Mumday Monday interview with Jen Dugard fitness expert for mums
I recently met Jen over lunch and was struck by her energy and passion.
Jen’s mission is to assist mums in reclaiming their health and confidence through exercsie, no matter what stage of motherhood they are at.
Her programs cater for women who are at the pre-natal and post-natal stages, and also for mums who are ready to take it a step further. These are her “Tough Mums” !
I hope you enjoy getting to know Jen and learning about the work that she does as much as I did
Tell us a little about yourself
I am proud mum to Marley (5) and India (3) and I am married to Ben, who is a Gaffer in the film industry. I’m a Personal Trainer and I run a business that has developed specialist exercise programs for mums.
Under my personal brand umbrella sit’s my three programs; Body Before Baby, Body Beyond Baby and Tough Mums.
I am also a keen obstacle racer and have had some great results recently with placing’s at Tough Bloke Challenge, Urbanathlon and the Spartan Race. I’m currently training as part of the first Australian team selected for the Spartan World Championships in Vermont in September.
I have also just published my first book “How to Love your Body as much as your Baby”.
Tell us about your business and what it’s about?
My business is almost 5 years old – it was ‘born’ when my son, Marley was 3months old and has grown from one program and just a couple of sessions a week to what it is today.
Our programs offer the complete solution from pregnancy, through the postnatal period and way beyond that.
What makes us unique is that I am a mum, all of our trainers are mums and we only work with mums. We’ve helped hundreds of women achieve their best ever body and really find what it means to be themselves again after having a baby.
Our Body Before Baby classes help to prepare new mums for what may possible be the most physically demanding job they have ever done, in the most deconditioned state they have ever been in. Remaining strong through this time and knowing what exercise is safe and effective is very important.
We provide nannies at all of our Body Beyond Baby sessions to really help mum to take some time out after having her baby. We equip her with the best postnatal exercises for rebuilding from the inside out and flattening her tummy again.
And our Tough Mum training sessions really push to the next level. We train for an action packed schedule of obstacle races and team runs – by this stage many of our mums are stronger and fitter than they have ever been!
What are some of the things you value most in life?
I value the health and wellbeing of my family and myself. We are so lucky to lead healthy lives and I believe we should nurture and look after our body so it is able to help us do and achieve everything we want to.
I value close family, friendships and support systems; in a world where many of us live far away from our extended family, forming a group of key people around you that will support you in different areas of life is important.
I also value alone or ‘me’ time – as we grow older we become more comfortable with ourselves and taking the time to just be, and to accept yourself for who you are is very important. Then the sooner we can pass this quality onto our children the better!
What is your favourite quote?
“Make it Happen” – short and sweet but I believe everyone has the power to create their own destiny.
What are your tips to staying happy and healthy?
My top tips to staying happy and healthy:
- Take regular time out for yourself – many mums put themselves at the bottom of the list after having children. I believe it is vital to take time out to nurture yourself, then you can be the best mum you can be. A tired grumpy mum makes grumpy children.
- Move every day – human beings were designed to move and energy creates energy.
- Eat clean 90% of the time – there is always room for a little indulgence but it should be now and then not part of your daily routine.
- Pass on what you know – I believe that mums can change the health and wellbeing of their whole family and we have a responsibility to teach our children great habits.
- Know your purpose – there’s nothing more powerful than knowing what you are here for and what you want to achieve in life. Knowing and connecting to your ‘why’ makes everything you do in life more meaningful. Whether this relates to being the best mum you can be for your children, pushing through your fitness goals or taking the next step in business.
Do you find time to nurture yourself? What does this involve?
I am very selfish with my training time – it just has to happen and it is locked into my schedule everyday.
I also try to take moments to check in with my week. If I am feeling overwhelmed or that I have too much on my plate I am becoming very good at taking things out. I will cancel a meeting that isn’t absolutely necessary on that day and take a little time to work through whatever I’m feeling.
I think checking in with yourself regularly is important. Whether it’s in life at home with children or in business taking a moment to think about how you are feeling, connecting with it and then figuring out how that will effect your decision making and reactions at that time is important. It is very easy to charge through life and disregard your personal feelings just to get things done. I am learning to respect myself and my needs more and STILL get things done.
What does healthy eating mean for you?
I’m one of those boring people who eats for fuel rather than for enjoyment. Of course I love a great meal at a great restaurant with my husband or friends but it’s not essential for me to cook elaborate meals every evening.
Healthy eating is about eating clean, unprocessed, fresh food wherever possible.
What are 5 of your kitchen pantry essentials?
Although healthy eating is really important to me I am not a massive cook so the most important items for me enable me to make simple, quick and healthy meals. My top 5 essentials; almonds, tins of tuna, coconut water, salad and chicken.
What do you indulge in?
I am an all or nothing girl – chocolate is my weakness, if it’s in the house it won’t last long!
What do you and your family like to do on the weekend?
Sunday is generally our family day. I like to take the children out to experience things and go places with them but it doesn’t have to be fancy; having breakfast at a café, going to the beach or the park and seeing them playing is great. India and I spent time just sitting watching the ocean and chatting last weekend which was really nice – the most important thing is taking time out to really ‘be’ with them.
Would you like to share one of your favourite healthy recipes?
I’m all about healthy kids snacks. I don’t believe in giving my children sugar so I am often coming up with inventive ways of giving them treat foods but making sure they are good for them:
- 1 Banana
- 1 can coconut water (I love Nakula)
- 10 strawberries
pour the blended mixture into the mould and then add the chopped strawberries
Freeze and enjoy!
Here are all the different ways you can connect with Jen