Are you a mom trying to get back into shape? Wondering where you’ve been going wrong with your past plans? I recently chatted with Heidi Powell about how you CAN have your cake and it too! Heidi Powell is the ultimate female force. She is a trainer, transformation specialist, mother of four, savvy businesswoman, author, nutrition nut, and overall health guru. Heidi became a fixture in America’s living room as she worked on ABC’s hit show, “Extreme Weight Loss”. Heidi has more than a decade of experience as a personal trainer and holds both ACE and Crossfit certifications.
I’m so excited that I got the chance to chat with Heidi because I respect her so dang much! It’s kinda hard to impress me when it comes to women in the fitness world, but I love her hustle and her mission. She’s a total kickass boss lady! She’s had four kids too so she understands the hard work it takes to get your body where you want it to be after having babies! And ya know what sucks? Some people will try to discredit all of her hard work by saying it must be all genetics even though she’s so open about her workouts, lifestyle and nutrition. What I love about Heidi is that she doesn’t try to pretend she’s eating healthy for every meal of every day of her life. She’ll occasionally have a handful of M&Ms and shows her social media followers that it’s OKAY to indulge every once in a while! She can do this because she eats healthy for 99% of her meals. She bulk preps her meals, has her green drinks, and counts her macros. She has spent yearsss learning her body and what works for her. She’s put in the work! Heidi actually has a really interesting background story about how she got here and how she knows her body so well.
She’s been very open about dealing with an eating disorder for 15 years, and that it took another 5-10 years after overcoming that to really learn what works and what doesn’t for her body. It’s a journey! People ask me this all the time… “Melissa, how long did it take for you?” Well, I’m about 6 years into my fitness journey since really getting serious about it and I’m just now learning how my body responds to certain things. It takes time! Especially when you throw kids into the mix!
One thing Heidi and I have in common is that we’re both trying to be the best example we can be for our kids. What motivates Heidi is that she doesn’t want to send them down the same path that led her to her eating disorder. She internalized a lot of things from her childhood and in turn, she developed an eating disorder. She never wants her kids to feel like they have to look a certain way! I can totally relate to that! I never want my kids to feel self conscious about how they look because of something that I’m doing. That’s why I try to instill those healthy habits and remind them of the importance of positive self talk.
Heidi was raised in a really fit family. Both of her parents worked out and were physically fit and they used to take her to the gym with them. She was also a cheerleader, so was always very active! She started gym training out of high school, but really didn’t love training in a gym environment, so she began holding occasional mom bootcamps. After that, she got into real estate, and it wasn’t until she got married that she really got into fitness again. Her husband at the time, Chris, was a trainer and running his own personal training business, so she helped a lot with the business side of things. They both loved fitness so it was a huge part of their lifestyle. Chris had started a show called “Extreme Weight Loss” where the goal was to help transform one person’s life, but his training quickly grew in popularity and Heidi needed to step in and help. This is when she seriously got back into fitness training again.
What she quickly realized while training these people that needed to lose 100 pounds was that it wasn’t so much about diet and exercise, it was mostly lifestyle coaching and addiction recovery. This is where she really found her passion. She could truly relate to these people because of what she had gone through and her relationship with food years before. Though their goals were to help people lose weight, it was really a lifestyle transformation. A TOTAL transformation. So much of your fitness journey will depend on your mindset and self love. Maybe it has a little to do with genetics but it really is you, your dedication and your hard work! Don’t let anyone take your hard work away from you.
I know you guys are probably wondering how the heck Heidi has time for all of this while raising 4 kids… Well, I asked her! Because I know so many of you moms want help with how to balance kids, fitness, work and everything else you’re trying to juggle! She gave the most honest answer. Heidi said, “Well, I drop a lot of balls! I juggle and throw them up in the air and a lot of them drop but I do catch a couple.” Lol! Ain’t that the truth! Heidi admits that she’s a perfectionist and has had to let that go in order to experience life to its fullest. She realized that if she’s focused on perfection, she won’t be able to do as much as she really wants. She CAN be the mom, the business owner, the fitness coach and anything else she wants to be. That doesn’t mean she’s going to be perfect in every aspect of her life, but she can try her best and that’s all that matters. She wants to show other women that they can be good moms and still take care of their bodies. Or that they can be a good wife and at the same time still be that boss babe running her own business. She believes women shouldn’t be forced into one little box. We’re capable of so dang much!
