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Jenna’s Personal Fitness and Nutrition Journey

Hi there! It’s Jenna , Owner Operator of FunctionFit360. Something you may not know about me is my own fitness journey. So, I’ll try to sum it up for you so that you get a better understanding of who I am, the education and discipline I have learned along the way – but most importantly – that I am HUMAN and I understand we are all human, have good days and bad, and times where we keep consistent and times we seem to just be in a “funk.”

I used to think me being a heavier girl was all just my genetics. I would look around at my family and see them be very cyclic with weight gain and loss and I watched them struggle with their relationship with food. However, I rarely saw anyone exercise. No one ever talked about health and fitness, but you could see that they were uncomfortable in their own skins.

In high school I was on the soft ball team, Captain of the cheerleading squad, Captain of our competition cheer team, and saw a personal trainer a few times a week. You would think I looked lean and fit…WRONG! I was very athletic and seriously strong – but I was about 200 pounds and so self-conscious that I wore an oversized jacket everywhere I went. I truly didn’t understand why I wasn’t losing weight with all of my training and athletics.

After high school, I went to college and just exercised in the gym there, and from college I moved to Texas to begin my career. It was in Texas where I found CrossFit. I made a huge connection with that fitness industry. It was the family of fitness that I needed, especially in my home away from home. I even met my husband there! But, one thing that hadn’t changed was my weight. In fact, it went up to about 225 pounds.

My then boyfriend (now husband) and I decided to move to Connecticut. The first thing we did was find a CrossFit gym to join! It was there that one of the members – who was a certified nutritionist – was able to give a nutrition class to those who were interested. My husband and I were happy to take it to educate ourselves about nutrition. Not to mention, I wasn’t much of a cook, so there was also an incentive to dive in to some healthier meal options and more home cooking. I would dare say that this nutrition class CHANGED my entire perspective of fitness, nutrition in fitness, and body composition.

When people comment on my weight loss, I will always be the first to say that nutrition was my turning point. You see, it was a little easier for me in the sense that I was already exercising, I had a strong foundation of that type of physical fitness and discipline. My hardships came with the nutrition part. I couldn’t understand how I trained that much and still looked the way I did. With this class, I would soon learn that I completely halted my metabolism…that one meal a day was not healthy and neither was the “Jared Subway Diet.”

With the notes, information and books from the class, I was able to understand a baseline amount of nutrition, how food affects the body, how it is processed and what it turns into. I then began cooking every day, meal prepping and fueling my body with foods it felt good from! It was truly amazing to see how some foods I was previously eating and thinking were healthy made me feel so poorly – and I didn’t even realize it!

With these new habits turning into a lifestyle, I have been able to lose over 85 pounds and keep it off throughout the last five to six years. Sure, there were days that I struggled because I was human and was fighting the mindset that I needed to always be perfect or I would fail. I would punish myself at first for having a drink or the pizza that I wanted. This slowly grew into a lifestyle where I was able to find balance, use everything I learned, and understand the relationship between exercise and nutrition as well as how they impact the body separately. I was able to create what I have today and that is happiness, kindness and being the most consistent in my actions that I can be. Holding yourself accountable for your actions or lack thereof is the hardest part after you do the due diligence of educating yourself in these areas. Knowing the difference between, “I had a bad nutrition day and I didn’t work out, so this whole week is useless,” versus “I had a really good time at that family party, I’m looking forward to my workout and eating healthy tomorrow to get my body and mind back on track,” makes or breaks your mindset and the ability to truly achieve your goals.

I hope that learning a little bit more about me and my journey helps to humanize those in the fitness industry. We all have a story as to why we are here and we don’t all look like magazine fitness models. I am here because I saw the power in knowledge, I saw and demonstrated what my hard work and consistency could lead to. I’m here humbly – knowing that I worked HARD for my physique and that I still have many goals I would like to reach. I was once very misinformed about nutrition and that’s okay, because I figured it out. I am here because I am excited, passionate and eager to share all that I have learned to help someone willing to put in the work, change their lifestyle, understand nutrition, exercise more efficiently, and to help improve their future overall well-being. Everyone starts somewhere. You can make the choice to start today. Let’s do this together!