Amanda M., La Grange
Initially, I found out about Body Back through my Meetup mom’s group Moms of Brookfield (the MOB). It was posted as a Meetup event, and I kind of ignored it because I’ve never been one to take a workout class due to my husband’s inability to consistently be home by a certain hour each week. But when I noticed my sister-in-law signed up for the class, I became very interested since my sister-in-law usually knows what she’s doing and if she thought the class was going to be worth it, maybe it was.
I remember the very first class. It had never hit me THAT HARD that I was THAT OUT OF SHAPE. I shouldn’t have been surprised. I’ve never been very athletic, let alone coordinated. I was not raised to know the importance of fitness. I got by. I’ve always been a bit “bigger,” and when my BMI went from “overweight” to “obese” and it stayed up there after having baby number two, I started to take it personally.
During the class, I found myself constantly checking the time. How could we be only 20 minutes into class? 35 minutes in?! I felt like I would not make it through the hour. My legs shook, my arms wobbled, and every movement reminded me of how far I had to go. The first couple weeks were the hardest. I remember driving to class PRAYING that I could have the strength to get through. I learned to not layer as many clothes -- a sports bra, a tank and sweater… sweater was not necessary. It made me too hot and slowed me down.
Every time I thought it was impossible, it became possible with the energy of the other moms and the instructor’s motivation -- this is something I absolutely never felt with any gym membership or park district fitness class. Our instructor did an AMAZING job encouraging me and all the other mommas to stick with it. She reminded us as we struggled that we were doing this for ourselves. She was right. I was doing this for me and by being stronger and focusing on my health, I would in turn be a better mother… a mother who could teach her children how to be strong and be healthy. I want to raise my children with this importance since I know the dangers of being raised otherwise.
By week 3 or so, I began to handle it. Each class was still VERY tough. I would be sore for a day or two following class for a while. I learned to love the soreness. It was a reminder of how hard I worked. Muscles would ache- muscles I never even knew I had. I also got to know the other moms. How AMAZING those mommas are! Any time I felt like the instructor was CRAZY and that I couldn’t POSSIBLY do another rep, I could hear the mommas encouraging me. We got to know each other and absolutely supported each other. Before class, we’d do a role call and we’d genuinely be sad if we noticed a momma didn’t make it. We were a little Fit4Mom family. Again, I had never experienced this with a workout class before.
Toward the end of the session, we were looking GOOD! EVERY SINGLE ONE of us had NOTICEABLY lost weight. Clothes were loose. Faces were getting more slim. And our ability to keep up was through the roof. In fact, in our last class of the session, our instructor had us do 100 repetitions of 10 different exercises! (1,000 reps!) I remember walking funny the following day at a family baby shower and bragging about how much work was done to wobble the way I was. It was impressive to others and I actually did it! Each week, I looked forward to trying on the clothes that I couldn’t even wear before I was pregnant. I enjoyed seeing the new tone in my body. I had less jiggle in so many places. I began to feel sexy and confident -- two things I hadn’t felt in a long, long time.
I loved the class so much I signed up to do it a second time. Many of the moms did the same. We gained new moms and still had a pretty tight crew from the initial session. Each session, we did an initial test and measurement followed by a test and measurement at the end of the 8 weeks. Comparing my start of session one to the end of session two, I went down 16 pounds and was able to get under and stay under a target weight -- this was so exciting! I lost a total of 9 inches from my chest, hips and thighs. I had a 1000% increase in some areas of strength! I went from doing 1 push up in my minute to 24 in the same minute. I could go on for days about where I saw improvements and positive change. Overall, though, I learned to LOVE FITNESS. I LOVED working out. I could tell when I went 1-2 days without some type of workout because I could feel the changes in my body. I somehow became a morning person- which has never happened in my life. I also learned how to sneak in little workouts -- even for a few minutes -- throughout the day.
The class also came with a meal plan and weekly check-ins. I loved the meal plan. My family began to look forward to our healthy options each week. I also saw that I made what and when I would eat important. After I had my first child, I noticed I suffered from headaches. When I began to analyze which days and what times I’d get my headaches, I noticed that I would have days where a headache would come on around 5:00pm and finally it hit me that it was because I hadn’t eaten anything! All day! Except for coffee, that is. I was SO DISTRACTED as a new mom with all the mom-type tasks I had during the day that I paid absolutely no attention to what or when I would eat. The meal plan encouraged healthy meals and snacks as well as drinking enough water. The simple task of picking from the plan in front of you and jotting it down was enough to keep me on track. And checking in with the instructor was fun! Seeing someone else get so excited when the numbers got smaller was great!
The entire second session was great! I entered the session excited, loving the time I gave to myself and very confident in my ability during class. Many moms were very fit and athletic and could run circles around me. I may not have been the quickest or the strongest but I ALWAYS finished my task. I gave everything my all and I saw results. Eventually, the hour flew by, clothes got baggy, I felt stronger, I ate better and felt healthier. Feeling and working towards being fit just became a part of my life. It is absolutely AMAZING and I recommend Body Back to anyone who would want any of those things for themselves or for their families.
Also, to address an important factor for us -- the cost. At least, it initially seemed expensive when I first found out about it and hadn’t factored any type of fitness program into our budget since it wasn’t a part of our lives. I wasn’t sure how great the class was, how much more productive I could be in class versus a gym membership or how perfect the style of class -- tabata, rounds, partners, etc. -- the variety would keep me interested. It was two specific days a week where my husband knew he had to come home, I could be kid-free and focus on me. That was something I absolutely never had since becoming a mom. For that alone, it’s worth every dollar! I remember calculating how much each class would be and thinking on those days, especially the early sessions, where I felt I was “too tired” or “not in the mood” to workout that I was essentially throwing away “X” amount of dollars. My husband even would chime in and say, “That’s fine. You can stay home. You don’t have to go to class. Just know you’re throwing away our money.” GUILT TRIP! But it’s exactly what I needed to keep me accountable. It wasn’t a $10 a month gym membership because those memberships are so much easier to forget about. You won’t forget about this class and you won’t regret it!