I am not going to pretend that I enjoy being a working mom. Honestly, if I could have the world my way, I would be home with my son till he was school aged and I would just write blogs and coach. However, it’s not a perfect world.
I tell myself pretty little lies daily to ease an inner pain of being separated for my sweet boy. I tell myself to be proud that I can provide for my son by having a great job. I tell myself be thankful you have a career that has great insurance, lots of time off, and a job where I don’t work nights or weekends. All of these things are true, but it doesn’t mean I can’t feel a secret sadness about being away from my baby boy.
I am lucky my son gets to be with his paternal grandmother where he can see his primos and receive love from his tias during the week. It doesn’t mean I can’t miss him. Even though I’m at work and focused on making a difference for other people’s kids, I still worry about my own child constantly. Thoughts like, is he napping? Is he having fun? Is he okay? Is he happy? What is he doing?
Someone told me that the day you become a mother is the day you worry for the rest of your life. I think it’s true. I have only been back working full-time for four weeks, and fortunately I have an amazing spouse and extended family helping to raise our son, but it’s not easy. It’s hard going from a recent 24/7 mommy to just getting to hold my baby for a few hours a day. It’s hard trying to fit everything in and being comfortable letting certain things go that my former self use to fixate on. Finding balance as a new mom is a transition, and I know I’m transforming into a working mom.
People who say hire help should be careful with that comment because not all people live a life with that much disposable income. Instead, I think moms should say to other moms: take it one day at time; do what you can; be willing to let things go; it will be okay; you’re doing great; it’s okay to cry; don’t be so hard on yourself; be willing to take breaks; spread your chores out; it’s okay to miss your baby; you’re amazing! To all you working moms out there, I am so proud of you because I know it ain’t easy.
Are you a mom? Would you like support from a trainer who has been in your shoes? If so, you should contact me for a FREE consultation. I would love to support your journey and help you reclaim yourself. We don't have to find our balance alone. I surely do not do everything alone. I feel it's important to have people in our corner, helping us to achieve our goals. Reach out at anytime!
I have worked very hard over the course of my life to care for other people. I have always had a maternal spirit. My desire to help others has also taught me that you can’t give from an empty cup. I have made self-care a priority in my life. Now, for many moms putting yourself first can come with many negative opinions from outside sources. Some moms get told they are selfish if they make time to workout or go to a spa or have a lunch date with friends. But why? Why shouldn’t a mother be able to care for herself and to do things that rejuvenate her spirit? I feel when a mom has some alone time to focus on her needs then the entire household thrives long term. In my household, we support each other in ways that allows our cups to overflow. Happy mommy, happy baby, happy daddy, happy home (feel free to tweak for your family dynamic).
I have worked hard to not only live a fitness lifestyle, but help people transform into that lifestyle as well. One of the biggest road blocks for many people, especially single parents, is affording personal fitness coaching. I know first hand how tough it is to make it month to month, especially as a resident of the Bay Area (the most expensive place in the states). My coaching packages come with not only amazing prices but unbeatable care. My ❤️heart goes into each plan and I provide tons of attention and extra goodies to all my athletes and transformation clients.
If you are tired of trying to give from an empty cup then consider signing up with me as your personal fitness lifestyle coach. You won’t regret the journey. I guarantee it.
There is no transformation that actually feels good. All transformation requires you to go through pain. Not only does your body have to physically endure levels of discomfort, if not great discomfort, but your mind has to really push itself to a new level of thought and perspective. The most uncomfortable moments of any transformation is right before you break past the precipice. To go to the next level, to transform into that new person, you have to push through this invisible wall that requires immense strength and courage.
When I think back to my bodybuilding pursuits, it was always the moments when I felt like I had nothing left to give where the real change happened because I pushed myself both mentally and physically to another level. When I think back to the gestation phase of my pregnancy, the hardest was toward the end when I really had to push through physical discomfort and the fear of the unknown of labor. Likewise, the beginning of motherhood was incredibly painful, as I morphed and transformed into a new woman.
