Ab-solution (A Whale of a Belly Tale)

I am going to switch gears for a moment and take a break from posting about the dream home construction.

The idea for this post came from my hunk of a husband!  When I started losing all of my weight back in May and June, I began to see the beginnings of a six pack!  Well, I didn’t physically see them, but I began to BELIEVE, which belief is a powerful thing, that I just might be able to have a six pack!!

Now, I’ve never actually been able to physically see my six pack! Like ever!  I know it’s been there, but I’ve never had “the six pack abs” that you see on the trim women in the exercise magazines.  I’ve always thought they were lovely, and I might have longed, covetously, to transplant them from her belly to mine, but I always thought that would never be me!

Growing up and really up until I had our third child, I’ve always had a pretty trim waist.  In fact, I remember in high school I actually had a 21 inch waist!!  Yeah, I know, tiny, right?!  I had always stayed trim and fit through swimming on the high school swim team…a love and a passion that I still have!  But time and age and marriage and kids had slowly and gradually thickened my waist, not by a lot, but definitely thicker!

Obviously, when I was pregnant with the twins my belly was ginormous!  So, as I began to lose my belly fat while on the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge, Mitch came up with a fun idea for a post, here on my little blog.  I thought he was brilliant and so, I decided to run with it!

I love to see progressive pictures.  For example, when I was pregnant, I always liked to take a weekly picture of my belly as it grew!  I liked to see the pictures side by side and always was so fascinated by the human body and how it can accommodate a new life within a woman’s belly!  Heavenly Father is truly amazing!  It’s just phenomenal, all of the teeny, tiny, minut details that must occur in the miracle and perfection that is pregnancy and child birth!

So, this is what I have for you…a visual journey

From twin pregnancy belly, to the beginnings of a six pack

I will begin at 17.5 weeks and 19 weeks:

17w4dbellyR_thumb5               19wksbelly_thumb2

To 21 weeks and 22.5 weeks (This is about the biggest I ever got with my singleton pregnancies) :

21wks_thumb[3]           22wk5dbelly_thumb3

To 23.5 weeks and 27 weeks:

23wk4dbelly_thumb3          27w+2dbelly3_thumb[4]

To 33 weeks and 34 weeks and 2 days (4 days before I was released from the hospital and 5 days before the boys were born):

33weeks_thumb[3]            34weeks+2daysfront_thumb[3]

This is also 34 weeks and 2 days:

34weeks+2daysinbed_thumb[3]

Every time I see this picture, my belly starts to itch and my back starts to hurt!  How can that possibly be my belly?  If I wasn’t staring at it right now, in front of my face, I wouldn’t believe it!!  I was stuck in that lonely little hospital room and bed for 5 weeks without my husband and 4 girls…man that was tough!

Then they were born:

newborntwins

announcement_thumb[5]

Awww, so little and sweet!

Three months after the boys were born, I looked like this (February 2011):

sidefeb2011                  front feb2011

 

These were taken 1 year ago on September 11, 2013, almost exactly 1 year ago:

20130911_0372           20130911_0371

 

This was just this year on May 23, 2014, the day I started my total body transformation with the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge:

beforebelly

 

 

 

And this was Day 25 after I completed the 24 Day Challenge on June 2nd:

bellypicday25

 

 

Here is what my  abs look like now.  This picture is from this morning:

abs1

 

 

Pretty amazing that I went from this:

34weeks+2daysinbed_thumb[3]

 

to this:

abside

You know, I look at this belly journey of mine and I am amazed, first of all, that my belly was ever that big! Second, I look at my abs this morning and I am amazed that I was able to shrink my belly to what it is now!  I NEVER in my wildest dreams thought that I would ever have a six pack!  To think that I almost do have a six pack, and after having 6 kids, the last two of which are twins…it’s nearly unfathomable to my little brain!

How did I do it?

  1. 24 Day Challenge from AdvoCare: cleaned the toxins from my body so that my body could actually utilize the nutrition that I put in.  Picture your dryer, it’s like I cleaned out the “lint screen” in my body and by doing that my bodies metabolism naturally increases AND it is prepared to receive the nutrition that I put into it through the foods I eat and the health supplements that I take!
  2. Nutrition: changed to clean eating and became more conscious of what I put into my mouth.  When I did this the foods I craved changed…I don’t crave the sugary sweets or white flour products or highly processed foods anymore.
  3. Exercise weekly: my thing is lifting weights, I love to lift weights! So, I try to lift and do abs 3-4 days each week, and cardio when I have time.  I love this 300 abs workout!
  4. Supplementation: this is the thing that I was lacking for so many years!  I thought that i could eat everything that my body needed in order to be lean and have muscle, but I was wrong!  In order for me to have the muscle definition and the leanness, I needed to put more amino acids and protein into my body.  We need to fuel our bodies with the correct nutrition in the right ratios, and I couldn’t do that on my own!
  5. Belief in myself: if I hadn’t seen the changes that the 24 day challenge made to my body in the short 24 days, then I never would have believed this was possible!  But the challenge changed so much more than just my body… it changed how I viewed on things, it changed how I felt about myself, it changed my attitude and perspective, it changed who I was!  It was not just a body transformation, it was a whole person transformation!  It sounds strange, I know, but it’s hard to explain in words!  Just this afternoon I received a message from a friend of mine who also completed the challenge and this is what she said, “I never felt pretty, but I like me better than when I was 20!”  (she’s in her late 30’s now!)

It’s hard to explain it if you haven’t experienced it yourself, but those who have, totally get it!!

If you feel like you are stuck in a body rut, that’s where I was, and you are serious about transforming your body, look at the above list and see what you can change in your life to help you get to where you want to be.  Maybe it’s what you eat, maybe it’s a lack of consistent exercise, maybe supplementation confuses you like it did me, maybe you just don’t think you can change your body, or maybe you just need the jumpstart that the 24 day challenge provided for me. Maybe it’s several of the above!

Whatever it might be, figure it out and change it!!  YOU have the power to change what you don’t like!  Believe me, it is worth whatever sacrifice you have to make…the reward is worth more than you can ever imagine!!