Tag Archives: Body Builder Mom

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Progress & Priorities

screen-shot-2018-06-05-at-2-54-31-pmBefore: 180 lbs.

Current: 129 lbs.

The last time I stepped on the scale before giving birth to my daughter, I weighed 180 pounds and stood in awe.

I’d happily gained what I referred to as “love weight” after meeting my husband, an incredible cook whose food I loved to eat. But after a year and a half, I couldn’t fit into any of my pants and had resorted to flowy tops with leggings or dresses to hide what was underneath. It was time to get back in shape, except nothing seemed to work. I was exhausted, craved food I’d never been drawn to and thought age must be the reason my waist was thickening. It never occurred to me I might be pregnant. After all, I was 40 and had been on the pill for years. Thankfully, God had other plans.

Now here I was, hours away from meeting the daughter I’d carried for months, in awe. I had never experienced such love for my own body. I felt strong, beautiful and at peace, all 180 pounds of me…us.

Hours after labor, I cradled Olive in my arms while my husband slept on a cot nearby, grateful tears rolling down my cheeks as I looked at the two most important people in my world.

Less than three weeks after becoming a first-time mother, I was asked the dreaded post-birth question – “When are you due?” – while on a quick solo trip to grab a few items at my neighborhood grocery store. Surely, the stranger had not meant to be rude, so I laughed it off without correcting her, but the comment stung.

When I began to receive unsolicited Facebook messages and texts from people who wanted to help me get my “pre-baby body back,” I was deeply hurt. Well- intended or not, the offers were offensive. This mama was focused on learning how to parent (and finding pockets of time to slip in moments of sleep). What I looked like – what I weighed – was not for others to judge.

Instead of accepting someone else’s perception of me, I marveled at how this body had produced a tiny human and was now responsible for providing her what she needed to thrive. I knew I was, for the first time in my life, clinically obese and resolved to get back in shape when I was ready – not a moment before. Immersing myself in motherhood was the sole priority.

A year later, however, I grew tired of being tired. My joints hurt, my balance was off, and I lacked energy and stamina. I’d lost a little bit of weight without trying, but as a doctor gently pointed out, I was an older mom – 41 the day I gave birth – with a family history of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. My health needed to become a priority in my life.

So, I started working with a trainer and following a diet plan. But as soon as I lost a mildly noticeable amount of weight, I’d allow life to intrude, the excuses to flow and give up. I’ll start again Monday, I told myself again and again, sometimes lasting to the weekend but reversing any gains I made in the matter of a few days.

I didn’t feel like a failure; I just didn’t care. I was juggling multiple jobs, and working hard to be a good mom and supportive wife. That was enough, I rationalized. What I looked like did not – does not – define who I am. As someone who decades before had battled anorexia and bulimia for 10 years beginning in the eighth grade, this stance was proof my body image was strong, and I was proud of how I had evolved. But confidence and self-acceptance were not going to make me physically healthy.

I don’t quite know what sparked my resolve to get off the roller coaster of losses, gains and plateaus, but I woke up one Saturday morning ready for a change. Forget waiting for Monday. The time was now. There is no guarantee about longevity of life, but finally I wanted to do everything I could to lead a healthy one.

My method was simple: Reduce portions, know my calories, no skipping meals, eliminate alcohol, drink at least 64 ounces of water and exercise.

I purchased a cooler, prepped all of my meals except breakfast, scheduled workouts on my calendar and set a routine: Wake up, drink 8 ounces of water while packing my meals in my cooler, get ready for the day with my husband and daughter, make a simple breakfast, go to work, eat lunch, eat again four hours later, spend time with my daughter, eat dinner, prep for the next day, eat a snack before 8 p.m. if still hungry, go to bed.

If I had an evening meeting or event to attend, I’d eat beforehand so I wasn’t hungry. When offered a cocktail or some sort of delicious treat, I’d decline, explaining I was on a mission to get fit.

When life threatened to get overwhelming because of work duties related to coverage of the Kentucky Derby and my husband’s campaign for Floyd County Commissioner, I researched a local meal service called MacroMan and started ordering freshly-made meals from them to supplement what I was preparing.

As my clothes began to get looser, my motivation, energy and productivity strengthened. Sure, it felt good to have my waist back and zip up a dress I hadn’t been able to wear for the better part of three years, but what I valued most was my decreased anxiety, calmer approach to stressors and mental sharpness. I called it “getting my groove back,” though it was nothing more than setting a goal of getting healthier and – finally – proving to myself I could do it.

I’ve lost more than 50 pounds since my all-time high of 180. My goal now is to lose more body fat, gain muscle mass and continue increasing the strength of my heart and lungs through exercise.

These days, when I feel my motivation waning, I take a moment to stand in awe and remind myself I’m worth being a priority.

