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My name is Jenny Parr. I am 48, have a husband, 3 kids, a granddaughter, 2 German Shepherds, a personal training business, and a very busy lifestyle!! But somehow, I still manage to live "The Fit Life"!! My goal here is to show you how to do the same (without eating just chicken and green beans). Lol! With over 25 years in the fitness industry, and through many trials and tribulations, I have learned to listen to my body and that simplicity truly is the key.
Here's my story....
I have struggled with weight my whole life. Yes ladies, I wore Pretty Plus sizes all through elementary school. I loved food! (still do) But, I did not have a healthy relationship with it! Before starting junior high school, I decided I needed to lose weight. Unfortunately, my 12 year old self, went about it the wrong way (just like many of us do today). I would eat only about 700 calories a day, then add in extreme cardio in the afternoons when i got home. To help with my hunger, no water, just diet drinks. So, on this journey I lost about 30 lbs in an 8 week period and screwed my body and my metabolism up in the process. In fact, I stopped having my monthly cycle and had to go to the doctor to make sure I was okay. What did they tell me? That I need to put some weight back on. So, how did I do this?? By eating a Peanut Buster Parfait from DQ every afternoon. (Healthy huh?) This cycle pretty much continued on into high school.
For kicks, here was my average daily meal plan:
Breakfast - Pop tarts, sweet tea, orange juice
Afternoon snack - Bag of popcorn
Dinner - Whatever my mama had cooked.
Then over the weekends, total over-indulgence!!
Now, before moving on, did this crash diet work? YES
Did I lose weight and make the cheerleading squad? YES
Was I healthy??? A BIG FAT NO!!!
So how did I overcome this? My future husband came along!
When we started dating, I was a sophomore, he was a senior, and lucky for me he was already into working out and healthier living. He had grown-up working for a guy who had owned a gym and exercised daily. So for him, it was second nature. But when he asked me if I drank water....umm, water....for what?? Lol! That's where my true education started.
Now, let's fast forward a little bit. Of course we got married and he really got me into exercise and fitness. Shortly after marriage we decided to go ahead and start a family. And what comes with being pregnant? An appetite!! And I'm here to tell you ladies, Subway loved me!! Because I could put down a whole foot long quickly!! With chips and a large drink!! Frequently!! Needless to say, I went right over 200 lbs!! 202 to be exact! So what do we ladies do after having beautiful babies, try to get back on that diet and hit the gym, right? Did I struggle? You bet ya!! Up and down, up and down up and down!! Until baby number 2. Gained more this time, but started at a lower weight, so only hit 196 lbs. (ONLY, lol). But I'm here to tell you, this time I was determined to get it off quickly. And now my husband was working at a gym so I really had no excuse, free membership!! So I definitely used it and got into the best shape of my life!! For the time being anyway. Because 3 years later, pregnant again. Now before you think all I do is get pregnant, lol, we had 2 boys so far, and really wanted to try for that little girl. And the good Lord blessed us with her! So I know what you're already wondering....how much did you weigh this time? I'm a little embarrassed to tell you, but this pregnancy, I broke 225 lbs!!! The only time I ever weighed more than my husband!! Lol! Like I said before, this girl likes to eat!! And being pregnant is an easy excuse!
Ok, moving right along. We're done having kids so time to get serious! (Anyone ever heard that?) So as we got more into health & fitness, it was time to get certified and open our first Aerobics Studio. I have always loved teaching classes, and still do to this day. It went well, and shortly after we had the opportunity to co-own our very first gym. It was amazing! A dream come true to get to actually do what you love for a living! My husband and I had constantly been keeping up with the fitness industry and we continued to learn, teach classes, personal train and all that went along with this business. After a few years, we split with our partners and opened our own gym. And this is where the story really begins....
