Arielle Loewen on Balancing Motherhood & Training to Become Fittest Mom on Earth

At the close of the 2023 CrossFit Games, Arielle Loewen was crowned third Fittest Woman on Earth. While this is a feat few will ever know, perhaps what’s more impressive is her title of Fittest Mom on Earth. While many professional CrossFit athletes are able to dedicate their entire lives to training and preparing for competition, Arielle manages to fit her training in around her life and her four year old daughter, Blakely. The embodiment of focusing on what’s truly most important, she serves as an example for everyone in the middle of their own balancing act, as well as women who struggle with their relationship with their body post-pregnancy.

Shortly before the Games, Arielle even found the time to share some insight with us on how she manages to do it all, and some advice she has for women who would like to do the same.

Training to compete at the highest level requires a huge time commitment and major dedication. How do you balance training and family, and what tips do you have for women who are struggling with making themselves and their goals a priority?

I think I’m able to balance it pretty easily because I approach training differently than most CrossFit athletes. I’ve learned that, for me, less is more when it comes to being in the gym, so I have a few hours of high intensity training, and then plenty of family time. I am in the gym from about 11 AM – 1:30 PM, and then sometimes back for an evening session after my daughter goes to sleep. I train around her schedule and am able to make breakfast and spend time with her in the morning, and then we get to enjoy the afternoon and evening together. If I need to take her to gymnastics, dance lessons or to the park, I can, because I’ve gotten my workout done.

I also have strong boundaries that help me balance my time. For example, I know never to accept a lunch date with anyone before 2 PM because that’s my “work time,” but I can make time for lunch or a playdate after I’ve gotten my training done. This has helped me prioritize what I truly enjoy, which is CrossFit, but still save time for my family and my people!

What was your postpartum experience like, and how did you get back into Games shape? Did you feel a lot of pressure to “bounce back” quickly?

I actually did not feel any pressure at all! My priority coming back from birth was to lose the baby weight and get healthy again, and the only way I knew how to do that was by eating well and doing CrossFit.

For the first year and a half, I focused on just being healthy and trying to get into the gym at least 4 times a week. Eventually, my body started healing and feeling great. One thing led to another, and I ended up doing well and qualifying for the Games. It was never my intention to “bounce back,” I just wanted to look good and feel confident in shorts and a tank top again.

How has your fitness impacted your daughter’s life?

Right now my daughter is only four, but she’s gone with me to the gym ever since she was one month old, so she’s grown up in the gym and has seen me work out her whole life. I would like to think it helps her see what fitness and a healthy relationship with food and training looks like, but only time will tell.

Since having your daughter, how has your relationship with your body evolved? What message do you hope to send to other women who are thinking about having kids, newly postpartum or are worried about how motherhood will affect their body or their fitness?

It’s a weird dynamic. I feel stronger than before, but I’m also not as confident with my body as I was pre-pregnancy. There are things, such as my belly button and some scarring, that look different now. However, I am truly stronger than ever and am so thankful to have had a healthy pregnancy & baby, so I can’t complain.

I want every mother to know that it’s okay to have scars or imperfections from birth and/or pregnancy. Even the “Fittest in the World” have them. When it comes to pregnancy, your body will change and that’s okay. Pre-kiddo I was extremely selfish & cared about my body & my looks too much. Having a kid puts everything in perspective & helps you focus on something bigger than yourself. It’s a beautiful thing!

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