Maryum is a southern momma of two that ROCKS the workout world. Not only has she transformed herself into a fit and healthy woman but she has also become a personal trainer who now helps others every day turn their health life around. She started Superior Body Training around this time last year and her business is just booming. I love seeing her posts on her Facebook page about her clients as she shares their progress pictures. Such an inspiration! So, I decided to ask her a few questions and see if she’d share some tips for us moms.
As a mother how did you find the time and motivation to work out like you do?
I have to plan it out like I would any other important appointment in my day. If it’s important to you, you make it happen right? So just like a job or doctor’s appointment if it’s on your schedule you make no excuses to get to it. That’s how I do it and have for quite some time now. Of course, there are always going to be little hammers that get thrown into the mix: like a sick child or mother nature causes some crazy storm (like the one here in Atlanta) that get in the way of your workout. But those are the same things that get in the way of an important appointment or job as well, so that should REALLY be your only excuse to not make it happen.
What advice would you give to other moms who feel like their life is already too hectic?
If you want it bad enough you just got to plan it into your day. Life is hectic but that’s not going to change, how do you find the time to make it to an appointment or get breakfast, lunch, and dinner cooked, you just DO, right? If you set an alarm or something that says at 2pm I am going to work out then when that alarm goes off, make no excuses and get it done. If the kids are fussing make them part of the workout, if you have little ones you can even use them as a weight. Strap them on and do squats or lunges. Do shoulder presses by lifting them up and bringing them down, or pop a short movie on for them while you work out.
Why are you so passionate about being fit and eating healthy?
Gosh, this one I could go on and on forever about. The most important reason I am passionate about being fit and healthy is simply My Children! I want to set a good example for them, I want them to see that this IS part of a normal lifestyle, that sitting in front of the couch watching tv, eating fast food drive through and junk food is NOT normal and should never be considered normal. Healthy should be normal, being active should be NORMAL. I don’t just want to be fit and healthy so I am around for my children long into the future but I also want them to grow up as fit and healthy individuals. I sometimes have to bring my children to work with me when they are out of school for vacation days and when they do they beg to work out too. They love it! When I have them with me I try to put together a fun little circuit for them to do when I get done training my clients so it makes it worth sitting there watching me train clients for a couple hours.
What are your suggestions to make the transition to healthy/clean eating smooth?
Take baby steps, don’t try to change it all in one swoop. Throwing out everything in your pantry and trying to start all over can be incredibly overwhelming. Change things out a little at a time, maybe swap out your margarine use for coconut oil or real butter first, switch from packaged snacks and processed foods to less refined options like fruit, veggies, cheese, nuts, dried fruits, etc. If you choose to eat grains swap out for a more natural option. So instead of white bleached flour maybe switch to whole wheat flour, rice flour, coconut flour, or another natural source. If you like Rice switch to brown rice instead of the microwaved rice (I know how tempting those 90 second Uncle Ben’s packets can be..hey they are fast quick and taste so yummy but loaded with all kinds of chemicals to extend the shelf life and make it cook quickly). I purchased a rice cooker at Costco for $25, this thing has been worth its weight in gold and has paid for itself 100 times already! I turn it on, put it my rice, water and hit go...leave, come home and it’s done!
How do you include your children/family in your healthy lifestyle?
I make sure my kids stay active by involving them in sports, going on family hikes, bike rides, playing outdoors, etc. Sometimes they even get to join me at work and get to do a little mini-boot camp, when I get done with my clients.
As for the nutrition side of things; well they love to go to the farmer’s market when it’s open in the summer and fall and the rest of the year we belong to a farmer’s market coop and every week the basket is a mystery, they get excited to see what’s in it each week. We try to talk about what snacks are healthy, which are not, which are okay in moderation, etc. We try to keep a healthy balance of healthy treats but they get to indulge sometimes too just like I do. ;)
If a mom is looking to lose weight, what are the first things you recommend? What things are key?
