Raising Girls

Everyone always said raising girls was different from boys…. I agree 😉  I have 4 boys and 2 girls and they have their own unique quirks, challenges and of course, personalities. When my first daughter was born after having 2 boys, I was so excited to have a girl, and all things pink and frilly, when Little A came along as #5 I was happy for not just another girl but a sister for our Big A. But with these girls, comes the responsibility of teaching them and showing them those “all things girls”; teaching them about their bodies and how they are created and how things function and raise them to appreciate and be comfortable in their bodies.

{Oh goodness, so little & cute!}

{Side note- yes, we need to do this with our boys too, and I do- and dads can be involved too- perhaps more with the boys than the girls, but yes, this is important to encourage and support and teach well to all our children and to have good affirmation and love from both parents….. but for this post, I’m just focusing on me and my girls 😉 }

As my girls grow and mature, I am realizing how inadequate I feel to teach them well. It can be uncomfortable to talk about some of these subjects and how the body works and matures. And sometimes its hard to figure out how to approach various topics, what information do they need to hear, what ages to start being more intentional about sharing with them the “girl things” of life…. these things are running through my brain as my oldest girl is quickly approaching her 9th birthday. So, I was thrilled when, over a year ago, Beth at Fit2B started talking about creating a girls course. A course designed just for girls, to teach them these things we older ladies and moms all wish we had learned about sooner than we did. This course has finally come to fruition and I was privileged to part of the pilot group going through the content before its formal release to the public.

“Fit2B Girls is a radically different body education course for young girls ages 9-14. If you’re raising a girl, you will love how this course empowers her to respect her body and keep it healthy. It’s not about sex or boys. It’s just all about girls.”

I am so excited that this course is now available and you can go buy it right now! But before you do, let me tell you a few things I really loved about it.

First, it’s broken down into small chunks, a short video accompanying each topic along with a written portion as well. Each topic has a note from Beth expressing some of her thoughts and notes on the topic and then each section closes with a short and simple quiz. to review what was covered. The videos are short enough to hold attention and not get into too much detail but yet, enough to cover the subject and teach the girls.

Next, because it’s all wonderfully broken up and the topics don’t blend too much, we as the moms, can determine what content our girls are ready for without going into content that needs to wait for later. For example, some of the topics are great for the girls at any age and other topics may be better to wait and share with them after they have started cycling and still other topics may be better once they are much older and approaching adult life.

Plus, this course is still growing and when you purchase it now, not only will you have access to it forever, but as new content gets added, you will have that automatically as well.  {And, if you already have a premium membership….go look at your account, you already have access to this course as well as all the other courses Fit2B offers!}

And, the topics are not all taught by Beth! While she has some notes to share on each topic, most of the topics are covered by others, experts in their fields, moms (and dads!)  with hearts to share this knowledge and a vision to see this next generation of women grow up strong and knowledgeable in all aspects of their life. It is all presented in a simple, straight-forward -using proper terms, but not explicit in their content- way, with the ability for moms to take the subject and content and expand on it personally and as needed with their girl. While the course is fairly broad and covers much of what a girl may need to know, it also leaves many avenues open for further discussion and learning as the girls grow and learn more. It is a great way to springboard conversations and provide a way to start talking with your girls and allow them the freedom to learn and then ask more questions and learn some more!

 

“It can be done all at once in a special weekend. It can be done as part of a science study over a semester. It can be done in pieces as your girl needs each lesson. A few lessons can be done now, and a few more next year, and a few more the year after that.”

Overall, I cannot praise enough the value of this course. I am excited to go through it with my girls. My oldest has already listened to several topics with me as I previewed it. I am already culling through several of the topics and figuring out how to share them with my boys as they are ready; because they need to understand the differences between male and female and they need to learn to appreciate and value those differences and grow in their respect of girls and ladies, knowing that someday they may be married to one! I know she will appreciate their being aware and have a basic understanding of them as well.

This course is all about empowering girls to understand and respect their bodies and to learn how it works and how to keep it healthy. What mom wouldn’t want this kind of content in her arsenal of raising her daughter well?

You can read more about the course on this blog post HERE – or watch the short intro video about it HERE – and you can go buy it RIGHT HERE!

