Laura A. is one HIITLAG member that you will almost always see in class – along with her adorable 20 month old daughter, Audrey. Her dedication to fitness and health is evidenced by her hard work in class and her motivation to attend on a regular basis. A HIITLAG member since November 2015, Laura has transformed into a strong and fit mom who now has a love for intense workouts. Laura inspires us and we wanted to learn more about how she operates in and out of class.
Where can we find you when you are not in class? During the week you'll find me hanging out with three toddlers at my house (and trying not to go crazy in the process!). I provide childcare for two little girls in addition to caring for my daughter, so our days are messy, chaotic, busy and fun! That's why I love HIITLAG so much, because it allows me to fit working out into my day. On the weekends, we're usually doing a home improvement project or visiting our family, since both sets of grandparents and the majority of my daughter's aunts and uncles live in Northern VA.
How do you make time for fitness in your busy life?
Well, I used to be really horrible at this, but thankfully I found HIITLAG. Having a small, supportive group of women to workout with was the motivation I needed. This is the first workout I've ever stuck with long term. Everyone knows everyone else, so there is accountability. Now I feel like I'd better have a good reason if I'm going to skip my workout! HIITLAG classes provide challenge and variety without being too intimidating for a fitness beginner like me. Being able to bring my daughter and daycare child is fantastic - because I definitely wasn't succeeding at waking up early to workout, or doing it late at night.
What is your favorite HIIT exercise or class?
I really like the PE/Field Days exercise sequence that Zara has done a few times. My second day of HIIT, this was the class we did. It kicked my butt!
What inspires your exercise every day?
My family (specifically my daughter). A year ago I was nearly 30 pounds heavier, really stressed (I was still working outside of the home at the time in a high-stress job), eating horribly due to lack of time/energy to prepare healthy foods, and not exercising at all. And I was miserable. The turning point for me was on Mother's Day last year. We had a nice family picnic and took lots of pictures...and I hated every single one. For a person like me who loves photography, this was so upsetting. I didn't have a single picture of myself and my daughter on my first Mother's Day that I liked. That was when I realized that I couldn't let my daughter grow up with a mom who was ashamed of how she looked. I wanted to look back on pictures from our family vacations and holidays and see the happy memories we made instead of just seeing my flaws. So, I made some big changes in my life, and they have really paid off. I'm glad that my daughter will now grow up knowing what it is to be healthy and body confident.
What has been the biggest benefit from attending HIITLAG classes?
I actually like what I see in the mirror for the first time in years! Sure, I'm not perfect, and I haven't met my weight loss goal yet, but I'm working hard and seeing results! I'm feeling strong and healthy, and I tend to make better choices in my diet because I feel better (I used to be a big emotional eater).
What is your favorite healthy snack?
I love grapefruit or berries if I'm feeling like something sweet. I also like to make a ranch dip with homemade ranch seasoning and greek yogurt. Then I'll dip celery or mini cucumbers in that. My daughter loves all of these snacks too! Here is a link for the homemade ranch seasoning recipe if you are interested: http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/homemade-ranch-seasoning-mix/