Healthy Happy Fit Mums – Introducing Lucy Miller

I’ve been interviewed by Miss Independent Women , a fabulous website also known as The ULTIMATE GIRL SITE‘ – a one stop shop for everything GIRL. I hope you like it! 

Originally posted on Miss Independent Women…

MIW Welcomes you LUCY MILLER!

As the resident ‘mum’ on the panel of girls that make up Miss Independent Women – The Ultimate Girls Site; I wanted to share some of Lucy’s brilliant tips for keeping fit and healthy throughout pregnancy. For those of you who don’t know, Lucy is a Freelance Fitness & Nutrition Editor for Health & Fitness MagMail OnlineWeight Watchers,Fertility Road,  Glamour magazine & founder of Fitness and the Bump

In between juggling a family life of her own, she manages her busy schedule of working with her clients as a Personal Trainer and is also working with children to keep fit as a trained level 2 Children’s Fitness Specialist.

So I took some time out from heavily pregnant waddling, running around after Fin and working to catch up with Lucy – I hope you enjoy!

MIW: Welcome Lucy and thank you for talking with us here at Miss Independent Woman!
Lucy: Thanks for having me – Your blog is fab.

Ah thanks so much! I am so glad you like it and our site. SO! Tell us a little bit about how yourself and how you became the Fitness Editor for Health and Fitness Magazine?
I’ve always been a huge fan of sport and health. As a teenager I was a national gymnast and once I retired from that I got into marathon running and going to the gym.

I started writing for Cycling Weekly Magazine after doing my qualification in Nutrition for Health & Fitness, I looked after their nutrition pages and just loved how nutrition could have such a positive effect on your body and mind. I then came across a job at Men’s Fitness and went for it. I got the job and wrote all their fitness and nutrition pages, which I loved. Whilst there I did a part time Level 3 Personal Training course and the rest is history. Dennis Publishing (owner of Mens Fitness) brought Health & Fitness Magazine and it was a natural progression that I joined the team as the Fitness Editor. I worked there for five years before going freelance, as I knew I wanted to start a family and I had so many people wanted me to train them. I now juggle writing, personal training and being a mummy to my 4-month old daughter. 

What drives your passion for healthy living and fitness – particularly for children and pregnant women?
Exercising throughout my childhood gave me so many opportunities and good qualities. It taught me discipline, self-confidence and drive, and made me respect my body. I would love other children to discover this too and see that moving is fun and beneficial in everyday life. With regards to pregnant women, again, when I was pregnant it made me realize how exercise can make you feel so much better. I felt so out of control with my growing bump and crazy hormones, but by exercising I gained some control back. It helped boost my energy, kept any unnecessary weight gain off and stopped me getting a bad back, achy joints etc. It’s important that women realize that exercising when pregnant won’t harm them (if they are sensible) and could actually help them.

As you know, one of the reasons I wanted to interview you was because of your healthy attitude towards keeping fit during pregnancy. I think in today’s busy world, it is very difficult to stay as healthy as we would like (convenience food, cheap supermarket offers on less healthy food options, TV, the ‘eating for 2 excuse’! 

As a result of your own personal history and passion for fitness, do you work with many mums wanting to really make the conscious decision to change their lifestyle whilst pregnancy and do any of them find it difficult?
Yes for sure. They can get negative reactions from their partners and relations saying that they should ‘be taking it easy’ and that they should be making the most of being pregnant and enjoy ‘eating what they want.’

Energy levels, morning sickness, tender breasts and cramps and cravings can also make things difficult, but the right nutrition and exercise can help this.

From my experience, running around after a 3 year old helped me keep some of the weight off I may have put on and loosing the weight after my 1st born was so difficult; I vowed not to go too big again! I have definitely noticed a huge difference in keeping active and hope that it helps me in birth. However I am sure I could have done more….I’d love to hear how you help pregnant mums! 
I encourage them to eat lots of nutrient-rich foods and avoid empty calories and unhealthy additive. I also encourage them to be as active as possible by walking and by doing gentle exercise to keep them strong and supple and generally become more in tune with their bodies. It’s so important that you listen to your body during pregnancy, so I’m all for helping women take pressure off themselves and reminding themselves they are creating a new life. It’s a pretty big ask of their body!! Just knowing you are doing the best for your body and baby can make pregnancy such a positive experience.