I think in so many people’s fitness journey’s they face obstacles and Heidi is no different! I think there’s no doubt that we all face difficulties in life but what matters the most is how you face them and overcome them. Heidi has blown out her left ACL twice, both times in high school. I’m no stranger to that pain either. I’ve also blown out my ACL and it is notttt fun at all! Hurting her knee is actually what kind of kick started her eating disorder so knee injuries for Heidi put her back into a bad place. Well, last year, she blew out her ACL again! She totally could’ve let that ruin all of her hard work and go back into a bad place, but she knew this was her moment to change the story of how ACL surgeries affect her. She took the time to actually rest and enjoy it because she knew if this surgery had not happened, she would not have this time and will probably never have this rest time again. When she was able to start training again, her body responded soooo well to resistance training! She really credits that rest time for how well her body responded to training.
You guys know she’s a mom of 4, so another obstacle she faced was after child birth. You mamas know just how wild giving birth is. She delivered her last two babies with no epidural. Well, 4 days after having her last baby, Ruby, she keeled over in the absolute worst pain. She ended up having kidney stones that needed to be surgically removed!! Like just giving birth to a child a few days prior wasn’t enough for her body to go through!! Come to find out, she has kidney issues. So, over the next year, she had 3 more surgeries to fix what was going on. This was a really tough time for her – a time where she felt out of control. She admits that she’s a control freak so it was really hard for her to not be in control of what was going on, especially with her own body. She says this was a good lesson for her though because you can’t always be in control of certain things and when that happens, you have to learn to let it go.
So many things happen to people and they use it as an excuse as to why their life now sucks. Like yea, life sucks sometimes and things happen that are terrible! But you have the ability to control how you react to things and how you let certain experiences shape your life! I know it’s scary to take control of things and accept responsibility for how things are going in your life, but you have the power to control the path your life goes on!
If you’re just starting out in your fitness journey but don’t know exactly where to start or if you can really do it, Heidi has some advice to share:
1. If the people in her show “Extreme Weight Loss” can do it, YOU can do it!
- The reason why they always choose the super-obese to work with is that they want to prove that if the most hopeless, defeated, depressed individuals can change their lives then you can lose that last 5/10 pounds easily.
2. Don’t take on a mountain of commitments at once. Start with baby steps. They’ll add up!
- If the plans that you’re trying are rigid and hard to stick to then they’re not sustainable long term. It leads us to a trap of feeling like we’re not okay so before you know it most moms will stop trying. We succumb to this idea of being stuck with the body that we have when in reality, we just need to make small changes that are simple and sustainable every day.
Heidi was also kind enough to share what her typical workout schedule looks like for a week. She works out 6 days a week because she’s found that’s what makes her body feel it’s best! Here’s how she breaks those days up:
- 3 x lower-body days a week – mostly hamstrings and glutes, adding in quads occasionally as she is still recovering from ACL surgery.
- 2 or 3 x shoulders and back days a week – So, if she does 3 upper body days then 2 will be shoulder days and 1 will be a back day. If she does 2 upper body days then 1 will be shoulders and 1 will be shoulders & back.
Since our bodies’ change over time, Heidi responds by changing her routine according to what her body needs. Right now, she lovessss resistance training – she’s a huge fan of weights and bodybuilding. It’s all about understanding your body and the look that you like! She likes being curvy and this gives her that curve.
Are you ready to learn what works for your body and make your health and fitness a priority?! I’m SO ready to help you! Head over to the Busy to Bomb tab to learn more about my program!