Tuesday, October 4, 2016

If Girls Ran the World: Week 1 Fundraiser

I am participating in the @ifgirlsranworld #IfGirlsRanTheWorld virtual run and fundraising event! Oct 1-31 I am joining thousands of women to raise funds for charities that empower girls. Be on the lookout for specialty webinars, workouts, and other services this month as part of my fundraising!



This week's fundraiser is a $25, 30 minute, Health and Fitness Consultation. What you get: 30 minutes Q&A with a certified fitness professional, science based strategies to help you meet your goals, a discount on future services, and your entire fee will go towards supporting programs that empower girls - Girls,Inc.  I will only be scheduling 10 people at this specialty price. Register now below! You will receive a confirmation email letting you know your session has been scheduled. All sessions must be completed by Oct 31st.

Register for a 30 minute Health and Fitness Consultation

Health and Happiness,

L

Saturday, October 1, 2016

October Goals

I am 6 weeks postpartum! I hit some major milestones this week:
- I drove!
- I climbed the stairs!

The problem with recovering from a c-section is that it is major surgery! You spend weeks trying not to pop a stitch and having zero core support. The doctors recommend you don't drive for at least 6 weeks and that you avoid using the stairs.

On exactly the 6 week mark I climbed the stairs and went into our sons nursery for the 1st time in 6 weeks! Luckily we had enough foresight to setup an in bedroom nursery before my due date: bassinet, changing table, daiper disposal, laundry basket, and all the newborn clothing. But, if I needed anything from the nursery diapers, swaddles, or toys the husband had to fetch them. I finally climb the stairs to get our skip hop tree friends tummy time mat, Zero pain! It felt great. 1 step closer to independence.

This weekend I drove to Publix. Oh the freedom to be able to drive. I have spent 6 long weeks confined to the house. Luckily I have friends and family with flexible work schedules so me and baby O got lots of visitors. But, if I need anything someone had to pick me up, deliver it, or chaufer me. It was a simple 10 minute drive to grabbed some game day food, but it felt so very liberating.

My next big milestone will be getting cleared for physical activity. For a vaginal birth you are generally cleared at 6 weeks, but for us c-section mommas it is more like the 8 week mark. I go in for my check up this week and hoping I get cleared. I have been doing my gentle pelvic floor work: kegels and transverse holds, but I am ready to get the okay to progress without fear of popping a stitch or delaying my healing process.

My October goals are simple:
- properly hydrate
- 150 minutes of cardio a week
- 2 days of total body conditioning
- daily core stability exercise


What are your goals for the month?

Health and Happiness,
L

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Third Trimester: I Finally Made the Maternity Investment


I officially entered the 3rd trimester last week! Finally looking pregnant. Which means the belly has popped and the only things that fit are yoga pants, tank tops, and sports bras. I haven't worn a real bra since the end of the 1st trimester. I decided it was finally time to make the maternity investment.

So I grabbed my Mother's Day gift cards and my mom and we headed out to buy some clothes that fit. Mission 1: Properly fitted maternity bra/nursing bra.Mission 2: Shorts, it is already hot hear in Georgia I need at least a good pair of shorts. Mission 3: Dresses, a good maxi or sundress will grow with me and keep me cool through the summer. Our destination Lenox!

Mission 1: Maternity/Nursing Bra
It's kind of crazy to think I have gone 33 years without a properly fitted bra. During this pregnancy my chest grew before my belly did so it was time to take control of the situation. I called ahead to Macy's maternity department to see if they perform fittings, Whoohoo they do. 

The selection was overwhelming and I had no idea where to start. Luckily associate Cynthia was more than happy to help. She did quick bust and rib cage measurements then she began putting together a selection of bras for me to try. More than 10 different bras in varying sizes, styles, and coverage: with inserts, without inserts, heavy support, light support, underwire, no underwire, lacy, jersey, silky. She helped me adjust the straps for the best back support and helped me select the right cup size for my growing bussom. There were so many to choose from.

