It’s time for another edition of “One Fit Mommy“!
mommy Grandma is Laurel, who blogs over at Super Strong Nana. She is also the owner of Bootcamp Fitness and Training and Tallahassee Kettlebells. If you live in the Tallahassee area, I strongly recommend checking out Laurel and her training programs!
Laurel is a great example of how age is just a number! Just look at the picture gang—how many grandmas do you know that can do that?!
Laurel’s answers really hit home for me because I have spent so many years being a cardio queen. I’m trying to change that mentality now, so this was just the interview I needed.
Please read on for more about Laurel and how she is such an inspiration as one fit Grandma!
Q: Have you always been fit? What inspired you to live a fit lifestyle? I haven’t always been fit. I started going to a gym about 20 years ago before I got pregnant with my 2nd child. Before that I couldn’t afford to join a gym.
I started with step classes, aerobics and body conditioning type classes. I am not real coordinated so many times I felt embarrassed and actually remember leaving one class in tears. I also tried running but hated it.
My friend and I hired a trainer and that is when I fell in love with lifting weights. It didn’t take long before I noticed changes in my body. I got strong pretty fast. I worked out through out my whole pregnancy. I actually went to the hospital to deliver my son wearing my gap overalls. I only gained about 20 pounds compared to the 56 I gained with my first. After his birth I decided to try a bodybuilding contest.
It was the first time in my life that I found something I was good at and could stick with. I have to say, I wasn’t great, but I sure did look good!! I love to tell my clients about the difference between being skinny/fat and being muscular. When I was 20, I was anorexic. I weighed around 100 pounds but wore a size 9 junior jean. When I was bodybuilding, I was 124 pounds and wore a size 0!!
Q: What advice do you have for moms who claim they don’t have time for exercise?
Finding time and energy to work out was tough. I was an older mom (34 compared to 20 when I had my first). My time at the gym was my time to myself. I cherished it. Nigel went to the day care at the gym or Mother’s Morning out while I worked out. If I couldn’t do that, I put him in a stroller and walked hills or ran. We played a lot. I used him for leg presses, squats and other body weight stuff. He had so much fun and I got a bit of a workout in.
Moms have to get away from the idea that they need an hour of cardio to be effective. Finding chunks of 10, 15 or 20 minutes is better than nothing. If you can do that a couple times a day, then you have a whole workout. I much prefer an intense workout session of 20 minutes to a less intense session lasting an hour. I get better results.
Q: Are you more of a cardio mommy or strength training mommy?
I used to be a cardio queen but now prefer strength training. My cardio comes from intense weightlifting sessions and Kettlebell training. I remember watching ladies at the gym doing aerobic or step classes every day for years. They looked exactly the same. Lifting weights changed my body. I love being strong and I love being able to take care of myself. Being strong is empowering. I never felt empowered after a step class or a spin class. I do have to say that I am not bulky or huge. I think a lot of ladies fear weights because they think they are going to look like a guy. It won’t happen!!
Q: What is your least favorite exercise?
My least favorite exercise has to be running. I do it because it’s social time for me and my friends and my dog gets exercise. I don’t run on the streets anymore. I love the trails we have here in Tallahassee. After running on trails, I just don’t understand why people run on the streets.
Q: Do you have any mental tricks that you use when you just don’t feel like working out?
Believe it or not, I am not very self motivated when it comes to working out. I have a full gym at home but I don’t use it. I know that I will get started and then find a million other things to do. The gym I own is not air conditioned so the thought of going up there in 100 degree weather is not very appealing. One thing that works for me is to have a partner. If I know I have an “appointment” with my workout partner, I will show up. Once I show up, I’m good to go. The other trick I use is to put on my workout clothes even if I have no desire to workout. That helps. One lesson I learned the hard way is not to workout when I am exhausted or haven’t had much sleep. I’ve injured myself because I forced myself to workout when I should have taken a day off.
At 50 years old, finding balance is important. I prefer being fit, strong and flexible to looking hot in a mini skirt…although I can still rock a mini skirt it’s just not a priority. I want to be fit well into my golden years.
Q: Random question: what is your go-to snack food?
My go to snack food is Coconut Cream Pie Larabars. I keep them on me at all times. If I am running late or don’t have time to sit down and eat, a Larabar is quick and easy. I love that they have no processed junk in them.
Thank you Laurel for being an inspiration to all!
Need more inspiration? Read about more fit moms and dads over here.