Kelly Callahan  Before and After This mom of two, wife, and full-time doctor thought she didn’t have time to work out at The Studio (MDR). But amazing things have happened because she found a way to sneak in some “me” time and make her way to classes three times a week. Here’s her story.

Tell us about your starting point. How did you find The Studio (MDR) and what were you hoping to accomplish when you first signed up? 

I lived around the corner from The Studio (MDR) when it first opened, and I was pregnant with my second daughter at the time. I remember driving by the studio every morning on my way to work, peering in the window and wondering if that was something I could ever do. After Julia was born, the weight was not coming off like it had after my first pregnancy, and I was in the worst shape of my life.  I hadn’t exercised in two years. I thought I would never have the time to exercise again because I was working full time and was a mother of two. I was feeling sluggish and out of shape, and I resigned myself to the fact that I would never reach my ideal weight again, never mind get toned.  One day, I came home from work and my husband surprised me with a Studio (MDR) class and toe socks. He was very encouraging about me trying it since I had been talking about it for so long. The following Sunday (in April 2012) I took the introduction class  and I haven’t looked back.

What was your first class like? How tough did you think it was? How sore were you the next day? Were you “hooked” from the start?

The first class was incredibly tough for me. I remember doing the standing long jump and thinking I had just ripped my hamstring in half. I almost felt defeated at the end of the class, but everyone’s encouraging words as I left the studio that day (and my husband’s pep talk when I got home) made me committed. Two days later, I was still sore from my first class but I was determined to get on the Megaformer (and not fall off!). I had to modify every move; I couldn’t even do plank to pike. Mary, Lindsay, and Jesse worked diligently with me over the next weeks and months and had such patience with me as I tried to learn the moves and build strength. I remember the first time I finally was strong enough to do plank to pike without any modifications. I wanted to yell at the top of my lungs, “ I did it!” in the middle of class. I kept my composure but I logged it as my first goal ACCOMPLISHED and had a huge smile on my face for the rest of the class.

Have you had any challenges along your path to transformation, and if so, how did you push past them?

The biggest challenge for me (and for most moms I know) was learning to take time for myself. My initial hesitation about taking class was because of guilt I had thinking I would be taking away time from my family. I am so thankful for the late night classes, because I can spend the evening with my family and then head down to the studio for some “me” time. I soon realized that taking care of myself is so important and makes me a more active and engaged mom. My 3-year-old now asks if she can exercise with me when she gets big.

MDR talks a lot about loving your body in order for it to love you back. Have you had some moments where you’ve realized how far you’ve come in this sense?

I had no idea I could be this strong! It was great to see the rest of the pregnancy weight melt off, but the best part was to see that I actually had muscles under all of that extra weight. I stand a lot taller now.

Where are you now in terms of how far you’ve come from your starting point, and what are your new goals?

I can still envision myself in my first classes and I am so proud of how far I have come. I am in the best shape of my life. I lost 30 pounds and am back to my ideal weight. I went from a tight size 10 to a comfortable size 6. Most of my life I was a size 8, but now because by body is so much more toned, I am a size 6! My upper body strength is what has surprised me the most.  I can easily do military style push-ups now, and when I get a glimpse of myself in the mirror and see my toned arms, I smile. I also have my mental toughness back and know I can conquer anything I set my mind to. The classes are still tough, which keeps me coming back. I strive to accomplish small goals each session, like holding all the planks for the entire time or getting through the first 25 minutes without taking a break or modifying any moves. I don’t always meet my goals, but I don’t give up.  My husband and I work out together now on days that I don’t go to The Studio (MDR), which has been so much fun for us. I hope to do a mud run in the fall and a duathalon (running and biking) next spring. My 20-year high school reunion is in August and I will be rocking my size 6 LBD!