Fitting into that one pair of jeans is a diet/fitness goal for many women. Yet one group is using that goal to take it beyond the physical and give women the tools to thrive.
Ima Hozeret L’Jeans – Mom’s Back in Her Jeans – is the largest, leading Facebook community in Israel today focusing on female empowerment, fitness, nutrition and support.
The Hebrew-language group has 177,000-strong women and “champions” of all ages, from all over the country, who have decided to make a real, lasting change in their lives, through a winning combination of nutrition, fitness and developing their self-confidence, sense of self-fulfillment and self-love.
Led by Honore Ockstein and Rona Even, they keep the focus on the mothers themselves and the difficulties in the postpartum period – unlike existing groups that emphasize children and their upbringing, husbands and various household chores.
The group has a contagious energy of fulfillment, faith and female empowerment. This is the power the community provides to its members; the women in the community share their stories, read, consult, respond and overcome challenges small and large.
The mentors have given many workshops; Ockstein and Even have now decided to be the first in the country to launch a pregnancy workshop aimed at maintaining a healthy lifestyle during and after pregnancy. The Making a Change workshop stresses proper nutrition and strengthening self-love and self-esteem post-pregnancy.
Making a Change is bolstered by professional guidance and personal support from a clinical dietitian, physiotherapist and parent counselor. They closely accompany participants during this crucial period, challenging and empowering the mothers to make them the best they can be for their babies, with tools for childbirth preparation and maintaining a healthy body.
AFTER THE birth of her son, Ockstein, 37, a fitness trainer, felt a sense of loneliness and alienation inside her body.
The mother of three, she gave birth to her youngest last September after having a stillborn about a year ago in the ninth month. She wanted to “get back in her jeans,” which symbolized there was still an outside world waiting for her as a mother.
It reminded her to occasionally sneak a look in the mirror and to love what she would see there. Wanting to share this sensation, she opened the group to support other mothers like herself.
Even, a 40-year-old clinical mentor and dietitian, suffered in her youth from an excess of blood lipids, which can cause fat deposits in artery walls, increasing risk for heart disease. It forced her to change her diet and opened up a new world of healthy nutrition, enabling her to recover.
She was exposed to women’s obsession with diets and felt that her mission was to instill in women the realization that a woman’s connection with herself is essential – only then can results be achieved.
In 2018, she met Ockstein through the group, who became her partner and best friend. Together they set up the workshops that now help hundreds of women every month make a real change in their lives.
The name they chose for the group represents a return to a normal life after birth. Physically and mentally, jeans symbolize life. ❖