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Our New Body Back Instructor, Niki!

I loved being pregnant, but after I had my daughter I was also pretty jazzed at the prospect of wearing my favorite jeans -- the ones in the back of the closet with a real zipper-and-button combo.

I started walking, then got back to running with my doctor's approval. But I didn't have any bounce to my step. And although I ate healthy foods, I really wasn't sure how to adjust to life as an active, breastfeeding mom.

When Viv was 8 weeks old, I joined Body Back with the goal of eventually retiring stretch pants. After one eight-week session, fitting into jeans was near the bottom of what I'd accomplished. I was part of a community of positive, hard-working moms who helped keep me physically challenged yet emotionally supported. I ran a half marathon and set a personal record -- much to my surprise! I swear my butt was two inches higher. And thanks to the combination of a darling newborn and the endorphin rush that comes after hour-long high intensity interval workouts, I was also really happy despite all the challenges of being a new mom.

Those are pretty infomercial-worthy results, yet Body Back is no get-thin-quick scheme. It combines high intensity workouts with balanced nutritional recommendations and a system of accountability and support. And as a mom to a young girl, I'm proud that classes are a body positive place where the focus is on becoming the best, most healthy version of you -- not conforming to someone else's idea of beauty.

After that first session, I had to take a break because our new home was 40 minutes from the nearest class (although I brainstormed ways to make the commute, trust me). When we moved to West Seattle earlier this year, I signed up right away.

Now, more than two years after my first session, I am training to become a Body Back instructor. I get just as much sweat and support from the workouts as when I started, and no matter how many before-and-after photos I see of my fellow Body Back mamas, I still get teary-eyed every damn time!

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