Baby Steps! That’s How You Get There!
I am a 37 year old mother, wife, gym rat foodie. I love the outdoors, good food; great wine and being able to out run my kids! Keeping up with a 7 and 5 year old is no easy task. With 3 students in my home one being my husband to say my free time is limited is an understatement. I work for an engineering firm in Marketing and social media. Currently I am interested in building a strong healthy family starting with me! I work for an amazing company that allows me to be fit, focused and creative. When not at work or in the gym you can find me in the kitchen creating tasty healthy creations for my family. 4 years ago I bought a Trek road-bike and when time and weather are on my side you will find me solo on the open road, there is nothing more liberating than being clipped in and passing Sunday drivers!
As a kid I was always involved in sports, I swam competitively (race and Syncro) and played softball on various competitive teams. My mother was a health food nut so I was always surrounded by healthy food and good choices, which I never appreciated until I had my own children. When I hit high-school I fell in with a crowd that was not so health conscious and my weight went up and my self-esteem went down. Puberty was a tough balancing act for me and was the first time in life I turned to food for comfort. My choices were poor for 10+ years and my health and body reflected it. Then came college and beer and bad choices became my way of life, as you can imagine my health reflected it, I was sick all the time, lacked energy and drive and was in a dangerous self-sacrificing spin.
My passion for health and fitness lay dormant for almost 15 years then I quit smoking and bought a gym membership, I hired a trainer and started to change my life. I ate clean, worked out 6 days a week and lost 50lbs and gained lean muscle. Then I met my husband and although we were active we got comfortable and the health and fitness passion went dormant again. 18 months ago I got fired from a terribly abusive job that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The boss I worked for was a bully and harassed me emotionally for years. I was at an all-time low with my self-esteem and an all-time high with my weight (175lbs at 5’5 and not pregnant). I was depressed, angry and needed to change. When I found the current company that I am with now, the focus on work life balance and the focus on health and wellness was just one of the many draws. We have a number of triathletes on staff and the company subsidizes gym memberships and has a full time wellness program complete with consultants that meet with us monthly. The constant chatter about training and nutrition re-ignited the fitness fire in me. It was exactly the kick in the butt I needed!
Fitness has given me awareness about how I impact others around me and has emotionally supercharged my self-confidence. I no longer run out of energy playing with my kids, I never turn to alcohol for stress relief anymore and I am more confident in my body and life. I feel that I am a positive role model for my children and others around me and hopefully I can inspire others to live a healthier more balanced lifestyle. Not to mention I feel great in or out of clothes, possibly for the first time in my life!
My 7 year old daughter is my biggest support system. She is full of questions and keeps me accountable. 60 days ago a took part in a 60 Days Strong Challenge put on by Sophie Smith of Sophie Fitness, a nutrition and fitness challenge that has created an awareness that has been more than profound. I am proud to say I won this Challenge and lost 12% of my body weight in the process and gained an insane amount of strength and knowledge. A lot of my family think that I am extreme with my nutrition and work out regimens however they are currently doing nothing to better themselves or their lives. Most of my friends are great! We seek out advice and share strategies with each other, pushing each other to be better every day.
The hardest obstacle for me has been “fitting it all in” on a daily basis. Juggling my goals; my children’s schedule; a busy husband; and a full-time job can be tough. Knowing what and when to compromise is important. Since starting my journey I have lost almost 50lbs, have gone from a 12 to a 4 and for the first time ever I am smaller than my husband! My biggest accomplishment though is planting the seeds with my children that fitness and nutrition is a normal part of daily life, not a once in a while thing. I don’t do supplements other than protein powder; and before this 60 day challenge my protein intake was ½ what it should have been, now I average 150 grams a day plus. I try to limit my caffeine intake but I admit it, black coffee is my go to weakness. I need it to survive my two kids. When I need something sweeter I add a ½ tsp. of cocoa and some peppermint extract and a bit of stevia… it is liquid candy!
I eat a LOT of green food, avocado, tomatoes and white protein… my diet is simple and spices are the trick… I experiment a lot with different dry spices… and try to eat the rainbow daily… My mom always said “if you eat the rainbow you will be healthy.” I am gluten and lactose intolerant so my carbs are usually veggies with oats being my go to before and after workouts, I eat 6 times a day with my first meal being at 5 am and my last at 9:30pm I eat at least 10 cups of veggies everyday!
My goals are still forming, this year I am competing in the Warrior Dash ( think Tough Mudder only scaled back) with my husband, this was my main driver to get me back in shape. I intend to ride 100km this summer and in the next 5-7 years my daughter and I would like to ride across Canada, just to say we did it! Like most women who wear a bikini, I would like to see my abs, at least once 🙂 There’s no reason why you can’t start your journey today! Just do IT! The first step is the hardest, as with anything, every day will get a little easier. It takes 21 days to create a new habit, mark it off on the calendar, set goals that are visible and realistic, write them down and put them on your fridge. Do NOT compare yourself to the people on the cover of a magazine or a TV show, this is not reality. Reality is we all started somewhere, we all have a story. If you are looking for a motivator, hire someone to help you set the foundation… it was one of the best steps I made. Know that you will have bad days, but it is one day, get right back up dust yourself off and do it all over again. Keep trying and trust in the process. If money is the issue, make a trade, I quit smoking 13 years ago and all the money I put into cigarettes I put into a gym membership and 3 months’ worth of personal training. The money was exactly the same just in a healthier spot? Do you eat takeout… that alone could be your gym membership or training sessions. If you dread the thought of the gym… get outside… nature is the best gym… Google outdoor HIIT workouts for beginners… you will be surprised how much work you can do at a park. Bottom line is trust in yourself… you are the reason to change, you deserve to be the healthiest person you can be, you owe it to you!
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. If you have even the smallest desire to better your health and well-being make a lot of small changes instead of trying to transform everything at one time. Think of the transformation as putting together a massive 3D puzzle, first you must build the foundation and make sure it is strong, then you add on all the extras that help define the masterpiece then finally you add the little details that make it amazing. Start with doing something, anything! Walk somewhere every day, park at the back of the parking lot instead of up front, take the stairs, switch from Cream to milk in your coffee, eat out less, shop the outside of the grocery store first and the inside last 80% fresh 20% other! Find your support network Twitter was it for me, that and the morning crew at my local Y, seeing those same people every morning keeps me accountable and they don’t let me forget it if I miss more than 2 days in a row! Eat breakfast every day! Not negotiable, if the thought of eating makes you want to vomit try a shake… your body needs FUEL. You wouldn’t try and drive your car without gas would you? Eat 5-6 times a day. Balance is key. If you are having an apple as a snack add in some nuts or yogurt too, get your fats and proteins with your carbs and you will feel fuller longer.Twitter: @ALtillMom My Fitness Pal: ALtillMom Linked in: ca.linkedin.com/in/leannetillaartrhb/ Email: Leanne dot Tillaart at Gmail dot com