Monday, July 11, 2016

#FitMom Talks: Jessica Oar of Be PowerFULL

I am so excited to get back to these FitMomTalks! This week I'm featuring Jessica Oar who has some great advice for moms/business owners and the benefits of moderation -

Tell us a little about yourself and your business: Jessica Oar, owner/founder of Be PowerFULL. My mission is to help women to get fit, find their personal power and live FULL lives. I advocate against restrictive dieting and white-knuckling through intensive training programs. Instead, I inspire, educate and coach women who lead busy lives (lots of moms!) to find a sustainable healthy lifestyle where they love how they move and eat and get great results, too. I train locally out of my home gym in Norwell through group and private sessions, I work with clients all over the country through my one-on-one private coaching (customized meal planning and fitness) and I run my signature Fat-Loss Lifestyle online course/coaching group several times a year. It's all here: www.jessicaoar.com.

I am a mom of two boys! Benjamin, almost 4 and Nathan, almost 2 (at some point, you stop counting months!). They are boys through and through and are total sweethearts. I'm lucky to live this life as a mom boss so that I can spend more time with them than I was able to when I was a sales manager in corporate america.

How long of a maternity leave were you able to take before you started to work (and workout!) again? 
Oh, man, I loved maternity leave! Such a special time in my memory, with both children! With Ben, I was able to take in that awe of being a brand new mom and with Nate, because we had childcare for Ben, I was able to spend some great alone time with him to really get to know him. I was lucky to have 12 weeks of maternity leave after the birth of both boys. It wasn't until my youngest was one, actually, that I left my former career in media sales and launched my business. I'm so happy that I did, because I'm doing what I absolutely love. It fills me to the core and affords me the ability to spend more time with my family!

I remained relatively active throughout both pregnancies with resistance training and yoga, however, I had an unexpected c-section with my first delivery which proved to be a very tough recovery for me both mentally and physically. I started walking when my son was 3-weeks old and gradually added in more when my body was able. It was probably about 4 months until I felt like myself again in the gym...it takes time, moms! With the birth of my second, I had healed and I was able to have a natural V-BAC, from which I bounced back much easier. What an incredible experience. However, I will say, nothing prepares you for life with two! Between sleeplessness, stress, a promotion at work and a lack of prioritizing self-care, I was the heaviest I'd ever been 6 months after Nate's. This is when I really did most of my work with leaning into a life of moderation. It was essential for me to get results for myself in a way that was shame-free and that I could maintain with all life's stressors.

How did your schedule/routine look different from before kids? 
I have always been an athlete and a fitness enthusiast, playing multiple sports in High School and college, and always looking for my next goal. The year before starting a family, I trained to become a triathlete and completed 5 sprint triathlons in my first (and only!) season. While I believe we can prioritize more time-intensive training like this into our life and make it work if it's that important to us, for me, the long bike rides, swims and runs proved to be virtually impossible with my schedule as a corporate career woman and mom. 
Rather than spend 4+ hours on my fitness each week, I learned to get efficient with my fitness. Since having children, I've fallen in love with metabolic resistance training which gets me the biggest bang for the buck and gets me back to my busy life in no time. I typically do 3 - 4 twenty minute workouts a week, with a mix of heavy and moderate weights. I've also recently fallen in love with power lifting and heavy strength training and plan to compete in a meet within the next year.

Did your fitness outlook and goals change after becoming a mom? If so, how? 
Actually, no. I've always used fitness as a way to clear my mind, deal with stress and focus on my health and mental balance. As a Mom, I turn to my fitness as a way to honor the woman that I am, aside from my role as a caregiver. Self-care is an essential part of my life and I believe every Mom should have it at the top of her list. The younger me, the one who dieted and trained like crazy on all-in restrict-then-binge plans, believed self-care was about discipline only. I now believe that self-care is a combination of discipline and self-compassion...learning when to push and when not to...balance. I don't eat well and workout to look a certain way anymore, I do it because it makes me feel empowered, at peace with myself and confident. My training make look different now than it did in my 20's but I'm actually in the best shape of my life now and I owe that to weigh-training.

Read more about that in one of my recent blogs: http://bit.ly/mamayoudeservemore

What is the biggest challenge you've found in working/running a business and being a mom?
My new bosses (Ben and Nate!) don't always agree with my schedule, which means, on days that I don't have childcare, if naps don't happen, work doesn't happen. When you own a business, there's no clocking out, even on vacation. I've learned to block out time in the evenings or weekends to be sure the projects I care about move forward. I see this as a challenge and a blessing because I'm creating what I love and making a difference with people who need my help!

What is your favorite fitness-related activity to do with your sons? 
We love to go on hikes and walks! The boys each have their own set of dumbbells so they'll often be doing squat presses or push-ups next to me as I train next to them in the playroom or our garage gym. I love that they see fitness all-day, every day and they know I value taking care of myself. I hope they grow up prioritizing self-care as well!

Thanks to Jess for sharing her story!

Twitter: @jessicaoar1

To read more #FitMomTalks, click here!

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