CONGRATS TO OUR 2017 TOUR TO SUMMER: RISE OF THE REBEL CHALLENGE WINNER, JENNIFER CANFIELD!
You’ve probably seen her on socials as @grit_and_grace3 – with her ever-evolving ‘rockstar’ pink hair, funny captions and positive vibes. We’ve included her full entry below where she speaks candidly about herself and her family, showing how the trials and tribulations of life ultimately affect how we treat ourselves and our own bodies while trying to support and cope with what is happening around us. We found Jennifer’s journey to be both profoundly difficult and foreign, yet at the same time – and we credit this to her honesty & writing – relatable. At wildly different scales, we all have our challenges and look for ways to find joy, inspiration and ultimately, our inner strength. Through an extremely challenging hand, Jennifer found ways – and the time – to honor her INNER REBEL and still support her family AND our community.
Thank you Jennifer, we can’t wait to meet you and you are going to be an amazing POUND PRO!!!!
Read below for Jennifer’s story and winning entry 🙂
1. A little about YOU…:
I am from a small Indiana town, called Vevay. I am a Special Education Paraprofessional, I work with students with Emotional Disabilities. I am also a Board Member for our Local Community Foundation that supports Cancer patients.
I grew up here, but was swept away at 20, when I met my Military husband. I have three children, who are my everything. Both of my boys are Autistic, so I have to keep things very structured. I am fortunate to have a wonderful support group now, because I didn’t always have that. When we lived overseas, my boys were nonverbal, there were a lot of meltdowns. When we would go out in public, people would stare, not knowing that they were just trying to tell me something. My husband was deployed at the time, so I cooped myself up and ate my feelings.
When we moved back stateside, I went to the gym every day and ate healthy. I lost over 100 lbs and I was starting to feel normal again. In 2011, I suffered a Grand Mal Seizure, I had been having them, unknowingly, for over a year. I was put on a very high dose of medication that caused a significant weight gain, almost 60 lbs. I had worked so hard, only to have a medicine, I had to take, put back on weight.
I was working on losing the weight, when my dad became very ill. We were traveling to and from the hospital every day for almost 2 months. Fast food and sitting all day, this didn’t help. I had plans to start exercising and dieting, but just 3 months after my dad passed, my mom was diagnosed with Cancer. Trips to hospital and long days at Chemo, meant eating the fast, unhealthy foods again. I wanted to do something huge to celebrate my mom. ‘Be Brave, Be Bold, Go Bald’ in support of all fighting Cancer was launched, October 2016. Several staff members told the students, if they raised $2,000, we would shave our heads. We raised over $3,000 for our local Cancer Center and I rocked the shaved side. I was so empowered by this; seeing the kids raise this money, my mom taking off her wig in front of over 400 High School students. I knew that if she could do this; the loss of my dad, battle this horrible disease, then walk out on that Gym floor the way she did, I could battle my weight struggle.
I have struggled with my weight my whole life, I decided that I had already changed my mind and soul, it was time for me to feel better. POUND first came to my town 4 months ago and I have only missed 2 classes. It has changed me, I don’t make excuses to why I can’t go, I find solutions so that I don’t miss. I have so much confidence now, I don’t worry what the scale says anymore, because I can see the physical changes.
2. Are you a POUND Pro?:
3. How did you incorporate POUND into your workout regime?:
Rise of the Rebel Weekly Workouts
4. The WHY behind joining TOUR:
I saw a quote once that said “Your only limit is you”, I wanted to see how far I could make it through, I couldn’t believe it when I was finishing up week 4. I had a lot of support from my Pound Instructor and Posse.
5. The JOURNEY…:
This past month as been amazing. I was not only able to work on my body, but on my mind and soul as well. Pound class for me is an amazing stress reliever for me. The University of Wisconsin-Madison did a study that stated, ‘mothers of children with Autism have stress levels comparable to combat veterans.’ I would never compare my daily life to what my husband went through, but the stress is decently high. I now use exercise to slip away from my every day mom worries and for 45 minutes, become a ROCKSTAR! By doing this, it is not only better for me, but for my children as well.
I incorporated all the weekly themes and continue to live by them even though the tour has ended. I was brave enough to challenge myself to workout a little longer and a little stronger each time I went back to the gym, to Pound a little harder and squat a little deeper each class.
