Laura Martin wanted to make it easier for mums and mums-to-be to get fit and healthy during pregnancy and postpartum. With a background in fitness, she launched The Fit Mama Lifestyle, using her experience and skills to create online training programmes aimed to support and inspire a healthy lifestyle.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
After I became a mum, it was the first time I truly understood how hard being a mother is and how much you lose yourself. Coming from a fitness background I thought postpartum fitness would be a piece of cake for me – boy was I wrong!
After a few months, I was the heaviest I had ever been in my entire life and was really struggling to get myself back into a fitness and healthy eating routine. I spent a few months pulling myself out of it and building the healthy routines again. When I opened up to other mums about how I was feeling, I started to realise how common these feelings are. So, I thought, I need to help other mums to get fit and feel confident again!
Fitness for mums is really different to fitness for other people because there are so many external factors affecting you – hormones, feeding, sleep deprivation, change in lifestyle, recovery, loneliness/isolation, lack of time, and more (I could go on all day!). So, I wanted to develop programmes that addressed all these concerns as well as get mums the results.
I found personally that working out from home was the best option (and still do) because it can be hard to find a time when someone can watch the kids while you work out. However, if you aren’t confident with what you are doing or don’t know what to do then this can be a challenge.
That’s when I decided to make my programmes follow along so that you can still maintain motivation and the right form, but you could do it right from the living room. This also alleviates the ‘mum guilt’ for leaving your child.
My programmes also address all the other factors that I mentioned above such as healthy habits, diet, isolation and hormones.
I like all my clients to feel like they are supported and not alone because I think sometimes that can be the hardest part.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I just started posting on social media about how I was feeling and helpful tips and it just sort of took off!
A lot of the messages I received were like ‘thank you so much for being so honest!’ or ‘I find your posts so relatable’ and I knew I was on the right track.
I found that mums found my workout videos helpful and that Oscar is usually crawling/walking (now running) so that mums realise that you can do it with kids around. I tried to keep them as real as possible and didn’t worry about editing them to be perfect; if he screamed, that’s ok. At least other mums can see that you just have to make it work.
From there, I started coaching mums online and then eventually started using an app to deliver my workouts and coaching. I use a group coaching format in my main programme ‘The Fit Mama Project‘ which I compare to an online bootcamp.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
When I realised that I was actually making a difference! When I first entered the online world, it felt so lonely to me because I was used to seeing my clients face-to-face. Plus, I had just become a mum so I was spending a lot of time at home.
A lot of the time I felt like I was talking to myself… but then the thank you messages and the success messages started coming in and it just spurred me on further to help more mamas.
If I can make a difference in one mama’s life every day then that makes me happy!
Pre-natal and postpartum fitness can be super confusing and there is a lot of misinformation on the internet. It can also feel really overwhelming with all the restrictions and things you shouldn’t be doing, so I always try my best to make my information as streamline as possible.
Also, another breakthrough is just being real – there is a lot of ‘fakeness’ on the internet so I try to be as real and raw as possible.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
I’m the primary caregiver so I try to limit my work time to nap time/bed time – having said that it’s not always possible. I plan out my week ahead but I find instead of having a set time schedule, I just have what I want/need to get done each day so when I have some work time I know what to focus on. This is the key in my opinion, otherwise it’s pretty easy to get caught up in the day and achieve nothing.
I aim to get these done early in the day so if the day goes pear-shaped at least I know I’ve got those things done. I find consistency is key in work and in exercise so I only aim to get a 15-minute workout in and 1 major work task. I find this is achievable and avoids me feeling like I’m constantly behind.
Typically, I’m up between 5-6am and I get my mindset right – this includes journalling, meditation and just simply getting ready for the day. It’s amazing the difference it makes just simply getting dressed and unpacking the dishwasher before Oscar is up.