Tell us about yourself
I am a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer, owner of Jayme Williams Fitness, and Registered Nurse. I am also a mom of two beautiful miracle-babies: Reagan, who is two, and Reid, who’s five months old. My fitness business was started because of both my love of all things clean and healthy and also my desire to help other people reach their goals and be in the best shape of their lives.
How did you get into fitness?
When my daughter was five months old, I found myself struggling both physically and mentally to keep up with the demands of being a new mom. I didn’t feel at all healthy, and my poor diet and love of cardio were definitely to blame for this. I started going to a gym, taking some group classes, and fell in love with strength training.
How did being pregnant change your body?
With my first pregnancy, I was not in shape (although I was thin). I didn’t eat well and only did cardio for exercise. I gained a total of 18 lbs, but I felt exhausted all the time, had back pain everyday from not having a strong core, and was just OVER IT by the time I delivered her. With my second pregnancy, I lifted 3-4 days a week up until I delivered, ate a very clean/unprocessed diet, and made sure to focus on core strength. Doing those things completely changed the experience for me. I felt strong, more beautiful, and enjoyed my changing body more. I only gained 11 lbs with that pregnancy, and the postpartum period was A LOT easier because of the healthy choices I made during it!
How hard were you exercising before you became pregnant? What were you doing?
I was consistently working out 4 days a week; about an hour each day. I was strength training all 4 days with either HIIT or steady-state cardio 2 days a week.
When you found out you were pregnant, did you modify your workout routine? How & Why?
Since my baby was conceived through IVF, I had to stop all exercise until cleared by my fertility specialist. I also developed a bleed in my uterus, which prolonged the “bedrest” period. Finally, around 10 weeks, I was able to resume my normal activities, making sure to only do what I felt comfortable doing. I lifted weights (with some modifications based on how I was feeling, certain positions, etc.) throughout the rest of my pregnancy until I gave birth at 39 weeks.
What was a typical diet plan for you?
I eat a very “clean”, unprocessed diet. I also have sensitivities to gluten and dairy, so I have chosen to cut those out of my diet as well. I do count/track my macronutrients, but this is more for fitness goal purposes (muscle building, breastfeeding while lifting, etc.) and not because I’m concerned with consuming too much (I make sure to eat appropriate proportions). In a normal week, I will eat lots of chicken, fish, fresh fruits, fresh or steamed vegetables, and gluten-free whole grains like brown rice and quinoa.
How did each trimester affect working out?
The first trimester, I was pretty much on bedrest. Once I was able to start back to my normal workouts, I only strength trained twice a week until I felt comfortable with it again. I didn’t do any HIIT cardio, but focused on steady-state activities like the stairmaster/treadmill when I did do cardio.
The second trimester, I was able to workout much like I was pre-pregnancy. I had a lot of energy and was able to lift heavier weights. I still avoided HIIT exercises.
During the third trimester, I stuck with strength training and did very little cardio. This was because I wanted any energy/calories I was using to go towards building/keeping muscle instead of burning fat. In the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I did notice that I couldn’t lift quite as heavy, so I increased my reps and sets in order to keep pushing myself within my limits.
What are your tips for those who are pregnant and trying to stay fit?
Stay active and (above all else) EAT CLEAN! Nutrition makes SUCH a difference. Make sure to eat lots of heart-healthy fats like avocado and coconut oil, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Try to avoid processed foods, things with artificial sweeteners, and foods higher in sodium.
How were you able to bounce back? What’s your workout and diet routine?
Once I was “cleared” at 2 weeks postpartum, I started doing workouts with light weights (think 5-8 lb dumbbells). As I felt able, I started increasing my weights and adjusting my reps/sets accordingly. I was doing full workouts again at 6 weeks, including some HIIT to help with metabolic conditioning. My diet was exactly the same as before/during pregnancy, only with an additional 200 calories or so to account for breastfeeding.
How do you stay fit with 2 kids now?
Consistency is key! Do what you can when you can, but stick with it. Don’t give up just because you had a bad week. Same with your diet—don’t give up and start binging just because you feel like you “botched” the day. Remember that we’re not robots, no one is perfect, and that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it!
If you could do things differently for your fit pregnancy, what would that be?
I actually wouldn’t change a thing! I am VERY happy with how my body responded to my pregnancy and how I felt in my postpartum period.
How do you feel about your body now?
I can honestly say I LOVE my body now! I feel strong, fit, and–most importantly—HEALTHY. I feel like I can pass down healthy living, balance, and confidence to both of my children. And ultimately, that’s what matters!