After giving them all the goldilocks treatment I settled on my favorite fit and style. 2 Motherhood bras in black and beige. They have nursing snaps for when baby is here, but they provide great support and coverage until baby arrives. I also purchased an extender, just in case. 


The Peas in a Pod version were a close contender. But, the Motherhood bra was the better value for me. Also, if you're looking for a bra Macy's had a "Buy 1, Get 1 50% off" deal on their maternity bras.

Stop number 2 was Old Navy and TJ Maxx at Lenox. Well TJ Maxx did not have a maternity section, but they did have a great infant section. They carried Carter's, Infantino, and other quality brand clothes and gear. Anything we don't get at showers, we could definitely find here.

Mission 2: Shorts
Old Navy had everything on sale! I went straight to the clearance section and found a pair of shorts for $6.49. They weren't maternity shorts but they have a stretchy waist band and tie. I think they'll grow with me. 


Mission 3: Dresses
Dresses were also on sale, $15 or 40% off. Just last week I came in dress hunting. Didn't buy because I hate paying full price. The sales gods were in my favor this time. I bought several jersey dresses to stretch and grow with me through summer and fall.


So fellow fitgeek mommas how long did you wait to make your 1st maternity purchases? 

What are your maternity must haves?

I'm still a fan of just buying stretchy fabrics that will grow and shrink with me. But, the bra was a must have.

I'll be sharing more of my pregnancy journey every Sunday til I pop. Check in on Friday's for babyfitgeek fitness talk.

Health and Happiness,
Larissa 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Mother's Day as a Mom to Be

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's and Mom's to be.


I wake up earlier than my husband so I treated myself to a yummy breakfast of waffles, chipotle chicken, guac, and eggs. 


I later found out he was planning to get us breakfast. Ooooops, I'm pregnant, I wake up hungry. I could totally do second breakfast too.

Then we headed out to CineBistro for lunch and Captain America. I actually have a pretty bad track record for dine in theatres on Mother's Day. I am now 0-2 in good experiences. I ordered a burger, well done, with bacon, caramelized onions, no tomatoes, no lettuce, with fries. What I got was a burger so pink I could see it in a dark theatre, no bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Messing up a hungry pregnant ladies meal, on Mother's Day is not a good idea! By their 3rd attempt they got it close enough to right for me to eat it. But the movie was great and the rest of the day was much better.

It has become a Mother's Day tradition to get takeout and eat in the comfort of home. Olive Garden is our go to. Their online app is great. 

I was able to order 3 meals with specifications during our drive from the theater to the restaurant. Our food was sooo good. I highly recommend the takeout route for holidays. No wait and no hassle, and you get quality food

We spent the evening eating and looking through the baby book and family photos.

top left: my baby book, top right: photo of my mom and me in her belly, bottom: our formal KFC Mother's Day dinner

Check out the cute gifts my husband and sister got me.

The hubs got me a beautiful charm 

He also got the cutest matching charms for our moms. 2 gold booties set with the August birthstone.

My sis got me the cutest cookbook

I might have teared up when I opened it.

How did you celebrate Mother's Day?

Does your family have any unique traditions?

Health and Happiness,
Larissa

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Baby FitGeek is Coming!

We made it Facebook official at the beginning of April.


Baby Brown is coming!

We found out just before the new year, December 31st to be exact. My hubs birthday, I think that is a pretty awesome gift! We decided to keep the news to ourselves until we hit the 3 month mark. But, we decided to confide in my sister so that we could share our excitement with someone.

Then we invited the moms and my sis over for game night in February. We decided to reveal our news using one of our favorite games, Scrabble!


Did you notice the magic word, TOT! 


The moms were so excited. They danced, laughed, and happy cried. It was pretty awesome.

Then in March we found out the sex of the baby. I like secrets so I was okay with not knowing, but the hubs really wanted to know. We invited a few family members over for a "Sex Reveal Party". 