This course has just released this week – and it is currently being offered at a discounted rate. It will be on sale NOW through Cyber Monday Sales but there is a special coupon offer for a free Luna pad to the first 100 purchases of the course, so don’t wait too long!

Invest in YOU today!

So, you know it’s important to take care of yourself. We also know how hard this is to do in real life 😉

I was just talking this afternoon with a couple friends about this struggle, the need to heal, restore and maintain our own selves so we can be the best women, wives and moms we can be. But, it’s hard to spend the money on “me”. Well, ladies, that is what sales are good for. Below are 3 different opportunities to invest in your self and make a difference in your own life and thereby the lives of those around you, all at a wonderful deal! How can you pass that up? 😉

As always, the links below will use my affiliate links to various products, however, using these links offers me a small bonus when you make a purchase but doesn’t change your price at all, you still the great low prices! I appreciate you using my links and sharing them with your friends as these little things do add up and help me out here at home!

 

 

 

 

First, the Gut Healing e-book and course bundle is happening now through Monday, March 27. Click the logo below to see all the wonderful resources included, there are a variety of topics, from grain free to healing candida to adding good fermented options into your diet. Plus don’t miss the free bonus opportunities, those alone almost cover the cost of the bundle itself!

 

And next, the week is Beth’s birthday, the founder of Fit2B. To celebrate there is sale happening ON FRIDAY MARCH 24 ONLY! However, it’s a good one. The best deal is the premium membership which includes access to all the workouts plus access to all the e-courses as well! Click the logo below to see all the details, all the membership levels and e-courses are on sale if those are more what you need!

And then lastly, below is the copy of a post I posted this week on Facebook. I would love to share more about this product and business opportunity if you are interested. I have a small live Facebook event happening through this week with several very knowledgeable and fantastic individuals who are coming alongside me and helping me learn more and answer any questions you may have. Send me note at jen@claffs.com or click the Facebook link at the end if you would like to join the event and learn more!

What dreams do you have that you are chasing today? When you look around your home where do you want to see yourself, your family and your children in another year, another 5 years, another decade? Sometimes in the busy-ness of the day to day life, this perspective can get lost in the to-do’s of life. But, it’s good to look at and reflect on and keep working toward those long term goals.
I am realizing more and more that taking the time and effort to invest in myself, and to invest in my husband, in turn will become an investment into our children and those we love around us. These investments we make today towards restoring and maintaining our physical body will, Lord-willing, serve us well in the coming decades.
Recently, we have found something so simple, and yet so valuable, that has helped both my husband and I to invest in our health to help both now and in the future so we can function most optimally for each other, for our kids and for serving those around us well into our “older years”
By feeding our body this one whole food every day, we have seen an increase in energy, mental clarity, a decrease in inflammation (and the issues that in itself can cause), and so much more. By naturally restoring our bodies, we have seen it start to naturally self-correct and become more vibrant. It is has also been beneficial to give to our kids so we can know they are getting the nutrition their body needs every day. For us, finding natural, God-given solutions to steward our bodies in the best way possible is important in our day to day lives so that we can continue serving Jesus with our whole selves.
If any of the ramblings of my heart struck a chord or intrigues you, or if you simply just want to know more about our story on this journey, comment below or PM and I’d love to share more with you. Here’s to investing in today, so we can live life to the fullest tomorrow and every day after!

<<< Click here and join my FB event to learn more!>>>

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Infinity Glass Jars {A Review}

So, it’s no secret that I love my essential oils and am rarely anywhere without at least a few. Since I typically dilute my oils for everyday use and use with the kidlings, I tend to collect glass jars and roller bottles. I will put the drops of EO in the glass jar, quantity depending on the use, and then fill it the rest of the way with my carrier oil. This works great for me so I have oil ready to use, already diluted and able to just roll on when and where needed. As I am sitting here typing this, I currently have 4 roller bottles and a spray bottle sitting by my computer screen,  9 roller bottles, 2-15 ml bottles, my new pump bottle and a spray bottle on my bathroom counter and there are 10 roller bottles in small bowl on my counter in the kitchen at all times and since I have a coughing child, there are 3-15 ml bottles and my carrier oil bottle out as well. To say nothing of the stash of oils up in my cabinet plus the ones in my wonderful Sew Grown case in my purse that goes everywhere with me!

