about jen

ABOUT ME

Hey there!

My name is Jen and I am a Weight Loss and Lifestyle Coach as well as a Certified Personal Trainer with a passion for supporting women through the transformative journey of feeling more energetic, present, and comfortable in their bodies by supporting them in creating sustainable healthy habits and a sane and self-honoring approach to weight loss and lifetime weight management.

What makes me different from all the other coaches out there? Well, I’ve been there.

After struggling with excess weight, poor body image, compulsive eating, and yo-yo dieting throughout my adolescence and early 20’s, I started my own journey towards creating sustainable changes in my own life, lost 70 pounds, and have been mindfully been exploring the journey of weight maintenance for the past ten years.

Since 2009, I have had the honor of supporting hundreds of others through their own transformation journeys through my signature nutrition, fitness, and lifestyle coaching programs.

While I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I currently live in a row home in Philadelphia with my husband and baby on the way and when I’m not coaching, eating, or working out, I love reading, exploring the historical sites of Philly, and hosting rooftop BBQs.

MY WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY

MY WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY

Experience & training

Experience & training

Certifications

Certifications

Praise

Praise

As Seen in

As Seen in

MY WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY

My struggle with excess weight, binge eating, and poor body image began early.  You could say it's been a bit of a long-term relationship.

As a kid, I did not know why I wasn’t able to wear the same cute clothes that my friends could, why I wasn’t naturally a better athlete, why I was the only one of my three sisters to have to go to Weight Watchers, and why I was ALWAYS hungry no matter what.

It was, simply, the way things were, and I couldn’t help but feel as though something was deeply wrong with me. This feeling developed into the deeply rooted belief that I was not, nor ever would be, quite good enough, and, because of that, I tried my best to be invisible.  I was often quiet and shy in group settings, trying not to take up any more “space” that I felt like my body already was doing for me.

Despite the extra weight, from an early age on, athletics were always a part of my life.  I swam, ran cross-country, rowed crew in college where I even made it to the NCAA Championships as a Sophomore. I trained hard and loved it, but even though my body would lean out during training seasons, and I was able to catch glimpses of how powerful my body could be, I still found myself struggling with the shame of being in a bigger body and found myself blaming my weight when I couldn’t perform to the level I wish I could.

Throughout my high school and early college years, I desperately tried to fight back against what I considered the enemy – myself and my body. I tried to prove myself worthy by losing weight – no matter how much I would have to bully myself in the process.

There were small successes - several times before the age of 20, I lost 30-40 pounds.

I never achieved anything close to my goal weight, but I would see progress. I would power through workouts and eat as little as I could and, for a short time, I would lose weight. “No pain, no gain” made complete sense to me and fit well in stride with my self-loathing.

Even though I had always been good at losing weight, I was even better at putting it back on.

My willpower lasted until I got tired, stressed, or hungry, and then I would head straight for the junk food (or really whatever was around). I would binge – a direct result of harboring a sense of deprival.

What kind of food was around hardly mattered when I would binge eat. I would eat in secret, standing up, shoveling food into my mouth. Often I would not even give myself a chance to chew prior to the next shovel-full of food entering my mouth. It would go on like this, desperate and wild, until I made myself feel sick. When (and if) I could stop by myself, lethargy and depression would then cause my blood sugar to drop so low that I would get triggered into another binge.

And then there was the anger that went along with trying to lose weight.

Every time I would actively attempt to lose weight, I would be surprised to find my normal agreeable, timid, and calm personality rage inside of me with real, red-hot anger.

Perhaps some of this anger was low blood sugar. But, time and time again, real, raw emotions, which had been ignored, surfaced when they were no longer being stuffed down by food.

I was angry. I was angry with my parents for mentioning to me that my weight was a problem. I was angry with my friends chowing down on junk food while remaining perfectly thin. I was angry with the universe for punishing me with this affliction.

In 2007, my weight spiked dramatically after a particularly stressful semester of college, followed by a semester abroad in Spain.

I found myself exploring the sights of a beautiful foreign country, but was constantly aware of how uncomfortable I was in my own skin. I had no way to measure my weight while I was there, but I knew I was the heaviest I’d ever been in my life, with lots of photos to prove it.

I was sad to find myself feeling out of control and uncomfortable during a time in my life that I should have been happy, vibrant, and free.

One day, near the end of my travels, I woke up in Florence, Italy.  I yawned and headed to a hostel bathroom to shower when I looked down to my stomach. My heart sank in horror when I saw that a fresh stretch mark streaking 2 inches across my stomach had appeared seemingly overnight. Up until that point, my body had been fairly forgiving of the abuse it had sustained over my 20-year lifespan, but clearly, my body was now permanently scarred from this abuse.

My body could no longer handle this weight loss and gain yo-yo any longer. I finally realized that battling and hating my body was no longer serving me.

Suddenly I realized the anger I had towards others – society, my family, the universe, and my body – was only hurting me. I wanted to change, to feel better in my body for me and for me alone and to make that happen I truly needed to let go of all the judgement and anger I had been holding so tightly to.

In that moment I decided I would give my body and soul the opportunity to thrive, no matter what it took.

As I finished my travels in Europe, I slowly started to turn my intentions into actions. I started with eating less and walking more, and while I knew it was going to take a lot more than that in the long run, I flew back home with my pants a tad looser and continued determination.

Despite my progress, I was still shocked to see the number on the scale when I first stepped on it when I got home: 215 pounds. It shocked me, but I knew it was a starting place and I started to get to work.

I began to exercise again and soon after I gathered the support of a great weight loss coach and I checked in with her at least twice a week.

