A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM JENINE
This is me, Jenine. The Founder of the Mums With Bubs Fitness classes, the New Mama Lifestyle online membership program, and this website, formally known as Mums With Bubs Fitness.
I’m a mother of two, personal trainer and fitness enthusiast. I have been for the past 13 years, and I love life and all that it has to offer.
And honestly, I am sick to death of the misconception that flat abs and perky boobs are the goal standards of being fit after having a baby, that if you have tummy rolls you must hate yourself, and that eating healthy is something that is reserved for people who have time.
I mean come on, there is serious damage that can be done to that way of thinking, and I know it all too well.
All my life I have been into sports. When I was a teenager I was training in a Pentathlon, which includes swimming, running, shooting, horse riding and fencing. I was also playing soccer, running cross country and eating well so my body could perform at it’s best across all platforms.
But one summer when I was 13, my Mum took a photo of my cousins and I standing a boat and we all had our swimmers on enjoying ourselves. It was such a great photo my mum framed it for everyone who visited our house to see, but I loathed it because, despite all the joy we were having, my tummy rolls were on full display, making the effort I put into my sport look half-assed.
Since then no matter how hard I’ve tried (and I’ve tried very hard), my tummy has never been flat. Even in University when I made – and was training for – the varsity rowing team, meaning early morning training, hill runs, distance running, on the ERG, and in the gym almost every day, my tummy still wasn’t flat.
By the time Univerity was over, I had an eating disorder. I knew what I was meant to be eating, and I was still training, but I was sabotaging my health for hips and washboard abs. I hated my body. When I became a full-time personal trainer, I was embarrassed by it. I looked unfit to train anyone despite all the exercise I was still doing.
Every day I exercised.
Every day I counted calories.
Every day I ingested “fat burning” supplements.
It seemed no matter what I did, no matter how fit I appeared to other people, I could not achieve the 6 pack I so desperately wanted. Then I got pregnant, and my body loathing peaked.
My body felt foreign to me. Lumpy, bumpy and weak, and post-pregnancy, I felt like my body had betrayed me. Exercise and sport, the one thing that made me feel strong was something I was forced to slow down with. The tears flowed and I couldn’t look myself in the mirror anymore.
But that baby of mine, she changed me. She made me realise that fit isn’t a glossy snapshot of someone, but a winning combination of positive mindset and movement.
With time, I started to look at my body in awe and a newfound respect. My body had just created a human, and I wanted to nourish it. I started to regain strength slowly, progressively, and purposefully. And the entire time I could see my daughter’s little eyes watching me.
And I knew then that she was perfect, we both were, and I wanted to be the example of embracing my own skin so when she was older, she would embrace hers.
Today, my focus is not on achieving a certain image that society thinks I should be, today, my focus is on living life balanced, and embracing who we are and what we look like. I’m still a Personal Trainer, but I don’t train to achieve an image anymore, I train because I love my body and its ability to do anything I want it to do!
To be able to run. To be able to jump. To be able to surf, and swim, and play with confidence and with energy alongside my children. To enjoy ALL of what life has to offer.
And it all started by changing my mindset and paying attention to how I felt rather than how I looked in the mirror. It’s my purpose to help you to find that courage, to help you shift your mindset, and set yourself free from your own limitations around body image and exercise, while still being your own version of fit and healthy.
We all capable of living healthy lives and numbers do not define us! No matter your shape or size, your health, and happiness are what comes first, and it is ultimately what matters the most to not just you, but your family too. Your children will learn from you, so keep on inspiring the next generations to love who they are, because we’re all perfectly imperfect.