Inspiring Women Series | Meet Julia

I "met" Julia via facebook (gotta love facebook!).  She's also member of the Las Vegas Moms Run this Town group.  I officially met Julia in person at the Wild Land Fire Awareness Run and we chatted a little bit before the race about having kiddos and finding the time to run!  I ran the 5K trail race at that event and Julia went on to the half marathon distance.  I didn't have a great race, but Julia...she finished first overall female!  What a fabulous accomplishment!  We've since "chatted" some more on facebook and she recently started her own running blog.  You should totally check it out and after reading a bit more about Julia on today's Inspiring Women Q & A, I am sure you will!  Let's get started:

Q. Have you always led an active lifestyle? If not, what motivated you to make changes in your lifestyle?

A. I have pretty much always led a very active lifestyle. I started swimming competitively when I was six years old all the way through high school. As an adult, up until I had my two children, most of my activity was in the gym, either doing group fitness classes or running on the treadmill. When I had my two kids, I took a break from exercise (other than lots of walks around the neighborhood) simply because I just couldn't find time to workout while taking care of my babies. Now that they're a little older, I've finally been able to fit it into my schedule and running has been an integral part of that. Between signing up for races and being part of an online healthy moms group, I get a lot of motivation to put in the work every day.

Q. What is your favorite race distance and why?

A. My favorite race distance is a 10k. I really enjoy the challenge of doing half marathons (which has been my longest distance to date), but it is HARD! I feel like with a 10k, I can go fast without burning out too early.

Q. What inspires you to want to run a half marathon? 

A. Ever since I started running, and got a couple of half marathons under my belt, people kept asking me when I was going to do a full marathon and I kept saying, "Never!" I just had no desire. Then one day, a girl from a local running Facebook group I'm in posted a link to a particular marathon saying that it should be on every runner's bucket list. I was intrigued and started looking into it. I read up a lot on it, and watched some videos and that was it. I was hooked. I want to run it so bad (I'm not saying which one yet because I don't want to jinx it until I have my registration in hand). I absolutely love running anywhere that is picturesque and has an amazing atmosphere. This marathon I am considering (if I can get into is, as it is a very popular one) fills both of those categories, so that will be very inspiring to me. Stay tuned to my blog to see which one it is and if I get into it!

Q. During your training, are there any obstacles you had to overcome?

A. Probably the biggest obstacle is some GI issues that I suffer from. As much as I love running, running does not always love me. Most of the time, I can control it, but every so often, I have a bad day after a run. It is really horrible because it makes me sick for several hours after running, which is really hard when you're trying to take care of two kids. I've tried a lot of different things to help with it, which work most of the time, but not always. However, I just can't imagine not running, so I've learned to deal with it.

Q. Finding or making the time to run is hard. Do you have any tips that have helped you make exercise & running part of your routine?

A. Make a schedule and stick to it. Plan out your week on Sunday and write it down so you don't even have to think about it. I also like to get my workouts in first thing in the morning. It's hard sometimes waking up at 4:15 or 5am, but your body will adjust. Most the time I actually wake up before my alarm goes off. Oh, and coffee...lots of coffee!

Q. Overall, what is your favorite race experience?

A. I am very social and love running with other people. I recently ran (and won 1st place overall for the women) the Wildland Fire Awareness Trail Half Marathon. One of my running friends (who was injured at the time) gave her bib to her husband to run in her place. He and I run about the same pace and ended up running the entire race together. It was so much fun running it with someone, especially since we were able to push each other and not worry about holding each other back. I wish I had a running partner for every race!

Q. If you could only give someone just one piece of advice to running, what would it be? 

A. Do not worry about your time. Everyone runs at a different pace and when it all comes down to it, 3.1, 13.1. 26.2, they're all the same distance whether you're a 6 minute miler or a 16 minute miler. And also, it's okay to walk! I learned this very quickly when I started doing races. The only person you are competing with is yourself.

Q. When you're not busy working out what kind of things do you like to do for fun? 

A. I love going out and doing things with my kids. I'm definitely an adventurous mom, so on my days off from work, we're always doing something. I love all that Las Vegas has to offer. Despite what many people may think, it actually is a very family friendly city and there are so many fun things to do with your kids here. I also love reading, cooking, drinking wine and traveling.

Q. What are some of your favorite/must-have running products you can't live without?

A. First and foremost my Brooks. I fell in love with this brand after it was recommend by several runners in my healthy moms online group. I had so much pain in previous running shoes and these have just been amazing. I love my Amphipod hand held water bottle and my Garmin Forerunner 10 as well. I swear by Target running attire and I love my Sparkle Athletic running visor. I love trying out new running products!

