Finding your purpose through fitness

Q&A with Rachel Lily Peterson

After battling eating disorders for over 10 years and being told she would never be able to have children when she wanted to, by the age of 24, Rachel was shaken to her core. She knew everything needed to change. She felt her purpose on this planet was to create remarkable change.

Fast forward 10 years, she is recovered,a mommy, and a business owner in the business of giving moms a community though fitness and sisterhood.

Fit4MOM Sunset Valley is a community of over 160 moms in south Austin that meet daily to work out, meet weekly to connect and are the living breathing iteration of the sisterhood of motherhood.

How did you discover your passion for fitness?

I was one of the few with a really, really good+easy pregnancy. I  experienced few pregnancy symptoms and felt great. I attribute that to staying really active during pregnancy.

I’ve never trusted my body or listened to it more than I did while I was pregnant. I completely immersed myself in all things pre and postnatal fitness and knew my experience and my expertise would help others.

Once my son was born, I became an avid stroller runner (this was the only way he napped!) and fell upon a local workout group composed of moms. Fast forward a few months…I researched purchasing a Fit4MOM franchise, bought one, moved to Austin, and here I am almost four years later with a thriving business, a staff, multiple program offerings, and a reputation for being the go-to trainer for mamas.

What aspect of Fit4MOM do you love most?

We’re all sisters, we have made a sisterhood, and they helped  shape the brand for me. We attract women who are like us and have a mutual love for one another. Our village has no ‘judgy’ moms. We are all in the trenches together. Showing up to Stroller Strides in the morning is the most vulnerable time for most of us — we are tired, sleep deprived from nursing all night or with a teething baby, , we’re wearing no makeup, and have probably not showered. We may have fought with our husbands the night before or not talked to another adult in over 24 hours. We just show up- and it’s like we get eachother.   We’re just there to support and give eachother the motherhood solidarity nod… and to workout  of course.

The moms that I train and work with…they each have a story and a heart and a vision. They bring my program to life and keep me motivated, even on the days I feel exhausted with the day to day. I am advocate for transparency…it gives others permission to be imperfect, and we need that.

What do you think it is that makes women so resilient?

It’s more than just physical. With permission or without permission, we change on all levels when we become mothers. And when we do feel the stresses annfthe exhaustion this change brings, that’s where the village comes in. We lift eachother up when we feel like it’s just too much.

What would you tell your 20-year-old  self? 

Stop spray tanning! Just kidding. I was a very lost early twenty something. I think I would just give her a big hug and remind her that she was built for greatness. That right now, it’s ok to feel lost. She’s got the rest of her life to figure out who she needs to be. I would tell her to relax, learn EVERYTHING about everything , stop looking for your self with in boys with neck tattoos, and to just embrace the journey.

Where do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years? 

Professionally, I don’t know if I’m done working yet. I know that i have a heart for mamas and for fitness. I’m not sure what that looks like professionally yet.

Personally, I still see myself being super involved with my kids, I am the annoying mom that wants to be involved in her kids’ life all the time.

More generally, I want to always be here for women’s empowerment. I’m always looking to spread my mission to women and other moms.

What’s one thing you’d change if you could wave a magic wand and make something different? 

Too many things to describe. But, the most imminent, would be the competition between moms.   In the grand scheme of motherhood, it really doesn’t matter if you give your kid cow’s milk or almond milk, send them to public school or homeschool, ballet lessons or karate, if you choose to work or stay home…there are too many things moms feel they have to keep up with, and there is SO much shame if we cannot do it all.

I would really love to just see a sisterhood. We are all on this crazy wild mom ride together, figuring out the potties, the tantrums, and the ear infections. This is what I strive to instill within my business. True support and community within the moms that join my programs, because there truly should be a sisterhood within motherhood.

What are three things  you want other women to know? 

  1. We are capable.
  2. We were born to endure, and most importantly,
  3. We are worthy.
Rachel Lilly Peterson holding son
Rachel Lilly Peterson holding son

Rachel Lily Peterson grew up in sunny, fit, and health obsessed California, so an active lifestyle has always been important to her. After spending over 10 years in the beauty industry, and considering fitness to be a “hobby,” she found herself more and more intrigued with how fitness made her feel. An avid runner and spin class aficionado, Rachel remained active through 42 weeks of pregnancy and ran a tough mudder just 3 weeks post partum. 

She started Fit4MOM when in 2014 when she was an new mom navigating all of the stuff that comes with motherhood. Since then,  FIT4MOM Sunset Valley has grown to over 150 members, a staff team of 6 and 2 separate programs which cater to the needs of mamas everywhere. Peterson is known for her tough workouts, expertise in postpartum fitness and nutrition and endless energy among her peers and clients. for more about her programs. 

Or follow her on Instagram @theblondestrollermom

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