How does a mother of 3 (youngest is 20 months) manage her life and schedule to lose 50 lbs and find herself onstage competing in Fitness Model competitions? I had the pleasure of shooting this supermom and former fashion model Jessica Lamoureaux Barnard in Los Angeles as she was prepping for the WBFF Boston Championships. We sat down for an interview to learn her fitness/diet/organization secrets, favorite kid-friendly recipes, and keeping the nest living a healthy lifestyle.
1. Tell me a little about yourself, Jessica.
I am the oldest of three kids. I grew up in the Northwest, living in Washington State, Idaho and Oregon. I attended Oregon State University and earned a Communications Degree. At the time, I thought I wanted to go into television! Now, I am married to a wonderful, entrepreneurial husband, and have three kids, ages 5, 4, and 20 months! They keep me busy and I am blessed!
2. As a former model, how does this transition from fashion to fitness feel? Is there any particular knowledge that you learned from your past experience that has been particularly helpful?
In general, understanding the industry as far as photo shoots and what works best for me, “Go-sees,” walking a “T-walk on stage” — it’s almost like the runway I used to do! In the fitness industry you can be a mom, in your 30’s and still be on top of your game!
3. When did you make the decision to compete in Fitness Competitions?
I committed last October 2010. As a mom, I felt I needed something for myself. It is hard to break out of that everyday routine. We often put our families first ( I still do, even when I’m in competition mode) I knew I had to prove to myself that I had the discipline to see my training through. I can’t tell you how proud I was to travel to Boston for the WBFF‘s Eastern U.S. Championships with my Total Body Advantage team, and our coach, Doug Casebier! We all worked so hard to get there. And, as a mom with three little kids I have to say I feel stronger and healthier now after three kids then I did before I had them! That is an accomplishment.
4. What is your diet and training program like prior to getting ready for a competition?
Strict! But it’s top secret!
5. Can you give us a sample of your weekly fitness routine?
I work out 5 days a week, hard! I am lifting heavy with my team right now. We usually train for about an hour and a half, then we all have our different cardio routines depending on what our body needs. I’m naturally very lean so I do about 20 minutes of cardio per day, currently. That may change next week? It can vary as we dial in our bodies prior to competition.
Quick Fact: Jessica placed 2nd in the WBFF Eastern US Championship, Diva Fitness Model Tall Class in Boston last June 25, 2011.
6. As a mother of 3, how do you find the time to keep up with your training and eating regime?
I schedule my training in weekly. The food has been the bigger challenge. I get busy with kids and I have to make sure I am not missing any meals. Since I’ve committed to training I’ve taken much better care of myself in regards to diet. Before, I would wonder why I was so hungry late in the day — it’s usually because I forgot to eat lunch! That happens when you have three little ones to take care of. You forget to take care of yourself. My body knows it needs to eat every two hours, I can feel it. And, I’ve committed to the diet. You can train as hard as you want, but if your diet isn’t there you will not see the results you want.
7. Can you give us a sample fitness and kid friendly recipe that your family enjoys?
I got the idea of making “turkey balls” from one of my coaches, Karen Dancer. I like to use a cupcake pan. You take ground turkey, mix in bell peppers, mushrooms, seasoning, teriyaki sauce or BBQ sauce (if I’m far enough out from competition). I bake them in little balls in a cupcake pan for about 18 minutes and they are yummy! My husband would sometimes come home from work late and eat most of my turkey balls out of my Tupperware I had stored for all of my meals! I serve that with steamed broccoli and Quinoa and my family eats it right up.
8. What has been the biggest challenge of motherhood?
Patience… and learning that each of your children is an individual and can not be compared to their siblings.
9. What was your experience getting back into shape after pregnancy? Any lessons learned to share with new moms?
With my first baby I gained 50 pounds. I had “kankels!” I felt for the first time what it was like to be overweight and I remember feeling down about it. It was hard on me. I worked on getting back into the gym and eating better. But, this was years before I was training as a fitness competitor. Perhaps it would have happened faster if I had known then what I know now. I know it would have!
10. What tips would you give to new Moms who just had their baby and looking get into great shape in 6 months time frame?
As you know, the loose abdominal skin and extra 20+lbs on the frame can be very discouraging. I absolutely understand! And, I believe with the right diet along with exercise you can get your body back or better than before. It is a true commitment on the diet front. The diet is the magic. I also think women do not do enough weight resistance. They often fear they will get too much muscle. For me, I think weight training is the “Fountain of Youth!” That is how you sculpt your body. With more muscle, you burn more fat naturally. I see a lot of women who just “run” for their exercise regimen. Ladies, lift those weights! It adds curves in all the right places, it tightens, lifts, and tones, and it’s good for your bones!
11. What’s your best advice for parents who want to help their children develop healthy fitness habits?
Personally, I try to limit the sugar and artificial foods in my kids’ diet. I watch for food coloring on labels, too. I’m a big “label reader.” I steam a lot of vegetables, and can usually get the kids to eat any vegetable if I sprinkle a bit of cheese on it! We also make smoothies with our blender. We like to put in Organic baby spinach, organic baby carrots, flax seed, wheat grass, lemon, frozen strawberry and blueberries. You can add a little juice or yogurt to it. If you need it sweeter, a little agave nectar or honey will do it. Also, I have held off on buying any video game systems. I really want the kids outside as much as possible. Our family really enjoys hiking and swimming together. The more active the kids are during the day, the easier they go to bed at night!
12. What tips would you give to busy Moms like yourself to stay motivated and get organized with their training and eating program?
Look for inspiration! I have found great inspiration in my good friend, Chady Dunmore. She’s a mom, and she is a World Champion Bikini model with the WBFF. As I get more involved in the Fitness Industry I am exposed to other incredible athletes. I see how hard these athletes work to obtain great results. I feel if you make the commitment, follow through! Know the discipline will get you the results! For moms, a great trick (and necessary if you are a fitness competitor) is to make a lot of food to get you through lots of meals. Mass prepare your food, store it in Tupperware. Keep your diet lean and clean. You will see the transformation!