MY FITNESS JOURNEY
As a Certified Personal Trainer and Pre + Postnatal Fitness Specialist who has taught countless classes and clients, I believe that the key to success in fitness is a “Do It For You” approach. The best motivation comes from within – embracing a positive mindset and positive self-talk.
I know what you’re thinking. I’m a personal trainer who spends countless hours each week, each day, exercising and eating well. What do I know about embracing a positive mindset and committing to adding more movement into your life.
Well, my fitness journey started almost 15 years ago when I went from being a hungry student to dating a chef (who would later become my husband) and being fed amazing Italian and French meals every day. I quickly found that my clothes didn’t fit the same way and in fact, I had probably gained about 30 pounds. I remember shopping for new clothes and pulling my usual sizes off the racks, only to be mortified in the changeroom when they didn’t fit.
I got a dog that summer and started going for daily walks with a good friend of mine who was also finding that her body had changed in ways that she wasn’t comfortable with. On one of those walks we decided to hire a personal trainer together to share in the cost and to motivate each other. It worked. I fell in love with the gym, with weightlifting and with the changes I was seeing in my body and my confidence.
Working out with a friend helped to keep me on track and motivated. Then she moved. Far away. I couldn’t afford a personal trainer on my own as a student so I needed to figure out how to motivate myself. It was hard and it was lonely at first, because I was so used to having a partner at the gym. But I never lost my love for weightlifting or how energized and confident I felt at the gym. That time at the gym became something that I needed to do to reset my mind. I needed to do it for ME.
About a year after Rocco and I got married, I was thrilled to find out that I was pregnant. At this point I was probably in the best shape I had ever been in. I was taking boxing classes, had started to work with a personal trainer again, and was starting to lift some pretty heavy weight. Although I continued to exercise while I was pregnant, I didn’t work out as frequently as I was used to, and I ate A LOT! I gained almost 50 pounds in my first pregnancy. And after my beautiful son was born, I didn’t care one bit about the extra weight. Every pound was worth it to have that baby in my arms and to have enjoyed every second of my pregnancy.
I started exercising regularly when my son was about 8 weeks old — and I would by lying if I didn’t admit that one of the motivating factors was to lose some of the extra weight that I had been carrying. But I’m not one of those women who loses weight while breastfeeding and it was important to me to breastfeed for as long as possible. So regular exercise again became an outlet, an energy boost, something that was important to my mindset and mental health. As wonderful and important as it was for my son to see me doing something for myself, to be enjoying physical activity, I wasn’t really doing it for him. It was for me. For how it made me feel. And I started to imagine myself motivating others — to become a coach who makes fitness fun!
Now with two kids, a young puppy, and a busy work schedule I still prioritize my own fitness routine because IT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD.