Q & A: TIU Mama Style

I absolutely LOVE that I get so many questions about my TIU journey whether they come through my Instagram, my blog, or my email. I may not have all the time in the world to reply to each & every one, but I try the best I can! As I sit here at my parents house, I hear Tanner running around playing with my mom, which means I have a moment to myself to sit here & FINALLY get to an email I’ve kept marked as unread since early October. [Do you guys do this? It saves me from opening emails and forgetting all about them when I don’t have time to reply right away!]

So my first Q & A mini forum comes from a fellow TIU Mama, Lauren, who even happens to be from my hometown of Northern California!

Hi Shelley, 

First of all congrats on your TIU anniversary! It’s pretty awesome to see how much you’ve accomplished in just 6 months– you are inspiring!

I have been “following” TIU & looking into it for a little over a year now but after having my 2nd girl–she’s a month old!– I decided to finally & officially dive in! You probably get a bunch of emails from other TIU girls but I’d love to ask you a few questions about your TIU journey. 

I’m thinking of buying the nutrition plan– do you use the plan? How do you make it work for your family? So far I’ve just tried to eat cleaner, I don’t usually eat bad just have a MAJOR sweet tooth!

I do use the plan – but not religiously. By that I mean I follow their general guidelines and principles. I try new recipes at least once or twice a week from their various editions, so I don’t get bored with eating clean and healthy. (If not, I would make the same two, mindless, quick things over and over again; chicken & veggies thrown in a crock pot haha). I make it work for my family by cooking larger portions. My husband eats a LOT. When he’s gone for business I have tons of leftovers, and am lucky I can eat them for lunch or dinner the next day. He used to grumble with the “new healthy” dinners that were rolling out of the kitchen, but like anything, time heals old habits! He used to love garlic bread and pasta, and we’d eat that at least once or twice a week. Now he likes seasoned veggies, or interesting new sides, and has accepted that quinoa or sweet potatoes have replaced pasta. When he’s on the road he gets all his fixes for fatty foods, and enjoys being healthy when he is home. I LOVE crockpot recipes, because I hardly have time to cook, and I love that the meat breaks down so soft so Tanner can eat it too! Same with the veggies! I just made a ground turkey meat sauce and it was PERFECT to feed Tanner! And stuffed peppers are always a great go-to!



I’ve always been a really healthy eater, too, but my sweet tooth is awful. Especially during the end of my pregnancy and the first 6-months post-partum. I swear that breastfeeding cravings were worse than pregnancy ones!!! I found myself eating chocolate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. NO JOKE. If you see my pre-TIU before pictures, you’ll see that was true! I had always been thin and healthy, so post-pregnancy I definitely didn’t recognize myself. So I started slow….I started with tiny goals. Like only eat chocolate/sweets a few times a week, rather than dessert every night. Then down to a couple times, then down to one, then I didn’t really crave them anymore! If I’m craving something sweet late at night, I’ll eat a yogurt with fruit and carob chips, and this usually does the trick. If you would have told me that 6 months ago, and that that would curb my froyo craving, I would have laughed in your face! 

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So the BIGGEST thing I’ve gotten out of the plan has been how to change my diet. I’ve learned what ingredients I can substitute to make almost any of my favorite dishes clean and healthy! Especially with baking! Their substitutions have been such a huge asset to my weight loss! and they actually taste SO GOOD. Like their mocha brownies…omg…I actually hate coffee, but they don’t taste like it at all. They taste like delish truffles!

Also do you follow the workout schedules or do you make your own? I’m finding it a little tricky to fit in workouts so far but think it’s doable 🙂 

I do a little of both. My weekly spreadsheets I update each Sunday help me SO MUCH. Without them I was always scrambling to remember what day had what workouts, and found it annoying to always have to go back and search the sea of posts for what workout was scheduled for that day. I insert all the workouts and PM challenges they update to their calendar for the week, then leave blank spaces to add my own. I just joined a bootcamp class every Tuesday and Thursday that mixes Crossfit and Pilates for an hour, but other than that, I strictly only do TIU videos, and their #100by_______ miles challenges. 

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I’ve found I have to make a schedule for myself, and for Tanner to survive squeezing in my workouts and goals for the week ahead. So my typical day when Kyle is out of town traveling/I don’t have bootcamp at 6pm (those days I bring Tanner with me and we start bedtime when we get home, around 7:15pm) looks like this:

