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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Smarty Mom: Dee Dee Knight

By Katie M

I am thrilled to introduce today's Smarty Mom, Dee Dee Knight. Dee Dee is the Wellness Director and Personal Trainer at my YMCA, and she one of the kindest, most energetic employees at that branch. I love crossing paths with her when I go work out. She is never without a word of encouragment or support, especially on those days when I have to drag myself to the gym.

Dee Dee and her husband Ernest have two children: Elijah (9) and Jaden (4). They have lived in the Triad for five years. Not only does Dee Dee work in fitness, but she lives it too. She recently competed a figure/bikini competition (be sure to scroll down to see her amazing picture), and she also just completed her first triathlon (she never knew how to swim before she started training, either!). Dee Dee also has several 5k races and a half-marathon on her resume, and she is currently studying to complete her master's in Exercise Science.

So, let's take some time to chat with Dee Dee.

How do you fit it all in?
Schedule, Schedule, Schedule. One of the things that help me a lot is doing the majority of my cooking for the week on one day (for me it’s Sunday). I cook healthful casseroles and dishes that I refrigerate/freeze and then take out and warm up during the week. That way it gives me the time I need to fit in exercise and my family always have a healthy and delicious meal in minutes!

How do you keep your motivation, especially as a busy mom?
Well, I love to work out. It does get hard sometimes trying to fit in everything you have to do as a working mother. However it is so worth it to me as it working out gives such a boost to your energy levels (helps to be able to run around after the kids, lol) also your self esteem.

What inspired you to compete in a figure/bikini contest, and what kind of training did that entail?
I have worked out all of my life, however just last year I made the decision to venture out of my comfort zone and try something new. It took me 11 weeks to get ready for the competition. It usually takes about 12 -15 weeks for most. I was inspired by a friend (also a mom of 2) that completed her first competition. It entailed a very structured nutrition and workout program. I ate mini-meals every 2.5-3 hours and I had to increase my cardio and strength training. I am absolutely going to do it again! It was a major accomplishment. It felt awesome to be on stage and hearing my sons cheering for me “ GO MOMMY”!!

What are some words of advice you can share with other moms who are either starting a work-out program, or are on a program but are not seeing results?
I would tell other mom’s that first it is definitely doable. You need to make the time to put yourself first even if it’s only for 30-60 mins a day. I would also encourage anyone to seek professional help if they are not obtaining the results they are seeking.

What are key areas moms should focus on while trying to stay fit and healthy?
Moms should definitely focus on both strength and cardio. Strength is so very important for women, especially moms, as childbirth really takes a toll on our bodies, particularly our core.

Ok, now on to some lighter topics...

Favorite place to get a good deal on kids clothes?
Target & Walmart

Favorite place to splurge on kids clothes?
I don’t…lol

What is your favorite family activity?
Every week Friday’s at our home is family fun night! Where we do things that just focus on our family i.e. movie night. We turn off the computers, phones, etc, and concentrate on each other as a family.

Favorite “mommy-time” activity?

Best place to eat lunch and/or dinner with the kids?

Favorite date place?
My husband and I have a date night once a month where we go out together and focus on us. We both feel it is very important to put time, energy and focus on our marriage. We love comedy shows and eating at the Melting Pot!

Funniest thing your kid(s) has ever said?
OMG…there are millions. So hard to pick just one. Truly both my children have the capability to become comedians one day.

Favorite park in the Triad?
The park at Jefferson Middle School (in Winston-Salem)

Mini-van or SUV?

Best thing about raising a family in the Triad?
We have found the Triad to be very family-focused. Lots of things to do for families in the Triad.

Best mom secret YOUR mom has shared with you?
Don’t forget you are a wife. Because without your husband there is no family.

Best birthday party you have attended?
Bounce U!

Best book you’ve ever read?
Push by Sapphire

What’s your favorite thing about Triad Smarty Pants?
Rachel and Katie are two of the best people I know!

I could not live without my... Blackberry

I wish someone had told me sooner about... That having children is so much fun! I had my first child at 30. If I would have known, I would have started earlier…

What Smarty mom tips do you have for other moms?
Create a network of other moms, friends and family members that can help out. We must remember we are only one person and we can’t do it all. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Don’t forget the hubby’s and make time for yourself.

It is not easy to fit in everything that you have to do all day. Being a mother is a full time job in itself. I schedule (write down everything in my calendar book) everything I need to do each and every day. If I don’t I may forget something that needs to get done. You also need to know when do give yourself a break. If you miss a workout or eat something off plan it is not the end of the world. Do not give up – forgive yourself and get back on your plan the next day. We must give ourselves permission that we are not perfect and there is no such thing as a perfect mother. We do the absolute best we can by our family and I believe God will take care of the rest.

Great tips, Dee Dee, and congrats on all your athletic endeavors. Now if only you could bottle some of your motivation and share it with others! Thanks for sharing your profile with us today, and for the kinds words to Rachel and I :)

Do you want to "mominate" a Smarty Mom? Go ahead and email us at We are always looking to profile another fabulous Triad mom (or dad!)!


Rachel H said...

Dee Dee, you are such an inspiration! I used Dee Dee as my personal trainer a few years ago and felt the best I have ever felt! (Not to mention the 15 pounds I lost!) She is such a motivation. If only I could rent out a room in my house for her so she could keep me on task with working out!
I loved reading your write-up today!

Kristen said...

I knew you looked familiar! I have seen you at the Y many times and you are hard core, girl! Congratulations on your Smarty Mom nomination.


Anonymous said...

Congrats DeeDee! You motivate me to stay fit!

Kari said...

So inspiring! Thanks for all of your wonderful tips. You look fantastic! It's especially good to hear you mention making time for your husband. I think as Moms we sometimes focus so very much on our children that we lose a vital bond with our husbands. Thanks DeeDee!

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