How I Got a Flat Tummy in 30 Days!

Want to know how I got a flat tummy in 30 days? Me too! I would love to know when the results shown in the photo below never happened to me in 30 days.

Over the weekend I received an email from a fellow blogger, thank you Sia, notifying me that another blogger was using one of my before and after photos to promote a 30 Day Ab Challenge for a flat tummy. The image was quickly gaining traction on Pinterest.

How I Got a Flat Tummy in 30 Days!

This made my jaw drop. I felt like I had finally made it as a “blogger”. My work was stolen and used without my consent.

And just so we are all clear on my work here, I mean selfies taken on my iPhone in the bathroom mirror.

I know it is probably lame that I got excited about this, but what is it that they say about flattery? ūüėČ

Anyway, as flattered as I am that someone used my photo to promote their fitness challenge, I wish that my image had not been used in this way.

THIS FIRM FLAT TUMMY IS NOT FROM A 30 DAY AB CHALLENGE

I highly dislike the idea of people seeing that picture of my midsection and thinking that by doing a 30 Day Ab Challenge they can achieve those same results.¬†Let’s chat about the photo for a second. Here is the original. As you can see the dates had been cropped out.

Before-After

These two photos were taken 18 months apart. Not 30 days. This before and after photo was 547 days in the making.

In October of 2011 I had just found out I was pregnant. There was no flat tummy happening for numerous months between these photos.

I exercised throughout my entire pregnancy and my diet was very healthy. I also taught several group fitness and yoga classes weekly.

After my son was born I updated my progress monthly but two years ago decided¬†to¬†remove most of those posts for fear of my images being stolen to promote products I don’t use or believe in. My 10 Month After Baby Stats¬†post is still published if you would like to read it.

On a side note, this photo created quite the controversial stir back in May of 2013 when I guest posted on FitLife.Tv. The majority of the comments about my article were not about the article itself but targeted this same photo. You can read all about this in my post The Problem with Body Bashing.

I did not do a 30 Day Ab Challenge for these¬†results. When I workout I don’t ever focus on only my “abs”. I do however work my core and focus on all the muscles from the shoulders down to the quads.

I do NOT think there is anything wrong with my before picture. I love my flat tummy in both photos and I love my tummy now.

HOW TO SPOT A FAKE

I also really dislike the fact that the image was used by another “personal trainer” to promote themselves. There are tons of fitness bloggers on the internet who claim to be a personal trainer yet do not share how they are certified. This is a huge red flag. If a trainer is not forth coming in a Bio¬†or About Section¬†of their blog or website on the certifications they hold do not look any further into buying a program from them or paying for online coaching. This industry is super competitive and trainers pay $$$ each year to keep their certs current and have liability insurance. Legit trainers have certs and will place that information in an easy to find location on their website.

The next time you see a before and after picture that looks a little to good to be true, it is probably because¬†it is too good to be true. Many supplement companies and fitness brands grow because of the success they have with sharing before and after photos. While reputable trainers and fitness bloggers use their own clients before and afters there are many Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook accounts who are looking to promote their at home business by “stealing” someones hard earned before and after photo.

Before you Pin, Share, Double Tap, or Buy when you see another before and after photo determine first if it is from a legitimate source. Please remember, a firm flat tummy happens over time and with consistent effort and dedication both in the gym and in the kitchen. Not from being able to copy and paste a photo of another persons hard work.

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Body After Baby: 9 Months Postpartum

I don’t use extreme measures,¬†deprive myself, or sacrifice my sleep in order to obtain results. I was active during both of my pregnancies and I fully believe that staying active has helped my body recover. I have found that being patient, consistent, and determined are the greatest ways to regain strength and stability in my body.¬†I am a mama to two, and a wife to a firefighter. I don’t have a chef, housekeeper, or nanny. I am real person and I am inviting you to come on my postpartum journey with me.¬†If you are recovering from¬†childbirth please listen to your own body and know that each woman’s¬†pregnancy, labor, and delivery is¬†unique.¬†

To read Maisie’s birth story click HERE. You may also be interested in reading my¬†1 Month Postpartum Update¬†and 4 Month Postpartum Update.

