‘How Does She Do It?’ is a new feature where my girlfriends who have it GOIN’ ON let the rest of us in on some of their secrets/tips!
How Does She Do It: Health and Fitness
Meet Jane, a gorgeous mom of 3 in her thirties! Jane is THAT mom who does everything with flair but she’s uncommonly beautiful, by which I mean she is a perfectionist but unlike most, she wears her heart on her sleeve. She is a petite, stylish and uber-feminine trophy wife (I use the term lovingly!) who just radiates love and light. Yet she has an underlying toughness and savvy that I suspect is what got her through her many years as a competitive dancer. It might sound hippy-dippy, but I feel like Jane and I probably have the same spirit animal, whatever that is. Except her spirit animal is much leaner and stronger and could do a triathlon. She’s one of those people I could talk to for hours. About anything. She’s definitely the whole package and I was really impressed at how honestly she answered my questions. I’m happy to share her candid advice with you. (Also you have to go check out her fabulous new blog HERE!)
MKM: What did you eat yesterday?
Jane: Steel Cut oatmeal with coconut milk and a dash of agave
3 Hardboiled Egg whites with a sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt & pepper
Small Red delicious apple
2 cups of black tea
Spinach, chicken, walnut, strawberry salad with light balsamic dressing
12oz non fat, half chocolate mocha with no whip
6 pieces of spicy salmon roll
5 oz Seared Ahi Tuna Steak with asparagus, over red quinoa
(MKM note: Didn’t even know you could have a “half chocolate” mocha! Must try this!)
MKM: What’s a typical eating day for you?
Jane: About the same. The only difference is that some days, I have a protein shake right after my work out. I’ve found my body really responds to that. Plus, I make it a chocolate one to satisfy my sweet tooth and I likely would have swapped that out for the latte. I’m a pretty clean eater. I do better when I eat every couple of hours. I don’t do much gluten/grains or dairy because I just feel better when I don’t. I crave raw, clean food. I would take savory over sweet any day. My friends would call me a foodie. I LOVE to cook.
(MKM note: What is it with all these gals who prefer salt to sugar? Could this be the key to looking fabulous forever?)
MKM: What would you consider a “splurge”?
Jane: Generally dessert for me. As I said, I love to cook and bake. My kids and I find it fun and natural to bond in the kitchen and they naturally gravitate towards baking. I will not deny myself the pleasure of those treats/moments, but I will try to budget for them if/when they happen. Right now I am losing the self control battle with the stinking Girl Scout cookies in the house!
(MKM note: I feel like the name “Thin Mints” is super deceiving. Well played, Girl Scouts, well played.)
MKM: Have you ever gone through a time in your life when you were overweight?
Jane: Never overweight. I did struggle with an eating disorder as a teen and into college. It continues to haunt me and lingers still to this day to be totally honest. Its such a mind/control game. Quite frankly, most women I know have a distorted body image. So, its essentially that for me, but magnified because of my past. Becoming a mom ultimately put things into perspective for me and I just remind myself that what I model for my kids is what I am teaching them. Therefore, I strive to show them that eating a well balanced, healthy diet and exercising daily is a huge priority and responsibility to the body we’ve been blessed with.
MKM: Do you have a personal trainer?
Jane: I have had several coaches and personal trainers. I am a very focused and driven person and I love a challenge. I’ve used them for everything from setting and reaching new fitness goals, to learning new skills. They are a wealth of knowledge plus a great accountability partner. They can be costly, but I’ve learned a lot in my time I’ve invested that I carry into my workouts almost daily. I find however, that finding a group exercise class with an instructor you LOVE can be equally as valuable though, and more cost effective. Right now I’m HOOKED on Fusion Fitness here in Kansas City. The instructors are so motivating and inspiring!
MKM: Do you belong to a gym?
Jane: I do belong to a gym, though I also enjoy the smaller, specialized fitness facilities that offer yoga, barre, and hybrid fitness models in smaller, more intimate spaces. I also LOVE to run outside. Fresh air, sunshine, a great playlist and the open road… BLISS!!
MKM: What’s a typical week’s workout schedule?
Jane: Ideally, I like to get exercise at least 5 days per week. I’m just a nicer person when I do, and if that’s not reason enough, the health and fitness benefits are best for me when I do. I definitely battle with finding what seems like a million other things that need to be done instead as a working mom of 3 kids, though. Therefore, it’s so important for me to plan my workouts at the beginning of the week. On Sunday, I like to sit down with my planner (I’m a pen and paper gal) and look at my personal and work commitments and schedule in my workouts. Sometimes I even schedule out a couple weeks at a time! I do have a several classes that I do my best to schedule life around because I LOVE the class and the instructor so much! So, specifically my workouts vary depending on what my fitness goal is, or if I am training for an event.
