About 4 months after having a baby you decided to try out for the Sports Illustrated Swim model cover. Where did you find the confidence for this?
Sports Illustrated is something I have always dreamt of doing- it truly is a childhood dream I think every girl has deep down. Becoming a mother has given me the “screw it” attitude. I have given birth to TWO humans. I have gained and lost over 200 pounds in two years and seen firsthand the power of the human body. If I can do that, I can do anything. Motherhood has really empowered me in so many ways and allowed me to become fearless at anything I choose to tackle in life. My husband Tyler is also my biggest support system-he’s been pumping me up since before I submitted my audition video!
Being a brand spanking new mama and obviously not the typical size ‘0’ model that we’re used to seeing, did you receive a lot of back lash or negative comments in regard to you deciding to become a SI swim model?
I didn’t receive negative comments first hand, but I can only imagine what people are saying behind my back. But to be completely honest, I pay no attention to that. I have no idea what people think of me. All I do is focus on myself and how I make me feel. I feel bad for others who talk down on people, especially those going after goals in life. I will always empower and pump up women going for anything in life.
Sports Illustrated is such an incredible brand breaking so many barriers for women. I LOVE that they are showing all different body types because that is what is REAL and relatable. And that is exactly what I hope to use my platform for- to relate to other women and help them find confidence within themselves.
Sometimes it’s hard for moms to get over the idea of what everyone thinks about them and what they look like. What would be your advice to those moms that’s struggling with silencing the noise and loving their own body image?
I think I truly became confident when I decided this was MY journey, and no one else’s. I understood that I was in full control of my actions and emotions and that there were no such thing as excuses. Our bodies are not the same as they were pre-children, and that is something we must accept. Like anything in life, all we can do is focus on what we can control- and that is putting in the work. It will take a little longer, it will be a little tougher, but we must all learn to enjoy the journey and the process. I myself am not where I want to be quite yet, but I know in my heart I am putting in the work every day, so that feeling of accomplishment and self love go hand in hand.
What would you say is your most challenging part of your fitness journey?
I am happy with the work I put in, so that helps KNOWING I am giving it all with eating healthy and working out daily. Something I’ve learned is even in the tough situations, there are lessons to be learned. For example, my core will be the last to come. It is very frustrating some days. But in this part of my journey rather than give up and compare myself to other girls, I am practicing patience and perseverance. It is no secret to looking and feeling good- consistency is key!
With two boys, a busy fiance, his career and your career, where do you find the time to workout?
It is no doubt VERY hard to make time for yourself as a mother. But that’s exactly what we all need to do- MAKE the time. If it’s important to you, you will make the time. And that’s exactly what I do. About 4x a week while everyone is sleeping I wake up at 5am and drive a half hour away to this amazing boxing gym that leaves me dripping sweat every time. Does it suck waking up that early? Absolutely. But it’s important to me so I make it a priority!
So many individuals have different goals for fitness (i.e. what the scale says, what the mirror looks like, etc). What would you say is your goal for your fitness journey?
My goal is confidence 100%. Years ago it was all about the scale, but now it’s about how I feel and look in clothes. I have learned to embrace my curves. Rather than wear baggy clothes I wear tighter clothes and show the goods! It is also important for me to look fit. I don’t want to look skinny, I want to look like hard work, like ‘damn, that girl works out for sure.’ I think your physical appearance says something about who you are without uttering a word. It says ‘I care about myself and I work hard.’ No matter how much I weigh, I want to walk into every room with my head held high comparing myself to no one but the woman I was yesterday. And trust me, that energy shows more than any outfit or bikini!
p.s. be sure to keep up with Kristen’s Sport Illustrated journey on Instagram!