“It’s so important to listen to your body and to understand that making progress and reaching your fitness goals isn’t a race and can be a slow process sometimes…”
I first contacted Jen way back in 2014/15 when I had been prepping for a comp with a different coach. That coach dropped me after I questioned his methods because I literally almost fainted whilst at work (I was doing 12+ cardio and HIIT sessions a week plus 60-90min weight sessions 5-6 days a week and eating 1200-cals). I didn’t want to pull out of the comp but after talking to Jen about whether or not to keep going she strongly advised against it because my body and hormones were already in survival mode.
I didn’t end up doing that comp and I’m glad I didn’t because I spent the next 2-3 years fixing the damage I had done (I had major issues with my gut and hormones). Fast forward 3 years and I got in touch with her again to help me lose a few kgs prior to my wedding, mainly because the weight/physique wouldn’t change with what I was doing and she helped me get in the best shape I’d ever been in (so far😉).
Jen helped me change my entire outlook on training and nutrition. I used to have an all or nothing approach and would beat myself up if I didn’t achieve what I’d set out to do. Jen really helped me understand that less is definitely more when it comes to training.
When I contacted her to help me improve my physique for my wedding, I was overtraining and doing way too much HIIT. I felt tired and exhausted a lot even though I had been increasing my calories (on my own). I was really worried when she said to cut out cardio and scale back training (not what you think you’d hear when you want to lose body fat) but I trusted her (since my approach clearly wasn’t getting me results) and after a few months, I saw noticeable differences not only in my physique but also in my energy levels and mood.
I can’t remember the last time I did HIIT now and only do cardio if I absolutely must.
I changed my focus from “I need to train no matter how I feel” to listening to my body and taking a break when I need it, not trying to max out during every session and I also learned that you can go a few weeks without tracking your food and eating more treats and not blow up like a balloon (in fact you probably won’t gain any weight), if you’re eating enough food and not training excessively in general. Healthy bodies just don’t do that! That is a major achievement for me because I used to shape my life around tracking food and training and now I it’s the other way round and I train and eat to feel good.
I also learned that even if you have to adjust your training to a lower intensity, you will not lose your progress. I had to adjust my training for a while after I was in a car accident and injured my C6/C7. Jen adjusted my training according to what I could and couldn’t do and even though the intensity was less, I still made progress. I’m currently pregnant and we’re following the same approach, reducing training intensity and focusing on maintenance and keeping my body strong rather than hitting PBs with the goal of slowly going back to normal training once bub is here and I get the all clear from the doc. It’s so important to listen to your body and to understand that making progress and reaching your fitness goals isn’t a race and can be a slow process sometimes.
All in all I feel heaps better. I used to think that if I’d go over my (self-allocated) calories or don’t track my food, I’d gain fat straight away and always thought that I had to hit my macros perfectly (to the gram) all the time to see results. Now I know I don’t, and I also know that I don’t actually need to track my food at all. I’m now at a point where I can eat without tracking anything and knowing that I can still reach my goals. Training is still part of my life but I do it because it makes me feel good.
I basically changed my whole mindset from being focused just on physique and how I look to also consider how I feel, if my body is functioning properly and that rest is super important! I still like being lean and having abs but I now know that you can achieve that without stuffing up your hormonal and/or gut health and that you can still have the occasional burger. 😉