The Motivation and Challenge to Get Fit After 4 Children!! by Joanna

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Before

Before

After my husband and I were married, our first child was born before our 1st anniversary, and that first year adjusting to much change I gained 65 pounds during the pregnancy. It took a year to get back in shape. That was short lived however, as we were expecting again and I struggled to stay motivated with the same video program that I had been using for weight loss, and bored, fell off the wagon of regular weekly exercise.

Eating as healthy and trying hard as I could, before I knew it, I had gained 45 lbs. by the time I checked into the hospital with my 2nd pregnancy. This happened through the next 2 babies as well, becoming pregnant when the new baby was only 7 months old and not having yet lost all the baby weight. My body had some major recouping to do, having 4 kids in 5 ½ years!

During this time, I tried a handful of cheesy workout videos available at the major chain stores and could only make myself go through each about 2x. I tried P90X, but quickly found that was not for me. Next came a Step and with it came a basic Cathe step video. The pace was incredible and quickly had the routine down which got me looking up Cathe’s website. I had

After

After

no idea such incredible workouts existed! Butts and Guts soon came in the mail, as that’s what really needed to be whipped into shape! In the beginning I remember saying to my husband – “Look at her go! I can barely do the workout with no weights!” I’ve had Butts and Guts for three years now and can do it with weights, but those first lunges still kick my butt! It was fairly easy to convince my husband that a small investment in Cathe videos would keep me going and pay itself off within a matter of months, even if we were to compare it to a gym membership. He has been a great support through it all (and a listening ear when I hit plateaus), and an understanding husband – after all we have 4 kids to be thankful for!

Now my fourth child is 18 months old, and because of my small arsenal of Cathe videos, I have faithfully and enthusiastically looked forward to my weekly workouts, never tiring of working out and sweating alongside my favorite faces on the screen. They have been an energy booster and a stress reliever, important because of keeping my kids at home, and also a confidence booster, a long time coming. Last Christmas I asked for Cathe videos (Shock Cardio Series and MuscleMax), and out of all of her videos, I still debate which one I “get” to work out to that day.

I feel great, and due to learning along the way what it means to truly eat healthy, weigh about 8 lbs. less than when I was first married. My strength gains have been amazing, I can run 4 miles (I made it to 2 in high school once) or push my kids in a double stroller for a few, do series of standard pushups instead of modified, and recently at the park with my kids found that I can do a couple pull-ups on the playground bar! I had to do it again because I didn’t believe I just did it. I also didn’t use to like stretching but have come to look forward to it and as a result am more flexible and have leaner-looking legs than I thought I could ever have.

I am indebted to Cathe – I might still be in an emotional and physical weight loss struggle if it had not been for the motivation and challenges that I get from her workouts. I don’t know who thanks Cathe the most – myself or my husband!

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11 Responses to “The Motivation and Challenge to Get Fit After 4 Children!! by Joanna”

  1. Avatar for Amanda
    Amanda June 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Yay! What a great story! If a mom of 4 young children can find time to workout, anybody can, you’re a real inspriation! And you’re so very lucky to have a husband that supports you in your workout routine. It makes all the difference!

  2. Avatar for Abigail
    Abigail June 20, 2012 at 8:38 pm #

    You.Look.Amazing. Way to give me no excuses, Momma!

  3. Avatar for Anna
    Anna June 21, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

    Wow, this is so encouraging…you look amazing and are such an inspiration to me! I had my fourth child when my oldest had just turned 5, so I’m right there with you. But my youngest is just 5 months and I’m still working off that baby weight. I’ve lost the weight after each pregnancy with a lot of hard work. Couldn’t do it without Cathe — but I’ve never been able to get that beautiful midsection you’ve got! Any tips for for toning that had-four-babies tummy?

  4. Avatar for Joanna
    Joanna June 23, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    Hi Anna,
    Honestly it has been an 18 month-long process of seeing subtle changes (that’s how long it has taken me!). Your body has been through a lot!! And I’ve never had a great looking tummy in the last 5 years either.

    Only recently in the last month I made an effort to make sure I do a Cathe video with an ab segment (or just Cardio Core Circuit!), or after finishing one, put in another Cathe video and skip to the ab segment I want to do, 3x a week and was amazed at the increased strength I felt in my stomach. What you can’t see in the photo though is the soft baby belly skin that looks funny when you do a push-up! But hey, we’ve had kids and they’re worth it! Some weeks I look better than others, depending on how the weeks turn out, being a wife and mom. I’m sure we can all relate to that : )

  5. Avatar for Stacy
    Stacy June 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    You look amazing!! I’m bookmarking this success story to look at again in a couple months. I’m due to have my 3rd baby (via c-section) in 4.5 weeks, just before my oldest turns 4. Thanks to Cathe, I got into the best shape of my life last year before getting pregnant, and although I fell off the wagon pretty badly during this pregnancy I cannot WAIT to get back on the fitness bandwagon with her! I really miss working out! Thanks for sharing your inspiring story and amazing results. :)

  6. Avatar for Mandy
    Mandy June 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Wow, thanks for sharing your amazing success story!!! You are very blessed to have a supportive husband…let me say it again, you are so blessed!!! Some of us don’t have that. I’m alone on my journey to get the weight off after having my last child. I’m struggling to lose the weight from my last pregnancy. I have 8 kids, its been tough since my last child is now 5 and turning 40. That stubborn weight and high stress can be tough to lose. But I know with Cathe’s help and my determination, I can do it. It’s success stories like yours that really inspires and encourages me. Thanks again for sharing it! I love being a Cathlete!

  7. Avatar for kim
    kim June 26, 2012 at 7:18 am #

    what a great story! You look simply amazing:)

  8. Avatar for Karen
    Karen June 26, 2012 at 7:48 am #

    Kudos to all of you mothers out there who are incorporating working out and mothering in your life. Working out shows you love yourself and sets a good example for your children. I used to tell my kids as they patiently waited for me to finish working out that I worked out so I could love them better and longer. They still remember this to this day. They are 20 and 24 and I am 56 and I still rock with Cathe almost daily. I know about that skin that shows when you do pushups…even at my age with a relatively flat stomach, that loose skin reminds me of what my body went through when I was pregnant. I wish there were a workout for skin tightening, (Cathe?) but it is just a natural part of aging. I try to look at it as a pleasant by product of being able to carry my children to term successfully. Keep it up out there everyone!

  9. Avatar for Tracy
    Tracy June 26, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

    Awesome!!!! You look great! Fitness pays tremendous dividends not only in how you look and feel but the example you set for others, especially your children.

    To add to the ab workout conversation….over the last year I’ve have achieved amazing results from cycling thru 4 different Cathe ab routines each week. Three of them are from Core Max and fourth one is the ab add-on routine from the Basic Step & Body Fusion DVD. (I also do the Upper and Lower body workouts from this DVD). Cardio training comes from HIIT workouts on my elliptical. I’ve got ab and core strength like never before!

  10. Avatar for Anna
    Anna June 29, 2012 at 11:48 am #

    Thanks for your response, Joanna, and to all the rest of you for encouraging us moms struggling with the baby weight. You give us hope that we can (sort of) get our bodies back one day! Tracy, I appreciate hearing your ab routine. I guess I need to be more consistent with my core workouts!

  11. Avatar for jennifer
    jennifer July 8, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    What a fantastic and inspiring story – congratulations to you and your family! Cathe is my hero, too :)

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