Getting Back on Track
Fell off the fitness wagon? We’ve all been there at one time or another. Here, Jennifer Dawn talks about how she conquered her setback and regained control.
It’s been a few months since I have sat down with a clear mind and schedule. Unfortunately, I went through a divorce that took a toll on my diet and me. I realized that I was trying to compete in competitions to keep my mind off my personal life but it eventually took over.
I also found myself either not eating at all or, when I would eat, my prep food it was only part of it. Other days I was on it—I didn’t miss a meal and rocked out the gym like I’d never left. This rollercoaster made me realize that I was an emotional eater. You would think that I would lose weight not eating, but it actually had the opposite effect on my body and I ended up gaining weight. After the Olympia my body became resistant to training, and even after three hours of cardio I wasn’t losing an ounce. In the past, I’ve typically competed at 105, but after the O I was stick at 109. I know this doesn’t seem like a lot in print but on stage it made a huge difference in my waist. My scores seemed to drop each show after that, and because I wanted to prove to myself that I needed to compete in order to be happy again, I would do another show. All this did was add more stress financially and emotionally, and I was using up all of my vacation time at work.
Now that the season is over, it is forcing me to get my personal life in order. This week I pulled myself together and hope that it will continue. I’m not stressing over the diet or the cardio, but I’m going to do things that subconsciously will help me remember each day why I love to compete. I placed all of my prep food in the fridge on the shelf that I see first when I open it. Everything else is “out of sight, out of mind.” It’s not cute but I wear my gym clothes to bed so I have no excuse not to get on the treadmill when I wake up. Then, I wear my second set to work so I don’t go home right after. And I keep a clean pair in my bag to start the process all over again. I also have a gallon of water by my bed, to ensure I start the day off right. And I always have a protein shake with me, just in case I don’t have access to healthy foods.
I am so grateful to all of my strong and beautiful family and friends. I would have never been able to get through this part of my life without each and every one of them.