Being fit -- mind, body and spirit -- requires knowing yourself well enough to roll with the changes. That's the belief of Corrinn Gutierrez, 37, the Norwalk wife, mom, certified personal trainer, nutrition specialist and yoga instructor who also happens to be HealthyLife's May cover model.
"Like everything, your fitness has ebbs and flows and there are points when it seems to slow or one thing works and something else doesn't," Gutierrez said. "Sometimes something changes and you have to readjust. It's not static. People sometimes think that once you find a diet or a particular exercise that works then that's it, you're good. But it just doesn't work like that."
The birth of her son three and a half years ago was just such a change for her -- as was starting her own business, How 2 Fitness, based out of her family's home.
"It challenged a lot of my fears," she said, adding that's always a good thing. "Once you figure out what feels good and what's right for you, it sort of flows into all of the different areas of your life."
Gutierrez talked more about her lifestyle and commitment to fitness during a recent interview.
Q: What does being fit mean for you?
A: My mantra for my clients has always been "Feel strong, live healthy and strive for balance." That's really my definition of fitness and what I've always tried to do. People need to focus more intuitively on how they can live a little bit healthier without as much effort as they think or constant chatter in their minds, or without reliance on fad diets or (fad) exercise. Bring it back to basics.
Q: Has fitness always been an important aspect of your life?
A: Yes, definitely. It started with playing sports in school -- basketball and softball. And I'm a skier (snow and water). My brother started to body-build when he was in his 20s. I'm five years younger, so of course I followed him and all of his friends to the gym. I took up weight training on the side so that by the time I went to college, I felt really comfortable going into the weight gym. But then I sort of moved past that. Now I also like to hike with friends, or jog on the weekend or try to find a class I enjoy. It makes me feel great.
Q: How careful are you about what you eat?
A: I think "careful" is the wrong word. I think you have to branch out and find different things that you like and also understand that you can't always have everything you want. People who get stuck in ruts with food are people who are rushed. They eat what's in front of them and are afraid to branch out, I think. Certainly, I watch what I eat, but I really look toward the energetic properties of food -- how they make me feel and how I can feel the best based on what I chose to eat. I try to eat fortifying foods, wholesome foods. Sometimes we use food as a crutch, in a way. It's hard to say no to ourselves, especially when it comes to food. But you have to practice that once in awhile; say no to yourself and be OK with it, and not feel deprived.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
A: I definitely go to hot yoga. And I try my hand at a little bit of cooking when I can. I'm not a very good cook, but I'm a simple cook. My husband definitely likes quality, good food and he's made me have to marry eating healthy with liking to eat. It's hard to marry the two, but I've definitely learned how heavier carbohydrates make me feel. So I cook a lot of vegetables and easy things. He would love it if I made beef stroganoff, which requires simmering and reducing, but I don't need that. My cooking is more simple. We actually just became part of a cooperative farming group from Wilton. So every Thursday I'm going to be doing a little backyard farming and learning at Millstone Farms. I love spending time outdoors.
Clothing and accessories provided by Kohl's, 500 Connecticut Ave., Norwalk; 203-838-8996. Hair and makeup provided by Greg & Tony Salon, 231 Post Road West, Westport; 203-226-6839; www.gregandtonysalon.com; Tony Sirico, cut and style; Lorraine Rosen and Marivel Huerta, color; Clarissa Biasuz, makeup. Cover and inside model photographs taken at the Maritime Aquarium, 10 N. Water St., Norwalk; 203-852-0700; maritimeaquarium.org.