well, hello monday…


happy monday!
the first day of september starts with a day off from work. favorite month this year so far.
i’m enjoying the day off. as you are reading, i’ve likely finished a killer leg day at the gym. i only have my membership until the 15th, so i am sneaking in a few more lifting days to get my fix before i can’t do it anymore. sad day. butttt, i think my dad is going to join me this week!!!
i’m likely sitting in a coffee shop, doing a little studying, planning some workouts for bootcamp (september sched is up!) and clients, and finishing up my training plan for a race i’m doing in october…wanna know what it is?

 the men’s heath urbanathon in chicago!

anyone else (click HERE for details)? i have always wanted to do a race. i’m going as an ambassador for nasm, which means i received a small discount and a few other goodies. i knew it was too good to pass up. the workout bud and i are in for sure. i’m trying to convince my dad to do it as well. and some of my bootcampers. more on the training plan to come!

soooo, how was your weekend? i went into friday telling myself that i would relax, do fun things, yet still try to check a few things on the todo list. so naturally, i headed straight to target after work. i’d planned to check out old navy and dicks to get some new workout clothes, but my sister texted me that target had some things on sale, plus a cartwheel. i had to go.

i found a few items that i liked and this bag. i justified this purchase to myself throughout my 20 30 minute trip: i haven’t purchased a new purse all year. it’s nice and big, so i can carry my water bottle and all my training notebooks. plus, it can fit a workout outfit, if needed. and i had a 25% off cartwheel. i got it.

then i made my way to dicks. and wished i was more rich to buy all the underarmour things. there stuff just fits so well. and reebok. 2 favorite brands. i got a pair of tights and 2 shirts. old navy even had cute things and i got another pair of workout tights and this cute little top. comfy and stylish.


saturday, started off with finishing a blog post. then off to the gym for a kettlebell workout, thanks to taylor at lifting revolution. it was a good one. i’m just looooving kettlebells lately. after the workout, i did a little pistol squat practice. make sure to check it here. i was pretty proud. (p.s. hit me up if you like that shirt. might be selling those babies!). i had coffee with a friend after and we talked personal training, since she decided to take the plunge and get nasm certified. so excited for her!!!

then i went with a friend to the indiana historical society. this is one of those places that most schools go on a field trip. however, having lived in indiana all my life, i’d never been. a little over a year ago, i took over as project manager for them, since we host and do development work on their website. a few weeks ago, i was finally able to visit for an on-sit meeting and knew i needed to come back and do an actually walk through. saturday was the day. it was so cool. they have a spot where you can look up your family members using ancestry.com and a few others. i actually found high school photos of my grandparents! it was so stinking cool!


the building is located right on the canal, which is hands down my favorite spot in the city (look at those flowers! check out more here and here). so we went for a walk before heading back home for a little jim gaffigan, and some angies popcorn. we went for the salted carmel and the kettlecorn – and may or may not have eaten both bags.

sunday was church. i finally moved my pull-up bar into the doorway of my bathroom so i am forced to actually practice. did a few random things before going to a pure barre class with my seester. we’d been talking about it for weeks, but with monthly cycles (not mine, still), work schedules and just plain forgetting, we hadn’t set a time to go. i’ve read so many things about barre, so i was really excited to try it out.

for me, it was just meh. my hamstrings – which were already sore – felt it for sure. but it just wasn’t my kind of workout. i need to lift heavy things (heavier than 2# weights) and get my heart rate up and work up a sweat. i’d consider doing it a couple times a month, maybe every other week. but it’s safe to say i won’t be purchasing a membership.

my night ended with some carrot pasta, banana ice cream and of course, gilmore girls, while doing some workout planning stuff.  girlmore girl fans – team dead, team jess, or team logan? after watching the series COUNTLESS times, i think i am team dean before he gets married. and then team logan.

hey, want something fun to do on your monday morning?  hopefully with the day off like me, sipping on some coffee or lemon water. why not check out this week’s edition of ‘well, hello monday…

on achieving goals: 3 steps

on routine: and rhythm

more on routine: and balance

on perfection: 10 reasons

on consistency: the 4 p’s

on active living: move. nourish. believe.

on self-efficacy: how to build it

on being a superhero: 7 tips

on being a fitness instructor: positive cues

on my ‘must try these workouts’ list: one. two. three. four. five (great post and a MUST try workout). six.

on my ‘i want to eat all the foods’ list: one. two. three. four. fivesix

on my ‘favorite frills and chambry shirt look’ list: one (i WANT!). two. three. four. fivesix

on my ‘add to the future home decor notebook’ list : one. two. three. four. fivesix.



so so true. love it.

what are you up too today? any fun day off/holiday plans?
ninja tonight!

make your monday legendary.

