divorce attorney, mom of two, wife of commercial fisherman

I’m a 31 year old divorce attorney-house-cleaning-laundry-folding-mom-of-two whose husband is a commercial fisherman out to sea for weeks at a time (that means Mom cooks, cleans, manages finances, runs errands, changes diapers, works full time, and somehow, if she is lucky, finds a moment for coffee – which is usually enjoyed cold after sitting for hours). Fitting in a work-out or any Mommy-alone-time is HARD.

Pre-children, I always worked out, but never maintained a consistent schedule or commitment. Instead, I used exercise as a coping mechanism to, no pun intended, run away from my problems during my late teens/early twenties. I dealt with my unhealthy relationship, living on my own from the age of 19, being 7 hours and hundreds of miles away from my closest relatives, and putting myself through college and law school while working 2 and 3 jobs, by hitting the pavement. Running had truly become my therapy – only it wasn’t helping. I thought I was escaping but I was only putting additional stress on my already VERY stressed body. Each time I got over whatever it was that was triggering me, I stopped running. A consistent healthy/fitness routine was never in my agenda.

“When it comes to my fitness, I consider myself to be extremely lucky. Until my first pregnancy at 27, I never had a worry-in-the-world when it came to my weight. I ate what I wanted when I wanted it and that was perfectly fine for me. Whenever I found myself in pants that were suddenly snug, or my thighs appeared a bit thicker than usual, I’d go for a run. Running became my go-to fitness method, and after a few logged miles here and there, I’d feel back to normal and good to go. I was never a “skinny” or even “fit” girl, but I was comfortable with myself and my body (at least most of the time). I know what you’re thinking- How can this chick relate to anyone struggling to lose weight? Well, what I can tell you is that everyone is fighting their own battle, struggling with their own issues, and dealing with their own hectic lives. We all have health/fitness goals, and whether big or small – they matter.

“She pushed me when I couldn’t push myself. She forced me to realize that when I thought I couldn’t, I could.”Melissa Willem

After I met one of the world’s most beautiful babies (okay, maybe I’m biased), my first born, my health and fitness (or lack thereof) hit me in the face. I am 5’2” and I gained 48 pounds during my first pregnancy. Let me paint a picture for you here – A petite girl with small bone structure gained about 40% of her body weight. (Did you just say EEK? I did too!) Giving birth to my 7lb daughter helped me drop about 10 lbs. right away, but I had a ways to go until I could slide into those skinny jeans again. My struggle started right that moment. Suddenly I was trying everything. I remember having to take an Advil 45 minutes before pushing play on “Insanity” videos six days per week in order to get through the pain. My knees felt weak, my arms were limp, and my butt was not happy. Next thing you know, I started running again. This time was harder – What was I running from now? I wanted to be home cuddling with this new little human and my super loving husband. What I was doing to lose the weight was not healthy. I was not nourished. My body was not toned. I was thin again but still felt uncomfortable in my own skin. My once tight, toned butt was not as lifted as I remember and, wait, where did my flat stomach go? Only a few months after losing the first baby’s weight, I became pregnant with my littlest little. In that moment, I made myself a promise to work harder, eat better, and save myself the agony of losing so much weight after she was born. Despite all of my efforts, I still gained 43 lbs. This go-round, the weight took even longer to come off. Fast forward 11 months later, and I was still struggling. I would fluctuate three pounds here, two pounds there but, truth be told, I had hit a plateau and felt extremely discouraged. I could not make time in my already very busy schedule to work-out and if I had the time, I certainly did not have the energy.

After months of fighting the weight, I decided that even when you feel like you’re doing everything you can – if what you’re doing isn’t working, do more. Enter: Quinn! Despite the fact that my husband made twice as many trips on the boat this year, we now had two amazing littles crawling around, and my job demanded (and always will demand) more than your typical 9-5, I DID MORE. I chose to be better, to try harder. When I couldn’t find the time in my typical day to work out, especially when my husband was gone, I started getting up earlier. I started working out with Quinn 3 times each week at 5 a.m., and was finished before my kids woke up. Fast forward 4 months, we still work out 2-3 times per week! My life-saving, goal-crushing trainer pushed me to get to where I am.

Today, my second daughter is nearly 16 months old and I am almost there. I can fit back into most of my clothes, and I don’t HATE the number on the scale. I eat breakfast every day and I’m focused on the nutritional value of the foods I’m putting into my body. I’m looking to FUEL my body, not starve it into submission. I make sure to drink at least 60 ounces of water each day and I squeeze in my work outs anywhere from 2-5 times per week, depending on my schedule. But, most importantly, for the first time EVER, I am committed and consistent and I have never felt better. I am not without my bad days. I still get down on myself once in a while, but I am more positive, confident, and driven than I have ever been – especially about my health. It’s no secret – I have Quinn to thank for that. She pushed me when I couldn’t push myself. She forced me to realize that when I thought I couldn’t, I could. She made me feel accountable – both for my pitfalls and my successes. I am so glad she entered my life when she did – I needed her. More than she may ever truly understand. I needed the motivation she brings, the advice she gives, the encouragement she provides. She has been more than a personal trainer. She is a fitness coach…and she is damn good at what she does.”