MIAMI – Glenda Umaña and Mercedes Soler, hosts of CNN en Espanol’s “NotiMujer,” are proof that our quests for success and personal growth can be simpler – while not easier – than we think they are.
These celebrated journalists – Soler has five Emmy awards and has been nominated 14 times, while Glenda has been a mainstay of CNN en Español for over 14 years – are mothers, wives and friends.
And they are quick to point out that their personal and career-based achievements stem from three fundamental traits:
- They recognized their call to become broadcasters ever since their childhood. Now they can reap the benefits of working in a field that they thoroughly enjoy.
- They are spiritually strong to the point of being able to imprint the values of their respective faiths into everything they do.
- They have built a strong foundation around themselves based on family, in the traditional Hispanic way.
The two spoke to Fox News Latino about life and health.
Q: Would you say you lead a healthy life?
Glenda: I seek balance between work, family, exercise, faith and social life. Desserts are my main weakness, but I do watch my diet during the whole week. Ninety five percent of my office meals are brought in from home, and I indulge occasionally on weekends. As for exercise, I love swimming.
Mercedes: I wish I was healthier, because I know I need the exercise. I love to cook, so I’ve focused on organic foods, plenty of vegetables and whole grains, and few fats. I’ve learned you can freeze almost everything, so we always have healthy meals readily available at home. That’s the way I’ve raised my children, so we stayed away from fast food restaurants until the younger one turned 11.
Q: Is there something in our Latin roots that makes us healthier in some ways, when compared to other cultures?
Glenda: How emotional and expressive we are, how supportive. We hardly ever feel like we are alone.
Mercedes: How we grow and harvest our foods in contrast to what they do in other highly industrialized countries, where they have let technology get in the way of nature. It’s sad, however, to realize the ever-growing presence of fast food in our culture, and how it’s becoming a staple in the diet of people with lower-level incomes.
Aging Gracefully + Self Confidence = Beauty
According to Glenda, motherhood has taught her the importance of leading by example, developing a clear cut set of rules to live by, knowing the people around her kids and dealing with the fact that she may have to surrender some popularity with them in exchange for respect. Meanwhile, Mercedes shares the importance of building strong family values, particularly now that we seem to be losing them as a society.
On the beauty and self-care front, Glenda advocates the importance of thoroughly removing every little bit of makeup before bedtime, allowing the skin to breathe, while Mercedes favors the use of moisturizing products and drinking plenty of water to keep her skin looking fresh and supple.
Simply put, the tired cliché about fame and vanity walking hand-in-hand does not apply here. Glenda won’t let herself be spoiled by success, saying, “I do whatever I can, but I’ve learned to accept my shortcomings without ever falling prey to conformity.”
Mercedes is proud to say she has resisted the lure of artificial enhancements and hopes to grow older in a natural way, because “there’s beauty in wrinkles, in maturity.”
That’s why after speaking with them I felt so certain of the answer to the question about who I wanted to be when I grew up.
Q: How do you define success, and what are the right tools to achieve it?
Glenda: Patience and perseverance. Knowing the right time to speak up. Being prudent, but still learning to take risks. Never losing the push that motivates you to do what you enjoy the most.
Mercedes: For me it’s about feeling at ease with yourself, emotionally and physically. It’s knowing you’re being passionate about whatever you do, regardless of who you work for.
Q: What do you hold onto when faced with failure?
Glenda: I try not to see failure in any situation, but a chance to turning things into positives. However, in times of anguish I hold on to my spiritual self and I do something that’s liberating, like swimming. Moreover, I have my husband and family to rely on as partners through good times and bad.
Mercedes: My main support comes from family, especially from my husband. He tells me how things are going to be all right in the end and he brings the confidence I need when things look bad.
Marta Montenegro inspires people to live healthy lives by giving them the tools and strength to find one’s inner athlete through her personal website MartaMontenegro.com. She created SOBeFiT, a national fitness magazine for men and women, and the Montenegro Method DVD workout series – a program she designed for getting results in just 21 days by exercising 21 minutes a day . Marta is a strength and conditioning coach and serves as an adjunct professor of exercise physiology at Florida International University.