How about some true motivation on this Monday? Let me introduce you to Jennifer. I call her Stoph… still. Jennifer and I go way back, all the way to high school basketball. Somewhere after high school and the sporadic get-togethers when we were home for college we lost touch. We recently reconnected over our common interest in fitness: me helping people and her finding her fitness. She has an incredible transformation story!
She has done several of my fitness challenges and I am honored that I got to be such a small part in her huge success story. What I like about her story is that she did not use a quick fix. There was no one particular program that did it. She moved her body in different ways every single day. There was no pill, no drink, no shake; she got her results from honing in our her nutrition and learning how to best fuel her body. (Hello clean, whole, real foods!) I am so proud of her; her success is one of the best stories I have heard in years! She is an inspiration and will be sure to motivate you to find your fitness– whatever that may look like. Let her tell you the story!
Stopher’s Success Story
Sick of Being Sick
My wellness journey began a year ago. I was sick of being sick. I had zero energy; I would get up go to work sometimes go to the gym and then go home and go back to bed. I wasn’t living life and I didn’t understand how people had energy to do anything but work. I’m in my early 30’s the prime of my life and I felt like I was dying. Finally one day it clicked – diet and nutrition. What was I really putting into my body? I honestly don’t like thinking about it, because it grosses me out. Don’t get me wrong I ate “healthy”, but I ate just as much processed and fast food as I did those healthy foods. I would have lattes nearly every day of the work week. Lunch was always eating out and dinner was either something I cooked maybe healthy maybe not or again I would eat out and I snacked endlessly on anything I could get my hands on. One day I decided enough was enough and I kind of changed how I ate & I lost around 10 pounds in 2 months by kind of changing my diet. This is when the lightbulb went off. If I can lose 10 pounds by kind of changing my diet what would happen if I really changed it? I was about to find out.
August 2015 the gym I had belonged to for a couple years was having a biggest loser competition. I’m a very competitive person and this program seemed it had a lot to offer so I signed up and never looked back. During those 12 weeks I lost an additional 30ish pounds. I didn’t win the competition, but I was getting my life back so that’s a huge win to me. During these 12 weeks my team met twice a week for about 45 minutes doing HIIT style cardio mixed with weights. My diet consisted of lean protein, lots of vegetables, some fruit and an occasional treat. I went from drinking lattes, beer and wine frequently to drinking black coffee and water. Also during this 12 weeks I met with my teams coach one on one for an hour. The first night he put me on the treadmill and wanted me to run – HA dude are you kidding me? Me try to run and in front of people – no thanks is what was going thru my head, but I found the will power and confidence to try. Every week it got a little easier & I went a little faster and farther. I would never in a million years imagine I would run and learn to love it.
80 Pounds Gone!
After these 12 weeks were up I could have gave up and went back to my old ways, but I didn’t! I found my lifelong workout partner I continued to work out 5-6 days a week doing around 30 minutes of cardio and then weights. It was during this time I figured out you CAN NOT out train a bad diet, plus I just felt better when I ate whole foods and this is still true today. This was a very important and valuable lesson for me because I had always been somewhat active and worked out, but I ate whatever I wanted and couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t losing weight. I’m glad I finally figured that out! Fast forward to now and I am 80 pounds lighter than I was a year ago. It’s crazy to think about until I see old pictures and hold up old clothes. Nutrition has become my passion and working out is a necessity to just feeling GREAT.
What has kept me successful is the feeling of feeling great! I forgot what it was like to have energy and be excited about life. I can run and play endlessly with kids. I can go out with my friends because I now feel good. What has kept me successful is being prepared with my food. Meal prepping is huge for me. If I make my meals on the weekend for the upcoming week I know I will do well. I go to the gym to get that high and that feeling of being sore from lifting weights – nothing better. I also have to have a plan of action before I enter the gym otherwise I wonder endlessly and just end up leaving. Currently classes are my go to – they are effective and focused for me. Someone else has made up the plan and I follow along with it.
Strong & Proud
This past year has been one incredible year for me. I have had the support and encouragement of many. The reflection in the mirror is someone I am now proud of. I am excited for what this next year will bring. I will continue to work on fine tuning my nutrition by drinking more water than should be humanly possible, eating clean, having a treat when needed and building muscle
and burning fat by trying new classes and continue hitting the weights. I will set goals and work until I reach them and then I will set new ones, I will never give up on myself again because Iam worth it. I will make myself strong and proud!
On top of transforming her life, she has used her newfound love for fitness and her capability to give back. Each year she commits to walking 60 miles in three days at the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk and raising money to fight breast cancer. Jennifer is surely using her new and improved body for a good cause. What an accomplishment, Stoph, I am super proud of you for taking hold of your life and your health and finding your fit!
If you would like to donate to Jennifer’s cause, you can make a donation here.