Meghan Meredith, CHWC, CPT

Health Coach

Meghan is an Emory University Certified Health/Wellness Coach, Group Exercise Instructor, and an ACE Certified Personal Trainer. She received her B.S. in Applied Health Science and Psychology from Wheaton College, where she first developed her love of coming alongside individuals and help them become their best self.

Meghan believes in a holistic approach to living and that our environments profoundly impact our overall health and wellness. Meghan is also the creative author of Whole Body Fitness: A Self-Guided Fitness Planner. She is an Air Force wife who loves simple living and being a homebody. Her favorite things include sipping green tea, sunflowers, and her heart and home are happiest when it’s filled with loved ones and friends gathered around the table full of fresh, whole food. Meghan loves people and the stories they live and she can’t wait to get to know yours and help you on your journey to your healthier, best self.

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INTERVIEW WITH MEGHAN

A health coach, a mom, a wife, creator of whole body fitness agendas. What are 3 things you do to stay motivated and organized?

Here are the three things that help me to maintain focus and clarity on the overall goals of how I desire to live my life on an individual basis but also for our family as a whole.

Remember my Why: Knowing why I do what I do helps me to stay motivated. I am a very purpose driven person so whenever I am feeling lazy or losing motivation, I remind myself of why I do all of the things I do. I remember my purpose and calling as a wife, mama, and entrepreneur. I remind myself of the desire I have to help educate and inspire women to cultivate lives of simplicity and stewardship so that they can be their best selves for not only them but so they can better love and serve those around them.

Maintain systems and routines for our family: This is key for us! I would not be able to do half of the things I do if it weren’t for built in systems and routines that I stay consistent with. The systems we have in place as a family help me to maintain our budget, stay on top of household chores, grocery shop and meal plan for healthy meals, cook, exercise and steward my own health and body, and care for my people in my home. I am a big believer in having flexible routines and not being tied down to rigid schedules and timetables, but rather building a rhythm for our home and life and allowing room for life to happen. I’ve told clients for years now when it comes to building a lifestyle of health and wellness to find flexibility within the routine.

Just Do It: I know this isn’t exciting but sometimes I just have to pull myself up by the bootstraps and remind myself of the infamous Nike Slogan- Just Do It! Maintaining the lifestyle that you desire to live takes effort and hard work. But it’s SO worth it. There are days where I don’t think I have it in me to cook that healthy dinner I had planned or to get in 30 minutes of movement, but let me tell you, every time I just do it and enter into the hard thing, I ALWAYS am so grateful that I did! Knowing how amazing I feel afterwards gives me even more motivation to keep going even when it’s hard. It motivates me that this lifestyle, this focus on our family and health and wellness is SO worth the effort.

You just had a baby, what is the toughest part of transitioning into motherhood?

To be honest, I entered motherhood expecting the worst. I had heard and read so many negative, defeatist stories from other young moms, that I was expecting it to be far more difficult and challenging than it has been. I was expecting to lose all sense of myself, my schedule, my sleep, my hobbies, you name it. I was expecting to become totally wrapped up in the demands of my baby and never again be able to clean my house or keep up with the laundry. For any expectant mother or young mom out there, please hear me when I say that does not have to be your reality. It is totally possible to create a life of joy, peace, less stress, less frustration, and truly enjoy motherhood and parenting. Yes- it takes effort and discipline, but if you value these things, you do not have to worry about losing yourself when you become a mama. Becoming a mama has made me find myself in a whole new, empowering way.

I think the toughest part of transitioning has been giving myself grace to simply be. I am a busy body and I love to be active and productive. Some days, especially during this newborn phase, my days are spent sitting on the sofa and nursing or consoling him in the rocking chair. I have to remind myself daily that while it is good to be productive and maintain my home, taking care of our son and being there to respond to his needs, is far more valuable in the long run. He needs me and I need him to help me to slow down and savor every minute of his little life and life in general. Time goes too fast. I can find time to do the laundry and mop the sticky floors but it doesn’t have to be now, in the immediate, or right when I planned to do it.

