After a loooong winter, Summer is here (sigh). The sun is out, sundresses abound and we can all look forward to some beach time. Which also means it’s swimsuit season. Fellow mom, and super-fit, trainer-turned-mama Jess knows all about the struggle to get back in shape after baby. She and husband TJ welcomed their daughter Charlee Jane into the world in December. She lets us in on how she got back into shape and how she manages the work/life balance in addition to maintaining her body (and some sanity!).
SS: Tell us a bit about your family and where are you originally from.
JL: I’m from a little town in southeast Pennsylvania called Landenberg. I grew up seeing cows regularly. I climbed trees and built forts and caught frogs all through my childhood, and I feel grateful to have done so. I love bringing my baby back to a place where you can see the stars so well. Oh–and I grew up in a big family; there are five of us who call my parents mom and pop.
SS: You currently teach Flywheel, Flybarre, Pilates at Boston Body Pilates and are a Nike Training Club Ambassador – am I missing anything?
JL: I’m kind of excited about this–my writing will be published for the first time in a magazine in July. So there’s, that, too, I guess!
SS: You have a lot going on – how do you tackle family time while simultaneously (literally) running from class to class? Do you have any advice for moms trying to find the work/life balance?
JL: So I’m new at this, and am completely needing advice myself, but I will say spending money on a babysitter has been one of the best investments we’ve ever made. No matter how crazy Wednesday feels, knowing I have three solid hours alone with my husband to look forward to on the weekend has become an emotional rock for me. I literally cried tears of joy the first time we went out just the two of us, since having Charlee. It was so amazing to rediscover each other now that we’re parents. I need that–over and over and over again.
SS: Speaking of family, you have an ADORABLE little girl. If you have to pick three words to describe her what would they be and why?
JL: Curious–she wants to touch and grab and taste everything now. I can’t eat very easily around her, unless I want to share my food or allow whatever it is to be upended and on the floor.
Beautiful: I could stare at her forever (I also tell her she is kind and smart and loved; that the way a person looks is not nearly as important as the way a person looks at the world),
Mine: I’m an aunt nine times over, which is a role I absolutely adore. But I’ll never forget taking my first shower after giving birth and hearing Charlee start to fuss with my mom and sister outside the bathroom door. I came out and took my baby, and suddenly she was calm and peaceful. I had this epiphany: this time, I’m the mama. What a gift. I get to be this baby’s mama and I get to be the one who calms her. It’s a weighty and beautiful gift.
SS: How have your workouts changed since having Charlee?
JL: They are so much more valuable to me! I have almost no downtime–I’m either teaching, training, or caring for Charlee. I’m almost always responsible for others. So when I’m working out, it’s an amazing gift for me. I appreciate it even more now.
SS: Any advice for new Moms trying to get back into shape?
JL: Like any time you’re working on a goal, set yourself up for success. Practice consistency. Look at your schedule with your husband or partner, etc., and figure out at least three times a week when you can exercise. And then when you’re not doing an organized workout, move. Go for a long walk with your babe. Take advantage of summertime. Go swimming. And also make sure that you’re eating food that helps further facilitate the goals you’re accomplishing while working out. When your whole, daily life is in sync with your goals, you’ll be happier and also they’re actually attainable.
SS: On a Saturday morning, you will find us…
JL: Eating homemade oatmeal that my husband makes us on the weekends (oatmeal is good for nursing mamas) and then scrambling for me to teach class.
SS: Can’t leave home without…
JL: My lipgloss!…oh-was that supposed to have changed now that I’m a mom?