Ambassador Spotlight: Maria Campbell

Maria Campbell

We are honored to have some amazing For Two Fitness Fit Mom Ambassadors. Over the next few months, we will be featuring several of these ladies in an “Ambassador Spotlight” post so you can get to know them too! 

Meet Maria Campbell!

What is the theme of your blog?

Tidbits from my life, the kitchen and everything in between.

How many kiddos do you have?

I have one daughter who will be two in August.

What do you do for a living?

I am a crew communications specialist in the Air National Guard.

What is your favorite fit pregnancy or postpartum workout?

While I was pregnant, I did a lot of zumba and kickboxing. My favorite postpartum workout was, and still is barre workouts. I credit getting my abs back in shape to taking classes at Barre Bee Fit.

What is your favorite food?

That’s a tough one, because I love all sorts of different foods. If I had to choose I’d say PIZZA! There are so many different varieties of pizza to choose from.

Do you have any hobbies? 

Running! I have just signed up for my second marathon! I will be training for the Chicago marathon starting in June. This will be my second year in a row running the Chicago Marathon and I’m determined to beat my time!

Where is your favorite vacation destination?

I LOVE to travel and have had the opportunity to visit some very fun and interesting places. But my favorite “go-to” travel destination is Chicago. It’s about a two-hour drive from where I live. It’s the perfect city for a girls weekend, a mini getaway with the husband, or a perfect day trip with the family.

What other interesting facts would you like to share with our readers?

I met my husband in the military. He’s in Security Forces. While we are both in the Air Force full-time, we are lucky that will never have to worry about moving around to different bases, we will stay put in Milwaukee, WI. The first race I ever signed up for was a 10k. I fell in love with running shortly after I moved to Chicago. My then boyfriend (now husband) had just deployed to Afghanistan and I needed an outlet to clear my head. Running is the best way to explore a new city!

Ambassador Spotlight: Alyssa Serchia

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We are honored to have some amazing For Two Fitness Fit Mom Ambassadors. Over the next few months, we will be featuring several of these ladies in an “Ambassador Spotlight” post so you can get to know them too! 

Meet Alyssa Serchia

What is the theme of your blog?

The Fit Life of a Football Coach’s Wife

How many kiddos do you have?

1 one on the way!

What do you do for a living?

Personal Trainer, exercise instructor

What is your favorite fit pregnancy or postpartum workout?

I have felt my best while pregnant when I’m working out consistently. I love walks, elliptical and lifting weights. I have also loved trying out new workouts on YouTube for prenatal yoga and Pilates.

What is your favorite food?

Don’t ask a pregnant girl her favorite food!! I could go on all day! Lately I’ve been obsessed with Mexican, fresh fruits and gluten free bagels with cream cheese!

Do you have any hobbies?

Cooking and crafts! I love spending time in the kitchen, and when I’m not cooking or baking I like to scrapbook, paint and do other DIY projects around the house.

Where is your favorite vacation destination?

Any island! I’ve enjoyed amazing vacations in Hawaii and in the Caribbean. If it involves salt water, sand and sun, I’m one happy girl!

What other interesting facts would you like to share with our readers?

I am a college football coach’s wife – so we have a crazy life sometimes! It’s always inspiring to be a part of a team environment, even when my competitive sports days are over! I want women everywhere to be inspired to take care of themselves and achieve goals they never thought they could!

Ambassador Spotlight: Heather Montgomery

Heather MontgomeryWe are honored to have some amazing For Two Fitness Fit Mom Ambassadors. Over the next few months, we will be featuring several of these ladies in an “Ambassador Spotlight” post so you can get to know them too! 

Meet Heather Montgomery!

What is the theme of your blog?

Lifestyle, fitness, family

How many kiddos do you have?

One on the way! A baby girl due Sept. 30th

What do you do for a living?

Blog, and am also a travel agent (booking mainly Disney vacations)

What is your favorite fit pregnancy or postpartum workout?

I love to run, and love good yoga stretches!

What is your favorite food?

I have a sweet tooth, anything chocolate! I also will eat pretty much anything if you put cheese on top of it.

