The other day I was at an event where we had a general discussion on anything health related. A topic came up about what it takes to chose the apple over the donut. Through my involvement in the discussion, I mentioned for me it was the hard work I started putting into my exercise that made it easier to start to chose the apple. That lead to being asked if I was a fitness trainer, which I answer yes. From there the discussion lead to me feeling my answer was not really meaningful, and was told, “you are a trainer, so it is your job to stay healthy because your body is your advertisement.” ... until I told them my story.
What you do not know about me is I did not become a trainer to get into shape. I spent 6 years either pregnant, nursing or raising toddlers during which I was overweight and unhappy. I was struggling with postpartum depression, guilt if I took time for myself, and the inability to stay motivated with exercise.
It was not until just before getting pregnant with my third child I started getting more consistent with my exercise and managing my eating. Following the birth of my third child, I had no maternity leave as I was self-employed working from home. I had a nanny, but a newborn, a preschooler and a child in half-day kindergarten still takes up a lot of time!
I started to dedicate 1-hour of exercise a day. I fit it in whenever I could. Before work, at lunch, in the evening. It consisted of 3 strength training workouts, 3 cardio sessions of a step class, spin or running, and 1 rest day. I had a personal trainer help me every 2 weeks, and I loosely followed the Weight Watchers program (I was an expert from years of past experience with the program).
Within 6 months, I was below my wedding weight. Then I stumbled across Zumba, and decided I wanted to teach it. This was not a spontaneous decision. Before kids I was active, and had been participating in group fitness classes since my early 20s. I was contemplating becoming a step instructor when Zumba came along.
That was in September 2010. The start of what now is my ‘new normal’ way of life, where active living is a part of my every day just like laundry and grocery shopping.
I did not get to this place because I was a trainer. I got here with determination, and juggling a very busy schedule just like everyone else. I persevered through set backs, and many struggles that came along the journey. I was unhappy, out of shape, and blue; but I did something about the mess. Now I am fortunate enough to be able to do what I love and share my message with my clients to help them through their journey to a new normal active life.
SIDE NOTE: It was VERY hard to find a picture of me during those 6 years ...