Is it possible to truly show up for your children when you’re not showing up for yourself?
With the pressure that comes from having little ones looking up to us, there also comes an incredible gift: the opportunity to connect back to the self.
Today, we’re talking to Lisa Druxman, the founder of FIT4MOM and expert in the field of pre and post natal fitness.
The business and community she has built serve as a testament to the incredible power of a supported motherhood experience and how crucial it is that mothers continue to lead by example.
Where to find Lisa Druxman:
In this episode, we are sharing:
- How Lisa built a successful business around fitness, motherhood, and community
- The benefits of exercise for new moms & how to do it safely
- Living the same way you desire your children to live
- Building your schedule around what is truly important to you
- The importance of asking how we can support each other
- Connection to community AND connection to self
Welcome to the Postpartum University podcast where we support you and your provider in understanding the science, the art, and the sacredness of healing after birth. I’m Maranda Bower, your host, your postpartum nutrition specialist, and homesteading mom with four wild kids. It’s time to get you the holistic, whole-body healing that works.
Maranda: Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Postpartum University podcast. I’m Maranda Bower, and today I have Lisa Druxman. She is the chief founding mom of Fit 4 Mom, which some of you may know as Stroller Strides. That’s how I know her. And she is the author of Empowered Mama and the host of the Empowered Mama podcast. She’s been featured on today’s show, Good Morning America. America. She’s a speaker, writer, thought leader, and all things amazing. Welcome, Lisa.
Lisa: Wow, thank you so much. Thanks for having me. I should come on more often.
Maranda: Thank you so much for that nice introduction.
Lisa: Yes, of course. I’m so excited to hear your story. How did you come into this business? Why did you create Bit for Mom?
Lisa: Well, I came into the fitness business over 30 years ago. I was a fitness professional, and then I was the general manager at a large health club. And then I became a mom. And when I became a mom, I thought I was gonna have to go back to work full time. So my maternity leave was very precious to me. And so I didn’t want to leave my babies to work out. So I created a workout that I could do with them. And so it was a stroller-based workout. And it was our best hour of the day. And then I kind of had a light bulb go off and I realized, “Now what? I bet I’m not the only one looking for this. I could help moms get back into shape after having a baby, but more than anything, we can help each other in all the questions we have about motherhood.” So I started a local class here in my neighborhood. I had four moms starting at the beginning, really just looking for a village and support. And I guess I wasn’t the only one looking for that because here we are 21 years later and we’re a franchise and we offer fitness for every stage of motherhood and thousands of locations nationwide.
Maranda: It’s pretty incredible what you have built, but it’s so true that we’re looking for more than just the opportunity to work out. But there’s, there’s so many other social benefits as well and just coming together in a community space, which we just don’t have a lot of.
Lisa: Yeah, we always say that moms come for the fitness, but they stay for the community. My original group of moms from 20 years ago are still the best of friends and all just sent their kids to college together. So being a mom we all know doesn’t come with a set of directions. There we lose a sense of self and our identity and so there’s so much to gain by coming together and realizing you’re not alone. The benefits of that are immense, but there’s also benefits of working out. And I want to touch on this because it is such an important conversation that we have in regard to motherhood and postpartum. How can working out be supportive of our motherhood experience?
Lisa: Well, I mean, so many things. So for new motherhood, moms, I just want to remind you that a woman’s body will change more in nine months of pregnancy than a man’s will in his entire life. And so many women jump back to working out too fast and jump back to their old workout, which the problem with that is if you didn’t address the changes that happened in your body, structurally, muscular, you’re going to end up having problems years and years down the line. So all of our classes are very purposeful in thinking about the function of motherhood and restoring her core and her pelvic floor and restoring her posture and her alignment. So physically, that’s so important. Beyond that, we know that exercise is going to alleviate so much of pain from pregnancy, discomforts from pregnancy, that’s going to give you more energy, you know, all the exhaustion we have. as new moms, there’s, there’s only benefits to exercising.
