I am returning from a long hiatus in the sport and I sit here thinking... wow. This is so much more difficult that I remember it being.

And I do not mean it in a sarcastic funny way.. I mean that the struggle for me is real. This is going to be a hard fought return. However, I have the opportunity to see this as a re-do.

When I left the sport to focus on my personal development I was at an all time high for me. Happy Ironman finisher, 2015 TeamUSA Long Course World Championship Qualifier (declined my spot due to school), and overall having the time of my life feeling fit and fabulous setting PRs all over the place. I felt and operated like some form of well oiled machine. I was in the zone and figured that I could keep doing something while in school, only that never happened. I decided to reach for the stars instead of digging myself a hole. My healthy lifestyle came to a screeching halt.

Now here I sit, tired, out of shape and overweight looking at how far I have slipped, only to catch myself and say NO. STOP!


I am not the Jenniferlyn of years past when I was at the very peak of my fitness and nutrition, however I am also not the Jenniferlyn who had just graduated from college when I was severely overweight, smoking, drinking, in a cheesecake induced spiral of shame, slying out of control on the brink of diabetes and a slew of other health issues.

For anyone who is standing here today looking at the road ahead and thinking "But that is SO FAR" I say NO. STOP! Don't judge yourself based on how you got to where you are today, EMBRACE yourself and open your heart to the journey ahead as the best thing that you will do for yourself. Your children. Your family. Your life.

I am approaching my return as less of a comeback (hence my #dontcallitacomeback tag) and more of a rebirth. Yes the journey ahead of me is long but that does not mean that it is one I cannot embrace fully and can even enjoy taking. How does that saying go? The time will pass either way.

In 1 year I want to look back on my efforts over the past year and celebrate my growth as a person so today I set forth my mission in health.

This is my manifesto for change... This is my renegade act.
I will NOT be the martyr or victim of my past choices and beliefs. I am who I am and own up to every single decision I have made. Every forkful of stress eating comfort food, every second that I chose to sit and binge watch Netflix or HULU in stead of going for a walk or a swim.

I will walk my talk - I have all the tools now I just need to actually heed them, to wield them in my own house. I work wonders in others' lives... time to work on my own. >

I am ditching labels. I will no longer make my identity about what I have accomplished... my identity lies solely in what I put forth into the universe. I am not an Ironman... I am an inspirer for those who wish to achieve big dreams. I am not a health coach or nutritionist... I am the lighter of paths. I am not a vegan or paleo or whatever the latest dietary trend may be... I am a renegade in nutrition and I nourish my body with whatever it needs to rock out!


I am turning my back on my past belief that I was not good enough, fast enough, or worthy enough. I AM ENOUGH and in 2017 this phoenix shall rise again, this time in a much happier and more sustainable flame.

Today I hit 'send' on my race season form with my coaching team. 


I decided to do a 2-part season, one in focusing on my return to racing, the other on focus on prepping for the work ahead of me in 2018.  We will see what coach says about my part 2, however for now I have a solid race schedule for my grand re-entrance into triathlon!




  • Triceratops Tri - June 21st
  • Motor City Sprint - June 25th
  • Pterodactyl Tri - July 19th
  • Ironman70.3 Ohio (Relay) - July 30th
  • The Bavarian Inn Experience - August 5th
  • Swim to the Moon 5k  (Open Water Swim) - August 20th
  • T-Rex Tri - August 23rd
  • Detroit Marathon - October 15th




It feels good to have something on the radar now, some goal to work for. The hardest part of coming back from a long time off is taking that first step knowing that it is going to hurt, that it is not going to feel the same as it once did, that it will be something I have to work at and that it is not going to be easy.  Nothing worth working for ever is though. :-)


 


Thanks to Groupon I was able to grab a 10 session membership to a new Yoga studio that has been catching my eye ever since they started reno on the old Mother Fletcher's location in Ferndale.





What really caught my eye on this studio from the outward appearance was the name and logo itself.  I was surprised to see the idea of plugging in when I have always heard to unplug, however I really dug on the idea of tuning in to yourself rather than tuning out the world.



