Jenn 2’s Summer Slimdown: Progress Report

| August 16, 2013 | 12 Comments

Hi, Adventurers! After boldly proclaiming my weight loss and fitness goals a month ago, I decided that it was high time for an update.

So, let’s start with some of the cold, hard stats and take it from there. So, far I’ve lost just over 5 pounds and 2% body fat. According to my BioSignature Modulation caliper measurements, my insulin resistance has decreased, my testosterone levels have increased, and my body is slowly changing into a fat-burning, rather than fat-storing mechanism. For the last month, I have been supplementing a fairly low-carb diet (damn you, beer!) with four grams of fish oil three times a day, 2 grams of Zinc three times a day, and 2-4 grams of magnesium before bed. That’s a lot of tablets to ingest. And sometimes I forget to take all my supplements with lunch. Oops.

But, more importantly, I feel great! I’m sleeping better, eating better, and just completed my longest bike ride ever—36 miles—last week. I take such pride in that accomplishment! Even two months ago, I couldn’t imagine biking that far.

The couple that bikes together...

The couple that bikes together…

Personal Training

Three weeks ago, I started personal training twice a week with Kevin Kieras at RallySport in Boulder. He’s a strapping 27-year-old mountain bike enthusiast, who loves music and plays guitar. What I love about his style is that he’s not pushing me to the edge of my limits at every session. A previous trainer of mine used to make me run suicides until I could barely stand. I hated this. So. Much. With Kevin, we’re working smart, not needlessly hard. I’m always sore the next day after circuit training, but  not miserable.


My husband and I have started biking together in preparation for our big ride, Rebecca’s Private Idaho, on Labor Day. Currently, we’re doing one 30+ mile ride a week. We have been renting road bikes for the past month. But, starting this week, we’re getting our new bikes and will start cycling more often.

This is crazy to admit as an editor of Women’s Adventure, but until a month ago, I had never even been on a road bike before. I was scared to death of the commitment I had made to complete a 50 mile gravel grinder, because trying to approach major hills on my old 10-speed 1983 Miyata cruiser felt impossible!  I was huffing and puffing and struggling with all my might on inclines. That struggle practically disappears on a 20-speed road bike with great gearing. You can handle anything on a good bike!

I tried ladies bikes by Specialized, Trek, and Surly. Ultimately, I’m getting a Liv/Giant TCX-W cyclocross bike, because it can transistion well from road to dirt and gravel. The hardest part of a long ride for me is that my arms and hands fall asleep, and I get saddle soreness. Of course, by mile 20, my body starts to tire and I slow down.

We now have only three weeks to go. This weekend, I’m headed to a women’s fitness camp in Winter Park, CO, where I plan on covering some major miles on my bike.

Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

On roller skis

On roller skis

A few weeks ago, I tried something scary and new. I was invited to participate in an Adult Invitational at Woodward at Copper. If you’re not familiar with Woodward, it’s ski/snowboard, BMX, and skateboard terrain park training facility (there are several locations accross the country). You can practice jumps and tricks indoors on trampolines and by riding roller skis or snowboards into foam pits. They run popular summer camp programs for kids, but Copper Mountain is starting to promote programs for adults.

Me and a group of journalists spent two days on the snow (yes, there was still snow at Copper in July) and indoors hurling ourselves in foam pits. Let me just tell you that the ultimate exercise (that should be added to any crossfit gym) is pulling yourself out of a foam pit. Wow. Killer.

Doing so many frightening, adreneline-spiked activities over the course of two days was a completely foreign experience. In fact, at the end of the last day, I was almost in tears. I had pushed so much and so far out of my comfort zone that my emotional state was weak.

Do I ever want to do this again? No. Mid-30s’ is a little late to start jumping on skis, thank you very much. Am I happy I did it? Yes. It was a huge challenge and it pushed me to my edge emotionally and physically.

 Where I Need Improvement

First of all, thank you to all the women who have friended me on Secondly, my apologies for being so terrible about tracking my food intake. I feel like I’ve let myself and others down in this area, and I know that my progress would be more significant if I was tracking daily. Therefore, I’m renewing my commitment to using this great tool starting today.

I’ll be back with an update in a few weeks!

Category: Body

About the Author ()

A.K.A. "Jenn 2," I'm here to to engage the wonderful community of women adventurers currently wandering the earth! When I'm not skiing, I love to speak Russian, sing jazz, and ride my bike. Find me on Google +

Comments (12)

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  1. Gail Storey says:

    Jenn, lookin’ goooooood! I’m so glad you’re bringing us up to speed (!) on your fitness and weight-loss progress! It’s really interesting and so multifaceted, especially about pushing yourself to your physical and emotional edges. I did my first Century on an old 10-speed Raleigh–it was insane and took me sixteen hours, but convinced me I should get a better road bike. I loved the video of your Big Jump at Woodward Cooper–you’re a brave woman!

