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December 2005 vs December 2011 - Over 110 lbs lost for GOOD!

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Thanksgiving 2011, my little family!

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After my trail run! July 1st, 2012

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JENSFITJOURNEY is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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Detailed fitness and weight loss information on my daily blog -

I have now lost over 110 pounds, and I am so excited about the changes I am seeing in my life as a result of the weight loss. Some days I sit back and think about how far I have come and it amazes me. In the beginning I did not know if this time my weight loss efforts would work. After all, I had tried so many times and failed. I remember going into a non-plus size store for the first time in 10 years, and I was able to buy everything and not have it be largest size they offered!! There were tears - many tears - of joy and it was at that moment when all the runs, the crunches and the lifting were well worth it!! This is my journey......


In April of 2006, my husband I took a vacation to Europe, and when I looked at the photos I was shocked at how I had let myself go. I did not recognize the girl in the photo. I cried, I was broken and I did not know where to start. I knew it was up to me to change. I wanted to reclaim the person I once was. I started slowly, watching my portions and trying to get in as much physical activity as I could. I lost around 17 pounds that first year, but I did not become truly serious about my journey until May of 2007 when the months leading to my 30th birthday brought a change in mindset and proved to be a changing point in my life.

In May of 2007 I bought a heart rate monitor and it changed how I viewed exercise - it became fun! Using the HRM to record how many calories I could burn and recording how many calories I ate in a day online bridged a gap for me. I was able to make the connection between what I was eating and what I was burning. When I would eat an apple, I knew the caloric count of that apple and what it would take for me to burn it off. If I wanted a meal that was 300 calories then I needed to decide whether or not it was worth a good 40 mins or so on the treadmill or should I go for a healthier option.

This understanding of how our bodies burn the fuel we know as food changed my life. It also changed the intensity of my workouts. I knew that I had a particular amount of time to burn as many calories as I could so I needed to move! I highly advise the investment in a good heart rate monitor. I use a Polar HRM but there are many others. It will increase your knowledge of fitness and knowledge is power! It is what will take you to the next level of your journey.

I started doing cardio for 90 mins a day, 5 times a week and strength training 3 times a week. I also started measuring and logging everything that went into my mouth!! Before I knew it the pounds started to fall off! I went from wearing maternity pants and size 18 plus jeans to now I am wearing sizes 2 - 4 in several different brands.

One of the most important things to remember when starting out is to know before hand that there will be hard days. Mentally prepare yourself that the scale will not always move each week, in fact some weeks it may go up some. This is normal. This does not mean that you are not on the right path. Stay focused and know that if you are consistent you will see results. Nothing is more important in this journey than persistence!! You will be tested, you will be tempted to eat the wrong things, you will want to quit, but if you hold on, you will reach goals, and what a day that will be! This passage is from Tom Venuto's book Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle and I find it motivating -

"The next time you feel a craving, you're tempted, discouraged, unmotivated or you feel like skipping a workout, focus on your daily goals, not on the huge amount of work that is ahead of you. Tell yourself , all I have is today! All I have is this moment, this workout, this meal, the next 30 minutes, the next hour. If I just do what I know I must do now, then I KNOW I'll reach my ultimate goal eventually. Concentrate on the task at hand IN THIS MOMENT. "

There are so many things to share about my program and eating habits...and I have far more to learn. So share with me what you have done to see success and we will work on becoming our very best together!!!! If I can serve as a motivator to just one person and in return they motivate another - than we are successful. We are all here for a purpose. Even though our underlying reason may be different we were brought here for a reason. I look forward to an amazing 2012. Reaching our goals together and gaining knowledge from one another on this incredible road of success that we are all apart of!!


I have come to realize that what I do today will have a lasting effect - good or bad - so I choose to make positive changes on a daily basis. I firmly believe that the smallest efforts over time lead to great triumphs! This is a time of reflection for me- where I have been, were I am now and most importantly where I am going. Who will I become? How will I use this experience to help others? I ask myself these questions every day and I look forward to seeing what tomorrow has in store for me as I travel on this amazing journey that is set before me.

I have not only changed my body, but my life for good. I have added years on to my life and to me that is the best reward! I want to live my life with a passion for making not only the most of each moment - but to make the most of this temple, this body, that God has blessed me with. I am still on my journey and have quite a road ahead of me - but when I see how far I have come it makes me even more motivated to push through to the finish line. I love this quote....

"You may encounter failure at the thousandth step, yet success hides behind the next bend in the road. You will never know how close success lies unless you turn the corner." Og Mandino

As so I press on - everyday! I am close - I can see it - my ultimate goal - ahead of me - and now it is up to me as to how I will get there! I have to remember that at this time I need to enjoy every stage I am in. Some times we can be so set on looking only at where we want to be that we loose sight of the beautiful transformation that is taking place in this moment!

I have many goals for 2015, but they are different than years past. The most important being that for the first time, my goals do not include a number on the scale. 2015 for me is about getting FIT, becoming the person and athlete I want to be. It is about regaining my former self and taking my fitness to new levels.



"Health is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice.
It is something we have been gifted with, took for granted
and we can reclaim and regain. " Darina Stoyanova

There is a reason why the nutrition section of my page is so long! It is because nutrition is so important and vital to weight loss success, I want to focus on it as much as possible.

I am currently reading several books on nutrition, and it has helped me a great deal in understanding how I need to view food as fuel and nourishment to my body. Think about it, what we eat has a direct effect on our energy levels and over all well being. If you feed your body nothing but junk then what kind of result do you think you will produce?

