Editor's Note: By popular demand, our Behind the Scenes at SparkPeople feature has returned.
Name: Samantha Donohue (SAMANTHA_SP)
Position at SparkPeople: Community Team Member
Family: Patrick, Husband (37) Jacob (8), Jonathan (7) and Aliyah (5)
How long have you worked for SparkPeople? I started in August 2004 – 7 years.
Tell us your proudest accomplishment at SparkPeople or a fun fact about your job: I love that I get paid to encourage pregnant women to stay healthy. My proudest accomplishment was the blog I recently wrote on my father and his health journey.
How do you stay in shape? I work out often, at least 4 times a week, but I’ve made it a goal to be active every day. I walk to pick my kids up from school and structure my time with them to include as much movement as possible. I love to run and you’ll often find me hitting the hills in my neighborhood or even the trails of Andale Park. My love for hitting the road on my road bike is on hiatus as I have young children, but in the near future I do see a future Donohue Family Peloton. I also like to exercise at the gym because I love the community of friends at the gym. I take weekly core and strengthen training classes. My friends and I are able to drop our young children off and then are able to go for a run outdoors.
What's your favorite food? Anything made farm fresh. I love to eat fruit when it’s picked at peak harvest.
What's your favorite indulgence? Chocolate. I share this love with my 5 year old daughter. We both feel the darker the better.
How do you feel when you exercise? I’ve learned to love my exercise time. For me, it is when my world stops and all I need to worry about is taking the next steps. In my heart of hearts, I wouldn’t call myself a runner and often struggle through my runs or climbing that next hill. The sensation I feel when I reach the top or cross the finish line makes me want to press forward.
What do you do to de-stress? I use exercise to prevent stress. The days I’m not active, I find myself feeling down and have a hard time getting through my busy day. I also love to read and journal. When I’m able to slow down and think through my thoughts, I find myself thankful and the worries of that particular time seem small.
What is your passion in life? My family is my main passion in life. I love my husband and kids and see them as one of life’s greatest gifts.
How has working at SparkPeople affected your life? SparkPeople has kept me on track through on my life’s most difficult transitions. In the last 8 years, I’ve left a stable, well paying high tech job and have had 3 children within 3 years. The transition to being home based and a mother was hard and I had to learn that I had very little control over life. Instead of spiraling down into depression, SparkPeople gave me the tools I needed to take care of myself. The community gave me the inspiration and motivation I needed to press forward. As I look back, I see the 8 years as strength building blocks and I’m excited about what is in store for the future.
Have you gained or lost weight since starting here? With all 3 of my pregnancies, I gained 35 lbs and returned to a healthy weight within months of delivery of each of them. I’m proud to say that I exercised with all of them right up to my delivery.
Have you started any new habits? I was not a runner prior to SparkPeople. Last year I completed my first half marathon. I will complete my second in May.
Most of my habits have been focused around nutrition. I’m following in my grandmothers’ footsteps and have a love for cooking with a healthy twist.
What's your favorite breakfast cereal? Puffed Rice Cereal (I know that I’m boring).
What did you eat for dinner last night? Chef Meg’s Minestrone Soup.
Do you have any hidden talents? As a child, I loved to roller skate and joined a speed skating team. Recently, I was roller skating with my kids and my husband asked if I was going to do the races. He was shocked when I said “Sorry honey, I forgot my racing skates”.
What are some of your goals? Continue with my processed sugar fast and only enjoy sweet treats when I’m out of the house. Exercise at least 4 days a week for the rest of my life. Continue to grow my relationship with my husband. I look forward to growing old with him! Inspire my children to stay active and be healthy as my Dad and Mom inspired me.
What's your favorite SparkPeople feature? SparkRecipes! My favorite room in my house is the kitchen. I love to prepare recipes submitted by our members. I’m always looking for creative ways to make flavorful, healthy food to share with others.
What do you like best about working at SparkPeople? I get paid to take care of myself and encourage others to do the same. I left “Corporate America” and a Fortune 500 Company as I wanted my work to be meaningful and I wanted to focus on my family. I love that SparkPeople lets me do both.
Is there anything else readers should know about you? I have a Trek pink beach cruiser bike and my ideal ending to a long day is to take it for a ride!
What do you think about our Behind the Scenes series? What sort of questions do you have for Samantha?
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