Transformation takes grit. It takes patience. It takes vision. It takes bravery. And it forces you to be more vulnerable than you ever could imagine. Going through a transformation is a ton of work, but what happens on the other side is beautiful. I can’t help to think of butterflies when I think of total change. Butterflies can’t tell us what it feels like going from a caterpillar to living in a cocoon to flying freely with colorful wings. From an outsiders perspective, it is inspiring and mesmerizing and gives us hope and inspiration that if God could design a creature to undergo such immense change then we, as intellectual beings, can also undergo profound change as well. To transform simply requires you to stick with something without giving up, knowing that things will get slightly worse before they get better, and that the journey is the most incredible part of any change. The victory is not necessarily the end result, but what it took for you to get to your destination.
“The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new,” Rajneesh.
I am a new person down to how I use my seconds in a day. Now everything I do is to make sure I have plenty of time for cuddling and playing with my son. 4 a.m. wake ups for 5 a.m. workouts is how I’m able to spend an entire evening with my son after a day at work. He is now my long walks and jogging companion too. I never want my son to look back on his childhood and question if he was loved enough or held enough. I want my son to know he was my biggest priority and that’s why I worked so hard to make everything else work. I want him to know that because of him, I became a better woman.
Are you a mother who would like support with fitness and nutrition? Would you like someone to keep you accountable, and design a plan for you to feel your best? If so, you should click the link above to schedule a FREE consultation for your POSTPARTUM fitness coaching program. It doesn't matter if you had your baby three months ago or 30 years ago. You're still a mother who has specific needs that I can support you with. I look forward to helping you come your best version
Right before I did this photo shoot, at six months postpartum, I asked one of my dearest friends, who is also a mother of two boys, if I should do the shoot now or “wait until I look better.“ She told me “Absolutely not. Do the shoot.“ She told me that it’s really important, as a postpartum woman, to see other women reflect similar struggles because this way she knows she isn’t alone in the journey to reclaiming herself. I have to say I agree. We had a long conversation about this; about our bodies, our new way of looking at ourselves, and our new way of thinking.
For many women much of our self identity, and sadly value, comes from physical appearance. Social media is one of the biggest pushers of this lie. This is a societal truth globally. I’m not going to go into a debate about how this is right or wrong, but I will say it makes being a woman complex.
As a postpartum woman, I can say my relationship to myself is very different than it once was. My body to date, six months postpartum, has an overall composition very different than what it once was. My approach to training is much different than ever before. I am learning to do more with less time. I have excess skin in my abdomen that once never existed. My muscle mass to fat mass has changed. My hips have changed. Lots of physical things about me have changed. But guess what? It is okay! It has been worth it. Mentally, I am more confident and accepting of myself. I have become more patient with myself. I feel I have become more focused in all aspects of my life because I have so little time for me that I have to make each second count. Even my relationship to food has changed in a real positive way. My new body may be softer, but I guarantee my little baby loves being cradled by my softness. This may be my body right now, but like all bodies they change a lot over the course of a lifetime.
If you’re a mom, or even a kid free woman reading this, and you feel your worth is only measured by your body think again. Your worth is measured in your actions and how you make others feel. So embrace yourself, go after your goals, and make yourself proud. As my best fried told me, “Do it!” Do something that gets you out of your comfort zone so you can blossom in ways you didn’t realize where possible.
I just turned 37, and I have to say I am fortunes full. It’s rumored that a life which is rich is not necessarily equivalent to dollar signs, but how you feel inside. I think that’s fairly accurate, if not completely true. When I think back on my life till now, I have lived a very full, exciting, and to some even daring life. Yet, there was always something missing. There was always a void that I felt I needed to fill. Unabashedly, I don’t feel that way anymore. I feel complete, whole, and happy. Now there’s a back story as to how I arrived at this place of genuine happiness, but I’ll share that another day.
Long story short, I feel so fortunate today and everyday that I wake up. Why? The biggest reason is because of my little family. It took me much longer than most women to find that one special man to have a family with and now I have this amazing son! I don’t need presents or cards or cake or songs for my birthday this year. I have all I need. I feel rich beyond compare and I have the big guy upstairs to thank. Another year around the sun and this time I’ll have my boy by my side keeping me in smiles.
Women: how do you feel about yourself these days? What could help you to feel more happy? Do you focus on your happiness enough? I want to hear your thoughts. Comment below and let me know.
