A Q&A with my friend Stephanie, who lost 53pounds

I've known Stephanie Beaulieu for a good chunk of my life as she was my dance teacher at one point during my eleven years dancing.  I had seen her only a handful of times in the last couple of years at friends' weddings, but for the most part we keep in touch via Facebook. That's where I saw her groundbreaking story. Steph had taken the time to focus on her health and fitness goals for the sake of both herself and her three young children resulting in her losing 53 pounds and completing a 10km race. I had the chance to chat with her about the highs and lows of her journey. Check it out below:


1) When did you decide to embark on this health and fitness journey?

I have struggled with my weight my whole life and have always known that one day I would commit 100% to getting healthier and losing the excess weight, but it wasn't until my twins were born in September 2015 that I knew that NOW was the time.

I had 3 kids under 18 months and life was just crazy! Someone needed me every second of every day and it was taking its toll on me quickly. I knew that I needed to do something for myself and taking 30 minutes a day to workout and spend time on my own was exactly what I needed.

 


 2) Were there times when you were tempted to give up? How did you stay on track?

Of course! And there are still times where it is really tough to stay on track. But it is key to have a strong support system around you. My husband, sister, mom and friends and family have all been so instrumental in keeping me heading in the right direction. For example, sweets are my weakness. Sometimes I will just say to my friends "don't let me eat any more of that for today" and something about having said it out loud makes it so much easier to stick to.


 3) Once you achieved your initial goal(s), were you inspired to go farther and to continue setting more goals related to health and fitness?

Seeing progress is the most motivating thing! Once people started noticing that I was losing weight it make it easier and easier to keep going. I have never been able to run any type of long distance, so I set myself a goal to run a 10 km race which I completed in October 2016.


 4) What have you learned about yourself throughout this journey?

I have learned that it is very easy to get caught up in being a Mom and a wife and it's easy to get lost in that. I have learned that it is so important to take some time to work on yourself and it's ok to tell people that you need time to yourself. It's not selfish. My family needs its Mom to be healthy and happy and taking time to myself to workout every day gives me that.


 5) Has making changes to your lifestyle affected other aspects of your life?

It has done a lot to improve my mood and the way I manage stress. Everyone around me noticed this.


6) What advice would you give to those hesitant about leading a healthier lifestyle?

Everyone always asks me "you have three little kids, how do you find time to workout" and my answer is always the same: I don't FIND time to work out, I MAKE time, there's a big difference. It's not a matter of "if" I will do a workout today, it's "when". If people can get in the habit of treating their workouts like brushing their teeth, or paying bills it becomes a normal part of your day and it is not such a daunting task.