See, don't you just love her now?!? I know I do!! I mean, she loves traveling, wine, and running! What's not to love! Now, go stalk her on social media ;) 

Blog link: http://vegasmotherrunner.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/vegasmotherrunner

Instagram: @vegasmotherrunner

Twitter: @vegasmotherrunner

 

Inspiring Women Series | Meet Jessica Pages

Prepare to be inspired by this fit mamma while you read over the Q&A interview below.  She's proof that you can make the changes you want, you just have to be willing to put in the work.  I love how she's made fitness a priority in her life, without losing focus of her role as a mother!  Way to go Jessica!! Thanks so much for sharing your story with us today!  

Q. What motivated you to make changes to your lifestyle? 
A. I was not always into fitness, I never really gave my weight or my body a second thought. I was over weight by about 10-15 pounds,...but that really didn’t bother me. In 2009 my husband and I found out that I was pregnant for the 3rd time!! My first pregnancy I gained 40 pounds, my 2nd I gained about 25 so I thought I really didn't have to worry about it as far as my weight went. Well that was WRONG! I ate ice cream, fast food, anything I could get my hands on...and that usually consisted of sweets and fried foods...I was eating for 2 you know! I also DIDN'T workout 1 time throughout my pregnancy. I really NEVER had worked out before at all. I found myself unhappy with my physical and mental shape after the birth of my 3rd and last child. I wasn’t completely happy with myself before the pregnancy but afterwards it was way worse. I gained over 50 pounds and at the hospital right before I gave birth I weighed 198 pounds!!!!! After I gave birth I just couldn’t shake off the extra weight. I needed a Change! I wanted a lean,toned body! I had bought an OXYGEN magazine after had given birth, something to spark my interest in losing some weight. So I decided to give it one more try. I decided to hit the GYM!. My goal was to lose 30 pounds and gain some muscle.

Q. During your transformation journey, what has been the hardest thing(s) to overcome?
A. Being a Mother of 3 children ages 22,17 & 4 I have to make the time for myself. At first it was really hard finding the time to get that workout in. My kids wanted me to play, I needed to clean the house and life always took over and before you knew it it was 8pm and I was exhausted.So I made a plan to hit the gym at 5am! Yup that's right my alarm goes off at 4:30am EVERYDAY! This gives me my "ME" time and also I am not taking away from my kids time or my daily to-tolist.

Q. What do you do now to help motivate and inspire others?
A. When I first stated my journey I started a Fitness page MUSCLE MAMAS. This was a place for me to stay accountable. This page now is still a place I post my accountability pics but also I inspire motivate and SUPPORT other women trying to either get Healthy & Fit or who just need some help staying on track.

Q. Finding or making the time to workout is hard. Do you have any tips that have helped you make exercise part of your routine?
A. Getting my workouts in before ANYTHING else that day helps me stay on track.

Q. When you're not busy working out what kind of things do you like to do for fun? 
A. I have found a joy in YOGA! I practice it almost everyday. I find poses on Instagram and practice until I can do the pose. My 4 year old also LOVES trying new poses with me. I also love being outside.

Q. If you could only give people one piece of advice, what would it be? 
A. Make a PLAN! Write out what you want to accomplish and write a plan that will get you there. If you want to lose some weight then write out what you need to do... Eat Clean, prep meals,workout 3-5 times a week, cut out sugar and so on. Also log what you are eating. You would be surprised at how many EXTRA calories you consume without even knowing it. Myfitnesspal is a GREAT way to track your exercise and Nutrition.

Q. What are some of your favorite/must-have workout products you can't live without?
A. I have to have my phone with my PANDORA! 

Be sure to go and like her facebook page and check out her website!!  I know I do :) 

 


Inspiring Women Series | Meet Teresa Cacucciolo

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I've known Teresa a long time!  I photographed her wedding in Florida almost 10 years ago and we've kept in touch this whole time.  She's now a mom of 2 adorable little boys and is running a great business in the fitness industry.  With me being in Las Vegas now, we pretty much stay updated via facebook and last year I noticed she was sharing lots of motivational posts on her page and had become a Beach Body Coach.  This girl was getting serious about her goals and I was inspired!  She came to Las Vegas for a Beach Body convention this summer and we got to meet up for dinner and I was even more inspired by her in person!  I just love to hear people talk about something they are so passionate about.  They're on fire and their enthusiasm is contagious!  

Today, I'd like you to meet Teresa for yourselves. I put together a little Q&A interview with her so you too can get some of that contagious energy she has and feel passionate about making some positive changes to your lifestyle and your body!

 

  • Q. What motivated you to make changes to your lifestyle? 

