2.22.2017

My Thoughts on the Ultimate Reset

I can now officially call myself a graduate of the 21 day Ultimate Reset program and I am SO stinkin' proud of that.  The Ultimate Reset is a program I have often thought about tackling but never built up the nerve to actually do.  So I decided that having a two year old and four month old at home was a recipe for success with the program?!  Although the program may have been a bit simpler if I had done it before having two little ones in the house, I made it through all 21 days and feel great!

On Facebook I asked friends if they had any questions about the program or how it worked for me, so I am going to answer those here along with sharing my review.  

But, first things first.  What IS the Ultimate Reset?

 To put it simply, it is a 21 day nutrition program.  To put it not-so-simply, it is 21 days of meal planning, meal prepping, eliminating foods that often leave us feeling bloated or sick (often when we don't even realize the food is the cause of that feeling) and bringing your body back to its 'factory settings'.  No junk food, no alcohol, limited animal products and a heavy focus on fresh fruits and vegetables - that is the Ultimate Reset.  It also comes with several supplements that help you be even more efficient and achieve more during your Reset.

Was it hard?

I'd be lying if I said it was a walk in the park.  There were days I struggled more than others, and there were some days that were surprisingly easy to get through.  The second and third days were probably the most difficult.  I was exhausted in these days and felt like I was walking around in a fog.  Which, in some ways, I was.  It was just a mental fog created by junk food and other crappy choices leaving my body as the Reset started to do its job.  

At about the start of week two I had another hard day.  The amount of cooking and prepping I was doing was starting to wear on me, and I thought about throwing in the towel.  (Gotta be honest!)  I wrote to a couple friends and told them how I was feeling, and they gave me wonderful words of encouragement to keep me going.  Plus, when I looked at that Ultimate Reset package I couldn't imagine throwing away the first week's work because of a bump in the road.  So I persisted and stuck to it, and the last week and a half wasn't difficult to get through.  Surprisingly, being at a SuperBowl party wasn't even the hardest day.  I just put my blinders on, avoided the food tables and ate my Reset-approved meals.  

Did I do it while nursing?  Can you?

No, I did not do it while nursing.  After having my son life came at my family pretty fast when my husband was in an accident at work and lost his arm.  My mother watched my kids during the day the week he was in the hospital so I could be there with him, and so I after his release home I continued to pump but did not go back to nursing.  By the time I started the Ultimate Reset I had also stopped pumping and my son was being exclusively formula fed. 

It is not recommended to do the Ultimate Reset while pregnant, nursing or pumping.  Because the Reset is a cleanse, you would not want to risk any of the toxins your body is releasing to go to your child.  Also, each of these things (pregnancy, nursing, pumping and Ultimate Resetting) are a lot of work for your body, so it is best to do the Reset by itself.

Did your husband Reset with you?
In a word, no.  While Jake ate several of the meals with me and enjoyed them, he also opted to make his own meals a lot of the times.  

Why did I choose to do the Ultimate Reset?  What did I hope to get out of it?

Honestly, this could be a blog post all by itself - or even several.  To keep it short and sweet, though, the main reason I did it was because I needed a big change.  Through pregnancy, then having a newborn, then Jake's accident and all the stress that came with that, my discipline over food had become very lax.  I was making unhealthy choices far too often.  Even when I would do normal meal planning, I would leave wiggle room for cheating, and the cheating would snowball into too many bad choices.  

Before having my daughter I had lost 65 pounds, and I have that amount as my current goal as well.  As I thought about what I had done differently that time, I thought about how I had started.  Before knowing anything about Beachbody, I watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, and that changed everything.  I did a 7 day juice fast and then jumped into doing Insanity as a workout program.  Taking that GIANT leap into health and then easing back into having wiggle room in my meals and choices gave me the mental 'reset' that I needed in order to make better and healthier decisions.  I thought that the Ultimate Reset could also do this for me.  Time will have to be the judge of whether my logic was correct or not, but so far I believe it was.

