I've known Jacque for several years now, originally connected via social media; we are now buddies and even work together now to help others along their fitness journey. She's a rock star fit mom of 3 (twin 1 year olds and a teen!) making fitness happen for herself despite her crazy life. I knew you just had to meet her! -Val
Jacque Timson, Fit @jacquetimson
Age 35, Married, 3 kids (twin 1 year old boys and 16 year old daughter)
Work - trainer and nutritional coach - former accountant
Tell us about your fitness journey, Jacque!
My fitness journey started back in 2010 when reality smacked me in the face. I was the heaviest I had ever been. I didn't notice it until I saw myself in pictures. ...And then my doctor said, “Your BMI is too high.”
I was walking, only walking, up the stairs at work one day, just one flight, and I was winded. I was so winded I couldn't talk normally for like 5 mins. I was so embarrassed.
I decided that was enough.
I started running like so many people do because it’s an easy thing to start. It was hard for me because I have asthma and had never ever run before, but I did my first 5k and finished in something like 35 mins. I was happy because I didn't stop the whole time! I signed up for a half marathon, and after that I was hooked. I started researching how to get faster and improve my performance. I ate very specific nutrition and started lifting weights to build muscle so I could run faster. I became obsessed with the number on the scale. (Funny, now I can't even remember what that number was.)
Eventually my goals shifted when I picked up an issue of Muscle and Fitness Magazine and Erin Stern was on the cover. I read it front to back and upside down. I researched more on nutrition, but now for building muscle and not just running. I still wanted to be an athlete, but I started doing sprint triathlons instead of longer distance. I started eating more and lifting heavy, heavy weights. I was making really great progress, I even remember taking my trainer a picture of Val (Busy Mom Gets Fit) and saying "I want quads like that".
My shift in mindset and training to be strong not just skinny was going well, then a lot of things changed in my life: job, relationship, friends... and I fell out of routine. I realize it now; but I had a lot of anxiety then. And my routine slipped because of it. I gained a lot of weight back and lost a lot of my fitness. Then in 2014, I saw Busy Mom Gets Fit advertise for her first private Facebook challenge group and I immediately wanted to do it. I hesitated for a bit but ultimately decided I wanted to train with BMGF and jumped in.
I'm so glad I committed to that group because what I learned in there has changed my life and my fitness immeasurably. Not only did I learn to workout to match my lifestyle and goals, I learned sustainable nutrition that I have maintained to this day.
"I'm so glad I committed to that group because what I learned in there has changed my life and my fitness immeasurably."
But life happens, right?! In 2016 when I found out I was pregnant with twins. Due to the high risk factor of the pregnancy and some other issues of my pregnancy I pretty much couldn't workout for the 2nd half of my pregnancy and then for like 4 months after. I gained 70lbs with the twins and thought at 34 years old, I would never get that weight off!
Thankfully I had worked with Val to find a solution for solid nutrition that I could use for gaining muscle or losing weight and keeping me healthy while nursing 2 babies. By the time the twins were 5 months old I was 10 lbs lighter than I was pre pregnancy, fitting into clothes I hadn't worn since my running days. And during that time I wasn't able to work out much if at all. So that was my next goal. Now that I've lost the weight I am working to rebuild the muscle I lost and I have a new goal to be in (on?) a fitness magazine.
How do you make time for fitness? What is your schedule like?
My schedule is crazy. I simply have to make the time or it doesn't happen. I used to get up early and get it done before the day starts but when you haven't had a solid night of sleep for over a year it makes it a little hard to get up early. So if I don't get it done first thing (which is often now) I do it when I can fit it in. I have to do a lot of my workouts at home because my gym doesn't have child care. Plus I hate leaving the house by myself with 2 babies. I work from home so stepping away from that is also hard for me. Since I have to do work while they are napping I do my workouts while they are awake; I invested in a good double jogging stroller so I could get cardio in with them. I will often get half of my workout done and then have to change a diaper or give them snacks or something because they are just done and then finish the rest of my workout later. Often times I am holding one baby and talking to the other to keep them entertained during my workouts. They are about the same weight so I think I'll just get a couple of straps and start using them for my weights. ;)
WHY do you make time for fitness?
