Before And After Stats
Why I Got Started
I'd always been slim. I ate what I wanted, as much as I wanted, when I wanted. I was active throughout my teens and 20's, but after we adopted our first child, that all slowly began to change.
My activity level decreased, but my eating habits didn't. It caught up to me. Over the years I put more and more weight on and by summer of 2007 I no longer liked the person I saw when I looked in the mirror. I don't think there was any one "a-ha" moment. There were several.
"A-ha" moment #1. At the time I was 37. 40 wasn't that far off. I wanted to be a "Fab 40," not a "Fat 40." I thought back to my mom during her 40s and how incredible she looked. She was a lightweight bodybuilder in her 40s. She rocked the stage. Her body fat was a low 6%.
"A-ha" moment #2. My girlfriends and I were spending a week down in St. George by the pool with the kids. We decided to hit up Old Navy for some new swimsuits. I was a size 14 - trying to squeeze into a size 12. I gave up. I ended up settling for a mens' pair of size medium board shorts and a tankini top while all my size 0, 4 and 6 friends bought their cute little "girlie" swimsuits.
"A-ha" moment #3. I was tired of all the concessions being made because of me. Would Jenny be able to fit through the narrows? Would Jenny be able to handle the hike? Would Jenny be the first to tire out while playing catch in the back yard? I was happy with my life, but I wasn't happy with me - the most important person of all.
How I Did It
Without my husband's permission, I signed up (once again) at Gold's Gym. I signed up before only to watch my money drain out of my account. Same with training sessions. Greg, my husband, had no reason to think this time would be any different. But, I knew this time it would be. I dropped my little guy off on the first day of school and headed straight to the gym.
I waffled around on the machines and mostly focused on cardio. I didn't have a clue. I just stuck with what I felt comfortable with. Comfortable meaning - not looking too dumb on the equipment.
I biked, I walked, I kind-of jogged and I stepped. Two months later I'd shed 20 pounds, and I felt like I was on top of the world. I was a size 10. In February I decided to try and "sculpt" my now leaner but completely jello-like body. I didn't want just any trainer though. I didn't want to get "stuck."
There was one trainer, a girl with incredibly built arms. I wanted her. I approached her, and told her she needed to train me because I wanted her arms. She sized me up and agreed. She worked me hard, but that's exactly what I wanted. She told me too many times she agreed to help people, but they wouldn't follow-through.
I was eager. I was like a sponge. I wanted to do it all. You didn't have to ask me twice. By the end of March I started to see a big change. So did she. At that point she asked me if I'd considered competing in Figure. She'd already done several shows, and the way my body was responding to the weight training, she thought I might be a good candidate.
By this time I was 38 - one year closer to 40. I told her "yes." Why not? What did I have to lose? I figured I could give it my best shot and the worst thing that could happen was I'd be in better shape than when I'd begun - a win-win in my opinion. So, I set my eyes on the NGA show in September and the NPC show in October 2008.
I worked my butt off day after day - on my own. I didn't have a workout partner. There was no one there waiting for me. I started out with a workout partner in the beginning, but her plans changed only two weeks into it. At that point I was at a crossroads to either continue or give up. There was no giving up this time.
I placed at both shows. This old lady placed 2nd in the Short Class in the NGA 2008 Northern States show and 4th in the Medium Class in the NPC Utah Gold's Classic.
I was hooked. Next spring I competed again, this time taking 3rd in the Medium Class in the NPC Utah Open and 7th in the Masters at the Emerald Cup in Washington. Figure isn't my only accomplishment though.
Since that first day when I decided to hit the gym and change my body, my focus, and my direction, I've:
- Completed 2 Sprint Triathlons
- Ran 4 Half Marathons
- Led a team of 12 in last year's Wasatch Back
- Ran the Vegas Ragnar Relay (with the flu)
- Ran the 2009 St. George Marathon (within 5 minutes of qualifying for Boston); 3:49:58.
Next up? For the past 6 months I've worked with Mike Davies (one of the leaders in the Figure and Bodybuilding industry) on diet and training. On the calendar are:
- NPC 2010 TopForm Classic (March 20, 2010)
- 2010 Emerald Cup (April)
- NPC 2010 Utah Natural (May)
- NPC 2010 USAs (July)
I am in the process of getting certified through NASM - http://www.jen-fit.com/. I've started a recipe page on Facebook "Recipes for Gals in Figure and Bodybuilding" which already has more than 4,500 members! I've created a Group on Facebook for my personal training - jen-fit. 2010 is going to be a promising year!
- Vitamin B-Complex
- Protein Powder
- Thermogenic Fat Burner
- Vitamin C
- Casein Protein
Note: Supplement times and doseages are listed below in the diet section.
Meal 1: Pre-Workout
Meal 2: Post-Workout
- 1 large salad
- 4-5 oz of chicken breast
- 1 handful of walnuts
- 4 oz of apples
- 4 oz of blueberries
- 1 handful of fat free feta cheese
For the last 6 months I've worked with Mike Davies of The Fitness Factory. Every week I'd have a different set of exercises for each body part. I typically focus on 6 exercises for each body part, 4 sets with 10-15 reps.
The heavier the weight, the fewer the reps - the lighter the weight, the more reps. I try to keep my body guessing by mixing it up all the time. I include at least 30 minutes of cardio 6 days a week immediately following my weight-training. My favorite cardio is the stepmill and running.
Day 1: Legs
- Lying Leg Curls: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Barbell Squats: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Leg Press: 6 sets of 15 reps
- Barbell Good Mornings: 3 sets of 10 reps
Day 2: Shoulders
- Military Press: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Front Dumbbell Raises: 4 sets of 6 reps
- Dumbbell Shrugs: 3 sets of 30 reps
Day 3: Back
Day 4: Arms
- Close-Grip Bench Press: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Dips: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Lying Triceps Press: 4 sets of 10 reps
Day 5: Chest
- Dumbbell Pullovers: 4 sets of 10 reps
Suggestions For Others
Don't give up. Don't depend on others to get you there. You need to do it for yourself. Don't allow giving-up to be an option. Look forward not backward.
I used to remind myself at the gym every day, "Make it count. Make it count." Keep it fun and exciting by changing up your routine, varying the music on your iPod, reading up on exercise and nutrition.
Surround yourself with motivation and inspiration. Befriend those who have overcome the same challenges you are now facing. These are all things that I did that worked for me.
I never stopped asking questions, and I never stopped trying. I'm still on the same path I was three years ago - now just further along.