My boldness came in the form of trying new foods that I never would have before. When the Mixtape meals came each week, I wasn’t crazy about them at first; I guess that’s where the saying ‘you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover’ would come into play, but once I opened myself up to new possibilities, I was surprised by what I liked. If I could put the Green Goddess Dressing on everything, I probably would. I loved the banana chips, whenever I had a sweet tooth, this is what I went for and I found my love of Oatmeal during this journey because of the Overnight Oats.
The motivation that I received from others started a chain reaction, I was so full of enthusiasm that I couldn’t contain cheering on others, this is how I choose to Be Good. I also remember to stop and breath every once in awhile. Being a mom of 3, I sometimes forget to focus on myself. Since starting the tour, I often sneak away while the kids are occupied and lie in my hammock for a few moments. Be YOUnique, this is something people in a small town often struggle with. I am a very loud, outspoken, vivid person. When week one workout came and I watched it, I was mesmerized. Everyone was flipping their hair and whooping. I went to Pound the following day and told my instructor, “I want to rock out like they do!” This is when she started calling me out in class: ‘I see you Jenn’ and ‘Way to get low, Jenn’. By doing this, she taught me to open up more and I did!
6. Tell us how you really feel…:
On this journey, I learned that it is not only about improving your health by changing your eating habits and working out, it is also about detoxifying the inner YOU. My family is the central focus of my life, I’ve always worried about others. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing or that I have stopped, but I learned that it is time to take care of me, there is more than being a daughter, wife, mother.
By becoming self-aware during this tour, I had to focus on what motivated me, what were MY visions for myself. I realized, that I love exercise. Not your typical ‘going to the gym, running on the treadmill’ exercise. I loved, music enthused, heart pumping, sweat dripping cardio! I envisioned myself a strong, toned, healthy person and I held on to that.
I saw my biggest growth with my endurance, both physically and mentally. I went from hardly being able to get through one POUND, to attending 3 a week and going to HIIT classes; most of the time working out during the day before hand. When my body was hurting and I was exhausted, I tried to lay on the couch with excuses, but instead I got up and worked out more. 30 days ago, I never would have imagined me bribing my kids to be good so I could go to the gym instead of bribing them to be quite so I could nap on the couch.
7. Finding your INNER FITNESS REBEL:
Finding my fitness rebel was incredible. I never would have imagined myself wanting to get up and workout 6 days a week, encouraging others, having so much enthusiasm over exercise! Who knew getting in shape could be so much fun, while being rewarding too. In April, I wanted to become a PoundPro, but financial responsibilities quickly fizzled that dream. I felt pretty defeated, that no matter how much I wanted it, there was always going to be something more important. When I started this tour in May, I went back to envisioning where I wanted to see myself in the future. I contemplated the idea of me teaching a class again and man, the idea of it felt great. I started putting back a little money from each of my paychecks and I am planning on going in August. This journey has helped me realized that I can be what I want and following my dreams. Did I ever in a million years think I would want to be a fitness instructor, heck no, but that is what has opened up inside me throughout these 30 days. I realized that I am capable of taking care of family and taking care of myself too.
8. Getting by with a little help from your friends…:
I had so much love and support from my Pound Instructor, Niccole Hunt and my Posse. The encouragement we all had for each other to continue was tremendous, impressive and memorable.
I also had all the support from my husband and mom, they have been there for the not so pretty moments. When I hurt my knee at the end of week 3, it was them, along with Niccole, that reminded me to listen to my body. I was very hard on myself and always wanted to push harder, but the 3 of them were always in my head telling me to take it easy.
I have found a great friend in my Pound Instructor, Niccole, she is truly a wonderful person.
I also made a ton of new friends via Instagram. Morissa Foster and I would commented back and forth on each others posts and I even mentioned traveling to Texas to attend one of her classes. It is always fun to connect with others.
9. How you MADE NOISE:
Instagram @grit_and_grace3 I was posting pictures every day, by doing this I helped encourage others in our community to come try out the class. I am not a person who likes fancy things, I LOVE to get praise or props for something. It does something to the feelers that money can’t buy. When someone would come to class and say they came because they saw all of my posts, I would ignite inside! I feel that not only has my energy resonated to others in my community, but on to my family as well. My oldest son loves to come with me to class every once in awhile and my entire family is now eating healthier.
We see you, Jenn, and we can’t wait to ROCK WITH YOU! <3 <3 <3