Living the simpElle life: Jen

I’m off on my first ‘runcation’ next weekend to Geneva so am getting into the running spirit! Inspiration from someone who has become a runner is right up my street…

Here is that inspiration for us all; in the form of this mini series – Living the simpElle life – where  I share the story of someone that I think we all need to hear.

I heard a great phrase last year –

“The Universe is made up of stories, not of atoms”

 – so that is what I want to share with you, stories, to open up the Universe to us all!

Each individual we meet embodies what this blog is about. They have dug deep to find motivation, they have sought inspiration and in doing so become inspirational to others. They have been empowered with knowledge to change and that is what their story will do for the rest of us…

Meet: Jen Are

I met Jen when I covered a Nike Training Club class at 1948 in Shoreditch! I remember our meeting well; Jen was the first to arrive for class and there was some minor confusion over her being Jen and the woman in charge being called Jenni! We had a little chat before everyone else arrived, got down to the workout business and then off we went! Little did I know we would cross paths again, and again…and again! I’m trying not to be selfish so am sharing all these wonderful people I meet with you… Take it away Jen 😉 

– {THEN} – 

Elle: What made you decide to start running / training? …What was your plan / goals?

Jen: I started training for weight loss and to improve my fitness. Sitting in front of a screen all day did me no favours. It meant I was eating like there was no tomorrow. I tried joining the gym but that didn’t work for me so I decided to try out classes at Nike Training Club (NTC) and Frame, read some fitness blogs and find out more about working out on social media through the joys of Twitter and Instagram.

The great thing about London is that there are so many options other than the gym when it comes to working out that everyone is able to find something that suits them. Be it free classes, pay as you go gym membership, Nike Training Club, bootcamps, park/outdoor classes and more.

– {HOW} – 

Elle: What’s your favourite way to work out?

Jen: My favourite workouts are yoga and running and I also enjoy spinning and kettlebells. I mainly workout by myself as it helps clear my head but I do enjoy working out with others as you get to socialise and learn different things.

Elle: What’s your typical weekly schedule?

Jen: I try and do 1 or 2 run’s a week, a cardio workout on a wednesday and a yoga class (NTC/Hot Pod Yoga/Lululemon). I also try and squeeze in a spinning and/or kettlebells class each week. 

Elle: What / who has been your inspiration?

Jen: Real people inspire me. It’s great to see people, particularly girls and women push themselves and work towards being fitter, stronger and healthier. I’m all for female empowerment and girl power so for me it’s also a constant reminder that I’m not the only one on this fitness journey. 

People that inspire me on the fitness front include; my workout and race buddies/cheerleaders Harriet and Natalie, Jenny Scott (Mothers Meeting), the Food & Lycra girls (Rachel, Kim and Laura), Angel (@angeldeefitness) and Bangs (Bangs and a Bun/Spikes and Heels). To me they all epitomise fitness, strength and are a constant inspiration.

Elle: What was the first big difference in you, that made you feel proud and excited?

Jen: Learning more about myself, confidence and finding that this journey is 70% mental and 30% physical. I am my own worst enemy and master of saying I can’t. But I’ve learnt that with time you can do things you’d never thought you’d do.

My proudest achievements are the 7 races in 2013 and doing Mud N Madness with my girls earlier this year; also the increase in my fitness confidence and my mental attitude to working out. If you’d asked 2 years ago to go for a run I would have laughed in your face and said “hell to the no I don’t do running”.

Elle: Did you make any changes to your diet once you started training?

Jen: My eating habits haven’t changed; I’m now just more careful of what I eat. I’m trying to incorporate more fruit and veg into my diet and I am also now drinking water which is something I barely did before.

– {NOW} –

Elle: How do you track your progress?

Jen: I recently started tracking my progress with the Nike+ running app. I also feel fitter than I did before, which is great!

Elle: Have your goals changed since you started your journey?

Jen: My goals have altered slightly but my main aims are the same; get fit, push myself, be consistent, improve my technique and lose weight. 

Elle: How do you keep yourself motivated?

Jen: Like everything there are good days and bad days. My friends are supportive and motivating and we enjoy booking races and going to sports and fitness events together. This pushes me to train and gives me something to look forward to. I also have to constantly remind myself that in order to get the results I want I have to put the hours in. After I workout I feel good and happy, which is always a good thing whether I’m working out early in the morning or late at night.

Elle: If you could go back and give advice to the “before” you…or any other person contemplating changing their lifestyle…what would you say?!

Jen: Nike have got it right “Just Do It”. There’s no time like the present. Follow and talk to people on social media for tips and ideas and find people that have similar interests or are on a similar journey to you. That way you can build a support network where you can learn, ask questions, be curious and have fun. Also if you can meet them face to face be it in a class, at an event or for a coffee. When you find something you enjoy you’ll stick with it and not find it a chore. Remember fitness is a journey not a destination.

…so what d’ya think?! 

If you’d like to leave Jen a comment below please do so or you can connect with her via Twitter – @Just_Jens_World

…and if you would like to share your story please get in touch with me here: {Contact Elle}

Until then, keep living that simpElle life 😉 

Elle 🙂 


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