When people ask me how motherhood is going I say words like: amazing, wonderful, fantastic, and I love it. I don’t lie to people. I love being Emilio’s momma. Have I had tough moments? Yes. Have I felt inadequate at times? Yes. Have I felt unsure of what to do? Yes. Have I felt insecure about my body? Yes. Yet, I can honestly say I love being a mother because each hard moment has helped me to grow and learn.
All my lessons have taught me little tricks and genius ways to sooth a baby or situation. Each time I felt inadequate or insecure has forced me to get in touch with my inner self and remind myself how powerful my body and mind truly are in the big picture. I mean my body made a beautiful baby and is now reshaping into an athletic physique. Incredible!
Like other women, I endured a long labor to having to care for my newborn while recovering from a cesarean alone. I handled breastfeeding, pumping, doctor visits, and healing from mastitis twice. Thank God for technology, too, because being a mom taught me to not be afraid of vulnerability and to reach out for help and to ask questions. Motherhood has been my ultimate teacher.
This new life has shown me I am beyond powerful, and I love motherhood because of this realization. Motherhood has shown me how unstoppable of a spirit I own. Motherhood has put all my preachings to the test. All the things I tell my female athletes and fat loss clients has been put to the test. Everything I tell my students has been put to the test. Proudly, I have put my words into practice and I keep seeing positive results. I feel so genuinely happy. So yeah, I love motherhood.
Photographer: Sean P. Walker https://www.seanpwalker.com
The next series of blog posts will be the story related to my most recent photoshoot. I did a photoshoot at six month postpartum to open up a dialogue about my experience with motherhood. It is my hope that other mothers find a bit of themselves in my posts.
Want to know how I have maintained a fitness lifestyle all these years? Want to know how I keep myself accountable? Want to know how my clients transform? Well, I have five words for you!
Whether you want your body to look a certain way, to get that particular job, or to have a certain quality life YOU have to BE CONSISTENT. What you do each day has a much bigger impact on your life than what you do once in a while.
I promise you, the 20 minutes you give to cardio every day will have longer lasting results then the 2 hour session you do once a month. Consistently lifting weights multiple times a week will have a much greater impact on your physique then trying to do a marathon weight session a few times a month. Trust me friends, it is the daily habits that mold your life.
I cannot begin to explain the importance of being soft with your goals. Be stubborn in your pursuit, but keep close to heart that life is unpredictable. Things happen to us that are often out of our control. We cannot always control injuries, the loss of loved ones, illness, and more. When our life gets hit with chaos, pain, or loss we have to be FLEXIBLE and adjust our approach to our goals.
Even dealing with day to day life can be tough. Life often gets more complicated as we grow. We all have jobs, families, and many responsibilities. Be flexible with how you approach your daily schedule. Make your fitness fit into your lifestyle. You have 24 hours in a day, which means there is tons of wiggle room for that one hour workout (which is just 4% of your day!). You also have time to cook your own food. Simply, make a plan and follow through, but be flexible when needed.
There comes a point in one's journey when motivation no longer matters or is needed to get a task done. All that is needed is determination. Having determination is a HUGE, essential component to being successful. With every competition I had done, it was not motivation that got me into the gym to train 3 hours a day after working 8 hours, it was determination. Determination is all about doing what needs to be done, even when you don't feel like doing it.
Your purpose is why you stay determined. Your purpose is why you allow yourself to be flexible in your approach toward goals. Your purpose is why you decide to have daily consistency in your thoughts, words, and actions. Having purpose is what drives you to be unstoppable. Purpose is what gets you out of bed everyday. It is what navigates you through your life. Purpose is critical if you want success, happiness, and health. Find your purpose and watch your life come alive!
In the end, everything comes down to YOU. No one is going to win the race for you. No one is going to lose the weight for you. No one is going to build muscle for you. No one is going to do anything for you because you can do it for yourself. This is reality. Nothing is owed to anyone. No person deserves anything. You have to work for everything. This is the coach in me speaking to you. You have to grind to get to where you want to go. If you follow my five words to success you will be unstoppable. I promise. You mind-set is everything. Your daily actions are everything. Your attitude is everything. You are everything. Stop looking for the missing piece because it is right in front of you. Look in the mirror if you are unsure where to find it. Do you see? It's YOU! You are the one who can make anything in your life possible.
