Stay in Stride!

Well, it’s upon us ladies! The final days of summer! As they come to a close, are there any last thoughts? Any particular ways you like to bid farewell to the sun, surf, and sea (or at least the sun?) Perhaps you have tasted a few of the typical Seattle & Northwest Summer activities – Seafair, outdoor movies, music in the park, festivals, parades, camping, and fun in the lake. But is there perhaps something more? Here are a few adventures remaining to be captured before August is done and the Fall begins, that you may not have considered before. Are you up for it?


Ready for a bit of a thrill, just you and your husband? How about soaring from Seattle’s Puget Sound, Pier 66? As a special birthday surprise, I took my husband to Pier 66 parasailing about 6 years ago, and it is now one of our favorite memories together! It was just enough of an adrenaline rush to please my husband, and not too much of one that I couldn’t enjoy it myself (skydiving? No thanks.) The views of the Seattle waterfront are AMAZING from that perspective, and besides the rush that...


Being a Mama is a special role, that each of us fill in unique ways. In order to get to know one another better, we will be highlighting one Mom every month from our FIT4MOM Bothell/Kirkland community. This month, we are getting to know one of our newest Instructors, Dawn Dolobowsky!

Name and Mom to (Child’s name): Dawn, mom to Ellie (20 months)

How did you hear about FIT4MOM?: Hilary came and spoke at my Parent-Baby group when Ellie was about 2 months old. I was ready to start working out again but not ready to leave Ellie with a sitter or gym day care, so Stroller Strides sounded perfect.

How has FIT4MOM impacted you?: It made getting back into shape so much easier after having Ellie, since I could just bring her with me. It also introduced me to a great community of local moms.

What is your favorite exercise we do in class?: Wall sit/triceps dip partner exercise

You have $100 and 1 kid free hour, what do you do?: Go out for a very nice lunch, all by...


It was a lovely Tuesday morning. My husband was home and I was snuggling with my youngest son, dozing on and off. I finally fully wake up and looked at the clock which read 9:15. Body Back starts at 9:30! My first thought, my old habits die hard thought was “just skip it. You will be at least 20 minutes late anyway; you can just go Friday and pick up where you left off”. My new set of thoughts, the ones that move at a snail’s pace, or even slower, if that is possible, said “No, just go and get it done. You will feel like new women for the rest of the day”. I sent Hilary a quick text making sure that it’s not a traveling class; secretly hoping it was because I would have never made it. She wrote back “We aren’t traveling, get here when you can”.

And next is where my hell begins. TOWELS!!!! I should have known better and stayed in bed. I’d rather have my finger nails ripped out of my hands then do the towel workout. We did lots of Plank Jacks and tuck ins, which for an average size women would involve a lot more tucking but like one of my favorite passed Body Backers...


“What are we doing for 4th of July this year Steven?”

“I don’t know. Can we go see fireworks somewhere?”

My husband and I paused to contemplate whether or not our 11 month old son could make it through a fireworks display. Not likely. Leave him home with my parents? We sort of felt bad at the thought of asking family to miss out on the fun so that we could run around having a good time without them. So…..

“I guess we just make the day fun? And someday we’ll see the fireworks again.”

This is the conclusion we came to after our debating and problem-solving brought us to no-man’s land. Apparently this is one of those things that changes once you have a baby! At least, for us it turned out this way. Anyone out there feel the same?

In light of this new found lack of freedom on Independence Day, why not make the day as fun as possible? Here are a few little fun tips for making your July 4th have a little sizzle & BOOM, even without a colorful fireworks display.

FOOD: After just a few minutes dancing around the colorful photos on...


What are the changes involved in changing your body? If I was just a couple pounds overweight it would be pretty simple. Cut out a drink here and there and maybe add a few more walks in. Eighty pounds on the other hand seems a lot more daunting. People say; just take it a pound at a time. Well, considering the average weight loss is a half-pound to two pounds(that hardly ever happens)a week that is looking at roughly eighty weeks, also known as almost TWO WHOLE YEARS!!!! A tiny bit overwhelming I’ll say!!!! It makes me want to say #$%& this! My saddle bags are looking better by the minute.*

I think about what makes me happy and I look out my front window and see my amazing boys throwing water balloon at each other. Their laughs are full of pure joy. I watch my husband’s smile and I know he is feeling the exact same way. I think of my sister and her family and I see my parents getting older. I think of all my wonderful friends who make my life a worth living. I think of these things and know that I want to be around for all of the things that make my life,...


