Tracy Taylor wasn’t always a svelte figure competitor with a tiny waist and long, lean muscles. In 6th grade she weighed in at 220 pounds. She started dance classes to lose the weight, and whittled herself down to 120 pounds. But the struggle didn’t end there: “Even when you think you have it under control, life happens,” says Tracy who went back up to 175 pounds after her son was born. But in 2009, Tracy rededicated herself to health and fitness, hired a trainer and started to challenge herself in Figure competitions. It worked!
By day, Tracy is Chief Financial Officer for Mountainside Fitness; by night she teaches Zumba at the Gilbert and Ocotillo locations, and keeps up her black belt karate skills at Sandoval Freestyle Karate Studio. Here, the 45-year-old mom and three-time figure competitor reveals all her hot body secrets…
How to find a workout you love… My first love will always be dance. When Zumba was born, it was a natural fit, so I got certified and started teaching in 2006. I do love variety, though, so I also practice karate, hot yoga and continue to weight train 4 days a week.
How to eat healthy… I try to eat ‘clean,’ meaning no processed foods and 4 meals a day that include lean protein (chicken, fish, egg whites), plenty of veggies and moderate, but healthy, carbs (oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice). You’d be surprised how delicious healthy eating can be. If you haven’t tried an oatmeal pancake for breakfast, you’re missing out (see recipe below). However, it helps to have a cheat meal (not cheat day) once in a while – Love me some pizza!
How to avoid overeating… Eating 4-5 small meals a day helps you avoid overeating. Some great quick snacks are: single-serve Greek yogurt, wheat crackers and low-fat turkey lunch meat, almonds, turkey jerky, carrot sticks and peanut butter, Cottage cheese and granola.
How to tame trouble spots… You can’t really target trouble spots. The best method is eat clean and workout regularly. A combination of cardio and weight training will keep you lean and looking healthy. Strength training is a must, as muscle burns more fat even when at rest.
How to stay motivated… Honestly, the fear of getting fat and knowing I have the control. So in the end, the biggest motivator is to look and feel the most physically fit I can!
RECIPE: Oatmeal Pancakes
2-3 three egg whites
¼ to 1/3 cup oatmeal
½ cup strawberries
¼ cup blueberries
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp honey
Mix first three ingredients in a medium bowl until combined. Spray frying pan with nonstick oil, heat over medium heat. Pour batter in pan and cook like you would a pancake; flip when needed. When fully cooked, spread peanut butter on warm pancake, add fruit and drizzle with honey.