- jena.

p.s. what are you looking forward to this week?

want more burpees for breakfast?
find me on facebook. instagram. twitter. bloglovin. and pinterest

on being a size small and feeling pretty


for me, saturday mornings have become a time when i take things slow. relax a bit (either before or after my workout). i love to sip on hot lemon water or eat some pancakes while i read through blogs. or spend time on pinterest. because you can’t pin just one pin. am i right or am i right?

so, i decided saturday’s are the perfect day for this series. hopefully, you will be taking the morning slow, catching up on blogs. hopefully you’ll be able to relate to my ramblings about how i am learning to love my body. hopefully i can encourage you to start learning to love your body.

just think of this as a virtual coffee date of sorts. just girlfriends chatting and encouraging each other.

so grab you lemon water. or coffee. or tea. or a fork for your panckes.
settle in. and read on.

it’s early saturday morning.
just before 7am.
i’ve got my lemon water by my side.
in the mug i’ve had since i was about 5 years old.
i’m sitting on my couch, because my laptop is at the point where it completely dies if i unplug the power cord.
finishing up this post from yesterday.


i’ve had this post in my head for weeks. maybe even a month. i haven’t posted a saturday session in quite sometime.
partly because i haven’t had much to write. but at the same time i have.

my emotions have been kind of all over the place lately.
especially the past 2 weeks. i still haven’t gotten my period (actually not since last saturday session)- but the past two weeks of pms/feeling like it will start any.day. has not made me in the best mood. and has definitely affected the way i’m reacting towards my body.
some days i just think i look terrible no matter what i put on. not pretty at all. even though i know that’s not the case. anyone else hate how that happens?!

the bloat makes me feel fat.
i even thought the other day that i should do some crunches, fast, to get my stomach flat.
and then i laughed at myself. because i know that crunches don’t give you a flat stomach. nor would crunches take away my bloat.
hah! sometimes it’s just good to laugh at yourself.

i’ve graduated to a size small.

i know, i know. is it really that big of deal? remember when i gained 7 pounds a few months ago?
i have been an extra-small for upwards of 3 years.
for 3 years, i’ve been able to pick up that size zero or extra small.
and it would fit.
or be too small.

but yesterday, as i shopped for some new fitness clothes (i hit the jackpot by the way!), because my quads are getting too big for my extra-small shorts, i needed to go up to a size small in most bottoms. (except some super cute underarmour leggings side note: i SERIOUSLY love underarmour clothes. just need to be more rich to afford everything…or find some things on sale someplace?!).
the size small wasn’t tight around my waist. and most importantly, i could squat nice and low without having to hike my shorts up. #win

earlier this week, i decided to wear some jeans. blazing outside, but cool in the office. #typical. since it’s summer, i usually only wear one pair of pants every few weeks. but this time, i pulled out a pair of loft jeans that i’ve had for a few years to wear. they are a well-worn pair of size zero pants and they’ve always been a little big, which is why i don’t often wear them. not this time.

i managed to get them on. over my quads. i did a few lunges to loosen them up. but took them off to try another pair because i did NOT want to be in tight pants all day.  i picked up the second pair of size zero loft pants. usually a bit tighter than the others. and this pair barely fit over my quads. meaning, they did not make it to my waist.

so for poops and giggles yesterday, when i was out shopping, i decided to try a bigger size in pants. fit the quads. but look at that waist gap. i really must get a pair of fitgirl jeans!


now. most girls would be upset about this. and believe me. i had my little freakout.
then i slipped on my other pair of pants that i knew would fit. and went about my day.
like kierston says, if your pants don’t fit…don’t have a fit. right?!

see big quads and size smalls are a good thing.
yes, you read that right.
i have to stop and remind myself why, sometimes a few times a day.
like gaining 7 pounds (make sure to read the post), it means lots of things.
first thing: my body is healing. still.

this whole gut healing journey is a tough road. i have bad days. i have good days. i have days where i make every single meal myself. unprocessed. and days that i eat 2 or 3 bowls of cereal for dinner. sometimes it’s hard to see the progress.
but it’s clear to see the progress now. my body is absorbing nutrients. the gut lining is healing. pretty cool, right?

becoming a quadzilla (borrowing this phrase from neghar) and graduating to a size small means my body is healing.

second thing: i’m getting stronger.

i’m starting to get some decent muscle definition. just look at those photos above.
hello biceps.
i like that. i like being able to see my biceps. to see the different muscles in my quads, in the mirror, at my bodyworks class. it makes me feel strong. makes me feel powerful.

i’m makes me feel pretty.

day 5 of the love your body challenge was yesterday and it was: ‘I am beautiful, on the inside and outside, and I feel especially beautiful when I ….’
…wear a frilly skirt. or an outfit that shows off my muscles.
…when i talk about ending human trafficking. or empowering young girls to not get into society’s standards of beauty.
…when i CRUSH it with a workout.
…when i look at my body and love what i see.

get to the point here jena.
the point is:

embracing body change is hard. especially when it feels like society tells us ladies we need to look a certain way. but learning to love your body, size small shorts, bulging defined biceps and all, takes practice. it takes work.

and it’s work that i am willing to put in. because nothing beats the feeling of walking into the gym and being able to deadlift a shit ton of weight. or do more pull-ups than the guy next to you (still working on this one!). or hold crow pose

nothing beats looking at your body in the mirror and genuinely loving what you see. sometimes learning to love yourself is the easy part, right? but loving that outward appearance can be tricky.

so, what about you? is it hard for you to embrace that physical change in your body? when do you feel most beautiful?

