Yesterday, I told you guys how Sara Holliday kicked my butt with her Stroller Workout for Moms. And today, the butt-kicker herself is here to weigh in on pregnancy and postpartum fitness and finding balance in her busy life as a mom of two boys (Kaden, 4, and Ty, 7, pictured). In addition to being a mom, she’s a licensed marriage-family therapist, life and fitness coach, holistic health practitioner and columnist. I can’t even type all of that without getting tired. I love hearing how other busy moms fit fitness into their lives, so sit back, relax and learn a thing or two from this mom of two!
Interview with Sara Holliday
- FBM: What were your favorite activities and workouts during pregnancy?
- SH: While I was pregnant I taught a stroller workout called, “Fit Mommas.” I combined kickboxing, lunges, squats, light weights and cardio intervals while pushing the stroller. At the time there were five of us out of 26 members who were pregnant. It was very inspiring to the non-preggos because they felt if we could do it, so could they! One lady took my class until the day she gave birth! In addition, I taught and practiced yoga. In fact, I was filmed for Sara Holliday’s First, Second and Third Trimester Prenatal Yoga DVDswhile pregnant with our second child.
- FBM: Any pregnancy craving or food aversions stand out?
- SH: I craved peanut butter. I think my body wanted more protein and fat. I just listened to what my body needed and did my best to choose a healthy choice.
- FBM: What was your favorite part of pregnancy? What was your least favorite part of pregnancy?
- SH: My favorite part of pregnancy was meditating while placing one hand on my belly and the other on my heart. I would connect the love I had at my heart to my baby. My least favorite part of pregnancy was towards the end when I would feel breathless when I tried to exercise. Being breathless made me feel like I was out of shape. This frustrating feeling gave me deeper compassion towards people who are first starting to exercise.
- FBM: What was your experience getting back into shape after pregnancy? Any lessons learned to share with new moms?
- SH: The hardest part was feeling mushy. Even though I was an athlete, my body felt soft after having children, and I worried that it wouldn’t get firm. The lesson I learned was to give your body time to come back, and know that it in some ways it may never be the same. For example, your hips may have widened and your breasts may have lost fullness. The other lesson is to exercise as much as possible when you are pregnant. If you do, you will have much quicker bounce-back.
- FBM: In one of your videos, I think you said you were onlythree months postpartum—and you were in fabulous shape. How did you bounce back so quickly?
- SH: The biggest reason why I bounced back so quickly was because I exercised and ate healthy during my pregnancy, thus I didn’t have much extra weight to lose. Also eight weeks postpartum, I practiced yoga regularly and taught a class similar to my DVD, Sara Holliday’s Postpartum Total Body Toning. I highly recommend that healthy pregnant women exercise from the beginning of their pregnancy and beyond. Those who exercise consistently bounce back much quicker.
- FBM: Any advice for pregnant women and new moms on embracing their new and different bods?
- SH: Realize that your pregnant body is temporary—in nine months you won’t be pregnant. Focus on the positive—cleavage, thicker hair, glowing skin and lots of attention! Before you know it, all the attention will be on your little one.
- FBM: What does a typical workout week look like for you?
- SH: I teach Vinyasa yoga four times a week. Vinyasa is a flowing style of yoga that lengthens and defines the muscles. I also teach Yoga Booty & Abs, a high energy toning and yoga class every other week. I also take a Zumba class every other week and walk my 105-pound dog twice a day for 30 to 45 minutes per walk.
- FBM: How do you balance “you time” with the demands of motherhood?
- SH: I have realized that if I don’t have “me time” I start to feel resentful and that reflects in my parenting. Therefore I make “me time” a priority. At least once a week I meet with a girlfriend or my husband for lunch, I meditate regularly, and I do simple things that make me feel good such as reading a good book, taking bubble baths and walking my dog.
- FBM: What’s been the biggest challenge?
- SH: The biggest challenge has been finding the balance between having my own business and being present with my family. When I’m with my kids sometimes I have to remind myself to let go of my business and enjoy the moment with my kids, because it won’t be long before they will be all grown up.
- FBM: Any advice for other moms on how to keep family healthy and active?
- SH: Exercise with your kids as much as possible, and make it fun. For example, go for a bike ride, a nature hike or shell hunting at the beach. Also be a role model—your kids are watching you, so lead by example and eat healthy and exercise consistently.
- FBM: What do you think your workouts offer that others don’t?
- SH: My prenatal yoga DVDs are safe and effective workouts designed for each trimester of pregnancy, so as your body changes the workout changes with you. Also my prenatal yoga DVDs have postures that will aid in opening the pelvis and provide breathing exercises for an easier labor. My postnatal DVD, Sara Holliday’s Stroller Workout for Moms is a fun and challenging workout perfect for mom and baby. It includes a DVD and CD audio portion so moms can work out indoors or out with their baby. Sara Holliday’s Total Body Toning is perfect for the busy mom because it’s a great high energy toning workout and only 30 minutes long.
- FBM: What current projects are you involved in? Any plans for more workouts?
- SH: I recently created “Two Minute Toners” and “Weight Loss Yoga for Moms” video tips for ehow.com. I’m also working on a self-help book and audio program. I lead ongoing classes in my studio in San Diego, and create specialty workshops for communities and businesses.
- FBM: Any other thoughts or advice for our Fit Bottomed readers?
- SH: Be easy on yourself—it can be challenging to be a mom and juggle life’s demands. Find exercise you enjoy, eat healthy and do things that make you feel good. You are the glue that holds your family together, so when you’re happy everyone is happy.
Thanks, Sara, for taking the time to answer our questions! I’m still sore from that stroller workout… —Erin