PRE-PREGNANCY STATS

Waist 27″ | Hips 37″ | Weight 130 lb.

39 WEEK PREGNANCY STATS

Waist 38″ | Hips 39″ | Weight 154 lb.

9 MONTH POST BABY STATS

Waist 31″ | Hips 37″ | Weight 133 lb.

Body After Baby 9 Months Postpartum

This is me right now. No makeup and still slightly sweaty from a workout.  

Postpartum Body Months 1 4 9

It has been 5 months since my last update and there has not been any significant change in my body measurements but there has been a huge change in how I am feeling.

My struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety left me feeling like a shell of my former self. Being brave, talking with my doctor, getting a prescription for Zoloft, meeting with a christian counselor for treatment, and making time with God a priority has allowed me to become engaged in my life again.

Back in December I was suffering from horrible lower back. I had never experienced pain like I was feeling which led me to physical therapy. My hips and hamstrings were so imbalanced and sadly my range of motion in my body was drastically reduced. I have spent the last several months focusing on correcting my muscular imbalances with stabilization and strengthen exercises.

In¬†April I am going to be eliminating caffeine, sugar, gluten, diary, and alcohol (this one isn’t a big deal for me because I hardly ever drink) for 21 days. Bread is my favorite thing ever and so are cookies. Each time I have done an elimination diet or a juice cleanse I feel so much better. My cravings are drastically reduce, eczema improves, and I sleep better.¬† I will post more details soon in case anyone else would be interested in learning more about why this is beneficial for your body.

I¬†realize that my last several posts have not made motherhood sound very pleasant. As miserable as I was feeling a few months ago my husband and our babies are the best thing that has happened to me. I am trying to keep this blog real and honest. As a christian it can sometimes be easier to pretend everything is fine because you don’t want others to be turned off by your vulnerability and rawness. Life is wonderful but it can be hard sometimes.

To the moms reading this who have not experienced anything that I have written about. I totally get it. I was right there with you my first pregnancy. I had no idea what postpartum depression felt like or even how consuming dealing with its aftermath could be.

To the moms reading this who have experienced anxiety and depression my heart hurts for you. You are not alone in your suffering. I promise. There are so many of us who suffer in silence. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or talk with your doctor.

When we judge each other we are forgetting that every person has a unique story. Everyone of us has experienced something that has changed us. Be authentically you. God created each of us for a purpose and a calling. It would be a boring world if we all experienced the same struggles and triumphs.

Thank you for your love, kind words, and support over the last several weeks!

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Body After Baby: 4 Months Postpartum

Wow, I have so much to share. I am anxious and slightly nervous¬†to write¬†how I have been recovering during these last several months. But before I continue please read the following disclaimer…

I don’t use extreme measures,¬†deprive myself, or sacrifice my sleep in order to obtain results. I was active during both of my pregnancies and I fully believe that staying active has helped my body recover. I have found that being patient, consistent, and determined are the greatest ways to regain strength and stability in my body.¬†I am a mama to two, and a wife to a firefighter. I don’t have a chef, housekeeper, or nanny. I am real person and I am inviting you to come on my postpartum journey with me.¬†If you are recovering from¬†childbirth please listen to your own body and know that each woman’s¬†pregnancy, labor, and delivery is¬†unique.¬†

To read Maisie’s birth story click HERE. You may also be interested in reading Body After Baby: 1 Month Postpartum Update.

PRE-PREGNANCY STATS

Waist 27″ | Hips 37″ | Weight 130 lb.

39 WEEK PREGNANCY STATS

Waist 38″ | Hips 39″ | Weight 154 lb.

4 MONTH POST BABY STATS

Waist 31.5″ | Hips 37″ | Weight 133 lb.

Body After Baby 4 Months Postpartum

I am really not even sure where to start. I was feeling really great up until around 6 weeks after giving birth. Both Caden and Maisie were healthy and Josh was back on his regular 24 hour shifts. I felt like supermom. Sure I was exhausted at the end of the day but all things considered I thought I was managing fairly well.

Around 8 weeks postpartum I started to feel very run down. I remember the newborn phase with Caden and being tired but this time around I just seemed to become more fatigued as time went on, experienced frequent heart palpitations, and felt a looming sense of dread hanging over my head.

