Charlotte Prater

On Wednesdays – I’m going to be delivering some pretty BA women on Dumbbell Blonde. Today – I introduce you to the one and only, Charlotte Prater – my mom.

Not only does my mom completely live up to the title of “Mother”, she also has some other awesome titles that I’d like to officially give her: Daughter, Wife, Popcorn Lover, Cheerleader, Speed Reader, Animal Raiser, Christmas Morning Superstar, Coffee Queen, Semiprofessional Cleaning Lady, and Two-time Cancer Survivor.

She is also many other things that just don’t fall into list form. Since I’ve been little I haven’t really known my mom to be active in the sense of heading to the gym or grabbing her sneakers to go on a long run – but you will be hard pressed to find her sitting still. To this day it blows my mind how she would keep up with her career, get us to our sports, be a present wife, and still have dinner on the table by 5:30 or 6. Our house was always spotless, our beds were always made, the laundry was always done, and she was always out on dates with my father – these breeds of supermoms and super wives are almost extinct! It’s hard for me to even pump out a blog, shower, hit the gym, hangout with my husband and make it to bed at a decent time!!

While dominating the supermom category- my mom has also been perfecting the role of being a fighter. Over the last ten years she’s kicked cancer’s ass two times, lost almost 60 pounds, lowered her cholesterol, and has adopted a healthy lifestyle. I have rarely heard her complain and I’m hoping to one day find either her fountain of youth or her secret superhero cape to continue fulfilling her duties proudly….

Until then – here are 10 questions answered by our WCW!

1. DBB: What activities were you in when you were little?
Mom: From the time that I was basically walking I was involved in dance and gymnastics. In High School I was also a cheerleader.

2. DBB: What is your favorite hobby to date?
I am an avid reader. I would prefer to read a book then to sit and watch TV or movies. If I could just figure out a way to use the elliptical and read at the same time I would be a happy camper.

3. DBB: Can you recommend us a good book?
Mom: OMG – Really you want me to pick a favorite book.  Right now I have just finished reading the Outlander Series.  It was so good that I had to read it twice. 8 Books currently in the series. (See I told you she was a speed reader!!)

4. DBB: What about movies? You and dad always used to take us to see movies when we were little!
Mom: I work for Redbox!  They are all favorites. I generally gravitate to movies that are based off of series of books like Hunger Games, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, etc.

5. DBB: What’s your favorite food?
Mom: Anything salty!

6. DBB: What are some challenges you have faced over your life being healthy and staying fit? 
Mom: I was always thin but being thin does not mean that you are necessarily healthy and in shape. I was too busy working, running after my children, cooking dinners, cleaning up the house, running countless errands. That was my form of exercise.

7. DBB: What has helped you to get into shape?
Mom: I first saw a consultant who helped me realize I was completely eating wrong. I was 30 pounds overweight and I had to learn how to eat again. Gone were the days when I would eat just one meal – usually lunch. What I found out was that I was starving my system. So whatever I ate during that one meal, my body would store and hold on to it because it thought I was in starvation mode. I had to learn to eat 3-4 meals a day.  In between meals I also had to start drinking plain water. I tried to cheat the system and drink 0 calorie flavored water but that didn’t work. The best way she explained it to me is water is classified as a liquid you would use to wash your body with. So I had to commit to the plain old fashion no taste water.

8. DBB: What about working out? Or was it all diet?
Mom: I had to commit to an exercise program. Thankfully my work actively encourages us to participate in health and wellness activities. They host fitbit walking competitions twice a year. So I got into the walking kick. I would average 3 to 4 miles a day and then I started to incorporate the elliptical and rowing machine into my routine. It took me exactly 1 year of ups and down with my diet and exercise to finally hit my goal. I now know that I am fit and healthy for the first time in over 30 years. How do I know this? I am now off my cholesterol medication.

9. DBB: What advice do you have for someone that is first diagnosed with cancer? 
Mom: Breathe. The first step is to take a deep breath, get your thoughts and emotions under control and then attack it with everything you have. The second thing you need to do is try and find support. Whether it is family, friend or a group, going through cancer is rough and you need a good support system in place to help you keep your spirits up when you are physically low. The third is to find a doctor and a facility that you are totally comfortable with. You will be with that doctor for quite a long time. You need to be able to trust your doctor and be comfortable with anything and everything you tell them or they tell you. The two of you are a team and you need to work together to help beat the disease.

10. DBB: Lastly, what is your biggest accomplishment to date?
Mom: My family. They are and will always be my greatest accomplishment.