You may be wondering, “who is this chick and why am I reading this?” Well, let me give you the somewhat short answer. My name is Darielle, I’m a 30 year old mother of two boys with another boy on the way. I’m the “First Lady”, “Boss Lady”, “Mama Bear”, whatever, of Redcon1. The wife to CEO of Redcon1 and all around advocate of staying fit by day and drinking wine by night. I feel pretty confident in sharing what I know due to my own personal experiences and now growing my third little guy.
A brief background on myself: I got into weight training when I was 16 while battling my own teenage demons. Over the years, that turned into an overall love of fitness and training in the gym. At 22, I became certified as a personal trainer through NASM & NSCA, worked as a fitness trainer at Florida State University while studying Dietetics and ultimately competed in my first NPC show in 2010 (24 yo). Now at 30, through my own trial and errors as well as taking what I learned through my education, I’ve been successful in shaping my lifestyle into a manageable one, fitting in working out, and eating a balanced healthy diet while running a household of crazy boys! From my competing days, to now, I’ve learned a tremendous amount of what is beneficial and what can be somewhat harmful when it comes to reaching and maintaining fitness goals. I’m going to share with you my “street cred” on this whole Fit Pregnancy thing, because I do have some pretty dramatic differences in my pregnancies that I feel can back up the studies that are out there and my own personal theories.
In 2012, just 6 months after my final show at Team Universe in New Jersey, Aaron and I found out I was pregnant, with who we now call Asher! When speaking from a strictly health standpoint, I was pretty healthy but negatively “rebounding” from that last show due to some pretty intense dieting and “over-cardioing” (that’s too much cardio in my language). A negative rebound effect typically happens when going from one extreme to the other, which means you gain a whole lot of weight back (40lb for me, to be exact) and have a difficult time taking that extra weight back off. This is the state I was in when I found out about our first pregnancy. For me, it was the unhealthiest and “out of shape” I had been in years. I wouldn't say that I did the typical pregnancy thing, even though the first trimester was just a blur of crackers and pop tarts, I did remain somewhat active. I’d say more than the typical woman. However, I did binge on excessive amount of carbs during the 1st trimester and I backed my training intensity down immediately. I did what I believe to be the bare minimum of exercise, which is ok! I did still gain 55lb and a giant ass though.
Fast forward to 2014, I’m in probably the best shape of my life with a 2 year old. Having lost the weight from the first pregnancy in under a year to then building muscle and maintaining an ideal and manageable physique and fitness level. I felt awesome. Pregnancy number 2 comes along, with Aaden! I change nothing. [With my doctors permission], I continue training with the amount of weight, volume, intensity as I was pre-pregnancy. I continue to eat the same exact way with some added carbs at meals for the extra calories and I commit myself to 1 spin class a week (which I stuck with the entire 40 weeks). I felt like Superwoman. By the end I had gained exactly 25lb, maintained muscle, and pushed that little guy out in 10 minutes. Oh yea, it took me 2 hours of pushing for my first. Not only was labor a breeze, but I couldn’t have asked for a better recovery. I was given permission almost immediately to return to the gym. The baby weight was lost in months, I felt better than ever and most importantly both of my children were healthy and I was able to return to my rambunctious 3 year old immediately without any pain!
Now, this may seem pretty cut and dry, because honestly, to me it does too. I’m fully aware it’s not always going to be this way and I do consider myself fortunate to have the pregnancies I do. That being said, I don’t like throwing around the word “lucky”, because I do believe (with science backing) there is truth to what I believe and preach. What I’m preaching is living a fit and healthy lifestyle not only during pregnancy, but pre pregnancy can have tremendous effects on the type of pregnancy and recovery you have. I find, in my own experience, that makes a world of a difference. Look, I’m not a doctor, a dietitian and technically not even an active Personal Trainer anymore, but what I am is a mom. A mom with experience and who has learned enough to provide some wisdom to those who are pregnant, thinking of getting pregnant, not sure if they want to get pregnant, hate the idea of getting pregnant, and everything in between. What motivates me to talk about this you ask? Being in the industry now for many many years, I see strong, motivating, beautiful women post about their fitness journeys. This may range from morning ab pictures, their meal prep or a workout of the day. Some of these women you’d never know were moms. And not just mothers with one, but moms of 3,4,5! I think to myself how are these women not speaking about balancing family life with this lifestyle?? Why not be proud of that? The women I’ve found that have inspired and motivated me, showed the realness of being a mom and what moms are capable of. That’s my goal. As those women continue to inspire me, I hope to show the next woman who has no clue that she can still squat 6 months pregnant that not only can she do it, but she should do it!