On Christmas Eve 2015, Felicia Hall found herself eating a McDonald’s cheeseburger and fries and slugging a bottle of wine. It was well past midnight — after a day of holiday eating — and she had presents to wrap for her kids. “I thought to myself, ‘What am I doing? I’m in my 30s, I have three children and I have nothing going for me,” she recalls. This became her first ah-ha moment, when she recognized that something had to change.*
At the time, Hall was also battling post-partum depression, using wine and food to fuel her unhappiness. She had gradually put on weight since having her second son, and after her third baby, the pounds just wouldn’t come off.
Feeling unmotivated and, at her lowest point, sometimes even suicidal, Hall says she finally got the push she needed on New Year’s Eve. “I was miserable, overeating and just not really caring for myself. I was not active and I was tired — just exhausted,” Hall, 36, says. “Looking back, I remember sitting there that morning being more excited to drink than anything else. I thought, ‘I can’t keep living like this. This is horrible.’”
How I Finally Started Moving
“I wouldn’t have changed my eating habits if I hadn’t become physically active."
Hall had never kept a consistent exercise routine before January 1, 2016. Though she had often said she’d start working out, she’d sweat one day and quit the next. Around the holidays, a friend had posted on Facebook about starting a free trial with Daily Burn — but Hall refused to join. In the New Year, however, she began running a bit and a few days later decided to give Daily Burn a try, too.
“I said I would give it 30 days,” says Hall, who began with the True Beginner program. “I signed up and I put a reminder in my calendar to cancel the day before the free trial ended. Within two weeks, I took that notification out of my phone. I was not stopping.”
Hall’s stamina quickly picked up from there. She stopped drinking the same day she started exercising, and tried other Daily Burn programs like 365, Live to Fail and Black Fire. Three months later, she also ran her first half-marathon. Since then, she’s completed a handful of 5K races, scored a first-place finish in her age group for a trail race, and she’s even started teaching her own fitness class in her hometown of Asheboro, North Carolina.
“I wouldn’t have been able to run that half-marathon if I wasn’t doing Daily Burn,” Hall says. “I learned how to breathe properly and built the stamina.”
As for food, Hall swapped late-night McDonald’s for meal prep Sundays. She now makes healthy dishes like quinoa pasta with chicken sausage and broccoli. She also packs snacks like sliced rotisserie chicken and deli roll-ups, along with fresh fruits and veggies. “I wouldn’t have changed my eating habits if I hadn’t become physically active,” Hall says. “I realized I could be as active as I wanted, but if I was still eating what I was eating, it wouldn’t balance out.”
What Kept Me Coming Back for More
Thanks to Daily Burn’s variety of programs, Hall is still hooked on exercise almost two years later. True Beginner got her comfortable with fitness and gave her the confidence to continue. Now, she sweats five times a week, tuning into the live daily workout show, Daily Burn 365, or following new programs as they’re released. She’s completed everything from Spartan to one of her favorites, Barre Harmony.
But even more than the programs themselves, Daily Burn’s community became the foundation of her newfound relationship with exercise. “Where else can you go and post something that happened to you that’s so phenomenal or something you’re upset about and have support?” she says. “Or even just say, ‘I held a plank for a full minute,” and everyone responds, ‘That’s so awesome!’”
“A healthy, happy mom is the best thing I can give my kids.”
When Hall posted a before and after photo, the community response was also overwhelmingly positive. “It shoots you over the moon. You feel good in your own skin, and you feel good knowing that even if you walk around, and someone judges you from across the street, there are 5,000 other people who you don't even know who are like, ‘Yes, girl!”
Besides the community Daily Burn provides, Hall also appreciates the meditative state of her runs and the “me” time she gets on the road. “I love the sound of my feet hitting the ground, knowing that my body is capable of doing that,” she says. “I used to listen to music all the time, and now it's to the point where I don't even listen to my music — I listen to my breathing.”
“[Running is] my time. Nobody is there with me. So I can go where I want; I can go as fast or as slow as I want. It’s nice,” she says.
How I Finally Found My Happy Place
From January to June of 2016, Hall lost 20 pounds and she’s kept it off ever since. “To be physically able to exercise and to go on and continue to grow with it and pass it on to my children — it’s an amazing gift,” Hall says. “A healthy, happy mom is the best thing I can give my kids.”
In fact, Hall’s three-year-old son can even do a burpee. And on days she feels like skipping a sweat, he’ll bring over her iPad and say, “Burn” — the only word Hall needs to hear to get moving.
While Hall sets a positive example for her kids, she’s also found a positive outlook on life. “I don’t have the perfect body, but I love what I have, and I’m comfortable. I’m comfortable in every part of my skin.”
“People don’t understand what something like this can do for a person’s soul,” she adds. “It’s not just a physical change — it’s mental, it’s emotional. It’s everything.”
*Note to reader: The content in this article relates to the core service offered by Daily Burn. In the interest of editorial disclosure and integrity, the reader should know that Daily Burn owns and operates this site. Always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise or weight loss program and note that the results highlighted above are not typical. Daily Burn users who worked out for 30 minutes or more at least five times a week for 60 to 90 days reported an average weight loss of about one pound per week. For those seeking to lose weight, keep in mind that extreme weight loss can be harmful to your health if done improperly or too suddenly.