Do you have any hobbies?

Running, traveling, blogging, spending time with my family.

Where is your favorite vacation destination?

Disney World! I also love Disney cruises, and “racecations”.

What other interesting facts would you like to share with our readers?

I have been blogging since November of 2009, and love the opportunities it has allowed me. I can’t wait to welcome out first child this fall, and then get back into racing shape. I have a lot of races I am eyeing for early 2015! 

Ambassador Spotlight: Kara Haas

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We are honored to have some amazing For Two Fitness Fit Mom Ambassadors. Over the next few months, we will be featuring several of these ladies in an “Ambassador Spotlight” post so you can get to know them too!

Meet Kara Haas!

What is the theme of your blog?  

Competitive Running

How many kiddos do you have?

One 2 year old, and a newborn.

What do you do for a living?

Teacher/Coach

What is your favorite fit pregnancy or postpartum workout?

Running on the track

What is your favorite food?

Ice Cream!

Do you have any hobbies?

I write for New England Runner magazine

Where is your favorite vacation destination?

Anywhere with my family!

What other interesting facts would you like to share with our readers?

I set a National Masters Indoor 3000 meters record 3 months after giving birth to my first child – you can come back stronger after pregnancy!

The Waiting Game {TTC after an Ectopic Pregnancy}

waiting game after an ectopic pregnancy Jenny is a 30 something wife, mother, avid weight lifter, and has a love/hate relationship with running that keeps her coming back for more. She works full time in the investment industry and in her spare time writes about her wellness journey and life’s musings at www.thewellnessjourneyblog.com. Read Jenny’s perspective on TTC after an ectopic pregnancy. 

I should start this story from the beginning. I will do my best to give you the Reader’s Digest version, I promise.

Back in April, my now-husband and I decided we’d like to start trying for a baby. With me being 35, and he being 38, we thought it may take us a while to conceive. We always said we were going to wait to try until we were married, but since we were getting married on May 18th anyway, we figured now was as good a time as any.

We were absolutely shocked and excited when we discovered we had conceived on the first try! After my husband was done congratulating himself on his baby-making abilities, quoting Tom Hanks in the movie Castaway – “Look at what I have created!!!” we started to formulate a plan to share it with the family.

We decided we would let our 10 year old daughter know on Mother’s day, and we would announce it to our family in a toast at the wedding. By that time I would be about 8 weeks along, and that’s close enough to the end of the first trimester, right?

I Had Done Everything “Right”…………

We all hear that age 35 is the “magic number” for women. At that point it’s harder to conceive, you’re considered high risk, etc.

Knowing full well that we wanted to have more children, I made sure to take good care of myself. I’ve been an avid weight lifter for the past 20 years. I’ve run 4 half-marathons, 3 10-mile runs, several 10K runs, and countless 5K’s.

I eat plenty of fruits, veggies, and lean protein, and I’ve been taking a pre-natal vitamin for almost a year at this point.

Perhaps I’d Gotten a Tad Too Cocky……………

I was so excited when I found out we were pregnant! I wanted to tell the world. And for ages I’d been eyeing up the cute shirts on the For Two Fitness website, and couldn’t wait to start sporting my baby bump in one of their shirts! I pretty much want one in every style and color. I immediately applied to be an ambassador. (I was – and still am – ecstatic to find out I was accepted!!)

I also told a handful of our friends and family, without telling too many so as not to ruin our surprise toast on our wedding day.

Wasn’t Meant to Be—This Time…………….

The cards were not in our favor at this point in time. On Mother’s Day, I started experiencing lower back pain and spotting. I tried to remain positive because I wasn’t cramping, but as the day wore on, I knew the outlook was bleak. I tried to take it easy, but the spotting got worse. I went the following day for my prenatal appointment, and during the ultrasound was delivered quite a blow. We had now joined the ranks of the 64,000 people every year who have a pregnancy end up being ectopic.

I was told to get myself to the hospital immediately for laparoscopic surgery. As it turns out, I would lose my fallopian tube. This was 6 days before our wedding.

