Before she became a mother, Taylor Zuiderveen, 33, was a college basketball player. But by the time she gave birth to two nine-pound babies in 2017 and 2019, she found herself feeling lost in her own body. Her core was weak, and she struggled with achy knees and back pain. She found it hard to prioritize her own health when she was trying to navigate the “trenches of motherhood.”
As a former athlete, Zuiderveen wasn’t used to her mind and body feeling this way and wanted to dedicate more time to her wellbeing. When she discovered Tonal, she realized it was exactly what she needed to turn things around. Training with it helped her refocus on her health and get reacquainted with her body. Now, Zuiderveen feels more like herself again and stronger than ever as a mother. Here, she shares what she’s learned from her journey.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with my husband Mike and my kids aged four and two. I stay at home with the kids right now, but I’m a hairstylist by trade and a former college basketball player.
I love to travel, even though it’s not happening quite as much right now. I spend most of my time making memories with the family at the lake or enjoying a night out with my friends.
How did you come across Tonal and why did you decide to buy one?
I saw a social media commercial for Tonal and instantly knew it was what I needed in my life. As I call it, I had been in the trenches of motherhood for about four years and definitely wasn’t prioritizing my health even though we had a fancy gym membership.
My core was incredibly weak from having two nine-pound babies, and my old basketball knees were not so happy with me. I was ready to commit to getting my health in check.
What was the first day like with Tonal?
Well, since I posted a video on the Official Tonal Community of myself doing a ponytail whip in front of the Tonal — I would say it was love at first sight.
Tell us about where you were at the start of your journey and where are you now?
I was so weak. My knees and lower back ached, my core was terrible, and I was likely suffering from a small amount of diastasis recti.
I did not feel like the athlete I had been most of my life. Now, thanks to Tonal, I feel energized and strong again. I keep telling my husband, ‘The old Tay is back!’ My Strength Score has increased by 45 percent, and I can feel the difference.
Now that I’ve gotten stronger all over, my supporting joints and muscles aren’t in pain during workouts anymore. I can also see my abdominal muscles have retracted back — similar to how they were before pregnancy and I have a waist again. Finally, my golf drive goes much further, still sliced, but definitely farther.
How has being stronger impacted different areas of your life?
Mentally, I’m much more healthy. I struggled badly with postpartum anxiety, and I got most of it under control. Then when I started using Tonal, I kicked the last bit of it, and it’s amazing to feel like myself again emotionally.
What obstacles did you face on your journey, and how did Tonal help you overcome them?
With Tonal, I had the weightlifting knowledge and ability to work out with a trainer at any time of day — during naptime or after dinner. My main obstacle was being patient and taking the time to rebuild old muscles.
What is the biggest unexpected benefit you’ve received from having Tonal in your home?
My husband loves it as much as I do, and it’s helped with healing his back. Earlier this year, we had to cancel our Valentine’s Day date because he was in too much pain, but he’s 99-percent pain-free now. We think it’s because of Coach Liz’s Back Relief workout and the core-focused program Summer Shred.
What’s the one piece of advice or the biggest lesson you’ve learned during your transformation that you want to share with the rest of the community?
Only be competitive with yourself. That Strength Score means nothing compared to others, but it is motivating to watch your score go up and improve. Being the best version of you is the only thing that matters.
What does it mean to be your strongest?
My strongest may look a little different than it did as a 20-year-old collegiate athlete. I feel like it’s even more important as a 33-year-old mom. I’ve gone on a journey from feeling almost lost as a new mom a couple of years ago to regaining the confidence and strength I once knew.
I also want to be an example to my kids. My four-year-old loves to help me finish cardio sessions with burpees and jump squats. I want to be a strong woman for my kids, both physically and mentally. To be a woman who can be empathetic, kind, and loving but also a spitfire and can stand on her own is exactly what I want to show them.