The year I turned 30 was the same year I became pregnant with my first child. Before I turned 30 I would read those silly articles that said “30 Things You Realize by the Time You Turn 30” wondering if there was any truth to them. However, when I turned 30, I realized they were true! You know who your true friends are, you know what clothing items work best for you, etc. but overall you know yourself well enough to trust your instincts.
The Truth About Turning 30
The biggest thing I told myself when I turned 30 was that I would listen to my body and try to honor what it was telling me. When I was at my heaviest before giving birth, I remember crying and praying to God to just help me make it through the next hour because I was so uncomfortable. I told myself once I gave birth and gave myself time to adjust to the new challenges of motherhood, I would commit to getting the weight off and overall having a healthier lifestyle for myself and my family.
When I was about 7-months post-partum, I felt my body telling me it was time to exercise and eat healthier and I wanted to trust my instincts. I remember I began craving green vegetables like spinach and broccoli! Through divine coincidence my neighbor (whom I had never met) posted on Instagram about a fitness class for moms she was going to start teaching called Body Back Transformation by FIT4MOM. The classes would be in the evenings and not too far from home, so it was perfect! I was especially excited to learn the program also had one-on-one coaching as well as meal planning assistance in addition to the twice weekly workouts.
I remember going to the orientation for the program and my instructor and neighbor, Nikki, mentioned that at the first class we would be doing assessments and part of the assessment would be running a mile. I looked at her as if she had two heads and told her I was the heaviest I’ve ever been in my entire life, and there was NO WAY I could run a mile! She smiled and told me that I was stronger than I thought, after all, I had given birth to another human being. She was right! (That was the first of many encouraging sayings Nikki would tell me)
Two years before I started Body Back, I worked with a celebrity personal trainer. She was great (and very expensive), however the diet was too extreme to maintain and when I stopped working with her I ended up gaining a lot of the weight back. Because of this experience, I wanted to fully commit to not just the Body Back workouts, but also the meal planning and recipes. I was happy to see that recipe book contained great options that were not extreme by eliminating entire food groups or certain seasonings and spices. My first Body Back class was definitely challenging and I faced the hard truth that I was extremely out of shape. I had some mild diastasis and the extra weight on my joints, which meant that I had to modify nearly all the exercises to be low impact.
Despite my challenges with exercising, each week I was making incredible progress. Sometimes the scale didn’t always show what I wanted it to show, but I realized I didn’t want the scale to be my only measure of success. I felt my body getting stronger and it felt great! At the end of my 8 week session I had a total loss of just under 10 lbs., but what I was even more excited about was at the final assessment -- I was able to run the entire mile without stopping and I cut 3 minutes off my previous time!
After my first sessions, I knew I wanted to keep up my transformation. After all, I was after a lifestyle change and 8 weeks wasn’t quite enough for me. After the first session, I completed two subsequent Body Back Transformation sessions, and in each session I learned something new about myself. My second session I really began to solidify the lifestyle changes. We went on a family vacation and I was able to keep up with my workouts and healthy eating, while still indulging a little bit, and it didn’t feel like a punishment! My third session I learned how to dig deep and to push my mental and physical limits by training for a 10K with the FIT4MOM Run Club in addition to doing my Body Back HIIT workouts. In total, from the 3 transformation sessions I lost 30lbs!
Beyond the fitness and healthy eating, I don’t know where I would be without the FIT4MOM community. My first four years in LA, I really struggled to find friends as well as find out who I was in this new city. This all changed once I had my son. Not only did I find a new purpose for my life in being a mother, but I also rediscovered myself and gained many new friendships within the FIT4MOM community. I invited several of the moms from my Body Back class and their kids to my son’s first birthday party! I discovered local businesses and new hang out spots through the monthly Mom’s Night Out events. And when I recently made the decision to leave my full-time job to stay home with my son, I was able to jump right into Stroller Strides and participate in the Our Village play groups where I met more moms who were extremely welcoming and supportive.
One of the biggest things I have learned from being a part of FIT4MOM is to take on new challenges and not to let fear stop me from being the person I want to be, and doing the things I want to do. I joined the Run Club halfway through my 2nd Body Back Transformation session because running was something I was never good at, and I even dreaded it. Thinking about my son, I never wanted him to be afraid of doing something, so I took on my fear of running head on to be an example. Every Saturday I showed up to run, and every Saturday my running was improving! Consistency is key! I participated in a 5k run in October 2017 and once completing that challenge, I upped my next goal to run a 10K on Thanksgiving Day 2017, exactly a year from when I gave birth to my son. My commitment to taking on the running not only impacted my life, but it also impacted my husband as well. He also began running regularly and ran a 5K on Thanksgiving Day and completed his first half marathon in January of this year.
This year was also a big milestone for me because it is the 10-year memorial of when my father passed. To honor his memory, I decided I wanted to participate in the LA Marathon and I asked my husband if he would join me. We both made the commitment to complete the marathon no matter what. I let the FIT4MOM San Fernando Valley & Northeast Los Angeles family know I was training for the marathon and I received so much love and support! My Run Club coach, Cally, came up with a training plan for me and she even sent me encouraging text messages all throughout my 26.2 mile journey. My Body Back Instructor, Nikki, volunteered to run with me a few days a week while I trained, and she and her husband let my son spend the day with her family while my husband and I ran the marathon.
If there were one thing I could add to those articles about your thirties, it would be that you finally discover the person you were meant to be. Without FIT4MOM, I honestly don’t know where I would be, but I know I am a better person because of it. It has brought new life to me and I have become a better mother and wife. I’ve transformed into the person I believe I was always meant to be and I can’t wait for the next step in this journey as a Body Back Transformation Coach! I look forwards to helping #allthemoms find #strengthinmotherhood through our FIT4MOM.