Body Back® Transformation Blog

Follow a few of our Body Back clients on their 8 week journey's!

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Week 7 is when it all comes together. The hard work and habits you’ve created during the past weeks are visible. The power of your results at this point in the session is that it gives you the motivation to keep going and finish strong.

Everything fell into place for me this week – a rare moment when the stars aligned just right. It started with my workouts: I noticed how much my form has improved over the past seven weeks and how much stronger I feel. Now I CAN go a little deeper on those lunges and a little lower on those squats.

Probably because of all those lunges and squats, I needed new work pants that don’t sag in the rear end. Win! And I tried on my end-of-Body Back “goal” dress again. Not only does it zip, but I can breathe in it – and better yet, I like how I look the mirror. Double win!

The icing on the cake, though, (or, for a Body Back-approved metaphor, the hummus on the carrot??), was an evening out with a friend where I managed to find the balance I’m always striving for. Usually I’m on one side of the spectrum: either restriction that leaves me...

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We are still right in the middle of the hardest part of Body Back, going into Week 6. Last week, I vowed to find motivation and push harder. I did: I fit in all of my scheduled at-home workouts and stayed with the meal plan, even though I didn’t have a lot of time for prep. That meant a lot of last-minute meals, and spontaneity is not my specialty on weeknights.

At class this week, our introduction question was, “What’s one thing you are proud of?” I talked about being a working mom – I’m proud that I juggle working full-time with raising two kids, and adding in freelance contracts and other “extracurricular” side projects on top of it. I said that some weeks I balance the responsibilities better than other weeks, but I always make it work.

And then it hit me as I was talking: I’m tired. This week, I’m just tired. So, while last week I vowed to push harder, this week I decided to give myself permission to rest. And for me, that proved more challenging than summoning the motivation to push harder.

When I’m doing Body Back, I try to get in some sort of workout...

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Week 5 is when Body Back starts to get hard. The initial excitement is fading; the energy you had for prepping and planning and fitting in extra workouts is waning; maybe (like me) your willpower isn’t quite as strong as it was when you started out. Maybe (like me) you’ve gone off-plan a few times and are struggling to get back on track.

At the mid-point of the session, you have a choice: You can slack off and fizzle out. Or you can push harder.

Honestly, this week, I didn’t want to push harder. I struggled to stay focused and committed. It was a challenge to find the energy to get in a run in the cold weather; to take the time to pack a healthy lunch for the next day once the kids were in bed; and even to tug on that sports bra and come to Body Back on Wednesday. But I have yet to ever regret a workout at the end of the hour, and what I took away from Wednesday’s partner workout gave my lagging motivation the boost I sorely needed.

As I paired up with different moms on the different exercises, I remembered why I love partner workouts. They are challenging...

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Week 4: Finding Balance

Week 4 of Body Back is starting on Easter, a holiday celebrated in no small part with sugary treats and chocolate everywhere. I went into the weekend just finishing up more than two weeks of a sugar detox. So, finding balance over this holiday weekend was my goal – both my challenge and my success for the week.

I planned for the weekend. I made sure to fit in all of my workouts, including an early-morning Easter run as the sun rose and the kids were still sleeping. I packed healthy snacks to eat at the egg hunts and family activities; I chose veggies over candy and drank ounces and ounces of water to stay hydrated and full. I even made a Body Back recipe to contribute to our family dinner, and I was pleasantly surprised that there weren’t very many leftovers. (Make a note if you haven’t tried the pesto shrimp gnocchi yet!)

I was also realistic. As I wrote out my weekly plan, I knew Easter Sunday was going to be a “better is best” day. There would be a few non-Body Back indulgences but I was OK with that; I believe...

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This week, I’ve just been running. Not heart-healthy, cardio exercise kind of running, but nonstop, never-sit-down busy-ness. Running to daycare, to the office, to appointments or errands on lunch, back to work, back to daycare, back home. Rushing to get dinner on the table. Rushing through bathtime, rushing through bedtime – even through those precious snuggles and stories in bed.

But mom life is never not going to be busy, so my challenge this week was staying present amid the everyday chaos. It’s easy to get caught up in the grind and look only to the future, trying to use every free minute to cross something off the endless to-do list, instead of focusing for a second on what is right in front of you.

This session, we always finish our Body Back class with a “grateful plank.” On Wednesday night, during that 1-minute plank, focusing on all the things I am grateful for – my kids, my husband, my family, my health – I found what I needed: a moment of stillness. In that big, open gym, surrounded by other grateful moms, for 60 long seconds, I was the only thing in the...

