Reno Moms Blog is starting a new series of posts featuring two local nutrition coaches and NPC bikini fitness competitors, Gwen Sedler and Jen Boscovich. We have five RMB contributors that have signed up to make a lifestyle change through the consultation of these nutrition and fitness experts. Follow along as our contributors share their trials, tribulations and triumphs through the process.
Growing up on a farm in a small Minnesota town, being active wasn’t a choice, it was required. Chores and responsibilities are an integral part of life on the farm, and though all that hard work didn’t seem like much fun at the time, looking back now, it was a valuable beginning that armed me with many of the life skills and character traits that I would come to value as years passed. Athletics are a natural progression from the physical chores required of a farm girl, and running around on the property soon turned into running around on the court. I loved playing basketball in high school and college, and the constant activity kept me active and lean.
But after graduation, out here in the real world, I discovered that having the corporate career I wanted didn’t necessarily add up to a lot of calorie expenditure. Sitting at a desk for eight or more hours a day was taking its toll, both mentally and physically. Something had to change…fast.
And from growing up on the farm, I know there’s only one way to tackle a big problem: Roll up your sleeves and get down to business. I took up running, and slowly but surely, I remembered how much I loved to get out and move! I joined a running club and got really involved in the sport, dipping my toes into half marathons before eventually diving right into a full 26.2. I felt good! And I thought if I just kept running, I would get lean, and fit, and look amazing. Except that nothing really happened.
The more I ran, the more my body looked the same. All that relentless cardio had succeeded in getting me up out of my office chair, but the aesthetic rewards were less exciting than I had hoped for. Constant cardio and no weight training had handed down its consistently reliable result: I was skinny-fat.
Finally in 2010, on a mission to find the shape and tone I wanted, I entered into the amazing world of fitness competitions. I set a goal, hit the weights, and started eating clean. The result? True love! My hard work in the gym, the weeks of eating clean and saying “no” to sugars and treats paid off big, and I fell in love with the outcome. Lean muscle, beautiful curves, and a truly fit body that reflected back all the dedication and care that went into building it.
So from the farm to the stage, what have I learned? That our bodies are meant to move, and if we don’t put a priority on making that happen, life is a lot less fun. That there’s nothing you can’t accomplish with consistent hard work and dedication. And finally, that there’s no “perfect time” to get fit and commit to a healthier lifestyle. Excuses can always be found, and unless you want to be held prisoner by the fearful and doubting voices in your head, you have to put your foot down with yourself, and say, “Not tomorrow. TODAY!” Learn more about Gwen and follow her blog at her website.
Like most women I know, I have a lot of different titles. One minute I’m wiping dirty little faces, the next I’m counseling women on how to be strong and fit. I’m a mom, wife, fitness competitor, nutritionist, athlete, nurse, and entrepreneur. Health and fitness are my top priority, second only to my family. I married my best friend in 2008 and we have 2 beautiful children.
My passion for being active began at a very young age. With a background in martial arts and competitive dance, I’m no stranger to working hard in order to achieve a goal. But no matter the level of athleticism in youth, nothing prepared me for the fight to get my body back after having a baby.
After my first son was born I struggled to feel like myself again. There were a lot of tears and frustration, but eventually I got there, and now I’m in the best shape of my life. Discovering fitness shows and competing was a great motivator to stick with the program, and always strive for more. And after a successful year competing in 2011 I realized that I had an opportunity to help other women reach their full potential.
Having a family and being a mom doesn’t mean you have to give up your dreams of being fit. Quite the contrary, you’ll be the best mom you could ever be when you put your health and fitness first, and believe in yourself. Learn more about Jen at her website.
To start off this series, Jen and Gwen did a some Q&A.
Jen: I realize that making my workouts a priority allows me to physical and mental keep up with the demands and activities of my kids and makes me a better mom.
Gwen: What’s are some of your favorite physical activities to do with your kids?
Jen: Swimming, biking, walking and turning up the music and dancing around the house!
Gwen: How did you overcome feeling guilty when you took time to focus on yourself after having kids?
Jen: I realized that my physical and mental well being was just as important to keep balance in our home and I surrounded myself with other moms who had similar goals.
Gwen: How do you make time with such a busy schedule with kids’ activities?
Jen: Find activities that involve your kids, go to places that they would want to spend time at. Schedule it into your day until it becomes a habit and it just becomes routine.
Jen: How do you make time when you have a high demand, corporate job?
Gwen: I schedule time in my calendar – usually first thing in the morning when your fresh and full of energy, this also ensures it’s out of the way in those cases where your day may run long. Starting your day with physical activity sets you up for a more productive day if you’re sitting 8-10 hours.
Jen: How do you make your clean and healthy life-style work when traveling?
Gwen: I’ve come up with easily transportable healthy snacks that can go anywhere, but I also make it a priority when traveling to visit a grocery store when I first arrive. Always being prepared with healthy options makes it easier to stay away from the less healthy options that your usually faced with at events.
Jen: When faced with the social demands of a high paced corporate world, how do you maintain your clean eating without being offensive?
Gwen: I always eat before heading out to an event – don’t go hungry but your still allowed to socialize and select the best options available – you can get a sparkling water with lemon in a fancy glass to make you feel as if you’re partaking.
Gwen: What are your tips on clean eating while being a mom?
Jen: I’ll offer four tips.
- Make sure that it’s not just mom eating clean and the kids eat what I eat.
- Green Light Snacks – healthy choice snack that the kids can eat anytime they are hungry – they can help themselves to these approved snacks.
- Limit processed foods; however, let your kids enjoy their favorite treats in moderation, this is just a part of being a kid.
- Being creative in the kitchen – creating a clean treat with the help of your kids. Kids don’t know what’s healthy, but with the help of mom make it a fun creative project to do together.