Jenn Taylor is a co-chair for the Better U Challenge 2012 and was a participant in the challenge last year. She is truly and inspiration and I am lucky to have her help guiding the 2012 challengers in their first fit steps. Here’s her story in her own words.
Growing up as a chubby, shy girl in school, I never would have thought that I would be writing a guest post on a personal fitness blog. However, after making a healthy lifestyle change and finding myself with a realm of influence, I am grateful for the opportunity. Thank you, Pamela.
Hello, I’m Jenn, one of the mentors for the 2012 American Heart Association’s Go Red BetterU Makeover Challenge. I was blessed with the opportunity to be one of 10 challengers last year and am excited to return this year to help 10 amazing women on their journey to become heart healthy.
I applied to be a participant last year after I lost 100 pounds and thought the challenge would be a wonderful way to learn how to take off remaining pounds and maintain a healthy weight. Coming from a family with obesity, heart disease and several medical issues on both sides, I knew that I needed to take care of my weight problem before I too began having serious health problems. I struggled with my weight all my life. I knew that I wanted to stop the problem before it affected any more of my future and any possibility of having my own family. I have always wanted to serve and help others but I finally realized that I could not help others to the best of my ability with the weight I was carrying. In February 2010, I began my journey to become healthy and in June 2011 I was very thankful that the BetterU Challenge would play a very influential part.
The BetterU Challenge brought the desire to be healthier to reality. I had cut out drinking regular soda and had a regular exercise regimen. I had knowledge; however, BetterU gave me more nutritional information; personal trainers showed me how to push myself more with cardio and weight training; and the program overall helped me to achieve as I found a love and desire for fitness that I had never had before. My sedentary lifestyle that I had for 27 years was gone. I saw about 20 pounds melt off and my figure turn into a healthier hourglass shape during the 12-week program.
Since the program concluded last September, my desire to finish the journey continued. I’ve lost an additional 20 pounds and maintained through the holidays and winter months. In the spring, I was honored to be a recipient of the American Heart Association’s Lifestyle Change Award and asked to be a mentor for this year’s challenge. My goals for this year are simple. I want to encourage the 10 amazing women chosen for this year’s challenge as they take the steps to become heart healthy. I would also like to see the women encourage each other and those around them as they embark on their journey. As I attend workout and informational sessions with the ladies, also I certainly would not mind seeing my final pounds fade; however, the focus is seeing these ladies finish the challenge strong and healthy. With the great support of Thrive Personal Fitness and Mercy, I believe the women will do just that. After all, they have already taken the first critical step in the journey by just realizing their need for change and applying to participate in the challenge. I personally cannot wait to see how far these amazing ladies will go this summer and I’m proud to join them on the journey.
To learn more about Jenn’s journey check out her blog at https://www.jennonajourney.blogspot.com/