We spent our time getting to the bottom of everything – my relationship with food, my emotions, my anger – all of it. Together, my coach and I crafted realistic goals and desired behavioral changes and her accountability and support helped keep me going through the rough times.

I made the commitment to eat real, whole foods and nourish my body in a way that it truly needed. I discovered that abstinence from sweets, keeping it simple, and stabilizing my blood sugar was the key to improved moods, increased energy, and weight loss. I exercised every day and surprised myself week after week as I regained the physical strength and athletic ability that I had somehow lost along the way.

I approached my weight loss as a lifestyle change from the very first day. This was not a diet. This was the new me.

After a summer of hard work and dedication, I returned for my final year of college in shape, ready for a final year of collegiate rowing, and ready to complete my senior thesis. From the time I first got on the scale, after returning from Spain, I had lost a total of 70 pounds.

More profound for me, however, was that I started to see changes in myself that weren't related to just my body weight.

My grades improved dramatically as my confidence, enthusiasm, and energy increased. I started getting organized with my schoolwork, and this was directly related to what I learned from meal planning. Routines and schedules became something I actually enjoyed; my all night studying cram sessions were a thing of the past. I knew I was a new person when I finished a twenty-five page research paper a whole month before it was due. The old Jen would have been getting around to it the week before (if even that).

While the obvious impacts of losing weight, such as feeling better and getting to wear cute clothes, have been fabulous and celebrated, it is some of the quieter successes that have been the most transformational for me.

Losing weight changed my life and how I relate to myself. The anger I once felt is replaced with a peace that I feel towards who I am.  When the scale goes up (which is a part of living in a real human female body!) I no longer react out of self-hatred, but in self-care.

I learned to stabilize my blood sugar and eat in a balanced way has allowed me to balance my cravings and feel more supported and energetic throughout the day.

I learned what it takes to dig deep and reach beyond your comfort zone to achieve a goal that is absolutely worth your time. Achieving your goals gives strength and confidence. The strength and confidence I have used to own and build two businesses by the age of 28; run two full marathons and two half marathons; and balance a year of school while working six days a week.

Most importantly, I learned how essential it is to love yourself and your body, right now.

It is that love which allows you to reach your goals, no matter where you and your body are starting from.

Ten years have now passed since this journey in weight balance and management began.

Of course, my life, and my body, have changed dramatically over the years and my weight and eating habits have had to adjust along the way. Since then I have gotten married and moved across the country.

This body has supported me through thyroid issues, chronic foot and knee injuries, a miscarriage, and now a pregnancy with many more adventures to come, for sure.

Not every minute of this long-term relationship has been easy, but I am committed to it for life. Of course, I occasionally find myself falling into old habits, but when the going gets tough, I remind myself that every day is a new day and this pursuit to take care of my body, mind and soul is not only important, but essential, to living the fullest life I can possibly give myself.

Having the opportunity to support my clients in their own journeys of transformation of body, mind, and spirit has made every hard step along the way all the more precious to me.  We truly learn from the painful moments in our lives, and being able to celebrate the joys, the successes, and transformations along the way make life all the richer.

LET'S GET STARTED

Interested in learning more about coaching? Schedule a complimentary 20-minute coaching session with me so we can discuss your unique goals and decide whether we are a good fit for working together.

MY EXPERIENCE & TRAINING

2008

While my undergraduate degree is in History from Lewis & Clark College (‘08) in Portland, Oregon, I quickly found myself passionate about pursuing a career in health and fitness (though I am always down to chat history anytime you’d like!)

2009-2015

For 5.5 years, I was the owner and head counselor of a weight loss coaching center and healthy grocery store in San Carlos, California called Lite for Life.  I supported hundreds of clients in losing hundreds of pounds, stabilizing their blood sugar, and making real and sustainable changes to their health and lifestyle.

2014

In 2014, I decided to further my education and enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where I completed my Health Coach certification and deepened my passion for an integrative and whole-life approach to weight loss and lifestyle change.

2015

In 2015, I decided to evolve my weight loss coaching business and founded my online coaching practice, found right here at coachingbyjennifer.com where I have continued to support my clients with private and group weight loss coaching.

2017-today

In 2017, I decided to further pursue my passion for fitness and became a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and have since added many additional special credentials to deepen my knowledge of fitness and the human body including weight loss, indoor rowing, corrective exercise, prenatal/postnatal corrective exercise, and online personal training specialization certifications.

Continuing my passion for rowing that I developed as a 4-year college crew athlete,  I am also a Certified Indoor Rowing Coach and love supporting new and experienced athletes in challenging themselves on the erg and getting in the best shape possible.  You can also find me coaching indoor rowing classes at a local studio in Philadelphia, PA.

Certifications

nasm-gs

Weight Loss Specialist

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
2018

OTC_widget-black---gs

Online Trainer Certified Specialist

Online Trainer Academy
2018

nasm-gs

Corrective Exercise Specialist

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
2018

uCanRow2_C2instructor_lo-3-greyscale

Indoor Rowing Instructor

UCanRow2
2018

nasm-gs

Personal Trainer

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
2017

IIN-gs

Certified Integrative Health Coach

Institute for Integrative Nutrition
2014

FFB-Logo-gs

Prenatal & Postnatal Corrective Exercise Specialist

Fit for Birth
2018

PRAISE

PRAISE

ARE you ready to begin your weight loss journey?

Are you ready to…

  • Find a balanced, sane, and fad-free approach to nutrition
  • Stay accountable to your goals

Join the hundreds of other women who have worked with me in creating sustainable and life long changes to their nutrition and lifestyle in order to live your best life yet.

Learn more about my programs and contact me to get started!

Close Menu
×

Cart