I was invited to be featured in my neighborhood monthly magazine. Here is my feature for the August 2017 edition!
Business Beat–Mindy Irish Fitness
By Maria Smietana
Mindy Irish is an example of someone who was handed the proverbial lemons and turned them into lemonade. A life-long Indy resident, Mindy grew up in the Castleton area and graduated from Heritage Christian School in 1993. She was a student athlete, and loved movement and the study of nutrition. She earned her BS in physical education from IU. But in her early 20’s, she developed Hashimoto’s disease, also called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack the thyroid gland. Approximately 200,000 new cases are diagnosed in the US each year. The condition affects twice as many women as men, and has a wide range of symptoms, but the most common are severe fatigue and weight gain.
Mindy now lives and operates with a dead thyroid and says the illness sent her on a 15-year ‘adventure’ of low energy and weight gain, eventually leading to a lifestyle with obesity as the final outcome, all while she was in her childbearing years. “I had five pregnancies in six years and then found myself to be at 225 [pounds] at the birth of my fourth child in 2009,” she recalled. “Something had to change now that I had all these little lives in my care. They needed me to be well to care for them!”
photo credit: Unmasking Images, November 2016
Mindy marks October 5, 2009, as not only the birthday of her fourth child, but as ‘Day One’ of a slow lifestyle reset. “I have spent the last 7.5 years making ‘Me’ a priority in my life by giving my wellness a spot on the daily to-do list,” she said. By 2014, she had dropped nearly 100 pounds, and become certified as a personal trainer by the National Academy for Sports Medicine (NASM). She had also started Mindy Irish Fitness, utilizing the lessons from her own struggles to train others to achieve their health and wellness goals.
“I do online fitness coaching for women across the country,” Mindy said. “I coach women aged 18 to 60-plus, of all ability and fitness levels, including bodybuilding competitors in the Bikini and Figure divisions.” She also does in-person training at her home gym, including weight training for all ability levels, and posing coaching for body builders in the Figure and Bikini category.
photo credit: Unmasking Images, November 2016
The home gym came about thanks to Mindy’s earlier career as a general contractor in new home construction and whole-house renovations. She had renovated two homes in Cambridge—one on Athalene Lane, in which the family lives, and one on Springstone Road, which they rent out—and decided to turn the underused living and dining rooms in the Athalene home into the gym and posing studio. “We took up the carpet and saved it for a someday resale,” Mindy said. “We painted the subfloor, added rubber gym squares, and mirrors found at Lowes and have a great space for 1:1 and small-group training and posing sessions. I did a lot of searching of home and garage gyms on Pinterest and got ideas for layout, equipment, and overall décor.” The gym has dumbbells, barbells, benches, bands, and a newly-added cable station. She also has the knowledge and space to teach stretching and mobility skills in her training sessions, factors which become more important as clients age.
Mindy jokes that she’s still in the renovation business, but now, “I help people renovate their lifestyles to hit their physique and wellness goals!”
“My wellness mantra is ‘Just Keep Going’”, she said. “In this world of quick fixes and insta-results, we want to undo years of pause and setbacks in a two or six-week transformation. It doesn’t work like that.” Mindy knows that all too well. “My mid-20s and 30s were off my norm and pattern,” she said, referring to the setbacks caused by her Hashimoto’s disease. “I wasn’t operating as my best me.” Mindy points out that the human body is very complex and the compilation of stress, hormones, activity, sleep, and food quality and quantity all compound over years to impact our well-being and our physique outcome. “If you’re looking for change, then a lifestyle reset is where it’s at. We cannot get new results on former ways.”
Mindy and her family love calling the Cambridge area ‘home’. She and husband Dan have been married since 1999. Their four children attend HSE Schools, and are student athletes who enjoy living the fitness lifestyle alongside mom and dad. Charlie (13) and Will (11) both participate in weight training, track, and football. Charlie is also a wrestler, and Will plays basketball. Anna (9) is a swimmer and runs track. Sam (7) is a gymnast who also participates in track.
photo credit: Jamie Myers Photography, September 2016
In addition to keeping current on health and wellness research (“The potential of the human body truly amazes me!” she said), Mindy cherishes time with Dan and the kids, and unwinds by gardening or just spending time outdoors.
To learn more about Mindy Irish Fitness, visit:
Contact Mindy at: email@example.com.
Resident Recipe shared by Mindy:
Blended Iced Coffee
Prep time: 5 minutes
Tastes like an iced mocha….so good my kids kept stealing mine! This drink is great because it takes the dairy and sugar out of the mix and still offers the same great taste, with fiber, too.
Mindy’s affiliate links to purchase the items listed above: