Day 3 of 25 Days of Fitness: Diapers and Dumbbells

By Kate Horney

One of OUR goals for our 25 days of fitness blog series is to INSPIRE and ENCOURAGE you to reach YOUR goals. Fat loss education, recipes, and workouts are great… but sometimes there’s nothing more inspiring than meeting a REAL LIFE woman who you can relate to.

That’s why I’m excited for you to meet my friend- a fit mom & fitness professional- Emily Saunders, of Diapers and Dumbbells

For those reading the blog who might not know you, or your background, can you give us a little background on yourself—how did you get into the fitness industry, where did you begin?

Thanks for hosting me Kate!  I have been super active in sports, dance, and cheerleading all of my life and cheered in college for Wake Forest.  Afterward I got into long distance running for a few years before I began managing a gym and became more interested in weight training and overall fitness.  I have had several wonderful mentors along the way who inspired my passion for fitness and helping others pursue their goals.  Thanks to them I am a Metabolic Effect Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach and a Jillfit Physiques coach.  Additionally, I write a monthly column for Natural Triad Magazine that is distributed throughout the Piedmont Triad area in North Carolina.

Where do your priorities lie now? Family? Training? Both? Other? Etc. How has your focused changed over time?

I find that as my due date inches closer I concentrate more and more on preparing for baby.  I do continue to train regularly though and regularly think about and plan for  how I will juggle things once he is born- I certainly do not have that all figured out yet J  I also work full time and manage 8-10 people on a daily basis which takes a lot of my energy as well! Last but certainly not least, my husband and I have been focusing very much on the spiritual aspect of parenting.  We are very involved in our church and want to make sure we are creating a strong foundation for our son.

I have competed in many physique competitions in the past and also helped many clients prepare as well.  As I prepare for Mommyhood I find myself focusing more on creating a healthy lifestyle that I can MAINTAIN forever and encourage my clients to do the same.

You have obviously made fitness a priority even in your busy schedule.  Did you make a concerted effort or did you just get lucky? 🙂

I think I have always had a passion for staying active.  I can’t remember a time that I didn’t exercise regularly.  It’s such an important thing to instill an appreciation for the body early in life!  Fortunately, even though my family was never super active, my after school activities and coaches and mentors inspired me to keep moving.

How would you advise the busy pregnant mom who wants to leverage their time better? What’s the first step?

I think once fitness is a priority it makes things a little bit easier.  I think the first step is staying organized.  I stick to a schedule and try to plan things in advance- including workouts AND downtime.  I think many Moms and busy women feel guilty for scheduling time for exercise but it’s so very important for overall well being.

What about moms who say they cannot stay fit during pregnancy because they don’t have time?  Don’t feel well? (morning sickness, food aversions, etc). 

I can certainly relate with the morning sickness piece.  Although I was fortunate that I did not suffer from regular vomiting, II felt terrible from weeks 6-13 of my pregnancy and was also totally exhausted.  I also ate things that I truly have had no desire to eat since childhood like ham sandwiches, spaghetti and microwave pizza.  I listened to my body but also tried to at the very least walk every day.  I always felt better after exercise so I tried to remember that when I drug myself out of bed in the morning.  As far as a timing perspective, if one can carve out 20 minutes during the day to exercise at home then she WILL reap the benefits of feeling healthier and giving her body the exercise it needs.

For moms who are frequently exhausted and worn-out by the end of the day, how would you advise they manage their schedules/energy/time so that they have the energy/motivation to start on the path towards a healthy, fit and active pregnancy?

I am the same way!  The only way I can commit to a workout schedule is to work out first thing in the morning. I love getting up while it’s still dark out and the world is still quiet and feel very accomplished to start my day with a workout.   We try to be in bed by 10 pm so that my 6 am wake up allows me sufficient sleep.

What is ONE THING these moms can start on today that will not overwhelm them?

Walk- even if you’re talking on your cell phone and multitasking while you’re doing it and checking things off the list.  It’s therapeutic and gets your blood moving.  Involve your husband or significant other or a friend if possible as well.  Even leisurely walking is great for restoring the body and providing some of the benefits of exercise.

Take us through a typical day for you…. 

I usually wake up between 5 and 6:30 AM, get my workout in (cardio and/or weights), tend to the pets and any chores before eating breakfast and heading to work.  I am the Director of Recruiting for an IT Staffing firm so some days are super crazy.  I try to get some activity in on my lunch break or at least read the newspaper so that I can remove myself from work for a while.  After work I train clients, run errands, attend class or volunteer at church and/or catch up with friends.  We tend to keep a relatively busy evening schedule which I’m sure will change after the baby.  My husband and I try to eat dinner together just about every night and spend some quality time together from about 8pm to 10pm every night before jumping in bed.  On the weekends we enjoy hiking, home projects, and working together and also host a church small group in our home on Sunday evenings.  I try to stick to 5 small meals per day most days of the week to keep my energy up and metabolism moving.

How do you personally channel your energy and get focused on your goals? In other words, how do you manage “everyday stuff” getting in the way? Any hard & fast rules?

I try to stay very cognizant of what my goals are and to prioritize and compartmentalize them.  For instance my work goals are separate from my fitness goals and from my goals for my family.  Of course they all end up mingling together on some level but I think separating them out makes things seem less overwhelming.  I tend to believe that working hard and smart at whatever I’m doing will lead to success in some way or the other.  God has surprised me far too many times and I realize that I have very little control over so many things, but his plan is ALWAYS best J I also am a big planner and keep a day planner that I can’t live without.  I do use my calendar on my phone but LOVE having my paper calendar to easily flip through.

Personally, what is most important to your wellbeing?

At this point in my life I would say my spiritual life and my faith are the most important for my wellbeing.  Without that I truly feel that happiness and wellbeing are just not possible no matter how fit I am or how well I eat. 🙂

How do you maintain a positive outlook, or do you? Are there times of doubt, insecurity, fear, etc? How do you deal with them? 

I think we all have times of doubt, fear and insecurity.  I have always been a very positive person and truly feel that God works all things out in the end.  Although not easy, I try to remember that and “hand” situations outside of my control over to Him.  I think having a positive mindset and strong and able body also do wonders for overcoming such feelings.  Acknowledging those feelings and the true root of why I am experiencing them also makes it easier to let them go.

What 1 piece of advice would you give to moms who are pregnant and want to stay fit, active and healthy? 

Maintain a healthy diet.  It’s so difficult sometimes when people expect that you just eat everything in sight because you are pregnant. Try to eat 5 small meals per day and focus on protein, healthy fats and healthy carbs like fruit, oats, and tons of veggies. It can be very hard during the first trimester but don’t let the eating for survival turn into bad habits later in pregnancy as aversions and sickness subside.

What are your top 3 daily practices to stay focused, fit and healthy for you and your baby?

  1.  Eat regularly keeping in mind that what I put in my mouth is the fuel that my baby is given to develop and grow.
  2. Move as much as possible while listening to my body
  3. Make time for adequate rest and sleep (this is hardest for me!)

Anything else you would like to add? Anything you would like to promote?

Check out my blog and Facebook page!  I’m looking forward to working with Kate and team as we focus on helping others to achieve fit and healthy lifestyles both during and after pregnancy!