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Motivation

Filtering by Tag: fitness

I started my workout program and I've GAINED weight! Help!

Jena Chopson

Has this ever happened to you before? 

Odds are if you have ever embarked upon a new, relatively more intense workout program, this has happened to you. 

What does it mean? Does it mean the workout program doesn't work? Does it mean you're doing something wrong? 

I see this happen sometimes with my clients during the first week or two of their program. 

The good news is, it's actually quite common, and here's why: 

1.) Inflammation

Exercise-induced inflammation is extremely common, especially with higher intensity programs like Insanity, P90X, or the 21 Day Fix Extreme. 

When many people begin these program, they see a temporary increase in the scale. Notice I didn't exactly say weight gain. With the help of celebrity personal trainer Chalene Johnson, let me help explain: 

"When someone starts a new exercise program, they often experience muscle soreness. The more intense and “unfamiliar” the program, the more intense the muscle soreness. This soreness is most prevalent 24 to 48 hours after each workout. In the first few weeks of a new program, soreness is the body trying to “protect and defend” the effected or targeted tissue. Exercise physiologists refer to this as delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS.

This type of soreness is thought to be caused by tissue breakdown or microscopic tears in muscle tissue. When this happens, the body protects the tissue. The muscle becomes inflamed and slightly swollen due to fluid retention. This temporary retention of fluid can result in a 3- to 4-pound weight gain within a few weeks of a new program. Keep in mind that muscle soreness is not necessarily a reflection of how hard you worked. In fact, some people feel no signs of muscle soreness, yet will experience the muscle protection mechanisms of water retention and slight swelling.

Most people are motivated enough to put up with this temporary muscle soreness. Yet, many, especially those who really need immediate weight loss to keep them motivated, become discouraged and quit!"

Who mostly becomes discouraged by this? Yep, you guessed it--us WOMEN. They key here is knowledge of the science, as explained above. Expect that this will happen, but don't let it discourage you. Know that this is just a temporary gain on the scale, it's normal, and to keep going! 

2.) Dial in your expectations 

I see this one ALL the time. I've even seen this to some extremes. When women don't drop 21 pounds in 21 days, they resort to crazy (and unhealthy) cleanses, fasts, and other unhealthy ways to drop said pounds FAST. After all, if it's not happening fast, it must not be working, right? 

WRONG. For some reason, even though it took us months, and even YEARS to land us in the body we're currently in, we think we can reverse that in a matter of days. 

It simply isn't true. Losing weight, gaining muscle, and becoming healthy is a process. It takes time + consistency to reach those goals. Patience and diligence is key. Trust the process and keep going! 

3.) Muscle is more dense than fat. 

You ever hear the phrase, "Muscle weighs more than fat?" Well, of course, we know that phrase verbatim isn't exactly true. A pound of muscle is the same as a pound of fat. A pound IS a pound, after all! 

But I believe what people are TRYING to get across, is that muscle is more dense than fat. Simply meaning that it's more concentrated. Therefore, it's going to take more muscle mass (and thus more pounds of it) to equal the same amount of mass as 1 pound of fat. 

Confused? Let's look at this image to help us out. 

Clearly, as you can see, these both weigh the same, but the fat takes up more SPACE. 

This illustration is exactly why us health & fitness coaches recommend taking MEASUREMENTS just as often as you are weighing yourself, because, frankly, the scale can be a liar. You can be packing on more muscle and becoming LEANER whilst not seeing any movement on the scale. 

Before photos and measurements will help you to be able to see this picture more clearly. I highly recommend it! 

4.) You're eating too many calories 

I put this one last because if you are truly following your workouts and your meal plan as you should be and the scale isn't moving, it is very likely due to the bullet points above. 

BUT, I've also seen many instances where my clients aren't being truly honest or aware of what they're eating. 

If you aren't tracking your nutrition intake, you should be (at least in the beginning). You need to get an idea of what you're taking in nutritionally on a typical day. Oftentimes, this surprises people. 

