Meet Jennifer Tucker from Fit For Expecting
My passion to work in the pre and postnatal field was sparked by witnessing my older sister and best friend give birth to a beautiful and healthy baby boy. After this life-changing experience, I became aware of the lack of exercise offerings in Southern California for pregnant women, the widespread misinformation and misunderstanding about exercise during pregnancy, and the need for exercise options that accommodate an expectant or new mom’s unique situation and schedule.
My passion, enthusiasm and drive led me to take a huge risk and start a specialized and unique business from the ground up. Fit for Expecting specializes in developing exercise programs for women at all stages of the perinatal period. The goal is to create programs that women will enjoy, be able to sustain and that will deliver the most benefits to mom and baby, taking into account and embracing any limitations and distractions that each woman faces.
Another way to describe it is that I look at the big picture – what’s going on, what are the goals, limitations, distractions, likes, dislikes – and put together a plan and program that the mom will enjoy, that she will realistically be able to sustain, and that will help her achieve her goals.
Q1. What does wellness and health mean to you?
This is by far the best description that I’ve found and I’m quoting directly since I can’t say it better myself:
Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence.
- Process means that improvement is always possible
- Aware means that we are continuously seeking more information about how we can improve.
- Choices means that we consider a variety of options and select those in our best interest.
- Success is determined by each individual to be their collection of lifeaccomplishments.
Health is a component of wellness and like wellness, it’s a process, it changes throughout our lives and it means something different to each person.
Q2. What is the #1 wellness practice you live by?
Listen to my body and do what feels right. That might sound easy, but it’s actually pretty difficult. With our busy lives and the constant barrage of “advice” on what to do, what not to do, what to eat, what not to eat, how to exercise, how many hours of sleep you need – it’s challenging to tune all of that out, slow down, and listen to what your body is telling you.
Q3. Thinking back, what were your earliest influences regarding living a healthy and balanced life?
My mom was, and continues to be, a model for living a healthy and balanced life. She raised my sisters and me on her own and she did an amazing job. She was encouraging, supportive and loving. We were active as a family – bike riding, walking, hiking, etc. We were encouraged to talk through our problems and “not go to bed mad” – which we didn’t always appreciate as kids. She delivered all three of her babies naturally and she is a model for how I want to deliver my babies.
Q4. What has your journey been like over the last couple of years to get you where you are today?
I would be lying if I said that the journey has been easy. I was not satisfied with my life, personally or professionally. I ended an unhealthy marriage and after re-discovering myself, I found a man that appreciates, praises, and accepts me for who I am.
While I was not challenged or satisfied with my prior career, I was very fortunate to have a great boss and co-workers who encouraged me to find and follow my passion.
It took me awhile to figure out my path. Some weeks it seemed like I cycled through ten different ideas. But when the idea of helping moms incorporate exercise into their lives popped into my head, I knew that was the one.
Q5. Looking back what was the most challenging aspect of your journey and what did you learn from it?
Things don’t happen as quickly as I would like them to. I believe, with all of my heart and soul, in what I’m doing, and I am confident that moms will embrace it, but that takes time. I have learned and continue to learn how to be patient and to stay confident despite disappointments and setbacks.
Q6. What is the #1 healthy food you love?
That’s a tough one, because I love so many healthy foods. If I had to pick just one, it would probably be the banana. Bananas seem to get a bad rap, but to me, they are perfect! Great for breakfast, great for snack, delicious with almond butter, delicious frozen and enjoyed as a warm day treat.
The #1 indulgence you give into once in a while?
I love rich, dark chocolate. A good quality dark chocolate dessert is a must for me. To be honest, I don’t even think of it as an indulgence – it’s part of my normal balanced diet.
Q7. To get you through challenging moments in life, what is the one mantra or quote that you live by?
I’m a sucker for inspirational songs. I can usually find a song to help me through any challenging moment. Lately, I’ve been listening to The River by Garth Brooks.
My favorite part:
You know a dream is like a river
Ever changin’ as it flows
And a dreamer’s just a vessel
That must follow where it goes
Trying to learn from what’s behind you
And never knowing what’s in store
Makes each day a constant battle
Just to stay between the shores…
I’ll never reach my destination
If I never try
So I will sail my vessel
‘Til the river runs dry
Too many times we stand aside
And let the waters slip away
‘Til what we put off ’til tomorrow
It has now become today
So don’t you sit upon the shoreline
And say you’re satisfied
Choose to chance the rapids
And dare to dance that tide
Q8. You’ve accomplished so much so far, what’s something you are most proud of?
Taking a risk and starting something from nothing.
Q9. What’s your advice to those struggling with finding their own path to health and happiness?
I truly believe that people are in control of their own health and happiness. Make a commitment to figuring out who you are and how you want your life to be. Never settle for less than what you deserve and need.
Q10. Finally, what are your plans for the rest of 2012?
So many plans, with new ones being added seemingly daily. I’m most excited about the partnerships that I’ve created and will continue to create. For example I’ve partnered with a registered dietitian to offer a Six-Week Nutrition & Fitness Program for Expectant Moms and I’ve also joined the Bini Birth family to offer Prenatal & Postnatal Exercise Classes at their new fabulous space.
Live with intention. Walk to the endue. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.
- Mary Anne Radmacher