14 months after delivering her miracle baby Sophie, and still breastfeeding, 41-year-old Tammy Streitch stepped on stage and competed in her first bikini competition. Tammy has not had an easy life, her father had a massive and debilitating stroke at 42. Her dedication to family led her to assist in caring for him and her younger sister while earning two degrees. Tammy has undergone unsuccessful fertility treatments leaving her with hormone induced weight gain, but this lady has an inner fire that won’t stop. Tammy has taken the obstacles in her life and used them to empower her and now she inspires other people through her experiences–she is a true winner! Thank you Tammy for sharing all you’ve gone through to show people that nothing is impossible!
Kim: Share a little about you.
Tammy: I live in Edmond, Oklahoma with my husband, Joe, and my two-year old daughter, Sophie. I was born and raised in Hollis, a very small town in southwest Oklahoma. My senior class consisted of 30 students. I graduated from The University of Central Oklahoma with a degree in Health and Exercise Physiology. I then acquired an additional degree and became a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant. I worked for a number of years in Sports Medicine followed by a few years in the medical sales field. I am now a proud mom and have the luxury of staying home with Sophie! I am a certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Leader, which allows me to teach a few classes and train 2-3 clients just to stay involved in the fitness industry. It also allows me the perfect opportunity for some adult interaction.
Kim: Have you gone through a transformation?
Tammy: I have always lived a very active and healthy lifestyle. I began gymnastics at a young age and was always involved in school sports. At the age of 35, I began receiving fertility treatments. Due to hormone therapy and my physician’s advice to increase my body fat, I gained 10 extra pounds. I am in many ways a typical Type A personality and not being able to count on my body to have a baby felt like a huge failure. Running and intense training have always been important stress relievers for me so I profoundly missed these activities during extremely stressful fertility treatments, a miscarriage and a new medical sales job. This time in my life was incredibly challenging.
A few years later, my husband and I decided to stop the fertility treatments and were completely thrilled when a year later I became pregnant and delivered a healthy baby girl!
I had prayed for years that God would bless us with a child before I turned 40. I found out I was pregnant just two months shy of my 40th birthday! My pregnancy was a true miracle that definitely transformed my life and my body.
Kim: How did you get your body back post-baby?
Tammy: I continued to exercise and teach fitness classes throughout my pregnancy, but I still managed to pack on over 40 pounds. The funny thing was when I finally gave up on my dream of becoming a mother; I had gotten myself back into really great shape. I had lost all the weight and body fat the hormones had put on me. This was both good and bad as my doctor encouraged me to gain at least 30 pounds to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Well, needless to say I took her to heart and packed on close to 45 pounds! It was the first time in my life I felt I could eat ANYTHING I wanted, and I wanted a Big Mac and fries! I decided while I was pregnant that I would make it my goal to step back on the fitness stage one year after delivery. This goal and my commitment to fitness were the motivations for regaining my pre-pregnancy body. I started walking with Sophie and my BOB Stroller at two weeks post delivery and also stopped the fast food! I often used Sophie as “weights” for lunges and squats. She absolutely loved to be rocked with walking lunges and squats. I competed in my first Bikini show 14 months post delivery, 41 years old and while I was still breastfeeding. I have since participated in five more competitions. I’m happy to say that I either won or placed in each of them! I am currently working towards getting my pro card with The WBFF.
Kim: Anything you’ve accomplished you would like to share?
Tammy: When I was 19, my 42-year-old father had a massive stroke. At the time, he was given only a 20% chance of survival. He did survive, but had years of very intensive physical, occupational, and speech therapy. The doctors said he would never walk again, but they were wrong! He had some amazing therapists, which inspired me to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. During college, I continued to take care of my dad’s needs and assisted in the care of my younger sister. It wasn’t always easy, but I managed to obtain two college degrees and stay committed to my family. This is without a doubt, one of the accomplishments of which I am most proud. My sister, who became a nutritionist involved in the fitness industry and I are still the primary caregivers for my dad. Watching the many struggles he faces with such dignity and his quiet determination to never give up inspires me each and every day. It also ensures that I will never take for granted the gift of having a healthy, fit body.
Kim: What is your favorite fit-mom, fit-family meal? Snack? Any go to items?
Tammy: We are all big pasta eaters so I love making organic whole grain pasta with turkey meat and organic pasta sauce. I add all kinds of fresh veggies and herbs to the sauce. One of Sophie’s favorite snacks is raw almonds and Greek yogurt. Another favorite go to item is almonds and a banana.
Kim: Favorite Fit-Family activity?
Tammy: Our favorite fit-family activity is walking and running with Sophie in the BOB stroller. It is unequivocally the best present I received at my baby shower. Sophie and I cruise the neighborhood and look for the turtles, geese and ducks that inhabit several nearby ponds. My husband loves cycling, so he usually comes along on his bike and last, but certainly not least, our dog Boomer joins the fun! We all usually end up at our neighborhood playground to climb, run around, and swing!
Kim: How do you stay fit amidst a hectic schedule and manage to do it all?
Tammy: I usually do most my cardio with Sophie and the BOB. She also loves to go with me when I teach my boot camp classes. She can already do burpees, lunges, squats, and pushups and my clients absolutely LOVE it! I teach 5 classes a week and I always work out with my class participants so I am both working and working out! My sister, mom, step dad, and in-laws are always willing to help out with Sophie, which allows me the opportunity to get to the gym for some very important “me” time. When I am competing, it is very important to always have meals prepared in advance. Luckily my hubby and baby girl will usually eat what I’m eating, they just require a little extra of course.
Kim: Words of motivation and inspiration for other moms?
Tammy: I always tell other moms to remember that their health and fitness is crucial to maintaining a happy healthy family. It’s very easy to lose your sense of self and focus solely on your family’s needs. I suggest that moms try to commit to doing some type of exercise just 30-60 minutes, 4-5 days a week. It doesn’t have to be in the gym, I actually only make it there twice a week. Walking and running are completely free and can be done almost anywhere! You can also involve the whole family. Set up a place or room in your house where you can do workouts. All you need is your body weight, a few dumbbells, an exercise ball, and a little imagination (or DVD’s). I have experienced firsthand what it is like to have a sick parent and it is very hard. It is so important to take care of your health so you can live a longer, healthier, happier life. Do it for yourself and your family. It is NEVER too late to get started! And last, but definitely not least, I always remind my clients, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!”
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