Meet Our Members: Stacey Marie
Like so many moms, Stacey Marie always seemed to find time for everyone except herself. With four children, a fulltime job and a husband who also worked long hours, she felt like life was on fast forward every day. But that put her health on "pause."
"I realized that if I am going to be a mom and work, I need to be healthy," she says. In effort to give herself the boost she needed, Stacey Marie and her husband, Ricky, joined a gym, but it wasn't exactly a major fitness push. She fell into a routine with her "favorite treadmill," and logged miles of jogging for months. After a while, she felt like it was at least a minimal way of trying to stay fit.
Then Ricky suggested they switch to UFC Gym, and before the changeover, Stacey Marie definitely felt cranky about it.
"I was angry," she says, with a laugh. "I liked my safe little space. When I walked into UFC, I was terrified because there were so many fit-looking people and that was intimidating to me because I was still pretty fluffy from the baby fat."
She made a beeline for a treadmill, since that was her "safe zone," and she stuck with that tried-and-true (although not too challenging) route. But her view included the group fitness room — and that perspective ended up changing Stacey Marie's story.
Head of the Class
As she watched classes come and go, Stacey Marie was astounded at how hard the students were working, and still felt she could never join them.
But the pull proved too strong. After weeks of watching from the treadmill, she built up her courage and thought she could slip quietly into the back of a class and give it a try.
"I ended up falling on the floor the first day," she says. "But I also ended up falling in love."
She found the time to attend a few more classes, and although she still felt clumsy at first, her skills and endurance began to improve. Soon, she was regularly attending classes, and jokes that she became addicted to group fitness.
It was an addiction she happily shared with her family. Two of her sons joined youth classes in MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and ended up getting medals in tournaments. Her 4-year-old daughter asked for a Gi to start her own training, and wants to do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in addition to ballet.
After being a member of UFC for several years, Stacey Marie feels like she's gained much more than a way to take care of herself and whittle down some of those "fluffy" parts.
"I've got so much confidence now," she says. "I hold my head up higher, I walk a little straighter. I lost the weight, I feel fitter and healthier, and I tell everyone I know what an awesome gym I belong to."
Ready to begin or rewrite your own fitness story? Pick up a UFC Gym Free Pass to get started.