Article by Authority Magazine

Maintaining a healthy body weight and balanced hormones would be to maintain a good supplement regiment. I feel like we all should be on a good multivitamin, vitamin D, B vitamins, omegas, perhaps a great collagen, and even a good MCT Oil. All these supplements will help your body function properly. If I may throw a bonus in here, another thing that I find helps us lead a healthy life is to live a life of gratitude and joy. When we are grateful for the life that we have been given, the bodies that we have been blessed with, and the blessings that we have been given in this country, we can live a life of abundance. We have so many things to be joyful for. If we are not willing to recognize all of our joys, we can’t truly live a life of health and balance.

In this interview series called “5 Things You Need To Do To Achieve A Healthy Body Weight And Keep It Permanently” we are interviewing health and wellness professionals who can share lessons from their research and experience about how to do this.

As a part of this series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jen Robinson.

Jen Robinson is a wife, a mother and a health and fitness mentor with more than 20 years of experience. She currently works with clients at the BeBalanced Natural Weight Loss Center in York, Pennsylvania as a Natural Hormone Balancing Specialist. She holds degrees as a Physical Fitness Specialist, a Natural Hormone Balancing Specialist, an I.S.M.A Master Fitness Trainer, a Sport’s Nutritionist, and a Primal Health Coach. She also holds multiple certifications in the fitness industry. Most recently, Robinson graduated with honors from the Rare Faith Institute for Mindset Mastery as well as Joyful Heart Mastery to become a mentor. From 2003–2010, Robinson was a nationally ranked competitive bodybuilder in the NPC.

I was born in Texas, and I am a Texas girl through and through. My father was in the Navy, so we lived in California from the time I was five years old until I turned 10. We then moved back to Texas until I was 13 years old. After that, we moved to Pennsylvania. Through all the moves, I became serious about gymnastics and competitive cheerleading. I genuinely believe that experience inspired my love for fitness and healthy nutrition.

In order to be a competitive athlete, I needed to look the part and be healthy in order to recover properly from injuries. I’ve carried that mindset through my adult life. I had an opportunity to cheer in college but chose to go back to Texas to be closer to family. However, during one summer vacation I went back east to visit my mom and met my now husband. We got married exactly eight months later and have been together for 23 years.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career? We’d love to hear the story.

My parents wanted me to be an attorney and my father wanted me to follow him into the Navy, but my love for gymnastics and cheerleading fueled a love for nutrition and fitness. I worked part-time for World Gym in Amarillo, Texas, and I quickly realized that I had a love for helping people with their fitness journey. I joined Physical Fitness Specialist program and minored in nutrition while in college. I had one teacher there that really, really inspired me to keep further my education with additional schooling and certifications.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

My mom and I had a challenging relationship when I was growing up, but I do feel like she has always been there to support me in all my decisions — good and bad. Whether I liked it or not, she always pushed me to do the best I could. I would also say my husband has pushed me to believe in myself and go after the things that I want in life. He truly is my biggest fan, my support, my rock, my love. With that being said, it truly is hard for me to say that one specific person has shaped my life when there’s truly been so many amazing people who have had my best interest at heart.

Since joining the BeBalanced team almost four years ago, Paget Rhee has continually supported me in the furthering of my education. She continually encourages her whole team to step outside the box and grow. I’d also like to thank my best friend and her husband for supporting me in so many ways throughout my career. They were instrumental in shaping my career as a bodybuilder. They believed in me when I didn’t feel like I had it in me to compete at a national level. Her husband also taught me that what I want in life and what I think about I will attract as long as I move my feet at least one step forward every day to reach my dreams. “What we think, we become,“ — Buddha

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

I honestly cannot think of an answer for this question.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“Healthy decisions today will lead you to a healthier tomorrow.” I have put this quote to practice in my 20-year personal training career. I feel that it is an important lesson in life because we forget that every decision we make today determines how our future will look. Another quote that is very similar but just as important says, “if you don’t take the time now for your health, you will be forced in the future to take care of your medical needs.”