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Tried & Tested

screen-shot-2018-06-05-at-3-00-23-pmBy Angie Fenton

I AM IN NO WAY AN EXPERT WHEN IT COMES TO HEALTH AND ALWAYS RECOMMEND CONSULTING WITH A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL BEFORE EMBARKING ON AN EXERCISE AND DIET PLAN, BUT HERE ARE SOME TIPS THAT HAVE WORKED FOR ME.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

Thanks to the internet, I’ve found a zillion healthy, simple ways to cook chicken and make my own dressings for salads. There are also numerous Facebook pages dedicated to healthy eating. I often take screenshots of recipes – the easier the better – and save them in a photo folder on my phone. Then, when I’m ready to go grocery shopping, I write down exactly what I need so I’m not wandering aimlessly. Whatever you do, be sure you do your homework before you commit to getting fit.

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Prepping meals takes some time, but it has been worth it. While I don’t force myself to eat if I’m not hungry, I think of my body like a furnace: You’ve got to keep the fires stoked if you want them to burn. Although I prepare most of my food, I also make purchases from MacroMan – MacroManMeals.com – a locally-owned meal prep service that has dishes for every taste. The food is delicious and has helped immensely when I need something to grab and go and don’t have time to figure out proportions or calorie counts.

DON’T CHEAT – TREAT

Even though I slip and still use the terms “cheat meal” or “cheat day” on occasion, I loathe the negative connotations. I also finally had to admit a “cheat moment” for me often became a “cheat month” or more, so I don’t allow myself to have them in the same way I used to. For example, instead of eating pizza, I treat myself to a healthy-ish dinner of, say, steak, something I don’t eat on a regular basis. Or, in place of ice cream, I’ll have low-fat frozen yogurt. The treats (usually) suffice and I don’t feel it necessary to full-on cheat. On the rare occasions when I have resorted to eating unhealthy foods, I start again on my journey the next day and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

KICK THE COCKTAILS

As much as I love a glass (or three) of wine, alcohol isn’t on my diet plan, and it’s been months since I’ve had a drink. My cocktail of choice now consists of sparkling water, lime juice and a coconut-flavored drink by Bai or club soda, lemon juice and mashed blueberries. I now think of alcohol as unnecessary calories and a trigger to slipping back into old eating habits I’ve worked really hard to break. When I recently considered having just one glass, I grabbed a bottle of water and forced myself to weigh the pros (there weren’t any) and cons (there were many). I may indulge in the future, but for the present time, it’s not for me.

SEARCH FOR SUPPORT

My husband has been a constant source of support, which is helpful, and I have a few friends I reach out to as well. I also occasionally share tidbits of my journey on social media. Accountability is important to success. Search for support in whatever way works for you.

MOVE IT

You don’t have to join a gym in order to exercise, although being a member of one can help with accountability. I have a number of friends who swear by Four Barrel CrossFit (you get a workout and a great community of supporters), love Planet Fitness (clean and open 24-7), thrive on personal trainers that come to your home (Ryan Schrink of Schrink Personal Training is THE best) and, for the ladies, have had big success at B.You. I belong to a gym and also exercise at home. Some days that means going for a walk or dancing to the “Trolls” soundtrack with my 2-year-old. Whatever you do, get moving and regularly.

Photo by Jenny Branson

When Politics Get Personal (And Getting Fit Turns Political)

Photo by Jenny Branson

Photo by Jenny Branson

By Angie Fenton

This is not a political column.

That needs to be said upfront.

I grew up in a household where

talking about politics was rarely, if

ever, a topic discussed out loud, and

I am still more comfortable listening

to political views as opposed to

divulging my own and engaging in

political talk. I often feel like that’s a

rarity – I mean, listening to someone

else’s opinion instead of exclaiming

my own – though if I said as much

on Facebook or Twitter, I’m sure

someone would attempt to shame

me for saying that, but whatever.

My husband, Jason Applegate,

spent e ight (long) months

researching a passion he’s held for

a very long time. Then, he officially

declared he is running for Floyd

County Commissioner. I fully

support him but am just that: his

support. Still, this is not a column

about him or politics (though I do

encourage you, wherever you’re

located and regardless of your

political affiliation, to exercise your

right to vote…and if I’m called to talk

politics, well, just know I’ve spent a

lifetime of listening and am ready to

stand up and speak if necessary).

But this is a column I wrote for

the now-tabled Extol Sports, Extol

Magazine’s sister publication, and

it is and will remain a column about

getting fit as it was in the other

publication. So…

What I didn’t realize until Jason’s

candidacy began was the role his

campaign would take in terms of

how we approach getting fit as a

family, which has been the focus of

this column since it first debuted in

Extol Sports, our (again) now-tabled

sister publication, in January 2017.