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Week 2: Finding Routines for Success

It’s Week 2 of Body Back already. Every session, I’m amazed again at how the time flies by. Certainly, the program keeps you busy. It’s this paradox of Body Back that keeps me coming back session after session: During the eight weeks, I’m busier than ever before – planning and prepping, cooking healthy meals, fitting in at-home workouts, and staying active in the group Facebook page for support and encouragement – but at the same time, I have more energy than ever before. All of the things keeping me so busy are also nourishing my body and my mind, giving me the energy boost to sustain healthy choices and meet new challenges.

Success this week is falling back into the routines that work for me. I work full-time, so if meals aren’t prepped on the weekend and ready for the busy workweek, they just aren’t happening. As a result, I need both Saturday and Sunday for meal-prep; naptime is my time for chopping, marinating, cooking, and packaging. To make the most of my (precious little) weekend freetime, I plan and...

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Confession: I went into Assessment Night tonight feeling unmotivated. I just wanted to get it over with. I didn’t feel like pushing myself; I really didn’t think I could keep improving my numbers, so why bother actually trying?

But here’s the thing a friend’s husband said to her about the same issue, which she mentioned to me as we were chatting in between weigh-ins and measurements. He told her tonight, “If you’re not going to push yourself, then why are you doing the program again?”

I texted her after class tonight to give her husband the rare gift of telling him he was right.

With those words in my head, we headed to the indoor track for the mile run. I ran the fastest mile I have yet. It must have been the endorphins from running that sustained me through the plank hold, side planks (my absolute weakness), squats and the rest. But I pushed myself for every single one of the assessments, and I’m so glad I did.

I walked out of Assessment Night tonight with no regrets.

With assessments recorded, now the hard part really begins: The work and...

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It’s Sunday morning, 10 AM, and my kitchen is already trashed. Blender dripping with the remnants of smoothie. Instant Pot cooking chicken breasts to shred for salads. Egg muffins baking in the oven. Little pieces of chopped veggies EVERYWHERE. And me, sipping black coffee in the middle of it all.

My husband surveys the mess, sighs, and says, “Body Back starting again already?”

He knows me well by now. This is the start of my fourth Body Back session – yes, I admit I might be a Body Back addict – and I’ve learned from my previous sessions that it’s super-helpful to hit the ground running and go into the session committed.

But then, that’s my personality too. I’m very Type A and I go into most everything I do 100% committed. That’s why I love Body Back, and also why I need Body Back: The 8-week focus on myself helps me create space in my head to let go of what I need to let go of, and push myself to achieve the goals I know I’m capable of, but sometimes lack the motivation to pursue.

Although I’m a “repeater”, this session of Body Back is a...

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The first year with a new baby – whether it’s your first, second, or sixth – is unequivocally all-consuming. The feeding, the lack of sleep, the crying, the feeding, the bouncing/rocking/soothing, and oh yeah, did I mention the feeding? It’s endless. Couple that with the inevitable self-doubt and second-guessing that comes with parenting, especially parenting a newborn, and it’s easy to see how the first year flies by. It’s a daze of sleepless nights and milk and laundry.

I remembered all that as I prepared for the birth of my second baby in 2017. I remembered that it would be hard, but I remembered that I would get through it. And I remembered the sweet moments: the peace of breastfeeding in the middle of the night when it feels like only you and baby are awake in the world. The first smiles and giggles and “Mama” and “Dada.”

But what I forgot about was the second year, when your sweet baby starts to become a toddler, full of personality and opinions and independence. I forgot about the gradual un-needing of the second year.

I had heard the phrase un-needing...

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Hi! I'm Sarah, and currently in my second session of Body Back. I have spent the last 20 years taking care of and putting others first -- so much of my adult life. First, it was as a mental health counselor. Then, I was a stay at home mom and wife for my three girls, now ages 11,14, & 16, and my husband. I also spent these 20 years thinking my needs were second to those who I care about.

I had consistently been working out for about 4 years, but with little results. When I took a moment to think about this, I decided to take Lesley up on her offer to try a Body Back Transformation session. My initial motivation was to lose the weight I had been carrying since my youngest was born - yes, that’s 10 years of baby weight! I suffer from arthritis in both knees though, and found whenever I pushed myself, I would become injured, and then that was the end of my working out. It was a cycle I was sick of being stuck in and needed a change.

I quickly "gained" some amazing things during that first Body Back session: accountability, friendships, support from...