What are your top tips for keeping active and why should pregnant women encourage themselves to remain as fit and healthy as possible?
Don’t do anything new – if you weren’t a runner before becoming pregnant then don’t start running now. Always seek medical advice also. Your doctor needs to give the go ahead to exercise and I would always go to a fitness professional who is qualified in pre and post-natal fitness. 

Gym membership’s can be expensive (and I have been mainly walking or generally being very mobile as mine was cancelled)…what can us cash strapped and time limited mums and mums 2 be do?
Walk, walk, walk! You can also walk to a park, park the pram up next to a park bench and use it for step ups, press ups, dips etc or use your living room as your baby sleeps. You don’t need any kit to get an all-over body workout – your bodyweight is more than enough. I use my stairs, my sofa, some light dumbbells and my bodyweight to get an all over workout as Lacie sleeps. Here are my top tips for losing the baby weight…

In terms of healthy eating – again, many mums struggle to resist the naughty treats and go for the healthy snacks! What advice would you have for a pregnant mum struggling to say no to the cakes and biscuits!
My top tip is to keep your blood sugar levels stable by eating little and often (every 3 hours), avoiding refined sugar like sweets and cakes, eating plenty of good fats like avocados, coconut and oily fish and be prepared. Have healthy food in the house so when you do get hungry you can grab something quick and healthy. Here’s an example of what I ate when pregnant…

Looking back on your pregnancy/pregnancies – did you feel the benefits of remaining active and if so, how did it help you?
Definitely. My energy levels always increased after a workout, I had no back pain, I kept good posture and my baby weight fell off me. I had a difficult labor (I was two weeks late and induced – here is my birth story) but my baby’s heart rate never dipped or increased, which I put down to the exercise. She was obviously used to me exerting myself. I don’t think I would have had the stamina to push for two hours either if I hadn’t kept the exercise up. I was in the gym the very day I was induced – I knew it would be my last session for a while J

 Now, I have always struggled with my weight and I am dreading the post baby body (especially with all the coverage beautiful celebrity mums get as they squeeze back into their size 8′s weeks after birth!). 

Is there anything in particular you could recommend for me and other new mums to work into the daily routine of a newborn (and possibly more children) that we could do to help our bodies get back to a more reasonable shape?

Sleep and listen to your body. Too much stress causes weight gain so if you’re tired, then sleep, don’t force yourself to get up and exercise if you need to rest. Walking with the pram is great exercise too, so try to head out for a walk at least once a day. When you feel ready try incorporating a gentle incline into your walks and make them slightly longer, working up to 45 minutes most days. Remember to walk tall too, sucking your abs in to activate your core and pulling your shoulders back. Good posture is vital and will make you instantly look and feel slimmer. There are lots of workout ideas on my blog also here

And lastly, we would love to know if you have any ‘off days’ and if so, how do you motivate yourself!
Of course I do! Ha! I remind myself that I will feel so much better after some fresh air and some exercise. I usually just tell myself I’ll do ten minutes and if I’m still not feeling it after ten then I’ll stop, but 9 times out of 10 I carry on. Putting on my favorite TV show or music can help too. Sometimes it’s good to catch up on some trashy TV whilst doing a little living room circuit. It distracts you.

 And before I let you go, we have some #MIW quick questions

Shoes or handbags?
Handbags

What’s your favourite treat?
Homemade banana icecream using CO YO (www.coyo.co.uk) and frozen bananas

Favorite holiday location?
Bali 

Hopes and dreams for the future?
To write for mother and baby magazines and help make fitness accessible for pregnant ladies and new mums. I want everyone to feel that they are doing the very best for themselves and their babies. 

Do you have a life motto or quote? 
Move, eat, sleep, laugh.

What woman or women have inspired you and who do you admire?
Jillian Michaels

It was great to catch up with you Lucy and thanks again for talking with us at Miss Independent Woman. Thanks for being a fan of the site and for our wonderful readers, more information is available here on Lucy’s website here

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