READ about my 14 week transformation here!
READ about my 14 week transformation here!
READ about my 14 week transformation here!
currently 3 months postpartum and training for…. life. i decided not to compete in another bodybuilding competition until i’m done having kiddos. i believe this is the first time i’ve ever typed it out so that kinda makes it official! i’ve said and thought it bazillions of times recently. going from one extreme to the other with my body is not something i’d like to do in between kiddos again so i’m content with waiting. i have menstrual issues as it is and a super low body fat percentage will only complicate the preggo process. so, no thank you! ‘yall want more kiddos?!’ heck YES, Sonny and i would love more, God willing.
about 24 hrs after giving birth, i snapped these pics in my postpartum hospital bathroom. those postpartum pads are gigantic, right!? holy #thighgap LOL. i was left with a loose pooch/pouch– whatever you wanna call it- of a tummy cause, well, my skin had been stretched out over the last 10 months of course! take note; most of the mommy pooch pics you see around the net all lack one thing- muscle tone.
but what else contributes to mommy pooch?
the first tip that is not even included in my list below is patience. if you’re looking for fitfoodiele’s secret potion/formula/pill/cream it’s on sale and you can purchase it here. oh dang, the link is broken cause it does not exist!!!! #whoops #bubblebursted. ok, for real tho, here is the actual link: www.6packusa.com. you can’t undo this overnight, in a few days, or even a handful of weeks. but you can get a head start. more on that later. pregnancy and EVERYTHING that comes with it is a blessing. you must love and honor your body throughout this temporary stage though. never forget that. let me say it again. TEMPORARY. cause if it’s up to you (and it is) you’re not gonna stay the way you are! besides,
am i right?? i know i am!
you can drop weight in a matter of days by either burning yourself OUT on cardio or starving yourself, neither of which are healthy and…. who wants to live like that? the way my body looks and the way my clothes fit are most important. and it simply takes time to shape and mold your body.
this is my time-table so far! fitness is my life. it’s no secret i love to workout. i desire to move every single day. i need it!!! BUT…. i do not have the desire to eat clean 100% of the time 24/7 and neither do you. that said, your nutrition really does play a gigantic role in the PP recovery process since working out takes a backseat for a moment. people tell me all the time how they wish they had my discipline regarding healthy eating and uuuuh, my response is always ‘YOU CAN DO IT TOO’. i have the same temptations and same food devils in my ears day in and day out. i hear them the loudest at the grocery store. specifically in the bulk aisle where all the chocolate covered EVERYTHING is!!! it’s all about preparation for me and keeping things i don’t want to go overboard with out of my house. i know ME and you must know YOU. if i don’t prepare (meal prep, gym schedule, exact workouts) i end up winging it and failing more often than not. you can take the reins on your body again and start your PP process from the inside out with what you put into your body. which bring us tooooooo my first tip!
1.EATING COLLAGEN BOOSTING FOODS – collagen is the cement that holds us together. it helps to keep our skin tight and firm (which is why those adorable young kids and yummy babies have such smooth skin and shiny hair), so eating a plethora of collagen boosting foods only makes sense, right? right. processed foods work against you when it comes to your tummy. the fresher and more whole your food, the better. again, work this thing from the inside out and eat a well balanced diet of the following collagen boosting foods:
so…… avoiding high sodium, high sugar, and fried foods will do your body GOOD. it is what it is. keepin’ it real. reduce your sugar cravings by drinking plenty of water (with fresh lemon juice squeezed in), keep up with consistent, regular exercise, chew gum to satisfy that sweet craving, use stevia or any other zero calorie, all natural sweetener, and reach for fresh fruit first. do you have to cut those indulgent foods out completely? of course not. that’s no fun and no way to live long-term. but if you have a particular goal to meet at a particular time, well then you will have to sacrifice and limit/moderate those treats. also, be aware of your trigger foods! mine are dairy, broccoli, and Kashi as i’ve mentioned before, so i know my results aren’t exactly accurate after eating those foods as they bloat me like nobody’s business 🙁
2. BREASTFEEDING. i know. it’s tough, especially those first few days when your nipples are just like, #ican’t. ‘GO ON WITHOUT ME.’ but i promise you the benefits for both parties are well worth that temporary pain. there’s that word again! and if the pain persists, you could very well be doing it wrong! i was. check this out or ask your OB or lactation consultant for tips. i’m on team #savethenipples all day. while at the hospital i began to breastfeed immediately as instructed and i literally felt my uterus shrinking/contracting as my OB said it would. when nursing, your body releases certain hormones that shrink your uterus back down to its pre-preggo size. i take advantage of and appreciate ‘cry rooms’ and public breastfeeding areas so much more as they are still pretty rare.