I was super excited for my Gamete Game. All the cups represent an egg or an X and the balls represent an X or Y sperm. Combine the 2 and make a Girl XX or a boy XY. Team Boy, people who thought the baby was a boy used the Y ball and Team Girl used the X ball. We used water because pregnant women drink sooooo much water. It was really fun watching my BigMa chug water.


After the game we revealed the actual sex of the baby!



We will be adding a baby boy to our team in August!

Now I'm just trying to stay fit and healthy in preparation for the baby. I connected with OhBaby! Fitness to learn as much as I could about prenatal and postnatal fitness. I'm Still training and teaching until I pop.

Did you workout during your pregnancy?

Did you keep teaching group fitness and training? For how long?

We are excited and anxious about this new journey in our lives. I'm looking forward to a knew lil workout buddy.

Health and Happiness,

Larissa

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Oh Baby! Fitness: Certification Exam

Disclaimer: I received access to the Oh Baby! Fitness Certification in exchange for promoting their program and classes on social media. All opinions are my own.



After hours of reading, a LIVE hand on workshop, and another 48 hour review, I finally felt ready to conquer the Oh Baby! Fitness online exam.

Preparation
The OBF website estimates it will take approximately 16 hours to get through the online manual.  That is actually pretty accurate. I tried studying 2 ways: PDF and online course modules. I pulled the PDFs and save them to my laptop so that I could review the content anytime and I had the option of printing it off if i wanted to or highlighting directly on the PDF. It turns out using the online modules was much easier. The content is broken down into digestible chunks and the creator do a geat job of highlighting key elements during the chapter and at the end of each section. It took me about an hour per section. 


                     

Attending the live workshop really helped me to retain the most pertinent information. I highly recommend attending the live training in preparation for the exam.




Taking the Test
You have 2 hours to complete a 50 question, multiple choice exam. You must pass with at least an 80% to be eligible to receive your certification. You do have the ability to navigate to other questions through out the exam and you can go back and change your answers if you need to. I recommend writing down the number of the question your unsure about on scratch paper, that will make it easier to go back and update your answers at the end of the exam. It took me 60 minutes to get through all 50 questions. I spent an additional 35 minutes going back through each answer and making sure I didn't make any marking/selection errors.

Post Test Results
I passed! 94% 


                     

You will get a results analysis where you can review any content you missed. 2 of the 3 I missed were my interpretation vs the way it was actually presented in the text. But, I'll take my 94 ;-)

After you complete the test save your results and forward it to the OBF training email. I am awaiting my certificate suitable for framing :-)

I am actually teaching my 1st Prenatal class next week as part of an 8 week series with a corporate client. I look forward to following up with OBF and hopefully teaching some classes at their locations here in Atlanta.

I highly recommend attending the OBF training if you are interested in Pre/Postnatal fitness. They use the most up to date ACOG (American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology) guidelines to create a curriculum that is in depth, safe, and client centered. I have a background in exercise science and multiple certifications, but I believe when you are working with special populations it is always worth while to get specified training for that population. Combining what I already know from my degree program and ACSM with what I have learned through OBF gives me the confidence that I can lead safe and effective prenatal and postnatal classes.

If you are interested in learning more about the OBF certification comment below or use the following link.
Or if you want to try one of their classes use the following link.

Health and Happiness,

Larissa

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Oh Baby! Fitness LIVE: Atlanta


Disclaimer: I received access to the Oh Baby! Fitness Certification in exchange for promoting their program and classes on social media. All opinions are my own.

Oh Baby! Fitness is a certification to help people interested in prenatal and postnatal fitness develop their expertise. You can complete the class the completely online, at your own pace. Then you have the opportunity to attend a LIVE workshop, meet the founders, and apply what you have learned. You can learn more about the Oh Baby! Fitness program in my previous post. I was so excited for the opportunity to meet the Oh Baby! Fitness founders and have the opportunity to apply everything I learned online. 