At the end of the day, weight loss is all about calories in and calories out. If you burn more calories than you take in, you will lose weight. Please note that this doesn't mean you will be healthy. I've been a shining example in my past on how eating less and burning off excessive calories doesn't exactly equate to health. 

Getting the RIGHT calories in, along with a healthy relationship with exercise is really the sweet spot (no pun intended). If you eat healthy, nutrient-dense foods and exercise consistently, you will likely gain muscle mass and lose fat. 

----------------

No matter where you're at on your fitness journey, just know that I'm here to help! If you are struggling and need help getting all of this right, I'm only a simple message away. 

To your health, 

xoxo

Jena


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A Transformation Story

Jena Chopson

It's funny. When most women are getting ready for their wedding day, they do everything possible to get in the best physical shape for their big day. 

And me? The 3-sport high school athlete with what feels like a lifelong obsession with health & fitness? 

Nah.

In fact, the year of my engagement was probably one of the most UNhealthy years of my entire life. 

I was planning a wedding. While working stupid long hours as a nurse.  And then, as if wedding planning wasn't enough, we decided to put our house up for sale and start searching for our "forever" home. No big deal, right? 

I have never eaten so much fast food, takeout, and restaurant food in my entire life. I quickly ballooned to the heaviest weight I had ever been....ever. And as I spilled over into the "overweight" category on that beloved BMI scale, I earned myself a sit-down chat session with my doctor that I hadn't experienced since my overweight pre-teen years:

Doctor: You've gained weight.

Me: No shit. 

I was stressed to the max. Our financials were out of control. And what's more, I wasn't exactly used to being this uncomfortable in my own skin. I had dedicated myself to being healthy ever since I struggled with anorexia and binge eating in my early teens. You can read more about that here. And then I found myself overweight. Stressed out. Broke as a joke. And maybe homeless (seriously...who buys and sells a house while wedding planning?). 

To make a long story short---a few months after the chaos of buying & selling, the "I dos," the moving, and the new jobs wound down, someone introduced me to workouts I could do at home, in between my crazy nursing shifts. I could do these workouts without throwing on presentable gym clothes and hauling it to the gym. She also showed me how I could make extra income with this gig too. It was divine timing, and I jumped in 110%. 

I lost over 20 pounds and got in the best shape of my life. I would have kicked my own 17-year-old version of me's ass, and wore her prom dress better, too. I finally found ME again, and it felt amazing. 

Seems like the story should end here, right? 

There's one more really important piece to my story: My husband. 

He hates working out. He hates anything that makes him huff and puff. He's a hunter/fisherman type. Activities that get you outside to enjoy nature but don't necessarily get the heart racing. Well....until that trophy deer walks by. ;) 

He rolled his eyes a lot at first when I started my journey with at-home workouts. He was super skeptical about the whole thing. I have to give him credit though--despite his skepticism, his support for my journey was always unwavering. I'll never be able to thank him enough for that. 

I wanted him to go on this journey with me SO badly. After all, he, too had gained weight during our wedding/buying/selling/moving chaos. He ballooned to over 260lbs, officially gaining about 60 pounds since we had first met. We were both out of control. 

I wanted him to get his health back, too. But I couldn't do it for him. You can read more about that specific journey here

Long story short? He came around. And boy, he came around big time. Since deciding to make a change, Doug has lost approximately 75-80 pounds. He's lost a freaking 3rd grader! 

So when Doug posted this picture of us yesterday, it made my heart swell. 

Sometimes we can be so hard on ourselves. Sometimes it's so easy to forget how far we've come. We get so caught up in our daily, small battles that we forget about the war that we've already won. 

I'm sharing all this with you to say that there's a transformation story waiting inside all of us. We all have the power to make a change no matter what our situation, age, gender, finances, etc. All it takes is one decision and a steadfast, consistent commitment to make it happen. 

If we can do it, so can you. 

Do transformation stories like these inspire you? Let me know in the comments. I want to continue to give you stuff that inspires you to live your healthiest, best life. 

And as always, if you're struggling with your health & fitness goals and need help, I'm only an email/message/comment/social media handle away. You know where to find me. 

