Why her instructor chose her:
There is no way to do this amazing woman justice in a written paragraph, but I’m going to try. When I met Julie at our grand opening class with her “train” stroller as we called it, pushing her twins around that track as fast as she could, I knew she was going to be something special. This woman has endured many sleepless nights, illness, travel and all the wonderful hurdles that come with motherhood as graceful as any. And not only that, she strives to motivate and inspire other moms to do the same. This mom not only participates in class, she pushes herself to the limit each and every time, I never hear a complaint or an “I Can’t” out of her. Not only that, she also strategizes with me on how to get others to reach their true potential and I know I can count on her to boost morale if needed. This isn’t just to help me, she does it because she genuinely cares for every person she meets. I feel so lucky to have such a positive influence in my class, and I cannot wait to see where this journey takes this amazing Mom. -Maggie, Naperville instructor
• Who are the members of your family?
I am married to a supportive husband, Antonio. I have two highly energetic 15 month old twin boys, Aiden and Isaiah, and a furry dog named Dexter,
• What is or was your career?
Two days before going into labor with my twin boys, I received my Bachelors Degree in Broadcast Communication from North Central College. During my pregnancy I was working at College of Dupage, Interning at 95.9 The River, and going to school full time. Not sure how I did that while being pregnant with twins, but I guess when you’re determined enough you don’t let anything get in your way. I am a stay-at-home mom right now, which isn’t an easy job, but I wish to continue into working in media and creating documentaries. I love learning about people and the stories they have to share.
• What is something that has surprised you about motherhood?
One thing that has surprised me about motherhood is how fast you adapt as a mother, wife, sister, friend, chef, nurse, and many other roles you become when you become a mother. I was afraid that I wouldn’t know how to do it all, but when you don’t have any family around to help you, you just do it!
• What is your child's/children's favorite thing about you or favorite thing that you do?
My children love when I get up and dance with them. Who doesn’t like to just get up and dance? My boys definitely take after their mommy in that department. They dance whenever they hear music and love listening or watching music being played. It fills me up with joy to see their love of music at such a young age.
• When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to have my own cooking show! I always would take everything out of the fridge and pretend that I had a camera in front of me and tell everyone how to make things. It’s funny because this was way before cooking shows were even popular.
• What are three of your favorite things (besides your family)?
My first love is music. I only wish I would have continued it throughout my adulthood.
My second joy is creating documentaries. I love finding out things that people usually don’t know about or understand and create stories that are educational, important, and creative. In college I was lucky enough to receive 2nd place in the state for creating a documentary about youth violence in Utah.
My third favorite thing is cooking. I enjoy finding recipes online or family recipes and turning them into healthy, interesting, and yummy recipes for my family. I have always had a passion for cooking but now that I have dramatically changed the way my family eats into a healthy lifestyle, I enjoy it even more!
• Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us (or makes you unique)!
I grew up in Utah and at the age of 21 I decided to pack up my car and move to Chicago. Somehow it all worked out for me, and was one of the greatest decisions I ever made. I was able to get a great job which helped me put myself through college, I met my wonderful husband, had my lovely twin boys, and met amazing people along the way.
• What has been your proudest mommy moment so far?
My proudest mommy moment has been seeing how happy my boys are. They are such positive little spirits. I have done my best to surround them with love and care and I am proud that it shines through their beautiful smiles.
• How did you learn about FIT4MOM?
I was lucky enough to learn about FIT4MOM on the Naperville Moms Network. I was seeking something to take my boys to after the harsh winter we had. In March I heard about the Stroller Strides grand opening in Naperville and decided to take a chance and go. I had no idea what it was really about- I just saw that you were able to workout with your children and thought that was the perfect combination!
• Moment of truth: What did you think of those first few classes?
The first class I went to I thought,” Wow I just got my butt kicked.” At first I was nervous. I hadn’t worked out since before I got pregnant. My husband and I had to go through infertility treatments and we ended up having to go through IVF in order to get pregnant. During that process it really took a lot out of me. I had absolutely no energy to work out, and by doing the procedure I had gained a lot of weight. Going into my pregnancy I was already overweight due to IVF. I could barely do a step up in class nor could I barely run a lap without running out of breath. Luckily, after my first class I was determined to get me back and feel like myself once again!
• How have you been able to stick with making healthy choices for yourself while still managing all your other responsibilities?
Being a mom I have learned that as important as it is to put your family first it is also important to put yourself first. That doesn’t make you selfish- it makes you able to do everything that comes along with being a mother and a wife. In order for me to take care of my family, I need to take care of myself. I try to make cooking interesting, I am no longer afraid to create my own marinades and different seasonings. I know if I just had salad all the time I wouldn’t stick to clean eating, and I have learned you don’t have to. There are so many ways to cook with delicious vegetables that the possibilities are endless. I also don’t sweat the small stuff. Everyone tells me I am the most patient person they’ve met. I have learned to let the small things go. Having twins has taught me that it’s ok to have a messy house, and that’s its ok if I don’t have time to make that perfect meal every night. Since becoming a mother I have been able to see what the important things are, including my happiness. Feeling comfortable in my own skin has given me the motivation and energy that I need to take care of myself and my family.
Favorite FIT4MOM exercise? Least favorite FIT4MOM exercise?
It’s crazy to say this now but my favorite exercise is the Burpee. Maybe because when I first started working out in March I couldn’t even do a Burpee. My least favorite has got to be the Side Plank. Still building my strength on that one!