My PWR Journey
I wasn't always as fit, healthy and physcially strong as I am today. It was by caring for my body through exercise that I discovered how powerful a tool fitness is — and why I chose to become a personal trainer so I could share this insight with women everywhere.
Fitness empowers me every day
Through moving my body, I learned, bit by bit, how valuable and important my health was. As I cared for my body I learned that I was worthy of self-love — and I became inspired to share my experience with you. Here's a glimpse into my story.
My fitness journey began at home
I began my fitness journey and my path to self empowerment at home. It was at home, before joining social media and in the midst of some of my most painful and private struggles, that I found my passion for fitness and my intrinsic calling to help all women unlearn their own toxic beliefs and find their truth — by empowering themselves through fitness.
This first year of my fitness journey was intensely personal. The small space between the wall and the sofa in our basement apartment, just wide enough to fit my borrowed yoga mat, became my sanctuary. In that space I cried. I sweat. I faced deep fears and deep rooted negativity towards my body.
Slowly, through challenging and caring for myself, I learned to look at myself differently — POSITIVELY.
In that first year, working out at home in that small space, I quit, again and again and again because motivation wore off and the road seemed too long and the changes I longed for too big.
The birth of my son changed my attitude to fitness and health
My entire adult life, until the birth of my son, Anderson, I had a sedentary lifestyle. I ate a lot of fast food and drank a lot of soda.
I thought “healthy” eating meant severe calorie restriction or going on extreme fad diets, and viewed exercise as the ultimate chore — I simply had no understanding of fitness or nutrition.
I gave birth to Anderson when I was 24, and as incredible and magical as motherhood is, I found myself in a very dark place. I was so grateful for my beautiful and healthy baby boy, but at the same time, I was drowning in anxiety, insecurity, body dysmorphia, and self-doubt.
At my two-month check-up, I knew things weren’t right. I burst into tears as I filled out the survey to assess my mental health. I definitely had postnatal anxiety.
I discovered that exercise could benefit my mental health
My midwife suggested that introducing daily exercise could help to improve my overall wellbeing. It seemed too simple to be true, but I was willing to try it.
This appointment marked the beginning of my fitness journey. Step by step, I unlearned some of the toxic beliefs that I had held. Instead of using exercise as a punishment to change a body I didn't beleive was good enough, I began to use exercise as a tool to care for and strengthen my body.
Each time I gave up, my anxiety and baby boy stood as constant reminders of WHY I started my fitness journey in the first place. So I got up. There, in the privacy of my home, day by day, workout by workout, set by set, rep by rep, I unlearned the painful narratives about fitness that I had subscribed to my whole life and uncovered TRUTH.
Fitness is not about aesthetics. It is about health. Exercise is not a punishment to change my body. It is a tool to care for and strengthen it. I am not broken, weak, ugly, or unworthy. I am capable. I am strong. I am powerful. I am enough.
I made small, sustainable changes
At first, I simply exercised by walking around the neighborhood. Shortly after, I started to work out at home, incorporating body-weighted resistance sessions into my routine. I was extremely discouraged to find I could not do a single push-up or sit-up.
I struggled and stopped so many times, and felt weak and utterly overwhelmed. It was in those moments — there in our small basement apartment; sitting, feeling discouraged, on my borrowed yoga mat — that my self-acceptance began.
I met myself RIGHT where I was — physically and mentally — and I accepted myself and my body completely.
Rather than looking at the big picture and becoming overwhelmed, I learned to make one small change and to stick with it until it become routine. Once that change was in place, I chose the next one.
The more I cared for my body, the more I began to love myself and believe I was worth caring for.
I decided to say 'screw the scale'
In the beginning, I would weigh myself every morning and obsess over the number I saw. I allowed the number on the scale to impact my mood and even dictate my perceived worth.
I set a goal weight for myself — a number (based on NOTHING) that I thought I would make me happy. I now know that this number is not healthy for my frame or height, but I did reach it.
As I continued to progress my fitness, I began weighing myself less frequently. However, my weight began to increase. One day I was particularly upset — I began to cry and expressed my frustration to my husband. I told him I felt better than ever and that I didn’t understand why my efforts to be healthy were no longer working.
He gave me a much needed reality check. I was stronger than I’d ever been and I felt better than I ever had. My clothes fit better and most importantly, I was HEALTHIER mentally, emotionally, and physically.
I decided to say screw the scale. I stopped weighing myself all together and began to focus on measuring progress by how I felt inside instead.
I became a personal trainer to share my love of fitness
As I continued my personal journey to empowerment, I studied to become a personal trainer and eventually launched my own PWR program through SWEAT. This was something I could never have imagined when I first started!
PWR is a hypertrophy-based weight-training program with proven training techniques and exercises. I took my favorite aspects of weight training, incorporated some plyometrics, stability and body-weight work and combined them to create a science-based program. It’s designed to help women achieve the best results possible in the shortest amount of time.
I also launched a specific PWR Post-pregnancy program for moms, to help women heal their bodies post-pregnancy, regain their inner strength and build confidence. My personal journey began postpartum and I knew there was a massive need for a program to help moms ease themselves back into exercise, while taking into consideration the many changes their body has just gone through.
Finally, I released my PWR At Home program in 2019. I wanted to ensure women who don’t have access to a gym, or prefer to work out in the privacy of their own homes, can still workout using the program.
My PWR community inspires me
One of the most rewarding aspects of my journey has been to witness the community of amazing women supporting one another through my PWR programs. I can truly say I’ve poured my heart into my work and it makes me so happy to see women from all over the world making healthy changes in their lives.
I want women to know the number on the scale cannot measure health or happiness. You have to look after yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. You don’t need hours in a gym or extreme diets. Simply live an active life and make a conscious effort to make your internal dialogue a positive one. It is never too late and you are never too old to change your life. Fitness can, and should be, an incredible tool for self-empowerment.
Weight-training can be for everyone
Exercise should never be a chore. This means that you have to find an exercise style you enjoy and look forward to doing. For me, that is PWR style weight-training.
Whether you're a beginner, or more advanced, weight training is a fantastic option. Personally, not only do I love the physical side and the results achieved, but I also love how this kind of training empowers me from the inside out and helps me to develop self-confidence.
I’ve never been as muscular as I am now, and I’ve also never felt as confident, comfortable and feminine. Every day, I’m empowered by the hard work, principles and discipline I practice.
Fitness is a powerful tool to magnify gratitude
Fitness can change how you feel on a daily basis. Through fitness, you can cultivate gratitude for your body, your health and every aspect of your life. I want women to finish each of my workouts feeling powerful, strong and full of appreciation for what their body can do.
Weight training is not necessarily just about gaining strength. It's about discovering just how strong you are and what your body can do. It's about finding out what you can achieve if you choose to believe in yourself.
By caring for your body, you can learn to love yourself
I hope that this insight into my fitness journey so far can encourage you to start your own fitness journey.
Whether you choose to train at home, in the gym, or outdoors, I encourage you to begin to move your body.
Try out different training styles to find a workout plan that you can stick with — and be sure to share your journey with those around you! You never know who you might inspire to uncover their own inner power.
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.