Not only does she look amazing, Jenna feels better than ever after making some serious changes to her diet and embracing a lifestyle of exercise. I think there is nothing better than REAL LIFE examples of regular women who are committed to changing their health for the better and then get to show off their results as a testimony to the sweat and hard work it took to get there.
I'm motivated and encouraged by her and I hope you will be too.
Here are Jenna's BEFORE & AFTER photos and her story in her own words below.
I've always been "fit." As in, I've always worked out at the gym & felt guilty when I ate a whole plate of brownies. I never would have considered myself overweight but just your average size 8-10 girl, 5'5, 145 pounds.
I got pregnant with my first son Quinn, and after a miscarriage and some bed rest issues, I found I had gained a solid 45 pounds. No worries though because 'nursing will FOR SURE take it all off! Lies! (At least for me.) I discovered that my body more easily wanted to hang on to the weight than lose it while I was nursing. I was ravenously hungry and filling myself with anything I could find to stay full and happy! I worked out occasionally, tormented myself with P90X, and wished to be skinnier. I lost everything but 10 pounds by the time another baby was to come two years later.
Pregnant with my second boy Jude, with a bit more experience under my belt, I tried a little bit harder. I definitely was more conscious, and knew that the weight wouldn't just miraculously fall off after his birth. I only gained 30 lbs but with the additional 10 I had held on to previously, I was sitting on a lot of extra weight, and a lot of bad habits. The second he was born I knew it was time to change.
Initially I signed up for Weight Watchers because they have a nursing program and I actually REALLY loved this program. It was perfect for me, and I got enough food to keep my supply up for my baby but at the same time was conscious of portion control. It was the beginning for me, at the age of 27, of finally being conscious and present in what I'm eating. I had never known before this program how much of my eating was out of boredom. At this time I was also working out at the gym quite regularly, doing pump classes or running.
At four months post partum I weighed 153 lbs and was 26% body fat. At this point I was introduced to the world & culture of Crossfit. As much as it is a trend now, when I started I was one of the only women I knew of my friends who did it, and it was terrifying. I had never put any weight (literally) in strength training & all the olympic style heavy lifts were very intimidating for me. I remember sitting in my car before class, and giving myself a pep talk to go inside. Which is so not like me as I'm a very social person, but like I said this atmosphere was so foreign and new to me at first - and completely terrifying! It took one week for me to fall in love with Crossfit, one month to become obsessed, and a couple months to see the difference in my body. I'd lost 12 additional pounds and weighed 141 & was comfortably a size 6. I ran a half marathon, excelled in crossfit and generally just felt alive again!
It was ineviteble for me to be introduced to the world of Paleo shortly after the world of Crossfitting. But of course I was working out harder than I ever had in my life so surely I did not need to adjust my eating :) I was definitely making better choices; oatmeal, whole grain toast and salads but there was something about this challenge I wanted to take on. So I started. The withdrawals were outrageous, and I found myself declining lunch dates with friends because I knew full well I couldn't control myself there. It was a whole new world of lean meats, sweet potatoes, fish, and considering pineapple a dessert. This was when the most change happened, in my opinion. While I only lost 10 pounds in 60 days of being 100% paleo, I lost 5% more body fat taking me down to 16% and lost over 10 inches taking me down to a size 4. I learned to take my focus off the scale, its results could never compare to the leaps and bounds I was making in body fat and inches. I've never felt better than when I'm following the guidelines of Paleo. It's not for everyone, and I now follow the 85/15 rule to allow for some fun every now and then. To me living 85% paleo isn't so much a diet as it is a lifestyle.
Besides the fact that I feel great in my clothes, (although I'm always wanting and challenging myself for more body change. I don't think I'll ever be an "after", I'll never stop looking for ways to challenge myself and improve my health!), I've found that a healthy lifestyle has made me a better person, wife, and mother. I'm happier, more energetic, excited about life, and confident! All these changes result in a happier, healthier home for our family.
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It can be scary to share yourself so openly in such a public format. If her story resonated with or encouraged you, please leave a comment so that she knows she has helped someone. - Megan
If YOU have a BEFORE & AFTER success story you are willing to share, please send it my way. I'd love to feature you here!