Sunday, September 5, 2010
Jen Whitfield Interview
Jen Whitfield is an accomplished competitor with an incredible physique and proof of what hard work can do for someone. Just reading her interview her passion for what she does comes across so easily, and it really helps understand the respect I and others have for her. She may be a grandmother, but I get the feeling Jen Whitfield is just getting started. And if you want affordable nice posing suits, see Jen's website listed in this interview for some really quality stuff.
Q: First Jen I want to thank you for taking the time to do this.
Q: Can you start out by telling a little about yourself.
A: I'm Jen Whitfield. I was born and raised in the burbs north of Atlanta, Georgia. I'm a true Southern girl and proud of it!! I've been married to my best friend for 14 years. I am also the mother of 2 awesome children and Mimi to one AMAZING 8 month old grandson. I work part time as a RN in the busiest ER in the state of Georgia and when I'm not working there or at the gym you will find me in the studio working on posing suits for my beloved clients.
Q: Before the gym were you especially athletic? Play any sports?
A: No way!!! I grew up pretty poor. There wasn't extra money to pay for extracurricular activities. You could say I was more the nerdy type, after all I was the president of the Latin club in high school.
Q: What initially led you into the gym?
A: I started randomly going to the gym in college but didn't know why I was there or what I wanted to achieve if anything. My training became serious after I met my husband (who's always been a gym rat, is an ex powerlifter turned bodybuilder).
Q: Was training something you picked up fairly easy? How long before you saw results?
A: I did pick it up fairly easy but my love for it had definitely grown stronger in recent years. I saw immediate results in my lower body, but my upper body continues to be a work in progress.
Q: What made you decide to compete for the first time?
A: I am going to sound like a commercial but it is the truth. I used to follow fitness through the pages of Oxygen magazine. I dreamed of competing but knew it would never be an option for me (I can't even do a cartwheel). I had my son and lost interest in the gym and eating healthy. Well fast forward 3 years. We went to the beach and when we returned I was looking at photos and was shocked at how fat I'd become. I went looking for something to help motivate me so I picked up a copy of Oxygen and to my surprise I read about a new category called Figure. I told my husband that I could do this and so I signed up to do my first competition before I lost my first pound. I didn't give myself the option of backing out.... it was either get in shape or look stupid on stage. That first show went great and I've been hooked since.
Q: Was competing something your family and friends supported at the time?
A: My husband was very supportive, my children were too young to care and other family and friends just didn't get it. Now it is cool because while they still don't understand how I do it, they support me 110%.
Q: Was competing what you expected or did anything surprise you?
A: The main thing that surprised me is the expense!!
Q: Can you share your contest history.
*2003- ABBA Show in Augusta, Georgia- Open Figure 2nd
*2003- Galaxy- 7th (out of 50+ girls)
*2004- NPC Atlantic- Class A- 3rd
*2004- NPC Coastal- Class A- 2nd
*2004- IFBB North American Championships- Class A- 6th
*2006- NPC Eastern Seaboard- Class A- 1st
*2006- NPC Jr. Nationals- Class A- 16th
*2010- NPC Eastern Seaboard- Class A- 1st
*2010- NPC USA Championships- Class A 16th
Q: As far as body parts, what do you feel is your best one?
A: Since I've gotten older this has changed. It used to be my legs and abs were my best body parts, now they are my most stubborn. Now my back has become my best.
Q: Do you have a favorite part to train?
A: I LOVE, LOVE, Love to train legs!!! Nothing feels better than that heavy bar on your back while doing squats. Unfortunately I don't get to train legs heavy anymore since they like to grow. We have to work hard at keeping them slimmed down to maintain symmetry.
Q: What is your normal training routine and diet like?
A: I do anywhere from 1-2 hours of cardio a day 7 days a week. I eat a lot of grilled tilapia, sweet potato/brown rice, and broccoli. I weight train 4 days a week. My split is like this:
Monday: Legs and Tri's
Tuesday: Back and Shoulders
Friday: Bi's and Shoulders
Q: When someone sees your physique or hears you compete for the first time, what is the most common reaction?
A: "I could never be that disciplined to eat the way you eat."
Q: When they see it that firs time, what is the one question or comment you are most sick of hearing?
A: "What exercise can I do to get a flat stomach?" or "Will you write me out a diet?" Don't get me wrong, I love helping others that really want help, but most people I'm waisting my time and paper writing them a diet because they look at it and say "Oh, I can't do that."
Q: What is the biggest misconception about women who train and compete or the one thin you wish people understood?
A: As competitors we work very hard for our physiques. It doesn't come easy and we weren't necessarily born with great genetics. Bottom Line, WE WORK FOR IT!!!!!
Q: What is the best and worst part of competing?
A: The best part is the great feeling of accomplishment when your each goals you set for yourself. Also high up there is the friends that are made along the way. The worst, again, I would have to say the expense ranks up there.
Q: Do you have any favorite competitors or any you admire?
A: Several!! Past competitors: Susie Curry and Rachel McLish. Current competitors: Jackie Hoppe, Adela Garcia Penalo, and Erin Stern.
Q: Do you have a favorite cheat food?
A: Do I have to pick one? Mexican, ice-cream, and doughnuts.
Q: If another woman told you she wanted to start training, what is the one piece of advice you would most want to give her?
A: Stick with it. There will be days you will want to give up, fight through them. There will be times you won't want to go to the gym, go anyway. You will start to not only feel better health wise, but you will feel so much better about yourself!!
Q: Do you think it is becoming more accepted by society to see women training as hard as men in the gym?
A: Yes and no. I still get frustrated at the gym because quite a few guys still don't show females respect. It is like we are supposed to be in there only using the "girly machines and weights". It frustrates me when they hop on a piece of equipment I'm using or hog a bar but then a guy walks up and they offer for them to work in with them.
Q: Outside of training, any other hobbies or activities you enjoy?
A: I LOVE making competition suits. I recently took some photography classes and would love to pursue that more sometime in the future.
Q: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Jen Whitfield.
A: There are 2 different typical days for me.
4am- wake up and do 1st round of cardio
6am- Leave for work at the hospital
3pm- Leave the hospital and meet hubby at gym to train
5-6pm- Complete 2nd round of cardio, spend time with family
6-11pm- Work on suits, return emails, etc.
5am- Wake up and do 1st round of cardio
7:15am- Get son off on bus
7:30am-2:30pm- Work on suits
2:30pm- Pick son up from bus and meet hubby at gym to train
4:30-5pm- 2nd round of cardio, spend time with family
6-11pm- Work on suits
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
A: I'm a Grandmother
Q: Describe Jen Whitfield in five words.
A: Ambitious, Loyal, Multi-faceted, Good-hearted, and Disciplined
Q: Any set plans for the near future a far as competing or anything else?
A: Not 100% sure what shows I will be doing but possibly Nationals in October, but we will see.
Q: Anything you want to take this opportunity to plug or promote?
A: Thank you!! I would love to everyone to check out my website www.asuit2remember.com. I make top quality posing suits for really fair prices and offer outstanding customer service!!
Q: Are you looking for sponsors? If so how can they reach you and what are they getting in Jen Whitfield the athlete and competitor?
A: Absolutely!!! I can be reached at email@example.com. They are getting someone who gives 110% to everything she does. I live by the motto "Anything worth doing is worth doing well!!" I am a person of high integrity and loyalty. I will promote you and your business to the best of my ability. I can also appeal to Mothers and Grandmothers as well as other demographics.
Q: Jen, again, I thank you for taking the time to do this. Any last words before you go?
A: Thank you again for allowing me this opportunity!!!