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I’m a day late and a dollar short in posting this… ok, I’m 3 days late. Whatever. Thankfully Nick understands the level of crazy that’s gone on in this house over the last couple of days!

Sunday afternoon I let each of the kids sit down at the computer and type out (or say, in Lily’s case) their thoughts on Nick. He is clearly adored and loved here, and for so many good reasons!

Happy late Father’s Day, Nick! You are an amazing, patient, loving, kind man to these kids, and the adults they will grow into will surely be amazing, thanks largely to you! Lily about Dad

Lily (as told to Mommy): Daddy plays with me. (What else?) That’s the only thing I love. (Why is that all you love?) I love that Daddy does silly voices. Sometimes he plays tic-tac-toe with me! I make up games with him, and he plays them. Hmm, ummm, cause I give him cozy hugs. Sometimes he snuggles in bed with me, during songs and prayers. And he makes the right Mickey Mouse voices! And I love Daddy making Donald’s voice. We play hide-and-seek! We play tag with him. Sometimes I can help Daddy with his work! He kind of does make Minnie Mouse’s voice for me. Oh yes! I laugh at him, cause of his funny voices!

Chase about Dad

{Thanks for saying what I’ve always suspected, Chase…. Ha!}

Chase: That he works for a church. That he is awesome fun. Dad makes me laugh. That he takes us out to eat. He is the fun parent. He lets us do Iron Chef Grandview! He does goodnight I love you. Sleep well.  See you in the morning with us. And of corse, I love him.

Jackson about Dad

Jackson: when you say dad these are the words I think of. nice. strong. courageous.

Ty about Dad

Ty: That he works at church of the resurrection. That he is an awesome dad. Dad tells funny jokes. He takes us to fun parks. I really really really love dad!

Did you hear? School is out! Yes – already. Usually this is the time of year we’d be sitting down to write out our summer bucket list, but this year we won’t be doing that.


I know, it surprised me too! You can read all about that on my latest for Kansas City Mom’s Blog – Why We Won’t Be Making a Summer Bucket List. It’s worth the click over!

Know how else this will make this a simpler summer? I’ve committed to not working as much in June and July. I’ve scaled the schedule way back, in favor of making more memories with my kids, and making summer truly more about relaxation and less about stress. I’m hopeful this will also enable me to catch you all up more often on here!

Summer plans include a trip to New England (the first in 4 years), and we’re all so excited about that! Aside from that and a couple of short summer camps for the kids, our summer plans are nonexistent. This will be all about spur of the moment, simple fun.

So here’s to a Simple Summer, and more sharing here on the personal blog!

Simple Summer

I’ve been on quite the up and down, hot and cold, on and off, journey to health in the last 8 years. I’ve tried the gym, I’ve bought DVD systems, single DVDs, the Wii Fit, even training for a Half Marathon last year.

The gym was always fun (there was one M-W-F class in particular that I loved), and I did trim up a bit, but it was pricey, and I thought “I can do this at home”, so we didn’t renew.

The Half Marathon training was largely not fun, but the race day itself was exhilarating! While I saw my endurance improve (obviously), I didn’t notice any weight or inches lost benefits during those long months.

The DVDs have always been hit and miss with me. Always. I’d start something, all excited and ready to do it, and by week 3 or 4 I was usually fizzling out. Last summer I did better when I pre-printed 3 months worth of calendars, filled in my workouts, and checked them off as I did them. I think I made it 6 weeks or so into that one.

Needless to say, I’ve experienced a lot of frustration over the years. I’ve always been focused on the number I see the scale, and my desperation to not only trim my tummy (thanks, kids) but to also get back to my pre-triplets weight of 149. That’s really all I wanted, and was it really so much to ask?!

Guess what?

The number on the scale is just that… a number, and it doesn’t mean a thing.

I mentioned several weeks ago that I was in the middle of a 90 Day Challenge, and that it was going well. I’m thrilled to say that I completed Day 90 yesterday!

Before & Afters, after completing a Bikini Body Mommy 90 Day Challenge

I wish I could show you another set of before and afters, because WOW, sadly I’m not in appropriate attire 😉


Total Inches Lost: 16.25!

Tremendous Strength Gained: Abs, Legs, and Arms

Clothing Sizes Lost: Unknown, but I suspect at least one, given how many belt notches I’ve moved!

Plus, you guys, I’ve been keeping around this pair of favorite jeans, in hopes that some day they would fit again (we all do this, right?). For the last 8 years, I haven’t even been able to get them halfway on. I just tried them again this morning, and not only could I wiggle them on, but if I lay down I could button them! Obviously they aren’t even close to fit for public viewing, but my gosh – I pulled those suckers on! This. Is. Huge.

Did you notice I haven’t mentioned my weight yet? There’s a reason. The biggest, most important lesson I have learned during this 90 day challenge is that the weight doesn’t matter. I need to stop being so wrapped up in that number, and so focused on my end result being a certain number. If I had only been measuring my challenge success by the scale number, I would have given up by week 6. My total weight lost, after 13 weeks of busting my butt and carefully choosing (most of) what I ate? 3 pounds. For real.

What I Learned {and maybe tips for others}

Measure, Measure, Measure! 

When Briana says to take your measurements and take those embarrassing before pictures, do it! Seriously – if you skip this step, you’re going to miss out on a ton of information that will help keep you motivated in the future.

Write Down Your “Scores”! 