the contracting was extremely uncomfortable (after giving birth a few hours prior they were a breeze tho lol) but again this helped my uterus do its thing at a faster rate, thus helping to eliminate the pooch faster as well. now that Dego is 3 months old, he nurses anywhere from 5-6 times in a 24 hr period. we’ve all heard the ‘bfeeding burns 500 cals a day’ thing but i like ‘our bodies burn almost 20 calories to make just an ounce of breast milk’ better. that way, i can do the math myself to get a more accurate number and so can you! i add that number in with estimated # of cals i burn on a particular day (if i don’t have my HR monitor then i just use MyFitnessPal) and adjust my macros accordingly. that is a whole nother post in itself that is coming by request. so anyway, while you enjoy your newbie and wait those few weeks for your workout clearance, you can still burn calories by picking up your baby, not a dumbbell! i understand not every mom is a workout junkie, so this is a free, convenient benefit you should take advantage of if you’re able to do so.
more benefits you should know:
one more thing about breastfeeding. after reading this the other day from Shape’s online mag:
i was like ‘hey!!!! that totally happens to me!! that really is a ‘thing’!’ however… it comes in the form of uncontrollable laughter. is that weird or what? i asked another mommy friend if she ever felt the urge to literally laugh out loud when her milk lets down and well, i was on my own on that one. it only lasts for a couple of seconds and i pretty much suppress it in public, but it is the craziest thing ever. oxytocin.. it’s like breastfeeding endorphins!!!
3. DOING POSTPARTUM BELLY FLATTENING EXERCISES – only with your doctors approval first and foremost should you proceed with these exercises. a relapse could prolong your recovery time so it’s not worth the risk. there are a billion-katrillion exercises you can do and they are all over YouTube! again, these are the top 5 i use, but i posted a few more below you should definitely try.
a. tummy vacuum (see pic below). i love this one cause you can do it anytime, anywhere, sitting, standing, laying down flat on your back or even on a yoga ball (which is my fave cause i can stretch out my back simultaneously).
to do: imagine pulling your belly button into your spine super-duper tight and holding it there, even after you exhale. hold everything in, contracting your core, for as long as possible then release. you can start with holding for 3 seconds, then increase it to 5, 10, etc, etc. repeat, repeat, repeat.
press play below!
*in order played*
b. can be used as a stretch or an exercise. on your back, arms out to the side, palms down, knees at 90 degrees. the slower the better. with your tummy sucked in tight, take knees from side to side, all the way down to the floor. this works your entire core, obliques included.
c. can be used as a stretch or an exercise. optional advanced move of b. legs straight out, feet together. take your time on this one.
d. start with this exercise if you’re a beginner. inhale and draw your core in tight. keep a 90 degree angle in your legs (i could have done a little bit better job) as you tap your toes to the floor and back to the start position. try your best not to arch your back; you want your core to do all the work so the slower the better. to advance the move, alternate your legs in a controlled motion and keep that tummy sucked in.
e. opposite arm/leg crunches on all fours. inhale and draw your core into your spine and hold it there as you execute the move.
here are a few more moves from Shape mag that focus on the LOWER ABS, where we need to concentrate the most.
4. TAKING CARE OF MY SKIN – i believe that what we put into our bodies produces the most dramatic results. however, sprucing up the surface can make a difference too.
a. body scrubs and moisturizer. they help tighten skin because of the increased blood flow that produces healthy, elastic, skin. use it all over your body but pay special attention to your trouble areas each time you shower. hello, i just posted 3 different super simple homemade body scrub recipes for you here. after a shower, i’ll apply cocoa butter to help tone the uneven parts on my belly as they were discolored from the stretching. and that’s it. i keep it very simple.
b. water. water, water, water = fresh, hydrated, supple skin. s/n: you can tell a lot about your health just from the way you use the restroom. if your urine is pale and almost clear, that’s a great indicator that you’re getting enough fluids. if it’s a darker, rusty yellow, you prolly need more fluids. my hands become wickedly dry when i’m not getting enough water, so that’s another telltale sign for me. we also need plenty of water for breastfeeding, ladies, so drink up! i drink a 16.9 oz bottle with every meal, so at least 6 of them per day.
