Once upon a time, I was a youngster. I was footloose and fancy free. (translation: I was dating my now-husband, we had no dependents (canine or otherwise) & we could travel at a moments notice.)
It was around this time we both became more interested in bodybuilding (I had yet to compete. that zaniness came later.) and we’d frequently road trip to watch the Pros compete. One of the first shows we saw turned out to be the last competition for a bodybuilder named Lee Labrada. I’d not heard of Lee before, but the entire weekend was filled with tributes to him focusing around what an amazing athlete and *class act* he was.
Flash forward seventeen years and you can imagine my excitement when Lee reached out to me about doing a guest post. His dedication to training, family and faith hadn’t lessened over the years and I was pleasantly surprised to find out we both credit consistency with much of our fitness/life success.
There’s another side to you than business man/ex-bodybuilder. You’re a husband and father of three boys. As someone who is running a huge company how do you keep training a priority?
My philosophy is that training allows me to keep fit and stay strong, so that I can take care of those who depend on me. “You have to take care of yourself, before you can take care of others,” this statement is so true. Many people make the mistake of thinking that they don’t have time to exercise because it will take time away from family, work and other commitments. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I schedule my training, just like I schedule other important activities during the day. It’s important, and I know I can do all my many jobs better because of it.
What do you think is the secret to maintaining personal balance? Id love to hear your thoughts as Im not sure we CAN have it all!
I establish balance by dividing time into Work, Family and Personal Time. The key is to be efficient and effective with your time, regardless of what you are doing. The other secret is to “be there,” to be present. Too often I see fathers who are with their families for instance, but aren’t really “all there.” You’ll be happier if you’re focused and present. Long ago I recognized the importance of this, and right then, I said, “I give myself permission to be here now.”
You obviously have lots going on. Time at home with family, work, etc. When do you fit in your workout?
I typically schedule my workout in at lunchtime or right after work. Regardless of when you do it, what’s important is to schedule it and stick to it.
What do you do when you have those FRAZZLE-moments when life gets stressful? What’s your coping mechanism?
Take a deep breath and put it all back in perspective! Realize that what may seem like a big deal at the time usually has a way of working itself back out.
What strategies do you use to help you find that elusive life-balance?
Stay positive. I ask God to help me and give me the strength and resources to see it through. Take on an “attitude of gratitude,” which means I count all the things that are going right and thank God for them as I count. If you do this, before you know it, you’ll feel great and recognize your many blessings.
I use my morning meditation minutes as a way to calm myself before the day begins. Do you meditate? Use breathing techniques?
Not really. I just focus on getting my thinking positive.
It’s pretty amazing how a photo of you today and a photo of you when you competed show little difference in your physique.
Unlike mine. How is that possible? Please to share your secret?
The secret is consistency in training, year after year. Exercise is part of my lifestyle, and so is good nutrition. If you live like this year after year, the effects are cumulative. With time, it becomes easier to stay in shape.
I just turned 43 (WOOT!) & some days I feel as though my physique is one. big. plateau. How do you keep your body in a state where it’s still responding? How do you avoid or push through plateaus?
By varying exercise combinations I keep my body off balance, so that I keep making progress. Today, at the age of 52, I am not so much interested in adding additional muscle size, as I am just maintaining a good lean athletic build, and improving my health. So I rarely hit plateaus.
Im an intuitive eater. What’s your approach to eating? What do you pack with you and bring to work?
I eat lots of lean proteins such as chicken, fish, and protein shakes. I also eat unrefined natural carbs such as sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and whole-grain rice and beans. I like vegetables and fruits of all kinds. I also supplement my diet with essential fats such as fish oil, avocados, and nuts. I think this is important.
Obviously having you as a dad and seeing how you eat has influenced your sons. How did you motivate them to eat healthy foods when they were younger? Any examples of healthy family favorites?
From an early age, my boys ate the same way as Robin and I did, which is to say, lean whole foods.
We never have much junk food in the house, if any at all. Our philosophy is if it’s not in the house, they can’t eat it!
From an early age, we taught them that at each meal they should have a lean protein, a complex carb, and fruits for dessert. I do believe it’s the parents’ responsibility to set the example at home, eating balanced meals and cooking more with less eating out. Childhood obesity is a rampant problem these days and more often than not that problem starts at home with Mom and Dad.
As parents, we have to remember that kids watch everything we do – that’s how they learn.
I loved my chance to talk with Lee for MYRIAD reasons.
The biggest, for me, was the reminder we are all the same. Big businessman? Ex-bodybuilder? Father? He’s doing the same stuff this little businesswoman, one time attempted the natural bodybuilding scene, and mama to one is doing.
And nothing reminds me more of his final point—the fact our kids watch and internalize everything we do—than this family portrait the Tornado surprised me with: