I thought long an hard about who I wanted to be the next mom crush. I try to always find someone who inspires me and who I think will also inspire you. Meaghan is one of those women on social media that you can see is truly kind, happy, and real. I don’t think Tracy and I come off as perfect, got it all together, #fitmoms so we’re not going to interview those kinds of moms either. Meaghan was kind enough to answer our questions and has even more to offer us women than I expected. Meaghan shares her real life struggles and most importantly how exercise has helped her overcome them.
SFM: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Meghan: Hey guys! My name is Meaghan and I am a 30 year old Mom of 3 kids, ages 9(Lily), 4(Ross) and 3(Charlotte). I grew up in Northern California in the Santa Cruz and San Jose area. I participated in several sports as a child, softball, soccer, gymnastics and dance but the one thing that stole my heart was figure skating. I discovered roller figure skating at the age of 9. I spent many hours and dedicated a lot of my childhood and teen Years to figure skating. I competed at regionals and nationals and went to the Olympic training center. In high school I played Volleyball my freshman year and did cheerleading my senior year.
My husband and I actually went to high school with each other but didn’t know each other that well during high school. We knew of each other but didn’t hang out with the same groups but had a lot of mutual friends. We were re introduced to each other years after high school and married in June 2010.
I could probably write a novel about my life story…My oldest daughter Lily was born in February 2007, my son Ross was born in December 2011 and daughter Charlotte was born in November 2012 (my second and third babies are irish twins born about 11 1/2 months apart). My husband is active duty Coast Guard and we are currently stationed in Northern California.
SFM: What are some of your hobbies?
Meghan: Our family loves sporting events, specifically professional Hockey games (Go Sharks!). We love going camping, four wheeling in the mountains in the area, and going down to Pismo Beach, California. I’m a crazy Pinterest addict and love finding recipes and crafts to try to make. I love the Food network and HGTV and hope to have Chip and Joanna from Fixer Upper fix up a house for us one day! Lol. One can dream right?
SFM: It’s no secret we love Crossfit, but we know you do other kinds of exercise. What other kinds of exercise do you enjoy?
Meghan: My main source of fitness and exercise is Crossfit. This year we took the plunge and converted a portion of our garage into a mini crossfit gym. I still go into my local crossfit box but my coach helps me by programming work outs for me to do at home with the equipment that we have. However, I also supplement my Crossfit work outs with beach body at home work outs. I have done 21day fix, piyo and a newer program called The Masters Hammer and Chisel. A local organization I support called Unravel Pediatric Cancer (www.unravelpediatriccancer.org) motivated me to start running races. I ran my first 10k last year as a Team Glitter Member for Unravel Pediatric Cancer when they partnered with the She is Beautiful organization to help raise funds and awareness. I ran this race again this year but did the 5k course because I wasnt feeling well. I plan to continue running and eventually hope to do a half marathon.
SFM: What motivates you to exercise and eat healthy everyday?
Meghan: Being fit for my family is a very large motivation. I want to be able to keep up with my kids especially at the ages they are at now since they are extremely active. I also want them to experience having an active lifestyle so they can learn to be healthy and stay active as they grow.
This back story about how I started my fitness journey as an adult may be a tad long but I feel like telling this aspect of how and why I started might help other women out there realize they are not alone in certain situations, especially after giving birth and all the different circumstances that can arise from that.
May is Mental Health Awareness month and I thought this would be the perfect time to share what motivated me to become active and fit again.
Once I stopped figure skating I went to the gym from time to time but was not a dedicated athlete in any way. My first pregnancy with my oldest daughter was pretty seamless. Fast forward to a few years ago when I was pregnant with my son and then quickly with my youngest daughter. ….It was a very hectic challenging time. My husband was attached to a boat that deployed frequently and we became pregnant fairly quickly after our son was born. I did not have time in between pregnancies and we also faced deployments. I did not have “fit” pregnancies. It was typical that I gained usually 40-50lbs each pregnancy. After our daughter (third baby) was born I was pretty depleted. By day 3 post delivery I knew something was not right with me. I immediately called my doctor and was scheduled for an appointment first thing the following day. I felt lucky that I was able to recognize that how I was feeling wasn’t normal. I recognized the difference between how I felt after baby one and two vs. how I was feeling post baby 3. So I saw my doctor and we made a plan. I was suffering from the post baby blues also known as post partum depression as well as post partum anxiety. There are many ways to tackle recovering from this, our plan was to have me exercise and go to therapy to learn coping methods. So I went to therapy and started going to the gym. With the help of my husband, doctor and close family and friends, over time i was able to stop therapy and just exercise.