5. IMPLEMENTING 6 Pack USA (Postpartum). so about that head start! weight training and cardio. you need both. i did both before pregnancy, during, and after. a transformation is a present activity, not a future event! if you wait until you deliver your baby to start working out and eating right, the road ahead will be long. extra long. start practicing healthier habits NOW. not only will your pregnancy be easier in general, but baby will benefit and it’ll take less work to get back to your pre-preggo body after you deliver. toned, lean muscle under your skin will help it look tighter. not just your tummy, but all over! slow and steady wins the race when it comes to weight loss and getting/keeping your skin tight. crash diets and quick fixes do NOT help the skin tightening process…no, no, no. it must be done the healthy way as in a steady loss of 1-4 lbs of body fat per week. extreme dieting will force your skin to stretch and sag more quickly, so give it time and build healthier lifestyle habits while you’re at it. we live by and promote this successful program and it has been my no-fail plan before, during, and after my 2nd pregnancy. it has blessed the lives of so many other around the country, including this mother of FIVE, April!
as i struggle to get my life together daily with my two rug rats, i watch this girl in awe as she juggles her photography career, 5 kiddos, each with their own busy agendas, a hubby, and still manages to make time to take care of herself! WHAT a transformation! that’s what dedication and consistency can do for you.
i was unaware of my daily micronutrients limit for my first pregnancy, but the second time around i had it DOWN. knowing what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat it made all the difference. the picture below says it all! on the left i was 4 months pp with Chiso (prolly my highest un-preggo weight ever), and on the right i was 2 months pp with Dego. knowledge really IS power!
skin firming and tightening skin-care products don’t work as well as their over-exaggerated claims. ever. and the price to quantity ratio is waaaaay off lol! because collagen is found in the second layer of our skin (the dermis layer), those creams are just sitting on the surface of your skin and not really doing anything but hydrating it. (they work just as well as those lotions that claim to prevent stretch marks. nope, not gonna happen.) you reeeeally gotta watch those key words when reading the product descriptions like: ‘..improve the appearance of your skin…’ and ‘..provides visibly firmer looking skin…’ . most of these creams require daily use but as soon as you stop applying, the product stops working. and that’s if it even works for you! the product reviews for these types of creams are all over the place. i’ve also noticed that some of the commenters claiming the product works mention that they are using it IN ADDITION TO exercise!! purchase at your own risk (i’d rather go buy groceries with that money) and definitely read those reviews first.
i’m not completely sold on belly bands. i say completely because i feel they are only great for providing back and core support (especially if you had an epidural or c-section), and making your waist/mid-section nice and smooth under your clothing immediately after birth when the pooch is most prominent. i get it. however, they have nothing to do with getting your abdominals and core back into shape. at all. once you take it off, everything settles (or drops) back to where it was! don’t be fooled. long term results come from physical activity and proper nutrition. belly bands are definitely a short-term solution.. a band-aid, if you will.
there is a reason it takes time to lose fat. the progress you see from using wraps is usually water weight and not actual fat. which means the fat is still present and can only be burned off.
AAAAAAGGGGHHHH!!! a WHOLE FOODS MARKET is opening up on my sida town!!!!!
*high five* to my friend Carla for texting me this golden nugget of info as i had no idea, smh! this is both good & bad according to Sonny but i already promised myself to not go HAM in there. i am asked repeatedly what my grocery bill is like as a few readers assumed i do all my shopping in Whole Foods and Trader Joes and that is sooooo not the case guys! i use both of these havens as specialty stores ONLY. i’m a crazy foodie and grocery shopping is fun to me, but i have my limits :lol:. i oogle at and am intrigued by weird, quirky, healthy & indulgent food combos, seasonings, snacks, treats, and all things FOOD. exhibit A:
this is currently in my snack corner and this is why i get *side-eyes* when i get home. you and i both know that nobody needs this stuff. all natural, double chocolate cookies, fig butter, chocolate covered pretzels, raspberry fruit spread, nori wraps….
