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Motivation

Filtering by Tag: fort wayne fitness

What's LUCK got to do with it?

Jena Chopson

Chances are you know a ‘skinny girl’ that can put down a pizza, potato chips, and soda....and not gain an ounce of weight.  And perhaps you have another friend that claims to gain weight simply by looking at a donut. 

Skinny girl says she’s ‘lucky’ to have a fast metabolism.  What’s the truth in this statement?

Simply put, metabolism is defined as how quickly you burn calories and fat, and/or how fast your body converts food to energy.  

And yes, genetics plays a role. BUT, that isn’t the only factor that contributes to your metabolic speed.  

 

Age: As we get older, our metabolism slows down.  In fact, after 40 it drops by 5% each decade.

Gender: Men typically have faster metabolisms than women.

Diet:  What you eat, don’t eat, and when you eat affects your metabolism.

Activity level: The more active you are, the faster your metabolism.

 

Here’s where the ‘luck’ kicks in: GENETICS.  As unfair as it may seem, some people are just quicker calorie burners than others.

But you don’t need to settle, here are a few ways to rev it up!

-Exercise. Combine cardio with strength training to enhance your metabolic rate.

-Eat properly, and at the right time.  Three meals a day, always eat breakfast.

-Caffeine can jolt your metabolism 5-8% in a day.

-Eat 25g of fiber per day.

-Water. Drink your recommended daily intake.  

-Protein can boost calorie burn after a meal by as much as 35%.

Remember this: just because the skinny girl can eat the pizza, chips, and soda and not gain weight does not mean she’s healthy.  Health is a way of life, not an appearance.  

Best of luck in your metabolic journey!

 

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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Get Outside This Winter! You Burn Calories Shivering ;)

Jena Chopson

Welcome to the midst of WINTER!  Some love it, some hate it - some get the blues, and some get stoked about shreddin’ the gnar! Here’s the scoop - wanting to change the weather is like wanting your avocado to laugh after you tell it a joke. It's not gonna happen. (But who doesn’t love Avocados, right?! #BestFoodEver)

Embrace the cold (NOW!), or you’ll be missing out on some incredible health benefits.

For example:

Did you know that you can burn 100 calories in 15 minutes of shivering?  And not only do you burn calories via your muscles, an additional hormone is released that allows fat stores to burn calories also. (double bonus!)

Ok--so I'm not recommending that you stand outside naked in 20-degree weather and shiver to burn calories ;) But did you know.....

Downhill skiing/snowboarding can burn over 200 calories per 30 minutes. And believe it or not, cross country skiing gets you 100 MORE calories burned per half hour than downhill skiing! 

Not a skier/snowboarder?  Go sledding!  On a mid-size hill you can burn the same amount of calories sledding as downhill skiing!

Even moderate ice skating can burn over 100 calories in 30 minutes.

Ok ok.. so it’s not always EASY… Need some more motivation?

(YES!) Your body works harder to warm itself in the cold temps - thus, more calories burned than in other seasons.

(YES!) Your heart works harder too, which means you’ll be better conditioned when Spring arrives.

(YES!) The days are shorter, and darker - which means you need to take in the daylight when it’s available - getting outside reduces stress and will dramatically improve your mood.

(YES!) It’s called ‘fresh air’ for a reason - taking it in reduces your chance of catching the nasty bugs!

(YES!) You’ll sleep better!

(YES!) It builds your ‘balance’ muscles that snow and ice can trigger, as opposed to exercising outside normal conditions.

Bottom line - you’re not doing yourself any favors by becoming a Winter hermit. Positivity will take you a long way.  Simply saying ‘I love Winter’ can change your outlook.  If needed, you can start with this: “I don’t mind Winter.”

Thanks for reading! 

 

~Jena

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” - Fred Devito

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” - Albert Camus

 

FOR THE LOCALS:


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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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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. 

Cheers! 

Sparkling Water with Lime

 

XOXO,

Jena 

 


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When you don't see eye to eye....

Jena Chopson

I get a lot of questions about what to do when you have an "unsupportive spouse" when it comes to your health & fitness journey, or when it comes to your new business. 

Although Doug is doing a workout program with me now, it most definitely has not always been this way. Allow me to show you a picture of what our workout partnership has looked like for 99% of the time we have been together: 

Doug sitting in our front yard propped up with a Miller Lite while I race my 5K. 

Doug sitting in our front yard propped up with a Miller Lite while I race my 5K. 

This is a topic I get really passionate about. Allow me to share a little bit of my story....

I've always been into health and fitness my entire life. Don't make fun of me--I literally have memories of running around the playground at recess as a young child with the GOAL to work up a sweat. Not exactly what most little girls aim to achieve at recess, right? 

Even though I haven't always been healthy (you can read more about that here), being athletic, active, and conscientious about my health has always been a huge passion of mine.  So of course as opposites tend to attract, I wind up marrying a man who basically has zero interest in all of the aforementioned topics. ZERO. 

Let's be honest. I married him this way. I knew the man I was marrying going into this whole thing. Still, I would be lying if I said it didn't sting a little bit every time I headed out for a run, or downstairs to do my workout, alone

This great divide became all the more apparent when I started a business as a health and fitness coach. I'm not going to say he was unsupportive, because to me that means he was basically doing everything in his power to make sure I didn't succeed. He was more, shall I say, standoffish. "Do whatever you want babe, but I think it's all ridiculous." That was a better way to describe it. And even though that's better than being completely unsupportive, it still sucked.  This was a HUGE deal to me and a HUGE passion of mine, and something I was really excited about....and he just wasn't excited.  

So what did I do? You might think I came up with some elaborate plan to bring him over to the "dark side," right? Well, you'd be wrong. You see, you can't change other people. Even when that person happens to be your spouse. The only thing you can do is better yourself and aim to become a better person, spouse, individual, whatever and continue to set the example along the way. 

I had no idea if Doug would ever develop an interest in his own health and fitness, but I always knew that he would have to come to terms with that on his own. If you're in the health & fitness space, you know as well as I do that we cannot force anyone to want to change, they have to want it for themselves first. 

I asked Doug about a week ago, "What was it that finally made you commit to your health?" And he basically responded with, "I was tired of being the fat kid. And I knew it would only bring us closer. So I went all in." That's the Doug version of saying what we hear all too often from people who finally hit their breaking point and are ready to make a change: Enough is enough. Something has to change. 

The key point here is this: If I had given up on him, on myself, on the journey....then he might never have come to these terms. If you feel like you have an "unsupportive" spouse, if you feel like your significant other will never make his or her health a priority, if you feel like you are alone--Don't. Give. Up. 

Stay consistent. Stick with it. Continue to work on and develop yourself. Pray for him or her, for your relationships. And who knows? You may one day be taking sweaty selfies with your spouse after crushing a workout---together. 

Post workout sweaty selfie...aka everything to me <3 

Post workout sweaty selfie...aka everything to me <3 

Relate to this story at all and want to chat more? Feel free to reach out to me, I'd love to talk. 

Xoxo, 

Jena 


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