TRACI answers YOUR questions :)

I think its fun to take some time every now and again and answer questions asked of me privately, on my public blog. Especially the ones that are asked more than once, because then I know its a question many people might be wondering. :) Most of them are personal, but the occasional question has to do with actual coaching. :) So kick back and read along to see if YOUR question gets answered, and in the process learn more about me than you may ever have wanted to know. ;o)Q. Traci, my wife is pregnant and swears you must have had surgery to remove the excess skin after having all your kids. I told her I read somewhere once that you said you'd had no surgeries. Would you mind answering this email in attention to my wife to give her some hope that you CAN get a ripped stomach after pregnancy?Happy to answer this one because I get asked a lot. I am thankful to report that I have never had any kind of plastic surgery, whether to remove excess skin, or remove fat, or enhance commonly enhanced body parts. ;o) Funny thing though - no one ever asks if I've had a boob job?! lol Okay, all silliness aside, I was genetically blessed with skin that stretched without stretch marks - in fact the nurses used to call to one another when I came in that "the mom with no stretch marks" was here! I use Palmers Cocoa Butter lotion (bought at Target at the advice of my sister, a mom of four) which makes me smell like marshmallows :) and is great for keeping the skin soft and hydrated from the outside, and drank lots of water. Hydrating your skin helps against stretch marks, but in the end its a lot about genetics. As for shrinking the skin after weight loss, pregnancy or otherwise, hydrating your skin from the outside and inside is your best pro-active step! Time and consistency with clean eating, exercise, and hydrating (drinking lots of water) will slowly help your skin to firm up. I'm not opposed to plastic surgery but do all you can do naturally before you go under the knife! (and remember that you cant have had surgery if you want to be considered for the Team Beachbody Challenge!) The last thing I want to say on this subject is: PLEASE remember that your body was made for giving birth and while we would love to have firm skin forever, the reality is, we arent designed to stay young for life. Learn to appreciate your body for providing a safe, healthy place for your baby to grow and dont curse the marks of passage from woman to mother. :) Please dont strive for perfection. Be the best YOU you can be, and be thankful for your body, by taking care of it. :)Q. You look more fit in P90X2 than you did in P90X+. What programs have you been doing in between filming?First of all, THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU, and CAN WE BE BEST FRIENDS FOR LIFE!?!? :) It is so nice to hear as a woman nearly 42 years old (my birthday is in a few weeks) that I look more physically fit now than I did when I was 36! I feel like pausing from my computer and doing a cartwheel for that fun compliment!!! <3 :) This is also a hard won compliment because I have begun early pre-menopause symptoms, which includes a slowing of metabolism, hot flashes, and the common characteristic of body fat gathering on the abs that WAS NOT A PROBLEM BEFORE!!! :( booohoo! But taking my own advice from the answer above, I understand that this is common for women as we age, so I have spent the last year + trying to find a new norm for my eating and workouts to see if I can beat the odds of nature. :) Or at least go down kicking and screaming. :) That means making sure I take my calcium supp to ward off osteoporosis, weight train (easy!), and play with my cardio. Since the filming of P90X+ I've done about 5 half marathons, one marathon, P90X, Insanity, Asylum, Turbo Fire, mixed in always with Tony style of training. I helped run a test group for Body Gospel, run a weekly fit club where we are trying all Beachbody programs, and always use running as a supplemental workout to my program. :) I continue to eat clean, though I'm a terrible water drinker (just not really a thirsty person), try to remember to take my supps, and Shakeology every day. :) That's what I've done since I found Power90 back in 2003, and hope to continue for the rest of my life. :) Thanks again for the compliment! :)Q. I didn't know you were in P90X+?! Are you in any other programs?Actually I have been blessed to be in three of Tony's series. :) Power90 Masters Series (my hair is darker, and longer and flippy; think Carol Brady circa 1970 ;o) - I was growing it out - show some mercy! :)), P90X+, and P90X2 Plyocide. :) I laugh and giggle on all sets, be forewarned. :) Its just what happens when I get around Tony Horton. :) He's a dear friend, I think he is one of the funniest people I've met on this planet, and I love him like a flesh and blood brother. :) From the time I met him I've told him what I believe to this day: He is made for the worlds stage. :) He is funny, inspiring, caring, and the real deal. Created to bless many. :) I'm thankful to say that his life has graced and blessed mine. <3 :) Its an honor to lift him up and  promote him in any way I can. :)Q. Do you ever have a cheat meal? If so, what? answer isnt exactly what you might think. I don't cheat. I don't attach guilt to food or drink. If I choose to have it, I have earned it with my workouts and clean eating, and I will eat and drink what I want if I feel like it. Guilt free. And I dont and wont consider it cheating. :) Its freeing to view food like this, and its been a process with me. At first I was all or nothing. No cheating. I was crazy lean and hungry usually most of the time. I learned to live with it because I was learning a new way of viewing food and discipline. But my stomach was a road map of veins I got so lean and my cycle stopped several times. And my husband (thankfully) said "Your muscle looks cool, from an aesthetic standpoint, but it doesn't look womanly anymore". Greatest words spoken. It freed me to put on a little weight, not to live hungry, and realize that I was no longer a slave to food and I didnt have to be so anal anymore. Oh, how I need him in my life to speak the truth in love.  And he doesn't mince words. He gets straight to the point and that works for me. :)It was a process, and your story might not be the same as mine, but the goal is to view food as fuel, and to enjoy it and take care of your body in the process. :)Q. How tall are you and how much do you weigh?I am just under 5'3", but not as "short" as 5'2 3/4. ;o) hee I would guess I weigh anywhere between 112-118 but I don't have a scale. Haven't owned one since 2004.  I have three daughters and I didn't want them measuring themselves by a number on a scale. I use a measuring  tape and go by how my pants fit. My sweet maternal grandmother, now passed away, used to say to never let yourself get more than 3 pounds up; cut back and bring it back to where you are comfortable. :) I love that advice. Its timeless. So I go by my inches - if my thighs get 3/4 inch up, I restrict my calories for a week and it gets back to normal. :) But I don't measure often, and NEVER the week before my cycle!!!! That's plain crazy! :) Mostly I try to focus on what I can do because I am fit, not what I look like.This was so fun! Thanks for writing and asking me questions. I'm happy to answer them and hope it in some way encourages you or inspires you in your quest to Live Healthy and Live in Relentless Pursuit of Excellence! :)Blessings!TRACI :)