FIT Challenger Jen Gardin is exactly where her trainer wants her to be, she said.
Since starting the FIT Challenge six weeks ago, Gardin has lost 8 pounds and is working on her endurance and strength training.
She goes to NOMS after work or dinner. It is difficult when she eats and then goes to work out, though. She feels sick.
She can’t change the dinner schedule because her husband, a Sandusky police officer, works 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and she likes everyone to eat dinner together.
“We do family time at the table, no TV, and we talk about the day,” she said. “We all eat the same thing or it is PB&J.”
In the next month, she would like to lose another 10 pounds.
“I am down at least a pant size and a half in my work clothes I wear every day,” she said. “I constantly get told at work that people can see it in my cheeks. They aren’t as puffy as normal. They can definitely tell my energy is up.”
Gardin suffers from lupus, an autoimmune disease. Her symptoms include low energy, brittle hair and nails, as well as a rash that only gets better with lots of water and lotion.
“If you would have interviewed me a year ago, I couldn’t stay awake; I didn’t want to do anything,” she said. “My mom thought I was depressed because I just didn’t want to go anywhere, I didn’t want to visit anyone. I just didn’t want to do anything. I just didn’t have any energy.”
She found out her vitamin D levels were too low. Medicine and regular exercise has helped tremendously.
Normally, she doesn’t like to work out in front of people, but being in the FIT Challenge has started to change that.
“The more people I am seeing at the gym, the more people who know I am in the FIT Challenge.”
Recently, Gardin visited her rheumatologist, who was so impressed with her progress in the FIT Challenge, she said, “I was going to see you in three to six months, but I don’t need to see you until Christmas.”
Gardin is also getting support from her children’s former teachers, as well as friends, co-workers and former colleagues.
“I have actually converted people from other gyms; they quit the YMCA to come work out with me,” she said.
One of her favorite exercises is the TRX bands, something that caused some trepidation when her trainer Shawn Zahel introduced them to her.
“You have to trust yourself to hang on or you are going to fall. My coordination is not that good. Sometimes I am a klutz,” she said, laughing