Featured Movin’ Mama: Jennifer

Meet Jennifer!

Barnes, Jennifer - Feature Photo 2015

Jennifer is a 31-year-old Movin’ Mama, living outside of Boston with her husband and two boys [ages 5 & 8]…and is expecting her third little guy in just ONE week! Jen is a hair stylist who loves to read or bake sweet treats for her family in her (limited!) down-time. We asked her how she’s Living Well today amidst the end of her 3rd pregnancy, and here’s what she said…

How do you typically start your day?

When I first wake up, I like to have a hot cup of coffee, make breakfast for my boys, and get them ready to head off to school. After that, I typically run errands and walk my 4th child, our dog Sampson (yes, also a boy!).

What was your exercise regimen like before you were pregnant this time around and how has it changed?

Before this pregnancy, I participated in competitive powerlifting. My training program was written by a certified lifting coach, Mark at Strength First Boston, which included 3-4 days of high intensity weight training per week.

Throughout my pregnancy, I have continued doing some safe, light weight training coupled with lots of swimming, up until recently as I’ve become too uncomfortable to do pretty much anything, let alone exercise. I thought I was going to be able to work out until the very end, but I’ve officially run out of energy!

Do you have any postpartum wellness goals planned ahead?

My #1 personal fitness goal is to compete at the RPS powerlifting meet in October 2016, where I will strive to perform a 300 lb. deadlift and a 225 lb. squat, which I have done in the gym, but never live in a competition.

I first have to get back into regular conditioning shape before I can start powerlifting again, so it won’t be until 3-4 months postpartum that I start training hard again. At 6 weeks postpartum, once I am cleared to work out by my doctor, I will start my initial conditioning work, which will include a lot of cardio mixed with weight training (burpees, pull ups, etc.).

Quite frankly, I’m not really sure exactly how I’m going to find time to reach these goals…with a newborn/third baby–it will be a miracle! But it’s something to work towards.

What do you do when you want to have “Me time”?

I’ve always considered exercise my special time, specifically my 60-90 minute powerlifting training I mentioned that is typically 3-4 times per week. When I can’t get to the gym, I like to read at night when the kids are asleep to unwind. A glass of wine also helps to relax of course (that is, when I’m not expecting).

How are preparing your two boys for the arrival of your third baby?

I have found that letting my boys ask the questions about the baby is best because so many other people ask them about it already.

But, we’ve told them that their brother will be giving them each a special “gift” for being his new Big Brothers, so we try to make it fun by brainstorming ideas of what their presents will be like so they will look forward to his birth.

What is one of your recent go-to healthy weeknight dinners?

Turkey Tacos, always. They’re so quick and easy, and we love using ground turkey breast.

SIDE NOTE: Check out this delish turkey taco recipe from abigmouthful.com that you can try at home!

Who do you lean on the most for your own emotional & physical well-being?

I lean on my husband and a close group of girlfriends. I mean honestly, who else would let me complain all the time?!

What is one piece of candid advice you’d like to share with other new moms regarding general wellness?

My candid advice would be that a Mama should always remember to take care of herself. If you’re not caring for yourself, it will be impossible to properly take care of your new baby and entire family.

It seems that many women feel guilty and completely put themselves on the back burner, which does nothing for their family. I am guilty of this too sometimes like everyone else, and remember that I need to take my own advice and take a break when needed!

Finish this sentence: Being a Mom has made me….

This is the hardest question you’ve asked me so far! Being a mom has made me STRONGER. HAPPIER. A better person overall, who has become more aware of things I never cared about before, like the quality of our local institutions and politics.

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