A Hotmess Mama's Fitness Transformation... Getting Started

I know. I know.  Another woman's fitness transformation, I completely rolled my eyes with you... because let's face it.  Although, I am all for supporting one woman's journey + seeing amazing transformations.  Sometimes, it's a wee bit rough to see someone crushing their workouts...  hitting their goals and not struggling.  Right?  It's frustrating... it's unrealistic... and it makes me, anyway, feel like there's something wrong with me.   Why am I struggling?  Why can't I be as prepared all the freaking time?  Why can't I rise + shine to get my workout in before the kids wake up every day?

So.  On this journey... I, Amber, will do my darnedest to share all the key points.  Not just the fancy-schmancy-kick-sass moments, but all the struggles + the tidbits on how the obstacles were overcome (if able).  

My goal is not to have you roll your eyes (or me, too for that matter)... but to roll with laughter along this journey with me.  Because if we can't laugh through our struggles + learn from them, then what's the point, love?  



First, though, let's talk about WHY I decided to start this journey... the inspiration which lit the match.  And as corny as it sounds, the inspiration was our little man.  In case, you didn't know, our twins (the Gillies who are now 5yrs old) were born at 27 weeks... and we had one heck of a start.  We call the first two years of their lives, "survival mode" + it definitely changed the course we were on as a family.  

But that's a different story for a different day... the point is our journey of optimal brain + gut health began the day our twins were born.  One of the things our little man needs from us is to provide therapy, daily... and he is doing AMAZING with home therapy his mama (ahem, me) is providing.  Just kidding - although - he does seriously ROCK!  Anywho.  For about two years, he was placed on a waitlist for a special type of therapy (look up, lokomat for more info).  And after several appointments + growth spurts, he was able to begin this intense 9 week journey - PRAISE GOD!  Now.  For a few months prior, the hubster and I began pumping him up with affirmations, speaking about the therapy and talking through any challenges we thought he might face.  

The night before we started, our little man stated to me... "mama, tomorrow I'm going to kick that robot's hiney."  (we call it robot-therapy... he is five, so he thinks that's cool).  

I’m going to kick that robot’s hiney.
— Our little man

Those words stopped me in my tracks... I'm going to kick it's hiney!  Why don't I feel that way with my own fitness goals?  Why don't I embrace it with the NO FEAR, NO NONSENSE approach our handsome little man does?  And while voicing these words out loud, the hubster's response was just another gut-punch... discipline.  

That's all it was discipline.  I got a wee bit slack in my own fitness goals... not with my nutrition, but fitness and reducing stress.  Hey, I'm a twin mama bear who works relief as an ER vet + builds an online wellness business at home while providing daily therapy + homeschooling to our twins.  I'm exhausted typing that sentence out... I'm stressed out.  BUT... the simple one word response, discipline, made me realize there were small tweaks I could be making to be the "person I desired to be."  

So.  With my "Go Big or Go Home" mentality... I informed the hubster while our little man received his intense 9-week therapy, his mama was going to step up and do her own intense 9-week transformation.  (which is code for:  Hubster you are going to follow along, too!)

That's the spark of our journey- little man's own intense therapy session!  Now saying this, I want you to realize... it's not going to be a perfect journey for me.  We will be doing therapy days, three days a week which are 8 hour days... I'll have to workout prior, pack our foods... AND during this, pack up our house because at the end of this journey, we are RELOCATING!  Hells-Bells!  

This journey is going to be down-right messy... but I'm determined to be real.  to keep the positivity train going (as much as possible).  to share what worked/where I slipped up.  and to maybe inspire you that your journey doesn't have to be PERFECT to be a successful transformation... a hotmess transformation is still a transformation.  And a more realistic one in my book.  

Still with me?  Awesome.  Here's to WEEK ONE!




First thing's first... take my measurements + capture my BEFORE photo.  { Gasp of Horror } Now.  I am not going to show you my BEFORE photo at this moment... for a few reasons, but the MAIN one is because I want it to be a DRASTIC reaction (aka. it's quite humbling + a wee bit embarrassing).  See.  I didn't just take my BEFORE picture, I purchased a teeny tiny bikini and then asked the hubster to take my photos.  There's nothing more sexy than putting on an article of clothing which is a size too small (for the moment, HOLLA - positive pep talk) and then ask your handsome hubster to capture you in all your glory... while he makes you laugh + the mama fanny pack is bouncing all around.  So ridiculously sexy.  

Numbers collected + jotted down on a fancy-schmancy post-it.  At this time, the hubster asked for his measurements to be known too... "alrighty then."  - I replied.  This is when the second gasp of horror happened... our thighs are the SAME size!!!  WHAT!?!  My college-football-player/powerlighter (in younger days) hubster's thighs were the same size as MINE... mamas out there... I almost fainted in shock.  He is a good 70 pounds heavier than me + a few inches taller (maybe half a foot or a foot) and we had the same size thighs.  Okay... deep breaths, Amber.  


Whew!  Hardest part was done, right?  Now it's time to figure out the fitness routine + plan it out... because a goal without a plan is just a wish!  BOOM!  

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

The fitness routine was quite simple, I knew I wanted to add weights because I'm over thirty-five... ugh... that was hard to type.  But, I wanted to add lifting some weights into my routine because I read the following, "The National Association of Sports Medicine says that after 35, you lose from 0.5% to 1% of your muscle mass per year."  YIKES, right?  

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One way to combat this is to add lifting weights (check with your primary care physician first, love) to your fitness routine... at least 3 times a week.  You can check out the full article I read HERE.

