my 'goodlife' story

i was revising my submission to the 'GoodLife' success story contest & i began to reflect on just how much the decision to get healthy, get fit has truly changed my life.  now one day overdue with my fourth child, i look back at how long & hard the quest for healthiness has been but also how worthy the cause.  this pregnancy has truly been a testimony of what a few seemingly small yet consistent changes can do for a person & one's family.  because of one small step, just committing to the gym 3 times a week, it led to so many other small steps which have changed everything.  contrasting my first pregnancy & my last has been a truly fulfilling experience.  thank the Lord i am still able to workout three times a week, feel great & still trying to make healthy diet choices {most of the time :)}.  i know there are many ways of arriving at healthiness, and i am not necessarily promoting 'GoodLife' or vainly giving myself a pat on the back.  i certainly haven't arrived yet.  i am just not where i used to be. and so i just share this story as an encouragement.  it's never too late to change.  there will always be excuses, legitimate reasons but one's commitment & dedication to change is what makes the difference.  i included my success story below if you're interested in the details.  i hope to submit it this week... fingers crossed!  
During my first pregnancy, I gained over 60lbs, which is outside the healthy weight gain during pregnancy.  I had never really taken care of myself before getting pregnant, and I thought it was definitely too late to take care of myself when I was pregnant.  Friends and family had always encouraged me to eat what I wanted and as much as I liked as I was “eating for two” which was a myth that I easily bought into.  It was not unusual for me to eat a whole cake in one sitting. As a result, I was quite lethargic and battled with the general discomforts of pregnancy like back pain and mobility. I found it difficult to stand for long periods, I stayed inside in front of the t.v. a great deal of the time and struggled with insomnia, depression & self-image.  I hated the way I looked.  Every pound I gained just made me feel worse about myself and my pregnancy which led me to feel more depressed which led me to eat more. It was cyclical. I just kept telling myself I would work hard after to loose the pounds.  But inside, I was very afraid of becoming just like others, who after having kids never lost the weight and continued gain unhealthily as a coping mechanism.  I had definitely inherited some unhealthy thinking & unhealthy habits from my past.  I had always been a slimmer person before pregnancy but definitely not a healthy person and I knew having a baby would end the slimmer stage of my life if I didn’t make some changes. 
Four months after my son was born, I joined an outdoor bootcamp which helped me work off some of the post-baby weight.  It was perfect.  It ran from 6-7am in a nearby park.  I could get my workout & be home before my son woke up.  While still enrolled in bootcamp, I found out I was pregnant with twins.  I was excited, but a bit disappointed to lose all of my progress.  I was referred to a wonderful personal trainer at GoodLife.  I was surprised to find out that I could not only exercise, but also get in shape safely with my trainer’s guidance.  I only gained 55lbs, which is less than my first pregnancy, & I was pregnant with twins!  I soon found out that my initial goal of just keep the weight gain at a minimum was soon transformed into a whole new world of possibility.  Now it wasn’t just about how I looked but as my trainer began to not just train but educate me on my health, I realized it was a lot more about my overall health and about the example I set for my kids.  I had always gone above & beyond to make sure my son ate healthy but he was getting to the age where “do as I say and not as I do” just wasn’t going to work.  I felt like such a hypocrite.   I would never allow him to eat cake or chips & watch t.v. but here I was doing just that. I knew I had to make some drastic changes to my eating habits & activity level.  I also knew the physical demand once the twins were born was going to be overwhelming especially since my first wasn’t even 1 ½ yet.  I needed to be better, better for them.  It wasn’t just about me anymore. 
So we got down to business. My personal trainer taught me specific stretches and exercises that increased my stamina and prepared me for labour & beyond.  I had more energy than with my first pregnancy, felt less lethargic, and felt better overall, both mentally and physically.  Any back pain or discomfort we worked out through stretches and strengthening exercises.  My posture improved while my belly grew.  My trainer gave me advice and accountability regarding my eating patterns and prevented me from returning to bad habits of the past.  The emotional support I received from the general community of the gym was amazing and boosted my self confidence.  I worked out three times a week right up until two days before my scheduled c-section at 39 weeks.
After giving birth to two beautifully healthy babies, weighing 6.6lbs & 7.6lbs, I was back to the gym six weeks after my c-section.  Getting back into a routine definitely helped both emotionally and physically with the challenges of raising three young children.  I quickly recovered and began losing weight, which I can only attribute to having exercised during my pregnancy.  My doctor had told me to expect to lose half a pound a week.  Instead, I began to lose two to three pounds a week.  Going to the gym not only helped me to get much needed time for myself, but has helped me be a better mother.  Not only am I modeling better behaviour for my kids by eating right and exercising, but I am refreshed and renewed by having and accomplishing my own goals.  I could not have done it without my trainer and the rest of the staff and clients at GoodLife. The support has been outstanding.  I never dreamed I could feel or look this good.  I feel like a new person both inside & out!  Thank-you GoodLife & Christina, for helping me give my kids the irreplaceable gift of a healthy future & a healthy mom.  You have changed our lives forever!
UPDATE:  I found out in December (2010) that I am expecting our fourth child!  With only 32 months between our first & our fourth child, I have never felt more empowered or equipped to tackle the challenge with confidence & vigorous dedication to the “GoodLife”. 
my first pregnancy {40 weeks}
second pregnancy: with twins...
& still smaller than my first
{39 weeks}
third pregnancy {39 weeks}
i'll have to take a better picture
now that i am officially 40 weeks
* note to anyone interested in joining GoodLife... your membership is free if you volunteer in the child minding

1 comment:

  1. Just when I was wondering whether or not to renew my membership, I happen upon this! Thanks Sarah :)