Charmaine Broughton is a food media specialist, recipe developer and food writer for Running Room Magazine. Most importantly; Charmaine is the mother of two active teenage boys; Tyler & Colgan. Charmaine understands the importance of preparing healthy wholesome dishes all while keeping budget, time and her sanity in mind.
How it all began….
I had struggled with my weight most of my life. When I was 12 years old, a family member asked me not to gain any more weight before I was a bridesmaid in her daughter’s wedding. If I was told once, I was told a million times “Char, you would be so pretty if you ‘just’ lost weight”.
On January 31st, 2003 – I gave birth to my second son, Colgan. I was 27 years old and weighed 220 lbs.
Within a week of returning home from the hospital after having Colgan, I set a goal. An athletic goal. I was going to run a full marathon……
My ‘dieting days’ we officially over. Instead, I started moving my body. And that was the day my life changed. I gave myself 18 months to accomplish this goal (*and had every excuse not to do it: I had a newborn, toddler, was breastfeeding…blah..blah..blah). On May 30, 2004 – I ran the Ottawa Marathon!! 26.2 glorious miles in our nation’s capital. Bonus: I had lost and kept off nearly 60 lbs.
My top three tips:
- Make a commitment to exercise. Walking, running, yoga, swimming – whatever works for you and your schedule. Just do it!! Yes, physically your body will change (*you will see muscles you did not even know existed!!)….but, I feel the real benefit of exercise is the mental component. It just makes you feel awesome!! And let me tell you this: A massive smile and self confidence, will trump any dress size or number on the scale! To find a Learn to Run Clinic near you, visit: www.runningroom.com
- Stay OFF the scale. I used to weigh myself 3 times a day. Now I weigh myself 3 times a year. If you’re chasing a number on a scale or certain dress size, chances are you will never be happy. I’d much rather define myself by accomplishments/goals (*and just for the record, this realization was a long time in the making!!). For my 40th b-day I completed my first half Ironman (2 K swim/100K bike/21k run). No number on the scale can compare to having my children and Greg meet me at that finish line. Health is wealth – and it’s contagious.
- Have your cake, pizza, or wine and eat it too. I can’t stress this enough. Life is far too short not to indulge in what you love. I spent years depriving myself. Skipping meals just to binge eat. I’d lose 5 lbs to gain back 8 lbs. I ‘dieted’ myself to weigh more than most grown men I knew. My ‘dieting’ theory now (*and how I lost kept off my weight) is 80/20. If 80% of the time I exercise daily, and eat foods that will fuel my body (*plenty of fruits and veggies (visit www.blendandextend.ca for tasty veggie loaded recipes), lean meats, quality dairy products, healthy fats such as: nuts, seeds & peanut butter, and drink at least 2 L (8 cups) water a day) the other 20% I can sit back and enjoy the ‘forbidden foods’ so many feel they ‘can’t’ have. I’m strong, fit and rock some serious curves……I refuse to go to my grave hungry.
This Cheeseburger Pizza recipe is a family favourite in my home ~ it’s loaded with veggies and and tastes just like a cheeseburger! Click here for the recipe.
Looking for a decadent (yet guilt free) grab and go snack?
Gay Lea Nordica Smooth Cottage Cheese (yes, smooth!) comes in 3 irresistible flavours: Salted Caramel (my personal favourite), Vanilla Bean and Lemon. Only 110 calories per container and 10 grams of protein. Click here to learn more about Gay Lea Nordica Smooth Cottage Cheese.
Summing it up (and how I find “balance”): When I started my journey, I made a conscious effort to make myself my #1 priority. And almost 14 years later, I still do. Some call this selfish. Truthfully, I feel caring for yourself first, is the least selfish thing a mom/parent can do. There really was/is no ‘balance’. My priority was/is fitting in my early morning sweat (*I’m out the door exercising by 5 a.m. Monday – Friday) and eating a variety of foods (*yes ladies: pizza, cake and ice-cream on occasion too!!) and the rest just snowballed….some days (*and this still stands true today) I was/am a great mom and not so great wife, other days it;s vice versa, and yes, on occasion I nail everything and celebrate with a tub of Haagen-Dazs while sporting my Lulu’s.
And remember, if I can do it – YOU can too! If you need a bit of encouragement, reach out – I’d be delighted to help….
Wishing you all Happy & Healthy 2017,