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

Currently, I’m working on the Balanced Living Content. This program was put together to help our clients move forward with further education after they complete the BeBalanced main program. Our hope is to give clients a support group that meets once a week, and to keep them interested in learning about different health practices. We learned the different styles of intermittent fasting and how they can continue to benefit us after completing the main program.

Mostly recently, we started our “12 principles to live a healthy life through gratitude and joy” program. So far, the class has been amazing, and there has been a lot of breakthroughs with some of the students. We call them a-ha moments. Our goal with this class is to create 6 to 12 programs that we can cycle through each month.

For the benefit of our readers, can you briefly let us know why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field?

I have a background in kinesiology, a degree as a Physical Fitness Specialist, I am an I.S.M.A Master Fitness Trainer, and a Sport’s Nutritionist. I also hold multiple certifications in the fitness industry. During COVID19, I decided to put myself back through some more schooling through Primal Health Coach Institute, Mindset Mastery through the Rare Faith Institute, as well as Joyful Heart Mastery.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about achieving a healthy body weight. Let’s begin with a basic definition of terms so that all of us are on the same page. How do you define a “Healthy Body Weight”?

How do I define healthy body weight? That is a good question. There are so many variables to take into consideration. Some professionals choose to refer to the Body Mass Index Charts (BMI) to look for a healthy body weight, but I personally am not a fan of it since it does not take into consideration lean muscle tissue. I am considered morbidly obese by the BMI chart; I am 5 feet tall and 140 pounds, but I only have 22% body fat and I’m only a size 4. We can use that chart for clients who are not into fitness, do not like working out, or are majorly unhealthy. Some professionals will go strictly off body fat composition and waist to hip testing. We at BeBalanced Natural Weight Loss Centers are looking to help our clients have a well-rounded healthy mind and body.

Over the course of their program, we are encourage them to judge their progress by how they are feeling, if they’re reducing their intake of medications, if their health issues are improving, and their symptoms are lessening. We are also teaching them stress management techniques. Ultimately, we want our clients to be able to tell when their body does not feel healthy. We want our clients to be able to play with their children, keep up with their grandchildren, get out in nature and go for a hike or a bike ride when they want to and not have to worry about their body aching and not feeling good. To wrap it up, my definition of a healthy body weight would be a weight that I can maintain through healthy/clean eating, exercise/daily movement, stress management, and good clean supplements.

How can an individual learn what is a healthy body weight for them? How can we discern what is “too overweight” or what is “too underweight”?

I think that the best answer to that question would be for the person to schedule a complementary consultation with one of our amazing consultants with any of the BeBalanced Natural Weight Loss Centers.

This might be intuitive to you, but it will be instructive to expressly articulate this. Can you please share a few reasons why being over your healthy body weight, or under your healthy body weight, can be harmful to your health?

There are a lot of obvious reasons why being overweight or underweight can wreak havoc on our bodies. Through our research at BeBalanced, we know that excess body fat is one of the main causes of estrogen dominance. Not only does fat tissue absorb and store estrogen in our bloodstream, but it also synthesizes estrogen from other hormones. The more fat cells you have, the more estrogen the body will make. The more estrogen your body makes, the more fat stores. And the cycle goes on and on.

When a woman (or a man) is estrogen dominant, they will suffer from frustrating symptoms such as mood swings, bad period symptoms, excess weight around the midsection, hips, and thighs. Some additional symptoms could even be high cholesterol, high blood pressure or thyroid issues. In some severe cases of estrogen dominance, we see a higher link to breast cancer. Being estrogen dominant can also come with a lot of additional symptoms such as low sex drive, depression, anxiety, brain fog, and more. The same things can occur in someone who is underweight. Underweight women are not likely to get a period at all or will have very irregular periods. They may also be unable to conceive children or will suffer from the other symptoms listed above.

