With an overwhelming response to the Inspirational Mom Feature, I wanted to put everyone in the spotlight. Here’s a fantastic group of real moms with advice on everything from how they transformed their bodies and health to their thoughts on how to do it all and encourage other mothers. Please join me in celebrating these incredible women. 

“One of my favorite quotes has to be, “the voice in your head that says you can’t is a liar”. A lot of the time, we as women leave the tough stuff to the men because we do not think we are capable. You have to believe in yourself and stay positive. We are all human, and no matter what gender are capable of accomplishing the same goals! It all just boils down to what is being said in your head and whether or not YOU believe in it.”Christina Cope

  “If you believe in yourself, that’s all that matters. Don’t let people’s doubts bring you down. You’re not being a bad mom by making time for yourself and exercising, if anything you’re a better mom for being the healthiest you can for your family.
Getting in the best shape of my life, while being a single mom, while having lupus and scoliosis. I’m competing in my first show this March and couldn’t be more proud of myself. I love my new body and don’t ever want to go back to the old 180 pound me!”-Rachel Obremski


“I have always been physically active. I danced from the age of 3 until I was a senior in high school. Around the age of 18, I started lifting weights, and I started cardio. The BIG problem I had was I was still eating unhealthy. I was an eater, and I think I ate more than the average man…and anything fried was my best friend. A little over 2 years ago, I started eating clean along with continuing to lift weights and do cardio consistently. After my 12 week transformation, I continued up for a while, then the holidays came, and I started eating unhealthy again…keep in mind I was still lifting weight and doing cardio…my results were almost all gone in no time at all. It was beyond upsetting to me. Then on Jan. 1st, I started working with a trainer 1x a week, then I was on my own the rest of the week. I cut my body fat down in half. It has been 1 year, and I have continued my new lifestyle, and I wouldn’t change a thing. There are days that I miss the way I used to eat, but feeling and looking healthy is much more rewarding than a greasy cheeseburger.Unfortunately, I can’t say that I have won any awards or been on the cover of any magazines, but I do feel that I have accomplished a great deal with creating a better ME! I getting more fit and healthy each day! I had always been skinny-fat, and now I truly feel healthy and fit.
I hope to inspire at least one person to start a new lifestyle and maintain as a lifestyle.” Angie Roeder

“After my 3rd was born and the being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, a “Wake Up Call Came.” I decided that I am going to take this head on. I developed an eating plan that consisted of 6 small meals a day. I started exercising in my garage on the elliptical my sweet husband bought for me. I worked out 5 days a week 45 min a day.

I competed in the Mrs. Idaho pageant and gained the confidence that was missing for so long. I started sharing my journey with others. I became a Diabetes Advocate for the American Diabetes Association. I also developed a platform while competing in the pageant and have such a passion to share with the importance of a healthy lifestyle. I started speaking at offices, after school programs, woman groups, health fairs and weight loss challenges.

I know how awful I felt when I was overweight. I was so depressed. I feel that working out is apart of life and it’s the one thing I do for myself. I have more energy now to serve my family and others.

YOU can change!! Trust me if I can do it so can YOU! YOU just need to believe in yourself. YOU are worth it!” –Jill Knapp

“Sitting on that bench 30 pounds overweight and about to turn 50, I decided I was going to change my life. I have never been thin or exercised much. I knew if I ate less and added exercise I would lose weight. so I began my journey. I did not know how to eat right so my first snacks were 100 calorie sugary cookies and the I found Tosca Reno’s book The eat Clean Diet and it changed my life. She was the same age as me and if she could look that good then so could I. I began to eat CLEAN and I learned to strength train 3 times a week and do a yoga workout and some cardio workouts. I began to see my body change especially my shoulders and arms and everyone noticed too. I quit my job and got certified as a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness instructor and am now back to school getting a degree in nutrition Science. my goal is to teach people how to achieve wellness through eating and fitness.
I taught my first nutrition class 2 weeks ago and it was the highlight of my life. To watch those in attendance see that with simple changes, you too can be fit and healthy, just overwhelmed me. After the class, I was surrounded by people with lots of questions, but more with hope that they too could accomplish what I have. I am living my dream!” –Debbie Razzano

 “Being a single mom is no joke. We work hard both with our children and in our jobs to keep life going. I am proud to have fitness as my backup and it has helped me reach so many goals.
I worked with trainers and on my own to achieve a near 90lb weight loss.

