Thanks, Jessica Bussey, for sharing your story with us!
All images from Jessica Bussey
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 honestly can't say what made me realize I wanted or needed to be healthier. My SIL and I talked a lot about working out & dieting. After I heard she was dropping some pounds I figured "what the heck" and decided to start counting calories (using the MyFitnessPal app) & working out as well (T25 & running 5k road races). Mind you I had NEVER stuck to any sort of workout or diets in the past. I was 31 and my kids were 13, 7, and 2. I had never really been a scale person but with the programs I was using you recorded your weight, well it didn't take long to see that number drop and helped me stick to it.
2. When you started eating healthier and working out more, what were your original goals?
In all honesty, my original goals were to lose weight (I think I originally started with wanting to lose 25lbs and then upped it to 30.) To look better in my clothes/bathing suit and have a better self confidence.
3. What are your current health goals?
Exactly that, to be healthy! Don't get me wrong, I still want to fit in my clothes and feel comfortable in a bathing suit, but it's more about the long term health for me now. I've stepped up my running to longer distances and upped my workouts.
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?
Well I really enjoy running, but currently it doesn't happen as much as I'd like. I HATE running on a treadmill and it's just too nasty out to take the kids with me. When spring arrives we usually make running a family event, my husband (if he's around) pushing my son in the jogger and my daughter rides her bike. I just started another beach body program called Insanity Max:30 (Last year I completed T25, LOVED IT!) This is a 30 minute DVD workout you can just pop in on your own time at home. I'm trying to get up that extra half hour early in the morning (while the kids are sleeping) to just get it done, but that doesn't always happen.
So I commit myself to those quick, yet important 30 minutes when I get home from work, first thing! I'm lucky enough to have a large enough basement where I can workout and the kids can play. They have always been really good at letting me get my workout in, but don't get me wrong, there have been MANY times I've had to stop for "I need to go poop!" or fighting & crying.
5. What does working out consistently do for your overall well being - including physical, mental and emotional health?
It has obviously made my physical self stronger & healthier. I have more energy than I ever had before, can help move heavy things with my husband without dropping it on his feet and I'm just happier! I have more self confidence than I ever have had!
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?
It honestly makes your entire family life better. Like I said, more energy and a better self confidence not only helped me, but better times with my kids and husband. I'm able to keep up with the kids and hopefully not TMI but my sex life improved drastically because of how I felt about myself!
It's so hard to get motivated and convince yourself to do it, but a year later I no longer can see any excuse not to be able to squeeze in 30 minutes for yourself.
My husband is a huge supporter and would help with the kids if it came to that and if you need to wake that extra bit early, your body will thank you! It's an amazing jump start to your day.
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.
I've pretty much been following the same breakfast & lunch plan for over a year now. I have a cup of coffee in the morning (and one to go to work with) a piece of toast, egg and usually either peppers or tomatoes. A couple hours later I'll have a snack, right now I'm on a rice cake kick. Lunch is always a salad & yogurt. Dinners I have whatever I am making for the family, I'm just sure to portion control. And water, lots of water throughout the day. I prefer flavored polar seltzer, I was a huge ginger ale freak, so cutting that was hard. I think the seltzer helped fill that "void" if you will and fill me up as well.
8. How has your life changed from eating this way?
I feel like it must be true that your stomach can shrink, because I no longer crave snacking. and if I do feel hungry I try to have water first because it is most common that you are thirsty and not hungry, that will typically help any craving.
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 don't think I really had to change much as far as my grocery shopping went, other than adding more veggies for my mornings & lunches. Like I said, I eat the same dinners as my family, so a small change would be making sure you are having the appropriate portions, as well as changing your lunches to salads instead of leftovers or sandwiches.
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 absolutely hope they learn from me! I hope they see the part of me where working out and eating better has made me healthier & happier... and not focus on the number on the scale or the pant size (I'm still working on that myself).
11. What is your New Year's Resolution for 2015 in regards to being a healthy, happy, totally yourself mom?
I want to be able to continue my healthy lifestyle in 2015 and make it better. I'm hoping to run longer distances (completed my first 10K new years day, what better way to ring in the new year!) I'm also hoping to become stronger. There is a very fine line with health & fitness and making sure you're focusing on that and not the commercial aspect. I've started my new workout and it's 8 weeks long, the point of it is to push yourself until you can't go any further and "max out" it's the first week and I'm maxing out at about 8 min, I'd love to be able to complete the entire 30 min!
12. Anything else you want to add?
No more excuses, YOU ARE WORTH IT! I know how hard it is to commit yourself, and how tired you may feel first thing in the morning or last thing at night. But you will feel better if you just push yourself, 25 min a day was all it took for me to completely turn my lifestyle around.
You will see results, but remember it takes time. And when you feel like all you have is just 1 more min in you, go 3! since seeing my after workout selfie picture is to do just that. Track your progress with pictures. I literally took an after workout selfie every day, I still like to look back at where I came from, it's fun & silly but works!
13. What other things do you do to be a healthy person (like with emotional health, skin, massages, multivitamins, sleep, etc.)?
Emotionally, for me, it's making sure I have time for just my husband, when we have "us" time we are happier therefore so are the kids! Skin, I'm about a year into using Rodan and Fields, LOVE IT! (Thank you Angela Cronin!) other than that I just recently got a jawbone up24 and am tracking my sleep,.,, holy eye opening! I need work in the whole "good night sleep" department! any advice is appreciated!