When I first started training with Jen, my overall fitness level was solid. I exercised and ran a few times a week, but I always ate whatever I wanted to eat.
I really like that Jen never pushed me to make changes that I was not comfortable with, my changes were always maintainable. We talked about my goals and she made suggestions and plans specific to what I needed to get me to my goals. As the training went on she would discuss my progress and make suggestions on ways to modify the schedule to get me to the next level.
As a result of working with Jen, I reached a level of confidence in my runs, how and when to push myself to the next level. I achieved a personal record at the Flying Pig Marathon with an amazing run that felt solid and built up a faster base pace.
I have built a solid foundation on how to train to take my fitness and running to higher levels. I know how to make adjustments to my running, weight training and diet to see changes in my performances in my running. I understand the direct impact my diet has on my fitness and when to make adjustments.
I want to continue my goal of trying for a 2:00 half marathon. I will use my knowledge from Jen’s training to make adjustments to the training plan she made for me. That schedule will allow me to increase my pace and stamina to achieve my ultimate goal.
When I first met Jen I was struggling to see results from what I considered a strong nutrition and exercise regimen. Also, when I ran long distances, suddenly I was having cramping and fatigue in my calves around mile 11 when I had never had that issue before. I felt deflated. Others I had talked too assumed that I was not really eating as healthy as I claimed. I felt good about my exercise but I needed help with identifying what was going wrong before the undertow pulled me beneath the waters for good.
Jen never had her own agenda and was really focused on learning what my goals were and what I was doing. I felt like she was the first person who listened and believed what I was telling her. She has always made me feel like she truly cared about my health, my goals, ME! Suddenly I had found the person I needed to help me. It was such a relief!
Since I have been working with Jen I have developed a food journal that helps me to analyze how I feel and what is different in order to determine where I can make productive changes. I verified what we suspected when we first met. I was not getting enough lean protein in my diet. Once I adjusted that my muscle fatigue and cramping stopped. I also began to steadily lose weight. I also started analyzing my exercise in the journal and when I stuck to it, how I felt after I finished and that impact on my physical and mental wellness. I learned that I was more committed to exercise I enjoyed and not only did not stress me but de-stressed me. I dropped my gym membership and doubled up on my running routine. I also have tried other forms of cross-training like spinning, rowing, etc. Leaving the gym did negatively impact my arm strength, but I had a routine I could stick to, my stamina increased, my resting heart rate dropped dramatically, I slept better, I felt a significant reduction in stress at work and home, and I am significantly happier every day.
I have lost nearly 100 pounds in 14 months. My resting heart rate went from 60-65 to 40-45. I feel more: energetic, able to cope with the day to day stress of work and home, and confident. I run or walk at least 5 days a week. I have made some fantastic and supportive running friends. My absences from work due to illness has dropped from 16 days in the previous year, to 4 this year. The quality and duration of my sleep have dramatically improved as well.?
I still have another 75 – 85 pounds I would like to shed. This should not be problematic given all that I have learned about myself in terms of nutrition and exercise since I started meeting with Jen. I know that even if I get off track I have gained tremendous tools, including an expanded social network, in order to determine what I need to do to get back to where I want to be. I also know that as my body and goals change that I can adapt my nutrition and exercise, analyze those effects and quickly identify a new action plan. I continue to check in with Jen for updates and feedback from her for ideas and reinforcement.
My health before working with Jen was so so. My activity was fairly good, but I was struggling with the food and nutrition part. I felt like I couldn’t get control and lose weight.
Working with Jen was great. She made me accountable, never judged and often inspired me. Sometimes it would be a simple saying or quote that just seemed to resonate with me. The best part of working with Jen was that she worked with me individually. She helped me work things into my lifestyle and never told me that I must eat a particular food nor did she ever say I could not eat a particular food. We were working on lifestyle changes, not a “diet”, and she focused on my successes no matter how big or small.
The most significant result for me would be the weight loss. I made small changes and although the weight didn’t come off fast it came off with small changes to my lifestyle. It wasn’t until I went to the doctor that I realized how successful I had been.
Another significant outcome for me were the small improvements that I’ve made. I still have a ways to go but it’s amazing how the little things add up.
I know this is silly but another significant outcome for me is that I feel like you’re in my head. Sometimes when I start to inhale my food I hear you in my head telling me to slow down. If I have a bad day I hear you telling me it’s ok and it’s not the end of the world. I find myself doing a better job of starting fresh the next day instead of turning one bad day into two, then three and then the “I’ll start on Monday “ crap.
My health is better now, but I honestly still have a ways to go. My picky palette makes some of that difficult for me.
My next step is to continue to apply what I’ve learned and try to continue to make small improvements in my overall health and nutrition. Jen once said that “mindset is key to success“ so I’m hoping to stay in the right frame of mind and celebrate my small victories along the way.