Make the time for yourself! Exercise!

22 Jun

If there was anything I was missing out on in the last couple of years … it was making the time for myself. Taking a timeout from being “Mom” and really finding out what helps me be a better Mom.

I’m not sure how many of you readers will relate, but if I’ve done anything so far via networking … it seems that I have helped motivate some of you to get up and workout!


It’s time for YOU! This is where we get to focus on just “me” and nobody else. It’s 1 hour out of the 24 that we get to be Mom, Wife/Partner, Sister, Brother, Daughter, Friend, Employer/ee, etc …


No More Excuses.

It’s only ONE hour out of your day to help you release those endorphins and feel good about yourself. It has truly made me a better Mommy and Wife! I have so much more energy for my son and more energy to get things done around the house!

More than making me a better Mommy, it’s changed my life … it’s just made me a better ME!

In this post, I will give you simple workouts I have tried, followed, dedicated myself to and worked hard at for the last couple of months. These workouts are all easy ways for EACH AND EVERY ONE of you to try and stick to! There will be no excuses after reading this because each workout is different with all types of excuse-free classes and ways to work it out!

I promised Before & After Pictures and a promise is a promise. I swear, I am getting more brave by the day with this site … holding my breath … here goes!

The REAL Before: This is how I was at about 6 weeks pregnant: (tiny)

About 2 weeks before I gave birth … I had already looked like THIS!

And the day before birth like this! And yes, I only had 1 baby inside of that belly! (isn’t my Mom beautiful?)

So, needless to say, my body has been forever changed! After 2 years, I finally got my act together and started shedding the flab!

I have recently looked like this (PIC LEFT) and have ended up looking like this (PIC RIGHT): 9 lbs lighter & down 2 dress sizes!

(PLEASE try not to focus on my horrific tan I had gotten in the before pic, more keep in mind that the tan should have made me look skinnier! It’s not doctored, I just pushed auto correct color to make it brighter)

How did it happen?

I watch what I eat! I do not eat anything after 7:00p! I do not eat desserts after 5:00p! I try to eat as little amounts of processed foods and anything full of white sugar as possible! I do eat Gluten and Dairy Free … so that does make it easier to lose weight when you do not consume flour! However, many of those Gluten Free foods are processed with a ton of sugar to help make up for taste! So, I have to be very careful! I do not suggest anyone to try the Gluten Free/Dairy Free lifestyle unless they know they are sensitive or allergic to it – Please consult a Doctor. My advice: Just try to consume more veggies, fruits and proteins! Eat Healthy!

I also got up every morning and worked out (5-6 days per week)!

If you want to lose inches, weight and flab you MUST workout… You must do cardio!

Here are the workouts I did and still do:

  • Stroller Fit with Melissa Thomas at The Westfield Topanga Mall  (Mon. – Fri.) from 9:10a – 10:10a
  • Pilates with Sherry Abdi at Firm & Fit Pilates in Woodland Hills (Mon. + Wed.) from 11:15a – 12:15p
  • Bar Method with multiple instructors at Bar Method Agoura (Tues. + Thurs.) from 4:15p – 5:15p
  • Kick2Fit with Inez at 818 Fitness in Woodland Hills  (Mon. – Sat.) 9:30a – 10:30a or 5:30p – 6:30p

Let me elaborate on these INCREDIBLE trainers who have gotten me where I am today .. in bathing suit shape!


Melissa Thomas is an incredible instructor who can really help ease the most out of shape women into shape! When I first started at Stroller Fit, I could barely breathe when we would run from one tree to another. I was always last and would constantly complain of some sort of cramping! I constantly laughed at myself and thought how difficult this process would be, that I would rather be at home laying on the couch or just hanging with my son … but I started to meet other Moms that were in the same boat and it kept me coming back! It becomes like a family and we would all say “I’ll see you tomorrow?” Not to mention, Melissa made me feel comfortable enough to want to keep coming back. After about a week I got the hang of getting up, getting Dylan ready to go and getting out the door to class! By the second week, I felt like a different person, mentally. I found myself having more energy and craving the workout! I haven’t been the same since! I am addicted to working out because of Stroller Fit!

