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Motivating Mom: Inspiring Mama Jennifer

Happy Monday Moms! Our Motivating Mom this week sure has a good head on her shoulders. She sounds happy, healthy and balanced...and like a really great mom! I literally want to cut out a quote from her interview and hang on my bathroom mirror (Do I sound like a weirdo?!). I mean, how great would it be to see "Make yourself matter!" each morning?! Love it. So positive! So here is Jennifer, our fabulous Motivating Mom!

**Tell us about yourself**

Hi! I’m Jen and I’m 26 years old. I’m mostly a stay-at-home mom, but I also have a couple of part-time jobs as well. I have been a part of Chandler & Gilbert Fit4Mom and found Fit4Mom through a friend at my breastfeeding support group a little over a year ago.

**You look amazing, tell us about your fitness journey**

With the help of Fit4Mom, over the last year I have managed to lose 65 lbs. I'm still working on that last 10. Prior to being pregnant, I was a size 14 and had no idea what it meant to look in the mirror and be happy with what I saw. I have since gone down to a size 8-10 and have a very healthy relationship with my body.

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

I have always struggled with my weight and have suffered with a variety of eating disorders; from bulimia to emotional overeating. I have never been able to find contentment with my body. Food has always been an enemy, and working out has always been either extreme or non-existent. During pregnancy, I joined a gym, went once to walk on a treadmill, and then never returned.

I gave birth to my son on June 16th, 2012 via C-Section and during my pregnancy, I had managed to gain close to 45 lbs. Being that I was already overweight (and on Weight Watchers), the extra 45 lbs. tipped the scales to over 200 lbs. For someone who is only 5 feet tall, that's pretty significant. I was massively unhealthy.

I had decided after looking in the mirror and hating what I saw, a mushy belly, massive boobs, and a horribly distorted version of myself, I wanted to get in shape. I wanted to learn what it meant to actually be healthy and have a good relationship with food and exercise. I wanted my son to grow up and see what it meant for mommy to be important and for my health to be a priority.

** What are you doing to get/stay so healthy!?**

I’m currently attending Stroller Strides a minimum of 3 times per week and running and/or doing yoga two other days. I’ve been trying to eat mostly clean (through the paleo diet) and have cut all gluten out of my diet. Some days, I still “splurge” and get myself a coffee at Starbucks or have a little frozen yogurt.

**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 had to make myself a priority. The joy of Stroller Strides is that I can bring my toddler with me and it’s only an hour out of my day. It’s one hour that’s devoted to me.

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

I feel strong and confident now. After losing 65 lbs., I feel beautiful. Being that I’ve always struggled with my weight and my body image, finally being able to look in the mirror without crying is my biggest change. I don’t fight with myself anymore over what I’m going to wear because when I look in the mirror, I feel good about myself. I still have a little bit of a mushy belly that I’d love to get rid of, but I am able to overlook that and see how big of a difference there is in my body before Fit4Mom and after.

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

Make yourself matter! So often I feel like we put ourselves on the backburner to our families and it’s SO important that we make ourselves important for our kids. My biggest motivation was having my son see me get healthy and that mommy matters.

**If you want to share your story, email hillary@fit4mom.com**

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