Fitness is not an end goal. It's a way of life.
And like any other part of life, it's subject to ups and downs, ebbs and flows - in our energy levels, our motivation, our measurable strength and endurance. But just as with any other part of life, what really matters is not whether or not we are hitting all your goals, but that we listen to our body and do what's best for it. Sometimes that means pushing it harder than we feel motivated to do, and sometimes it requires us to take a step back and take things easier for a while, be kind to ourselves.
I have been a fitness enthusiast for the past 18 years, and a professional trainer and instructor for the past 7, and what gives me the greatest joy is to help others realize that fitness is part of the bigger picture. It is a catalyst for greater health and wellness, even longevity, but it's not a race, it's a journey. It should fill you with joy and energy, empower you, make you feel accomplished. Even on the days when you're not "in it to win it", it should fill you with a little more self-love, for the things you can do now, and the things you will be able to do one day. Being on a personal journey of fitness should help you let go of negative thoughts about yourself, of self-criticism and shame.
Every time we do something good for our body, it's an investment in ourselves. And even if we have to go slowly, the important part is to keep going, and to do the best we can. It's never too soon, and never too late, to start the journey.
Now that you know my philosophy on fitness, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I decided to change careers after 7 years in Public Relations, and use my passion for fitness to help others fall in love with their bodies. After getting my personal training and group fitness certifications (CYQ Level 2 and 3) in London,UK, I started working for one of the largest UK gym chains, until my husband's work prompted us to move to the US in 2012. We live in Alexandria, VA, where I've been training clients and teaching group exercise classes ever since, and also became certified as a Group Exercise Instructor through AFAA, and as a Personal Trainer through NASM.
When I became pregnant with my first child, I was shocked how little accessible, science-based information there was for women like me, who wanted to stay (or get) fit during pregnancy. I joined a prenatal yoga class, which was great fun, but certainly did not cover all the different aspects of fitness that are so important to prepare for the demands of childbirth and newborn care. This led me to take the first comprehensive, science-based certification for Pre/Postnatal Fitness Coaching to be available in the US (and at the time, world-wide) through Girls Gone Strong, an organisation that aligns perfectly with my philosophy as a trainer.
For more information on how I can help you at your point in your journey, check out the relevant section for your situation: