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#FitMom Talks: Sarah Dussault aka #SarahFit

Β©2017 Lucie Wicker Photography
Ever wonder what it'd be like to run a hugely successful YouTube channel + fitness blog, and basically be the go-to person for everything health, fitness, and family, all while being a first-time mom to an active one year old? Well, read on! Here's my latest FitMomTalk with fitness guru Sarah Dussault, aka SarahFit, where she talks about her work, her exercise routines, and her 17-month-old son, Tommy.
 Β©2017 Lucie Wicker Photography
Tell us a little about yourself.
I began making health and fitness videos on YouTube in 2006 for A few years later, I started my own business, uploading to my own channel, blogging, and personal training. I've been my own boss since I was 23 years old. I've travelled the world thanks to blogging and met some incredible women. I never imagined a career like this and always thought it was the perfect job to be a "work from home mom."

I currently teach only one mommy and me class at week in Boston at Burn Fitness Back Bay and still upload videos and blogs each week.
 Β©2017 Lucie Wicker Photography
How long of a maternity leave were you able to take before you started to work (and workout!) again? 
When you work for yourself, you don't really stop. I think I took maybe a day or two of nothing but during nap time I was back to emails, writing my birth story and shooting videos again after 2 weeks. When it came to working out, I waited 3 weeks to do the elliptical. It was the most euphoric workout I've ever had! I trained with a personal trainer at 5 weeks and was running around then too.
I blogged about my experience and would have preferred to wait to run again but I agreed to run a half marathon 16 weeks postpartum. By 6 weeks, I was back taking spin and Pilates where childcare was offered.

How did that schedule/routine look different from before baby?
Before I had Tommy, I would take classes around the city whenever I wanted. I would go for long runs whenever I mustered up the energy or woke up. Now, I was restricted to classes with childcare or weekends when Nick was home from work. Sure I could realistically workout at least 3 times a week but I used to bounce around studio to studio. Now, I could only go to two.

I missed so many different studios. I also couldn't go before Tommy would wake up because I nursed him and was too full!
 Β©2017 Lucie Wicker Photography
Did your fitness outlook and goals change after becoming a mom? If so, how?
 YES! Oh my gosh. I was always about losing the last 5 lbs. Now it's to be strong, have energy and feel good about myself. It's not about how long or how much. It's just to do something!

I love short HIIT workouts now. I used to dread them but now they are so much more efficient for my time. I lost the weight without dieting and being patient. I work hard but I workout much less than I did before I was pregnant. I am still nursing in so the extra calorie burn helps but I also eat a lot more, too!

What is the biggest challenge you've found in working/running a business and being a mom? Time management and the feeling of half-assing everything. I feel like I'm never giving my 100% to anything, Tommy, my job or relationship with Nick. It's hard. I want to cook and clean the house, I want to pay attention to Tommy and do fun projects, I want to put my attention on my business but I want to be a good mom. I try to do it all and I've lost a bit of myself in the process from a business point of view.
 Β©2017 Lucie Wicker Photography
What is your favorite fitness-related activity to do with your son (either one-on-one or as a family)? I think my favorite would be just going for long walks together and stopping at the park for Tommy to run around or at the beach. We have a jogging stroller that we use in the summer and will take him to run by the beach. In Boston, we go for runs or walks around the city and stop at the esplanade or common. This may be boring but I love to workout and it's kind of my me time. I don't love to workout with Tommy or Nick haha. I like to do my own thing.

I think you're doing great! :D
Thanks to Sarah for sharing her story!

Instagram: @SarahFit
Twitter: @SarahDussault

To read more #FitMomTalks, click here

#FitMom Talks: Jennifer Phelan of @JPPilates

Need an insight into life as a popular fitness instructor and mom of two young kiddos? You're in luck because my latest Fit Mom Talk is with my old friend (and the first fitness model I ever photographed!) Jennifer Phelan. Jenn has learned a lot since becoming a mom and she is more than happy to share her experiences in hopes of helping other expecting and new moms. She's always impressed me as a fitness expert and now as a super mom too:

Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Jennifer Phelan and I am the founder of JPPilates, a brand that centers around training, motivating and influencing clients through my group Pilates classes in Boston, private instruction and social media. And I'm also a Mom to two little boys! I have a three-year-old named Grayson and a four-month-old named Max. Oh and I can't forget my 6 year old crazy Siberian Husky dog Noelle.
photo credit: April K Photography
How long of a maternity leave were you able to take before you started to work (and workout!) again?
With my first son Grayson I took a solid four months off from teaching and also from exercising. Grayson was a terrible sleeper. At night he work up every 1-2 hours. The sleep deprivation took a real toll on me and as much as I wanted to get back into the swing of teaching and working out, I simply couldn't. Caring for my child took every ounce of energy I had. I'd say around six months was when I really found my stride but it wasn't until he was one that I truly lost all of the baby weigh and had a full teaching schedule again.

The second time around has been much different. I think already having a toddler running around left me not much time to 'recover.' By the time Max was two months old I was itching to get back to teaching. Not that I don't love being home all the time with my boys but the escape from whining, crying, nagging and needing was much needed. My students and places of employment (North End Yoga and Equinox) looked like a shinning beacon of escape. In no way does teaching feel like work.

Even now people seem surprised that I returned back to teaching so soon after giving birth. I get a lot of questions asking why I didn't take a longer maternity leave and enjoy it. To set the record straight I'm not really teaching that much. Currently I only have 5 group classes on my schedule. The rest of time I'm home with my kids. I LOVE that I'm able to do both. Is it easy? No way! But I've learned to be flexible, go with the flow and keep myself open to what comes my way. I can't get too set in my ways about scheduling because things with kids are always changing!

