Welcome again to the series Real Life, Real People, featuring people I know who have inspired me over the years to live a healthy life.
Meet Lori, age 44, one of my high school friends who has been active as long as I can remember ! She looks as great now as she did in high school, and has been a great role model to her girls. Thank you to Lori for sharing !
What is your motivation / what inspires you to lead a healthy life ?
- I’m motivated by long-term goals. In my work I encounter people with a lot of limitations due to health issues and see a lot of older people with a very limited ability to enjoy day to day life. I realize some health issues are unavoidable; however, there are a lot that are avoidable. I know what being unhealthy looks like and I don’t want to go there.
- I am also motivated to be a role model for my children. I feel inspired when I take my kids to road races, triathlons, marathons, or any other sport and event. It sets a great example for the next generation
What is the ONE change that has made the most difference in keeping up with a healthy lifestyle ?
Joining a running group ! Having a weekly, planned time to do speed work with a group of people keeps me on track. I have also met some great friends through the group and that has expanded into enriching my life with some really wonderful people.
2nd place female team at the Maine Marathon!! Lori with three running group friends :
What is an obstacle you have overcome in your healthy lifestyle and how ?
Finding the time. I think this is the same for everyone. Having a set schedule at work helps and I also try to have set workout times. I allow a little flexibility, for example Saturday OR Sunday. I try to do a long run on one of the weekend days but keep that open based on the kid’s schedule.
My work schedule allows me to run Monday or Tuesday so that gives me a little flexibility but I commit to one of the two days. Weather is however a factor here in Maine. So I do have workout DVDs that I can substitute in place of a run if needed.
When did you start exercising / How long have you exercised ? Why did you start ?
I started exercising in seventh and eighth-grade, so 12-13 years old. I have run on and off my whole life. I was on teams in high school that involved running, I had friends in college who I ran with (usually ran to the bar for a beer!) and my husband also runs. So pretty much 30 years?!
Have your exercise habits changed over the years ? when you moved ? found a significant other ? had a child ?
My exercise habits changed, however running has always been the foundation. I have done yoga on and off over the years and do some workout DVDs that involve core work. I really enjoy yoga, but my time is limited so I try to do what is most efficient.
With children I always found that the quickest was the most consistent, I like to get an entire workout done in 30 to 60 minutes. I find it inconvenient to travel to a gym and I don’t do this regularly for that reason.
How many days a week do you exercise ? What does your typical week of workouts look like ?
I typically exercise 3 to 4 times a week. Long distance on the weekend, speed workout on Wednesday evening, easy run on Monday or Tuesday, and a paced run on Fridays. At any time I may substitute a 20 to 30 minute workout for one of those runs. I also run more March through November than I do in the winter.
What is your favorite work out ? / fitness activity ? Why ?
Running ! One thing I love about running is exploring different areas. We have beautiful places to run here in southern Maine, and when I travel I run in whatever city I am staying in. I have run in Quebec city, Montreal, Austin, San Diego, lots of places and beaches in Florida.
It is also very stress relieving for me… I never regret a run. Some days it is hard to get out the door but I have never come back and said I wish I hadn’t done it!
Lori with co-workers, who had never run before :
Do you prefer working out with others or by yourself ?
I prefer a long runs with someone else. I would like to do most of my running with someone else but again the inconvenience of setting up a meeting time and waiting for someone doesn’t really fit my lifestyle due to full-time work and two teenage daughters. I foresee a future with a little more flexibility when the kids go off to college and if I am not working full time, I would run with friends more often. I would also do yoga more consistently if I had more time. I know as I age it will be important to do weight bearing exercise, it is just finding the time to do that.
Are you working on a fitness goal at the moment ? What is it ?
My fitness goal at this moment is to stay in shape through the winter. I just had leg surgery so am on a bit of a break. In the spring my goal will be to get my 5K time down into the 23 minute range.
Triathlon relay team :
Is there a fitness activity that you have not yet tried, but would like to ?
I would like to try a weight fitness class of some sort. Maybe a boot Camp class if I can find one to meet my schedule.
What is a typical breakfast, lunch and dinner ?
Typically I am a pretty good eater. I have eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, salad or a small sandwich for lunch. Dinner is mostly lean protein and vegetables. I have a Greek yogurt and fruit midmorning. My downfall is coffee in the afternoon and I forget to eat something with that. I am trying to pick up an afternoon healthy snack. I keep almonds and dried fruit with me at most times so if I get hungry on the road I have something to snack on. I drink plenty of water throughout the day, most days. I find it easier to eat healthy on my work days because it is more scheduled.
Have your eating habits evolved over time ?
My eating habits definitely changed when I turned 30 !! I met with a nutritionist. It is one of the best investments I ever made. Previous to that I would drink coffee all day and eat large amounts of whatever I wanted later in the day…a lot of pasta, pizza and things you can eat in your 20s. When I turned 30 that all changed. I try to stick to this routine most days so that when I do go out to dinner with my family or my husband I can indulge and have what I want.
Do you meal prep ?
I try to meal prep when I can, on the weekends I sometimes roast a lot of potatoes, grilled chicken, clean vegetables for salads, but this is only when I have time.
What is one of your favorite, easy go-to recipes ?
My favorite easy go to recipe is probably turkey burgers with avocados on top and corn salsa from Trader Joe’s. I also use my crockpot in the winter… A jar of salsa, a can of corn, a can of black beans, and 4 to 6 chicken breasts. Cooked all day in the crockpot then shred the chicken, this is one of the easiest recipes I use. You can add cubed cream cheese towards the end to make it creamy if you like. I then have the leftovers for quesadillas or burritos. Flat bread pizza is an easy meal. Few carbs and I put a lot of vegetables. I try to use high-quality ingredients.
Thoughts on eating in general…
When it comes to eating, I do not buy anything that is “crap” food, I refuse to have it in my house. My kids crack me up because they are thrilled when they go to a friend’s house and they have real ice cream instead of frozen yogurt.
We actually use an app on the iPhone called fooducate to scan items and it rates them on whether they contain GMO’s, inorganic ingredients, etc. I figure if it is not in the house then we will not eat it.
I have had my children meet with a nutritionist as well. I think it is important for people to understand how much protein versus carbs they should be eating.
When we go out to dinner, which is probably too often, we do have desserts etc. then as a treat. Because when we don’t have them at home we actually enjoy that more.
One of her most special pictures with husband, girls and sister in law, battling cancer :
Thanks again Lori !