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Podcast: Stress, Weight Loss, and the Power of Mindset: Jennifer Martin's Inspiring Story



Transcription of Podcast

Please note this transcription is generated by software. There may be some errors. I hope you find it useful.

Hello, hello. Welcome to the Fit and Fabulous podcast with me, Dr. Orlena. I'm super excited. Today we have an amazing guest, Jennifer Martin, who's going to share her personal story with us. So Jennifer, welcome and thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for having me. I'm very excited to be here today.

And I'm really excited cuz I love to get stories and hear people's real life stories. So thank you for being open with us and being willing to share your story, which is inspirational. I know. So do you wanna start just by telling us a little bit about you and then feel free to dive in or I can ask you more questions?

Battling Stress: The Catalyst for Healthy Change

Sure, absolutely. So my name is Jennifer and I am a personal development coach and parenting expert. My. I have two children one who's about to graduate high school and one who is going into middle school. And my journey with fitness and health and wellbeing ha happened because I had a case of chronic Utica, which is commonly known as hives.

And I had, I was struggling with hives for about five years. And what happened was I was going to doctor, after doctor, after doctor. Nobody could give me any answers. I was on a whole host of medications and at one point was taking 17 different medications. Wow. You know, through 17 pills throughout the day to try to manage my hives and nothing was working.

And part of having hives is not being able to elevate your body temperature. So, It was important that I did not go to the gym to have intense workouts and other high stress relieving activities when it comes to physicality, so I ended up. Beginning to do slow walking and very low impact yoga to start.

And what I realized was that my hives, after a while being on all the medication and all of the testing and nobody could figure out exactly what was causing them, it really hit me that maybe they were coming from stress. I had done a tremendous amount of research on my own on how to manage them and what the causes of these chronic hives could be, and decided that.

I was gonna try to do stress modification, so I began to do visualizations and meditations to sort of calm my immune system, you know, to calm my nervous system. Excuse me. I began to do low impact yoga, as I had mentioned, and I began walking with a girlfriend of mine and I began to start losing a little bit of weight in that process and also, Really began to hone my mindset skills at at that time.

Now, because I've been in personal development for a very long time, I knew how important my mindset was. But when you have two young children, my son at the time was. Eight and my daughter was two. I was living as a caregiver and trying to take care of my grandmother all while trying to juggle work.

It was really a very high, emotionally stressful time, and so what I did was these activities and over time just started to see a slight reduction, little over, little over little. In these hives and ultimately ended up managing it through that process. They eventually went away. About seven months later, I had lost weight.

In the meantime, I, again, was doing mindset techniques, these exercises, and miraculously they began to go away. So that's, that's fabulous. That's my story. That's such a, yeah, like I think stress is one of the things that we hugely, hugely underestimate and we don't really realize that not only does stress account for all of these weird and wonderful, not all, but many weird and wonderful symptoms that we have, but also it's a really underlying cause for a lot of things.

Breaking Free: Jennifer's Journey to Weight Loss

So I'd love to talk a little bit about weight loss, because stress is one of those really big things that I see with so many people who are overeating. Why are they overeating? Because they're stressed. Perhaps anger, frustration, all of these things, you know, in that melting pot. So taking you back to when you, before you lost weight, what do you feel like your emotional picture was like then?

What was causing you to overeat? Everything. I, you know, I had these two young children at home. I would, instead of making my own le lunch of salads or avocado toast or something that was very healthy, I was just eating their leftover foods, which, you know, were not very healthy. The mac and cheese typical American diet, you know.

Mac and cheese and just, I don't even know, chicken nuggets, things like that. Now, I always fed them fruits and vegetables with their lunches, but overall, and their breakfast and things like that. But overall, it was just a very typical children's American diet and. I would stress eat at night after they would go to bed.

I definitely was having sweets, which was something that happened when I was pregnant with my son. I had never been attracted to sweets before and got into a pretty big chocolate habit, so that was something that continued on. And also, I really enjoyed wine in the evening, so I would have a glass of wine, I would snack a little, maybe have a little bit of chocolate, and it just, Really ballooned and was hard for me to get ahold of and go, like I had mentioned, you know, when the hives arrived, it wasn't like I was able to go to the gym.

I never found time to work out and exercise during those years where they were younger. And it wasn't until my body had this massive reaction that I started to put into perspective how important it was to balance that back out. Fabulous. Fabulous. And so the changes that you made really started with the stress management, so you know, implementing a little bit.

The Mindset Shift: Unlocking the Power Within

Did that have any trickle on effect? So did you see that your stress eating stopped? Yes. Well, I, because I really was committed to losing some of the weight in addition to the stress management, I went on a very, I wouldn't call it a strict diet, but I went into habit eating. So I had. All the same breakfasts, you know, between two or three different choices in the mornings.

Two or three choices in the afternoons. Same with dinners, and began to write down exactly what I was eating every day in my app. I had an app on my phone to keep it easy. And so what happened was, because I was keeping track of what I was eating, I was holding myself accountable in a way that I hadn't before.

