I Was Stronger Than I Knew

Martha Lauster

When I first signed up for Body Back, it was because I had started trying to run and was finding that I just wasn't progressing. I thought that improving my overall strength would help me run better...plus, a friend had just finished a BB session and she looked SMOKING HOT. So with nothing to lose, and thinking I understood everything there was to know about lifestyle change but just needed a little motivation, I signed up for a session.

It turned out that I had a lot to learn, and Susan Robinson is an excellent teacher. One session turned into 7 sessions, and for over a year I focused on my health and fitness with Susan's expert guidance. It is not an exaggeration to say that BB changed my life, starting from the very first session. I went from a person for whom exercise was a barely-tolerable experience to a person for whom exercise is a comforting habit. My moment-to-moment awareness of the nutritional value of the food I eat has increased tenfold, and I consistently make "better" choices if not "best" choices. I went from being fearful of new experiences (in many aspects of my life, not just exercise) to choosing to try new things, including Zumba, yoga, training for a half marathon, a body conditioning boot camp, and a new job! My strength increased in measurable ways. I move more confidently through my world, my stress is well-managed, and I am a better, more active mother to my children.

Turning exercise from something I disliked into a habit I count on for my well-being is still the most miraculous thing that BB did for me, I think. Susan created a supportive, nurturing, yet challenging environment in her classes, and while each workout was hard, every one was doable, fun, and intensely rewarding. The women in each session become friends and cheerleaders and role models, too, and the group dynamic was so motivating! The DVD workouts were well-designed to give excellent bang for the exercise buck, and it was easy to fit them into my days because they were quick and engaging. As I got stronger, I became more self-confident and adventuresome, both in life and in other exercise. I am doing things I never thought I could do before, and I am stronger than I have ever been. My children love having a mom who swims with them, roller skates with them, goes on walks and hikes, plays at water parks...you name it. I feel good about the healthy behaviors I'm modeling for them, too, and I know they are learning without my having to say a word.

Susan kept the nutrition dialogue going, and she was always available for questions regarding choices and substitutions. It was because of her that I began paying more attention to ingredients in the food I fed myself and my family, and also because of her that I quit striving for "perfect" and settled for "better." This was a huge paradigm shift for me and resulted in lasting improvement in the nutritional component of my lifestyle change, with less all-or-nothing thinking. Everyone in my family has benefited from this.

About actual results--well, where do I start? My blood pressure improved after one session. My cholesterol levels make my doctor sigh with happiness. My weight stayed stable, but my muscle mass increased visibly. My friends tell me they envy my arms. I can do 40 situps in a minute. I exercise for fun with like-minded friends. My stress level is manageable as long as I keep moving. My energy has improved. And ask Susan about the "BB butt lift"--it's the BEST!

I wanted to also mention in closing that I am all about the data. There is actually research on this program's positive effects, and that in and of itself was compelling to me. Going into it, I knew that as long as I followed the recommended plan, I would see results. I felt them, for sure, after my first 8 weeks, but the before-and-after photos drove them home--one session was all it took for measurable, visible change. That was incredibly empowering and proved to me what Susan always said--that I was stronger than I knew. If you are reading this, you are probably looking for a change. To any woman looking for strength, speed, endurance, adventure, empowerment, challenge, hope, friends, and abs--this is the program for you.