- jena.

want more burpees for breakfast?
find me on facebook. instagram. twitter. bloglovin. and pinterest

friday favorites

we made it to another friday!
and almost finished another month!

today, i’m sharing some of my favorites.
i’ve done a few ‘10 favorites‘ posts before, but since it’s friday, i figured i join other bloggers and do a friday favorites post.
grab that cup of coffee and enjoy.


ed sheeran – thinking out loud.

this song randomly came on to my amy winehouse pandora station and i loved it. then i found it on spotify and contributed like 100+ listens. with ed sheeran, either i hate his stuff or love songs so much that i listen like it’s my job. i absolutely love this song. and of course, i listened to the video to see how it sounded. and i can’t quit listening.

meghan trainor – all about the bass.

another song that i just don’t get tired of. seriously, this song is so great. i mentioned before that it was my jam and it’s still at the top of the list. i’m ready for another song from this gal. love the beat and love the lyrics.


farmer’s carry

i shared a workout that included a farmer’s carry a couple weeks ago. i love this move these days. it works the lats, core and helps develop grip strength.

partner forced workout

last sunday night, i mentioned to the workout bud that he needed to come up with our monday workout. and then he sent it over to me. i was pretty impressed. he always whines about me making the workouts, so after seeing what he came up with, i knew he could create workouts. plus, he’s getting his pt cert, so he needs practice. we did the workout monday and it was a doozy. i was not happy by the end.


however, it was a good sweat sesh. make sure to check it out the post and workout here!


morning glory muffin…waffles

i made some morning glory muffins on sunday. i had some extra batter…because i ran out of muffin liners, so i made a giant waffle. i shared a sneak peak of the last time i did this on insta. and the waffle this time came out a winner again. LOADED with coconut butter and cashew butter. recipe will be up soon! IMG_9718

spirulina chia pudding

i found this recipe from the hummusapien a few weeks ago. i’ve tried chia pudding before but it never really tickled my fancy. until this recipe. love.
so i wondered how it would taste if i added some spirulina to the mix for an extra kick of protein. deliciously green goo. IMG_9651

plus, i ran out of coconut, so i switched up the recipe a bit. new favorite breakfast. snack. pre-workout treat. ANNNNDDD, i add a heaping spoonful to smoothies for extra fat and protein!

adapted from hummusapien



this text from my dad.

i sent this to me a week or so ago. and i was so excited. my dad is a runner. and for father’s day i gave him a booklet of hiit workouts that he requested. then a week or so later he asked about some parkour training workouts. then this. i LOVE that he is so into fitness these days. makes me smile.
i think he is trying to find a few crossfit gyms to learn about lifting and do some practicing. which will have to do until i open my own gym, right?!


tamanu oil

i read tons of articles on tamanu oil and how awesome it is. well, i finally bought a bottle at earthfare and i love it. i feel like it’s helping my face for sure. i hoped it would have magical healing properties and heal my face overnight. wishful thinking. healing the acne is a journey…

the 28 day love your body challenge

so, molly galbraith did this 28 day love your body challenge a few months ago. i participated for the first few days and then off and on for the rest of the challenge. i loved it. i started training a new client last week and mentioned this challenge, in addition to writing a letter to her body. she started on monday, and i decided to join her. loving it again!

new badges

i am SO EXCITED to have 2 new badges on the right side of the blog (peel your eyes away for a minute and take a peek). I found out this week that i was accepted as an ambassador for girls gone sporty! plus, i’m an IDEA inspired blogger (on the front page no less. thanks alphabetical order)! i am so happy to be a part of such an awesome community of fitness and healthy living bloggers! much more to come on this!

bootcampers + burpees

i decided i needed to add this to my list. all 3 of my bootcamp classes ROCKED it out this morning. i created a partner back and bicep workout and every 4 minutes they had to stop and do burpees for a full minute. and they did SO GREAT!


i’m taking my sister to see catching fire in the park tonight! can’t wait!

happy friday!

- jena.

p.s. what are your favorites these days? music, workouts, eats?

want more burpees for breakfast?
find me on facebook. instagram. twitter. bloglovin. and pinterest