I’ve known Whitney for years, since I was an instructor at Barry’s and she used to take classes there. She has always been an impressive athlete and runner, but that is nothing compared to what she has accomplished recently! Whitney started one-on-one training with me about eight weeks after having given birth to her beautiful baby girl – Emery – and, in about six months, she lost all of her baby weight – 43lbs!! With sit-ups – she started over from pretty much from scratch (she couldn’t even do one sit-up when we started), but she has made truly astounding strides. She has run two half-marathons since giving birth and has gotten back to being in incredible shape!! Stay tuned – she’s headed for a half marathon PR in October! Annnnd she JUST PR’d a 5k and took first in her age group!!!! GO GIRL.
Whitney, it has been a true privilege to help you do all the amazing things you’ve done. Thank you for letting me be a part of your journey! I’ve asked Whitney a series of questions, and I’ve included her answers below. You can’t help but be inspired by this incredible woman!
Tell me about you, what you do, who you are, and what you’re passionate about?
I am 34 years old, and my husband and I just became parents to a sweet little girl last fall. I was born and raised in Knoxville, I attended the University of Georgia for my undergraduate degree, I returned to Knoxville for law school, and then I moved to Nashville in 2008. I am currently in-house counsel for a healthcare supply chain and total cost management solutions company.
What were your goals after the baby and what are your goals going forward?
I was lucky enough to be able to work out pretty frequently while I was pregnant, up until around 32 weeks, but exercise definitely took a backseat those last 4-5 weeks– I was so tired, hot, and swollen! My main goal was to lose the weight in as much time as it took me to gain it… I think new moms put too much pressure on themselves to lose the baby weight really fast, but you have to remember that it took 9 months to gain it. So my aim was to get it off in 9 months as well. I worked hard and lost the 43 lbs I gained (yes, that’s a lot) in about 6 months. My goals going forward are to get my running paces back up to pre-baby…and then some. I want to train smart, listen to my body, and slow down when I need to.
What did you do to focus in and lose the baby weight?
I started doing intervals of run/walk around 8 weeks postpartum, and I also ordered a fit splint band for extra support when I began running again. I added in spin classes for lower impact cardio. 1:1 weight training sessions helped build back lost muscle, too. The last 10 lbs were definitely the hardest to lose. I also cut dairy due to a potential milk protein allergy, and that honestly helped me lose a lot of weight pretty quickly. You have to eat pretty healthy when you can’t have cream, cheese, or butter 😦
Tell me about your first half marathon after baby!
I ran the Tom King half marathon about 5 and a half months postpartum without too many expectations. I started out slow the first half and then, tried picking it up a bit to see how I felt. My only goal was to beat my finish time at the 2016 Country Music half marathon when I was 17 weeks pregnant, and I did!
How has personal training helped you?
Having mild ab separation, I couldn’t do a lot of core exercises up until very recently. And even though I was very active for almost all of my pregnancy, it was really hard to get back to any kind of fitness level I was used to. I knew it would be too frustrating and intimidating to try group classes and have to ask for modifications over and over. Luckily, Megan was offering a really great special right when I was cleared to work out again, so I jumped on it 🙂 I think it’s also so incredibly beneficial that Megan is also a runner, so all of our workouts compliment my mileage and make me stronger. I know she’s never going to give me a workout that will negatively impact the quality of a run the following day, or spend an entire session overtraining my legs.
What advice would you give new mommies on getting back to it?
Give yourself some slack! You just carried a baby for 9 months and gave birth. You’re basically a superhero, so who cares if it takes some time to lose the baby weight.
If nothing else, becoming a mother has made me very efficient. I am waking up at times that I never thought I would voluntarily set an alarm for, in order to get my runs completed and still spend time with my family before I have to go to work. It makes for very long days, but you gotta make it work however you can if you want it bad enough!
This is one incredibly inspiring gal! From the short amount of time that Kayla has come into my life and started working with me – she has seen some HUGE results! She’s just one of those gals that comes in every single time, NO COMPLAINTS, and KILLS IT. No matter what I ask her to do – she will give it 110%.
Kayla started coming 3-4 times a week for 45 minutes, (and if you know me – you know you’re going to get your bootie handed to you in 45 minutes). She’s a brave soul. 🙂 But, it’s paid off. Her Bodpod results were so inspiring that it has reminded me of how truly important lifting weights is, and how having a consistent structure to your workouts really makes a huge difference. In about 2 MONTHS look what this girl did…
She lost 5% body fat and almost 10lbs, and gained 5lbs in muscle!!!!!!!! WHAT?!! AMAZING. That’s what.
Kayla is the example of what dedication and hard work can do in a SHORT amount of time!!
Kayla, if you’ve done this in 2 months, I can’t imagine what you’re going to do for the rest of your life. I’m so proud of you, honored that you’re a client and friend, and grateful to have worked with you. Here’s to a bright future and many more BURPEES ahead!!! Zoe and I love you!!!
I asked Kayla few questions about herself, training and her future, and here is what she had to say…
Tell me about you – your new job, what you majored in…
Hi! I’m a senior, almost graduate from Vanderbilt University, and I double majored in Medicine Health & Society, and Human & Organizational Development. I can’t believe I am graduating in a short week, and come July I am starting work at Huron Consulting Group in Chicago. I will be an entry level Analyst in the Education department and I will be working on any projects that higher education institutions hire me for.
