Summoning the Spark
Posted On Aug 23, 2016
80 pounds lighter, with a booming fitness career on her hands, Jennifer Nicole Lee is proving we can carve out those curves in ways that work with our lives.
By Ruchel Louis Coetzee
Losing 80 pounds in a year is a celebration in itself. But imagine, though, going on to win the Miss Bikini America contest, and then becoming an international fitness guru? It’s nothing short of a miracle. Jennifer Nicole Lee, CEO and visionary powerhouse behind JNL Worldwide Inc., has cracked the diet and fitness code. She is quickly becoming an inspiration to overworked, overweight, over stressed women who are disillusioned with their own failed yo-yo attempts at weight loss. Her 30-minute workouts on her new website, Joltofjnl.com, will surely inspire the disheartened and fire up the desire to get moving. Here, she shares her thoughts on psyching ourselves up and becoming new people, inside and out.
Where did you find the motivation to lose 80 pounds after the birth of your second child?
Frustration was my biggest motivation. I was sick and tired of not having enough energy to take care of my sons, let alone myself. I started to educate myself, researching top fitness magazines and health books, and I found that most of the advice was focused on weight training, cardio, and eating specific foods throughout the day. I started to implement that philosophy into my lifestyle and the fat slowly started to melt off.
Following such advice is easier said than done when small children or work demand your time. What’s the answer?
You have to learn to be guarded and protective of your time. A lot of women say “yes” to everybody and “no” to themselves. You have to put yourself back on your to-do list. While my sons were still young, I waited until they were sleeping and then went straight to my exercise DVDs or did some cardio. I set up a little gym area in my home where I could train instead of spending time, money, and energy driving to a gym. A lot can be done in 30 minutes, if you focus.
How long did the journey take from losing your first pound to winning the Miss Bikini America competition?
It took about a year, and I enjoyed it more when I started to see the little improvements. I found all the top success secrets and was neither over-training nor under-eating, and I’m very healthy now. Strong is the new skinny.
Where did you find the drive to morph from mom, wife, and Miss Bikini to the international fitness guru you are today?
I think it comes from deep in my childhood. What motivated me was seeing my mother suffer in her own emotional eating and lack of financial freedom. I said to myself that I want to be the best mom I can be and the best woman to empower other women to be successful. I started on my journey not only to lose weight but also to recreate myself from the inside out. You see a lot of “beautiful” people but inside they are as dry as a desert.
What advice do you have for those who fear the signs of aging?
It’s all about self-love and self-respect. If you exercise those two concepts each day, you will enjoy the journey, and you find yourself 50 years young, not 50 years old. It’s okay to age gracefully. Wear those wrinkles with pride.
Describe how the JNL Fusion Workout works?
I weave cardio in between the weight training sets and you can do it all at home. The workouts are no longer than 30 minutes long and they include a total body workout, which increases your stamina and endurance at the same time.
What about the guilt we always have about ourselves?
I want women to really stop the negative self-talk because we’re just beating ourselves up and it doesn’t help us. A guilt trip is one thing that should not be on your passport. I would like for everyone to celebrate doing something healthy. Fitness and beauty are not a one-time event. You don’t get a facial once and think you are going to have great skin for the rest of your life. It’s a journey to be enjoyed.
How does your 30-minute workout work?
For a one-time fee of $47, you get access to the program at Joltofjnl.com to the four quadrants of your life: Fitness and Exercise, Diet and Nutrition, Motivation and Inspiration, and Fashion, Hair and Make-up. Women can watch the videos on their smartphones or laptops at their own pace.
How do you feel about those who are always negative around you?
Toxic relationships and toxic people can really pull you away from reaching your goals and enjoying life. You are as good as the people you surround yourself with, so it’s important to have a good support system in place.
When people think of losing weight they think they have to give up all the food they crave. What is your philosophy?
I believe in “everything in moderation.” Every woman out there has been on a restrictive, calorie-conscious diet and they were all miserable. I believe in eating the super foods that give you energy, and I love a glass of Champagne or a piece of cake once in a while. When you restrict yourself too much, you wind up eating the whole cake.
You’re such a positive person, but do you have any regrets?
I believe in having a positive mindset, even about “failures.” There’s no such thing as failing; there are only results. Every woman knows life isn’t easy, and we’re always trying to compete with each other. I don’t want to compete. I want every woman to succeed. Even in their darkest moments, women can learn and become stronger.