Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Mommy Transformation

 Jodi to our newest Mommy Transformation story.
 She lost 65 pounds and 5 dress sizes! 

          -What was your life like before you started your journey to better health?
It was very unbalanced. I really wasn’t taking any time for ME at all – life just felt like a race to get everything done, and I wasn’t prioritizing myself. Life as a working mom with two kids still feels like a race some days! But, training for a half-marathon has given me a personal goal, time to myself when I run, and a great feeling of accomplishment as I cross the milestones along the way. It has made me a better mom. It has also reinvigorated a very important friendship in my life – my dear friend from university, Alana, has joined me on my journey and we are both training for Disney’s Princess Half-Marathon!

        -What motivated you to make a change?
It was a story I read about a young family that lost their mom. It got me thinking that I needed to do a better job of taking care of myself, for my kids. I had come through a very difficult time in my own life and it was time to redefine myself. I was suddenly very ready to make a change and take control of things. I truly believe that you have to be in the right emotional and mental space to make a physical change.

         -How do you involve your family in your journey?
The end goal is racing at Disney World, so my kids were clearly a key factor in choosing my goal race. But it has become so much more than that – they come with me to races, cheer me on, and have recently started racing themselves. On Canada Day, we celebrated by running the Limestone Mile together as a family – a new tradition. And they now participate in the kids’ races whenever there is one attached to my race days. They like to “train” by running up and down our street and having me time them. They want to beat their personal bests! It really reminds you of the power of parenting when you see your kids model themselves after you. We may not always think so, but they are paying very close attention to everything we do.

         -What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
I started this journey having never raced before – and now, I have completed 5 races and have numerous more on the calendar. I would say just getting myself to the start line was an accomplishment! As I started my running journey, a dear friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. I decided to create a team for her in our local Run for the Cure – our team is now the biggest in the city, with the most dollars raised! It has been so inspiring to rally and recruit people for such an important cause. Suddenly, I am seeing women who have never run training for their first race and taking time for themselves to do so. Some are involving their families. It has grown into something so powerful and I feel we are making a big difference. I am so proud to be involved with this team and to run for my friend, Karen.

         -Who inspires you?
I love the “Run Like a Mother” duo, Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. They are very relatable and down to earth – and funny! But mainly, I am inspired every time someone asks me what I have done to get healthy or comes to me for tips on starting to run. I love to see that spark of interest because I know that will to make a change is the first step. Motivating others to run, whether it is a slow run around the block or training for a 10K race, is very inspiring in return.

         -When your in a slump what do you do to shake it?
Go for a run! The best thing about running is that you can never predict what will make a good run. You can easily turn a bad day into a good one with a run that surprises you – you may start out feeling sluggish or tired, but quickly find yourself flying along and setting a new personal best. I also find that running helps to shake the blahs out as it so invigorating, and it gives you time to resolve whatever may be nagging at you. It is just you and your thoughts – there is nowhere to hide. When you do have a hard run, the feeling of accomplishment at completing it is that much sweeter. So basically, if you are having a good day – run! If you are having a bad day – run! That is my philosophy.

-How do you reward yourself?
Shopping! I love shopping for new running clothes and gear. One of my biggest purchases was a Garmin watch – now I cannot run without it! It is great if you can reward yourself with things that fuel your love of exercise. When I buy a cute running skirt or funky arm sleeves, I can’t wait to hit the road to try them out.

         -What future goals do you have for yourself?
The goal that I am working towards right now is Disney’s Princess Half Marathon. Running to the Castle in my pink shoes is about more than just a race. It’s about proving something to myself. It’s about setting a goal and achieving it. It’s about being feminine and athletic, not having to choose between the two. It’s about showing my daughters that strong is beautiful. It’s about my sole sister and all of the amazing women who are training with me, on their own journeys to this finish line. It’s about realizing the childhood dream of becoming a princess by making my own dreams come true as an adult. It’s about having faith and trust in myself… and still believing in pixie dust too. I have a lot invested in this race. When it is over, it will be time for a new goal.

         -How did you do it?
I think the big secret is that there is no big secret – people spend so much time looking for shortcuts. If they spent that energy on changing their habits, they would be so much closer to their goals. It takes commitment and discipline. It means working out, hard and regularly. It means making healthy food choices. That’s really all there is to it. The good news is it is not complicated! Anyone can do it if they have the will.

         -What is one of your favorite recipes?
I think more important than recipes is debunking some common myths about food. I hate to see people sabotaging themselves without knowing it. For example, people often assume that eating salad is a healthy choice – but they don’t realize that many dressings are full of fat and empty calories. Another good example would be tuna or egg salad – sounds healthy, but the fattening mayonnaise cancels out the health benefit. You really need to be mindful of everything to make the smart choice. In doing so, I have found that you can still have your favourite dishes if you just learn to make them in a healthier way. One of my favourite guilty pleasures was always nachos with cheese and sour cream. And I refused to give them up! Now I use baked nacho chips and low fat cheese (hold the sour cream  or use a non-fat alternative)…still yummy with no guilt. It’s all about getting creative.

Check out Jodi on her BLOG! 


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