April 2016 marked my three years with Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping. As a previous coach and current kickboxing and resistance training instructor, Farrell’s is truly a huge part of my life. After winning my 10-week session in Peoria, IL, my family members and friends were inspired by my transformation and decided to join. My mother, fiancé at the time, and three of my closest friends signed up for the next session. We were all so dedicated to our new lifestyle; we even attended class the morning of my wedding! It was our way of life. Some of them stuck with it, and some of them moved on. I have never left. I am three years strong. That’s three years of committing to a healthier, happier me. Three years of choosing to live longer and stronger for those around me. In June of 2015, I chose to live healthier for someone else, my unborn child.
After a very rough road of trying to conceive, my husband and I received the best news ever! We were expecting our first child. Now I know some women and even men out there think that a pregnancy leads to long naps on the couch, ice cream every night and taking nine months off. I will be the first to say, you are somewhat correct! In the beginning, all I wanted to do was sleep, and then sleep a little more. I was, however, one of the lucky few that never had to deal with nausea or morning sickness. So here’s where it gets difficult; how does a pregnant, hormonal, ice cream-craving woman stick to her healthy lifestyle? She makes a choice! Now don’t get me wrong, if I truly craved something, I would eventually eat it. But being pregnant isn’t about eating as much of everything you want. You have to remember that everything you eat is feeding that growing baby. Why would I give him (yes, I had a boy!!) fast food, cookies, chips, or pizza every day when I wouldn’t give myself those things? I didn’t want to make my pregnancy an excuse to let myself go and undo all the hard work I had been putting in. So, I made that choice to press on and stick with a healthier lifestyle.
In the beginning it was difficult for me. The specialist I was seeing was concerned about my type of workouts (apparently pregnant women don’t normally kickbox!) and I had to take a step back. They also wanted me to put on more weight. The first ten weeks, I was only allowed to do resistance training and it tore me up inside. I felt like I was cheating my body because I could physically still do it. I knew though that this wasn’t about me. It was about making sure my little man started out his life on the right track. After my ten weeks was up, I worked my way back into my normal routine: making sure I was always careful, staying fully hydrated and modifying where I needed to. Over the course of eight months, I learned what my body could handle and where I needed to take it easy. I will admit, it was hard! The bigger my growing baby got, the more my body changed: from an aching back, to stretching ligaments and joint pain, I experienced all these things while still hitting my level 10. Some days my roundhouse was at the top of the bag, some days I was lucky to be able to kick the bag. Some days I rocked the purple band and other days I was shaking trying to get up a yellow. I gained a new appreciation for people who struggle due to body ailments!
I instructed my last class at 35 weeks. I still attended classes 5-6 days a week, normally at 5 a.m. (sometimes sleep deprivation kept me in bed), and trying to keep my nutrition up as well as I could. I asked my doctor at every visit if I was ok to continue on and her answer was always, “You know your body better than anyone else. Don’t overdo it, rest when you need to. You will eventually stop doing those jumping jacks when you pee your pants!!” She’s a funny one!
My intentions of sharing this story are not to make anyone feel bad about the choices they make! Everyone’s story is different. I only hope to inspire those who are able to continue on and make the choice to lead a healthy and strong lifestyle no matter what life throws at you. Don’t look at pregnancy as an excuse to slack or indulge, but as the next challenge you are going to overcome. If you are lucky enough to experience this wonderful life-changing event, please talk to your doctor about what is safe for you.
Steph is a FIT Member at our Peoria, IL Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping location.
Disclaimer: The above testimonial and photos were contributed by an actual member. We cannot guarantee everyone will achieve similar results. We do believe that everyone can achieve measurable results, but the specific results will vary from person to person.