Cheers to you,

Jena 


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Your post superbowl game plan

Jena Chopson

Does your post superbowl party body have you feeling a little like this? 

If so, you aren't alone. The average American eats more than an entire day's worth of calories during the Superbowl party alone. 

So it's no surprise that we all wake up on Monday morning feeling a little....blah. 

I always say that these things can be a one time fling or they can become your "thing." The choice is up to you, but these events can quickly create a slippery slope without you even realizing it. 

Here are my top 5 tips to making sure your Superbowl party was truly just a one-time thing and to helping you get back on track with your health & fitness goals:

1.)  You need a system. 

And by system, I don't just mean a "gym membership." 

Let me explain. Goal setting 101 is creating something that is specific and measurable. Simply paying $40 a month to have access to a gym isn't specific, and it isn't measurable....unless you're talking about the measurable amount of money you're throwing out the window each month ;)

Okay, I kid, I kid. Perhaps you are actually going to the gym. But do you have a PLAN? If you have determined that you are a "gym person," then what is your plan? Do you simply walk into the doors and gravitate towards whatever machine is calling your name that day? If so, you might need to put a little more time & effort into your system. 

How will you get the most out of your membership? Is there a class you can attend consistently? Can you design your own plan doing your own research on utilizing strength training 2-3 times per week and cardio sessions 2-3 times per week? Would a personal trainer help you out? 

I can't tell you what's best for you, only YOU know what's best for you. I just want to make sure you have a plan. Because mindlessly hopping on an elliptical while you text your best friend about margaritas for 30 minutes a few days a week isn't going to cut it ;) 

Coach tip: If you want a system that gives you a full workout schedule and a personal trainer without the steep personal trainer prices, you should definitely check out Beachbody On Demand to see if it would be a good fit for you. You can take this to your gym using your smartphone and use their equipment to get the results you want. Plan + trainer + workout schedule = problem solved. 

2.) Throw out the leftovers

Do you really need that leftover jalapeno popper dip? What about all those bags of chips? 

The answer: No. You don't. 

If you absolutely loathe the thought of throwing away perfectly good food, then offer to "donate" your leftovers to a neighbor or a friend or simply bring the leftovers to work to share. Very few people turn down free food ;) 

3.) Bring IN the good stuff

I know you were JUST at the grocery store this weekend stocking up on party foods, but it's time to head back and stock up on the good stuff. 

Load up your cart with fresh fruits, vegetables, & lean meats. Avoid all things that come in a bag or a package. 

It definitely isn't rocket-science. We all know what to do here. 

Sometimes you just have to rip it off like a band-aid. Ridding your house of the junk and stocking it back up with healthy foods leaves you with no option but to have healthy foods on hand when those cravings start calling. 

4.) Consider a jump start

These aren't for everyone, but whenever I feel like I am in a true "rut" with my nutrition, I always turn to a short cleanse to get me back on track.

No, I'm not talking about the crazy juicing cleanses your mom used to do. And I'm not talking about the cleanses that leave you BFFs with your bathroom for a week, either!

I'm talking about a short 3-5 day challenge with a focus on really clean eating.

There's literally hundreds of these out there. Do your homework and find what is best for you.

You could even create your own, researching a vegetarian or vegan 3 to 5-day meal plan that focuses on tons of fruits, veggies, and vegetarian protein sources for a short amount of time to allow your body to naturally detox and get back on track with healthy eating.

My personal favorite is the 3-Day Refresh.  It's only 3 days and it focuses on eating fruits, veggies, and healthy fats, along with vegetarian protein sources. I typically will easily drop 5 lbs of bloat in these 3 days and feel like a new, rejuvenated version of myself when I wake up on day 4.

5.) Grab a friend

Accountability really is the spice of life. I believe that every journey is not only more fun & enjoyable but more successful when you have a friend alongside you. 

Your health & fitness journey is no different. 

Find a friend who shares common goals with you in regards to health & fitness and help keep each other accountable. This can be face to face accountability in the form of "meet me at the gym at 6am!" or it can be virtual accountability in the form of "I better see you post a sweaty selfie on facebook or text me that gym selfie by 7am tomorrow!" Both are equally effective. 

