Last week my sister Marcella, posted the picture below on Instagram. The past two years we have done The Walk for Kids for The Ronald McDonald house and I could not believe the difference between this year and last. I knew she was really stepping it up with her health and fitness, so I asked her if she would be willing to do an interview and share some on the blog. Without further ado:
1. Your progress picture looks great! I was surprised when I saw because I see you often and did not realize how much your level of fitness has improved in the last year. What do you notice to be the biggest changes (endurance, health, emotional, etc.)?
Thanks! I actually didn’t realize it either until I saw that picture. I notice small changes such as clothes not fitting anymore or even seeing my face not be so round, but the biggest change is my endurance. I just keep pushing myself further and further and I can tell I’m getting stronger.
2. 2011-2012 were challenging years for you, can you share a little more about that?
Well, 2010 was great. That’s when I officially started being serious about losing weight. I began running and finished my first half marathon at the end of the year. I was feeling really strong and ready to take on another half for 2011. Then in April of 2011, I got in a major car accident. Luckily, I had no broken bones, but I did have some alignment damage to the left side of my neck, shoulder, back and hip. My chiropractor said no running for three months. Shortly after that car accident, our grandma died. That was hard to deal with because I was used to using running as my therapist, so I had to really monitor myself to make sure I wasn’t stress eating. I wasn’t able to do a half marathon, but I was determined to keep running. I ran the Mission Inn 10k at the end of the year.
2012 wasn’t any kinder. The beginning of the year started with the murder of my dad. It completely turned my life upside down. In the summer, our aunt was hospitalized and I could not handle the thought of possibly losing someone else in our family. I took one more blow when a relationship with a very close friend crumbled.
3. It’s not secret that in our family, we have historically turned to food for comfort in hard times. How did you manage to avoid that pitfall, even amongst stress and grief?
There were times when I still turned to food. I was doing what I could to run as much as possible, so I would notice the effects of the junk I was eating. The more I continued to run, the less I would want to stress eat. Because I was still having pain from my car accident, I was trying to do other types of exercises too, and I felt that those let out more stress and frustration against my anger (it’s more fun to be angry at Shaun T than the world haha).
4. What changes have you made to your diet?
The most important change was cutting out fast food. I used to eat it multiple times a day! Disgusting, I know, but I constantly justified it because I am always driving/traveling for work. Now I make my breakfast AND lunch the night before so I am not even tempted to buy food. The biggest change that I have made recently is to make sure that I include fruits and vegetables in every meal.
5. How did you get started with an exercise program and how has it changed and progressed over time?
As I said earlier, I started off running. I could barely run up the street when I started, but I just pushed myself a little further every day. At the end of last year, a friend of mine told me about the Nike Training Club app. This really transformed working out for me. It shows you simple steps that don’t take much time. I still incorporate these moves in my workouts, but add more weights or reps to make them more difficult. I recommend that app to everyone!
6. What motivates you?
Staying healthy and strong.
Here is a photo of me at my heaviest.
I was always tired, run down, and uncomfortable. I want to be the best version of me possible.
7. What advice do you have for someone who has been wanting to make a change in their diet and fitness level?
Lace up your Nikes and Just Do It! I used to tell myself that when I wouldn’t want to wake up to go running, and now I catch myself telling others that too. Change is never easy, but you have to start somewhere. Even if it’s a small change, it’s a start. Don’t feel defeated if you give up. Brush your shoulders off and keep on going.