Thursday, July 19, 2012

A NEW Part 1! It's never over...

This is the SPAM to SUPERHERO continuum.

Just when you think you are done and have become a lean, light, buff, bright superhero, you are again a can of spam - and will be DRIVEN... COMPELLED... PULLED... PUSHED to once again climb to your next "best".

Way to go Jen! You are an inspiration that there is always a ceiling to bust through.

When do you stop? When you feel like you have arrived at the person you are destined to become.

How will you know. Your gut will guide you. And you won't be able to stop it even if you tried. Life has a funny way of working that way.

Listen. Feel. Dig. Push. Smile. Embrace. Enjoy.

May 5th, 2012. My first Physique Competition

PART 3 - Mini Coop - Solid in Body, Mind & Spirit

My Life After Lean Eating:
Amazing. Different. Meaningful. Scary. Fun. Exciting. Adventurous. Proud.
Those are some ways I can describe my life now. From a physical and body composition point of view, I am stronger, leaner and more muscular than ever. The pictures can show how I look on the outside. But, that pales in comparison to what has happened on the inside.

Thanks to Lean Eating and Precision Nutrition, I have clarity and purpose. I am strong in body and in mind. I have learned what it means to be truly healthy. Being healthy is not merely clocking how many hours you spend working out – it is how you nourish yourself with love, relationships, spirituality, career, and nutrition. I have the utmost respect for my body and for the environment and I choose to eat and live responsibly for both. I have started local discussion groups to increase awareness surrounding health issues that are plaguing our country, and have become involved with various non-profit organizations that are trying to positively impact the well-being of our people and our planet.

Professionally, I have decided to turn my passion into a career. In March I left my position as Director of Rehab Services to pursue fitness and nutrition coaching full time and hope to have my website and business fully up and running early fall.
In order to help me achieve this goal, I have become Precision Nutrition Certified and am currently enrolled in a year-long Health Coaching certification course through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

I encourage all of you to stay strong, give this program everything you have and never lose faith in yourself. Keep an open mind - you never know to what extent your life will be transformed!

Jen Cooper
minicooper13 (PN User Name)

PART 2 - Mini Coop in for Repair

Coach Krista & Mini Coop

Can you see why Jen is "Mini Cooper" (small thing / great package!)

My Life During Lean Eating:

During the program I was completely fascinated by the amount information that I learned. After all, remember, I thought I would have known most of it. I loved every lesson. Whether it pertained to me or not, I soaked it up and took something away from it. I followed the workouts religiously and backed off of the “cardio”.

It didn’t take long before I could see my body changing. More importantly, I could feel it changing. The combination of strength training and nutrition was allowing me to look and feel better than I ever have….and I wasn’t even working out ½ as long as I was previously. I started to feel strong and my energy level was constant though out the day. Nagging knee pain – GONE. Hip pain – GONE. I was feeling empowered both mentally and physically.

By the end of LE, as you can see from the photos, my body composition was drastically different. Interestingly, it was evident by these photos that I was lacking muscle. No wonder I was getting fractures - I did not have the muscle to be able to withstand all of the pounding I was putting my body through. It all made sense. I was a thinner, leaner version of my old self. But I wanted more. It was now time for me to take the lessons I learned and continue to grow – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Mini Cooper Redesign - LEAN EATING Success Story

PART 1 - BEFORE LEAN EATING - Leanish, Meanish "Cardio Queen"

Jen Cooper, known as "Mini Cooper", shares her 2010 Lean Eating success story of evolution & upgrade. Jen is great evidence that one can transform and become their next version of BEST, even when they are starting out "pretty darn good!".

Hello current Lean Eaters! Congratulations on embarking on this amazing journey and investing in your health and happiness. I “graduated” from Lean Eating a little over two years ago (June 2010) and I can tell you with absolute certainty that it was a life changing experience.

My Life Before Lean Eating:

At the time I signed up for LE, I was a 35 year-old endurance junkie. I had just completed my 2nd Ironman Triathlon (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) and had been competing in distance running & triathlons competitively for about six years prior. Throughout these years I incurred numerous stress fractures and other over-training injuries and was putting in about 15-20 hours of training per week. 90% of that time was running, biking and swimming with the remaining 10% dedicated to strength training.

My eating habits were good when you compare them to the rest of America. I cooked most of my meals, consumed lean protein, had ‘some vegetables’, and ate carbs freely (after all, I was an endurance athlete, right?). I rarely had any fried foods, never fast food, and no soft drinks of any kind. Pretty good, huh?