    A. I have always been into fitness, certain times more then others. So I have always been conscious of it, but life, kids, family, work all got in the way, and I did not realize how much I had let myself go. We decided to make a pretty big move, and moved out by the beach. Beach life is AMAZING, but I quickly found that all my new found friends wanted to do something each weekend that required me to be in a bathing suit...suddenly every weekend I was uncomfortable. I just decided enough was enough. I was turning 30 in one year, and I knew that it was not going to get easier for me to lose weight. So I made a commitment to myself, that no matter what, I was going to be in the best shape of my life before I turned 30. I officially turn 30 in 3 weeks. :)

  • Q. During your transformation journey, what has been the hardest thing(s) to overcome?

    A. Food. Hands down. I hear this as well from most of my challengers. I would work my butt of and see NO progress. The truth is I thought for the most part I had a healthy diet. I did not drink sodas, I stayed away from white foods, (flours sugars) and I did not eat fast food. Diets did not work for me, because all I could think of was the food I could NOT eat, and lets face it, if you go ON a diet you will eventually go OFF a diet. I just could not figure it out! It was and still is sometimes frustrating. But I learned about "eating clean" meaning no processed or boxed food, staying on the outer aisles of the grocery store, and READING LABELS! I quickly found that I was not eating food, I was eating "food like substances" It became a lifestyle that I could stick with. I could eat foods that I loved, just found the "cleanest" possible way to eat it.

  • Q. What do you do now to help motivate and inspire others?

    A. I decided to become a fitness coach with a company that I hold very dear to my heart, Beachbody. I owe everything that I learned, and everything I have achieved to them. I fell in love with their entire program, and philosophy about changing your lifestyle, and be TRULY HEALTHY, not just skinny. If you are truly healthy, losing weight and being thin will be a natural side effect of that. I now do Online or virtual fitness challenges with people who are looking to lose weight, get healthy, build muscle, whatever the goals are, and I LOVE IT! To get to work with people for 1 to 3 months at a time, and see their entire lives change because of what you do, is the most rewarding job I have ever had. I have seen these groups build a commeradary, they want each other to succeed, as much as they want to succeed, and it pushes everyone to work harder. 

  • Q. As a wife & mother, finding time to workout is hard. Do you have any tips on making/finding the time? 

    A. It is definitely about making time, not finding it. Nobody has the time, we are all so busy and there are so many things we would rather be doing. BUT we will make time for what we are passionate about. So my advise would be to GET PASSIONATE about your health! Find something you love, find a workout that excites you. Get some friends involved. Become the fit friend, drag everyone else with you to get in shape! That positive energy surrounding you, and that fire you feel after you have worked out for a little while and start to see some serious results is SO addicting!! You've just got to get yourself to that point. If you dread your workout everyday, then its not going to work. You won't do it. There are some workouts that I can not stand. So I don't do them. I have made myself a collection of my favorite workouts, and rotate them. There is always something excited for me to do each day.

  • Q. When you're not busy working out what kind of things do you like to do for fun? 

    A. Vacation. I love taking vacations, and traveling. I feel like I am always waiting for the next one. (and it has been way to long) I love getting to travel, I always have. My husband spent our first 4 years together before we had kids traveling together. But I think it is even more exciting now that we have kids, because you get to experience everything through their eyes. 
    Other then that, in my day to day life, I love to read. I am a big believer in reading for a purpose, that what you read should make you a better person, so I try to read my bible daily, as well as personal development books. I think there is so much negativity put out in the world through tv radio,and social media, that it is my way of combating that, and being able to stay positive and accomplish my goals. 

  • Q. If you could only give people one piece of advice, what would it be? 

    A. This one is easy for me...BE CONSISTENT and DON'T QUIT. You can never truly fail, if you never quit. Just stick with it. No matter how long it takes, or how slow you feel the progress is Don't throw in the towel. That will not do you any good. One, it will be harder to lose weight the next time, because yo-yo dieting is so bad for your body, and two, you will not feel good about yourself. Many times, we feel so bad that we will actually go the opposite way and put the weight on that we lost, and then some! Remember that your body wants to be healthy. So it may take some time for it to cooperate, and undo all the damage that has been done, but it will begin to cooperate.

  • Q. What are some of your favorite/must-have workout products you can't live without?

    A. Hands down, #1 would be my Shakeology. People think I say that I love it because I work for the company, but the truth is I work for company because I love it, whats in it, and the lengths they go through to make sure it is the best thing out there. In fitness, we are taught how important protein, and protein shakes are, and they do absolutely have their place. BUT we forget about EVERYTHING else that our body needs to re fuel, repair, and function at its absolute best. What are we doing to clean our body out of the junk that goes in? To scrub our insides? A truly healthy body is a fit body. I have more energy then I have ever had, and it is a "well rested" kind of energy, not the kind you get from a stimulate and then crash. I feel like I have become more of an athlete, and I can lift stronger and last longer in my workouts. But even more then that I have seen my families health transform. I can get through a day with out crazy food cravings, and I stay full. I would have a much harder time with my nutrition with out it. Other then that a awesome pair of cross trainers is a must!

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