Too Busy to Mourn the Loss……………

I was discharged from the hospital Tuesday with 5 days left to get our house ready for our reception to be held there. I was told to take it easy, but at this point that wasn’t an option. I had to just keep swimming. It wasn’t until Thursday evening when I sat down for the evening that everything started to hit me.

I went from monitoring how much coffee I had in a day, refraining from alcohol, being even more conscientious of making sure I got enough fruits and vegetables……………… to nothing. I want a second cup of coffee? Go for it! That toast at the wedding? No need for mocktails now! Just. Like. That.

And what happened to the baby? Where did it end up? Was he or she in some biohazard bag somewhere now?

It hit me all at once. And I just cried and cried. Alfie was wonderful through the whole thing. I’m sure the sadness of the loss will stick with me for a lifetime.

Fast Forward to Today………….

It’s been a month since my surgery. Our wedding was beautiful and went off without a hitch. We’re slowly getting settled in to our new home. And I’ve had my follow up appointment to my surgery.

And so the wait begins. We were told to wait 1-2 cycles before we start to try again. (One sounds good in my book!)

But there’s so much up in the air! And so many questions. When will I get my period back? Will it be normal? Will I be regular? Will I be able to tell when I’m ovulating? How long will it take to conceive now?

And then there’s the fear. What if it happens again? I only have one tube left! What if it happens again and they have to take the last one I have? Then what? What if we try and try and aren’t able to conceive on our own? What’s our next step?

Friends, I’ve never done well with the unknown. I’ve always had a plan. So the up in the air aspect and the waiting are something very new to me. And then I think about those beautiful couples who go through years of trying to conceive, and I feel bad for complaining. I need to keep things in perspective.

I hope that you will join me on this journey. I hope that I’ll soon be able to report some good news and that after that I’ll be sporting a super cute “Sweating for Two” tank.

Until then, we’ll continue to eat clean, train dirty, and love our bodies so our bodies will love us back!

To be continued………….

xoxo,

Jenny

Ambassador Spotlight: Cheneil Torbert

Cheniel Torbet

We are honored to have some amazing For Two Fitness Fit Mom Ambassadors. Over the next few months, we will be featuring several of these ladies in an “Ambassador Spotlight” post so you can get to know them too!

Meet Cheneil Torbert from The FIT NP.

What is the theme of your blog?

Thefitnp.com- Health, wellness, fitness

How many kiddos do you have?

2

What do you do for a living?

Nurse Practitioner, Health and Fitness Coach

What is your favorite fit pregnancy or postpartum workout?

I LOVE anything that gets your blood pumping and also creates a bit of a challenge.

I LOVE to dance.

I am a Beachbody COACH so I primarily promote Beachbody products because they are an easy go to, include meal plans so the work is already done for you. I know the programs have been specifically designed and are effective.

What is your favorite food?

Anything Asian

Do you have any hobbies?

I love to get CRAFTY!

I love to host parties and showers and decorate!

I love to find fun and creative ways to be active.

Where is your favorite vacation destination?

Anywhere you can enjoy the culture of the location.

I love the sun and the beach

What other interesting facts would you like to share with our readers?

I love to help others. I know I have been called to serve others and know that God has called me use my gifts for his service. I have medical, health and fitness degrees and certifications to help me help others better.

 

Ambassador Spotlight: Courtney Horan

Courtney Horan

We are honored to have some amazing For Two Fitness Fit Mom Ambassadors. Over the next few months, we will be featuring several of these ladies in an “Ambassador Spotlight” post so you can get to know them too

Meet Courtney Horan!

What is the theme of your blog?

Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life

How many kiddos do you have?

1 

What do you do for a living?

I work full time for a corporation and also blog part time.

What is your favorite fit pregnancy or postpartum workout?

Walking, Pilates, and yoga were my go-to pregnancy workouts.

What is your favorite food?

Ice cream & cookies

Do you have any hobbies?

Baking, photography, softball

Where is your favorite vacation destination?

Anywhere with a beach! Although St. Lucia and Riviera Maya would be two favorites for sure.

