follow Jen on Instagram @jlm_lifestyle
Tell us about your amazing transformation. When did you start to see a real change in your body/mind?
My journey goes back about 5 years now and it has been a transformation that has seen me half in size but double in confidence. When I walked into the gym for sports rehab to help with a back and knee injury I honestly didn’t see that being the start of a new way of living for me. What I can say is that I have never looked back and the results are still coming so we have got more work to do. I am so proud of the journey so far, but excited to see what results come in 2021. I am more dedicated to improving my fitness and lifestyle that I have ever been before so I know that means good things for this year.
Did the shift in habits we all experienced during lockdown act as a catalyst for your progress? If so, how?
Lockdown could have very easily gone one of two ways for me, so I made the decision early on that it was going to have a positive impact on my journey. My work life changed completely, prior to lockdown I would have been traveling in my car for 3 of the 5 working days of the week. On those 3 days I would be limited on how much movement I could achieve, so with being a home worker for 5 days a week, I had to take full advantage of the ability to move.
I can’t begin to tell you how key movement is to my progress, I started with a goal of 70K steps a week, as soon as I got into the habit of hitting that, I upped my goal to 100K. To hit 100K I have to do on average 14.3K a day, so I have found little ways to make sure I remain active. I get up slightly earlier than I used to and I jog on the spot (in front of the TV) for 30 minutes, typically I then workout and I aim to hit 7K steps before sitting down at my desk to start work at 08:30. I also aim to do 100 steps every time I move away from my desk, to make a drink etc, every step counts and its surprising how quickly the odd 100 steps add up. Where possible I walk on the spot during conference calls, rather than just sitting looking at my screen. Then it’s an evening walk to destress from work, get some fresh air and clock the remaining steps. I tend to listen to some music or a pod cast, face time a friend or even better drag a friend out for a socially distanced walk if possible.
When it comes to my diet, I have previously struggled to stay on plan when I am working from home. Initially you would think it would be much easier being at home all day, but I stopped doing food prep (always prepped like a boss when I was travelling) so that meant I was then skipping meals as I got stuck into work, so by the time I thought about eating, I just picked the closest and most convenient thing to eat which of course wasn’t the healthy option. I quickly realised I needed to get a grip of the diet or I wouldn’t see the full benefit of the effort I was putting in on the movement front. So back to a weekly food plan consisting of 3 meals a day with a morning and afternoon snack. I try to cook extra in the evening so that I can just warm a portion up for lunch the next day. Sounds simple and honestly it is, but food is often overlooked and underestimated.
Was there any ‘ah ha!’ moment that drove you on this success path or was it simply a matter of putting one foot in front of the other and generating new healthy habits?
What I will say is, it wasn’t easy. Initially it was one day at a time and digging deep to get myself into a new daily habit. I soon realised that having a daily plan and a reason to get up and get the day started was benefiting me in more than just my physical health. Living alone and working from home in lockdown is very isolating, so routine was an absolute must for me.
When all of the work started to come together and I could see a difference in my physical appearance, as well as improvements in my fitness level, it was a no brainer but to continue. The hard work was paying off, the results were coming and that certainly helps keep me motivated and focused.
What piece of advise would you give to someone wanting to embark on a healthier lifestyle during lockdown?
Remember your ‘Why’ and do it because you love your body, not because you hate it.
Take each day as it comes, they won’t all be perfect but they are progress and consistent progress ends in results.
When did you start training with simon?
I have been training with Simon for around 5 years, he is so much more than my PT, he is my life coach and I wouldn’t have got any of the results we see so far without him. He is an amazing support and I am so grateful to have his ongoing support and encouragement.
How has training with simon over Zoom supported your success?
I was sceptical about virtual PT’s at the beginning, but my view soon changed. Having the ongoing commitment to train with my coach has been a huge part to my lockdown progress. I don’t have a home gym, I do have a few small bits but noting excessive, the kit I do have has allowed me to maintain my strength and still enjoy working out. Once again, living alone means that seeing a face and having that connection with somebody is especially important to me.
Over and above my 2 virtual PT sessions with Simon, I am also doing an additional 2, 30 minutes workouts a week. I find the additional sessions only need to be something short to get me moving and keep me active.
How do you find motivation when you have none?
Just like the piece of advice I gave to somebody who is embarking on a healthier lifestyle, it’s no different for me. So I remember my ‘Why’ and I remind myself that I am doing it because I love my body.
Looking back at progress pictures and supportive and encouraging messages I have received along the way is always a good way to find motivation.
Are there any books/magazines/social media influencers that you follow for inspiration?
Instagram is a big part of my journey, as well as using it to get inspiration from other people, I use it document my own journey. Having a Instagram account dedicated to my lifestyle (@jlm_lifestyle) gives me some accountability and an opportunity to share my journey. Social media engagement helps keep me motivated and I love to hear that people are motivated by my activity.
A few accounts I follow for inspiration are:
follow Jen on Instagram @jlm_lifestyle