I never had a weight issue, however, I didn’t have the body that I felt I deserved after putting in all of those hours working out. I had an overall lean appearance. But I wanted the athletic build that I saw on others. I wanted the abs that I had 10 years ago. I wanted to look and feel strong and fierce. Despite all of the training I did I felt frail and as if I was one running stride away from another injury. My energy level would fluctuate throughout the day, which I attributed to my training schedule.

Oh – I should also mention that I have a B.S. in Exercise and Sports Science and a Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy. So, I knew everything there was to know about sports performance and healthy eating habits (yeah, right). I had a major case of the “I Know Syndrome”. My rationale for my current state of being was “This is what happens when you turn 35!”. I thought I was doing it all right and this was just the inevitable part of being a female in your mid-thirties.

So, why did I decide to sign up for LE? I don’t know. Devine Intervention I suppose. I guess I still had a ray hope in the back of my mind that I might learn something and perhaps look and/or feel better because of it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lean Eating Again? I say, why not!

I have had quite a few questions the last few days about my thoughts on former clients joining LE July 2012.

Here are my thoughts

Well big YES! Why? Well LE has evolved the last few years in amazing ways just as you have.

Darn cool video I just looked at :-) - cool timing!
It has change a SLEW since you were involved last. Krista Scott Dixon is at the healm of the Lean Eating lesson planning and we have $25,000 in prizes to hand out (and then some!). It's the same price - $99 a month - and it's 50 weeks.

We have found it is much better giving people the time to make real "inside out" kind of change. Heck I have learned SO much from the new program! I follow along and I have lost 8 lbs during this cohort and I wasnt' even trying to. Just following along. So cool. And I found out things about myself and my eating I neve realized before. Proof that you never stop learning and evolving.

And of course we still provide workouts but they have a new architect. - designed by Geoff from Bang Fitness in Toronto. The workouts are brilliant. My body is so fluidly functioning now... I used to have lots of issues and pains. I guess I just needed someone with a Kin background to design my workouts and put me in my place. I am still strong, but different strong :-)

I say, why not girl! :-)


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Getting to the ROOTS of a Problem

First off, I was hesitant to use the word "problem" - rather, think of it as a tension that exists between where one IS and where one WANTS TO BE. Or, think of it as an obstacle to your "best".

This post from a Lean Eater today was so fantastic, I had to share. The research, reflection and self-work that this team and some individuals on this team specifically are doing is simply superb.

You will see she is breaking down the "problem" to its roots - which for her is sugar addiction. And she is then scoring herself in those areas. I personally love self assessment and assigning a score or number as it represents HOPE and GROWTH POTENTIAL! It is actually very motivating!

Here is her post:

Tony Robbins has this theory that when you have a problem, but it's an internal problem rather than an external problem, it's likely that you are in fact fabricating the problem because it somehow meets some of your basic human needs.

You're supposed to identify how your 'problem' is serving your needs and then identify how else you could serve those needs. Here goes:

1. Certainty
This is the need for security, comfort and consistency.

Eating sugary junk food serves my need for certainty on a level of about 7.5 out of 10 because I know exactly how my body will react and how it will make me feel (high, then numb). 7/10

2. Uncertainty
This is need for variety, challenges.

Trying and tasting new foods provides variety to my day, especially because I haven't eaten many of these unhealthy foods for years (though, most still all taste the same in the end!). 6/10

3. Significance
The need to feel important, needed, wanted and worthy of love.

Just having 'a problem' makes me more significant. My grandma watches in horror as I devour a whole packet of cookies one after the other, I tell my mom I don't have any control over myself and it's her responsibility not to expose me to junk food. I make special threads on this forum all about me and my problems and ask for attention and advice. 6/10

4. Love and Connection
The need for feeling connected with and loved by other human beings.

Maybe there's an element of that on this forum. Connecting by sharing this problem. 3/10

5. Growth
The need for constant development emotionally, intellectually and spiritually
By having this problem, I'm becoming more aware of my thoughts, feelings and actions in day to day life. 3/10

6. Contribution

Giving beyond ourselves and giving to others.

I'm also trying to share my experiences and advice here. As a personal trainer I hope that my experience with this 'problem' will help me to help others overcome similar difficulties in future.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sexify your Plate!

