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"dennis68" (2023-01-28)

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I was not athletic growing up at all.


Except for one year in high school. For 10 months, I lifted weights & do cardio at the local gym after school. I was disciplined, I was pretty clueless, I was miserable. I had no idea what I was doing, I had way too many choices of things I should be doing to lose body fat, I was overwhelmed. I did unhealthy things like not fueling my body properly, exercising so hard to the point that I repeatedly injured myself, & I developed some disordered eating behaviors. 

I was trapping myself in a cycle that started me eating sparingly during the day, exercising way hard to lose body fat and blow off steam, then overeat later that night. (I did this for YEARS, you guys.)

In month 11 of Lifting Weights In High School, my parents got divorced. It was a long time coming, but it was all I could do to get to my classes and not fail my junior year, much less the gym. I didn’t do one physical activity until three years later, but I kept the destructive eating behaviors.

I was easily the most out of shape I’d ever been by the time I was in undergraduate school full time. I had two jobs to put me through it. One of these jobs included wedding cake. Basically, I felt overwhelmed all of the time, and becoming worse for it. And I didn’t know how to get out of it without changing something, anything! (“Imperfectly, steady, climbing” are words that come to mind as I recall this change-making, smiling. )

After researching fitness & its industry from all angles, I learned how to use what coincided with my values. Fitness is about feeling accomplished and free, feeling good for now and later. It’s not about looking the very best you can and not being able to see it. It’s not about hating your body. It was about making myself better, more powerful. This whole time I thought I wanted to be skinny, but now I felt what it was like to be strong.

I continued my research and of course a personal trainer and fitness class instructor. The gym world I found welcomed me with open arms. It was a community that praised others for their efforts and accomplishments, no matter their abilities, appearance, age, or gender. Of course I had to become a personal trainer. It's been one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Fitness saved me, you guys. I could physically do so many things that I never dreamed would be possible, & I developed a friendship with my body. Exercise is a way to celebrate ourselves, not a punishment for what we eat. I didn’t realize it, but somewhere along the way I created a strong start for my first pregnancy. 

Today I am a NASM personal trainer & Corrective Exercise Specialist. I am a STEROIDS FOR SALE Yoga Alliance 200-Hour instructor. I am a Pre- & Post-Natal Certified Coach. I have been in the fitness industry for over nine years, teaching hundreds of group fitness classes, & training thousands of clients from all walks of life. My favorite clients were the women working hard to get healthy & strong before they got pregnant. Their passion & discipline were unparalleled by any other client I’ve had the pleasure of working with. 

These women gave a hard look at their own health & fitness. They knew this was the most important decision of their lives. I admired them so much. We worked together to eat in a joyful, balanced manner. We focused on being strong & healthy on the inside, and not give in to draining & unrealistic standards on the outside. We learned to seek the answers from within and with her breath. We reached & exceeded the minimum standards of health set by medical associations. 

And I carried my own personal training & fitness coaching into my own preconception goals. The morning I tested positive on that pregnancy test, I felt such a calm wash over me: I had done everything in my power to set myself up for the best pregnancy I could. (I’m not crying, you’re crying!) 

And I was right. 

Let’s get your mind & body in the best shape of your life before you get pregnant. You deserve it, & your future baby deserves it. You’re going to be a mama, let’s build up some serious strength & power. The excess fat will fall off, without us even realizing it. Let’s create a happy friendship between you & your body. Your body, after all, will help give you the best gift of all—a baby!

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