DES MOINES, Iowa -- A few years ago these three women didn’t even know each other.
The nutritionist from Michigan, the power lifter from Iowa and the postpartum expert from Canada met online. They have different backgrounds, but common goals.
They founded “Healthy Habits Happy Moms” because of their own struggles.
“So I had my first baby about seven years ago," says Annie Brees. “I was pretty miserable, and not myself.”
One of the things that helped Annie find herself was exercise. She became a wellness coach, then a personal trainer and a power lifter.
“Then I became interested in helping specifically moms," says Brees.
Lauren Koski says she had body image issues for years.
“It started when I was younger. I was always wanting to lose weight, I was always unhappy with my body as young as 12 or 13," Koski said.
Lauren struggled with eating disorders until she got a degree in nutrition.
“I had my daughter and it reignited in me – I want her to have a better life than I did, I don’t want her to go through all the dieting and body shame and guilt around food," Koski said.
A former model, Jen Campbell was obsessed with getting her pre-baby body back.
“It was really hard on me emotionally to be pregnant and see my body change," Campbell said.
It didn’t help that a very famous model had a baby at the same time and took to the runway a short time after giving birth.
“I remember looking at her body and my body and feeling so much shame,” Jen remembers. “Why do I look like this, what am I doing wrong?”
Nothing could convince Jen she was not only normal but that her body was doing exactly what it was meant to do.
“So, I had my first two babies and always thought of myself as a before and after," Campbell said.
After her third baby, her mindset had changed and she posted before and after photos to make a point. They were taken two minutes apart, only the poses, hairdos, and filters are different.
“It’s just a picture. Before and afters don’t tell us anything about a woman, how she feels, how she’s coping with the new mom life," Campbell said.
And one of the pillars of healthy habits happy moms is self-love.
“My fear of being fat was overshadowed by my fear of hating myself and passing that on to my children,” explains Campbell.
These women say life is short for strict diets, painful workouts, and unrealistic expectations.
“We just want to help people find the healthiest version of themselves,” says Brees. “Whatever that looks like and feels like to you is good enough for us.”
Check out Healthy Habits Happy Moms at by clicking here.