What was your life like before you started your journey to better health?
My life wasn't terrible. For the most part I enjoyed it and lived very carefree. I had a wonderful husband and two beautiful, healthy children. But there was a lot of self doubt. Wondering if I'd be able to keep up with my kids if I continued in my current state. Wondering if I could ever truly love myself the way I was.
What motivated you to make a change?
I distinctly remember a conversation with a friend upon my husband receiving orders to Guam. "All of the mommies are very into fitness here," she said. Honestly, hearing that was like a terrible nightmare for me. I had visions of sitting on the beach, pale and tired looking, wearing my 'mom suit.' It was then I knew something had to give. I started the Couch to 5K program in May 2011 but didn't pick up weightlifting until November 2011. Though I have not continued to run since completing C25K in July 2011, I credit that as my official 'start.'
How do you involve your family in your journey?
Though I do most of my workouts during school hours, there are times I utilize the family fitness room at our gym. My five-year-old son will often stand beside me using the small dumbbells and telling me about his big muscles. He has witnessed my transformation from the start and enjoys looking at my pictures with me and telling me how I'm shrinking. Also, being fairly new to clean eating myself, I am striving to slowly change the eating habits of my children to match my own. There is a lot of trial and error, and they do have the occasional happy meal, but I am looking to help them strike a balance so that they do not struggle with food addiction the way I have.
What is your biggest accomplishment so far?
As much as I hate to pin numbers on this sort of thing, my biggest accomplishment would have to be the 52 pounds that have vanished from my body. In all my life, I have never lost more than 20 pounds at any given time. Knowing that I have overcome that number hurdle gives me such a satisfying feeling. And knowing that I didn't subsist on carrot sticks and meal replacement shakes(like I had in the past) and that I have ENJOYED this ride means, to me, that I'm doing something right.
Who inspires you?
Many people inspire me but I'd have to say that my two-year-old daughter takes the cake. I look at her, so young and so openminded, and know that I have to set the example for her. It is my job to teach her, and my son, how to find balance so that they can enjoy life while living it in a healthy way .
When you're in a slump what do you do to shake it?
This one is easy! I go into the gym and I pick up, to the pound, how much weight I've lost. Holding that in my hands and feeling the heaviness of it is like a slap in the face! I've also recently taken on a workout partner. I don't need the motivation to actually get to the gym, but she knows how to push my buttons to get me to work harder if I'm slacking off.
What future goals do you have for yourself?
My functional fitness goal is unassisted pull-ups. I would also like to do more cross training to become a more well-rounded athlete.
How did you do it?
Balance, preparation, hard work and a positive mindset. There is no secret, nor magic pill that will do the work for you.
What is one of your favorite recipes?
I have a lot of favorites but since I prepare my chicken ahead of time, this one only takes five minutes. It's great for a quick lunch!
1 chicken breast, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 tbsp. plain greek yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all of those together to form a delicious chicken salad!