The harder the struggle, the more glorious the triumph

When I began my journey in 2008, I honestly had NO IDEA what to expect. I had never been an athlete, so I had no base to go from. I had always made BAD food choices. ALWAYS. All I knew was that I was B.I.G. and I was going to die if I didn't get the weight off. I didn't start off with a goal weight or goal size in my mind. I started off with the simple desire to live.

People (my family, my husband, my kids, friends) often ask me "Jenny, why do you think you got so big?" And I really don't know. I mean I KNOW it was because I didn't move and I ate really bad food, but why I let myself get SO big, I really don't  know. It was this vicious cycle. This bigger I got, the bigger I let myself get. Does that make sense? It was like I started to see myself as ONLY the fat wife, the fat mom, the fat friend, the fat daughter, the fat sister. It seemed I was destined to live in this fat world I had created for myself. Until suddenly destiny threw me a curve ball.

I remember my "a-ha" moment like it was yesterday. I was attempting to play with my kids, I was having fun, and suddenly I was on the ground, crying and in serious pain. I couldn't move. I couldn't get up. I couldn't even lift my upper body to rest on my elbows. I was THAT big. I could only lay there crying for my husband. One of my children ran inside to get him and he came out to help. He tried to get me off the ground, but he couldn't. He had to roll me on a blanket and drag me inside the house. I knew at that point I HAD to change. I was a stay-at-home-mom. My health was poor, I was pre-diabetic, triglycerides were through the roof, high cholesterol, you know I had all the symptoms of being a morbidly obese woman. My doctor had told me that I HAD to lose weight, but I didn't listen. Family (namely my Grandpa Dick, RIP Grandpa) worried about me and encouraged me to lose weight. I didn't listen. It took THAT moment to make me listen. Laying on the ground having my kids (who were 2, 3, 4 at the time) look over my body was almost like an out of body experience. I imagined myself home alone with them and suddenly collapsing from a massive heart attack and dying right in front of them. My three little babies. My three little birds. How could I do that to them? How could I have done this to myself? And then suddenly, destiny presented me with the option to take a new road. And I took it. I didn't know where that road would take me, but I knew it had to be better than the one I was currently on.

I embarked on a new path, a new life, taking along with me three amazing little children, and one husband, and our life will never be the same. I lost 212 pounds. AN ENTIRE person. Destiny knew what she doing.

Training Tuesday!!

One of the comments that gets made to me the most frequently goes something like this "wow, you must spend like all day in the gym, huh?"

I don't. Really, I don't.

I am a busy woman. I have three young kids (they are 6, 7, and 8) one of those kids has special needs, another one has ADHD, and another one is a tween. Enough said. I have a husband, I run this blog, a household, I am a private tutor,  etc, etc, etc. I don't have time to spend all day in the gym. My workouts need to be efficient and they need to continually challenge me and move my fitness to the next level.

Once people learn that I don't spend "all day" in the gym, their next question is "well, WHAT do you do for your workouts?" My workouts are not a secret, and I'll share them with you here Smile

But before I do that, I need to share something else with you. EQUIPMENT! In my personal training opinion, there are some KEY essential pieces to a good workout, at least for the person that is looking to improve their fitness level. Do you HAVE to have this equipment? No. But this is what worked for ME!! Wink

1)a heart rate monitor (HRM.) My HRM of choice is a RS800CX made by Polar. I didn't start off using this type of HRM. I began with a MIO back in 2008, found that it really couldn't keep with what I was asking of it so I moved to a Polar FT7. Now, I think that had I chosen a different MIO product, I would have been okay, but the one I chose required me to put my fingers on the watch to establish a base heart rate, and then throughout the workout, put those fingers back on the watch (there were these 2 little silver pads) where it would adjust the heart rate and measure the calorie burn. It was just too time consuming for me to remember to do that. I wanted one with a chest strap and I had a trainer friend who was selling his Polar FT7, so I bought it. You wear the chest strap pretty much right under the bra line. I wondered if I would be bothered by the chest strap, but nope not one bit!! This HRM took my training to a whole new level! I could easily and quickly monitor my calorie burn, my HR, push harder if I needed, back down, etc., I did all the work, but my HRM made me accountable. Then I started to get really really active in a variety of sports, so I upgraded to the RS800CX. In all honesty, this watch might be "too much" for me. But I love it.

2)good shoes. I have different shoes for different activities. When I cycle I wear shoes specific for cycling. These are my cycle shoes. They are different from most cycle shoes because they tie instead of velcro. I like the tie shoes. For running I wear Brooks Glycerin 10. I have these in 3 different colors so I can match with my workout outfits. Yes, I have an issue here.  And for my cross-training I wear Mizuno Wave Rider 15. Yes, these are running shoes, but they are lighter than my Brooks so I can jump and kick higher because the weight of the shoe isn't dragging my foot down. Tongue Out

3)find your "go." Find what activity it is that makes you MOVE!! I didn't start off doing what I do know. I didn't even like working out when I started, but I knew that I HAD TO, but it hurt. It hurt a lot. So I found an activity that I could do; the recumbent exercise bike AT THE GYM! Yes, I joined a gym. Some people don't. Lots of people don't. But I did. I needed the childcare option, because again, I have 3 little kids and they were 2, 3, and 4 when I started working out and I needed that option. I worked out alone for 3 months and then I discovered group fitness and I never looked back. Group fitness is MY "go." I don't care what the class is (except Zumba, I can't stand Zumba, just not the class for ME. If you love it, GREAT!!) if it fits into my schedule then I take it!! My favorite group fitness classes are (no surprise here) by Les Mills I love love love RPM (indoor cycling) and BodyPump (weight training with cardio peaks)



I love indoor cycling so much that I am actually going to become a certified Spinning instructor THIS SUNDAY! I am going through Mad Dogg athletics and then once I get some experience under my belt, I'll go for the Les Mills training.

Okay, so a HRM, good shoes, and your "go." That's what you need.

Now my workout schedule. It used to be pretty dynamic, changing with the school year, etc., but now that I am working from home, it's becoming pretty static (which I prefer...and static does NOT mean stale!!)

Monday-CXWORX and Body Combat

Tuesday-CXWORX and Circuit Training

Wednesday-30 minute run and Body Pump

Thursday-CXWORX and Body Attack

Friday-CXWORX and Body Combat

Saturday- indoor cycling

Sunday-OFF!! Not off from working out, just off from the gym. We take this a family day and do family cycling together outside at a paved trail. About 14 miles.

Now I'm hoping that some of those Body Attack/Body Combat classes will soon be moving to RPM since my gym is in the process of adding an indoor cycling room and the bikes are supposed to be arriving TODAY!!!

That's it! Nothing too crazy. Just a bunch of sweaty Fitness Fanatics working together to achieve a common goal (fitness!!) and having a blast while we do it! If you're local, we'd love to have you join us!!

One last calorie burn. I have a minimum calorie burn that I strive for each and every workout. And it's so totally reachable! It's 300 calories. Anything over and above that is just an added bonus. Here was my burn from today Cool And that's actually LESS than what I really did burn. Why? Because in one of my hovers I hit the pause button and didn't want to break form to un-pause it Tongue Out The burn was well over 800 calories.


Take from this post what you will. This is what worked and continues to work for ME!!

For more workout inspiration, check out Denise at RunDMT and share your own fitspiration!