This website documents my experiences as a bodybuilding competitor and coach as well as puts out free information to help you navigate health and fitness. Join me to find out more about:
- Figure, bikini and physique competitions
- Health and fitness for longevity
- Nutrition for a better you and the world!
- Empowerment & motivation- because a healthy lifestyle is a daily struggle.
- Muscle hacking: how to optimize lean body mass for those sexy curves!
- …And to just plain help you navigate through all the damn confusing, contradictory, and overwhelming information out there!
Since I was 14, I was into health and fitness. Why you ask? Well, back then, the main goal was too stay skinny. But, a lot has changed over the last 20 years with knowledge, experiences, experiments, confidence and inner peace. More on my deets at the bottom of this post.
A few somewhat intriguing facts about me:
besides the fact that I’m a little weird….
1) Mom of two
2) A fairly good Sister
(although my bro, 1 year my junior, might hate on me and use some other choice descriptive words). Well take that →
Can’t…. stop…. laughing!…. OMG, he will kill me…. worth the risk.
Naw, I luv ya bro!
- Certified ISSA Personal Trainer (ISSA CPT)
- Certified ISSA Corrective Exercise Specialist
- Certified Sports Nutrition Specialist (PN1)
- Certified ISSA Senior Fitness Coach
- Certified USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach (USAW-L1SP)
- Precision Nutrition Sports Nutrition Specialist
4) A super sexy nationally qualified bikini and figure competitor (latest 2016)
5) Rogue crossfitter
6) I used to run all the damn time…
7) Former owner of a cake/cupcake biz… yes, cupcakes…GF & paleo no less.
8) High School Bio/ Chem. Teacher back in the day
9) Former Head Swim Coach for a high school girls swim team (drama!)
10) Badass Collegiate Swimmer
11) 15 year lifeguard
12) I loved sprint triathlons!
13) Horse lover
Former owner of a spotted draft horse and a certified equine sports massage therapist
14) Avid knitter
15) Raised my own cows…
that’s as local as you can get!
Now I breed ducks…
The Deets :
I grew up poor in a single parent home on the East side of St. Paul, MN. We always had what we needed but luxuries weren’t attainable. My Mom usually worked several jobs while going back to school to change her career. My brother and I spent a lot of time in day cares, with neighbors or with family until we were just old enough to stay home by ourselves. In my late elementary school years, we lived in newly built low income housing. We had a corner unit that was right across the street from a bus stop. There was a tall retaining wall that put some separation between us and the rifraf that went on in front of our house. Drunks frequently walked up and down our street yelling whatever crazy stuff they had to tell and the buses were very noisy all day and all night. Sirens were a common sound in the distance, and sometimes not so distant. And, my best friend wouldn’t stay the night at my house because the 1 time she did, all the aforementioned “rifraf” scared her. To me, it was just there and I got used to it.
In these late elementary school years, my brother and I spent a lot of time home by ourselves which left us to watching TV and eating out of boredom among other things like jumping on the beds and sliding down the stairs in our sleeping bags.
Bro, me & two beautiful children as props
I didn’t go outside much in our neighborhood, especially when my Mom wasn’t home. The families around us weren’t so awesome and neither were their kids. My Mom ended up in a few fights defending us, which sucked, A Lot. Luckily, she is a brawler and does a pretty good job of holding her own.
Due to all this eating and TV watching, by 6th grade I was 20+ pounds over weight. I hated it. This over weight self continued on through middle school. I was chubby, (I just don’t like the word fat), I didn’t play any sports at the time and secretly tried gimmicky things like slim fast or buying stupid cheap books that had magical weight loss secrets. Wrong!
After 6th grade, my Mom bought her first home and we moved. I felt like a “normal” kid living in our own home, what ever that means.
Adolescence and Self Image
As an adolescent girl immersed in media believing that was somehow reality, I had a totally skewed body image to begin with and, I had cousins very close in age to me that were gorgeous. We spent a lot of time with my cousins and during family gathering I remember my Mom and aunts talking about us, comparing our height and weight among other things I don’t remember because I was stuck on the fat part (oh that darn word!). My cousins were thin, beautiful, lived in suburban neighborhoods with both parents who had money. Of course, I felt completely inadequate, All… The… Time. The culmination of unrealistic media, poor self image and being related to gorgeous perfect cousins later became a major driving force in choices I made for the next 15 years, always trying to be better, better, better.
The summer before my sophomore year of high school, I decided, come hell or high water that I was going to be better, thinner and smarter. I had already had a good work ethic and was driven at school. With this attitude, I started taking the city bus everyday to the St. Paul YMCA to exercise. Some how, in some blur that summer I lost 30+ pounds. I joined the high school swim team and every other extracurricular activity I had time for aside from two life guarding jobs.
The unfortunate part of all this tenacity; 1) I was doing too much, and 2) trying to keep my thin body put me in a position that focused on anorexic behaviors; not eating as well as bingeing, (totally tried to throw up but just couldn’t do it). I would tell my Mom I ate dinner at my Dad’s house, I would tell Dad I ate at Mom’s house and so on.
These behaviors went on through the first year or so of college, until I came to my senses. I decided I wanted to be healthy and not engage in a roller coaster of emotions and diets. I also had issues with acne and irritable bowel syndrome.
To better my health and conditions, I had tried many different things over many years ranging from:
- Irritable bowel syndrome diet
- Body for Life
- Eat Right for your Blood Type
- Nourishing traditions,
- Ayurvedic principles (many but not all )
- Low carb/high fat
- High carb/ low fat
- Gluten free
I currently follow a diet hash that includes paleo – my dominant diet, gluten free (stick to this at gatherings), high fat/ low carb, and for me in cut phase for a contest – low fat/ high carb, with nourishing traditions and ayurvedic principles. That may not make sense but, it works for me. Simply put; whole, locally grown, know where my food comes from (literally) foods.
I have engaged in many sports over the years including swimming, golf, triathlons, running races, boxing, horse back riding, bodybuilding, Olympic lifting and power lifting.
The Take Home Message
We all have choices. We can choose to be fit and healthy for our future and family or not. It’s not about who looks better in those jeans or how you are accepted or discriminated by others. Making healthy choices as well as the time to exercise is, in itself, a daily struggle, but a struggle for you, because you want to….A struggle to fit it all in, a struggle at each meal, each snack, every family gathering, parties, holidays, boredom, emotions and the list goes on.
Of course I fall off the horse, and of course I give myself cheat meals but, I choose to eat wholesomely and exercise to be strong and healthy, not to be skinny. I choose to get my exercise in because its a priority for me. I choose to vote with my dollars by buying local foods. I choose to hopefully fend off health problems in my later years. I choose. It gets easier the more you do it and I love every minute of it (mostly :D). Nothing feels as good as a healthy body, mind and soul.
Living healthfully for you and the earth is a lifestyle. It’s a choice I choose every single day.
I would LOVE to be a part of your journey.
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Articles and information on this website may not be copied, reprinted, or redistributed without written permission. Any information published is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information provided by this website is not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with your physician, and should not be construed as individual medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Heather Owen and her community. Make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.
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