What other interesting facts would you like to share with our readers?

Courtney is a full-time working mom to her son Lucas, NASM certified personal trainer, and blogger of 4 years, living in Upstate, NY. She’s a fitness enthusiast, baker extraordinaire, and enjoys photography, softball, getting creative in the kitchen, and spending her free time with family and friends.

 

 

The Transition From Runner to Runner Mom

Fit mom Christine

We love fit-mom-of-twins, Christine’s, perspective on how to transition from being a runner to a runner mom. 

Hi, My name is Christine. I’m a 26 year old from NYC and a new mom to boy/girl twins. I started running in 2010 to prove to myself I could complete a half marathon. I didn’t expect to actually like it, but I really loved the feeling of accomplishment  and have been running ever since. After I gave birth to my twins earlier this year, I went back into running full force to get ready for the NYC Marathon. I really started to embrace the running culture in a new way. I started a blog:www.chasingwhiterabbitsforfun.com to share all of the races I’ve signed up for. I like making running friends to share experiences with and support each other.

The transition from runner to runner mom can be a seamless experience. While you’re busy adjusting to life with your little one(s), it may not have occurred to you that your running habits needs to change as well.

One of the things I loved about running was the freedom it gave me. It requires little equipment, mainly running shoes, and you’re good to go. I was able to challenge myself by being able to run five miles clear in one direction, knowing I’d have to run five miles back. I could explore various parts of my neighborhood on a whim, knowing I didn’t have anywhere to be. However, once I got pregnant, this all changed. I had to be smarter, and more responsible, which took some getting used to.

I will preface by stating that I’m an asthmatic with twins, so the precautions I took and still take are what works for me. Please check with your doctor and family to see what you’re comfortable with.

I ran when I got pregnant for the first few months. I had to change my course and mainly stuck to routes that other family members knew. I would tell someone how long I planned to be, just in case of anything. A big help that I suggest is to invest in your music. As a new mom or mom to be, you may get tired of having to stick to the same monotonous routes, but constantly changing up my iPod kept my runs interesting.

Once my little bundles arrived, I realized how much more planning my runs would take. I started slow and started signing up for races again three months after they were born. At the three month mark, I did a four mile race, and a week later I completed a half marathon. I’ve been trying to sign up for lots of races since I don’t get out of the house too much. It’s a nice change of scenery and something fun for me to look forward to. My husband works, so I take care of the babies by myself (until he comes home).

I also realized that I would have to tailor my training runs around his schedule. My big piece of advice would be take advantage of any running opportunity that presents itself. If the stars align and he’s home early or has to go into work a little late, I run. I may not always be in the mood, but it ensures I get out there.  There have been a lot of days where it’s easier to say no, but I make myself get dressed to go. Once I’m at that point, I really don’t think I have an excuse.

Of course, I have to plan other times to get out for a run.  There is no more considering myself a morning runner or night runner – I have to be both.

I have to get out there early before my husband leaves or when he gets in from work.  I also have to make sure I change my running attire to accommodate the time of day that I run. No longer was I dressing in all black – I made sure to get reflective bands and wore bright colors when I was running early or really late. Much like when I was pregnant, I let my husband know where I was going and when I would be home.

Not only was keeping the same course important, but I didn’t want to be too far from the house. That motherly instinct kicked in when they were born and I don’t feel comfortable being too far from them. They’re only a few months old now, but I look forward to the day we can invest in a nice double jogger, and they’ll be able to come with me on a day run.

This post is brought to you by For Two Fitness®. For Two Fitness® is the premier maternity fitness apparel brand, proudly made in the USA and available worldwide. Visit our site to explore our maternity fitness apparel and purchase for you or a loved one today.

Ambassador Spotlight: Kate Horney

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We are honored to have some amazing For Two Fitness Fit Mom Ambassadors. Over the next few months, we will be featuring several of these ladies in an “Ambassador Spotlight” post so you can get to know them too!

Meet Kate Horney.

What is the theme of your blog? 

Fitness for Moms:  beyondfitphysiques.com/

How many kiddos do you have? 

