100 Dumbbell Hang Power Clean & Push Press, 45/30 lbs
Run, 800 m
50 Dumbbell Hang Power Clean & Push Press, 45/30 lbs
Run, 400 m
Julie Valdez had a bad case of “mom guilt.”
“You know, the guilt moms feel that they aren’t doing enough,” she said. “I had all this guilt that I wasn’t doing enough to balance all my kids’ needs.”
Valdez, 32, is mother to two sets of twins: Aiden and Isaiah, 4, and Augustine and Isabella, 2.
“The biggest challenge is that they all have different needs, and one of my sons is autistic and has a sensory disorder as well, so it’s a balancing act to make sure they all get what they need from me,” she said.
“Mom guilt” kept Valdez from taking care of herself. A perceived lack of time and energy meant she didn’t prioritize her nutrition, and she let her fitness slide. As a result, by the time Augustine and Isabella were born in 2016, she had reached 210 lb. at 5 foot 4.
“I wasn’t organized to plan meals ahead of time, so when I was hungry I’d just grab whatever was there, like my kids’ fruit snacks, or I’d eat out,” she said. “Especially after my second set of twins were born. I went into survival mode, so eating out was my go-to.”
She felt unhealthy and lethargic and suffered from postpartum depression. In July 2016, when her youngest twins were 6 months old, Valdez hit rock bottom.
“I went on a family vacation to Florida. … I saw a picture of myself after the vacation and hardly recognized who I was,” she said.
She knew it was time to make a change—not just for her own sake, but also for her children. So she went to the doctor, who told Valdez she was obese.
After the appointment, Valdez sat in her car and cried.
“I realized I wasn’t taking care of myself, and I wasn’t happy with my own health and the way I looked. … I knew if I didn’t do anything about it, my health would continue to deteriorate and I would just get heavier,” she said.
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