Perfect. Perfect. And so the weight came off. Yes. And is that the end and is that the end of the story? No, I, so in the course of my weight gain, and also I should add that I was on steroids for five years. And so because I was on and off of those steroids for five years, I went from a regular postpartum weight to gaining over a hundred pounds on these steroids.

So I had a hundred pounds to lose and I lost 65 of them. But I still have this extra 40 that I would like to lose and gave myself some permission to go off of that strict eating and strict modification. During c o D it was very stressful, so I was able to maintain my weight loss during that time, but recently I've gone back to losing the additional 40 pounds and.

Nourishing the Body: Jennifer's Approach to Healthy Eating

I wasn't focused on a specific diet before, but I've read so many wonderful things about the Mediterranean diet and I have friends who've had great success in weight loss and health management on that diet. So now I'm actually focused on keeping my stringent, you know, several meals per week.

Specifically dedicated into the Mediterranean diet and I'm now focused on losing the additional 40 pounds. Fabulous. Yes. So I teach, so I teach the Mediterranean Cell Diet and I love the Mediterranean Cell Diet and I live in Spain. So I always think of the Mediterranean style diet. It's less of a diet.

It's not really a diet in terms of, you know, you're not allowed to eat this and you're not only allowed to eat that. It's more of a framework, I think. And what I think is that it's really flexible and really you can use whatever tastes, but what's your experience? Have you found it easy to implement or do you find it difficult?

I find it so easy. I feel like there are so many variations. If you're just eating specific foods throughout the day, you can modify it in any way that you would like. So I've been on some fad diets. You know, where they tell you exactly what you need to eat at whatever time of day. It's very, very strict.

But what I like about the Mediterranean diet is if I'm going to have some scrambled eggs in the morning, I have choices of cheeses, I have choices of vegetables, I have choices of fruits to add into my smoothies, and really am able to be flexible about it as long as I'm sticking with kind of the certain food groups and the, and the things that I enjoy.

Perfect, perfect. Yes, and I would say within the Mediterranean style diet, no, nothing is forbidden. In moderation. So it's all about more fruits, more vegetables, more lentils, legumes. I know you know this, but I'm just saying about other people. Yes. And, and less of the packaged foods. Less of the shop bought ice cream, less of the shop bought this and that.

But that doesn't mean that you can't ever have those things. It means that you have them from time to time and really enjoy them. I always say to people, If you're gonna choose to eat something, really enjoy it. Like be there. Be there and be present enjoying it rather than eating it, feeling guilty, wishing you'd never had it.

What's the point in that? Exactly. I completely agree with you. I love the flexibility of it, and I love the fact that nothing is forbidden because I have children and I have a husband, and we like to eat. We like to go out, we like to enjoy ourselves, and so to be able to eat certain things, You know, I do still have ice cream with the kids, you know, every now and then, and other sort of special treats, but I don't ever feel like I'm forbidden to eat anything.

I do find though, that I have less cravings for sweets and less cravings for refined sugars and you know, refined, refined breads and things like that. So that's kind of nice. Yes. And that's exactly what happens to people when they start eating in a healthy way. And I think when we go back to that place of, I'm standing here thinking, oh my goodness, I'm having cravings.

I've got lots of weight to lose or some weight to lose. What am I gonna do? What does life look like without, without the sugar, it can be a really scary place to be. But actually what happens when you start eating healthily, your body, Gets used to eating in that way. And for lots of reasons, partly your taste buds change.

You know that your taste buds grow every two weeks. So you get used to not having all of that sugar in your diet. You get used to being your body, being able to go and get that energy from within inside you so you're not constantly craving that glucose hit and that external sugar hit. So there's lots of different reasons why that happens, but I think when people are standing at the beginning thinking, You want me to just eat fruit and vegetables and not eat packaged foods?

It's almost like, oh my goodness, it's so scary. What would you say to people in that situation? I would say to go slowly. So there are definitely some things that you can continue to eat, like I love hummus, and so I'll eat some gluten-free crackers with that sometimes as well as the fresh fruits and veg or with the fresh vegetables, but, Truthfully, I think it's easier when you have certain foods that you love and I got myself a little like Mediterranean diet the easy way and found a handful of things that I really loved off the bat and just started slowly and continued to build my way into.

Eating in this new particular way. And also, if you're having a craving for something, indulge yourself every now and then. It's not that you can't have that ever, ever again. You just have to know that it's a little bit more in moderation and also finding fun twists of things. So I love I love canned water with fruit, you know, the fruit flavored canned water.

Instead, I shifted to buying myself one of the Brita filtered waters that has the fruit infuser in it, and it tastes delicious. It is such a wonderful twist on having fruit flavored water that's much healthier for you. So I think it's really just finding your own tastes and being able to fill your diet with the tastes that you love.

