Work It Out // Getting in Shape

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It took me an embarrassingly long time to title this post.  This post is venturing into uncharted waters and full of lots of personal disclosures like weight and body fat percentages, but it has been a huge journey that I’ve been on this past month and I feel compelled to share it with you guys.  It’s not a 30 day challenge, a juice cleanse or a crash diet.  It’s about figuring out how to live and prioritize in a way that makes me feel healthy and fit.  So, if you’re up for it, let’s start at the beginning.  I was super active as a kid– I dabbled in just about every sport you can imagine, but did soccer, track and cross-country the most competitively and up until I graduated high school.  Up until that point I never thought about what I ate, because I was working out two to three times a day and was 17 years old, so it was never an issue.  In the years since, I’ve dabbled in running on my own, ballet classes, yoga classes, and spin, but the busier I got with work, the less exercise became a priority.  About a year before I got pregnant with Parker, Aaron and I started working out together.  We were running around our neighborhood.  He was leaving me in his dust… thanks, friend.  Then we got gym memberships.  I would lift weights from time to time, but mostly I was running.  By the time I got pregnant, I was up to running 5 miles 4-5 days a week and felt really good about my body.  I hadn’t really changed the way I eat at all.  We grocery shop at Whole Foods, don’t eat fast food or drink sodas, so I feel like I’m not the worst eater, but I love wine, cheese, carbs, and eating out as much as the next girl.  So, in the interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that I weighed 119 pounds when I got pregnant with Parker and felt all-together pretty good about it.

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I kept exercising up until 16 weeks into my pregnancy when I started having some spotting and my doctor told me it was probably best to take it easy until Miss Parker made her debut, so that’s what I did.  All in all, I gained 31 pounds during my pregnancy which I also felt pretty good about.  In April of 2014, Parker was born.  The first 21 pounds came off surprisingly fast.  I would say by about 3 weeks, but those last 10 were perseverant little suckers!  Not only that, but I was definitely much softer, less toned, and at some point over the last nine months my abs decided to take a hike and never come back.  I did eventually get back down to my pre-Parker weight momentarily, but was more often than not hovering around 123/124.  As far as exercise, it was a challenge now to carve out the time for it.  I was already feeling like there was barely enough time in the day for work and motherhood and being a wife so it just didn’t make the shortlist of priorities.  I was definitely noticing a difference in how I looked in outfit posts (and a couple of people even left comments!) but it wasn’t until I got on the scale at 129.5 pounds that I realized I needed to make a change.  I know that weight is relative.  That number might sound like a lot to some people or a little to others, but to me I just knew that I wasn’t living as healthfully as I would like to be and I wasn’t really that happy with my body image.  I texted my friend Hank who had recently taken photos for a small personal fitness gym in our neighborhood called Go Tribe and asked him for one of the trainer’s numbers.  I immediately texted her and decided to try out a class that Saturday (4 weeks ago tomorrow!) and was in.

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Since then, I’ve been working out 5-6 times a week, doing 3-4 of the small group classes at Go Tribe and running or doing a home workout that Krickit, my trainer created for me.  She is really the key difference in why I have actually stuck to something consistently for almost a month now.  I’m learning about myself that I have an easier time keeping commitments to others than I necessarily do keeping the ones I make to myself.  Having the accountability of a small group and a trainer who checks up on what I’m eating via Fitness Pal and texts me throughout the week has been a total game changer.  So you want to hear the results three weeks in?

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In three weeks, I’ve lost 3.5 pounds, 2% body fat and 4.5 inches.  I can see a change in my body and I feel really good about it.  All of that to say, I was definitely feeling a little burnout this week and worried that my new found routine would become just another fitness phase to add to the list of yoga and spin classes and unused gym memberships.  Aaron is back to traveling which makes the logistics of going to a class in the morning harder– I have to have the nanny come extra early and then struggle to not feel guilty about being away from Parker longer than necessary.  However, I’m making getting fit and eating healthier a priority right now and I have to remember that, sooooo here we go.  Like I said before, this is so not an aim for perfect gluten-free Whole 30 exercising seven days a week living, but an aim to feel more fit and live more healthfully.  It’s a challenge to cook at home more often and discover new yummy recipes that our whole family can enjoy.  It’s a lifestyle change… hopefully.  I will keep you posted about how the journey is going and more details on what I’m eating (this post just seemed long enough as it is!) and will be popping in from time to time with health and fitness posts if you’re okay with that.  Until then, happy weekend! (Also, some of my favorite posts we have ever worked on are going up next week, so be sure to check in!)

all images via Outdoor Voices

(If you’re in LA, and looking for a new fitness routine, I would definitely check out Go Tribe!)

