My IronPlate Fitness Journey by IronPlate Client, Jennifer Belser

Despite the frequent urging of my mom, I never worked out in my life. I was a cheerleader in HS, but wouldn’t consider myself athletic by any means, and was able to fake my HS gym teachers out when it came to running the mile, and would walk so slow, it would seem as if I did 4 laps, but I probably jogged 1 and walked the last 2, finishing in about 15 minutes, so it seemed “normal”. 

The fitness bug hit my Mom in about the year 2000, when I graduated college, but it never hit me. I would listen to her get up before work and clear out our living room so she could do her workout videos and I would hear her huffing and puffing away. Later on, after I moved out, she got a gym membership at Gold’s. She was able to convince me to go take a class with her only once. After that class and not being able to walk for 3 days, I never went again. 

 Jen and her Mom

Jen and her Mom

I never struggled with my weight very much and am relatively lucky in that regard. I could definitely fluctuate about 15lbs up or down, and at my heaviest, I may have been “voluptuous” and “curvaceous”, but I was never “fat”.  I was also extremely out of shape and ate whatever I wanted. 

I lost my Mom 4 years ago to cancer. She was extremely dedicated to fitness and health, and even during her grueling chemotherapy treatments, would wake up and exercise and do what she could. She even had plans to retire in 2016 and pursue fitness as a job, encouraging baby-boomers to get and stay fit, like her. Losing her continued to keep me out of the gym, as the machines, the mere idea of exercise, would remind me of all the opportunities I had to spend time with her and had missed. 

When I turned 35 last year, I knew that something was going to have to change. I couldn’t continue to be lethargic, eat whatever I wanted, be tired all the time and not feel as good about myself as I knew I could. I never understood the “once you to go to the gym and work out, you’ll feel so much better!” mentality. I hated it. I felt awkward, I didn’t know what exercises to perform, and I didn’t like people watching me, or worse, judging me.  But I knew that I had to take a leap and do something out of my comfort zone. At 35, I wanted to give myself the opportunity to look and feel better than I ever had before, and I knew it was time to put in some work. 

 Jen on a typical Monday morning - "leg day"

Jen on a typical Monday morning - "leg day"

After doing some research, I came across Kristin’s website, and thought that it seemed like a great fit. The idea of working out in a private space where I could learn and grow was ideal. I went in for a consultation in April of 2013 and signed up for 20 sessions on the spot. Since then,  I have not stopped!! Kristin worked with me, starting slow and assessing my strength levels as well as my ultimate goals and body type. I do a hybrid type of workout which consists of some traditional bodybuilding type of exercises with weights, as well as mixing in some metabolic and plyometric training to get my heart rate up. This is ideal for me because I love the idea of being strong, and I have realized that I love to throw around some weight! Who knew!?

What I love about working out with Kristin is that I know each workout will be different.  If I’m feeling tired, we can go lighter or switch things up, but if I want to test my limits, she’s happy to oblige me.  Now, I’m around the same weight as when I started to work out, but my lean muscle has increased, my body fat has decreased, and when I’m compliant with a good diet (I know, it’s hard, but abs are made in the kitchen!), I even have a visible 4 pack if I flex. 

My fitness journey is only just beginning, but I owe it to Kristin and IronPlate for giving me the tools to work with. My Mom is my inspiration, and I workout with her in mind every time I hit the gym, pick up a weight, or step on the treadmill. I use her weight gloves when I lift and it allows me to feel closer to her. Even after her passing, working out with Kristin has allowed me to have a continuing bond to my Mom, and that is priceless. 

 Lean, ripped and fit!

Lean, ripped and fit!