Do you have a health/fitness goal? Does your goal seem overwhelming? Do you need accountability and want results?
Jennifer Roland, of Woodbine, MD, uses her background in Education, Science/Biology, and Coaching to provide effective and convenient Health and Fitness Coaching that helps her clients reach their goals and dramatically transform their lives. Jen’s thoroughness and patient persistence to pursue her own health and fitness goals carries over into her coaching. Through one-on-one and group coaching programs (in-person or online), she shares fitness and nutrition tips; helps clients select or create an exercise program to meet their goals; offers healthy meal plans with kid-friendly, gluten-free and/or Paleo recipes; provides daily accountability and support; and shares helpful resources on topics including eating healthy on a budget, overcoming cravings, and performance nutrition. Jen believes in your ability to achieve your goals and she genuinely cares about your success. She skillfully guides you with all the resources and encouragement you need to succeed!
Born in Norfolk, VA and raised in Olney, MD with her parents and younger brother, Brian, Jen earned her undergraduate degree in Education from the University of Maryland, College Park. She became a National Board Certified Science teacher and went on to earn a Masters Degree, with honors, in Life Sciences with a Biology concentration (with extensive coursework in Biochemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Nutrition, Genetics, Microbiology and Immunology.)
She spent 9 years teaching middle and high school Science in the Montgomery County public school system. She also worked as a Staff Development Teacher at Walter Johnson High School, coached girl’s softball, conducted research as a Summer Intern at the National Institutes of Health and The American Red Cross, and worked as an Educational Consultant and Curriculum Developer for the Maryland State Department of Education. Jen volunteers to serve in MOPS, a group for Mothers of Preschools at her church, and she has been coaching since April 2013.
Jennifer currently lives in Woodbine, MD with her husband, Doug, of 9 years and has three beautiful children (ages 17 months, 3 1/2 and 5 1/2 years old).
When did your health/fitness journey begin?
Growing up, I was always involved in team sports (e.g. softball and volleyball), but it got much harder to participate in team sports after having children. I tried a variety of different activities to stay in shape, but I once I realized I could get a great workout at home in a way that fit with my and my children’s schedule, I was hooked! I started with P90X in the fall of 2012 to lose the baby weight from my second child and I got amazing results! As people noticed these results and started asking me what I was doing, I found myself talking to them about their own health and fitness goals and naturally wanting to help them achieve similar results – and the reward of feeling more energetic and healthy! Since 2012 I have completed Les Mills Pump, Focus T25, P90X3, 21 Day Fix, and Insanity Max. I love that I can get up in the morning and get my workout in before the kids get up or fit it in once they are in bed without having to drag them back and forth to the gym and pay for a monthly membership.
While exercise has always been a part of my lifestyle, I was not always a healthy eater. My journey with clean eating began in 2012, about 5 months after my second child, Hailey, was born. I was determined to get my pre-pregnancy body back, to have the energy that I had before she was born, and to feel better and healthier overall. By combining healthy eating with the P90X workouts, I was able to reach, and even surpass, my goals. When Hailey turned 1, I was in the best shape of my life – and then I found out I was pregnant again only a few months later! Lots of people told me that with the third child it would take a lot longer to get the extra weight off, but by staying committed to eating healthy and working out for 30 minutes a day, I was able to get back to being back in the best shape of my life again – even with 3 little ones!
Why do you value being healthy?
Life is always busy, but I make time for meal planning, exercise, and coaching because I have seen the impact that being healthy can have on all other aspects of your life. In addition to the many health benefits, it affects your mood, your energy level, your level of productivity, your self-image, and so much more! I have found that helping motivate others through coaching and hearing my client’s success stories INSPIRES ME to keep going, to lead by example, and to continue to make eating healthy and exercise a part of my everyday lifestyle.
What drives you or encourages you to be healthy?
There are so many things that encourage me to be healthy! I want to set a good example for my children so they grow up to make healthy lifestyle choices. I want to have the energy to keep up with them and some day, with their children/my grandchildren. I want to live for as long as possible and to enjoy life in my 70’s, 80’s and beyond. I want to prove to myself that I can take control over this aspect of my life and not allow food to control me! I also want to practice what I preach to my family and friends, help them see that THEY have the power to take control of their life and make choices they will be proud of and which will shape the person they become. I have witnessed firsthand how being healthy enables me to be a better, more confident and more energetic parent and spouse. It also improves my mood, which affects my relationships with others. It gives me the energy and the mindset to create a happy and healthy environment in our home. I also believe that taking care of myself and others brings glory to God and enables me to fulfill God’s purpose for me to the best of my ability.
“As a result of Jen’s program, I made huge improvements to my eating routine, habits, and meal plans. I am eating better, using more portion control, and making healthier choices. I tried new recipes, stayed on track, started factoring in exercise, and lost 15.6 lbs in 6 weeks! Jen is a great motivator and is easy to communicate with. She does a great job of understanding your goals and working with you to determine what is best for you. She also participates in the groups she runs by posting daily updates, talking about her own real life struggles, and providing constant support.” – Bryan
What obstacles have you had to overcome in your health/fitness journey?
