Tell us about yourself
My name is Julie. I’m a Certified Personal Trainer and a full time primary school teacher. I have a Masters Degree from the French University of Sport Sciences and teach Physical Education. I’m the mother of a 2 year old, and I believe that an active, healthy lifestyle is one of the greatest gifts one can share with their child. My husband and I promised ourselves that life would be more fun, more active and even richer than it was before we were parents. Being fit and active with a young family isn’t impossible, it just requires a bit of planning and creative problem solving.
Today, we’ve adapted our way of exercising to include our toddler in all our adventures. We are still as active as we were before being parents and our bodies are stronger than ever! I started @ourfitfamilylife on Instagram and www.ourfitfamilylife.com to share our experiences and insight. Our family lives and plays in Los Angeles, CA.
How did you get into fitness? How hard were you exercising before you became pregnant? What were you doing?
I come from a family where being active is simply normal. Bike riding, hiking, windsurfing, snowboarding, scuba-diving, playing volley-ball, badminton, swimming… I never realized how lucky I was to be introduced to this lifestyle at such a young age, and I’m so grateful for that. As an adult, I kept this love of outdoors. My husband shares the same passions, and when we go on vacation we often need to train for it! Weather it’s a surf trip, a snowboarding trip, or a hiking adventure. Working out allows us to perform the activities we love better and stronger! When we go snowboarding we don’t want to be exhausted after a few runs, we want to have to energy and strength to keep going all day. In other words, we don’t work out to look fit, it’ s just a great side-effect of our active life-style!
How did being pregnant change your body?
Ha! Everybody was telling me that I didn’t look pregnant from the back, that my belly looked fake and looked like I had swallowed a basket ball! However, once my baby was born, I was suffering from back pain, and my core was very weak. My body definitly needs more maintanence that it used to! I know my body will never look exactly the way it was before being a Mom, and that my boobs lost a bit of their natural bouancy (sigh)… But taking into consideration this amazing 9 month transformation, my body isn’t that different than before!
What are your tips for those who are pregnant and trying to stay fit?
There are a lot of studies showing how important being active is for the baby. Just getting fresh air and getting the blood flowing is great for the foetus. It can also help you to limit the weight gain, and help you a lot during the delivery!
Gaining weight is unavoidable. Not only do we gain water and more blood, but our body adapts to be a perfect host. However, staying healthy, fit and be ready to push this baby out is possible! Staying active also helpes avoid hormone spikes and imbalances which lead to mood swings.
When i was pregnant I was “only” swimming (3 times a week, about 1 mile), walking and riding my bike (on a bike path). I did’t feel like running and I hate going to the gym. Most of us have something we like to do. Hiking, swimming, practicing yoga… If it’s hard for you to get self-motivation there are a lot of fit pregnancy classes out there. I didn’t try any of these classes, but I’m sure I would have enjoyed it. There’s a great sence of comradery and it’s the perfect place to build a Mommy network.
The other best advice I can give is to simply eat real and healthy food. During these 9 months I made the choice to eat organic and mostly homemade meals. I’ve kept up this habit and the whole family now enjoys it.
How were you able to bounce back? What’s your workout and diet routine?
I was injured from my natural birth. I wasn’t ready for so much pain. It was physically and psychologically difficult. I never felt so weak and it seemed impossible at this time to recover my flat tummy. But here I am!
Wider hips, and a flabby belly were two main issues I was worried about. After much research, I decided to I use two corsets and was thrilled with the results. (I would love to tell you more about it, so here’s the link to an article if you want to know more: http://www.ourfitfamilylife.com/blog/my-postpartum-secret-corsets)
I didn’t started exercising my abs till 3 months postpartum. I was very focused on my pelvic floor reeducation and I started slowly with some core workout. No crunches or sit-ups. Not only do your need to recover from the birth, but also from all the extreme changes your body went through over your pregnancy. What your body just did is amazing and it demands a lot of patience and care to recover properly. Be extra patient with yourself, listen closely to your body.
A slow start to your post pregancy training is key. Risks include pelvic floor damage, ab and joint separation, with possible serious consequences such as incontinence, loose organs, hip or knee problems!
Keep in mind that healthy eating goes a long way toward getting a flat tummy. Have you heard that “Great abs aren’t made in the gym, they’re made in the kitchen”.
Here are a few tips:
– Pack on the protein. Sources include: fish, meat, eggs, quinoa, brown rice, lentils, nuts, nut butter, beans, chickpeas, greens pees, broccoli, low fat dairy products, chia seeds…
– Emphasize organic vegetables, fruits and whole grains
– Limit saturated and transfats, sodium and added sugar.
– Control portion sizes.
It’s always hard to give detailled post partum recommandations because each woman is different after giving birth. Be patient.. Enjoy your new little bundle of joy, and be indulgent and caring with your amazing body that made it happen!
How has working out with your son impacted your fitness?
When did you start incorporating your son in your workouts and how do you advise people do this safely?
I personally started working out with my son after 3 months. Curren was strong enough to hold his head and was starting to be very interactive. I’m not going to lie… I had never felt so weak and it was hard to believe I could ever regain my strength. I was also struggling with body image issues. But after a few weeks I felt much better. Exercising boosted my energy level and confidence, improved my mood, relieved stress and (of course!) tightened my new Mommy body.
With your doctor’s approval, you can start postnatal exercises as early as six or eight weeks after you’ve given birth. But remember that there is no pressure! Working out doesn’t always have to mean going to the gym for an hour. Simply playing with your baby you can squeeze in an effective, FAST, and fun workout. When you see the smile on your baby’s face you will be even more motivated to use simple moves and work your whole body.
Here are some tips for exercising with a baby:
– Make sure your little one isn’t hungry, sleepy or uncomfortable in any way.
– Place baby comfortably on his back and do some planks or push-ups over him.
– Your Baby is grumpy? Take to stroller and go for a walk. In a park you can do a few squats or lunges.
– Hold baby and lift him gently over you. After a few arm extensions your shoulders will definitely be talking to you. Interact with him, he’ll love hearing little hoots and sounds as you exercise “Yeahhh”, “Whoooo”! Your baby and your arms will love this workout! This exercise/game is very beneficial because as baby gets heavier, you get stronger! To get a complete workout you can also combine this move with some slow wide squats or calve raises.
(If your baby is already a toddler, don’t worry, there are still ways to exercise with him : http://www.ourfitfamilylife.com/blog/2015/10/28/how-to-exercise-when-your-baby-becomes-a-toddler-workout-mommy )
If you could do things differently for your fit pregnancy, what would that be?
I wouldn’t change anything to be honest. I had a healthy, active and happy pregnancy.
The only thing maybe is that I now have more knowledge about how to exercise safely during this special time (I became a Certified Personal Trainer after my pregnancy) and I’m sure I would be happy to integrate a few exercise moves into my swimming routine for the next one. However, I still remember that there’s nothing better than felling (finally) weightless in the water!
How do you feel about your body now?
Beside my tiny boobs and my outy bellybutton, I feel great! I exercise everyday, even if it’s only for 10min sometimes. My workouts are my Mommy time. I now crave them! My body is close to the way it was and I’m as active as I was before.
How can we get more information about you?
You can visite my website www.ourfitfamilylife.com, there I share fitness info, recepies, healty pregnancy tips, and blog about our outdoor adventures. There’s also a section where do online personal training for a very reasonable price. I post daily on my Instagram page @ourfitfamilylife and try to answer comments and emails as much as possible! See you soon!