 
I went for my first class - the Soulful class - and I was beyond impressed.  From the moment I walked into the space I felt at home and like I found a practice that resonated within myself.  The studio space, the overall vibe of Caren Paskel -  the instructor for the class and owner of EnSoul -  as well as the message conveyed and the delivery of the message all made for a very deep and meaningful experience.  I am looking forward to trying out the many different classes that EnSoul Yoga provides,  multiple types of classes ranging from the rocking to the restorative and everything in between:




EnFuse
In this one stop shop, you will get everything you want and need: good tunes, flows and movement that will make you work, sweat and stretch. We combined Rock EnSoul and Soulful, rolled 'em up and made a signature class for everyone.

Rock EnSoul
This vinyasa inspired flow style class will rock you from the inside out and the outside in. Carefully crafted, world renowned choreography, designed to produce ultimate health on the inside and a supple and toned outside. A great class for those who really like to move. However, you do not have to be super strong or bendy. They state that this is the class that single handedly opened the door to a new yoga movement that has now spread across the globe and that you will be directed and led through flows and also have some time to flow on your own.

Soulful
Slow moving, deep stretching and muscle strengthening flows for the average Joe, Jane, Super Man or Wonder Woman. A great class for anyone who wants a sweat, a challenge and some change, while moving at pace that encourages a deeper, more rhythmic breath.  Eyes closed, dig in to your soul with direction throughout the entire class.  No memorization required!

The Sweetest Thing
Come and sink into a super sweet, deliciously tasty, slow, sensual, flow. Not only is this a great class for your body, but the mind and soul will be taken on a journey as well. The Sweetest Thing captures a deep healing energy without giving up challenges, surprises and fun. Mostly seated postures and simple standing sequences. This is a wonderful active recovery for those healing from injury or for those who need a break in between harder workouts. The temperature will be perfectly sweet with NO HEAT!








Namaste!


Do you remember being a child and having your parent tell you to clean your room?  Were you the child jumping up, so excited to get it clean or were you like me and would go up to your room only to sit there and play with toys or look through every single thing that you find in an effort to protest, to push back against parental control? 

Some days I feel like that stubborn child but know that I cannot really get away with throwing a tantrum over the inevitable.  In order to be healthy one must adopt healthy habits and work each day on their health.  In order to be fit one must adopt the habits that lead to a state of fitness and work each day on fitness.  In order to have a clean room one must clean the room. 

I also know that if I were to just jump right back into hard core training I would quit in a heartbeat.  I have been gone for so long that who I was no longer exists... I need to re-start as who I am. I need to embrace TODAY and not be resentful over the loss of YESTERDAY.  

I have been doing a challenge to build a habit of going to the gym like I used to.  I threw down a 50 swipes in 50 days challenge to myself, a swipe being an entrance into my gym.  I cannot say that this was all due to desire... there is an overwhelming need to accomplish this if I am to qualify for my company's gym fee reimbursement policy.  I need 104 visits a year in order to get my gym membership dues refunded to me.  I was at 54 visits with exactly 50 days left in 2016, so I had no choice but to go every single day. 


At first I went only to badge in.  Now, before you roll your eyes or say how that is not right, that is cheating, or how I am doing myself no good by going only to badge in, remember that I am a health coach.  My thing is teaching others how to make slow sustainable changes, how to crowd out bad behaviors with good behaviors, or as I like to say how to move out what no longer suits us by filling our time with that which does.  I teach others to adopt super simple infallible goals so that we build up a level of trust within ourselves, one that we can build upon with less simple more meaningful changes later on.
 
Just as we build a base before we build our speed or endurance, I had to build the habit of consistency in going to the gym. 


Every single day I have driven myself to the gym.  Over time it went from just a task that I had to do to looking forward to my nightly trips to the gym, to even WANTING to go for a real workout now. I just ordered 2 new swimsuits, bought new goggles, have new running shoes, and even dropped some additional cash on outside the gym exercise classes. 

For now through the end of the year I am just going to do whatever strikes my fancy.  Be that a class,  a swim bike or run, or yoga.  Thanks to Groupon I have found 2 new places to go for fitness fun as well - CycleBar in Troy where I am going to try out 4 classes and then EnSoul Yoga in Ferndale where I bought a 10 session pass.  Now I can finally just say  "I do what I want!"  What I want is to have fun with fitness. I am opening myself up to everything to gain fitness that I can put to use in more focused ways in the new year.  

