Meet Jen. This hottie really gets it. She has twin 3 year olds(I have one 3 year old and I am very impressed that Jen can even get out of the house with two! Hats off to her!), and loves both Stroller Strides and Body Back!! She has some great advice, so read on and prepare to be motivated!
**Tell us about yourself**
My name is Jen Sbragia. I’m a 44 year old stay-at-home mom to twins Huxley and Lita who will be 3 years old in February. In my pre-baby life I was a graphic designer, unhappily working in advertising. I plan on getting back into design once my kids are in preschool later this year, in a more relaxed, freelance type of way, doing mainly illustrations and identity/logo work.
My friend Laura had been bugging me to come to a Stroller Strides class for a long time but I didn’t think my babies would sit in a stroller through a whole class without crying. And what do you know – they did cry! But so did everyone else’s! It was no biggie. So glad I decided to just do it! I live in SE but travel just a little to the NE Portland classes.
**You look amazing, tell us about your fitness journey.**
Even though I was a faithful Strider, my eating was out of control due to some family stress and I put on a few pounds. That was my motivation to try Body Back. I started my first class last July and really dedicated myself to cleaner eating. That along with the kickass workouts led me to lose 16 lbs! I don’t know how many inches total, but I have gone down a couple of dress/pants sizes and I feel amazing, strong, and full of energy. I also am proud of my arms, which I have been hiding my whole life until now.
**What motivated you to make a change?**
Being an older mom, I don’t want to be mistaken for their grandma! Seriously…I will be 58 when they graduate from high school. (I fully intend on being a very spry and agile 58 year old) Also, my own parents have never taken care of their bodies and are not in good health. They never urged me to be active at all, so it is very important to me to be a good role model for my children in that capacity. I can already see the effect of modeling this active lifestyle for them - they love to run laps around our dining room table and give me high fives… and also they love to do burpees! It is so funny (and rewarding) to see my little toddlers doing planks.
**Here is the question our moms are dying to know the answer to: What are you doing to get/stay so healthy!?**
I usually do 4 days a week of classes. (2 SS and 2 BB) I also do a workout of my own on the weekend, usually Sundays. (so, 5 days total) I also take a lot of walks with my kids around our neighborhood, getting activity in wherever I can, especially on non-workout days.
As far as food is concerned, I try to avoid (or at least limit) wheat, dairy and sugar. I have become a fan of kale and Brussels sprouts. I also started logging my food diary on MyFitnessPal.com and this has been probably one of the biggest changes for me. I really struggle with portion control and keeping track of what I eat has allowed me to really self-monitor. It was a big wake-up call that I really needed.
**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?**
My husband and I are like-minded when it comes to fitness. He was already in shape and eating clean long before I came on board! He also works from home and is able to share childcare duties with me. Luckily my kids are young enough that they didn’t really notice when I stopped buying so much processed snack food. They think frozen banana smoothies are the bomb. Ha!
**How do feel now? How has this changed your life?**
I feel great. I don’t want to go back to eating cake when I’m sad. I mean, I’m not perfect by any means but I have really changed my diet and I feel so much better now. But still – when I go to any grocery store it’s shocking how much garbage is out there and HOW GOOD IT ALL STILL LOOKS. I just have to be my own Food Police because no one is going to do it for me.
**What are you most proud of? Or list your happiest moment.**
The day my son just started doing burpees… for fun! That just floored me! I felt like an Unhealthy Cycle was being Broken at that very moment.
**What advice do you have for other moms who want to get healthy?**
I have lost the same 20 lbs a couple of times in my life. But this is the first time I did it with a combination of attention to diet AND more movement. It IS possible. It might take longer than you’d like but it is a Life Change, not a Quick Fix. And it’s worth it. YOU are worth it!
**If you would like to share your story, please email email@example.com**