My workouts this time around have been slow going. I'm being much kinder to myself as I strive to lose the last ten pounds and work to get fitter. I'm not as worried because I know that I did this once before and I know I can do it again. And even though I may not have my Nike Trainer, Fitness Instructor body back just yet, I try to remind myself that I am actually strong and my body is doing different yet amazing things. I breastfeed my baby. I carry around a 19lb infant every day. I wear him on my body in an Ergo carrier. I push a stroller up and down the hills of Charlestown with a 30lb toddler, baby, car seat and often groceries. That alone is an amazing yet non conventional workout. I know that in time I will have hours to myself to train and take classes but right now there's no place I'd rather be than with my family... well most days :)

How did your routine look different from before baby?
Before kids I taught 35+ hours a week between private clients and classes. I had tons of time to take group fitness classes all over Boston and I could be super relaxed about when I choose to workout. Often I'd make game day decisions on what time I wanted to exercise and what I was going to do.

Now my life is very scripted and planned. I have to coordinate with my husband if I want to take a week night class. He has to come home from work a little early in order for me to leave and make a 7:15pm class. That means that he walks in the door and I tag out- leaving him with dinner, bath time and bedtime duties for both kids. Plus he has to take the dog out and make dinner for us. That's a lot just so I can exercise. I often feel guilty when I choose to leave during the week. Luckily he's an amazing man and he reminds me that it's important I do these things for me. It's in the best interest of our entire family that I'm healthy and feel my best. I'm a much better wife and mom when I workout.

Right now with such a young baby I'm still trying to figure out my workout plan. I tend to do mat Pilates at home during the day whenever I can fit it in. I'm making it to classes probably twice a week and in classes I teach I'm down on the ground with my students working out with them. As my youngest gets older I know this will shift and I will be able to create a different routine with each month that passes.

Did your fitness outlook and goals change after becoming a mom? If so, how?
Prior to kids I cared about the number on the scale a lot. Now I don't even weigh myself. I honestly don't care. I'm sure it will be a different story once I'm done breastfeeding but for now the number isn't really a goal.

Before I used to compare myself to what other instructors were doing; how many classes they taught and what companies they worked with. I can honestly say that my love for teaching has actually grown since becoming a mom. It's taken on a whole new meaning to me. I adore the time I get to spend with my students and while I still stay on top of what other people are doing, I don't find the need to compare as much. My life is just different now.

Instead of only influencing young people to be fit and healthy I have a new crowd I've grown to love working with - New Moms! I want new moms to know that we are all in it together. That it's not easy but you can live a healthy active lifestyle. If I can do, so can you. I'm no different. And we can do it together. Prior to kids I wouldn't have had the first idea of how to connect with these women but I must say, it's been an honor getting to do so.

What is the biggest challenge you've found in working/running a business and being a mom?
Ah, there are just so many challenges. Lack of time and energy are a few to start. Some days it feels like I can do it all. Usually those are the days I drink two pots (yes, pots) of coffee. And other days I fall into bed with anxiety questioning why I'm even trying to work because motherhood is obviously a full time job and beyond. Overall my biggest challenge is remaining patient with the process. I have so many projects I want to jump up and do. So many ideas. But I have to accept that right now I can't do it all. Usually when I'm snuggling with my boys, in the quiet moments, are the times that I find peace with where I'm at. It's a work in progress, every single day.

What is your favorite fitness-related activity to do with your sons (either one-on-one or as a family)?Since we have a large, active dog we do lots of family walks around the city. Grayson is a toddler expert on his Micro Mini Scooter and often times it's a workout for us all to just keep up with him. I love practicing yoga and Pilates with Grayson. When he was two, we took about 10 months of toddler yoga together. It was hands down the best class I've ever taken him to. We take a lot of the techniques from classes (focusing on breathe, slowing down, mindfulness, and of course the poses) and apply them together at home. He's working on his Pilates Hundreds and Roll-Ups too but still needs some help on his core strength :) 

I also love adding Max into my workouts! We do everything from push ups, planks and ab work together. I get right down on the mat with him. Both boys when they were little are the inspiration for the Mom and Baby classes I teach. It's so fun to be able to create with them and share with other Boston and Charlestown Moms!

Thanks to Jenn for sharing her story! 
You will always inspire me and so many others as well :)

Instagram: @JPPilates1
Twitter: @JPPilates

To read more #FitMomTalks, click here!

Studio News: Coming this Spring

Well, I'm finally ready to announce it on the blog - a tiny assistant (maybe more like a boss?) will be joining the Lucie Wicker Photography family this spring! Due at the end of May, we could not be more thrilled. Apollo has no idea what he's in for... (ok, neither do we!). 

I plan to take some time off but don't worry! I'm still booking shoots through the end of April and plan to pick back up again in the summer, stay tuned for updates on that. In the mean time, I will be working away and also adding some new concepts to my portfolio and blog including what I'm calling "FitMoms" - women I know in the fitness industry who are completely dominating their chosen professions and just so happen to be moms too. I find them so inspiring and would love to share their photos and stories with you! So keep an eye out for that. 
I am also still doing a lot of photo sessions with kids, either with a sports/athletics slant or just playing around in my studio. If you or anyone you know would be interested in one of those sessions, please get in touch
I'm so excited to share this next chapter and see what will happen in the next few months. Stay tuned!