This article was first seen on the Huffington Post. For this installment, we are joined by Jill Gardner.
Let’s start off with a general introduction. How would you describe yourself, what are you all about and how did you get involved in health and fitness?
I would have to say I’m just a big kid at heart that loves to laugh and be goofy! I love helping people and I love being surrounded by family and friends. As far as health and fitness, well I just got really into weight training and nutrition in 2010 and connected with a lot of like minded people online which led to some really fun booth work at expos and photo shoots as well as a few really cool features online and in magazines!
At one point in your life you struggled with an eating disorder, how did you overcome that obstacle?
I sought treatment from a therapist and that helped immensely. I had to put the work in if I was ever going to get to a point where I could have a healthy relationship with food. Weight training also helped me look at food as fuel for my body instead of it being the enemy.
You were also influenced by Tosca Reno’s Eat-Clean Diet, what is the one lesson you learned from her, that changed things for you?
Just that how important proper nutrition really is. At one point though I grew to dislike the whole “clean eating” concept so I took a step back and decided that no food shall be off limits. That approach gave me a healthier mindset and that moderation is definitely the key.
You’re 37 years young, many women say that it becomes more difficult to maintain their physiques, do you feel that your body changes as you grow older?
I find that if I get my 8 hours of sleep each night that I do pretty good most days no matter what is thrown my way. And of course proper nutrition helps with my energy levels. The only changes I’ve really noticed and have had a bit of a struggle with are grey hairs and wrinkles – lol so thank goodness for hair dye and great skin products!
Where do you find the strength to remain consistent, even when you are tempted to go off track?
I have learned that motivation comes and goes. When I am really struggling and I’m just not feeling my workouts that’s when I go back to the drawing board and try to mix things up. I rewrite my training schedule for the month and set new goals that usually always helps bring the excitement and the motivation back. And there’s so much out there now on social media! I’ve found some really cool workouts and ways to switch things up to make things exciting again. Dana Linn Bailey and Nicole Wilkins are some of my favorites!
If there was one single piece of advice you could give to someone starting out, what would it be?
Be patient and don’t be so hard on yourself. We all fail but that’s when we grow and become better. You just have to keep pushing yourself and never give up.
How do you measure and track your progress? Are you big on goal setting?
I like to keep a journal. Writing my goals down helps to keep me focused.
You were featured in Oxygen magazine, congratulations! In the article, you say that your dad is your greatest role model. What kind of an impact has he had on your life?
Thank you! Yes that was beyond exciting!! My dad has had a huge impact on my life. He is very goal oriented with his health, in his career and with his finances. No matter what obstacles he would face he would always overcome anything. He has been such a huge inspiration in my life and I absolutely adore him and my mother. They have both helped keep me grounded and focused and have showed me what unconditional love really is.
You also mentioned that you prefer to sweat solo, many athletes prefer to work out with a training partner, how do you weigh the pro’s and con’s?
In the last few years I have actually enjoyed training with a partner! Funny how things change! I have found that if you can find a training partner that actually wants to be there and has a similar mindset as you do then the sky’s the limit! I have had some of my best training sessions with a partner!
What are some of the things you would like to accomplish in 2017?
To complete my nutrition certification through Precision Nutrition.
Where can people go to learn more about you online?
You can stay up to date by following me on Instagram.
Stay tuned for the next interview of Real Talk Real Women!