My interview with Shannon Miller on Stress


This past week I had the privilege of chatting on the phone and interviewing Shannon Miller. Yes, the one that was in the Olympics when I was growing up. The one I looked up to and cheered on like crazy! To say I was a little nervous is an understatement.

Shannon miller juice plus

Thankfully, Shannon Miller is totally down to earth, relatable (she has little kids) and it felt like I was talking to somebody I’ve met before. 

During National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, Juice Plus+ along with Olympian Shannon Miller are trying to help eradicate childhood obesity in the month of September. By raising awareness around the staggering increase of childhood obesity, this partnership will aim to inspire healthy living around the world by motivating families and children to lead active and healthy lives.

We were supposed to talk about “the sleep more, stress less” theme of Juice Plus+ core pillar to help people achieve a healthier lifestyle through simple changes and kid-friendly sleep tips in relation to how it can fight childhood obesity as part of this initiative…but the conversation was more just about stress and a little about sleep.  I’m guessing because MOMS!

So, I’ll just jump right in with a couple questions.

Me: “I imagine that your life has been a series of a lot of different stresses and different stresses that as moms we can relate to…and your tips for how you deal with stress every day and maybe kind of how you recenter yourself to get stress under control.”

Shannon Miller: “I think we all have varying degrees of stress in our lives and some days they are going to be more stressful than others and possibly in different ways, whether it’s work or kids or a health issue or the Olympic games. But I think the ways in which we can deal with stress are often similar across the board….

…when we’re stressed out or constantly thinking about something it’s hard to get that good sleep and it kind of is that downward spiral. Sleep has to come first and it’s just so critical. I’m a big advocate of getting a good night’s sleep…I simply need 8-9 hours of sleep to function well…for my children bedtime is one of the most important times so that they can get good solid sleep so that Mommy can get a good solid sleep.

…But beyond that, there’s also the physical part of that, that I know for me personally, I am able to handle my stress so much better when I’m able to work out. And that might be a 45 minute session at the gym or it might just be going for a walk…so it can take different forms. But, when I’m physically active, I feel better, especially if I’m active outside with fresh air and sunlight I’m able to cope better. When I’m active, I’m able to sleep better because I’m tired…

…when we talk about wellness, it’s not one thing. It’s not just nutrition or physical activity or sleep or stress management. It’s the whole ball of wax. It’s all of that combined. And that’s why I take an everything in moderation kind of approach to diet and exercise…because even if you are perfect with your diet, and that’s impossible to be perfect with your diet, then often times some other area is slipping. So we just try to do the best that we can in each area. [emphasis mine] 

Me: Sometimes, those slip ups are the hardest for me because it’s hard to forgive yourself and move forward instead of feeling guilty for a bad food/health decision.

Shannon Miller: …It’s a big part of motherhood as well. Understanding that we are not perfect and there will be mistakes…let yourself off the hook a little bit and breathe. And know that some of those mistakes, you’re going to look back and  those are going to be some of your best memories of your children growing up…sometimes we just have to take a step back and know it’s not about perfect, it’s just about doing the best you can each day.

Me: How do you get back on track when life throws you a complete curveball and your self-care and your sleep routine has just gone out the window? What is your suggestion for resetting everything?

Shannon Miller: “You stop working out over Christmas break….it’s so hard to get back on track…I rely on the lessons learned through sport. If you’re in the middle of a balance beam routine at a competition, you don’t have time to cry about it. You don’t have time to be upset about it. You have a limited time to compose yourself, get back on the beam and then do the very best you can for the rest of the routine…and hope that it’s enough. I kind of go through life that way…right now I just need to get back on track as quickly as I can…” 

Me: How do you help your kids and teach your kids to deal with stress? [FYI, ages are 6 and 3]

Shannon Miller: “…every child has a different personality…so it’s important to know how they learn…for my kids, it’s important for me to set a good example. If I’m stressed out all the time, then that just automatically stressed them out. It’s also about making sure they understand that things are not always going to go as planned…we just have to talk them through it…and make it a fun process with suggesting a new option or thing to do. So maybe next time when things don’t go as planned they have a positive response instead of that automatic negative response….

You get the choice. You get to decide how you feel about this.”

Juice PLUS+ Complete

{I’ve had a protein shake every morning for breakfast for over a year now. I like knowing I’m getting so many of the things my body needs and craves in one drink. And, yes, I have a recurring Juice Plus+ Complete subscription that I pay for because I like how it tastes, how it makes me feel and the fact that it’s gluten and dairy free.}

So, maybe we didn’t necessarily talk all that much about stress, but it was so nice to talk to a mom about mom things and see that she gets it. And, in the mean time, we did talk about how important handling our stress is and making sure that we are getting enough sleep as well as our kids.

We also talked about how important proper nutrition is with us and our children. I’ve mentioned that my kids have been increasingly picky with certain foods, so I want to make sure they keep trying new foods and experiencing them.

I asked Shannon about Juice Plus+ and how it came into her life. She told me that she was and still is a picky eater so she used it to fill in the gaps in her diet when she was younger. She was first exposed as a child, and then got away from it for a bit after retirement.

As an adult, she saw it in her doctor’s office and realized she wanted to start back to fill in those gaps and help possibly boost her immune system. Now her whole family uses Juice Plus+ in some capacity with her kids enjoying the gummies. Which littlest girls happen to also enjoy.

Juice PLUS+ gummies

What Shannon also mentioned that I hadn’t thought about was that you can use the containers to help talk about and discuss new foods. We can look at the label and remind the girls that those fruits and vegetables are what they are eating in their gummies and that, hey, these taste good. So maybe when we see tomatoes and broccoli in the store, we can realize that we are getting those everyday and get excited about purchasing them at the store and trying them at home, too. What a great idea. And, maybe this is the reason that B not only ate broccoli tonight, but asked for more and told me she “loves broccoli.”

Juice PLUS+ Complete

I’m so thankful to Juice Plus+ for providing samples and the opportunity to interview Shannon Miller. The tips she provided were right on point and helpful for any parent dealing with stress..and let’s be honest, probably sleep, too!

What did you find most surprising about what Shannon Miller said?

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One Comment

  1. Pat Chance says:

    Pretty cool you got to interview Shannon Miller. She made some good points about stress and passing it on to your children. We may not be able to control situations that happen or people around us but we can definitely control how we react to those things.
    PS-your girls are some of the best veggie eaters I have ever seen.

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