Gretchen Coley is the definition of Inspiration! Her dedication to her family and their health is what makes her stand apart. Gretchen speaks to the real life application of how to be fit and how to make it happen in the busy life of a mom. Thank you Gretchen for your fire and for being an outstanding example of what passion can do. You believed in yourself, even when no one else did, and the rest is history!
Kim: Share a little about you.
Gretchen: My name is Gretchen Coley. I am a wife to John, and mother to J.T. (8 years old), and Twins Walker and Caroline (5 years old). I reside in Raleigh, NC.
Gretchen: After giving birth to my twins in I struggled with the demands of family obligations, professional responsibilities and soon realized it was time to make some fundamental changes in the way I was taking care of myself. I could not stand one more night of take out food and I hated the way I felt carrying 40 lbs of extra weight. In addition to that I knew that the eating habits of my family were slipping because of my eating habits. I could not be a good wife, mother and professional without first being a strong and healthy woman. In 2009 I made a New Years resolution to change “all of the above”! No more eating fast food, no more Coca-Colas, no more eating off my kids plates and calling it a meal. I knew I needed serious change. After reading a book by Tosca Reno, The Eat Clean Diet, I realized that the way you feel and look is directly relates to how you eat. I started by making BIG changes, and set a goal to compete. I figured that getting on stage in a tiny bikini and clear heels was going to be great motivation to stay on the program. Competing was always a dream of mine! 🙂 No one, including my husband believed I could do it. I sure proved all of them wrong. In May of 2009 I pranced my healthy self across the stage and I have been hooked ever since.
Kim: How did you get your body back post-baby?
Gretchen: It’s very simple, I got my best body ever by making my health a priority. When it is high on the list you are more likely to get it done. I get my workout in at 5 am so that I can focus on myself first. I am no fun to be around when I don’t get a workout in. When I save it for later in the day it is very hard to clear my head. I am worried about missing time with the kids or all of the tasks on my to do list. Sometimes I miss it altogether. I plan all of my meals and keep healthy foods in the refrigerator .
The best thing I have done is get my entire family eating on the same plan as me.
Let’s face it moms are busy. I also get the children involved, and they enjoy getting to do fun, fit, things with me. We do playground workouts and play games outside.
Since Oct I have been using the Body by Vi 90-Day Challenge to help me build muscle and stay lean all year. I use their meal replacement shakes to replace 2 meals a day so I can spend more time with my family rather than cooking and packing meals. The Vi Shape shakes and Vi-Pack vitamins help me get the boast of nutrition I need to keep my energy high and keep my skin clear. You can learn more here.
Kim: Anything you’ve accomplished you would like to share?
Gretchen: I am very proud that after only 18 month of training and competing I won Ms. Bikini Universe! In May I won my WBFF Pro card and competed in my first professional competition at The WBFF’s World Championship.
My success story has been featured in Natural Muscle, Oxygen, Status, Fit and Firm, Success, and Ultra Fit Magazine. I was also chosen as an endorsed athlete for Natural Sports Nutrition, and was featured on the cover of Ultra Fit magazine in October 2010.
Kim: What is your favorite fit-mom, fit-family meal? Snack? Any go to items?
Gretchen: My favorite fit-family meal is grilled salmon with lemon, caper sauce, sweet potatoes, and sautéed kale. Our favorite snacks are apples with peanut butter, and rice cakes with homemade strawberry jam.
Our home is stocked with healthy food and I can grab a cooler on the way out the door and fill with fruits, carrot sticks, almonds, rice-cakes and boiled eggs. It makes snacking during carpool and kids activities easy and fun for all of us.
Kim: Favorite Fit-Family activity?
Gretchen:My family loves spending time together and we play outside a lot. We a constantly throwing balls, playing soccer, tennis, and chasing each other around. My children are climbers so we walk to a nearby playground a lot!! There are some great workouts you can do while playing with 3 little ones!!!!
Kim: How do you stay fit amidst a hectic schedule and manage to do it all?
Gretchen: I work at it!!! I won’t say that it is easy. I feel like I am moving from the time I wake up until the time I go to bed. When I’m working out and eating well it is so much easier to handle everything that comes my way. I schedule my workouts like an important meeting, and plan every meal.
Kim: Words of motivation and inspiration for other moms?
Gretchen: I tell other women all the time, “it is easier to change and live healthy than it is to continue eating junk and just getting through the day.” Most of the time they don’t understand this but what it means is, “there is a better way of life”. They don’t know it yet because they are a product of their environment rather than making their environment a product of them. They are out eating on the run being a slave to the daily task and making food optional. When you change that and make your health number 1 everything else in life will line up where you are. I feel that my life is easier than most because my body and mind are strong and healthy, and I carve out time for myself every single day.
To learn more about Gretchen visit her: