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Friday, January 16, 2015

healthy, happy, you 2015 - strong mom Judy Hongvanthong

I'm so pleased to feature a few strong mommas who are working hard to reach their health and fitness goals - in addition to being great moms! Judy Hongvanthong is one of these awesomely strong and hard working mothers. She has some good ideas about how to make working out just part of your daily routine, having someone encourage you to keep up with taking time for yourself, and overall being healthier. 

Thanks, Judy!

Images from Judy Hongvanthong

1. When did you realize you wanted or needed to be healthier? How old were you, how old were your children? What happened to make you realize you wanted to make some changes?
- I try to stay in shape the best that I can, but during & after my pregnancies I fell off track. I had my first child in 2013 and didn't lose the baby weight before I got pregnant with my 2nd. I realized I needed to make a change shortly after my youngest was born. I am 29 and my kids are 19 months and 4 months old. 

I want to be the healthiest I can be when I enter my 30's. I was also tired of my clothes not fitting me. I used to love getting dressed and ready to go out but I started to dread it because nothing fit. I found myself wearing yoga pants and tees all the time and I wanted to wear "real" clothes again.

2. When you started eating healthier and working out more, what were your original goals?
- My initial goal was to fit into my clothes again.

3. What are your current health goals?
- My current goal is to get down to my pre pregnancy weight, get toned and stay that way.

4. What is your routine for working out right now? When, where, how and what do you do exactly? Where are your kids during this working out time?
- I try to workout 3 times a week. I do 1-2 spin classes a week plus workout at home. I'm still on maternity leave so I schedule it with my husband, we alternate gym days so we both get time at the gym. My oldest is in daycare so I normally go to the gym right after I drop her off (8:45 am) and make it to the 9:15 spin class. If I can't make it to the gym because I have to watch my youngest, I do a workout video at home during nap time. Right now I'm doing Brazilian Butt Lift DVD, each workout is 45 min or less. I like going to classes at the gym because once I'm in the class I'm forced to finish plus I feed off the energy of everyone else in the class.

When I go back to work both my kids will be in daycare so I plan on going to the gym either before work or before I pick them up. My husband does the drop offs so I can get to the gym early.

5. What does working out consistently do for your overall well being - including physical, mental and emotional health?

- I feel so much better after leaving the gym. I feel relaxed and I feel like I accomplished something towards my goal. It puts me in a better mood overall. I make it part of my normal routine like brushing my teeth, so I feel weird the days I don't go to the gym or workout.

6. Why do you think moms should and could work out more? What is your advice to moms who feel they just can't find the time, energy or motivation to get moving?

- We as moms give so much of ourselves to our families, that we tend to forget to take care of ourselves. Start slowly and keep your goals realistic. 

Walking for 20 min then move up to jogging etc. Make small changes to what you eat. Make it a lifestyle change. Remember that it takes time to get back in shape and results aren't overnight. Find people to support you. I made the commitment to get healthy with my husband so we motivate each other to get up and go to the gym and we hold each other accountable.

7. What foods do you eat to help you with your fitness goals, as well as to feel overall healthier? Tell us about the health plan you follow.
- Moderation is key for me. I have had a sweet tooth ever since getting pregnant so if I want dessert I'll have it, just not every night. I do stay away from fried and processed foods because I know it makes me feel awful afterwards. I detoxed my pantry and go rid of junk foods/snacks. Out of sight out of mind kind of thing. I swapped those items for yogurt, veggies and fresh fruit. I take time to cook dinner most nights and only eat out once a week.

8. How has your life changed from eating this way?
- I like knowing exactly what I'm putting in my body and my family's as well. Changing what I ate has helped me lose/maintain my weight. It also helped me clear up my skin.

9. What is your advice to moms who feel they have no money, time or energy to make different meals for their families to be healthier? Are there small changes they could make?
- I found that cooking at home was less expensive than buying pre made meals. When I'm at work I plan what I'm going to make for dinner on my drive home. The rule in my house is you eat what I make or you're on your own. Buy staples that will last you a while. My favorites are couscous, rice and frozen broccoli. I always have proteins in the freezer. My quick meal is tilapia, couscous and broccoli. Takes 40 min from defrost to ready to eat. If you don't have time to cook every night, make enough for leftovers the next day.

10. What message do you think it sends to your kids when you make eating healthier and working out frequently a priority? What do you hope they learn from you?
- I think it will show them that their health is important and what they put into their bodies does matter. I hope they will learn to make healthy lifestyle choices in the future.

11. What is your New Year's Resolution for 2015 in regards to being a healthy, happy, totally yourself mom?

- My resolution is to devote some time each week to myself, whether it be to go to the gym or to just unwind and read a book.
12. Anything else you want to add?
- Take it 1 day at a time. If you fall off track don't get discouraged just keep moving forward.

13. What other things do you do to be a healthy person (like with emotional health, skin, massages, multivitamins, sleep, etc.)?
- I drink at least 64 oz of water each day and I always use a face moisturizer with sunscreen. Sleep? What is that?! ;)

Here's to a happy and healthy 2015!
- Judy

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