Make sure you are EATING. So many women, moms in particular, skip meals or drastically cut calories to lose weight. This is actually setting you up for a disaster, you will lose weight initially but doing it in a way that sabotages your metabolism just means you will gain the weight back later and probably more than you lost. Your best bet is to eat healthy nutritious meals, consult a nutritionist if you are really lost on what to eat. Secondly, get active! It doesn’t have to be any one particular exercise, if you aren’t working out at all just get moving. Get off the couch or the floor and do something. It could start out as something as simple as setting a challenge for yourself to do 20 jumping jacks every morning. Once you do that for a week move it up to 20 jumping jacks and 20 squats and just keep on adding. Pick something you enjoy, if you hate running don’t say “I am going to start running to lose weight”, if you hate it you’ll quit pretty quickly. If you love riding your bike, do that. Strength training is important for women as well, once you get into a routine of being active I strongly suggest adding strength training to your exercise routine. It is helps add bone density, decreases your risk of stroke and heart disease, builds your immune system, and can also help stave off depression!
Many people adjust their diets by eating less and doing cardio to loose weight but often don't see a change in their body or weight. What are some possible reasons for this?
This is quite simple actually..you are starving your body. Your body starts to go into “survival” mode and holds onto all fat in your body. Eating less, coupled with the added cardio just further signals to your body that you are going to starve it. I suggest making sure you are getting the vital nutrients your body needs, each person’s needs vary based on height, weight, age, gender, etc. Cardio CAN be very beneficial, however, it’s important to build your endurance up first. If your heart rate is constantly at its max, or close to it, you are just burning hard earned muscle and not fat, interval training is a great way to burn fat, build endurance and get it all over with in a shorter period of time. I like putting together my own little interval circuits but there are lots of great videos out there as well. Weight training is also a great way to build muscle and burn fat, you can start out at home with some light dumbbells and gradually build up to heavier weights. It’s important that you lift weight that is challenging for you, if it’s too light and you’re doing 12, 15, 20 repetitions and could keep on going, then you need to increase the weight.
Maryum has also put together this at home workout for me to share with you for those of us who don’t have access to a gym! Thank you so much, Maryum, for taking the time to answer my questions and share this workout with me and my readers! You are such an inspiration!
Full Body Workout Routine that can be done in the comfort of your home:
Start with 8-12 reps, do each exercise once through and then repeat the entire round. Aim for at least 2 full rounds to start with and then work your way up to 3. Once you are completing 3 rounds of 8-12 reps without too much problem then increase your weights.
Equipment needed – Set of Dumbbells and a mat if desired, hand towels or dish towels
Optional Equip: Stability Ball
Plank Arm Reach (alternating arms) Plank Leg Raise (alternating legs)
Squat to Overhead Dumbbell Press/Dumbbell Thruster-Feet shoulder width apart and be sure to sit back with your butt leading the way, your knees should not move forward, keep the dumbbells at shoulder height, with palms facing in toward your face
-As you come back up from the squat thrust your hips forward and arms up into a press simultaneously
Bent-Over Dumbbell Row
-Bend at the hips, knees have a slight bend in them as you pull the dumbbells back lead with your elbows directly back and squeeze your back then release to starting position. Always keep your chest out and butt out so the back stays flat. Try not to let your elbows wing outward.
Walking Lunge/Squat Combo
-Instead of a static lunge (returning your forward foot back to the original position), you can do a walking lunge, with a squat in between each step. So, you lunge forward with the right foot and then take the left foot up to meet the right foot, and do a front squat(remember leading with your butt and not moving your knees forward over your toes). Repeat the sequence on the left side lunging with the left foot forward, etc. Just think of it as a walking lunge exercise with a squat between each step
Variations: Knees, On Knees but toes off the floor, regular military style push-up (toes and hands on floor)
Floor hamstring Curl
-Lying on the floor on your back, bend the knees and put a towel under your feet and lift your butt off the floor. Slowly slide your feet out until your legs are straight, then gradually pull them back to a bend position..do not let your butt drop back to the floor until all reps are completed.
Want more of a challenge and have a stability ball? You can also do this with a stability ball