Name: Meryl Alappattu Age: 35 Location: Gainesville, FL What does it mean to you to be part of the GGS…
What was your first thought when you learned about the Coaching & Training Women Academy and the Pre- & Postnatal Coaching Certification?
Literally, my first thoughts were: “Molly are you reading my mind over here?!”
At the time I not only was looking for continuing education material to renew my personal training certification, but I also had just given birth to our son. Needless to say, I put that down time to great use… in between baby gazing and day naps!
What do you do?
I’m a certified personal trainer and Primal Health Coach. Until recently I’d spent the last five years working with clients privately, writing personalized programs and online nutrition coaching.
What else do you do?
I’m the complete opposite of a homebody — whenever I’m not working, I’m with friends and family soaking up the Virginia life.
In the area where we live, there is no shortage of things to do outside, so I’m on the trails hiking and biking, browsing the local goods at our farmers markets, or picking peaches, strawberries or apples at the nearby orchards.
Is coffee consumption considered a hobby? Because if it is, I need a badge! I drink coffee for the taste versus the caffeine. I hang out with my fellas in coffee shops for the atmosphere and experience. So if all else fails you can find us there.
Best compliment you’ve received lately:
An older gentleman passed by while I was holding my son. Being the social butterfly he is, he started smiling and kicking his little feet. The man said, “Oh! Look at this happy baby! He must have a happy mom.”
That just lit up my heart. Happiness is something I consciously try to make room for, so those words were validation that it’s paying off.
Most recent compliment you gave someone else:
One of my sisters struggles with having confidence and not succumbing to her fears. Recently she went to buy her first car which was big time scary and stressful for her.
As we drove off the lot (and to a coffee shop to celebrate with lavender lattes, her favorite), I told her, “You’ve got good at this being brave business.” I can tell she held her chin a little higher after that.
What inspires and motivates you?
I’m inspired by seeing others enjoy their everyday life, and getting after whatever it is they love.
Whenever I’m not feeling my like myself or am feeling mentally trapped, I’ll go on YouTube and watch videos from Brooke Ence’s channel, or Marie Forleo’s channel. I pick specifically these two women because, number one, they get after life in a very “all in” way, and have fun while doing it. Plus, they are two women who don’t make me feel like my life or my actions are inferior to theirs. I don’t compare myself to them.
These women, in addition to the consequences I see of not working towards my goals, are what motivate me.
What events or situations in your life lead you to enroll in the CPPC?
How would you describe your pre- and postnatal knowledge before taking CPPC?
I can’t say that I had any knowledge about the prenatal phase. My mentality while pregnant was that I was training for the biggest gameday of my life: going through labor and giving birth. Therefore everything I ate, and every piece of gym equipment I touched during those 40 weeks was to prepare myself for that event.
Postnatal though, I knew that rest and healing were paramount. I prepared and froze broths and anti-inflammatory soups to have when we came home, and we had friends stay with us for a week after I gave birth to help out.
Outside of walking and some mobility work, I gave myself eight or nine weeks before I attempted any exercise. I’m almost nine months postpartum now and I still haven’t ran more than a half mile. It’s not that I can’t — but it still doesn’t feel good afterward, and quite frankly I’ve got plenty other ways to get in cardio therefore I couldn’t care less about running!
Why do you think learning the information that’s included in the CPPC is so important to your profession?
Even though things like diastasis recti, pelvic organ prolapse, and the pelvic floor have become buzzwords on social media, there are still tons of women who have no idea what to do when it comes to prenatal and postnatal health and fitness.
There are also a large number of people saying they “train” this population of women, but have no education to do so. Just because someone has been pregnant or has had a baby does not qualify them train a pregnant or postpartum woman. Period.
I needed to be the fitness professional who not only carried and birthed a child, but who also has the evidence-based education to go along with it.
What’s been the best part about going through the CPPC?
The case studies — wow, those were clutch! They gave me real life scenarios to think through that I’m not sure I would’ve come up with on my own. I especially loved the ones that dealt with the emotional side of things.
Now that you’re an official Certified Pre- & Postnatal Coach, what impact are you hoping to have?
Making pre- and postnatal health knowledge second nature for women in my area, state, region. I feel there is no excuse for women to not be knowledgeable about their body during this season of life. Their age, location, race, and socioeconomic status should not determine how much or how little they know. It may take some time, but I will get it done.
What effect has your new Certification had on your business / work so far?
So far, it has helped me revamp my work into a new business model, GymlesslyFit, a membership service where I provide home strength workouts for postpartum women.
I want to provide fitness access to every woman who wants to feel powerful and confident in herself, no matter her location or budget.
What would you say to someone who’s on the fence about enrolling?
If you know this is the group of women you want to serve, do not hesitate. It’s worth every penny and it opens you to a world of people, knowledge, and resources you won’t find anywhere else.
Plus the team at GGS is the best. They are some of the most caring and involved women you’ll ever get a certification through.