I am so excited to have Kellie Willie, owner of Fit Your Life, Edmonton’s first studio dedicated to prenatal and postpartum fitness, host the very first Real Talk session on the Born to be Adventurous Mamas Facebook group starting on July 3rd! Kellie and I met back in University and this lady is so positive and motivating. She is such an inspiring woman and someone that I am so glad to have met in my life. Make sure to join the Facebook community here so that you can participate in our very first Real Talk discussion. Kellie will be covering the following topics during the sessions:
Real Talk : Meet Kellie Willie of Fit your Life
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I love to move, laugh, and hug. I am married to my best friend, Keith, and together we have two daughters: Brooke (4 years) and Mikah (1.5 years). I am a Registered Nurse and have worked mainly in Labour and Delivery since I graduated in 2011. I have worked in the fitness industry for 13 years and started Fit Your Life three years ago to combine my love of women’s health with my passion for fitness. I am still in awe that this goal has been achieved!
You have two beautiful little girls. What was your pre/postpartum health experience?
I was fortunate to have two healthy pregnancies and overall felt really good during both. With Brooke’s pregnancy, I ran twice a week until 25 weeks (decreased my mileage to 3-4km per run and decreased my pace) as well as 3-4 gym/at-home sessions per week. I was able to maintain this until the day before she was born, with modifications added as needed and really listened to what my body was asking for. I also fully enjoyed restorative type yoga classes once per week! Mikah’s pregnancy was a little different, as I was teaching 4-5 Fit Your Life classes per week in addition to my own workouts! I ran a little longer in her pregnancy because the spring weather permitted it and it felt great to get a good sweat in a short amount of time! With increased understanding of the pregnant body, I was able to add more intention to all of my daily movement, as well as mindfully practice belly breathing, deep core activation, and pelvic floor work.
I delivered both girls by cesarean section and know that my mindfulness and physical activity level played a key role in my postnatal strength and rehabilitation. Read Kellie’s birth experience here!
Let’s talk more about Fit Your Life. Can you tell me the story of how Fit Your Life was created?
Of course!!! As I briefly mentioned earlier, it was a dream of mine to somehow combine the science of my nursing background with my passion for inspiring women to stay active throughout all stages of their life. As my maternity leave with Brooke was coming to an end, Keith and I started brainstorming on how this dream could come to fruition. I started with leading one prenatal and one postnatal fitness seminar, each two hours in duration. The following month, I began offering one evening prenatal fitness class and two mom and me -style fitness classes per week on a six-week pre-registered basis. In the beginning, I rented a small room in a local wholistic health centre. Fit Your Life grew to add more classes each week and moved away from pre-registered to allow more flexibility for our clients, who are 99% busy moms! In the summer months, we offered outdoor classes and in the colder months, we found various indoor spaces to use.
Now, three years later, Jamie became a partner in the business, we have our own studio space, run 18 classes per week (and growing), have two other instructors (and a few more being trained!), and have welcomed well over 400 Fit Moms into our community!
How do you think that Fit your Life helps women in the Pre/postpartum journey?
Fit Your Life offers specialized fitness classes for this very special time in a woman’s life. Our goal is to inspire her to feel empowered by the physical changes occurring in her body, while building strength and mentally preparing for birth and motherhood at the same time. Our community of Fit Moms is truly amazing and we pride ourselves on having an inclusive and non-judgmental atmosphere.
In our prenatal fitness classes, we train women to feel their strongest mentally and physically throughout their pregnancy while training for labour, birth, and recovery.
In our postnatal classes, we help women to regain strength and connection with their bodies no matter how their pregnancies and deliveries went. We work closely with pelvic health physiotherapists and encourage all of our clients to be assessed.
We love when women find a deep connection with their “new” bodies as mothers and when their self-confidence increases along with their physical strength!
What can women expect when they sign up for a Fit Your Life Fitness Class?
They can expect to be reminded multiple times to work within their own limits, to listen to their body, and to put blinders on to what everyone else in the class might be doing. We truly encourage each woman to follow her own fitness journey and remember that we are all in different seasons of motherhood. We provide an abundance of cueing for the deep core and pelvic floor and how to do this with breath and movement. They can also expect to meet other moms or moms-to-be and feel the power of exercising alongside those with similar goals!
Where do you see Fit your Life in 5 years?
Oh man … this was my dream! Opening my own studio was my dream! Now that I have been enjoying watching this dream come true for a few months, I’ve started to allow my dreams to expand. Although Jamie and I are not ready to speak publicly about the direction Fit Your Life will take in the coming years, I know that we will continue to offer the highest quality prenatal and postpartum fitness classes while providing a safe and encouraging space for women of all stages to exercise and feel inspired!
What is the most important pre/postpartum health advice you could give to a new mom?
To truly listen to her body and her heart. Sometimes we ignore what our own body is telling us because we think we should be or do something. When we are able to shut those “shoulds” and ”woulds” off and simply listen to ourselves, we learn so much. Move your body in ways that feel good to you and that make your day better!
The same goes for listening to our hearts. When it comes to being a new mom, the best thing we can do for ourselves and our baby is to trust our instinct. We have everything our baby needs, we just need to listen for the answers.
Do you have anything else to add?
Three things you should do daily: move, laugh, and hug.
Are you based in Edmonton? Connect with Kellie and try out one of her Classes here!
Connect with Kellie
Want to know about future events and join a Born to be Adventurous Mamas meet up group?!
Join the general Born to be Adventurous Mamas’ Facebook group here.
Join the Born to be Adventurous Mamas YYC and area Facebook group here.
Join the Born to be Adventurous Mamas YEG and area Facebook group here.
Join the Born to be Adventurous Mamas Saskatchewan group here.