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Spring Fitness Challenge

Well, it's that time of year once again. The time of the year when I get the itch to start working out. Any hint of warm, sunny weather makes me think of shorts and spending my summer in a bathing suit. Most of my life I have hated working out, I have been lucky to have a good metabolism for the most part, but after 30 that started to slow down a bit. As a mother of a two-year-old I am quite active, even if I don't usually make the effort to run on the treadmill and lift like I probably should. I am constantly on my feet, chasing and lifting a 37 lb toddler (yes, a thirty-seven pound, two year old) and I generally stick to a pretty healthy diet. But as most Mom's know, after a pregnancy your body is never the same.

Watching my Mom make a lifestyle (for almost twenty-five years) of Suzanne Somers "Somersize" really taught me a lot about nutrition. Back in the day when everything was "fat free" my Mom always taught me that fat is your friend, sugar is the real enemy. When a product says "fat free" or "low fat" it usually means they add more sugar (or chemicals) in place of the fat to give the food flavor. So for example, skim milk is loaded with sugar, fat free dressing has oil removed and sugar added etc. She also taught me that carbohydrates turn into sugar in the body if not burned up by exercise and that it's better to consume them before 2pm, on their own or with a vegetable vs. a protein (for weight loss). We grew up eating lots of proteins, veggies and healthy food. We were of course allowed to eat kid food because my sister and I were both string beans. I remember in high school, my mom putt ice cream in my morning breakfast shake in hopes of me gaining a couple pounds. After college was when I noticed my metabolism slowing down. As I grew older and started my first desk job this knowledge really helped me lose weight, after two years of denial and thirty pounds later (eek!) I stopped eating Portillo's cheese fries every day and got my act together.

Being pregnant was especially rough for me because I suffer from chronic migraines. In one month I will have eighteen headache days, whether that be a migraine that requires an ER visit or the daily, annoying headaches I get when I wake up in the morning. I had unbelievable migraines up until twenty weeks into my pregnancy, a small break in the middle and then they returned at about thirty one weeks. I was given a medication (approved during pregnancy) to help me get through them but in reality it did nothing. Not only was my pregnancy filled with migraines but also thousands of bowls of Captain Crunch. I ate everything I ever wanted with the "excuse" that I was pregnant and deserved to indulge. Biggest mistake ever.

After I gave birth to my son in December twenty-fourteen I had about fifty-six-pounds to lose, that was a terrifying reality for me. But I did it all, with the help of weight watchers, in as little as four months or so. It was A LOT of hard work but I did it all by eating right and minimal exercise. It has been over two years and I have maintained the same weight, but as summer is approaching I feel the urge to workout again. I always feel like in order for me to work out I have a goal to work towards..and what better goal than my sister's wedding in three months? I also felt inspired to do so after I felt the effects of the Botox treatments I had two weeks ago for chronic migraines. This is the first time in a year I have gone 2 weeks with out a single migraine. I hope that I am onto something with this preventative treatment.

One of my biggest inspirations for being fit is one of my best friends Suzanne Brown. She is a smokin' hot, mom of TWO kids (under three) and she look incredible. She lugs two kids to the gym every day and works out. She eats healthy but still allows herself to indulge, we both share a love for wine. ;-) She still maintained to have abs during her seconds pregnancy, which proves how dedicated she is to living a healthy lifestyle!

These last four days I have felt so inspired I have ran a mile and walked a mile on an incline each day. I also have begun lifting again, focusing on different muscle groups on different days. A few years ago I was very motivated to be in shape, I went to the gym almost every day for a year and ate clean. I am hoping muscle memory is a real thing and I can get back on that path to feeling healthy and also looking more toned. I need energy to keep up with my little guy.

My sweet husband built a home gym in our basement with a treadmill, a bench and free weights. It's quite convenient and really leaves me with no excuses. Nap time has been my new workout time, so far so good. Check out my Pinterest board for some exercises I have been doing at home. A huge shout out to my handsome hubby, who has lost twenty pounds and looks like he did when we met nine years ago! I am so incredibly proud of him and he is also a huge inspiration to my fitness kick.

I hope I will have some progress pictures in the next few moths, I felt like writing a blog about this would hold me accountable for my decision and goals. Looking forward to feeling confident and fit again someday soon!

What are your favorite work out resources, leave me a comment!

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About Ashley

Ashley Mancione is a wife, mom, freelance graphic designer/developer and home decor enthusiast. Stay tuned to read more about styling House 3, favorite recipes and her DIY adventures.

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