More than a Number - My Body Back Experience

More Than a Number

How would you like to be stronger, leaner, healthier and be your best, YOU?

I highly recommend Fit4Mom Body Back program! You will lose body fat, take inches off your body, all while increasing muscle and your overall core strength.

Everyone wants to know where the end will take them before the beginning so my ending is introduced first to guarantee your beginning will start! Before starting BodyBack in September 2014, I ate extremely unhealthy, so much so I had severe reflux. When I ate the fatty, greasy, processed foods over the course of many years on a daily basis my body began to reject it. My throat began to close up and I would literally be close to choking during each food sitting. Having food get lodged in your throat, sometimes right in front of your kids and praying quietly for it to pass through so I can see them again is a very scary and emotional experience. I would cough to get the food to move down or try to take deep breaths so I could get air while walking around my home frantically screaming inside. Still I continued bad eating habits and over time my doctor suggested I have an endoscopy to biopsy my esophagus. This procedure was to determine any potential damage I may have done. In screening, the doctors found the choking I was experiencing was from my esophagus closing up - literally rejecting the food. Therefore the doctors had to stick a tube down my throat to stretch the walls so I could eat peacefully again. I was fortunately cleared of any pre cancer but was warned if I continued the same unhealthy eating habits, it would likely be the beginning of many more stretches and possibly life changing circumstances, one of those possibilities being esophageal cancer.

I am happy to report that with the commitment of BodyBack clean eating and food logging I no longer cough or feel like I am choking when I eat and have not needed any further screenings. I have repaired my body back to health!

So you ask, what are the numbers? To me none of that truly matters in the big scheme of things. What matters is, I got my health back and my BodyBack too! I am going to be a good example of eating to my kids who are now eating better too! I am going to live longer for my husband, children, family and friends. To know where you are going, you have to start! My journey with BodyBack began on 9/30/14 but even before I made this commitment, I had considered starting prior BodyBack program sessions. I say this because like most moms we put ourselves last. I found every excuse each session to not sign up. Now on the other side of this journey, I wish I started sooner! This program is flexible - having options of early morning classes, classes with childcare options and even evening classes. Since we know as moms that our schedules can change with one single sickness, husband travel change and the like, having the confidence to commit to a program with schedule flexibility is key to keep you consistent in the program. Need to miss a class, you can make it up with ease! It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change! BodyBack offers food logs each week to provide insight for your instructor to give you positive, encouraging and supportive feedback on making sure you are properly fueling yourself. BodyBack even provides menus and recipes to follow to stay on track. I stand firmly in the benefit of logging your food. Just in the first week of logging, you will determine times of the day you eat less or too much for example and overall what type of fuel you are putting into your body. Of course we know what we eat but when you put it on paper it first shows you where you can improve and too incidentally encourages better eating. That certainly was my motivation! I was embarrassed to write down what I was eating before starting the program so "if I did not want to write it down, then I did not eat it." I will say there is not an exact plan you need to follow to succeed. I did not use one recipe from the recommended nutritional plan but I did use its platform to eat clean. That's it, eat clean! There is always a better option, grilled chicken instead of fried chicken, veggie burger instead of your traditional burger, low to no sugar, no drinks like alcohol, sodas or juices, high fiber, whole grain, and tons of fresh fruit and veggies and protein. If you are like me, vegetables are not my strength. I was successful by incorporating green juices (8 oz at breakfast and 8 oz at dinner) strictly vegetable based (romaine, celery, broccoli, kale, parsley) not green fruits that are good in limited quantities but loaded in calories. Another strategy, drink a 16oz glass of water before you snack to make sure you are truly hungry instead of possibly just thirsty and with that you eat less by filling up on water first. And always drink water before you start your day, even before breakfast. Drinking 32oz of water about an hour before breakfast, flushes you out and starts off good hydration for your day - you will end up eating properly, much less and better within proper serving sizes without feeling hungry. Also stay away from processed food and expect your grocery bill to increase. Eating cleaner cost more in your pocket but less to your body! Overtime you will learn how to balance your diet in a way to incorporate back in some of your favorite foods and not be as restricted but I stand firm in following a very clean eating plan for the duration of the 8 week program to get maximum results. Once you detox per se those first 8 weeks and retrain your brain and body to eat healthier you will successfully be able to have cheat days of some of your favorite foods, like pasta, breads, french fries and maybe even a sweet treat now and then both without feeling guilty nor overindulging. That is the key - finding the balance of clean eating with integrated cheat moments. No depriving and starving your body to only revert back to old and unhealthy eating habits.

Working Out, works out! One of the amazing perks of BodyBack is having a personal trainer to motivate and inspire you while working out, along with other amazing moms working hard too. No two workouts are alike and that is recipe for success. Having varied workouts that target different areas of your body helps to continuously shock your body and avoid plateauing. Plus you will not get bored or know what to expect - you are guaranteed to leave BodyBack class each week with stronger muscles that will burn and ache in the most productive way. The saying "feel good pain" is nothing short of honest and yet so encouraging. I always get excited the next day of barely being able to move a muscle area as a successful workout and that is guaranteed in this program. Along with strength and muscle training, you need cardio too! BodyBack will provide weekly duration cardio times for you to complete outside of class. Cardio logging also will help you to keep track of how much you are doing and increase your endurance. You will be surprised how much further you can run, stair climb or do any cardio exercise. Its important to record and follow the recommended minutes to complete to have a well rounded plan. Too much weight training and not enough cardio or vice versa will not give you the overall benefit. The two elements in truth work together to give you the total package of muscle strength and fat loss!

So what are the numbers? You know after my first session of BodyBack I only lost a 1/2 pound. Does that sound discouraging? It would if I had not been assessed via measurements before the start of the program. I gained muscle and lost inches - almost to the exact percentage of fat loss was what I gained in muscle (over 10%). On top of that I continued the maintenance schedule of BodyBack with the added Stroller Strides classes (another fantastic Fit4Mom program). By the start of second session of BodyBack, I had lost a total of 6lbs. That was super motivating to get started on second session to continue making progress. At the end of second session, I lost another 3% of fat with an additional 3% of muscle gained, with a loss of 3 inches in my waist and over 4 inches in my hips but had a 1.5lb increase. What's important here is not the scale and really not even the numbers. Yes, losing inches is awesome and the muscle I gained would equate to the pound increase but it really is how I feel. Remember "How would you like to be stronger, leaner, healthier and be your best, YOU?" Thats how I feel - stronger, leaner, healthier and my very best ME!

Yes, I got my BodyBack and truly more but most importantly I got my health back! A very special thank you to BodyBack instructors, Marisa Park, who inspired me to start, and Megan Davis, who inspires me to continue achieving my very best! Join me in this journey with so many other incredible moms so we can have everything BodyBack represents - Strength for Motherhood! Ashley Shuell

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