Sticking to a healthy lifestyle while balancing work and family can be a struggle for anyone these days. Fitting in time for healthy eating and regular exercise can be tricky with all the demands that come with being a working mom. But for Christine Scales, this is a way of life.
A Materials Planner at Cam-Slide West, a division of Magna Seating, Christine is an avid fitness fanatic and promoter of healthy living. Her passion for fitness began in her late teens when she received her first gym membership, “I was lucky to have parents that thought health was important for us” she says.
Christine’s knowledge and drive for fitness took off in University, where she took a job as an aerobics instructor at the YMCA. Here she met her husband, a personal trainer also working for the same organization. Their first date was a run through the park, a perfect foretell of what was to come of their future together.
Over the last 10 years, Christine has completed 1 full marathon, 10 half marathons and a triathlon. “It’s our lifestyle. It’s what we do, what we’re known for. It’s in us to do it.” In addition to the running, biking and swimming workouts Christine incorporates strength training into her weekly routine to build strong muscles and core for her endurance events. This past year she has also taken up yoga. “Man do my muscles need this” she laughs.
Christine’s healthy habits are not limited to exercise. She recognizes “eating as healthy and natural as we can” and “eliminating as much bad sugar as possible” as the recipe to success. Don’t get her wrong though; there are times when she enjoys her ice cream too!
All of this with a little boy at home and another baby on the way. How does she do it? Christine says quite simply, “This is what we have made important in our life. We make time for all of it.” It is easy to see why when she describes her biggest reward as just feeling good about herself. For both of her pregnancies, doctors’ appointments were in and out - nothing to worry about. Not wanting to deal with the weight after the baby was born Christine kept running 7 months into her first pregnancy. This second pregnancy only allowed her to run until one month in, but this hasn’t stopped her from moving. Walking everyday keeps her in shape and will allow her to focus on her baby when the time comes.
Christine’s describes her first triathlon experience as her proudest achievement to date. A triathlon is a grueling multi-sport event involving swimming, biking and running, in that order. Participants must complete these 3 endurance events before they race to the finish line. For Christine, the most challenging part of the race was the freezing cold water they had to swim in! Even with wet suits on there were women who backed out of the race immediately or after the first lap (of two) because the water was so cold. “It was taking my breath it was so cold” Christine said. “I couldn’t even put my face in the water.” Despite this icy obstacle, her strength of mind prevailed and Christine finished the race 2nd in her age category. Not bad for her first triathlon!
Christine envisions staying young as her greatest motivation for staying healthy. She pictures herself being older and still able to play with her children and grandchildren. “You have to think long term and think about what your body needs.”
The best advice Christine has to offer for anyone looking to making healthy changes in their life is to make a goal. “You have to be passionate about something or it’s not going to stick…It starts small, grabbing an apple instead of a cookie”. She stresses it’s all about baby steps – “just pick something and start with it. Conquer one goal and move on to the next one. Stay positive, positive things happen.”