Suc­cess Story

Darla An­drews, a busy mother of five, proves over and over again that age is just a num­ber.

Oxygen - - Contents - By Lara McGlashan, MFA, CPT, Fit­ness Edi­tor

Darla An­drews bal­ances be­ing a mom of five with an in­tense train­ing pro­gram.

Be­ing a mom is a full-time job, and by her late 20s, Darla An­drews was work­ing triple time: She had three kids younger than 5, was run­ning a day care out of her home and was teach­ing the oc­ca­sional group fit­ness class to fit in some ex­er­cise when she had some time.

Then while preg­nant with her fourth daugh­ter, An­drews had to give up her al­ready-lim­ited ex­er­cise be­cause of com­pli­ca­tions, and then came daugh­ter No. 5. “With an in­fant and four other kids ages 5 to 16, I was trekking to four dif­fer­ent schools and end­less af­ter-school ac­tiv­i­ties and didn’t have any time for my­self,” she says. Eat­ing healthy was also a chore, and fast food, soda and pro­cessed items be­came sta­ples in her life. It was easy, and — she ad­mits — she didn’t know any bet­ter.

No More Frumpy Mom!

But when her youngest daugh­ter was 3, An­drews re­al­ized she didn’t want to be “that frumpy mom.” So she joined a morn­ing boot camp and got in her work­out early — re­ally early. “I went at 5 a.m. be­fore the sun came up!” she says, laugh­ing. “I loved the fact that it was outdoors and that the work­outs in­cor­po­rated chal­leng­ing ex­er­cises. Plus, it got me go­ing for the rest of the day.”

As she got stronger and fit­ter and all her kids tran­si­tioned into school, An­drews started teach­ing her own boot camps a few days a week. She also did away with her bad food habits and re­placed the junk with clean, healthy fare. “I also bought Tosca Reno’s The Eat-Clean Diet,” she says. “That was a game changer for me. I learned that I didn’t have to get hung up on count­ing calo­ries and that by eat­ing clean, healthy foods, I would not only lose weight but also feel bet­ter and have more en­ergy.”

New Chal­lenges, Bet­ter Life!

Once she started mov­ing and be­ing ac­tive, An­drews couldn’t be stopped: She started run­ning for fun, go­ing from a sim­ple run/walk to run­ning marathons within three years; she did sev­eral Spar­tan Races, in­clud­ing back-to-back events over the course of a week­end; she did a triathlon, even though she ad­mits swim­ming is “tough” for her; and just months be­fore turn­ing 50, she com­peted in a fig­ure com­pe­ti­tion, the prep for which she says was the hard­est thing she has ever done.

Next on her fit­ness bucket list: “I’m not sure yet! I like to mix things up and find new ways to chal­lenge my­self,” she says. “But for now, I am fo­cused on my clients and help­ing them achieve their goals.” An­drews cur­rently owns a fit­ness stu­dio where she teaches up to 15 classes a week and trains up­ward of 40 clients. And, of course, she is still a full-time mom to her five daugh­ters.

“I trained hard and stayed fo­cused on my goals and ac­com­plished even more than I ever thought I would,” An­drews says. “I want to en­cour­age other women in their midlife pe­riod to go af­ter what they want, to take care of their health and live their best lives pos­si­ble.”

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