Today I want to take the time to showcase someone who's pretty awesome. Emily is a working Mom of 2 who, like a lot of us struggled to fit in time for herself let alone...working out! Since working with her over the last several months, a lot has changed and she is now making HER health a priority and it's paying off big time. Here's her story.
After having my second baby and going back to work I began to feel very sluggish and wrapped up in focusing all of my attention and energy on my kids and work. I wasn’t making time for myself and no longer was feeling energized. I saw a posting on Facebook for a 12 Days of Fitness workout program and was intrigued. I figured 12 day, sounded doable. It was so straightforward, required little or no equipment and I sweated it out while working muscles I forgot I had.
When Spring rolled around I signed up for Fit In 6 Challenge! Who wouldn’t want to make a change and be ready for summer to start - I was game to dedicate 30 minutes a day to myself to clear my mind, get stronger and eat cleaner. I also knew that I have struggled to keep with a program in the past so got a friend from work to do it with me and we would check in with each other.
OK Emily, tell us what kind of results you've seen...
When starting the program I was terrified to take my measurements and initial pictures! I have never done something like that and I was really quite embarrassed to do so. That being said I also know myself and if I didn’t do the goal setting and initial stats I might not have stuck with the program.
Since that fateful day and by the end of the 6 weeks, I lost 10 lbs and several inches off my hips and waist! The numbers were for sure one victory but seeing the difference for me in the pictures really woke me up to the changes I was making, that and the fact that I was wearing shorts again that I hadn’t worn since before baby.
This program also gave me more energy and focus, I was eating clean and healthy, my kids were cheering me on and my husband was oh so supportive with everything. We began to make changes as a family (with our meals and activities), I was finding more energy when going to work but also that energy lasted throughout the day as I was eating better and drinking water. With those changes and sticking to a program for 6 weeks, it has now become part of my routine and I feel better when I workout daily, eat clean and drink my water!
We all know that transforming your body is a pretty cool perk of working out and eating well but sometimes other things transform that you didn't expect. Did anything like that happen to you as a result of these changes?
I am more aware on a daily basis now of what I put into my body and when (I have always been a late night snacker) as well as how active I am in a day. I have found that as my energy level improved so has my mood - not as many swings :)
I get up before my kids to get my workout in so that I can’t make excuses when I am tired at the end of the day. I have surprised myself by prioritizing my workouts and meal planning as a way to ensure a more successful day.
Any hesitations on signing up for an Online Fitness program at first? I get that it's a bit different.
Oh yes I was skeptical at first, but not about the program but about my ability to stick with it when I wasn’t meeting with a friend in person at the gym or my trainer face to face. However, this program did keep me accountable, I did have to check in, and when I was late logging a workout or my meals I really made sure I got it done as I knew I had to. For me an online program helped me focus on my workout without having to be self conscious and awkward at the gym, and it provided me support from a group of individuals and Kim as well as a guide to all exercises with modifications.
What is your biggest challenge for you when it comes to healthy living and what's your go to game plan to combat this?
Hands down drinking water and snacking! My husband has always been baffled about how little I drink and no matter how many pretty water bottles or fun fruits I add to my water, I still would prefer to drink coffee throughout my day. To get around this I just have to make a conscious decision to drink water. I have it available and need to just cut the coffee off when I get to work and use that water bottle.
With snacking I work around this by making sure I’m eating regularly and more protein. I always struggle at the checkout in the grocery store to not grab a box of Smarties or another chocolate bar. If I’m running on empty I gravitate to snacks in the staff room or quick snacks I have for the kids in the pantry. It is an internal conversation I have that that is not what I need and I’ll feel better with a glass of water (bubbly or flavoured) or some veggies and hummus- not always easy.
Is there one thing that you expected to be hard in your training that turned out to be not so bad at all?
Fitting a workout into my day. Between teaching and marking, making lunches, laundry, playing and loving on my kids and my husband I figured I had no time to workout and this was the way it was. But it wasn’t hard to fit in a workout once I made the choice to do so - it does usually have to be before everyone gets up though :)
Emily, you have 2 kids, a husband and are a teacher. Life is busy. What's your no fail quick meal for a busy night?
Spaghetti with a ground turkey and veggie sauce. Everyone eats it, I know my kids are getting veggies and a lean protein - two things that are hard to get them both to eat.
Ok let's talk exercises. Do you have a favourite?
Favourite - any exercises with weights - I liked these because I was surprised how well I could do them and how strong I felt.
Ok now complete honesty...least favourite?
Least - BURPEES!!! Oh how I hate burpees! :) They are hard, exhausting and work everything! I guess I should like them for all of those reasons but when burpees come up in the middle of a workout it is oh so hard.
Ah come on Burpees aren't THAT bad! Good for you for doing them anyway! So next question. If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting out on their health and fitness journey, what would it be?
You can do it!
Oh man even typing that felt cheesy but it’s SO true! It’s a process, a state of mind and a choice.
Finding a way to set aside 30 minutes of your day to improve your health and fitness is worth it and some days will be easy and some days almost impossible.
Life doesn’t always go as planned, early morning workouts can be interrupted by children who were up all night, work might need to be finished up in the evenings to meet deadlines, we all get sick and sometimes just feel like chilling with some wine and a good show. However, this is a journey and one worth starting!
Thanks so much for sharing your story AND for showing us that it's not only OK to put yourself and your wellbeing first even as a busy mama Emily.
If you're ready to see results like Emily, the timing couldn't be better for you. The Fit in 6 Challenge will be starting Jan 15th 2018 and registration is open. Join today and start putting YOURSELF back on the to-do list. You deserve to feel healthy fit and strong every single day.
Kim Holmes is a Personal Trainer and the Owner of My Fit Coach. She helps busy Moms care for their bodies (and minds) through Online Fitness and Nutrition Programs. As a Mom of two young sons, she understands that you don’t have hours to spend at the gym. Her Online Programs are efficient, fun and most importantly, they make fitness fit into your REAL life.