I am so excited to introduce you to an amazing lady today! Jeanette was part of our Tough Cookies team for Tough Mudder! Yea, she's awesome :) I met her the day before the event when the whole team got together for our carb loading meal at Bucca De Beppo! I immediately knew I'd like her because she seemed so down to earth that evening. Come Tough Mudder day, it felt like we'd known each other forever and she kept encouraging me when I was feeling tired. Together, with the rest of our amazing teammates, we made it through and earned our orange headbands. We've kept in touch since then, mostly through social media and I'm so blown away by her progress and her determination to meet her fitness goals. Turns out today is the one year anniversary of her fitness journey and I am just in awe of everything she's accomplished so far! I hope you enjoy reading the Q&A and become inspired to never give up on your own goals!
Starting Weight: 184lbs
Current Weight: 132lbs
Q. What motivated you to make changes to your lifestyle?
A. My biggest motivation to turn my life around came in 2012. I remember looking at photos of myself during the 2011 holidays, gathered around amazing people and yet feeling completely unhappy with myself. Finally, January 2012 rolled around and as cliche as it sounds - my New Years Resolution was to put myself FIRST and focus on becoming a healthier version of ME. During this time, I was easily hitting mid 180's in weight. Considering I was always in the 130's during high school - being that overweight for my 5'3 height took a toll on me. Prior to making the decision to turn my life around, I tried it all! I was THAT girl who tried every possible "short-cut" you can imagine to shed some weight. I tried teas, Nutrisystem, shakes, etc. only to find myself back in square one at the end. I learned that what comes easy, won't last. As the new year started, my co-worker brought up boxing - she asked me to come try it out and see how I felt about it. At this point, I had NOTHING to lose so I went out, bought my pretty pink gloves and decided to try out Kickboxing. After the first class, I was HOOKED! I instantly signed up and started going 4-5x a week. I am thankful every single day for meeting my boxing instructor, he showed me the way to not only start eating clean but motivated me through my sweat & tears to continue going! In 2012, I was able to shed 25lbs and definately quite a few inches. Although I was feeling good and making strides in the right direction for my health...I never allowed myself to be satisfied. Once New Years 2013 rolled around, I was weighing in at about 165lbs but I decided to take my fitness journey up another notch. I not only continued incorporating boxing to my workout but I decided to join my local gym and REALLY, REALLY clean-up my eating habits. I was SO motivated at this point, you could seriously lay out all of my favorite fatty foods on the table and I wouldn't even turn to look at them. I knew where I was going at this point and there was NO way anything could stop me from reaching it. I worked out hard 6x a week and maintained very clean eating habits. I must admit, it also helped to always have a little motivation to look forward to in my journey so I decided to sign myself up for Tough Mudder (and reward myself with a CABO trip in May). What better way to push your body, strength and fears to the limit then this 10-mile Obstacle Course Race. From January to April, there was NO stopping me. I shed another 20lbs and had the most AMAZING time completing Tough Mudder with a group of absolutely wonderful team members who motivated me to finish strong! Throughout the year, I signed up and completed various 5k races to keep myself active and looking forward to new challenges. I am happy to say that with hard work, dedication and constant motivation - I was not only able to shed the remaining weight and get down to 132lbs but I gained confidence and nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment.
Q. During your transformation journey, what has been the hardest thing(s) to overcome?
A. The hardest thing I had to learn to overcome during my journey wasn't the food, it was seeing myself in a whole, new light. I was used to the old me that it took me a long time before I was able to gain some confidence in my new skin. Many people might not admit it but gaining/dropping weight can truly make you feel self-conscious. I am surrounded by many amazing people who were there for me since the beginning...the words of encourangement, the motivation from my friends/family/fitspirations and the fact that people see me as their inspiration truly changes everything, including yourself.
Q. What do you do now to help motivate and inspire others?
A. I was always the person looking at other, fit women for inpspiration. I constantly posted photos on my dream board of toned, fit bodies for motivation! It was truly an amazing and humbling feeling when girls began to approach me and tell me how much I helped them turn their life around and what a motivation/inspiration I was for them. Never in a million years did I think others would look at ME for the same motivation I looked at others for. I was always pretty open about my journey on my social networks but now more then ever, I love sharing my struggle, accomplishments, workouts, eating habits to hopefully be able to give someone else that little push we all need sometimes. I also can't express it enough that we are ALL human. I would be lying if I said I never give in to the foods I love. I absolutely allow myself to eat the goodies I love but in moderation. I have good self-control on portions and not over endulging on the naughty stuff but its okay to give in to that little craving, sometimes. I know its not easy, in contrary, it's one of the most difficult journeys to accomplish but it has brought me the biggest reward.
Q. Finding or making the time to workout is hard. Do you have any tips that have helped you make exercise part of your routine?
A. In the beginning, I struggled finding that "time" that worked for me. I tried going in the morning before work and I just didn't feel energized and in return I was finding excuses not to go. I decided to start putting in my gym time on a calendar and treated it as if it was a meeting I just could not miss. I started going after work almost EVERY single day and finally, it just became a way of life. It's such a stress reliever! As far as keeping exercise fun, signing up for 5ks and joining kickboxing definately helped with my cardio. Personally, I hate the treadmill and will avoid it at ALL costs. Now that I am happy with my weight, I don't incorporate cardio as much since I am working on toning up my body now but I definately try to squeeze it in a few times a week with fun activities or even the stair master!
Q. When you're not busy working out what kind of things do you like to do for fun?
A. To me, working out is a part of life. Typically, my "fun" really does incorporate me being active. I love to go hike when I have the chance, as well as, go dancing! For the most part, I am such a home body and will be completely happy cuddling up in my blanket and watching a movie.
Q. If you could only give people one piece of advice, what would it be?
A. The biggest piece of advice I can give someone is to be patient. All great things take time and consistency. It has been not only a journey of a couple years for me but it will continue to be a life long one. Once you get going and see results, this will just become a natural, way of life for you. DONT GIVE UP! :)
Q. What are some of your favorite/must-have workout products you can't live without?
A. I try not to rely on too many workout products but I must admit, on days where I am working out a big muscle group like my legs - I need my preworkout! Aside from that, I like to occassionaly make my protein shakes with Whey Isolate products as it helps me not bloat up like normal Whey shakes. I also can't forget my daily vitamin.
Now, go on and follow Jeanette on Instagram for her daily inspirational posts!! Username: jnetto_bby
ps. If you or someone you know would like to be a part of this Inspiring Women Series, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll take it from there!