Mel Robbins, an American motivational speaker, once said that “you are just one decision away from a completely different life” and Sia Cooper, the personal trainer behind Diary of a Fit Mommy, is the proof that one small change can take you on a whole new path. We talked to her about her journey into fitness coaching, her family and, of course, asked for some tips for getting fitter after becoming a mummy! Get to know this amazing mum that’s taken the world of fitness by storm.
By Adriana Santos
Photography Studio of Vim Photography and courtesy of Sia Cooper
Scrolling through Sia Cooper’s Instagram and website is to get a glimpse of a life where fitness takes centre stage. After all, nowadays Sia is a 31-year-old certified personal trainer. But what not everyone knows is that the woman behind Diary of a Fit Mommy wasn’t always into fitness and the importance of eating healthier. “When I was in nursing school, my health went on the backburner and I immediately gained a ton of weight”, she explains. She doesn’t hide it: she was overweight and, even though she was studying to be a nurse, there was a lot about food she didn’t know. Everything changed the day that she saw FOOD INC, a documentary about the food industry on Netflix. She was 21 years old and beginning to get interested in the importance of eating cleaner and more organically grown foods. The process of change started slowly, but she never looked back. “I remember walking to my pantry and throwing out the chips, the cookies and every bit of processed food I could find. I also began cooking for myself and discovering new recipes”. That was the beginning of her journey.
Sia’s blog Diary of a Fit Mommy was only created when she got pregnant for the first time in 2014 while she was working as a nurse. She decided she wanted to document the pregnancy and her journey of motherhood through a “fun little blog”. At the time, she didn’t imagine that her page would develop into what it is today. It was just a small hobby, an online diary.
The blog came to life through posts on her day-to-day life. She shared her pregnancy and how she got back in shape. And soon enough, people that followed Sia and who were inspired by her started asking for workout plans. Sia had already left her job as a nurse and was focused on motherhood. So when the requests started coming in she decided to make another life change – maybe the biggest one yet – and became a certified personal trainer though the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Diary of a Fit Mommy was already a success, but it was when she got pregnant with her daughter in 2016 that she saw her fan base grow. Why? Because even though she was pregnant, Sia was still taking good care of her body and maintaining her six pack. It was also during her second pregnancy that the personal trainer noticed the lack of educational information about exercise during pregnancy. “There was a lack of exercises available for pregnant women so I wanted to create something easy yet effective that could be done safely at home throughout all trimesters”. That’s when she made her Fitness for Two plan that all pregnant woman can access and do by themselves.
Nowadays, Sia has more than one million followers on her Instagram and helps thousands of people get healthier and fitter through her fitness and nutrition plans. Even though she is best known for Diary of a Fit Mommy, the truth is Sia helps not only moms, but everyone who asks for help. Even with her big follower base, Sia’s biggest fans are her two kids, Greyson, six, and Everly, four. Her children are always by her side and her little girl loves to copy mummy’s moves. “They know that fitness is mama’s job and that it is very important to me.” Even so, kids will always be kids and Sia admits that it is not always easy to be healthy as a family. Especially when children are picky with regards to food: “It’s easy [to keep a healthy lifestyle in the family] when it comes to being physically active because I will throw the frisbee with the kids, play soccer with them, go on walks, take them swimming and fishing and so on. But healthy eating can be a challenge, especially when one of you children is picky, like my daughter. We are trying to work on breaking those habits!”
TIPS TO GET YOUR BODY BACK (AFTER BECOMING A MUMMY)
Getting in shape when there’s a baby to take care of is not always the easiest of tasks and many women struggle with it. “Most women do not recognise their new bodies or know where to start. Your body, especially your core, has been weakened over the past several months, so getting back into it can be a challenge. That’s why I suggest always keeping up your workouts if you can!”, explains Sia. Because we know that sometimes new mums need help getting their groove back, here are five tips from Sia on how to get in shape after having a baby.
“[When creating a plan for mums] there are things to be aware of such as diastasis recti and pelvic floor rehab that are important to address with new mothers, but which non-mothers do not have to worry about.”
“Always listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. Celebrate the small victories such as taking the stairs or parking far away from the shop.”
“I wouldn’t say there’s a first step [to start getting fit], but healing is a must. A lot of mothers push themselves and end up bleeding for months because they are not allowing their bodies to properly heal.”
“After getting the doctor’s approval, I recommend incorporating HIIT workouts as well as getting additional cardio in (at least 30 min a day) to effectively burn post baby fat!”
“Nutrition wise, rule number one is always to stay hydrated. Also, carbs are your friend, not your enemy.”