My experiences with CycleBar and EnSoul Yoga will be coming soon!  


Shine on my friends,


 
It feels so good to shake off the dust, stretch out the arms, inhale a fresh breath exhaling in the final yawn of coming out of a deep sleep, rubbing eyes clear of slumber and seeing clearly what is in front of you. 


I needed the break to finish my degree and to find a fresh perspective on my fitness.  A lot has come to light in the last few years than I had ever imagined.  With that a refocus on fitness and health has commenced.  In 2017 I am very excited to be working with people I know and love, as well as to represent a new team that I have been wowed by over the past year in how they support the community at large, and how they stand up for the right thing, not the easy thing.  Their products are pretty amazing to boot, and without them I would not have been able to survive the death-march that Ironman70.3 Ohio turned out to be for me.  Here is the dream team, MY dream team - the teams that I am proud to be racing and training with and representing on my journey.  They have all personally backed me in my pursuits and have built a relationship with me that will remain strong through my triathlon life and beyond!




I am very proud member of Team Fraser.  Fraser Bicycle is so much more than a bike store, it is a family, a community.  Fraser has supported me through all of my Iron aspirations and well beyond, providing me the lab access so that I could run my intervention trial on LactiGo for my Master's Degree completion.  With their support I finished and graduated 'With Distinction' both academically (4.0 baby!) and for being the first trial study a student has performed as their final project in the school's history.  None of that could have happened without the pure love and support from my Fraser fam. I bleed green! #teamgreen #fraserbicycle




In 2017 I am proud to say that I will be racing for BASE Performance!  As a nutritionist I do not back a brands lightly however when the opportunity came about to apply for the BASE performance team I went for it; that is how strongly I believe in and support these products and the BASE brand as a whole.  I get $0.00 from BASE for being on the team, my thoughts expressed aout their products and any benefit I have experienced from them are purely my own. It is because of my own personal usage and experience with BASE salts that lead me to the team. #racewithbase #saltsaves



I am also proud to be back in the Haus.  If you do not know what constitutes 'the Haus', then you are not familiar with Endurance Nation and the coaching team that makes up the experience. I am ready to get back to it and work my way back into fitness so that my journey into the 2018 Ironman season goes as smoothly as possible. Endurance Nation has been the coaching and training team that has made me an execution ninja out there and I am excited to see what I can do in the next year to get back to ninja status!  #workworks

 I am also a 2016 Ambassador and supporter of the Mermaid Club, oping to return as ambassador in 2017 as well. The Mermaid Club is an outstanding group of women who cheer and support on women in the sport of their choosing.  We like to live life and make waves, have fun and go for our goals! #cozwhynot #likeamermaid









With that, I am still fleshing out the 2017 season overall, focusing on using it as a build year.  I say this every year I feel, however I am putting the run as my boo this year.  I am gearing up to get myself in amazing shape to rock the Ironman distance once again for my 40th birthday in 2018. 140.6 for 40 sounds really good to me!

In 2012 I went from fat to fit, I thought at the time due to a total lifestyle change but that just was not so.  I went vegan after being vegetarian for some time, I stepped up my training due to focusing on the Iron distance, I graduated with my MBA and I got married. The lifestyle change I made was called "crazy cram it all in life"and since 2012 to 2016 I went right back to fat because the changes I made were not really sustainable to me in the life that I was living and due to the I made them.  If I had fallen upon them more organically then yes, but I made drastic changes and dropped 70 lbs in the matter of months.  As soon as the pressures of  school, wedding, Ironman and switching jobs went away and the stresses of my real life emerged... it went downhill at such a rate I could not stop.

I do not mean this as a slander against myself, or a reflection of poor confidence, but rather as hard fact.  I am overweight and not even by a little.  I do not have "vanity" weight to lose, I have real weight to lose, to the tune of 90 freaking lbs to lose. I am on a mission to get there by taking myself on as a client, finally putting all of my education and experience to use on my self.  I am a certified health coach and sports focused nutritionist.  I have the tools and I know how to use them, I just have not been ready to until now.  

Along the way I will post up both my wins and my loses, so that together we can learn about what works and what patterns we fall into that lead to missing the goal.


Here is to a much needed fresh perspective on health!  Shine on my friends, shine on!