After struggling with postpartum depression, iFIT member Breanna Maurer found the support she needed from the iFIT community to get back to doing the things she loves most. For her, that includes training for trail races, including an ultramarathon! Breanna was kind enough to share her story with us.
As the mother of two toddlers, I struggled with postpartum depression and, as a result, ended up gaining a lot of weight. With the support of the iFIT family, I’ve lost weight and just finished my first 50-mile trail run!
iFIT Trainer Tommy Rivers Puzey taught me to set a goal, create a plan, and then work tirelessly, so I did just that. I’m currently training for my next ultramarathon, and I’ve never been happier or healthier. I’m very transparent about my story because I want other mothers to know that they aren’t alone and don’t have to accept a version of themselves that isn’t bringing them the happiness they deserve. The amazing iFIT Trainers helped me realize that. Heather Jenson opened up about her postpartum mental health, so I knew that I just needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other. With social media and the Live Workout community, I learned that I’m never alone. The trainers aren’t robotic—they speak with love, and the support is incredible!
In addition to exercising with iFIT, I’ve also utilized the sports psychology and sleep meditation workout series. I feel so lucky to have these services included in a membership that truly emphasizes my overall health. I simply couldn’t appreciate iFIT more.
How did exercise help with your postpartum depression? What advice would you give other new mothers struggling with it?
For about two years after my daughter was born, I spent most of my time on the couch making unhealthy decisions…it was like pouring gasoline on a fire. I didn’t want to admit that I had a mental illness. I honestly thought that I had a brain tumor and convinced my doctor that I needed a CT scan. I had to find a way to gain control, so I started by pacing back and forth in my living room for exercise and competing in step count challenges with friends. My head became less cloudy as I began to see results from making better choices.
Then we bought a treadmill, and I found iFIT Trainer Tommy Rivers Puzey. He explained time after time how small daily deposits lead to incremental changes. I began troubleshooting my bad days by making sure that I exercised, went outdoors, cleaned something in my home, and ate at least one healthy meal. Over time, I added more nutritious meals, cleaned a little longer, and moved a little more. Eventually, I began feeling well again!
My advice to mothers who are struggling—put on an episode of Blue’s Clues™ and repeat the words from the closing song: “When you use your mind, take a step at a time, you can do anything that you want to do!”
How have the iFIT Mind™ series impacted your mental health?
I’ve found iFIT Guides Dr. Jarrod Spencer and George Mumford to be the most helpful for me. They’ve taught me how to find that space I need before I choose how to respond to difficult situations. Dr. Spencer has eased my performance anxiety before big races by helping me realize that I’m simply doing something memorable and that the secret to peak performance is excitement. I found his words comforting and believe that iFIT’s Mind of the Athlete Series to be a contributing factor in my top performances in my most recent races. I placed third overall in the female category in a 25K trail run last weekend!
Who are your favorite iFIT Trainers?
John Peel and Tommy Rivers Puzey
What’s been your favorite iFIT workout series that you’ve completed?
What ultramarathon are you training for now?
My next is a 50-mile race in Blue Knob, Pennsylvania. I’m already organizing the tools in my mental toolbox!
Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine, especially if you are pregnant. iFIT assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article. Always follow the safety precautions included in the owner’s manual of your fitness equipment.
Opinions of iFIT members are not necessarily the opinions of iFIT.