Another thing I had to determine was WHEN to workout, love... and for me, as a twin mama bear working out FIRST thing in the morning is IDEAL for a few reasons.  

  1. You get it done... there's no more of that nagging in your brain saying you need to do it!
  2. Let's be real, at the end of the day, I am NOT wanting to get outside for a workout... mama is going to want to either CRASH hard or take a shower + curl up with a good book. 
  3. Elle Woods said it best, "workouts give you endorphins + endorphins make you happy."
  4. Recently, I read somewhere (need to find that article) that working out in the morning may help you be ~20% more productive.  SCORE!!!  Anything for me to be more productive, right!

So. Planned out my workouts in a handy-dandy composition book... and scheduled my workouts in my morning routine!  I'll share with you my FULL morning routine soon, love!  Don't worry.



MONDAY:  HIIT (high intensity interval training)




FRIDAY:  PILATES/YOGA (increase flexibility)

SATURDAY:  WEIGHTS (focus on legs)

SUNDAY:  Recovery (or Active Rest with a moderate run)


This was the hardest part for me and not for the reasons you may think... see.  NUTRITION IS MY JAM!  I don't like jam, so maybe I should think of another saying... but you get it.  I love ALL the low-down about food - how it can help heal your body - the breakdown your body does with the food starting with your saliva then hitting the gastric juices - the enzymes/vitamins/natural goodness in foods and how your body responds either well or not-so-well to it.  I LOVE IT!!!  The physiological aspect of it brings out my medical geek out... even though, my background is in veterinary science.  

However.  The HARDEST part of the nutritional aspect was the fact that THREE days a week, I would be taking the Gillies, our twin 5yr olds on an adventure to the "city" for our little man's therapy.  This means mama needed to get creative with her menu + theirs!  At least for breakfast + lunch... hopefully, fingers crossed the hubster would have dinner cooked (which would be hit/miss because he was on call and sometimes, not at home yet).  YIKES! 


  • Purchased a canvas-tote thermal to pack in the vehicle 
  • Able to use a lot of mason jars for our foods (eating out of bowl/plate while driving, no bueno... trust me)
  • Used the dashboard + the glorious Texas sun to HEAT UP mama's meals
  • I typically "fast" in the mornings and will have my first meal at noon... check out more info on
  • We are blessed with two easy-going littles who LOVE to have adventures!!! 
  • Scheduling out our MENU for the week... making crock pot meals for dinner when hubster was "on call" to ease his mind (and mine)
  • Stocking up the vehicle with goodies "in case of emergency":  almond butter packets, beef jerky, apples, superfoodie smoothie packets (you can ask a coffee shop to blend for you if you purchase almond milk - in my experience!), almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds

And if it MIGHT help someone out, here's a typical menu of MY DAY, not the Gillies (our twins)... but mama's!  If you need help with nutrition, love - I set up a weekly menu from our kitchen which may help you figure out what to have for dinner... these meals help keep my brain + gut happy as well as mama's waistline!  Take a peek, here.


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Now.  My week is set up for success... Do I think everything is going to go smooth sailing, um, not even ONE bit love.  But, I know I'll be as prepared as I can be for my journey ahead.  Here's a few additional tips which may help you, too, love if you are venturing out on a new journey (whether relationship, business, fitness, etc). 

  • freaking write down your goal... and don't be vague.  write down WHAT you are striving to be or a goal you are wanting to reach.  be as specific as possible.  for me + my health journey, I know the type of person I want to develop into... the kind of energy I have around my kids, the restful sleep I am getting at night, how my thighs look in those adorable blue jean cutoff shorts, the strength in my biceps as I carry in the groceries or pick up our twins.  I can FEEL the energy + strength she carries within her.  whatever it looks like for you... envision it- the smell, the feeling, what you hear, etc. and write it down.
    • place this written goal in an envelope + read it every single day... I prefer at night so it's constantly on my mind!
  • find a mantra, saying, bible verse or word that speaks to your heart + gives you the strength you need to move towards your goal... and jot it down.  put it on a post-it on your bathroom mirror, have it typed out as your screen saver on your desktop or better yet, set an alarm to go off throughout the day with the mantra as the "alarm title."
    • the hubster's mantra is a single word... good.  Just one word.  GOOD. It means, "good. it's a chance to get better."  
  • find a support system or accountability partner.  someone who will not allow your excuses to keep you on the sidelines instead of chasing your dreams.  my hubster is the absolutely worse accountability partner for me + my fitness goals... because he allows me to rest instead of pushing me towards my goal.  I know it's because he loves me + he knows how exhausting two 5yr olds can be somedays (God bless them, they are sweet... but they have the sarcastic personality of their father + the hummingbird energy level of their mama!!!).  BUT I had to reach for an outside source to keep me accountability to my goals... I have a person for my spiritual goals, my business goals, and my own personal health goals.  All of these ladies give me tough love with a wee bit of kindness and compassion when I need it... and for that I'm thankful.  
    • if YOU are venturing out on your own wellness journey + need a wee bit of tough love yet compassion and understanding... then love, let's chat!  it's one of my greatest joys to help women live their most vibrant + productive selves.  plus, I'd love the company while on my own!  



into my travel bag


Would love to hear your thoughts OR better yet connect with you-  drop me some love in the comments or reach out HERE.  Plus, love. If you would like to be a part of our virtual, private (women's only) community... I've got you covered, love.  All you have to do is click here to request in:  Brain + Gut Health Explorers Community!   


the more you know.  the more you can grow... 

love + gumption.


The Brain + Gut Health Explorer

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