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The Hood Magazine

Mommy Gets Fit 2015

08/27/2015 12:46PM ● By Hood Magazine

Photo courtesy of studiofotografie

By Jessica Brovold

A big congrats to all of our moms who took part in the 2015 Mommy Gets Fit Challenge with help from Circuit Fitness! This group of five women proves that hard work, dedication and determination really do pay off. Follow along as these local moms share their stories about their journey to fitness. We hope these motivated moms can help you break through the barrier and get on track to having more energy and a better life balance.


Chelsea VanLeur 

Fun Facts:

Lost five inches overall
Cut two minutes off her mile time

Decreased body fat by 5%

Strength! Went from 11 pushups in a minute to 40!
“I was extremely pleased with Chelsea’s results,” said Jordan Mitzel of Circuit Fitness. “She burned lots of fat and replaced it with lean muscle mass.”


 Chelsea is a third grade teacher in the Brandon Valley School District. She enjoys bike riding and watching baseball with her husband and three children. As a working mom, Chelsea put her health on the back burner and decided it was time to make a change.


Why did you want to take part in the challenge?
I realized that most of the time I was feeling down about the way I looked or felt. This attitude soon carried over to my family. I told myself I had to make a change soon! This is when I saw the ad for the Mommy Gets Fit Challenge through ‘Hood Magazine and thought it would be a great opportunity for me. This challenge has motivated me and helped me gain the passion to get healthy.

What has been your favorite part so far?
My favorite part so far is the diversity in the workouts that Circuit Fitness has to offer. I like that every time I go to work out, I can guarantee it will be something different that will work different parts of my body. I love that! I have worked parts of my body that I have not worked in a long time, or never for that matter.

Why is this important to you?
This is important to me because I want to be a good role model for my children. I’m able to educate them on how to make good and healthy choices when it comes to fitness and eating. I would get tired and sluggish very easily and my kids noticed that. I find that I have so much more energy and can keep up with them now.

Advice for other moms:
I would tell them that they can do it! Before I started this journey I kept giving the excuse that I can't find the time with a full time job and three kids, but YOU can. You just have to find the right balance that works for you.  I also think that it is important to find a group of workout buddies that are supportive and encouraging. This has helped me stick with it.


Rachel Keffeler

Fun Facts:
Lost 3 pounds
Cut 1.5 minutes off mile time
Strength! Added 18 pushups onto one minute pushup test

“Rachel’s goal was to have more energy,” said Jordan Mitzel of Circuit Fitness. “Being thin to begin with, her goal was not so much to lose weight, but to tone up and gain strength.”

 Rachel works part time as a physical therapist and lives with her husband and three children.


Why did you want to take part in the challenge?
I wanted to start exercising so that I would have more energy to play with my kids and to have an overall healthier lifestyle so that I could feel better and be a better role model for my kids.

I am not really internally motivated for fitness, so I thought Mommy Gets Fit would be a great motivator to keep me honest.  Knowing that my results would be published and that my progress would affect an entire group, kept me going.


What has been your favorite part so far?
I have really enjoyed the workouts, which surprises me. I have never been one to exercise. I have also never been a morning person, but I have not yet had a hard time getting out of bed to go to class at 5 a.m. No two classes are the same. I also like that I don't know what we are going to be doing until I get there. That way I don't dread going on those cardio days! It is also nice to have different instructors.  Each instructor motivates me differently.

Why is this important to you?
I got to the point that I just felt lousy all the time. While I didn't have a ton of weight to lose, I did not like what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I was tired all of the time and had very little energy, or motivation to do anything. 

I want to teach my kids healthy habits and promote wellness in their lives. The best way that I can do that is to be a good example. 


I am also guilty -like most other moms out there- of not taking time for myself. All my time and energy went into what the family needed, and I pushed my needs aside. When I started at Circuit Fitness, that all changed. I now make time to focus on me for those 45 minutes each day.

Advice for other moms:
It is well worth it! I have never been a morning person but for me, morning workouts work well. I don't feel guilty taking the time to do it because the kids are still sleeping. I also find that I am able to be more present with them when I have taken the time for myself. 