let’s be clear- i get my fresh produce and staple items from HEB, Wally World (Walmart), Sams, Fiesta, Kroger… i’ll even go to Food Town or the like if they are having a fantastic sale and the produce looks presentable. i don’t by organic (severely overpriced in my opinion and i’ve seen, read, and tasted evidence to prove that the ‘regular’ produce is equal to or greater!) and that keeps my bill low. the organic produce business is BOOMING!!!! but, it won’t get any of my hard-earned money.
i often wonder what i’d be doing now had i not started this blog or had i postponed my decision yet again to compete in that bikini competition last Sept. there are great moves, and then there are lessons. you’ll never know though if you don’t step out on faith. sometimes you can step out at your own pace, and sometimes you are evicted immediately, ready or not!
go boldly and confidently in the direction of your dreams!!!! don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you from moving forward….only fear standing still.
Q: what is your favorite SPECIALTY store?
come on, i wanna hear from you so i can go check it out too!
– June 2012 –
Chiso had just turned one a month prior to my decision to compete in my first bikini competition. my weight fluctuated give or take 5-10 lbs in either direction depending on what i ate since i had given birth. heck, even pre-prenancy. in a way, i was honestly sorta proud of my post-preggo body…i mean the few extra pounds that i did gain melted off rather quickly and i was back to my pre-preggo weight pretty fast. but, i was still unsatisfied with myself to say the least. i still didn’t have my goal body.
i’m 5’10 and my starting weight according to my home scale was:
21% body fat
per my trainer’s scale:
21% body fat
translation = fluffy!
two weeks into my training, i had my very first progress check. even after just a full week of clean eating, i saw changes instantly and got so excited i made a post about them.
– JUNE 23rd. –
156. 5 lbs.
– JUNE 23rd –
however, i was still super sloppy fluffy and had a lot of work to do. plus a horrible, horrible tan.
– JUNE 23rd –
i was still breastfeeding at the time, hence all that boobage. heavy boobs reeeeally gave me awful posture, but having a great, supportive regular and sports bra helped. i’d rather just lose body fat though, wouldn’t you?!
– JULY 7th. –
each progress check was done early in the morning- can’t you tell? and hey now, after two more weeks, you can see i’m a little tighter, specifically in my mid section. the slim waist i never thought i was built to have was slowly appearing! i was easily fitting dresses that were purposely hidden in the back of my closet cause they were too uncomfy to wear anymore. my pride would not let me get rid of them.
– JULY 21st. –
the july 7th pics look pretty similar to july 21st, huh! i did 50 billion comparisons between them to make sure they really were different. i thought my trainer had sent the same pics twice for a second there, but my polar heart rate watch gave it away.
– JULY 21st. –
thigh gap was getting wider and they were slimming right on down.
– AUGUST 4th –
awww yeeeeeah, big difference there, huh! why? carb cycling. yep, i did a post on that too, but there are so many awesome informational sites on the net that go into greater detail as to how it all works. it’s very simple though. don’t over complicate it. i had three low carb days followed by one high carb day and repeated that over and over again for a few weeks. i was able to lose fat while keeping my muscle! seeing progress like this lifted my butt outta bed every morning to do my cardio.
– AUGUST 18th. –
by my next progress check, i had found my show suit. i had just finished posing practice with my coach, so i took my pics in it. i was down 2% lower in the body fat and lost another 5 lbs from the carb cycling.
– AUGUST 18th –
i’ve got wings!
– AUGUST 18th. –
4 weeks away and ashy. it’s important that i note that i was not only feeling slim at that time, but i felt STRONG, mentally and physically. in the past, i could easily drop a few pounds after exercising my face off for a few days and heavily restricting my diet of carbs, sugar, and fat. i often felt lethargic, super tired, and moody though. i didn’t understand how women could diet down to a size they wanted without feeling…well, BAD. this was totally not normal! if i had to feel that way in order to achieve my goal, i felt it was worth it. it was a very sad situation and a screwed up, unhealthy relationship with food and fitness. after i hit my ‘goal’ weight (yes i said weight and not body) i would eventually let those foods back into my diet. why? well cause i craved them terribly, that’s why!! which equals instant weight gain. you better believe i know better, now. there IS a better, healthier way.
– SEPTEMBER 1st –
why did i weigh more here? water, water, water weight. i was drinking over a gallon a day at this point…or trying too, lol.
two weeks left until show time and not able to fit a single thing in my closet.
