It's been a while since we've shared a Transformation Thursday post, but that's not due to lack of inspiration! Every day at Studio Poise, we continue to be inspired by the hard work our clients put into improving their minds, bodies, and spirits. For today's Transformation Thursday, we asked Jen DeStefano to share her story. Let's hear what she has to say!
Weight and body image were not something I struggled with as a child or adolescent. Even through college I was happy with my body. From age 3 to about 25 I was a dancer—ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern—I did it all, usually 2-3 days per week. I was active, flexible and graceful. I always had a curvy figure, but I never really felt like my weight was an issue. Believe me, I was by no means perfect, but I was content. I started “being an adult” at a very young age. I married my high school sweetheart at 23 and by 28 we had two children. Pregnancy and mommy-hood definitely changed my body. With two little kids and a full time career, I gave up dancing because I didn't have time. My meals became standard mommy-fare including lots of snacks, fast food and of course whatever my kids left on their plates. At first I didn't really notice how much my body was changing because I was still pretty young (LOL) and I think youth compensated for a lot of it.
Fast forward to 35....my life changed dramatically. Due to a lot of circumstances in my personal life, including a divorce, I went into a tailspin. Physically and emotionally I was at the lowest point in my life. I was struggling with depression and I ate, drank and slept way too much. Oh - and there was ZERO physical activity or exercise in my routine. There was plenty of wine and chinese food, though! For the next 3 years, I went up and down and back and forth trying to regain control and make some positive changes. I would diet for a month and then go right back to old habits. I'd try to get out and walk, but I quickly found excuses—too busy, too hot out, too cold out—to get out of doing it. Summer of 2014 came, and I was at my all time heaviest—even heavier than at 9 months pregnant—and simply didn't know where to begin.
Enter Studio Poise! A good friend of mine, whom you all know—Chrissy Clawson—had been there to listen to my tale of woe for the last few years. In July of 2014 she convinced me to buy a 3 class package and join her for a class at Studio Poise. I must admit I was terrified! Just trying to figure out what to wear to class stressed me out. I had done pilates once or twice YEARS ago and I knew in my current physical state it was going to be HARD! July 22, 2014 I took my first Pick Your Poise*N class. I'm not going to lie and say I instantly fell in love because I didn't, but I did my three classes and even purchased a 10 class series after that. My SP love affair began in September 2014 when Chrissy convinced me to try 6 Weeks to Chic. It was the night before Kickoff and she said, “You should do it! People have great results!” So I did it.
From the Kickoff meeting I was hooked. It was the first time in my life I felt excited about exercising and really committed to it. I dove in head first to 6 Weeks to Chic and I can say now that it truly changed my life! At first the idea of 5 classes a week seemed impossible, but after I survived the first week, that proved to me that I actually could do it. I was strictly following the meal plan and actually enjoying cooking clean, healthy meals. My 6 Week teammates and I bonded, shared recipes, encouraged and supported each other through classes and the Facebook group. Danielle and all the instructresses, as well as all of the SP ladies, were welcoming, encouraging and motivating. By the end of Fall 2014 6 Weeks to Chic I had lost 15 inches and two pants sizes! I had a whole new opinion of myself and my body. I felt stronger and healthier with more energy and confidence. Some of that old grace and flexibility was coming back.
Since the end of my 6 Weeks season, I have participated in the Battle of the Seasons (in which I lost 4 more inches for a grand total of 19) and become an unlimited member. Studio Poise has become a part of my life's routine and I try my best to stick with the meal plan, and I've found that balance is the key. I look forward to class and have tried lots of different things including all the variations of Poise, Barreworks, Zumba, Stretch and Tone, Hip Hop Flow and am anxiously awaiting my first Poiseboard. I am so thankful to Danielle for creating such a wonderful studio and for being such an amazing role model. Studio Poise is a truly special place that not only has helped me to feel stronger physically but has helped me to find strength and well-being inside myself.