By Jill Farr
2013 Ms. Figure Universe and fitness coach Carol Elizabeth may not look like someone who knows what it’s like to be tired, unmotivated, and have 10 (or more) pounds of “squish” to lose, but she does.
Fit as a kid, Carol Elizabeth assumed that her active lifestyle would carry over into adulthood, but as it happens with so many moms, having kids overshadowed everything in her life once it happened.
“The journey to lose 10 pounds of “squish” and a muffin top took me to the stage,” Carol Elizabeth says. “And what I learned on that journey changed the course of everything I do in life.”
After several starts and frustrations, Carol Elizabeth finally hit on a fitness plan that she could stick with, and once she put together the power of nutrition with exercise consistency, a passion was ignited.
Within a year of the beginning of the journey to lose that baby “squish”, Carol Elizabeth was on stage, and now she brings that excitement for fitness and the lessons her experience has brought to clients looking for guidance, on carolelizabeth.com.
“I wouldn’t say I’m unique at all,” Carol says. “In fact, my goal is to show women, especially moms, that we are truly all the same.”
One thing that many, many women have in common is the belief that being thinner, being fitter, or having less “squish” will make them happier. Despite having a job helping women get their physical bodies in shape, Carol Elizabeth believes her biggest calling is dispelling the notion that happiness is not found in a “six pack”.
“My journey has brought me first hand, face to face with the search for happiness in an aesthetically pleasing body,” Carol Elizabeth says. “I was on that path—thinking that having abs would make me happy, not having a muffin top would make me happy…and as a competitor I come face to face with people all the time who have unreal bodies…and so many of them are sad, lost and empty.”
“There is no question that inner strength and growth has to take place first before physical change happens. In my programs I spend the most time on personal development. No matter how wonderful a plan is- if a woman is not ready to deal with the voices in her head then it won’t work. My focus first is to work on their belief in their ability to get where they want to be in ALL areas of life. We work on that part as we go through everything else.”
Carol Elizabeth’s fitness journey gave her the vision to be able to see how many other areas of her life needed transforming—she ended up leaving her marriage, and many of her ideas about what being a mom means behind—and she believes her life is better for it. She advocates for moms taking care of themselves, and not feeling guilty about it at all, not only because they themselves are worthy of that type of care, but because it makes them better givers if they put themselves at the top of the list of people who need their attention.
“I truly believe that a healthy woman who takes time to eat well, exercise, practice gratitude and self-love becomes a better mom, wife, friend… because they have taken care of themselves first!”
“The advice I give women is that they are WORTHY and powerful! That they can do anything they set out to do, they need to see all they have done in life so far!”
Carol Elizabeth also believes that the benefits of committing to regular exercise extend beyond the physical.
“I think fitness plays a critical role,” Carol Elizabeth says. “We stand taller- have more energy and think better about ourselves when we’re fit, which keep bringing better things our way!”