Eating for life goes well beyond counting calories and trying to fit into a pair of jeans. It is about providing your body with the necessary tools so that you can perform to your highest daily potential. I am focusing on wellness, not a diet. By wellness, I mean looking at all aspects of my life and changing everything possible that could improve the quality of my life.

I eat around 4 very small meals a day, focusing on fresh, nutritious foods and avoiding anything processed. I am currently doing a program called Whole 30 based on the book It Starts With Food. It is a MUST read for everyone!!!

I have found that calculating a daily caloric deficit allows me to see how much I have eaten in relation to my workouts. On hard days, I need more fuel, therefore I eat more and on rest days I stay around 300 calories or so under my BMR.

You can learn more about calculating a deficit by going to Sparkpeople's link to Nutrition 101 - it gives a wonderful explanation of how everything is calculated based on your individual needs. Spark has done all of the math for you, all you need to do is to be consistent in your logging and follow their advise. Please read through this article, it explains everything step by step!

I have seen in my own life the effects of under eating. For so long my deficits where really high - over 1,000 and I was NOT loosing. Then I changed my eating and you guessed it - I starting loosing consistently. You will ruin your metabolism and all of your efforts if you are under eating. Nutrition is such an important part of the weight loss equation and should be taken just as serious, if not more so than exercise.



"What you have to do and the way you have to do it is incredibly simple. Whether you are willing to do it, that's another matter." - Peter F. Drucker

One of the most important things you can do is to simply get up and move! This concept is so simple and yet for so many of us, it is the hardest to follow. If you are just starting out, I would advise getting a pedometer to track your steps per day. Aim for 10,000 steps each day. Make it fun! See how many you can reach in a month. The point is to just do something. It all adds up over time!

Each of my workouts are focused on maximizing results through achieving a high caloric burn, but I did not start off this way. I lost most of my weight through walking at least 5 days a week. Do not be afraid of taking it slow in the beginning. You need to take your time to develop a proper fitness base and then the high intensity can follow.

I am currently training for several triathlons as well as a half marathon so I aim for 5 days a week of 60 - 90 mins of cardio consisting of swimming, biking and running. I am also a strong advocate for strength training. I have seen the changes it has made in my body.

I am no longer focused on the scale, but rather loosing inches through strength training. Do not be afraid to start training in the beginning of your weight loss program. it is never to early to start lifting. The concept is simple, muscle takes up far less space than fat, therefore through building muscle you actually loose inches, and as a result you look leaner and thinner! I aim for 3 days a week of strength training. Some weeks I alternate heavy weights and low reps with a few days of lighter weights with high reps to build muscle endurance. The key is to always keep your muscles guessing as to what you are going to do next and switch up your program every few weeks. This way your body has to work hard for every workout and will not conform to one particular type of routine.



"We cannot change our past. We cannot change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude." - Charles Swindoll

I am currently taking inventory of my life and reviewing my habits so that each day I can renew my goals and focus. My program is changing the more I learn, and to me that is a sign of progress! I am trying to saturate myself with all things positive. I really do believe that we have a choice every day what as to what we will hear, see, think and do!! I feel that this has a direct effect on our lives. I want to be a support to anyone I can because through this I myself gain so much by giving to others.

Below is a quote that I refer to often. I have to remember that change takes time and that is ok, but I must continue to reach towards my dream every day...

"You will achieve your grand dream, a day at a time, so set goals for each day / not long and difficult projects, but chores that will take you, step by step, toward your rainbow. Write them down, if you must, but limit your list so that you won't have to drag today's undone matters into tomorrow. Remember that you cannot build your pyramid in twenty-four hours. Be patient. Never allow your day to become so cluttered that you neglect your most important goal / to do the best you can, enjoy this day, and rest satisfied with what you have accomplished." - Og Mandino

I will leave you with this. Every person who has made a change in their life remembers a specific point in time where something just clicked and they knew this was the moment to change. This is that moment for each of us. Now - today - is the day for change. Forget what happened yesterday and focus on the daily changes you can make that will bring you closer to your goal. If you are thinking, "Well, it is too late, I am too old or too overweight" I want each of you to remember this - post it somewhere you can see it daily -

"It is NEVER too late to become what you might have been!" - George Eliot

You have been given today as a gift - MAKE IT COUNT!!!

Member Since: 2/21/2007

Fitness Minutes: 43,720

My Goals:
My current goals!

1. Stay within a set maintenance range which I feel to be between 138 - 14 5 pounds for my height and frame size.

2. Run the Dublin Marathon - 10/29 - DONE!!! 4:46

Amsterdam Marathon - October 20th, 2013!!!!

Current Stats as of 7/18/12 -
Height - 5'7.5
Waist - 26 inches
Hips - 36 inches
Bust - 36 inches
Thigh - 17.5 inches
Calves - 13.5 inches
Bicep - 10 inches
Neck - 12 inches

My Program:

Personal Information:
I am a 37 year old stay at home Mom. I have been married to my wonderful husband and best friend for 15 amazing years and we have been blessed with a little girl, Michaela who was born 4/4/2010!

Finding spark as been the biggest blessing to me as I have met so many wonderful people who share the love of wellness!
It has truly changed my life over here and I an so grateful to each of you and the incredible support you continue to give me!

Other Information:
Things I cannot live without -
1. My husband and his support!!!
2. My Garmin
3. My ipod
4. Vitamineral Green
5. SFH Protein Powder
6. Chia seeds
7. Ground flax seeds
8. Greek Yogurt
9. Almond /peanut butter
10. My vitamins,I am a fan of New Chapter.

Read More About JENSFITJOURNEY - Profile Information moved here. (Updated July 25)

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