Building Community
One of the core values of OhBaby! Fitness is creating an environment where women can feel comfortable and build a community. We kicked off our day with intros, among us were a labor and delivery nurse from New Orleans, 2 new moms - sisters from Tennessee and Virginia, an Oh Baby! Fitness pilates instructor, an OBF Yoga instructor, a mom to be/fitness enthusiast, me, and founders Kathleen and Clare. If you have not read their stories you should, OBF founders. They both have amazing stories and are so passionate about creating a supportive community for moms.

Prenatal and Postnatal Key Points
We covered all the benefits of exercise during pregnancy, psychological changes, physiological changes, possible ailments, recommended modifications, and goals for each trimester. Here are a few highlights from the workshop.

Benefits of Exercise During and After Pregnancy

  • relieves common pregnancy complaints
  • quicker recovery from labor
  • less postpartum depression

Physiological Changes

  • increased hormones
  • changes in weight
  • postural changes

Psychological Changes

  • adjusting to pregnancy
  • fatigue
  • changes in mood

We had the opportunity to ask questions and get clarification on any of the subject matter that was new to us. The founders did a great job elaborating on some complicated physiological changes and using examples that we could easily relay to our clients. All of the information was very specific no fluff, they taught us exactly what we would need to know to feel comfortable assessing clients, educating clients, and providing modifications.

Practical Application
Let me just say I love hands on learning. It can be intimidating to be put on the spot in front of a room of people you just met, but that is the reality of teaching classes too. Kathleen would present symptoms of 1 of the conditions we had discussed and we had to assess the possible condition, educate the client about what was going on physiologically, and provide appropriate modifications. As she went around the room to each participant I would listen to here present a symptom and practice how I would asses, educate, and modify. When it was finally my turn to go I was surprised by how nervous I was, but we did such a thorough job reviewing the material I was able to recall most of the information immediately. Each person was able to practice at least 3 times during the practical, we covered more than 15 possible conditions. Everyone was very supportive and if we missed anything in our assess, educate, modify demonstration Clare, Kathy, and fellow classmates provided additional prompts. It was a very supportive environment. It was great practice for what we would be expected to do during an actual class.

We also practiced self assessing and partner assessed diastasis recti. Diastasis Recti is abdominal separation occurring  along the rectus abdominus. It is fairly common in pregnancy and occurs as the baby grows and your abdominal muscles reach the limit of their elasticity. Detecting this separation can help you determine appropriate modification for abdominal exercise.




Kathleen also demonstrated a few Mom and Me exercises that we could incorporate in a postnatal fitness class.

What's Next
There are many ways to incorporate your new found knowledge. Apply what you have learned and incorporate it in your own fitness routine. Combine your new knowledge with your group fitness or personal training certifications. Become a licensed Oh Baby! Fitness Instructor. Here is more information on the licensing process if that is something you're interested in pursuing, Oh Baby!Fitness License . For me, I'm incorporating my new found prenatal expertise into my personal training, group fitness, and health coaching. Oh and for making sure me and baby have a happy healthy pregnancy.

                      

Are you a prenatal/postnatal fitness specialist?
I would love to hear about your experiences in the field.

I look forward to the new doors this experience will open for me.

Health and Happiness,

Larissa

Saturday, February 6, 2016

New Cert Alert!: Oh Baby! Fitness

Disclaimer: I received access to the Oh Baby! Fitness Certification in exchange for promoting their program and classes on social media. All opinions are my own.


Excited to announce I have chosen my first Certification of the new year, Oh Baby! Fitness. The majority of my clients are women. Some of my clients took a break from training when they got pregnant, most were unsure what was safe pre/post natal. Now many of our friends are having kids, and as the resident fitness geek they come to me for tips. I knew a little and I knew where to find the info when and if I needed too, but I never felt fully confident in my ability. So now I have decided to expand my knowledge on the topic, and Oh Baby!Fitness was the perfect opportunity.

