BATON ROUGE, LA (LOCAL33) (FOX44) - Hear from a local mother who said finding a love for exercise has helped transform much more than just her body.
Jennifer Zachary is no stranger to the gym.
"It's like brushing my teeth in the morning. I have to do it," said Zachary.
But that hasn't always been the case.
"When I was in high school, which was like 20 years ago, I was an athlete. But I hadn't really graced the doors of a gym in a really long time, and after having kids it was super intimidating," Zachary said.
Zachary said as time went on she noticed several changes in her overall health.
"I was tired, lethargic. I've had three battles with depression my life and I just wanted to wake up in the morning and not feel like I wanted to go back to bed."
In addition to her mood her strength also started to become a growing concern.
"The doctor had told me that my spine looked like a spine of someone who is like 10 years older than me and that was really scary for me," said Zachary.
The thought of not being able to play with her kids made her realize she needed to make a change.
"At some point your health has to come before any feeling of embarrassment or intimidation. And honestly I just made the leap," Zachary said.
Just like that, she took that first step.
"I started out like most people do doing cardio and that's great. Cardio is great, but when I got introduced to strength training that's when I feel like everything changed for me," said Zachary.
Now she is thriving in everyway possible.
"I was not depressed anymore, my back was stronger, like totally changed the way that I looked at my life," said Zachary.
"My little girl says 'Mama you're Wonder Woman' and I'm like wow, she thinks I'm Wonder Woman. She admires what she sees and she's emulating it. She wants to run with me and be fit. Our whole family really benefited from me taking that step in this direction," said Zachary.