It is time for another installment of “One Fit Mommy”! As I surf around the blogosphere, I come across fit moms (and dads too!) who inspire me to fitness. From there, I hunt them down and force them to tell me their secrets, which I then share with you!
Today’s fit mom is Jenn, also known as Coach Jenn. She is a busy mom of two who blogs over at Personal Fit Coach. After gaining excess weight during each of her pregnancies and battling post-partum depression and anxiety, Jenn decided one day to change her life with proper nutrition and exercise.
Just look at her transformation pictures! I’d say she is definitely “one fit mommy!” Please read on for more about Jenn and be sure to stop by her Beachbody coaching site.
Q: Have you always been fit? What inspired you to live a fit lifestyle?
In my youth, I was not very focused on sports. I was into music and theater the most. That said, I suppose I was lucky with my genetics and did not seem to put on much weight even though I did not eat very healthy. I gained some weight in college and struggled in finding a balance between eating and exercising in my twenties. I probably bordered on having an eating disorder in trying to lose weight by eating nothing but vegetables and salads. Sure, I lost weight, but I was not fit or healthy at all. I did what most women do and set a new goal for my wedding to get fit and healthy. This worked for a while, but having kids put me over the edge. I was back to being unhappy, unhealthy and rather overweight. When I felt like I had to go to bed before my kids, who were only about 2 and 4 at the time, I knew something had to change.
Initially, I set a really small goal to ride my exercise bike just 15 minutes after my husband got home from work. Then I tried to build up to 30 minutes and 45 minutes. Then I gave some home workout DVDs a try like Turbo Jam and stuff from Jillian Michaels. A friend of mine suggested that I try P90X. I had seen a commercial for this program at least once or twice while riding my exercise bike. I thought, “there is NO WAY I can do that program.” But, I decided to give it a try and after 90 days, my results were amazing. I could not believe that after 2 kids and after hitting age 40 that I was in the best shape of my life. I even had the pleasure of working out with P90X creator Tony Horton in person a few weeks ago. It was wonderful to thank him personally for having such an impact on my life. This is now a lifestyle choice for me for sure. I am trying my best to set a good example for my children and to help other moms fit exercise into their busy lives with my fitness coaching.
Q: What advice do you have for moms who claim they don’t have time for exercise?
Ah, the time excuse. I hear it all the time. Moms need to put themselves back on top of their priority list. We get so caught up in trying to care for and please everyone else that we often lose ourselves. I can’t remember who said it, but “A healthy and happy mom makes for a healthy and happy family.” I find that this is so true. I think we can all make time for exercise. It is so important. Even in the early days of 15-20 minutes a day made such a difference for me. Get up a little earlier and get in the exercise before the day gets busy and filled with excuses. Break up exercise intervals. Even 10 minute exercise bursts 2-3 times a day can make a difference. I even workout with my kids sometimes. They love some of the exercise DVDs. You may be surprised by what they can do and how much fun you can have together. However you do it… make time. It is so worth it.
Q: What is your favorite exercise and why?
Hmm, now that’s a tricky one. I like so many exercises. I suppose I would have to say anything that combines upper and lower body at once. Squat thrusts or mountain climbers are a good example. These exercises work upper, lower and even core all at once. They are a great way to tone your body, and get in cardio in short bursts.
Q: Are you more of a cardio mommy or strength training mommy?
I try to strike a balance. I used to be a cardio gym rat, but I sort of felt like just that, a mouse or rat running on one of those wheels. I was sort of thin and sort of in shape, but not quite. Blending cardio, strength and even a weekly yoga session (or something similar) for flexibility is key.
Q: Do you have any mental tricks that you use when you just don’t feel like working out?
Turbo Jam creator Chalene Johnson is the one I credit with helping me with this the most. In a number of her workouts she reminds participants to just get started. If I really don’t feel like working out, I remember what Chalene says, “Just give it 10 minutes, and you will want to do more, if you don’t, you can quit.” I am so thankful that probably 99% of the time those 10 minutes really do make the difference to get my mind and body ready to do more.
Q: Random question: What is your favorite snack food?
I am having fun exploring new snack ideas. My favorite these days is celery sticks with peanut butter. I suppose there is nothing extraordinary about this idea, but it’s one I had never tried and I love it! It is so satisfying when I am having cravings for something unhealthy.
Thank you Jenn for being an inspiration!
You can see more interviews with other fit moms (and dads too!) over here.