Just last year, Wendy Jenner was a self-confessed junk food addict and her exercise regime was non-existent. After gaining almost 30kg during pregnancy and lacking the energy required to keep up with two young children, Jenner signed up to the BodyBlitz challenge sponsored by BIOFLEX. 12 months on from her monthly challenge win, she’s our 2014 female Grand Champion and on track to becoming a qualified PT.

Wendy Jenner - BodyBlitz Grand Champion 2014! - Women's Health & Fitness

“Before the BodyBlitz challenge I did no exercise at all,” Jenner says. “I lived 30km from the nearest town and would just go into a café with the children and basically just socialise.” At the time, Jenner’s children were aged three months and two years, and she had repeatedly been told that breastfeeding would help her shed the kilos she’d gained during pregnancy. It didn’t. Not content to wait around hoping, Jenner seized control by signing up to the BodyBlitz challenge.

“I needed to change because I was so tired all the time. I had to get up to my son sometimes six times a night and I had no stamina for it. I just knew it was my diet that was causing it,” she says. Although Jenner thought she had no time to exercise, she started taking advantage of brief periods when her children were sleeping or watching their favourite TV show.

 

“I had a cross trainer that I’d been given a long time ago and as soon as my son went to sleep, I would dedicate half an hour to exercise,” she says. “The first time I got on I could only do five minutes and was so tired, but the second time I went up to 10 minutes. I just knew if I was consistent I’d progress further and further.”

Soon enough, Jenner had created her own cross training program based on exercises she had found online. Eventually she joined a gym when her husband Dean was able to care for the children after work. Although Dean’s mining job meant a very scattered work roster, the couple worked around these obstacles to support their individual fitness goals.

While both eating well and exercising were completely new to Jenner, it was her diet that she found most difficult to change. “Training is easy, I think, but they go hand in hand. I find if I don’t train every week, my diet starts to lack.” After several weeks, Jenner soon found that eating healthily became a natural part of her life, and she no longer desired the sugary snacks she had so frequently craved. “It was tough, but I just thought if I could get through the 12 weeks, I could focus simply on maintaining what I’d achieved,” she says. “However, after the challenge finished, I I just wanted to get even more into it!”

Since finishing the challenge and discovering her love for exercise, Jenner now has her sights set on becoming a qualified personal trainer and founding her own business. Living out of town or in a rural area can have its barriers, so Jenner is hoping to create a business that specifically targets these clients’ needs. “The only thing I had to help me was YouTube and I saw a need for a website that actually talks to viewers and offers advice.” Jenner recognises traditional gym workouts as being too challenging for some, nor are they always accessible. Rather, it’s about taking the time out of your day and making sure you stick to a plan. “If you’ve got half an hour, or even 10 minutes, that’s all you need,” she says.

Jenner identifies many simple changes mothers can make for incorporating healthier practices into their everyday lives. “It’s all about prepping, so make sure you’ve got enough food in the house instead of just having toast,” she says. “Nearly every mum tells me they don’t eat breakfast because they think they don’t have the time. And yet, they have time to make breakfast for two children, and if they had another child I’m sure they would make breakfast for the third person too.” Jenner says a way of ensuring you’re eating a nutritional breakfast is to bring your children up to eat the same foods as yourself. Not only does this cut down on preparation time, but it ensures that both parties are getting a nutritious meal. “My kids are fussy, but they will sit there and if it doesn’t get eaten they don’t get anything!” Rather than bringing home packets of sugar laden biscuits, Jenner will bake these at home using chickpeas. “They’re really nice and the kids love them!” she says.

One concern Jenner repeatedly hears from other women is that they’ll gain muscle mass by working out with weights. In reality, it’s harder to gain muscle than many women think. The average woman doesn’t have enough testosterone to bulk up. On the flip side, many women want to gain muscle, not least because it boosts metabolism, but fear walking into a weights room. If you are dodging the gym for fear of embarrassment, Jenner suggests taking a friend or training at off-peak times while you find your feet. “I think you just have to stop making excuses and looking for reasons not to go,” she says.

Now the smallest she’s ever been, Jenner is focused on continuing to build muscle for even greater tone. She recently signed up to FX classes. “I really enjoy those and they’re the sort of classes I eventually want to teach.” Her vision is to make personal training clients feel comfortable and supported. “It’s not a competition after all.”   

Months after her March 2013 BodyBlitz win, Jenner is still achieving new goals. “I did a 5km run last year and I’ve never been a runner, so I was really proud of that,” she says. “It was great to show my kids that being healthy and active is the way we live and how to enjoy life.” She also feels more confident and willing to try new things since completing the challenge. “We’re currently renovating our house and before the challenge I don’t think I could have done it,” she says. “It wasn’t just a 12-week challenge for me, it was about changing my whole lifestyle.”

To kick-start your own transformation, sign up to the 12-week challenge today!

Special thanks to Rydges CBD Melbourne. To view rates and packages, visit rydges.com

 

Words: Amelia Barnes, Photography: Charlie Suriano, Makeup: Ellie McEvoy, Location: Rydges CBD Melbourne