In contrast, can you help articulate a few examples of how a person who achieves and maintains a healthy body weight will feel better and perform better in many areas of life?

When you are healthy and your body is balanced, you are going to be able to do so much more in your daily life. We hear so many wonderful stories from people who are finally able to do the things like get out in the backyard and play with their grandkids or kids. We’ve heard that women who wouldn’t have tried adventurous things before are now getting out and hiking, paddle boarding, going on excursions, etc. I’ve had people come to me who were diagnosed with fibromyalgia but, because of their work with us, are finding that the inflammation in their joints is going away and they are able to do so much more in their day-to-day life.

My favorite thing is when we have a thyroid client who initially was taking a lot of medications are coming off certain prescriptions or decreasing dosage. When you balance your body and are at a healthy weight, your blood pressure improves, your cholesterol comes down, your resting heart rate comes down, the inflammation in your body decreases, and, my personal favorite just because I was labeled an insomniac at one point in my life, you’re finally able to get a restful night’s sleep.

Ok, fantastic. Here is the main question of our discussion. Can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Do To Achieve a Healthy Body Weight And Keep It Permanently?”. If you can, please share a story or an example for each.

At BeBalanced, we teach our clients how to build a healthy, holistic lifestyle that is maintainable. All five of these things will help keep our bodies and hormones balanced.

  1. First, we want to make sure that we have a well-balanced, whole food-based eating plan. We teach our clients about good fats, healthy/clean proteins, low glycemic fruits, lots of veggies, and occasionally building in some healthy carbohydrates other than fruit. Through our 14-week program, we are teaching our clients how to determine what foods work best for their body so that they can eat intuitively moving forward.
  2. Second, in order to maintain a healthy body weight and balance hormones you must manage stressors. We teach our clients stress management techniques as well as encourage yoga, Pilates, and just simply getting out in nature.
  3. The third thing is to help clients understand the importance of keeping their progesterone up, cortisol down, blood sugar stable, and insulin production normal. The fourth thing that we recommend is definitely getting daily movement and an exercise in every day. I encourage my clients to do at least three days of resistance training even if it’s just movements like push-ups, planks, pull ups, or squats. I also encourage active recovery/cardio 5–6 days per week such walking, hiking, biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, etc. These types of exercises produce less stress on the body and keep cortisol production low. I understand that traditional exercise rules say to do 30 minutes to an hour of steady state cardio at least five days a week, but think about it this way, if you had to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes in a crowded gym or go for a 30-minute walk which one would be create more stress for you?
  4. Another thing that I teach my clients is to train intuitively. If you are scheduled to do a legwork out on Wednesday, but you are truly not feeling enough energy to do that work out then listen to your body and train what you are feeling like doing.
  5. The fifth tip for maintaining a healthy body weight and balanced hormones would be to maintain a good supplement regiment. I feel like we all should be on a good multivitamin, vitamin D, B vitamins, omegas, perhaps a great collagen, and even a good MCT Oil. All these supplements will help your body function properly.
  6. If I may throw a bonus in here, another thing that I find helps us lead a healthy life is to live a life of gratitude and joy. When we are grateful for the life that we have been given, the bodies that we have been blessed with, and the blessings that we have been given in this country, we can live a life of abundance. We have so many things to be joyful for. If we are not willing to recognize all of our joys, we can’t truly live a life of health and balance.

The emphasis of this series is how to maintain an ideal weight for the long term, and how to avoid yo-yo dieting. Specifically, how does a person who loses weight maintain that permanently and sustainably?

I feel that we live and maintain a healthy balanced life through the five steps above. Eating a well-balanced diet, stress management, maintaining balanced hormone levels, daily movement and resistance training, maintaining a well-balanced supplement regimen, and living a life of gratitude and joy.

What are a few of the most common mistakes you have seen people make when they try to lose weight? What errors cause people to just snap back to their old unhealthy selves? What can they do to avoid those mistakes?

