What a difference a year can make. Within one year, Lynnette Williams’ experienced some major life-changing moments, from becoming a wife and first lady in October 2016, upon marrying Dr. Joseph L. Williams, Senior Pastor of Salem Bible Church in Atlanta, GA. To moving into the home she shares with her husband.  In February (this was December 2017) 2017, she started a new job as Salem’s Social Media Director and in September 2017 she gained a new title—mother; as she and Dr. Williams welcomed their baby girl Skylar Lynn into the world.

Lynnette knows the struggles of dealing with yo-yo weight changes and low self-esteem; however, now she motivates women and moms-to-be on how to gain confidence through healthy, active lifestyles.  In 2010, Lynnette’s doctor informed her learned that she was morbidly obese. On that same day, she decided to change how she treated her body.  Lynnette didn’t want to be a statistic; she knew she could fix her problem by changing what she put in her mouth.  She set out on a quest to a healthy lifestyle (losing over 60 lbs) and she hasn’t looked back.  Lynnette began a workout and eating regimen that has had a positive impact on her physical, mental and emotional well-being.  Exercise not only changed her life—it also saved her life.

When Lynnette and Dr. Williams learned that they were expecting their daughter, she remained focused on maintaining a healthy lifestyle for the sake of her then unborn child and herself. Many moms-to-be fear exercise and often times fall into the trap of over-indulging the wrong foods and odd cravings, just because they are eating for two. Lady Lynnette, as she is affectionately known at Salem Bible Church, refused to use pregnancy as an excuse to avoid prior eating and exercise. She’s an example of how new moms can work out and have a ‘Baby Bounce Back Body’.

What inspired you to stay fit during your pregnancy

As a first-time mother and as an older mom at the age of 36; I fall into the high-risk category; therefore, I knew I would need to take the necessary steps to ensure a healthy pregnancy; as that would be the best pregnancy for me and my baby.   When I was overweight, I made a commitment to get healthy and stay healthy.  Being pregnant wasn’t an excuse for unhealthy habits.

How were you able to maintain a workout and eating regiment?

We all have the same 24 hours and we have 100-percent control over what we do. I knew I would have to be disciplined and stick to a routine in order to maintain a healthy pregnancy.  I would workout at home and at the gym (most often at 5 am as to avoid the excuse of being too busy after work.). I maintained a schedule and stuck to it.  I go grocery shopping and meal prep on the same day every week.  Cook and enjoy healthy foods; as food is our fuel—it energizes us.

What advice did you receive from your doctor about working out during your pregnancy?

I worked out prior to pregnancy and I continued to work out throughout my entire pregnancy.  When I looked in the mirror and saw my belly expanding,  it was my reality check.  I was clear, that my body was changing and I had a baby growing inside of me. My doctor advised me to listen to my body and I adjust to my growing body–I gained 30 pounds.  During the first trimester, I developed food aversions to chicken and turkey, becoming a vegetarian for about 6 weeks.  I haven’t eaten beef and pork since 1995, but all of a sudden; I couldn’t stand the smell or the taste of meat.  In my first trimester, I became tired faster and experienced some nausea.   The nausea only lasted about 1 week.  Overall, I adjusted to meet the needs of my baby and my body.

What advice would you give moms-to-be who want to exercise during their pregnancy?

Consult with your physician. 

Make your own decision and don’t allow people’s opinion to sway your decision. I wasn’t new to being active, I worked out prior to my pregnancy and I remained active during.   Don’t start any new regimen.  Continue to do workouts that can grow with your growing body.  Keep your physician updated with your routines and make certain to warm up, cool down and stretch appropriately. 

Have a support system. 

You will have weak moments; however, having a good support system from your husband, boyfriend, BFF and or family will help you through the process.  There were times when I didn’t want to get up and work out or wanted to eat something not so healthy; however, my husband kept me motivated.

Educate yourself about pregnancy and make plans.

We knew we wanted a family and we planned for it—from conception to the healthy pregnancy and ultimately a healthy delivery.  By planning we increased our possibility of a healthy pregnancy.   Ultimately, we had a great pregnancy, all natural delivery with no drugs.  I was back in the gym, 7 days after giving birth and I lost the baby weight with the first 7 weeks.

What kept you motivated during your pregnancy?

Exercise helped me to juggle my life changes. Some people like to go for drives or read books as an outlet—for me, I like to work out.  When I wasn’t active, I struggled because I didn’t have my outlet. Working out makes me feel accomplished.  The ultimate motivation was that I was attempting to give my unborn daughter the best chance at life.  In order to do that, I had to put HER first and make every decision in the BEST interest of her.  

Q: What does your typical workout/eating regimen look like?

I still have to be diligent about everything I eat because I breastfeed; everything I eat, she eats.

 Wake-Up 4:15 AM

5 a.m. Gym

Breakfast: Steel-cut oats (cooked overnight) with fruit (pineapple) or 2 eggs with quinoa stir-fry

Eat every 2-3 hours until 3 hours before bed

Snack #1: Non-fat Greek yogurt with nuts (almond, cashew)

Snack #2: Hummus and carrots

Lunch: Protein Salad – Chicken salad or shrimp salad with lite vinaigrette

Snack #3: Hummus and Carrots

Dinner: Fish or Lean Meat (chicken or turkey) with Vegetable (zucchini, squash) 

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