Q and A with Inspiring Mum, Stevi


Stevi and her family at River ParkRun

Stevi and her family at River ParkRun

Last month, I was reading a great post on Facebook from a running mum, sharing about her 25kg weight loss, finishing a 5km ParkRun and “feeling all round better for it”. This was awesome to see and I needed to know more! So many people battle with losing weight and staying on track. Coach Mel contacted Stevi and she very kindly agreed to do a Q and A, with some great insights to her active and maintainable lifestyle. Have a read and be inspired!

SR: Tell me about you:

I’m a working mum – having worked full time my whole life after leaving school (with the exception of approximately 12 months for maternity leave). Hubby and I have been married for just over 11 years and we have 2 sons (10yrs & 8yrs), who are awesome little people who I love dearly and who behave like my personal court jesters!

I’m just a “regular” mum, working, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the family & sleeping (and repeat!). I think because I’ve always been so busy, I’ve always enjoyed the opportunity to sit back and relax, often with hubby watching a movie and eating chocolate, ice cream or chips.  This has been my life for the past 10+ years… spending my spare time watching TV & eating crappy foods.

As a result, I’ve been overweight most of my adult life, my heaviest being 115kg.  I’ve successfully lost weight a few times with different programs, but never found anything that turned into a lifestyle.

Stevi conquering Parkrun after her 25kg weight loss

Stevi conquering Parkrun after her 25kg weight loss.

 SR: What got you running?

A few years back, my boys started doing a Brazilian martial art called Capoeira. I watched their classes each week and throughout the year decided that it looked like a lot of fun and wanted to give it a go. So, I started doing the Capoeira adults class and was uncomfortable, uncoordinated and absolutely exhausted after my 1 hour class each week. While it was fun, it became quite clear that if I wanted to continue and get better with the classes, that I’d have to lose some weight and improve my fitness.  So in April 2016, at 105.6kg I started a Low Carb, High (Healthy) Fat (LCHF) way of eating.

Fast-forward to September 2016, after losing about 15kg, I realised that this way of eating + 1 hour of Capoeira each week wasn’t going to be enough to increase my fitness levels. So I started walking and then… running.

SR: Did you start with run/walking?

I started running when walking became too easy.  A piece of advice I was given a while ago came in handy; run from one light pole to the next, then walk to the next, and so on.  This became, and is still, how I run.

Now, a few months on – I am running Riverway Parkrun, while walking here and there to ‘catch my breath’, as running for me is still a work in progress!

SR: How do you fit in training? What does that include for a typical week? 

A typical week for me is quite busy with activity. However, I rarely train in solid hour blocks, but rather in 10 minutes here, and 20 minutes there! I sometimes leave for work a little early, and spend 20 minutes running up a set of (killer) stairs near work a few times, or by doing a 20 Arm work out on our home weights machine after dinner.

My exercise regime is as follows (but does change from week to week):

Monday – Run around “the block” in the morning before hubby leaves for work. Approx 3k run.  20 minute work out after dinner.

Tuesday – Evening “boot camp” 1 hour.

Fitting in a home workout, with her children

Fitting in a home workout, with her children

Wednesday – Capoeira class 1 hour.

Thursday – Evening “boot camp” 1 hour.

Friday – Rest day (take the dogs for a walk or something easy on this day).

Saturday – Parkrun 5km – which is taking me about 40minutes.

Sunday – Home workout on the Elliptical (in front of the TV), and other body weight activities like squats, push ups, sit ups.

SR: Who or what inspires you?

I’m inspired a great deal by the Running Mums Australia community, and the Riverway Parkrun community. These people work hard, and I love to see them share achievements. I’m not talking about “medals” or “1st place wins”, I’m talking about the stories of people getting up out of bed, and choosing to get moving and do that jog around the block – or run the 6k up the beach. I love seeing people who I guess are like me; people who aren’t “natural marathon runners”.  I also love seeing at Parkrun, faster runners and volunteers who clap and cheer everyone over the line. It doesn’t matter if they’re running/walking 5k in over 40 or 50 minutes, they get support.  Honestly, I wouldn’t not consider running at Parkrun if it wasn’t for the supportive community there.

SR: How do you keep motivated?

My motivation at the moment is my fitness levels, and I know that consistency wins the race at this game. I need to move every day (even when no one is pushing me to move). If I ever want to be able to run the whole 5k Parkrun without stopping, do a few push ups or get better at the game of Capoeira.  So my motivation is to just take one day at a time, and move on that day.  I find it best not to think about it too much, I just get up and do it. If I think about it, I’ll think of a reason not to exercise and end up not doing it!

SR: Do you run solo or with others? 

I usually run solo at the moment, as I haven’t found a running buddy who is as “slow” as me yet, and I don’t like the idea of holding up a running buddy too much from their training goals just to run with me. I also get to stick my headphones in and run with music in my ears! 🙂

SR: How has running changed your lifestyle?

My bank account has taken a massive hit! Ha! I’m so used to shopping at the Plus Size shops, that as soon as I realised that I can shop at all the “regular” shops.

I’m not sure if its true, but someone once told me that weight loss is 80% what goes in your mouth, and 20% movement – so maintaining a good diet is critical for me. However, weight loss doesn’t get you fitter and stronger – so making sure I get moving even for a little bit each day is vital for me to keep improving my fitness and strength. So, for me – it really is the trusty “diet and exercise” that is high on my priority list to maintain which is ultimately what has become my new lifestyle.  I can’t do one without the other.

Honestly, the biggest change to my lifestyle is how much more busy i am, and how much less time I “sit and relax” compared to how i used to. Its an adjustment, but not any better or worse than before!

SR: What’s up next for you?

I don’t have any big goals to run a marathon or anything like that. My goals are small: Run Parkrun without stopping would have to be a big one. I’m determined to be able to 1 “man” push up and just daily goals of making sure I do move every day in one form or another.  But… once I’m able to do these things, who knows! Maybe a 10k charity run or an obstacle course challenge? I’m happy to give it all a try! But, one step at a time.

Thanks Stevi, Running Mums Australia and Parkrun!