Philadelphia Magazine’s Fitness Challenge 2010: Jessica Aiken

A 24-year-old newly single professional who has three months to fit into her bridesmaid dress. “I’m a bridesmaid in two weddings that are quickly approaching, and I’m hoping to be rocking the form-fitting dress.”

I was right – my rear is killing me today. It’s a bittersweet pain though because you know you did a good job in your workout when you’re feeling it the next day. I had my training session with Meg today and she’s stepping up the workouts big time. She added squat jumps in-between the exercises, which have I have a greater disgust for than the mountain climbers. I’m usually very thankful for time in the workout when she says “Great job – let’s go stretch.” It is quite a relief. It makes me really excited to realize everything I am able to do now that I would have never been able to do 4 weeks ago. I met with Brittany, the dietician again today and we went over some more things for my diet and talked about how to get back on track since I’ve been laid off.

I am pretty sore again from my workout with Meg yesterday but it was right onto spin class. I did well on my diet today so I’m glad to be getting back on track.

I’m making a trip to Baltimore to visit a friend and was planning on going tomorrow but because of the expected snow I hopped on a train as quickly as I could to get out of Philadelphia before the storm hit. I wasn’t able to get to the gym because of this but I went for a run to at least try and break a sweat today.

Spent the day in Baltimore and wasn’t able to get to the gym. When you’re staying with someone it can be difficult to stay on your own schedule. I also didn’t eat that well – we were eating out a lot because she wanted to show me the city so I did my best with eating healthy portions and taking food home but I do a lot better on my diet when I make my own food.

Got back from Baltimore today and headed to the gym. Wow was I tired! I did a workout that Meg had written down for me and really pushed myself. I was happy with how I did especially since we’ve been stepping up the workouts. It’s been so beneficial having a personal trainer because I really feel like I know how to workout properly now, which was one of my main goals in this contest. It’s a lot harder to do those intense workouts with out a trainer coaching you through it but after these past weeks I feel really confident in what I do at the gym.

Today is my rest day but I hosted my sister’s bridal shower and ended up indulging in more of the food than I should have. I think I’m going to have to make up for this.

Monday, March 1st – 7th


Took Meg’s spin class today. I was little more tired than usual – not sure if it’s because my workout schedule was a little off from my trip to Baltimore or because I didn’t eat that well at my sister’s bridal shower. Back on track though with my diet. I went for a run with my dog after the spin class also to try and make up for missing my workout on Friday.


Had my training session with Meg today and she’s continuing to step it up. The weights keep getting heavier and the exercises keep getting more difficult. The squat jumps in-between sets have changed to squat jumps over a set of 5 risers at different heights (something similar to leap frog). According to Meg, I have some “ups.” It doesn’t really feel like that because of how tired I get during the sets but hey…I’ll take it.


Now I can give the real reason why I went down to Baltimore on Friday – went for an interview with Under Armour and found out I got the job today!!! So pumped! I’m going to start at the end of the month and I can’t wait! I was so elated about everything that I flew through the spin class and feel like I kicked the bike’s ass! I went for a mile run after because I felt so great.


Still feeling awesome about the job! I went for my usual Thursday of strength circuits and core exercises that just get kicked up a notch or two.  Doing great on my diet and just feeling great about everything mentally and physically.

FRIDAY, MARCH 5 ** Email Jenna ( your week’s entries today! ☺

Went for my intervals on the treadmill today. Meg taught me how to do these skip jumps on the treadmill that are really difficult.  Who knew you could work on your upper body strength while on the treadmill.


I basically did the same workout that Meg had me go through on Tuesday. It can be hard to motivate yourself but I make sure not to cut any corners. I’m still doing very well on my diet.


Went down to Baltimore today and checked out some places to live. Even though I was traveling most of the day, I made sure to bring healthy food and snacks so I wouldn’t stop somewhere and eat something convenient, which used to be fast food for me.

Monday, March 8th – 14th

I took Meg’s spin class today and felt very strong throughout it. I really enjoy taking the spin classes and will keep this up in the future.


