HOW IT BEGAN
After I graduated from college in public health and nutrition, I started working for a company called Unicity. I worked in the “Transformation” department, where I went in every day and coached 35-40 of my own clients every week. I loved seeing others make positive changes in their lives, and I loved being a small part of it.
One day I was looking under the "health" category on Pinterest for good inspirational quotes I could add into some emails, and I came across some pictures from Kayla Itsines (the founder of BBG). I liked a lot of the things she posted, so I went onto her profile, and then ended up on her Instagram account. This was back before she had millions of followers (she had way less than one million when I found her), and through her Instagram I found all these other people that had health-related accounts. They were not at all what they are now, but they were simply people just posting their routines, and keeping themselves accountable. It was this whole different world that I had no idea even existed! I started following people who posted recipes I wanted to try, or workouts I wanted to use, and I would often get onto Instagram before I worked out to get motivated to actually do it haha.
CREATING AN INSTAGRAM
I started following people, but didn't like having it mixed with my personal account, so I created an account to just follow fitness accounts and have the posts organized in a separate place. After a couple of months, I started posting some of my own things I was doing...like maybe just once a week ha. I never thought twice about trying to grow my Instagram, or anything like that, because I didn't know it was even a thing then. I just posted foods I ate, and workouts I did, and used it as a way to keep myself accountable, while continuing to be inspired by people I followed.
FINDING MY "NICHE"
I deleted all of my posts after a little, because I didn't feel like there was a point to me posting, and I just kept following people I liked and learned from. Then I got pregnant with Piper. I still didn't think much of it (I think I only have a couple of hundred followers at that point), but I just started recording my pregnancy by posting bump updates, workouts I did, and things I ate that made me feel good. I also started this blog to organize things a little more, and to share things that have more content/information than I could share with one Instagram post.
I honestly never thought ANYTHING of what I was doing. I worked in the health industry, taught spin classes, and talked about fitness and nutrition all day, so this was just kind of an extension of that. I started following other mamas who were pregnant at the same time as me (I still follow and love them!), and connected with other women who were similar to me.
I became a certified personal trainer right after I graduated, but when I got to about 20 weeks pregnant, I realized I actually didn't know to a lot of specifics about working out during pregnancy. I knew you shouldn't lie flat on your back, and you shouldn't do crunches, but that was it...and I didn't even know why! I started doing TONS of my own research, just so I could make sure I was being smart and taking the best care of myself and little fetus Piper. I got certified as a women's fitness specialist (and later in pre/postnatal exercise), and then just started sharing things I learned/what I was and wasn't doing during pregnancy. As time went on I realized this was something I was REALLY passionate about, and I also felt there weren't nearly enough resources to help women have a "fit" pregnancy.
GROWING MY INSTAGRAM
While I was going about my day, casually posting about my pregnancy, it suddenly picked up speed. I posted a little bump progress photo one night, and woke up the next morning to 1,000 new followers, and over 2,000 by the end of the day. I was so surprised, and also confused haha. I just kept doing what I was doing, and it continued growing and growing. I kept connecting with other women, answering questions, doing my thing. I occasionally get emails and DMs from people wanting to start or grow their account, and I truly don't have answers! My account is by NO means huge. I only have 40.7K followers, and compared to people who have 200K+...it's hardly anything haha, but I think the most important thing is authenticity. I don't follow people who are only focused on growing their business, because it shows. It's not genuine, and I don't find it interesting. I like following REAL people. Real mums who are just trying to figure out what the heck they're doing. Real people, who share the ups and downs of life and their fitness journey. That's the whole reason I started my account. I had something to share, that I was also passionate about, and I didn't have any ulterior motives other than to just share it. I had absolutely NO idea you could even make money off it!
Speaking of making money, it's still bizarre to me that I'm able to make a some income through this haha. Instagram has changed a LOT now from when I first started, and it can be possible to make it a full time job. I know I could be making more of an income if I put more time into growing my Instagram, learned more about photography/hired a photographer, graphic design, etc., but the truth is...I'm a stay at home mum with two kids under two. I have the kids 24/7, and LOVE being a mum. That's what I really care about...not having thousands and thousands of followers on an app. There's only so much I can do with my very limited spare time. The money I do make though is through collaborations with companies (ONLY the ones I absolutely love. I *politely* decline about 80% of them), affiliate links, selling my pregnancy workouts guide and workout subscription, and through my blog. I'm not tech savvy, a graphic designer, photographer, or artistic in the slightest, so I keep things really simple, and just talk and share out health/fitness/motherhood because I genuinely love it.
I loved sharing my pregnancy and bump updates (it's so fun for me to go back now), and I'll keep sharing my postpartum journey, but I've decided against doing postpartum progress updates now. I personally love seeing other's updates, and it's motivating and inspiring to see how capable the human body is, but I never want to add to the comparison trap that social media can create. I never, ever want another mother to compare themselves to where I am at, or ever feel overwhelmed, or frustrated, or sad, or any negative feeling about themselves (not that they necessarily would...but ya know). There's so much nonsense on social media these days, and I try and add a tiny bit light with my account.
I do hope to get out a comprehensive postpartum guide in the near future (with information and exercises for pelvic floor recovery, leaking and abdominal separation), but other that, I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing! The beauty of finding and living a healthy lifestyle is that it is always evolving. It changed when I got pregnant with Piper. It changed again when I was postpartum with Piper. It was different when I was pregnant with Jack and also had a 10 month old. It's different now while I'm going through a postpartum journey again, but this time with two littles. Some phases of life, I feel like I'm 100% on my fitness game, other times I don't (aka right now). It's always changing, and I'm just sharing my approach to it all!