At the age of 35, I began receiving fertility treatments. Due to hormone therapy and my physician’s advice to increase my body fat, I gained 10 extra pounds. I am in many ways a typical Type A personality, and not being able to count on my body to have a baby felt like a huge failure. Running and intense training have always been important stress relievers for me, so I profoundly missed these activities during the extremely stressful fertility treatments. This time in my life was incredibly challenging. I was faced with difficulties but decided failure was not an option! My husband and I went through years of fertility treatments and suffered a miscarriage. It was very demanding on both of us and our marriage, so we stopped treatments after 3 years and then were thrilled when we became pregnant a year later with no medical intervention. I was told I would never be able to have a child, but I now have a beautiful, healthy two-year-old. I had prayed for years that God would bless us with a child before I turned 40. I found out I was pregnant just two months shy of my 40th birthday! My pregnancy was a true miracle that definitely transformed my life and my body.
I continued to exercise and teach fitness classes throughout my pregnancy, but I still managed to pack on over 40 pounds. When I had finally given up on my dream of becoming a mother; I had gotten myself back into really great shape. I had lost all the weight and body fat the hormones had put on me. This was both good and bad as my doctor encouraged me to gain at least 30 pounds to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Well, needless to say I took her to heart and packed on close to 45 pounds! It was the first time in my life I felt I could eat ANYTHING I wanted, and I wanted a Big Mac and fries! During my pregnancy, many people told me I would NEVER get my body back to the way it was before pregnancy, especially since I was now 40. So I decided while I was pregnant that I would make it my goal to step back on the fitness stage one year after delivery and prove those nay Sayer’s wrong!!! This goal and my commitment to fitness was the motivation for regaining my pre-pregnancy body. I started walking with my daughter, Sophie, and my BOB Stroller at two weeks post delivery and also stopped the fast food! I often used Sophie as “weights” for lunges and squats. She absolutely loved to be rocked with walking lunges and squats. I competed in my first Bikini show 14 months post delivery, 41 years old and while I was still breastfeeding. You never know how hard you can push yourself both physically and mentally until you set a goal of competing and stepping on stage in a tiny bikini! I have since participated in eight more competitions. I’m happy to say that I either won or placed in each of them! I won my pro card with The WBFF in May 2012 & I just competed for my first time as a Pro at The WBFF World Championship. So, remember, pregnancy is NOT the end of fitness!