Suddenly , si n c e Jas on’s

announcement, work and life

responsibilities have included a

schedule requiring advanced

planning as well as a family

commitment to fitness and fun.

While social media and print, radio,

digital and television options to

spread the campaign word are vital,

nothing is more effective than inperson

interactions. And that means

hitting the streets on foot.

Over the past several weeks, we’ve

really benefited because family

walks – which include our 2-yearold

– have become a priority. So,

too, has meal planning. Stamina

and endurance are imperative on

this journey, and carving out time

together is important as well, now

more than ever.

Instead of flying into the start

of a new week without thinking

beyond Monday, we’ve made it a

point to plan out the week’s meals

and preparing what we can ahead of

time. We have to. That saves money,

of course, and also forces us to think

about what we’re putting into our

bodies. Garbage in, garbage out is a

cliche of the past, but when you make

it a point to ingest food intended to

fuel your body, you feel better. We

are proof of that.

While in the past it has been easy

to end the day by sitting on the couch

and watching yet another episode of

“Sesame Street” before our tot goes

to sleep and then staying up way too

late working on our computers, Jason

By Angie Fenton

and I have a newfound commitment

to getting outside before dinner

(weather permitting), walking our

four dogs with our young one and

talking about anything but work.

It’s funny how much happier that’s

made us. It’s wonderful how much

healthier it’s making us, physically,

spiritually and emotionally.

We still fail and falter. That’s just

life. We also refuse to give up.

This mama built a body who

has become an amazing little

person. And I’m still committed to

competing in another bodybuilder

competition one day soon like I did

years ago.

For now, though, I’m going to walk

and support those I love and have

fun with my family while focusing

not on politics but on this journey

we’re fortunate to call life.

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Editor’s Note | August 2017

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Microblading at Body & Brow Boutique means buh-bye bald brows!

Microblading at Body & Brow Boutique means buh-bye bald brows!

Try a lash lift at J. Nicolle Salon & Spa.

Try a lash lift at J. Nicolle Salon & Spa.

MY HUSBAND and I will celebrate our third wedding anniversary on Oct. 4. Once again, we’ll dress up in our wedding attire and head to Culbertson Mansion, which is where we had our wedding photos taken by Tony Bennett and have continued to do so every year. At first, it seemed like a silly tradition to start, especially because I was pregnant and exhausted, and we were overwhelmed with the thought of being new parents. But when we had the photos taken the following year – this time with our infant daughter and a vow to reflect what our marriage was like at that time – we treasured them and can’t wait to do it again.

No one ever said marriage was easy. On particularly tough days, I’ll look at those photos for a few moments and recall the reasons why I love my husband. It’s funny how gazing at the images can quickly make me forget why I was ever upset in the first place.

As you peruse these pages, you’ll find dozens of photos and stories, most of which are beautiful tales about love and matrimony. You’ll also find a couple pieces about loss and how to move forward. It’s so easy to take our loved ones for granted. My hope is that this, our inaugural wedding issue, offers a gentle reminder of that fact.

Be sure to flip past the wedding section so you don’t miss the features on Match, the new cigar and bourbon bar in New Albany, the Carnegie Center and the New Albany Historic Homes Tour.

THE EYES HAVE IT

I recently tried microblading at Body & Brow Boutique with owner Kate Ashton. A form of permanent makeup, Kate etched hair-like lines into my brows to cover up where I’ve lost hair over the years and add pigment, which eliminates the need for eyebrow powder, gel or pencil. I’ll share my before and after photos in the next issue once I get my final touch up. But I already couldn’t be more thrilled. Body & Brow Boutique • 37 Bank St. #9 • New Albany • 812.225.9191 • www.bodyandbrow.com 

J.Nicolle Salon & Spa offers a variety of services, including – now – a lash lift. While I haven’t tried it yet, several friends have and they’re raving about the natural process that adds curl and definition. • J. Nicolle Salon & Spa • 113 E. Market St. • New Albany • 812.944.4050 • www.jnicollesalon.com

As always, thanks for picking up Extol.

 

Yours truly,

Angie Fenton

Editor in Chief

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Building A Dream

Photos by Tony Bennett

Extol staffers JD DOTSON and ANGIE FENTON have decided to compete in the men’s and women’s physique categories of the Kentucky Muscle Bodybuilding Championships in October 2017. An avid runner, JD is already in good shape but will need to build muscle and control his sweet tooth. Angie, who gave birth to her daughter in January 2016, is in the worst physical shape of her life and tired of feeling, well, tired. With the help of their coach, RYAN SCHRINK, owner of Schrink Personal Training, the pair are ready to begin what will be an arduous journey in their quests to get fit. But what will it take to reach their goals? In this first installment of what will be a 10-month series, JD and Angie share where they are now, what motivates them most and any pitfalls they see ahead.

