What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Jen, and I have lived in the Chicago western suburbs for most of my life.
Do you have a family?
Yes. I am so proud of two amazing kids! My daughter will be 24 in October and she is in graduate school studying to be a clinical mental health therapist. She plans to get her PhD. My son will be 22 in December. He is a college senior studying biology/pre-med and will apply to medical school this spring. I also have a wonderful significant other–he’s my best friend –and we just celebrated our eight year anniversary. I am blessed to still have both my parents and my sister, too.
What inspired you to work in the health and fitness industry?
Several years ago, I went on my own health journey to lose weight by tracking macros. I worked with a coach to lose weight initially and then with other coaches to work on body composition and maintenance. Changing my body and my mindset about food changed my life, and I wanted to help other people the way my coaches helped me. I got Pn1 certified and then luckily got hired by PLT in March of 2021. My yoga teacher training began with my desire to help others and because of the confidence I had gained in my weight loss journey.
What’s your favorite food?
One food? I can’t do it. Whole grain toast with Kerrygold butter and cinnamon sugar. (Seriously.) Next would be my fat free Greek yogurt, PB Fit, and mini chocolate chip evening snack. Then, probably a homemade quesadilla with chihuahua cheese, mushrooms, chicken, and spinach with some delicious salsa. At my favorite Italian restaurant, calamari with marinara and spinach or their stuffed eggplant.
Do you exercise and if so what’s your favorite workout?
I love to exercise. I’ve been exercising since I was 14 on a consistent basis. Back in the day, it was old school aerobics, jogging, and Stairmaster type workouts. At the present time, I teach and do yoga and yoga sculpt, I lift weights, and I ride my Peloton. I also go for walks. I try to incorporate some pilates and treadmill runs. I do at least one type of exercise every single day because it relieves stress and makes me feel good. If I had to pick a favorite workout today, it would be teaching a hard, heated yoga sculpt class to a room full of students.
What’s one interesting, little-known fact about you?
This is my 29th year teaching high school English at the same school.
If you could change one misbelief about nutrition, what would it be?
That there is no quick fix to losing weight and that eliminating whole food groups is not a long term solution for maintaining weight loss. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
What’s the best part about working with PLT?
How do I pick one thing? My clients who are making strides to change their health; getting to know my fabulous clients in live meetings; the positive PLT community on Facebook; and the desire of Patti and Paul, the team leaders, and all the coaches who want to continually improve the PLT approach to helping clients live their best lives.
What’s your number one tip for people just starting their weight loss journey?
You have to change your habits to create change in your body and you need to be patient. You will learn habits that will become your new way of life and that will create long term change, but none of the change happens overnight or without continuous effort.