By Lyss Stern, exhale member, Author and Founder of Divamoms.com

I did a double take. It was March 2016, and I was watching an interview I had just done on a news show. I’m an author, mother of three and the creator of Divamoms.com, a New York City-based media and events company for moms, and I talk to the media often.

But this time I had to look twice, because I really didn’t recognize myself.

My dad had passed away two years before, and since then, I had been self-comforting with food. To me, mourning meant eating. The excuse I gave myself was that I was too busy as a working mom to really address my grief, so it was OK to eat tubs of popcorn with my kids at the movies or find any reason to have an ice cream cone if it made me feel better.

But then, watching myself in that interview, the tears just welled up. I was at least 25 pounds heavier than I wanted to be. I knew I had to make a change.

So I headed to exhale, where I am a longtime member. I have always loved exhale, because its teachers offer a really hard workout and also pay serious attention to the connection between your body and your mind. Everyone at exhale makes sure that you strengthen your body and relax your mind.

I set up a meeting with Fred DeVito and Elisabeth Halfpapp, who co-founded exhale’s Core Fusion® program. In Core Fusion® classes, you use your own body weight to tone your muscles so you get a workout that is more efficient than traditional strength training.

At that point I was only going to class sporadically, and Fred and Lis let me know that if I wanted to see results, I’d need to take classes at least three times a week. The more classes you take, they explained, the faster you see positive changes in your body and the more likely you are to make going to class habitual. “Showing up is 90% of the effort,” Elisabeth said.

Fred also recommended that I speak with an exhale nutritionist, who could help me get back to a healthy eating regimen.

All fired up, I booked my first weeks’ sessions. Stay tuned for what happened next!