"We are born of love; Love is our mother." - Rumi
Let's show some love to our third BOOMer Mama of the Month...Heather Payant-Nguyen! You've seen her lovely face at LFT plenty of times but don't be deceived by that sweet smile...Heather will impress you with her determination and drive! Not only does she continually bring it in the Boom Room, she then heads home to jump right into her role model sweater, nurturing and inspiring her 4 beautiful children.
Heather takes her role as a mom seriously and does everything for her kids, but she also knows how important it is to have her own identity beyond being a mother and wife. She demonstrates to her family to value yourself and always have your own goals and passions.
I spoke with Heather about how she makes it all work. Here's what she had to say.
Did you train while you were pregnant? If so, what was your workout schedule like?
I was unable to workout during my last pregnancy as I was diagnosed high risk. I did, however, workout with my other pregnancies. With my other pregnancies, I did low weights high reps type of exercise and lots of walking.
Do you feel people have misinformed opinions about pregnant mothers who lift weights?
I think many people are misinformed when it comes to pregnant women working out. I have had a total of 5 pregnancies and I continued to workout for 4 of them.
Have you found LFT coaches to be supportive during your prenatal and postnatal fitness journeys?
I found the LFT coaches to be very supportive during my post recovery. My core muscles after my last pregnancy were shot as well as my strength. I struggled doing a basic sit up. The coaches at LFT gave me several modifications for each workout. Coach Lance and Ashley were very encouraging in offering positive support both physically and emotionally.
What has been most challenging for you as a mom?
My biggest challenge as a mother of 4 is balancing my kids' desires and goals with my own. The first few years of motherhood I had no clue who I was beyond a wife and a mom. The gym has been a lifesaver for me as found myself again. My life has become so much richer once I took the time to invest in 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 agree society puts a lot of pressure on mothers. At times I have felt the outside pressure but I try not to compare myself as a mom to other moms.
What does it feel like to get back into training after having a baby? (Physically and emotionally)
Since I was unable to workout during my pregnancy I couldn’t wait to hit the gym again. I was more emotionally ready than physically to start training again. I knew physically it would take my body awhile to regain my strength. I had to be patient with my body as well as setting realistic fitness goals.
What obstacles have you had to overcome to make that important time for yourself? (Or how are you still trying to overcome them?)
As a breastfeeding mom, my biggest obstacle is timing Mireya’s feedings.
What has encouraged you the most during this postpartum time?
A month after Mireya was born I decided to work with a Nutritional and Lifestyle Coach with Fit Flex Nutrition. My goal was to help encourage me to eat healthy and be accountable. As a breastfeeding mom, I wanted to make sure I was eating correctly to produce plenty of milk for my daughter as well as making sure my nutrition was spot on to help achieve my fitness goals.
What has been discouraging for you during this postpartum time?
Rebuilding my strength and cardio back to where it was before pregnancy. I have learned to be patient and set realistic fitness goals.
Tell me a little about your children.
I have 4 children. Haley is 15 and is a varsity cheerleader at Mountain Vista. Gannon is 13 and wrestles for a competitive league. Grayson is 8 and lives for soccer. Mireya is a very happy 5-month-old baby.
What advice would you give yourself if you were an outsider looking in?
To live in each moment and soak it all in as these little ones are only little for such a short time.
What are you accomplishing as a mom that has made you feel proud?
I’m passing on my love for fitness to my children. My two older children ask to go to the gym with me as well as run races together. My children also enjoy cooking healthy nutritional meals together.
What advice would you give to other mamas who want to continue training and making exercise and health a priority in their busy lives?
Choosing to make health and fitness a permanent part of your life takes a good amount of willpower, determination, and hard work. There are many ways you can incorporate fitness to fit your busy schedule. You might have to be creative at times, just remember to stay active. I find doing weekly meal prep is very helpful and an important key.
What is your favorite exercise at LFT?
My favorite exercise is a squat clean.
What are your fitness goals going forward?
Continuing to make health and fitness part of my life.
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: roasted vegetables Music: I love Pitbull Book: The Universe Has Your Back Film/Television: The movie Bridesmaids Person you admire: my dad
Heather first of all congratulations on your precious new addition! Secondly, can I just say how much I love that you love Pitbull and that squat cleans are your favorite!? You are full of surprises and should be very proud of the standard you are setting for your family. Don't ever change mama bear!
Ready to bust out some squat cleans with Heather? LFT is the place for you! Your first 2 weeks are free! Sign up here and start today!