"A mother is the one who fills your heart in the first place." - Amy Tan
Next up for our April BOOMer Mama of the month...Sonya Riffel! When it comes to adaptation, she takes it to the next level. No sitter? No problem! Why not strap that baby safely in your carrier and modify your workout into a "Mama/Baby BOD"?!
Sonya is the perfect example of making it work! New babies, new routines, a body that feels foreign and weak...won't stop this mama. She finds a way. Even though sometimes it's a struggle she doesn't give up. That is the spirit of a mother and the spirit of LFT.
I spoke with Sonya about the challenges and triumphs she's experienced in her pre and postnatal journey. Here's what she had to share.
Did you train while you were pregnant? If so, what was your workout schedule like?
I tried, but I only made it a few weeks before morning sickness was too much for me, and then I was too exhausted with 2 other kids and working.
Do you feel people have misinformed opinions about pregnant mothers who lift weights?
I’m guessing so because I had to do a lot of research into what could be done, and most of the articles were contradictory.
Have you found LFT coaches to be supportive during your prenatal and postnatal fitness journeys?
What has surprised you most about motherhood?
How exhausting it is. :)
What has been most challenging for you as a mom?
Making time for myself. I put so much time and effort into making sure my kids and family have everything done that they need, that I have little time for myself. I also have the constant struggle of choosing between taking time to workout or time to rest/sleep when I do have time for myself.
Society puts a ridiculous amount of pressure on mothers. Have you felt pressure as a mom and how have you reacted to it?
I know for sure there is pressure, as I’ve seen how it affects so many of my friends. I try to ignore the pressure from society and only feel the pressure I put on myself to complete “everything” that needs to get done.
What does it feel like to get back into training after having a baby? (Physically and emotionally)
I feel inadequate. Three c-sections have made it hard for me to jump back into training, as I’m constantly worried about hurting myself.
What obstacles have you had to overcome to make that important time for yourself? (Or how are you still trying to overcome them?)
Still working on this. For a little while, I strapped little man into his carrier and wore him during the workouts. This was harder than I anticipated.
What has encouraged you the most during this postpartum time?
My husband has been doing so much to help with the kids and with me going back to work.
What has been discouraging for you during this postpartum time?
I’m discouraged at the loss of discipline for going to the gym. I was in a great place at this time last year, and I feel I’ve lost the momentum. Trying to get everything back together to make the workouts happen again.
Tell me a little about your children.
Gabriel: 5.5yr old. Super high energy, loving, playful and constantly keeps me on my toes. He’s in Kindergarten and requires lots of my time and energy to make sure he’s getting his needs met at school.
Gracelynn: 4 yr old. Sweet, playful, little mama. Very busy! Preschool. extremely strong. Likes to “workout” and sing.
Gavin: 4 months. Mama’s boy. Very happy for mama. Loves to eat (but won’t take a bottle). Expressive verbally and facial expressions.
What advice would you give yourself if you were an outsider looking in?
It takes time to get back to normal. This is only a short time of life. You can do anything short-term.
What are you accomplishing as a mom that has made you feel proud?
Everyone is still alive! :) Working two jobs and getting ready to finish grad school.
What advice would you give to other mamas who want to continue training and making exercise and health a priority in their busy lives?
It is okay to be patient with yourself. Our bodies made little people, and that takes a special kind of strength. Take baby steps. Every little bit of exercise counts...even if it’s not the 50 minute class or the 1000 burpees.
What is your favorite exercise at LFT?
What are your fitness goals going forward?
I will be back in the gym and regaining core strength without pain.
For my last question, I’m going to list 5 categories and you tell me what you recommend in each (just let it be the first thing that comes to mind)
Food: Quest bars, Protein powder smoothies, Juice plus
Music: Christian rock
Book: Whatever my kindergartner wants to read
Film/Television: Binge watching Netflix while nursing and rocking a baby these days (Madame Secretary, Blacklist, Greys Anatomy, all the Chicago’s, Parenthood)
Person you admire: Other moms! (Especially those with lots of kids or kids who have special needs)
Congratulations on your sweet new baby Sonya! Thank you for your honesty and sharing a piece of your heart with us. You are driven and you are strong, there is no stopping you girl! You are FAR from inadequate. I look forward to watching you continue to blossom!
Have you found your inner Sonya and you're ready to join us today? LFT is calling your name! Your first 2 weeks are free! Sign up here and start today!
Coach Loni also runs the LFT blog, bringing you informative, uplifting and motivating articles and videos to help you achieve your goals and live your best life.