If your friends aren't picking up what you're throwing down, I'd be more than happy to provide you with that support & accountability and mentor you through your journey. And I do it for free. Simply fill out this form so that I can get to know you a little better and I'll reach out. 

 

Don't let the post Superbowl BLAHs get the best of you! Create a plan ASAP using these 5 tips to get yourself back on track and regain control of your health. Remember, Spring is just around the corner (fist bump)! 

Xoxo,

Jena 


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How to be the light

Jena Chopson

Is it just me or does social media seem a bit dark these days? Between political hate, people constantly judging others, and some using social media as an outlet to make themselves feel better……one of the coolest creations of the 21st century is sometimes seemingly becoming one of the worst. 

So I figured I’d take a few minutes to talk about how to be the “light” you want to see in your newsfeed.  And trust me….I know you already KNOW these things.  I believe we are all inherently good people. But if the law of attraction is true (and I believe it is) we can easily begin to tumble down the slippery slope of social media negativity—sometimes, without even realizing it. 

Be the light rule #1: Make someone’s day. 

This may seem super cliche….even cheesy. But every day I log on, I aim to make at LEAST one person’s day (I typically shoot for around 5). Whether it’s commenting on someone’s post that they look beautiful or sending them a private message telling them how much you love how they show up in the world….aim to share the love. Think of it like a pay it forward initiative. Bonus: This one has a “bounce-back” effect. It’ll totally make your day, too. 

Be the light rule #2: Keep Scrolling. 

See a post that makes your blood boil? Keep scrolling

Here’s the thing. Our first, most animalistic instinct when we see something we don't believe in (and are repulsed by) is to fight back. Resist the urge. You aren’t going to change that person’s mind. People on social media have already formed their own morals, ethics, religions, and opinions. All that will happen by commenting on that post and responding in a knee-jerk fashion is someone will inevitably get hurt. 

“But I want to create debate. Challenge their thought. Create change.” That’s totally cool. And I get it. But STOP first. Write out a response. Then sit on it for 24 hours. If you still want to make that same reply tomorrow…then post it. Odds are, the response you choose to make 24 hours later will be vastly different than that initial response. Probably much kinder, too ;) 

Be the light rule #3: Talk about at least one JOY per day. 

So many people use social media to vent or talk about what’s going wrong in their day. 

But what’s going right in your life right now? What are you most grateful for? What made you smile that day? 

Start making a point to share at least one thing that filled you with joy that day and you’ll find yourself surrounded by people who do the same. 

Be the light rule #4: Remove the triggers. 

Why do you still have those people in your newsfeed that you know ALWAYS trigger you in some negative way? Hide them. Unfollow them. Remove the triggers. 

Even if the account you’re following ISN’T negative. What? Hang with me here. Let’s say it’s an IG account for a popular bikini brand that regularly showcases models in bikinis. Nothing negative about that, right? But perhaps this triggers insecurity or feelings of low self-worth in you. WHY are you following that account? Delete. Buh-bye. 

Sometimes it really isn’t them. It’s you. Or vice versa. Either way…if it’s throwing shade onto your life—REMOVE it! 

Be the light rule #5: Make time to be blissfully “unplugged.”

Even people like me who love social media and use social media for business need to make “unplugged” time a priority. 

It’s 2017, and most of us are undeniably addicted to our phones. There are some crazy stats out there that say something like most people check their phone several times per minute. I begrudgingly admit that there are some days I am probably one of those statistics. 

To keep ourselves centered and focused, and making sure we are being PRESENT in the moment (and present to what’s most important to us), I think it’s crucial that we set “unplugged” time without cell phones at least a few hours each day. 

 

Just like anything, this takes practice, time, & consistency. You won’t see a change in your social media overnight but I guarantee if you put some of these into practice, you might find that your social media is a happier place to be. 

