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My health and fitness journey!

My name is Jean and I am a 32 year old, stay at home mama to three beautiful children: Isaiah (5) and Ella (1.5) and step-daughter Kyra (16). I am a local of Northern Virginia, and joined Fit4Mom’s Lorton-Springfield-Burke-Woodbridge Body Back program in May 2016. I want to share my journey with you, mamas.

I was not in the best physical or medical shape just 4 months ago. Despite the fact that I have a beautiful and loving family, I found that I wasn’t very happy. I was tired and stressed all the time, dissatisfied with my appearance, and lacking confidence and positivity in life. I had been inactive both physically and professionally since my son was born. I was experiencing some tough personal challenges for the past 3 years, what I now refer to as “The Dark Ages”. The last straw was when I went in for my annual physical, only to discover that I had high cholesterol levels and my doctor wanted me to start medication immediately. Naturally, I was not happy with this news. Right then and there I decided that I needed to stop my complaining and do something about it.

Soon after this, I read on Facebook about a free Stroller Strides class at their new Burke Lake Park location. I heard about Stroller Strides in the area for many years but I had never actually gone to class. I knew something had to change, so I signed up for the class to see what it was all about. Ella and I arrived at Burke Lake Park among a sea of mamas, babies and strollers. It was quite an inspiring sight. Shannon was leading the class and I really enjoyed it. I felt so drawn to her positivity so I continued with my trial week.

The very next week I heard about a new Body Back session starting so I decided to check out the open house. Shannon also led the class and it was really tough. I went back and forth in my head with many questions and doubts: Can I do this? I’m so out of shape. It’s too hard. I don’t have the time to commit to this. I don’t want to sign up and fail. Will this even help my cholesterol? I finally kicked all those ugly doubts to the curb and signed up. It was probably one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I completed the 8 week session. I stuck to the meal plan, went to every class, and did the homework (often not until the kids were in bed). What’s more, I liked it and looked forward to it every week! It was not easy by any means, but it was MY TIME. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do this, prove to my doctor that I can lower my levels naturally, and show my kids that when you work hard and do your best, you can accomplish anything.

Four months later, I went in for a cholesterol re-check and was overjoyed to discover that not only was I able to lose 12 pounds but through a complete change of diet and regular exercise I was able to significantly lower my cholesterol levels without the use of ANY medication. My doctor, who was convinced that only the medication could regulate my levels, was absolutely stunned to see these kinds of results in such a short amount of time. She was so blown away by the physical differences that she even asked what types of foods I ate and inquired about Fit4Mom for herself!

Joining Body Back allowed me to set the foundation for this lifestyle change and I am so grateful. It pushed me past my comfort zone. It forced me to realize that I was making unhealthy eating choices and needed to do better – for myself and for my family’s sake. I truly believe that simply making the decision to eat healthy food, exercise, and take care of myself has led to so many positive things that I am experiencing in my life right now. I encourage others that hope to see change in their lives either physically, physiologically, or mentally that change IS possible.

Invest in yourself, commit to reaching your goals, and I promise you will see changes and feel so much better about yourself! This is one happier healthier mama :)

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