AFTER

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BEFORE

Hi…My name is Jaime. I am a 41 year old stay-at-home mom. I started Linda’s Small Wins Program in April and I did NOT go willingly! Let me back track so you have an idea of where and how this journey started for me.

I have been a stay-at-home mom of 3 for 19 years. Last fall my oldest went off to college. That transition was much more difficult for me than I ever expected. My identity as a mom was changing…well, it had been for years as the kids were getting older but this just sort of cemented that fact for me. My role was changing whether I liked it or not. They didn’t need me in the same way they did before. I still had the other two at home with me but things felt different. I felt very anxious and unsettled. Around this time, my aunt, a second mother to me, suddenly got sick and passed away 3 months later. It was a very hard time for me. Looking back now, I can easily see I was depressed during this time. I don’t think I realized it then. I just knew I felt lost, not like myself and very alone. I would love to say I quickly got my act together and did productive and positive things but this is not a fairy tale. Although, if you hang on long enough you will see that it does have a happy ending. I don’t think crying most days and becoming best friends with Pinot Grigio constitutes doing productive things. The winter was very very long for me. I was very unmotivated. My BFF and I were together almost every single day. The wine was becoming a habit at this point. Things were a blur and I was a blur.

One of my friends (a good one, not the Pinot Grigio) kept trying to convince me to try Small Wins. She raved about Linda and she, herself, had great results from attending the classes. I thought great for her but it just isn’t something for me. When you are stuck in a rut it is very hard to see your way out or even believe there is one. I came up with every excuse not to go to the class. I have never been one for gym settings or group classes. My friend had finally had enough of me and my excuses so she picked me up and pretty much dragged me from the car pushing me through Linda’s door (yes, I love over dramatizing things but that’s how it felt!). I had no idea just how much my life was about to change or just how much I needed that push! (Thank you friend-pusher/you know who you are.)

It can be intimidating seeing Linda for the first time. She looks like she walked right off of the cover of Shape magazine! Then she smiles and starts talking and you are instantly at ease…phew, she is human after all….I’ve gone on to find out that she is actually super human not just physically but mentally and emotionally as well. It took me a while to get the hang of things. I couldn’t jump rope for more than 10 seconds at first but now it is one of my favorite exercises in class. I slowly started to build some confidence in myself, something I had not had for a long time or maybe never had to begin with. I was starting to see some results little by little. I was still having my wine at this point because, after all, I deserved a reward for my hard work. Little did I know that it was working against all of the hard work I was putting in. As the weeks went on I started questioning my relationship with wine. A lot of people can have just one glass of wine but I am not one of those people. If you know me and you are reading this, you know this is the absolute truth! I started to think that if I can do this class 3 times a week and weekend bootcamps, maybe, just maybe, I can stop drinking and see how I feel. I am proud to say that I had my last glass of wine 10 weeks ago today! I can not tell you how much my life has changed and how much better I feel. I didn’t realize how foggy my brain felt until it started to feel clear again. I am happier, more patient. I feel light and free and grateful. I don’t have the anxiety I had before or the drama most of which I think I created for myself. Life is just easier. I feel like I can handle anything that comes my way now.

Sorry, this was much longer than I intended and it’s not a PSA for quitting drinking by any means. That was something personal I needed to do for myself but I would not have been able to do it without taking the first step. I believe that was going outside of my comfort zone and taking Linda’s class. That’s when the confidence started to build and I started to believe in myself; heck, I even started liking myself! I didn’t need my BFF, Pinot Grigio, anymore. I had me now and I was becoming my own best friend for once in my life. Linda was there to motivate me every step of the way. Not only was she there to help me with my physical issues but she helped me with my internal struggles also. I can not believe how much my life has changed for the better in the last 4 months. Linda was a major part of that. She is not only an amazing trainer but an incredible friend. Also, as an added bonus I have lost about 10 pounds and many inches but it pales in comparison to what I have gained!