12 weeks ago Managing Director of Dingle & Co, Julie Upton gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Emma. We wanted to know Julie’s secret to how she looks so incredibly healthy and fit with such a new baby, so we asked! Here is what Julie had to say:

The hc team would like to congratulate you & Jason on welcoming such a beautiful little girl into the world………..Emma is seriously adorable. We would also like to thank you for taking the time to talk to us about your “exercise” experience pre, during and post pregnancy.

hc: How many personal training sessions were you performing before falling pregnant?

Julie: In the 2 years leading up to falling pregnant, I was doing 2 – 3 sessions a week with Shelleigh Hince on a Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.  Louise Forrest invited me to join their Thursday group and from there I picked up the extra 2 days with Shelleigh…….so thank Lou for starting my training off!

hc: How did you feel when working out during your pregnancy?

Julie: Some days were harder than others.  During the first 3 months it was harder to motivate myself as everyday I felt like I had a hangover!  On the days where I was a little flat, Shell just changed what we were doing so she could keep me motivated to come along. With Shell being so supportive and excited about my growing bump, I always felt better after my work out.

hc: What tips did Shelleigh give you over the course of your pregnancy for ensuring your session’s were always manageable?

Julie: Always making sure that I was eating right before and after each training session.  I wore a heart rate monitor so that she could make sure my heart rate was not getting too high. We took regular breaks during the session and increased my water intake. Around 20 weeks along I had a few ligament issues in my lower abdomen which meant that I was unable to run and was getting too uncomfortable to use the rower……so the stair way to hell became my best friend!  Shell taught me to listen to my body and with a little bit of rest I was able to run again….or as we called it doing the Cliff Young shuffle!

hc: Did you have any crazy cravings during your pregnancy?

Julie: Penne pasta with a tin of chilli tuna, sweet chilli sauce, pickled onions and cream cheese…..yum! (Um we’re not so sure about that one Jules).

hc: Did you change any eating habits throughout your pregnancy?

Julie: Not really. I made sure that I was eating healthy as much as I could but also allowed myself to have treats along the way.  Coffee scrolls became my favourite afternoon snack.

hc: Emma was born on a Saturday, when was your last workout before she arrived on the scene?

Julie: Emma was due on the 17th march. After my training session with Shell on the 10th March I said I think that will do me and I will have a week’s rest before she arrives. However Emma had other ideas and was born on the 12th. So it was 2 days before she entered the world that I did my last training session.

hc: How soon after Emma arrived did you return to working out? What was that first session like?

Julie: I rejoined my Thursday group 6 weeks after Emma was born. It was great that we were training outside and I was able to walk there with Emma and get back into it slowly.  It was great to be out with Emma and training again with the group. It was great that we were training outside and i was able to walk there with Emma and get back into it slowly.  It felt good to be back training, a little sore the next day. There were thing’s that I could not do and Shell was great at modifying the exercises for me.

 hc: how many times are you working out now that little Emma is on the scene?

Julie: Emma is nearly 3 months old and I am doing PT on Tuesday and Thursdays. Jase and I try to walk most days so that I am getting out of the house and moving while the weather is still nice

 hc: what’s your secret to looking so “gorgeous and happy” so soon after having Emma?

Julie: Not sure about the gorgeous bit Claire but the happy part is easy.   I am just loving being a mum again and enjoying life. I know that it sounds a little cheesy but with Bec turning 13 this year and Jase and I getting a little older, it’s nice to slow down and enjoy each day. Emma has certainly made us slow down, but in a good way.

 hc: what empowering advice would you give to women who are wanting to keep fit pre and post baby?

Julie: Training while I was pregnant and after having Emma was the best thing for my overall health, particularly my mental health. I suffered post natal depression after having Bec so I was very mindful about it. Having the support of Jase to keep fit and healthy was a big part of my motivation. The encouragement that I received from Shelleigh and my pt ladies (Louise, Denise, Jane, Karen and Sally) and all the staff at the gym was amazing. I would say to other women to make sure you have a great support network around you of happy positive people. Each time i walked into the gym either Dash, Jamie, Megan, Claire or Shelleigh would always have a positive word of encouragement that would make me smile and feel good about myself. Pregnancy is not an excuse to stop being active…..although I did use it a couple of times to get out of using the rower!

Thanks for sharing your fitness journey with us and congratulations on staying so fit all the way through your pregnancy and getting back into it as soon as you could. Inspirational!!