Oxygen Cover Model Emily Hellman was my fitness inspiration, so it is with great joy that I share her story.

To read about how Emily inspired me, click here.

Emily is a fitness competitor, fitness model, business owner, wife & mother. She proves it can all be done, and well. Always ready for a new challenge Emily has recently began running marathons; this women is driven, humble, and always willing to go the extra mile. As a mother of two, Emily has endured the frustrations of getting her body back and even participated in a Hydroxycut TV National Campaign and Advertisement. Her biggest transformation came in 2010 when she transformed her physique to the best it’s ever been and competed in the Fitness Universe Pageant. *Scroll down to the bottom to watch her comeback performance.

Thank you Emily for sharing your encouraging words and real life tips on how this fit lifestyle takes a lot of work and how you manage to find a healthy balance.

Kim: Share a little about you. Have you gone through a transformation? How did you got your body back post-baby? Anything you’ve accomplished you would like to share?

 

Emily: I have gone through many transformations!

I started competing in fitness back in 1999 and competed and modeled until 2003, when I had my first daughter. When my daughter was 4 months old,

I completed a Transformation for MuscleTech. It was a whole new world, and trying to balance being a new mom and working out seemed like an impossible task. I made the necessary changes and learned how to adjust my workout and eating schedule around my baby’s schedule.

My biggest transformation, however, was in 2010.My daughters were 5 and 7, I was divorced and remarried (so still in the “honeymoon” stage), working over-time on the business my husband and I owned, and didn’t even consider taking extra time to workout or eat right. I stepped on the scale one day and was absolutely shocked. I vowed then to change, and I did. It was a long road of cardio, Insanity, weights, gymnastics, fitness routine practice, running, and eating right. The most difficult piece of the puzzle was balancing everything and finding time to workout. In all, I lost 38 pounds, which – on my 5′ 2″ frame – was a lot!!

The most valuable thing I learned was- it doesn’t matter WHAT you do (cardio, weights, an at-home DVD, etc.), JUST DO SOMETHING. You have to make it fit your life, or you won’t do it.

 

Kim: What is your favorite fit mom meal? Snack? Any go to items?

Emily: My favorite fit mom meal is turkey chili.

I cook extra lean ground turkey and add it to a pot of Cannilini beans, red beans, corn, onions, tomatoes, and jalepenos. The heat from the spice helps a bit with metabolism and I get plenty of protein and energy.

My favorite post-workout snack is a serving of greek yogurt with a scoop of protein powder and Kashi “Go Lean” cereal mixed in.

My go-to items are an apple and plain almonds, or celery and natural peanut butter.

 

Kim: How do you stay fit amidst a hectic schedule and manage to do it all?

Emily: I stay fit by planning ahead!!

If I don’t plan my meals and workouts ahead of time, I won’t do them. We cook ahead of time – Costco chicken grilled every Sunday and in the fridge for the week. I have to plan my workouts ahead of time as well, and let my husband know what my schedule is. That way, there is NO feeling guilty for missing work for a scheduled workout!

Another requirement to staying on track is to plan a date night with a “cheat” meal once a week. It keeps us sane and “good” for the rest of the week. Even our “cheats” are relatively healthy (sushi usually), but good for relaxation – AND marriage!!

Another good tip, don’t ask yourself “Do I REALLY want to go work out?”, because if you do, it’s too easy to answer “No!”. You just decide ahead of time to do it, and you do it.

Kim: Words of motivation and inspiration for other moms?

Emily: The biggest tip I could possibly give another mom is that you HAVE to take care of yourself first. On the airplane, what do they say about the oxygen masks? Secure your own first, and then help the others around you. It’s the same in life. I know it sounds counter-intuitive to all good moms – we think our families should come first. But if you don’t take care of yourself, and you don’t feel good about yourself, and you’re not healthy, how can you expect to take care of anyone else?

Plus, leading your family by example by living a healthy life and taking care of yourself is the best way to teach them to do the same.

 My mom always reminds me that life is about the journey, not the destination. Take one day at a time, because a good day is simply made up of one good decision after another.

 And what an incredible journey it has been, make to sure to watch Emily perform her “Pussycat Dolls Routine” at the 2010 Fitness Universe Pageant.

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