 We love to walk, run, play together. I recently got into a new relationship with a man who loves to do the same things with his son, so we are a perfect fit.
I have to work out every day I possibly can. I make time. No excuses.”- Misty Shaffer

“My daughter was born in 2001. I gained 100lbs during my pregnancy, within a year I was back to my desired weight of 130. Six years later,2007, I gave birth to my son in which this time I gained right at 100lbs if not more! This second time around was not as easy for me to drop the extra weight. I have been struggling with my weight ever since. Well, let me be honest and say that I have always struggled with my weight and always was worried about the number that the scale displayed. In my early teens I can admit that I had an eating disorder. I always thought I was “fat” while wearing a size “0”…go figure!! It was a constant struggle!! After I had my son I was constantly YO YO Dieting. I wanted that secret pill or overnight success. I was never into working out or eating healthy. I wanted my cute shape while eating whatever I wanted and not caring about the internal damage I was doing to my body. I would visit the, for lack of better words, the “Fat Doctor” and get prescribed diet pills and vitamin b12 shots to give myself twice daily. The little bit of weightloss was nothing permanent and as soon as I quit taking the diet pill I gained the weight back. My highest weight after my son was born got as high as 213lbs, I think that was in 2009..My weight would vary from 213lbs to 200lbs to 180lbs, like a yoyo… I can honestly say to you that I have found something far better than any diet pill or fad diet…EAT CLEAN & TRAIN HARD…believe it or not but it works and I am living proof with many other success stories.

 Someone who inspired me and led me in the right direction was Joseph C. Donnelly. As soon as the light bulb come on it was my moment!! Many people ask me what keeps me motivated or where I get my drive and determination. It comes rather simple for me. I create my own motivation & determination. What I mean by that is I have liked several pages on facebook to keep me in check daily with reminders of eating clean, health/nutrition, my personal goals etc. I see it everyday in my face kinda way. What “lights my fire” and at times puts one foot in front of the other is my ability to inspire and help motivate others. Its my drug, lol, to see others succeed. To know that I have helped others reach their fitness goals and now they are living a healthy lifestyle, to me that is my success. Its my drive. Its a win win situation. During my current transformation, it hasn’t came easy for me at all. I take care of my disabled dad who was struck by lightning in 2001. Along with being a wife, a mother, and having a full-time job..I have also held a 2nd job at Publix for the past 2 1/2 yrs. And I still manage to find time to workout and maintain a healthy lifestyle. My.mornings start out at 5AM and hit the gym. I am only halfway to where I want to be HOWEVER, I want to invite you to join this journey with me and I want to inspire and help thousands along my way.” – Kelly Stephenson

“Set reasonable goals for what you want to accomplish with your exercise routine and just go for it, whether you join a gym or workout at home. If you can only do 10m of the 30m workout-so be it! Next time you try it, try to increase it to 15m, the next time, 20m, and then, 30m!
Be patient with yourself. You’re going to look down at your body after a few weeks and say, “where’s the progress?” ( I did that, too). Don’t worry, it’s happening!!! At the end of my first month at the gym, I actually gained a little weight but LOST inches-and inches are what you want to lose!!! Hang in there and don’t quit!!!! You’re setting an AWESOME EXAMPLE for your kids!!!
Don’t forget to change the way you’re eating when you start exercising, because you can’t eat a high fat diet if you want to lose weight and become fit. Low fat food options are so delish now-you can easily whip up fish tacos or have a bowl full of kale, organic beef, salsa, and beans and still feel nourished and full! Take a look at some meal plans and recipes, and get creative in the kitchen; have the kids help you!

Most of all, enjoy how exercising helps and improves your mental health, because it WILL keep the doldrums away and help you find peace of mind 🙂

Good luck!” – Brenda Wood

“I make myself a priority now because I truly have come to understand that when I allow myself a change to recharge I am a much better mother, friend, sister and daughter. I use to look around at the chaos in life and continually try to get ahead while depleting my energy and never re-fueling. Now I understand that it is not selfish to take the time to invest in myself because it does allow me to give more to my family and friends when I do. I also plan for success. I make sure that I have plan “a” for a workout slot but also plan “b” in case the day gets away on me and life throws me a curve ball. Meal planning is also key. If you do not have a fridge full of healthy options, we all know what happens! To all moms – you matter! You are one of the most important people in the lives of your children. Teach them that you love yourself enough to take care of yourself so you have more to give to them! Teach them the value of health and wellness by showing them how to balance your life to include all the things that truly matter, and NONE of the TOXIC stuff that can drain your energy. If you slip and make mistake, forgive yourself and forge ahead but do not use it as an excuse to EVER give up!” – Jennifer Berthelot

“As a blended family, I have 4 children in 4 different schools. I work full-time, but not the typical mon-fri shift. I work 12 hour shifts on weekends (Sat, Sun and Mon). This means planning meals ahead, and working well with my husband. We do groceries 2x a week, we cook my meals for the weekend ahead of time. The children and I are nonstop all week, so and having these meals ziplocked and frozen ahead of time is huge for us come Friday night.

I go to the gym @ 5am Mon-Fri, back to the gym for weights on Tues, Weds and Fri for 45 mins while the kids are in school. If I am volunteering at their school, or have dr appointments, sick children, etc I get creative at home with the workouts.

My husband and I both do the cooking, and really stick to eating clean for us, and variations for the kids. We have 2 with food allergies (peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, shellfish, fish) but we have managed to get around it. It becomes second nature.