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We asked some of our Body Back alumni to give us the real scoop on what Body Back is like, from the workouts to the meal plan, from the results to the private Facebook group. These are their words.

Q: What are the workouts like?

  • At first, they were HARD and really humbling!! However, as I stayed on my at-home workouts and kept giving 100% in class, they got easier and easier.
  • The workouts are an awesome combination of cardio, strength, and core. There is a huge variety, so your body does not ever get used to the same thing which allows for you to continue to see changes as you work different parts all the time.
  • Workouts are intense but fun. I always feel challenged, yet not overwhelmed. The best feeling is at the end when you feel accomplished and stronger. Also - you are super sore after most workouts.

Q: What does an average day look like on the meal plan?

  • Veggies, protein, grains, some fruit, some carbs, and plenty of variety if you want it. I never felt deprived and best...
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One of my biggest goals when starting the FIT4MOM program was not a fitness goal. Outside of getting heathy I desperately wanted to create more balance in my life. Let me be real honest… When I started this program, I didn’t know what I was talking about. And I didn’t know how I was going to go about creating more balance in my life. And then over the course of the last two weeks I got real with myself.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve needed 35-plus hours in each and every day just to get anything done – but not to do anything great. Most tasks have been a struggle; emotionally, physically and mentally.

I get it. I’m not the first woman to have a baby, a husband, a career, social responsibilities or even a panic attack. I’m not the first woman to raise her own personal expectations so high that it hurts to breathe sometimes. I have a full-blown obsession with doing things right and that includes being a good spouse and mother.

You might have noticed that I took a week off from blogging. I also took a Wednesday off from Body Back. I was upset at first that I was...

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I can adult today.

99% of the time I’m grateful for all I have. I recognize and genuinely know that my life is (comparatively) easy. Some moments though life feels weighty, a bit cumbersome. In those moments I find solace in the phrase: “I can adult today.”

What is adulting?

Ask Google: “What does it really mean to be a grown up?”

Answer: “Becoming an adult is different for everyone. For some young people, it means living on your own or going away to college. For others, it means starting your first real job and becoming financially independent. No matter what the circumstances are, becoming an adult means taking responsibility for your life.”

Taking responsibility for your life; that’s exactly what adulting means to me.

Over the past four weeks I’ve taken huge strides in becoming an adult. I’ve taken more responsibility for myself, my actions, my well-being and my health. I’ve forgiven myself, and others, for things that are outside my control. I’ve allowed myself more “me...

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Be the best you can be.

We all have a lot going on in our lives. Some of us feel like we are constantly nursing sick kiddos back to health, some of us feel like the featured star on HGTV as we prep our homes to sell, and some of us are a hot sweaty version of “Amazing Race” trying desperately to navigate through the grocery store. One thing can be said for ALL of us moms. No matter the task, ALL of us are devoted to being the best we can be each and every day.

No lying aside, this week has thrown me many curves. I’ve doubted myself on several occasions. I’ve struggled to make it to class, to fit in my at home exercises, and to keep on top of healthy meals and basic household chores. Through it all my husband, my best friend, has continued to cheer me on encouraging me to be the best possible mom, friend, nurse, grocery shopper, and employee I can possibly be.

In addition to my husband, my FIT4MOM friends have really helped empower me this week. With support and encouragement I strived to reach new fitness goals this week and I accomplished my first Tabata...

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I can accomplish anything in 60-seconds.

Each FIT4MOM class ends with meditation; allowing time for individual reflection connecting mind, body and soul. During mediation I’ve realized that becoming emotionally fit is just as important to me as becoming physically fit.

Many of you are getting to know me through this blog. Great, glad to meet you! What you don’t know about me is that I spend 8.5-plus hours a day in the corporate world sticking up for myself, fighting for my cause, defending my case, arguing my point and leading my team. I’m pretty confident even when I don’t have a leg to stand on. Outside the 8.5-plus hours I spend at work each day, I’m sure if you were to count up all the words I say, you would find I say “sorry” the most. I always feel like I need to apologize. And it drives me crazy — always second-guessing the things I say, do and not do. And I bet it drives other people crazy as well.

At Wednesday’s workout Erica told me point blank to stop being sorry – stop apologizing. Hearing those words made the day, evening and week change almost...

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Time for a change.

