Tuesday, April 5, 2016

#FitMom Talks: Kerri Thomas of Orangetheory Fitness

It's the beginning of the month and I have another awesome FitMom to share with you (to see more from this series, click here)! And now - meet Kerri!
Tell us a little about yourself and your business: 
My name is Kerri Thomas and I am the Regional Fitness Director and Trainer for Orangetheory Fitness. My husband and I are working on starting a stroller run club in the greater Boston area starting this May! More information to follow. Nevin is our son and he will be 7 months on April 20.
photo courtesy of Kerri Thomas
How long of a maternity leave were you able to take before you started to work (and workout!) again? 
I took 12 weeks off for my leave, starting 1 week before I delivered. I stopped training classes 2 weeks before my due date and worked out up to the day before I delivered.

I had a quick and relatively easy delivery so I started going for 2+ mile walks the day after we came home from the hospital, and then started with shorter body weight circuits at home around 4 weeks postpartum. At 6 weeks I tried to do a box jump (not smart) and nearly face planted as my hips were still separated and the pain I felt was a big eye opener that slowly getting back into things was needed even for me.

Also, I was a pretty avid runner before, and that was the only thing that was too uncomfortable for me to do while I was pregnant. I had awful ligament pains in my lower abdominal area, so it's been TOUGH running again after almost a year!

How did that schedule/routine look different from before baby?Well... My schedule was jam packed with working out before Nevin! Work and working out were basically my top two priorities as I was about to start training for a marathon the week I found out I was pregnant. 
Did your fitness outlook and goals change after becoming a mom? If so, how?
Absolutely! Your whole life and priorities shift or change after you have a baby, or at least mine did. I'm a HUGE goals person, and the goals I had before Nevin were more personal when it came to my health and fitness. Now, my fitness and health goals take on a whole new meaning as I want to be a role model for my son, not just a "fit mom". A very important goal of mine working in fitness is to inspire every person I meet to be the strongest and healthiest version of themselves, my son will be one of those people!

What is the biggest challenge you've found in working and being a mom?When you love what you do, your "work/life balance" doesn't seem to be an issue, right? This was me! I was always working and didn't really think about it twice. Now, time management is something I am working on a lot. When I'm at work I'm working more efficiently and I'm minimizing the amount of work I do on my days off, other than when Nevin is sleeping. So, most of my emails go out after 9PM :) I still work full-time, with some days being at 2+ locations or some weeks working some part of every day, but I feel as though I am home much more and when I am home it's quality time.

The real challenge I found when going back to work is not so much my work/mom balance, but the work/working out or going out/mom balance. When I was on maternity leave, I didn't feel guilty and craved getting out to get a workout done or go out with friends. Now working, I have a hard time being away from Nevin for personal time as I'm already away for work. It's something I'm sure all working parents face, and have started to put a schedule together that has helped me figure this out and not miss his face too much!

What is your favorite fitness-related activity to do with your son (either one-on-one or as a family)?In the fall, Mike and I used to go for longer walks with Nevin and then stop at the HS track or a big hill to do a workout with Nevin typically sleeping. The winter has been tough to incorporate Nevin into our workout routines but we've taught him some great pushup and sit-up to stand exercises! But what's been really great as the weather is getting warmer and Nevin has now developed strong enough head and body control, is we are starting to jog with him in the stroller (if you are a runner you need a BOB stroller). We are excited to get some hikes done as a family this spring!

To follow Kerri on her adventures in fitness and motherhood, check her out on instagram at @kjfitchick. Thanks for chatting with me, Kerri! 

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