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NW Fitness Magazine
by April Greer
You see them dangling a cell phone in one hand, kettle bell in the other, sweeping their kids out of harm’s way, shopping for groceries while catching up with business partners, and serving dinner in under 30 minutes. These high functioning human beings manage to overcome life’s obstacles faster than the rest of us. They answer to: Mom. Mother. MOMMY!!!
As a photographer I’m amazed to learn which amazing bodies have gone through childbirth and bounced back from its physical demands. With the stress of nursing or daily struggles of motherhood, I’m inspired by fitness models that reach and maintain fitness goals. How do mothers trump motherhood? What does it take to overcome this higher order of balanced chaos? Mothers conquer in a day, what most of us finish in a week’s time. Two Northwest moms shared their story with me:
Shaylen Harris, figure competitor and new mom, shared some insight about her quest for health and wellness. Her life-changing experience took place when son Chance Harris was born on June 27th, 2011. Shaylen and husband CJ share the duties of raising their son as working parents, trading off as much as possible. Shaylen shed over 40 pounds since the birth of Chance, which she attributes to clean diet, rigorous boot camps, and rediscovering the art of discipline.
Shaylen, what is it like being a mom and being in shape?
It’s different from being in shape without the kid, I can tell you that much! Now that I have Chance, I have to make time for lifting. We go places together. I bring him to the gym when I workout. Chance loves the kids club. He gets a break from me and I can get a minute to myself. It was challenging at first to get into the swing of things. Now I get the hang of it. For me, its all about getting a routine. With Chance becoming mobile, its forever changing. We’re going to raise him to be athletic, but at the same time not force it on him.
Tell me more about living with 2 fitness nuts in your household?
CJ and I don’t have the free time we used to. We bought cardio equipment for the house to save us a trip to the gym. I workout during lunchtime at my job and lift weights after work. Since we don’t commute anymore, we’re back at home by 6pm, just in time for Chance to start winding down and take a bath.
Is there any trace of your past life before motherhood? I’m pretty much starting over! We moved to the Eastside to be closer to CJ’s job, too. I plan to compete again this summer, but we’ll see how that goes. Honestly, the past 8 months have been about me adapting to this new life. I miss getting together with all my gym buddies!
What are some suggestions to new moms trying to reach a higher level of fitness? If you’re pregnant eat as clean as possible before and after the birth. I wasn’t one of those crazy people who jumped into losing the baby weight right away. When I got clearance from the doctor to start my routine again, it didn’t take me long to get back that muscle memory! My stomach was the biggest surprise. I thought, “How is this ever going to shrink back down?” I look at it now and think “where did it go?” My stomach gets tighter and tighter every day. Its true what they say, being muscular and in shape before my pregnancy really helped.
Your favorite thing about being pregnant: I never thought I’d say admit to it, but I actually miss being pregnant. We have no plans for baby #2 right now, but I do miss it. I got attached to the belly but I’ll take the six-pack over a belly any day!
In addition to running Moffet Personal Training Studio, Kristen Moffett maintains motherhood Zen by starting each morning at 3:20am for a burst of cardio. She has two kids, Grant and Olivia ages 13 and 10.
Kristin, you’ve been at this a while. What is the most common reason why moms fall out of the fitness habit?
A lot of people claim they don’t have time for fitness. There is ALWAYS time to workout. It may not be the ideal time. I get up at 3:20am in the morning, that’s not for everyone. When you’re faced with the option of getting done or not getting done, its about choices. You have to get ‘er done! It takes consistency and stringing together a few workouts to find your groove. Obviously your kids are priority but you have to carve out time for yourself. The reality is everyday is probably not going to happen. Consistency is key.
What’s is like being a mom and staying in shape?
Challenging! It’s helpful having a supportive partner, picking up the slack from a business owner. You have to have support, either a fabulous nanny or a great friend or a strong network in place. Smart women know that they can’t do it on their own and are willing to ask for the help if they need it! Without my husband I would be pressed to run the business, compete, and find time to workout. The minute you get your day mapped out, clients lined up and then there’s the call that your kid has the flu. You have to be ready to scratch that day. Think of yourself second in that case and make adjustments. With my schedule I have the freedom to pick them up. My clients are very understanding.
Is your husband fitness oriented?
Yes, but he has put his workouts on hold, we both have to fit our workouts in wherever we can. Its always been a big part of our lives. He doesn’t have time to do it as much as he liked to. We’re working on that! He kinda lets me take the lead on that, that’s why I love him!
Let’s talk about your personal training motto: for the most part I’m a straight shooter, I don’t sugar coat. I have kids, I run a business, I still find time to do 2 hours of working out daily. Clients that are going to meet me half way and put in the work are going to get the results. Every client is going to have different challenges and we troubleshoot. Ultimately its a lifestyle change. Every week I get moms that think its a quick fix and temporary. I don’t know that it comes easy, but its important to walk the walk. I’m not asking something of them that I can’t do myself. We seek out people that we want to emulate.
Its been a while, but what was your favorite thing about being pregnant? Its been a while, yes, but my favorite thing about being pregnant: food tasted really good! I had a new craving every week; it was the first thing that really stood out. Once you feel the baby kind of moving, its amazing. Its hard to grasp, but its a magical thing, hard to explain!
Name some challenges you helped moms overcome in your training studio:
I have had moms who have children but are not able to afford childcare, so I’d tell them to come in. I would hold the baby for my customers and they would do the workout. You can bundle your baby up and doing walking lunges in your backyard. There’s a ton of things to do to partner up with other moms, group stroller aerobics. Fitness has expanded outside the gym; there are a lot more options as far as how to get exercise.
What’s one of the single best things for moms to do to stay on track? Get the food under control! Mommies tend to nibble on whatever their kids are eating. Nutrition is key! The misconception is that cardio alone will get the weight off. The resistance training changes a person’s lean body mass, improves metabolism, and helps them shed the weight quicker and more efficiently. If I had my choice between lifting and cardio, I would do lifting. And lift heavy! Nutrition and lifting in place, you don’t need to beat yourself up with tons of cardio. We don’t need to chain ourselves to the treadmill.
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