This class starts with a warm up, side shuffles to a serious muscle toning workout with elastic and resistance handle bands, skips on to a sprinting or fast paced jog competing with other Moms alike and moves on to the most dreaded … but best part … The Stairs!!! We run stairs! It’s hard, but it’s so good!!! After the stairs we head back into the mall where we all gather in a pack and do arms, stomach, etc … more toning and fun and interactive with all the other Moms. This is where we usually let the little ones come out to roam on the carpet with us, my son’s favorite part! This is a great workout for any Mom. Whether you are pregnant, just had a baby (and have the ok from your Dr. to workout again), out of shape or in shape … THIS IS A GREAT CLASS FOR YOU!

I decided to interview one of my Valley Mom Team Members (my workout inspiration) and ask her why Stroller Fit was the right fit for her … here is what she had to say!

VM: What is the one thing that comes to mind of why you love SF so much?

Lisa: That I can go workout and not have to hire and pay a babysitter. I have the freedom to just get up and go workout! No need to plan everything, make meals, get babysitter, pay a kids club; I JUST GO!

VM: Have you lost weight and gained muscle tone from it?

Lisa: YES, YES and I’ve even gained endurance from it!

VM: What kind of person would you refer to Stroller Fit?

Lisa: ALL KINDS! Pregnant, After baby, in shape, out of shape … ANY MOM! They have workout bands for all strengths and you can go at your own pace! Every Mom!!! (And Dads too)

VM: How do you feel about Melissa?

Lisa: I LOVE HER! She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. Just a great person in general. Very personable. She’s motivating! If you need more of a push …. she’ll give it to you. If you need her to lay off because you are pregnant or just getting back into shape … she will ease up. Stroller Fit would not be the same if Melissa was not the instructor … she is the one who makes Stroller Fit what it is and why I go!

VM: Any perk or bonus you would want to share with other Moms?

Lisa: My 2 years old, Tyler, has learned Spanish, Days of the week, the Months and how to workout just like Mommy! Plus she loves going! I also met a lot of new friends there … more Mom’s I would have never known if I didn’t join! I wish I would have known about SF right after I had my first daughter. Just getting out of the house and needing to get back in shape…  you feel gross, hormonal, in need of other Mom’s, etc … this class gives you all that and more! It’s like a Mommy and Me that helps Mommy tremendously and Baby gets to hang with Mommy, play with other babies and learns things too! It’s a Win-Win!

If you mention The Valley Mom you will get a free “Mommy Muscle” T-shirt this month and your first class is FREE!!!!

No excuse perk: You can workout with your kids- no child care necessary! AND there are always easy payment plans and great deals each month!

You can contact Melissa Thomas at Stroller Fit by Clicking Here for the details on her website or call her at (818) 631-1257 or you may email her at



Sherry Abdi is one of those women you look at and say to yourself  “How can I get a body like that”? Well, she has the answer! Pilates! She is an amazing instructor who knows so much about Pilates. She knows so many variations of toning, stretching and moving that you feel like it’s a new workout every time you step foot in her incredibly zen and peaceful studio. I didn’t know what to expect when I first tried Pilates. I thought it was just going to be these really confusing and difficult machines that I would make a fool out of myself with. NOT THE CASE AT ALL! The reformers are so simple, so comfortable and make so much sense! Sherry walks you through every movement … always making sure you are doing it correctly and getting the most out of your workout. If you want to tone up your body and focus on your core all while gaining muscle strength in your arms, legs, back, obliques, etc … this is the workout for you! Cardio will always help you shed the pounds and lose the flab BUT you need to tighten all of it up! You need to make sure to find those muscles, heal those joints and regain your flexibility!Sherry promotes you doing cardio as well as Pilates!

