Jen Halter is a mom to one, business owner, and health and fitness coach living in Northern Virginia. Since turning 40 earlier this year, she has committed to becoming a healthier version of herself and shares her journey on her blog and social media at Extra Fab Mom. She promotes body positivity and the importance of being fit at any size.
1. What inspired you to start living a more active life?
I’ve been overweight from the time I was 4 years old. I turned 40 this year and made the commitment to myself that I was no longer going to let my size keep me from enjoying all of the amazing things that life has to offer! I also have a 5-year-old daughter, and it’s important to me that she grows up seeing the importance of being healthy and active. I don’t want her to experience the things I did growing up as an overweight child, teenager and adult.
2. If you were stranded on an island and could only choose one workout routine to do for the rest of time, what would it be and why?
I’m a huge fan of dance fitness! I love Zumba and attend classes a few times a week in addition to my at-home workouts through Beachbody (I’m a coach, too!).
3. You like to post videos of your workouts to your Instagram account. Why did you start posting videos, and how has it impacted the way you share your active life with the world?
Posting my videos definitely took me out of my comfort zone! I was afraid of how they would be received and all I could picture were people laughing at me. However, the reaction from others has been quite the opposite. I’m told daily how much I inspire and motivate others by sharing my journey. I have women reach out to me every day asking for my help to get them started on their own journeys, and that alone is worth any negative comments that may come from me sharing what I do.
4. Why do you think it’s important to show more diverse bodies being active in mainstream media?
Growing up, I didn’t have role models who looked like me and because of that, I became fixated on trying to live up to body standards that were nearly impossible to achieve. Today, more than ever, it’s so important that all body types are represented in the media. It’s our reality. We are all beautiful and amazing no matter our size and we need to celebrate that more. Your size does not have to keep you from being awesome in every way!
5. What advice do you have for other folks who want to start exercising but feel hesitant?
This is easy…JUST DO IT! For a long time, I lived with the fear that I would fail at anything I tried because up to that point, I had. But, once I finally said, “enough is enough!” and made that solid commitment to myself, there’s been no looking back. I work with women of all shapes, sizes and ages and the number one reason they don’t commit to themselves is that fear of failure. I tell them that they can’t fail if they don’t try! We need to remember that we are all worth it. The hardest part of this journey is just getting started, but I can attest to the fact that getting started is the biggest hurdle you’ll ever have to jump on this journey. I’ve never looked back and said, “I regret this decision.” Not even on the toughest days.
6. What motivates you on less-than-stellar days?
My greatest motivation is knowing that I don’t want to be back to the point I started. At my highest weight, I was 343 lbs. I was on blood pressure medication and on anti-depressants from my mid to late 30’s. I had knee issues and walking up a flight of stairs carrying my infant daughter would have me winded.
I do have days that I don’t want to work out and it’s not always easy to throw on my sneakers and get it done. But, knowing that each day I’m making progress towards a better version of myself is enough to help me push past my excuses and get it done.
Our #ThisIsActive Q+As are part of an ongoing series to show how plus size women live their active lives. Share your active life with us on social media by using #ThisIsActive or send your story to social @ junoactive.com for a chance to be featured.