usually eat right after waking so the thought of waiting hours to eat seemed impossible to me. It quickly became easy! So, if that’s you, don’t lose hope! We just make sure all of our eating is during the 8 hour window and we are getting 8-12 hours in a fasted state. I normally break my fast around noon or 1pm and don’t find myself starving. I think I pack more nutrition into my eating window and it helps me curb late night snacking, which has always been a huge problem for me. 

You can read all about the benefits and idea behind it here and if you have any questions at all just reach out! 

 

Workouts: 

In addition to the meal tracking I have continued my weekly workouts and my goal is always 3 sessions a week. Although that doesn’t seem lofty it’s realistic for me with work, the blog and Zain. I have a few favorite group classes at Milestone that are HIIT based and combine cardio and weight training. If I can’t make it to class I will try to combine workouts myself and usually turn to Tone It Up or Aaptiv to find them! I think it’s really important to set realistic goals. Most people can’t commit to a gym or workout 5 days a week. Then when they miss one, they just lose steam. At least that’s how I used to be, so having a realistic goal I can hit keeps me going! 

 

 

Motivators:

 

My Apple watch: 

I get a ton of questions about it over on Instagram so I figured I would spill all the details here. Its a Series 3 with cellular and I went that route because I sincerely wanted to be on my phone less. Once I had Zain, I just didn’t feel comfortable not carrying my phone everywhere in case of an emergency.

Now, I stash my phone away most of the day and try to set hours for social media and phone time. The watch tracks my activity, but you do need to manually start and end your workouts to see your heart rate and calorie counts. It should be a bright green app and you can browse different workouts and click on them to start and finish. It’s really nice to see those completed stats and I promise it will motivate you! 

 

People’s journey’s on Instagram:

As much as Instagram can be a downer, I chose to ignore the images of people getting fit fast. I knew that would never be me. However, finding real moms who were trying to make it work just like me was so helpful to me and why I decided to share my own process. I love following Liz Adams and Becky Hillyard fitness routine’s and find their honesty refreshing! 

 

Documenting the Process:

The first photo below was taken back in December right before the holidays. A lot of people said I was crazy for trying this big change before the holidays but timing will never be perfect. You will always have a trip, dinner or holiday so just go for it.

By the time I snapped the second photo a month later, I had noticed my clothes fit differently but  wasn’t sure how much my body had really changed. The photos were a great way to see progress and motivate myself. 

Even if you don’t think you are seeing change, you probably are. We are our own worst critics and over time stuff will tone up. I remember being discouraged that next month because I felt I looked the same. I had several bouts of wanting to quit but Trevor always encouraged me to stick with it and reminded me that things take time. I think it’s easy to see people share photos and say ‘look what I did in 5 weeks‘ but if you are not working out 6 days a week and following a strict diet, things just won’t happen that way. 

 

Gear:

It sounds silly but feeling good in workout clothes helps me get to the gym. I don’t own a ton of pieces but try to invest in a few solid items I can use for the long haul. I have one pair of workout sneakers that I love, the Nike 270’s and have worn APL’s before as well. 

I usually stick to Zella leggings or these new Amazon ones I just found and am obsessed with! I love the Zella and Nike sports bra’s and these socks have been lifesavers, no show and stay in place! 

As far as tops I usually browse Nordstrom Rack and prefer a good muscle tank over anything else. 

 

 

 

Current Goals: 

 

It’s been almost 5 months since I started making changes in my fitness routine, diet and lifestyle and I still have a ways to go but I’m proud of my progress. I’m still not at my pre pregnancy weight and that’s okay. It’s not really a goal of mine any longer and I think an important reminder to not obsess about the scale. I rarely weigh myself anymore and even though I may not be at that weight, I feel better than I did before I had Zain. My body is of course different and I’m not sure my lower abdomen is even capable of being tight again, but that’s okay. I am striving to tone up my arms and core a bit more and build up more muscle!

 

 

fwtfl program

December 20, 2018

 

how I fast

January 19, 2019

 

my before and after fitness journey

April 13, 2019

 

I thought it was a good time to open up about our routine and progress and will keep you guys posted as we go! It’s a journey and there really is no quick fix but I hope this serves as encouragement and a reminder to be kind to yourself. We really are all doing our best and things take time! 

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6 thoughts on “My Fitness Journey + Progress Pictures

  1. Heidi

    Would you talk a little more about your diet? You have made no secret that you drink a lot of water and you have shared your smoothie recipe and other recipes. Do you have any other tips, like limiting snacks, ideas for healthy snacks, not eating after a certain time period, eliminating certain foods completely, healthy cheats? My biggest problems right now are eating for convenience, rather than health, and my kids being sometimes really picking eaters so I have to make separately meals for them. I know I need to make a decision to be more mindful and get organized. It’s so hard to work a 10 hour day and then come home and have to make dinner for 4 people though. We don’t eat out a lot during the week, but we end up not eating a lot of fresh foods during the week due to the inconvenience of that.

    Reply
    1. shaheen khan Post author

      Using the My Fitness Pal app really helped me eliminate snacking and the IF forces you to eliminate late night eating! When you have to log everything you eat into a tracker it really makes you think about whether you are actually hungry and need energy or just eating to eat. We didn’t eliminate any particular food altogether but I do try to be mindful of incorporating a lot of low carb recipes into our weeks. If you click the ‘Recipes’ tabs on the blog there should be a post solely about healthy snack ideas and also tons of recipes I’ve been trying lately. When we eat out we really do eat what we want so we’re not feeling like we are totally depriving ourselves. I totally understand the long word days and my only advice would be to meal plan ahead of time and know what you’re cooking each day. It forces me to stay on track and makes grocery shopping way easier and less wasteful. Also, check out Skinnytaste, Half Baked Harvest and Cooking Light for recipes if you are stuck—those always help me!

      Reply
  2. Susan Schnitzler

    You look amazing!!! Intermittent fasting has become a lifestyle for my husband and I as well. I started FWTFL in January (my husband did not), but he is also following the 16/8 schedule. We have both noticed huge changes in our bodies, energy and gut health. Like you, we track on MFP, meal plan and workout. Next month we celebrate our 20th Anniversary and are starting to feel as great as we did back then!!! I look forward to your updates and recipes.

    Reply
    1. shaheen khan Post author

      Thank you Susan and I love to hear that!!! It really is a lifestyle change for us but I’m happy we found something that works for us and still keeps us satisfied. Yes, I am going to try to share more as we go!

      Reply
  3. Johanna

    Really appreciate this post! So many bloggers I follow do FWTFL but I think it’s so cool to hear about how you incorporated the concept without actually signing up for the program! Love seeing your meal & fitness ideas!

    Reply
    1. shaheen khan Post author

      Aww thank you!!! Same and I’ve heard great things about it, I just wanted something simpler I knew I would stick with for the long haul. Thank you 🙂

      Reply

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