Meet Gisela, October SLAMer of the Month

I’m delighted to be the S.L.A.M-er of the month; muchas gracias!
When Alexa approached me and gave me the news I was so excited. I called my husband, my sisters, my parents, my sister-inlaw, and my MOTHER-in-law–yup I did!. I was so excited…
Let me introduce myself: my name is Gisela and I’m taken by a wonderful, wise man named Angel. Together we have a son named Lucas. My son has an outgoing personality and has a beautiful smile. I’m blessed to have two wonderful men in my life.
However, not to be shallow, but after having Lucas I was worried about my body. I’ve never been overweight but I do like pastries, pizza, ice cream, and of course, some California burritos. I’m a full-body latina. That is why I always had a gym membership, but I was never consistent.
During my pregnancy I started to follow some IG fitness moms. I tried the workouts at the gym, but I felt judged and awkward doing the exercises. Then I lost the motivation to go by myself so I just watched the workouts on my phone while I was in bed or munching on something delicious. I was pregnant! I was eating for DOS, so I need to be fit!
Then reality hit. On February 2017, my son arrived. By that time we had moved to Monterey, where I did not have any of my sisters or friends living closed to me. My husband was unable to take days off from work. I was alone with a new baby; in a town where I did not know anyone; in a house that has a bedroom with huge mirrors where I stared at my postpartum body everyday. My husband encouraged me and insisted that I should go for walks. I don’t know what he was thinking. To me, going alone for a walk was the saddest and most melancholic thing I could envision; especially after having a baby.
I realized that I didn’t want to workout alone so I decided to look for workout buddies. I went to the local gym, but my son did not meet the age requirements for the daycare. He needed to be six months but he was barely two months. I didn’t want to wait until he was 6 months! So I decided to look for mom workout groups. I tried one group that met in the morning to walk to a coffee shop. I quickly realized that the walks were counterproductive since the cinnamon roll and café latte I enjoyed after the “walk” had more calories than the ones I burned. I wasn’t changing, anything instead I was gaining weight and spending money. Then I joined another group that was for moms that like to run. I tried it, but it was not good for my self-esteem. Most of the time it felt like I was running by myself, and I did not feel part of the group at all. Finally one day at Costco I saw this fit tall blonde lady wearing a SLAM t-shirt, and I had a “hallelujah” moment because she was a mom and she looked fit, like the IG moms. I went home and googled the group and it seemed inviting. I was able to relate to some of the moms in the website.
I enrolled, but my head was full of “what ifs”… What if I look awkward doing the exercise? What if they are clicky and don’t talk to me? What if the instructors are snobby? But to my surprise, I felt welcomed. From the beginning of the class I felt part of the group. In the warm up circle the moms next to me asked about my baby and welcomed me with a smile. Then one of the moms named Gaga, helped me with Lucas when he was crying. She calmed him down and assured me he will end up loving the workouts. She made me feel that everything was okay. That day Kim’s workout was intense, like always. I went home all sweaty but feeling accomplished. That feeling was what made me be part of SLAM.
At SLAM, I found my workout buddies. In every class, I feel the motivation of the other moms, which makes me workout even harder without feeling judged. It feels good to go to a workout class where I’m able to laugh and talk with other women who are going through similar things like me. To be part of SLAM is to know that I can do and push myself to the last second of the workout and feel good afterwards and see the results in my body, and even better, that my husband feels it too. That is why I’m part of SLAM.