I plan events for a living, so when my son, Regan, decided to grace me with his presence a few years ago, my world turned upside down and inside out (for the better of course)! :) There were no color-coordinated spreadsheets or timed agendas I could have put together that would have prepared me for motherhood, and all plans that I did have went out the window. Before I joined Imago, Regan always came first, then my career, and then myself. It was so easy to put myself last because my life became a balancing act between raising my little human, being a partner to my significant other, fostering my career, and being on a plane or train 1-2 times a week on business travel. My eating habits were terrible, my exercise routine was non-existent, and I was officially at my heaviest weight (excluding pregnancy). I thought I was crazy for wanting to add fitness into the mix because when the heck would I have time? But I felt myself going down a deep, dark hole where I hated how I felt on the inside, hated how I looked on the outside, and just stopped loving myself. I knew something had to change before things got worse. I had to make time to be healthy and for myself!
My close friend put me in touch with Sarah and Coach Huong at Imago, and once I started my 12-week transformation program, my priorities were balanced. I put myself first for the first time in years, and that alone made me a better mother, girlfriend, and employee! But the process definitely was not easy. I recall my first PT session and almost blacking out... but it hurt so good! ;) Below are my tips, tricks, and best practices that worked for this full-time working mother.
Establish a schedule. With my demanding work and home life, I needed a schedule. Fasted cardio was done on the weekends and during the week before my family woke up. If I couldn't do fasted AM cardio because of my work schedule, I did PM cardio with Regan in the jogging stroller. Strength training was done during the week on my lunch breaks, grocery shopping was done every other Friday, and meal prep was done every Sunday.
Get everything ready the night before. Before my work day even began, most of my mornings consisted of fasted cardio, getting myself ready, wresting my toddler to get ready, and then dropping him off at school. I barely had time to brush my hair, so I would pack my gym clothes and lunch bag the night before. I would leave my gym bag by the front door, and I would put my car keys with my lunch bag. With so much already going on, I had to make sure I didn't forget!
Be flexible. Things didn't always go by plan, so I would have to improvise, and you can't beat yourself up when this happens. I once had to buy a tank top and shorts at the studio because I forgot my gym clothes, and another time I had to do strength training in Uggs because I forgot my sneakers. When I didn't have my food, I kept it simple and went with salads or turkey sandwiches. And when I didn't have a babysitter, I brought Regan with me to the studio. If there's a will, there's always a way!
Communicate regularly with your personal trainer and Coach. I couldn't always make it into the studio for strength training, so I would work with Sarah on alternative workouts I could do at home or in my hotel room when I was out of town. When I wanted to add ice cream--yes, ice cream!--to my meal plan, I told Coach what I was craving and she made it happen. Remember that it's a two-way street. You won't be happy if you don't provide feedback on things that work and don't work for you. Communication is key and don't forget to ask questions.
Appreciate your support system. I wouldn't have been able to get through the 12 weeks if it weren't for my support system: my family. They were the ones who ate all of the leftovers so I wouldn't be tempted to eat any of it. They were the ones who took care of Regan when I was having extra "me" time working out. And they were the ones who always said I was beautiful no matter what.
But here I am, -15 pounds and -14 inches later, and I am the happiest and healthiest I've ever been, mentally and physically. Imago helped me to become the best version of myself, and I am determined to keep up this lifestyle for as long as I can! Fasted cardio is seriously better than coffee and the days I don't exercise, I feel sluggish, unhappy, and incomplete. I will forever be grateful for Coach Huong, Sarah, Char, and the rest of the Imago team!!
Regan still comes first, but now, so do I.