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Faith Marie Perez 

I AM ALFA because I am strong, resilient, determined and a hard-working mom. Inspiring my children is my fire. Fitness gives me confidence and drive to keep grinding.

Photography by: ALI SOHRAB

A little bio about your background and your journey, and where you are today.

I am from Houston, Texas and have lived in Canada for 16 years. My fitness journey began in 2015. A little of my background, in 2012, my 2-year-old son went for a nap and never opened his eyes again. He passed away in 2012 at the tender age of 2. Before my son passing, I used to be a avid runner. I wasn’t super fit just basically treading water and maintaining. Then my son passed away and I got pregnant 6 weeks after Hayden died. It was a extremely tough pregnancy, my grief was intense and the weight gain was real. However, I allowed myself to grieve and enjoy all the foods I love. It was my therapy and after my daughter was born, I thought I could put some attention to my body but mentally I wasn’t there. So, 18 months went by, the pounds came fast and I was up to 172 pounds after my daughter was 18 months. I was offered a childcare job at Goodlife fitness and a free membership. I didn’t use the membership till after my daughters 2nd birthday, I looked at myself in the mirror and saw the fit women at the gym and at that moment, a fire lit in me and that’s all she wrote.

I was determined to be in the best shape of my life by my 40th birthday. I lost 32 pounds in 1 year, I was so proud of myself. I kind of did my own thing for a few years and lost more and then maintained. In 2018, I lost my stepfather and then my incredibly sweet mother 8 weeks after, both to cancer. I was lost and heart broken. I took care of her solid for those two months and enjoyed life and ate the food, cherished our time together. I put more weight on, I was not happy with my body again. I decided I was going to really change things up. I got an incredible coach and signed up for my first fitness competition at 42 years old. It was life changing, my lifestyle has changed, my body has changed. I am now prepping for number 2 and I can’t wait. I am now 44 years old and feel the best I have ever felt. My life is fitness. I stay strong and fit for my family.

I AM ALFA because I am strong, resilient, determined and a hard-working mom. My children are my world and I want to be the best role model for them. I want to show my children you can do and be anything you want to, the sky’s the limit. Inspiring my children is my fire. Fitness gives me confidence and drive to keep grinding.

What are the most rewarding things that Fitness has brought you? The most rewarding thing that fitness has brought me is my impact on my daughters’ confidence and her telling me “she wants to be strong like mom”. For instance, during the Covid lock down, my husband set up an awesome garage gym for me and every day at lunch time, I would go out and exercise. My daughter would come with me and do her version of my exercises and imitate everything I did. We would laugh, dance around and have fun. Just watching her laugh, dance and exercise made me realize how much she really does watch and learn. Even though it was a lock down, it made the time pass and the workouts memorable. She told me many times she wants to work out with me when she becomes a teenager.

When was the most alfa moment in your life, and why? The most Alfa moment in my life was after losing my son, Hayden and having my daughter, Georgia, I woke up one morning and said “this is it, I want change”. I set a goal and as I look at myself today, I realize how far I have come. After, I lost my son, for about the first 3 months of my pregnancy, I would wake up in the morning and stare out the window, trying to imagine my life before Hayden was gone and trying to figure out how I was going to keep going with this new little life in me. Would I be able to do it? What kind of mother would I be to her? Was it possible to parent after the loss of such a beautiful little angel? I fell into a depression, I didn’t tell anyone my husband or my amazing grief therapist. I let myself feel everything, and eat anything, food was my comfort. I would bake a new treat every day and eat it all myself.

Through food and therapy, I was comfortable and able to move through my pregnancy, trying to enjoy it the best I could. Towards the end if my pregnancy, my blood pressure increased and I thought to myself after thus baby is out, I will make change. Then Georgia came and my heart was full and I was in love again. My arms ached all this time to feel a little one again and finally she was here. I didn’t put her down for a week straight. I got the clear to exercise again at 6 weeks and I started again but the depression hit me again like a ton of bricks, feeling ashamed of my new body and seeing what grief had done to me, destroyed my confidence. At the same time, issues with Georgia’s development arose believed to associated with my extreme stress I suffered during pregnancy. During this time, I decided I would embrace my new body, give myself time to heal, feel my raw pain and focus 100% on my children. My time would come soon. It was my 39th birthday and I got a job at Goodlife fitness and it came with a membership. I decided at the moment, I needed change, I was ready to do this. I set a goal, I would lose 30 pounds before my 40th birthday. It was hard but I stayed determined and knew that if I wanted to completely come full circle and love myself again, I needed to stay determined. My husband and I did it together. Having a partner to share my goals with helped tremendously. We kept each other on track and after all the grief, this gave us something to look forward too. Getting outside your head is by far the biggest challenge, once you change your internal voice and love yourself, you can do anything.

How Has Covid-19 impacted your daily life? Covid has impacted my daily life by giving more time to be totally present. I believe Covid made me more patient with my kids and helped me establish better routines and discipline. Covid has definitely made me more grateful for the little things in life and allowed me to be more present for my family.

If you had to choose any positive thing about isolation, what would it be? I got to know myself better, read many books and my discipline on myself is a lot higher than I thought. It was possible to stay on track for myself.

How have you been maintaining your emotional, mental, and physical well-being while in isolation? Emotional and mental health was a challenge in the beginning of lock down. I had to navigate this “new normal” and these new feelings and establish a new routine while balancing everything in my household. Maintaining physical well-being was important, I had to stick to a diet and exercise program to balance all these things. I did this with the help of my awesome coach from Team ignite. My husband was awesome and set up a incredible home gym for me.

How do you envision the social, business, and family life to be after the lockdown? I envision the social, business, and family life to remain the same for me but with just a little more distancing and cleanliness.

Please share 5 things people don’t know about you.

five things people don’t know about me?

1. I am extremely afraid of heights.

2. I have suffered the extreme form of heart break, I lost my 2-year-old son 9 years ago.

3. I suffer from PSTD and generalized anxiety disorder.

4. I maintain my fitness and stay in track even though I have no functioning thyroid gland and only have 75% lung function from COPD from smoking a pack of cigarettes for 17 years. I have been cigarette free 10 years.

5. I wear my heart on my sleeve and always believe in 2nd chances.

Please name up to 5 Alfa people you know.

1. Ethan Perez

2. Rosanna Jacklin

3. Christine Estor

4. Samantha Green Aziz

5. Bella Harrison

What would be the ultimate tips you could share with everyone about LIFE?

my ultimate tip would be love hard and fierce because tomorrow is never promised.

What would be the ultimate tips you could share with everyone about Health? I say it would be about how to achieve your fitness and health goals.

1. Determine your “why”

2. Keep your goal simple.

3. Make sure your goal is 1. Realistic and 2. Targeted

4. Pace yourself and love yourself through the process, be gentle.

5. Rely on a support system, get a workout partner.

6. Stay determined, don’t let anyone stop you, especially yourself.

Your top favorite quote:

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken” Oscar Wilde

Where people can find you?

Instagram: @faithp_5237

Facebook: Faith Perez

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