Hi Beth! Please tell us about yourself.

Hi, I am Beth! I will be 42 later this summer and I have been living in Alaska almost my entire life. My family moved to Alaska in 1982 but I spent more than 17 years living in Girdwood. 

I love adventures and being in the Alaskan outdoors. I am an avid fisherwoman mostly fishing on the ocean and rivers on the Kenai Peninsula. I also love music and attending music events and festivals. My favorite music event is Salmonfest in Ninilchik every August, but I also travel outside of Alaska a few times a year specifically for music. 

My entire immediate family: parents, brother, sister in-law and niece live in the Anchorage area. It is nice having family nearby for get-togethers and for times when I need my family.

I live with my partner Arthur, we have talked about getting married and this will probably happen in the next year or so. I have known Arthur for almost 20 years. We meet in 1999 when we were both young (and Arthur says he was dumb) and lived in Girdwood. 

We moved on our separate paths for many years but our paths continued to cross and we would see each other for dinner or at a music event every once in a while. A little more than 3 years ago our paths crossed again and this time our paths merged we have been together every since. 

I am not one to believe in soul mates, but if I had a soul mate in this world it is Arthur. My life is better and I am happy every day because Arthur is a part of my life.

I work for the Alaska Department of Health & Social Services, my title is State Health Information Technology Coordinator. And since everything in government is used in the form of an acronym, I am the SHIT Coordinator. Some days I feel like I am shoveling it and some days I feel like I am sparkling because I am the “shit.”

I have a fancy title, but what I do is important for our state. I am working on developing the technology and infrastructure needed to support Alaska’s healthcare system. 

I am the person within state government that is planning, coordinating, and funding what technology all of the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers are using to better support Alaskans and your healthcare needs. Since I am state employee in a leadership position I get to wear more than one hat. 

I am also the person in my department who is the liaison between the techies and the business people to ensure my department has the technology to be able to do our jobs. My job is fast paced and often very political. It keeps me on my toes and ever day is a new challenge.  

How long have you worked with FF, and what initially inspired you to begin training with us?

I have been working with FF since September 2014. If I remember correctly I first learned about FF from my best friend Natalie Osborne, probably over a glass of wine, when I was telling her that I had reached a plateau I just couldn’t get past and I needed something different in my life. 

Prior to working with FF I had lost about 30 lbs of scale weight on my own: eating less and working out (cardio only – a lot of running), but I had reach a point where I was stuck and I was bored. Natalie recommended I check out FF’s website, which I did. I contacted Steph and met her and Lela for a brief introduction before my first boot camp. 

I was hooked just after the introduction but was even more hooked after my first boot camp. After about a year or so Steph asked me if I would be interested in trying out a small group session, which I did. 

I loved the small group environment right away too. It is different from the boot camps and was more focused on specific exercises and the small group atmosphere works well for me.

What are a few things you’re most proud of accomplishing this past year?

I am proud that over the past year I have gotten to a place where BB Bench Press doesn’t terrify me anymore, and I am not afraid that I am going to strain a muscle every time I lift the bar. 

I am proud that I have worked hard to develop goals for myself that are achievable and I really thought through the hows and whys for each goal. I am still working on many of my goals, but prior to working with FF I didn’t really intentionally set goals. 

Who or what inspires you?

The people I work out with in my small group sessions inspire me, each and every single one of them. These are the people that keep me motivated and push me during my workouts. 

From a personal perspective I am inspired by my friends and family and each of their individual accomplishments, what they bring to my life, and what they bring to the world. I don’t have a lot of close friends, but those that I do have are intentional friends. 

From a work perspective I am inspired by a strong desire to provide a better healthcare system for Alaskans. Arthur was in a severe motorcycle accident a little more than 2 years ago and I have helped him through his journey to recovery. I have seen from the patient’s perspective how our healthcare system works and it can be better, far better.

What are some of your favorite exercises? 

I love workouts that combine lifting with HIIT exercises. These workouts are huge calorie burners for me and get my heart pumping. 

I also love to go for a run, outdoors. Running helps me decompress and just forget about everything else that might be going on. Running is not my friend from a joint perspective and my feet and knees do not like to run but it is amazing for my mind and mental well-being.  

How about a few of your favorite muscle groups to train?

I love training anything that helps me work on the little, itty bitty muscles in my back and shoulders. I have terrible posture and I sit at a computer all day for work which doesn’t help these muscles at all. Any exercises that help me in this area are my favorites.

Optimal health, what does this mean to you?

Optimal health means to me that I am comfortable in my own skin. The vain side of me wants to look hot in the clothes I wear and look good in photos. The non-vain side of me wants to be in a healthy place where I no longer have a need for prescription drugs to support my heart and cholesterol health. 

Optimal health also means to me that I can easily do all the activities and tasks in life without feeling out of breathe or out of shape. If I want to hike up the side of a mountain I want to know that I can easily do this. I don’t want my health to hinder my ability to live at all.

What advice would you give someone looking for ways to motivate themselves to start or maintain a fitness program?

Each person has to want to start or maintain a fitness program. Frankly, this is true about any change a person desires. But it is more than just the desire, you have to fight for it and work for it. 

You do have to set goals. And your why has to dig deeper than what might just be on the surface. I would also give the advice that you are #1 in your life, you have to come first before anyone or anything else. And my last piece advice comes from my mom. When I was a little kid I was super shy and afraid of just about everything. 

My mom always asked me in every scenario: what is the worst that will happen? When I think about this, in all aspects of my life, the worst is never (well…rarely) going to be the worst thing I can imagine. 

What are some of your preferred ways to rest and recover?

I enjoy Epsom salt baths to help my sore muscles recover, but this is usually a winter time thing. I also like to use a lacrosse ball to roll out sore spots on my body. I even have one of these balls at work so I can just sit on it or use it on my back during my work day. 

I also enjoy having some down time from workouts by going fishing or being outdoors and being generally active outside. I also love to read for a downtime activity. I am usually reading anywhere from 2-5 books at a given time, each of them a different genre.

What new goals do you have planned for the remainder of 2018 and beyond? 

I have recently re-focused my goals towards small behavioral goals versus a larger goal of fat loss. I still have a fat loss goal and all my reasons for this goal are still valid, but I am not focused on this right now because it just hasn’t been working for me in recent months. 

I have not identified why my fat loss goal isn’t working, but I know it is not so I have re-focused. 

My current goals are:

◦2 small group sessions a week, 1 – 2 runs a week to help prepare for Lost Lake, and 1 – 2 other workouts during the week

◦7 – 8 hours of sleep a night

◦No electronic devices (cell phone, iPad) in the bedroom at night

◦Read 3-5 times a week for at least 30 minutes

◦More water: half my body weight in ounces and water first before eating

◦Veggies most when eating

◦30 minutes of “Beth” time each day to help focus on self-care

◦2-3 times a week do some kind of activity to help reduce stress

I have a couple of longer term goals I am working on too: finding a way to be able to telecommute for work, and move to Homer.