Using exercise and nutrition to get fit during motherhood
“But after I had kids, my body changed,” says the 37-year-old mother of two preteens. “It was all just skinny fat. I had no tone. I decided I wanted to transform it.”
That decision nine years ago changed her life.
She remade her body, going from a “skinny fat” new mother to a “hot mom” personal trainer, author and nutrition advocate.
Her first e-book, “The Hot Mom Bod: From Flab to Fab,” written in 2011, details the exercises that busy mothers can use to improve their bodies without using exercise equipment.
Her follow-up book, “The 30-Day Rapid Results Nutrition Plan for Fat Loss,” lays out recipes for five meals a day and includes shopping lists for two grocery store trips a week.
It wasn’t until Lancaster decided to change her body that she discovered the perks of a fit lifestyle. Growing up in Florida she ate a lot of convenience foods and didn’t play sports.
“I grew up eating Little Debbie snack cakes, Cheez-Its and Coke. Just junk,” she says. “My mom was a single mom, and we would come home — we were latchkey kids — that was the kind of stuff we ate.”
When she decided to do a body renovation, Lancaster went to the gym and began running on a treadmill.
She hated it — and saw few results.
She bought a book of exercises and tried to diversify her workouts. Eventually she began working with a personal trainer, but still didn’t get the body she wanted.
Then she began studying nutrition.
“Slowly I started changing the way I ate and getting rid of some stuff I was eating,” she says. “It was only after changing my nutrition that my body changed. That was the missing factor. I became passionate about that.”
She began reading labels, obsessively analyzing the food she bought.
Finally, the changes she sought came.
In 2008 Lancaster began competing in fitness competitions, posing in bikinis on stage to show off her new body.
Around that time Lancaster’s husband, an engineer with Exxon-Mobil, was sent to Singapore to work on a new project. Living in the heavily urban Asian country was exciting, and a large community of expatriates welcomed them.
“I knew I didn’t want to do what the other ex-pat women were doing,” she says. “They spent time shopping and going to lunches and breakfast together. That’s just not me. I want to do something productive.”
So Lancaster studied to become a personal trainer, wrote her two books and started a website, LeslieLancasterFitness.com. At their condo, Lancaster led outdoor workouts, and she continued competing in fitness competitions, representing Singapore in the Arnold Sports Festival bikini event in Ohio, a prestigious bodybuilding and fitness event named for bodybuilder/actor/former Gov. Arnold Schwartzenegger.
Four months ago her family returned to Louisiana.
Lancaster wants to pass her lifestyle on to her sons, 9 and 10.
“I want them to learn to eat healthy,” she says. “It would be so easy for me to go to the grocery store and load up on bagged items, frozen pizzas, frozen dinners. Choosing to live this lifestyle is worth it.
“The results to me are worth it.”