Fabulously Fit Mom
Healthy Living NYC interviews Supermom Jennifer Nicole Lee to find out how she balances life and fitness as a mother of two.
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Interview by: Norman Clausen
January 8, 2008
With the baby weight slow to come off after the birth of her second child, Jennifer Nicole Lee was not happy about how she looked or felt. Her energy levels were low, and her weight had climbed to almost 200 pounds.
To improve her physical and mental health and become more active with her children, JNL began her own regimen of regular exercise and nutrition. The results were amazing, and less than a year later, she had lost over 70 pounds on her way to being crowned Miss Bikini America!
She’s shared her story with millions on Oprah, and now she’s sharing her new DVD program, Fabulously Fit Moms with women all over the world. Jennifer Nicole Lee has set out on a mission to prove that becoming a mom is just the beginning—moms can still be sexy, fun, and fit—and HealthyLivingNYC sat down with her to get the skinny on how.
What first inspired you to become a Fabulously Fit Mom?
Well, I really have been up and down the scale. I’ve been a size 0 through a size 16. I’ve yo-yoed my whole life, so I know the pain associated with not being able to figure it out. But it’s not about a number on a scale. And it really didn’t hit me until after I became a mom, but to live a fabulously fit lifestyle means more than just being a size 2, it’s all encompassing.
Really it was the frustrations of not having stamina, energy, and endurance—having trouble taking care of not only myself, but my kids. It was much, much more than thinking, “Oh, I want to look hot in a bikini.” I wanted to become empowered and enlightened through a healthy lifestyle and healthy living.
And as a mom on the marketplace today, I have a very hard time finding fitness merchandise, books, or even websites that really resonate with my daily experience. So that’s why I created a whole series of resources to help the busy, modern day moms who are in my position.
How have you specifically tailored your workouts to improve the fitness levels of moms?
Well, moms nowadays need to have the energy and the endurance to be able to multi-task with ease and sophistication and grace. And these are all things you can get from training. Moms today really need to train like athletes. Motherhood is a sport. You can either choose to be a benchwarmer, or a performer on the playing field of the game of life.
So, after I became a mom, I really became my own fitness expert. I read, and I researched, and I discovered the universal truths that any mom can employ so that she can be her very best. And again, it’s not about a number on a scale, it’s about living an awesome, fit lifestyle.
My philosophy as a fabulously fit mom became, “Working out smarter, not harder.” Because all my life, I was working out harder. I was like a gerbil on a wheel going nowhere fast. I would do two hours of cardio and kill myself doing everything wrong, but with the right intentions. And I’d get no results. So, I flipped that in my head. I said, “I want to get maximum results in minimum time.”
So I started to incorporate these universal truths, like knowing what to eat, how to eat it, and when to eat it. Nutrition and training really go hand in hand. And you should always exercise in the morning. I know people say, “Well, I work—I can’t do it.” Yes, you can. I get up an hour early to work out, so I can streamline my productivity.
Often times, mothers are extremely busy, and they have trouble shifting their schedules around, but throughout the DVD workouts, you actually incorporate your children. So, who enjoys the workout more—you or your kids?
I call it incorporating your cuddlies, and I definitely think my kids love it more than me. I first thought, “How can I possibly spend quality time with my loved ones and get a wonderful, invigorating workout?” And my mind answered, “I’ll do the workouts with my kids. I’ll even use them as weights.”
Instead of yesteryear’s moms running off to the garage to go workout—“Where’s mom? Oh she’s off in the garage again. Or mom is at the gym again. Where the heck is mom?” I wanted to banish that. Working out can be betterment for both mom and baby, both mom and toddler.
So, I incorporated them into the workouts. I’ll do Kiss the Baby—I do a pushup, I kiss the baby. Or the baby-bridge—you sit your toddler on top of you, and you’re getting a great core workout. So it came out of a need to multitask—to do more, get better results in minimum time, and also incorporate my loved ones into the program.
So, after becoming a mother, you changed your entire lifestyle…
You know, I didn’t change, because change can be bad or good. I improved my lifestyle.
Very true. So, what else did you do to improve your lifestyle, and can you share any tips with us?
Of course. You should do both strength training and cardio, but if you have to choose one, you always choose the former. If you workout for 20 minutes, you’ll have longer-lasting results if you do weight training over cardio. And I will say it again and again, because a lot of people get mixed up, and I was one of the victims of being a cardio queen. I was a skinny fat person, where I went to the beach and I was flabby. I might have been a size 2, but I was just a skinny fat person—I had no muscle tone. That sleek and sexy, muscle tone from weight training is just priceless. So, that’s a tidbit that I’d like to empower your readers with.