The first year after our youngest was born I mainly took walks and runs with the kids in the stroller and went to a local gym when I could get a sitter or when my husband was home from deployment. Right before our youngest first birthday my husband emailed me towards the end of a deployment and thought that I might like to try crossfit. He knew that with my figure skating background that the training aspect and intensity might be something I would enjoy. Shortly after he sent me that email an old friend from high school posted that her crossfit gym was having a special on your first month. I googled the gym and it turned out to be very close to where we lived. I called up the gym ower who is now my coach and set up my intro class and immediately fell in love.
Going through that experience has changed me forever. There are still moments where I experience symptoms similar to Post Partum Depression and Anxiety but that is when I know I just need to get out and get moving. So not only do I exercise for my physical health and because I enjoy Crossfit in general but I also exercise for my mental health and wellness.
If you’re a new mother or just gave birth and are experiencing feelings of depression or anxiety I encourage you to reach out to your spouse and health care provider to get the support and help you need. I know that it is not talked about often enough and that there is sort of a stigma around this subject matter but I hope by sharing my story I can help someone experiencing what I went through and encourage them to get the help they need to overcome this phase in their life.
SFM: What is your biggest obstacle when it comes to eating good or exercising?
Meghan: My biggest obstacle is probably finding balance among the craziness of 3 kids, a job, volunteer work I do for the Coast Guard and my husband’s job. Getting my work outs in consistently has been a recent struggle the past 6 months. Getting myself motivated to go into the garage and get in my work out in has bene difficult. For me, it’s a lot easier to jump in the car and zone out at my crossfit box but it’s something I’m working on. To me, self motivation is really important. All those people you see working out at home by themselves…it takes a lot to hold yourself accountable and to push play on your work out DVD or to pick up that barbell in your garage.
SFM: What are your fitness goals?
Meghan: Over the past few years my goals have changed and grown. At first it was just to feel good again physically, loose the baby weight and feel good mentally. Once I started crossfit my mind set changed drastically. I focused less on the scale and more about becoming strong and seeing what my body was capable of.
Ultimately my goal is to always be moving forward and challenging myself to try new things and be healthy.
This year I hope to take my level 1 trainers course for Crossfit, run a half marathon, do another crossfit competition, finally PR on my Snatch and to get a muscle up! I love helping people and showing them that weightlifting is not just for the boys. Our bodies are capable of so many amazing things if we could just break out of our confort zones!
SFM: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Meghan: With the Coast Guard we live our lives in 3-4 year segments so it’s hard to imagine where I will be in 10 years. I currently work in administration but I have always loved the idea of becoming a trainer. So possibly training people where ever the Coast Guard takes us.
SFM: What kind of meals do you like to cook for your family?
Meghan: I bake chicken and roast veggies almost weekly. I try very hard to make healthy meals that can be adapted for our family. However, I still struggle getting my two youngest to try new foods. Our oldest daughter eats what we eat and for the younger two we try and have them eat what we are eating but adapt it to be a little more toddler friendly. I’m continuously trying to offer foods to them and they are slowly adapting and their pallot is changing. I love the crock pot and if I can find a recipe that is healthy and can be thrown in the crock pot I will make it.
SFM: What are a few of your favorite recipes?
Meghan: Baked BBQ chicken, crock pot turkey chili, and crock pot chili verde chicken. I also love roasted, steamed or sauteed veggies. I will always eat a salad. We make a lot of salads and sandwiches for a quick healthy meal. I am grateful for Costco and Trader Joes in my area area because they carry a lot of organic and hormone free products.
SFM: What’s your motto?
Meghan: I have always loved the quote, “You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream”. This year ultimately my motto is to allow myself to be vulnerable and really experience life and share my story. In my 20’s it was easy to get caught up in worrying about what others thought about the choices I made or about what I was doing with my life. It may sound cliche but I really want to just make sure I remind myself and others to own their journey and be proud of who they are and whatever they’re passionate about.
SFM: Any advice you want to share for others trying to live healthy amongst the chaos of motherhood?
Meghan: Don’t be too hard on yourself and make sure that you’re speaking to yourself in a positive way. Self care is extremely important and taking the time to work out not only helps physically but mentally as well. Don’t be afraid to ask to make a schedule with your significant other to make sure that each of you have time to make it to the gym. Make sure you’re planning and setting yourself up for success. Letting go of the guilt of taking that time for yourself is I think the most important step to be able to live a healthy lifestyle and incorporate fitness into your lifestyle. It allows you to have the freedom to make a healthy lifestyle a priority.
Establishing a meal prep schedule is also a great way to eat well consistently. I tend to prep twice a week on Sunday and Wednesday for our food during the week so i am not constantly cooking but still allowing us to stay on track.
Thank you Meaghan for sharing your story with us. We love your honesty and we’re so glad you choose to share it with us.
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