Yahoo! Summer has arrived! Those oh, so longed-for days are here, and now the frantic thought emerges, “What am I going to do!? I can’t waste these precious, warm, fleeting moments!” Anyone else ever feel this way? It’s as if I can already feel the beautiful sunshine-soaked Northwest days slipping through my fingers.

There are several typical activities that may come bursting to mind when you think of the warm, sunny summer days. One such activity for me, is visiting the local Farmer’s Markets; gorgeous colorful flowers, multiple produce stands from various local farms, a few specialty food items, artwork, jewelry, and even face-painting, balloon animals, and live music! One such market has just opened for business in our neighborhood! The Bothell Farmer’s Market, running every Friday from 12:00-6:00pm for the remainder of the summer months, provides your typical market finds in the family-friendly Country Village shopping area! I decided to stop by to check it out with my 10 month old son strapped to my body, and a large polka-dotted canvas bag for any yummy, fresh treats...


So when is enough, enough? And when does this vicious cycle of mine stop? When I was young, my nickname was “Gayla, junk food junkie”. Hello affirmation! Is that where it all began? Is that when my relationship with food became completely unhealthy? Regardless of affirmations or not, I am a thirty four year old woman who needs to shit or get off the pot.

My new journey starts every night before I head to bed, swearing to myself that tomorrow I’m going to be a kinder, more patient mom to my insane boys and that I am going to be a skinnier, more easy going wife, and mostly I promise myself that I will, without a doubt, become a healthy person. That day ends and I promise all those things again. I’d say that is the definition of empty promises.

My plan tonight is to stop the promises. My plan tonight is to be gentler to myself. My plan tonight is to try and be the best version of me that I can be.

So here I am, exposed and vulnerable for putting this out there but excited for the fact that I am completely accountable. Here I am, the first night of no more...


And so my journey begins yet AGAIN! I wish with everything inside me that the “again” was not attached to that sentence. I first started body back in 2013. Ignorance is bliss; I can’t even begin to describe how I felt during my first workout. I had worked out before and even run a half marathon, so I thought that I knew what a hard workout was. Then, I walked into this class and was introduced to burpees, mountain climbers, and spider man pushups and quickly realized I WAS WRONG! I wanted to flee the building and I really wanted to tell Hilary to kiss my big ole bum. I had to modify absolutely every move and I was still in rough shape. I cried when we did towels and deck of cards was maybe the worst thing I had ever done. Week by week though it wasn’t quite as painful getting up the stairs or off the toilet. I started to feel good and noticed that my pooch didn’t hang over my jeans quite as much and my muffin top was getting smaller. My goals were small and my jeans were big but they were getting baggier by the week. By the time summer rolled around I was down 30 lbs! I...


When Hilary first asked me to write a post about my 1 year anniversary with Body Back, my first reaction was “YES! I would love to,” and then immediately thought, “Ugh, I have not had stellar progress as of late. I shouldn’t be writing a post. Maybe I’ll start wearing a sauna suit to workout in.”

Well I haven’t started wearing a sauna suit or any other sort of gimmicky weight loss devices. It has however taken me a bit of time to actually write this and get myself ok with not being where I had envisioned I would be 1 year later. I will say that I still have had a decent amount of weight loss and fitness level increase. I don’t want to discount how far I actually have come on this journey. And like all growth experiences, it isn’t always easy. But as I have heard Hilary say on many occasions, “It’s a process.” And it is. I have had to learn to break some not great habits and gain some good habits, like drinking water. When I first started I couldn’t do a full burpee without modifications. I would have to step out one foot at a time into plank and then step back up one foot...


Well I have officially survived 3 sessions! When I first met Hilary to do my initial assessments she said there were several people in my class that were "lifers", I told her that would probably become me. And despite all of the times I got frustrated or slacked off I really think I will be a lifer. I still have a ways to go to get where I would ideally like to be, but I can not imagine not having Body Back in my life.

I will say this last session has so far been the one I've struggled with the most. Some lifestyle changes have happened that impacted my workout schedule and eating habits and this session fell during birthdays and Easter. My biggest addiction and weak spot is sugar, in all its incarnations, and having birthdays every other week severely impacted my ability to stay on the Body Back food plan. Hilary has always said it is fine to have a treat here and there, but really my treats were multiple times a week and not in appropriate portions. Ugh. However I still made progress over the course...


For this edition of Workout Wednesday, we bring you a Butts & Guts class! This workout is a sure fire way to work those booty muscles as well as your core. Enjoy!


I survived another session and made it to assessments! The days and possibly week(s) leading up to assessments were a bit nerve wracking. I felt like I needed to be stellar because I was sharing my story this session. Not at all because Hilary was putting pressure on me, it all came from within, no pressure from the outside.