Why I Chose Oh Baby!Fitness(OBF):
They are local and they offer a hands on training. Those were 2 huge selling points for me. Their curriculum is all online so I can go at my own pace and can access the info whenever I need it. They are also local with locations in Georgia and Texas. So I can drop in on a class and see the format in person if I need to. They host periodic live trainings so I can also get my hands on experience as well, That is really important to me. I retain more information and learn faster when all of my senses are engaged.

Classes Offered:
OBF offers classes during pregnancy and post pregnancy as mommy and me classes:
- Pilates
- Prenatal Combo Classes
- Toning
- Water Aerobics
- Yoga
- Pushing
So there are so many opportunities to teach at all levels. What a great opportunities for fit mamas to find community and support.

The Process:
I have received my access code and I have started navigating my online modules. On site they estimate the entire course could take around 16 hours. My goal is to test for my exam at the end of March, before the live training in April.

Wish me luck!

Are any of you teaching  pre/post natal specialty classes?
Tell me about it in the comment section below.

Health and Happiness,

Larissa

Monday, February 1, 2016

My Atlanta SoulCycle Target Experience

SoulCycle and Target teamed up to offer FREE classes around the US!
An opportunity to try 1 of the biggest fitness trends for FREE? You know I was in!

About a week before the class a registration link is activated for your city. You set up an account and choose a date and time. I was on right at 3PM! I chose 3 times just to be sure I would get in. Then I impatiently waited to find out if I got in.


Then on Monday I got my reservation. I was in!


The SoulCycle Experience!

Arrive early is the advice I got from friends who had already attended. So I got there 30 minutes early, perfect timing. I was able to choose a bike in the front row, bike 8! I strapped on my shoes, sipped on some water, and waited for the show to begin.


Then the curtain opened. One by one they led us in to dimly lit room. It was all about the ambiance. I don't usually clip in when I ride so I had one of the SoulCycle assistants set me up on a bike. Shortly after our instructor Selena Watkins came in and introduced herself to those of us who were already set up. Then a few minutes later the ride began!


The instructor was motivating and so was the music! Loved. loved, loved the music. The beat was easy to follow and the cues were clear. The workout included sprints, hills, rhythm work, and some upper body conditioning. I loved that I could feel the changes in the music and the transitions to next phase of the workout.

At 1 point during the workout we used 3 pound weights for some upper body movements while still cycling. We weren't maintaining a fast enough speed to really get a cardio benefit, so I'm not sure why we stayed on the bike for this part. A 3 pound weight is not enough stimulus to get the sort of results I would want from weight training, anything heavier would be unsafe while trying to maintain balance on a bike. I'll just get in my weight training on my own.

The finale for the ride was great. We moved into a hill that included really powerful lyrics, followed by a down hill sprint, and finished with 1 more rhythm ride. The perfect end to our workout.


SoulCycle and Target did a great job creating a fitness "experience". They even had goodie bags waiting for us on our way out. A cute SoulCycle tote, KIND bar, and Suja Juice. I was so glad to have that KIND bar, I managed to leave my protein bar on the counter at home, so I was in desperate need of post workout fuel.

video

Overall, I enjoyed my first SoulCycle experience. I am not a cycling junkie I am more of a weight training girl these days. So I like my weights heavy and my cardio has to be fun. If you prefer a pure road ride this is probably not the class for you. Appropriate for beginners, not sure, during this sample class there weren't any options or modifications offered. But, if you are healthy/injury free and enjoy dancing along to the music while cycling, you might give SoulCycle a try. I would try it again, I was completely unfamiliar with the SoulCycle brand prior to this and I would be interested in trying some of their other instructors styles.

Have you tried SoulCycle? What was your experience like? Comment below

Til Next time,

Health and Happiness,

L