1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
Jennifer Shakeel, CPS, 39. I help people achieve their goals through content creation, marketing and coaching. My favorite part being the health/fitness coaching that I do.
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
It was my dad. He was a very competitive man and he did not tolerate being overweight or inactive. He and I would bike long distances and get up early and run every morning before he went to work and I went to school.
3. What did they do to inspire you?
My dad didn’t encourage me to get fit in a positive way. He frequently told my sister and I that no man would ever want a fat girl, and despite that fact that we were both thin and athletic he was very critical of everything we ate and all activity that we did. The more physical the better. I remember when I started puberty, and I gained weight like all girls do, he wouldn’t talk to me until I lost the weight.
4. How did their lesson change your life?
For years it caused me to look in the mirror and see a “fat girl” regardless of how small the number on my jeans. I passed out twice that I remember once falling into the stereo in my room and the second time getting out of the shower thanks to a combination of track competitions and not eating. This unhealthy way of staying thin followed me well into adulthood. Once I had kids I took it as my excuse to eat, I had to eat for the baby. I ballooned all the way up to 250 pounds by the time I had my second child. It wasn’t until giving birth to my third child that I decided it was time to get healthy… and forget worrying about being skinny. There is 12 years inbetween my second and third child and two years between my third and fourth child. At almost 40 I am in the best shape of my life and I am healthy.
5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?
I am honest with my children about my dad, while I don’t agree with his sentiments or the ways my sister and I used to make sure we stayed thin… I do encourage the competitiveness, the athleticism and I have incorporated healthy eating. It isn’t enough to tell your kids to eat right and be active if all you do is eat chips and sit in front of the TV or computer.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
To be active. Get out and play. Exercise doesn’t have to be training for a marathon. Exercise is any physical activity that they enjoy including getting up and dancing all over their bedroom or house like a crazy person. Break a sweat, laugh and have fun while you are doing it. That way they stick with it.
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?