The roller bottles offer such ease of use, I highly recommend everyone who uses EO’s to use them. Glass cosmetic bottles such as the pump bottles and spray glass jars are wonderful for insect repellent and hand sanitizer sprays as well. Plus, the small glass cosmetic lotion style bottles come in handy for adding scents to lotions and rubs.

As a busy mom with kids, being able to pre-dilute and prepare my EO’s enables me to use them easily, in diluations I am comfortable with and when I leave them sitting on the counter, it makes it much easier to use as well. 

I often just get my bottles from the local natural food stores or Amazon but when Infinity Jars contacted me about reviewing some of their glass jars I was thrilled to give them a try. Just a quick visit to their website made me realize I could quickly get hooked on their products. Their jars are a beautiful dark glass, a thick glass, a super dark violet color, making them safe from ultra-violet exposure which is such a benefit for your EO’s.

I choose several sizes of glass jars in both glass and steel rollers, a small spray bottle and a glass cosmetic jar with pump to try out. My order came quickly and well packed. Everything arrived in place and not scattered all over the box. I quickly put my new glass jars into use. The pump style jar I had never used before, but had been wanting to try a hair oil/leave in conditioner and thought that would be a good bottle to use. The glass cosmetic jar with pump has been working wonderfully. Pumps easily, doesn’t drip on the counter after use and while my formula mixture is still going through some tweaking, the jar itself is fabulous. The small glass spray bottle I filled with my hand santizer spray mixture and I have it in my purse. I love that this little size fits wonderfully in my Sew Grown case making it easy to pull out and use while the kids and I are out and end up using public bathrooms and spaces. The spray is strong and sure for the little size glass jar, it hasn’t clogged up at all or leaked after spraying. I am eager to see how the spray mechanism holds up over multiple months since they do tend to deteriorate after using for awhile but I am very happy with it so far.

Now, on to the glass jars with rollers, I got them in the 5ml, 10ml and 30 ml sizes. I got one with a glass roller bottle and the other 2 with the steel. Overall, I tend to personally like the steel better but wanted to try them both. As for the rollers, both have performed wonderfully. The 30 ml glass jar I used for my husband’s “Happy Hinges” blend of oils, he goes through this oil rather quickly and I loved the larger size roller jar to make my batches last a bit longer. We did find the roller seemed to release more oil quickly than his smaller and old bottle had, but he adapted quickly to rolling on just what he needed, and its been great. The smaller jars I have with a few oils I use frequently and I have loved them.

Just holding the glass jars in your hand with the typical bottle and you can feel such a difference in the quality it’s amazing. The lids screw on nicely, the ball roll as they are suppose to, no leaks…. I am one happy oiler!

A little bit about the glass jars themselves from the Infinity Jars website:

Infinity Jars can actually slow down the decaying process of organic matter while maintaining the freshness of whatever you put inside. What sets Infinity Jars apart from all other jars is that it blocks out all harmful visible light rays while selectively ALLOWING infrared and UV-A rays.

And this:

Infinity Jars’ special pigmented glass is thicker and more durable than your standard glass; it is smell-proof, blocks harmful UV light and is visually discreet. Furthermore, all of our jar lid systems, the screwtop and glass-on-glass lid, are completely airtight. Your products are totally protected, preserved much like ancient Egyptians- who invented deep violet glass thousands of years ago and preserved precious oils and herbs for centuries in tombs. The integrity of your lotions, essential oils or spices is guaranteed to be protected for over 6 months when you use our products.

I also appreciated the notes included with my order on using the glass jars with rollers the first time. The bottles come so that when you first tighten them down, it seals on firmly. And then when you need to refill, you are able to pop the tops off and put back on again. Plus, as a nice touch, I loved the little cleaning rag included to wipe your exteriors clean before applying the label so it sticks nicely on the jar.

Overall, I am very happy with the Infinity Jars and would definitely order from them again.

I know when I spend good money on quality EO’s I appreciate being able to use just as high a quality glass jar to store them in as I make blends or dilute for everyday use.

Visit Infinity Jar’s store here and I am sure you will be as impressed by their products as I am. You can read more on the science behind their jars and their amazing capabilities here.

