Toree Parrish: 2019 MOLO Mom of the Year
Winners Receive Prizes From:
"During the first few months of being a mom, I was often told 'You can’t do it all' and 'Don’t be so hard on yourself.' These pieces of genuine advice are not in themselves negative, however, these words became my crutch. When things would get overwhelming or difficult, I would use these words as permission to give-up or at best, temporarily give-in.
"I started at Baby Boot Camp when my son was 16 months old. He had never slept through the night, my workout routine was non-existent, and I worked full-time outside the home. My energy, weight, nutrition, motivation, and self-confidence were at an all-time low. That first class, I couldn’t keep up at all, my son cried most of the time. I could hear that reassuring phrase in my head, “You can’t do it all” and by this time I had added my own words of “so don’t even try.” But that is not how this amazing mom tribe works. Our instructor and other mommas reached out to me and encouraged me to come back to class again. Due to my work schedule, my class options are limited, but boy, the reach of this community is limitless.
"A few months later, it was MOLO time. During MOLO, I heard another piece of advice that I am beyond thankful for, 'Choose love.' I was being given permission to choose to love myself and make time for myself. Throughout MOLO, I sometimes became overwhelmed with food tracking, daily challenges, SMART goals, and workout points. However, our instructor kept reminding us of how important we are, how strong we are, and how proud she was of us. Our online community of moms encouraged and lifted each other up when we needed it.
"I could slowly feel things changing. It was still true…I still couldn’t do it all, but now I realized I could do anything I wanted to. I just had to take the time to know what I wanted and how to focus on it. I wanted to be healthy, I wanted to be happy, and I wanted to make these changes for more than a point on the calendar but to help me be better a person all around. My attitude changed and my body started to change as well. I made my wellness a priority. I work for a local university and my job includes a lot of travel and nighttime student events. I found myself determined to complete the daily challenges even with my crazy schedule.
"One specific work trip I did not bring any equipment because the hotel was supposed to have a gym. When it turned out to be closed, I got creative and used a lamp to complete bicep curls. That is definitely on the list of things I never thought I would do! I have done burpees on a charter bus, convinced 100 student leaders to do pushups with me, and even got my co-workers to do some planks. Slowly, I was becoming the person who could encourage others! That has been a powerful aha moment for me. I also learned how critical nutrition (and portion control) is to a balanced and SUSTAINABLE lifestyle. I am no fan of the kitchen and the feeling has always been mutual. The thought of food prep TERRIFIED me. I leaned on my small group heavily and had a lot of teachable moments!
"I also have my whole family making smarter choices like using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and cauliflower in place of grains. My meat, bread, and potato husband has come to expect and enjoy Meatless Monday. I knew I had changed when MOLO was over, when I still found myself meal prepping, choosing whole foods, and limited processed junk food BY CHOICE. In the last 8 weeks, I have learned to fuel my body but also my spirit. I have implemented some self-care strategies like journaling and setting aside time once a week for a “mommy reset.” MOLO was more than a competition. It was a lifestyle transformation for me and for my family. I pushed myself harder than I ever have before and realized how strong I am.
"Motherhood is wonderful, challenging, confusing, and exciting. MOLO helped me to focus on what I love most about being a mother and just being me as a person. It has been hard for me to figure out how to distinguish the many hats that I wear. I want to be a good mother, a good wife, have a successful career, and lead a healthy lifestyle. During MOLO I have begun to combine the person I used to be, with the person I am today, and working to become who I want to be. MOLO showed me I can do all of those things if I want to do them for the right reasons and plan for them in the right way. I am worth it.
"I am so thankful for Baby Boot Camp and for the MOLO Challenge for providing these opportunities for mothers to be both physically and emotionally #momstrong." -Toree Parrish
Nominated by Meagan Daup Owner & Instructor of Baby Boot Camp Louisville & Oldham County, KY“
"Finding balance is an all too common struggle as a mama. We often feel we aren’t enough & there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Toree was able to find the balance of work, motherhood, and self-care this MOLO and her journey was beautiful to watch! She has been a committed member of Baby Boot Camp since 2018. She and her sweet boy add such a fun dynamic to our night & weekend classes. Knowing her fun personality & her commitment to class, I was excited to see what this MOLO would hold for her. Getting to class with a toddler in tow after a long work day is no easy feat, but Toree made this happen 3-4 times a week during the 8 week MOLO challenge. It wasn’t an option... if she was in town and not traveling for her job, it was her hour to focus on her fitness and she made it happen! She also hit her 100th class milestone during the 8 week MOLO challenge. Can we just say a full time working mama hitting 100 classes in under a year is impressive?!
"She always gets to class & with a smile on her face, but MOLO just amplified that. If she was traveling for her job, she made at home (or in her case hotel) workouts happen, which takes extra discipline, but she was determined to make her weekly workout goal. We all loved watching her creativity as she documented her workouts away. She posted selfies while squatting as she had a balcony of college students cheering her on (she works our local University) & a picture of her handy hotel lamp which doubled as a slastix tube for bicep curls since she forgot hers at home. She always found a way to make it work!
"Toree also had focused nutrition goals this MOLO & learned so much not only about nutrition but how to make it sustainable in her life. From figuring out how to meal prep/plan to what healthy options are available on the go, like she commonly is, she was fueling her body with whole food nutrition. She also had a personal goal of drinking 80 ounces of water daily knowing how important hydration is for health & knowing it was an area she was lacking, so she wanted to make it a focus for 8 weeks. At the beginning of MOLO, Toree was self-professed “not a cook,” I think MOLO not only may have changed that, but it also equipped her with nutrition knowledge for while she is traveling!
"Toree fully embraced the MOLO challenges this year & even shared the love with those around her on several occasions. During MOLO, she was in charge of leading a 24-hour dance marathon the local university leads to raise money for pediatric cancer & blood disease research. There was a push-up challenge on the calendar, and she was working with the marathon this day so not only did she get her push-ups in but she also got 100 college kiddos to do them with her! Watching the video of her sharing this MOLO challenge with her students was amazing! She shared the wellness challenges frequently with her students and openly talked about her MOLO journey with them, setting such a strong example for them. I feel like the students that are lucky enough to work with her when they have babies, will look back & think, I remember Toree she did some crazy wellness challenge & she was able to make it all work somehow so maybe I can too! She is inspiring so many future mothers and doesn’t even realize it!
"There is a common theme with this mama & that is even though it may not be easy, she always found a way to make it work. She realized on this 8 week journey she was worth it & she wanted to make it work, so she did! I always tell my clients, you can’t pour from an empty cup mama, and this mama sure did fill hers this last 8 weeks. Not only did she walk away from thsis challenge with lasting lifestyle changes in her self care and nutrition, but she lost 13.5 inches from her waist, hips, thighs, chest & arm! Her pre & post fitness testing numbers reflected the strength she gained: 29 more pushups in a minute, 16 more squats in a minute, 20 more tricep dips in a minute. This mama had amazing gains & losses this last 8 weeks & walked away a happier mama. I am so proud of her. She truly embodies all that this challenge stands for, choosing to love herself & then sharing that love with everyone around her!” -Meagan Daup