Day 19 of 25 Days of Fitness: Erin lost 100lbs!

By Kate Horney

It’s fun to get to know other BeyondFit moms, isn’t it?!  Having support and not feeling ALONE on our fitness & fat loss journeys is an important part of our success.

Here’s another fit & inspirational mom for you to get to know….

For those reading the blog who might not know you, or your background, can you give us a little background on yourself—how did you get into the fitness industry, where did you begin?

I sort of got into the fitness industry by accident. I had been sedentary and overweight for most of my life and knew nothing about nutrition or fitness. The only thing I knew for sure is that I was somehow destined to have an unhealthy body I wasn’t comfortable in and that exercise and vegetables just “weren’t for me.” That changed when I found out I was pregnant with a girl.

I was terrified that I would pass on all the body image issues that I had struggled with my whole life. I vowed never to say negative things about my body and I set out to become a fit and active person who could show my daughter by example how to respect her body and what it can do as opposed to loathe it for how it looks. I ended up losing almost 100lbs in a year’s time. I got really into fitness and health. I would spend days thinking about what I might go back to school for and nights planning my recipes and workouts for the week. Eventually it became clear what I needed to do….

Where do your priorities lie now? Family? Training? Both? Other? Etc. How has your focused changed over time?

Like any mother, my child comes first. If in dire straights and one of us was to go without shoes, that would every time be me. That said, under normal everyday circumstances I strive to put my basic needs first so that I am better able to be there for everything and everyone else that is important to me. I think that when we leave ourselves off of our priority lists we only teach our children to be martyrs. That’s not my goal. And for me, training is a priority as it is what keeps me feel physically and mentally best.

Was there a moment of definition where you consciously decided to go for it or was it more of a passive thing?  Did you make a concerted effort or did you just get lucky?

After the initial weight loss I found it became more of an effort to fit exercise in. Sometimes for me that means getting up at 5am. Sometimes it’s squeezing it in after my baby is in bed. But if it becomes passive it doesn’t happen. Every time I workout it’s following through on a committment to myself and my family. It’s never easy.

How would you advise the busy mom who wants to leverage their time better? What’s the first step?

Decide it’s important. Everyone has the same amount of hours in a day. Heaven knows I know what it is to be busy. In recent months I have cut as many things out of my life as possible to create more space to just relax but when I was at my busiest (4 jobs including my own business and a family) exercise was more important than ever. It gave me energy and endorphines I badly needed to make it all happen.

There is no secret. It’s a commitment. It’s challenging to make time for yourself. But it’s not just a commitment to yourself, it’s a commitment to be healthy for all the people and things you believe are important. But it’s not easy for anyone to make that time. It’s a choice.

What about moms who say they cannot achieve their goals because they don’t have time?

Sometimes I think that Mom just needs to hear “You are doing a great job. You do SO much. You are appreciated more than sometimes shows. You more than deserve to be a priority.” But it isn’t about time. Because the same Mom who doesn’t have time to squeeze in a workout will make time to bake brownies for a fundraiser at the very last moment, and drop everything for any minor emergency in someone else’s day. There is time. It’s a matter of believing you are worth your own time.

For moms who are frequently exhausted and worn-out by the end of the day, how would you advise they manage their schedules/energy/time so that they have the energy to start on the path towards reaching their goals?

Try not to make getting healthier an “epic battle” you are always on. Just make small healthy changes…

  • Drink more water.
  • Go for a walk first thing in the morning.
  • Do squats while you watch TV or make dinner.

It doesn’t have to be about becoming a fitness model overnight. But small, healthy changes overtime add up.

What is ONE THING these moms can start on today that will not overwhelm them?

It’s hard to pick one thing. I guess I would say to eat more produce. That’s pretty simple. Pick up some apples and oranges and put them in a bowl on the table. Snack on that. Even if your kids aren’t on board with healthy foods yet, just watching you eat them matters. More produce. Pretty simple.

Take us through a typical day for you. How have you “created your life?”

The nature of my job and life is that there isn’t really a typical day. Some days are so jam packed that the only way I’ll get a workout is to make sure I’m up before the sun. Other days I have more flexibilty (these days are the hardest to get it in). But mornings are usually all about getting my kid going for the day and taking her to school. Then I’m either working out or getting ready to go to work for the day. On days I have off I do a lot of menu prepping/workout planning, errand running, planning for clients, writing/work for my business, running with my dog and sometimes coffee with friends. The evenings include a lot of working with clients and as often as I can I sit down to dinner with my family (we always eat together at the table, I am a part of this most nights… not being there for that is the hardest compromise in my life right now).

How do you personally channel your energy and get focused on your goals? In other words, how do you manage “everyday stuff” getting in the way? Any hard & fast rules?

The only hard and fast rule I have is to not let myself just wallow in being unhappy with my body. I spent the first 24 years of my life doing that and I figure that’s plenty. So if there are times (and it happens) that a day “off” turns into a week, or my body is moving backward in terms of performance, or I just gain some weight… my primary goal is not to “nip that in the bud” but to accept where I’m at. Love myself as I am, everyday.

I believe that you can never make healthy choices for a body you hate. And so I refuse to hate myself. That alone is a lot of work. Sounds kind of sad when I look at it, but it’s true. Keeping positive about my body and grateful for what it can do is what keeps me on the right track.

Personally, what is most important to your wellbeing?

I have a history of depression. Exercise, more than any other treatment I’ve tried, keeps me feeling great. So for me working out has become not just about my physical health, but my all around wellbeing. That is my most grateful discovery since becoming healthy, that proper nutrition and regular exercise can stave off a world of discomfort.

How do you maintain a positive outlook, or do you? Are there times of doubt, insecurity, fear, etc? How do you deal with them?

I do what most people do, panic and feel bad. Especially when I’m feeling insecure, since I’m the one who is all about confidence it somehow feels like I’m “failing” when I have a bad moment. So I just let myself have the feeling and then I face it, figure out what it’s about and move on. I don’t think anyone is immune to bad days, self doubt and insecurity. I think it’s important to allow yourself to have the feeling (because beating yourself up for having a negative emotion isn’t making anything better) and then move right to it. For me, if it’s an insecurity about my body, I literally get naked and just face myself in a mirror. I look at everything that’s bothering me until I can accept all of it. *This gets easier all the time, I promise* The secret of staying positive is giving yourself the room to feel badly without digging a hole in the bad feeling and moving in. It’s okay to have a bad day, and it’s okay to move on too.

What 1 piece of advice would you give to moms who want to take their fitness to the next level?

Set a goal that has nothing to do with weight loss. Like run or walk your first 5k. Focusing on something like that will give you so much more satisfaction than staring at numbers on a stupid bathroom appliance and then the weight loss becomes a happy side effect instead of the sole purpose of your actions.

What are your top 3 daily practices to stay focused, perform at a high level and get stuff done?

  1. Make to do lists and follow through with them
  2. Put myself on my list of priorities, everyday
  3. Never let a “slip up” become an excuse to give up

Check out Erin on: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and her website!

If you’re a mom looking to get fit, you’re not alone!

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