Happy Monday Mamas! Meet Heather. This Mom is the real deal. Not only is she gorgeous, dedicated (like seriously never missing a SS class!) and inspiring; but this mother of 3 has completed 2 Ragnar Relays in 2013(If you don't know what a Ragnar is, it's a pretty hardcore team relay race that pushes even the most seasoned athletes). Here is how Andrea Hall, owner of FIT4MOM Nashville, describes her "she just amazes me how she can be such a great mother, continue to work and put her workouts as a priority. She can do it all, but never tries to make you think she's perfect." Love, love, love!
**Tell us about yourself**
I'm a 35 year old work from home mom of 3. I joined Stroller Strides after reading an article in our local paper announcing the grand opening of the Brentwood location for Stroller Strides Nashville in July 2007.
**You look amazing! Tell us about your fitness journey.**
My oldest daughter Tinsley was 21 months and my youngest at the time, Savannah, was 3 months when I found Stroller Strides. I had started walking in my neighborhood with them because I knew I had to start getting the baby weight off. I was so happy to find a program like Stroller Strides where I could continue to exercise with my kids and have the support of other moms. We've gone to class most every Monday, Wednesday and Friday since we started. On September 29, 2011 I had a baby boy, Arye. I kept up with SS the whole way through my pregnancy. I'm pretty sure my last class was just 3 days before he was born. I had one mom tell me I inspired her to run during class. If I could do it that pregnant, she had no excuses. I did put my membership on hold for the month of October, but came back in November as soon as I had my doctor's clearance.
**What motivated you to join a FIT4MOM class?**
I exercised pretty regularly before getting pregnant the first time, but after having 2 kids in 18 months I just wasn't finding the time for it anymore. Finding Stroller Strides definitely motivated me to get back into it on a regular basis.
**What are you doing to get/stay so healthy!?**
When Arye was 4 or 5 months old I started Body Back while continuing SS. I really needed the accountability and nutrition guidelines that BB provided. After that BB session was over I was down to a weight I hadn't seen since middle school. I joked during that session that this momma didn't want her own body back, I went for a better one. I weigh about 30 pounds less now than I did when I got pregnant with my first child. I still use the Body Back nutrition guide to help make healthy choices with my eating for both me and my family.
**It can be SO HARD to find “me” time when you are taking care of your family, how were you able to make these healthy changes and stick to them while still doing all of you other day to day duties?**
I am an Applications Developer for an accounting firm. After I had my first child, I transitioned to 30 hour work weeks. I work from home and go into the office one day a week. I've always been able to modify my work schedule around Stroller Strides, preschool, naps, etc, which is a huge testament to the kind of company I work for. Stroller Strides is simply part out our weekly routine. I was anxious to get back to it and introduce everyone to my new baby boy. My oldest started kindergarten just before the baby was born, which worked out perfect for room in the stroller. I do occasionally push all 3 during holiday and other school breaks when the big girls are with me. At 8, 6 and 2 we can still find a way to make it work. It always makes me laugh when people tell me their kids outgrew the stroller. I guess mine were simply never given the option.
**How do feel now? How has this changed your life?**
I love that my children have grown up watching me exercise. I think they are on the right track when their pretend play involves teaching or taking a Stroller Strides class. I've kept the weight off as I've continued with SS and running. I've done several half marathons over the years. In 2013 I participated in 2 Ragnar Relays - Florida Keys and Tennessee.
What are you most proud of? Or list your happiest moment.
Andrea, our Stroller Strides owner/instructor, was a great resource in helping me train for the most recent Tennessee Ragnar relay. I wanted to run all 3 of my relay legs under a 10 minute mile, even the last one where you are sleep deprived and tired from already running twice in the last 24 hours. All 3 of my legs were between 5 and 6 miles for a total of almost 17 miles. I ended up doing the first two around 9:15 and the last one at a 9:30 pace. I was quite proud of myself and so thankful for Andrea's support and encouragement.
**What advice do you have for other moms who want to get healthy?**
If not obvious by my over 6 years with this program, I would tell anyone how awesome it is to be able to work out with your children. They see you working to be healthy. They get to yell, "Go Mommy Go" and are occasionally that little voice you need to kick it up a notch. It is also wonderful being able to exercise with other moms. We all get what it's like to have sleepless nights and bring your kid to class in PJ's because you simply had to get out of the house. Over the past 6 years, Stroller Strides has been on our schedule, rain or shine. I think that is the key...find something that keeps you active and put it on your schedule. You can't go when you feel like it. You go because you love it and it's so good for you and your children.