XoXo,

Jena 


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Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work

Jena Chopson

Do your resolutions look a little bit like "Blah blah blah....and Girl Scout Cookies?" You're not alone. Read on to find out why most resolutions don't work and what the surprising solution is. 

Read More
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Four-ingredient squash parfait.

Jena Chopson

I love easy recipes. 

I love it even more when easy recipes taste this good. 

Sweet tooth, anyone? Read on....

It tastes better than it looks...if that's even possible. 

This recipe is super easy if you have everything on hand. I had leftover butternut squash that I cooked up yesterday, so this was literally as simple as mixing stuff in a bowl then scooping it out and layering it into this glass. 

But if you don't already have cooked squash on hand that's been hanging out in the fridge overnight (I mean, why wouldn't you?), then here's the recipe for this gem. 

Don't forget to let me know if this was appealing to your taste buds by sharing this out to your friends or commenting on this post on social.

What you'll need:

1 butternut squash
Liquid stevia (or packets work, too) 
1 serving of plain greek yogurt
Cinnamon
Carmel, Maple, or Vanilla extracts (optional) 
Honey or maple syrup (optional) 

To cook the squash: 

Cut off top 1/2". Cut lengthwise in half. Scoop out seeds. Place halves face down in a baking dish with 1/4" water. Bake at 350 for 90 minutes. When done, peel off the skin or scoop out the squash. Place squash in mixing bowl. Add 1-2 TBSP of cinnamon (or to taste), a 1/2 tsp liquid stevia (or 1-2 packets as desired), and 1 tsp caramel extract (or choose your flavor here, optional). Mix with electric hand mixer so it's like a fluff or mashed potato like.  

Side note: Butternut squash tastes amazingly sweet all on its own. Adding in extra stevia might be too much. Try it first by itself with a dash of cinnamon to see if you even need the stevia. If you're like me, you probably don't. This squash is the bomb dot com, baby.

You can, of course, eat the squash right away, but if you want to make the parfait, let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. 

For the greek yogurt: 

Place 1 serving (typically 2/3 cup) in a bowl. Add water while stirring to create desired consistency (I prefer a thinner consistency, greek yogurt is a little too thick for my liking. If you like it as is, then skip this step and carry on, you greek yogurt lovin' warrior). Add 1-2 stevia packets or liquid stevia to desired taste. Add in flavor extract of choice, if desired. I mixed in a few drops of maple extract. Blend well in the bowl. 

Side note: If you are new to plain greek yogurt, you may find that you need to add in a drizzle of honey or maple syrup to make it more desirable to your taste buds. I'll give you the green light here, but just don't get carried away, mmmkay? 

Once you have your refrigerated squash and greek yogurt mixture, simply layer them on top of each other at your heart's content. Voila! Heaven in your mouth. 

Now you can tell all your friends you eat dessert for breakfast AND stay on track with your goals.

Cheers,

Jena 

 

Special shoutout to Kevin Butz who showed me the squash ways and gave me several squash recipes. You da man, Kevin! 

If you're a 21-day fix meal plan follower, this recipe counts as 1 green (measured as 2/3 cup), and 1 red. Can we cheers again to that? 


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5 things that happen when you quit telling yourself the BS stories about why you can’t follow that nutrition guide

Jena Chopson

So I recently wrote a blog about excuses and meal prepping. You can read more about that here

But lately, I’ve been hearing excuses after excuses as to why people can’t follow the meal plan. And like I said in the previous post, I completely get it. I’ve done it too—-so many times. 

But what I really want you guys to see is that they are ALL just EXCUSES. I know they sound super noble in your head, and some of them may even be genuinely noble. But they’re still an excuse at the end of the day. You can polish a turd to make it shiny, but it’s still going to be a turd. 

When I was selected to be a part of the Core de Force test group, I made the DECISION that I was going to check my excuses—-ALL of them—- at the door and finally do this shit the way I was supposed to. 

