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What’s My Workout: Stacie Venagro

Having a noticeable six-pack during pregnancy doesn’t happen to everyone. And while Stacie Venagro, a certified personal trainer and pro fitness competitor, fully expected to stay in shape while waiting for her son to arrive in early April, she didn’t foresee much of a fuss when she did an interview about her pregnancy. “I didn't think it was a huge controversy to be fit and pregnant,” says Venagro, who lit up the Internet with her super-fit physique. “I am still in shock on how far and fast my story has spread.” As a three-time World Miss Fitness America Pro and 2014 Miss Fitness Universe champion, Venagro is accustomed to keeping both her workouts and her diet tight. She chatted with us about embracing change, shrugging off criticism and staying true to herself.

Q: Describe your typical weekly workouts before you got pregnant?

A: Weight training six days a weeks, with three HIIT [high-intensity interval training] days for cardio. My weight training would take me less than an hour and HIIT was only 30 minutes.

Q: What do your workouts look like now?

A: Now I weight train four to five days a week. My weights have not gone up since I found out I was pregnant as I do not need to gain muscle but simply maintain it.

Q: What works and what doesn't?

A: I seem to still be able to get everything in so it all works for me. Anything on my back needs to be modified, such as core exercises. Pull-ups have also been modified.

Q: What has surprised you the most about working out as a pregnant person?

A: Some days I feel up to it and some days I don't.

Q: What is your pregnancy fitness philosophy in three words?

A: Never give up.

Q: How have you approached your nutrition?

A: I'm still eating like I was prior to pregnancy. I eat six meals a day and every two and a half to three hours. Full-balanced meals. I replace two meals with Isagenix shakes. I've enjoyed some off-track meals, but in moderation. In the beginning I always wanted more egg whites. I love egg whites!

Q: You come from the fitness-competition world, which seems pretty intense. How did your background inform the way you went into this pregnancy?

A: With my background, I knew I could continue what I was doing. It was my lifestyle—and not a new lifestyle—that I was starting when I became pregnant.

Q: Was there any part of you that was afraid of pregnancy’s physical changes?

A: No. I knew my body was going to change so I was ready to embrace it.

Q: How have you approached both the criticism and the support?

A: The criticism is everyone's opinion. Everyone has a right to their opinion. But their criticism doesn't bother me because I know what I need to do to stay healthy for my baby and me. I am also working with my doctor and she said I am right where I should be. The support is huge! The amount of support from people all over is amazing.

Q: What have you learned about yourself during this experience?

A: I've learned that no matter what, you need to stay true to yourself. That's exactly what I'm doing.

Q: What advice do you have for moms-to-be who want to stay fit and active?

A: Make sure you consult with your doctor. If you are active prior to pregnancy then keep going as long as your body allows you. Always listen to your body and your doctor—they know best!

Q: What are your post-baby fitness goals?

A: I would like to compete again in Fitness America Weekend in November 2016.

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