Friday, December 14, 2007

My next guest blogger is Tracy. Her story is awesome, she's awesome. I don't know how I found her blog but I did. She's a Kettlebelling queen! I find inspiration both for workouts and cooking on her blog. When I get done reading her blog I'm swinging a KB and cooking veggies! Thanks so much Tracy, you've really influenced my workouts and eating. Enjoy her post! You can find her blog link in my list to the Right.

Health and Fitness...It's a Lifestyle

"Are you doing "low carbs?". That sentence started a conversation I recently overheard at work. The conversation was between two overweight co-workers starting a diet (one of them about 50 lbs. and the other at least 100 lbs. overweight), comparing notes. There I sat, literally 10 ft away from them, and instead of asking me my opinion, there they were giving each other advice!

Now, you might wonder why I would think my opinion could make a difference? Because not only have I lost over 120 lbs in less than a year, without drugs or surgery, but I've maintained the weight loss AND continued to improve my fitness level for 2 years after the fact.. My level of conditioning and fitness is higher than most women my age and younger AND have never had to lose over 100lbs.

But it was this particular conversation that I realized the answer to the question, "How do you lose weight, maintain a healthy weight, and stay "fit"?". (because "fitness" is part of health) the answer have to discover a way to make it your lifestyle. And what I mean is, that you have to eat in a way that becomes how you eat everyday....for the rest of your life! You have to find a way to move your body....progressively looking for improvement....for the rest of your life! You HAVE to, if you don't move forward, toward health and fitness, you move backwards. Diet and "working out" isn't a 12 week program, it's a lifetime program!

I found my answers, this is how I did it,

I cook and prepare 99% of all of the food I consume. I use fresh ingredients, natural and organic when possible.

I exercise. I started out by walking....alot. My husband Mark introduced me to Russian Kettlebells and I developed a style of training that produced an amazing effect of fat loss and conditioning, like nothing else I had ever experienced. I added yoga for flexibility and balance.

These things, the way I eat, and the way I train, are my lifestyle....everyday! You need to find out what works for you. You know what you need to change. But the changes have to be maintainable.

I could go on and on and on, (that's why I have my own blog!), but since I'm writing this specifically for Jen's Gym, I'll focus on my Kettlebell training. My food is #1 responsible for my health and weight, and I have to eat, we all have to...but, my style of kettlebell training is #1 responsible for the composition of my body, truly transformative, and my level of conditioning. Kettlebells have given me a neverending variety of workout possiblities, combining strength training and cario all at the same time. My kettlebell training is the most important part of my physical lifestyle....I will never, never choose to skip a kettlebell workout....never. I like being fit, I like looking's a priority.

My style of kettlebell training combined with my obsessive personality, produces workouts with consistent, progressive intensity. I'm always looking for improvement, and I expect to improve. I look to see what other athletes are doing, men and women, for ideas to base my workouts, without limitations. Kettlebells have "trained" me to be fit in a way that gives me the confidence to be able to, walk / jog / run / hike / lift / jump / swim / stretch / bike / or try any other physical activities, if I want to. And all this after being so overweight for so long is nothing short of amazing.

I realized that this has to be a permanent part of my life, I got my RKC (Russian Kettlebell Certification) to teach and train others how reach their athletic potential, like I feel I have. And although I don't have to work for a living, I chosen to make this part of my lifestyle. I want to be around health and fitness as much as possible. I teach cooking classes, I also talk with people, sort of as a "diet coach" and I've even considered getting certified to teach yoga. This is my life.

Health and fitness....there is no magic pill, no magic surgery, no shortcuts, no secrets, and you can't buy it. You don't think about it, you do it, you live's a lifestyle.

~Tracy Reifkind~


lengua said...

awesome story. Very true that exercise, diet and movement has to become part of our lifestyle. It doesn't need to become the sum or who we are, but rather a part of who we are and how we live. Without it, it is not even possible to hold our ground in terms of our health. Doing nothing = going backward. Very inspirational post. Good stuff!


Tom Brose said...

Tracy, thanks for sharing your story. Its really important for people who haven't always been athletic to understand their potential. fitness is an individual journey that is never too late to start.

Tracy said...


Every moment we all have the opportunity to make choices...however the forward direction of good health, which includes an attitude of positivity.

I will never chose to go back!


Tracy said...


I love that you focused on the "non-athletic" person, because I feel as if there's an athlete in everyone, it just needs to be encouraged and discovered.

You don't have to participate in a competitive sport to reach your athletic potential.


Franz Snideman said...

She is very inspirational...there is no doubt there! Great story!

Jack Bravo said...

Wow! Awesome guns!

I'm trying to get 1000 push ups a day. Any suggestions?

Jen said...

Thanks everyone. I'm glad that you enjoyed Tracy's story. I got a load of positive feedback from people who have read this and not left a comment. At Crossfit DC this past weekend people were talking about Tracy and her story. Not only that they were talking about her smooth KB swings! Thank you Tracy for taking the time to do this.

Shari Baby said...

You are amazing girl. After reading your story I have much respect for you. You have come a oong way, have changed your body by leaps and bounds and look FIT! Way to go. Thankis for the inspiration....

Tracy said...


Thanks for asking me to guest blog. It was a real honor to be included along with other incredible athletes.

Tracy said...


I've come along way, not only in my physical journey, but in my blogging journey! I wasn't sure where this was going to take me and made some mistakes, my comments on your blog being the biggest!

It's difficult to express "tone" in writing, and I wasn't coming from a place of "malice". We are all doing our best and I give the most respect to those of us sharing our experiences by taking the time and energy to blog on a regular basis.

We all have the opportunity to motivate and inspire by example...and that's the ultimate compliment.

Thank you for your comment...maybe I'll "run" into you in Santa Cruz some day, lol

Tracy Reifkind

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