23W Spotlight: Supermum Lusia Russo

By Ange

Every day as a mum presents a roller coaster of emotions, from highest highs and lowest lows. Becoming a mother can be the most empowering and exciting experience, while also presenting with some of the biggest life changing moments and years.

There is no denying it… being a mum takes a lot of patience, generosity and selflessness.

When we first spoke to Luisa, we could tell she had lost her sparkle and was ready to find herself again. She spoke of a time prior to the birth of her second son, of running her successful dance studio, feeling fit and strong and capable of anything…

Luisa’s biggest hurdle to returning back to exercise was having a place she could train with her two sons’ present. Fortunately, with our amazing shared care nanny, child inclusive space and postpartum expertise, Luisa has since returned back to exercise in the biggest way! Luisa was our 23W 2019 8-week winter challenge winner, having lost 5.9kg of body fat and over 22cm in circumferences. But best of all, she feels amazing, happy and proud again!

We are so proud of Luisa’s achievements and being brave enough to put herself first.

How long have you been working with 23W?

I started in May 2019 so 4 months.

What got you started on this journey?

A bit of background on me: Dion, my second son was born and cried all day and all night due to him being dairy and soy intolerant. We only find this out when Dion was 5 months old. Due to the lack of sleep and constant crying (and already having a 3-year-old), I felt as if I was failing at being a mum and failing at life. These feeling were also amplified after selling my dance school of 8 years in 2018 to focus on my family. My metal state was not good at all. On top of all of this I was putting on weight as I was not eating correctly or exercising. Then I was diagnosed with postnatal depression. I was advised that I need to find one hour a day to do something for myself. With two boys one crying all the time and wanted only me where could I get one hour to myself. Then I found 23W a place where I could bring the boys and still get one hour to focus on myself.

What got you started on this journey?

I also I remember not wanting to take a photo at Jordan’s 3rd birthday because I hated the way I looked and felt. I hid behind a chair for our family photo putting on a fake smile thinking this is not me. This was my turning point. This was when I decided I have to do something.

What was your biggest challenge(s) at the start?

Getting out of the house and getting the confidence to go into a gym. Also feeling ok about doing something for myself and not for the boys.

What was your goal?

To get into a better head space and to feeling good about myself.

What result did you achieve?

I have lost weight. I no longer have postnatal depression.

How have you changed?

I love being a mum again. I have self-confidence and I am so much happier and healthier.

What were your biggest challenges going through the process?

Getting to the gym after having little sleep. Being organised and having self believe.

What were your learnings?

Good eating habits and organised meal planning. Self-discipline (not turning to bad food to make me feel better)

What was it like working with the 23W and the other girls in the community?

Amazing! There is such great knowledge about healthy food habits and safe training not just unrealistic dieting to lose weight. the girls are great, so much encouragement and it is a very friendly environment.

What’s next for you?

Keep going with my weight loss journey to achieve my goal. And once there the big challenge of maintaining that weight.

Is there anything that you really want to say?

23W is not just a gym it is great support network with advice on healthy eating, exercise, adult conversation and motherly advice. And if I can do it (a person who hated gym before finding 23W) anyone can do it.

Would you like to be like Luisa? Get in touch with Ange and the team at 23W to discuss your return to health and fitness this year. Email us at [email protected]

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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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