– SEPTEMBER 13th –
two days out here and super slim after peeing my heart out and getting rid of all that darn water. my diet on this day and show day was full of carbs though which helped my muscles to fill out and ‘pop’.
i ended up at 138 on show day. hadn’t seen the 130’s in this decade!
the big day! September 15th.
23 lbs and 13% body fat lost in 14 weeks.
alriiiiight, time for just a few questions i’ve received up to this point:
Q: did/do you take supplements?
A: no. no protein shakes, no fat burner pills, no powders. i started and finished this journey completely natural. the only ‘supplement’ i took every morning is the same thing i’ve been taking for the past two years- my generic prenatal pills.
**i’m not taking shots at or discrediting anyone who used those items along their journey to the stage. could i have improved my results with them? possibly! i wanted to remain natural though because i was also nursing Chiso heavily at the time. we are just now in the weaning stages (any day now) but i never had to worry about him ingesting anything questionable and having a bad/allergic reaction to it.
Q: will you compete again?
A: absolutely! i know the experiences hereafter aren’t guaranteed to turn out as amazingly cool as my first one, but that’s ok! i loved seeing my body change and transform in addition to all the information and knowledge i soaked up along the way. i still keep in contact with some of the amazing competitors i went through this journey with at that.
Q: how was it competing at the same time as your husband?
A: *blank stare* 😯 i don’t think i wanna do that part again! the sugar withdrawals made me … how should i say.. hard to live with? lol. sharing my food with Sonny was never a problem before, but because everything had to be precisely measured, ‘no you can’t have even a spoonful.’ *straight face*. omg i was so mean! it’s just that when i have a goal and already racing against time, i don’t want to be up on stage telling myself ‘see!? if only you hadn’t eaten (or not eaten) that _____’. i wanted to do everything right the first time. which is also why i didn’t cheat on my diet- no nibble, no bite, no taste of anything that was not on my meal plan. i wouldn’t have been able to sleep at night!! if we both compete at the same time again in the future, i’ll definitely know what to expect…
Q: how are you adjusting to off season?
A: weeeell, if you follow me on Instagram (fitfoodiele) then you’d know that off-season is going great! i’m maintaining my current weight and body fat until my next competition. i’m also experimenting with building a little muscle too. i’m feeling solid, slim, and strong, not overworking myself in the gym, and enjoying my food freedom to the absolute FULLEST, lol. i still eat 5-6 meals every 3 hours all day long, and i workout 5-6 days a week including teaching my two gym classes. i’m following 6 Pack USA for my current workout and nutrition plan- the same program Sonny used to get ready for his 1st, 2nd, and 3rd show. read more about 6 Pack USA below.
what did we learn here? CLEAN EATING AND WORKING OUT guarantees successful results. depending on what you got goin on in your life determines how fast you get them though. remember, just like you prioritize anything else, fitness has to fit in there somewhere too. you should never, ever, be too busy to take care of yourself. now whether you want to use powders, pills, and all that extra stuff is up to you! just know you don’t need it. some might argue that those things repair joints and aid in recovery etc., but adequate rest can do the same thing.
6 Pack USA offers both personalized workout & nutrition plans specific to your fitness goals. before competing, i knew how i wanted to look, and i had the exercise part down! i even ate what i thought to be healthy and was spot on, however, my portion sizes were not specific to me and the results i desired. even though i was a group exercise instructor, always active, ran 5 and 10k’s often and worked out hard 5-6 days a week, i couldn’t out train my diet.
Sonny used 6 Pack USA for his nutrition and workout regiment for his competitions and currently. his results were phenomenal! see?
2 month progress shot from June 10th – Aug. 21st; 26 lbs lost using 6 Pack USA. yes, 8 weeks.
ripped, front to back!
he then went on to win 1st place in his second show in Fort Worth a couple of weeks later.
and at his final show of 2012 in Las Vegas, he place 8th out of 54 men at Fitness America Weekend. his first international show up against regional winners from all over the world!
if you are interested joining 6 Pack USA, please contact either of us directly via email and send us your contact information:
Leah.Egwuatu@6packusa.com or email@example.com for any fitness or nutrition questions, advice, or tips.
we can also be reached by phone at (281) 912-3804.
whether you want to set a goal to compete in your first bodybuilding competition in 2013 or to live a healthier, fitter, lifestyle, 6 Pack USA can make it happen. if you have any more questions for me concerning my journey to the stage, ask away!