Per Firm & Fit Pilates this is a bit more on what Pilates is:

Pilates is more than exercise, it is a mind and body experience! Developed over 80 years ago by Joseph H. Pilates, the repertoire can be performed on various pieces of apparatus including the Cadillac, Step Barrel, Reformer, Wunda Chair and Ped-O-Pul or simply on a mat. The emphasis of the work starts with a strong, balanced and stable core. The core is an intricate unit of muscles that work synergistically and create a more efficient foundation from which our movement originates. Often, we overuse or underuse muscles of the core and in turn our whole body, creating imbalances that can eventually lead to poor posture, tension, injury and limited mobility.

Pilates is dedicated to restoring muscular balance, increasing functional strength and flexibility, lubricating and mobilizing joints, improving body alignment and posture, and heightening body control and awareness.

Pilates is unique because it can enhance everyone’s life activities. The results can be profound no matter what your current age or condition holds. Remember, everyone has his or her own challenges because no two bodies or minds are the same. Pilates is for everybody- young, old, injured, man, woman, child, ill, fit, overweight, athletic, strong…We welcome you to try for yourself.”

I truly rave about Firm & Fit Pilates because I didn’t really gain any muscle tone whatsoever in he last 5 years until I started there! Sherry is so flexible and accommodating with times. Whether you want a private training session, semi-private or group classes, you will find exactly what you are looking for.

Before I found Sherry my stomach flab was awful. I had a HUGE pooch and thought that only tummy tuck would be the answer! Sherry proved me wrong! She helped me get rid of the worst part on my body, my horrific stretched out tummy. It’s the focusing on the core that helps so much! Trust me! The three women I know who have become true workout fanatics ALL do Pilates and say it changed their life. I feel the same exact way!Now I know why they became so addicted.

This is a great workout for those of you who can get away from your little ones for a while. While my son is in school, I go to Pilates! And guess what … Sherry is offering all you readers the deal of a lifetime! You can’t find this kind of a Pilates deal anywhere! Just mention The Valley Mom to get the following:

– First trial class is FREE!

– $20 off for every time you refer a friend that signs up too!

– $100 off the group class price for the 11:00a & 12:00p classes

No Excuse Fact: She’s flexible with times!

If you have been wanting to try Pilates … this is the place, now is the time and here is your chance! CALL! Every friend I have referred absolutely loves Sherry, loves the studio and loves their new body! And please know you obviously do not have to be a Mom or a woman to enjoy Pilates or this special offer!

To contact Sherry at Firm & Fit Pilates go to or call (818) 331-4070 or email Sherry at

Firm & Fit Pilates is located at: 4881 Topanga Cyn. Blvd., #215, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

You can also find Sherry’s Firm & Fit Pilates on Facebook – CLICK HERE



Let me just say these words for you: Shaking, Sweating and Serious Stamina! Bar Method is one of those workouts that makes you want to cry during it and smile when it’s over! It’s this sense of major accomplishment it gives you to know you made it through. They want you to shake and sweat until you can’t possibly take it anymore. When I first walked in and started the workout … I have to admit, I was so thankful that I had already gotten in shape by this time. The workout is so intense and the muscle tone that you can acheive is beyond any other “bar” class I have taken. These girls really know what they are doing and exactly where we all need the push. Tushies tucked, tummies in, chest out, shoulders back and tighten! If I can tell you one thing that has changed more drastically than any other part … it would be my booty! And boy to I owe that to Bar Method! I get the best booty workout considering it’s tightened through about 80% of the class! Like Pilates, they focus on the core, stregthen & lengthen and promote flexibility! Put it this way: my 3rd class of Bar Method, I was doing the splits on both my right and left sides again! It has been over 5 years since I could do that! This class consists of warm up with light weights, holding on a ballet bar to do a major tush/thigh workout (harder and more intense than any other) flexiblility training, push ups, ab muscle workout while also getting legs in at the same time – using the bar and mats, and then they top it off with what they call “back dancing” … I like to call it the Tuck, Tuck, Tuck! All I have to say is GOODBYE CELLULITE!

