Transformation

How Lifting Weights Four Times a Week Totally Changed My Body

One Philadelphian's transformation story.

Photographs courtesy Jenna Fisher.

Changing your body takes hard work, persistence, and dedication. Here’s one Philadelphian’s transformation story. Want to share your Transformation Story? Email ccunningham@phillymag.com.

Who: Jenna Fisher (@jenna_trainer), health coach behind Train and Nourish from Rittenhouse

Starting weight: 141

Ending weight: 124

How long it took: “My weight loss was over the duration of a year. Since then I’ve focused on muscle toning and fat loss.”

Why I wanted to change: “I knew I always wanted to make a change, I just didn’t know how to approach it. Every year when spring and summer was approaching, I would naturally start eating what I thought would be healthy, going to the gym to do cardio and then leaving. But then I would fall off because I wouldn’t see results and would get frustrated. I joined the gym in my office building and made it a point to learn more and more about how I can train better and eat better. That’s when I started to see results. Once you feel that it becomes more motivating and you want to keep going!”

How I changed my diet: “I am much more mindful of what I am eating. I know what nutrients my body needs on a regular basis and I focus on eating foods that will benefit my overall health. I drink a lot of protein smoothies with fruit and greens in the morning instead of grabbing a breakfast sandwich or a sugary breakfast bar. I stopped eating so many processed foods and cooked at home on my own. I learned to love healthy ingredients instead of having to add salt, butter, oils, and sugars. I learned that it’s okay to enjoy yourself on occasions by maintaining that balanced healthy lifestyle and to do things in moderation; don’t let setbacks throw off your goals.”

How I changed my exercise plan: “I used to do the treadmill or elliptical for 30 minutes and maybe an ab circuit when I went to the gym. Now I incorporate strength training four times per week and high intensity interval training twice a week. I love to run so I try to also incorporate distance training in my plan.”

Photograph courtesy Jenna Fisher.

What else changed: “Not only am I stronger and have more endurance but I have more energy than I have ever had before. I am happier because I am comfortable in my own skin. I now get excited to wake up and go work out. I don’t get exhausted throughout the day like I used to when I would need two-plus coffees per day. I am no longer nervous about signing up for races; it gets me excited to train for the next one!”

The hardest part: “In the beginning, the hardest part was convincing myself that I could do it on my own. I got past it by getting out my comfort zone and convincing myself that I’m not the only one — I see others in the gym just like me, and everybody starts somewhere. It was also hard giving up certain foods that I loved. For example, I used to make a latte or an iced coffee every morning which was part of my morning routine. Now I don’t even drink coffee anymore, and instead I’ll have green tea. Another hard part was putting in all the work I wasn’t doing before and not seeing a change right away. Something that I tell my clients all the time is that this process takes time. You have to be patient and all of the hard work you put in will pay off!”

“As long as you stay committed and genuinely want to make the transformation, you can too.”

What I’m proud of: “I am now running my own business teaching others how to make this same type of lifestyle change I experienced. It is truly exhilarating knowing that I can help others improve their health and happiness.”

What I want everyone to know: “Anyone can do it. As long as you stay committed and genuinely want to make the transformation, you can too. Be patient, put in the work, and eat healthy foods. You have to have the mentality to want to change and stick to your goals — remember why you started.”

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