Also, I make sure to get my rest. Rest is such an underestimated part of any lifestyle program. You’re not making muscle in the gym when you’re banging weights around. You’re making muscle when you’re asleep, when you’re resting.
And make sure that you’re taking in proper amounts of protein—amino acids. I’m not saying eat bacon and cheeseburgers. That’s something that a lot of people still don’t understand. But eat lean sources of protein so that your body can make and manufacture the muscle that you created during your Fabulously Fit Mom workouts.
Obviously, there are a million health benefits to losing weight and improving fitness, but what have you found to be some of the most unexpected ancillary benefits that you have come across?
Self-confidence. And not like, self-confidence—“Oh, look at me, I’m hot.” But self-confidence in a “bring on life” sense of the word. Whatever life can bring you, you’re able to face it with that much more strength, confidence, and know-how, because your body is stronger. The greatest fitness experts and philosophical minds of the Eastern world have spoken on the mind-body connection for centuries. When you get through an invigorating, rewarding workout, you feel so robust and mentally energized. You’re able to take upon all of life’s challenges that much better.
I’ve done many, many, many fitness programs before. I’ve been up and down. I’ve dieted with the best of them, and I didn’t want to diet anymore. It’s like they always say—look at the first three letters. I don’t want to diet; I want to live optimally. So, I created my lifestyle program for you to live optimally in a very modern-day multitasking world. And it’s not rocket science. It’s not all or nothing. It’s just do what you can with small improvements, and you will get great results.
So, I gained self-confidence. I didn’t want to lose anything. I knew I might lose some weight—that’s a byproduct—but I wanted to gain confidence. I wanted to gain stamina. I wanted to gain energy. Because if you lose something, you have to go looking for it. I don’t want anyone to be focused on losing weight, because you always end up finding it back on you. So, strive to gain—gain a whole new aspect to your life through fitness and living healthfully.
You have a couple of new DVDs that just released. How are these going to help mothers live the Fabulously Fit lifestyle?
Well, I wanted to give a little something to the moms out there that can’t afford the expensive gym memberships or the celebrity trainers. They don’t have a lot of time, but they’ve got a DVD player, and a little area in their home or apartment. It’s simple. If baby sleeps, mommy exercises. If baby’s awake, then baby exercises with mommy. It’s a win-win. So, that’s the Fabulously Fit Mom lifestyle.
And this is my gift to the 82.5 million moms out there in the United States, and the four million new moms every year. Now, this sorority of mothers has a DVD system designed especially for them with 6 complete series—everything from a Total Body Workout, to Sleek and Sexy, to Lower Body Burn, to Upper Body Blast. And there’s a New Moms Workout, where you can do it with your cuddly or not—you can do it with a medicine ball too. This exercise series, the Fabulously Fit Moms, is where I’ve taken my all-time favorite trademark moves, piled them into a DVD format program, and now other moms can enjoy them too. I’m now passing them the torch of wisdom, fitness, and fun through fresh new innovative movements, so they can just break through from being fat and flabby. I was fat and frumpy, now I’m fit and fabulous, and other moms can be too.
Well, I don’t anticipate being a mom anytime soon, but that makes me want to start doing it.
I’ve actually had a couple of dads do the workouts, and they’ve emailed me—I love your workouts. So it works for them too.
That’s great, so you have all kinds of people using your program?
Yeah, because the workouts are tried and true—not only for moms. It was done with moms in mind, but if it works for anybody else, I’m not going to shut the door on them.
Are there any other ways that the people out there can get more info about living a healthy lifestyle?
Well, right now I have a downloadable program called Get Fit with JNL. And that’s at GetFitWithJNL.com. That’s also something for the modern-day person who wants quick access to a downloadable program, where they can get great recipes and other great tidbits.
And due to a tremendous demand for more information on the Fabulously Fit Moms program, we’ll be launching a Fabulously Fit Moms book very soon. So you can expect that in the near future, and you can visit my website www.JenniferNicoleLee.com for any additional updates.
And I would love to get emails from your readers. I urge them to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll answer any of their questions.
Do you have any parting thoughts for our readers?
Definitely. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Fitness is not a one-time event. It’s a journey to be enjoyed, so make it fun, get creative, embrace it. And ask yourself this very empowering question—“How can I gain the most out of my fit lifestyle and enjoy the process?”
The entire Fabulously Fit Moms DVD series is available on Amazon.com
For more information about Fabulously Fit Moms, her upcoming book, and updates on all things JNL, check out JenniferNicoleLee.com
Jennifer Nicole Lee is available exclusively to the HealthyLivingNYC audience to answer fitness and nutrition questions at email@example.com
For her downloadable fitness and nutrition program, log onto GetFitWithJNL.com