Age: 34 | Height: 5'3" | Weight before: 180 lb (post-pregnancy) | Weight now: 126 lb
Location: Indianapolis, IN | Occupation: Personal trainer
Motto: “Nothing is impossible!” | Favorite clean meal: Oatmeal with flavored protein powder and blueberries
Laura Marenco was used to being fit. But once she became pregnant, she was unable to exercise and started adding burgers and cookies to her clean diet. And it added up. After her son was born, an extra 50 pounds lingered on her formerly lean frame. “I’d lost a lot of muscle, strength and energy,” she says.
Looking to increase her energy, Laura began to design a daily menu of six easy-to-fix nutritious meals that supported her and her son, Diego, as she nursed. No more cookies! Slowly but surely, the weight started to drop.
Back In The Gym
After six weeks of improving her diet, and with her doctor’s OK, Laura returned to the gym. Her workouts consisted of a mix of resistance training, focusing on body-part splits, and cardio (as well as some abs training). As a certified trainer and former competitor, starting from scratch was humbling, but necessary.
When Laura’s strength and conditioning improved, she varied her rep ranges to shock her body and keep making progress. She alternated between periods of heavy training, performing eight to 12 repetitions per set, and periods of lighter training, performing 15 to 18 repetitions per set, and incorporated supersets to keep the intensity high. Four months later, she was down to 130 pounds.
Fit For Two
One year after her son was born, Laura took first place in a figure competition. She now trains legs twice a week (“You have to squat!”) and reserves one day each for back, chest, shoulders and arms. Saturday she teaches Zumba and Sunday she rests. Leading the nonstop life of a mom with a toddler, Laura packs handy snacks like whey drinks and rice cakes for when she’s out and about with Diego. Being a fit mom sure keeps her busy, but she says wouldn’t have it any other way.
Laura focuses on the following to stay inspired:
- Her son and her family. “They need me to be strong and set a good example.”
- Her clothing. “If what I own doesn’t fit, I don’t shop for a bigger size. I work harder.”
- Her career. “I would like to become a fitness model, so I need to look healthy year-round.”