Jen Gardin didn’t even tell her husband, Rob, she had applied for the FIT Challenge this time.
She had submitted an essay and photo two other times, but after not getting picked before, she didn’t want to even imagine getting chosen.
“I got too excited the past two times that I didn’t want to build that up this time.”
When she found out Jan. 14 that she would be one of five contestants in this season’s six-month weight-loss challenge, she told her husband by setting the newspaper on the table.
He gave her a fist-pump.
“The kids are all on board. The husband is on board. My mom says, ‘Good luck.’ Everyone is behind me.”
Gardin, 38, said she has been trying to get in the FIT Challenge because of her health problems.
“I have a bad heart health history in my family. My uncle died at 32. My dad had his first quadruple bypass at 36 and had his second one at 50, and then he died at the age of 53,” she said. “I am terrified. I need to get off my
butt and get moving.”
Since getting chosen, Gardin has already met with her trainer Shawn Zahel at NOMS Fitness Center. The day she was supposed to just take a tour of the gym, she starting working out.
“I didn’t want to waste any time,” she said.
Former FIT Challengers Leah Collins and Cole Cottier came along for support on her first day at the gym.
Collins and Gardin work together at Target in Sandusky. Gardin is on the human resources team.
“She encouraged me to get involved. I tried to work out with her when she was in the FIT Challenge,” Gardin said. “We went to the quarry a few times. I tried to help support her food choices so she wasn’t eating out of the vending
machine all the time.”
Gardin said her biggest challenge will be balancing work and her family along with the FIT Challenge. She has three kids, ranging in age from 9 to 17.
In addition to her daughter graduating in May, Gardin has a camping trip and cruise planned this summer. She is also the co-president of the Perkins Band Boosters.
“I am pretty active, but apparently not active enough,” she said, laughing.