But all of that stress was needless. Once I weighed-in I knew assessments were going to go well. This session I lost 16 pounds, averaging 2 pounds a week which is pretty decent and healthy loss. I have said before in a previous post that I do not have a goal weight but despite that I do get a thrill out of seeing the numbers diminish, who wouldn't? Added to my first 6 week session I have a combined loss of 29 pounds, amazing! In addition to that I lost a total of 7.25 inches overall (13.5 inches throughout my entire Body Back journey to date). No wonder my pants fall off if I run or bend over in them, time to shop for some ones!

I didn't just lose stuff this session, I definitely gained strength and endurance. I was able to increase in every...


Last full week before assessments! I started to feel better this week but am still having some cardio endurance issues. Thankfully I was able to do more workouts this week than last, 5 of 7 days I was able to get exercise in and no back-to-back rest days. I again started the week with Stroller Strides, had my 2 days of Body Back, plus the Booty Back DVD, which I always manage to do the day before a leg heavy class.

Tuesday we had a little snafu getting into the building and we weren't able to workout as a group. Instead Kendra posted our workout to Facebook and we completed it on our own. She gave us the Ultimate Pyramid, a count down workout that starts at 50 and goes down by 5s all the way to 5, doing 2 exercises at each number and once you get to 5 you back up to 50. For some reason I, a spaz, started to second guess myself while do the workout and got worried that I was doing it wrong by doing both exercises so when I got to 5 I stopped. It didn't help that I had convinced my husband to do it with me and he was starting to wilt, also both kids woke up from nap and...


It's Workout Wednesday time!! Find some time for YOU today and give this workout a try!


Ugh! This has seriously been the worst week, of Body Back and in general. The cold that started coming on over the weekend turned into a full-blown chest cold with a nasty sore throat. It was really draining and made me not really want to do anything for most of the week. I was able to get in a Stroller Strides and my 2 Body Back days and one other day of rollerblading with the family. But I’ve been trying to only take 1 day off a week and this forced me to take 3. We are coming up on assessments soon and I want to have an amazing improvement, like I did with my first session. I have doubts as to how much progress will show.

Tuesday’s class was a typical rounds class with nothing too different but still a good workout. Body Back is always a good workout for me regardless of the type of class it is, I think that is why I enjoy it so much. No matter what we do I always feel that I’ve gotten a better workout in than anything I could have ever come up with on my own at the gym. I did struggle a bit with the cardio portions because I wasn’t really breathing well and my chest was...


I did something a little different this week with workouts. In a previous post I mentioned that I didn’t come to Body Back through Stroller Strides, I wasn’t a member and hadn’t done one of the classes before. But with my second Body Back Session I purchased a 10-pass, giving me flexibility to go to any Stroller Strides, Stroller Barre, or Boost classes. Originally I thought I was going to be doing boost every week, but that hasn’t worked out yet. So I did Stroller Strides on Monday and enjoyed it, wishing I hadn’t waited two and a half years to go. It was nice to get pushed a little more than just doing the videos at home and having a longer workout. I also like getting my workouts done in the morning, it just sets the rest of the day up way better, and doing home workouts I usually have to...


This week was about remembering why I decided to start this Body Back journey. First and foremost I did it for me, not for my husband, not for my kids, just for me. But in joining this awesome group of ladies it did become a little bit about doing it for the rest of my family. The meal plan has given me that much needed inspiration to cook healthier meals and keep less processed foods in the house. I’ve been making sure we always have a stock of fruits and veggies, not that we didn’t before but it takes up much more shelf space now. And I’ve noticed some amazing things happening that really make this all the more worth it. Fiona is asking for more healthy things like green apples at the grocery store, we usually get some type of red. And the other day she asked to share my snack of celery. In addition to food choices she has also become a little Hilary. Everyday at some point, if she hasn’t seen me do it, Fiona will ask me if I am going to exercise or do a workout. This usually comes around the time I am putting her or her brother down for a nap. And she will often follow it with...


This week was somewhat of a different one for me. I had a real eye opener on Tuesday when I lost some of the progress I had made with the scale. I gained a pound back. I was getting too comfortable in the program, I wasn’t pushing myself as much as I should have been during workouts and I wasn’t being strict with my portion control. I also had some sugary things (cupcakes) during the football game that I shouldn’t have. I have a real bad sweet tooth that I can’t seem to get under control; it is all or nothing for me. I was getting comfortable with the progress I was making, consistently seeing results, and thought I could make exceptions here and there, right? Wrong, and it showed.

So this week, was a get your “Mind Right” week for me. Hilary will often use that phrase in class when there is a lot of complaining or possibly lack luster effort, and I have to say it really is the truth. Starting with an attitude of negativity will do nothing to help during struggle.

