Does this face look familiar? Well if you’ve done any Insanity DVDs you should recognize Tania, the kick-butt powerhouse always killing it in the front row! Tania is not only a fabulous fitness professional, but she’s also a new mom!! You already know what a HUGE Insanity fan I am, so I was really excited when Tania agreed to chat with me about her experience staying fit before, during and after her pregnancy. Read on to hear about her experience and learn about how pregnancy and exercise can fit together!
1. Tell us about yourself!
I’m a proud new mommy who recently went from fishnets and stilettos to bibs and burp cloths! I’m a wife. I’m a dancer. I’m a fitness professional. I’m a perfectionist to a fault. I’m dedicated. I’m a control freak who is learning to let go of the “ideals of perfection” and be comfortable with imperfection. I love my new life!
2. Where does your passion for fitness come from?
My passion for fitness stems from my desire to remain healthy and fit and not fall into the same health traps that those in my family have become victim of. I come from a Filipino family where Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure are prevalent. It truly disheartens me to see the lack of responsibility and accountability for health by some of my family members. They have succumbed to medication and insulin rather than heeding preventative measures that could keep them healthy.
3. When you became pregnant with your son, what changes did you notice in your body? How did these changes impact your fitness regimen?
As soon as I learned I was pregnant, it was as if the pounds packed on right before my eyes! My body, unfortunately, gains weight rather quickly. Being pregnant changed my body immediately while most other women do not even appear to be pregnant until the second month.
Upon learning that I was pregnant (and jumping for joy!), I knew I had to change my workout routine. The high impact, high intensity training had to be put on hold. I suffered a miscarriage 3 months prior so I was extremely cautious with my pregnancy this time around.
4. I’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. After that experience did you exercise during your pregnancy? If so, for how long and what kinds of exercise did you engage in?
I did pre-natal yoga throughout my pregnancy. I also continued to teach dance for the first 7 months. The last two months consisted of long walks.
5. Given your experience/expertise, do you think women should exercise during their pregnancy? Also, what’s your take on women who diet while they’re pregnant?
I believe that moderate exercise is important not only for a woman’s physical being but for her mental health. Every woman must listen to her body and to the advice of her doctor prior to engaging in any sort of exercise while pregnant. Each woman and each pregnancy is different.
On dieting, the “politically correct” part of me would like to say that maintaining a healthy diet and making healthy choices while pregnant are the best ways to go. The “real” part of me realized that for the first time, I could eat whatever I wanted…and believe me, I did! I never over-indulged however I did not place limits on my diet.
6. How did your body change after giving birth to your son? Are there any new fitness challenges that you’ve faced since giving birth?
Oh boy (oh big boy!) did my body change. I gained 60 lbs., weighing in at 185 lbs. (gasp!) on the day I gave birth. My son measured large throughout my entire pregnancy so we were prepared for a big baby. I had to have a c-section due to Benjamin’s size and the health risks imposed with larger babies. My beautiful healthy boy was 9 lbs. 3 oz. at birth!
New fitness challenge…Nursing and working out! Nursing adds a whole new level of difficulty when trying to work out at a high level of intensity.
7. Caring for your baby boy and working out has got to be exhausting! How do you find time & stay motivated to workout and diet?
Honestly speaking, I did not find the time to work out for the first 6 months nor did I want to work out for the first 6 months of postpartum. I’m just now learning how to balance everything and some days are better than others. Seeing the results of diet and exercise and feeling awesome are the things that keep me motivated to stick with this program.
8. What advice do you have for women who are pregnant and want to stay in shape?
First, consult with your physician before starting any fitness routine while pregnant!!! This is a must. I know I sound like your typical “disclaimer” but after suffering a miscarriage, I would highly recommend that all pregnant women be cautious.
Yoga and walking were the best forms of exercise for me while pregnant. These were the only two things that felt good and safe.
9. What advice do you have for those women who have already had their baby and want to lose the “baby weight”?
It’s never too late to start getting healthy and fit!!! Often times women give up because they fall into the trap of feeling like “I’ve had three kids, my body is what it is and it will never change.” The key is to find something you enjoy- whether it’s surfing, dancing, yoga, pilates, or tennis.The important thing to remember is that it’s a lifestyle change rather than going on a diet just to lose weight. If you choose an activity that you enjoy, the probability of sticking with the workout is so much greater.
BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF! I keep reminding myself this every day. I am not accustomed to a “post pregnancy” body and I must keep reminding myself that I just had a baby and my body is beautiful for producing such a miracle.
10. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Most people think that it’s just “easy” for me to get back in shape because I’m a dancer and fitness professional. Little do they know that I have to work just as hard as everyone else, if not harder…I’m almost 40 and I gained 60 lbs!