On Sunday I attended my first Fit4Mom session alongside eleven women all at varying stages of motherhood. As each woman introduced herself and committed herself to achieving her goal with me, it was clear that we all share struggles; we all have our imperfections, but we were all great listeners who were funny, talented, successful, joyful and ready for this journey to begin. This journey is going to be difficult – but, every journey is difficult…

I attempted to do squats the night before the first session. That was interesting. I truly made a positive effort. Knowing that I had crushed what good mojo I had going on, I reached out to Erica, my Body Back instructor, for a little support and encouragement. She said something that I really needed to hear, “session one is my starting point, my blank slate. It give us a snapshot of where we are – it doesn’t mean anything more than that! It’s a place to build from.”

I really had no idea what to expect going in to the first session. I was scared of assessing my blank slate. I knew my blank slate was...

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Follow Kimberly on her 8 week journey through our Body Back® program!

Get to know Kimberly as she works towards balancing work, family, fitness and a heathy lifestyle.

Why did we choose Kimberly? Actually, she chose us. After having baby number one in June of 2015, Kimberly’s pre-pregnancy clothes fit as snuggly as pre-pregnancy clothes should post-partum. But, her confidence and self-esteem was at an all-time low. During the summer of 2015 she started talking about running a 10k, a 5k or perhaps around the block. How could she possibly run if she couldn’t stay up past 7:00 p.m. to train? So, after she started back to work in the Fall, she found FIT4MOM on Facebook. She thought about it for 2 hours, made the commitment, and now she's ready! Not just ready to rid herself of the final few inches and pregnancy pounds but to be happy about who she is inside and out. Not only for her, but more importantly to set a good example for her little girl at home.

Follow her on her journey.

My life, it’s real. I’m a 33-year old, type-A, corporate-working mom and wife...

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Here's what Lindsay had to say in week 8:

Biggest challenge of the week

My biggest challenge this week is that this Body Back session is over. I'm now trying to figure out how to continue with my new great habits. Getting in my workouts will be the most challenging part. I plan to make good use of the Boost drop in sessions.

Biggest Success of the week

Where do I begin? I lost 13 lbs and 8.77". Every single one of my physical assessments improved. I increased my push-ups by 200%, my squats by 105%, and my plank by 55%, just to name a few. I am up to a 1:30 min plank!

How are you feeling? (mentally, emotionally, physically)

I am both proud of my results and thankful to Lesley and the rest of the group for pushing me to achieve them. For me becoming a mom made me appreciate my body in a way I never did before. However, it still takes time to get know the new body that you are left with after pregnancy and childbirth. It also takes time to put yourself back together and feel strong again after the...

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Here's what Lindsay had to say in week 7:

Biggest challenge of the week

I have noticed myself starting to slip into an old eating habit, nibbling off of other people’s food. “Oh let me just eat a few fries off of your plate, I’ll just a have a few bites of mac and cheese, just a taste of that cookie.”

Biggest success of the week

My goal this session was to fit into my clothes. It is official, I can wear my post partum clothes again! It feels great to have more than leggings and nursing tops to wear. About a year ago I started wearing maternity clothes. Since I haven’t worn my regular clothes for so long it kind of feels like a brand new wardrobe!

How are you feeling? (mentally, emotionally, physically)

I can’t believe that assessments are on Tuesday. I am both excited and nervous. I feel like I have made so much progress and I hope that the assessments will reflect that. I am also feeling a little sad that the session is wrapping up.

There are 5 spots left in our Lombard session that...

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Here's what Lindsay had to say in week 6:

Biggest challenge of the week

I actually had a hard time coming up with a challenge this week. Last week I talked about my new routines feeling like habits. I was on the go a lot this week, but was prepared with healthy snacks and good eating out choices. In the past this would have easily derailed my meal plan, but now I can keep on track without missing a beat.

Biggest success of the week

I went dress shopping this weekend for my sister’s wedding. Weeks ago I would have dreaded this event. I felt great trying on all the dresses. My sisters and mom were amazed at all of the progress I have made!

How are you feeling? (mentally, emotionally, physically)

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I want to finish strong! I am already thinking about how I can maintain my routines when Body Back wraps up.

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Here's what Lindsay had to say in week 5:

Biggest challenge of the week

I am still struggling with the follow through on at home workouts. I put on exercise clothes and then will do anything other than workout. I really cannot put my finger on what is holding me back. I am trying to make it to as many extra classes a week to make up for what I am lacking at home.

Biggest success of the week

I put on a pair of my regular jeans! I have received compliments from a number of people! I can hold a plank for 30 seconds! It doesn’t sound like a long time, but after having baby 2 I was struggling with 10 seconds of a plank so I have come a long way.

