49 Years Old, 50 Pounds Lost, and The English Channel Conquered

Jenn and his wife Kristen knew they were neglecting their health.

Despite being an avid swimmer in high school, over the years, Jenn, 49, stopped exercising.

He had a very stressful job in healthcare and turned to food and cigarettes as a way out. At one point, she weighed 310 pounds.

Jenn tried to lose weight. “Name a diet, I’ve tried it,” she says. However, nothing worked, not even weight loss medications.

“It doesn’t matter if a medication makes you feel full if you don’t stop eating when you’re full,” he says.

Then, in 2019, a happy memory caused Jenn to search for something else.

Looking back at her and Kristen’s wedding photos, Jenn thought, “We look so happy. I would like to be happy for more than a few years. I don’t want to shorten my own life. “I don’t want to die of a heart attack.”

He decided that something had to change.

Jenn, who doesn’t do things in moderation, set a very ambitious goal:

Climb Mount Everest.

And she did it.

He trained hard and reached the top. Along the way, he lost 87 pounds.

Jenn on top of Mount Everest

Little did she know…

His group of hikers would be the last to climb Everest before the world shut down due to COVID.

Jenn returned from her big adventure to a completely overwhelmed healthcare system.

As a gastroenterology nurse practitioner, she witnessed tragedies and deaths on a daily basis.

She still cries thinking about it.

“As healthcare workers, we went into the pandemic expecting the situation to be really bad. But it was much worse than we ever imagined.”

As the pandemic wore on, Jenn’s clothes started to feel comfortable again.

His eating habits regressed. His mental health was affected. He began to feel that the results he had worked so hard for were fading.

Jenn working as a nurse during the pandemic

During the lockdown, gyms and fitness rooms closed. But the river was wide open.

So, on a cool spring day in 2020, Jenn drove to the river and went swimming.

That bath became a regular ritual and, what’s more, it saves lives.

“Swimming allowed me to overcome the pandemic,” he remembers.

“I could go in the water for a couple of hours and not talk to anyone and just process everything that had been going on.”

Swimming inspired Jenn to take on a new challenge. Something that would help her feel strong and resilient again.

Kind of like… swimming across the English Channel.

To be clear, swimming the English Channel is a very ambitious task. (Less than two thousand people have ever achieved this.)

The swim is 21 miles from Dover to France and can take over 20 hours to complete.

Aside from taking the occasional break to drink protein shakes while floating in the water, swimming is non-stop; Swimmers are followed by a boat but if they touch the boat, they are disqualified.

To achieve this goal, Jenn would have to train for many months, putting in many hours (and miles) on the river and in the pool each week.

As her training progressed, Jenn realized she needed help with her nutrition.

“I was having trouble balancing weight loss with boosting my training,” Jenn explains. “I felt like I ate too much to lose weight, but not enough to swim 20 miles a week.”

Jenn’s relationship with food was complicated: years of dieting meant she was used to a cycle of restricting her intake, followed by periods of stress eating.

It just so happened that Jenn’s wife, Kristen, joined Precision Nutrition Coaching in January 2022. (PN Coaching is a habit-based nutrition and fitness training program here at PN that helps someone eat, move and live better, and achieve your most important health and fitness goals).

Jenn became curious and tried some of Kristen’s practices for herself.

She couldn’t believe the results.

“One of the practices of PN Coaching was to eat slowly and consciously. By just doing that, Our grocery bill dropped by 30 percent because we effortlessly consumed much less food. “I was amazed.”

In the next available position, Jenn signed up for Precision Nutrition Coaching.

“At first I was obsessed with calories,” Jenn recalls. “I was used to measuring and counting everything. “I felt guilty every time I ate, even after a great day of training.”

Luckily, he had his coach. “Coach Denise helped me make peace with the fact that if I’m hungry, I can eat and not feel bad.”

One trick Jenn learned was to separate meal times of “feed.

After a swim session of more than ten hours, you would need a quick “feed” of high-calorie, easily consumable nutrition. But during meals, Jenn practiced eating slowly and mindfully.

This way, he was able to get enough energy to support his rigorous training while still practicing everyday nutritional skills.

By the end of the training program, Jenn lost 50 pounds, without sacrificing strength or performance.

She entered race day feeling prepared, energetic and grateful.

Jenn’s English Channel swim was even better than expected.

He completed the challenge in just 14 hours and 41 minutes, especially impressive given that his swim coach expected him to complete around 21 hours.

Jenn swimming the English Channel

(In case you’re interested, Jenn’s wife Kristen, also a PN Coaching client, ended up completing her own athletic feat: completing the Chihaya Ironman, a notoriously difficult distance race. How’s that for a “power couple?” ”?)

After achieving her dream of swimming the English Channel and completing her year as a PN Coaching Client, Jenn says:

“I feel immensely grateful. Ten years ago, I would never have believed I could do this. “I am very surprised at where I am in my life today.”

Ambitious goals? We got you.

Jenn’s story is a powerful reminder of the importance (and possibility) of BIG dreams.

With a clear, ambitious vision, a tremendous amount of determination, and the right kind of support, Jenn was able to achieve an amazing transformation, inside and out.

If you are inspired to rewrite your own story, remember: PN Training is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

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