Meet Erin - a superstar fit football wife! She is married to Pat Meyer, the Assistant Offensive Line Coach for the Chicago Bears. They have 3 daughters - Christina (10), Emma (7) and Sophia (6). Their coaching adventure has taken them to University of Memphis, North Carolina State, Florida State, Colorado State, Montreal Alouettes and now, the Chicago Bears.
Today she shares with us about how she stays healthy, happy and fit in this crazy coaching world.
How did your fitness journey begin?
I got into fitness after the birth of our third daughter about 6 years ago. I realized that I was tired all the time. I had no energy to be the mom I had envisioned myself to be. I didn't like the way looked or felt and just decided that I didn't want the girls to look back someday and remember me as an overwhelmed, unhappy woman. I was getting dressed one morning and caught a glimpse of myself, unclothe, in front of a full-length mirror. After completely breaking down in tears, I told myself "This is not the way I will look or feel a year from now." Game on!
What is your favorite workout?
I love lifting weights. My favorite workouts would probably have to be upper-body days where I incorporate 10-15 minutes bursts of cardio in between sets.
Tell me about your breakfasts!
Breakfast is my favorite. Sometimes it's egg whites with a little low-fat feta. On busy school mornings it might be some homemade protein muffins or a protein shake with banana in my Magic Bullet. Also, apples, grapefruit, or some other type of fruit gets thrown in there a lot. I have really cut down on my grain consumption because of digestive issues so, although I love it, I only have oatmeal on days when I have longer runs or cardio sessions planned.
Do you ever workout with other coaches' wives?
I am one of those people who usually like to workout alone. I have a plan, don't like to talk etc. However, I recently ran a 15K with another coach's wife. Although we trained independently, we were able to achieve a similar pace and stick together during the race. It made things a lot more fun. We have planned to do some cross-training classes together-probably spinning and Zumba (just for kicks and giggles).
Do you have any "diet rules?"
I avoid fried food, added sugars, and most grains like the plague. (The grains are a digestive thing for me and I realize it's not an issue for a lot of people)
What's your favorite "splurge" meal?
Pizza is the one food I cannot live without. I don't eat bread or grains most of the week, but we live in Chicago and the pizza is good---very good. One meal per week is pizza. Most of the time, Pat and I will order a thin-crust pie, minus the mozzarella, with grilled chicken and hot peppers. We'll put some grated parmesan on it. However, and with no apologies, we will occasionally consume a glorious Chicago deep-dish pie!
What does your game day routine look like?
For home games we stay overnight in the city so we can spend extra time with Pat, but it also makes it easier to get to the game because of big city traffic. Since the girls typically have their sports on Saturday morning and I'm trying to pack overnight bags etc, I'll usually make Saturday a rest day. I will also enjoy my cheat meal Saturday night at a restaurant. We are fortunate because the hotel the team stays at has a full gym, so I am able to wake up before my family on Sunday morning and work off some of that game-day nervousness.
What is your biggest challenge in staying healthy as a coach's wife?
I think the biggest challenge in being a football wife, for me, is trying to eat healthy while basically being a single parent. It is hard to find time to prepare healthy meals for both the kids and me because I am also trying to get them to their activities, help with homework, etc. You can usually squeeze in workouts, but finding the time to shop and prepare food the right way, the healthy way, takes more effort. I just try to keep meals healthy more often than not, and not be too hard on myself when I have to take the easy way out.
What motivates you?
I am motivated by other moms who keep it together with crazy schedules. I also love to read about athletes who have overcome tremendous challenges to achieve their goals. I recently met a man in his forties who, out of the blue, had a massive stroke two years ago. Although he still suffers some physical and speech difficulties, he recently climbed the steps of the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) under his own power and raised over 1,000 dollars for stroke research in the process. That makes me think, "What is my excuse for not getting my butt out of bed and going for a run?"
What are some of your best accomplishments and goals?
I recently achieved the goal of running a longer-distance race (15k) which was awesome. Now I am going back to some of my strength-training goals. My new program has more glute work. ( Let's face it, I am mom over 40. I'm fighting gravity.) I also want to build my shoulders a little more
How do you plug into a new fitness community after a move?
I think that if a healthy lifestyle is a priority for you, it's not too difficult to get plugged in to what is going on fitness-wise in a new community. Pat knows that, for us, house shopping involves, good schools, neighborhoods with kids, and PROXIMITY TO A 24-HOUR GYM with childcare. You can search out events on Active.com or look at city websites for events that may be going on. Also, getting to know your strength and conditioning staff is key. Even if they are new as well, they often have connections and information about what is going on locally.
Any other advice to share?
I think the best advice for a busy mom who is new to fitness would be to learn about healthy eating. Nutrition is so, so, so important. When I first decided to get fit, our baby was a bit to young to be accepted into the gym's childcare area. At that time I didn't own any fitness equipment of my own, so for a few months I just focused on what I ate. Looking back, I think this was a great way to start a fitness journey. By the time I started seriously working out, I had dropped a few pounds and taken my energy level up several notches.
THANKS ERIN and GO BEARS!
This is the first segment of a monthly feature on Home Field Fitness. I love sharing what fit and healthy women in the sports world are doing! They sure motivate me - and my hope is that they will motivate you too! If you know someone (or you yourself) that should be featured here - send me a message!
It's great to see you! I'm Alyssa and I blog about all the things I've found "essential" in my life as a fit mama and football coach's wife. You'll find all kinds of fun stuff here like workouts, oily info, football stories and more!
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I am not a licensed medical professional. All views expressed on this website are based on my own personal research and experiences. Please consult your doctor with any medical issues before beginning a training program.
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