1 and 1 on the way!  

What do you do for a living?

I quit my full time job as a Health & Wellness Director to start a fitness company and to raise our little boy.  Now in addition to being a wife & mom, I’m  a personal trainer & nutrition consultant- running local boot camps & online training programs for women, teaching them to live healthy, happy & balanced lives.

What is your favorite fit pregnancy or postpartum workout?   

Burpees!  Really, it’s love/hate relationship.  As much as I may say I hate them in the midst of a tough workout, I love what they do for my body.  And there’s just something about killing some burpees that makes me feel strong and powerful.

Here’a s video of me doing burpees while 8 months pregnant (in my For Two Fitness Tank):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZiWBLoH1xM

dsc_5652_E-web (2)What is your favorite food?  

I’m a huge natural/homemade peanut-butter lover.  I also love to play around with fun protein shakes (hello, brownie batter protein shake!) and healthy desserts.  (I love desserts.  But I also love staying on track with my goals… so my win-win on this is any dessert that also helps me maintain a reasonable physique.)  A few of my favorites are my brownie batter protein shake or my 30 second chocolate cake. Both quick, easy and totally satisfy my sweet tooth/teeth.  And as when it comes to the more unhealthy food options… my favorite is Mexican food! (Friday night date night involves MULTIPLE baskets of chips!)

Do you have any hobbies?  

In free time (which is rare) I enjoy sitting on the beach with a good book.

Where is your favorite vacation destination?

I’m a beach lover.  Any beach… just sun, sand and I’m happy!

What other interesting facts would you like to share with our readers?   

3 PET PEEVES: The snooze button, random beeping noises, super long check-out lines.

This post is brought to you by For Two Fitness®. For Two Fitness® is the premier maternity fitness apparel brand, proudly made in the USA and available worldwide. Visit our site to explore our maternity fitness apparel and purchase for you or a loved one today.

 

Fitness for the Overweight Mom-To-Be

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We love fit mom ambassador, Kate’s, perspective. Read about her journey and fitness tips for the overweight mom-to-be.

I may never know what prompted me to do this, but on Christmas morning of 2013, I stepped onto my bathroom scale for the first time in months. Without disclosing any numbers, I cried to my husband the whole forty miles to my parents’ house for our annual Christmas breakfast. Through my tears, I made a decision for myself, one that I probably should have made a long time ago–I was done stepping on scales, only to cry when the number flashed up at me. I was done turning my head at the doctor’s office when it was time to weigh, often asking the nurse to please not say the number out loud. I was through with listening to myself try to portray a healthy lifestyle through all the exercising and running I did while I was eating nearly double the amount of calories I should have been in a single day.

On Christmas Day, of all the days in a year, I made the decision to change my life forever. No, not after this amazing breakfast we were about to have or after the entire day so that I could enjoy all my favorite foods on Christmas. But right then, in my husband’s truck, I decided to change my life. It might be difficult to start on Christmas day, but if it was going to make the rest of my life more enjoyable, I was ready.

22 weeks 2

Fast forward twenty-nine days and almost twenty less pounds. I didn’t go into my bathroom that afternoon to step on the scale (my weight hadn’t been moving in a few days, which was odd). I had been feeling extremely tired and sluggish for about two weeks. My diet was so much cleaner, I knew something was wrong; I was eating high protein, energy efficient foods. I shouldn’t be feeling this way, I told myself. I knew something was going on. I took two pregnancy tests, only to have two barely there but definitely there pink plus signs blink up at me. It might sound a little strange to say this, but for just a short while, I felt as if my world was collapsing. There I was, becoming the fittest, healthiest me I could be and suddenly I thought this was the end to my fitness journey. I saw myself gaining back all that I’d lost plus an additional thirty pounds at least. I saw myself laying in bed for nine months, completely avoiding the gym and all physical activity. But that mentality didn’t last long at all; I came to realize that of all my reasons for adopting a new healthy lifestyle, our precious first baby was the ultimate motivation to keep it up. I realized that I didn’t have to sit around gaining pregnancy weight and not exercising for nine months; I decided to make this the healthiest, most joyful time of my life; it’s a new kind of a journey, and I’m still going hard at it!