  • 6:30-7am: Tanner & I wake up
  • 7am (or whenever Tanner wakes up; it’s anywhere from 6-7): Diaper change
  • 7:05am: Tanner goes into his play yard, which I keep in the living room, in front of the TV I do my TIU workouts on. (I use Apple TV).
  • 7:10am: I look at my spreadsheet to see which workouts are listed for the day, and do those as my Booty Call, rather than my miles. Tanner sits best in the morning for about 30 minutes, so I can usually squeeze in two 10-15 minute videos, or one of the longer ones. Sometimes I can barely get through one, sometimes I can squeeze in a little more. Depends on the day, and I’ve learned to just go with the flow, and not be too hard on myself, or on Tanner when he doesn’t allow me to get through one.
  • 7:40am: Breakfast time for Tanner & me!
  • 7:45am: Change Tanner’s clothes for the day
  • 8:00am: Tanner playtime in playroom, and sometimes I get to sneak away to my computer on the outside of his gate and update a blog post, or work on the Elfster exchange, etc. It’s always something TIU technology related!
  • 9:30-10:30am: Tanner starts to get fussy for naptime
  • 10:30am: Nap time process begins (nurse to sleep)
  • 10:40-11:45/12: Nap time (if he’s struggling to fall asleep by nursing or on his own, I put him in the stroller and we go for a walk or run (or usually a wog!). He’ll usually fall asleep for nap time this way, and I keep walking until he wakes up. I can usually get 3-5 miles in depending on how long he sleeps! If I don’t get my miles in while he’s napping, I’ll try to go for an afternoon walk, or I have to wait until the next day. It’s always a tricky balance since he’s not the best at just hanging out in the stroller…if he does fall asleep at home, I usually try to get a HIIT video or two in for miles, or if I didn’t get to get a full workout in before breakfast, I’ll do the scheduled video while he’s napping. He only falls asleep in our bed (of course!) so I use my phone and do the videos on the carpet in front of our bed, so I can make sure when he wakes up he doesn’t crawl off the bed!
  • 12pm: Play time
  • 12:30pm: Lunch time
  • 12:30-3:30pm: Play time
  • 3:30pm: Snack time
  • 3:50-5pm: Play time
  • 5pm: Dinner time
  • 5:30pm: Bath time
  • 6pm: Bed time routine begins
  • 6:30pm: Tanner bed time
  • 7:00pm: I finally get to cook/eat dinner
  • 8:00pm: Hopefully all the laundry, dishes, and house cleaning is done and I can watch one of my favorite shows I’ve DVRd!
  • 9:00: Bedtime TIU instagramming 😉
  • 9:30pm: Tanner usually wakes up to nurse
  • 9:30-10pm: Mama bedtime!

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Hopefully that helps give you an idea of where I squeeze in my workouts/miles

What was it like when you first started out? What was hardest? I haven’t been given the ok yet from my dr to workout yet but I’m excited to start but know it will be a lot of work!

HARD and EXHAUSTING  I think the hardest part was trying to get a schedule down, when as newborns in the first year, theirs are constantly changing. Every time I thought I had it figured out, Tanner’s naptime would change, he wouldn’t nap, he’d nurse all day….anything and everything was always changing!! So I had to LET IT GO. I had to just do what I could, where I could, with what I could. This is why I didn’t start my TIU journey until 8-months post-partum, until I was physically and emotionally ready to commit to a lifestyle change. Tanner had a semi-consitent schedule, so I was able to figure out a workout schedule that worked for the both of us.

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I started with small, achievable goals. I joined TIU during Bikini Series this year, and tried to at least do a few workouts a week. I tried to eat clean and healthy and cut out desserts. I didn’t accomplish #100bySummer, but I tried the best I could. I actually still had pain and numbness from my c-section so walked almost all my miles, because running was still really painful and hard. I actually ended up tearing my hamstring, so was forced to focus more on my diet and eating clean. I finally kicked my sweets habit because of it! So just finished Frisky Fall last week was completely different!!! It was so much easier because I understood TIU so much more. I created a lot of things that helped me achieve my goals (the tracker I mentioned earlier), and found creating a lot of my own random things helped me stay motivated. (like the mass Elfster exchange, mileage trackers, new recipes, etc.) 

@TIU_SHELLEY TIU #100bychristmas


Just remember it’s OKAY to get a slow start. It’s OKAY to be exhausted  It’s OKAY for your baby to mess up your entire day. There’s always tomorrow, there’s always a second chance! 

If you have any advice or tips for someone just starting out if love to hear them!!

My number one tip is to MEAL PREP! Even if you can only do one or two days prep. Or menu planning so your grocery shopping trip stays focused and organized…..also, sign up for the nutrition plan! Try a few of the free recipes they post first to see how you like them, then go from there. When you buy the plan, PRINT IT! That’s my #1 key. I didn’t print mine for like the first 6 months, and because of it, never tried a new recipe or fully understood what it was all about. It’s one thing to read it from a computer, another to have a binder right in front of you with access to everything! If you’re not ready to drop $150 on the plan, do research to see what kinds of clean foods your family would be okay with eating, and try to browse Pinterest for some recipes that work for your fam. If your focus is more on toning, set small goals to achieve. Like you’re going to do __ workouts per week, or walk/wog/job/run ___ miles per week. Start with small things you know you can accomplish so you get the confidence you need to set larger goals. Remember to BREATHE and know that being a mom comes first. It’s hard enough work on its own!!! So find a balance that works for you, your family. and know you are worth it. You’re worth 15 minutes to yourself to do a workout. And you’ll feel SO much better because of it! 


Thank you! & congrats again! You look great! 
Lauren @tiumamalauren in Sacramento 🙂

Thanks so much, Lauren! Hope this helps answer your questions, and can help some other TIU mamas out there!! Sorry this took so long to reply too – #TIUmamaproblems !!!




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