I wanted to get a lot out of the effort I put into the Ultimate Reset:

- I wanted to kick my sugary/sweets cravings
- I wanted to re-learn how to just.say.no to food when it's not going to fuel my body as I need
- I wanted to get into the habit of having more vegetables
- I wanted to set myself up for success
- I was hoping to lose some weight and kick start my weight loss journey
- I wanted to get used to drinking more water

I truly believe I accomplished all of these things!

What were my biggest non-scale victories?

The scale can be a fickle friend.  It truly can't be a great indicator of how our health is changing, but that is how so many of us rate our success.  I had plenty of non-scale victories that I think are even more worthwhile than any change I saw on the scale.

- The bloating in my fingers FINALLY went down enough so I can once again wear my wedding ring.  It had been probably nine months since I was able to wear it because of pregnancy bloating and weight gain, but since a week or so into the Reset I have had it on 24/7. This was probably my favorite victory!

- I am now cognizant of  just how badly I was doing at getting in all my vegetable servings each day.  In the Ultimate Reset you eat vegetables, vegetables and more vegetables - and stay full, too!  Doing the Reset has completely changed how I approach my meal planning.  Vegetables are first priority, then fruits, then adding in some beans, grains, eggs, dairy and saving meat for up to just 3 times a week.  Before the Reset I would pick a meat dish, add in dairy and grains and then throw in some veggies if I thought of it.  No wonder the weight was staying on and I wasn't seeing results!  Our bodies need vegetables, and I plan to deliver!

- I stayed away from chocolate.  I'm not even sure this needs an explanation.  No chocolate for three weeks?  This was a huge accomplishment for me!

- WATER.  I used to struggle to get in 100+ ounces of water a day, but during the Reset it became pretty simple to do, just because of how meals are scheduled.  I have continued to get in this much water each day, and it truly does help curb hunger and cravings.

- I learned how to say no.  How to walk away.  How to make better choices and how to be content with healthy food.  That's huge!

- I do believe I have set myself up for success, but I suppose the next couple weeks and months will be the real test of this :) 

But really, how about that scale?

Along with non-scale victories, I saw a pretty big scale victory as well!

Throughout the 21 days of the Ultimate Reset I lost 17.8 pounds and 5.25 inches.  Before starting the Reset I set a goal to lose between 10 and 15 pounds, with a stretch goal of 20.  If I had hit 20 pounds I would have added in a snack or two, simply because I didn't want to shock my body too much by losing so much weight so quickly.  I didn't end up hitting 20 pounds, but I am extremely pleased with what I did lose!

I can see that my stomach shrunk in a bit, some of my back fat disappeared and I had a couple people comment that my face looks thinner - all in all, I'm happy!

What's next?

So where do I go from here?  Jump back into my old habits and gain it all back?  No!  That is absolutely something I am not planing on doing.  I will be starting with a round of country heat and then transitioning into Core de Force workouts while also staying on top of my nutrition.  I may do one or two rounds of each program; I will see how I feel when I have completed the first round.  Yesterday I submitted my results to Beachbody so I can get my free Ultimate Reset shirt - whoo hoo!

Nutrition-wise, I am having Shakeology for breakfast (vegan tropical strawberry, water and frozen fruit), vegan lunches and healthy dinners.  Up to three times a week I will incorporate meat into our dinners, and allowing one 'indulgent' meal a week.  These will almost certainly be dinners, so Jake can enjoy them as well.

I'm curious about trying this...

If you have read this novel and would like to learn more about the Ultimate Reset and trying it out for yourself, I would love to chat with you!  I have many more thoughts and experiences than I could ever hope to fit into a blog post and would love to have you pick my brain about it.  If you decide to jump in, I'd love to work with you one-on-one as you navigate the booklet, your meal prepping and going through the program itself.  Support and someone to lean on is so vitally important for success!!

If you're not quite sure you're up to the task of doing the Ultimate Reset but would like to get a better handle on your own health and fitness, I have a challenge group starting on March 13 and would love to have you in it!

For either thing, or if you have any questions at all, please feel free to comment on this post with your email address, email me directly at ashleykrek@gmail.com or fill out the form below and I will get back to you within the next 24 hours!