I have to. It makes me a better mother and wife if I move my body. When you are healthy you just feel better and part of being healthy is being active and exercise. The difference is amazing. If I haven't moved enough my body starts to hurt. I'm more tired and cranky too. I've made it part of my identity so now I have to because it's part of who I am. Like - "oh that's Jacque, she's a fit mom." And that has been key for me to stick with it.
Any advice for other busy moms?
Find a way to move your body that you enjoy. Walking, yoga, Crossfit, water aerobics, zumba, whatever. If you look forward to it and you enjoy it you will stick with it. Find some people to support you. People who will hold you accountable and cheer you on and say: "hey, what the heck?" if you start bailing on your fitness plan. Once you find your groove and are comfortable and confident moving your body a certain way, you are more likely to try something else or new and it's whole different experience.
Anything you have to say about nailing nutrition as a busy mom?
Keep it simple! I used to kill myself trying to shop and meal prep in a weekend and then stay on point eating that all week and I just couldn't do it any more. I am all about convenience now and ‘healthy’. It's possible people. Find someone who is doing it and do what they do. When you are fueled properly you have so much more to give to your family and yourself. Make sure it's the best nutrition possible. I love my nutrition routine so much now (who can say that?!) that I am coaching people through it.
Tell us about what got you interested in learning to train core differently?
Getting pregnant at 34 got me interested in training my core differently. I had been on a couple of video calls and done the Fit Mom Challenge in the past and followed Busy Mom Gets Fit on social media and saw they were doing things differently. I have the Busy Mom Gets Fit Flat Tummy Plan. So I dove all in and wanted to learn all about it, for myself since I had planned on getting pregnant, but also because it's not well known around here or talked about enough and I wanted to educate other women. When I used to teach fitness classes, I would see it all the time, women would have to run to the bathroom or modify a workout so that they wouldn't pee their pants. I myself struggled when I ran or did certain exercises so when I found out there was a way to fix it and not have surgery I was sold. Not to mention I was super concerned about the post baby belly situation since I was 34. I had a few people ask about training with DRA and I had no clue that the things we were doing in class were making this worse for them!
What I am doing: I cut out all crunches and sit ups from my classes and workouts. I utilize core breath and movements that support the core muscles working together. This has gone really well for me. Aside from finding my niche, it has helped me achieve a flatter tummy than I ever had before having twins, and I see it translate into my other lifts and movements because we have so much power in our core. Once you learn how to train it properly, it bleeds into everything else.
Any other thoughts you want to share?
1. You have to be ready to make the change. Like you truly have to be tired of where you are in order to make any real progress. If you have tried and failed at a million things, you may need to look in the mirror and be honest like "do I really want to change this?" Because if you are ok with the weight, you aren't going to lose it. No matter what workout you do or what "diet" you follow.
2. Build the habits first. Habits are boring and they are just part of us. Like Rod Harriston says, "You don't get excited about brushing your teeth. You just do it because it's a habit." Fitness and a healthy lifestyle is the same. You have to make it part of you and your identity. Tony Robbins says, "Change happens in an instant. As soon as you make that decision." But, if you try to change everything in a day, i.e. start working out, change your nutrition, and try to stop all your bad habits you are going to fail. You have to have good habits to replace those ones that no longer serve you. So start with what you can do. I really recommend starting with nutrition rather than exercise. Because, we can do so much with nutrition alone. Proper nutrition will help you lose weight without exercise and increase your energy. Once you feel better from changing your nutrition then it's easier to make these other changes like curbing cravings and starting an exercise routine. Then just build on it. It's a compound effect and starts to snowball into these huge things that you never thought you could do.
3. Pay it forward. Just like someone probably helped you or inspired and motivated you to get started on your fitness journey, then in turn do that for someone else. Share your story, someone could relate to it and see that they to can do it, even if you aren't finished. People relate to stories. You may motivate and inspire so many people if you just help one person. Help someone new at the gym. Support someone on their fitness journey with encouraging words or start a group. Do something! Don't just keep it to yourself because that's not cool. There is this whole synergy when you are helping others succeed that just isn't there if you are going it alone.