The new gym was a blessing and going very well, so I decided it was time for me to start competing in figure competitions. It was relatively new and we had been watching it for a couple of years so I requested the help of the best personal trainer I knew...my husband! I already had a decent physique since we had been working out for a while so we jumped right in....and he about killed me! Lol! There's a little more to this type of training!! Anyway, along with working out hard comes a very strict meal plan, which I followed to a "T". My husband set me up a meal plan, but in my mind, I could do a little extra. Three months with no cheat meal, very low calories, 2 hours of cardio a day! From 179 lbs to 118 Lbs. (Looking back now, I would have done things way differently and listened a little better!) But that wasn't the worst part. It's what I did after the show that was my problem. BINGE EAT!! When you go from eating perfectly clean for months to a weekend of every appetizer on the menu plus a bag of chex mix, pack of Oreos, half a cake, several donuts, etc...., it's not smart and not healthy!! Then back to training for the next show!!
Well this continued through a few years and several competitions, and yes, I placed and even won a show or 2, and eventually went on to take 5th place in a National competition, but unfortunately with the same after party. But come on, I listen and eat healthy about 80% of the time right. Surely, this is okay, right? Well this is where life experience and true education comes into play, and why I know I can help others live differently than I did, because what happened next is what changed my life.
The year was 2012, and I was in the best shape of my life. Once again, headed to a competition and already purchased the after party goodies. So the show went well, had a great time, made some new friends and headed home. Wait, where's the big story here?? Well, this is where it begins. A month passed, all seemed to be going good, and then it happened....PAIN!!!! Now, I'm a very pain tolerant person, (three babies with no pain meds during labor), but this was different! Like nothing I've ever felt! I tried to shrug it off, but nope, ended up doubled over on the floor! An hour later I was in the emergency room. After several tests they found out it was my gallbladder. So off to emergency surgery I went! Afterwards the surgeon told me he tried to remove it laparoscopically but was unable to because it was so enlarged. In fact, he said it was the worst he had ever seen, and didn't know how I had even walked in the hospital, let alone been training for a competition! So he had to go old school on me and open me up!
Here's my proof below....
YES, that's only 1 month apart!!!
And trust me ladies, this new look did nothing for my self esteem! Can you say depression!? Well at least that's over right...WRONG!! Unfortunately, being my gallbladder was so inflamed, they were unable to run proper tests to make sure they removed all the gallstones. But he "thinks" he got them all. Hmmm......thinks......NOT!!
Fast forward two weeks later on Christmas day, and "BAM" pain's back again and couldn't even take a deep breath. So back to the emergency room we go! Well, luckily the ER wasn't to busy on Christmas Day so it didn't take long to get on back. I was so excited to hear what the next doctor on call had to say. Well, after a few tests he said, since you're having a hard time taking deep breaths because of the pain, and we don't want your lung to collapse, just double your pain medicine so you'll be able to take deeper breaths.
But they sent us home and I did my best for a few more weeks then it happened again and this time ended up in the BIG city hospital with the worst pain ever!
Now, before I bore you much more, let's wrap this up. After 5 months this doctor finally got the rest of the gallstones out that had been left in there from the start! WHEW! So why do I tell you all this??
Because I want you to know that I'm a normal person like you. As much as I'd like to claim I'm Wonderwoman, I'm not. I have to live life day to day just as everyone else. I have the same 24 hours in every day. I have to get up every day and choose my attitude for the day! After all this crap I went through, I wanted to give up! I looked and felt terrible! They cut right through my incredible abs I had built! I couldn't even do a crunch for six months! I thought my body was ruined! And yes, I did battle with some depression because of this. But one day I realized I needed to tell myself what I had always told my clients......NO EXCUSES!!
It was time to quit with the personal pity party and get back to doing what I preach daily. It was time to start living the Fit Life again!! And as long as God is gracious enough to bless me with a new day, I will continue to try my best to live my Fit Life through everything I have learned and to help all of those willing to join me on this journey. Let me show you how simple this can be! No more crazy dieting, no more bingeing, no more living on "bird" food, no more excessive cardio, no more freaking out about all the "numbers"!!!
So come on and let's eat right, exercise and enjoy the