My biggest obstacle is time. Finding the time to exercise, meal plan, prepare healthy meals for my family, and run my coaching business can be challenging, but I am committed to doing this, despite whatever obstacles come my way. Many people struggle with commitment, so this is something I spend a good amount of time discussing in my coaching programs. The first step to making a commitment to something is to KNOW YOUR WHY. If you know WHY being healthy is important to you and you really BELIEVE it, you’ll do whatever it takes to follow through. There are plenty of reasons NOT to change your habits, especially if it seems overwhelming or involves stepping out of your comfort zone, but if your reason to change – your WHY – is bigger than this, none of those other things will matter. The bigger the WHY, the easier the how and the greater your chances of success. Another strategy that works for many people is to consider the alternative is you do NOT follow through. What will happen if you don’t exercise or eat healthy? How will that affect your life and the lives of your loved ones if you continue to put processed food on the table and/or live a sedentary lifestyle? It is easy to let our health take a backseat to other responsibilities in our lives, but all those other responsibilities won’t matter if we are sick and/or not around to enjoy them.
In addition to focusing on how much better I will feel and how much healthier I will be if I continue to make positive choices, I also like to think about how my decisions affect other people in my life. I believe that living a healthy lifestyle benefits my family and those around me. I believe that when other people see me going through similar challenges and overcome them they start to think “I can do that too,” and are inspired to take that next step and move forward. When I see how being the best version of me helps others progress towards their goals and become the best version of themselves, it inspires me to keep going – no matter what obstacles I have to overcome!
What small or large change have you made that has made the biggest impact on your health?
My eating habits have completed changed! I used to eat 3 times and day and almost all carbs – a bowl of cereal for breakfast, a regular (not Greek) yogurt and fruit for lunch, and I often didn’t eat protein or vegetables until dinner! Now, I eat 5-6 times a day and make more purposeful food choices. I balance all of my meals with a lean protein and complex carbohydrate to regulate my blood sugar and energy levels throughout the day. I incorporate healthy fats (e.g. nuts, avocado, EVOO) into my diet and lots of nutrient-dense foods to keep me full between meals and prevent mindless snacking. I read food labels and avoid foods with added sugars, artificial sweeteners, and other unnecessary ingredients. I also drink LOTS of water, try lots of new recipes to make cooking fun, and set REALISTIC expectations for myself. I do not think it is realistic to eat “clean” 100% of the time, but I do think it is realistic to eat healthy 80%-90% of the time and then allow myself to eat whatever I want (within reason, of course) a few times during the week. I find that eating this way enables me to be healthy; appreciate the taste of whole, natural foods; and look forward to and savor those times when I get to have that brownie sundae or chocolate I’ve been craving! I use these “treats” to reward myself for making healthy choices.
What is one of your favorite workout memories or a high point in your health journey?
Running 10 miles for a race back in 2008 was a high point for me, but that was before I had kids and had all the time in the world to exercise! So, the high point for me was probably committing myself to start P90X3 when Luke was 6 weeks old, Hailey was 2, and Kayla was 4. I knew it would be tough with 3 kids at home, still breastfeeding Luke at night, and a husband that worked late. Even he said it was unrealistic to expect to be able to work out 6 days a week, but I made the time to fit it my 30 minute workouts because being in better shape, having more energy, and feeling healthy again was important to me! It was a 90 day program and I finished it in 93 days (I only missed 3 days out of 3 months). In those 3 months, I lost a total of 12 POUNDS and 14 ½ INCHES, including 5 inches off my waist and 3 inches off my hips. I felt AMAZING, had tons of energy (despite still waking up with Luke at least once a night), and was able to get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight before Luke was 5 months old. Plus, my body fat percentage dropped by 4%, so although I lost 12 pounds I also gained muscle and was definitely stronger and more fit!I submitted my before and after photos to Beachbody to get my free t-shirt and was asked to be in their P90X3 infomercial. I do not know yet whether they will use my testimonial, pictures, and videos, but just being asked was an honor for me. I felt a sense of accomplishment for following through with the program and reaching my goals, despite the challenges of doing this with 3 little ones and other responsibilities.
Have you ever struggled with self-doubt or worry?
Sure, I think we all have. It’s natural to worry about things, even though they are out of our control. Two things I have done to help minimize these feelings are 1. Trust in the Lord and 2. Believe in myself. These two things are actually really HARD to do, but when I do them my day to day life is completely different. One thing that helps me believe in myself is surrounding myself with others that are also passionate about their health and encourage me when I start to doubt myself. Seeing them overcome challenges and achieve similar goals also helps reaffirm my belief that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to! In terms of trusting in the Lord, one thing I remind myself is, “We can worry about today or we can trust God. But, we can’t do both at the same time.” This goes along with Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
How has being healthy affected the rest of your life?
In addition to the healthy benefits, being healthy affects my mood, energy level, self-image, confidence, helps me make wiser food choices, and allows me to create a happy, healthy home environment. It allows me to set a good example for my family and others, be the best version of me, and inspire others to be the best version of themselves.
Do you have any heroes that encourage your health journey?
