WEIGHT 153 lbs
Body Fat 20+ %
WEIGHT 130 lbs
Body Fat 14%
Why I Got Started
I have worked out on and off my whole life. My mom taught aerobics so I took her classes as a kid, and I started lifting in high school.
I did go through periods when I didn't work out at all, I was naturally thin when I was younger. I had my first daughter at 25 and during that pregnancy I thought I could just eat whatever I wanted, since that was pretty much what I did before anyway. That was not the case!
I ended up gaining 60-70 pounds and after I had the baby I was just really fat. It took me a whole year to get that much weight off just dieting, I didn't start a workout routine until my daughter was about nine months and I finally went to the gym and signed my daughter up at the gym's daycare.
It was fantastic! I didn't know what I was missing, 2 hours of time all to myself, and the daycare was so inexpensive. I was hooked!
I began getting in better and better shape and then started competing in figure by the time my daughter was a year and a half. I competed for a few years, my last competition was the USA's in '09.
We decided we wanted to have another baby. Learning from my past experience I knew I needed to do things different this time. I trained through my pregnancy and after I had my second daughter I knew I wanted to get back to competing ASAP! It was time to get to work!
How I Did It
My lifestyle had also changed so much from back when I was pregnant the first time, many of the things I used to eat regularly (pretty much tons of chocolate) I wouldn't even think of eating now. Since I was already on a good diet, I needed to maintain that, but I added a few extra calories from nuts and coconut oil to my diet.
During pregnancy you're really eating for 1.1 not 2 like most people think. I ate essentially the same as an off season diet, not bulking, just maintenance. I gained only 16 pounds during my pregnancy.
My doctors said I was doing a good job maintaining a healthy weight and my baby was growing at the appropriate rate. I did however lose volume in my muscles and gained fat and water so my body composition did change quite a bit. I just felt squishier.
I also maintained my work-outs. I continued weight training with slightly lighter weights 5 days/week. Most of my upper body strength was the same. I did a lot of upper body movements seated to isolate the muscle and avoid unnecessary pressure on my pelvic area. I modified my lower body work-outs when it was uncomfortable, and I made sure I was always in a stable position to avoid injury.
I kept up on my cardio as well. Most days I did two 30-minute cardio sessions, one first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and after lifting. I decreased the intensity, using the elliptical, spin bike, and walking on an incline. I worked out, with the doctors' okay, right up until my delivery day.
I got up early and did legs and cardio before heading to the hospital to be induced. I knew it would be my last workout for a while. I had an easy delivery, only 45 minutes! I went home with my healthy daughter Dylan the next day.
I felt pretty drained for the first week, which I wasn't expecting because with my first daughter I bounced back quickly. It turned out I had mastitis and I had a really bad fever for a few days. Once we figured out what was going on I got an antibiotic and I was better in no time.
After the first week, I started working out slowly, just walking at first. I gradually increased my intensity and weights. At about 2 weeks I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but like I said my body composition was different so I was by no means back to my old self.
By my 6 week check up I was back to my old training routine. I was running 5-6 days per week doing HIIT for 30-45 minutes once a day and lifting 5-6 days. I was working out at home for the first 3 months, since I didn't have a daycare option for my newborn.
Once I was back in the gym I was ready to go full force and I noticed a big change since I was able to vary my work-outs with more movement options, heavier weights, and incorporating the step mill back into my daily routine. I think the step mill is the best cardio equipment for me, it is intense and good for building up the legs.
Suggestions for Others
People are always making excuses why they can't workout or say that they like food too much to be on a diet. I'm busy and I like to eat too, I love food actually!
It's always tough in the beginning, but if you stick with it it gets easier. The diet becomes second nature, you just don't feel good if you skip workouts, you love going to the gym every day. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Set a goal, whether it's a competition, a vacation or fitting into a pair of skinny jeans. Goals keep you accountable. It's all mental; if you change your mind you can change your body.