Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January's Healthy Chick of the Month - Jennifer Lee


I chose Miss Jenn to be January's Healthy Chick because she always impresses me! I wanted to start 2013 with one of the healthiest, most energetic people I know! She is extremely committed to exercise and nutrition and has a big heart. If you ask her a question about either subjects she would be more than happy to answer. I have had the pleasure of working with Jenn and jumping on the Move Fitness train, and let me tell ya......I am enjoying the ride!

Age: 39
Occupation: Owner, MOVE Fitness & Associate Director Of Technology, StreetAccount FactSet
website: http://www.move-fitness.com

Have you always been a Healthy Chick? 

Yes and no. I’ve always been active, growing up as a figure skater and martial artist. I’ve had gym memberships and lifted weights since high school. I remember going to Nautilus Plus in Revere and taking aerobics at Kathy’s Place way back when it was at the Sons of Italy.  I don’t eat fried food, white bread, pasta, butter, mayo, artificial sweeteners and am not much of a meat eater. BUT, I do love chocolate.

What motivates you every day to stay healthy? 

There was a point when I was down to 112 lbs when I was training for Boston. I had very low body fat, ate like an athlete and everyone told me I looked sick.  I don’t think “skinny” suits me. I’m more of a “strong” chick.  I feel best when I’ve got some defined muscle. Now I worry less about the scale and more about how I feel. 

"I don’t think “skinny” suits me. I’m more of a “strong” chick.  I feel best when I’ve got some defined muscle. Now I worry less about the scale and more about how I feel."

What certifications do you have?  

·      Personal Training Certifications from American Council on Exercise and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
·      Precision Nutrition, Certified Nutrition Coach
·      Spinning® Star 3
·      Zumba (B1 & B2), Zumba Gold, Zumbatomic
·      TRX
·      BTS Group Kick & Group Groove
·      Art of Strength Kettlebell & Ropes
·      Punk Rope

When did you start MOVE?  

Ron called me as I was standing in line to board a plane to Los Angeles, on a post-divorce-who-the-hell-am-I trip.  He said “Jenn, what do you think about opening a gym in the old video store in Michaels Mall?”.  I replied “keep talking…”  That was 2007. He had a business plan already written. We had trouble getting into the space with zoning etc so we started with outdoor boot camps and personal training in a 900 sq foot “proof of concept” studio in my house. It was successful. In Dec 2010, I was in the Hallmark store and I asked Paul what they were doing with the vacant space and he said they were going to level it, so if I was still interested to make an offer. I called Ron immediately and we got to work. There were 3 of us at the time and we did a ton of work ourselves. We opened the doors in September 2010.

What is it like to own a Fitness studio/gym?

I’d call it a labor of love. It’s a lot of work. Early mornings and late evenings. Accounting, operations, marketing and so many other jobs need to get done on top of training clients, teaching classes, managing the staff, programming etc.  Scheduling is so hard. Sometimes people ask you to add another class or fill in for an instructor but you’ve already taught 2 classes that day, trained 3 clients, worked your day job and got your own training in… The hardest part is the fact that often times my own training slips because I’m focused on others. Stress eating is a new thing for me and I don’t like it…

What is your favorite hobby?
I love cycling.  I road bike and mountain bike.  I’m also a figure skater but I don’t get to do that very much. 

What do you do when you are not at MOVE

I sleep, work my day job and hang with my kid, Keira (9). She still thinks I’m cool. 

What made you decide to start competing? 

I’m type A so I’m very goal oriented and lately I’m convinced that I’m a little crazy.  I started in 2008 with Adventure Races, which are 6-24 hour endurance events that include mountain biking, kayaking and orienteering in forests and state parks. One of our races we had to transport our mountain bikes in our canoes and paddle through whitewater.