Maranda: Yeah, it’s so true. And I’m so glad that you brought up this, this culture kind of idea about getting back into the swing of things. I mean, really, we live in a world of bouncing back, right? That’s a term that you hear so frequently, or get your body back. Yes, they’re having a baby. baby, right? And the implications of that are… I love that you said that. And so just to call myself out, you know, and show how we’re all evolving, I hope. I had a workout series years ago that was an infomercial called Mama Wants Her Body Back. And from that, we then created one of our most popular programs we’ve ever had called Body Back. When we were referring to Body Back, we were really very… very specifically talking about the changes that happen in a mom’s body and again, restoring that alignment and that strength. But culturally, it didn’t fit and it was out of alignment with our values. So even though it was a very successful program, the name was no longer appropriate, no longer a values fit and just didn’t fit with the ethos of today. So that program name is now Body Well, which is, it’s still a very similar program and still one of our most popular programs. But, you know, even we needed to evolve with that, that energy. And I, there was nothing wrong with your body. And there’s nothing wrong with it now, no matter how much it’s changed after having a baby.
Maranda: I’m so glad that you said that. And you shared that because I too, used to have a program about getting your body back after having a baby. And that was years and years ago. And so we no longer have that program because it’s just not, it’s not fitting. But yeah, we have to grow and evolve, right? And I think it’s so important to recognize that and Fit 4 Mom is truly helping mothers avoid those societal pitfalls. And I’m hoping that you can speak a little bit to that. Because in this industry, so much of that is perpetrated through exercise and, you know, the getting your body back and bouncing back and exercise and exercise and exercise. And here you are, you have an exercise program, but you’re doing things differently.
Lisa: I’d like to think so. I go and visit locations all across the country and every single one is the most welcoming and the most positive classes and positive messages over the top. I mean, there is no negative talk even allowed. You’re not allowed. There’s no body shaming of yourself. There’s no talk about muffin tops or stretch marks or like, it’s, it’s really, really, we care a lot about the language that we use as instructors, but also the language that moms use because I don’t care if it’s even just a baby in the stroller like I do believe we’re modeling for them and so a message that we really have at Fit 4 Mom is that we want our moms to live the way they one day want their kids to live and chances are they don’t want their kids to be you know self-judging or body shaming themselves about you know some body changes and they probably want their kids to stress less and laugh laugh more and move more and enjoy their bodies more. And that’s really what Fit 4 Mom is all about.
Maranda: It’s so true. It’s so true. And we have a local Stroller Strides here. And I think after my third, I had joined and I was like, what am I doing? I don’t know if I can do this. This is crazy. But really, I just needed that community. And it was mind blowing. It was absolutely. It was so supportive. I actually ran into a mom the other day and I was like, I know you and she was like, yeah, Strollerstrize. So cool, right? And so to be able to reconnect and see our little ones growing and it’s just absolutely. Those are my favorite stories. I love that. If you’re a birth and postpartum professional who wants to give the families. you serve some solid holistic evidence-based information regarding nutrition, repletion, and nourishing your body after baby, this is for you. I have 18 beautiful pages in a handout form that is completely free. Free full guide to nutrition completion, common misconceptions, supplement support, favorite recipes, 30 healthy and quick snacks. and so many more. You can download your free collection with handouts at postpartumU, that’s the letter U .com /handouts.
Maranda: Okay, so I really want to switch the conversation a little bit. You have got a book, you’re the author of The Empowered Mama, which is all about how to reclaim your time with yourself and raising a happy, healthy family. Can you share some tips? Because right now, I feel like we’re living in a world that is very much all about mediocre motherhood. We have settled for mediocre motherhood. And I’m so grateful for people like you who are coming in and saying, you know what? We actually don’t have to live that way.
Lisa: Yeah. Well, you know, it’s– funny. There’s a lot of conversations going on right now about burnout for moms. Burnout for all of our society and especially caretakers and moms are caretakers. There’s a lot of talk about burnout, but I experienced it a long time ago, you know, trying to be a good mom, taking care of my house, taking care of all the things and running a business. I was burned out and I realized that I created that and I also could create something different. And so I really redesigned my life. And so Empowered Mama is very much kind of a workbook style of what I did different. And I think that some of it, my first tip for you is to really figure out what are the most important things in your life. So I call them my three MITs and give you an activity for how to figure those out. And then you design your life around that. So women are always telling me that, you know, how do I get more balance? Well, you don’t feel balanced because you’re not getting in the things that are important to you.
