Tuesday, April 26, 2011

An Interview with Jenny Grothe from "Recipes for Gals in Figure and Bodybuilding".

Jenny recently completed the Boston Marathon!

Jenny Grothe is truly one of my heroes. 3 years ago, she made the decision to change her life. In that time, she has:
- Lost 60 pounds
- Began competitive bodybuilding, placing in 6 competitions!
- Developed a Facebook page, Recipes for Gals in Figure and Bodybuilding, (over 23,000 fans and growing!)
- Become a marathon runner, most recently completing the elite Boston Marathon.
- Written and published a cookbook, 75 Ways to Love Your Oatmeal. 
- Successfully turned her passion for fitness and nutrition into a business.

Jenny graciously agreed to be featured here on Uberlibrariana. I can't wait for you all to get to know her!

Sarah Fitness: What was life like for you before you started working out? 
Jenny Grothe: I was a happily married mom of one very special little boy. I had everything you could imagine, a wonderful husband, the gospel, my adopted little guy, a successful career that allowed me to work from home, great friends, a supportive and loving family, but I didn't have my health. That always came last. I let ME go, and my body went with it. 

SF: What was the "aha" moment- the moment you knew something had to change? 
JG: I was 37, always on excursions with my "thin" friends, and I was the "big" girl. I was so tired of it. They ranged in size from 0 to 6. I was a size 14. I think I equaled the sum of all their sizes put together. There were MANY "aha" moments that happened within a very short period of time (it's all in my cookbook too in the "My Story" section) that finally hit me like a brick. I was done. That simple. I never looked back. 

SF: What keeps you motivated? 
JG: I read a quote recently that sums it up; it read (from Runners' World), "Once you've been 'fat' (their words not mine but I can appreciate the word), you will always be worried about being 'fat' again" - or it was something to that effect. It's true. Back in the day when I knew very little about nutrition, food, diet, macros, and training I had no clue how it all played out in my body. I'd eat anything giving very little thought to the consequences. Now, I question everything. I indulge more than many on my page, but I also am aware of those indulgences and am sure to balance it out later that day, that week, after vacation, or whatever it is. There is not a day that goes by that I don't analyze my diet and training. THAT keeps me motivated. In all honesty my page does too. Now that I am more in the public eye I feel more of an obligation to keep it up, and it helps keep me honest. **wink**

SF: Nutrition is almost as important, if not as important, than working out when it comes to seeing results. Do you have any tips to make it easier to eat right? 
JG: I completely agree. 80% of what you look like is due to diet. You can have loads of muscle and shapely curves underneath, but if you don't watch what you eat, you're selling your body short. The best tip I can think of? Don't think that clean foods have to be boring. I'm living proof. Every day I focus on making foods I crave "clean"  - that way all my GALS and I can enjoy them. Healthy foods can taste great, full of flavor, and absolutely "crave" - worthy!

SF: You compete in bodybuilding AND race long distances (WOW). What are some of the differences in training for the two? How do you do both? 
JG: I get asked this ALL the time. It's a give and take. I will never be the best at both because I refuse to give up one or the other. I could be faster, I'm sure, but I'm not willing to compromise the time spent in the gym building muscle, and I don't want to be rail-thin and lighter on my feet in order to be "that" much faster. On the other hand, I do have a fair amount of muscle now that's taken me 3 years to build, but I know without a doubt I could be even fuller if I didn't run as much. Do I wish I had more muscle? Yes. do I wish I could run faster? Yes. Will I continue to try and do both? Of course. But am I okay at just being as good as I possibly can knowing I don't want to give up one for the other? Absolutely. 

- SF: What are some tips for anyone who is just starting an exercise program
- JG: Don't give up. Don't look at it as a training program or something you are "trying". The only way to see sustainable results is to make the commitment today that this is a lifestyle and there is no other way. There is no other option. There is no going back. Of course you might fall off the bandwagon, and that's okay. We all do. We are human, but do you give up? No. You get right back on, learn from your mistake, and press forward. Results take determination, hard work, and patience. 

- SF: You have a Facebook page, Recipes for Gals in Figure and Bodybuilding. Can you tell us a little more about that? 
- JG: It started out as a place to share recipes and get recipes from other competitors. I set it up and then didn't visit my page for 3 months. I kid you not. It might even have been longer than that. Then when I visited it again, it had over 3,000 fans. I had done absolutely nothing to gain them. Since that time I have felt it was my responsibility to take ownership of the page and pave its direction. I never would have guessed it would grow in to what it has. It has been a real blessing in my life. My focus for the page is to provide meaningful quotes and bits of inspiration, offer a safe place for women (and men) to share questions and post thoughts without judgment, connect with every single person who takes time out of their busy day to be a part of the page, offer new recipes that I or others create, blog my thoughts, and review products that are relevant to what my GALS are in search of. I want every time my GALS visit the page to feel they are uplifted and have learned or gained something positive. I don't tolerate negativity. At all.

- SF: You offer meal planning- how does that work? 
- JG: I don't sell it as a weight-loss program or a diet per se. Instead, I position them balanced meal plans that provide a healthy breakdown of carbs, proteins, and fats based on the specific needs of each of my customers. Each plan is based on that person's gender, age, fitness level, amount of activity during the week, diet restrictions, cravings, dislikes, and goals. My basic meal plan consists of two weeks - each week being different. Each week comes with the daily schedule, nutritional breakdown, recipes, and shopping list. Though I don't sell my programs as being for weight loss, I've had many many women email me their success stories which is very exciting. As long as they are happy with the results, I am happy for them! I want to teach women how easy clean-eating can be. I want them to feel comfortable in their own kitchens. They either become empowered as a result of my meal-plans, ending up creating new foods and meals of their own, or they have several weeks (ideally) they can fall on and rotate through depending on what they are craving. Either way they are eating better and healthier. 
[Note from SF: I have been lucky enough to try some of Jenny's meal plans and they are WONDERFUL! Highly recommend them!]

- SF: You went from out of shape and unhappy to being a published author, bodybuilder and BOSTON MARATHON FINISHER! What a transition! What would you say to someone who is where you are that would help them getting started on their journey? 
- JG: Set one goal. Do it. For me, it all started there. 

Thank you so much, Jenny, for talking with us! I have no doubt you will continue to inspire many more GALS (and guys!)

If you would like to learn more about Jenny's story, how to purchase her amazing cookbook, or how to sign up for a meal plan or training, visit Jenny's Website: http://www.jen-fit.com/ or her Facebook page. 

1 comment:

BabyWilt said...

Great interview. I love Jenny's *I can do both and will do both* ethos. Its want I need to hear because I've been tussling with which I should focus on and basically been not doing much of either while I "make up my mind".