In 2009 I decided to run the Boston Marathon and then in 2010 I upped the ante by running the Disney Goofy race which is a half marathon on Saturday followed by a full marathon on Sunday. They should call that the Dopey. It wasn’t as fun as it sounds. It was in the 40s and rained the entire time. Race organizers were yelling “Welcome to Disney, Alaska” as we got off the bus at 4am to wait 2 hours in the rain standing still on concrete in a packed parking lot. That’s when I decided that half marathons were “my thing”. I’ve run well over a dozen half marathons since then.
I also picked up road cycling along the way. This past year I rode my first century ride, Braintree to P-town (114 miles of rolling hills).

This year, I’ve chosen to train for the Miami 70.3 (Half Ironman). This involves a 1.2 mile swim (I just learned how to swim in November), a 56 mile bike ride followed by a half marathon. All in under 6 hours. It’s a 10 month progressive training plan. 

What one was the most challenging?

That’s a toss-up. I did a 24 hour Adventure Race in New York/NJ that involved some serious uphill mountain biking/pushing the bike uphill. They made us go into a bear cave for a checkpoint. I’ve scaled rocks under waterfalls thru poison ivy wearing bike shoes and carried my bike overhead thru a river. The goofy was no picnic either in 40 degree pouring rain. I think they’re all pretty challenging. My motto is “if it sounds impossible, I’m in”. I draw the line at tough mudders though. Getting electrocuted for the sake of getting electrocuted is not my cup of tea. 

What competition did you do your best in? 

Then there was a 6 hour Adventure Race in Connecticut that rained the entire time. My 2-person co-ed team came in 1st place!

"My motto is 'if it sounds impossible, I’m in!'"

What does your pre-contest exercise routine look like? 

My half ironman training is a 6 day/week program involving 3 says of swim, 3 days of bike and 3 days of running. (doubles just about every day)

What does your pre-contest meal plan look like?

I feel my best eating lite meals more often as my training gets progressively harder. You never want that “overfull” feeling. I eat clean most of the time anyway, but I stay away from things that will bother my stomach or weigh me down. Most of my carbs come from fruits and vegetables. I try to juice more during race season too.

What supplements are a must for you?

I try not to supplement until I desperately need it. In the spring/summer/fall when I’m doing a lot of outdoor endurance, I use Cytomax in one of my water bottles, although I’m going to try to switch to Coconut Water this year. I use Cliff Shot Blocks and Strawberry Gel Shots and GU Espresso Love Shots. In the summer I drink protein shakes for breakfast, mostly just because I like them. 

What are your overall rules for nutrition? 

I avoid white processed foods and dressings. I don’t use butter or salt. I try to eat as many vegetables as I can during the day and I don’t drink fruit juices or fake sugar soft drinks.  I try to cook my own meals as often as possible as well as use organic ingredients. 

Do you ever "cheat"? What are your favorite "cheats"?  

I hate that I do, but sometimes the winter blues gets the best of you! Peanut butter cups, Cakeballs from Sandra, Jalapeno and Tamarind Margaritas. Oh, and flavored coffee. My 2013 goal is to quit coffee. I quit soda about a year ago (well, replaced it with fizzy water). 

What is your favorite Healthy food?
I love anything from Life Alive. I love carrots, salsa and chickpeas, quinoa, avocado, sweet potatoes, blueberries and bananas. 

What advice would you give to others that are struggling to reach their goals? 

Baby steps. Don’t focus on what you can’t have, focus on what you need. Drink water, eat 5-10 servings of vegetables each day. I have all of my clients write a 3 day food journal. I take out different color highlighters and highlight vegetables and fruits in green, breads/starchy carbs/junk food in yellow, proteins in pink. I try to get them to get maximize the green and minimize the yellow.

Who would you like to Thank for helping you along the way? 

I suppose the first person that I have to thank is my brother, Ron, for getting me into the fitness industry back in 2000. My parents for their endless support. The MOVE staff for being so awesome at everything they do and most of all, the members for being our raison d’etre.

Thank you so much for being a part of my new blog and facebook page JENN!


  1. Thats a bad a$$ chick right there!

  2. You go Jenn......nice work!!!