What will you miss most about college?
I will miss Nashville as a city the most – it was such a treat to be able to attend a university located inside such a fun city to explore and enjoy. I also will miss dancing, one of the passions I’ve been able to keep up with throughout college in Momentum Dance company. Being able to dance is such a fun way to express yourself (Let alone a good workout).
Personal training has helped bring structure to the chaos that is college. College has been an unbelievable 4 years, but it definitely is stressful at times and unpredictable. Having personal training to come to every day has been a great way to keep myself accountable for working out while relieving some stress. It has helped bring some organization to the craziness that is college.
Wow. Goals crushed. Half marathons run. Miles hiked. Babies had. Weddings happened. PRs. Lbs lost. Muscle gained. Bodies rehabbed. Cancer GONE. Sweat dripped. Strength found. Friendships forged. I HAVE THE BEST CLIENTS.
I had SO much fun putting this together and looking back on this amazing year and seeing what YOU accomplished. Thank you to everyone who has walked into my studio or let me be a part of you reaching a goal – it is MY blessing to watch you SHINE. As we wrap up this year – we look towards new goals to reach for… I can’t wait to see what each of your’s is. Here’s to the BEST YEAR YET where we will all GROW and BE BETTER!
If you’re interested in joining as one of my personal training clients – shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – I have a few slots available as of now. Happy Almost 2016!!
Lizzy is one of those people you meet who is just BEAUTIFUL! Her soul, her smile – everything! She’s just a kind, sweet gal, and when I heard the words out of her mouth “I want to do a half marathon” – I was SO excited!!!!!!!!
If I asked Lizzy if she LOVES to run or if she LOVED it before doing this half marathon or even now – I’m not sure the answer would be a blazing YES (which is like most SANE people), but that is what makes her story amazing… Lizzy picked a goal that she knew was reachable but still a challenge to her and something a bit outside of her comfort zone. I mean, if that doesn’t deserve a WOW then I don’t know what does!!!
I met Lizzy back in my BBC days, and one of her best friends – also a former client and an avid Megan Conner BBC 5:30pm class attendee when I used to teach – Mary Raines Johnson – did the half with her, and supported Lizzy all the way. Mary Raines – also another AMAZING human being is one of those people if she says she’s gonna do it – she does it!!! And SHE DID!!
These gals had their training plan mapped out from day 1, and they stuck by it. Here’s a picture of the girls on an early morning Greenway run. Look at those smiles!!
Lizzy was a champ when it came to getting her long runs in which I stressed were THE most important of all. After her solo 11 miler – I knew she had it in the bag! Their run was in Carmel, CA and I was on the edge of my seat the that morning waiting for updates and pictures and to hear that they finished. I got all of the above! Lizzy and Mary Raines had fun, enjoyed each other’s company and accomplished a huge goal together!!
What I love most about this spotlight is Lizzy’s advice to other people out there trying to reach or even set goals. These gals are examples of real goal getters, and I’m blessed to call both of them friends! Thank you, Lizzy and Mary Raines for letting me be a part of your journey and goal getting! You both are incredible women!
I asked Lizzy a few more questions about her first half marathon experience, and here’s what she had to say –
-What is the biggest thing you learned through the process?
Running is more mental than anything! I can run long distances I just have to be sure not to let my mind get to me. It also helped me realize that I am capable of setting a high physical goal and achieving it.
-How did you feel when you crossed that finish line?
Shock! It is crazy to imagine the fact I just ran 13.1 miles, but I was so proud of myself and the accomplishment. I remember crossing the finish line and thinking ‘oh my gosh, I did it! They did not pick me up or reroute me…I am getting a medal!
-What kept you motivated?
I had a great support team! Between scheduling runs with Megan, Mary Raines, and having my boyfriend Clayton make sure I was staying on track, I was able to hold myself accountable. The weekend before I left for the race I signed up for a 10k. I had never run a 10k before, but my training program suggested I sign up for one. I set a goal of 1:30 to finish and ended up running it in 16 minutes faster than my goal. It really helped boost my confidence leading up to the race.
-What was the most important part of your training?
The long runs for sure! And just getting the miles in. I could not run every long run all the way through but finding out the distances and pace really helped.
Also, switching it up! Barry’s was a nice break from straight running and allowed me to get the miles I needed during the week along with a side workout. Also all the runs I did with Megan really helped prove to myself I could keep running when I wanted to stop. I heard her voice the entire 13.1 miles for sure!
-What advice would you give to others who want to reach a goal like this?
If I can do it….you can do it! After running this it made me realize that I may not ever finish a race in the top of my age group or even run a 9 minute mile, but I am out there trying hard to accomplish a goal. It is also okay to walk, not all the time but little rewards will help motivate you.
Make an event out of it! We picked pebble beach because it was a fun get away and we had a lot of time to vacation and enjoy ourselves before the race.
Do it with a friend! Mary Raines was a big supporter. She pushed me and forced me to keep running when all I wanted to do was quit. I am a total mental person, so having someone to break me out of that mental block really helped me.
-What are your goals going forward?
Have fun with working out! I want to maintain the progress and endurance I have created and use it towards other workouts around town. It was a great accomplishment and I see myself training for other half marathons with friends later in life, but right now I think I will stick to running in fun runs like 5k, 10k, and maybe even try a 15k.