Veggies get a bad rap! "Boring", "Yucky!", "Too much time to prepare!", "Not satisfying".

I say, not at all true! Veggies are have the TRIPLE S FACTOR! They are simple, satisfying and sexy!

What? Sexy? You got it! When you look, feel and perform better - you get sexified!

They are loaded with nutrients, make your meals more flavourful, colourful and satisfying. Oh, we have another S-word! Success! Veggies also help you be successful with pretty much any and every health, fitness, longevity, wellness, weight loss, fat loss and performance goal.


Coach Krista's Top 3 Veggies Sexification Tips

1) Practice! Were you born an amazing and confident lover? Everything takes practice including learning to love veggies. To get better at something and to allow the body to adapt (yes taste buds adapt), you simply have to get started and keep at it. Example: Make it a goal to get ONE more veggie a day and ONE new veggie a week.

2) Experiment. We get bored of the same old, same old - no matter how "in love" you are. Relationship or radishes - it applies equally. Ever roasted radishes? How about steaming them along with garlic and cauliflower and making a mash substitute? You get it. Get creative. Get excited!

3) Flavour flavour! Chocolate is meant for baking but it also heats up the bedroom. Garlic is not just for keeping vampires away. Adding flavourful, nutrient loaded veggies such as garlic, onions, ginger and fresh herbs can revive a lifeless meal and give it new mojo!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Meet Elev8 - Lean Eating MENTOR

Meet Desdamona - Lean Eating MENTOR

My name is Jennifer Bryan, and I am honored to have been chosen as one of your mentors. I first started Lean Eating in August of 2010 and then went through it again with the January, 2011 group. I wasn't a finalist in either group. I didn't win any of the prizes that would have brought my picture to your attention. You have no reason to know my name or who I am, yet you are my prize and truly the one that means the most to me. Again, I am truly honored to be given the opportunity to share this journey with you and hopefully help ease the way just a little bit.

Since you likely know little if anything about me, let me tell you a bit about who I am. I'm 38 years old, married with a 12-year-old golden retriever named Abbie and a 2-year-old German shepherd named Luna.

I work 12 hour night shifts in the emergency department between 10 and 12 shifts per month. On those days when I'm not working, I play hard--scuba diving, kayaking, hiking, taking pictures, going places in our motor home, or just spending every possible minute with my family. Every couple of months or so, I make the 600+ mile trip to the place where I grew up to visit my family there and take care of a few things with my aging mother. My history with food is sordid. I have been anorexic. I have weighed somewhere north of 220 pounds, afraid to weigh because I didn't want to see the real number. I have been afraid of food. Food has been my best friend. I love to move and love to be outside. Exercise and sunshine literally keep me sane, a lesson I learned in my late 20's. Unfortunately exercise and sunshine to do not keep the fat away. I make my home at the end of a one lane dirt road, my gym a trail through the property and some well-chosen equipment under the carport on our shop. I share these things with you in hopes that you will find some common ground in there somewhere and see that things aren't always easy for me, and my life is not perfect. What I have found with Precision Nutrition and Lean Eating is a way to manage the imperfections and come out healthier on the other side.


During my first round of Lean Eating, which was at that point a six month program, I lost about 17 pounds. I spent that round learning again how to incorporate the eating habits that I already knew were best for me but had somehow had difficulty implementing. Losing the first pounds took a full three months of consistency, but the losing eventually came--when the believing came, when I began to overcome the obstacles in my mind. That round was about following the habits and believing in them. The second round was about following my heart and believing in myself. Having incorporated the habits and already believing in them, I was able to begin to believe in myself and begin to find the things in my life that were holding me back which in turn made the habits easier, the cravings less, living the habits something that just was instead of something at which I had to work. Right now this might seem like insanity to you, a bunch of touchy-feely hoodoo, but as the next year goes along, I encourage you to open your mind to the possibility that your nutrition might not be where you want it to be because there might just be parts of your life that are not where you want them to be. Then again, your nutrition might not be where you want it to be because you buy too much pie.

Regardless, I look forward to helping clear this path for you as you take this journey. Feel free to reach out via the messaging system or the forums with any questions you might have for me or if there is anything with which I can help you. Should you find yourself more curious about me, click on my screen name, then on "view public profile." You'll find lots of photos there of me, my girls, my gym, and my antics. And in my signature is a link to my log, my place for all the grisly details.

Best wishes, ladies!