She has great tips for you to start small, set goals that you can reach, and do it for yourself and your kids so you are around a long time to play with them. I love this picture she sent in below of her catching her big three year old. You have to be a strong mom to play hard and have so much fun!
All images from Mary Gauvin
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 am recovering from an eating disorder that started in high school and progressed through college. In conjunction with that, I was hypothyroid through most of my teenage years. In general, I've worked hard on being healthy since both diagnoses and the subsequent recoveries/treatments. So, at age 30, I'll say that I've been trying my hardest to be my healthiest for about ten years. My son is three. I grew up in a household that emphasized health and wellness.
2. When you started eating healthier and working out more, what were your original goals?
I've always been fairly active and have tried to eat healthfully. My original goals were to maintain a body composition that I was comfortable with and knew was right for me. It's significantly easier for me to bulk up muscle than it is to be super skinny. Other goals include finding a diet (not for weight loss) that works best with me.
Part of health and wellness is knowing what is best for your body. There is no one size fits all formula, regardless of what the media and marketing wants us to think.
3. What are your current health goals?
My current health goals are to gain back some strength gains that I lost during our move from New York to Kentucky. While working out at home is effective, it's more effective for me to spend time at a gym. My husband has requested healthier eating on his part, so it's a family goal to find what diet composition works for him. As we've been in transition for approximately 60 days, I am also looking forward to sleeping in my own bed - sleep is such an important part of health and an air mattress just isn't cutting it.
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?
Ugh, right now I'm slacking. But I do get up and do a set of butterfly situps, squats, pushups, and lunges to get my blood flowing. When our household goods come, I'll have my weight bar and some other equipment to use before joining a new gym. I have found one (with childcare!!) nearby, but I want to get our house set up and our son settled in school first. Before we moved, my son came with me to the CrossFit box and hung out with the other kids or played by himself if there weren't other kids that day. I did whatever WOD the coaches came up with. I'm much better about going to the gym if someone is there to tell me what to do. Plus, with CrossFit there are usually others working out to keep me motivated!
5. What does working out consistently do for your overall well being - including physical, mental and emotional health?
I sleep so much better if I've done a good solid WOD (Workout Of the Day). For me, working out is all encompassing. It allows for carthasis, which we all know moms need!
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?
One of my fav workout quotes is that you'll never regret doing the workout, but you'll always regret not doing it. There are a couple of variations of that phrase, but if nothing else, healthful exercise extends our lifespan, thus extending the time we'll be around for our kids. I was a little hesitant to start CrossFit because it seemed way more than I'd ever be able to do. However, a good box and coach will show you how to scale the exercise so it's achievable.
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.
We eat fairly close to a Paleo diet. My son and husband both eat some dairy and grains and I do occasionally, too. We eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. If I don't eat a banana in the morning, I'm starving all day.
We stick very close to our weekly meal plan. It's best for both our bank account and our health! I also subscribe to the 80/20 philosophy. I stick to Paleo 80% of the time. I don't believe in deprivation when it comes to food. That parallels my disordered eating days way too closely. Our house is big on smoothies as well as dessert. I am soy-intolerant and anything almond gives me hives. So we are cognizant of that as well. We do Farmers' Markets and CSAs when they are available. It's really fun to plan meals around what is grown locally and in season - I enjoy the challenge.
8. How has your life changed from eating this way?
More energy, for sure. Food is fuel. When our three-year-old complains about having to stop playing to have meals, I remind him that just like his trucks, his body needs fuel to keep going. Doing CrossFit has allowed me to own my body type and achieve some pretty cool fitness milestones.
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?
We sit down every year and make a one-month plan, a one-year plan, a five-year plan, and then a "grownup" plan (for when my husband is done in the military). What do we want to accomplish, etc.
If getting healthier is truly one of your goals, don't let it wait. While being healthful is multi-facteted (exercise, diet, sleep, stress, etc.), the best place to start is with what you put in your body.
Try a pushup, sit-up, or plank challenge. There are a lot of free options out there... thirty days of the activity and you start small. I'm a planner, so having a meal plan and only buying what the meals call for helps a great deal.
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?
My son does Burpees on command. It's hilarious. We drove past the box we are joining and immediately asked when we were going.
We are our children's best advocates and teachers, so why not set the best example for them? I hope our son chooses to lead the healthful lifestyle that is best for him.
11. What is your New Year's Resolution for 2015 in regards to being a healthy, happy, totally yourself mom?
I don't do New Year's Resolutions. Too much pressure and cliche for me.
12. Anything else you want to add?
Living healthfully isn't the same for everyone, much like parenting styles. Knowing yourself is your best weapon! Have confidence that you can reach your goals and be sure to make reasonable goals.
13. What other things do you do to be a healthy person (like with emotional health, skin, massages, multivitamins, sleep, etc.)?
We love essential oils! Spending time outside is also important.