One of the biggest mistakes that I find people make when trying to commit to a healthy lifestyle is making too many big changes at once. At BeBalanced, we break our program down into five phases to help clients move through these different changes over a course of 14 weeks minimum.

How do we take all this information and integrate it into our actual lives? The truth is that we all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

Sometimes it can be difficult to make lifestyle changes to better our health. However, when you meet with a Bebalanced coach, they will be there to help guide you through this process of elimination and rebuilding. One of the biggest hurdles that we find with clients is old habits and failed diets in the past. When I meet with a potential client, I try to figure out what these blockages are and what stage of change the client is at. I use a process known as the Transtheoretical Model, otherwise known as the Stages of Change Model, which was put together by a researcher named James Prochaska in the 1970s.

Through this process, and some good old fashion motivational interviewing, I can help determine what stage of change a client is at. Are they at the precontemplation stage with, “I am just getting information, but I’m not willing to change yet,” the contemplation stage, “I am listening but I’m not quite ready to change yet,” the preparation or determination stage, “I’m ready for help…please help me,” and then the action stage, “let’s do this! what do I need to do? I’m ready to turn over a new leaf in my life!” Once they are at that point, I love to use in my practice the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting (more on that below). This will help them set attainable goals for their journey. My job as their coach is too just be there for them, provide the tools for their goals, and to help them stay on track. Through this process, the clients can come up with their own solution and strategy that they are willing to stick with.

On the flip side, how can we prevent these ideas from just being trapped in a rarified, theoretical ideal that never gets put into practice? What specific habits can we develop to take these intellectual ideas and integrate them into our normal routine?

I truly believe that having a coach or a partner by your side and setting realistic goals through the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting will help a person stay on track. To clarify, the S stands for specific, so be specific on the goals that you want to accomplish. The M stands for measurable. We find that motivation is spurred by measurable progress. Therefore, we need to be able to celebrate all the little milestones even if it’s only .2 lbs. on the scale. The A stands for attainable. It’s so important to have a coach or a partner be able to keep perspective in check. If the goal is not attainable then you are setting yourself up for failure. The R stands for relevant. The goal must be relevant to the client not to the coach or partner. If the goal doesn’t resonate with the client, he or she is not going to work as hard to reach the goal. The T stands for time specific. We do find that most people are motivated by a deadline. For example, I’m going on vacation in July would motivate me to make sure that I am staying focused with my nutrition and workouts so that I can wear my swimsuits.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

For so many years, I lived by the philosophy that I had to beat my body up in a gym and eat crappy tasting food in order to look a certain way. I feel like I have already started this movement in my Balanced Living classes as well as with my BeBalanced clients. I know that this isn’t a new thing, but I want people to love the body they were blessed with. I want people to stop living by counting calories or macros and learn to eat intuitively once they know what foods work best for their body.

To live a healthy life, we just don’t need to live by such strict standards. I want people to train and workout based on how they feel. To train intuitively. So many of us in this profession get so hung up on the numbers. Honestly, what really matters is how we feel inside. Not too long ago, I read a quote that said, “when our internal foundation is solid, nothing can rock our external foundation.” I cannot remember who said this quote, but ever since I read it, it has stuck with me like glue.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 

Oh wow! This question is loaded since there are so many amazing people that I would love to sit down and have a wonderful meal with. Out of all the questions I think this is the hardest one. The first person that comes to mind is Shawn Stevenson. All the podcasts and books that I have read or listened to from him, I feel like he is a male version of me and my personal coaching. Although, he is way more educated than me! When I listen to his podcast or read his books, I will come across things all the time and say to myself, “oh my gosh! I teach that already or I absolutely agree with that statement!” I would love to sit down with him and collaborate!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

First off, thank you for giving BeBalanced and me this opportunity to chat about some of our loves, health, nutrition and fitness! People can reach out to me through Facebook… Jen Robinson, my email address and through our website.

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