Want to try the blends I mentioned above? Both are ones I created and use daily around here. I have included my recipes below!

I was given the above glass jars by Infinity Jars to use and review for this post, however all opinions and thoughts are my own. There may be affiliate links included in this post, when you purchase through on of my links, I get a small commission but your prices always stay the same. I am an independent distributor for Ameo Oils and am happy to share with you more about those anytime!

an open thank you note

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Dear Beth and the Fit 2 B team,

As you are celebrating your 5th anniversary of launching the online workout site of Fit2B, I wanted to take a minute and say thank you. I first met you over 2 1/2 years ago thanks to an Ultimate Homemaker bundle and another blogger. As I read a post about that dreaded “mommy tummy”, I related to her quite well. You see, at that time, I was about 4 months postpartum with my 6th child, I had a newborn, a 1 1/2 year old, a 2 1/2 yr old, a 4 year old, a 6 year old and an almost 8 year old. As a stay at home mom, homeschooling and helping my self-employed husband, my life was busy to say the least! While I love each and every one of my babies, 6 babies in under 8 years had left me with bulges and pounds that were discouraging to me. I was ready to “get back in to shape”. The problem was I had no idea where to start. I didn’t even know what was wrong with me. I just knew I had to do something. Now, I have never been an “exercise chick”, you know, one of those gals jogging down the street, being a proud card carrying member of a gym, really, doing anything ‘athletic’, just wasn’t ‘my thing’. Even growing up in a large family and going to soccer games, baseball practice and swim team with my siblings, I always said “spectator was my sport” 😉

So, here I was, about to change my life. I started reading on the Fit2B website articles like “do you have a diastasis?” and “129 times to turn on your transverse abs” – I didn’t know what my transverse was or how to pronounce diastasis!  After being able to talk to you, Beth, via a phone call I was encouraged to get going. The support and encouragement I found in the private Facebook forum was incredible. All those silly little questions were answered and I found other ladies with similar struggles and we encouraged each other.

I started my journey doing what is now known as the Foundational 5 workouts. I also purchased a splint and began wearing it. My diastasis when I started measured easily 8 fingers, probably closer to 10. That’s really big! As I began doing 2-3 workouts a week and wearing the splint as much as I could slowly but surely I began to see progress. I was so happy I had taken photos when I started and continued through the months as being able to look back I could see progress being made. Within about 4-6 weeks I had taken my gigantic diastasis down to about a 4-5. I continued splinting and doing just a couple workouts a week. I would love to tell you I did at least a workout a day, but to be honest, I didn’t. As much as I tried, with all the kids and things I had going on, it just didn’t happen. But as I did just those foundational workouts, I started seeing how I use my core in day to day life. How I needed to support my core well as I picked up toys off the floor, got the baby out of the crib, washed the dishes and all the other little things through my day. For me, this was one of the biggest realizations, learning and training my body and core to move right. As I made those changes, adjusted my body, it was healing. Over the course of 16 weeks, I took that 8+ diastasis down to just under a 3. I stopped splinting and over the next 3 months I kept doing workouts 2-3 times a week and most importantly paying attention to how I move and function in my everyday life. Around the time my baby turned 1, my diastasis measured about a 1.

Honestly, I couldn’t believe it. I had gone from not knowing what to do, what my body needed to healing my core. And more that just healing my core, because as my core healed, I found my emotional and mental health being uplifted and in a more positive state. As I learned what my core was and how it is suppose to function and it’s incredible ability to heal, it was truly a healing in every aspect of life.

As I have continued increasing the cardio aspect of my workouts and focusing on building strength in my core, I continue to be inspired and encouraged by you Beth, and your team. I love the variety in the workouts, the new ones added regularly to expand my horizons and continue this path of strengthening my body by focusing on good and true core safety in my workouts. Beth, you are truly one of the most encouraging ladies I have ever ‘met’, your heart and love for the core, tummy safe fitness and more than that, each lady that comes across your path. No one is insignificant, no one too broken to heal, no one too healed to not be strengthened. belly 1 yrYou see, Fit2B is your business but it’s also a huge ministry. As you teach, demonstrate and encourage me, you show God’s heart and His love and His healing power to all those around you. This, this aspect, has blessed me beyond measure and I say thank you, thank you from the bottom of heart and core, for caring enough to take the time to teach, to answer questions over and over, to tell again the proper way to move, to remind good alignment and posture.

