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5 things I have learned in the first 2 weeks of Core De Force

Jena Chopson

1.) You need buddies to go on the journey with you.

I don’t care what you say. You can’t go through a lifestyle change alone, no matter what it is. You need at the very least a cheerleader or a friend who supports you 110% along your journey. Brownie points if that friend just happens to be in the trenches with you, walking right along side you. There’s power in linking arms with someone when you’re heading into battle!

Doing this program alongside some good friends has been a HUGE plus for me. It would be 100X more difficult without them.

2.) Accountability is everything.

See #1. A buddy system helps create accountability.  But aside from having others go on the journey with you, you need to shout on the rooftops what your goals are. You need to let everyone know. A silent journey helps no one, especially YOU! If you don’t tell anyone where you’re going, how will they know when you get off course? It’ll be easy to shy away from your goals if you’re the only one who knows about them.

The fact that we’ve had a group of others going on this journey with us, watching us, expecting us to show up, expecting us to check in with our measurements and milestones, creates SO much more accountability. This really is the secret sauce to sticking with something. You want motivation, inspiration, and dedication? Just grab yourself some accountability.

3.) It’s always tough in the beginning when you try something new.

You can’t expect a flawless journey when you decide to make a change. Change is always met with some resistance. It’s hard, especially in the beginning. You’re making a course disruption. We are creatures of habit by nature…..we like our routines and our habits. So when we decide to change it up…is it really any surprise that it’s just plain HARD?!

Week one of Core De Force tested me in every way possible. I knew it was going to be challenging, but I don’t think I was quite prepared for the kind of commitment I was making. But because I had #1 and #2 locked in, I stuck with it. Which lead me to #4…..

4.) …..but if you stick with it, you break through the wall.

Once I had week 1 under my belt, something exciting started to happen: I began to feel AMAZING. With a newfound sense of confidence and badassery, I felt like I could take on the world. I always tell my challengers that starting is the hardest part. And that couldn’t be a truer statement. We build up all these walls and excuses as to why we can’t do something, so we often never try. But if we can be bold enough to push past those fears and just START,  that’s when the magic happens. Piece by piece you begin to chip away at all those walls you build up until there’s nothing left standing but you.

5.)  You are SO much stronger than you think you are.

You know what? We tell ourselves a lot of bullshit stories about ourselves. It’s true. You have them, I have them, we ALL have them.

“I’ve never been strong enough to do ____.”

“I’ve never been able to do _____.”

“I’m just not cut out for _____.”

“I’m not as good as _____ so there’s no way I could _____.”

“I just don’t have that kind of motivation.”

“I’ll never be disciplined enough to do _____.”

We could be here for days. But you get the point, right?

But do you want to know the truth? Like the real truth and nothing but the truth? All of those stories you tell yourself about why you can’t do something are complete BS. All of them.

You are eleventy billion (that’s a lot ;) ) times stronger than you think you are. You are capable of doing so much more than you give yourself credit for. And if you just took that and BELIEVED in it……then whoa. You’d be unstoppable.

I had a lot of BS stories about myself before I started this program, too.  Some of them sounded ridiculous. But a lot of them even sounded noble. I had to be willing to recognize that the only person stopping me from achieving the results I wanted to achieve was ME. I had to believe I was stronger than I thought I was. And you know what? That belief turned out to be the REAL truth, after all.

Never doubt what you are capable of! We all have more potential inside of us to live up to.  


Fight for it. 



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My response to "I'm not really doing the meal plan."

Jena Chopson

As a coach, I hear this phrase more often than not. And if I had $1 for every time I heard it, I wouldn't need to go back to work tomorrow ;) 

Are you ready for a dose of honesty today? 

My response to that is: "Then you're really not going to get results." 

Okay, let me take a step back. If anyone gets the struggle, it's me. I am literally the poster child for the phrase "You can't out-exercise a bad diet." Over the years I have been downright loyal to my workouts, exercising consistently 5-7 days a week for years. Workouts I do NOT miss. My nutrition on the other hand? Let's just say consistency isn't quite the word I would use to describe it. 

I've successfully completed SEVERAL workout programs. With some I have gotten great results, and with others, I have gotten MINIMAL results. What gives? Was it the workout program? NO. Was it because I didn't go hard enough? HELL NO! So what was the game changer? Duh....FOOD. 

I have made excuse after excuse as to why I don't follow proper nutrition like I should. Do any of these sound familiar? 

"I don't like to meal prep."

"I don't have time to meal prep."

"I don't want to spend my weekends off in the kitchen cooking all day." 

"I am super active, so I don't really need to worry about what I eat." 

"I can just wing it."

"I hate being told what to eat." 

"I don't want to cook different things for me and my family." 

"Let's face it, I just really like food."

The list goes on and on and on and on......

But if I'm truly being honest, those are genuinely all excuses. The excuses we create can even sometimes sound noble. I'm sure some of my excuses have., too. But what it REALLY comes down to whether you want to admit it or not is this: It's just not that important to you. 

We make time for what is truly important to us. We will move mountains for what REALLY matters to us. If we aren't putting time and effort into our health & nutrition, it isn't because of ANY excuse. It is because it just doesn't rank that high on the totem pole of priorities.  

This past week I have made the DECISION that nutrition IS hella important to me. What has taken place since that simple decision has been nothing short of incredible:

I've made time to make healthy meals. 

I've meal prepped (and I didn't die). 

I've been cognizant of what I have shoved in my face. 

I've created dinner solutions that don't involve me making a separate meal for Doug. I make ONE meal that works for BOTH of us (it's very possible, people). 

And the RESULT? 

