MY BEFORE AND AFTER FITNESS JOURNEY: HOW I BEAT THE ODDS (mom in her 40s)

hi today I wanted to do my fitness journey there’s some of my favorite videos on YouTube I absolutely love hearing people talk about their path and the challenges they’ve overcome and I would never want to present myself as somebody who is just sort of lucky and has everything come easy to her I’ve worked really hard many different times in my life through different challenges you know losing my mom dirty yawning having a stillborn child having an extremely premature baby who stayed in the NICU a very long time being horribly overweight from two straight years of being bedridden for pregnancies and now finding finding my true north finding my balance and finding a body that I feel really good living in and I want to tell you all about it please remember if you like this video to hit that like button and to subscribe to my channel and then I post videos every week and I would love it if you Thea Larne Bella because then you get notified when I post new videos I’m trying to pick one day a week right now I think it will be Wednesday’s to post new content so like and subscribe thanks so I was always a really active kid I was a ballet dancer for many years I was also a rider I was an equestrian and ultimately I got so into both of those things that I had to pick one or the other may chose horses so I rode horses competitively forever for many years from the time I was five I got really serious when I was like 12 and 13 years old and then I only sold my last horse when I got pregnant with my first son and that’s my greatest love in terms of sports it’s given me so much joy over the years horses have always been my most therapeutic tool when I’m really struggling and after my mom died that was kind of how I dug myself out so I rode horses and I was pretty fit from that but I was still young and my body was still developing and I was definitely kind of a soft girl but I was always really strong and I had really strong legs from riding horses always and I hated them I hated my legs and I remember just wishing that I could have little stick legs like all the other girls but I just couldn’t I just rode horses and they were big and strong and that was it so when I was 22 my mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer endometrial cancer and she was only 53 years old and from the day she was diagnosed to the day she passed was 5 months and the world stopped and I took care of her I quit my job at the time a job I absolutely loved in the music industry working for an amazing person who inspired me so much but I needed to move to LA for that job and I just couldn’t I told my boss that I couldn’t move cross-country when she was so sick and I really still believed I think we all believed until the day she actually died that somehow we were going to prevail that we were smart enough and had enough wherewithal in means to beat cancer and we didn’t and she died December 14th 1996 I was 22 years old like I said and you know the Sun set like the world would never be the same and I had a really hard time I still do it’s been many many years and I’m still in tears over it and I started to like hate my body because I felt like my mom was so healthy she was so into health and fitness and she raised me to be really active if she raised me mostly vegetarian she grew all our food in the garden and cooked everything from scratch and she died and she died quickly and horribly and I started I started to believe that your body would betray you no matter what you did and I’d so I started doing horrible things like smoking and not taking care of myself and not exercising and not eating and then overeating and I was just angry and I expressed it through the way I took care of myself like it was this if I would just do the worst stuff and be like well now she’s going to show up because I’m sitting here doing these awful things that she would hate right so she’s going to show up and tell me to stop but you know what nobody did and I did a lot of damage to myself in those years I think and I really suffered and it was terrible so I ultimately decided to go back to school I had dropped out of brown to work in the music industry because I had that amazing opportunity to work and I wasn’t up for work at that point I just was so bereaved so I went back to school and I finished up and then I decided I would go to law school so I went moved to Boston and started law school and at

