I owe my healthy lifestyle to my mom. When I was in high school I was a bit chubby and she taught me how to lift weights and run. She taught me :

Being fit is a lifestyle and has to be done on a regular basis for the rest of your life!

This lesson is invaluable because so many people try to get fit for events, vacations, weddings, new years resolutions- whatever the goal they always see a finish line, but there is no finish line.

So in honour of Mother’s Day I want to share my mom’s amazing fitness journey, especially as she is currently in better shape than I am!

Hi Mama- Tell us a little bit about yourself. Share you athletic history and your struggles.

Let’s see, my athletic history is that I ran track and cross country in high school.   I also ran track in college for the University of Hawaii.  I was a 200/400 metre runner in track.

So working out was something I always did, but after I had 5 kids I got fat because over the years of having all these kids, I couldn’t keep up a regular workout routine.  Plus the fact that I had you all by C-section didn’t help either.  So between 5 pregnancies and no regular exercise I got fat, ha! ha!

By the time she had Baby #5 she had put on quite a bit of weight
By the time she had Baby #5 she had put on quite a bit of weight

Walk us through a typical workout and day of eating.
I workout now between 4-5 days a week, doing intense cardio and weight training combined.  I learned this through doing crossfit.    I use to workout only 2-3 times a week, and never at an intense level where I really had to get my heart rate up while weight training.

You have spent most of your life working out on a regular basis but you were still gaining weight. What had to change for the weight to come off?

I used to comfortably walk for 30 minutes and then piddle around with some light weights.  And all that was doing was maintaining my current weight which was still 30 lbs. over where I should have been as I had not changed my eating then.   I had a real sweet tooth and would always eat ice cream, chocolate bars and drink pop (real pop, not even diet pop).  And I would eat later into the night out of boredom.

So for the weight to come off, I had to workout more times a week at an intense level where I was really out of breath and my heart rate was up while lifting weights

What dietary changes did you make?

Of course my eating had to change, so I cut out sugar basically and white breads, I stopped eating by 7 pm every night, no more constant nighttime snacking.  I drank a lot of water instead of pop, cut way down on the dairy, switched to almond milk instead of regular milk, cheese only once in a while.   I had to train myself to just eat less, smaller portions.  I didn’t need to eat to get that real super “full” feeling anymore like when you go to a buffet.  You know how it is after you eat at the buffet?  You just want to come home and go to sleep and go into that buffet coma?  ha! ha!

You had five kids and struggled with your weight well until the youngest was a couple years old. Any advice for busy moms with little ones?

I know that many gyms today have babysitting there.  So if you can join a gym, do it and take advantage of the babysitting services.  If you’re not near a gym, make your own home gym, like get some weights, dumbbells.  There are some good cardio dvd’s and weight training dvd’s you can get.  I know of young mother’s who workout from home when their kids are napping or before they wake up in the morning.

Any other advice?

If you can make working out a priority for you that’s great.   If you can put aside that one hour 4-5 times a week it will be worth it because it’s for your health.  And as we get older we need to do it.  The housecleaning and other things can wait that one hour while your working out.
And that’s about it, I just want to look and feel good for my age (52).  I’m not trying to look like a 25 year old.
Well, I think my mom looks better than a lot of 25 year olds!
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