Well for starters, amazing food like this: 

Spicy burgers made with local, lean ground beef

Strawberries with Greek Yogurt

Taco salad with lean turkey burger

But more importantly than pretty food pictures, I just FEEL better. It's amazing how well your body responds to FUELING it with better stuff: 

You sleep better.

Your head feels clearer. 

The bloat goes away. 

Digestion improves. 

And if you have it, the excess weight falls off. 

It's day FOUR of committing to this new journey and the excess weight is already starting to fall off for me. I'm already feeling so much better, especially after eating nothing but junk last week. 

What's more is it REALLY ISN'T THAT HARD. Especially with the systems I have in place for me. These systems have made it so much easier than I imagined. I think we create these mountains in our heads about things when really, at the end of the day, that's all they are---made up things in our heads! 

So I am challenging YOU. If you have made the commitment to start MOVING more, then don't sabotage yourself and all your hard work by putting junk in your body every day. Go ALL IN and start treating the one and only body you have to live in with a little respect. Mmmmkay? 

And as always, if nutrition is something you need HELP with, then I have some tools for you that can help (they are certainly helping me!). I would love to mentor you and walk with you on this journey towards better health.  If you want to chat more, comment on this post or head on over to the CONTACT section and reach out. 


Sparkling Water with Lime





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My name is Jena and I struggle with veggies.

Jena Chopson

Veggies. They take you back to the days of you staring at those greens on your plate with a face mixed with disgust and agony while the voice of your mother echoes in the background, “Eat your veggies, or no dessert for you!”

The truth is, even as an adult, I struggle to get my veggies in each day. I’d wager to say I’m not alone, right? For me, it’s not even that I don’t like veggies. I do. But I’m a woman of convenience, and to me, veggies just aren’t convenient.  Yes I’ll do the occasional raw carrots with hummus, or whip together a delicious salad, but after awhile, it all gets boring and well, why can’t veggies be as fun to grab and go like apples, bananas, and berries?

That’s why lately I am LOVING smoothies. Doesn’t the thought of a smoothie just invite you in? Maybe it’s my inner California hippie talking, but I love the thought of bringing a bunch of raw fruits and vegetables together for one harmonious blend of healthy deliciousness in a glass.

All you need is a nice blender (I LOVE my Ninja), some fresh produce, and a clear, beautiful glass (because let’s be honest, smoothies shine in mason jars and gorgeous glassware), and about 3-5 minutes of your time and WHAM—You have what might be your healthiest meal or snack of the day that includes VEGGIES.

If you’re on the veggie struggle bus like me, I invite you to give these a whirl. Your body will thank you for it.

This recipe eases you in with only 1 cup of spinach, but rest assured there’s plenty of other recipes out there with more servings of veggies.

Berry Beautiful (Can you tell I made this up?)
(Serves 1)

-1 cup spinach

-1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or cashew, or your base of choice)

-1/2 cup blueberries

-1/2 cup raspberries

-1 banana

-1 tbsp all natural peanut butter (or your nut butter of choice)

-1 tbsp ground flax seed

Blend spinach and almond milk first until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly. Enjoy!

Until next time, fit friends.




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After the PR

Jena Chopson

Yesterday I ran the half-marathon at the Indianapolis Monumental half and achieved a 6-minute PR. If any of you are familiar with running, you know what kind of feat this is (I took nearly 30 seconds per mile off my pace). 

This did not happen overnight. This was the culmination of years of effort and work. I have been running off and on since high school, but more "seriously" since 2010. Even though I have been at it for 5 years, it wasn't until this summer when I realized something I should have known a long time ago: If I wanted to hit my goals, I needed to find a coach. 

As a health & fitness coach I often told myself I didn't need a coach. I could figure it out, right? It turns out, even the "experts" need coaches, too. The more research I did on successful people, the more I came to find that each and every one of them had coaches for different areas of their lives. It became clear that if I wanted to hit big running goals, then I needed a coach, too. 

So I approached someone who I felt would be a great fit for me as a running coach. Enter: Michael Scott (Look him up--Run Nerds Rock on Facebook. He is THE best). I told him I wanted to PR my half marathon at Indy Monumental in November.  He said let's do it.  After filling out a questionnaire on my running history, he drew up a training plan for me which I followed nearly to a T. In addition to a custom training plan, he provided the extra accountability and support that I definitely needed. 

Even though I had all the tools, I still wasn't perfect. I missed a couple of training runs. I had days where I felt like I failed miserably, and I had days where I felt like I nailed it. There were days when I didn't want to get out of bed and run 14 miles. There were days when I REALLY did not want to come home after clinical or a 12 hour shift and do a tempo run or a half-marathon paced run. 

But I made a commitment. I made this big goal for myself, and damnit, I wasn't going to let my excuses get in my way. So I stuck to the training plan, even when I didn't want to. 

This is what happens when you truly commit to something. When you check your excuses at the door and really go all in, you WILL achieve your goals. 

It won't be perfect. There will be days where you feel like a failure. But I promise, if you TRUST THE PROCESS and keep your heart set on your goals, you WILL achieve them. Yesterday felt amazing. I went into the race expecting to be gasping for breath the entire race, and I was surprised to feel 100% prepared. Yesterday I felt AMAZING. I crushed my goal pace for the majority of the race.  The training and the coaching PAID. OFF. The late nights, the pain, the early mornings, the moments of tears....they all PAID. OFF. 

I want you to know that I am here for you. I want you to achieve your goals. If you are struggling, reach out to me. If you need help with something, I am here.

As for me? I'm just getting started. The best thing about achieving something you never thought you could do is the realization that you can accomplish even MORE.  We were all made for God-sized dreams and I'm never going to stop chasing them. How about you? <3 


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