Some amazing things happened when I did that. And you should know about them, because they can happen to you, too if you’re willing to do what you THINK you cannot do (aka, ditch all the excuses): 

 

1.) I spiced up my food life

“But Jena,” you say, “Nothing is spicier than bellying up to the bar and ordering me a big, juicy cheeseburger and fries!” Are you sure about that? I mean, really? Here’s the thing: I love me a good burger just as much as the next person. I can throw back a burger with fries and an IPA like no other. And while it often feels super tasty and satisfying going down, it is almost always met with regret and self-loathing later. 

You can still have your burgers now and then. Even your pizza, too. But what this has really opened me up to is trying so many NEW foods. I have explored foods that I don’t typically eat and I have been more than pleasantly surprised at how much I really love the flavors and how amazing they make me FEEL. 

Gone is that bloated, gross feeling you get after pigging out. Instead, you eat delicious foods and you feel equally amazing afterward

Trying new foods has been hands down my favorite part of this. I make it a challenge to find as many new, healthy recipes I can find using foods I don’t typically eat. I’m often surprised at the amazing stuff I’ve been missing out on. 

Give it a try. There are SO many incredible foods out there. You truly don’t know what you’re missing out on….and your body doesn’t either. Its response to finally getting the nutrition it craves will shock you in the form of more energy, better sleep, and overall higher function.

 

2.) I realized it wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. 

I still remember the day I got my 21 day fix package in the mail. I was SO excited. I ripped open the packaging, pulled out those colorful containers, set them on the counter….and then cried. 

“Bbbbuuut, they are SO small!” I exclaimed to myself, in a moment of self-pity. RIDICULOUS! But we all do it, right? The problem was, I hadn’t even given the process a try. I was self sabotaging myself before anything had even begun. All I had done at that point is essentially blow those little containers up with my death defying evil stare and then cry about another “failed attempt” at getting my nutritional shit together. 

It wasn’t until I actually gave the process a try and plated the food out when I realized….holy crap. This isn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be, and there is a LOT of really good food here! 

Duh, Jena. Trust the process. Stop freaking out about it before you even give yourself an actual shot at being successful. Quit the BS dialogue happening in your head about all your previous failures you’ve had, and about all the food you CAN’T have, and start focusing on how you’re going to make THIS a freaking success…and focus on the foods you GET to eat. 

 

3.) I got results

This should be a no-brainer, but like I said in my last blog post, you’d be surprised at the number of my clients who are shocked that they didn’t get the results they had hoped for after completing a couple weeks of a program. When asked how the nutrition plan is going, I often get the response, “What nutrition plan?” Or…”Well, aside from my couple cheat days a week, it’s going great!” *Facepalm* 

I won’t essentially re-post my prior blog, but get real with yo-self. Results are probably at the very least 70-80% what you are fueling your body with. Period. End of story. If you can’t commit to fueling your body the way it NEEDS to be fueled, then don’t be shocked when you don’t end up with the results you’d hoped for. It’s like your body needing Premium fuel to function but you continually putting in Regular fuel because you didn’t want to spend the extra 20 cents per gallon….and then wondering why there are always engine problems. Hmmm…..

 

4.) I feel freaking amazing. 

I made mention of this above, but seriously….when you fuel your body right, it rewards you tenfold. I have felt so damn GOOD in the past 3-4 weeks, it is truly hard to describe. 

 

5.) I gained CONFIDENCE

I say this all the time, but when you check your excuses at the door and just go get it done, you exude badassery. 

Now that I have officially meal prepped for 7 night shifts in a row (you read that right), and stuck with a nutrition guide I “thought I could never stick with,” I have a renewed sense of confidence. I also feel like I can relate to everyone who has struggled with nutrition in the past (as I have had my fair share of struggles.....you can read a smidge more about that here!). 

But above all, I just feel confident. I know that I CAN do this, despite the obstacles. It just takes a little willingness, some preparation, and above all, the DESIRE to put my health first. 

 

You can do this, too. If you’re struggling and you need help, I’d love to mentor you through the process. As someone who has struggled tremendously in the past, it feels absolutely incredible to have broken through so many obstacles and come out on the other side. 

I can’t wait until you experience these things, as well. 

Til next time,

 

Jena


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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. 

