This week, we want you to meet Katy from Texas! Read below to find out how Stroller Strides changed this dedicated mama's life!
**Tell us about yourself**
Before becoming a Mama, I was a corporate trainer and traveled a lot. I enjoyed it but travel doesn’t make for a fit lifestyle. I was eating on the road and in airports, trying to make good choices. I would promise myself I’d hit the hotel gym in the next city, then was too wiped out to do so. I got sick of this routine and wanted to start a family badly. When we decided to have a baby, I was lucky enough to have my job change so I could work from home. Working from home was different and great with baby but also lonely. I would go to mama/baby yoga classes with baby Jack and that was usually my outing for the day. The yoga mamas planned a flashmob at our Whole Foods where we danced with our babies. I met my friend Lucy at the flashmob and she told me about Stroller Strides and introduced me to our local owner. I really wanted to join but my maternity leave was almost up. My work schedule kept me from participating in Stroller Strides for another year but I did go to playdates and birthday parties with the other moms and met this incredible group of women. As soon as I was cleared for physical activity after the birth of my daughter, Macy, I was in my first Stroller Strides class. I’ve been in love ever since.
**What motivated you to make a change?**
I was highly motivated to see what my body was capable of after giving birth to both babies naturally and drug free. My first class was in July in Texas. It was HOT! I was wiped out being a new mom of two, but the class was so much fun. It was good to be around other moms, I felt supported and I left feeling strong. I was back the next day and the next day. Going to Stroller Strides gave me and my young family a routine, a social outlet and a daily physical challenge I had been craving. I became more present, focused, calm and happy.
**What are you doing to get/stay so healthy!?**
When Body Back was introduced in our area, I joined. It was nice to have a super challenging workout and time without the kids a couple of times a week. We had a food journal and activity app that really made us think about the balance in the food choices we make. It was when I combined Stroller Strides and Body Back that I really started to see and feel significant change in my body shape. In addition to the physical activity, I started thinking about the food I was feeding my family and the portion size. We weren’t eating badly, but we had room for improvement. Today, we make an effort to get moving no matter what. If it’s not Stroller Strides, we jog the neighborhood and then head to the park. The fresh air and exercise has become a daily necessity for all of us to feel good.
**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?**
It’s a constant battle to maintain balance in a family. To take care of myself, I make sure we always have balanced snacks and water in the car. This prevents stops in drive thrus and keeps everyone from getting grouchy as we run around each day. I do little “me” breaks when the kids fall asleep in the car - I park in the driveway read a book without pictures or just enjoy a cup of Starbucks and some NPR for 30 min. I also ask for help. I make sure my husband has plenty of notice of Mom’s Night Out so I can make it. We are lucky to live close to my parents and they will come play with the kids so I can go get a haircut or a massage, but I have to ask. I think moms often wish someone would relieve them or offer a break, but you have to ask for help. You have to build a support system for yourself.
**How do you feel now? How has this changed your life?**
I feel fantastic. I look for challenges to do with my Mama Tribe. In the last year, we have done the Diva Dash, Capital 10K and Austin Half Marathon. It’s wonderful having the support of the other moms, taking on new physical challenges and having those fabulous Mom’s Night Out evenings. I can’t recommend Stroller Strides enough to new moms. The support is priceless. My life has changed so wonderfully and significantly since having Jack and Macy. Most recently, I left my job as a corporate trainer to be a mom full time and a Stroller Strides and Fit4Baby Instructor. Our family already feels like it was one of the best decisions we have ever made.
**What advice do you have for other moms who want to get healthy?**
My advice for other moms who want to get healthy:
- Build a support system.
- Tell your partner what you need.
- Ask for what you want.
- Slow down and don’t forget to breathe.