Shana’s Story: Finding Balance through Food, Fitness and Family
Since I was a little girl, food and exercise has always been an integral part of life. My earliest and fondest memories include making homemade bread and kneading the dough in kitchen with my Mom and making cookies and licking the mixer attachment covered with cookie dough. I’d like to say that my early passion for cooking provided a strong influence growing up and helped steer me into my career as a food scientist. Although I ultimately had to make the decision to leave the food industry after we moved to WI, my passion for cooking and baking has now evolved into creating healthy, delicious recipes to prepare both with and for my 3 boys to properly fuel their growing bodies!
With a little one at home, I used to feel as if I didn’t even have time to make a healthy, balanced breakfast or lunch for myself… I had to take care of the rest of the family first. But over time I have convinced myself that I deserve this time! I deserve to take care of my body by taking 5-10 minutes each day to prepare a healthy balanced lunch for myself (instead of the cheese and crackers I would have typically grab!). Even with my background, I needed the reminder that a healthier meal more properly fueles me for what lied ahead that afternoon (instead of wanting to take a nap!). Also, instead of multitasking while scarfing down my unbalanced lunch, I now make sure to sit down and take the time to enjoy my food at the table without distractions.
Exercise has also played a huge role in my life. While my friends in high school were sleeping in, I was setting my alarm to do a workout video before going to school (remember Buns of Steel? That was a favorite of mine!:) Although I was active in sports throughout high school, my favorite sport was rowing on the crew team at Penn State (where I met my husband!). I haven’t rowed on the water since college, but I still love to jump on the Erg for a good full body workout every now and then. After college, the reality of working full time and having three kids sometimes made fitting in workouts difficult, but I still made it happen because it was necessary to keep energized and ready to tackle the day.
Because of my lifelong passion for fitness, I always said years ago that if I left my food industry career, I’d love to become a personal trainer/fitness instructor. I always felt as though I wanted to improve people’s lives through fitness and help them fall in love with exercise and all the benefits that come with it. Well that time did come, and I am eternally grateful to one of my first and dearest friends in WI, Susan, for introducing me to Sarah Addeo’s Ultra Fit class a few years ago. I was so excited to finally find highly challenging (and fun!) workouts (like I had never had before) with a one-of-a-kind, top notch instructor. I am so incredibly thankful that Sarah and Marti have taken me under their wings at AddeoFit and have given me the opportunity to follow my heart and work in this industry. The opportunity to teach has been nothing short of amazing, but what I love most is incredible community of trainers, instructors, and members at AddeoFit. Exercise most certainly connects people. The encouragement, camaraderie, and energy at AddeoFit is beyond what I would have ever imagined.
As I’m writing this in my relatively quiet house while my 3-year-old, Miles, is napping, my “to do” list overflowing. I’m surrounded by a sink full of dishes, load upon load of laundry that needs to be folded, toys everywhere, a pile of mail that needs to be sorted, and ingredients that need to be thrown together for dinner tonight. While I will eventually make my way through checking each of these items off my list, five new ones were just added on for today. Well, I’m going to take a wild guess and say that I am not the only one that feels like I can never keep up!
Instead of using the small window of time I had this morning to take care of these tasks, what did I do?? …. I took a Full Body Blast class! As I talk to more and more moms, I am discovering that overall, we are so incredibly hard on ourselves. We automatically focus on the negatives, whatever those negatives may be. Why do we do this to ourselves? We need to change this! Let’s start focusing on all the great things we do each day to keep the family going, to take better care of ourselves, and to realize what beautiful people each of us are!