that time I had begun to date somebody who was pretty serious with and he was really really into working out and I mean like free weights with the bras he was ex-military and I went to the gym with him all the time and honestly he taught me so so much about exercise and I started to get really fit like really pretty muscular and lean and I learned a lot a lot about working out from his friends and him in like pretty crappy gyms in Massachusetts then the unthinkable happened he my boyfriend at the time who I was living with just kind of out of nowhere I was trying to break up with him and I asked him to move out and he had some kind of psychotic episode and attacked me and really like there was a knife and I had to flee the house for my life and I’ll never I’ll never be the same person that I was before that happened because it was the first time you know I had older brothers and I grew up like with lots of guys around to all like treated me like one of them and all of a sudden I felt tiny and I felt fragile and I knew that if he wanted to really hurt me that he could do whatever he wanted to and that I was powerless and I had to use my brain to get out alive and get out safely and he went right to jail and I have a restraining order to this day but it was terrifying that isn’t something I talk about very often but it is important to my fitness journey and I’ll tell you why because I had to take sabbatical from law school you can’t you can’t transfer law school mid-year and this happened on November 30th of 2001 and so I moved back to New York to be with my family thank God for them and I decided I would do an experiment and I decided I would never again feel powerless and small and I got really serious about the gym and I got crazy fit I mean to fit to the point where my best friends were like you kind of hurt to look at like you’re so lean and so tiny and yet muscular and you’re doing all these extreme things and it just doesn’t feel balanced or healthy and it wasn’t but it got a lot of attention and I started modeling for fitness and bikinis and stuff like that and I thought I was happy the thing about extreme fitness like that that a lot of people won’t tell you is that the stuff that people do to get that way usually isn’t very moderate or balanced or sustainable and so it was exhausting and I remember not even wanting to like pick up groceries because I was like my arms hurt too much or everything just hurt because I wasn’t eating enough and I was working out too much and yet everybody was like wow you know you look great or you know not my friends like the average person and that was sort of one extreme of fitness for me in my late 20s and I’m happy I have those pictures I’m very proud of all the hard work that I don’t look at them and remember feeling balanced or healthy or happy I remember feeling like I was still scared and like I was still proving something in the gym and it wasn’t yet about real balance and well-being and feeling good in my skin so I continued on that super lean path for quite a while until I met my ex-husband and and we dated for like a year and a half and got married and I got pregnant really quickly with my first son and all of a sudden I went from teeny-tiny lean little Amy with ABS – like hugely pregnant and I mean I was a maternity clothes by eight weeks with my first witch anybody who’s been there knows that’s bananas but it’s true and I kind of think it’s me because my clothes were like really slutty and tiny I don’t know but I could not fit in them at eight weeks and I gained eighty pounds with my first pregnancy he was ten pounds at birth he was two weeks late it was traumatic and it was a c-section so it took a long time to be able to work out again and that was really emotionally hard for me as it is for all moms when you’re used to being fit and active to kind of be laid up and taking care of a baby it’s a big adjustment so I had my first son in 2007 and then about a year and a half later I got pregnant with my second son and I was never really got I never really lost the weight between the two first year boys but I had my second son he was nine pounds a week early so I have huge babies and I’m not the biggest girl out there so my body isn’t quite made for that and they were both c-sections but they’re healthy and the pregnancies were so easy looking back and it’s okay it was like okay to just be sort of a vessel you know and not have all that stress about how I looked so I actually really enjoyed it after my second I got surprised pregnant with my third and we weren’t planning it and I didn’t know for like weeks which

was so weird but at about eight weeks I started bleeding horribly and thought for sure I was miss caring and I never had a miscarriage I was terrified the baby ended up being fine he was perfectly healthy it was just that I had blood clots and so that pregnancy wasn’t difficult I was on bed rest most of the time and I had a two and four year old at home and it was really really difficult but I got through it or so I thought I thought I could do anything for a healthy baby I could sacrifice no matter what you know if it if it ended in a healthy baby I was gonna be fine it didn’t end like that though unfortunately at 20 weeks my water broke with my third son Axl who had just had an ultrasound for his anatomy scan like a week before perfectly healthy baby my water broke I started bleeding a lot I got rushed to the hospital and took five days to understand that he would be stillborn and he would not survive his birth I chose to deliver him which was the right choice for me it was super traumatic as you can imagine and again I would never never be quite the same person and I hated my body there’s nothing that can make you hate your body more than not being able to carry a healthy baby to term and I started really just having a horrible relationship with it and just wondering why it would betray me that way and why it couldn’t just get him to safety so Axl my third son was stillborn at 20 weeks and my first son turned four years old let’s see two weeks to the day I think after Axl was born so I got through that birthday party and it was tough you know I knew like all the wonderful people in my town who helped me and I had to ask for help because I didn’t have family to help job my other kids or make dinner and stuff and it was really hard and they all knew what happened and it was just devastating and I would see people kind of looking at my belly and I was still you know I looked pregnant and I like my milk came in and there was no baby and it was just devastating and I really hated my body I mean I really was so angry that it betrayed me that way absolutely just devastated I then had to wait a little while I had an early miscarriage after him which was more of your run-of-the-mill miscarriage not a second trimester stillbirth but really tough of course and then I got pregnant again so now we’re going on two years of being pregnant and no baby so fortunately I had a wonderful doctor for my last pregnancy with my little one and it was rocky I was in and out of the hospital again I was always on bed rest I wouldn’t even tell anyone I was pregnant because I was so scared to lose the baby I ended up in the hospital on bed rest for a month again for a really active person really really hard I gained a ton of weight but I just wanted that baby to come out and cry and just cry it would be the best sound ever Oscar did come out he came out 11 weeks early but I’ll tell you the difference was everything because he was 3 pounds and that sounds like nothing but it was enough and he is the healthiest most beautiful almost eight-year-old you’ve ever seen now and he’s my gift from the universe I mean he cried and he was in the NICU for five weeks and I had two toddlers at home and it was awful it sucked and I had no family to really help me I mean my dad is the most amazing person ever but he couldn’t come and like take care of my kids for me so it was a really hard time but we got through it somehow and about six months after Oscar was born I was at rock bottom I was so heavy I was probably 45 pounds overweight and just so tired and I felt awful so at about the six-month mark for Oscar I decided to try CrossFit it was a radical idea it was my brother’s idea he was really into it already and he bought me the on-ramp program Crossfit Norwalk near me and it was amazing I mean I remember walking in there and seeing women and I focused on the women seeing them do things like I could not even understand it was just so beyond comprehension for me and I felt so shitty and so fat and slow and lazy and awful but you know what I just showed up I showed up day after day after day and I got through it and I felt really

