Hi all! I’m coming in strong today with some Monday Motivation.  This post is a little interview I had with Jen The Fit Foodie.  We’ve been Instagram buddies for a while now, and somewhere along the line it hit me that I used to see her around at dance competitions back in the day.  I was AMAZED at her transformation, and so awed by her dedication.  I thought this would be a great opportunity to share with you guys the mindset of somebody that has overcome tremendous obstacles, and worked hard for her results! So, with that said – let’s get Jen’s story!

1) How long have you been on your weight loss journey? What gave you the initial urge to change your lifestyle?

I have been on my weight loss journey since 2009. That was the year that I graduated from high school. I can remember trying to  lose weight since I was in middle school, but nothing ever worked for me. One day I woke up and something clicked. I realized that my life was about to change; I was about to graduate high school, attend college, and meet new people. I wanted a fresh start, to be healthy, to feel better…and to be able to fit into the cute clothes at Forever 21! Haha.  Once I saw the scale going down I had the motivation to keep at it.

2) Do you find that the beginning of your journey was the hardest, or do you feel as though maintaining your weight today is more challenging?

This is a tough question because I feel like they are equally as challenging, but I would have to say the beginning. The beginning of a weight loss journey is definitely hard because you feel like you just don’t know where to start. It’s a lot at once trying to choose healthy foods and implement a work out routine; especially when you’re used to eating fast food multiple times a day haha. Although it’s not “easy” maintaining my weight the fact that I have turned this whole weight loss journey into a lifestyle has helped tremendously. I completely changed the way I live and that’s how I maintain my weight. It’s a lifestyle and a routine for me.

3) You look fantastic! Take us through what you do to stay active. How many days a week do you work out?

Thanks girl! I typically workout 6 days a week.  Three days of strength training and three days of cardio. I actually enjoy strength training and lifting heavy weights. When I started my weight loss journey I really only did cardio. I was afraid of “bulking up”. How silly was I?! Muscles are sexy! Strength training has definitely changed my body for the better! On my rest day I love going for a long walk or a hike! Active rest days are the best!

4) Tell us what a typical day of meals looks like. Any “cheats” throughout the day, or allow yourself a full day off the plan to indulge? Do you follow macros/calorie intake plan?

I don’t count calories or macros! I used to count calories when I first started losing weight but I found that I became consumed with tracking my foods. It got to be too much for me. I typically eat 5 small meals a day. Here’s what a day of eating looks like for me…
M1: 2 Eggs, Ezekiel English Muffin, 1/4 Avocado, Mixed Berries
M2: Quest Bar
M3: 5 oz Grilled Chicken, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Assorted Veggies
M4: Dried fruit(no sugar added) and Cashews
M5: 5 oz Salmon, Brown Rice, Veggies (I love broccoli, zucchini, and Brussels Sprouts)
I have the occasional treat here and there, but usually a treat meal on the weekend!

5) Do you find that your schedule makes it difficult to stay on track? I know that all of my NYC girls are crazy on-the-go and don’t have enough time to meal prep, grocery shop etc. Any tips?

I know everyone is extremely busy and always on the go. Making time to meal prep and plan ahead is so important. As they say, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. I rarely ever leave home without a lunch box. I get all my meals together the night before and just grab them before I head out. If you find yourself out without lunch or a snack stay away from the fast food restaurants and hit up a grocery store instead! You can grab a meal replacement bar (a few favorites of mine are Lara, Kind,and Quest) there to hold you over until your next meal. My go-to grocery store snack is always a banana and an individual packet of Almond Butter.

6) Any parting thoughts for somebody who is thinking of starting their weight loss journey, but may be afraid of failure?

If you are considering starting a weight loss journey just know that this is not an overnight, quick-fix, kinda thing. You are about to change your life. It’s gotta be a forever thing, ya know? But YOU CAN do it. It will get discouraging at times but you NEED to keep pushing through. Remember, you never fail until you stop trying.

 So there you have it, some Motivation Monday for you! There’s no day like today to take the next step in making positive changes in your life.  Healthy is happy, you guys, I’m telling you! Follow Jen @JenTheFitFoodie for daily tips and motivation.