Tell us about your philosophy about health and wellness. Are you focused on performance, on holistic wellness, or on something else?
My philosophy on health and wellness is all about being present AND putting in the work for the end game. Working towards the best and strongest mind/body/heart we need a strong foundation with established roots and welcome new ones. Performance plays a huge role in the wellness of our mind/body/heart. We are what we eat, say, think, and do. For the past 2-4 years, my hyper-focus has been to unravel the tight coils in my daily routine. See and feel in an objective way what are my triggers, habits, and when or why I may be reactive. Then begin undoing and healing where needed. It’s in there we find freedom, we find our true self and we can begin building what our own health and wellness look like for us.
Do you have any particular rules around diet, and if so, what are they?
My rule around diet comes from many influencers and evolving research. Our bodies are constantly changing. My nutrition began to up-level in my own kitchen with Portion Control. In discovering more about me, I learned I have OCD tendencies, therefore counting calories, using a food scale or timed nutrition would make me mad. I could go to an unhealthy mental place. I am a creative type and a visual learner. When I found I can eat right using colorful containers to represent my best “daily caloric” consumption, I thrived!!! I caught on quickly and was able to maintain well. If I get too relaxed with my eating habits, I bring back out the containers and get hyper-focused on what my mind and body need. Lastly, I recently found speaker Author Alissa Vitti. In her period app, she teaches women what types of food to eat throughout their cycle and it has been a huge game-changer in my body’s health.
Did you workout during pregnancy? If not, why not, and if so, what did you do?
During my first pregnancy, I was lost in my fitness and nutrition journey. I was a youth and college athlete and was facing weight gain, lack of appetite, or out of control cravings. I needed motivation and accountability so I joined a gym and a running group. The running and gym-going weren’t well established as I got further into my pregnancy I stopped altogether. I hired a personal trainer during my PP journey and nursing. Then we got pregnant with my second, it was a more difficult pregnancy and I fell off any fitness routine again. It wasn’t until our second babe was about 2 that I decided I needed to find my own routine. I now train and eat for my body out of love, not punishment. Looking back I wish I would have found what I know now. I could have had a healthier pregnancy and nursing journey BUT the truth is… I wasn’t ready to invest time or money into the lifestyle I have found.
What are the common beliefs and attitudes about exercise in your region? Do many women exercise during pregnancy? Why or why not?
I’d say the most common are two different extremes. I’m a personal trainer, so I get to see BOTH women who workout once a week or never and others that train 7 days a week, sometimes twice a day. There are the chronically unhealthy and the all-out “meatheads.” If there is anything I can encourage, it’s every mom needs some type of coach or trainer. I tried doing it on my own and it was very unhealthy. It was easier and more appealing. But the recovery was HARD. I wish I would have exercised and ate better during both pregnancies.
Are there any must-have products or services that you relied on that are related to fitness during pregnancy?
My must-haves for pregnancy or mom life include:
2) Daily body therapy
3) Coach or Personal Trainer
4) Home Gym
I can’t imagine being healthy me without my Shakeology. It’s my daily dense of nutrition. Most Americans over eat and with the wrong food groups. This shake is like a salad with clean proteins but tastes like a cookie. In addition to my superfood shake, I love giving my body therapy with resistance bands. Pilates balls, foam rollers, and chiropractic. During BOTH pregnancies I rolled my body and bounced on my Pilates ball daily. I worked a desk job and replaced my chair with a ball, it was crucial as my tail bone felt bruised and my hips were angry! For fitness, I hired a personal trainer & although I didn’t use this we ice to its fullest potential, it was a huge asset on the days I did. As a momma, we are taking care of our body to care for our baby. Let someone else help take care of you. Lastly, create a space in your home to be a “home gym”. The luxury of going somewhere to work out as a mom is HARD. Having a place you can move your body and not have to put on pants or a bra is a gift to yourself. It’s magic!
If you already gave birth, what was the post-pregnancy recovery like for you?
My post pregnancy was interesting and different both times. I delivered both babies vaginally but yet I was encouraged against my will to have an epidural and pitocine. DON’T DO IT! Every women I know who was able to give birth naturally recovered quicker and better. With my first, my body rejected my uterus. Like in college how my laptop dissociated itself with the cd reader once. Interesting right. My doctors told me it’s a rare, like menopause type reaction after birth. What does this mean tho? Every women should have some type of cervical fluid for vaginal health and mine just stopped working. I had two stitches that got extremely infected without that proper discharge and it took hormones and antibiotics to heal. I felt lost, sad and feared that I may not be-able to have more babies if my hormones didn’t fix themselves. They did and we had baby #2, who was HARD!!!! I had major PPD, struggles with sleep deprivation and mental health. It took everything for me to not give up on life, face my struggles and accept help. Therapy was the first step… and sleep.
What is your secret to balancing everything – childcare, work, extended family, friends – while staying healthy? Is it possible?
Honestly there is no secret and no such thing as a magical balance of parent life. When we choose to be mom we need to remember we aren’t giving up on ourselves. Find what fills your cup and then serve from there. Working or SAHM, do what makes you the best and healthiest momma. Learn to say no to everything else. And learn to be okay with “being okay” because there are lots of ups and downs as a momma. Try to love it all!
What’s the best way to follow you, and what do you usually post about?
You can find me at two IG accounts. I posts about fitness and mental health @pivotaljourney. And I lots more about mom life and family life @oliv_pjs.