Jackie Stewart 

Fun Facts:
Lost six pounds
Cut three minutes off mile time
Decreased body fat by 6%
“Jackie is fun to have in class because she is the person who would always doubt that she could do certain things, said Joran Mitzel of Circuit Fitness. “Yet once she started, she would always accomplish the task.”

 Jackie is married to her high school sweetheart, Chris. They’ve been married for 14 years and have two daughters. Jackie is an executive administrative assistant. She stays busy taking care of her family and their dog named Dewey, who bonds with Chris as the only other male in the house!

Why did you want to take part in the challenge?

I wanted to take part in this class and the challenge because I have tried every other diet known to man and none of them work long term. I was also tired of depriving my body of food all of the time. My weight would go from thin to fat in a matter of months and my closet was full of things that only fit for a brief moment in time. I have done gym memberships, but no one is there pushing you. I am not what you call a “work-out” kind of girl but I thought…why not, I’ve got to do something!

What has been your favorite part so far? 
You never know what you are going to be doing from day to day and every workout is different. I also like being told what to do. It’s hard for me to go to a gym where I pick what to do with my time. I don’t know how to use most of the machines and usually end up just running on the treadmill. That’s all good, but this works all your muscles, and I mean ALL of them, especially the ones I never knew I had.   

Why is this important to you?
As my daughters get older I want them to feel comfortable about their bodies and I want them to know the best ways to stay fit. I don’t want them to believe that in order to be fit, you have to be skinny and starve yourself. They are watching my every move and in this day and age it is so important to teach them confidence and give them the tools to succeed, and that includes loving their bodies.

Advice for other moms:
Just do it. When the workout is done, I feel so much better about myself, because I did it. I have learned that being skinny does not mean that you are fit and being fit doesn’t mean that you have to be skinny. I may not be the skinniest I have ever been, but I know that I am in the best shape of my life and that makes me feel great!


Janelle Podzimek 


Fun Facts:
Lost 10 pounds
Nearly doubled number of pushups in a minute from 28 to 47
Decreased body fat by 4%
“Janelle was the most encouraging to the group as a whole,” said Jordan Mitzel of Circuit Fitness. “She would look like she was ready to pass out each workout, yet she was the one you could hear across the room encouraging others and yelling for them not to quit. Her perseverance and attitude is incredible.”

 Janelle has been married to her husband Joe for over 17 years. They have two children and they love goings on family vacations.

Why did you want to take part in the challenge?
I was really apprehensive at first, but I knew this was something that would hold me accountable. I love going to Circuit Fitness! It is not the same old boring workout that you do at the gym. I have also developed great friendships in this workout class!

What has been your favorite part so far?
The friendships I have made. Everyone is very supportive and really cares about how you are doing. The instructors are very approachable and you are able to ask any questions about diet and fitness classes.  They don't make you feel stupid!

Why is this important to you?
I want to live my best life. I want to set a good example for my children and show them that fitness is an important part of life. 

Advice for other moms:
You have to make time for YOU!! It’s so easy to get caught up in all of life's activities. This class is not just about body fitness, it’s also for mental clarity. Ask for help! Get a neighbor to watch the kids for an hour, or drop the kids at a friend’s house. There is always someone who will help!


Amanda Henning  


Fun Facts:
Lost six pounds and six inches
Decreased body fat by 4.5%
Cut over a minute off her mile time
“I would say Amanda’s biggest growth was with her confidence, said Jordan Mitzel of Circuit Fitness. “She seemed to be shy and quiet to start, but at the end you could see her smiling and bubbly.”

 Amanda has been married to her husband, Nick, for 12 years and they have three children. Amanda works for the Brandon Valley School District. She enjoys spending time with her family and going to her kids’ activities.

Why did you want to take part in the challenge?
I took part in this challenge to give me more drive and focus towards my goals. To show others moms that they can do it too!!

What has been your favorite part so far?
My favorite part has been feeling better. I come home from my workouts with energy and I am ready for the day. I love the excitement my kids have for me as well. They are always wanting to hear what we did in class and are so proud of me.

Why is this important to you?
It is important to me because I want to set a good example for my kids and make activity and healthy eating an important part of our lives. I want to be that good example for them so they make the good choices as well.

Advice for other moms:
My advice would be to make time. Finding time was hard for me as well. My husband has a crazy work schedule, which was a challenge for me to make it work. But, it is worth the sacrifices!