FITBODY Cover Model Dana Taggart is a Police officer and single mom of 2. Find our how she beat ‘mom guilt’ and realized that the healthier and fitter she became, the better she felt and the better mom she could be.
What a great example to her kids!
While I’ve always been active in sports and in mediocre shape, I didn’t start training hard until after I’d had children. I’m a single mother of 2. I have a 9 yr old daughter and 11 yr old son. Having children changed my entire world. “Mom guilt” held me back from taking care of myself when I was a brand new Mommy and I paid the price. After having my daughter, I battled with a bit of depression. Eventually allowing myself to have some “me” time by going to the gym did a great deal to bring me out of that and really start to understand the importance of pouring into myself. I realized that when I took care of myself, I was in turn a better Mom. I trained on my own in the beginning and as I became more serious, a friend introduced me to Beverly International supplements.
It’s crazy to think how, looking back, that one moment changed my life SO MUCH. Through Beverly’s No Nonsense magazine, I discovered Julie Lohre and her personal training. I knew I wanted to take my fitness to the next level. Knowing that Julie was a Pro herself and specialized in women’s health gave me confidence in trusting her guidance. I have worked with Julie periodically over the last 4 years and the results are pretty darn incredible.
“I realized that when I took care of myself,
I was in turn a better Mom.”
Occupation & Hometown
Why is fitness important to you?
Being fit is an important part of my job, but the confidence its afforded me has been far more beneficial than the extra 10lb or so of muscle. Julie understands how imperative it is for me to stay sharp for my job. Even during prep for a competition, she makes sure I’m getting enough food in to sustain the energy needed for my training and to stay mentally sharp. Working with Julie Lohre as my online personal trainer allows me the flexibility of training when its convenient for me and her meal suggestions are just that… not strict, boring plans. She encourages eating a variety of foods and she lives by example. You can see in my photos that my 4 year transformation has been more than just physical. Working with Julie has lit a fire in me that shines through. I truly feel powerful now and am continually amazed by what this body is capable of. I look forward to what’s next.
“You can see in my photos that my 4 year transformation has been more than just physical!”
What is a your training like?
Training for me currently is 5 days of weight training along with 20-30 cardio most days as well. On average, I spend around 2 hours at the gym each day. This includes time for me to stretch, get a solid lift in, and finish up with cardio as time allows. I also do yoga 3-4 times per week. Adding yoga to my training, in addition to all the other stretching I do on a regular basis, has really made a difference in my mindset. I feel much more calm and balanced. It’s really helped to bring me in tune with my body control and has improved my flexibility!
How restrictive is your diet?
Nutrition for me is best described as FLEXIBLE! I eat 5-6x day. Working midnights and running around with my kids and their sports schedules means much of my food is eaten on the go. I try to make sure each meal/snack has a good serving of 20-30g of protein. Having a serving or two of UMP in my car or bag at all times means I just need to add some veggies, and small handful of nuts, or even a piece of fruit for a balanced meal. When working with Julie, I always look forward to her new recipes to try. A higher fiber diet has been a game changer. I’ve always enjoyed my veggies, but when I started pushing to meet those higher fiber goals, I realized how full and satiated they really keep me.
Favorite Body Part to Train?
My favorite body parts to train are definitely delts! I get such a quick pump in that muscle group, so that really ramps up my motivation for that session. I also really enjoy supersets of all kinds. Supersets allow me to work more efficiently and I enjoy that they keep my heart rate a bit higher than during regular straight sets.
How do you maintain motivation for the long haul?
Maintaining motivation? This is tricky. I’m always motivated to move because it is something I enjoy doing, however motivation to train hard does waver. It requires so much more of me, physically and mentally. My energy levels and self-talk are probably what have the biggest impact on this. When I get run down, I start to doubt myself and the negative self-talk creeps in. I have to remain cognizant of this in order to catch myself and know that my energy levels are the real reason its happening. Taking a couple days to catch up on rest can turn me around. When I am rested, I feel like I can do ANYTHING, and want to do more. Being purposeful in looking for what things are going well helps me to. Comparing old photos and old training logs to see how far I’ve come usually brings me up too.
What advice do you have for women just getting started?
My advice for women getting started would be that while it can be overwhelming to find the time to invest in yourself, doing so will give you so much more life! It will seem like it has increased the time in the day! Your mood will be uplifted and the increased energy will make you that much more productive. You will in turn, be a better Mom, better boss/coworker, better friend… a more lively, healthy, brighter version of your previous self!
What is your favorite part of living a healthy lifestyle?
My favorite part of living a fit lifestyle is never wondering whether or not I am ABLE to do something. I know that my body is capable of amazing things and I enjoy pushing myself physically for more. I also love hearing from others, especially other mothers, that I inspire them.
What challenges have you had to face?
Juggling my schedule and training is certainly challenging. I mentioned before that my kids are 9 & 11 now. I try to plan to get my workouts in while the kids are at school or during one of their practices. There is a gym nearby or I can do cardio outside. I used to stay at each practice when they were younger, but now that I know most of the other parents and my kids are older, I feel much more comfortable with not being there. I have also adopted the mindset that I WILL get some form of training in EVERY day. I do NOT plan for rest days. Something will inevitably come up that I can’t always fit something in every single day. Life dictates that I have a day or two off each week regardless, but if I just assume I’m training each day and accept that a day here and there isn’t going to work out… I get my training in, and my rest days, and I don’t stress too much about it.
Favorite clean eating food or recipe
A few favorites…
-Egg scramble with sautéed spinach, red onion, and baby portabello mushrooms
-Ump pudding made with Kroger’s Carbmaster milk… put it in the fridge to allow it to set up, similar to a cheesecake consistency, then top with berries (raspberries are my favorite for they are loaded with fiber).
-Shrimp with rice & steamed veggies