Jena

 


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Luck.

Jena Chopson

Last night I had someone tell me that I was lucky.

"What do you mean?" I said.

"Well, you're beautiful, you're thin, you have a great job. You're lucky."

Lucky, eh? Here's my take on that:
 

To some extent, she was right. I am lucky that I was born in America, the greatest country on this planet. I am lucky that I was given two incredible parents who raised me in a loving family. And yes, I'm lucky I didn't come out of the womb looking like cyclops. 

But I can assure you that luck had nothing to do with where I have ended up today. 
 

I made the choice to spend 7 years in higher education, busting my ass to be a nurse practitioner. I made the choice to start a business 4 years ago and I have worked consistently at it so that it could create a designed life for us. 
 

Every day I make the decision to eat healthier and exercise so that my body feels vivacious enough to do anything and everything I want to do. 
 

Do you notice a trend here? Choices. Decisions. While most of us walk around thinking life happens TO us, the reality is quite the opposite. This life is the product of the decisions WE MAKE. 
 

We can change our reality at any given moment. It just takes the desire to change and actually act on those decisions. 
 

When you see someone who is successful, I can assure you it isn't luck that got them there. 
 

Behind every success story was someone who dared to do what the majority of others won't do. It's a story of someone who decided they weren't going to settle for ordinary, and so they put a vision into action and made a change....oftentimes making tons of hidden sacrifices along the way. 
 

Luck? I don't know much about that. But I do know a lot about hard work and sweat equity. And I'll choose that path over easy any day of the week.


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When getting back to routine isn't so routine

Jena Chopson

It's that time of year again. Time when the kids go back to school, parents give a celebratory high fives, and relish in the fact of finally getting back to routine. 

But is it really that simple? After becoming accustomed to a particular summer routine, sometimes it isn't so easy just to hit the brakes and transition to a new one.

Let me be frank--I don't have kids of my own, so I can't speak to this personally. But I do have many friends with children, I have step daughters, and I know a thing or two about switching routines. 

I, myself work nine 12-hour night shifts in a row, then I get 12-14 days off. During those 12-14 days off, I often try to switch back to a "day shift" schedule. This always sounds super simple in theory, until it isn't. My body really gets into that nigh shift routine and when I try to abruptly switch it back, it is met with a LOT of resistance. 

I've spent the last two nights wide awake (despite taking sleep aid before bed) to the point where I've said screw it...and just got out of bed and got stuff done. Seize the moment, right? 

What's my point here? Don't beat yourself up if your back to school transition doesn't go as smoothly as you planned it. It's a course correction for everyone involved and it's going to take time to iron out. Here's my top 5 tips for surviving a tough transition in your routine: 

1.) Expect setbacks. If you go into this knowing there will absolutely be hiccups, you won't be as discouraged when those hiccups actually happen. 

2.) Allow time for the transition to stick. It's probably going to take 1-2 weeks before the dust settles. Be patient and....

3.) Take it one step at a time. You truly can't expect an overnight success. Work on transitioning slowly. Crank back bedtimes 30 minutes at a time, work on preparing 2-3 out of the 5 lunch meals at a time and working your way up to 5, slowly transition back to after school routines. Don't expect to implement everything at once. You'll completely overwhelm yourself and everyone involved. 

4.) Somehow make it fun and roll with the punches. Get creative and see how you can make the transition fun. Delegate am or pm tasks, use a sticker chart or check box chart and reward the kids with a fun family outing on the weekends. Or insert whichever idea sounds fun to you. The more fun you can make something, the better. 

5.) Remind yourself that you matter, too. I feel like back to school time often becomes 100% about the kids. And yes, mostly it is. But you can't give from an empty tank. Make sure you're taking at least 30 minutes a day for you. Whether that is reading a book, exercise, meditation, listening to your favorite podcast, or dancing in your living room....you have to fill your cup before you can give to others. 

The only constant in life is change. We all go through transitions of routines that are met with resistance. I hope these 5 tips can help you navigate through your next transition a little more smoothly. 

To your health! 

XoXo,

Jena 


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