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Until then,




8.02.2016

Baby Dress Up Calendar - A League of Their Own

Aaaaah!  A LOOONG time ago I started posting about the dress-up calendar I made for Jake for Christmas last year, but then I fell off the blogging bandwagon and never got back to it.  Until today, that is. :) 

Through the month of July we have seen the smiling face of our very own Rockford Peach, Bonnie Ann.  Jake is a big fan of A League of Their Own, and while I couldn't tell you much about the storyline, I AM a pretty big fan of miss B dressed up as a baseball player!


Most of the pictures I took for the calendar were either in our living room or backyard, but for this group Bonnie Ann and I went to a local baseball field to get in the right frame of mind for some of the shots.  It was her first time playing with a baseball, and I'll be honest in saying that she was more interested in trying to eat the baseball than caring much about the sport itself!


While this outfit isn't a fully-functioning baseball uniform, I think it does a pretty good job of getting the idea across and I'm proud of it!  (And besides, could those cheeks or that smile not look adorable in something?!)



What do you think of this outfit or the baby calendar idea itself?  I'd love to hear!  I haven't made a calendar for 2017, but I'm thinking I'll have to make one next year for 2018 since I will have TWO little ones to get gussied up!  Maybe famous duos?!  A mini Sonny and Cher would just be too cute!


8.01.2016

Country Heat is HERE!!!

It's been released!  Country Heat is available for purchase and I am anxiously waiting for mine to show up at my doorstep!  


Yes, my big ole' pregnant belly will be kicking the dust up in my living room with Autumn - and I can't wait for it!  One of the best parts of being involved with Beachbody is that I have access to incredible workouts and health tools without having to leave my own house.  As a mother of a toddler and another baby who will be arriving shortly, I appreciate knowing that they are witness to me making choices to put my health and fitness first.  Bonnie Ann loves it when I bring out the dancing videos, too, because she gets to boogie right along with me!

Have you not heard of Country Heat yet, and have no idea what I'm talking about??  I can explain!

Country Heat high-energy, low-impact dance workout that’s so simple and so fun, you’ll love it from the very first step. There is no choreography to remember, it is simply a dance workout of easy-to-follow moves that are set to awesome country music.  I was able to try out some sneak peeks and let's just say I had a great time dancing while also sweating up a storm!

The workouts themselves are 30 minutes long and it is a 30-day program that can be repeated as often as you like - this could be the game-changer for your health and fitness journey, and you only need to have 30 minutes to devote to it!  

What exactly comes with Country Heat?

If you decide that you would like to try out this program you get a ton of goodies that comes along with the program itself!  By ordering Country Heat, you get five dance workouts, a dance conditioning workout, a Shakeology shaker cup, an eating plan with a set of 7 color-coded, portion-control containers, a Quickstart guide, a 30-day calendar and two bonus workouts!  Along with all that, you can earn a free Country Heat t-shirt just for completing the workout and sharing your results with Team Beachbody!  

I, of course, as your coach, will also be along for the ride with you!  I am available to help you stay motivated, focused and on schedule!

How do I get the BEST results possible?

The best results in any health and fitness journey come from these key things:

- Commitment
- Staying on track
- Sticking to the program
- Fueling your body correctly

As simple as those little bullet points might make it seem, these four things can actually be pretty hard to master!  (I suppose that has a lot to do with why there are so many of us who have struggled or are struggling with health and weight issues).  One thing that I have found makes ALL of these easier to accomplish, however, is this: accountability.  When we work together with other people and hold each other accountable, not only is the journey a lot more fun, it is also a whole lot easier to stick to!

I offer personal support and accountability through my Challenge Groups that I run each month.  These are designed to keep you focused on your goals, accountable to the process and motivated to keep going!  Imagine how great it would be to have someone lift you up when you've had a bad day (because they DO happen) instead of just letting one bad day roll into another.  That's what these groups do for us!  I have been a proud member of many challenge groups, and I truly believe that they are the secret sauce to an awesome success story (say that five times fast!)

