Monday, August 19, 2013

When I Grow Up

Lessons from Mom

My mom has always joked that she is still figuring out what she wants to do when she grows up.  As I watched her leave each day for her office to run her company, I remember trying to figure out what she meant since she was a grown up and was clearly a businesswoman.  She was always working hard at her career because providing for our family was the number one priority.  But once in a while, she'd be in a whimsical mood and talk about all of the neat, out of the box opportunities that life has to offer.  From this I learned to be a dreamer too.  I learned that anything is possible if you set your mind to it and work hard for it!


Flashback to Easter weekend this year.  I told the man of my dreams, Keith, I would marry him and following a blissful engagement weekend, I had a tough decision to make about whether or not I would stay in Boston or move with him to Chicago while he pursued his MBA at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.  Over the next couple of weeks, I thought about the potential impact to my career versus the impact on my personal life.  Was focusing on my career more important than spending my engagement with my fiancé?  And if I did not move with him, when would the next opportunity to experience a new city come my way?  The more I thought about it and discussed the options with friends, family, and co-workers, the clearer my decision became - I was going to Chicago with Keith in June.

By then it was the beginning of May, what turned out to be the most stressful month of my life.  Taking a year or so off from work was not an option and truthfully, I wanted to continue in the position I was in - the leadership in my group at work is outstanding (which has not always been easy to come by), my company is amazing, and I had been there just long enough (~2 years) to finally know the ropes.  So I took a chance and asked my manager if I could work remotely for the year while my fiance was in school.  He said yes but my VP said no.  And just like that, I was job hunting for a position similar to mine.  

The Moment I Realized

In the midst of job hunting, a man at my gym told me something that turned my life and career goals upside down.  As we shared the weight room, he caught my attention (I was not happy to stop and talk in the middle of my lift, mind you) and what I was training for, if anything.  We talked about how I lift to build muscle for fitness shows and he seemed impressed (and I was nervous he'd end up being another creepy guy at the gym).  I bumped into him as we both left the gym and he said the words that set me on the course I'd been contemplating walking down for years.  "Your dedication to the gym inspires and motivates me to do the same!"  

His back story was incredible.  After graduating from Dartmouth College, he moved to Boston for an incredible career.  He realized that he had another fear to overcome - the gym, and with weight to lose, decided there was reason to conquer that fear.  He started working with a trainer at my gym, lost a lot of weight, and overcame something huge for him.  Knowing that part of his motivation to continue was seeing me and my dedication to the gym and my program was an incredible feeling.  I walked away from the conversation thinking to myself that inspiring and motivating others to be healthy is truly what I want to do with my life.

When I Grow Up

I have a deep rooted love for fitness and nutrition.  Working out makes me feel strong and powerful.  It is my stress relief and alone time.  Lifting has sculpted my body and made me stronger.  Proper nutrition fuels my workouts and keeps me healthy.  

Of course, there are many obstacles and barriers to getting to the gym and eating right.  Since I have spent so much time making sure that these two are integrated into my life, I want to help others do the same.  

I believe that there is a kind of working out that each person can enjoy - from running to weight lifting to cross-fit to barre to yoga and everything in between.  I think our bodies were all made differently but the same in that we need movement.

I also believe that nutrition should be flexible to accommodate your goals and lifestyle.  I believe in balance and moderation but I also think that sometimes things need to be out of balance to achieve goals (or to enjoy life)!


I believe we each need to do what makes us feel best from a fitness and a nutrition perspective but that we do need to care for both.

With my knowledge and experience, I want to help everyone find the workout and nutrition that makes them feel best and be the motivation to make strides towards optimizing both of these elements.

When I grow up, I want to be a Health Coach.  I want to be YOUR Health Coach.

What's Next

I am currently researching a variety of programs to refine my skill set and expertise in nutrition, fitness, and coaching.  If you have any recommendation, comment below!

Also, I jumped right in and started my own health coaching practice, Fresh Take Fitness!  I am happy to say I am taking on new clients.  If you are interested, please contact me by commenting below or by email:

Have an amazing day!



  1. Great blog Jen! Thanks for sharing your story!! ~Riley

  2. I think what you're doing is fantastic! Definitely an inspiration -- we just joined a gym in our new town, but I'm lacking the motivation and knowledge of what to do when I get there besides a cardio machine! Hope you're doing well!

    Christine Watson

    1. I would love to help you! Since posting this, I've taken the plunge and am now a healthy lifestyle coach! I'll PM you on FB!