This week marks the one year anniversary of the relaunch of Fit4Mom Manhattan! In honor of this wonderful occasion, we're highlighting Manhattan franchise owner and head instructor, Laura, as our Motivating Mom. Read all about her below and be sure to congratulate her in the comments!
**Tell us about yourself.**
Born and raised in New York City, I always wanted to do it "all." From my days as a three sport varsity athlete and captain in high school, to my completion of three New York City Marathons while news producing at CNN, working at the NYPD as an Intelligence Analyst, and studying International Affairs and Arabic at Columbia University, fitness has been the one constant in my life. But it wasn't until I was pregnant with my daughter, Sophia, born in March 2012, that I was determined to turn my love for exercise into a career.
**What Motivated You to make a change?**
When I was pregnant with Sophia, I was frustrated by all the misinformation out there regarding fitness and pregnancy; I started writing a blog called “Baby Bump Fit Tips” on Mizzfit.com. But when I actually had Sophia I had another problem; what to do with her while I worked out? I was hiring baby-sitters, which was becoming an expensive habit. But through Fit4Mom, it is possible to get a great workout without having to choose between baby and workout time. I’m thrilled that I am able to help so many other moms achieve this goal.
**What are you doing to get/stay so healthy?**
A large part of my motivation is intrinsic; I have always loved being active, so exercise is something I do every day. I do a ton of cross training and consistently mix up my workouts; I run, strength train, interval train, yoga/pilates work; this is definitely the best way to achieve maximum fitness results, to prevent injury and boredom. I do also try to eat (relatively!) healthy focusing on lean proteins especially after a workout and veggies (I drink a lot of green smoothies). But where I get that extra motivation is from my clients; to be in front of moms on a daily basis who want to get not only back in shape but even more fit than pre-baby, I know that I want to be in my best shape to help keep them motivated.
**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 your other day to day duties?**
I happen to be very fortunate and have a huge support system; Sophia’s dad, both sets of grandparents, aunts and uncles play a significant role in her life. But for me, I know I am the best version of myself when I am healthy and fit and I make sure I have time every day to exercise. If I cannot do it alone, I bring Sophia along. If I cannot make it to a Fit4Mom class, we do yoga or Tabata drills in our New York City apartment, or we go for a run in the park (with jogging stroller).
**How do you feel now? How has this changed your life?**
On a daily basis, I know that I am helping moms. I am helping them both physically and emotionally. And in a city as big as Manhattan, I am helping them build a community. And, most important, I am sharing this experience with Sophia, who now does a perfect squat and plank! Knowing this makes me feel extremely fulfilled.
**What advice do you have for other moms who want to get healthy?**
You CAN do it; but start with realistic, attainable goals that you can achieve. Work within the framework of your life, and don’t be afraid to put yourself first at times.