Faces Of Itness: Meet Heather Novak

The Warm-Up

Favorite workout song: “When I Grow Up” by Pussycat Dolls…such an insipid song, but it makes me feel sexy and that is what motivates me onward.

Favorite outdoor activity: Geocaching. It’s high-tech treasure hunting with a GPS. There are jajillions (real number) of caches, they can be tiny, or large enough to hide things like bumper stickers or McDonald’s toys.

People find them, write their name on the log book and re-hide ’em for the next person. Geocaching is good for fitness too because it makes it more interesting to go out for a walk or hike with a fun mission at the end.

Favorite motivational quote: Half-assed efforts equal half-assed results.  I have tried to replace the profanity, but nothing smacks so truthful.

Favorite Words to Sweat by (or other) mantra: “There will be no jiggle in my wiggle” and of course. “No Excuses”  because I am GREAT at excuses….and jiggling.

The Heavy Lifting

What does being “healthy and fit” mean to you?

Caring enough about yourself to do the best thing most of the time.

For me it is the 5:15 AM spin class with a pal even though we are stay at home moms and our YMCA has childcare all day.  We could go anytime even with the kids….but we know if it doesn’t happen at 5am, it probably ain’t happening at all.  Have YOU tried taking two little kidlets somewhere?

Another way I feel I am healthier is that I can eat a bag of kettle chips in one sitting, but I cook most of our meals with good ingredients.  And I am coming to good terms with fruit.

I am modeling eating and exercise along with everything else for my kids and that motivates me too.

Have health and fitness, in some form, always been a part of your life? If yes, how so? If no, why not?

“HECK NO!  I hate to exert myself and was never involved in sports.   Well, I did basketball in 8th grade because of my height, and cross country for three days in high school before I quit.  HATED IT.

I joined a gym as a young adult. but apparently I was supposed to go to it also?

I started running with my Dad in my thirties.   When I say running, I mean ‘wogging’ and though we completed about eight 5Ks, I always walked a lot of it.  After having my first baby I was a better runner.  I was more diligent and had better endurance.  Or I just wanted out of the house more!

Then last year my husband and I  did a “”Couch to 5K”” program that really made a difference for us.  We ran often enough that it got….almost…..’easy’. I finally RAN an entire 5K and have done another one since then…actually RUNNING!

We have a YMCA membership that gets used a little, but do feel I am fitter now than ever…but still want to do more.

What challenges have you faced over the years related to your health and fitness?

I am just plain lazy.  Making time to have a glass of wine with a girlfriend or read a book for hours?  No problem.  Putting as much focus on a workout?  Uhhh…

While I have never been fit and toned I have been satisfied enough with my curvy, slightly overweight body that I have not been motivated to sweat out some change.

Now that I have kids and have cleared the age of 40, I am more concerned with long-term health than current vanity.  I would not be OK with a steady downhill decline….sooooo off to the gym I go.

What goals around your health and fitness do you set and how do you stay motivated?

I am not great with rules. Goals can be a joke for me because I set and reset them so often they loose value.  Right now I take two spin classes a week at 5:15 bloody a.m. because I have a friend who picks me up.  She motivates me with our chats about out kids and life.  She has a great figure too and that keeps me going.  (Yup Lindsey, you are my gym eye candy!  LOL.)

I live near our small downtown and within two miles of about five different parks, so I walk a lot and have begun biking with the girls in the bike trailer.  I feel good about lowering our carbon emissions, feeling more engaged in our neighborhood and getting exercise naturally. Plus it makes me slow down, and who doesn’t need that?

What types of lifestyle changes have you made over the years that were the most beneficial?

I quit smoking!  Boy was that a dumb thing to be doing.  I had NO IDEA how bad I smelled, just for starters.

My junk food is better now.  I read labels and am more likely to make something at home or pay extra for organic chips than chowing down my favorite neon orange Cheddar Pringles.

Most of the time.

I feel I get a lot more exercise now than ever in my life. I feel it is a must for my stress relief and to keep my generous posterior at its current size…of…generosity.

What tools or approaches have you found most useful in meeting your goals?

I love Spark People. It is a free website with diet and fitness trackers, goals, articles.  It should cost $$$$ a month but it is FREE.

The Nike+ dealie for my shoe and watching my running progress online at their website made all the difference in my running.  I could essentially get a gold star for heading out, particularly if I was improving.  It is $30 and you can use it with any shoe.

What workouts do you find most effective for your needs and your time constraints?

Running you can do anywhere and relatively quickly vs. heading to the gym.  I do yoga in my living room a lot, it is good for my back pain and to stretch out sore muscles.  My two little daughters try to copy my poses, so that is fun too!

The Cool Down

What are your next goals related to your health and fitness?

I do not actually have a new goal.  I meant to run a 5K this month but haven’t been running at all so it didn’t happen.  I would like to actively diet my last twenty pounds off, but sugar is such a quick pleasure for me in this season of my life that I have not been consistent at all.


OK, let’s go with getting out on the street for a run once a week now that is is lighter earlier/later.  Also biking to destinations too far to comfortably walk…..lugging fifty pounds of girls in the trailer is harder than a spin class!”

What advice do you have for people looking to find their own health & fitness groove?

Quit allowing yourself to make excuses.  Everyone is too tired, too busy and it isn’t the best time.  Everyone wants to sleep in, read the paper or drink coffee instead.

Working out isn’t always fun, but you won’t regret a workout AFTERWARDS.  Even if you just coast through a work out you do not want to be doing, you will feel better than skipping it altogether.

Want To Connect With Heather?

Blog URL: Live Your Love Out Loud

Twitter: @Farbrent

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