Jennifer Micheli shatters any myth that being 40 is "Over the Hill". She shares with us what life is like competing over 40, having a full-time job as well as being a mother of 3.
Jennifer is literally one hot momma and as accomplished a number of things that are very admirable. She was kind enough to discuss her battles with anorexia and what weight training has done to feel comfortable with her body.
[ Q ] Basic Info:
- Name: Jennifer Micheli
- Place of birth: San Francisco, Calif. 1962
- Residence: Daytona Beach , FL
[ Q ] Hi Jennifer. There is this crazy ass rumor that you are over 40, is it true?
A: Yes, and very proud of being 43.
[ Q ] I also heard you have 4 children. Get out, seriously?
A: I have three of my own. Dominic is 14, Matthew is 13 and Vanessa is 10. The boys are competitive surfers in the ESA and my daughter is into every sport, but mostly a dancer now.
I have a grown up son through my 4 year relationship with Lee Apperson. His son is turning 25 this year. He is Lee Apperson JR. We have quite a family.
[ Q ] What's your secret to maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
A: I have been an aerobic instructor for 26 years and trained off and on all those years. I too was a dancer from the age of 4 through college. I also ran
cross-country in school and I run today with Lee when he is getting ready for a show. I have been seriously training with weights for the last 4 years.
During my youth I suffered with anorexia and my all time low was 80 lbs. Weight training has taught me to feel comfortable in my own body and I love the changes that have taken place with me.
Today I am 125. That is a 45lb weight gain and the amazing thing is I am still a size 1. I realize it is all muscle so the number on the scale is not scary to me. I now eat 6-8 times a day and drink tons of water.
I eat clean all the time, Lee is always trying to get me to eat what I call "funny food" just to prove nothing will happen. It's a mental thing with me, so I just eat more of the good stuff. Plus I have great genes, both my parents are in fantastic shape.
[ Q ] Any advice for women over 40 who think they don't have what it takes to compete?
A: At this age it is all about having fun. We really have nothing to prove to anyone. The challenge is for one-self. To see what one can become and enjoy the ride. Most of my clients are close to 40 or older.
I have pumped out a dozen awesome ladies in Daytona Beach that could be on a stage. Actually one of them did compete at 44 and went on to win the All South Fitness and Figure title last Nov.
[ Q ] Do you find it easier or more challenging to compete as you get older?
A: Since I just started and have only done 4 shows it seems easy to me. I am very disciplined and love to be in front of people. It is always about balancing everything in your life.
My children are very supportive and proud of me. Since this is my lifestyle it makes it easier too. I am either at the gym for myself or clients daily.
[ Q ] You're currently on the cover of IRONMAN Magazine. Congrats! How was it shooting with your boyfriend Lee Apperson?
A: This is my 4th cover and our 3rd together. We always have a blast working together. He is the one that got me discovered by Michael Neveux 4 years ago and it has taken off from there.
We shoot alot with David Paul too and my backside usually ends up in Muscle Mag :) Lee is great, very focused and he knows my better angles. All photographers love having him around.
[ Q ] How did you and Lee meet?
A: I was visiting a friend of mine at a local gym and I was standing at the juice bar. Lee came in and spotted my backside and hair. He says he thought "great hair and who's behind is that"?
Eventually, I turned around and our eyes met. We were both very pleased. He was very shy and it took a few months for us to connect. When we did it was awesome.
We had both been in other relationships for a long time and had each been alone for awhile. We were both ready to enjoy life again. That's what we do. He is very matter of fact and being with a woman with three kids has lightened him up. We each learn from one another daily.
[ Q ] Does Lee also coach and train you?
A: He is the man. I couldn't have landed a better coach. Being that he is a pro and has been competing for over 20 years, he definitely knows his stuff. From posing, to the right tan, to the food, rest and training. He believes in me even when I have my doubts.
[ Q ] What's the best place you visited for work?
A: I have had the good fortune of living in 6 countries. I also lived in Hawaii for years. I was involved in modeling for a swimsuit company then. I love all the places, my most favorites are Hawaii and Barbados.
[ Q ] You recently finished 3rd at the IRONMAN Classic, having been called out first in both rounds of the prejudging were you surprised to finish 3rd?
A: A little, but again I am so new at the sport and am thrilled to even be on the stage considering where I started at 80 lbs. To me it is the journey along the way and to see what I can become.
[ Q ] Having been at the show I never would have guessed you'd be in 3rd place, but goes to show you how much I know.
A: Thanks for your kind words after the show. My placing seemed to cause a bit of a stir. I have received phone calls and e-mails from many that were left very confused. It was very cool to have the cover come out right after the show. Made me feel good.
[ Q ] Do you plan to compete again this year?
A: I am competing in the Master Nationals in July and possibly in August at the National show.
- Nov. 2003 Florida Gold Cup - Figure Champion
- Jr USA April 2004 - 13th place
- Master Nationals July 2004 - 2nd place
- Ironman Feb. 2005 - 3rd place
[ Q ] What do you do when you're not in the gym?
A: Spending time with my children, mostly at the beach. I like movies,
bike riding, cooking, and
[ Q ] Favorite body part to workout?
A: I love them all.
[ Q ] Best movie you've seen recently?
A: Coach Carter. It inspired me to continue to help others acheive their
goals, especially kids.
[ Q ] Anything else you'd like to share?
A: I am loving my new carrer at 40 years of age. Always continue to dream and all things are possible with
[ Q ] Sponsors:
- Gold's Gym
- Port Orange
- Miami Hunt Club
[ Isaac: ] Thanks Jennifer! I appreciate you sharing everything with us. Best of luck in your career, relationship and competitions.
You have a great deal going for you and we'll keep our eye out for you on future magazine covers.