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As parents, we all know that our children are our priority. So much so, that we often sacrifice taking care of ourselves (usually without even realizing it). I am certainly no exception, and I’d like to share a personal journey of mine here today in the spirit of the holidays.
As a financial advisor, I’m here to give you permission to not only spend some of your hard-earned money on yourself, but to also call it an investment. Because it is! It is the BEST kind of investment, in fact. Investing in yourself pays dividends in ways you can’t even imagine, and benefits ALL of the people around you, including the little ones in your life who deserve to have a HAPPY, HEALTHY mother. Repeat this ladies:
My children and family will benefit when I am happy and healthy.
It was this time last year that I realized that I wasn’t in ideal shape. Having kids changed my body and changed my metabolism. I stepped on a scale for my annual physical and was shocked!! Somehow, while all of my friends lost weight while breastfeeding, I managed to gain it and keep it on. Ugh!
You may be thinking: “Margo, how could you have not realized this without going to the doctor?” Well, for starters, I have a wonderful husband who loves me 100% of the time no matter what I weigh, and would never EVER call something like this to my attention. Secondly, before kids, I was mostly a slim person who didn’t really have to exercise to maintain a certain weight (annoying, I know, but stay with me), so I was not used to paying attention to these sorts of things. I didn’t even own a scale. Alas… Here I was:
I decided I wanted to get back to my best, healthiest self. But how? I started slowly but didn’t really see results – Now I know why. I didn’t know what I was doing! I know about finance, but I didn’t know about nutrition or exercise. There were 3 key things that turned it all around for me and I wanted to share with you all what worked in case it can help any of you struggling the way I was.
Step 1: Nutrition
So, in April, I decided to get serious and call in an expert. I started with Amanda Kettering and did The Arbonne 30 Challenge. Little did I realize it would be an entire lifestyle changer!! I started to learn how to eat healthier without sacrificing my happiness or sanity. The results were immediate thanks to the program and to Amanda’s coaching. In the first month, I lost 15 lbs. In the next 3 months or so of continuing the program 80% of the time, I lost 10 more lbs. That’s 25 lbs total ONLY with changing the way I eat.
This was without any exercise. If I, as someone who is horrendous at cooking with an insanely busy schedule can make this work, anyone can. If you are committed to following the plan, you will succeed. Yes, even if you don’t cook. Yes, even if you are busy. And yes, even if you’ve failed at other “diets” in the past. Want to access it? Click here. Have questions? Send us a message, and I’ll tell you the honest truth about all of the good, bad and challenging.
Step 2: Exercise
After 4-5 months of this, I decided to tackle exercising. I made a huge leap and joined True Core CrossFit in Annapolis thanks to urging from my friend Andrea. She convinced me I could do it. I had heard about this place from my friend Patrick, but wasn’t convinced I was cut out for CrossFit. This was the girl who avoided any kind of weight lifting, other than her own children… Really? CrossFit? Little did I realize what enormous, amazing community I was joining. I not only got incredible education and hands-on personal help during every class, but I made a ton of wonderful friends who celebrate every success of mine as if it is their own.
True Core also gave me individualized nutrition training, followed with constant encouragement and feedback. It should surprise no one that the nutrition support closely aligned with all I had learned in Arbonne, with some modifications to support the health of someone aggressively lifting weights and working out in the CrossFit program. I also started doing intermittent fasting during this time (safely, according to the program and with the help of Kristy and Brandon). If you want to know more about intermittent fasting, see Kristy and Brandon’s post here: The Skinny on Intermittent Fasting.
The owner of True Core, Shannon, and every single one of her coaches helped me lose another 20 lbs in three months. And would you believe I am enjoying it???? Coming from someone who hates to run and usually wanders aimlessly around a gym, it should mean a lot to you all that I actually LOOK FORWARD to going to True Core 3 or 4 times a week. (Thanks to my mom Cece and my wonderful hubby for making it possible for me to make time for this!!) Live in the Annapolis, MD area and want to check out True Core? Click here and schedule a free intro session with one of the amazing coaches. I’ll be there to cheer you on!
This is me: 45 lbs less than I was a year prior.
Step 3: Skincare
There was one more problem for me… I had consulted a plastic surgeon at the beginning of all of this who said if I was able to lose my goal weight in a year, going under the knife was the only way to tighten that saggy belly skin I’d be left with. But I had a secret weapon, Dr. Annie and Kristy convinced me to try Nerium Firming Body Contour Cream. If Annie says something works, I’ve learned to believe her. And just LOOK! It’s absolutely amazing!!! Dare I say my stomach looks quite close to how it looked during my college years (after a few beers…lol)? Sure, I have a few pregnancy stretch marks but I kinda love them. The Firming Lotion lightened them significantly. Even though I love what they represent, I also love that they are lightening! This company sells only clinically proven products for wellness and anti-aging developed with a Princeton-affiliated biotech company, Signum Biosciences. Click here to get Nerium Firming AD Contour Cream for yourself. I’m a believer!
I am here to tell you that you can BOTH love your body and be proud of what it did in pregnancy and postpartum, and also want your skin and stretch marks to look better. I look at that before picture and feel that love and admiration for my body, AND I look at the after picture and feel love and admiration for the hard work it takes to help heal this body that grew two tiny humans that I love more than anything in this world.
I feel such enormous gratitude and admiration to these experts and friends that I feel compelled to tell you all and shine some light on their awesomeness. As you are considering Christmas gifts, don’t forget to invest in yourself. Don’t forget to call in the experts. Don’t forget that the value of these all FAR outweigh the costs. Plus, you’ll save your partner or family members the trouble of coming up with gift ideas – tell them you want this, make it easy on them, haha!
I’ve still got work to do – more goals to hit and more milestones to celebrate, but at this point I am in the long game, and can’t wait to enjoy every minute of the adventure.
Don’t underestimate the power of consistency and desire
Your imperfect friend,