Thinking that I might have a nutritional deficiency I set up an appointment with my naturopath and she recommended that I see a cardiologist. ¬†One doctors appointment turned into another and has since spiraled out of control. I really can’t tell you how many times in the last 3 months I have been to a doctor. These appointments have included the dermatologist for skin biopsies and exzema, dentist for a root canal, cardiologist, naturopath, vein specialist for varicose vein treatments, and lastly to my primary care doctor.

I don’t even want to think about how much money I have spent on co-pays. Thank the Lord for insurance!

Multiple¬†doctors visits, waiting for various test results, and trying to manage squeezing all these¬†appointments in while nursing Maisie has been stressful to say the least. The “what if’s” started to pile up and before I knew it I was spending the majority of my time worrying about what could happen to myself and my family.

Crying seemed to become a normal part of my routine and I seriously felt like my bubbly personality was never going to make a reappearance.

I never thought I would battle with postpartum depression or anxiety. Like never ever.

With Josh’s encouragement and support I made an appointment with my primary care doctor and told him with tears in my eyes what I had been experiencing. That was the turning point. It was scary but empowering at the same time. I knew from that instant¬†going forward I would be in a much better place. Maybe not right away but I was at least taking steps in a more positive direction.

Sharing all of this is not easy, and I debated over and over if I even wanted to share. In the end it feels better to be open and honest. I am not perfect and don’t have it all together and would never want anyone to get that impression from my blog.

I am so thankful I went to see my doctor when I did. Waiting would have only allowed me to sink deeper and deeper into a dark and bottomless pit.

This past week I learned the results from the testing that was done at the cardiologist. I have to say that it was a relief in a way to find out that the heart palpitations I have been experiencing were not a result of an over active imagination. The pulmonic valve in my heart is leaky. It is mild leak that could have been a result from pregnancy or I could have had it my entire life there is really no way to know. It is not life threatening but later on down the road if it should worsen I may need heart surgery.

My heart is also misfiring electric signals causing it to contract in an abnormal rhythm, this is why I have been feeling the palpitations. I had to wear a heart monitor with electrodes and wires for two weeks which was slightly annoying but worth it because I now have the answer I need. Again this is not life threatening and should it get worse I might need to go on medication but the cardiologist thought it could be related to postpartum hormones so I just have to wait and see.

All of this to say I am doing better. I can still exercise and I now have a plan to get back on track mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Without God at the front of all this I would be even more of a mess.

Enough of all that. Hopefully that gives you an idea of what has been going on. This next part seems slightly less important to me now in comparison to what has been happening with my overall health but I know I said I would share my before and after pictures from using the MuTu System 12 Week Program.

Body After Baby 1 Month & 4 Months Postpartum

1 MONTH POST BABY STATS

Waist 33″ | Hips 39″ | Weight 139 lb.

4 MONTH POST BABY STATS

Waist 31.5″ | Hips 37″ | Weight 133 lb.

Ladies, if you have had a baby recently or even if it has been several or more years I highly recommend the MuTu System.¬†You can read my MuTu System 12 Week Online Program Review for more details. Since my last update I have lost 6 pounds and 3.5 inches. I can’t sing it’s praises enough! If you feel like you are looking pregnant months or years after having your baby do yourself a favor and click HERE to watch a quick video explaining the program and how it works. I’ve also been using my Fitbit¬†to track my steps each day which has helped me see how much (or how little) I have been moving.

I am averaging around 7 hours of sleep each night and Maisie is nursing every 3 hours during the day and sleeping 12 hours at night. It is great! Over the last 6 weeks I have been waking up at 5am to pump breastmilk to stash in the freezer. The treatment I am having done on my varicose veins requires me to pump and dump for 24 hours after my appointments. All you moms who exclusively pump you are rockstars! I am planning to write a separate post on this in the next few weeks. So far my treatment has been going well and my legs are already feeling better. Yay!

I think that I need to hit publish on this post before I decide to delete it. To see cute pictures of my kiddos follow me on Instagram. I would love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below.

Moms how have you dealt with your postpartum recovery?

This post may contain affiliate links of items that I have used and loved. Thank you for supporting this blog and our family by purchasing through my links.

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