I know I just gave you a BIG pep talk and a little bit of tough love, but that is because I BELIEVE in you! I know it often takes someone to believe in us and be in our corner to help make our success a reality. I have had coaches along my path help me reach various goals. Hopefully reading these tips to success inspired you. Yet, if you feel that you still need that extra push, or someone to hold you accountable, then reach out! I can guide you through a transformational journey. Together, we can go much further then if you tried to go alone. Click above for a free consulation!
Here is a portion of my workout from using one cable. Time efficiency is my game, especially as a mom. Shown in this video is glute bridge lifts for glute shaping and core conditioning. When you lie down, take a big inhale than exhale and pull that navel in toward the spin, it should feel like you are zipping up from your pelvic floor to your navel. Once you feel "zipped up," contract the core. Hold that contraction the entire time as you raise and lower the hips while keeping your pelvic floor stabilized. Meanwhile, keep the inner thighs engaged the entire time as well. Imagine you are squeezing a ball or block in between your thighs. It will burn in a good way. The last rep, hold at the top with the contraction in abs and legs for 18 breaths.
Core Conditioning Does Not Mean More Crunches
One thing I have learned since having a baby via C-Section, is the importance of reestablishing my pelvic floor and transverse abdominis muscles. I am still not fully put back together, but each day I get stronger. I went from not even being able to correctly breathe in my diaphragm to now doing warm up back squats at 110 pounds in just three months of consistent training and breath work.
One thing men and women should know is that the way to a stronger core is not by doing more crunches. If you are a postnatal woman (be it 5 months or 5 years) you should go through a proper evaluation of diastasis recti first and foremost. Many people (men and women) have some level of abdominal separation. Women who have been pregnant, however, can have the severity of it increase after pregnancy. This is why breath work and establishing a new connection with the core is so important. If you do not know how to check for diastasis recti please reach out to your local health professional or email me about the specialist I trained with for rehabbing this condition.
Through my postnatal experience and training, I have learned the way to a stronger core is knowing how to breathe properly, engage the with the muscles mentally, having good posture, and having all those aspects supporting each other to help your body become stronger. When people who fail to do these things when lifting, they end up injured.
I have done ZERO crunches or sit-ups since having my baby and my abdomen is pretty flat and becoming more defined each week. How is this possible? First, around 5 weeks postpartum I exclusively did breath work. I did this for several weeks. In fact, I did exercises like the video above to reestablish a connection with my core. That was all I did until I was cleared to exercise. To me, that was my foundational work of getting me put back together. I did this work right in my living room, next to my baby.
Once, I was cleared to exercise, I continued doing exercises which encouraged the engagement of my TVA muscles. When I would lift (which started VERY light or body weight resistance), I made sure to have insane mind-muscle connection. I concentrated HARD and I took my time. If my breath was off, or my posture was poor, I immediately stopped and tried again. It was humbling. At times it was frustrating and sometimes it hurt. But it was surely worth the patience and thoughtfulness. I never compromised proper form for my ego. I always would make sure that my core was engaged throughout an entire movement while breathing long and light, soft and smooth. If you have ever taken my yoga classes, you have heard me say that millions of times. I feel this new approach to training, is only going to make me a better trainer and athlete.
I had said a while back that I wanted to share with you ways to truly engage your core beyond crunches and sit-ups. Periodically, I plan to drop off more tools for you to add to your workout routines so you can be your strongest and healthiest version. I plan to provide for you floor based movements that can be done in your own living room and traditional lifting videos that may or may not require a gym.
If you like this video, you should consider subscribing to my humble little Youtube Channel. I plan to expand on it with time. If you like the content I send out, go even further by enrolling in one of my programs. Check out my website for further details.
I intentionally make all of my programs incredibly affordable because I know how challenging it can be to raise a family and make bills each month. I believe that all people should have access to quality fitness professionals who can help them achieve fitness related goals. I would love to be that person for you!
I even offer month to month programs that you can start and stop along your fitness journey.