I cannot wait to see what the next 5 years hold, I am so looking forward to going through the new Foundational Five e-course in the next couple months, refreshing myself again on the basics and moving my self forward.

May you and your family and the other families on your team be blessed and encouraged today and every day as you continue on!

With love and appreciation, Jen

P.S. to my readers, for more information You can read more about Fit2B on their website. Be sure and look for the free workout in red on the list HERE and I also highly recommend the e-courses as well, you cannot but help come away encouraged and smiling and ready to move forward! (and if you want to try it for yourself, don’t miss my coupon code on our resource page!!!!)

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And right now Fit2B is running a rare sale – and the last one of this year!everything in the store is on sale except yearly memberships & membership start up fees are waived, sale runs NOW till October 15, 2015.

USE COUPON CODE ‘fit2b5’ for 20% off!

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Be sure and check out the Fit2B On Your Skin line as well. I absolutely love her stuff, I have tried the tummy cremeyou can read more about it here. And the Balance spray is still one of my all time favorite scents and sprays of all time. And yes, it really helps me keep my hormones in balance. I have also made our yearly “keep the bugs away” spray from her Away blend and it has worked beautifully. Karyn is wonderful lady and so willing to answer my questions and work with me on getting me what I am wanting. This is a great time to check out her shop as well. The same coupon code above will work on these products as well!

Fit2B

Fit2B and Me……

Join Fit2b.us

***Update….. I still love this post…. it’s all so true and is my story…… I am going on 4 years now with Fit2B and still am growing, learning and healing my core further…… Continue to read and share, all the links are active and will take you to the most updated information! ***
This is a post a long time coming. It’s seriously something I have been wanting to share and absolutely LOVE!

I first heard about Fit 2 B and Diastasis 2 years ago this month. It was from another blogger and a post she wrote about it. I linked through and took advantage of a 3 month special deal and was hooked.

March 13 edit 1

At the time I was about 4 months postpartum with my 6th baby….my 6th full term pregnancy in just over 8 years. I had been pregnant or nursing or both for 8 years straight. To say that my body wasn’t quite the same as it had been 8 years earlier is probably an understatement but it wasn’t an all bad thing either. I mean seriously, I had 6 of the cutest kids around thanks to my body! But “taking care of mama” while totally important is really hard to do with a house full of little ones 😉

Compare 3 months in

But as I read about diastasis and listened to Beth and her foundational, gentle workouts, it all connected. It made sense. I did the “self check” for diastasis and had a really hard time feeling anything but squishy belly. I had my sister check me, figured with her beginning massage therapy schooling she might have a better feel for finding muscles and all. We finally found the “inner” edge of my TVA way over by my hip bones…yeah, seriously. My diastasis was 2 hands laid horizontally fingertips together wide – this translates to an 8+ gap, honestly more like a 10-12 finger gap. At the time I had virtually no core strength, a belly that looked perpetually pregnant and I had never heard the word diastasis before. I am pretty well educated. I was very familiar with all things natural in birthing, pregnancy, babies – I had googled and researched all aspects of mama and baby well-care and had never even come across this topic. The more I listened and learned and became familiar with my core and how the core is made, made to stretch and accommodate pregnancies, even multiple pregnancies close together; it is also designed to heal and be strong.

I didn’t have to “live with” the havoc that pregnancy can wreck on my belly. It is there, it is ok. My body has done great and mighty things and I can heal my body. God designed my body to do this. Through Beth and Fit2B I have learned how to take better care of me and my body so that I can be the wife, mama and women I am created to be.

