Isn’t the stomach the last place to go…Moms, I know you can identify with this. Amy Jo Horvath felt this frustration, but she refused to believe clean eating and intense training couldn’t get rid of it. Amy is a very busy mom of four girls. She works, and she’s an NPC figure competitor. I think the best place to find helpful information is from the people who actually live the life, and Amy certainly does. She and her husband are training partners-getting up at the crack of dawn to workout together! They are committed to living a lifestyle dedicated to their health and fitness and to being the best role models for their daughters. Please join me in celebrating this fit mom that puts the work in and is an inspiration to moms!
Kim: Share a little about you.
Amy: I live in Moseley, VA. I am Mommy to four beautiful daughters. Jessica age 14, Shannon 12, Riley 8, Ella 4. I am a part-time, working mother. I do all of my work outs in the morning, at 6 am, before my children are awake and in the afternoon after they get home from school (they like to do the second workout with me). My conditioning and weight training happens in our home gym. We are very fortunate to have invested over time in a treadmill, squat rack, free weights and prowler–all I could ever need. I met my husband when I was 17 years old and we have been married for 18 wonderful years. I am blessed to have a partner who is also living the health and fitness lifestyle. He is a competitive powerlifter and has been weight training for over 20 years. We train together 6 mornings a week. We are very careful to make sure our daughters understand we have chosen this lifestyle because we want to be healthy and strong for many years to come. It is important to me that my daughters grow up with a healthy understanding of food and how it factors into your health.
Amy: Growing up, I was always very competitive with swimming, gymnastics, cheerleading and track and field however never “specialized” in any one sport. As an adult, I was tired of making little changes and not seeing results. After my 4th daughter, I started running on the treadmill to try to out exercise my poor diet and lost a few pounds. I tried cutting my still unhealthy meal portions and lost a little. After years of complaining to my husband, I finally decided to listen, and let him train me. I added weight training to my cardio and “better portion control” and saw a significant change in my body fat loss. Eventually, I began to pay attention to the last component missing…I started tracking my food intake into My Fitness Pal app on my phone and was shocked at how much of the wrong things I was still eating. I immersed myself into gathering facts and data and completely changed my way of eating. Along the way, I began doing a lot of research on the internet and found a lot of valuable information from a variety of NPC athletes who are published, blog and post on Facebook. I was inspired by their physiques and made it my goal to get into the best shape of my life. The weight seemed to be coming off everywhere BUT my stomach. I became very frustrated on many occasions along my journey. As friends and family would comfort me with the standard “but you have had 4 children”, I became more determined…there was no reason that I had to stand for “belly fat” because I birthed 4 children. I started drinking a minimum of a gallon of water and green tea a day. I truly believe that combined with my 6 clean meals a day, this was the primary reason I was able to reach my goal.
Amy: I am now a registered NPC athlete and competed in my first figure competition in April where I placed 5th in the Masters Figure division. I competed in my second figure competition a week later at the Pittsburgh NPC/IFBB Pro show and placed 5th in the Masters Figure division again. What meant more to me than either trophy was when I was pulled aside by a figure competitor in her 20‘s who was recently married and considering starting a family. She had been competing for years and was afraid of what pregnancy could do to her physique. She proceeded to tell ME what an inspiration I was. This would not have been possible without the love and support of my husband and children. I hope to inspire other Moms as well as those considering motherhood…it does not need to be a sentence to be unfit and unhealthy! Additionally, I hope to help discredit the myth that as a female bodybuilder you can not be strong, yet still feminine. I truly feel I am finally in the best shape and health of my life. My girls tell me they are proud of my accomplishments…. It is extremely empowering to be a healthy role model for my children.
Kim: What is your favorite fit-mom, fit-family meal? Snack? Any go to items?
Amy: My children are very aware of added sugar and “ingredients they can not pronounce”. Their favorite snacks are hard-boiled eggs, apples with natural peanut butter, granola bars, cucumber slices.
Amy: Hiking in Maymont park and belle isle in Richmond, VA
Kim: How do you stay fit amidst a hectic schedule and manage to do it all?
Amy: I do not treat my workouts or clean eating as a hobby. It is a lifestyle and what I do. Skipping a workout does not happen. There are many morning when the alarm goes off and I want so badly to turn it off and roll over however that would be a slippery slope for me. If I am low on energy for some reason (sleepless night with the kids), I will still get up and workout but I may make it a lighter workout. I plan and prepare my clean meals on Sunday for the week so I am not standing in front of the fridge starving and wondering what can I eat. I use a calorie/macro tracker to track my daily macronutrients to make sure I hit my daily goals.
Amy: My words of inspiration or motivation for other Moms would be to make sure they prioritize their own health and fitness. We are so busy taking care of others that it becomes very easy to not make the time to take care of ourselves! Many nights in the past, I would hit my bed completely exhausted and reflect on my day…. ALWAYS wishing I would have and knowing I could have made better food choices and would have found the time to exercise. It always ended with I will do better tomorrow…. years of tomorrow!! I truly use to believe that my physique was just never going to be the same again after having 4 children… I used that as my excuse for not pushing myself for entirely too long! If only I would have known then what I know now! We have the power to sculpt our physique by our nutrition and exercise–and with this knowledge of how, comes an incredible sense of empowerment! Better food choices means planning your daily meals before the day… I food prep on Sunday’s so I do not have to make last-minute, rushed food choices or wait too long between meals only to end up starving and eating whatever I could get my hands on when I walk in the door. At first, I was absolutely miserable getting up at 5 AM to fit my training in before the kids woke up. Now I treasure that time as MY time. I treasure that time because I have started taking control and ownership of my own health and fitness. I now have so much more energy throughout the day to focus on taking care of myself, my family and work! A health and fitness lifestyle is definitely hard work but incredibly rewarding and worth every ounce of sweat. It’s worth missing the momentary enjoyment of eating that piece of cake in exchange for how good I feel!