When I tried a BBM Challenge last fall, I didn’t write down my “scores” for each move, like she said to. I brushed it off and thought “no big deal”. This time I went ahead and ordered her Success Journal. Right away I saw the error of my ways from the first time around – writing down those scores for each and every move helps push you harder the next time! It’s hard to push to improve if you can’t even remember how many of that move you did 2 days ago, so having a journal to flip back through is key.

Because of that journal I know that I went from only 18 seconds in a kneeling plank on Day 1, to holding a plank on my toes for 1:40 by the end of the challenge! Because of that journal I know I could only do 10 tricep dips in 50 seconds on Day 1, but on Day 90 I was able to knock out 35 in those 50 seconds. Seriously – write your scores down!

Counting Calories Doesn’t Do Much For Me.

For much of the challenge I was diligent about logging my food (and even measuring it) and staying within, or close to, my calorie goal for the day. According to the number of times the site said “if every day was like today, you’ll be ____ in 5 weeks”, I should have lost more like 10-15 pounds, not 3. I mixed it up – tried eating more, tried eating less, tried less dairy, fewer carbs, more carbs, more protein, more fiber, etc. I played with it a lot, especially from about 6 weeks on when it was clear I wasn’t really losing weight.

Do you know what did finally do a little something for me in the weight loss category? Only tracking how many servings of fruits and veggies I was getting each day. I made myself a little check-box chart for the week, and was shooting for 7 servings of veggies and 4 servings of fruit each day. Typically I was eating 4-5 servings between the two total, so this was a huge increase for me. Know what? The week that I hit that veggie goal 4 out of the 7 days was my biggest loss week, but more important than that, it was also the week I felt the best.

So I’m done counting calories – I’ll just keep my chart up on the fridge and shoot for filling myself up with lots of F&Vs and eat other stuff in moderation. Far less stress!

I Love Bikini Body Mommy the Most! 

Know why? Because she’s real and relatable to me! She’s out of breath, just like me. She needs to pause for a few seconds sometimes, just like me. I watch her transform slowly, just like me. I’ve had enough of the trainers that don’t break a sweat and seem to enjoy Burpees (sickos!) – give me someone who is also working out in her living room, using just a mat and a set of weights, who needs to catch her breath, and sweats buckets just like me!

So you want in?

Her system is ultra simple. 6 workouts a week, and each workout is only about 20 minutes total (including warm up and cool down) – who doesn’t have 20 minutes to carve out?!

Workouts can be found on her YouTube Channel, or by joining her website platform (click Join Now at the top). Yes – that means her workouts are free!

I recommend starting with 3.0 or later – these results were from 3.0.

If you want a little extra, join her website for only $1.99 a month – then you’ll have access to some extras, like her 5 minute ab series! (Note – I didn’t start adding in the ab stuff until about week 3… I was too sore in the first couple of weeks!)

Find a journal – either order hers, or pick one up at a store. Just find a place to write down all of your body measurements every 15 days, and those all important scores!

Find a buddy. I feel like this is super important! About 5 or 6 weeks into the challenge, a friend and I were talking online about how so many of the ladies that had started with us on January 4th had already dropped out. We decided right then to send each other a picture of our scores each and every day, as a way to help hold each other accountable. Because I knew she was waiting to see my score, there were many times I would force myself to workout at 8:30 or 9 at night! If it wasn’t for the accountability, I’m sure I would have missed far more than 6 workouts total.

What if you miss a day? Well that depends. There were a handful of times I chose to just double up on my workout the next day. There were a couple where I just skipped it and picked up where I was supposed to be, especially back in February when I missed 2 days in a row due to a conference I was helping at. There is no shame in missing one! Don’t stress about trying to catch up – just focus on today.

What’s Next For Me?

I’m a work in progress, so I’m certainly not done! Plus, I have this burning desire to start completely over with my wardrobe, and I can justify that more if none of my clothes fit. {wink}

While we wait on Briana to start the 5.0 challenge (she’s only 6 weeks PP, so not quite ready for filming), my friend and I are going to start her 6 week mini-challenge. If 5.0 is announced while we’re in the middle the 6 week challenge, we’ll just switch to the 5.0, because it’s more fun to workout with thousands of others!

Note: Bikini Body Mommy doesn’t know who I am, nor was I compensated in any way for this. I just love the program and want others to know about it! Plus, I’ve fielded a lot of questions about it in recent weeks, so thought one, insanely long, blog-post was a good idea.

  • April 3, 2016 - 10:20 pm

    Renee Fasteen - Way to go Helen! You look wonderful. I might have to check this out, but rename to bridal bikini challenge!!!ReplyCancel

  • April 10, 2016 - 3:39 pm

    Angela Lindfors - Great job! I’ve also been feeling better with my workouts (mma 2x per week and couch to 5K) but haven’t seen the scale move. I know I should take measurements, but it feels like so much work, haha. might give this a try after my 5k next month. Very inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • April 23, 2016 - 6:01 am

    5 Habits of Fit Moms | Kansas City Moms Blog - […] Bikini Body Mommy 90-day Bikini Mommy Challenge. Free workouts, meal plans, success tracking tools and inspiration. KCMB contributor, Helen, loved it. […]ReplyCancel

  • April 28, 2016 - 6:45 pm

    Emily Janz - I’ve been feeling the need to do something. I lost my baby weight really fast but since going back to work I’ve put it all back on and am not happy. I was searching online for what to try and I remembered this post. I’m going to give it a try. This looks do-able and not too scary!ReplyCancel