How are you feeling? (mentally, emotionally, physically)

I am starting to feel like I am in a groove. It is taking less brain and willpower each week to make good food choices and get myself to classes. It is becoming a natural part of my life!

Next sessions start the week of 3/22! Classes located in Lombard & Wheaton....

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Here's what Lindsay had to say in week 4:

Biggest challenge of the week

This was a rough week! We were hit by the stomach flu, a stint of sleep regression (two teeth popped today ☺), and good old winter blues/cabin fever. I was the kind of tired where it feels like someone punched you in the face when you wake up in the morning. When I feel like this the last thing I want to do is make healthy food choices and exercise.

Biggest success of the week

Even though this was the most challenging week yet I was able to stick with the meal plan and exercise. The food prep work I did on Sunday made it possible to eat healthy all week. With lots of support from my husband, mom, in-laws, and our Body Back group I was able to get in my workouts. Apparently the saying, “it takes a village…” applies to Body Back as well as raising children, or maybe at this point they are one in the same!

How are you feeling? (mentally, emotionally, physically)

A few days ago I was feeling like a zombie. I cried when my...

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Biggest challenge of the week

Up until yesterday I have not felt deprived and have not had to fight any major cravings. Suddenly all I can think about is ice cream mixed with candy. Blizzard, McFlurry, Cement Mixer, I would gladly eat any of them. Not giving into this craving is currently an ongoing challenge for me. I also continue to struggle with sticking to at home workouts.

Here's what Lindsay had to say in week 3:

Biggest success of the week

This week I had a lot of occasions that required eating out. I went to Disney on Ice and didn’t touch a single overpriced piece of junk food. I am feeling more confident when I eat out that I will be able to choose the best choice on the menu and control my portions.

How are you feeling? (mentally, emotionally, physically)

The results that I am seeing and feeling are so motivating. I am feeling physically stronger. Mentally I am starting focus more on cravings.

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Here's what Lindsay had to say in week 2:

Biggest challenge of the week

We celebrated my birthday this weekend. I made a conscience decision ahead of time to deviate from the food plan while out to dinner and drinks on Friday night. The challenge for me was making the decision ahead of time. I knew that if I was undecided going into the night I would be fretting over every food and drink option that came my way, so I needed to commit to one or the other. I decided that turning, well older, was a reason to celebrate and indulge a bit. I mean when you have an overnight babysitter it is pretty hard to turn down a night of eating and drinking! ☺

Biggest success of the week

I lost 2 lbs my first week! I am trying to make sure to focus on a variety of successes, not just weight loss, but it still feels pretty good! The pair of jeans I bought post partum are finally too big to be held up with a belt so I bought a new pair. Hopefully this is my last “transition” pair until I can start wearing my pre-pregnancy clothes without...

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Follow Lindsay on her 8 week journey through our Body Back® program! Each week she will answer the same three questions: she’ll tell us her biggest struggle, her biggest success, and how she's feeling.

Why did we choose Lindsay? She’s a mom that has been part of Our Village since pregnancy. She took our Fit4Baby® program. She also enjoys Stroller Strides® and Stroller Barre® with her two kiddos. She has been thinking and talking about Body Back for a long time, and now she's ready! She’s committed to making big changes this session, and we are excited to follow her.

Here’s what Lindsay had to say in Week 1:

Biggest challenge of the week

Exercise. I have found that group fitness is the key for me. If I commit to attending a class I will follow through. Working out at home is not as likely. I planned on doing two home workouts in addition to my two Body Back classes and two Stroller Strides. I only followed through with one...

Biggest success of the week

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Name: Caroline, Mom to three year old twins

Stats: 18 pounds and 10.25 inches lost during the session, 26 pounds lost in total

What I Learned: I’m worth it.

Hi Everyone! My name is Caroline, and I have 3 year-old twin balls of energy, Ben and Tess. We've been part of FIT4MOM for just over a year now. This spring I decided to take a step outside my comfort zone and sign up for Body Back.

Before Body Back

I had been working on losing the baby weight for about two years, and just hadn't managed to make any long term progress. I would get serious about my diet, lose a few pounds, and then there would be a stressful event. I'd pack on the pounds again, plus a little more.

I was tired of feeling fat and stress eating. So I did it. I figured that, if nothing else, spending the money would force me to do two extra workouts each week.

Struggling Through the Beginning

I have to be honest. The first week was daunting. The nutrition guide said no sugar or...

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