  1. Kristyn

    08/28/2015

    Thank you for posting this. I am always interested in hearing about how other moms fit it all in! I would love to hear about what you eat on any given day week (we’ve got a 19 month old and it’s always a struggle to figure out heathy meals that the whole family will enjoy.)

    • Jen Pinkston

      08/29/2015

      Yes! I have discovered meal planning on Sundays is ESSENTIAL to having a good week of eating! I will definitely put together an updated post. If you look under ‘The Table’ section I did a post awhile back of recipes that all three of us enjoy. Hopefully that will help in the meantime!

  2. Great post! So nice to hear other’s journeys on something we all deal with. So easy to keep the thing that makes us feel so great off the priority list. You’ve had AWESOME results! Keep it up and thanks for sharing!

    • Jen Pinkston

      08/29/2015

      Thank you so much, Stephanie! That’s so encouraging! Xx

  3. Jen…first of all…thank you for this post(I love you)…second of all…if you don’t mind (how tall are you) and thank you foe encouraging me to continue to invest time in myself and stop feeling guilty…I learn when I feel good I am a better me for my family job and others…thank you xx

    • Jen Pinkston

      08/29/2015

      Isn’t it funny how we let ourselves feel guilty for something that will make us healthier and prolong our life?! How did that happen?! Oh and I’m 5’4″ by the way 🙂

  4. You’re amazing, Jen! So inspired by you!! And would LOVE to join you for a workout sometime soon too! xo

    • Jen Pinkston

      08/29/2015

      Yes, Mary! Let me know when you’re back from the east coast! I will send you my schedule and we can make it work!

  5. Good for you Jen! I just signed up for a yearlong FITPASS at the university I work; they have SUCH great classes and I’m like you—if I’m knowing I have someone I’m accountable to, I’m more likely to go! Hoping I can get a bit more healthier too! I think the important thing is to realize we all swing a bit on the health scale–it’s giving ourselves grace to keep coming back to it when we get off the rails that keeps us going!

    • Jen Pinkston

      08/29/2015

      Yes, completely agree! The not being too hard on yourself component is key!

  6. You know, I’ve been aching to ask you about your height & weight because I think you are serious fitness inspiration to me, but I didn’t want to put you on the spot. Funny, you are bouncing around my old happy weight, (125) but after 5 years of putting on 5 lbs a year, I am really struggling and wishing that I had fought harder, sooner. I just don’t know what is a healthy amount to eat. I do not lose weight on 1500 calories, that is for sure. More like 1200 plus a workout! Thank you so much for being open about this. You are so smart to tackle it now, versus later.

    • Jen Pinkston

      08/29/2015

      Hi Teri, I’m 5’4″, just in case you were still curious 🙂 I can totally relate. One thing I have learned is that it’s 90% what you’re eating and 10% exercise. Also, I recently watched Fed Up on Netflix which raises the question that all calories aren’t equal. Like 1500 calories of sugar and simple carbs will look and weigh differently than 1500 calories of lean meats and veggies. I’ve also learned some interesting things about alcohol and am trying to limit it to one or two nights a week. I would also totally recommend the book Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. It’s all about how we form habits and what strategies work for different people. It was definitely a huge help for me and what probably got me back into exercising. I still have a ways to go with my food, but I will put all of that together in a post some day soon 🙂 Until then, don’t be too hard on yourself. Baby steps 🙂

  7. Katie H.

    08/29/2015

    Thanks for sharing your story, Jen. It feels very familiar. I’ve seen a trainer for a group session twice a week for the last two years. Accountability is the key – I would fail miserably on my own!

    • Jen Pinkston

      08/29/2015

      It’s so encouraging to hear that you’ve been at it for two years! I hope I can say the same thing two years from now!

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