MKM: What makes a bigger difference, eating or exercise?
Jane: Ugh, what a loaded question. They BOTH make a big difference, and I think it totally depends on who you are talking to. For me, since I eat pretty well generally, the exercise is key for my physical appearance and mental clarity. I can tell when I’ve backed off on weights. I like my body and “fitness” much better when I am strength training. Additionally, when I exercise regularly, I make better food choices as well. Now, on times when I’ve been exercising regularly and I’ve tweaked my diet (totally gluten free, or really reduced sugar or sodium intake) I can also see differences in my body. Therefore, I just don’t think you can have one without the other to have your outsides reflect the way you are treating your insides!
(MKM note: I love this! So simple and easy to remember. I always forget about the sodium!)
MKM: Do you wear make-up and cute clothes when you work out?
Jane: Yes… with no shame!! When I like the way I look, I feel better about myself. And when I feel better about myself, I put my better feet forward. That is how I roll. I do not judge those who don’t though. Whatever gets you to move and doing the do, more power to ya! I am a very busy gal, so unless it’s a 5:30am workout when I am coming straight home and into the shower, I usually wear clothes and fix my face and hair into a way that if I’m running errands before or after, that I am presentable in public.
MKM: Do you regularly weigh yourself?
Jane: I definitely put more stock into how my clothes fit and how I look in (and out) of my clothing. However, I do weigh myself regularly. It’s all about accountability for me. We have a FitBit Scale that I love. It tracks your weigh ins for you and syncs with any food/activity tracking apps that you use. There’s no magic number for me on the scale though. Its just a gauge. I actually really prefer knowing my body fat percentage over weight.
MKM: Do you count calories?
Jane: I do count calories. Sometimes I’m more precise about it and use the app LoseIt and others I do a rough count in my head. Again, back to the eating disorder it’s something I’ve done for over half of my life. I’ve learned the hard way about how my body responds to too little calories, and conversely, too many. I shoot for 1,500-2,000 Calories/day. I wear a heart rate monitor and track calories burned in my workouts so on days that I get a great calorie burn, I allow myself the leeway outside of that range if I want to. I LOVE to cook. We LOVE to eat meals together as a family. I will eat what my family eats and although we really do eat a lean, healthy diet most of the time, we have lots of wonderful delicious foods we enjoy that do have the higher calorie count: cream-based pastas i.e. Mommy’s Shrimp Noodles and Mommy’s world famous Apple pie. So on those days, I make sure that I earn it with my workouts!
More importantly though than the # of calories you eat is WHERE are those calories coming from? That’s why tracking your food intake is such a great accountability partner.
MKM: Is “Fitspiration” on Pinterest/Instagram motivating or depressing?
Jane: I find it motivating! If you keep a open mindset, rather than a scarcity point of view, you’ll see that everyone has something to learn from everyone. We are all on our own journey. I think if you find that stuff depressing then you need to evaluate the deeper reason why you find it frustrating. Take ownership of your life, draw inspiration and motivation from places that work for you, keep your head held high, and press on!!
MKM: To what do you attribute your current physical fitness? (Diet, exercise, both, good genes, hard work, etc.)
Jane: Hard work!! My journey has been one of highs and lows, full of bootstrap moments, and determination. I was a dancer growing up and once I entered into adulthood, I felt kind of lost trying to find something that kept me fit and happy when it came to exercise. I got married and started having kids in my early 20s right out of college. By age 27, I had 3 kids and found this whole new body that I had to work with. When my son was 5yrs old, he was trying to learn how to swim in the deep end. I couldn’t swim myself, and while encouraging him to be brave, he called me out on it and asked me to be brave too. Talk about a humbling moment! Within a week, I signed up for my first triathlon. I hated running, I couldn’t swim, and I hadn’t been on a bike outdoors since I was 15 years old. I set a big, fat, scary goal and found out that I loved running and incidentally was pretty good at it, I learned how to swim, and made it through the bike portion. It was a huge defining moment for me and essentially launched my fitness journey into my adulthood.
Very recently, I had hip surgery to repair a torn labrum and FAI impingement. It’s been over 6 months of recovery to get to a place where I can gingerly return to a normal fitness routine, but still with modifications. I figured out pretty quickly that I needed to do something different than what I had been doing pre-injury/surgery as I was being too hard on myself for not being able to do what I used to be able to do. I am having to re-invent myself and not be to hard on myself as well… not an easy task, but I’m up for the challenge!