THE COACHcoach

Ryan Schrink was born and raised in Seymour and played football for Ball State before graduating with a bachelor’s in exercise Science. He also has a master’s in exercise physiology from the University of Louisville. The owner of Schrink Personal Training, Ryan averages 45 training sessions a week with clients who vary in age, ability and goals, and has worked with individuals from age 7 to 92. Despite his busy work schedule and fatherly duties – he has four kids, including Brooklyn, 15; Olivia, 12; Rylan, 9; and Gia, 6 months –Ryan fits in five to six lifting sessions a does cardio three to four days a week. A respected bodybuilder with several championships under his belt, he’s also made a name for coaching others who aim to compete and is ready to take on Extol’s JD Dotson and Angie Fenton. “JD’s challenge is going to his social life and transitioning from a runner mentality to a lifting mentality,” he said. “Angie’s challenge is going to be about busyness. She’s going to have to set aside some time for herself and feel OK with that.”

ANGIE FENTON, 41

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GOALS

I want to compete in the physique category of a bodybuilding competition this time next year when I’ll be 42. Pregnant at 40, gave birth the day I turned 41 (Jan. 20), compete at 42 – that’s my goal. I’m out of shape, weigh far more than is healthy. I am an “old” mom and, ultimately, want to be strong and fit so I can be there for my daughter, Olive, for a very long time. I also wouldn’t mind if one of the major benefits is my husband feeling proud of what his wife has set out to accomplish. But at the end of the day, this is mostly for me. I’m better in every way when I am physically fit. It’s time to make a change.

POTENTIAL SETBACKS

I’m a mom, a wife, owned by four dogs and two cats and work two jobs — I’m a reporter for WHAS11 every weekday morning and am editor in chief of Extol Magazine. I also commit much time to charity events and volunteering in the community. Juggling it all while training will be a struggle. But, I am tired of being unhealthy and lacking the strength, stamina and confidence I know is possible. I want this so much.

DIET

My diet currently varies. On good days, I eat mostly protein and low-glycemic carbs: baked chicken, lean cuts of pork, some seafood (fish and shellfish) and roasted or steamed vegetables. On not-so-healthy days, I’ll eat whatever is in front of me: pizza, a grilled chicken sandwich from a fast food or fast-casual restaurant, grilled chicken or chef salad with ranch. I drink a large coffee with cream most mornings (made at home) and rarely take time to eat breakfast — except on weekends when I love egg scrambles. I’m not a huge fan of bread or pasta but will eat them on occasion. I eat sporadically and will sometimes go a whole day without eating anything except a very late dinner just before bed. I drink a ton of water. I don’t drink full-sugar sodas and rarely drink diet sodas because of the aspartame but have craved Diet Coke a few times lately for some reason. I know how to eat multiple meals but don’t do it. I prefer to have a protein shake for breakfast if I have to eat breakfast, though — again — I rarely eat breakfast. Or lunch. Or snack. I enjoy wine and beer, especially at the end of a long week.

EXERCISE

I am currently only walking my daughter in a stroller about 3-4 times a week and usually for no more than 20 minutes. I live on a hill and have four dogs. I could be kicking my own butt every day for their sakes and mine but haven’t taken the time. But it’s time. I am a new member of the LAC in New Albany and already appreciate the supportive environment of the staff and my fellow members.

D DOTSON, 47

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GOALS

I want to naturally compete in the physique competition in October 2017. At 47, I guess my main goal is to be as healthy and fit as possible, to push myself into new territory, new challenges.

POTENTIAL SETBACKS

For sure it will be tough. I’m not worried about the food or working out. I’m a former smoker, and I survived teaching junior high and high school, so I feel like I can do anything. I guess I am worried about failing due to health or injury. But I am a fighter and really excited and grateful.

DIET

This is the part that probably worries me the most. I don’t generally eat anything fried, fast food, processed meats. I eat fairly well, but always succumb to sweets. I drink coffee, cream, agave to sweeten in the morning, usually toast and soy “butter”, jelly, usually a banana, sometimes a smoothie. Lunch is Veggie Sandwich, turkey sandwich, probably chips of some sort, Jonny cooks dinner, always good meat, chicken or beef, always a veg, sometimes pasta, meat tomato sauce. I crave sweets and try to rustle up ice cream or a bowl of cereal, skim milk. I barely drink alcohol or beer, stick to unsweet tea.

EXERCISE

I work out a minimum of four to five days a week, including doing abdominal exercises and lifting, at the YMCA, where I’ve been a longtime member. I run five days a week five to 12 miles each time and average about 35 to 40 miles a week. I also ride my bike to work a few times a week and socially around town after work.

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COACH RYAN SHRINK

Schrink Personal Training

www.schrinkpersonaltraining.com

502.216.9475