Welcome to our monthly Sweetheart feature, this month we are featuring the lovely My Phung.
You are a young mom in amazing shape! Fill us in on any secrets to stay motivated.
Not sure if I would consider myself a young mom as I am now closer to 40 than 30...but I do believe you truly are only as old as you feel.
My biggest motivator to stay in shape is about 2.5 feet tall and looks like an Asian version of his dad. Taking a look at my son every morning and knowing that I want to always be there for him in every way possible keeps me motivated to stay healthy and active. He's getting faster and I want to be able to always run beside him - even when I am 80!
Before you had your son you were "jet setting" all over Canada, travelling at least 7 to 10 days a month. What was your favourite place to visit?
Montreal is definitely one my favourite cities - but I found something to love in every place I went to in Canada, even Winnipeg in January. I can't lie though - knowing I was heading home each time to the beautiful West Coast was a big comfort.
Once you had your son you changed gears and decided to focus on local commercial real estate so that you didn't have to travel. You have over 11 years experience but your new clients weren't familiar with you! What was it like being so experienced and yet feeling like you were starting all over again?
Well I was lucky with existing relationships that I had with local industry people, so they were a big support system for me. It was hard at times feeling like I had to "sell" and convince people but I love challenges and new experiences. So all in all it was and is still a great journey. I was taught at a young age that nothing comes for free...you get exactly what you put in. And when you do see positive results it feels amazing because of the personal effort.
How difficult was it to get back into career mode after being in mommy mode? And how quickly did you shift gears?
It was hard and easy. It was very hard to leave my son's side and put on "grown up" clothes again. Those first couple of months after baby you are in a bit of dream world with your new little one.
At the same time it was easy since my motivation to pursue my career goals is my son. So anytime I feel unfocused I think about the fact that I want him to have a great life and teach him by example. I know what makes me happy which is having balance between family, career and personal time. I want my son to find out what makes him happy and be motivated to go after it.
Fitness can be the first thing to go when you become a new mom, how do you keep it a priority?
It's hard for sure. The biggest thing is finding the time. Between a career, baby and husband you hardly have time for anything else. I just found that I had to make fitness another appointment in my schedule. I had to make myself a "client" that I was responsible to. So I joined classes that had scheduled times and paid for them upfront for multiple weeks. I also joined classes with close friends so we were accountable to each other and were able to sneak in a bit of catching up time before and after classes.
You mentioned that you incorporate exercise into your daily life, what do mean by that?
For example, instead of driving to the store on a beautiful day I would take my son for a walk to the grocery store. Doing some lunges or squats when I used to put my son to sleep in the first few months was a favourite of mine as well. Going for walks with friends versus just coffee is also a good one for me.
You cut the power to your cable box a number of years ago. Have you ever looked back? Explain to all us reality TV junkies how you survive, no pun intended.
Actually I admit we hooked it back up after six months of having our son. Before that we were 3 years free of TV. However, I swear that we rarely have time to watch much regular TV. It's kept off during the day and shows that we like are typically recorded for later viewing when we need downtime. I am addicted to Jeopardy and watch it after my son goes to bed to help me unwind from the day.
You kickboxed for a number of years. Who do you think would win in a kickboxing match between Elmo and Super Grover 2.0?
That's a tough one...but if you have ever watched the clip "Elmo's Got the Moves" I think you would place your money on him... he also has that cackling laugh that reeks of confidence...
You grew up in a household with amazing home style Vietnamese cooking. What is your favourite meal?
For sure pan fried Trout with garlic (yes fish head included) and Asian Greens (steamed or sauteed) with white Rice. You also have to my mom's ginger chilli fish sauce on the side or it just wouldn't be right.
What are your must-read books?
I take after my oldest brother who is a total sci-fi and fantasy nerd or is "enthusiast" a kinder description. Anyways, anything by David Gemmell is great but James Barclay is also a great fantasy writer.
What do you consider as lamesauce?
I think not being aware of your own body odour in public places is covered in lamesauce. This particularly applies at the gym when most people are breathing much more aggressively...ewwww.
Why do you think Silver Icing is so insanely awesome?
I love that I can wear the same outfit to work with boots and cardigan, then be comfortable at home with slippers, and finally throw on some runners and run to the gym....It is perfect multitasking clothes, essential for this mom.
The fight against Diabetes is an important cause for you. How can the average person contribute to this cause?
I think it can be very simple...no donations or special events required. The fight truly starts in the home, especially if you have young ones. Leading by example we can help educate our kids on a healthy lifestyle, which I personally believe starts with moderation. Moderation in the foods we eat, moderation on time we spend in front of a computer or tv, etc.
I won't bore you with statistics but obesity in our children, which is a correlation to a greater risk of developing diabetes, is on a significant rise. Many people don't realize the chain reaction of diseases and complications that are caused by Diabetes. Even if you have it "under control" your chances of other issues such as heart disease and stroke are higher.
Educating yourself on the causes of Diabetes is the best prevention. Your family should be the motivation.