Along with the accountability, challenge groups also offer the opportunity to try out Shakeology, which is how I start every day!  Shakeology is a nutrient-dense meal replacement that helps us to fuel our body correctly and in the best way possible.  I'll be honest - when I first joined a challenge group I was super skeptical of Shakeology and didn't even like the first shake I made.  After tweaking my recipe, though, I discovered that not only do I like Shakeology, I love it!  It keeps me full, is easy and quick to make and helps me get all the daily nutrients in without having to spend my entire paycheck on supplements!  In challenge groups we discuss recipes, ways to make Shakeology and how to best fit it into your lifestyle so it frees up time and gives you energy when you need it!

Back to Country Heat, though - can I check it out before committing?

Of course!  Here is a video to check out that will give you a sneak peek into the workout.


Ok, I'm interested.

If you are interested in Country Heat I would love to chat with you about the program, challenge groups, and how I can best support and help you.  To get the conversation started, could you please fill out the application form below?  I will be in touch with you within 24 hours and we can chat about Country Heat and how I can help you get the results that YOU want!

I look forward to chatting!

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5.02.2016

Beachbody Workouts while Pregnant

Happy May!!! It's almost summer - yay!!
This summer my beach body will be a little bit (okay, a LOT) different than it has for the last couple years. As of today I am 18 1/2 weeks pregnant with baby number two, and this baby bump appeared a whole lot sooner than it did when I was pregnant with Ms Bonnie Ann, who is now a year and a half old. I had heard people say that they showed much earlier with their second babies, but honestly I didn't realize just how true that would end up being for me! With Bonnie I wondered if I was ever going to show - I definitely don't have that worry now!
Another thing that has also changed is what I have been doing for workouts. In the first trimester I was so sick and fatigued every day that I wasn't able to stick with my workouts as much as I would have liked. Now that the nausea and fatigue has abated a bit, I'm back to workouts, but now I have this baby bump to work around!
So, that leads me to the point of this post: what the heck can we do for workouts while pregnant???

Beachbody Workouts while Pregnant

I'd like to start by saying that the following is only my opinion based on my experience, so you might be very different from me! Also, it is always a good idea to talk to your doctor about working out while pregnant. Mine has given me the all clear, but in some cases it might be best for you and baby to do other things.
So, for me, this is what I have found works for me while pregnant!
- Being on my back is not a good thing. It's not comfortable and I just don't feel right doing the back-centered exercises, so I tend to skip or modify these if they appear in any workout I am doing.
- Along with skipping the back exercises, I also am limiting the amount of jumping I do. I have a history of back problems, which jumping tends to aggravate, so for me it is best if I don't do these while pregnant. I am pretty careful about the amount of jumping I do even when I am not pregnant, so I take double precaution when I have the addition of a baby bump out front :)
- Personally, I have found that a lot of the Shaun T workouts are good for me. I have lately been working out with Focus T25 and this is going really well! While T25 can be an incredibly demanding workout, I am finding it to be my favorite because of the modifier. In every singly Focus T25 workout there is a woman, Tania, who is serving as the modifier. She is showing how to still get a great workout while not going crazy on the jumping or strength portions - this is working out great for me! I'm pretty strictly following along with Tania, which allows me to avoid the jumping and the getting up and down off the ground that the rest of the group are doing.
Another great option I have found is Cize. This is a dance workout by Shaun T, and it is a ton of fun! It can be either a crazy cardio intense workout if you really push yourself, or, if you're making it a bit less intense, it is a great way to get a workout in while not going too crazy. My 18 week pregnant self likes to dance around with Shaun T and just have FUN! (My daughter also loves joining mom in her dance classes in the living room!)
Another great option for fitness while pregnant is the Beachbody on Demand app. This is a streaming service that has tons of full Beachbody programs available to stream right to your tv or computer as well as lots of extra sneak peeks and bonus workouts. Autumn Calabrese (from 21 Day Fix and the Master's Hammer & Chisel) even has a series of maternity workouts on the service! Those were specifically created for moms and moms-to-be, so they are a great option if you're looking for something maternity specific. Using Beachbody on Demand also gives you the ability to test out the various other programs that are available to stream to find something that you can really sink your teeth into and enjoy.
Like I said, these are all my opinions, but I hope they are helpful! If you have any questions at all, or would be interested in learning more about how I, as a coach, can help you reach your health and fitness goals (whether you are pregnant, hoping to become pregnant or have no baby goals in sight!) please fill out the challenge group application below and I will be in touch so we can chat about how I can best help you hit your goals!
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4.21.2016

