This testimonial about our fitness plan, PaleoFit, is by Jennifer Shippee, who is Max Shippee’s (PaleoFit’s creator) cousin-in-law, married to Max’s cousin, Ben. About a year ago, she made a call to Max to ask for help with her workouts. She is a stay-at-home mom of four kids, with no time to make it to the gym. She was embarrassed to call. It’s hard to ask for help, and for her, even worse since it was family. She’s worked hard, and even though sometimes life gets in the way, she does her absolute best to get three workouts in a week. She changed her diet to be more in line with the Paleo philosophy as well. The best part for her is that she still has never set foot in a gym!
She’s one of the first people to embrace the PaleoFit workouts, and we feel lucky to have her testimonial for you!
A Lazy Start
Before we were married my husband said to me, “Let’s grow old and fat together.” I was 20 pounds overweight at the time. In the following eight years we got married and started having babies and that 20 pounds grew along with our little family. By the time we were done having our four babies, my 20 pounds over weight was more like 50. I avoided social situations because I refused to buy clothes that fit, I couldn’t possibly be bigger than a size 12, could I? I grew content. In other words, I quit trying.
The Winds of Change
Then my husband started to lose his “baby weight.” In four months, he shed all the extra weight. I tried juicing. It helped; I lost 17 pounds, but was still 30 or so pounds out of the healthy range. For months, I plateaued with juicing and riding my stationary bike.
It was mid-June 2012. That’s when I asked Max for help. We talked nutrition, and we talked exercise. What he said blew my mind, and it sounded not only easy, but doable. My first couple workouts were short, but hard. I worked harder in those first couple of days than I ever had in my life, and the workouts were all less than ten minutes long!
Guess what? My plateau broke. The inches and the weight started coming off.
Breaking From the Past
I’ve been fat my whole life. Even when my body was skinny, my brain was fat–my life was fat. I’m not an athlete. I never played sports. I remember having a conversation in high school with a guy telling me about his workouts: My exact words were, “Why do you work out? You’re not fat–you don’t need to lose weight!”
My body had never moved like it did in these workouts. It had never been pushed like this. Because of the newness of it all, I still sometimes struggle with form, speed, and mindset, but I’m learning. When I’m struggling, my kids cheer me on, “You can do it, Mama! You’re doing great! Keep going!” And sometimes I’m slow, but I keep going.
I’m not going to quit on me again.
Sizes Shrink, Confidence Grows
By the end of that summer I was wearing size 10 jeans, instead of those tight 12’s. But here’s the interesting thing: I could feel muscle in places I had never felt muscle before, even when I was thin.
By Thanksgiving I bought size 8 jeans (now those were tight instead of the long gone 12’s). But forget the jeans; now I could do things! Things like moving a 30 foot extension ladder in a storm! I could carry two of my babies down the stairs at the same time, without fear of dropping someone, and without huffing and puffing!
I now have strength. Something I never had before.
There were so many years of poor habits and false information embedded into my brain that I still struggle with letting go of some concepts, but then the results beg me to look at things differently. Right now the scale (the same scale that I worshipped for many years), says that I am up 5 lbs, but my measurements are down; the size 8 jeans keep getting looser.
It’s Not Just About the Workouts
The guidance of Max through PaleoFit has changed more than my jean size, and more than my ability to move furniture up stairs. It has changed my marriage. Instead of sharing a platter of nachos, Ben and I now share workout stories. We challenge each other with burpees. We say, “Feel this,” about our new improving physiques. We encourage each other to keep up, to plug on.
It has changed my influence on my kids too, who now show off their burpees to anyone who will watch! They say, “Feel my muscles!” with each other. They showed Mickey Mouse at Disney World their biceps. Yes, I have a picture of Mickey squeezing little biceps! We race each other and now, when my kids win, it’s not because I’m too out of shape to keep up with them.
Not Before & After: During
I still have a long way to go, but feel as if I have the rest of my life to keep getting there. The sad thing is until I started changing I had no idea how bad off I was. I had given up on myself, and I guess that’s as bad as it could get. I can’t remember what I looked like a year ago. I certainly don’t remember the carb-addicted woman, and I don’t miss her. And on the weekends now I say, “All I did for a workout today was burpees,” the very same burpees that I thought would kill me a year ago (don’t get me wrong, burpees are still not my friend, but burpees challenge me to be better, and I have risen to that challenge).
I thought even if I lost some weight my thighs would always rub together, and my triceps would always jiggle. Now, I know better. My brain isn’t a festering wasteland of negative thoughts. Why? Because I see just how capable I am, I see who I want to be. Each burpee puts distance between the old me and the me I am now, each burpee brings me closer to the me I want to be.
A Change of Mind, A Change of Life
I no longer gauge my progress in terms of my old pal The Scale. In fact, it’s been a long time since I even knew a number of what I need to lose. I stopped trying to lose and started gaining a better perspective.
It’s taken some time to sink in, but I finally realized how much these weekly sweat sessions have changed me.
I realize now that it’s not a workout plan: it’s a lifestyle choice.