Today we are spotlighting one of our followers, Stefanie. She is a mom who has made the decision to take charge of her life and make her health a priority. She has created a healthy lifestyle for both her family and herself. She is a great example and we are so happy she has decided to let us spotlight her.
My name is Stefanie Mann. I’m a stay at home mom to one little very red headed boy that just turned 2 in October. I am 6 months pregnant with a little girl that will join our family in early February. I used to work full time at a dentist office but went to just on call there so I could focus on being a stay at home mom. I am currently working on trying to get my personal training certification which has become a little harder between feeling sick with morning sickness and chasing my boy around. I am married to the best man I can even imagine and he works full time supporting and caring for our little family.
- What motivated you to make a change to live a Healthy Lifestyle?
I had always worked out randomly. Never followed a program or anything my whole life and I wasn’t ever depressed about my body but I was never happy by any means. When I married my husband and started being involved in going to the lake all the time (he runs a water sport store and boat dealership and his family is very into water sports) I started to feel so self-conscious that I would dread going to the lake. My husband helped me and we started working out 6 days a week. I started to gain a love of working out because I was following a program and I could see changes (muscle yes girls muscle and I LOVED it) After I had my son I started seeing a lot of people talking about clean eating and I decided to do that along with the workout to see if it actually made me feel better. I was blown away! It was amazing to see how much the right kind of foods made a difference in not just my body and working out but my mood my thinking and all. It might sound stupid but I felt like a better wife and mother all the way around.
- What healthy changes have you made?
The biggest change I have made is that we as a family plan our meals out. I have also stopped eating a bunch of processed stuff and have focused on “Clean Eating” It was hard at first but it has become fun to actually find recipes to change and make healthy. Even my husband has jumped on board and finds things to make that are healthy and so good. I would have to admit that he is better at it then I am most days. I LOVE to bake also so that was hard for me to try and make healthy things to bake and not just have them sitting around the house. I now make sure I have a reason to make unhealthy things. I make sure there is a family party or people I need to take treats to BEFORE I make them. I also make working out and actually pushing myself in my workouts a priority.
- What has been the hardest part of making these changes?
I think the hardest part of the lifestyle changes has actually been other peoples comments. Where I worked before there were A LOT of treats brought in and unhealthy choices. While people’s comments about me choosing to not eat them sometimes would hurt me it also kind of helped motivate me. That sounds kind of stupid I know but people and peer pressure are a big factor in choices. I just had to remember my goals and that helped. Going out to eat is always hard too. We used to go out to eat all the time. And 9 times out of 10 the choices at restaurants are unhealthy or massive portions. So the lifestyle change of not going out to eat whenever we wanted to be “lazy” was hard. I found you have to plan ahead and that was hard for me. But the good news on that is we saved so much money by not going out all the time. And we do go out but we have started sharing one meal and found that it is usually more than we can eat even splitting it.
- How do you find time to workout with young kids?
Working out with small kids is hard. When my boy was still new I actually found myself having more time because he slept so much. I would workout when he was napping. As he got older and I had more things to do I found that waking up before he got up in the morning and getting my workout in was the best way for me to make sure I got it in. I am more of a morning person luckily so that helped. I also found that by doing this my day was more productive because I wasn’t thinking all day about when I was going to be able to fit it in. I do go to bed a little earlier than I normally would but I also got more sleep that way.
- What type of exercise do you do and how long do you work out and how often?
I work out 6 days a week. When I started working out before I had my first son I did a lot of the Beach Body home workouts. Just having some simple equipment and dumbbells made it super easy to do at home. After having my son and realizing how much I LOVED working out and eating right I started researching more and I have now incorporated HIIT (high intensive interval training) in 3 days a week and lifting weights 3 days a week. My workouts are about 35-60 minutes a day depending on if I lift (takes me longer) or doing HIIT (takes me about 35-45 minutes).
- Do you have any advice for others trying to change there lifestyle to a healthy one?
I think the best advice I can give is believe in yourself. Anything is possible. You can push yourself harder than you think! Also find support, a spouse, a friend, even the app My Fitness Pal has a bunch of people that support each other and follow to give encouragement. Set REALASTIC goals. Reach that one and set the next. Don’t dive in all crazy and overwhelm yourself to the point that you just give up.