What a babe!

Motivating Mom: Hot Mama Michelle!

Happy Monday Moms! Meet our Motivating Mom this week: Michelle. Kate Teel, who owns FIT4MOM Winterville, did a great job introducing Michelle so I'm stealing her words:

"She has become one of my most dedicated moms and has completely transformed her body! She comes to class 3 times a week and works out on her own another 2 or 3 days at the gym. In addition to this, she works full time, has her own photography business, is in school part time to finish her business degree and of course is an awesome mom and wife. Michelle shows up with a smile, ready to tackle anything you throw at her and rocks it all! I hope you will consider using Michelle for a motivational mom...she certainly deserves it!"

Well Kate, I could not agree more! Read on for some serious motivation...

**Tell us about yourself**

My name is Michelle and I’m 29 and dreading the big 30 in March. I have one little boy named Wallace and he just turned 2 in September and I’m married to a pretty awesome guy named Eric but in my house he’s usually referred to simply as Daddy. I work full time for East Carolina University at the health sciences library where I’m the Collection Development Coordinator. I’m still working on my undergraduate degree from ECU, so I’m doing the part time student thing. And since work and school doesn’t seem like enough I’m also running my own photography business which has really started to take off. In my spare time I love working out especially with my Winterville NC Stroller Strides group. Kate Teel, who is our amazing instructor was a former trainer at my old gym and she stayed on me to join the group when she found out I had a baby. After she bugged me enough I finally gave in and joined… best decision ever!

**You look amazing, how much weight did you lose, and how long has it taken you?**

I lost a total of 45 pounds and it took me between 4-5 months to lose the weight.

**What motivated you to make a change?**

I was overweight and depressed and wanted to fit into my closet of old clothes that I hadn’t touched in years. I didn’t want to be that overweight mom for Wallace. He deserved to have a happy healthy mom who could run and play with him without feeling like she was going to pass out. I also wanted Wallace to grow up around a healthy lifestyle. I want to show him that being fit is fun and healthy is great way to live. I have struggled with my weight my entire life and I don’t want Wallace to have the same struggles as me.

And let’s get real… I wanted to be a hot mom!!!! ; )

**Here is the question our moms are dying to know the answer to: What are you doing to get/stay so healthy!?**

I do Stroller Strides 3 days a week. We really work on resistance training to build those muscles. On the days I don’t have Stroller Strides I’m in the gym or hitting the pavement doing lots of cardio. I combine all of that fitness with a low calorie diet filled with lean meats, low-fat dairy, and tons of fruits and veggies and make sure to eat my sweets in moderation.

**It can be SO HARD to find “me” time when you are taking care of your family, how were you able to make these healthy changes and stick to them while still doing all of you other day to day duties?**

Some mom’s may not agree with my theory but how did I make this work you ask? I put ME first. It’s like the saying goes, “If momma’s not happy, nobody’s happy” and it’s totally the truth. Being fit and healthy makes me happy and then I’m able to share that happiness with my family. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of my husband who takes care of Wallace on the days that I’m not in stroller strides and at the gym. I’m definitely busy and really don’t have a lot of down time but I would never be able to handle all of the stress and activities of my life if I didn’t put ME first.

**How do feel now? How has this changed your life?**

I feel amazing! Although I’ve lost most of the weight I wanted to lose, it doesn’t mean I’m stopping here. I have so many goals set and it’s awesome to work towards them. I want to be able to do more pushups and run more miles…the sky is the limit and it’s awesome to know that I now have the confidence and motivation to reach my goals.

It has changed my life because I’m happy and I have the confidence to achieve anything I want!!!!

**What are you most proud of?**

I’m pretty proud that running a 5k is easy… but I will be way more proud when I can run a 10k. I’m also pretty proud of the fact that I can hold a 5 minute plank and do 100 pushups… but the happiest moment would have to be rocking a bikini this summer and skinny jeans this winter… It feels so good!

**What advice do you have for other moms who want to get healthy?**

You have to put yourself first… the rest will follow. Don’t give up and most of all HAVE FUN. If you’re not a member of a fit4mom group you need to join ASAP! It’s such a great experience. You work out with your kids and you meet so many amazing people. I would be lost without the friends I have made at Stroller Strides. We have really been through some crazy difficult life experiences this past year and it was so good to know that we were there for one another.

**If you know a motivating mom or want to share your story, email hillary@fit4mom.com**

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