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.