Here is the situation: You give birth to one or more children and spend the next half decade at Zumba and yoga classes trying to get into the jeans and tops that you wore pre-mommyhood.
Fact: Your body was stretched out and rolled out for 9 months and it will never really go back the same way that it was. Some mom’s spring back pretty well. Others, (like me) not so much. When you grow a human being inside your body, a myriad of things happen, including the inevitable (and permanent) widening of your hips. This is really awesome for those of us who already had more curves than Lombard Street well before motherhood began.
What I am learning through my own quest to achieve a healthy lifestyle is that, as long as we can make ourselves FEEL like the best versions of ourselves, the outside will eventually catch up. But this doesn’t come without some work. I drag myself to the gym 2-4 days per week. I think I have made it well known that I do not enjoy the gym, but I go because I have to if I want to continue to feel healthy and strong. If I don’t get out of the house and off to the gym, I won’t get it done. I sometimes do the Beach Body workouts in my basement – which are quick 30 minute, highly effective workouts. But some days, just getting down the stairs and putting the DVD into the player is much harder than getting in my car and heading to the gym. There are always distractions at home. Kids, laundry, bills, dishes, dogs, work…facebook. LOL! On the days that I don’t make it to the gym, I try to do some kind of physical activity whether its pulling 60 lbs of kid behind my bike in a trailer or walking the dogs around my neighborhood. I try to get outside and do something every day.
There are a few fellow moms who I consider to be a great inspiration to my quest to be a better version of me. We all have a similar story. We work, have one or more children, we have dishes to do, laundry to fold, dinner to make, a house to clean, playdates (or sports) to attend and somewhere in the mix, an attempt to have a glimmer of a social life and a husband who seeks our attention.
One such inspiration is someone I met last summer while doing 21 day fix; Mary Catalogna. A friend of mine gave me her name to be a beach body coach during my very first round. I’m so glad that I reached out to Mary. She is an amazing person and although I know I will never be the hardcore athlete that she has become, I can definitely use her motivation and success to motivate me when I feel like slumping down onto the couch with a box of cookies instead of heading out the door for a run! I asked Mary share her thoughts on achieving a healthy lifestyle with us….here we go!
ABOUT MARY: (A totally fit MOM-BOD!)
Hi my name is Mary, I’m 39 years old and live in the Detroit Metro area with my hubby John and 2 young sons Gabe (7) and Giovanni (4). I’m a Sales Manager for an automotive Tier company and a Beachbody Health & Fitness Coach. I’m very passionate about fitness, veggies and the energy I obtain from both. I started running casually in college as it was a great stress reliever and haven’t given up the sport yet! I have participated in several races including marathon distances (including the Boston marathon!) Soon after having kids I realized I didn’t have much time to run extreme distances frequently so I took up strength training and fell in love with how fit I could feel and look with only training for ~30 minutes a day. I still love endurance training and recently completed a Half Iron Man Triathlon.
VIEW ON HEALTH AND FITNESS
I’m fascinated with the amount of information about health & fitness and the impact it has on our lives. There’s so much to learn! I’m very motivated by the journey of others. I love listening/reading about how people have overcome their problems, failures & fears by plugging into health & fitness. People have such interesting stories and each story impacts the lives of their subjects SO many diverse ways. Health & fitness is affected by behaviors, society, culture, age, religion, etc.
WHAT MOTIVATES MARY?
The commitment and dedication to the “experience” which is mentally & physically challenging. Also, the sense of accomplishment after completing vigorous events or month long programs. For me, 80% of exercising isn’t about the 6-pack abs, it’s about having an outlet which brings me mental clarity. With being a health & fitness coach people rely on me to be their support system and to inspire them to understand it’s worth making health a priority.
HOW DOES MAINTAINING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE MAKE YOU FEEL?
It’s extremely clear when I don’t take care of myself (during long vacations, holidays…the times I drink a little too much). I feel fatigued, bloated, and cranky. I’m a better wife and mom when I plug into fitness & healthy eating (lots of veggies, fruit, nuts/seed). I’m energized, focused and happy. Even 15 minutes of exercise will put me in a good mood!
WHAT DOES MARY SAY TO THOSE WHO DON’T ENJOY EXERCISE?
My first questions is always “Why don’t you like to exercise?” Not enough time…why? Do you get bored? Are you not confident because you don’t know what to do? Find something you love to do, it doesn’t have to involve a gym. Exercise should be looked at as physical activity. Don’t view it as something you have to do for hours on end. 15 mins a day will offer you benefits! Dance, hike, swim, play a sport, rock climb, surf, paddle board, yoga, martial arts, etc. So, why do we need physical activity? It strengthens your muscles & bones which helps with balance. It increases your chances of living a longer active life. It helps you sleep. It keeps you at a healthy weight. It boosts your mood & energy level. It also helps to prevent heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, strokes, and so much more.
My best advice is to make healthy living fun! Don’t dread it, embrace it and start feeling your best self.
Thank you so much for sharing your story Mary!
Now – because I always try to share a recipe on my blog posts – I wanted to share one that Mary would like also! This is the easiest VEGGIE Chili on the Planet. Because, you know, we are moms and we don’t enjoy spending hours in the kitchen every night! This is an awesome weeknight dish that seriously only takes 20 minutes to make. Its lean and mean just like Mary at the Half IronMan competition! LOL!
Easiest Veggie Chili on the Planet:
1 tub of fresh pico de gallo salsa
1 can of black beans
1/2 onion – diced
Chili Spices (to taste)
2 tbsp shredded cheese (regular or vegan)
In a medium sauce pan – heat 1 TB of olive oil and drop in diced onions. Sauté until translucent. Open the salsa and black beans, pour into the pot. Cook on high until it bubbles – then reduce down to simmer for 10 minutes. While Simmering, add in cilantro & chili spices of your choice (Cumin, cayenne pepper & taco seasoning are my favorite options!). Once your desired flavor profile is achieved, scoop into a bowl – top with avocado and cheese. Enjoy!