Fitness Files: Samantha Clayton
I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Samantha Clayton for my Fitness Files series and my podcast (check it out by clicking here!). Samantha is a hustling mama of four, the Vice President of Worldwide Sports Performance and fitness at Herbalife Nutrition and a former Olympic Athlete.
At Herbalife she is responsible for all activities relating to exercise and fitness education for Herbalife Nutrition Independent Distributors and employees. Through in-person training sessions, educational tools and materials, and her blog (www.discovergoodfitness.com), she ensures that the important role of exercise as part of a healthy, active life is understood by all.
Her history as a professional athlete has helped to contribute to her current success. Samantha represented Great Britain in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in both the 200m and the 4x100m relay events. Prior to the Olympics, she won two medals in the Olympic AAA trials – a silver medal for the 200m and a bronze for the 100m – as well as a silver medal in the 4x100m relay during the European Junior Championships in 1997. Her personal records include 11.40 seconds in the 100m and 23.02 seconds in the 200m.
Continue reading to learn more about Samantha and why NMFIT considers her an inspiration!
NMFIT: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority?
Samantha Clayton (SC): Exercise has always been a major part of my life, but my life phases have truly dictated the time and mode of exercise that fits. As an athlete, of course, it’s 2-day sessions, all very intense and focused. In the early days of my personal and group training career, my fitness routine was indeed structured. I was focused on the external benefits associated with exercise that seemed typical of a young 20 something. But, the transition for me in my life, when the light truly came on, was after giving birth to my triplets in 2005. I experienced first hand the struggle of what a sedentary life (from bed rest) can do to your body and how inactivity can play with your emotions. I also realized just how essential it is to build a strong core and be ready to progress and regress exercises at a pace that feels comfortable. It was then that I realized the true importance of exercise for the benefits it gives to an inside of your body; how it infuses you with confidence and provides a little mental escape from life in the fast lane. I have no doubt that I will continue to evolve on my fitness journey with the quest for healthy aging and feeling good as my driving force.
NMFIT: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?
SC: I have to admit to having a little bit of a sweet tooth especially when I sit down at the end of the day with a cup of tea to unwind, (very British habit.) I have substituted cookies with protein bars and I still get my taste for sweets satisfied, but with the added benefit of fewer calories and helping myself to meet my daily protein goals. As a muscular girl, I focus a lot on protein snacks. Hummus and veggies, and always having almonds in my purse help to keep me from eating unhealthy foods. For drinks, I have the ultimate solution for avoiding soda. I sip sparkling water with added aloe or a little-flavored tea. The bubbles feel like a treat and I’m meeting my hydration goals. To avoid having wine in the evenings I make this drink in a wine glass, so I feel as though I’m indulging, but without the alcohol.
NMFIT: How do you train your mind and stay motivated?
SC: I’m naturally very driven and I love to read motivational books, but my biggest motivational force are my four lovely kids. Having a teenager and 3 pre-teens keep me focused and striving to set a good example at home. They are watching me and I’m always conscious of that. I believe that being organized and running a tight ship keeps us all motivated and healthy. I am a huge fan of daily affirmations and I keep a daily word affirmation book on my kitchen counter; something I picked up from my mother in law who has read them daily for years. My kids love highlighting the ones they like.
NMFIT: How do you change your body?
Samantha Clayton (SC): I’m very aware that six packs and muscles are made in the kitchen, in combination with the gym. So, when I notice I need to up my game a little I become focused on ensuring my macronutrients are in balance with a special focus on meeting my protein needs. Getting focused on my post workout nutrition transforms me to stage ready in a few weeks.
NMFIT: What are your fitness favorites?
SC: Right now I’m truly loving body weight functional fitness training, and lifting. My 14 year is old is now a member of the gym and comes with me, although I do not have him lifting weights. I’m enjoying teaching him technique with the bar, teaching him athletic drills and I’m noticing that this new focus on form has me personally feeling more balanced. HIIT is my perfect go-to for when I’m busy because a quick 20 minutes is all I need. Track season is fast approaching and my daughters both run. So, I’m sure next month my new favorite workout will be running the bleachers and re-living the joy of sprinting on the track. There is honestly no fitness I don’t enjoy except perhaps, long-distance running…As a former competitive sprinter “fast not far” is my comfort zone.
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