Having children changed Madison Bergloff’s life. It also changed her body. By the time she had her second child last year, she found herself tipping the scales at 100 pounds over her ideal weight.
“I gained like 60-something with the first and I never really lost it and then I gained 30 with the second,” said Bergloff, 24, of Dover. “I never kept track of it. I kind of let it climb and before you know it, you’re way too big.”
And while Bergloff never considered herself to be a really thin person, the extra weight was taking its toll. Her size 8 figure grew to a size 22, she tired easily and her self-confidence plummeted.
“I wouldn’t say I was depressed but I was more home-sheltered, more into myself,” she said.
Bergloff knew she had to make some changes if she was to get back to her old self and be a good role model for her children, Owen, 3, and Brooke, 1.
Bergloff heard about Punch Kettlebell Gym in Dover from a friend at a baby shower. She started at its boot camp last July.
“I felt that just going to the gym on my own, I wouldn’t know what to do,” she said. “I was so far out of shape I needed someone to monitor me because I hadn’t done any physical activity other than walking.”
The boot camp introduced Bergloff to the kettlebell, a cast-iron weight used to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training.
“The whole philosophy is just building more muscle and the more muscle beefs up your metabolism,” she said. “Most women are kind of hesitant about lifting weights but it’s actually kind of healthy. Just resting right now my metabolism is somewhat higher.”
She works out three times a week and follows each session with 30 minutes of cardio exercise to work off “stored” fat.
Nutrition is the other major component of her fitness plan. She’s replaced fast food with home-cooked meals. She eats six small meals a day, making sure to include a protein and healthy carbohydrate in each.
“Without the nutrition, you could work out all day and not see much,” she said. “But I wouldn’t say I’m dieting, just eating healthier.”
The results have been impressive. She’s already reached her goal of 145 pounds. Her energy level is up, and she’s gained the confidence to socialize more and try new things like running. She works in a six-mile run once a week and competed in the Caesar Rodney half-marathon last month.
She even celebrated the first warm day of spring by donning a pair of shorts for the first time in five years. “That was a huge accomplishment,” she said.
And just as she hoped, she’s passing the good habits on to her kids. A couple weeks ago, Owen participated in the Delaware Kidney Walk at Killens Pond State Park in Felton.
Bergloff realizes that maintaining a good weight will be an ongoing process but she’s up to the challenge. “I’m not going to go back because I see how happy and how nice it is now,” she said.
Her advice to anyone in a similar situation: “Set short-term goals and take that initial step and just try,” she said. “You’ll see results so quickly that you’ll want more and want to continue.”
Bergloff recently shared more of her story with The News Journal.
How and why did you start exercising?
I started exercising after having my second child. I gained weight with both of my pregnancies and I was ready to get rid of the extra pounds that I had put on. I chose a boot camp at Punch Kettlebell Gym to start my journey. The program was just for women and only 30 minutes a day. The trainers gave me all the information I needed for my nutrition and pushed me to my max during my workouts.
What is your regular exercise routine?
I currently work out three times a week at Punch Kettlebell Gym for 45 minutes and then I do 30 minutes of cardio after our workouts.
What kind of impact has the regular exercise had on your physical health?
There is no comparison to my life now that I’m more physical active than my life before. I am much stronger, and I have much more energy to enjoy life and to be more active with my kids.
What kind of impact has the exercise had on your emotional and mental health?
Mentally, I am more focused and goal-oriented. I have a sense of accomplishment that has boosted my self-confidence and I am just an overall “happier” person.
What role does nutrition and healthy eating play in your fitness?
Eating healthy is a big part of my fitness routine. I’ve made a lifestyle change that includes sensible nutrition and healthy eating habits.
What is the biggest challenge of getting fit and how do you meet it?
The biggest challenge in getting fit is realizing the battle never ends. Every day I must continue my new habits of eating right and exercising. I must remain focused and surround myself with people who are encouraging.
What is the biggest reward of getting fit?
The biggest reward of getting fit is the sense of self-accomplishment. Knowing you can do things you previously thought you couldn’t do. Then setting the example for others around you to do the same and encouraging everyone to live a more active life.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking of getting fit but is hesitant to start?
It’s never too late to get started. Getting fit begins with making small daily changes that over time result in weight loss and the body you’ve dreamed of. Commitment to a program like boot camp offered at Punch Kettlebell Gym was definitely the right choice for me. The trainers saw my potential and really pushed me further than I would ever [have done] on my own and also gave me support and encouragement I needed. … The weight training has increased my muscle mass, which in turn helps me burn more calories, plus has completely toned my body. Not only am I now smaller, I’m stronger, leaner and have visible muscle definition.
The News Journal, May 10th, 2011