The (F)Empower Project: Meet Saribel!

My name is Saribel Deslauriers. I'm a 31 year old stay at home mother of three. I love being a mother and a wife and my life revolves around my family.

Since I was little, I have always been involved in sports and track and field. I played Handball for over 10 years and being active was always a big part of my life until I moved to Canada, got married and decided to have a family. When I had my first daughter everything changed. Sports and exercise were the least of my worries since I didn't see big changes in my body and I went right back to my regular weight. I never worried or had the time to think about exercise. Being with my daughter and husband trying to experience motherhood was my main priority. 

I had two more beautiful daughters. After my third baby, I started to look in the mirror and didn't like seeing that I was different in body and mind. I didn't do anything to change it, and lacked the drive to do anything about it. It was just easier to be at home, only going out when necessary. One day, I was sitting on the couch snacking on junk food and my oldest daughter came and said "when I grow up, I want to be like you!" That's when it hit me that I wasn't being a good example to my kids. I was lazy, eating junk food constantly and they were seeing that. It was that moment where I decided that I needed to lead by example and started to look for things to do to be active, something that would fit in our family schedule.

I started with zumba at the community centre while my daughters were in Karate, so it was a win-win. I started feeling better, not necessarily seeing any results physically but mentally it did wonders for me. One day, I saw the NTC (Nike Training Club) live classes on a CP24 segment and it looked great. It is high intensity training for a period of no more than 45 mins. At the time, they  had 3 classes during the week at Academy of Lions, including one on Saturday at 12pm. Now the trick was to find a spot... and one day I did! It was the first day of the rest of my fitness life. The NTC trainers understood my limitations and helped me push past them, coaching and guiding me through the challenges of getting back into the active lifestyle. Not only are they great fitness coaches but they're also awesome individuals.

I have been going to NTC three times a week for over a year now and train at home with the NTC app. I have seen improvements in my body where most of the baby fat is gone and I look toned! I honestly have not changed my diet. I eat whatever I want in moderation and also make sure that my portions are not extreme. I have not done any special diets or anything. I believe that you should be able to eat what you want, without feeling guilty or bad, because we only have one life and we should live it the way we want. Everything in moderation is key to me. 

Being a mother is something that has changed me for the better. My kids are my motivation and my husband pushes me to be better too. When I feel like I don't want to go exercise, he reminds me how far I've come and asks me if my excuse for not exercising is good enough? It's hard sometimes to keep myself motivated either because I feel tired, I'm too stressed or it's that time of the month. But when I start exercising I feel better, more energized, and at peace.

Training with NTC has changed me, I regained the confidence I once had. I believe that being active and fit has given me the chance to prove to myself one very important thing:

"If I put my mind to it, there's nothing I can't do."

There's so much that goes with being healthy and portraying yourself the way you want to be seen and not the way society tells you; you don't have to be skinny to be healthy, same as you don't need big muscles to be strong.

So from one mother to another: get up, it can be done! It will be hard sometimes but it will always be worth it in the end. Trust me you will not regret it and baby steps will get you there.

Now, when my daughters say to me "When I grow up, I want to be like you" I feel proud that they see a woman who's trying to be the best mother she can be, who teaches great core values, and builds motivaton and self-esteem by taking care of her mental and physical health.