Check out these month to month programs:
PERSONALIZED MEAL PLANNING
$100 Four Weeks (about $25.00 a week)
FULLY CUSTOMIZED TO HELP YOU REACH YOUR GOALS
MACROS CALCULATED AND TAILORED TO YOUR SPECIFIC GOALS
FULL MEAL PLAN WITH MACROS AND CALORIES PROVIDED
CUSTOM TRAINING PROGRAM
$80 FOR FOUR WEEKS (about $20.00 a week)
FULLY CUSTOMIZED TRAINING PROGRAM BASED ON YOUR GOALS
INCLUDES CARDIO AND WEIGHT TRAINING
PLEASE NOTE THAT IT IS HELPFUL TO SWITCH UP A TRAINING PROGRAM
EVERY 6-8 WEEKS TO AVOID PLATEAUS
FITNESS LIFESTYLE COACHING
Month to Month MEAL PLAN + TRAINING PACKAGE
INCLUDES MEAL PLANS SAMPLES AND WORKOUTS
WEEKLY CHECK-INS WITH PROGRESS MONITORING via Whats App
$140 FOR FOUR WEEKS (SAVE $40 BY BUYING AS A PACKAGE)
I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to ask me questions, comment on material below, or share my blog with others on social media or via email. Supporting others to become healthier and more fit brings my life so much happiness and fulfillment.
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If you are an avid gym goer, you might agree that some people are polite and respectful in the gym and others are absolutely disrespectful and clueless. As a fitness professional and former competitive figure athlete, I feel it is time I speak up about gym etiquette.
I have included a list describing how gym culture should be treated. If you have an opinion about anything I listed, please comment below. If you think I left anything out, let me know and I'll be sure to add it to the list.
Numero Uno: Make sure you are CLEAN! This means come to the gym in clean clothes (not yesterday's dirty gym clothes or stinky underwear). Make sure you have showered recently. Also, wear deodorant. I understand hygiene may be different from culture to culture, but gyms are melting pots, so be respectful and don't come in smelling like a jockstrap!
Number Two: Speaking of smell. Do NOT overdue the cologne or perfume. Some people have allergies and not everyone wants to smell your Axe or Victoria Secret spray. The wrong smell can totally wreck havoc for someone trying to run on the treadmill. It's just as bad as being next to someone who smells like rotten onions, sweat and puke all mixed together. Just make sure you recently showered and have put on some deodorant.
Number Three: Dress appropriately. This one is huge. I am sorry but the gym is not a dance club. No one wants to see your camel toe or ass crack. You don't need to expose your boobs like you would at the beach. Make sure your leggings are not see through. No one is interested in knowing the color of your thong. Leave something for the imagination for crying out loud. The purpose of the gym is to train. Please be respectful to others and remember gyms are also a place of business for coaches and trainers. Also, some gyms have childcare centers, so keep it PG please.
Number Four: RACK YOUR WEIGHTS! This one is super irritating. Gym staff work hard to keep the gym equipment in its proper place. The gym is a shared space. No one in the gym is there to pick up after you. If you were strong enough to load the weights on the leg press than you are strong enough to unload the sled. If you were strong enough to pick up the dumbbells than you are strong enough to put them back. The best part is that the dumbbell rack generally tells you where your weights need to return because the poundage is listed. It is amazing. Gyms are very organized places, so please respect the community by doing your part too.
Number Five: Speaking of cleaning up, please clean shared equipment. I get super sweaty in the gym. I don't always carry a towel, but I do make sure to wipe down equipment after I used it with the disinfectant spray. If you don't like using the spray and a paper towel to wipe down equipment than carry a towel around with you, so you can either lay it down before getting on the equipment or to wipe it down after use. There is not one person who wants to either sit in your butt sweat or clean it up. It's just foul, so please clean up your sweaty puddles.
Above is one of my affiliate links. These are the gym towels we use in my household. Click to buy.
Number Six: Do not block the free weights. This might be hard to believe, but you will NOT get stronger by standing in front of the rack. This is beyond annoying. Do not block the rack. It is just rude and it is very intimidating to newbies in the gym. There should be an isle wide space between the benches and rack. No one will steal the weights you want to use because they aren't yours; they are everyone's to use.
