Want to make this year your fittest year yet? New bootcamp membership? Check. Protein powder? Check. Nutrition book? Check. Fitness magazines? Check. What if I told you that some of the ladies behind these products live right here in Houston?
Head to Barnes and Noble on any given day and you’ll probably find one (if not all) of them in some of the most popular fitness magazines, or on the cover, And, not only are they huge power players in the fitness industry, but they are also moms.
I recently met up with them to get some tips on how they they got their bodies back into shape after baby, how they stay motivated and what it means to be a fitness role model.
This topic is near and dear to my heart because just like these three, I am also in the fitness industry and I am a new mom. All of these ladies have been a huge inspiration to me and are some of the nicest, most down to earth people I know.
Kelsey Byers: Personal balance is the key to losing weight and a healthy lifestyle
Kelsey Byers is an up-and-coming fitness star who inspires others to get fit with her own 50-pound weight loss success story which she writes about in her book: Eat Clean and Follow Your Dreams. She is an NPC competitor, has a popular blog and is new mom to an adorable 12-month old daughter.
CultureMap: Kelsey, your weight loss transformation is amazing. How much weight did you lose before you had your baby? Were you concerned with gaining some of it back when you had your baby?
Kelsey Byers: I lost 50 pounds after college through healthy eating and exercising, mostly weight training. I wasn’t really concerned with gaining weight during pregnancy because I know how to lose weight. I was mainly focused on eating healthy frequent meals and staying active during the process of growing my sweet girl.
"I am still that 'chunky-girl' at heart. You just have to find a moderation that works for you and stay committed to your healthy lifestyle most of the time."
I am still that “chunky-girl” at heart. I still love going out to eat and indulging in not-so-healthy food and wine. You just have to find a moderation that works for you and stay committed to your healthy lifestyle most of the time.
CM: How do you get your daughter to eat healthy? Any tips?
KB: I believe your kids will eat what you feed them, especially if you start them out eating healthy at a young age. Try making new healthy dishes each week until you slowly transition your family into a healthier lifestyle.
I know that when my husband and I started eating better, we had to ease into it. We were used to going out to eat three-four nights a week, so we didn’t want to burn ourselves out immediately diving in head first. Each week we started making small changes and it lead to BIG results.
Also, I love home workouts, in fact, I hold my 25-pound baby girl during many of my exercise moves. She loves it! I recently launched The Little Black Dress Workout Plan and will soon launch pregnancy and postpartum fitness plans as well.
Jamie Middleton: World's Fittest Model juggles baby and career
Jamie Middleton (Eason) is one of the most recognized faces in the fitness industry and has been in hundreds of magazine layouts and on dozens of covers. She is spokesmodel for industry giant Bodybuilding.com and was named World’s Fittest Model. Jamie is currently on TV every week on Lifetime’s Mission Makeover, she has her own line of protein powder and manages to juggle all of that with her adorable 18-month old son.
"My inspiration can change daily. Right now I am really so inspired by other fit moms like Kelsey and Hilary who juggle family life with work and do it so gracefully."
CultureMap: Jamie, you are an icon in the fitness industry. Were people surprised when you got pregnant? Is there a fit mom who has inspired you?
Jamie Middleton: It’s so crazy to be considered an icon in the fitness world. I swear I must have just been doing the right thing at the right time because nowadays there are so many incredible and inspiring physiques of both men and women. My inspiration can change daily. Right now I am really so inspired by other fit moms like Kelsey and Hilary who juggle family life with work and do it so gracefully.
I have both good days and bad and seeing my friends and peers shuffle priorities and manage ever-changing schedules helps me stay motivated and focused on only the important things, letting everything else go. As a family we are truly blessed in this season of life to be home with our son as much as possible and even travel together when work opportunities arise. I do the bulk of my work during the week and my husband as a worship pastor works predominantly on the weekends, so it really works out perfectly to be able to give our son all the care and attention he needs.
CM: What have you been up to lately?
JM: So much has changed since having my son. I’m busier than ever but so grateful to still be working in an industry I love. It’s been just over a year since I’ve had the baby and I’m back doing cover shoots and layouts. I also have a free post pregnancy training program that just launched on Bodybuilding.com.
In addition to that I’ve been flying every other week to Florida with my family to film Mission Makeover. I am a co-host and supporting trainer for the ladies participating on the show as they pursue their goal to finally lose the weight they have struggled for years to lose. Another thing I’ve been working on is expanding my natural line of supplements and products with Labrada Nutrition. I created the line of supplements while I was pregnant because I needed something I could feel good about taking and I am so proud of how well they have been received.
Hilary Hagner Hall: Being active shows your kids how they are supposed to live
I met Hilary Hagner Hall years ago when we both did fitness segments for Fox. She continues to be a popular face of fitness on many local and national morning shows. She is considered to be one of Houston's top personal trainers and is also an NPC competitor. When she's not busy running her Shed 'N Shred bootcamp, she's spending time with her two bright and active boys, ages 7 and 8.
"I simply use fun ways to explain how foods effect our bodies. For example: protein builds Superman muscles, veggies give us laser vision, and unsaturated fats are our brain juice!"
CM: Hilary, your boys are very active — do you think your healthy lifestyle has inspired them?
Hilary Hagner Hall: I'm not sure if being active has inspired my kids to be more active, but I certainly believe that it has shown them that this is how you are supposed to live. They don't know life without exercise. I've never had to encourage them to be more active, but some fun things we do on rainy days include dancing... a lot of dancing! In fact, we've created over 100 music videos in our day. We also enjoy working out together and practicing superhero movie action moves.
CM: Many people would be surprised to find out you once were heavy. What inspired you to get fit?
HHH: I grew up a heavy child. In junior high school I recall weighing 150 pounds in seventh grade. I got made fun of daily and I was the one girl in my group of friends that never got asked to the school dances. It was embarrassing and during that time I lost my self-worth.
In high school, I developed and eating disorder in my determination to be liked and value myself. It wasn't until I was a collegiate cheerleader and my biggest fans were little girls that looked to me when I realized that I was headed down a really bad road. I hired a nutritionist and began learning how food doesn't make you fat; it's your fuel to perform better and to be healthier.
My approach to raising my boys is simply education. I'm not overly restrictive; I simply use fun ways to explain how foods effect our bodies. For example: protein builds Superman muscles, veggies give us laser vision, and unsaturated fats are our brain juice! As far as exercise goes, I find it important to help your children find something that they love to do.
To read the rest of my interview with Jamie, Kelsey and Hilary and view our sample workout, please visit my blog: Cari-Fit.com.
Cari Shoemate is a popular Houston fitness trainer who runs Bombshell Bootcamp and is the new mom of an 18-month-old son.