Let's dive in and learn a little more about Brittany and how she developed a healthier lifestyle, got significantly stronger and even recovered from injuries in the past year at K-Fit.
My home was in Newark, CA, but I went to school in Palo Alto and then Fremont, CA.
2) Share 3 Fun Facts about yourself.
Born in Panama.
I have 2 dogs, 2 cats, and a snake.... but it's not enough pets.
I got to do an exclusive interview with Allen Ginsburg for my college radio news show.
3) Favorite (Healthy) Food
Homemade "refried beans" made with a combination of pinto and black beans, tomatoes, onions, garlic, salsa and a smidge of butter. It's about half vegetables, but all pureed together so my kids don't realize!
4) Share a little about your story...
I grew up in the East Bay, then moved to New York for college. I lived on the east coast for 9.5 out of 11 years, and the other year and a half I was living in Taiwan. My husband and I met in college, so we like to joke that fear of actual dating will keep us together. I wasn't even able to manage parties and bars. While we were living in Taiwan, we had the opportunity to travel throughout southeast Asia and see some of the most amazing sites in the world. We hiked along the top of the unrestored section of the Great Wall of China and didn't see another person for hours.
We travelled by boat from Thailand to Cambodia and saw as the scenery became more and more poor until even basic farming knowledge had clearly been lost. We got to try such an astonishing variety of food, including a sautéed spider that tasted like soft-shell crab.
At Angor Wat, our local guide (we couldn't resist hiring him - his name was Sauron, and we are huge Lord of the Rings fans) would mock the foreigners running along the river for exercise. "Nothing is chasing them! Why do they run?" he would ask. Obesity is not a problem there, and locals routinely scale palm trees to collect coconuts. I never got used to seeing men with machine guns walking the streets of Myanmar. And the Malaysian movie-rating system was so different we were mesmerized.
I am now a pediatrician, having done medical school in Philadelphia and residency in Oakland. After residency, I spent about a decade working with sick newborns a Lucile Packard. My group would attend high risk deliveries, do newborn resuscitation when needed, and then take care of those babies who were sick enough to need hospitalization but not so sick that they needed a neonatologist.
I loved the work - I got to save a life on a regular basis and yet 95% of what I did was happy.
However, this was also when I started learning that I need to listen to my body. Changing circadian rhythms (going back and forth between day and night shifts) was hard on me, and started making me sick. Choosing to leave Stanford was difficult, but it was the start of my journey towards better health. I now do part-time work in urgent care at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and I am launching a new business called Newborn Transitions. I will get to incorporate all my passions - newborn medicine, lactation, and working with families to make early parenting less stressful.
5) What do you love most about Studio K-Fit ?
The ever-changing combination of exercises makes every workout different, and moving between the stations prevents boredom for those of us with a short attention span.
6) Least favorite exercise or piece of equipment..?
Anything involving step-ups... it reminds me how far to go I have on my core stabilization!
7) Has losing all that weight changed your view of fitness and nutrition?
So far, I have lost 22 pounds in the year since I joined, and this is the first time I have ever successfully lost weight in my life. What has changed the most in my view of fitness and nutrition revolves around patience and forgiveness.
I used to create strict diets for myself with intense workout regimens, and then I would have a bad day (usually around day 3-4), break the diet, and feel bad. It would all unravel from there. Learning to try and make small changes, and then be okay with occasionally breaking the rules for special events, has made all the difference.
And hydration - I never really realized how much I would crave sweets when I was thirsty. Starting the day with a big glass of water has changed a lot about how my body functions during the day. I have learned to incorporate vegetables into every meal, even breakfast, and it has helped my energy level a lot.
Studio K-fit is also the first time I have ever regularly done any weight lifting. I have noticed my shoulders getting more stabilized, my stance being stronger, my posture is better and my core is much stronger. When I started, I would wake up every morning with a sore back, and sleeping on my back was an impossibility - every time I tried I would wake up with a spasm in the middle of the night. I threw my back out every time I tried doing sit ups.
Now, I can make it through 30 sit ups during a workout with punches, and it's just another exercise. I sleep on my back comfortably - which is a lifesaver since I have shoulder injuries - and I save a shocking amount of money in chiropractic bills. Studio K-fit almost pays for itself in that respect!
8) Has your workout schedule changed and what motivates you to get your workout in after a long day?
I started off trying to come in at 6:00am one day a week, and I have learned that a schedule like that will never be sustainable for me. I recognize that I don't do well early in the morning, and so I do later morning workouts. I also no longer need to motivate to come in; the atmosphere is so pleasant and I feel so good when it is done that I look forward to my workouts.
Initially, I was honestly motivated by the fact that I was paying for it. If I'm paying for it, I have motivation to do it or it's money wasted. At least if it's a class and someone knows I'm supposed to be there. This probably comes back to the accountability that we talk about. If I am scheduled to be somewhere, I make a point to show up. I have always thought that 90% of accomplishing what we set out to do in life is showing up.
9.) What you tell someone who is intimidated or discouraged in their fitness journey?
When it comes to exercise, if you don't enjoy it, you won't do it. Don't force yourself into an activity you hate. There are a million different ways out there to exercise, and various magazines will tell you every week what new thing is "the best." The best exercise is the exercise you will do. For me, the positive environment, knowledgeable trainers and good people at Studio K-fit make all the difference. The other thing I remind myself is that, although it is important to set goals and achieve them, I spend more time on the journey than at the finish line. I like to keep the journey interesting.
One of the things I have most appreciated about Studio K-fit is their willingness to accommodate injuries. After my injuries, the first thing my physical therapist asked me, with a smirk, was whether or not the workout studio had asked me to not come back.
Apparently, that has happened to a lot of his patients with their workout places not wanting them there while recovering from an injury because they are a “liability.” I am extremely grateful that K-Fit's approach is to accommodate and help rebuild. They trust and support their clients, which helps cement loyalty... at least from me.