March Fashlete of the Month
Name: Christie Nix
Occupation: Army Wife, Busy Mom, Trainer, Online Coach, Blogger
Christie Nix, also known as FitNix on social media, is a busy mom of three who has always had a passion for fitness. Christie has an Exercise Science degree in Kinesiology from Georgia South University where she played soccer s a Division 1 NCAA Athlete. However, life after college proved to be quite different for Christie.
"After college and marriage, I temporarily forgot that side of myself. It got even worse when I started having children. I gained 55 pounds with my girls and had a hard time adjusting to my less than athletic appearance."
While Christie and her family were stationed at Ft. Knox, something changed and she suddenly found herself on a mission to regain her strength and athleticism. Christie entered her first figure competition and started working as a part time personal trainer.
"I learned not to count calories but make the calories count, to eat for performance and fuel my body... I remembered the athlete inside me that I had forgotten or was afraid to be as a new mom without a sport to play."
Recently, Christie and her husband welcomed a baby boy to the family. For the first time, she continued to train throughout her pregnancy. She continues to train other women and plans on competing in the 2015 NPC Kentucky Derby Festival Championships on April 25th.
Christie has some great advice to share with women of all levels – especially busy moms and moms to be - but it's not just Christie’s training tips that make her special. For the first time, she has developed a healthy relationship with her body at all stages. In our interview Christie explains how to incorporate a fitness routine into your busy life, and how to overcome the pressure that many women feel in regards to “getting their bodies back”.
Q. What did your workout routine look like while you were pregnant with your son?
A. I Strength Trained with my last pregnancy just as I had been before. I maintained 4-5 days a week body part splits.
Q. How did this pregnancy differ from the first two as a result of your training?
A. My first two pregnancies I was still learning what it felt like to not look or feel fit, my body gained weight quickly and as a result I gave up exercise, almost too embarrassed to even try.
With my third my mindset and approach to training was completely different, it was less about how I looked because of “working out” and more about how I felt. I stayed committed to training even though I knew I would get bigger, feel bigger and not look or feel very athletic.
So wearing my husbands t-shirts and oversized soccer shorts I went to the gym for that me time, I gained a little less weight but more than anything felt great and had more self confidence than ever before during pregnancy and going into my postpartum journey.
Q. How did you determine what was safe to do in the gym while pregnant?
A. Its important to remember that training is safe while pregnant, if you were previously in a strength training program, but it’s not just about you anymore. The great thing about lifting weights is that there are so many modifications as our belly’s grow. Into my third trimester I found body weight movements challenging enough and some days that’s all I was able to do. I did suffer an umbilical hernia that felt fine during my workouts but would cause pain later in the day, so listening to my body was very important.
Q. How soon after your son was born did you go back to working out?
A. My labor and deliveries are standard by the book so I am always feeling great and ready to get moving a few weeks after baby. My first few workouts are always baby in the jogging stroller and me doing what my body allows. Walking lunges, slow jog and walking intervals, body weight movements with baby as my resistance.
By 6 weeks postpartum, once released by my doctor I started back into my training, slowly. Around 4 months postpartum I felt ready to start the Busy Mom Gets Fit 12 week strength training program and that got me back into my weight training routine safely.
Q. What were some mental and physical hurdles you had to overcome with postpartum training?
A. My biggest hurdle is accepting my journey as its own and not comparing my progress with anyone else’s. My pregnancy weight gain comes quickly and my postpartum changes come slowly. There is this pressure as women to rock a bikini 12 weeks postpartum, and while I was very dedicated to a healthy diet and training, it takes me the FULL YEAR if not more to gain my muscle back and lose the body fat my body needed to grow and breastfeed a baby.
On days I felt like the changes weren’t coming quick enough I’d ask myself a series of questions:
- Did you train hard today? Yes.
- Did you eat to support those goals? Yes.
- Are you willing to be excessive or restrictive to force change? No.
I would have a moment of self-acceptance and say to myself, you’re doing everything you can, the rest is will come with time. (Patience. I know what I will become.)
Q. How do you find the time to balance training, family, work, etc?
A. BALANCE…..it seems impossible, especially as a new mom, but if our priorities are in place its very attainable. My family always comes first, so I know my commitments as a mom and wife and use all my minutes’ in-between very wisely and productively.
1. Plan Ahead
I plan my training just like I would a business meeting, and I go during that slotted time. When the baby gets sick, or my kids have a field trip, I see that in advance and schedule my training around that.
2. Manage/Reduce Work Load
My work load I keep small for now, my clients are mostly busy moms also, they don’t mind a 19 month old in the background playing.
3. Find Your Motivation
My passion for helping women motivates me to do as much as I can and work with anyone that comes my way…..I want women, especially moms, to unleash that inner athlete and know their best self from the inside out!
Q. What training advice do you have for new moms who want to get back in shape after giving birth?
A. Just start!! Any movement is better than no movement! But don’t wait to lose the weight to lift the weight, think of how you want to feel and look for the long term and train accordingly!
Q. What nutrition tips do you have for someone looking to shed a few pounds and build muscle?
A. Use a food diary. I have always loved My Fitness Pal, I am able to track calories and follow my macros. And I start slow there also, first focusing on my overall calorie intake, then when that stops yielding results narrowing in on the quality of those calories, and most importantly not seeing less food as less weight, I always say lets lose weight and change our bodies with more food first, then switch things up when needed. IF your overall goal is to change your body composition and not just lose weight, you have to eat accordingly.
Q. How do you balance self acceptance with the desire to see physical progress (such as weight loss, muscle gain etc)?
A. Over the past year I’ve put the phrase, love who you are NOW while you work for who you want to be, into practice.
I celebrated my strength in the gym, I SEARCHED for my progress in the weight room and not the mirror.
I knew a figure competition was my ultimate goal and if I let my training fuel my passion to compete, my body would start to reflect that. In that pursuit I’ve come to love my body for what it can do and less for what it can look like!!
Q. What is your final message to all "regular moms" out there trying to get the body they want (and to love the one they have)?
A. Find a passion, love, and internal fire for your training whether it’s running, lifting, or CrossFit, the training you will keep doing is the training that’s right for you!!
If you struggle with nutrition, make small changes over time so you truly learn to make it a lifestyle, not a temporary diet. And most importantly strive for progress, not perfection, and you’ll get there!
We are proud to welcome Christie to the Fashletics family. As a token of our appreciation, Christie is receiving a custom sterling silver charm from Fashletics with the words of her choice. Christie’s personal tagline is “Love. Sweat. Grit.” This is the life she lives and the life she helps other women embrace as a trainer and blogger. You can also find Christie on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where she posts training and nutrition tips, shares personal progress and struggles, and plenty of motivation for busy moms who aspire to live a fit and balanced life.