23W Members Spotlight: Stephanie Vejar

By Asha

Introducing our third place winner from our 8 week Upskill Challenge! Steph Vejar come on down!!!! 

It is safe to say that this was not the ideal challenge. Lockdown 6.0 forced everyone to adapt to online training and shift their focus from gym based performance goals to more lockdown appropriate goals and we are so proud to say that Steph nailed this! Over the 8 weeks she consistently hit her workouts and walks, focused in on her nutrition in a sustainable way and was incredibly self-reflective in every one of her Wednesday check ins. 

We can’t wait for you all to read a bit more about how she tackled the most challenging Challenge yet!

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I am 27 years old Latina from Melbourne, an immigration lawyer and a mum to a cyclone of a toddler, Mateo. I’ve been at 23W for over a year now and pre-Covid was a fairly regular gym attendee.

What drew you to join 23W?

I joined 23W when I was around 3-4 months postpartum and was looking to get back into shape. I had a good pregnancy but experienced more than the average weight gain and preeclampsia so my body felt weak, a bit swollen and heavy. I decided I should join a gym as I used to do team sports but knew that I had to build a strong foundation before I could go running or jump back into netball or muay thai. However, I never felt like I found the right place gym even after weeks of research. I saw there was an 8 week challenge at 23W, a women’s gym with PT’s who understood postpartum bodies and that a lot of mums in the local area spoke very highly of 23W. I decided now was as good a time as ever to join! I haven’t looked back since.
You came third in our 8 Week Upskill Challenge! What prompted you to join this challenge?

I joined the challenge because I needed a mental motivator to get me back into rhythm. Lockdown had got me into some bad and lazy habits so a challenge was the perfect circuit breaker.

Did you change your approach to the challenge when we moved into lockdown?

I think originally in lockdown, I found it harder to keep myself accountable because I wasn’t seeing anyone, so it’s easier to skip a workout or eat mindlessly. The 8 week challenge gave me a lot of knowledge to recognize bad habits and just enough homework to keep me interested and accountable.

What are you most proud of achieving during this challenge? What did you learn?

I am most proud of the relationship I have with food after the 8 week challenge. During the challenge I had a day where I really ate my feelings when I was feeling overwhelmed but where this would normally last a week or weeks, it only took a day as I was able to recognize the pattern, break it and get back on track. Also, portions! Unless you are taught; I feel like most of us don’t understand relevant portions so this challenge definitely helped that.
What will you take away from this experience?
I will definitely be taking away the way I buy groceries and snacks for meal prep. It’s easy to over buy and have things “just in case” but really, I just got what was necessary so the grocery bill was cheaper and there were less temptations at home. Meal prep means you don’t really need extra stuff because you’ve accounted for everything. Also, I kind of like cooking now? Who knew!?
What is next for you?
My next main goal health-wise to just to keep progressing, getting stronger, mixing it up and living a healthy lifestyle. My son is so active, I know I every year he gets older means more to keep up with and I want to be able to do exactly that. I still have some personal weight loss goals but since I started at 23W, I’m down over 10 kilos and understand my body so much more. The weight loss will come, the bigger goal is a to be a strong and fit boss mum.

Test your knowledge!

1. How many muscles make up your Hip Flexors? 2. When pregnant, how many days is it recommended to strength train? 3. What is Dee's top recommendation to track progress without the scale?

The Answers

1. There are 5 muscles that make up our Hip Flexors. 2. two strength session per week. 3. progress photos.
Click here to learn more about Pregnancy and Physical Exercise

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Our founder

Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.

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