Pregnancy Dream #1: The Man at the Door

Pregnancy can be weird.  It does weird things to your body, your emotions, your thoughts and your dreams.  And by 'weird things', I mean crazy, off-the-wall dreams.  Or at least they are for me!  The majority of my pregnancy dreams are, quite honestly, scary!  I wake up from a nightmare and I have to convince myself I'm in bed and not in whatever horrible location my sleeping mind created.

When I was pregnant with Bonnie I had a ton of these dreams, and they've started up again with this little one.  I don't remember nearly any of the Bonnie dreams, though, so this go around I thought it would be fun to write them down and remember the craziness that happened in my mind at night :)  I've shared a lot of memories through this blog, so I thought it only right to share these pregnancy dreams as well!  Please know that I am going to recount them as accurately as I can; I know that they might not make sense, logic might be missing or they just might be plain old weird - it's all my subconscious!

Here's my dream, as close as I can recall, that happened on Tuesday night:

I knew I was in trouble.  Without even seeing the man running towards my house, I knew he was coming, and I knew he was seething with anger towards me.  Why?  That part I didn’t know; the source of his anger was unclear.  All I knew was that he was coming, fast, and he intended to do me harm.

Instead of running, calling for help or attempting to arm myself I froze at the front door while looking through the peephole.  Somewhere in those woods he was jumping over broken branches and rocks to get to my house.  To harm me.  Finally I saw him break through the tree line; he never slowed or wavered in his path – before barely any time had passed at all he was at the front door.  Yelling.  Yelling to me, yelling at me, it was all the same.

I grabbed a stool once I saw him reach for the gun.  I thought it would be safest to get higher; surely this would make me impossible to shoot.  I stayed behind the door, but I stood two feet taller than I would have because of the stool.  His first round of bullets ripped through the door and it was clear that my idea was a bad one.  With the noise of his seemingly never-ending bullets echoing in my ears, I thought it was safe to jump down off the stool and run.  I ran to the other end of the house and only turned back once to see the bullets continuing to rip through the bottom foot of my front door.  The man was angry, and he was intent on shooting enough holes in the bottom of the door to create a space large enough to climb through to get to me.

While he shot holes in my door, I threw a baseball through a window at the other end of the house, jumped through the window and ran.  Down the lawn, into the edge of forest and beyond.  I fell, I tripped, I ran.  I knew I had to get away – there was no other option available that would allow me to keep my life.  The anger in the man’s eyes had promised me that.

I ran for what seemed like an eternity, but eventually I came across another person – this time someone who wasn’t looking to kill me.  I asked for their help, and she had me come to meet her mother, who might be able to help.  I didn’t know these people, but they agreed to assist me in my escape.  In the backseat of their car I stayed silent and still as they drove away from my house, away from theirs and away from the man with anger in his eyes and murder on his mind.

We made it to a police checkpoint but never made it any further.  As I peeked out from the tarp they had wrapped me in my breath was taken away.  On top of a hill in the middle of the forest I saw where my house had once been.  Instead of a roof, though, I saw the black sky on fire.  The man had lit my house, and the area surrounding it ablaze.  His anger wasn’t gone, but I had escaped from it. 

For now.

Would he continue on his quest to find me?  Was I safe?  Should I keep running?

Before I knew the answer, I woke up.

Another weird and frightening pregnancy dream.

Awesome.

Have you had crazy pregnancy dreams?  Or maybe just crazy dreams in general?  Are you a dream reader who wants to share what mine might mean??

I'd love to hear your stories and thoughts!

Until then,