Stephanie Rofkahr had let her daily exercise habit slip and it had plunged her mood into a funk so bad her family took action. Here’s how she fought back
Body fat: 12%
I’d been very low, but I only realized that things really had to change when my kids bought me a “happy light” when I had fallen deep into my depression. That was their way of expressing that I needed help and should change my ways. That moment I knew I had to get back into fitness which I had done all my life but had stopped. I needed to release those natural endorphins and get myself out of my depression. Fortunately, there weren’t many challenges that could get in my way because I made a commitment to myself to make the time. If I had something planned for the day, I got up earlier. I didn’t even consider the option of limiting myself. I carved out the free time as if I was carving out time for a haircut, to drive to work or to brush my teeth.
One of the first things I did was to visit a specialist where I had my hormones checked because I felt off. I rejoined my gym and I told my kids that I would work out 45 minutes every day and that was my time. They were understanding and knew it was a commitment to myself and to them.
I took Vitamin D3 because I started in the winter and I needed more D3 since I wasn’t getting any natural light. Vitamin D3 is so important in the winter if you suffer from depression.
Right now, I am in competition prep, so I eat the following elements
Meal 1: 3 egg whites with spinach and 53 grams of Kodiak pancakes (no syrup)
protein shake after workout
Meal 2: Zucchini noodles, 1/2 avocado, grilled chicken and tomatoes
Meal 3: Greek yogurt with blueberries
Meal 4: Lean beef and sweet potatoes (baked)
Resistance band warm-up
Elevated reverse lunges
Toe elevated squats
Hamstring ball rolls
Abductors with resistance bands if a machine isn’t available
Side lateral raises
Front lateral raises
Lying cable tower shoulder pulls
Wide grip lat pulls
Reverse barbell rows
Lat straight bar pulls
One-arm cable tower bicep curls
Triceps press-down with straight bar
Overhead triceps V-bar push-outs
Alternate triceps kickbacks
Friday: Legs/glutes calves
Same as Monday
Saturday: HITT and oblique training
I only train obliques (since I have healed my Diastiatis Recti) once a week. I do 10 min of core low pressure breathing every night to keep my core intact since I struggle with my core
Advice to Others
You have to exercise every day, purely for your mind. You need to release those natural endorphins. You can carve out 45 min for yourself. No family member will suffer while you take care of yourself for 45 minutes every day.
Tips To Live By
I keep water by my bed so as soon as I wake up I have it there to drink. I sleep in my workout clothes so I can roll out of bed, I pack an ice chest in my car so that I won’t get caught without healthy snacks, I park out far at Walmart or the mall so I have to walk further and get my steps in.
I want to empower more women through my voice and with sharing my story to let them know how important it is to exercise and move every day. They will be better moms, wives and a better version of themselves by doing this. And I want them to see how far I have come from the depths of my depression and let them know there is hope and there is help.
This article originally featured in TRAIN for HER issue 89. You can get a free subscription by clicking here.