I was a soccer and basketball player in high school and a group fitness instructor in my college years through my early 30s. I had exercised and taught classes throughout my first two pregnancies. When I moved out to the suburbs I tried to continue teaching at local gyms but it ended up being too much for me. I stopped teaching, focused on my kids and my career as a graphic designer. I slowly began to put on weight. I worked out here an there but not enough to keep up with my love for food. Then I became pregnant with my third daughter. My starting weight was 20 pounds heavier than my first pregnancy so I made a conscious effort to eat well and exercise throughout this one. I ended up within 5 pounds of my first 2 pregnancies, but after having my third, my work hours increased and juggling 3 kids and a household became a lot. I was stressed, tired and had no time to work out. I gained over 25 pounds in 3 years. I weighed more than when I was 9 months pregnant with any of my kids! Or as Bonnie says, “blah, blah, blah, blah.”
As I approached my 39th birthday and looked into the mirror, I barely recognized the person I saw. The thought of trying to get back into shape was daunting. I was now over 40 pounds more than my post college weight. A friend who used to go to my group exercise class at one of the gyms I taught at sent me an email. She asked if I’d be interested in taking a boxing class with her at a place called the Fitness Asylum. I read the email which also included the information about the Ultimate Body Challenge. I was intrigued. I went back and forth with Bonnie on email and phone calls, got more information, read the testimonials on the website and was getting excited. It seemed like it was something I could do. My 39th birthday was a few weeks a way and my husband asked me, “what do you want for your birthday?” My response was, “I want to sign up for this Ultimate Body Challenge.” It would be my path to Fab, Fit and 40!
This was one of the best birthday presents I have ever received. (Thanks babe!) By doing this program I began to chip away and find the fun, energetic, fit person I used to be. The exercise portion is hard at first but it’s amazing how fast the body reacts. I was really happy at the progress I was able to make in strength and endurance in a short amount of time. The classes are also an unbelievable metabolic workout—cardio and strength training in 45 minutes! The instructors do a fantastic job of pushing you but at the same time are sensitive to those who need modifications. As for the food portion, it was the hardest part for me. But, with every mistake Bonnie is was right there to slap me on the wrist…errrr, I mean help me, and as time went on I got better. I just stayed honest on my journal and tried to eat as clean as possible. Consistency is key! The support I received from Bonnie, my team Captain Lydia, my fabulous “teamies” and the new friends I met at the Asylum was extremely helpful in terms of sticking with the program. Any question was answered, any complaint was squashed and/or validated and it was great to share so many trials and tribulations with one another! Clean eating + working out hard + support = Success. 33.6 pounds in 82 days??? I never though this would be possible in such a short amount of time without starving myself, and trust me, I ate plenty of food.
If you’re still floundering about whether or not to do this, I’m going to share my before (although embarrassing) and after pictures. Hopefully it’ll help you decided to take control and do this. Anyone can do this. You just have to commit!