Body + Soul: It Takes Two

Mina Starsiak Hawk and husband Steve Hawk talk wellness, each from their own unique perspective.
Photography by Tony Valainis

MINA Starsiak Hawk, the former star of Good Bones and owner of Two Chicks District Co., newly reopened in Noblesville, hosts her own podcast (Mina AF), manages several rental properties, and—whew—chases after her two little “nuggets.” It’s not surprising that on Mina AF, she often chats about stress management—and the importance of a fitness and sleep routine. “Everything in life is easier when I work out regularly and get good sleep,” she says. “I fell off the wagon when my world was going crazy. Once I got back to morning workouts, within two to four weeks I slept better, my anxiety in the evenings dissipated, and my energy increased.”

Starsiak Hawk emphasizes that improving her wellness hasn’t been a straight line. “I have really bad days, and I have amazing days. If you get stuck, don’t throw it all in the dumpster,” she advises. “Get through the hard thing, meet your core needs for sleep, exercise, and nutrition, and try again tomorrow.” She points out that a multipronged solution is often needed. “Steve and I regularly go to a therapist and have, at different points in our lives, used medication to support our mental health. We have no shame in that, and I hope others who do the same don’t either. You wouldn’t treat diabetes with positive thinking. Why treat a potential chemical imbalance with wishes?”

Photography by Tony Valainis

To Steve Hawk, the goal of fitness is to be able to do everything you enjoy. But the master personal trainer and licensed nutritionist noticed that too often, the sole motivation was appearance. So he started the Hawkfit program to help people not only look good but feel good, too. That takes work and persistence in the form of long-term lifestyle change. “Adding muscle and losing fat takes time. As I tell my clients: You didn’t gain the fat in two months, so you’re not going to lose it in two months.” His programs offer cardio for heart health, but they’re all weight-training heavy. “It’s the key to longevity. And that’s what we’re all looking for, right?” he explains.

While Hawk considers diets temporary fixes at best, he says intermittent fasting—eating only during an eight-hour window—can have merit. “When we restrict the amount of time we have to eat, we naturally wind up eating fewer calories in a day,” he says. “If done properly, it can be a good way to lose extra fat.” It’s not necessarily easy, but it’s straightforward, which helps many stick with it. But Hawk emphasizes the “done properly” part. “If you consume 2,000 calories in Oreos the minute it’s time to eat, it’s not going to work.”