I had my usual training session with Meg today. The squat jumps over the sets of risers have changed to squat jumps on a riser that is fairly high. I have to do 15 of these consecutively and they get extremely tiring. The weights have gotten heavier…but I’ve gotten noticeably stronger. I’ve been doing great on my diet too and it was really evident in my weigh in today!


I went to the gym to take the spin class but it was full by the time I got there so I ended up doing my treadmill intervals and then did an abs routine on my own. I’ve learned so much from Meg so far that I’m starting to feel confident when I work out on my own.

So Meg has instructed me to start doing 2 workouts a day. Today I went to the gym and did my core exercises and then strength intervals. Later in the day I went for a 2 mile run. It’s a lot of work but I’m going all out before the end of this competition.

FRIDAY, MARCH 12 ** Email Jenna ( your week’s entries today! ☺

Went for intervals on the treadmill today. These never seem get any easier. My workout on here though has got a lot more intense and as usual I surprise myself at what I can actually do on here. I wanted to go on a bike ride for my second workout but the rain stopped me. Sticking to my diet still ☺


Got in the gym and managed to do a pretty intense workout of the core exercises and strength intervals, however I ran out of time to get my weight training in.


Spent the day in Baltimore looking for a place to live and signed a lease for a house with an awesome roof top deck right over the harbor – I’m definitely going to be enjoying that this summer ☺

Monday, March 15th – 21st


I took Meg’s spin class and then ran on the treadmill tonight. If you would have told me in the beginning of this that after a spin class I’d be able to run 3 miles with hill intervals I would have never believed you. Oh and then I also did weight training to make up for missing it on Saturday. I’m still doing well on my diet too! So I must say I’m impressed with myself.


Meg of course kicked my butt today. We did core exercises and strength circuits. We realized how far I have come with my core exercises – I’m much stronger than I was when I started this thing. As far as in-between sets – the squat jumps on the riser have changed to lunge jumps – OMG are these brutal. They take everything out of me and I really have to push through them. We hit the weights for a bit after the set and then went outside for some hill sprints. Being outside in nice weather takes the edge off of the workout a little bit. 

I did spin class tonight and then did treadmill intervals for a half hour. I managed to burn 500 calories just in my treadmill workout. I’m still doing really well on my diet and realizing how important it is to eat healthy to be energized for these intense workouts.

I didn’t sleep well last night so I was very tired and not looking forward to my workout. I still went hard though and even after my workout of core exercises, strength circuits and weights I did some work outside – starting with push-ups and exploding into sprints up steps..running down a hill to do squats on the bosu…then sprinting back up the hill…running down the steps and starting over. I was completely shot after the workout but was really proud of everything I had done. I even went for a 2 mile run on the treadmill after this workout – since tomorrow is the final weigh in I tried to get as much done as I could. HOLY CRAP – now that I just wrote everything I did at the gym I can’t believe I did all that! 

Today was the final workout (in the competition of course) – I went for a long run outside in the amazing weather. I felt great and fit. Although – I have to admit that after my final weigh in I did go get fast food…it’s been 2 MONTHS people!!! I felt I deserved it…but it definitely will not be a part of my regular diet.

This competition has been amazing. I am so grateful that I’ve had this opportunity and have learned so much. Having Meg as my trainer was by far the most beneficial part. One of my main goals was to learn how to actually work out and Meg has taught me that. I know what needs to be done to push myself to get results that I’m looking for.  I also learned a ton from Brittany, the dietician and the importance of eating right – anytime I did really well on my diet I saw the strongest results. This hasn’t been easy but I’ve never felt this great. Today may have been my last workout in the competition but the training is not going to stop here. I completely intend to keep up the hard work – this was the “Jumpstart Challenge” and that’s exactly what it’s done for me…jumpstarted me into a healthier lifestyle and I’m really enjoying it! Thank you to everyone that has helped me along the way – especially my trainer Meg – I could have never done any of this without her help and support!