Fit 4 Two instructor Dee Clarke. I attended one of Dee’s baby-free bootcamps on Vancouver’s westside and oh-my-goodness, what an incredible workout! A group of Moms sweating it out together, laughing about our latest crazy-kid-moment and enjoying the joint goal of kicking that post-baby weight. I can highly recommend one of Dee’s classes. She is warm, enthusiastic and driven and cares about each one of her Mom’s in her classes. She creates fun and stimulating classes and is passionate about exercising. I was dying to know more about Dee, so here’s my interview with her.
SSM: What inspired you to join Fit4Two?
Dee: I was working as a doula and a parenting worker with Family Services before I went on maternity leave. Like many women, having a baby made me reprioritize my life. I couldn’t imagine leaving my baby to return to a job I that did not find fulfilling. While I enjoyed working with new and expecting families, I didn’t enjoy the type of work I was doing. I had a very active and wonderful pregnancy and had been a health nut for quite a few years. Fit 4 Two seemed like the perfect way for me to have a career in health and fitness and while continuing to work with the birthing population.
SSM: How is Fit4Two any different to other fitness options?
Dee: Fit 4 Two postnatal classes are Baby-Friendly which means you can do whatever you need to do to keep your baby happy throughout the class. You can feel free to feed, change a diaper, cuddle, sing songs, etc. during the class. We encourage moms to listen to baby’s cues and attend to them as they come up. I try to be helpful as much as possible if there is a baby who just wants to be cuddled. I consider this one of the perks of my job. We offer tons of modifications to exercises so that women of all fitness levels, all trimesters (for prenatal), all stages of postpartum and all degrees of sleep deprivation can get a work out that is safe and effective. Many of our participants have issues with their wrists, pelvic floor,
abdominal separation and need modifications or alternative exercises. We make sure there are plenty of options and progressions for everyone. We spend a considerable amount of time in our prenatal and mom and baby type classes talking about the core and how important it is to strengthen from the inside out. Cues like “Lift your pelvic floor”, “Squeeze your pee muscles” or “Imagine picking up a marble using just your vagina” are not typically heard in other fitness classes! Probably the biggest difference is the sense of community and camaraderie women experience in our classes. I have many clients from a few years ago who still keep in touch with the girls from their stroller bootcamp class. They celebrate birthdays together, spend holidays together, etc. Really special bonds are formed
while sweating it out. I had one participant recently tell me that whenever she is away from class and then comes back, she feels like she has come home. That says a lot.
SSM: As a simplystylishmom, what is your personal style?
Dee: Honestly, I am a work in progress! I am still learning what looks best for my body type. I try to accentuate the parts of my body I like and minimize what I don’t. When I’m not teaching in my sweats, mostly I’m a jeans and boots kind of girl. I like funky, fitted clothes that I can comfortably move in. I have to tell you how excited I am to be attending a Yummy Mummy fashion bootcamp next week. I’m looking forward to getting a professional opinion.
SSM: What are your key wardrobe items?
Dee: Figure flattering dark wash jeans and a great pair of boots.
SSM: Tell me about your diet and exercise regime.
Dee: I’ve been a vegetarian for about 22 years now. I’m a pretty good cook and have fun experimenting in the kitchen. I love whole grains and veggies and discovering new (and sometimes sneaky) ways to serve them to my family. I avoid white flour, white sugar, white rice and processed foods. Lately I’ve been addicted to steamed kale and broccolini with garlic chili flax oil and a splash of Braggs. Yum! I’m not entirely a “goody-goody” eater as my sister-in-law likes to call me, but I do crave foods that are good for me. I get a mini workout in every time I teach, but I try at least few times a week to get in a full-body workout on my own where I really push myself. I’m usually pressed for time, so I do a lot of compound moves to work upper and lower body at the same time (eg. squat with shoulder press) , or do full-body exercises like burpees. I like short but intense workouts for their time efficiency and results. My son keeps me active too. As a big hockey fan he always wants me to take shots at him, or for me to play goalie. That can really work up a sweat! We go hiking and biking a lot as a family on weekends and holidays.
SSM: Any final words of wisdom for my readers?
Dee: It’s important to make time for yourself and to pursue your own health and fitness goals. Find something you enjoy. It could be bootcamp, snowshoeing, yoga, Zumba…whatever. Move your body and it will thank you for it. It’s never too late to start. I was a late bloomer and can honestly say that the older I get the better shape I’m in. Your kids need you to be a healthy active parent. Besides, it’s much more fun than sitting on the sidelines.
Dee has kindly extended a giveaway to SSM readers: if you would like to try a FREE Fit 4 Two Pre and Postnatal Fitness class on the Westside contact dee@fit4two or check out www.fit4two.ca to find a franchisee in your area.
images courtesy of fit4two.ca