Do you have any tips for new moms?

My one tip for new moms is to not compare your postpartum journey and/or your baby to others around you. Everyone and every baby is so very different. It is so easy to get sucked into the Google trap and spiral down hill really fast, so just don’t even allow yourself to go there. Take the time to get to know your baby and their unique personality and needs. There is a lot of noise on social media when it comes to women’s postpartum journeys and motherhood in general. Be discerning in what you take in and cling to.

How did you stay in shape through pregnancy?

I maintained my normal exercise routine through the first half of my pregnancy. I unfortunately had to be on modified bed rest for most of my first trimester due to some health issues I was experiencing. Once I was cleared to exercise again, I went back to my normal weight lifting and HIIT routine. As I progressed in my pregnancy, I began to modify certain exercises and decrease my intensity (i.e. not as much jumping). I was sure not to do any isolated core exercises during my pregnancy to help mitigate developing diastasis recti. I especially loved doing the Stability class at STAT as it was low impact and really helped me to maintain strength without overdoing it. The TRX bands were my best friend the second half of my pregnancy. Also- walking! I had a 3-mile walking route by our house that I tried to do a few times a week. Walking and staying active definitely helped with my labor and delivery experience and my postpartum healing.

What does health coaching mean to you?

Health coaching to me is an incredibly helpful and beneficial resource and method for helping you to achieve your health and wellness goals long-term. My approach to coaching is focused on the long-term and helping each client to find their own personal methods for staying consistent with their goals to truly make it a lifestyle. Yes- there will be times where things fall to the wayside or you take a few steps backwards, but what I love about coaching is that we discuss barriers, obstacles, and setbacks and how to overcome them and how to get back up once we’ve fallen down. I love the collaborative-ness of health coaching and truly coming alongside each client and entering into their world and helping them to find practical and sustainable methods for achieving their goals. I love looking at all aspects of a persons life and helping them to find perhaps new and different ways to do things that will get them to where they want to be.

Favorite book, podcast or mantra?

My current favorite mantra that I have leaned a lot on the last year is “Count it all as Joy” which is from the Bible verse James 1:2. This mantra has helped me to maintain perspective through the not so fun aspects of pregnancy, some scary medical issues, labor and delivery, and being a new mom. May I count all of it as joy and find the blessing even amidst the hardships….which leads me to my newest favorite quote.

My new favorite quote is ‘Hard Doesn’t Equal Bad’. This is one I personally came up with after having lengthy discussions on motherhood with my mama in the weeks leading up to Duke’s birth. Hardships are inevitable in our lifetime but HOW we react and respond to them makes all of the difference. Going through and enduring hard things isn’t a bad thing; in fact, it can be incredibly beautiful to go through hardships and come out on the other side as a stronger, wiser, more compassionate, more loving person. We need hard things in life to cultivate us into the people we are meant to become. It is impossible to fully ‘become’ by just experiencing easy throughout our life. And just like hard doesn’t equal bad, easy doesn’t always equal good either. Perspective is key!

What are some tips for those wanting to start meal prepping?

First step is to find a plan and system that works for YOU! Each of our families and us has unique schedules, demands, and priorities. Figure out what is most important for your family. Second, align your meal planning and prep with your calendar. I always make sure I have my calendar next to me when meal planning so I can take into account that week’s schedule of activities. It can feel so defeating to plan meals for the week and then you get to Wednesday and realize you have to run kids to different practices, have a dental appointment, and the dog needs to be walked….surely there isn’t time for that fancy meal you planned that will take an hour to prep and cook. Aligning our schedules and meal plan and thinking ahead will help you to succeed! Lastly, choose one day a week to do your grocery shopping and/or meal prep. Having a specific day set aside each week to do this will make it predictable and help you to waste less food each week.

Tell us something about you our readers might not know.

Here are some fun, random facts about me: I am an only child, I have red hair and blue eyes, which is very rare, I also have 6 wisdom teeth (another rarity), and I am left-handed. I have about every strange, recessive gene out there.