I love that. I love that. And I love your story. Thank you so much for sharing it. And I think what, for me, what really you highlight is this idea that it's the mindset. First, do the mindset, the stress, the emotions, the thoughts, and then everything else almost falls into place once you've got that idea that yes, you can do it.

And yes, it can be fun and yes, it's worthwhile doing it. Then you are inspired to do it. Whereas if you do it the other way round, you're beating yourself up and going, oh my goodness, I have to go on this diet. It's not gonna work. The mindset issues are always going to come back. Absolutely. I'm still, I still struggle with the mindset and it's just a reset.

It's constantly resetting, being gentle with myself and saying, you know, I'm not perfect. Nobody is perfect. I'm never gonna be perfect on this new eating habit. And so, and also keeping my goals. Front and in the forefront. I do have a little, some inspirational notes on my mirror that I look at every morning as I'm getting ready, reminding myself of how I wanna feel inside versus saying I have a weight loss goal.

I'm way more looking to be fit and fit fabulous coming into my next age. And really sticking with that sort of a mindset versus deprivation mindset, which I do not do well in a deprivation mindset where you're telling me you cannot have something. Again, I love to fill my diet with the things that I love.

Yes. And here's a question for you. Have you ever felt hungry on the Mediterranean style diet? I haven't. No. I have not. Perfect. But the nice thing is that if I, when I start to feel hungry, I can eat something that I know is very healthy. I know that there are not a ton of calories and I'm not counting calories and counting fat grams.

I've done that before. Trying to figure out how much food I can eat in a day. I love that there are no limitations because everything I'm eating is pretty much grown out of the ground, you know, and tastes. Much better. After spending just a few weeks on a Mediterranean style diet, everything tastes better.

And when you go to try to eat chips or some of these other things, the tastes, like you mentioned, I didn't actually know that your taste buds change every two weeks. That's news to me. So now it makes a lot of sense as to why a lot of things that I would've gone to snack four before don't taste, they don't taste good anymore in the same way.

They don't taste good, but also it is partly your diet that I always talk about this thing called the strawberry test. And I remember a few years ago it was Easter here and obviously I have kids chocolate, but also strawberry season. So I had this beautiful, delicious strawberry. Sort of burst in your mouth flavor deliciousness.

And then I had a bite of chocolate because there was chocolate around. And then I had another strawberry, and now this other strawberry tastes sour and disgusting. The same strawberries. But the reason is because there's so much sugar in my mouth that actually I can't taste the, the natural sweetness of the sugar because of the strawberry, because there's so much less sugar in the strawberry.

Than in the chocolate. So all I can taste of the strawberry now is the acidic flavor. And if you think about, if you're constantly eating packaged foods, you're doing that constantly, not just with sugar, but with salt as well. You're constantly loading yourself with that taste so that then the fresh fruit and vegetables, they don't taste great in comparison.

And so why would you want to eat the fruit and vegetables that don't taste great when you sort of cleanse yourself and allow those fresh, beautiful flavors to come through? Oh my goodness. It's peach season here in Spain. The peaches are beautiful. They're just dripping the nectarines. They're just amazing.

Why would we not enjoy these amazing fruits and vegetables when we can? Absolutely. I definitely have had that experience where when I'm having too much refined sugar and sugary treats, The fruits don't taste as good. They do not have that same savory, that same savory flavor. So that makes a lot of sense.

And I would love to be in Spain during peach season. That sounds phenomenal. You're always welcome. You're always welcome. Well, so thank you so much for sharing your story. It's been an absolute pleasure talking to you and really inspiring, and I hope that people who are listening really feel inspired by your story and think, okay.

She can do it. I can do it. You are amazing. But I always think if one person can do it, another person can do it. What is your last message for anybody out there who's in your shoes and thinking, oh my goodness, this just feels like I can't get from where I am to what I call healthy amazing you. What would you say to those people?

I would just say take it one day at a time and give yourself small goals to to approach. So for me, in the beginning it was five pounds. I was going for five pounds. Lost the first five pounds. I'm gonna lose another five pounds. Then I lo then I made my goal 10 pounds, and after that it was another 10 pounds.

So slow and steady wins the race. Your life isn't going to change. Your diet isn't going to change. Nothing's going to change overnight. Miraculously, you have to be realistic. You have to love yourself through it. Not for the people who I coach, but otherwise, you know, I, I think it's really just loving yourself through it and being forgiving if you feel like you've made a mistake, but staying committed and finding ways to either put a.

Put a little note on your phone to remind you every day that you're amazing and you're doing an amazing job. Putting a note on your, on your mirror. Doing, having a buddy, a buddy system always works. And so those are some of my last thoughts on how to be successful when you're looking to lose weight and change your diet in meaningful and important ways.

Connect with Jennifer Martin


Copy this. And where can people find your services and the work that you do? So you can find me at Jennifer Martin mindset on Instagram or the company that we own is pathways and that's more for the transformational per personal coaching. So yeah. Perfect. Thank you so much. Thank you.


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