strong and I felt like an athlete again and I gained the confidence that you do when you set those goals and meet them and I no longer do CrossFit it actually was wonderful while it lasted but I couldn’t do it for very long I’ll always be so grateful for CrossFit it really showed me what I’m capable of and it was like no excuses and you know what I loved about it it was like no mirrors no BS it was just like put in the work and do it and the community that I met during my time there and the people that lifted me up and carried me through all of that hard work are still they’re still like so dear to me and means so much to me and I’m so grateful for everything that it taught me even though I couldn’t continue I mean like I had learned what I needed to and it was going to always be part of my concept of fitness but it was no longer going to be like a daily activity for me and that’s okay like you have to kind of find your balance and that was kind of the extreme and now I needed to back off and find something that was more sustainable for me long-term and I needed to kind of figure things out and what I really needed was surgery on my shoulder because I had torn my rotator cuff so I got got the surgery and I decided like okay here’s another layup what am I going to do and I decided to try intermittent fasting that’s when I started doing that I loved it it worked very nicely right away for me and I started working out with a trainer friend of mine who I felt like could manage the modifications needed around my shoulder and she was amazing and like taught me so much and I realized how much I loved fitness and training my own brand of it so slowly slowly I started figuring out a system that really worked for me and it’s all about tears and I’m developing a website where I will clean this in greater detail but I really did start to think of my week in terms of tiered activities once that I loved ones that I kind of just put the time and on because they were important and ones that were about growth and ever since then about three years now I have structured my life that way and it’s gotten me to a place where in my mid-40s I feel better in my skin than I ever have I’m happy with my weight I’m pretty happy with the way I look most days but most importantly I’m happy with the way I feel and I just wanted to do this video because it hasn’t been easy and I have you know I really at work I work hard on it but I consider it like an investment in me and it’s been so hard earned I’m somebody who’s gone from being a competitive athlete a super fit athlete and then a mom most amazing thing I ever did then a mom again then a mom to an angel and now a mom to three boys and you know what my body is different it’ll never look like it did before kids but so what like I’m so proud of every imperfection because it got me the family that means everything in the world to me and now I really feel like I have a really good balance like a good healthy approach to my own fitness and it’s mine I don’t know if you know what I mean but like I own my fitness you can’t tell me what to do in a class or in a gym like I know what I want to do I walk in with intention I set goals for myself I research what I want to do and I’m really structured about it because at the end of the day that’s what makes me feel accomplished and balanced and good so I hope you enjoyed this little story I am 45 years old just for reference I have three beautiful sons who are seven ten and twelve I’m a single mom now and it’s all good you know like you get to point your life for you you know what you want and you know how to get there and then the rest is up to you you know nobody’s gonna do life for you if that’s one thing I’ve they learned you know I learned at a really early age 22 that you not owed a long life you’re not owed a healthy life so today is the day that you have to get after it today is the day to make those small changes that really add up to big ones over time and I absolutely love helping my friends and clients do that and leading by example because I’ve been there I’ve been all over that scale and all over in terms of life so when I say each day is a gift I really mean it I learned way too early that you’re not owed anything in life really every single day as a gift my mom was taken from me way too young by the time I was 37 I had buried a parent and a child and it gives you a lot of Drive it gives you a toughness you know because I’ve been through some of the darkest days I could ever imagine and everything else feels feels doable and today was an awesome day because my amazing hairdresser made a house call and cut all my hair off and I loved it

so much he cut like a whole foot of hair off and I’m killing it and my kids got haircuts and we’re all looking like normal people and not hobos anymore and it’s great so it’s the little things right like nothing like a quarantine to make you really appreciate those small things that end up being the big things if you like this video please remember to like and subscribe I post new content every week and I love to keep people up to date on how to continue to feel good about yourself and good about how you look and good about how you feel into your 40s 50s and beyond my mom died when she was 53 I’m 45 that’s really not far down the road so I live every day as if it’s a gift I really mean that and it changes your perspective on how you approach health and fitness so I love to coach people on that I hope that you liked this video thank you so much for watching all the way to the end that is so awesome and until next time remember I’ll do it if you do it because I did it and I’m gonna do it again with you so tune in and we’ll do it together thanks so much