Eat well move well
Eat well move well

As I shared above, I started with a 8+ gap in March 2013. In May 2013 I began splinting as well as working on the Foundational 5 and Basic/beginning workouts. As one who has never “worked out” regularly, never joined a gym, my idea of exercising was parking a bit further and walking into the store and taking the stairs instead of the elevator. I fully considered grocery shopping with all the kids full blown aerobic exercise (honestly, I still do!). I had never really struggled with weight issues before pregnancy, but was also never physically strong either. I now knew I needed to start with healing my core. I splinted for a good 12 week period. Mostly wearing the splint all day and not at night. (I know, it is recommended differently, but this is what worked for me and my family and lifestyle and that’s ok! The splinting period may have been longer then if I had splintered more 24/7…..but it’s ok!) By late July 2013 I had closed my gap from an 8+ down to about a 3 finger gap! It’s was at this point I began weaning off the splint and continuing the workouts and core control without the support of the splint and continuing to strengthen my core. It was around my baby’s 1st birthday in November 2013 that my gap was closed top and bottom and had about a 1 finger gap at the belly button. That one finger seemed a little deep but was considered closed. At this point my goals changed to core strengthening. As I continued to learn about my core and how it all works, I knew just closing it was a start. That muscle was still thin and weak. Over the last year, strengthening my core and building that muscle has been more my goal. Fit2B’s workout’s are so great for this. All of the workouts are “tummy safe” and Beth is great about reminding and giving good cues and keys for watching your core, exercising in such a way that it helps the core while providing a good workout.

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A huge part of the healing process was not just splinting and was not just the workouts – those are wonderful, great and oh so highly recommended – but for me, learning to engage my core and do this in my everyday life was incredibly key. It was the biggest part of the healing process – to realize when I bent over and lifted a toddler, to engage my TVA first. When I got down to get a bowl out of the bottom shelves, to either bend properly or squat to reach it. As I walked, I started aligning my shoulders, hips, neck and “zipping” my core. As I sat nursing in a chair, I paid attention to HOW I was sitting, getting off my tailbone and onto the sitz bones – and finding that “sweet spot” for my body was wonderful. I can still remember the day I realized I was picking up toddlers and babies and laying sleeping ones down in cribs and engaging my TVA without actually thinking about it. I was training my body to strengthen and heal and it was working. As my body healed I also found that my chronic back pain was virtually gone. And it’s stayed gone, in fact, the only times it really bothers me now is when I have had lazy days and I ‘know’ I have not been sitting properly or lifting well, etc. Once I can realign myself – a good stretching or relaxing workout – or just some floor time in specific stretches and it feels much better again. And like many things, so much is connected from our core. While major pelvic floor complaints had never been an issue for me, the training and understanding of how it all connects and works together has been invaluable for me.

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I love this quote and Beth has made just a difference in my life!

As I started writing this post, and part of my delay in actually getting it written 😉 – was in that I wasn’t sure how to write all this. I finally decided just writing as if I were talking to a friend might be the best way. So, sorry if this is getting long, but this is how Fit2B has helped me, helped me heal and given me strength. I love being able to support small family businesses, Beth has such an incredible heart for women and diastasis it just shows in all she does. Although I have never met her personally – and hope to do that someday! – I do consider her a wonderful friend and encouragement in my life.

Right now – through March 20th – Fit 2 B is having one of their {very rare} sales on memberships! While normally around $10 a month {updated 2/2016, even after a long-over due price increase monthly prices range from $10.75-$15 a month, and that includes access to the new mobile app as well!} – a great deal for what you get; a huge list of online workouts, unlimited access and the ability to workout without having to get the kids either out of the house or having someone watch them, etc but you can also workout at your convenience and that can vary each day as to when you can squeeze it in!

 

Nov2013 bellybelly 1 yr
Join Fit2b.us

 

 

You can use the coupon code, link below and find out current membership prices HERE!

(my coupon code, listed HERE on our resource page is good all the time!)

Plus there are other great resources and products available as well – you can check them all out here!
Shop the Fit2B Online Store

If you want more information or have questions – please email me or ask in the comments below, I am more than happy to chat more about this – as you can see from the length of this post, it’s something I really love 😉    #corestory #strongbeauty #fit2bmama #fit2b

 

Plus, included in the membership is access to one of the greatest private forums you can get in, a support groups of other ladies, encouraging and asking questions, giving accountability and learning from each other. It truly is a great support system.

You sweet mama are worth this! Your body is worth healing. You are created to heal, to be strong and to be the mama you need to be for your husband and children.

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My Fit2B affiliate links are used in this post, I appreciate your support of both Claffs and Fit2B 😉 All “belly” photos are actual photos of me and my progress through the last couple years!