Every person who joins one of my accountability groups, puts forth effort every day, and encourages others to do the same is my hero. Honestly – they inspire me, motivate me to keep going, and attach even more meaning and purpose to the daily choices that I make to be healthy and fit. It is amazing to see how the members of my groups, who often do not know one another, reach out to support and encourage each other, build each other up, and give each other that extra push to keep them moving forward. We have to remember that it’s called a health “journey” for a reason – it’s a long process with lots of ups and downs along the way, so having this support and accountability is HUGE to their success. I tell them upfront that it is not going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it! When I see them being consistent with their daily goals and I witness their transformations, it encourages me in my own health journey.
“Exercise has always come easier to me than eating well. In the past, I’ve wondered why I was not losing weight even though I was exercising consistently. I did not understand the vital role that diet plays in weight loss – even more so than exercising. This group gave me excellent information regarding eating properly. What I’ve taken away that will permanently impact what and how I eat is the importance of balancing meals with lean proteins and complex carbs as well as the importance of meal planning. Over the course of the program, I’ve realized meal planning is key to my weight loss success. In the last 3 weeks, I lost about 6 pounds and am looking forward to continuing this momentum and finally reaching my long term weight loss goal by this summer with Jen’s help and the support of her accountability groups!” – Veena
How do you bounce back after a health/fitness setback?
I think the most important thing to remember about setbacks is that they are inevitable. They WILL happen, we should EXPECT them to happen, and when they do one of two things can happen. We can either let our setbacks stop us and give up on our goals. Or, we can change our course of action, figure out a way to get through it/past it, and keep pressing on towards our goals. The first option leaves a feeling of self-defeat and worthlessness. The second option is built on determination, belief that we CAN and WILL reach our goals, and the philosophy that winners are not defined by their setbacks – THEY ARE DEFINED BY THEIR COMEBACKS! I love this quote! When I have a setback, I try to not dwell on it, accept that what is done is done, and find the “good in it” instead of focusing on the negative. For example, if I didn’t get my workout in because Luke was up too late, I can be grateful that I had more time for baby snuggles before bed. If I ended up going out to eat and overindulged, I can be thankful that I had time out with friends and enjoyed a nice meal. It can be difficult to not beat ourselves up over our mistakes, but doing so only prevents us from moving on. Instead, we can set clear intentions for a comeback, start as quickly as possible, and continue to make progress through small, attainable daily goals that in time will lead to long-term results.
Where do you like to workout and why?
I like to workout at home with one of my many workout programs. If I want cardio, my “go to” programs are Focus T25, Insanity, P90X3, and 21 Day Fix. Resistance training? Les Mills Pump, P90X, P90X3, and 21 Day Fix are my favorites! What I love about these programs is that most of them are only 30 minutes, I can fit them into my busy schedule when I have the time, and I still get great results! These programs are designed by expert trainers, so I never question if I’m going to get a great workout or achieve the results I’m looking for. When you follow these programs, you WILL get amazing results!
What are your health goals for 2015?
I would like to maintain my exercise routine of working out five days a week, but also increase my strength and endurance. I would like to try new recipes, especially kid-friendly recipes and recipes free from eggs, dairy, and nuts since Luke is allergic to all of these foods. I would like to expand my coaching business to be able to reach more people and help them reach their health and fitness goals.
I also plan to offer additional programs on topics such as meal planning and conquering carbohydrate cravings. Once I achieve my certification as a CPT (Certified Personal Trainer), I hope to offer in-person and virtual personal training at a discounted price for busy moms with little ones, those who can’t afford to have a gym membership, or those who struggle to get to the gym due to other responsibilities.
A few years ago, I never would have anticipating starting a Health Coaching and Personal Training business, but looking back at my previous experiences, it is no surprise that this would be the perfect fit for me! It combines my passion for helping others with my passion for health and fitness, it incorporates my background experience as both a teacher and coach, and it draws on my educational background in science/Biology. I enjoy reading the latest research on nutrition and fitness-related topics, presenting the information in a way that is easy to understand, and organizing it into an easy-to follow-plan with simple action steps that anyone can follow and get great results! I want to show people that they too can MAKE time for meal planning, preparing healthy meals for their family, and exercise! They deserve to FEEL their best, LOOK their best, and BE the healthiest, best version of themselves.
I have been a Health and Fitness Coach for 2+ years now and I have seen firsthand how instituting small, daily changes through diet and exercise can transform lives. I am continually amazed and inspired by these transformations and I want to help as many people as possible! I believe that the resources, support, and accountability offered through my coaching programs provide the tools needed to be successful in reaching your goals.
ready to take the next step?
If you or someone you know are interested in finding out more about these programs, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-994-3264 for a FREE Discovery Session. This 30 minute call/Skype session includes a Health and Wellness Assessment to determine your current situation and a discussion about your short and long term goals. During this session, I will provide information about the different programs and resources I offer that can help you reach your goals. It also provides an opportunity for us to get to know one another so we can determine if we are a good fit for each other. If you decide to move forward, we will work together to develop SMART goals and a customized plan with daily action steps that will enable you to reach your goals. Thank you!
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