Lila almost didn’t volunteer for our challenge because we asked for a photo and she dreaded getting in front of the camera. Eight weeks later, though, she gladly posed for us—a whopping 21-pounds lighter.
After gaining roughly 60 pounds during each of her three pregnancies, Lila would typically shed a few pounds post-baby, but never managed to get back to her pre-pregnancy weight. “My biggest struggle was juggling a healthy plan with my work and the schedules of my husband and three children,” Lila wrote before starting her program. Plus, “I am nervous about returning to a gym (it’s been years) and I have no idea how I’ll squeeze gym time into an already hectic schedule.”
We paired Lila with Can Do Fitness in Short Hills, where she was matched with a trainer. The on-site babysitting was a big key to her success. “My boys love it there, and I can spy on them through the TV screens on any cardio machine while I work out.” Organization was important, too: In order to eat right and get to the gym four times a week, Lila had to make sure eight bags (backpacks, gym bags, work bags) were packed for herself and the kids before heading out in the morning.
Initially, Lila was intimidated by the cardio and weight machines she hadn’t used since before she was married. “I felt as though people were watching me,” she said.
However, she soon realized her gym life was remarkably simpler than her non-gym life. “It is actually easier to focus on one task [when I’m working out], than the multi-tasking I do day and night.” Lila’s personal trainer was her hero throughout her eight weeks of sessions, guiding her through the newness of it all, creating realistic workout and food plans and boosting her confidence along the way with daily text message check-ins.
Winning (and losing) big
A big win for Lila came at the end of week five, when she put on jeans a size smaller than she normally wears. “Still snug, but they fit,” she wrote. “And I wore them the whole day!”
Lila’s eating habits changed drastically throughout the program, too. “No more ‘tasting’ while I’m cooking or trying my kids’ food. Portion sizes have become smaller and I’m focusing on proteins and vegetables.” For carbs, Lila’s go-tos are now brown rice or half a sweet potato. And her snacking habits got a makeover, too. “I used to eat a lot of pretzels and popcorn. My trainer told me these were empty calories, so I’ve switched to veggies and hummus, a cheese stick or almonds and grapes.” Her end-of-the-day sweet fix? A Fiber One brownie or chocolate chip cookie.
Though her kids are too young to notice her 21-pound weight loss, Lila’s husband was extremely proud and supportive throughout her journey. “Bottom line is I’m happier. My happiness in turn makes my babies happier and my husband happier, which makes our time together so much more rewarding.”