What did you learn about yourself and your fitness over the last year?
In a nutshell, that it is reckless not to put in the work to take care of my health and that work has to be very intentional. As I get older, my health simply cannot be the last item on my to-do list.
My health is bigger than my clothing size or scale weight. It is about ensuring that my body is strong enough and healthy enough to do the hard work that each day brings and to actively be able to enjoy every damn day.
This past year has been a very difficult one for so many people, and it certainly was for me personally, but I honestly believe that I couldn’t have gotten through it without my time with Sandra. My workouts with her and my solo walks were something to look forward to and I always felt better afterwards, regardless of what was happening around me. I cannot overstate how impactful that was for me.
What did you learn about your nutrition habits over the last year?
This is an easy one: I clearly was not eating enough protein. My thoughts have evolved about where I get that protein from but it is something that I have to be very aware of and intentionally make an effort to eat sufficient protein in a timely way. An informative nugget I learned from Sandra was that protein intake should be spread out across the day, rather than having one protein heavy meal at the end of the day.
What was the toughest part of the Lean and Mean Challenge for you?
The hardest part was keeping my focus when difficult life events happened. There were several times during the Challenge that the health of loved ones had to be prioritized. Sometimes we can be really hard on ourselves for not doing it all but I have slowly come to learn that, at times, good enough is good enough.
What was the most rewarding aspect of the event for you?
Being part of something like this tends to get the competitive juices flowing – to see how far I could push myself and what I could accomplish. It’s been a long time since I’ve participated in a competition of any sort so it was really fun to be a part of it. Watching myself get stronger while sharing a ton of laughs with Sandra really just made it one of the few bright spots in the past year.
What did your friends and family think about what you were doing?
My husband and three kids are always supportive and encouraging. If I ever questioned whether I had time in my day for a workout or a walk, my 14 year old was always ready with suggestions of how I could get it done and would even offer to take other things off my plate to help.
If you could give advice to another person who was struggling with their fitness what would that be?
I think what’s really important is to think about the reason you want to improve your fitness – your “why”. Once you can identify that very specific reason, it is a great source of motivation to keep going. For me, that why is my family. I want to be active, strong, and healthy to be there for my family however they need me, and also so that I can enjoy vacations, celebrations and lazy days with them for many, many years.
Thank you to Douglas Cressman for making Seema feel and look beautiful.
Thank you Perry Thompson for the incredible photography that you do.