    • Jennifer Davis-Flynn says:

      Gail! I can’t believe that you did a century ride on an old 10-speed! Now that’s chutzpa! I’ll be thinking of you when I’m struggling uphill next. Gail did it. So can I!

  2. Judy Koler says:

    Okay, I do not usually comment, but feel I must!!!! I am 65 yrs old and wish I had done things differently at your age. I commend you!!! Keep it up!!!! You will feel better for it, for years to come. I do try to stay active, too. I hike, bike, and workout at the gym!

  3. s nelson says:

    You go girl! The woman who sent you the nasty note on fb is projecting her own body issues onto you. Stay the course and conquer!

    • Annie Platt says:

      I agree! Too bad you can’t have someone screen these comments for you. What a terrific waste of time and energy on a thoughtless, ignorant letter.
      But I have to laugh too – since when was riding a road bike (as popular as it’s become) the litmus test for fitness and adventure?! Not only is it prohibitively expensive for the average person, but since when was mountain biking not adventurous? Just ask Cam Zinc and his peers!
      The joys in life come from setting goals and working towards them. The journey is the joy – progress, no matter how small, is progress. What I read in your update achieves exactly that. Good luck on your journey!

  4. Merx says:

    Hey Jenn!
    Just saw your article about that nasty letter…Wanted to tell you that i am also second season cycling enthusiast with some extra pounds. Last season i lost with 4 cycling months around 22 lbs and everybody made compliments and encouraged to go on. Then came winter and i gain some back…after what my mum told me that i am like jojo dieter and sister made a snappy comment like “it seems you do not work out anymore”. That hurt like hell but what hurt more was my knees that gave in thanks to over training ( i also started running and doing pilates besides cycling, so i worked out around 5-7 times per week).This season i started cycling again but took it more easily so i could ride and run through the season not end up weeping thanks to knee pain and the main thing is – i have not made my training about weight loss, like some of my friends think, but about the excellent feeling i get while riding or running. So i take my weight loss as bonus to that. Anyway keep up the good work and enjoy the ride 🙂

  5. Jen says:

    Hi Jen! We went to Newhouse together. I am SO proud of you! Way to get the message out there.

  6. Hey Jen, I too read the note (doesn’t strike me as nasty, more like misguided — mythguided??) and your blog post about it.

    I’m writing to point out one of your critic’s most critical errors: She called you out for only losing 5 lb in a month. That betrays a dangerous misunderstanding of what effective dieting looks like. Losing just over 1 lb a week is a GREAT weight loss rate.

    People who drop weight fast tend to gain it back for all kinds of reasons we’ve all heard. You sound like you’re approaching this in a sane way that’s likely to work. Since you’re doing this for yourself and also offering your journey for the inspiration it may provide others, double congratulations!

    One final thought, not intended as criticism but as clarity: I winced at your headline, effective as it was (“Adventure is Not Just for Sexy People”). I get that the word ‘sexy’ was used ironically, but holy cow, I’m 50 and trying to get my head around what ‘sexy’ means when your body is encased in skin that’s beginning to relax like a favorite old tee shirt.

    In my youth I had a job that kept me ultrafit, six-pack abs and all, so I found it easy to think of myself as sexy. Big oops: I am still slim, but my mirror informs me that, as I age, slim and sexy (or at least, my old definition of sexy) are not the same.

    Sexy is a word worth being smart about, even while you’re young. Especially while you’re young. Because if you’re lucky, you won’t stay that way.

  7. Trinity says:

    Five pounds in a month? That’s stellar. I don’t know what the “mean chick” is talking about. Plus, I read this as an “update” not a “I met my total weight loss goal”. Cheers to you chica, may I see you in the hills!

  8. lorriehess says:

    Love the photo of you two with your bikes! You look so happy about biking together it reminds me of how much fun my husband and I have when go on adventures together. Bike on!

  9. Tricia says:

    love that you’re out there! Keep it up!! I am a larger, older woman than you; last year my goal was to walk the Milford Track in New Zealand (freedom walk, carrying own pack, not guided walk with a day pack only!) My friend had to drop out at the last minute with a death in her family; but I did it on my own anyway. People on the track, in the huts at night were kind and friendly, but I imagine that some of them were thinking gee – she’s big. On the longest day (over the pass and down), I didnt get in to the hut til late as I had decided to also do the 2 hour side trip to the falls … one person made a comment about – oh you took a long time, i got in ages ago; “yeah, I almost didnt do the trip to the falls, but there was heaps of daylight and I thought oh, I dont want to regret coming so close and not actually going in there to see the falls – and they were worth it, amazingly beautiful!” I said. Silence. ‘Oh, I was too tired, I didnt do that’ said fit slim young thing. I smiled kindly.

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