My (very long) Story

On my life journey to stay healthy and fit… It’s been a long road so far, and I’m not that old! It’s rough being a fat kid, because no matter how far along you get in life – you are always a fat kid inside. I wasn’t bullied or demeaned, I was fat for the typical reasons a kid is fat – too much food, not enough exercise, and major emotional issues I clearly couldn’t handle. At 13 I decided enough was enough, thank you to Seventeen Magazine for printing those mini workouts which changed my life. One summer, 50 pounds lost! My relationship with food changed as well, eating smaller portions and trying to steer clear of  junk food.  Joining sports teams helped me find a way to stay active until I met… kickboxing.  Thank you Billy Blanks for creating a surge of kickboxing around the country, whether or not they were adhering to your training system.  I joined an amazing class led by a professional kickboxing instructor and discovered that I truly loved, loved working out.

This love of health and fitness grew to the decision to become a Kinesiology major at San Diego State University.  I not only lived a healthy and fit lifestyle, but wanted to help others achieve their health and fitness goals.

Fast forward 6 years, I’ve graduated, been training for 2 years, then I get pregnant!  Super excited about having our first baby, but soon thereafter freaking about gaining weight that I would eventually have to lose… all over again. I truly didn’t know if I had it in me.  After a rough first trimester, a very ice cream filled second trimester, and then a no-exercise (per doctor’s orders) third trimester I had managed to gain over 70 pounds!  Not a typo, 70 pounds.  Lost about 30 pounds after my adorable daughter was born, but there I was with over 40 pounds of extra weight, a c-section, and a newborn baby… Following 8 weeks of recovery I decided to get my butt off the couch and start walking, walking, walking.  I would walk to run my errands, walk during nap time, and walk with my husband when he came from work.  I averaged about 2-3 hours of walking per day.  Although this was helping to reduce overall body weight, my body was just a shell of what it had been a year before.  Weight training and kickboxing, this time through recorded tv workouts (this is pre- You Tube people), progressed me towards redefinition.

Six months after she was born I realized I wanted to return to work in some capacity, but wasn’t willing to give up my stay at home mom lifestyle.  Combining my love of fitness with my love of baby, T.O.T. Fitness was created.  Take it Off Together is the essence of my classes.  Together with your baby you teach them how to live a healthy and fit lifestyle from birth, together with other moms we support each other and share our stories and words of encouragement, and together with me as your guide to help you achieve your goals and create the body you desire.  It took me a solid 2 years to get my body back into recognizable shape and it was all through instructing my own classes. It’s not about getting your “pre-baby” body back, it’s about re-establishing your body as your own – a new, better and different version.  You had a baby, but you are still a beautiful woman and you need to be proud of and comfortable with your body.

By the time I got pregnant with baby #2, I was much wiser and managed to limit the weight gain to 41 pounds, exactly the number of weeks I was pregnant, and was left with only 20 pounds to lose.  It only took me 9 months to lose the weight this time, thank you again kickboxing, circuit boxing and in the end, high intensity interval training.

I’ve been there, 3 times, and I’ve done it – no gimmicks, no pills, no tricks.  This is old fashioned, tried and true, work it off.  I love food, I love exercise, and I love to help you find the balance you need to create your healthy lifestyle.

Here I am, 13 years older, 2 kids, and 14 years of marriage and I’ve maintained my determination to stay health and fit. Every day is a struggle, especially when I am not the central focus of my life. But, if I can do it, you can do it and I want to help you do it! It’s about being healthy and happy 🙂

You get a handle on your health and then you discover that when your kids grow up, health, fitness and nutrition becomes about more than just you and your body.  I had this realization when my son was about 4 years old and I was trying to decide which sport to place him in.  I couldn’t decide because I wanted him to try every sport and was so frustrated that a “skills” class didn’t exist where he could just learn how to play any game or sport.  Soon thereafter I was sitting in a lecture about youth fitness and the speaker was explaining how important it was for kids to be exposed to all types of physical activities and sports and not be limited to a single one.   It was then I had the epiphany that I needed to create these classes I so desperately wanted for my son, and daughter, and all the other kids out there who didn’t want to be stuck in a single sport.   Then I started thinking of all the kids who don’t even like sports or physical activity and how they need classes to teach them how to move, so they can increase their confidence to begin to participate in such activities.  Thus the birth of EXERSKILLS!  All games and sports come down to a few fundamental movements and patterns – throwing, kicking, running, strength, agility and flexibility movements based on visual, vestibular, auditory, proprioceptive and overall body awareness.  Phew, say that 10 times fast!  A movement class like no other and a physical education to last a lifetime.