"How I Got Fit"… Guest Interview!

Meet Jennifer… she was kind enough to answer (a long list of) questions about her fit journey!  I find it so inspiring to hear other’s stories of getting fit – really of changing their lives! I hope you do too…..

Share where you started…
I am not completely comfortable sharing my weight just yet but I will say I started at 38% body fat, and extremely over weight.

What lit your fire?  what told you something needed to change?
I have known for a while that I needed to lose some weight, we just couldn’t afford a gym membership, or so I thought, I tried to work out at home but with two kids under the age of 4 I never get any free time. So my husband and I went to Golds gym, and I started my workout journey. I had already been dieting and lost 13 lbs but I had much more I needed to lose.

Where you are now? (how long did that take?) And do you have before/after pics you can share!?
I am still in my journey, still have another 15 or so pounds to lose. But I have lost a total of 25 lbs since I started working out, and 38 since last summer. I started working out March 1st of this year so it has been a little over two months. I have lost 10% body fat and over 40 inches over all, and have started gaining muscle. I fit in skinny Jeans again but still have a lot more work to do.

What do you love best about your transformation?
Feeling sore, lol. I really do love that feeling cause it means that what I am doing is working. But I love how much more confident I feel in myself.

Any health benefits you’ve seen? any benefits for your family?
I have way more energy but I didn’t have any weight related health problems so there isn’t too much of a difference.

Now to the nitty gritty…what exactly did you do to transform?
I started off by taking the Les Mills classes at the gym to get my cardio in.  I still occasionally take a few, cxworx is my favorite it is great for toning your abdomen and back. Now I run or do the amt(kind of like an elliptical but you can adjust your stride so you can run full force or step like you are going up the stairs), then I move to free weights and the weight machines.

What did you eat (maybe a typical day’s menu)? What did you do for exercise?
Whole wheat always cereal, bread, what ever. Whole wheat is your best friend! I always eat a banana before I work out to avoid cramps. I purchased the “cook this not that” book and I recommend it to everyone! For someone like me that loves food like hot wings and Mac and cheese this is my best friend! It gives your all these healthy alternatives to meals you would normally eat and a list of what you should buy at the grocery store. I always read labels and buy low fat.

What might a typical day’s schedule look like for you?
Wake up, get my kids fed and eat breakfast, feed my dogs/let them outside, get dressed, go to the gym, cardio for at least 45 minutes, then weight training for an hour, head to the park with my kids for an hour, come home, make lunch, let suds out, lay my kids down for naps, shower, relax/ catch up on emails and return calls for an hour, kids wake up, let dogs out again, make them a snack, play games, play outside, etc., make dinner, clean up house, lay kids in bed, breath lol. Pretty much every day for me lol.

How did you deal with meal planning for a family? as we find often kids reject our new healthy foods like brown rice, fish and asparagus!
My youngest son has food allergies so we already ate pretty decent but he will pretty much eat anything you put in front of him lol. His brother though has started to try stuff and sometimes doesn’t like it so I always have something he can eat just in case but we are pretty strict on you have to eat your dinner so that only happens once a month or so and I typically have left overs of something he can eat or hotdogs or chicken nuggets just for a pinch.

What are your go to meals for the crazy days when you don’t have time to cook?
Since my son has severe food allergies I can’t really answer this one. I always have to cook no matter what.

What is your best strategy for dealing with cravings for the “bad” stuff? (chocolate, soda)
I was a soda addict! Like 4 cans a day it was so bad that when I stopped I had the worst head aches in the world! I took Tylenol to subdue them until finally they went away. I don’t really crave soda but I have to have gatorade while working out if I don’t I feel extremely exhausted by the time I am done. I tried doing just water but it didn’t give me the electrolytes I needed. As for chocolate I still crave it but there are healthy alternatives to making it. I make the best 200 calorie double fudge cupcakes, and it is a secret recipe but I cheat occasionally… but I cheat with limits and still count everything I eat.

Did you find ways to deal with stress without turning to food?
Working out relieved so much stress that I no longer felt the need to snack constantly. It also filled that empty spot in my day where I would just be lazy, I am so much more active now and feel million times better!

How did you get back on track if you had a not so great day with food/exercise?
Easter weekend I cheated so bad! So that Monday I worked out twice as hard and every day that week I worked even harder and then my work out has gotten even harder!

Any other advice you’d give for someone starting to get fit? or someone who’s lost motivation along the way?
It is hard, it’s not easy, it isn’t going to happen over night.  You will have good days and bad days but you have to keep going, the best thing you can do is plan your workout in the morning, get dressed to go to the gym and push yourself.  When you finally see a change your are going to feel so much better about yourself. You need to do it for you not anyone else.

UPDATE!!!
I got Jennifer to expand a little on my favorite parts of her story and frankly what I find to be the difference between an attempt at getting fit and actually getting fit… the FIRE!

What lit my fire: I’ve always loved being in shape prior to having kids, I love the feeling after a good workout. I have been determined to get in shape for a while now we just couldn’t afford a gym membership so it didn’t happen. I had an elliptical and at home stuff but still it wasn’t motivating. So my husband and I made a deal that if I could sell my elliptical I could get as gym membership, well I’m a hustler lol and I sold it for a $200 profit(bought it used at a great deal) so now it was time for us to check out gyms. Going to the gym is so much more motivating, I don’t want to be the lazy person at the gym! So that helped me so much! My biggest motivation though was really seeing pictures of myself, I had no neck and looked pregnant and it just hurt. I’m a photographer yet I don’t key anyone take my picture ever and then it takes 20 tries fitter me to be ok with it. I wasn’t my kids to have pictures with their mother yet i never wanted to see myself. So I knew it was time to change. I couldn’t stand who I became and I was so insecure about everything! Now my self esteem is through the roof and I am so confident!

***THANK YOU Jennifer for sharing!  Losing weight and/or changing your body is typically a very personal and emotional experience, and it can be far outside people’s comfort zone to share it publicly … I so appreciate it!! ***

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