Name: Gillian Behnke
Age: 39…40 in November!
Location: North Vancouver, BC, Canada
How long have you been a health nut in training (and what does that look like for you)?
I became a “health nut in training” in November 2009, exactly six weeks after our daughter was born. Mentally I would say it was months before that, because I planned my journey and visualized it so clearly throughout my entire pregnancy that it was was just a matter of getting the okay from my doctor. I joined Weight Watchers and started doing strength training at a local rec centre gym. In Canada we get one year’s maternity leave and I felt I HAD to make the change during that time so that when I returned to my full time work it would just be my new way of life and I would be less likely to slip back into old habits. Before I got pregnant I was 230lbs, gained 16lbs during the pregnancy and reached my goal of 160lbs on July 30, 2010. I started running in July 2012 to train for my first half marathon in January 2013. I have now run 6 and #7 will be November this year for my big birthday! In July 2014 I became a Beachbody coach as I absolutely love the at home workouts and how they fit into my life and family schedule. Being a coach keeps me motivated because it’s not just about me anymore, it’s about my clients and my team.
What motivated you to begin your journey to health?
My family – I wanted to be able to run around with my kids and lift them up with no issues, I wanted us to be an active family with lots of outdoor activities, and I wanted to set the example for them that fitness and healthy eating are important. I heard a great quote the other day – “Don’t go on a diet, HAVE a diet.” For years I went on diets and they never lasted. I never even want my kids to hear the word “diet” in that context.
Who have been your biggest supporters?
My husband, without a doubt. He has stood by me as I changed our family’s habits, went to the gym, trained for races and cheered me on. He’s my rock.
How has your choice to get healthy impacted other areas of your life?
I am happier, I’m more relaxed (although those who know me might not agree…I like to be busy!), our vacations are more adventurous, I am WAY more confident than I was before…I like myself now!
What piece of advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
Find a type of exercise that you ENJOY, that will keep you motivated and keep you going. Good nutrition is key, so make sure you follow a healthy meal plan. Commit to making a life change, do not just go on a diet. Make this your new way of life and OWN it, no matter what. You can DO THIS!!
Thanks for sharing, Gillian! Congrats on all of your success and good luck in your seventh(!!) half marathon! What a great way to celebrate 40 years of life!
If you’d like to share your own story (regardless of your current chapter!), we’d love to hear about it! Check out this page for more details.