I recently had a baby. It’s a wonderful thing, having children. He’s this tiny perfect person, who just happens to have stretched out my skin, made me operate on the brink of exhaustion for almost a year now, and helped cause a 45-pound weight gain that, let’s just say for a woman over 35, is not easy to get rid of. Not to mention I had about 20 to lose before getting pregnant to begin with!

So, it’s time to act. What do you do? There are so many fad diets and different types of eating that it’s hard to know what to choose. I was blessed to find a personal trainer, Morgan Herkert of Morgan H Fitness, who covers fitness, lifestyle, and dietary changes. The idea behind her philosophy is simple: clean eating and strength training. Unlike many fad diets, this approach focuses on dropping the pounds in the most natural, healthy way possible while getting strong, fit and creating healthy eating habits that will last.

Sounds great! The reality is trying to find the time and energy while working fulltime as the office manager right here at Bellingham Alive magazine, raising a daughter and now an infant son, taking care of my home and fiancé. I wasn’t sure I could pull it off, but I read a sign in Morgan H Fitness during orientation that inspired me to keep trying and get a routine down. It said, simply: “Goodbye comfort zone.” It couldn’t have been clearer for me. If I want to change, I have to throw away my old routine and make a new one. So, that is exactly what I did and here is how I’m doing it.


Twice weekly

One-hour strength training in gym with personal trainer, Morgan H Fitness, located in the same center as my workplace.
When: Lunch break.

Once a week

Hot yoga class for one hour at the gym, included with the package.
When: 5:30 p.m., after work.

Twice weekly

One-hour at-home cardio exercise of my choice.


Four rules dictate my daily eating schedule:* 1. A meal one to 1.5 hours before workout; 2. A postworkout snack; 3. A meal no later than one hour post-workout, and 4. Eating every 2.5 to 3.5 hours during the day. Then I received my personalized meal menu. A sample day looks like this:

7 a.m. ½ serving fruit (half an apple or banana)

10 a.m. ¼ cup complex carb (Choices: brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, yam, ½ whole wheat English muffin, or 1 slice whole wheat bread); ½ serving fruit; one whole egg plus 4 oz. egg whites scrambled with veggies of my choice

1:00 p.m. Unlimited fresh veggies of my choice; 3 oz. of protein (lean chicken, poultry, flank steak, or tofu), ¼ cup complex carb. Tip: Make a salad or lettuce wrap here using homemade dressing recipe (see next page)

4:00 p.m. 1 oz. nuts; ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt.

The Concept
You need fuel and so do your muscles. 1.5 hours is average digestion time. This will keep you from becoming hypoglycemic and ensure all blood volume is out of the digestive system before your 5:30 p.m. hot yoga session.

6:30 p.m. Following hot yoga session: 5 oz. fruit; 20 grams of protein

7:30 p.m. 3 oz. protein, 6 oz. veggies

10:00 p.m. ½ cup cottage cheese; 1 avocado

The Concept
Your body doesn’t turn off at night just because you do.  As you sleep, fat and protein from this late-night snack won’t be stored as fat — it will help repair micro-tears in your muscles from strength training.

*Each dietary plan and portion requirements are tailored to a person’s size, age, fitness goals, etc. No two plans are the same.

To continue reading the Fit Plan for Life Feature, click here.

"'Goodbye comfort zone.'"