Amazing workout and so worth the trial! You will fall in love if you are serious about getting in shape or finding something new! You do not have to be in shape to do this class nor do you have to be a dancer. This class is for people who are serious about changing their body into an incredible looking shape that you have probably never seen it do before! For a FULL EXPLANATION with multiple pictures of what this workout consists of – CLICK HERE.

Take advantage of their serious special for all NEW clients: $100 for 30 days of unlimited use!!!! I did it … now you have to do it! You will thank me, I promise!

No excuse perk- they have child care in the morning classes Modays – Saturdays and it’s only $6!!! My son LOVED the day care at Bar Method!

To contact the Agoura Bar Method Studio please visit their site by Clicking Here (prices  + schedules are posted) or you may call the Agoura studio at (818) 735-5415 or email them at

They are located at Whizin Market Square (near The Canyon Club) 28878 Roadside Drive, Agoura Hills, CA 91301

You may also find them on Facebook – Click Here


Inez’s Kick2Fit:

Wow … what could I possibly say about this INSANE & INCREDIBLE workout that will make you understand the intensity, complete dedication and family-like feeling you get when you start this class? I don’t think I can put it all into words. This cardio and extreme kick boxing class is UNBELIEVABLE. I have known Inez now for about 11 years and she has truly been in this business even longer than that! She trained under some of the most respected and most sought after workout/kickboxing/boxing instructors around! When you look at her, you know you are getting the real deal.  She is cut, toned and HOT! There is something in her voice and energy that makes you do it all. Even when you feel like you might almost pass out and die or want to give up (10 minutes into this) you just keep going and it’s because of her … the packed class she consistently brings and the high energy that is surrounding you. I’m not going to lie … this class is not for everyone. But, if you are truly dedicated and commited to losing weight and getting toned or even just staying fit, I suggest you get your Kick2Fit on now!

This is a high impact, kick-boxing class that moves quick. Her moves are combined with aerobics, boxing, kickboxing and martial arts. Your first time you might feel a bit lost in the punches, kicks, jabs, upper cuts and foot work she has choreographed (and later permanently sets in your brain), so get in the back of class your first week and follow Inez and most of the women and men in class … it’s crazy how everyone seems to memorize it at some point. Although, she changes it up on you, so don’t worry, you are NEVER bored! Don’t feel bad, you will have to remember everyone was a bit lost their first time. But, if you can stick with it, keep coming back, sweat your body to the point of no return and lose inches in a matter of days after this class (I am not kidding, you can burn up to 800 calories per class) you will be so proud of yourself and you will become ADDICTED!!! When I say I am addicted to Inez and Kick2Fit, I feel like I am seriously making an understatement. If I can’t make itno a class, it ruins my day.And I also get facebook messages from some of the other K2F addicts in there on Facebook asking me where I was. And it works, they guilt trip you into coming back ASAP!

The music is loud, fast and catchy … you will find yourself singing while you are working out! It’s hilarious and so much fun as it gets you pumped and going for an hour! Best part – she is dedicated to making her class a family. And when I say that it is a family, you really get to know everyone in this class and they all stay on you to keep coming back in! It’s a great feel and you will be so happy I sent you, I have referred over 5 people who are now regulars & addicted to Kick2Fit.

Oh did I say you are going to sweat? LOL … bring a towel! And water! And while you are at it, bring a yoga mat or large towel for the BEST ab workout at the end – I am not kidding when I say she flattened my tummy! – The pic to the right: that would be Inez mopping sweat during class and notice how the mirrors are fogged too! Crazy in love!

Only Bummer: No kids allowed, but if you can get a sitter or do it while they are in school, you are set!

Major Turn On:  First class free! Classes are only $10 for singles, when you buy a card of sessions it becomes $5 per class with a class free!  BEST DEAL IN TOWN!

No excuse factor: YOU CAN AFFORD IT! You will LOVE it!

To contact Inez at Kick2Fit go to or email her at

818 Fitness is located at:20929 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, CA 91364 818 Fitness is a quaint little gym located all the way in the back of the Cables Shopping Center at De Soto and Ventura.