Number Seven: Do not hog the mirror. Just like you shouldn't stand right in front of the rack to do your set. Don't block someone's view of the mirror. True, you don't need a mirror to lift, but many people enjoy the mirror. The mirror is a tool in the gym. It helps someone make sure they are lifting with symmetry. This is especially helpful for both beginners and advanced athletes in the gym.
Number Eight: To extend on the mirror, please be mindful of how much you stare at yourself or pose in front of the mirror. It is perfectly acceptable to be proud of how you look and to admire all your hard work. It is another thing to flex or do a model turn after every set. You look like an ass. It is narcissism at its finest. Selfies can be fun, and posing has its time and place, but just be aware of your audience. It does make people uncomfortable whether you realize it or not. If you want to practice your posing for a competition make sure your gym allows it. Not all gyms do. If your gym does, they generally ask you to use a designated area. The reason for designated posing areas is to prevent distracting others.
Number Nine: Make sure you know the rules of your gym. Every gym has different rules about videos and photography. In our day and age, selfies are an obsession. It is like if there is no picture then it didn't happen. Make sure you know the rules about videos and photos. Many gyms do not allow videos, especially if they are meant to promote your business. Also, make sure you are not getting someone in a picture that doesn't want to be. That is a violation of privacy. If you are taking gym selfies be tasteful. A picture of you in front of toilets is just crap!
Speaking of rules, make sure you know how to use machines before use. Machines generally have instructions and graphics to help explain the proper use of the machine. If you are unsure either ask for help or skip its use for the session. If you're too shy to ask for help, then skip the machine and when you get home look up how to use the machine on YouTube. It would be tragic if you injured yourself by incorrectly using a machine, or worse being the main objective of a viral video about a moron using a machine wrong.
Last one on rules. Don't try to be an under the table trainer. It is obvious. I see it all the time and it's upsetting. The trainers in the gym either pay rent to be an independent trainer in the club or work for the gym making less than you want to know. Either way, it's not respectful to the trainers in the club working with integrity. If you want to be a trainer follow the rules and train clients properly and professionally.
Number Ten: There is no need to scream or slam weights. This seems to be an issue for men more than women. It is pretty annoying. I am sure there are garage gyms or places where that is acceptable, but in most gyms it's just tacky.
Number Eleven: Don't be a creep. Gym creeps are the worse. Just thinking of them makes my skin crawl. The purpose of the gym is to workout and destress. There is nothing more stressful and annoying than someone trying to throw pickup lines at you when you are trying to zen out and feel good. If you are digging someone you see at the gym, try to talk to them on the way out of the gym, but don't interrupt their workout with cheesy pickup lines. Also, don't make your staring obvious. It's creepy.
If you ever feel threatened by a person or feel as though you are being sexually harassed please speak to a front desk person or gym manager. Anyone who is overly pushy or overly sexual toward you at a gym is not acceptable and you should speak up.
Number Twelve: Hold your calls and texts. Do not take calls when you are on a machine and get into a long conversation. This is just rude. Other people want to use the machine, and you sitting on the machine like it's your couch having a deep conversation is not polite. If you want to talk on your phone on the treadmill, good luck, but make sure it isn't distracting someone trying to run or clear their mind next you. Remember gyms are place to release stress, not to accumulate more stress. I do not recommend taking a phone call at the gym. It can wait (unless it is a complete emergency). The same with texting. Don't text on weight machines when someone is waiting to use the machine. If you want to text on a cardio machine that is your choice, but are you pushing yourself enough if you are doing this?
Remember, the gym is a communal space. Everyone has the right to feel safe in the gym. Use your best manners. Smile at people once and while. Say thank you. Say excuse me. Be clean and clean up after yourself. Remember you are not the only person in the gym. Be modest and remember there are professionals in the gym working. Reserve other venues for sexual attire and behavior. Be mindful of other cultures. Find joy in taking care of yourself more than taking a million selfies. Most importantly, have fun and work hard!
I am a new mother who has her hands full! I juggle not just my coaching business, but I am also a full time educator. I also teach yoga in the Bay Area, and I mentor first generation college students.