Pregnant Pause: An Interview With's Jamie Eason

Jamie Eason is one of the most popular voices in the fitness community. In this Q&A session, you'll find out how she's staying fit during her pregnancy and learn some great training techniques!

Jamie Eason is not only a popular fitness model, she is also a wonderful spokesperson for women and their health. She represents incredible fitness and femininity. I tried her LiveFit trainer and absolutely loved it—I think it's a fantastic workout program. It challenged my expectations and taught me new things about weights, cardio, and lifestyle. Because I'm such a fan, I jumped at the opportunity to do an interview with her.

I was not disappointed! Jamie was willing to give some great fitness tips, and she was kind enough to reveal some details about how she's handling her pregnancy. Read on to learn more about Jamie Eason!

Congratulations on your pregnancy! How has being pregnant changed your body?

Being pregnant has definitely changed my body. Almost immediately, my chest size changed dramatically. Shortly thereafter, I began to notice muscle atrophy and less definition. It's a time to surrender to the process and remember that my body is making a baby, and that's top priority. As for the good things about being pregnant, it's been nice to indulge a bit. We initially burn more calories making the baby—that means bigger portions with occasional splurges.

The one surprising thing about being pregnant is how tired I've felt. I'm in my second trimester now, so I've regained some energy, but before I felt like I needed 12-15 hours of sleep each day!

Do you worry at all about losing the baby weight after you have your child?

I'm only human, so of course there is a little trepidation. At the same time, however, I've been living the fit lifestyle for years and I've learned processes that really work. I'm fairly confident that what has worked before will work once again. I'm actually looking forward to clean eating and training on a schedule again.

Are you eating healthy while you're pregnant? What's a typical eating plan?

I have only been somewhat healthy during the pregnancy. I started a bit underweight and needed to gain at a good pace. When my husband and I go out, I indulge in my favorites like Mexican food and random sweets that I haven't had in years. It's been fun to eat at all sorts of restaurants without always modifying the menu. We want to take advantage while we can because once the baby comes, our dates will happen with a babysitter on the clock.

When I'm at home though, I try to eat as healthily as I can. I can't say that I have a particular meal plan. What I eat changes based on how I'm feeling from day to day.

What are your top 3 tips for women trying to lose weight post-pregnancy?

First, create a plan. Have a workout plan ready to follow, and create a routine to prepare your meals just like you will for your baby. Second, breast feed. It's the best way to burn those excess calories and it's good for the baby. Third, take regular walks or jogs by yourself, with your baby, or with your partner. It's good to get fresh air; and every little bit of exercise will move you closer toward your goal.

Thanks for giving us that glimpse into your life, Jamie! Now, here are some more general training questions from curious readers: How do you target the lower back muscles?

These are my favorite lower-back exercises:

1 / Plank

Lie on your stomach on the floor and then prop yourself up on your elbows and rise to your toes, taking care to maintain a flat back. Hold that position as long as possible while maintaining good posture. Repeat 3 or 4 times.

2 / Superman

For this movement, lie flat on your stomach and stretch both arms above your head with your elbows straight. Point your toes and slowly lift both your arms and legs off the floor. You'll do this by squeezing your glutes and tightening your back. Hold this position for a few seconds, and release. Perform 2-3 sets of ten reps.

You can also do this movement by lifting an opposite arm and leg and holding for a few seconds.

3 / Resistance Band Rotations

To do them, secure a resistance band around a post. Grasp the band with both hands and with straight arms, rotate your body slowly at the waist. Twist from one side to the other. You can do this either standing or kneeling. Perform 2-3 sets of 10 reps on each side.

How do you avoid shin splints or make them heal quickly? What is a good stretch for shins and calves?

Shin splints often strike people who run or exercise on hard surfaces, quickly ramp up their mileage or activity, neglect stretching, or wear old, worn-out shoes. Another culprit is muscle imbalance. Just like our biceps and triceps, the lower leg has two sides: the shins and the calves. The calves are responsible for lifting the heel, while the shin is responsible for raising the toes and absorbing impact. The best methods to treat shin splints are rest, ice, stretching, and strengthening.

To prevent shin splints in the first place, take special care to progress slowly when training on hard surfaces. Also, replace those worn-out shoes. You need something with proper cushioning and stability. It's also important to warm up prior to higher-impact exercises like running or jumping rope.

For a great stretch in your shin, try kneeling on the floor with toes pointed and sitting back on your haunches, pushing your ankles into the floor until you feel tension on the front of your shin. Hold for a count of 10, relax and repeat. You can also stretch your shins by sitting and then stretching both legs out in front of you. Then, make toe circles by rotating your ankles.

Strengthen your shins by having a partner sit opposite of you and wrap a resistance band, Pilates band, or even her hands around the top part of your foot. Make sure there's resistance, and then flex your foot up for repetitions of 10. You can also have a partner push against your upper foot while you flex your foot down against the resistance. You also might try channeling your inner ballerina and do calf raises with your heels together and toes pointed out. Then, stand with your toes together and your heels pointed out and lift up on your toes. Do 10 reps of 2-second counts.

How can I lean out my legs? Are there exercises that can help me?

When the goal is to "lean out" any part of your body, the first part of the formula should always be a clean diet. You can exercise until you're blue in the face and achieve some results, but you'll never get lean without maintaining a clean and balanced diet in proper portions.

The next piece of the formula is to build up those leg muscles with weight resistance. As long as you don't sacrifice form, the more stress and weight you can put on your quads and hammies, the better. Resistance training will prompt greater muscle growth and give them shape. Try exercises like weighted walking lunges and barbell squats. For more advanced movements, try rear-foot-elevated split squats, step-ups, and deadlifts.

Once you've built some muscle, turn your attention to higher intensity training like plyometrics and sprints. Plyometrics are explosive exercise movements utilizing your own body weight. Some great ones are jump squats, jump lunges, high knees, and star jumps. To do sprints, try interval training. Sprint between mailboxes or lampposts and walk in between; or, jump on a treadmill and sprint for 30 seconds and rest for 30 seconds.

I struggle so much with unhealthy eating! What do you do to resist the temptation of eating unhealthy foods?

The key to resisting the temptation for unhealthy foods is to always be prepared. I recommend that people learn just five clean recipes that they can freeze and keep on hand to eat throughout the week. The goal is to eat fresh and healthy foods as often as possible. Those pre-made meals will always be around so you don't cave to temptation when you're hungry.

Make sure those recipes are healthy versions of food you like. I love burgers. So, I make turkey- or chicken-zucchini burgers to put on an Ezekiel English muffin. I also make a variety of protein bars like chocolate, cinnamon, or lemon to satisfy my sweet tooth. When there are always options for foods that you enjoy, you'll be less likely to succumb to cravings.