Busy lifestyle doesn’t mean making unhealthy decisions. Just when you think you are busy, you will meet someone busier. It is all how you handle it and stay positive! This is life, so live!”

Erin Joncas

” Before I was pregnant, I was pretty active, but not an athlete or anything. I enjoyed going to the gym and spinning and engaging in what most people do at the gym… general fitness classes etc… When I got pregnant I immediately had some complications and was told to stop exercising. I did, but I didn’t stop eating. I ended up gaining 76 lbs during my pregnancy. One year after having my son I had only lost about 20 lbs. I did have post pardum depression. BUT I never got treated for it. when I found out my son was autistic I really hit bottom. My husband told me I needed to get active again and I decided to start working out with the local stroller strides group. I met a lot of people and found my passion again for fitness. over the next 5 years, I got certified as a personal trainer, stroller strides instructor, crossfit endurance coach and a few other things and stayed really active, but most of my focus was helping others. I remained about 20lbs over my pre pregnancy weight. I hopped on the crossfit and paleo bandwagon for 2 years and suffered a pretty bad shoulder injury which also set me back. This year I decided to take things to another level. I made the decision to compete in a bikini competition. I hired a nutrition coach, dropped crossfit, got back into the gym, totally changed my workout plan and ended up winning 4th place in my masters division and 5th place in my open division for my first show!!!!I am now a certified running coach, which led to Lululemon Athletica asking me to be their running ambassador. I have a thriving personal and group training business, I just entered my first bikini competition and won 4th in my masters class and 5th in my height class for my first show. YOU CAN DO IT. Just do it! when you are sad or have any negative emotions get moving! It always makes you feel better. Focus on the positive things about yourself. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you can do it, and that you are beautiful. Surround yourself with supportive people. Take one day at a time. Plan TREAT days instead of CHEAT MEALS. and also plan for making up for it after. Dont be hard on yourself, you are human. Set REASONABLE goals, and don’t give up. Do things that you ENJOY not what others think you will enjoy. If you get bored, do something else!”- Virginia Crowe

I sit down on Sunday nights and make my schedule for the week including my workout times. Fortunately I teach classes that I can do as well so if I need it to be my workout, I can get it in then. I have found that getting it done early in the morning is the best even if you are a stay at home mom and think you can do it during the day. It is much better to get it done alone without dragging the kids with you to a childcare and to come home and have a full day of productivity and attention for your kids left.
As moms and homemakers, we do not have the luxury of “lazy weekends” anymore! We will one day when the kids are sleeping in and able to babysit themselves but for now the weekend mentality must change. I always tell a mom looking for fitness advice to get up on Saturday morning and do the hardest workout or class of the week and do another great workout on Sunday. Don’t save your hard workouts for the week and try to cram it all in with everything else going on. Make the weekends your workout times and maybe even take Monday as your “off ” day…how refreshing is that:)?”-Cara Weaver

“3 years ago I was working out at a gym while on vacation, I was used to working out at home on my home gym and doing p90x. I was using one of the machines at the gym on vacation and started feeling sharp pains in my right groin area, after a couple of days I couldn’t put any weight on my right leg and had to use crutches to walk . I ended up tripping on the crutches while walking and fell and broke my hip……I had a partial hip replacement that left me devastated and feeling like the world had come to an end. I was always active and LOVED to work out and life as I knew it was over. I didn’t know how I was going to be able to live without being the active Mom I wanted and needed to be. I had to top working out for a while and even when I started again, I was very limited to what I could do. Finally last year I had to have that partial hip replacement turned into a total hip replacement…again devastated that this was happening to me again, I have to give thank to my amazing daughter who helped take care of me through both of those horrible things, I don’t know what I would have done without her and she was only 10 years old when it first happened, she’ amazing. I went through depression over not being able to do certain things and I was getting sooo out of shape which made me even more depressed. I started working in a medical office when I could finally work and I was so busy and tired all the time I didn’t think I would ever have the time to really start working out again and just gave up on the idea all together. FINALLY one day I was on a weekend vacation at the beach and was so unhappy with how I looked in my bikini I knew that I had to do something to change it. I was convinced that it didn’t matter how I ate and how I looked, that at my age I should be content with my body……I COULDN’T BE CONTENT WITH ANY OF IT!! I decided to change the way I eat, join the gym and MAKE time to work out and become the best I could possibly be. I am 8 weeks out now and so much has changed..I look and feel amazingly better, I am at the gym as much a possible and my daughter even goes with me when she can, she also has adopted my new eating habits and she look amazing too..(she always ha been in shape, she is a cheerleader and is in top condition) but now that she see’s how hard I am working to get my body back, she is so much more conscious about her health and fitness. I am not exactly where I want to be YET but I am working HARD to get there. I am not going to let this hip keep me down, it does get in the way of some leg exercises but I am trying to build strength enough to be able to do more all the time.” – Robin Bagnell