Tuesday’s class was a little different, a style I hadn’t done before. I think Hilary called them Super...


Midweek slump got you down? Have no fear, Workout Wednesday is here! Give this workout a try to boost your mood and metabolism.


Hooray for Friday’s class! It was a tough a** circuit class with a bunch of core work and new balance equipment that I hadn’t used before, like the BOSU ball and Step 360. This circuit class was a little different from a normal rounds class because we did each exercise for 2 minutes instead of 1 and every time Hilary would say we were at the half way mark we all thought she was saying we were done for that exercise. I will say that I was a little dumb at the start of class. I got there a little late and was somewhat rushed because the kids still weren’t feeling 100% so I left them at my parents house instead of the childcare at Body Back and Fiona didn’t want me to leave, so I didn’t get out of there when I should have and I rushed through weigh in and getting into the room. When I walked in everyone was at an exercise on the circuit and there were only a few open ones left. First one I saw was the damn inchworm. An exercise involving 2 towels placed under your toes and you going from plank to pike and back. Me being dumb I chose to...


To start off this post I just have to say, this week has been a tough one for me, all around. Both kids came down with coughing colds, which caused them not to sleep well, and then that turned into 2 double ear infections, or a quadruple ear infection. They haven’t been feeling well so they need more love and attention, which I am happy to give and want to make them feel as comfortable as possible, but that means there is less for me. I have been trying to still get in my workouts and eating right, and for the most part I’ve been successful. But I haven’t given it my all either.

Tuesday I woke up with a headache and couldn’t shake it before class. I did go to class but it wasn’t the best workout ever. The burpees, mountain climbers, leap frogs (ugh!), and jump lunges all made the headache worse. I did what I could but by the time of the last tabata of jump lunges came around I just couldn’t do the jumping, so I modified it a bit. Class was a combination of tabata and rounds. We did tabata cardio—meaning it was 4 minutes of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest. Then we did...

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Part 2 of 2 - Meet Shannon & Week 1 (Read Part 1 of 2 here!)

Tuesday, the first day of this session, was exciting. I am so happy to be back working out with these inspiring ladies twice a week. We shared what our goals are this session, as we did at the beginning of the last session. My number one goal is to drink more water. I am a very bad water drinker and I am still a nursing mother, so it is very important that I consume enough water not only for myself but also to make the milk my son needs. After we all shared our goals we got to sweating. The workout was tabata. Let me tell you, I thought I hated tabata. My first experience with it was Thanksgiving morning. It was awful and fantastic at the same time. I went to the special Thanksgiving morning free class that is open to all. I didn’t feel super confident in my workouts yet and it was at 5:45 in the morning, I was used to...

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Hey Moms! Just a reminder that you are amazing, you are doing a fantastic job, and you are loved. Have a great day!


Part 1 of 2 - Meet Shannon

My name is Shannon; I have 2 kids, 2.75 years and 9 months, this is my Body Back story.

I first heard about Body Back and Stroller Strides while attending Evergreen’s Parent-Baby classes with my first, Fiona. For some reason I never seriously considered either. A good friend of mine was a Stroller Strides member, she was in the same class I was and listened to the same talk from Hilary. She seemed to be getting good results and really enjoyed her workouts, especially in the summer time. I was content plugging away at the gym. While I was pregnant with my second, Aidan, a mom I had met at Evergreen was posting her success with Body Back on Facebook. Having gained more with my second I desperately wanted to work on my post baby body a lot more than I was after...


Do you often wonder what produce items you should be buying organic or which are the lowest in pesticides? Our friends at HappyFamily have made it simple for us with this cheat sheet. Print it out and keep it in your wallet for a quick reference at the grocery store!

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Have you ever met someone in your regular Stroller Strides class that has done BodyBack? They are easy to spot. They are the ones that have had dramatic changes in recent weeks or look even better than before they were pregnant. Whether you've met someone who has the body you secretly want, or if you are like me- and are wondering if it is really any different than your current exercise program- well, here's the rundown.

In a Nutshell: BodyBack is a shoot off of Stroller Strides from founder Lisa Druxman. It is a results-based workout designed specifically for moms. Whether you just had a baby or had a baby twenty years ago, it will help any mom get their body back. Ask Hilary, she will introduce you to BodyBack moms in class for proof.

The Exercise Fundamentals: BodyBack is a series of targeted high-intensity workouts, inspiration and motivation in every class. Instead of going at your own pace, this workout encourages you to be challenged- every time. When done in conjunction with Lisa's Mama Wants Her Body Back meal plan and workout DVDs, you can get...


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