Being an overweight mom-to-be definitely doesn’t mean that for nine months you have to watch yourself put on the expected baby weight plus more unnecessary pounds; my doctor was thrilled at my plans to remain healthy and active during pregnancy, and for the most part (you’ll have to overlook my occasional ice cream sprees), I have stuck to my plan. We set a goal of a total gain of fifteen to twenty pounds for me, which is a normal goal for an overweight woman. Before pregnancy, I was exercising five to six days per week, even if it was just walking/jogging for thirty minutes. With pregnancy, I knew I couldn’t be as strenuous, but together with my doctor, I created a three day strength and weight-training program (my favorite!) and an additional day for cardio (walking, jogging, biking, swimming, anything that would get me going for thirty-sixty minutes). Shortly into the second trimester, I was hit with some pretty rough back pain; I have a gymnastics injury from age twelve that has affected me ever since, but with a few visits to my chiropractor and a handy heating pad every few nights, it became much more manageable. It did prevent me from going to the gym for just a short while, but around week twenty, I decided to push through it and discovered some great yoga stretches and strength exercises that had me feeling like new again! Dead lifts with a thirty pound barbell were and still are miracle-workers for my back!

I feel it’s unnecessary, however, to talk solely about numbers (as far as weight gain) when talking about being healthy during pregnancy. Managing weight is just a small part of a healthy lifestyle! I was overweight as a kid and knew from the beginning of my pregnancy that I didn’t want our sweet little one to endure the teasing that we (my husband was overweight as well) had to endure throughout childhood and adolescence. I continued to eat healthy, wholesome foods, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and drink lots of water, in hopes that our baby will acquire the taste for such deliciously satisfying and good-for-you foods. Yes, I do have the occasional splurge on pizza and ice cream (what pregnant woman doesn’t?), but even still, I know I’m building a healthy foundation for our baby. Because of my efforts at having a healthy pregnancy, I feel amazing—not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. I think all too often, we get a little too focused on the numbers on the scale when we think about being “healthy,” but we must also remember that our minds are just as vital a part of our health as our bodies are!

Since I’ve continued working out and eating right, my pregnancy has been an amazing experience, and I’m fast approaching the twenty-seventh week! I’ve gained about fifteen pounds so far, but I’m not nearly as concerned about the number on the scale as I am with my health and that of this baby boy. My message for overweight moms-to-be who already strive for the healthy lifestyle is to KEEP GOING. I have definitely had times where I think, Well, I’m pregnant. Might as well eat this entire sleeve of Oreos! But by the third cookie, I can hear the mantra in the back of my mind: Healthy mama, healthy baby! Heathy mama, healthy baby! Yes, I do have to make myself walk away from the kitchen sometimes! For those moms-to-be who are now making pregnancy their motivation to adopt a healthier lifestyle, good for you! And you have my support and the support of the entire For Two Fitness community, I’m sure! Pregnancy does not have to be nine months of a sedentary lifestyle, eating all the carbs and grease that you can (but oh, how fun it would be for just a day)! Strive to make it a time in your life where you are most motivated to be the healthiest you that you can be because your little one, whether it’s your first or fifth) deserves a healthy, happy mama!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my thoughts on health and fitness for the overweight mom-to-be; even after our baby arrives and I am back on track to a fit and healthy non-pregnant lifestyle, being overweight is something that will always stick with me—maybe not physically, but I will always know the feeling of being overweight and trying to live fully and healthily. I will always look back on my first pregnancy and admire my efforts at staying as fit as possible.

I also want to encourage you to visit and follow my blog, Keeping Pace, at www.katepace1.blogspot.com. I must thank For Two Fitness for welcoming me into their circle of ambassadors for such a great company; I can’t wait for my For Two Fitness wear to arrive so that I can represent my new favorite fitness-wear company out and about in my community and at my local gym! Thank you again, and I look forward to representing such an amazing online community, as well as chatting with some of you!