(NaturalNews) For Canadian Alanna Gerwitz-Stern, the gym was not a place that she cared to visit. In fact, she says she had never worked out a day in her life. What's more, she never ate well, either.
But following the birth of her first son in December 2009, she just could not get rid of weight that she gained from her pregnancy. She put on a staggering 100 pounds during her pregnancy, putting her at 230 pounds on a 5 feet 6 inches frame.
"I was embarrassed to even go to the gym," Stern, 33, told the NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City. "I was so incredibly out of shape, and the people I was working out beside were so incredibly fit. I felt like a real eyesore when I would walk down the street."
She tried to lose some of the weight, but the best that she could do after months of trying was to drop about 10 pounds.
"I just felt really down on myself," said Stern. "I felt like there was so much more I was capable of, and I didn't want to be one of those women who just accept their weight and that that's their fate as a young mom. I felt like there was a better me."
Understandably frustrated, Stern said she remembered hearing something about a new gym called Core Concepts near her home in Toronto. So she decided to give it a try.
The owner, Joshua Lipsey, told the affiliate that his workouts center around strengthening the body's core -- abs, obliques, back and glutes -- because they form the "core" of your movements. If you're strong there, he says, you can improve your posture and balance, and be less prone to injury.
According to KFOR.com:
Lipsey's workouts consist of body weight exercises, including beggar's planks, split and bicycle crunches, back extensions and wide-stance plie squats.
The core is a major "problem area" for many people, Lipsey says. It's the spot men and women tend to notice extra pounds first. But because the core includes several large muscles, working it burns calories fast. As such, attacking the core can lead to quick weight loss results....
To begin with, Lipsey had Stern stand in front of a mirror and visualize what she wanted to look like. She said that simple step established all the motivation she needed to meet her weight-loss goals.
"We envisioned what my waist, stomach and arms were going to look like, and we just stayed on that path until we were happy with the result," said Stern. "Josh never let me lose sight of how to get there."
She goes on to describe Lipsey's concept as atypical.
"It's not a spin class, it's not a running class, it's not a Pilates class," she says. "He took my fitness to a completely different level, and he really challenged me."
Both Lipsey and Stern emphasized that, in order to see results, commitment to some major lifestyle changes is required.
"If you think the hour that you go to the gym is what counts, it's really not," Lipsey said. "It's doing other things -- going for a walk with your dog, not hopping on the escalator at the mall -- there's all these little things."
'It's one hour a day that I can take to do something good for me'
Stern's results were nothing short of amazing.
Eight months into her new core program, in which she attended classes for an hour a day, six days a week, along with a new diet consisting of clean eating, and Stern had shed 106 pounds, even more than she had gained while pregnant.
Shortly thereafter, she went "from one extreme to another." She got pregnant again, this time with twins. But she was determined to stay the course; she continued to work out until her twins, now 18 months old, were born.
She put on 48 pounds during her pregnancy, but lost 38 of them within a couple of weeks of giving birth, and the other 10 by the end of the year.
"The last 10 pounds were hard, like they usually are for people, but she stuck with it and refused to fail," Lipsey says.
As for her continued improvement, Stern is adamant.
"It's one hour a day that I can take to do something good for me," she said. "I come back to my family reinvigorated and ready for whatever challenges in life lie my way."
Natural News readers: Try some core exercises suggested by one of our contributors, Josh Anderson -- click here.