You can also find Inez on Facebook – CLICK HERE

*Schedule is easy:

Mon. – Thurs. ~ 9:30a class AND 5:30p class

Fri. ~ 9:30a class

Sat. ~ 8:30a class

Go … you will for sure see me there!!!


I truly have lost a ton of flab, cellulite, unnecessary weight (9 lbs.) and two dress sizes! Everyone can do this! I want to personally thank Melissa @ Stroller Fit; Sherry @ Firm & Fit Pilates and all my AMAZING instructors at Bar Method and especially Inez @ Kick 2 Fit – You have seriously changed my life forever! Because of all of you, I am a happier person, a more energetic person, better Mom and so much healthier! I love all of you so much!

Please know that you do not have to become insane and take 2 classes per day like I did. If you can somehow make time for 1 hour of cardio at least 3 times per week and 1 hour of intense muscle tone/core classes 3 times per week then you can get into the summer shape you have been wanting to be in! Or if it’s a lifestyle change … just start now! Who cares how many hours or how many days just get up, go take a walk and realize how much better you feel when you add a little exercise in your life!

Please let me know if you have any questions! I am happy to answer anything!

Please make sure to email me to let me know if you have been inspired to workout, how your progress is and if you would be interested in being interviewed on your progress!

Good Luck and Get Movin’!

More Motivation? Here goes more bravery, holding breath, closing eyes, attempting to send this to all of you … ughhhhhhhh …

See here:

Before – Left pic … After – Right Pic

xo TVM xo

4 Responses to “Make the time for yourself! Exercise!”

  1. thevalleymom August 4, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Anjeanette said…
    OMG this is AWESOME!!! You look fabulous. And you earned it!!!!
    June 22, 2010 10:43 AM

    Brandy said…
    Absolutely INCREDIBLE!! I am totally in AWE over your DEDICATION, COMMITMENT & TOTAL INSPIRATION!! Congrats to you Momma, …. You LOOK FABULOUS and more importantly I am sure it feels AMAZING to have accomplished such goals!! Besides all that… I LOVE YOU
    June 22, 2010 10:58 AM

    Lori said…
    I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO proud of you for writing this blog as a way to motivate mothers and other people about the invigorating benefits of exercise and how simple it is to get up and GO. I could not have written it better myself, and I have not had the experience of motherhood, but I have been an exercise enthusiast for years and owe my strength and stamina to the Bar Method and Pilates. I will be sending this over to my clients whom I teach exercise classes too, as a way to keep them motivated and moving. Keep up the great work.
    June 22, 2010 11:28 AM

    perique said…
    First of all: You are so brave to put these pictures up!!! You look amazing!!!Congrats to you… and I for one am truly motivated!!!
    June 22, 2010 11:53 AM

    Franny said…
    erica – you look amazing! good for you. when i’m home next i am definitely going to try pilates! i have been to bar method and agree – it’s the best work out. hard but so rewarding. congrats!!!!
    June 22, 2010 12:15 PM

    Averi said…
    You look AMAZING Eri! I’m so proud of you for accomplishing your goals. I just started Pilates and with a a lot of dedication hope to look a fraction as good as you! I’m not a mom but love your updates…Can’t get enough!!
    June 22, 2010 1:05 PM

  2. Alex August 28, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    Sooo great to see doing so well !! Congrats!!! You look AMAZING!!! Can I ask though, what exactly you were eating when you say “eat healthy”? I feel like I do, but something is missing… did you have to skip the alcohol and never eat a carb or did you eat carbs, etc?
    Sooo fun reading all about your success… keep it up and keep sharing :)

  3. Clare April 22, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    I realize this is an older post but I just found it. I’m Bar Method obsessed too. You look hot!


  1. Westfield Topanga has taken away our beloved Stroller Fit! « The Valley Mom - March 28, 2011

    […] you want more information about Stroller Fit and the amazing instructor Melissa CLICK HERE to read my post about what it did for […]

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