Podiatrist and soon-to-be mother of three Dawn Rivas balances a thriving medical practice, a busy family and an exemplary fitness routine. And she’s enjoying herself.
While some moms might find the demand of a two-income family and two busy young children to be a perfectly good reason to abandon a regular fitness routine, Dawn Rivas isn’t one of them. “Working out is my happy place,” says the podiatrist and mother of two who is also thirty weeks pregnant. “I view it as me-time.” And when the family’s schedule won’t allow her to steal away and work out alone, she includes her children, Addison, eleven, and Max, nine. “I just bring them into the basement with me and turn on the music and they have a blast,” she says. “And I can borrow some of their energy!”
Of course, the fact that her husband, Carlos, is the exercise physiologist owner of Proformance Fitness, does make working out a family endeavor. “Fitness and healthful living is something we’re both very committed to,” she says.
“It is easier when we support each other and are on the same page.”
Here, her thoughts on balancing it all with another one on the way.
How do your children feel about the baby?
They have been wanting a baby. They are going to be great helpers!
Do you think the third time is going to be different?
I think I’m going to be more relaxed. I know how fast everything goes by. I’m going to try to sit down this time and enjoy breastfeeding and watching the baby change.
What is your work schedule?
Over the years, I have adjusted my schedule. Now I go into the office on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. And I go between my offices in Louisville and New Albany. I used to operate on Monday and Friday, but I made the decision for my health and well-being that it wasn’t worth the added stress. It didn’t work well with the unknowns of parenting. If a kid gets sick or someone needs me, I can’t be reached when I’m in surgery. It was a lot different from just managing an office practice. I was surgically trained at U of L and I enjoyed being a surgeon. But I find more peace staying in the office and focusing on preventive care. I know so many surgeons that if my patients need surgery, I am able to help them navigate that.
Health care has changed. What’s required of us in terms of charting and paperwork has really increased in the office. I used to get lunch all the time. Now, I work from 8 to 6 get everybody in, get the charting done. Healthcare is constantly changing. I just go with it and make the best of it.”
You are so fit. What is your diet like?
I don’t take a lunch break out of the office, but I do eat. Most days, I pack nuts, fruit, an apple, peanut butter. I bring homemade granola bars and protein shakes. It’s about planning and having easy-access food around so you can have healthy snacks throughout the day. if you go five or six hours, then you’re starving and your body is lacking nutrients and you make bad choices. Carlos and I both take big lunch boxes to work. Sometimes, I make scrambled eggs and take them to work. I bring cheese sticks, yogurt… I make quinoa salad every Sunday that I can bring for lunch. I keep it simple and easy. We eat all real foods. We don’t buy processed foods; we don’t even own a microwave.
We are really trying to instill in our children an understanding of healthy eating. It’s more than just telling your children that you need to eat your fruits and vegetables, you have to model it for them.