Lisa: And yet, if we kind of reverse engineer it and build your schedule around making sure you get what I call a minimum effective dose of sleep, exercise, or whatever is important to you. It might be reading your Bible. It might be seeing a girlfriend. It might be knitting like whatever is important to you. If you reverse engineer your schedule to make sure that you’re at least getting an amount of sufficiency in each one of these areas, not just on vacation, not just on weekends, but every single day. So I really, I don’t want to just live for Fridays. I know tomorrow is Friday at the time we’re recording this. I want to make sure that each day that for me that there’s nature in there. That’s one of my things is to make sure I get a walk and I get outside. I think as moms we sometimes become martyrs and I don’t think that’s again I think a lot about modeling who we want our kids to be and we’re gonna have to teach our kids that because I have a 17-year-old and a 21-year-old and from my experience, they don’t really do what you tell them to do, but they do eventually do what you’ve modeled for them. So, you know, I might see my daughter, you know, experimenting with meditation ’cause she’s seen me do that a lot. You know, my son exercises a lot, not ’cause I told him to, but because he’s seen that that’s been a big part of our life. You know, at college, he’s making himself steamed chicken and broccoli and rice ’cause I modeled it for him. So, I think this is a beautiful gift of motherhood is to take care of yourself the way you want your kids to take care of themselves. It’s a gift. You know, my next question to you was how as a mother who writes books and speaks across the country, you work out your mom, wife, how do you balance it all? And I think you just answered that question. I say no to a lot. I have gotten to a point where I designed my life to do what I love to do and what I’m good at. And I delegate out what I don’t love to do and I’m not good at. So on the business side, you know, I delegate out a lot of operations and bookkeeping and accounting because I don’t love to do it and I’m not good at it. In my house, like, this might sound crazy, but I don’t run errands. I run no errands. I don’t like going to target. Like, my husband does the errands. Like, I tell him this is what I need, go pick it up on your way home from work. So I get help, you know, I’ll get a housekeeper every couple of weeks. Like, and I realize that there’s a lot of privilege along with that to make some of those choices. So sometimes it’s a matter of, you know, doing childcare swaps, like finding ways to do that. Support so that you have space to do what is your passionate purpose.
Maranda: I love that. I was just chatting with a friend yesterday and she was absolutely amazing. I don’t know if you’ve, you’ve seen my photos. If anybody’s listening, I just posted on Facebook all my applesauce that I had been canning. She brought me tons of apples and it was just absolutely amazing. And we were talking about how, you know, back then this was something that people did together. – All the time. – We cleaned each other’s houses, we cooked food together and we had that immense support and that social support. – Yep. – And she was actually telling me about a story about her and her best friend and how they actually go together. Each other’s houses and clean. And they do deep cleaning because it’s so much easier and more effective when you do it with somebody else. And I was like, this is genius. Like this is next level. Sometimes we need to bring old practices back. My good girlfriend, Ash, she is married to a Latino man. And when she had her babies, her mother-in-law came and took care of her. Like said, you rest. Like the way the culture is, is that the grandmother took care of the house, took care of the baby, and just took care of her. We need to go back to some of that old village mentality because here in the United States, we have a baby, maybe your spouse gets, you know, some paternity leave for a week or two, and then you’re on your own. And that’s not how it’s supposed to be. And I think that’s why Fit 4 Mom has really been such a strong community. When a mom gets pregnant at Fit 4 Mom, everybody sets up a meal train. So she has like two weeks of meals coming to her. It’s like, it’s so much more than the fitness. It’s so much more than sets or reps. And so I think the more we can set up that energy, how do I support the women in my network? What can I bring to them? If I’m making, I’m Jewish. If I’m making matzah ball soup, can I do a double batch and bring some to somebody else? Like, how can we support each other? Wow. Life would be a lot easier. Oh, my gosh. I just got goosebumps. Let’s say that there’s a brand new mom in the world and there’s plenty of those who are listening in on this episode.
