Captain’s Interview of The Month: Fitness, Health and Self Respect
These days, losing weight seems like the toughest challenge so many people face daily; but what makes it so difficult, really? Eating healthy, working out – all of these things make us feel good, at least physically. The real battle, though, is against our feelings. Feelings of frustration, anger or shame that only add more pounds and even illness into our lives. So how do you break this pattern?
Today, health & fitness coach Jenni Lisiewski reveals her inspiring journey to a better life, helping others reach their goals and how she became an Instagram sensation. Stay with us until the end to get special tips that will help you improve your life starting right now!
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How to get in shape and become healthier
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Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a full time Internal Medicine Physician Assistant that had a want for more out of life. I was overweight my entire life, lost about 75 lbs years ago and unfortunately gained the majority all back. I spiraled out of control, found myself in toxic relationships, and was overall unhappy in life. I was engaged to be married and began walking to lose weight and watching my diet. I was able to run 12 mile mud runs in the past and now I was barely able to walk ONE mile- it was discouraging to say the least but in hindsight this needed to happen so that I could serve as an example to show others it can be done. I had to be broken down one last time to be able to build myself back up to best version of myself. After a series of events my wedding was called off. I found myself at my lowest point, in a town where I knew no one, caring for a home myself, and for the first time in my life I was truly on my own. If I don’t do it, it does not get done- I have a lot of my plate for the average 27 year old these days.
It would have been easy to sink into depression and give up on my journey, but I began to focus on myself and love myself for the first time in a very long time. In 3 months’ time I lost 35 lbs with diet and exercise. I gained self-confidence and found myself in a more positive state of mind. Everyone around me knew something was different. My positivity became contagious, everyone wanted to know what I was doing and how I did it. This is when I decided to become a health and fitness coach.
How did you end up choosing to be a health & fitness coach?
After the series of events listed above, I began health and fitness coaching because I wanted to show people how much potential within themselves they truly have. My coaching is for both men and women, but more geared towards women on social media. Many women have come forth after I opened up about my toxic relationship and how I pushed through it, and they wanted to join me on my journey too after watching how I turned something that destroyed me into something so so good. I joined Beachbody in February 2018 and it has allowed me to reach an enormous amount of people to encourage, motivate and educate people on how severely health and fitness can impact their life. This has been one of the best decisions of my life. It has allowed me to truly change lives, while also giving me financial freedom. I by no means signed up for this for the money, but to put an end to women putting themselves and others down, and to teach women how to be the best version of themselves, and bring others up with them in the process.
Why did you choose Instagram as your go to platform?
Instagram makes it easy to find people with similar interests and it allows me to share my journey. It was what all the other coaches were using, so I kind of just went with it. I started with less than 200 followers, and within 1 years’ time I am up to almost 17K. I am beyond humbled for the growth in my business and grateful for the impact social media has had on my life and business.
How did things take off for you?
Things really started to take off a few months after I started my business. I posted a before and after picture of me in my size 12 wedding dress the day I bought it along side an after picture standing in it- now a size 0/2. I shared my story of where I came from, what I endured, and how I overcame it. From that point forward, I saw massive growth in my business after making myself vulnerable and opening up.
You have almost 20.000 followers, what would you say is the best feature of your account for them?
My daily inspirational stories seem to be a fan favorite. I motivate people to get their workout in. I share tips and tricks for being able to modify workout and how I hold myself accountable and keep myself motivated. I recipe share. I open up about my personal life and it makes my followers feel like they “know me” in real life. I recently became a spin instructor and I have followers who became social media friends who want to drive quite a distance to take my class. I am humbled at the amount of support that comes from people who I have never even met.
What is the best fitness advice you can give our readers?
Do not give up. Never ever give up on yourself because you are worth so much more than that. Start with small goals, smash them out, then set larger goals. Make a workout calendar listing what workout you will do that day- it’s like a scheduled meeting of you showing up for yourself. Have a plan. Keep a food diary. Weigh yourself every day in the morning before you eat or drink anything. Use the scale as a tool. If the scale goes up, look at what you ate the day prior and what exercise you did. If the scale goes down, do the same. You will learn what your body responds to in what times you eat, foods you eat, and exercise that you do.
Top 3 sources or books for inspiration you would recommend.
Girl Wash Your Face- Rachel Hollis
You are a Badass – Jen Sicero
It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way- Lysa Terkeurst
An experience that changed your life.
On the one year anniversary of “the breakup” I went sky diving. The same time the year prior I was at my lowest point questioning my purpose in life, and one year later I was jumping out of an airplane with the biggest smile on my face. It was a “cleansing” exerpience for me, and it was a release of all the negative that I endured. It was my way of celebrating that “I made it”. It was the most empowering thing I have ever done, and when I leaped out of the airplane I just let it all go. It was by far one of best experiences of my life.
Best quote about fitness you find most relevant to your style.
“Before you judge those of us who are committed to the gym as self-centered or superficial, realize that for many of us the gym is our escape, our sanity, and a place where we work not only on becoming strong physically, but mentally as well.”
Many people can mis-categorize “gym rats” as being superficial in their opinions, but before you judge, you do not know their story. You do not know where they came from or what they are overcoming. They are working on themselves, and that is all that matters- so mind your business. ☺
Top this “Sharing the gym with your sporting idols.”.
Love Chris Downing. He is the most motivational and humbling fitness professional I have ever met. Yes, I met him- and he is a normal human being just trying to motivate you to be the best version of you possible.
Best country for adventure seekers.
Hardest thing about staying motivated.
When you are in the sustainability phase it can be discouraging that you are not having rapid weight loss like you did in the beginning. How I overcome this is by taking TONS of pictures. I compare them side by side when I feel like I am not changing. This helps you visually see the changes that are occurring. The scale will go up when you build muscle and it can play tricks on you mind- this allows you to be able to take a breath and realize that this is a process that is not cut and dry, everyone gets different results, and it compares you to you- the only competition you should ever have.
Upcoming TV show you are looking forward in 2019.
To be honest, I don’t really have time to watch much TV due to my busy lifestyle with being a PA-C full time, teaching spin class, and health and fitness coaching. I am a HGTV junkie though.
Outside training or Gym training.
LOVE spin class, even more I love teaching it. It gives me an opportunity to really push people to their limits. I scream and yell, sometimes there are tears- but my students walk out of class 1 hour later a different person mentally than they were when they walked in 1 hour prior. I do weight lift and get some cardio in at the gym too. I love running the trails outside in the summer, a 10 mile run in the woods seems like torture for some, but to me it’s free therapy.