Most of us can relate to the demands that pregnancy puts on your body. Aside from the emotional rollercoaster we all live through, the physical one can be even more demanding. The weight gain, the stretch marks, the changes in our bodies that make us feel as though we are staring at a stranger in the mirror. For some women, defeat is all that they feel after their babies are born, and they believe there is no path that can lead them back to their pre-baby body. One woman begs to differ on this subject and her inspiring story and jaw dropping transformation is more than enough to motivate any mama to hop of the couch and run to the gym!
Jenna Dunham is like most moms. She lived an active lifestyle, made working out a daily priority, was a certified personal trainer and even taught group fitness classes. However, 20 weeks into her first pregnancy Jenna was restricted to bed rest by her doctor. It was during this time that Jenna turned to food as her comfort. “I ate to pass time, I ate to satisfy cravings, and I ate to relieve the anxiety!” she says. By the end of her pregnancy, Jenna’s love affair with food led to an unnerving 80 pound weight gain.
Although Jenna left the hospital weighing in at 213 pounds, her knowledge of health and fitness got her back on track and within a year she was back down to her pre-baby size. Her accomplishment however, was short lived as just a few months after achieving her weight loss goal; she discovered she was pregnant again. Much like the first time, Jenna experienced issues with the pregnancy, and by month five was restricted to bed rest. What’s worse is Jenna soon went into preterm labor and delivered her son still born. At this point, most mothers might find themselves drowning in a pool of despair and depression, but Jenna decided to make other plans.
She said, “Depressed, grieving and overweight again, I was determined to pull myself up and get back into feeling good.” And that is exactly what she did!
Jenna rediscovered her love for fitness and even joined a competitive fitness team. After six months of hard work, sweat and certainly some tears, Jenna overcame her depression and found herself in the best shape of her life. Although she had begun this journey with no intentions of competing, Jenna topped off her six month fitness struggle with a first place trophy at the NPC Kentucky Muscle show!
Jenna found more than just an award winning body through this journey, she also found a way to work through the pain of her loss. She just recently braved a third pregnancy and gave birth to a baby boy. However, this time around she had knowledge and experience on her side. Jenna knew she was at risk for complications, so she immediately limited her activity. She turned to clean eating versus Little Debbie’s, and tried to monitor how often she gave into cravings. In the end, she still managed to gain about 65 pounds with the pregnancy, but she was able to shed 45 of those pounds in just three short months! As of June 1, 2011, Jenna had lost all of the baby weight. Jenna continues to give herself mini goals to work toward such as running a half marathon in the next three months, and remains active on a daily basis.
So was it easy for Jenna this time around? No not at all. But as she says it, “I have to work extra hard to get extraordinary results. I just have to keep on Keepin’ on, and know that I have the determination and the drive to make it happen!” Now that’s and inspirational piece of advice we all could use.