Maranda: First thing. Wow. I know it’s a big question, but you have so much value. So I’m like, okay, we’re quite good. If I’m listening in and I’m like, I’m a new mom, what do I do?
Lisa: My first thing is to get help and accept help. Like when your husband or spouse or partner says like, hey, I’ll take a feeding so you can sleep. Say yes. When your mother-in-law says, “Go take a nap,” say yes. Everything I’m saying, I didn’t do. I didn’t listen to any of that. But hindsight, I realize, get help. So I think 80% of moms today are working. It is very difficult to do both, especially at the same time. So if you are going to be a working mom, get help. It’s what we tell our franchisees. Like, yes, we have a very flexible business and we have a business that integrates with motherhood. But if you are trying to do your work and have a toddler on your leg at the same time, you’re not gonna feel like you’re doing a good job in either place. You’re better off getting someone to help you for a couple of hours so you can be focused. I really believe that when you’re being a mom, just be a mom and when you’re working, just work. Like to put some blinders on and to monotask. And I know that it’s so cliche about how fast it goes, but it goes faster than that. And every single year goes faster. I love that joke that it’s like a roll of toilet paper that closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. It will never regret time that you truly spend being with your kids and being present, but also make sure that you give yourself time. It’s interesting. See, I guess I couldn’t give you just one answer. I just have lots of little ones.
Maranda: I love that. I love that. I think connection is really important. And when I’m thinking of that, I think of two things. One, you need the connection to community, but you also need the connection to self. And while moms might feel like, well, I’m alone all the time. No, no, no, you’re taking care of your kids. I mean, like true solitude, true time for yourself to do something that is recharging for you. So I think that you need both. I think you need community, but I also think you need connection to self.
Lisa: – I love that so much. That’s beautiful. Okay, where can people reach out and get your book, “Find Fit 4 Mom, Find Classes”? Classes that are near them.
Lisa: I love, well, for the book, just go to Amazon. I’m so excited to get this book. I’ll get you. So it is on my list. And if you don’t know me, I’m like a total book nerd. Every month I have a budget. I always go over budget. I’m only supposed to spend like $100 on books, but I have like an Amazon cart that constantly grows. I, I love books too.
Maranda: – So it’s on my list.
Lisa: – Between auto and card copies. So this one will last for a while ’cause it’s written for you to do over the period of a year because I always feel like moms are so overwhelmed that just reading a book sometime is hard, but besides that, it’s very habit-based. So it’s workshop, like you do a little bit at a time and actually start to create new habits. So my hope is that in a year that your life feels really different, and it feels like you have reclaimed your time and your health and yourself. For Fit 4 Mom, go to fit4mom.com and it’s the number four. So fit the number four mom.com. That’s how you can find a class near you, find out about becoming an instructor, find out about becoming a franchisee, all kinds of good stuff. Blog. Yes. We are going to have all of those links in the show notes. Be sure to check out Lisa and all the amazing things that she’s doing in the world. Lisa, thank you immensely for showing up and sharing your wisdom.
Lisa: Thank you so much. Thanks for sharing our story.
Maranda: Love this episode. Let us know by leaving an amazing review. Your support is everything. Want more? Head over to postpartumu.com. That’s postpartum, the letter u.com, and explore how we support moms like you and holistic whole body healing that’s specific for the unique needs of mamas in the years postpartum. See you there.
- Grab your FREE Provider's Postpartum Nutrition Toolkit
18 pages of PDF handouts that serve as your comprehensive resource for delivering whole-body nutrition care and achieving better health outcomes for the families you support.
- Learn what your symptoms really mean with our Postpartum Health Assessment
Postpartum depression, anxiety, depletion, and autoimmune issues have become a new normal.
Take the most comprehensive postpartum assessment to discover what your symptoms are telling you and even more importantly, what you can do to fix it for good.
- Get started on the path to holistic recovery with the Postpartum Nutrition Repletion Plan
- Come hang out with us on Instagram!
Feeling inspired and ready to learn more about how you can actively revolutionize postpartum care?
- Learn about the Postpartum University Professional Membership
- Stay in the loop about the Postpartum Nutrition Certification Program
- Check out our courses in Postpartum Mental Health, Postpartum Nutrition, and Herbal Care