Skinny To Strong: Jenna’s Fitness Journey
This is me ready for a night out in April 2015
I weighed around 8 stone.
Yes I was slim and I won’t lie I loved the attention and the compliments but I was also feeling very unwell behind that smile.
I had took part in the usual go-to groups like S.W. and W.W and they helped me to a point but they also caused me to make some really bad nutrition choices when they didn’t work anymore, I ended up eating a completely unsustainable diet of just salmon fillets and very very low amounts of carbohydrates 3x times a day, YES you read it right 3 times a day-and that was 7 days a week every day for months just to keep my bodyweight down.
When I was no longer able to keep this diet up, I regained all the body fat I had dropped and more on top so when I moved to Sligo later that year I was back to 9st plus a few pounds (which is not bad, I know).
After experiencing a very stressful event and dealing with it in the worst ways possible I piled on the pounds from using food as therapy, over eating, eating from stress, eating from boredom, eating all the convenience foods you can imagine; pizza, take out practically every second night, Mac Donald’s for lunch you get the picture and this was all the time.
Where to start,How to start
Which of course got me to the weight I was when I started in Storm Body Fitness which was 13st 8pounds.
I had to start somewhere, something had to be done and a Christmas present to myself was my pushing point.
So I joined Storm Body Fitness on the 22nd of January 2017 to be precise. I had no experience weight training, so I was very nervous about my strength and abilities and of course getting “bulky”on top of being overweight “worst nightmare”.
Keith is my personal trainer at Storm. My work has different shifts but I always managed to get 3 training sessions a week in which is nothing when you think about it really (1 hour session broken down into mobility, warm up, training(45mins) and cool down) . Day one is lower body, the next is upper body and then the third is DEADLIFT day (my favourite day).
Starting with some nutritional advice from Keith in the form of a diet plan but only for a few weeks because he was teaching me how to do it myself, to take ownership and to be honest it is quite simple. Quickly enough I was noticing a difference in my strength, my energy, my mood, my sleep patterns and my body shape and size, everything really which was amazing and a complete buzz and a push to keep going.
In March, Keith mentioned that Storm was going to be run an 8 week nutrition challenge and if I was interested in taking part. If you follow me on Instagram (@jennamcdonagh92) I obviously took this challenge on. Keith worked out what Kcal intake I needed and the macro breakdown and then I used the app MyFitnessPal to help me track my macro-nutrients and calorie intake which was great when I got into it. I have 3 good meals a day made up of mostly protein, limitless greens and good complex carbohydrates and aim to always have good fats.
One of the biggest outcomes from training and eating a more balanced and healthy diet wasn’t the fat loss it was the change in my health.
I suffer from IBS and need to take medication 3 times a day, since I’ve changed my lifestyle I haven’t suffered a breakout in months and I’ve been able to reduce my medication to once a day, AMAZING.
Today is the last day of the 8 week nutrition challenge (day 56) and I feel amazing. The difference I can see in my week 1 picture compared to my week 8 picture is amazing to see what I can do. I now weight 12 stone which I am really happy with but it isn’t my main concern anymore because I know I have become more toned and gained muscle throughout my training programme.
I am fitter, stronger, more energetic, slimmer and happier because I know how to fuel and train my body the right way.
Which only leaves me wondering what I can achieve in the next 4 months and what it has to offer.