Motivating Mom: Gorgeous Shelley

I personally love this Motivating Mom's story! Pregnancy, a new baby and hormones can be trickier than we imagine. Shelley is very honest with her experience with Post Partum Depression and we applaud her for her bravery! Shelley, your story will help so many other moms and that is what being a Motivating Mom is all about.

**Tell us about yourself**

Hello! My name is Shelley Hernandez and I am 27 years old! My family consists of my hubby Corey, my munchkin Makenzie, our pup Ember (who is not a pup at all but acts like one!) and our three egg laying, free roaming chickens!

I am currently a stay at home mommy and loving every single moment of it. To me, there really is not a better job in the world. I love making Makenz laugh, cooking and simply just having a great time with my family.

I found FIT4MOM while I was struggling with Post-Partum Depression. I knew I had to show my husband I was trying to get better and I would do whatever it would take. I had to undergo fertility treatments to conceive due to my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. While being treated, I was told that women who go through fertility have higher rates of PPD. I refused to listen or believe this statistic because I have always been a super optimistic, outgoing and happy person. I truly thought this would never affect me. Boy was I in for it or what!?

After I had Makenzie, the panic attacks started within 24 hours. Everything began to escalate from there. I thought to myself, “what have I done?” The PPD manifested itself in different ways. I developed insomnia and anxiety. I would have crying spells and become petrified of being alone. This grew increasing difficult as my husband is a fireman and is gone for several days at a time. I would call my mom on some nights and she would have to come over to calm me down. I truly believed my world was crumbling.

Once I realized I needed help I made an appointment that day to see my OB. She told me right away I was experiencing PPD. I knew I had been in denial for 3 miserable months. I was put on Zoloft, a depression medicine, which my body had an allergic reaction to. For 7 days I was hugging a toilet and hardly able to function. Thank God for my amazing husband and supportive family!

It was during that week I had signed up for my first class of FIT4MOM. I actually showed up to boot! Lauren was the instructor that day and after an intense workout while feeling incredibly nauseated, I broke down and began to cry. I cannot begin to thank Lauren enough for the comfort she gave me that day. I knew then that this was an amazing group of mommies that I needed to surround myself with.

I went back to the doctor that following Monday and she put me on a different medicine that worked perfectly. I began to see a therapist and continued to work out with FIT4MOM and my life has completely changed. I can now happily say that I am off all of my medication and loving every moment of being a mom. This has been the most amazing experience.

I thank God every day for helping me to find FIT4MOM and having me experience PPD. All of the amazing moms at Stroller Strides have been a crucial part of my recovery. I learned so much from my experience and I am so, so thankful I went through it! I am now incredibly passionate about helping other mommies! We are all in this together! Being a mom is the most special thing any of us could ever experience!

I strongly dislike the scale that sits on by bathroom floor and stares at me every day! I choose not to step on that ugly thing! I go by how my clothes fit! I figure, my pre-pregnancy clothes are looser than they were so that’s a good thing right?!?! I have been a member of FIT4MOM for approximately 7 months and I have received several compliments regarding how I look better than before I had my little angel! To me, this is encouragement to be even more fit!

**What motivated you to make a change?**

My change was strictly motivated by my PPD! I joined for the emotional aspect believe it or not and the fitness side was a plus at the time!

**Here is the question our moms are dying to know the answer to: What are you doing to get/stay so healthy!?!**

Alright, I am totally guilty on this one. I eat right as often as I can, however, I love my sweets and love a good meal (and okay I love my wine too!) So, when I want to eat not as clean as I had planned, I make sure to get an extra day of Stroller Strides in and not get down on myself!

**It can be SO HARD to find “me” time when you are taking care of your family, how were you able to make these healthy changes and stick to them while still doing all of you other day to day duties?**

I believe in order to have a happy family; you have to have a happy mommy! So, if that means I take Makenzie to the park and skip a nap because I need to be outside, so be it! Or if she has a bad morning, I force myself to get to Stroller Strides because I know how I will be better mommy for her if I am able to work out! After all, we all have a day or two once in a while when our child is acting out almost the whole class! We all understand! I just go with the flow! Each day is so incredibly different!

**How do feel now? How has this changed your life?**

I feel amazing. My body is more toned and I feel so incredibly confident with my body.

**List your happiest moment.**

My happiest moments are when Makenzie smiles and laughs. How cheesy does that sound!? It is the honest truth! Being able to overcome the darkest time in my life has made me appreciate all of the small things!

**What advice do you have for other moms who want to get healthy?**

GET TO CLASS! You will most likely regret NOT GOING, but you will never regret GOING! Getting there is the hardest part! Most of all, if you are struggling with PPD please get help! You are not a weak person for accepting help! You are incredibly strong because you want to be better!

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