the full story my r oad from yo-yo dieter to automated eater
My career in fitness began at the age of 15 when I got my first job at a fitness center nursery so that I could start taking step aerobics classes for free. I started lifting weights — without a clue what I was doing — but found is magical that I could literally shape my body using resistance training. I woke up 6 months later with serious delts and have never looked back.
Always an athlete, in high school I did well in all things track and field, and then in college, I rowed crew for 4 years, in addition to teaching group fitness. My personality has always been the same, even back then: jump in, and then figure it out on the fly, which is how I taught myself how to teach any fitness class you can think of. I always thought, why not try?
I ended up earning my B.S. in Exercise Science from Wake Forest University and went on to get my M.S. in Human Nutrition at the University of Bridgeport.
I trained for my very first figure competition when I was 24, just to see if I could do it. And after winning my first show, I was hooked. Addicted to the process, addicted to the high of seeing if I could be better than everyone else, and unfortunately, addicted to seeing my physique in “show shape.” I was signed on as a fitness model during that time and landed 4 national magazine covers. I competed in Fitness Modeling shows and more for 5 years.
Until it seriously started to mess with my head. The diets and meal plans I’d used in the past simply stopped working. My metabolism stopped being as responsive and I kept falling off the wagon, only to berate myself for poor discipline, laziness and weakness. I felt ashamed that I couldn’t stay on the programs I was giving my clients and I felt embarrassed and “fat” when I was in my off-season (even though according to normal standards, I was fit, lean and healthy).
Over time, I got so fed up with the mind games and spinning my wheels around dieting, that I threw my hands up and decided I needed to find a new way, a healthier way, a forever way, even if that meant gaining weight. I couldn’t keep punishing myself with hours of cardio each day, nor could I keep jumping from failed plan to failed plan. I wanted to stop talking to myself so unkindly. I wanted to find a way to eat forever, I wanted to stop yo-yo’ing up and down 20 lbs each year.
It was in 2011, 6 months after starting JillFit.com that I finally had the courage to try a new, more moderate way of doing things. I stopped the incessant food prep and obsession. I quit the relentless meal plan following. I started looking inward and trusting myself more. I started listening to my body more. I stopped following coaches and experts. And I finally had the courage to break the yo-yo cycle. The answer for me was in the gray. No more negative self-talk. No more all-or-nothing eating. No more hard & fast rules.
The outcome was not only effective, but completely liberating. And now it is my mission and my passion to teach other women how to break that cycle. To start fully owning their process. To start working on their mind game so that they can create a life they love. This includes all aspects: mindset, physique and even business.
Since 2012, JillFit has morphed into a lifestyle company helping women become freer, smarter, happier and more effective. And to me, that’s everything.