A Fitness and Nutrition Journey

I grew up behind my parents’ boat waterskiing, wakeboarding and knee boarding at Lake Mojave, AZ. I didn’t participate in organized sports until high school, when I joined the track team my sophomore year. I only joined for one reason—I was determined to earn my letterman’s jacket. This was the first time I had to push myself out of my comfort zone, as I did not love running for speed or for distance. As a senior, I joined LA Fitness and my dad taught me how to lift weights. I enjoyed lifting because it made me feel like I knew what I was doing in a room full of guys. In college, I gained some weight–the infamous freshman 15. I didn’t watch what I was eating because I never really HAD to and I was in denial that I probably needed to.

I married at 25 and had my son at the age of 30. Determination to lose baby weight set in, as I was not going to let pregnancy be an excuse for weight gain. No longer a gym member, I started paying attention to my food intake–counting calories–and I took my son for long walks. This combination helped me shed my college and pregnancy weight. At 32, I had my twin daughters. I continued to track my calories and walked all three kids around the city in our triple stroller. A few years later I rejoined LA fitness and I set my sights on a new fitness goal–to train for a half marathon. My main motivation was my age. I was turning 35 and I felt like I needed to do something big because turning 35 sounded scary to me. Plus, I figured this would get me into the best shape of my life. By 37, I had completed four half-marathons. It was a great challenge for me because it took sheer determination. I never did learn to love running and although my legs became more toned, I did not get the overall body transformation I was looking for. In fact, I had gained five pounds.

Going back to work full time really zapped my energy and my desire to go to the gym. I had less time for myself, I was always doing the same weightlifting routines and I did the same monotonous indoor cardo. I dreaded going to the gym. I knew I needed to make a change.

At 41, I was introduced to CrossFit via social media. Some friends had posted before and after pictures of themselves on Facebook. Impressed and inspired by the physiques of these women, I reached out to them with my inquiries. After my free introduction class with Carol Arredondo at CrossFit Descendants, I was hooked! I knew I had found what I was looking for. I found a Crossfit box with excellent, attentive coaches, elite athletes who inspire me, and down to earth friendly and supportive peers. Re-motivated, I decided to sign up for Carol’s Healthy Eating Group challenge. Carol gave me menu plans which taught me a great deal about what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat. The eating schedule was easy for me to follow because it was based on a schedule and routine. My food intake was all planned and laid out for me like a road map and all I had to do was follow it. I received shopping lists which made purchasing food less complicated. I learned that I could substitute items on the menu to my liking. I learned how to prep my food. Most importantly, I learned that I needed to prepare my food in advance and stick to the daily routine.

Within weeks, I saw results! The high intensity CrossFit WOD’s, in combination with Carol’s healthy eating program was TOTALLY transforming my body. For the first time in my life, it was ALL coming together! The proper combination of fitness and fuel. I had finally discovered the secret that only belonged to the athletes and the fitness models I admired in magazines. I discovered that I could attain the body for which I strived.  It was doable!  I am more confident and pleased with my physique now than ever before. At 41, I am the best version of myself.

-By Jenni Way

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